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Found 223 results

  1. Douglas Skyraider 20mm Cannon and Pitot Probes 1:32 Master Models The latest batch of items from Master Models included these two sets for 1:32 Skyraiders. As usual, they are beautifully turned and finished and are so much more realistic than the kit parts. Though easy to assemble and fit, one set is a little more fiddly than the other. [AM-32-093] – This set is for any 1:32 Douglas Skyraider. The set includes turned brass barrels without flash hiders and aluminium pitot tube. The set contains two versions of cannon muzzles. [AM-32-094] – Has also been designed for any 1:32 Douglas Skyraider and contains turned brass 20mm gun barrels with flash hiders and a turned aluminium pitot tube. Conclusion Here we have another pair of really useful and well produced items. Both sets are well up to standard we have come to expect from Master Models. All you have to do is a bit of research on what the particular aircraft you are modelling was fitted with and choose the correct set. Review sample courtesy of Piotr at
  2. Messerschmitt Me-262 B1a/U1 Nightfighter Revell 1:32 Several two-seat trainer variants of the Me 262, the Me 262 B-1a, had been adapted through the Umrüst-Bausatz 1 factory refit package as night fighters, complete with on-board FuG 218 Neptun high-VHF band radar, using Hirschgeweih ("stag's antlers") antennae with a set of dipole elements shorter than the Lichtenstein SN-2 had used, as the B-1a/U1 version. Serving with 10 Staffel, Nachtjagdgeschwader 11, near Berlin, these few aircraft (alongside several single-seat examples) accounted for most of the 13 Mosquitoes lost over Berlin in the first three months of 1945. However, actual intercepts were generally or entirely made using Wilde Sau methods, rather than AI radar-controlled interception. As the two-seat trainer was largely unavailable, many pilots made their first jet flight in a single-seater without an instructor. Despite its deficiencies, the Me 262 clearly marked the beginning of the end of piston-engined aircraft as effective fighting machines. Once airborne, it could accelerate to speeds over 850 km/h (530 mph), about 150 km/h (93 mph) faster than any Allied fighter operational in the European Theatre of Operations. The Me 262's top ace was probably Hauptmann Franz Schall with 17 kills, which included six four-engine bombers and 10 P-51 Mustang fighters, although night fighter ace Oberleutenant Kurt Welter claimed 25 Mosquitoes and two four-engine bombers shot down by night and two further Mosquitoes by day flying the Me 262. Most of Welter's claimed night kills were achieved in standard radar-less aircraft, even though Welter had tested a prototype Me 262 fitted with FuG 218 Neptun radar. Another candidate for top ace on the aircraft was Oberstleutnant Heinrich Bär, who claimed 16 enemy aircraft while flying the Me 262. The Model With the issue of the extremely well thought of Me-109’s and Fw-190, Revell have now released another in their series of new mould 1:32 kits in the form of the Me-262 B1/U1 Nightfighter. Now while the kit is new and a great replacement for their venerable kit from 1971, they still insist on using the horrible end opening boxes, which, if it wasn’t so packed with plastic would collapse the minute you put it in the stash. Inside the box there are eleven sprues of grey styrene, two of clear styrene and a mid-sized decal sheet. The parts are very nicely moulded with some good surface detail, no signs of flash around the parts, although there is a bit on the sprues, no other visible imperfections and only a few moulding pips. The build begins with the front cockpit tub, which is made up of separate side consoles, and side sections of the seat area, rear lower bulkhead, battery tray, floor, which is fitted with the joystick and control cable run. The circuit breaker panel on the right side console is then attached, followed by the three piece rudder pedal assembly and instrument panel. The cockpit assembly is then attached to the front bulkhead. The front section of the rear cockpit floor is attached to the rear bulkhead of the front cockpit, followed by the separate side consoles, rear bulkhead, along with both seats, which are provided with decal seat belts and which you may wish to change for aftermarket etched or cloth belts for added realism. Both cockpits are then enclosed with the two sidewalls, making the structure strong and ready to fit into the fuselage. The Neptune control box and screen is assembled and put to one side, whilst work continues with the assembly of the gun bay and nose wheel bay. The gun bay floor is attached to the rear bulkhead and the nose bulkhead attached to eh floor. The nose wheel bays sides are fitted to the underside, whilst the ejector chutes are attached to the floor itself. The four cannon and fitted, with their barrels slid through the sub-bulkhead attached to the floor. The ammunition runs are then fitted, followed by two stays between the sub-bulkhead and the rear bulkhead. The instructions say that you will need 15g of weight fitted into the space just forward of the gun bay. I would probably add a little bit more jsut to make sure it’s not a tail sitter, but not too much as the undercarriage legs may not take the strain. The gun bay assembly is then fitted into one half to the fuselage and enclosed with the other half. The cockpits surround is then attached, as is the rear cockpit instrument panel into the upper fuselage and the Neptun radar set and its bracket. The cockpit assembly is then fitted from the underside, where the wings will later fit, followed by the underside cross-members, oxygen bottles, electrical boxes, and control rods. The front and rear spars are joined together by longitudinal bulkheads and attached to the lower wing section which has been fitted with the outer wing panels. The two upper wing sections are fitted with the two flap sections, each of which can be posed extended or retracted, as can each of the two piece ailerons and single piece actuators. The spring loaded slats are also provided as separate parts so that they can be posed extended, their normal position on the ground, or retracted, when in high speed flight. The completed wing assembly is the fitted to the fuselage assembly and it’s becoming to look like a plane now. Whilst you do get most of the engines in the kit, Revell have decided to keep things simple, and therefore cheaper, but not providing a separate engine, or engine covers, so if you want to show off an engine, which will need to be further detailed by the modeller, will also need the separate covers to be cut out. The intakes are made up from the intake surround, internal intake section, bullet fairing and compressor face. The rear section is made up from the exhaust outlet, built, rear stator and rear engine face. The centre section of the engine comprises of fore and after sections split horizontally glued together with a centre wing. With the three sections glued together there are five ancillary parts to fitted, before the nacelle halves are attached covering any engine detail fitted. The front and rear fairings are then attached then each nacelle is glued to their respective positions on the wings. The tail feathers are then assemble, each of the horizontal surfaces are in upper and lower halves, as is the rudder, whilst the elevators are single piece items. Once assembled, they are glued into position along with the separate rudder trim tab. Moving right forward the gun bay panels are attached. If you want to pose these open you will have to cut them in half longitudinally and scratch build a couple of struts. Moving on to the undercarriage, each of the nose wheel is made up from inner and outer wheels with alternative tires and with separate hubs, which will certainly aid painting, these are then glued to the axle on the leg. The main wheels come as two halves and are glued to the main wheel legs, The mains also have separate scissor links which appear t be a little too wide open, with the inner piston of the leg too extended as if it was taken from an empty museum aircraft. You may wish to change this by reducing the piston length and altering the rake of the scissor link. The undercarriage is then fitted to the model, followed by their associated doors, which will need to be split at the appropriate points as they are moulded as one for those who wish to build their model with the undercarriage up, followed by the door retraction jacks and undercarriage actuators. The front windscreen is fitted with a support bar and gunsight, as well as the internally mounted armoured windscreen before being attached to the fuselage. The front and rear canopies are also fitted, and can be posed either in the open or closed positions. Under the nose the bomb racks are attached and fitted with the two, two piece drop tanks. Under the tail section there is a fuel dump tube fitted, whilst at the nose the two Neptun aerial arrays are attached and finished off with the nose cone. Finally the slats are attached, along with the DF aerial, VHF aerials and the clear navigation light covers. Decals The medium sized decal sheet provides options for two aircraft. Messerschmitt Me-262 B1a/U1 “Red 12” 10./NJG 11, Schleswig, May 1945 Messerschmitt Me-262 B1a/U1 “ Red 8” 10./NJG 11, Schleswig, May 1945 The decals are nicely printed, with good opacity, in register and slightly matt. There is quite a bit of carrier film between the Balkenkreuz lines as well as number 12 markings. Naturally there are no decals for eh swastikas, so these will need to be sourced by the modeller. The markings were researched and designed by AirDoc. Conclusion This looks like it will build into another great kit. Revell really have upped their game with the latest releases of 1:32 aircraft. Being nicely detailed, there is still plenty of room for those who want to really go to town on it, yet easy enough for the intermediated modeller to have a go at and get some good results, the price point is also worth considering as it is half the price of a similar Trumpeter kit. Review sample courtesy of Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit
