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Found 81 results

  1. From their facebook page;
  2. This is a great kit, lovely sharp details, excellent plastic and etched parts. The running gear and hull go together with relative ease, and soon looks great, especially with the separate plumbing for the fuel tanks; The main gun on the other hand is a test of patience, there will be over a hundred parts to this ‘bit’ once complete, lots of very and I mean very small bits to make sub-assemblies and then glue these onto other assemblies as you go along. I have no doubt that once complete it will look stunning. Just very time consuming https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4221/34948632682_ce37997e86_z.jpg[/img
  3. King Tiger Interior & Exterior Acrylic Paint Sets Mig AMMO Launched to coincide with the new Takom King Tiger kit in 1:35 that we reviewed here, and for which AMMO drew the profiles and advised on colour choices, these two sets are out now. They are broken down to Interior (Vol.1) and Exterior (Vol.2), and both consist of 6 x 17ml bottles of acrylic paint with dropper tops, and a stainless steel ball-bearing in each to aid mixing by shaking. The boxes are cardboard with a hanger for display at one end, and inside is a clear carton holding the paints in situ, and allowing you to remove them en masse. Vol.1 Interior Colours (A.MIG-7165) The cramped interiors of German tanks were painted a cream colour where it counted, and left in red oxide primer where it didn't, and of course the ammo was either steel or brass cased, depending on a number of factors such as supplier and how short of strategic materials they were at the time. The set includes the following shades to allow you to paint the basic colours of the interior, but if you intent to do any modulation of the colours, you will need to make sure you have additional shades on hand. A.MIG-003 Resedagrun A.MIG-014 Rotbraun (floor) A.MIG-017 Cremeweiss (interior) A.MIG-194 Aluminium A.MIG-197 Brass (ammunition) A.MIG-218 Schwarzgrau (engine) Vol.2 Exterior Colours (A.MIG-7166) Three main colours were in use during the period of the King Tiger's service, with a usual base of Dark Yellow, broken up with Olive Green, and Chocolate Brown in a huge number of variations. Winter distemper camo was also applied, which is catered for in this set by the supply of a "washable" white paint, which can be applied and removed to show wear. The tracks are painted a very dark brown, which will require some additional work to give a lifelike finish, and a number of wooden parts such as the jack block are visible amongst the pioneer tools. In the set are the following colours: A.MIG-002 Olivegrun Opt.2 A.MIG-010 Dunkelgelb Mid War A.MIG-015 Shokobraun A.MIG-024 Washable White Camo A.MIG-035 Dark Tracks A.MIG-037 New Wood On the back of the box are four profiles of alternatives from the kit boxings, all of which have the required colours called out next to their profiles, as shown below: Conclusion AMMO paints are by now a known quantity, and this combination of sets will doubtless find favour with anyone building a new King Tiger, no matter what the source kit, as well as those building any late war German armour. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. Another one just announced by Takom, Kamaz Typhoon K MRAP. Will have full cab & interior. Julien
  5. Just seen on Takoms facebook page; I know we have a 432 post but this is so different from the standard APC I think it deserves its own thread Julien
  6. Hi everyone, this is the first build I am posting here, this is my most recent build. Any feedback would be much appreciated, thank you for reading! Scott
  7. The build. http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235017273-135-takom-t29e3-what-if/& Despite time becoming my enemy with this one, I managed to get it done in time for ValourCon 8 hosted by IPMS Winnipeg (Canada). Here she is. 20170422-MJS_0158 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr 20170422-MJS_0150 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr Takom's new 1/35th scale T29E3. An American heavy tank which was conceived in 1944 but a prototype wasn't completed until after the end of the Second World War. The vehicle has since gained popularity among the online gaming community. It is featured in both War Thunder and World of Tanks games. After acquiring a T29E3 in World of Tanks (and falling in love with it's performance and imposing looks) I was thrilled to discover Takom had released a new series of kits based on the T29. I decided to build the model to represent the tank I own in the game. A big thank you to Tiger Model Designs for supplying a large number of brand new resin upgrade parts. The replacement parts really took the model to the next level replacing many of the smaller and less refined kit parts. 20170422-MJS_0108 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr 20170422-MJS_0110 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr 20170422-MJS_0117 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr The model was painted primarily in Tamiya and some Vallejo. Oils, acrylics and enamels were used for detail painting and weathering. A variety of Mig pigments were used for dust and rust.The pigments were applied over several applications. Some wet, some dry. 20170422-MJS_0126 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr This was my first ever attempt at using the hairspray technique. And I absolutely love it. The hairspray was decanted from the bottle and sprayed on via airbrush. 