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Found 197 results

  1. A kind friend in the USA bought me this old Academy kit. I won't build it quite 'OOB' - I'll definitely add the Eduard brass set - or part of it - and i need to move the crane, which is in the wrong place. I may also decide to use the 'late' bin-fit, rather than the early as on the picture here - but to begin with it doesn't make any difference to the build. So here we go. Out of order, of course - who needs instructions?
  2. Hi Pals, I finish working with this model. I have seen that it is a fairly simple kit, without major problems for assembly, with very good instructions. The tracks, are the originals, which although vinyl and not the best option, are "Tamiya", which is always a guarantee of quality, and have been very easy to assemble (they are wide and with 4 points of union instead of 2). I have chosen not to overload with extra equipment the vehicle, because it is in question to choose between there is a lot of equipment or lose the painting / detailed work underneath (detail cast, weathering ...). I have improved as much as possible, without complicating myself too much, some details of the kit, such as crystals for the periscopes, and the knobs of the boxes of spare parts, that I had spare in my box of pieces ... Still, I added something extra besides what the kit brings, crates boxes, ammo boxes, backpack, several, and wire roll. Although this is an old kit, modestly I think you could still get a good result, (I am reasonably happy with it), I have chosen to make the Marine version in Vietnam. I thank you all the fellows of the forum who have accompanied me in the assembly process and encouraged me with their comments to improve / continue. I include a link to the WIP section, in case someone is interested in seeing the post. Some shots details... And a bit of information... And I add some photos that I found in Google, very appropriate IHMO I think, of course only for information and with all rights for its legitimate authors. This is in the assault of Hue ... Thx to all for watch and comment, cheers mates
  3. Greetings, all ! I present to you my recent work: test-build T-60 early series from MiniArt #35215 with interior pleasant viewing :-) foto is clicable
  4. The autumn is upon us, Nights are drawing in, the garden needs tidying before winter, there are a score of household seasonal maintenance jobs that need doing before the weather breaks, but why waste ideal modeling weather! So what better to accompany those long dismal dark evenings staring at "the Leg Iron" over a plate of Findus crispy pancakes and pot noodle, than a build that`ll frustrate the bejesus out of you! I`m Granto, you may remember me from previous threads such as DML Saladin ++ and "first build in donkeys years", well don't let that put you off, here`s my remedy to Seasonal affected disorder, DML`s Conqueror Mk 2! (cue fanfare) No, trust me, I`m a doctor! So here it is.................I couldn't wait to get my hands on this when I first heard about it, and I spent hours trawling the interweb looking for news, and then came the reviews. I couldn't believe they had got it so wrong, but a part of me still wanted to believe, so I kept the faith, and Brothers and Sisters the good Lord of plastic spoke unto to me in a dream! And he said that my faith would show me the way and that I should show that way unto you, my good Brothers and Sisters, so here tiz`! So, we've all read the reviews about Dragon and their black label series, being a sceptic and believing everyone is selling something or can be bought I parted with my spondulicks for the kit as soon as it became available, I compared my kit with various "experts" opinion and I thought there was a build here, just as I believe there is a worthwhile build in their M103! ( yes, it`s a big job but are you a modeler or an assembler?) Dimensionally the kit is good apart from the main armament, there are a few items out of position by a couple of MM here and there, but the basics are there and as I go through the build I will show how I overcame those that are an issue, there was one review though that really got my back up, the reviewer categorically stated that one major flaw "couldn't be corrected without major surgery", well I got you there big man, because for once I am blessed with knowledge denied to lesser mortals! At that point I knew I could I could do a proper correction to this error and build a decent representation of a Conqueror Mk2! Conqueror has always been one of my favorite tanks, One sat as the gate guardian at the Junior Leaders Regiment at Stanley barracks, Bovington when I was there, I climbed all over and inside of it, and she`s still there to this day, a behemoth of the cold war battlefield. Conqueror was developed, as was the M103, to kill soviet tanks at extreme range with her 120mm gun whilst sitting one bound behind the more numerous Centurions with their 20 pounder guns. Conqueror was not designed to accompany the Cent`s and therefore was not given the same kit or design features, she didnt have a boat shaped hull to deflect mine explosions because she wasn't supposed to encounter mines by virtue of the fact her job was overwatch not patrolling, her gun kit didnt work until she went over 1.5 mph, Centurion`s worked all the time whatever, despite being over twenty tons heavier she had the same meteor engine (albeit fuel injected) and a similar merit-brown crash gearbox. As far as the Army were concerned she was nothing more than a glorified mobile pillbox! There were 20 Mk1 vehicles built which were used for troop trials, these took place while the construction of the MK2`s were under way and the two marks differed in some respects, there were a host of internal changes but the most visible difference is to the front of the hull, and this is what wound me up in the review! Conqueror`s hull was constructed from armour plate, the thickest being the upper and lower glacis which was 5 inches thick and angled at 60 degrees. Behind this formidable armour sat the driver and a whole heap of ready rounds, however the design committee were not satisfied that the weld seam between the upper glacis and the roof plate was able to withstand an impact from an explosive or AT round, they also felt that the join to the roof plate was weakened further by it`s proximity to the three episcopes provided for the driver. Rather than a redesign, the most economical and practical solution was to reinforce the the join by an applique patch that was chamfered to the rear to resemble a very thin wedge and lapped at the front to engage with the top of the glacis plate in addition two of the episcopes were deleted as it was felt that the vehicle, being one bound behind, would not necessarily be driven closed down for long periods. these modifications were incorporated into the vehicle during construction of the hull giving the now characteristic crease across the hull roof, there was no internal difference due to this modification. This as you will see is probably the easiest fix in the history of modeling! An applique patch! Hardly major surgery is it? Anyway, enough of my ranting, in accordance with modeling law here are the guts! One sheet of manufacturers opinions, double sided! Hull top and bottom, Nice detail, big Dragon sprue gates! Turret and mantlet sleeve. DS tracks! Optics and headlight lenses. As is usual with Dragon, you get sprue duplication. There is some very nice detail on here, all apart from the big drainpipe on the left! Hideous .30cal! Again, it`s not all bad news! Plastic everywhere! Here`s the Conky next to Zero Echo! Hehehehehehe She`s a big old girl! Oh, I almost forgot the drainpipe.................................................... OMG! S`lush! But wont I need to solder the bits? No you Donkey! It all screws together! Sweeeeeet! Sooo Sweeeeet! So there you have it Brothers and Sisters, Conqueror coming! Shed first thing in the morning! Ta for lookin` no "G" Granto
  5. Greetings, all ! I present to you my recent work: test-build T-54-3 model 1951 from MiniArt #370007 pleasant viewing :-) foto is clicable
  6. 1945 King Tiger Takom/Ammo 1:35 Hitler, and therefore Nazi Germany was obsessed with bigger which they equated with better, and this was reflected in almost every aspect of arms production in the run-up to, and throughout World War II. After the Panzer IV had been matched by Allied designs, the Tiger addressed the balance back in their favour, becoming the most feared combatant from any force, despite several draw-backs of its design, such as a weak transmission, and a level of complexity that meant it was slow to manufacture, prone to break-downs and expensive to repair. Expecting the Allies to bring heavier tanks to the field before too long, the King Tiger, Tiger II, or Königstiger as the Sd.Kfz.182 was known came into existence, having begun development even before the war started. Porsche's ground-breaking and complex design was unsuccessful for this reason, while the Henschel proposal was taken forward to production, using the same underpowered Maybach engine that was barely adequate for the Tiger I, and taking on the sloped armour of the successful Panther to significantly increase the effective thickness of the armour whilst keeping weight down to a staggering 70 tonnes. The initial turrets had curved surfaces that were difficult to manufacture, and a redesign was necessary to cure this and remove the shot-trap under the mantlet, with the new design being known today as the Henschel turret, while the old design became the Porsche turret, although both were designed by Krupps. A weak transmission design, coupled with the underpowered engine ensured that many vehicles broke down in the field, and plans were in progress to improve both aspects with fuel-injection and a new drive-train, but were curtailed by the end of the war. Most of the initial order of 1,500 units were built under difficult circumstances due to bombing of the factories and the encroaching Allied