  3. US Mk-82 Bombs with Retarding Tail 1:32 Brassin Whilst some of the big 1:32 scale kits provide a decent selection of weaponry in the box, they aren’t always up to the standard we seem to have come to expect when attaching them to our masterpieces. This is where Eduard and their Brassin range come in and the ever expanding catalogue of resin bombs come into play. Arriving in the pretty standard cardboard box, the set has parts for six complete bombs. The casting is up to the usual standard, with some very fine details, such as the bomb lugs moulded onto the bomb casing, although several had managed to be broken in the box, along with one of the retard tail fins. I think Eduard need to rethink their packaging, at least separate the bombs from the tails. Assembly is nice and simple, as once the fins and bodies are removed from the casting blocks and cleaned up it’s just a matter of joining them together, then deciding what fuse type you’re going to fit. There are two types of nose fuse, one short and one on a fuse extender, there is also the option of just having a plain nose cap for an un-armed weapon. Then it’s just a matter of adding the etched brass tail ring, painting, (any colour as long as it’s olive drab it seems), adding the supplied decals, and weathering as required. Conclusion As is becoming the norm for Brassin these bombs are really well manufactured. Great moulding, good attention to detail and an excellent addition to any modellers armoury. Review samples courtesy of
  4. Special Hobby

    Yakovlev Yak-3 Special Hobby 1:32 Lighter and smaller than Yak-9 but powered by the same engine, the Yak-3 was a forgiving, easy-to-handle aircraft loved by both novice and experienced pilots and ground crew as well. It was robust, easy to maintain, and a highly successful dog-fighter. It was used mostly as a tactical fighter, flying low over battlefields and engaging in dogfights below 4 km (13,000 ft). The new aircraft began to reach front line units during summer 1944. Yak-3 service tests were conducted by 91st IAP of the 2nd Air Army, commanded by Lt Colonel Kovalyov, in June–July 1944. The regiment had the task of gaining air superiority. During 431 missions, 20 Luftwaffe fighters and three Ju 87s were shot down while Soviet losses amounted to two Yak-3s shot down. A large dogfight developed on 16 June 1944, when 18 Yak-3s clashed with 24 German aircraft. Soviet Yak-3 fighters shot down 15 German aircraft for the loss of one Yak destroyed and one damaged. The following day, Luftwaffe activity over that section of the front had virtually ceased. On 17 July 1944, eight Yaks attacked a formation of 60 German aircraft, including escorting fighters. In the ensuing dogfight, the Luftwaffe lost three Junkers Ju 87s and four Bf 109Gs, for no losses to the Yaks. Consequently, the Luftwaffe issued an order to "avoid combat below five thousand metres with Yakovlev fighters lacking an oil cooler intake beneath the nose!" Luftwaffe fighters in combat with the Yak-3 tried to use surprise tactics, attacking from above. Unresolved wartime problems with the Yak-3 included the plywood surfaces coming unstuck when the aircraft pulled out of a high-speed dive. Other drawbacks of the aircraft were short range and poor engine reliability. The pneumatic system for actuating landing gear, flaps and brakes, typical for all Yakovlev fighters of the time, was problematic. Though less reliable than hydraulic or electrical alternatives, the pneumatic system was preferred owing to significant weight savings. In 1944, the Normandie-Niemen Group re-equipped with the Yak-3, scoring with it the last 99 of their 273 air victories against the Luftwaffe. The Model It was quite a surprise when Special Hobby announced a new 1:32 Yak 3 earlier in 2016, but here it is, re-released in Hi-Tech form. The colourful boxart, with a representation of two Yaks shooting down a Bf.109 also shows, in wording in the left hand bottom corner, that this is a Hi-Tech kit. This means that in addition to the seven sprues of bluish grey styrene, two sprues of clear styrene, (not sure if there should be two as they appear identical), there are also a sheet of etched brass, paint masks, and a blister pack of resin parts. All the parts are well moulded with no sign of imperfections or flash, just beautiful, yet quite restrained panel lines, rivets and other detail, where it should be. The fuselage and outer wing panels are smooth of these, as they are plywood. Whilst looking quite a simple build, there is a lot of detail included, particularly in the cockpit with a mixture of styrene, resin and etched brass parts. The rest of the kit looks to be quite straight forward, with no hidden problems. The fact that the instruction booklet is one of the clearest and easiest to read, (are you listening Dragon?), helps. The build itself begins with the assembly of the cockpit, strangely enough, and the fitting of the side consoles with their additional details to the tubular framework of what would constitute the side walls. The moulded rudder pedals are replaced with resin and PE, whilst the eight piece instrument panel, (including the smaller levers etc.), is assembled and detailed with decals for the instruments, a drop of Kleer or aqua gloss will help them stay in position and give them a glassy look. The two piece rear shelf is fitted with a resin radio set, the front bulkhead, with the cannon breech, whilst the joystick is fitted with a PE trigger to replace the moulded part. All the sub-assemblies are then brought together, in addition to another section of tubular frame to build up the cockpit “tub” if you like. The fuselage halves are joined together once the resin exhaust stubs have been fitted and four piece tail wheel assembly, including resin wheel and PE scissor link, has been built up and fitted to the shelf that is attached to one half of the fuselage. The radiator chute is then fitted through the bottom of the fuselage. The tail surfaces are then assembled, each from upper and lower sections and the two piece rudder. The upper wing section is then fitted out with the fuel filler caps which unusually contain decals for what I presume fill levels, I know someone will come to my on these. The lower wing section is fitted with the radiator. The two wing sections are then glued together and the cockpit assembly glued to the centre section of the top wing, then fitted out with the seat, back rest, seatbelts etc. The wing/cockpit assembly is the slid into the fuselage assembly, followed by the forward cowl deck and resin machine gun muzzles. The instrument panel is further detailed with the gunsight and its associated support rail, the coaming and cocking levers for the machine guns. This is then slide into the cockpit aperture, along with two extra side panels. Each main undercarriage is made from a main leg, resin wheel, PE details, shock strut and actuator, scissor link and two outer gear bay doors, before they are fitted to their respective five piece bays, which in turn are slid into the apertures in the lower wing section. The inner bay doors and their associated retraction actuators are then attached, along with the tail wheel bay doors and up lock fittings. The kit being finished off with the fitting of the four piece propeller, headrest, three piece, or optional single piece, canopy, and finally the pitot probe. Decals The two decal sheets provide markings for five different aircraft, although they are all in the same camouflage. The decals are well printed, by Eduard, and look to be in register with good density, important for the white markings and on quite thin carrier film. The markings included are for the following aircraft:- Yak-3, White “6”, of 1 Sqn, Normandie-Niemen regiment, Autumn 1944, Sterkl, Lithuania. Yak-3, White “Double Zero”, East Prussia, 1944 to 45 Yak-3, White “24” Roland De Poype, Hero of the Soviet Union, Eastern Prussia, Autumn 1944. Yak-3, White “22” Asp Pierre Douarre, Le Bourget, France, June 1945 Yak-3, White “4” Lt Roger, (Robert), Marchi, Lithuania, Summer 1944 Conclusion This is really a lovely little kit, and looks like it will be a joy to build, although not without its quirks, such as the main undercarriage bays being completely assembled, with the legs and wheels before being fitted to the wing. It might be best to fit the bays to the wing first and do any filling and sanding they may require, before fitting the undercarriage. Other than that, another nice release from Special Hobby. Review sample courtesy of