20170422-MJS_0127 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr The figure is from Alpine with a blanket that was sculpted from Milliput. My T29 commander in World of Tanks is presently at the rank of First Sergeant, hence the rank on his sleeve. The decals on the figure are both from Alliance Modelworks. All the markings on the tank (well, all six) were airbrushed on using stencils. The national insignia stencils used on the turret are from DNmodels. 20170422-MJS_0133 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr In the game World of Tanks each nation has a different way of showing off how proficient the player is in each of their tanks. Players driving American tanks can earn up to three stars (called marks of excellence) based on the average amount of damage they cause. I've currently earned two marks of excellence and I made my own paint stencils to represent this. Since it takes a while to earn each star I weathered the stars differently to indicate passage of time. I still have the stencil so if I do earn that third and final star you better believe I'll be adding it to my 1/35th scale T29! 20170422-MJS_0141 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr Virtually all of the smaller detail parts (including hatches) on the turret were supplied by Tiger Model Designs. The two coax .50cal MG barrels were replaced with fine brass tube. 20170422-MJS_0142 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr The commander was painted using Vallejo and oils. The German looking medal on his chest is another nod to the game. Any significant achievements in the game (like a high number of kills in one match for example) are represented by medals that are based off of German medals from WWII. I had some photo etch medals left over from a Dragon Gen2 figure set. 20170422-MJS_0145 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr In the game the tank is most famous for it's extremely thick mantlet and frontal turret armour. If you can get it hull down with the enemy ahead, you can have enemy shells bouncing off you all day long. I sculpted four shell impacts. Two direct but non penetrating hits on the mantlet. And two ricochet off the turret top and side. The silver is good ol Testors silver. 20170422-MJS_0148 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr 20170422-MJS_0157 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr 20170422-MJS_0163 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr According to wiki the T29 could weigh around 64 tons. I think at this angle it certainly appears possible! She's a big girl! 20170422-MJS_0174 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr Tiger Model Designs also supplied a new .30cal MG for the hull. 20170422-MJS_0176 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr 20170422-MJS_0181 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr One headlight lens is missing from battle damage. It certainly IS NOT missing because of the mad dash to get it all done and I dropped it on the floor somewhere. Nope, definitely battle damage. 20170422-MJS_0184 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr In the game each tank can carry three "consumables" which can be used during battle. Examples are tool kits to repair damaged track or a first aid kit to heal wounded crew. Here you can see a fire extinguisher (great as American tanks in game have a habit of brewing up). And a case of Cola which for one mission can increase crew skills by 5%. I scratch built the case myself and my wonderfully talented mother painted the Cola text. 20170422-MJS_0186 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr The tarps on either side of the hull also match in game stowage. These were made of rolled up lead foil and the straps are photo etch and Tamiya tape. 20170422-MJS_0188 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr The antennas are carbon fibre and were sourced from Accurate Armor. I bought these probably over ten years ago. Totally forgot I had them. Yes, it is good I've tidied up my work bench! I've no idea if the antennas are the correct length and happily I don't care! 20170422-MJS_0189 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr Some of you may be wondering why there are no tow cables present. Well the in game model from WoT doesn't have them so neither does mine. Good thing as I didn't have time to add them anyway! 20170422-MJS_0190 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr The mufflers stained in rust and small tears in the rubber side skirts were also modelled after how the tank looks in game. 20170422-MJS_0197 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr A graphite pencil was rubbed along various edges and surfaces to give a metallic sheen. 20170422-MJS_0198 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr 20170422-MJS_0204 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr 20170422-MJS_0205 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr The model has it's flaws (99% caused by me). And rushing to get the kit done for the contest didn't help. But overall I'm satisfied-ish with the overall appearance. 