forces, and despite its problems it became one of the icons of German tank design of WWII, with a number surviving to be placed in museums, with some still running. The Model We have had a few King Tiger (KT) kits in 1:35 over the years, but nothing new for quite a while, and at times the preferred brands have been hard to come by with prices reaching silly levels on eBay. Takom's new range of KT kits aims to provide a full set of these imposing tanks, with and without Zimmerit anti-mine coating, with Henschel and Porsche turrets, and with or without interiors. This should cater for almost every possibility, and if you like your tanks buttoned up, you won't be wasting the interior if you buy wisely. This special edition kit has been produced in an alliance with AMMO by Mig Jimenez. The types included from the box haven’t been released by Takom before, so you can add it to your collection without fear of duplication. It is ostensibly a 1945 King Tiger Ausf B with a Henschel Turret, but one of the options is to build it as a July 1945 Project with Infra Red sights, whilst the other is for a Standard March 1945 Late version. Inside the box are a lot of sprues, taking up almost all the available space. There are ten sprues, two hull parts and upper turret in a grey styrene, one sprue of clear parts, one small sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, and decal sheet. The instruction guide is in the by-now-familiar Takom format, in landscape A4, with a separate booklet for the painting instructions. All the parts are beautifully moulded with no sign of flash or other imperfections, but there are quite a few moulding pips, and for those modellers who have an aversion to indie link tracks, look away as, although these are link and length, each individual link is connected to the sprue by no less than six gates which will require the nice tedious job of cleaning them up before fitting. Construction begins with the rather unusual start point of the upper hull and the fitting of the towing cables, pioneer tools, and the separate panel for the drivers and bow gunners hatches. Inside, there is a large panel glued to the inside of the glacis plate, along with the two periscopes. The three piece bow machine gun is then assembled and glued into the ball socket in the bow plate. Then, on the outside the rest of the ball mechanism is fitted, along with the armoured hood. The track guards are also added at this point, although I’d probably leave them off until the entire hull is complete and the tracks fitted. Each of the road wheels and the sprockets are made up from two parts whilst the idlers are three part units. Once the gearbox covers and axles have been fitted to the hull all the wheels can be attached to their relative axles. There is a separate lower glacis plate to be attached as well. With all the track links and lengths cleaned up it’s just a case of patience and following the build guide carefully, ensuring it sags in the correct places. If you’re following the instruction rigidly then you will be fitting the upper hull to the lower at this point then adding the upper bow mounted track guards, three piece bow mounted light and lower, inner gearbox covers, to which the towing shackles are attached. The rear bulkhead is fitted out with the engine gearbox cover, a smaller access hatch, two, three piece exhausts, exhaust covers, track puller, the two rear mudguards and rear mounted towing shackles. The completed bulkhead is then attached to the rear of the hull. On the rear upper hull alternative centre engine covers, one is fitted with three individual engine hatches each fitted with a ventilation style dome and two other access hatches. The alternative centre hatch is fitted with a single large hatch each with two ventilation domes. There are also alternative radiator covers, attached each side of the centre hatch, there have different grilles and on one style the grilles are covered by armour plate. Each of the centre mounted circular opening is covered by PE grilles. Each assembly is then glued into position. The turret is assembled next, with the single piece centre section of the turret fitted with the roof, inner rear bulkhead, gunners internal hatch framing, inner section of the commanders cupola, outer rear bulkhead gunners hatch actuator, in open or closed position, three piece gunners hatch, periscope cover, small access hatch and grab handles. The large eight piece rear mounted hatch is then attached with its hinge covers, along with the roof mounted ventilator cover or alternative cover plate. The turret base is fitted with the gun trunnion section via two trunnion mounts and then glued to the turret. The outer commanders cupola is fitted with the seven periscope covers before being glued into position. The turret is then further detailed with four sets of six track link brackets and ten links, two at the front and three at the rear on each side. The March 1945 version is fitted with the commanders four piece hatch and a four piece MG34 machine gun. The July 1945 is fitted out with the same style hatch, but instead of the machine gun there is an eleven piece infra red sight and searchlight, plus on each side of the turret there are covers for the new rangefinder. The five piece gun barrel is the same for both versions, but the mantlet is slightly different, each version made from three parts, but make sure you are using the correct mantlet. The completed turret is then attached to the hull, completing the build. Decals Since there are four decal/paint schemes for each of the two versions the paint instructions is quite large, but very well printed. So good in fact you could possible separate them and frame them should you wish. All the paint codes are for AMMO paints, but with the German names for each colour. There are six schemes with vehicle numbers; the other two just have generic crosses etc. The decals have been printed by AMMO and although only a small sheet they are nicely printed, in register with good opacity. The larger numbers though have quite prominent carrier film, so will need a good gloss coat before applying. The options are by the town they served in and include:- Standard King Tiger from Paderborn 1945 King Tiger, No. 304 based at Hamm 1945 King Tiger, No. 421 based in Koln 1945 King Tiger, No. 235, found at the Henschel Plant, February 1945 Infra Red fitted King Tiger, based in Wildau 1945 King Tiger, based in Gorlitz 1945 King Tiger, No 502, based in Saltsburg, Austria 1945 King Tiger, No 232, based in Kassel 1945 Conclusion This is a very nice kit, as we have come to expect from Takom, and it is an interesting alliance with AMMO. Although, if you’re going to do something with a paint company, at least include some paint in a special edition like this, even if it was of only one or two schemes. As a marketing ploy, which it after all it is having some paint in the box may have got some modellers moving over to those paints rather than just sticking with what they know. The track links are also a bit of a letdown, since the previous release, with interior had the links separate in poly bags, it’s strange Takom went with the link and length approach. Other than that a fairly easy build and will look great in any collection. Review sample courtesy of UK Distributors for
  7. Hello ! Decided to dilute the military theme with a civilian version of the German truck. If I placed it wrong, please correct it. This is a new MiniArt's set with civilian inscriptions, beer and milk boxes. I wanted to make it clean, but as always the tank turned out :-)
  8. CMK

    Typ L3000S Light Truck ICM 1:35 From 1940 onwards the German army, by standardizing and simplifying the numerous types of trucks, tried to improve the procurement of spare parts and facilitate repairs. The result was the standard 3 ton truck, which all German manufacturer snow used as a basis for construction. This was also the basis on which the motor manufacturer in Cologne produced the "V3000S" from 1941 onwards. Various bodies and sets of equipment were available. A typical recognition feature was the oval radiator grille and one-piece windscreen. In total about 25,000 examples were built. The "V 3000 S" came to be used on all fronts in the Second World War and was indispensable for supplying the troops with goods of all kinds. The Model This is an all new tooling, replacing the rather complicated older releases. The model arrives in a strong box with a separate top sleeve with a nice artist’s representation of the vehicle on the front. Inside, within a large poly bag, are three sprues of light brown styrene and, in a separate poly bag, one clear sprue. On initial inspection the parts are really well moulded, clean, with no sign of flash. There are a number of moulding pips, some of which are on quite fragile looking parts, so care should be taken when removing. The sprue gates attaching items like the cover rails are also quite heavy and I can see these parts breaking if not careful. The build starts with the nicely detailed engine with the block and gearbox halves glued together followed by the addition of the rocker covers, starter motor, alternator, front engine mounts, cooling fan, air filter, cooling pipes, gear stick and other sundry items. The instructions then move on to the chassis rails with the addition of five cross members and rear chassis end piece, to which the towing eye, cover and pin are added. To the top of the main rails the two sub rails are added. The front and rear leaf springs are fitted along with the rear axle and transfer box. Turning the rails over the engine can now be fitted plus the exhaust system, which comprises of seven parts, and looks particularly fragile so it may be an idea to build in situ rather than as a separate assembly the instructions call for. The two driveshafts are then be added, as are the radiator/front chassis end piece. The steering rack assembly is built up using the four parts provided and, if the modeller chooses can be built up so that the front wheels are posable, although