  5. Yakovlev Yak 3 detail Sets Eduard 1:32 The Special Hobby Yak-3, reviewed HERE is a great kit in its own right, but there is always room for improvement, and Eduard always seems to find that room. They have now released three individual sets to adorn the kit with extra and improved detail. As with most sets of this type some of the kit details will need to be removed before the etched parts can be added. Detail Set (32891) Contained on two sheets of relief etched brass, both about the same size as each other, one is unpainted whilst one comes pre-painted. The unpainted sheet contains items The pre-painted sheet provides the modeller with a variety of coloured knobs, levers and trim wheels complete with separate chains, new auxiliary instrument panels, plus replacement dials for the side panels. The main instrument panels are also pre-painted complete with the instrument faces on the back plate. A little dab of aqua clear will give them the appearance of glass fronts. Also on this sheet are a couple of foot plates, cable from the joystick and additional sidewall detail. The unpainted sheet contains brake hoses of the main undercarriage legs, along with a new bracket and gland, new panels for the main gear door interiors, new cabling for the main gear bays. The tail wheel doors are replaced with etched items, although you will need to provide a small length of plastic rod for each door. The radiator outlet door is replaced, the etched part being fitted with two brackets and also requires two plastic rods from the modellers supplies. The two large grilles are fitted to the front and rear bulkheads of the radiator bath to represent the radiator itself. Seatbelts (32892) This small fret of brass comes pre-painted and only contains three parts, the shoulder straps which are joined at the top and the tow separate lap straps. Being made of very thin etched steel, they are easily manipulated to shape and require no further assembly, just fit them to the seat and away you go. Flap Set (32394) This single sheet set is to be used to completely replace the kits flaps and the flap bays. You will need to carry out a fair bit of surgery in the kits flap bay area to remove all the detail and thin the skin down. The bays include the roof and forward bulkheads, all the ribs, and flanges as well as the multiple flap tracks. The flaps themselves are also detailed with ribs which need to be carefully folded into position, along with the outer skin panel. The end plates are then attached and the flaps fitted into position. Conclusion This is certainly a fairly comprehensive array of details for what is already a very nice kit. With plenty of care and patience they will make a great kit into super kit. The advantage of have separate sets is that the modeller can pick and choose how much, or how little detail they wish to add. Review sample courtesy of
  6. Republic P-47 Thunderbolt detail Set Eduard 1:32 Eduard have recently released their big 1:32 P-47 Thunderbolt, and rather unusually, have also released an etched detail set for it. I would have thought they would have included it in the kit, especially seeing as the kit is so expensive, but there you go. Detail set (32396) Contained on a single large sheet of relief etched brass the set contains parts for both internal and external areas of the model, but mainly external. The only items for the cockpit are for the four piece seat raising and lowering mechanism, for which you’ll have to provide a length of styrene or brass rod, and the foot plates for the rudder pedals. Other internal parts include the internal trunking for the exhausts, the hinge mechanisms for the cooling gills, rocker cover plates and the interior faces of the undercarriage doors. Externally there are new fin boxes for the bombs, along with nose and tail arming vanes, interior pylon fitting, and crutches. The wing drop takes receive the same interior pylon fixture and crutches, whilst the centreline tank is fitted with new a similar fixture, but with attachment hook and crutch plates. The rear fuselage mounted intakes are completely replaced, both internally and externally with brass parts that will need some careful folding and rolling to achieve the correct shape. The rudder trim tab control rod cover and attachment is fitted and a similar arrangement is fitted to the port elevator. The scissor links on the main undercarriage legs are replaced as is the lower outer door along with their respective hinges. Lastly the interior of the flap bays are fitted with a new liner. Conclusion This is very nice set, which although not the most complex will give the kit some useful additional detail. It’s just rather strange that it wasn’t included in the kit. Review sample courtesy of
  7. Steel Seatbelt Sets French WWI, IJAAF WWII, Mig-21, F-4. 1:32 Eduard Continuing with their releases of steel seatbelts, Eduard have sent four more to BM Towers for us to look at. As with the previous releases, these are also pre-painted and appear to be remarkably flexible, and even with quite rough handling the paint adheres to the metal really well.They are still made from 0.1mm sheet with the resulting etch is thin at around 0.06mm and have the same details printed on them, such as the webbing, stitching, and shadowing. Unlike some sets, all the buckles and clasps are etched as part of the strapping, so there is no fiddly work required to assemble each belt. [32889 – French WWI] – There are five sets of belts included on the single sheet. There are five pairs of lap belts covering the different styles used throughout the war. These are very well painted and very colourful. [32890 – IJAAF WWII] – In this set there are twelve lap belts, four for Nakajima aircraft in leather, and four in cloth, plus four for Kawasaki aircraft also looking like leather. Each buckle, on the left hand belt section also has a protective pad fitted beneath it. [32895 – Mig-21] – Naturally this set only contains one complete seat set of belts. It includes the back fixture, shoulder straps, leg straps and a very nice ejection handle.The straps do have some very nicely done shading on the parts. [32896– F-4 Phantom] – This twin seat set contains all manner of straps for you big Phantom seats. They include straps for the headrest, and backrest. Then there are the shoulder and lap straps, and finally the leg restraints. You will have to check your references when using this set as I don’t know if all F-4 seats were the same. F-4 Seatbelts Grey (32898) - As above but in grey. Conclusion Those who build in the larger scales generally try to add greater levels of detail into their models, showing much skill and technique. Now, those of us who aren’t endowed with super skills can at least have some nice looking seatbelts fitted to our models, with very little skill needed, other than a bit of bending and gluing. Of course the belts can still be weathered more if required. Review sample courtesy of
  8. US CBU-105 Bombs 1:32 Brassin (632-095) - If you’ve fancied some more interesting ordinance on your finished models than dumb or laser guided bombs, then we have just the thing for you here. The CBU-105 sensor fused weapon, although banned now, was used to great effect in the second Gulf War, where the M-108 Skeets proved to be devastating against both tanks and soft skin vehicles. Arriving in the pretty standard cardboard box used for more fragile items the set has parts for six complete bombs. The casting is up to the usual standard, with some very fine details, such as the bomb lugs moulded onto the bomb casing. Unfortunately, even in the packaging they come in, some of the lugs on the review samples have broken. So be aware and open the ziplock bag carefully as they can be glued back on if required. Assembly is nice and simple, as once the fins and bodies are removed from the casting blocks and cleaned up it’s just a matter of joining them together painting, (any colour as long as it’s olive drab or test white it seems), adding the supplied decals, and weathering as required. Conclusion As is becoming the norm for Brassin these bombs are really well manufactured. Great moulding, good attention to detail and an excellent addition to any modellers armoury. Review sample courtesy of
  9. Bazooka Launchers for P-47 1:32 Brassin Arriving in the cardboard box that are used for the more fragile sets in the Brassin range, this set consists of two complete launchers, four end plates, and four fixing arms. There is also a smallish etched sheet, containing the straps that go round each three tube launcher and a small resin fixture for the straps. Construction is relatively simple, just cut the moulding blocks off the launchers and launcher end sections, for which the modeller has the option of fitting one pair for armed or the other pair for empty launchers. Each of the upright fixtures is then glued to the top attachment points of the launchers. The tubes are then fitted with six straps which go round all three tubes, and a strengthening strap that is fitted between the aft attachment points to one of the binding straps. Conclusion Although Eduard probably expect this set to be used on their new 1:32 P-47, it can obviously be used on any manufacturers kits in this scale. It’s a great set and makes you realise how big these things were. Review sample courtesy of
  10. Hi, as I'm sure there are many Wessex friends around here, I just wanted to share with you this great HAR.2 build by my friend Akira Watanabe: http://nabe3saviation.web.fc2.com/modelWes.html As I'm no Wessex expert myself I can't comment on the detail however the execution and the work put in and the final finish look stunning. Cheers Jeffrey (just to be clear, this isn't my model, it's Akira-san's, just posting it here)