20170422-MJS_0211 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr I think it's a pretty neat looking vehicle. Like a Pershing on steroids! And I'm glad to have been able to build the tank I adore so much in the game. 20170423-MJS_0215 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr Here it is on the base I cobbled together. I'm already contemplating building another World of Tanks T29 or T30 only in the equally neat looking winter camo. 20170423-MJS_0219 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr How'd she do at the contest which I worked so hard to enter in time? FYI there were only 30 minutes left to register when I showed up. Well, that's a lovely gold medal awarded to me from the fine judges at IPMS Winnipeg. That was a great surprise and the icing on the cake! 20170423-MJS_0230 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr A little background into the medal design. "IPMS Winnipeg adopted the name, THE VALOUR ROAD CHAPTER. The significance of this name is related to the street in Winnipeg called VALOUR ROAD, a street located close to the club's headquarters at the St. James Legion. In the British Commonwealth, the highest medal awarded for bravery in combat is the Victoria Cross. Winnipeg has the unique distinction of having the highest number of Victoria Crosses awarded to men from one city outside Great Britain proper. Valour Road, which used to be called Pine Street, had three soldiers from the same street awarded the Victoria Cross in the First World War. Other Manitoba servicemen honoured with the Victoria Cross were Col Billy Barker, a First World War flying ace and Pilot Officer Andrew Mynarski, a Second World War Lancaster crewman. IPMS Winnipeg recognizes this outstanding service by honouring these brave men with reference to Valour Road." -Courtesy the IPMS Winnipeg home page. http://www.ipmswinnipeg.ca/index.htm The three names on the outer ring of the medal are men who all lived on Pine Street and were awarded the Victoria Cross during World War I. Thanks for looking! -matt
  8. Hi everyone, My first completion for the year, Takom's T-55AM in Soviet Naval Infantry colours. I used Star Decals set 35-C-1054 to represent a vehicle belonging the 111th Tank Regiment, 61st Guards Brigade, Northern Fleet. It's not 100% accurate as that unit seems to have had a preference for removing the side skirts from their T-55AM's but I bought the sheet after I'd started the painting process and I prefer how it look's with the skirts! It also meant I didn't have to do a full track run either..... Colours are mainly Humbrol over Tamiya primer, 86 Light Olive with 67 Tank Grey for the rubber portions of the skirts. Tracks were done using 170 Track colour over a Tamiya NATO Black base, then dry brushed with 270003 polished steel and 53 Gunmetal. Weathering was done with 29 Dark Earth, 32 Dark Grey and 93 Desert Yellow. Apart from the Tamiya paints, which were sprayed, it's all done using a brush. On to the pics: Mike.
  9. A new step in the AFV's WORLD, please be kind :))
  10. This is Takom's new kit, the T29E3. An American heavy tank that saw it's design begin in 1944 but a prototype wasn't completed until 1947. An evolution of the M26 Pershing, by the time the prototypes were built it was decided that the need had passed for such a heavy vehicle. As such, only a handful of vehicles were ever built. The T29E3 is also a popular machine in the online game "World of Tanks". Since I acquired a T29 of my own it quickly became a favorite and I've hardly played any other tank since. And when I discovered that Takom had a kit of this beast I knew I had to build my tank from the game. Here's a shot of my vehicle wearing the "summer" camouflage in World of Tanks. I plan on building my machine to closely replicate this image. The two stars on the barrel represent "marks of excellence" which are obtained by dealing statistically high amounts of damage in a game. IMG_8103 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr I don't plan on this being a step by step blog of building the T29. More a record of simply where I am at with the build. So this is how far I've gotten after about a week of on and off building. There are some differences between the Takom model (which looks quite accurate) compared to the model in the game. My vehicle will likely blend details from the two together. 20170220-MJS_9747 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr The road wheels and drive wheels have been built and cleaned up. I used a sharp x-acto knife and a coarse file to add some character to the rubber tires. 20170220-MJS_9758 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr In the game the tank is famous for having an extremely heavily armoured turret front and gun mantlet. In a hull down position with enemies ahead, she is a fearsome enemy! I wanted to help demonstrate that by modelling the affects of several armour piercing rounds that had hit but failed to penetrate the turret front. 