this may make it rather fragile, particularly the rear tie rod. After fitting the various brackets and supports as well as the front bumper and tow hooks, it’s onto the wheels, these come as single piece tyres plus inner and outer hubs. There are seven provided, singles for the front, doubles for the rear and a spare which fits on the chassis behind the cab and under the bed The building of the cab begins with filing off the ejection pins marks on the underside of the floor, before fitting the pedals, steering column, steering wheel and handbrake handle. The seat support and cushion is fitted to the floor, whilst the windscreen, instrument panel, with decal instruments, are fitted to the roof/front part of the cab. Onto the rear panel of the cab the seat back and rear screen are attached. The next assembly for the cab is the bonnet, which is made up of left and right hand parts, bonnet and radiator grille. The completed bonnet cannot easily be made to be posed either open, which is a shame. To finish off the front, the mud guards/foot plates are attached along with the doors, which are made of the external panels, door cards, clear parts, and door handles. Last details are the wing mirrors, lights, wipers; grab handles, spade, triangular roof marker, jerry can and its support bracket. The last assembly is the truck bed, with the bed itself being fitted with the side, rear, and front plank sections. On the underside, five lateral strengthening beams, and two longitudinal beams are fitted. The spare wheel is also attached, along with two storage boxes, two three piece Jerry can cages, complete with four piece Jerry can, and the two wheel arch attachment sections. A third storage box and the two wheel arches are then fitted and the assembly is ready to be attached to be attached to the chassis. To complete the build the windscreen wipers, wing mirrors, grab handles, pioneer tools, headlamps, hood ornament and convoy triangle are glued into their respective positions. Decals Apart from the instruments mentioned above, the small decal sheet gives the modeller four options. The decals are nicely printed, clear and in good register with a slightly matt finish. The options:- Typ L3000S, Ukraine, Summer 1941, in Panzer Grey overall Typ L3000S, Russia, Summer 1942, in Panzer Grey overall Typ L3000S, North Africa, Summer 1942, in Africa Corp Brown Overall Typ L3000S, Italy, Summer 1944, in Dark Yellow overall with Olive Green stripey blotches. Conclusion This is another great truck kit from ICM and a much easier build than their previous releases. The details straight from the box are still good, and there is plenty of scope to add extra detail, particularly to the engine and the very empty cargo bed. Once built and weathered this truck will make a nice component to a multi-vehicle diorama, or on its own with a bit of imagination and some figures, one or two of which would have been nice to have been included in the kit. There doesn’t appear to be anything that would trouble anyone other than complete beginners, so I can quite happily recommend this nice and quite interesting truck. Review sample courtesy of
  9. P204(f) Armoured Scout Vehicle Revell 1:35 The Panhard 178 (officially designated as Automitrailleuse de Découverte Panhard modèle 1935, 178 being the internal project number at Panhard) or "Pan-Pan" was an advanced French reconnaissance 4x4 armoured car that was designed for the French Cavalry before World War II. It had a crew of four and was equipped with an effective 25 mm main armament and a 7.5 mm coaxial machine gun. A number of these vehicles were in 1940 taken over by the Germans after the Fall of France and employed as the Panzerspähwagen P204 (f); for some months after the armistice of June production continued for the benefit of Germany. After the war a derived version, the Panhard 178B, was again taken into production by France. The first unit which was given the new armoured car was the 6e Cuirassiers, in April 1937. By 1939 there were eleven squadrons using 218 vehicles. By the spring of 1940, the 21e Escadron (later 4e GRDI) saw action in Norway. By May-June 1940, the 370+ vehicles were allocated to reconnaissance squadrons organic to mechanized and armoured divisions. The Divisions Légères Mécaniques (DLM) in particular had 40 vehicles each, plus 4 radio and 4 reserve. In Divisions Légères de Cavalerie (DLC), complement was 12+1+4. Mechanized Infantry divisions (GRDI) also used the type with sixteen vehicles each. By May 1940, one of these units conducted skirmishes with advanced elements of the Wehrmacht in Holland, near Hertogenbosch. They also engaged German elements in Belgium, conducting a successful fighting retreat, then engaged with reconnaissance columns at the Battle of Hannut. German vehicles were similarly equipped with 20 mm (0.79 in) gun, but did little damage to the Panhard’s armour. After the fall of France, the German army captured or obtained 190 vehicles, some brand new, as Panzerspähwagen P204 (f). They saw heavy action during Operation Barbarossa, 107 being lost in 1941, as well as converted to Panzerspähwagen (Funk) P204 (f) (with a bed frame antenna), still soldiering by 1943 on the Eastern Front. By that time, many received spaced armour. 43 more were converted in 1941 as railway patrollers (Schienenpanzer). The Vichy regime used 64 vehicles for police duties (with the gun replaced by a machine-gun), later captured by the Germans in November 1942. 34 of these were converted as open-top carriers for 50 mm (1.97 in) L/42 or L/60 guns by 1944, staying in France. None of the vehicles planned in 1939 for North African service were sent. Instead, the bulk was absorbed by De Gaulle’s 10e cuirassiers, 4e DCR. However, four modified colonial vehicles with the smaller ZT-2 turret were sent to Indo-China (Vietnam). One was captured by the Japanese. After the war, Panhard 178B were sent in French Indo-China for counter-insurgency operations. Others saw service until the early 1960s at Djibouti or with the Syrians. These vehicles were generally considered fast, reliable, easy to drive and with a quiet engine, but at the same time suffered from several issues: a weak clutch, slow turret rotation, cramped interior, unreliable radio sets, poor cross-country drive and very noisy brakes. The Model Originally issued by ICM in 2015, Revell have now re-released the kit with new decals. The kit is packaged in the standard Revel end open box, (I wish they’d stop this habit), with a nice representation of the vehicle on the front. Inside there are four sprues of grey styrene, four rubber tyres, and a small decal sheet. All the parts are very nicely moulded, with no sign of flash or other imperfections and very few moulding pips. Since the kit has a full interior there are quite a few parts, also the fact that there are a few versions of this kit there are also quite a few parts that will end up in the spares box. Construction begins with the fighting compartment floor being glued to the lower hull, followed by the rear driver’s bulkhead and both drivers seats. The longitudinal bulkhead between the rear driver’s compartment and engine compartment is then glued into position, followed by the eleven piece engine. The drivers steering columns and steering wheels are next, along with the gear sticks and foot pedals. The rear drivers transverse bulkhead is then fitted as is the rack of shells for the main gun, which is glued to the fighting compartment bulkhead. Each of the two sides of the hull has a door that can be posed either open of closed. On the inside of each side there is a plethora of ammunition drums, for the machine gun, to be glued into position, along with the driver’s instruments and a spare machine gun. The sides are then glued to the lower hull, followed by the front and read bulkheads and front glacis plate. The rear mounted engine deck is then attached, along with the fighting compartment roof. The engine louvers and rear mid-bulkhead hatch are then attached, and can all be posed open should the modeller wishes. The rear wheel arch mounted storage boxes are then fitted and finished off with their respective doors. Fortunately, the running gear an suspension on this kit is really simple, just the two axles with two piece differentials and drive shafts are assembled, the four suspension spring units are then fitted to the underside of the hull, followed by the axles/drive shafts. The steering linkages are then attached, along with the brake accumulators, drop links, horn and towing hooks. The wheels are each made up from two part wheels and a rubber tyre. Once assembled the four wheels are glued onto their respective axles. The rest of the hull is then detailed with grab handles, door handles, pioneer tools, headlights and a rack on the rear bulkhead. The turret is then assembled; beginning with the co-axial machine gun, which is assembled from three parts before being fitted to the left hand front of the turret. The main gun comes in two halves, which once joined together are fitted with the trunnion mounts and elevation wheel. This is fitted to the turret ring along with the turret traverse mechanism. The turret ring and turret are then joined and the commanders and gunners seats are assembled and glued into position. The commander’s hatch is fitted with a handle and vent before being fitted into position. The two rear hatches on the turret can be posed open or closed. There are two, two piece periscopes fitted forward on the turret roof, and two lifting eyes on the rear sides. The completed turret is then fitted to the turret ring on the hull, and the last parts added. These include the two, two piece drivers viewing ports, which can also be posed open, the two piece exhaust silencer, wing mirrors and four miscellaneous panels. Decals There are two decal options, the decals are ok, although they appear a little fuzzy around the edges, although they have good opacity and are in register. The options are:- Wehrmacht, Operation Barbarossa, Eastern Front, Russia, 1941 – 1942 in overall panzer grey. Wehrmacht, Anti-Partisan Role, France, 1944 in overall yellow, with red and green squiggles. Conclusion It would be nice if Revell actually produced more kits of their own, but while we wait for them to do that, we can have at least this nice kit from ICM. With the interior it allows all the panels and hatches to be posed open, and the grey plastic is actually better than the original ICM colour. It would certainly be a good kit to practice your internal weathering on. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit
  10. ICM

    Panzerspahwagen P204(f) ICM 1:35 The Panhard 178 (officially designated as Automitrailleuse de Découverte Panhard modèle 1935, 178 being the internal project number at Panhard) or "Pan-Pan" was an advanced French reconnaissance 4x4 armoured car that was designed for the French Cavalry before World War II. It had a crew of four and was equipped with an effective 25 mm main armament and a 7.5 mm coaxial machine gun. A number of these vehicles were in 1940 taken over by the Germans after the Fall of France and employed as the Panzerspähwagen P204 (f); for some months after the armistice of June production continued for the benefit of Germany. After the war a derived version, the Panhard 178B, was again taken into production by France. The first unit which was given the new armoured car was the 6e Cuirassiers, in April 1937. By 1939 there were eleven squadrons using 218 vehicles. By the spring of 1940, the 21e Escadron (later 4e GRDI) saw action in Norway. By May-June 1940, the 370+ vehicles were allocated to reconnaissance squadrons organic to mechanized and armoured divisions. The Divisions Légères Mécaniques (DLM) in particular had 40 vehicles each, plus 4 radio and 4 reserve. In Divisions Légères de Cavalerie (DLC), complement was 12+1+4. Mechanized Infantry divisions (GRDI) also used the type with sixteen vehicles each. By May 1940, one of these units conducted skirmishes with advanced elements of the Wehrmacht in Holland, near Hertogenbosch. They also engaged German elements in Belgium, conducting a successful fighting retreat, then engaged with reconnaissance columns at the Battle of Hannut. German vehicles were similarly equipped with 20 mm (0.79 in) gun, but did little damage to the Panhard’s armour. After the fall of France, the German army captured or obtained 190 vehicles, some brand new, as Panzerspähwagen P204 (f). They saw heavy action during Operation Barbarossa, 107 being lost in 1941, as well as converted to Panzerspähwagen (Funk) P204 (f) (with a bed frame antenna), still soldiering by 1943 on the Eastern Front. By that time, many received spaced armour. 43 more were converted in 1941 as railway patrollers (Schienenpanzer). The Vichy regime used 64 vehicles for police duties (with the gun replaced by a machine-gun), later captured by the Germans in November 1942. 34 of these were converted as open-top carriers for 50 mm (1.97 in) L/42 or L/60 guns by 1944, staying in France. None of the vehicles planned in 1939 for North African service were sent. Instead, the bulk was absorbed by De Gaulle’s 10e cuirassiers, 4e DCR. However, four modified colonial vehicles with the smaller ZT-2 turret were sent to Indo-China (Vietnam). One was captured by the Japanese. After the war, Panhard 178B were sent in French Indo-China for counter-insurgency operations. Others saw service until the early 1960s at Djibouti or with the Syrians. These vehicles were generally considered fast, reliable, easy to drive and with a quiet engine, but at the same time suffered from several issues: a weak clutch, slow turret rotation, cramped interior, unreliable radio sets, poor cross-country drive and very noisy brakes. The Model Originally issued by ICM in 2015, they have now re-released it with new parts to build a railway mounted vehicle. Inside the top opening box, with a nice representation of the vehicle on tracks, there are eight sprues of beige, (Caramac), coloured styrene, and a small decal sheet. All the parts are very nicely moulded, with no sign of flash or other imperfections and very few moulding pips. Since the kit has a full interior there are quite a few parts, also the fact that there are a few versions of this kit there are also quite a few parts that will end up in the spares box. Construction begins with the fighting compartment floor being glued to the lower hull, followed by the rear driver’s bulkhead and both drivers seats. The longitudinal bulkhead between the rear driver’s compartment and engine compartment is then glued into position, followed by the eleven piece engine. The drivers steering columns and steering wheels are next, along with the gear sticks and foot pedals. The rear drivers transverse bulkhead is then fitted as is the rack of shells for the main gun, which is glued to the fighting compartment bulkhead. Each of the two sides of the hull has a door that can be posed either open of closed. On the inside of each side there is a plethora of ammunition drums, for the machine gun, to be glued into position, along with the driver’s instruments and a spare machine gun. The large two piece radio set is then fitted to the left hand side of the fighting compartment. The sides are then glued to the lower hull, followed by the front and read bulkheads and front glacis plate. The rear mounted engine deck is then attached, along with the fighting compartment roof. The engine louvers and rear mid-bulkhead hatch are then attached, and can all be posed open should the modeller wishes. The rear wheel arch mounted storage boxes are then fitted and finished off with their respective doors. Fortunately, the running gear and suspension on this kit is really simple, just the two axles with two piece differentials and drive shafts are assembled, the four suspension spring units are then fitted to the underside of the hull, followed by the axles/drive shafts. The steering linkages are then attached, along with the brake accumulators, drop links, horn and towing hooks. The rail wheel with two additional rings fitted to the outer hub area. Once assembled the four wheels are glued onto their respective axles. The rest of the hull is then detailed with grab handles, door handles, pioneer tools, headlights and a rack on the rear bulkhead. The turret is then assembled; beginning with the co-axial machine gun, which is assembled from three parts before being fitted to the left hand front of the turret. The main gun comes in two halves, which once joined together are fitted with the trunnion mounts and elevation wheel. This is fitted to the turret ring along with the turret traverse mechanism. The turret ring and turret are then joined and the commanders and gunners seats are assembled and glued into position. The commander’s hatch is fitted with a handle and vent before being fitted into position. The two rear hatches on the turret can be posed open or closed. There are two, two piece periscopes fitted forward on the turret roof, and two lifting eyes on the rear sides. The completed turret is then fitted to the turret ring on the hull, and more parts added. These include the two, two piece drivers viewing ports, which can also be posed open, the two piece exhaust silencer, wing mirrors and four miscellaneous panels. Finally the large radio aerial bedstead is fitted to the two piece turret mounted swivel support and the two, two piece rear mount fixed supports. For display the kit includes a length of track which is made up from ten sleepers and two lengths of rail. Decals There are two decal options, the decals look pretty good, they have good opacity and are in register, printed by ICM themselves. The options are:- P204(f) Panzerdraisine, Russia 1943 – 1944 in overall yellow with red and green splotches. P204(f) Panzerdraisine, Panzer Zug No.64 armoured train, Eastern Front, 1943. Conclusion This is a great little kit and would certainly make a good talking point in your collection or on your clubs display table. With the interior, all the hatches and panels can be left open and maybe fitted with a small LED light to really look the business. It’s also a good basis for a diorama with the rails on a nicely made up base and some figures. Review sample courtesy of
  11. Russian T-37A Light Tank HobbyBoss 1:35 History The T-37A was a Soviet amphibious light tank. The tank is often referred to as the T-37, although that designation was used by a different tank which never left the prototype stage. The T-37A was the first series of mass-produced fully amphibious tanks in the world. The tank was first created in 1932, based on the British Vickers tankette and other operational amphibious tanks. Production started in 1933 up until 1936, when it was replaced with the more modern T-38, based on the T-37A. Overall, after four years of production, 2552 T-37A’s were produced, including the original prototypes. In the Red Army, they were used to perform tasks in communication, reconnaissance, and as defence units on the march, as well as active infantry support on the battlefield. The T-37A’s were used in large numbers during the Soviet invasion of Poland and in the Winter War against Finland. The T-37 A was also used by the Soviets in the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, but most of them were quickly lost. Surviving tanks of that type fought on the front lines until 1944, and were used in training and auxiliary defence until the end of World War II. The Model The kit is packaged in the standard Trumpeter style top opening box with an artistic representation of the tank emerging from a river. Inside, there are nine sprues, two separate hull parts moulded in green styrene, seven sprues of brown styrene, two small sheets of etched brass and a small decal sheet. As we have come to expect from Trumpeter, all the mouldings are very well produced, with no sign of flash or other imperfections and only a few moulding pips. The details are nicely reproduced and even the rivets seem about right for this type of tank. Although this is a very small tank, this kit comes