  11. North American P-51D/K/Mk.IV Zoukei-Mura 1/32 History Whilst the earlier versions of the Mustang are well known, it is the P-51D/K with its bubble-top canopy was perhaps the most recognised and most well known version of the P-51 family. It was also the most widely used variant of the Mustang, with a grand total of 8102 machines of this type being produced. One of the problems encountered with the Merlin-powered P-51B/C was the poor view from the cockpit, particular towards the rear. The "Malcolm hood" fitted to the P-51B/C was an early attempt to correct this deficiency. However, a more lasting solution was sought. In January of 1943, Col Mark Bradley had been sent to England, and while there he saw how the newly-invented "bubble" or "teardrop" canopy had given Spitfire and Typhoon pilots unobstructed 360-degree vision. He returned to Wright Field in June, and immediately began exploring the possibility of putting bubble canopies on USAAF fighters. Republic Aviation put a bubble canopy on the P-47D Thunderbolt in record time, and Bradley flew it to Inglewood to show it to James H. Kindelberger, the President and General Manager of North American Aviation. Following discussions with the British and after examination of the clear-blown "teardrop" canopies of later Spitfires and Typhoons, North American Aviation secured an agreement with the Army to test a similar canopy on a Mustang in order to improve the pilot's view from the cockpit. A P-51B was selected to be modified as the test aircraft for the new all-round bubble canopy. The aircraft was redesignated XP-51D. The new bubble-shaped hood gave almost completely unobstructed vision around 360 degrees with virtually no distortion. The large rear section did not reach its point of maximum height until a point well aft of the pilot's head was reached, since wind tunnel testing showed that this shape was found to offer the best combination of viewing angles and minimum aerodynamic drag. The Plexiglas of the hood was mounted in rubber in a metal frame, the sill around the bottom being very deep. This was needed to provide the strength and rigidity required to avoid distortion and to prevent the binding or jamming of the canopy in the fuselage rails while it was being opened and closed. There were three rails, one along each side of the cockpit and one along the upper centreline of the rear fuselage. The canopy was manually opened and closed by a handle crank operated by the pilot. In order to accommodate the new all-round vision hood, the rear fuselage of the Mustang had to be extensively cut down. However, the amount of retooling needed to accomplish this was not extensive, and very little re-stressing of the fuselage structure was necessary. The newly-modified XP-51D took off on its first flight at Inglewood on November 17, 1943, test pilot Bob Chilton at the controls. One of the shortcomings of the P-51B was its limited firepower of only four machine guns. In addition, the guns in each wing were tilted over at quite sharp angles, requiring a sharp kink in the ammunition belt feeds and resulting in frequent gun jams. NAA took the opportunity afforded by the introduction of the new Mustang to correct this problem. The gun installation was completely redesigned, and the result was the installation of three MG53-2 0.50-inch machine guns in each wing, all of them mounted upright and all fed by ammunition belts. The inboard guns each had 400 rpg, and the others each had 270 rpg. However, Mustang users had the options of removing two of the guns and having just four, with 400 rounds each, and some pilots did actually select this option. Another visible change introduced by the P-51D was in the increase of the wing root chord. The main landing gear was strengthened in order to accommodate the additional weight, but the wheels maintained the same diameter of 27 inches. However, the wheel bays and doors were modified and the "kink" in the wing leading edge, barely seen in earlier marks, was made much more pronounced. Four P-51D-1-NA Mustangs had been completed with the original B-type canopy before the first P-51D-5-NA model (company designation NA-109) rolled off the production line. There were previously known problems with the installation of the 85-gallon tank in the rear fuselage of the P-51B and its adverse effects on the directional stability. With the P-51D these problems were exacerbated, due to the fact that the cutting down of the top line of the rear fuselage caused a lot of keel area to be lost. In order to provide for better directional stability, a dorsal fin was added ahead of the rudder during the production run of the P-51D Block 10. Some of the earlier P-51Ds (plus a few P-51Bs) were retrofitted with this dorsal fin. The extra weight and drag caused by this fin was quite small, but it helped a lot in improving the directional stability, especially when the rear fuselage fuel tank was full. The P-51D/K introduced the K-14 computing gyro gunsight, based on a British (Ferranti) design. When it first appeared, it was considered almost miraculous. The pilot needed only to dial in the wingspan of the enemy aircraft he was chasing and then feed in the target range by turning a handgrip on the throttle lever. Once the data had been selected an analogue computer worked. All that the pilot had to do then was to get the wingtips of his target lined up on the bright ring projected on the gunsight, and press the trigger. The K-14 was fitted almost from the start of P-51D production, the P-51K receiving this sight from mid-1944. This sight played a major role in the P-51D's impressive score of aerial victories. The P-51D began to arrive in Europe in quantity in March of 1944. The 55th Fighter Group was the first to get the P-51D, trading in its P-38s for the new bubble-topped fighters. The change from the torqueless twin-engined P-38 to the single-engined P-51 did cause some initial problems, and the lack of directional stability caused by the presence of a full fuselage tank took a lot of getting used to. However, once their pilots became fully adjusted to their new mounts, they found that the P-51D possessed a marked edge in both speed and manoeuvrability over all Luftwaffe piston-engined fighters at altitudes above 20,000 feet. However, Luftwaffe pilots considered the Mustang to be rather vulnerable to cannon fire, particularly the liquid-cooled Merlin engine which could be put out of action by just one hit. The Mustang was the only Allied fighter with sufficient range to accompany bombers on their "shuttle" missions in which landings were made in Russia after deep-penetration targets had been attacked from English bases. The Mustangs also participated in low-altitude strikes on Luftwaffe airfields, a rather dangerous undertaking as these fields were very heavily defended by flak. The Model This is the second P-51D Mustang released by Zoukei-Mura, but only the first this reviewer has actually got his hands on, although having several other ZM releases I am quite familiar with the Super Wing Series concept. The sturdy medium sized, yet deep, top opening box, with a lovely rendition of a British P-51K on the front, is jam packed with styrene. Each of the twelve grey and two clear sprues are individually wrapped in poly bags, with the clear sprues also having foam wrapping around the parts for extra protection. There are three large decal sheets which are supplied in another protective poly bag along with the instruction booklets. It is pretty obvious that the main instruction book is from the first P-51D release as this kit builds up in the same way, but if you are building a P-51K then you will need to refer to the supplementary booklet which is associated to the extra sprue specific to this mark. The medium grey styrene is beautifully moulded, with no sign of flash as is expected these days, but there are a lot of moulding pips, probably due to the nature of the parts design, which does mean there is a little extra cleaning up to do. The details on the parts are very well moulded with restrained panel lines, rivets fasteners on the outer skin, whilst the interior, which is what makes these kits rather special, is quite mind boggling, not just with the finesse of design but with the amount of interior parts provided. That said, there are a couple of noticeable problems, the first is that the wings have definite panel lines which I believe were actually filled to help with the laminar flow of the wing, but an easy fix. The second is the machine gun barrels, which, although quite well protected on the sprue, three or four have a pronounced warp on the review example as the barrel muzzles aren’t connected to the sprue. Of course this is easily overcome with the purchase of the metal barrel set that ZM have also released, but this shouldn’t occur with the sort of technology available these days. The instruction book is beautifully laid out, clear and easy to read, with a preface of aircraft specifications and assembly information, followed by paint colours required and the usual safety information ref tools etc. After the preface pages each major assembly has its own build section. The first page of which provides photos of the completed sub-assemblies, a written guide to what these sub-assemblies are called and in the top right hand corner of each the number of parts used in each assembly. The photos/diagrams all show the colours used to paint each part and how it should look when complete, not accounting for weathering of course. The build itself begins with the engine and what could be termed over the top in relation to the amount of detail provided that will never be seen. Each cylinder block is moulded in two halves with each of the individual cylinders moulded into one half. The completed blocks are then attached to the three piece crank case, followed by the intake manifold and cam covers. To the front of the engine the front and rear portions of the gearbox are joined, with the propeller shaft sitting between and the dual drive unit at front and the whole assembly attached to the engine block. The two piece coolant header tank is then fitted above the gearbox and the four piece ignition harness attached to the top of the engine. The two magnetos, coolant pump and cam shaft drive unit ate assembled and fitted to the rear of the engine, followed by the supercharger unit, which is made up of the two piece supercharger housing for each of the first and second stages, boost control unit, drain valve and aftercooler. The aftercooler pump and ignition harness are fitted to the port side, whilst on the starboard side the ignition harness and oil relief valves are attached. The individual exhaust stacks are then attached along with their respective fairings ensuring that the stack angles are correct. The