20170220-MJS_9756 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr I noticed on real tanks you could sometimes make out what appear to be rifling marks caused when a shell managed to ricochet. I replicated this using the tip of a hobby knife and various sharp dremel bits. 20170220-MJS_9754 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr To help determine how large the shell impacts should be I'm using some Tiger II shells as reference. I think I'm going to enlarge a couple of my shell impacts as they are starting to look a little under scale. Of course, in World of Tanks you meet a huge variety of vehicles in combat so I don't need to be super precise. I don't have to worry too much about historical accuracy! 20170220-MJS_9761 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr The kit comes molded with a nice cast texture on certain parts. But it's a little too smooth for my taste so Mr Surfacer 1000 was stippled on with a brush. Tamiya epoxy putty was used to help build up the shape of the shell impacts.The shell impacts still need plenty of work. 20170220-MJS_9757 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr Vehicles in WoT don't carry much stowage. But for the purposes of the game you can equip your tank with different types of "consumables". These can range from medical kits to treat injured crew. Repair kits to fix a damaged gun. And for American tanks you can even equip a "case of cola" to improve the performance of your entire crew for one battle. IMG_8236 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr I thought it would be funny to have some Wot consumables as stowage on my tank. I don't use the case of cola myself but I just couldn't resist adding it. I'm terrible at scratch building and have almost zero experience. But I think I've managed to make something that will resemble close enough to the item in the game. 20170220-MJS_9764 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr So that's where I am at so far. It's very early days and there is a ton of work still to do. I will post again once I've made some more progress. Cheers and thanks for looking! -matt
  11. Finally.... Lookie here, a fully injection moulded, full interior FV432 Mk.2/1 from our friends at Takom. Sourced from the Tamiya Model Magazine Facebook Group Sam But wait! There's more! Right, where's the British equipment set and figures with compulsory chipped enamel mug?
  12. Krupp 21cm Mörser 10 in 1:35 scale from Takom. Finished with Ammo of Mig and Vallejo acrylics; MIG and AK Interactive enamels, 502 Abteilung oils, and MIG and Vallejo pigments. This model represents a German piece captured by Canadian soldiers of the 27th Battalion (City of Winnipeg) during the legendary Battle of Vimy Ridge in April 1917. After my Whippet build last month, I've definitely fallen in love with these First World War kits. When I started deciding which kits I would buy, this howitzer was definitely on the top of my list. I find subjects like this rather interesting; it's a niche (artillery), within a niche (First World War subjects), within a niche (armor modelling). I can honestly say that this is one of my favorite builds out of all the stuff I've done in my short time in the hobby. Like any build, there's things I like and things I don't like, but overall I think it turned out rather well. Comments and criticism is welcomed as always!
  13. Hi guys This is quite an interesting subject by Takom that surprised us all. It just goes to show the vast range of kits and subjects available now. I bet most people never would have thought they would see a kit of this ever be made. Personally It's not my usual build but unusual enough to grab my attention. I have been working on it on and off for a while now. Quite a nice kit but a bit laborious to build. This is down to most of the bits being duplicated to cover both guns and a slight mould misalignment meaning the parts clean up is taking longer than it should. I can finally see the light at the end of the building tunnel though. IMAG0475 by Mark Inman, on Flickr IMAG0478 by Mark Inman, on Flickr IMAG0479 by Mark Inman, on Flickr IMAG0480 by Mark Inman, on Flickr IMAG0481 by Mark Inman, on Flickr IMAG0482 by Mark Inman, on Flickr IMAG0483 by Mark Inman, on Flickr IMAG0484 by Mark Inman, on Flickr IMAG0485 by Mark Inman, on Flickr IMAG1166 by Mark Inman, on Flickr IMAG1167 by Mark Inman, on Flickr IMAG1168 by Mark Inman, on Flickr IMAG1169 by Mark Inman, on Flickr IMAG1170 by Mark Inman, on Flickr IMAG1171 by Mark Inman, on Flickr
  14. Fresh off the heels of my Whippet build, I decided to stick with the First World War theme and build this interesting little kit from Takom. The kit gives you two options for construction: the short-barreled 1910 model and it's replacement, the long-barreled 1916 model. I opted for the 1910 model because the color guide shows a piece captured by Canadian soldiers of the 27th Battalion (City of Winnipeg) during the Battle of Vimy Ridge in April 1917. Overall, this kit goes together well with no major issues. The biggest problem is the photo etch rifling for the barrel; it's kind of a pain because it's too large and rolling photo etch can be troublesome, but after trimming a couple of ridges off it went it much better. The two pins under the barrel housing snapped while I was attempting to remove them from the sprue, so they were replaced with brass rod. The support rods for the gun shield didn't quite fit so I cut them off and will replace them with styrene rod after assembly (the gun shield was left off for ease of painting). I also added a few extra bolts taken from the spares provided in the Whippet