with individual track links, which, whilst well moulded are joined to the sprue are three points, so not only will they take quite a bit of careful cleaning up, they will need a lot of patience putting a full run of eight six links per side together. Construction begins with the assembly of the road wheels and their suspension parts. Each pair of wheels is made up form eight parts and there are two pairs fitted per side. These assemblies are then fitted to the lower hull section, along with two return rollers per side and the idler wheel axle bearings. The sprocket wheel gearbox covers are attached followed by the sprocket wheels themselves. At the rear of the hull the propeller shaft housing and propeller are fitted, as is the propeller guard on the underside of the hull and the rudder. The idler wheels are then attached and the assembled tracks can be fitted. The upper hull is then glued to the lower hull and the separate engine cover fitted. There are a couple of areas on the upper hull that need to be removed in accordance to the instructions on each side of the front glacis plate and a couple of holes on the engine deck need to be opened up. The two, two piece watertight sponsons/fenders are assembled and fitted to the hull, along with the pioneer tools. The sponson fixing brackets are attached, fixing the sponsons to the front glacis plate and the frontal armour on the fighting compartment is fitted. The two piece exhaust is attached to the engine deck via four PE brackets, with further PE brackets being fitted around the upper hull. The engine intake grille is covered with PE mesh, and the drivers hatch is glued into place. The simple machine gun turret is fitted with the two piece machine gun, turret hatch, three vision ports and two PE plates. The external section of the machine guns ball socket is glued into position, meaning that the machine gun cannot be posed in anything other than straight without modification. The completed turret is then slotted into position on the hull, completing the build. Decals The small decal sheet only provides four different styles of turret stripe, one for each of the colour schemes included on the paint chart. T-37A, in Russian Green overall, red upper stripe with white dotted stripe below. T-37A, in Dark green overall, with blue stripe on white background. T-37A in Russian green overall, with red brown dots all over and solid red turret stripe over a red dotted stripe. T-37A in Grey green overall, with dark green spots and a thick solid red stripe on the turret. Conclusion Hobby boss have released quite a few of these small Russian tanks now and they still manage to find more to release. This is a great little kit of a very small tank, but will keep you busy for hours trying to get the tracks assembled and fitted. Probably not for the novice due to the tracks, as it may put them off indie links completely, but a nice addition to any tank collection, particularly if you like you tanks a little on the weird side. Highly Recommended Review sample courtesy of
  12. Revell

    Sd.Kfz.184 Elefant Revell 1:35 The Elefant (German for "elephant") was a heavy tank destroyer used by German Wehrmacht Panzerjäger during World War II. It was built in small numbers in 1943 under the name Ferdinand after its designer Ferdinand Porsche, using tank hulls that had been produced for the Tiger I tank requirement which was rejected in favour of a Henschel design. In 1944, after modification of the existing vehicles, they were renamed Elefant. The official German designation was Panzerjäger Tiger (P) and the ordnance inventory designation was Sd. Kfz. 184. In September 1943, all surviving Ferdinands were recalled to be modified based on battle experience gained in the Battle of Kursk. During October and November 1943, 48 of the 50 surviving vehicles were modified by addition of a ball-mounted MG 34 in the hull front for anti-infantry ability, a commander's cupola (modified from the standard StuG III cupola) for improved vision, and the application of Zimmerit paste. The frontal armour was thickened and the tracks widened, increasing the weight from 65 to 70 t. The improved vehicles were called Elefant; this became the official name by Hitler's orders of May 1, 1944. Only two of these vehicles survived the war. One Ferdinand was captured by Soviet forces at Kursk, and is now at the Kubinka Tank Museum outside Moscow. An Elefant was captured at Anzio by the Americans, and is now part of the United States Army Ordnance Museum's collection at Fort Lee, VA. The example at Fort Lee was restored to display condition in 2007–2008, as documented on the show Tank Overhaul, but not in its original paint scheme. It was announced in 2016 that the Fort Lee Elefant would be loaned to the Bovington Tank Museum in Dorset, UK. The vehicle will be displayed as part of the museum's "Tiger Collection" display from April 2017. This display aims to bring all the members of the Tiger family together in one place for the first time. This has now actually happened, with the exception of one Tiger variant. The Model This kit has got to be one of the oldest moulds I have reviewed, being originally issued by Italeri in the 1960’s. Saying that, the moulds have certainly stood the test of time, as there is no sign of flash or other imperfections on the grey styrene. There are just two large sprues, two separate hull parts, four piece rubber tracks per side and a small decal sheet in the rather squishy end opening box. It looks like it will be a fairly simple build and there are still remnants of the old releases in the instructions where it tells you to melt the ends of the wheel within the hull so that they will rotate. Construction starts with the fitting of the axle inserts and gearbox covers into the lower hull. The sprockets, idlers and road wheels are all two part assemblies. The sprockets and idlers are then fitted to their respective positions, along with the mud scrapers and front stops. The six suspension units are each made up from four parts before being attached to the hull. The twelve road wheels are then fitted to the axles, followed by their hub caps. The four piece rubber tracks are joined together by melting the pins on each section, the tracks are then fitted around the sprockets and idlers so that the teeth on each mesh and around the road wheels. The driver is provided with a six piece seating arrangement which includes the control levers. This is then fitted to the bow section of the lower hull, with a separate seat for the machine gunner. Both crew members are provided each with separate upper and two lower body parts with separate arms. The driver is also fitted with a three piece headset. The upper and lower glacis plates are then fitted to the front of the lower hull along with the two piece vertical section which includes the machine gun position into which the MG34 is glued. The track guards are then attached, followed by the guard supports. The engine deck is then fitted with the centre grille; grab handles and lifting eyes, before being glued into position. The “turret section” is fitted out inside with the commanders seat and support, backplate of the gun and the two piece gun barrel which includes a large ball to fit within the fighting compartment. Externally the section is fitted with the commanders cupola, mantle cover, lifting hooks, gunners hatch and outer gun plates. The travel lock is made up from three pieces and glued to the front decking between the drivers and machine gunners hatches. The completed fighting compartment is them glued into position, and the commander figure assembled before he is placed standing on his seat. The rest of the build includes attaching the towing shackles, storage boxes, exhaust box, spare track links, stowage hooks and coiled towing cables. Decals There are two decal options, the decals are ok, although they appear a little fuzzy around the edges, and they have good opacity and are in register. The options are:- 1st Company of the 653rd Heavy Panzerjager Battalion, Soriano al Cimino, Italy, 27/06/1944 2n/3red Company of the 653rd Heavy Panzerjager Battalion, Eastern Front, Russia/Poland, 1944 Conclusion Considering how old this kit is, the moulds are surviving remarkably well, there is no sign of wear for flash on the parts and everything appears to be as crisp as the day they were made. It’s a relatively simple kit to put together, but with care, a good paint job and weathering, it can be made into a very nice model. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit
  13. Sherman Firefly Vc C. Squadron 20th NZ Armoured Regt. Italy, Spring 1945 Almost two years since I last finished/posted an AFV build... Well as this is written it's exactly five years since we moved here to NZ and by coincidence here's a Kiwi subject. Tasca's superb Sherman Firefly Vc with kit decals and a few extras - RB barrel, Verlinden stowage and Royal Models radio/storage bustle - The markings are for a vehicle from C Squadron 20th (NZ) Armoured Regt. in Italy right at the end of the war. From the outset I had in my mind exactly how I wanted it to look and (for once), got precisely what I was after. Not muddy just very, very dusty. I spent sometime researching articles and opinions on the late war British 'Drab' colour and most books/commentators seem to agree it was virtually the same as US Olive Drab but faded to a much greener hue than the American colour so that's what I aimed for - whether I achieved that is for others to say. On top of the self mixed Tamiya acrylic paint there's some dry-brushing with oils, chipping and scratches, an oil-dot wash to get the streaking and just two tones of Mig pigments to get the dusty look. Now that it's done I am very pleased with it, so much so that I've dug-out an Academy M18 Hellcat that I started around eight years ago to sit alongside it - similar gun y'see !! - you'll see that in a few weeks. As ever thanks for taking the time to look and/or comment and please feel free to make any criticism or ask any questions. AFN. Ian.