final stage of the engine assembly is the building up of the firewall, onto which the two piece oil tank is attached, along with the oil line on the front and a couple of black boxes on the rear. The engine bearers are then fitted to each side of the engine then attached to their respective points on the firewall. Lastly the oil line is fitted between the bottom of the oil tank to the pump on the underside of the engine. The next stage concerns the assembly of the cockpit and begins with the fitting of the filler pipe and gauge to the fuselage fuel tank which is then fitted to a support base, then the fuselage floor frame along with a small rear bulkhead. There is a choice of seats, one with seatbelts moulded into it, the other without, depending on whether the modeller intends to add a pilot figure, one of which is available separately. The seat is attached to the rear armoured bulkhead via two supports, whilst the aerial relay box is attached to the rear of the headrest. The radio set and battery are attached to the support framework, to the front of which the heater and ventilation pipes are attached. This assembly is then fitted to the rear of the armoured bulkhead and assembled to the cockpit floor with the battery/radio frame sitting on the fuel tank. There is a choice of instrument panel; one with very nicely detail moulded instruments, which with careful painting should look great, the other is plane as is meant for use with the provided decal. To the underside of the panel the rudder pedal unit and switch box are attached. The side panels are then fitted to the cockpit along with the instrument panel assembly and instrument pipework to the rear of the panel. Moving onto the fuselage interior, the engine assembly is attached to the cockpit assembly. The oil cooler is assembled and fitted to the supporting frame and put to one side. The coolant radiator is then assembled out of the radiator front matrix, rear matrix and sides. The oil cooler, coolant radiator and rear radiator exhaust duct are attached to the underside of the cockpit assembly. The long coolant/oil pipes are then attached to their respective radiators and the inlet/outlet fittings on the engine. The three part carburetor air induction duct is then assembled and fitted beneath the engine attaching to the supercharger intake and the front of the engine. A small oil pipe is then fitted to the starboard side of the oil cooler assembly. It’s only now that the fuselage itself is assembled. Unlike standard kits where the fuselage is split into port and starboard halves, in this kit it is made of up of individual panels and sections. First of all the sides are added, not forgetting to fit the two oxygen bottle to the inside of the starboard side panel. These are followed by the upper fairing and the lower panel which surrounds the radiator/oil cooler duct. The engine cowling is next and the modeller is given a choice of having them fitted or not, and since there is so much detail in the engine it would seem a shame to have it covered up. There doesn’t appear to be an option to have them removable, unlike the Tamiya kit and their magnetic answer. If the cowling is to be fixed permanently closed then there is no need to add the panel supporting framework around the engine, if the engine is to be exposed then these will need to be attached. Also take note to fit the correct intake filter panel for use on the Mk.IV as specified in the supplementary instruction sheet. The separate tail cone, made up of two halves into which the tail wheel bay is assembled from the two sides, roof and forward bulkhead, is now assembled, using either the standard or supplementary parts are necessary. This also goes for the vertical tail unit as the modeller has the choice one with a filet and one without depending on the model being made. Before fitting the fin and rudder the horizontal tailplanes are assembled from upper and lower full span halves and separate elevators. This is then fitted to the top of the tail cone and the fin/rudder unit on top of that. Either of the N-9 or K-14 gunsights are then assembled and fitted to the coaming which has been attached forward of the cockpit. The windscreen is then fitted along with the completed tailcone assembly thus completing the fuselage. Moving onto the wings and once again, like the fuselage, it’s like building the real thing, albeit somewhat simplified. The single piece spar and rib unit is fitted out with the six machine guns, each with their separate ammunition belts, three per side in their gun bays. The two part main fuel tanks are then assembled and fitted inboard of the gun bays before the whole sub-assembly is attached to the single piece lower wing skin part. The three clear identification lights are then fitted to the starboard underside wing tip coloured, probably best, from the inside. The undercarriage bay front bulkhead is attached to the wing by two outer spars and a central longitudinal bulkhead. The hydraulic actuators are then attached, two per side, whilst the retractable landing light is fitted to the port bay. The upper outer wing panels are then fitted, along with the separate leading edge panels inboard of the gun bays, the port leading edge having had the camera gun fitted beforehand. The flaps can be posed either retracted or extended depending on the modellers choice of display. Before the wing can be fitted to the fuselage, the joystick and associated control linkage is attached to the top of the wing and the wing fillets fitted to the mid-lower fuselage. With these in place the wing can be attached. With the kit looking more like a model aircraft the build moves on to the addition of ancillary parts, such as the radiator duct air intake, which comes in three parts and is also fitted with an additional length of pipework before fitting to the fuselage. The oil cooler and radiator outlet doors, which are then attached to the rear of the under fuselage, the radiator door is also fitted with an actuator jack and strengthening bar. The main undercarriage units are each made up of a single piece oleo, separate brake pipe and scissor link. The wheels consist of the brake unit, inner and outer hubs and two halves of each tyre. When assembled they should look rather good, although I would prefer the tyres moulded as a single piece. The completed units are then slid into position and twisted to fit the trunnions into their correct position. The inner doors and actuators are then fitted with the required droop, depending on how long the aircraft has been shut down, whilst the outer doors are fitted to the main oleos. The tail wheel assembly is a simpler affair with the main leg being moulded in a single piece, with the single piece wheel/tyre being fitted to the axle. Once fitted into the tail wheel bay the two bay doors can be attached. Whilst the aircraft could carry a variety of stores and equipment the kit comes with just a pair of drop tanks. Each is split horizontally and when assembled are fitted with the air and fuel pipes and attached to the pylons via two crutch plates. The completed assemblies can then be fitted to their respective hardpoints just outboard of the main undercarriage legs. Final outfitting means more choice for the modeller, dependent on which version or mark they are building. ZM have included three different canopies, (M-1 Inglewood built, K-1 Inglewood built and K-13 Dallas built), each with a separate internal frame and one with an external rear view mirror. There is also an option on which propeller to use as both the cuffed Hamilton Standard and un-cuffed Aeroproducts props are provided, with their respective backplates and spinners. There is also an option to have the radar warning antenna fitted to either side of the vertical fin, so check your references to see if the aircraft you are modelling was fitted with them and open up the holes in the fin halves before gluing them together. The last thing to be fitted are the gun bay doors, either open or closed, the navigation lights, tail light, pitot probe and aerial mast. Decals There are three large decal sheets included with this kit. Each very nicely printed with very little carrier film visible, with the exception of the Southern Cross decals and Star and Bar surrounds which will be covered up anyway. They appear to be in register and nicely opaque which is particularly useful if using the identification stripes on a couple of the paint options. There are stencils for one aircraft and include some cockpit placards and instruction placards for the gun bays. If you include the original kit schemes which are included in this one then the modeller can make one of seven different aircraft. These include:- P-51D-5-NA Ser.No. 44-13837 of the 343rd FS, 55th FG Miss Marilyn II, flown by Capt. Robert Welch P-51D-10-NA, Ser.No. 44-14450, of the 363rd FS, 357th FG, Old Crow, flown by Capt “Bud” Anderson P-51D-25-NA Ser.No. 44-73108, of the 334th FS, 4th FG Red Dog XII flown by Maj. Louis Norley Mustang IVa, Ser.No. KH774, 112Sqn, Royal Air Force Mustang Iva, Ser.No. KH716, 3Sqn, Royal Australian Air Force P-51K-10-NT, Ser.No. 44-12073, of the 348th FS, Sunshine VII P-51D-5NA Ser.No. 44-13410 of the 361st FG, Lou IV There is also a small sheet of masks to aid the painting of the canopy and windscreen. Conclusion If you’ve never come across a Zoukei-Mura Super Wings Kit before then have a look. They can appear to be pretty intimidating until you look at the clever and well thought out break down of parts. I don’t purport that they will be an easy build as there is a lot to do, both in preparation, painting and fitting, but the end result is well worth it. Whilst some don’t see the point of having all the internal structure, and yes it isn’t an exact replica of the real thing, but it gives options for some well detailed dioramas as well as looking interesting if left exposed. I think this kit is one of the most accessible ZM have released as it’s not overly complex and should be ok for the intermediate modeller and above. As with everything, take your time and the results will speak for themselves. With this kit you also get to build a 1:32 Mustang in British or Australian colours which has got to be good. If you want to really go to town on the model then ZM have also released a raft full of aftermarket items from the likes of Eduard and Master Models to enhance the build, although I would have liked to have seen at least an interior etched set or seatbelts included in the standard kit. Oh! And you will need to change the machine gun barrels, particularly if you’re leaving the gun bay doors open. Extremely highly recommended Review sample courtesy of