kit plus pins for the wheels and gun mount. I used Alclad grey primer and then preshaded with Tamiya German Grey (XF-63). The main color is Ammo of MIG Yellow Grey and the green is Pale Green mixed with Yellow Grey. A different green is listed in the color call-out, but the Pale Green is closer to the pictures provided. All of the chipping was done with Yellow Grey (over the green areas) and a mix of some Vallejo dark browns and black over everything else. The track pads were also painted with XF-63 separately from the wheels. After a brown filter was applied over the entire model to tone everything down and bring the colors together, the rivets and details were given a wash with Dark Green Grey panel line wash from Ammo of MIG's aircraft line and some streaking was applied with MIG Streaking Grime. After gluing the track pads to the wheels, I sponged on some Yellow Grey to simulate worn off paint. With a majority of the weathering done, the model was given a coat of gloss varnish to seal in the enamels and prep the surface for the two decals representing graffiti applied by Canadian troops to claim their prize (these are applied after weathering to show fresh paint). After the decals go on, I'll add more dirt buildup using oils and more enamels on the lower areas of the model.
  15. Takom's 1/35 scale Medium Mark A Whippet, completed as tank A321 serving near Achiet-le-Petit, France, in August 1918. Finished in Vallejo & Tamiya acrylics; MIG enamels; Abteilung 502 oils; and MIG, Secret Weapon Miniatures, and Vallejo pigments. This was my first entry into armor modeling and there are some things I don't like about the finished product and some things that I think turned out great, but overall I'm pretty happy with it. I've always been fascinated by the First World War and I think this will serve as a nice springboard into more models in this subject. (I've picked up this kit, the Meng Whippet, the Meng Renault FT, the Takom Krupp 21cm Mörser, and the Takom Mark V heavy tank kit in the last month!) Please feel free to tell me what I can approve upon as comments and criticism are always welcomed!
  16. Last one, alongside the Meng Whippet: Regards J A
  17. Hey Everyone, A new tank has found it's way onto my workbench, The mighty King Tiger Background The German Tiger Ausf. B, or King Tiger was arguably the very best tank that was put onto the battlefield during WW2, as well as the most costly. With each unit requiring some 300,000 skilled man hours to complete, the King Tiger went into serial production in December 1943 at the Henschel factory in Kassel. At the peak of production it took only 14 days to complete, and by the end of the war 492 examples were ultimately produced of the 1500 units ordered due to the intense Allied bombing campaign. With frontal armor reaching up to 150mm thick and side armor 80mm thick, this nearly 70 ton tank was built around the famous dual-purpose semi-automatic 88mm canon firing armor-piercing or high explosive rounds, the KwK 43 (L71) production by Krupp, with the T.Z.F.9b/1 binocular gun sight (later followed by the monocular T.Z.F.9d) built into the cradle. This set-up allowed the tank to engage virtually any enemy tank before it could come within firing range. The Henschel production version carried 86 rounds of internally stored ammunition for the main gun. Additional armament came in the form of 3 Rheinmetall Machinengewehr 34's with 5800 rounds; one mounted in a kugelblende on the right bow position; one mounted coaxially to the main gun; one mounted externally to the commander's cupola. This massive tank was mobilized by a OLVAR EG40 12 16B mechanical transmission with 8 forward and 4 reverse gears powered. The only other variant of the King Tiger was the Hunting Tiger, or Jagdtiger. With the exception of the initial prototype, all King Tigers were coated with zimmerit until September 11, 1944. The King Tiger dominated the battlefield in terms of capabilities, but often suffered from shortages of lubricants & fuels. These tanks proved themselves in battles ranging from Normandy, the Ardennes, Lake Balaton, and Berlin. Although they lived up to the expectations of the 'Wunderwaffe', the King Tigers were ineffective in stopping the overwhelming numbers they faced on the battlefield. Today there are a total of 11 King Tigers preserved around the world, with the rest having been long lost to the scrap yards. The Kit So I have decided to go with the Takom King Tiger Sd.Kfz.182 1/35 Henschel Turret with Full Interior. The Build So on with the build, Looking at the parts there is very little flash and the parts are detailed and well formed. Here is some shots of the Hull: This is where I decided to start the build, It made sence to start at the bottom and work my way up and after a few painting mistakes I made with my other Tiger build the lesson had been learned. So some progress: I have since given the base a coat of Mig-014 Rotbraun and im waiting on it drying before adding some details and Mig-017 Cremeweiss to the side sills: That's as far as I have got today, more to come over the weekend Chris
  18. 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
  19. Announced on Facebook a few days ago: T-55A, Czech and Polish production. T-55AM2B, Czech and Polish version of the T-55AM. Mike. Edit: added scale to topic title!