  14. Miscellaneous Items 1:35 Master The latest releases from Master Models in their series of replacement pitot probes have recently arrived at BMs London offices. They are well up to their usual standard and very sharp, so care should be taken once fitted. They are so much better than the styrene ones found in the kits. I really like the way they protect the resin parts, which have as much detail as the metal items do. [AM-35-003] – Has been designed for the big Trumpeter Mil Mi 24 Hind and contains The set includes turned aluminium boom for DUAS probe, resin DUAS vanes, resin and brass parts for JakB-12.7 machine gun. [GM-35-012] – This set is for the new KTO Rosomak from IBG Models, although can be used on any vehicle kit that uses this gun. The set includes turned brass part and resin muzzle break Conclusion Here we have another pair of really useful and well produced items. The Hind set is really well done with the resin parts so beautifully moulded, as is the Bushmasters muzzle brake. Simple to assemble and use they are an easy way to give your model a lift. Review sample courtesy of Piotr at
  15. T-34/85 Running Gear Late Type 1:35 MiniArt The parts in this track and wheel set from MiniArt are suitable for their T-34/85 plus SU-85, SU-100 and SU-122 kits. There are 10 sprues of the track links with guide horns and 7 lengths of the intermediate links. The 10 sprues with the horned track links also contain the main road wheels. There are also two sprues with idler wheels and a small panel plus another two sprues with the drive wheels, which also have a stowage box with separate lids. The links with the guide horns have small pins on then which are designed to click into holes on the intermediate links. Conclusion While these links do indeed look good, while attempting to get a set to link together to include in the review I found that they would not "click" together easily. I found that the pins in the guide horn links would often bend over, rather than click into the receiving holes. With these it's a one-shot deal, as once they have bent there is no easy way of getting them back, so you end up with track links that you have to glue together. The wheels are very well moulded, and look great with the markings on the edges of the tyres also represented. Review sample courtesy of
  16. Munitionschlepper auf PzKpfw 1 Ausf A with Ammo Trailer HobbyBoss 1:35 History The Panzer I was a light tank produced in Germany in the 1930s. The name is short for the German Panzerkampfwagen I ("armoured fighting vehicle mark I"), abbreviated PzKpfw I. The tank's official German ordnance inventory designation was SdKfz 101 ("special purpose vehicle 101"). Design of the Panzer I began in 1932 and mass production began in 1934. Intended only as a training tank to introduce the concept of armoured warfare to the German Army, the Panzer I saw combat in Spain during the Spanish Civil War, in Poland, France, the Soviet Union and North Africa during the Second World War, and in China during the Second Sino-Japanese War. Experiences with the Panzer I during the Spanish Civil War helped shape the German Panzerwaffes' invasion of Poland in 1939 and France in 1940. By 1941, the Panzer I chassis design was used as the basis of tank destroyers and assault guns. There were attempts to upgrade the Panzer I throughout its service history, including by foreign nations, to extend the design's lifespan. It continued to serve in the Spanish Armed Forces until 1954. The Panzer I's performance in combat was limited by its thin armour and light armament of two machine guns. As a design intended for training, the Panzer I was not as capable as other light tanks of the era, such as the Soviet T-26. Although weak in combat, it formed a large part of Germany's tank forces and was used in all major campaigns between September 1939 and December 1941. The small, vulnerable light tank would be surpassed in importance by other German tanks, such as the Panzer IV, Panther, and Tiger; nevertheless, the Panzer I's contribution to the early victories of Nazi Germany during World War II was significant. Later in that war the turrets of the then obsolete PzKpfw Is and PzKpfw IIs were repurposed as gun turrets on specially built defensive bunkers, particularly on the Atlantic Wall. Whilst the turrets were reused, so were the hulls some being fitted out as tank destroyers, small command tanks and munitionschleppers, the subject of this kit. The Model This is the fourth ex-Tristar kit, (originally released in 2011), to be reviewed on BM and it follows the same pattern as those of the Panzer IV Tauch, and the Panzer 38(T) in that the box art is the same as the Tristar packaging with the colour artists impression surrounded by a yellow boarder. As with the other kits, all the parts are beautifully moulded, with the sprues and separate lower hull and turret in a sandy yellow styrene. There are nine sprues in the yellow styrene, one of clear styrene. There are also three sprues of dark grey styrene for the track links, one sheet of etched brass, two small springs and a smallish decal sheets. There is no sign of flash or other imperfections, but there are quite a few moulding pips that will need to be cleaned up. Looking at the parts count and layout, it doesn’t appear to be a complicated build, with perhaps the exception of the individual track links, which look like they will need careful removal from the sprues and I know some modellers still don’t like. Construction begins with the interior which is made up of the fighting compartment floor, transmission tunnel, rear bulkhead, transmission outtake, nine piece transmission, stowage boxes, and torsion beams. The hull is then built up around the fighting compartment, which is further detailed with the drivers seat, transfer shafts and inner gearbox covers, along with more stowage boxes, and other equipment which I cannot identify. The road wheels consist of the inner wheel section, with tyre and two separate inner and outer rims. These are then attached to the two piece leaf suspension units. The idler wheel is fitted to its separate suspension unit, whilst the sprocket is a three piece assembly attached to the outer gearbox cover. The wheel assemblies are then attached to the hull and the two road wheel sets joined by a connecting beam. The task of fitting the tracks comes next, but it may be better to leave until nearer the end of the build. The upper and lower glacis plates are fitted, as are the two fuel tanks in the engine compartment. The engine itself is made up from no less than twenty one parts before being fitted into the compartment and connected up. The track guards are then attached and the right hand one fitted with a stowage box and bracket. Before fitting the working compartment the radio sets need to be fitted to the inside of the roof, along with a hatch lock and a couple of other brackets. The assembly is then attached to the hull, along with the radiator and supports in the engine bay. The five piece engine bay cover is then attached along with the optionally positioned hatches. The two exhausts are fitted, one either side of the engine bay on the rear track guards, as is the transmission hatch, “turret” side and top hatches, which can all be posed open to show off the lovely interior. The three piece PE mudflaps are then attached to the front of the track guards, whilst the rear mud flaps are all styrene. To the rear bulkhead the external telephone box is attached as is the five piece towing arm. The tank is then fitted out with the various pioneer tools and PE exhaust covers. Assembly of the trailer begins with the ammunition. There are four rows of shells, sixteen armour-piercing and sixteen high explosive. These are fitted into racks vertically, and surrounded with the trailer sides and the bottom. The hatches on top can be posed open for diorama use and are fitted with latches and a locking bar. The trailer itself is made up from the chassis, axle, suspension arms, and ten other parts. The metal springs form part of the suspension system and are locked off with end caps. The single piece wheels are then fited to the axle and finished off with a locking cap. The ammunition box is then attached and the completed trailer attached to the tanks towing system. Decals The small decal sheet contains to types of national markings and two id plates. Whilst small it is nicely printed and in register, and, fortunately very opaque, being mostly white. Conclusion I was pleasantly surprised with this kit having a full interior, excellent news for those who like to have all the hatches open or for use in a diorama. It’s only small, but they have packed a lot into it, and it builds into something less run of the mill for your collection. Review sample courtesy of
  17. Soviet SU-18 Self-Propelled Howitzer HobbyBoss 1:35 History Initial experience with tanks in the Soviet Union was related to captured foreign models (British and French) used by the Whites during the Civil War. However, in 1920, fourteen burned-out captured French Renault FTs were dismantled, studied and replicated by the Krasnoye Sormovo Factory. Fifteen exact replicas delivered in 1922, called the “Russki Reno”. These were the first locally-built Soviet tanks in service. However, they were plagued by manufacturing defects, but gave enough experience to the Russian engineers to plan a new model. This came with the formation of a “tank bureau” in 1924, which was charged with writing a specification for the first Soviet indigenous model. This called for a 3-ton tank (later 5) capable of a 12 km/h (7.5 mph) speed, having 16 mm (0.63 in) of armour and armed with a 37 mm (1.46 in) gun, similar to the French Puteaux design, but with a longer barrel. In November 1929 ANII K. M. Ivanov, commissioned by the UMM RKKA produced a self-propelled gun based on the T-18, as well as the ammunition carrier for it. The prototype was a captured French Renault FT-17BS. The SU-18 kept the same design as the French vehicle, but replaced the turret with one that resembles a truncated pyramid. The SU-18 used the 76.2-mm regimental gun model 1927 with a slotted muzzle brake to reduce rollback. It had an ammunition capacity of 4-6 rounds and no machine guns. Other prototypes were created using a high power 37-mm PC-2 gun and a 45-mm model 1930 tank gun, which was planned to be installed on T-24 tanks. Armour consisted of 5–7 mm thick plates. The ammunition carrier could hold 10 trays with 50 rounds each of 76.2 mm shells, or 16 trays of 169 shells each 37mm or 45mm guns. The crew consisted of one driver and one gunner. The decision to build the SU-18 was made on June 11 and stipulated the delivery of a prototype by October 10, 1930. However, due to the small ammunition capability and the limitations of the T-18 (a narrow gauge chassis and a high center of gravity) the design was abandoned in favour of larger and better self-propelled gun designs