  12. Fokker D.VII (Alb) 1:32 Wingnut Wings. The Fokker D.VII was the most succesful German single seat fighter of the Great war. Such was the demand for it that not only was it built by Fokker, but also Ostdeutsche Albatros Werke and Albatros, hence the suffix (Fok), (OAW) and (Alb) often used to denote the manufacturer of a particular airframe. In fact Albatros produced more D.VII's tha Fokker themselves, and to a better standard of quality. One of the things I like about aviation modelling is not just the aircrfat themselves, but also the people who maintained and flew them. The Great War is full of personalities, and Carl Degelow is a shining example. He was a 30 victory ace, and the last winner of the 'Pour le Merit', commonly known as the Blue Max. By all accounts he was a chivalrous 'knight of the air', and served with honour and distinction. I can thoroughly reccommend the book 'Black Fokker leader' written by Degelow and translated/edited by Peter Kilduff. Degelow survived the war, and was later jailed for a few days for refusing to give the Nazi salute! He served in the Luftwaffe in World War 2, and died in Hamburg in 1970. The Wingnut Wings kit is superb, I have now built all 3 (the Fokker, OAW, & Albatros versions), and throughly enjoyed all of them. Original review of all 3 here Hers is the latest, Carl Degelows 'White Stag' ; With cowling panels fitted; Cowling panels detached; Read the book, build the model! [edit for a late addition] All 3 Wingnut Wings together. Left to Right, Willi Gabriels (Fok), 'Sieben Schwaben' (OAW), and Carl Degelow (Alb). Not easy to photograph together![/edit] Thanks for looking, John
  13. This is my first ever 1:32 build, and my first post on here, bar my introduction (in which I stated I don't build 1:32). I usually only do 1:48, as I find the large surfaces a bit intimidating in terms of painting / finish, but this was a gift. That said - I do love interiors - so this was a real treat. As I am sure many people will notice - there are a few screw-ups. I tend to rush, and got some bits on backwards or upside-down (see landing gear). Frustrating and embarrassing, but I will learn. Also - I am afraid to say I am not a big researcher - I just love the look of aircraft and love building models - so some of the markings and colourings are likely well off... All of that said - I was happy with this. I don't have an airbrush - so this is all done with brushes or rattle cans (Molotow, Tamiya or Citadel). With some very basic whole panel pre shading with primer, and a load of spot washes, pin washes and afters with pigments and so on. As ever - I struggled not to go overboard with weathering - as I really enjoy that part of every build. Think I might have kept it just about bearable. All markings painted with rattle cans using Montex masks. Thanks for looking. Any notes most welcome.
  14. Hi folks, Firstly - I'm aware of the great build threads (with fix observations) that have been posted here on BM - the some excellent thoughts and input - you there Bill? What I'd like to get together here is a definitive list of errors - with dimensional/photographic proof. So - looking out for theories/physical measurements/photographic evidence... Reason - I *really* love the Lightning and I doubt we'll ever get another in 1:32. And IMHO there is a lot that's good - we've got injection moulded 1:32 Lightnings for one! Sooo - am looking at making up some 'correction' patterns for these kits - possibly... What I have on the list at present is: Fuselage plug (5 mm to fuselage length) - This is something I will be double checking with a real airframe. Nose ring Intake/nose gear bay Replacement fuselage tanks (all versions) Fuselage cable ducts (as required per Mk) Rear fuselage cross section Possible narrow chord on fin (F2A/F6) Canopy - I have a gut feeling looking at a few completed models that the canopy is somehow wrong - gut feeling is far too wide - again - to be confirmed Wheels/Refuelling probe available elsewhere and main gear can be shortened. Anything missing from list? Any further observations? Iain
  15. British and US Bombs Videoaviation 1:32 This month we have received three sets of bombs from Videoaviation, one set of British BL755 cluster bombs and two US types, the M-117 General Purpose bombs and the Mk20 Rockeye. Each set is moulded in a cream beige resin which produces some very fine detail which is protected by the reasonably sturdy bubble boxes filled with bubble wrap. Yet even with the protection there are a number of parts that have broken in transit, namely the suspension lugs, which shouldn’t cause too much of a problem when the bombs are fitted to a model. BL-755 Cluster Bomb set (153232) This set contains two bombs, each moulded in two sections, the main bomb casing and the tail section. In addition there are the distinctive arming vanes for the nose and the two support lugs. The lugs and arming vanes will probably be the most awkward parts to remove from their moulding blocks, but care and a new scalpel blade should take care of them. The casing and tail blocks are easier to remove, and with a few swipes of a sanding stick should be ready to join together. The set comes with a decal sheet containing the stencils normally found on the weapons. The instruction leaflet informs the modeller of the colours required, but there isn’t any colour picture, so some research will be required to find the correct colours. The sheet also includes four remove before flight flags to add extra interest to your completed model. M-117 GP Bomb set (16932) This set contains six complete bombs, again split in two with the bomb casing and tail sections separate. Each bomb is also provided with the nose mounted arming device and two bomb lugs. Once again the lugs will need careful removal from the moulding blocks, but the arming devices are much easier, as with the casings and tails. Once removed there shouldn’t be too much cleaning up required before the parts can be assembled. The small decal sheet only carries one stencil per bomb, although there are eight stencils on the sheet and only six bombs. Mk-20 Rockeye (USN & USAF) (164032) As with the other two sets, the bomb itself is separated at the tail and comes with separate nose caps and bomb lugs. Assembly is the same as the M-117 and once complete will look great fitted to all manner of US aircraft. The decal sheet for this set is quite a bit large and contains a full set of stencils for each bomb, along with two types of nose stripes, one for USAF service and one for USN/ US Marine service. Conclusion It’s great to see the BL-755 being released as I don’t think there has been another release in this scale. As is usual with Videoaviation the details and moulding quality is superb and the decals are very useful. They will make a great addition to any model. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  16. 1:32 Hawk T-1 lighting kit Tirydium Models Following on from his fibre optic lighting sets for sci-fi subjects HERE, Tirydium Models has released this set for the Revell 1:32 BAe Hawk T-1. Packaged in a clear zip lock bag the set comes complete with all you need to light the following: Nose Light (White LED) Wing Tip Warning lights, (White LED’s with 2 x 0.75 fibre guides) Top Strobe Light, (Red LED with 1 x 1.0mm fibre guide) Underside Strobe Light, (Red LED with 1 x 1.0mm fibre guide) There is also a controller chip on a board for the flashing strobe lights. Everything comes pre assembled, so all the modeller has to do is fit the parts into the model as it’s being built. Due to the construction of the kit slots will need to be filed out along the wing for the fibres to fit without being pinched and the wing tip lights will require their lugs cutting off and a small hole drilled into them. The instructions are very clear and easy to read and come with a selection of colour photographs showing where and how the LED’s and fibres are to be installed, along with written instructions explaining what needs to be done. The kit is well made with all LED/Fibre optic joints well taped up, there may be a slight excess of fibre for the lights, but this can easy be cut to size. Conclusion This is a very nice and well made set-up for those who either don’t feel competent or, like me, a little too lazy to fit lighting systems to their models even though they would like to. With this kit, aided by the clear instructions, there is now no excuse. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  17. Tamiya's 1:32 kit. Won't be an OoB build and may not get done in the time-frame especially as we're 'coming home' for a holiday just after New Year, but other than one other project I'm clearing the bench of everything to focus on this one. Put the 'block' together this morning and mixed/sprayed a cocktail of Tamiya acrylic XF-56 & XF1. Thanks for looking and/or commenting. Please feel free to make any comments or ask any questions throughout the build. Ian.