  20. I bought this kit when it first came out and decided after doing so much SciFi stuff this year that a nice normal piece of Modern British Armour would make a nice change. So I started on this kit: Its an odd kit, there seems to be construction steps in there that exist only to push up the parts count! It goes together pretty well however, the only filler I needed was the part that fits under the gun mantlet in the turret. I built it all closed up because I couldn't be bothered hunting for figures with the correct gear for 1991. I decided to build the one in the kit labelled "unidetified BATUS, 1991" as this was the only British option given. That said the painting guide was decidedly rubbish, but thankfully my Google-fu came to the rescue to give me photos of the real things I could use to get the small details correct. Its painted with Tamiya paints - I used Nato Green and a mix of Desert Yellow, Buff and something else I can't remember to get an approximately correct sand colour for this era. I added some chain, stowage and some camo net from the spares box. One of the lenses for the headlight pinged off into some parallel dimension so I had to substitute for Micro Krystal Klear instead! I'm not a Chieftain expert, so any mistake please forgive me I think that will be my final final for 2016!
  21. Type 69-II Iraqi Medium Tank 1:35 Takom The Type 69-II is an improved T-55 that was reverse engineered by China after they got their hands on a Russian T-62 after some border skirmishes. The initial batch weren't all that successful, so a revision was ordered, using a 100mm rifled gun with dual access stabilisation and many features found on the captured T-62, but basing it on the earlier T-55 chassis. The Type 69-II has itself undergone some upgrades, incorporating lessons learned from action with the many export customers that China have for this capable medium tank. The Iraqi Army have used it both during and immediately after the Gulf Wars, where many were destroyed by the superior range and firepower that the Allies had at their disposal. Unlike the earlier T-55 ENIGMA, the Type 69 used stand-off armour in the shape of stowage baskets to protect the turret from shaped charge warheads, giving it a more modern look than the underlying technology of the main hull. The Kit This is a newly adapted tooling of the recent T-55 range of kits from Takom, and has a label on the box stating that the hull has been re-tooled for accuracy with the words "Approved", although it doesn't say by whom. Inside the box are a gaggle of sprues in various sizes, totalling fourteen plus the lower hull and turret top in grey styrene. There is also a clear sprue, two Photo-Etch (PE) sheets, a length of flexible braided wire, two polycaps, a flexible styrene mantlet cover, a small decal sheet, landscape A4 instruction booklet and an A5 portrait markings and painting guide in full colour. The kit is also marked as a 2 in 1, which means you can build either a standard tank, or a slightly different command tank by using some additional parts supplied in the box. Detail throughout is good, and the quality of the package is up to standard with sprues bagged individually, some of which are re-sealable, others being heat-sealed. The track links are bagged separately, as are the PE and the decals, all in ziplok bags so they can easily be returned for safe-keeping during the build. This is especially useful for the individual track links, which have already been removed from the sprue for your convenience. A small sheet of paper is also included that advises you where to find the raised turret casting code digits, on the runner of sprue L. You'll need to cut them free with a new blade, then glue them to the turret, taking great care not to flood them and dissolve the details. Sadly, no details are given relating to the correct codes for the decal options, so you'll either need to do some research or make them up to suit your whim. The lower hull and road wheels are first up for construction, with an appliqué panel added to the front, the final drive, idler wheels and drive sprockets first to be installed. The stub axles for the road wheels are quite detailed, and each one is made from three parts, with six different types, so keep your wits about you so you don't get them mixed up. The road wheels are next, with the wheels paired with separate tyres and central hubs, which could allow you to paint them separately if you hate cutting circular demarcations. With the lower hull completed, the upper hull is made up from three main parts, consisting of the glacis plate, turret ring section and rear engine deck. PE grilles (or are they mesh? In-joke with Ken) are added to the engine deck along with some additional parts