and further work on the SU-18 was stopped. The Model The kit comes in a standard Hobbyboss top opening, and quite attractive box, with an artistic representation of the tank trundling along in the country. Inside there are five sprues of beige, almost caramac, (for those old enough to remember), coloured styrene, three separate parts for the hull, turret and turret base, two brown sprues of track links, a small photo etch sheet and a small decal sheet. The parts are really well moulded with no flash and only a few moulding pips needing removal. Although not to everyones taste, the track links, whilst pretty small, are beautifully moulded, and fortunately only 102 required, (51 per side), which isn’t so bad considering the small size of the links. Considering the small size of the model, it’s nice to see that Hobbyboss haven’t gone mad on the detail as they have done in the past, particularly the suspension. The main suspension units are moulded as a single piece and all the modeller has to do is add the wheels. There are two units with four wheels and single unit with six wheels per side. The completed units are glued into position on the lower hull, followed by a single return roller aft and a six wheeled bank forward. The idler axles and sprocket gear covers are attached, followed by the front glacis plate and single shackle at the front. On each side of the front hull there is a two piece bracket. The left hand one is fitted with a headlamp, whilst the right hand one si fitted with a horn. Both the sprocket and idler wheels on each side are two piece affairs, which, when assembled are glued into position. The two hatches that cover the driving position are each given a grab handle and glued into place. With the lower hull done, it’s onto the so called turret. The howitzer itself is made up from seven parts for the recoil slide and four for the gun itself. The assembly is then glued to the floor plate, which in turn is glued to the support brackets below it. The turret is then slide over the barrel and glued into position, followed by the two rear doors, each with separate grab handles. The turret rings of the original FT-17 is fitted with angle plates and grab handles before having the two track guards attached and the drivers viewing port. The turret is then attached to the original ring assembly before the whole lot is glued to the lower hull assembly. The PE grille plate is then folded and rolled to shape and fitted to the rear bulkhead, which in turn is fitted to the rear of the hull. Two engine hatches are attached, followed by the three piece slide panel, (unditching panel), that is fitted to the rear which is in turn fitted with a stowage plate. Then it’s on with the tracks, which probably are best made up into link and length style to get the sit/sag right. Decals The small decal sheet contains just two red stars for each side of the turret. It’s also very simple to paint as it comes in only one colour, Russian green Conclusion Hobbyboss have been releasing some really obscure vehicles from between the wars/early WWII Russian vehicles and they should be commended for it, at least there is a little more information on this vehicle than there si for others I have reviewed. It is certainly a rather odd looking little tank will make an interesting addition to any modellers collection. Review sample courtesy of
  18. Hi, all Let me to present my first building in the new year - test build new set of MiniArt - tank T-54-2 (model 1949) The model will go on sale soon. [/url] I started with the assembly of the engine I also gathered the bottom and running gear of the machine more progress: driver's seat hull assembly continued I also collected fuel tanks and containers
  19. Hi All, I've been itching for this GB to start! I picked this up for less than a score online recently, complete with a Verlinden set However, I'm in two minds about using the resin so I have ordered a metal barrel from Poland. For info, the final build will have minimal Czech markings. Roll on Saturday!!! The decals that came with the kit are damaged so I purchased some new ones. I've noticed they are not 'handed' so I'll place the Czech markings on the front and left side of the turret when the time comes. This aftermarket kit was part of the package but I'm debating whether to use it or sell it on Picyure of metal barrel to follow once it arrives
  20. Along with the mine vehicle Trumpeter have also announced the S-300V on a tracked vehicle to go alongside the quad wheeled version.
  21. St Chamond French WW1 tank, Late build Takom 1:35 History The Char St Chamond was only the second heavy tank to be manufactured by the French during WW1, its predecessor being the much more diminutive Schneider. By order of the French Government 400 were made between April 1917 and July 1918 with the first seeing action on May 5th 1917. Weighing in at a mighty 23 tons the tank was the most heavily armed of the entire war with no less than four 8mm Hotchkiss machine guns as its secondary armament and the 75mm Schneider Canon as its main armament. With a length of 8.9m a width of 2.7m and a height of 2.4m the tank was able to accommodate a crew of which included the Commander/Driver, Gunner/Loader, Assistant Gunner, Mechanic and four Machine Gunners. The downfall of the tank was a combination of the grossly underpowered engine along with the massively short tracks and over extended body. When faced with crossing trenches and other such obstacles ground clearance became a major issue and the tank would simply sink nose first into the terrain. Even though the early variant went through a series of modifications, reports suggested that crew members hated it. The tank crew suffered from a combination of unbearable noise, extremely hot environment, toxic poisoning from the engine, and an incredibly rough ride leading to a feeling of sea sickness. Only one static example of the St Chamond remains today (a late version) that being on display at Musée des Blindés in Saumur France. The Model This is the second kit Takom have released of the St Chamond with the earlier version being reviewed here. Although at first sight there is very little difference between the early and late versions there is enough to warrant this late version. The late version differs in that it has a deeper looking hull due to the more angular roof line and the removal of the four distinctive roof mounted turret like sighting blocks and searchlight mounting with just one square block on the front left hand side. The exhaust and intakes are also different, as is the main gun. The well illustrated top opening box contains five sprues of sandy yellow styrene and two of a darker brown. All the parts are very nicely moulded with no sign of flash, moulding pips, or other imperfections that would be visible on the completed model. This is due to the fact that any ejection pin marks are all on the inside of parts so very little clean-up will be required. The main hull is moulded with roof and sides as one piece and is a lovely piece of moulding with all the rivets and other details nice and crisply done. The build is relatively simple and with the clear, easy to read instructions it should be an enjoyable build. Well, at least until you get to the painting stage. Construction starts with the fitting of three strengthening beams on the roof along with two plates, one on the centre roof section and one on the observation tower. The two part door on the right hand side of the hull is than attached, followed by the eight roof hatches. There is a separate roof section just forward of the roof midpoint. This is fitted with two hatches before being glued into position, while the front observation tower is assembled from five parts, four sides and the roof, and then fitted to the front right hand side of the tanks roof. This is followed by the two part exhaust manifold and the long exhaust pipe which travels across then to the rear almost to the end of the roof. The front glacis plate is next with the fitting of the 75mm gun, which is made up of four parts before being slid from the rear of the plate into position. The front of the plate is fitted with three strakes and a grab handle before being put aside to set. Each of the four machine guns is assembled from a single piece gun, two piece trunnion, trunnion mount and hull mounting plate. The completed glacis plate and machine gun mounts are then fitted in position in the hull section, with a machine gun on each side, one forward in the glacis plate and one aft on the rear bulkhead. Two pistol port covers are then fitted from the inside, one per side next to each beam machine gun position. Two support struts are also fitted internally, which will go toward supporting the tanks lower hull. Due to the problems with the short tracks, particularly in get out of trenches and the like, they were fitted with barrel like rollers, with two at the front and on larger one to the rear. In the kit the two front ones are made up of two halves, one of which includes the axels. When fitted to the lower hull they are covered by two box like parts, allowing the rollers to turn, should you wish them too. The rear roller also comes in two parts, which when glued together are fitted with two axle mounting frames. The five piece rear frame to which the roller is then fitted also mounts two drive shafts for the track sprocket gear wheels. Before the rails can be fitted to the underside of the lower hull they must be built up form two large and two small rails, which are then fitted out with the numerous suspension mounts, stops and support brackets. To the rear the main drive axle is attached and covered with the bearing/drive gear housings. The return rollers, five per side are then fitted along with their outer axle rails. The drive sprockets and gear wheels are then fitted to the rear axles along with the outer mounting beam. The two idlers are then fitted to their mounting yokes before being attached to the front of the complex suspension rails, which are fitted out with the suspension mounts, cross hull suspension arms, and inner road wheel axle mounts. Each of the six inner axle mounts are fitted with three road wheels, each of which is made up of an inner and outer wheel and capped off with the outer axle beams. The idler wheel yokes are then attached to the front outer axle beams with four U shaped clamps. The individual suspension springs are then attached to the top of the suspension beams and the whole assembly is fitted to the lower hull. With the lower hull now sitting on the wheels the large wheel arch hull plates are attached, followed by the lower and upper hulls being joined together. The rear hull plate is then attached and fitted with a towing eye and shackle, completing the hull section. The last section of the build involves the tracks, which are made up of five parts for each of the thirty six links required to complete a track