  18. US A/M32A-60 Generator Videoaviation 1:32 The latest 1:32 release from Videoaviation is of a A/M32A-60 Generator set. The set comes in a sturdy cardboard box with a picture of the unit in side view. Inside there is quite a lot of cream coloured resin contained in either bubblewrap or ziplock bags. The mouldings are very nicely produced with very little flash and minimal webbing/attachments connecting the parts to the moulding blocks. There are twenty two parts all told, not including all the pipework which is included as uncut lengths. Construction begins with the fitting of the upper body to the lower bed. The two separate axles are fitted to the pre-moulded leaf spring suspension mounts; the front axle also has the towing beam attachment point fitted. The four wheels, which consist of separate tyres and hubs, to aid painting, are then attached, along with the rear bumper bar, optionally posed side door. The towing arm can be posed in either folded or extended position, and there are four hose storage supports and the hose pipe fitted to the roof. The different sized cables are each fitted with plugs, before being coiled up and placed in the brackets on the roof. The air pipe is also coiled up, with one end glued to the outlet pipe, and then also mounted on the roof. Of course, you can also use the cables and air pipe in a diorama setting attached to your particular aircraft. Decals are included for all the stencils and warning signs/markings for the unit, unfortunately none are provided for the gauges. The modeller can paint this unit in three different colours depending on where they’re used, Yellow, Green or Grey. Conclusion This is another great little kit from Videoaviation. Not too difficult to build, but could be fun to weather it a bit, not too much mind, and will make a super addition to any diorama next to and possibly attached to a suitable aircraft. Review sample courtesy of
  19. CBU 104/104/105 WCMD Bombs Videoaviation 1:32 The latest set of resin bombs recently arrived at BM’s offices, and as usual they are very nice. These are the “smart” cluster bombs, or as they are known now, the Wind Corrected Munitions Dispenser. The blister pack, contains four bombs, each with the following parts Bomb Casing Tail Lugs Decals The casting, in a beige resin, is beautifully done, with some nice moulded details on both the casing and the tails. Building is just a matter of cutting the parts off their moulding blocks and gluing the tail to the casing, and then carefully removing the individual bomb lugs form their block and attaching them to their respective positions. The lugs are very fragile, so you will need the sharpest of scalpels to remove them without breaking, oh, and take your time. The decal sheets, for there are two small ones; provide the yellow stripe and information placards for each bomb. Also included is a pair of remove before flight flags per sheet, one for each bomb. Conclusion This is another very nicely done and useful set for anyone who would like to arm their big F-15E’s. Although to fully arm one of these you will need to buy more than one set. Review sample courtesy of
  20. Hello folks Been a long time since I asked for folks ideas here, but because I’m planning-on building the Tamiya 1:32 Mustang (and the implied ‘cost’ of this kit), I thought it may be a good idea to get some thoughts before I start hacking away at it. I’m going to build Bill Dunhams’ ‘Mrs. Bonnie’ as it was right at the end of the war in summer 1945. The aircraft is a P-51K-10 it's quite well known as it was featured in some publicity photos in August or September. As you can see, despite it being a Dallas-built ‘K’ it has the cuffed Hamilton props and spinner – the blade profile and decals give-it-away – also the whole of the spinner is painted red/yellow/blue & black (front to rear). This is fine as the kit I’m using is the initial Tamiya release, 60322 (which also has the ‘Dallas’ canopy in the box too). Now here’s the part where I need your insight & thoughts – Tamiya in their paint & decal instructions show ‘Mrs Bonnie’ with the ‘correct’ Aeroproducts spinner & blades but also would have you paint the spinner back-plate NMF, the colours being the same but compressed. Has anyone got a photo that confirms the Tamiya instructions – just being curious, I’m one of those folks who likes to have as much info as possible… Thanks in advance folks, over to you. Ian.
  21. Revell

    Arado Ar 196B Revell 1:32 The Arado 196 is probably one of the most well known of the Axis floatplanes, and it certainly was one of the best of its class. But it is the twin float version that most people know about as it was the most popular with around 537 aircraft built. The single float version, of which only a maximum of ten were built is, obviously not so well known. In October 1936, the RLM asked for a He 114 replacement. The only stipulations were that it would use the BMW 132, and they wanted prototypes in both twin-float and single-float configurations. Designs were received from Dornier, Gotha, Arado and Focke-Wulf. Heinkel declined to tender, contending that the He 114 could still be made to work. With the exception of the Arado low-wing monoplane design, all were conventional biplanes. That gave the Arado better performance than any of the others and the RLM ordered four prototypes. The RLM was also rather conservative by nature, so they also ordered two of the Focke-Wulf Fw 62 design as a backup. It quickly became clear that the Arado would work effectively, and only four prototypes of the Fw 62 were built. The Ar 196 prototypes were all delivered in summer 1937, V1 (which flew in May) and V2 with twin floats as A models, and V3 and V4 on a single float as B models. Both versions demonstrated excellent water handling and there seemed to be little to decide one over the other. Since there was a possibility of the smaller outrigger floats on the B models "digging in", the twin-float A model was ordered into production. A single additional prototype, V5, was produced in November 1938 to test final changes. In February 1938 an Ar 196 V4 carrying the registration D-OVMB and serial number 2592 was trialled as a test aircraft. The aircraft was fitted with a ventral float in which the fuel tank, two smoke dischargers as well as emergency provisions and additional ammunition was carried. The further in-service testing of the Ar 196 B was carried out during 1940-1941. The Model The kit comes in Revells usual slightly floppy end opening box which really should be redesigned. The box art is very attractive with and artists impression of the prototype V4 in its element. On opening the box you're faced with a raft of sprues. 13 in light grey styrene, and one in clear styrene. The package is completed by the instruction booklet and decal sheet. The majority of the kit is the same as the twin float variant released by Revell back in 2011, with only the floats being produced as new parts. There is a lot of work to do before the modeller can close up the fuselage, as the 196 had a ladder-like framework within the fuselage, which is visible through the cockpit aperture, a large hole in itself. Construction starts with the pilot's position, mated to the bulkhead between him and the observer, with radio equipment festooning the backside. The ladder sections have various parts added before they mate to the solid floor section, and detail throughout is good. The radio and instrument panel faces are suitably detailed for this larger scale, although there are doubtless wires and additional detail that could be added with the right references. It is worth noting that the rear cockpit seems to have been lined with sheet plywood or similar to stop the spent casings from the rear armament from finding their way into the workings of the aircraft. Check your references for confirmation if you can, and grab some thin styrene sheet cut to shape if you plan on replicating this. Once the cockpit and "chassis" is complete and painted, the engine compartment bulkhead attaches to the front, and you can begin adding the fuselage around it. The BMW radial engine isn't added until later in the build, but the detail and part count here is high. With careful painting and weathering it should build up into an excellent focal point of the model. The cowling is made up from a number of parts, allowing the modeller to leave part or all of it open to expose as much of the engine as they wish. There is also a choice of prop with a spinner or without, so check your references. The wings come in the traditional upper and lower halves, and have a rather sturdy looking spar arrangement sandwiched between the halves, plus a full set of poseable flying surfaces. You can choose here to pose the wings folded for stowage, unfolded ready for flight or with one wing folded one extended to show off the model's features without taking up too much display space. Care is needed here, as the construction of the wings differs considerably depending on which version you choose. Ploughing on without looking at the little black explanatory pictures could limit your