and the driver's hatch, and then it's time to make up the tracks. There are 92 links each side, which are supplied individually in a ziplok bag as mentioned earlier. Each one has a single sprue gate and two raised ejector pin marks, so shouldn't take too long to sort out with a fair wind and some good TV to distract you. The links fit together nicely, and the detail on the outer surface includes some nice casting marks, which makes it tempting to leave the tracks in a fairly clean state once painted. As usual with this type of track, just build up your run using liquid glue and drape them round the sprockets while still malleable, holding them in place with tape and packing to get a realistic shape until dry. The upper hull is then glued in place and the rear bulkhead is made up, with an infantry telephone, plus and extra one for the command tank, or an optional unditching log strapped to the back, all using different holes drilled from the inside. The lower edges of the final drive housing are added underneath, plus the curved bulge under the bulkhead that houses the cooling fan, an idea taken from the captured T-62 mentioned above. The fenders are of metal construction, and are supplied as long parts to which you add lateral strengthening parts, the mudguards, stowage and pioneer tools on the starboard side, with interlinked additional fuel cells on the port. The rubber side skirts are contoured styrene parts that fix to the sides of the fenders, and the flexible braided metal cable is cut to 106mm and given plastic towing eyes before being draped over the fuel cells. Attention then turns to the turret, which begins with the main upper part that is then detailed with coax machine gun, mushroom vents, vision blocks and tie-down shackles. The extensive bar/slat armour baskets are built up simply from the respective panels and attached to deep recesses in the sides of the turret for strength, in eight sections that wrap around the back and sides of the turret, leaving a the smoke launchers and a barrel synchronised searchlight to operate cleanly. The breech is not depicted, but a wedge-shaped block is inserted into the bottom of the turret using two poly-caps to hold the barrel in place, which is made up of two halves plus a hollow muzzle and a PE ring at the base. A Chinese Type 54 Machine Gun is built up from a number of parts to sit at the front of the starboard cupola, while the commander's more complex cupola has a set of vision blocks installed in the hatch, plus a folding mechanism that splits the hatch to allow some degree of protection under fire. Before the gun is mounted, a flexible styrene dust cover is slid over the mantlet and has four holes drilled in it to accommodate the platform for the Type 70 aiming device that sits above the barrel's central access. Hooking up the searchlight to the mantlet finishes the turret, and it locks in place on the hull using the usual bayonet fitting. Markings There are six markings options, two of what are found on the inside cover of the instruction booklet, and as is usual now, Mig AMMO have done the five-view profiles, and have their paint codes on the legend, as well as one of their logos in the top right of each sheet. From the box you can build one of the following: Iranian IRGC tank captured from the Iraqi Army during the Iran-Iraq 1980-88 – all-over sand. Iraqi Army, 1991 Operation Desert Storm – all-over sand. Iraqi Army, 1991 Operation Desert Storm – sand with green camo patches. Royal Thai Army – Sand, green and brown camo. Iraqi Army, 1991 Operation Desert Storm, preserved at Saumur France – dark sand with green camo and three light sand replacement side skirts. New Iraq Army, post 2003 Operation Iraqi Freedom – all-over sand. The decals are printed anonymously, but have good register, sharpness and colour density. Everything but the "fuel" decals are written in what I presume to be Persian or Arabic, with some small patriotic slogans and flags for good measure. Conclusion Just right for an Iraq war diorama or one of the lesser known operators that use or used the somewhere around 2,000 examples of this more unusual variant of the doughty T-55. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of UK Distributors for