run. The track pad is a single part with five sprue gates, but these are on the edges, so relatively easy to remove with a pair of nippers and a sanding stick. The "chain-link" parts make up the remaining four parts, one of which you glue to the track pad, the other you snap into position at one end, and then rotate to snap it into the other end. The instructions aren't especially clear, but once you’ve cut a couple of links from the sprues, it will all become clear. Build up a full set of B1/B3 parts, link them all together on the flat, and add the B2 parts one-by-one. There is a single ejector pin mark on the inner face of the track pad, but once you have the link assembled, it won't be seen so you can ignore it. The final link to create the loop involves adding the track pad last to complete the run. Once complete you may wish to go and have a drink and a lie down. Decals There are four markings supplied with the kit, all of which have a disruptive camouflage scheme of four or five colours. There are few decals other than the vehicle's artwork for its name, plus the unit on the sides and registration number on the rear, so the decal sheet is quite small. A number of the decals have an off-set white drop-shadow style background that is not to be confused with poor registration, but the alligator motif and Sa Bigorre name are nicely produced in a rugged, hand painted sort of way. All four schemes will require some careful painting over a base coat of pale grey, but there is only one scheme that is shown complete on all sides of the tank. The other three are shown only in profile of the left hand side, which isn't even rectified by the pictures on the box sides, so you will either have to try and find some all round plans/photographs or make it up as you go along, who's to know? From the box you can build one of the following: "Sa Bigorre" 3o Batterie de ce Groupe, Colonial Artillery Group, Early 1918 in pale grey, sand yellow, brown earth, pale green, and French blue. "A St Chamond of an unkown unit, Counter battery support, June 1918. In pale grey, sand yellow, brown earth, and forest green with black edging around the separate colours. "A St Camond unit spotted leaving the factory, early 1918. In, pale grey, sand yellow, French blue and pale green, also with matt black demarcation lines, but thinner than the tank above. "A St Camond captured by the Germans at Lataule on the 11th June 1918. In pale grey, sand yellow, French blue, brown earth and plae green in a very disruptive pattern and with a green alligator painted on the left hand front of the tank. With the previous release a French tanker complete with metal face curtain was included. In this one you get a much more relaxed tanker, complete with pipe and no protective head gear, just a beret and standard uniform. Still he is well moulded and would look great standing proudly next to his tres ‘orrible tank at wars end. Conclusion I’m a bit amazed that Takom have released a second version of this tank, but as stated above, there is enough of a difference to make it interesting. Certainly if you have both vehicles they would make a nice comparison to show the lessons learnt during the war, especially as they did persist in build these things. Construction doesn’t look like it will cause too many problems even for a beginner. The painting looks a little daunting, but you can now get paint masks for the camouflage to make life easier. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  22. AS-90 Side Skirt set 1:35 Tetra Model Works This is the second set for the venerable Trumpeter 1:35 AS-90 155mm SPG from Tetra Model Works. This set contains a single sheet of relief etched brass and a sheet of rubberised plastic. The purpose of the set is to completely replace the kits side skirts. In addition to the skirts, which come with the illusion of separate hangers, for which you have to be very careful in folding along the whole length, you also get the front and rear mudguards. Now you can either use the brass mud flaps or the rubberised plastic, or even a combination of the two. Using both together means you can have a strong and bendable unit with just the lower edge able to flap like the real things, or if you use just the rubber material you can fold them away, in the case of the rear flaps. All the hooks, brackets and clips are also included and there are rubber parts for the front and rear end sections of the skirts, making the model even more realistic. Conclusion This is a superb and very useful set which can be used in conjunction with the large detail set, reviewed HERE, or on its own. The addition of the rubber parts gives the model that extra bit of detail not normally seen on a model, allowing even the most intermediate of modeller to achieve a great look. Review sample courtesy of
  23. AS-90 155mm SPG Detail set 1:35 Tetra Model Works The Trumpeter 1:35 AS-90 155mm Self Propelled Gun has been out for nearly 15 years now, so it’s good to see that it’s still getting attention by the aftermarket companies. This set is for the general detail; the other set released alongside it will be reviewed separately HERE, and contains two sheets of relief etched brass. What sets this detail set above some others is the beautifully laid out and easy to read instructions, which show exactly where the completed parts are meant to be fitted, unlike some other companies. Whilst the majority of parts on the sheets are for the smaller items, such as brackets, headlight guards, latches, clamps and hinges, there are some important additions. The thing that most modellers moaned about with the kit si the lack of stowage basket on the rear turret roof, well this in included in this set, along with new stowage boxes, ID box and grille for the rear of the turret, new lids for the turrets side bins. Then there are the engine intake grilles, air conditioner grille, smoke discharge plate and brackets, new ammunition stowage for the GPMG boxes, which also receives a new ammo box and ammunition, and the faces of all the viewing ports. There doesn’t appear to be much of the kit detail to be removed for the PE, mainly due to the fact the parts weren’t included in the kit so fitting is pretty easy. That said, some of the folding is a little fiddly as it is in most PE sets, and some parts need to be indented by use a ball point pen in one side, particularly the louvers on the grilles over the air conditioner box. Conclusion Given that the AS-90 kit has been out some time now, it’s great to revisit it with the release of this very nice set from Tetra Model Works. With very few complex bends or folds it should be useable by all but the newest modellers and would be a good introduction to the art of using etched brass. The details contained in the set do help to improve the somewhat clunky look that of the styrene parts, plus adding some that was completely missing, and will help make a good looking model into a great one. Review sample courtesy of
  24. Italeri :RSO/01 type 470 tractor scale:1/35, tarpaulin: tissue and wood glue colors:vallejo artists pigments
  25. Mikr Mir

    CSS H.L. Hunley Mikr Mir 1:35 The H. L. Hunley was a submarine of the Confederate States of America that played a small part in the American Civil War. The Hunley demonstrated the advantages and the dangers of undersea warfare. She was the first combat submarine to sink a warship, although the Hunley was not completely submerged and, following her successful attack, was lost along with her crew before she could return to base. The Confederacy lost 21 crewmen in three sinkings of the Hunley during her short career. She was named for her inventor, Horace Lawson Hunley, shortly after she was taken into government service under the control of the Confederate States Army at Charleston, South Carolina. The Hunley, nearly 40 feet (12 m) long, was built at Mobile, Alabama, and launched in July 1863. She was then shipped by rail on August 12, 1863, to Charleston, South Carolina. The Hunley (then called Fish Boat) sank on August 29, 1863, during a test run, killing five members of her crew. She sank again on October 15, 1863, killing all eight of her second crew, including Horace Hunley himself, who was aboard at the time, even though he was not a member of the Confederate military. Both times the Hunley was raised and returned to service. On February 17, 1864, The Hunley attacked and sank the 1240-short ton (1124 metric tons) screw sloop USS Housatonic, which had been on Union blockade-duty in Charleston's outer harbour. Soon afterwards, the Hunley sank, killing all eight of her third crew. This time, the ship was lost. Finally located in 1995 by the NUMA dive team led by the author Clive Cussler, the wreck of the Hunley was raised in 2000 and is on display in North Charleston, South Carolina, at the Warren Lasch Conservation Center on the Cooper River. Examination, in 2012, of recovered Hunley artefacts suggests that the submarine was as close as 20 feet to her target, the Housatonic, when her deployed torpedo exploded, which eventually caused the sub's own loss. The Model Like the USS Daniel Webster kit, this one has been out for a while now, but we have only just received to for review, so please bear with us. The kit comes in the standard Mikr Mir style box, inside of which there are two hull halves, and one sprue of light grey styrene, one sprue of clear styrene, a sheet of etched brass and a stand. Before assembly can start there are quite a few holes that need to be opened up on both halves of the hull. These holes are filled with clear portholes before the hull halves are joined together. The clear entrance hatches are fitted, one to each of the small towers, followed by the two triangular panels which are fitted in front of each tower. Behind the forward tower there is a box like structure with two tubes attached and at the very bow, near the keel the lower torpedo arm attachment point is fitted. The two hatches are fitted with separate hinges which require a length of stretched sprue to act as the hinge rod. There is a large dive vane attached to either side of the hull adjacent to the foreward tower, whilst a smaller vane is fitted just forward of the larger vane. Right aft, the propeller is attached, followed by the protective ring and rudder, along with their associated support and control rods. Moving forward the long arms of the “torpedo” carrying structure are attached, followed by the four piece “torpedo” and, lastly, the spike that attached the “torpedo” to the targets hull. Conclusion It’s about time a decent sized model of this important craft has been released. Being the first to have sunk an enemy warship it is surprising that it has taken so long, but to have it in 1:35 scale is great, as it’s only a small vessel. The moulding on the kit is nicely done especially for a limited run kit and will make an interesting model in anyone's collection. Review sample courtesy of