choice later in the build. The tail, with one piece elevator is built as a single unit and slots into the rear of the fuselage later in the build along with the movable rudder. The large single main float is made up from five parts, the float halves, top deck and two internal bulkheads. The instructions call for 50g of weight to be placed in the nose of the float to prevent it from sitting on the rudder at the end of the float, although if you’re going to use the stand this problem is alleviated by the way the supports are moulded. The modeller is provided with optional rudders, either deployed or retracted. Whilst the four support struts look pretty rugged, they probably won’t take too much handling to break, unlike the much stronger supports in the earlier kit. There is a fairly clear rigging diagram to follow, and where Revell state to use cotton, the modeller can use whatever they are most comfortable with. The small outrigger floats are provided in two halves with three support struts, one of which is bifurcated and these are then attached to the lower wings and rigged as per the instructions, although this particular diagram is less clear and you may want to use your references instead. Also under the wings there are two hardpoints to which the cradles and small bombs are fixed The transparencies are clear & crisp, but the various parts are assembled from flat parts separate from the cockpit aperture, and here you could run into trouble if you either get the angles wrong, or use traditional cement and cloud the parts. It would be advisable to use a non-solvent glue like GS-Hypo Cement and build the parts in-situ to ensure you get the angles right to give a good join with the cockpit sills. Masking before building the assemblies could also be a good idea, to avoid cracking the joints with excessive handling. Decals The decal sheet includes markings for just the V4 prototype, D-OVMB, but does also have a fair number of stencils, plus the instrument panel. The red band and swastika are not included, only the white circle on which the swastika would be placed, so you’ll have to paint this area and use aftermarket decals if you wish to display this. The underside registration letters are large and will need some softening/setting solution to help bed down properly as although the carrier film is relatively thin. This goes for the side registration letter too. Conclusion Much like the earlier twin float kit, this is a beautiful model and will make a great companion piece with the two shown side by side. It certainly looks different, and yet familiar at the same time. I really like this aircraft and it’s great to have it released in this scale as it offers so much more in the way of detailing possibilities. Very highly recommended. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  22. Making a plywood fuselage on plastic! Albatros D.Va (OAW) 1:32 Wingnut Wings Wingnut Wings released this kit last summer, as the third in their line of Albatros kits. A review can be found Here Having built the WNW Albatros D.V before, I want to try to improve my build technique on this one. The main thing I noticed on my first build was that all the interior components were a tight fit, and closing the fuselage around it was a bit of a struggle. The tolerances are so tight on these kits that any paint on mating surfaces will reduce the accuracy of the fit. With that in mind I took the simple step of lining all the bulkhead locations inside the fuselage halves with thin strips of Tamiya tape, before spraying with Halfords primer. The woodwork was done with a sprayed coat of Tamiya 'Deck tan', followed by a coat of Johnsons Kleer. The wood grain was done with Griffin Alkyd tube oils paints. Blends of mostly Raw Sienna with a dash or 2 of Burnt Umber and/or Light Red. I mix them 'on the fly' in an old Pringles lid.I shade at a time is done, they only take a bout 4 hours to dry so there is none of this 'waiting 1 week' for the tube oils to dry. I then redid the stringers in Deck tan, and went over them with near Raw Sienna. The idea was to create a series of different looking wood effects. One done, the tapes were pulled out of the bulkhead locations. All the bulkheads were scraped on their mating surfaces, and they all fitted like a dream. The fuselage closes up nicely around them with no pressure needed. Main components ready for assembly; Other interior fittings; The fuselage just pressed together in a 'dry' fit. The seam is virtually non existent, and the best I have yet achieved. I'll be masking off the bulkhead loactaions on all future builds, it has made a big difference! I'm going to include a couple of MDC's 'Wings Cockpit' resin figures, the 'Groundcrew man assisting Pilot' These are beautifully cast, but need priming and painting. Test filling the pilot revealed that he will have to go in before the fuselage halves are glued. And he will hide most of my interior painting and detailing. Oh well! The ground crew man sits astride the fuselage, helping the pilot secure his straps and flying helmet' Test fit; Finally, I am going to try Uschi van Der Rosten's Woodgrain decals on the fuselage. Thanks for looking John
  23. AIM-7E Sparrow 1:32 Brassin (632-084) This is another set of missiles, recently released by Eduard, in their Brassin range, and as is usual for these types of sets, it is contained within the standard cardboard box Brassin use for their more fragile items. The set contains four Sparrow missile bodies, complete with tailfins, separate body fins, a small sheet of etched brass, and a smallish decal sheet. As with the Sidewinder set reviewed HERE, the parts are tentatively attached to their moulding blocks by thin webs, which are easily detached and cleaned up. Construction is minimal, with the almost centrally mounted body fins glued into position along with the brass exhaust ring. The decal sheet provides all the various stencils and coloured rings, denoting whether the missile is live or inert, also denoted by the colour of the main body. The mouldings are what we have come to expect from Brassin, clean, with fine details and very cleaning up to do. Conclusion This is another missile that is actually older that you realise and this version, first delivered in 1958 was fitted to various marks of the F-4 Phantom II up to the Vietnam War. Either fitted to a model or on their own mounted on a trolley, they will make a great addition to the modellers arsenal. Review sample courtesy of
  24. AIM-9B Sidewinder 1:32 Brassin (632-083) Contained within the standard cardboard box Brassin use for their more fragile items, are a set of four AIM-9B Sidewinders. The body and rear fins are moulded in one piece, whilst the front fins are separate, as are the seeker heads and protective “Noddy” caps. There is also a small etched brass fret that contains the rear nozzle ring and a pretty comprehensive decal sheet. Although still attached to their moulding blocks, they are only held to the block by thin webs, therefore easily removed and cleaned up with just a swipe or two of a sanding stick. With the front fins, and etched rocket ring fitted it’s just a matter of painting, adding the supplied decals, and weathering, (although from my experience, they were kept pretty clean, but there are photographs on the internet that show this wasn’t also the case. The “Noddy” caps should then be painted and fitted to the nose of each missile, covering the seeker head, although this is entirely up to the modeller how they should be used. The only fly in the ointment is the lack of Remove Before Flight flags for the caps, which is a shame, but they are readily available elsewhere. Conclusion Although this is an early version of the missile, it was extensively, everywhere from Taiwan Strait Crisis on F-86 Sabres through to the Vietnam war fitted to F-4C/D Phantom II’s, certainly a welcome addition to the 1:32 modellers armory. Review sample courtesy of
  25. Bazooka Launchers for P-40 1:32 Brassin Arriving in the cardboard box that are used for the more fragile sets in the Brassin range, this set consists of two complete launchers, four end plates, and four fixing arms. There is also a smallish etched sheet, containing the straps that go round each three tube launcher and a small resin fixture for he straps. Construction is relatively simple, just cut the moulding blocks off the launchers and launcher end sections, for which the modeller has the option of fitting one pair for armed or the other pair for empty launchers. Each of the upright fixtures is then glued to the top attachment points of the launchers. The tubes are then fitted with six straps which go round all three tubes, and a strengthening strap that is fitted between the aft attachment point to one of the binding straps. Conclusion I didn’t even realise the P-40 ever carried these bazooka style launchers, and I suggest that some research is carried out to ensure the particular aircraft you wish to build, did in fact carry them. As usual the mouldings are superb and they will certainly give the P-40 a different look in your collection. Review sample courtesy of