  22. Soviet ZSU-57-2 SPAAG Takom 1:35 Following WWII and with the advent of the cold war the Soviets found themselves facing a potential enemy with good ground attack aircraft, they realised that a dedicated Anti-aircraft gun mounting auto cannons not machine guns was needed. To keep up with armoured forces this would also need to be tracked. Using the newest tank chassis the T-54 it was proposed as objeck 500 and would mount a twin 57mm S-68 automatic cannon. Development began in the late 1940's with updates in the early 1950's, finally entering service in 1955. The system relied entirely on optical/mechanical computing and carried no radar system which proved to be a major weakness. There were proposals to upgrade the system but these did not come to fruition as newer systems would come online. These guns would be retired on the early 1970s to be replaced by ZSU-23-4s. Like many Soviet systems of the time they would be supplied to their sattilite states and the system was used by Cuba, Finland, Iraq and Egypt as well as the normal Warsaw pact countries. In combat they were using Vietnam and the Middle East. Lastly in the Yugoslav wars in the 1990s, and the invasion of Iraq. The Kit Like many kits this was earlier kitted by Tamyia, and now the Takom version will battle it out with a Trumpeter kit. Takom are making full use of their T-54/55 kits by producing this kit which utilises the same chassis. A fairly packed box arrives from Takom here. Along with the main lower hull plus the Turret there are five main sprues of parts, four sprues of suspension/wheel components, two sprues of gun parts, five sprues of ammunition; and a bag of track components. In addition there is a clear sprue, a sheet of photo etch, a metal tow cable, a flexible part which is the stowed canvas cover; and a small sheet of decals. The turret on this vehicle is open and you get a full interior and ammunition load. Construction begins with the running gear of the tank. The suspension comments are added to the hull. The main wheels feature an inner and outer wheel, here Takom have moulded the rubber tyre as a separate part which needs to be added to the outside of the steel wheel. Eight main wheels in total are made up along with a two drive sprockets and two idler wheels. Once all the wheels are constructed they can be added to the lower hull. Once the lower hull is complete construction moves to the upper hull. The hatches here can be left open, but as there is no interior there is little point. The rear grill is added along with spare tracklinks carried on the hull. The tracks are the next major parts to be added. Here you get individual track links, but they are not the type you click together, you will have to glue them. I suspect the best way is to do the lower run first and let it dry. The upper parts can be constructed, and when your glue is going off they should still be flexible enough to drape around the wheels to get the run looking right. Not the best solution. There are 92 links per side. The upper side covers for the tracks can now be built up. These feature equipment boxes on both sides with the front and rear mud guards being added. Once made up they can be attached to the upper hull. There are different configurations or the side parts depending on the country of the vehicle being made. The instructions are as clear as mud here, with a couple for the options being named, but the rest not. Given the various combinations of lockers etc the modeller should consult their references for the vehicle being modelled. Various grab handles, lights, cables etc can now be fitted as needed. There are also various tools and a ditching beam to add to the model. Once the main hull is completed then we move onto the main event for this kit, the turret with its twin 54mm guns. This is highly detailed with a full interior. Construction starts with the central mounting platform. This is the core of the gun system. All of the sighting and control systems will mount to this. The lower controls and sighting systems are built up and added to this central part. Crew seats are added, then the barrels go one, these are one piece each with well moulded muzzle brakes. Attention now moves to the inside of the main turret. The turret basket is made up. A full ammunition load is made up and added to the turret base, along with crew seats and controls. The turret basket can be added to the lower side and then the guns mounted. Additional ammunition is then added inside the turret. The main upper part of the turret is the next to receive attention. This single moulded part receives more ammunition stowage on the inside, and a series of grab handles on the outside. The rear turret basket is made up from photo-etch and added. The upper and lower turret parts can then be joined and fitted to the hull. The flexible cover can then be added to the rear of the turret. Decals These vehicles carried little in the way of markings, and even with a small decal sheet you are able to build 11 versions out of the box. Egyptian Army - Six Day War Finnish Army Iranian Army - Iran Iraq War Iranian Army PKK North Iraq/Kurdistan East German Army Red Army - Moscow Parade 1960 Serbian Army - Balkan War 1991 Syrian Army - Yom Kippur War 1973 North Vietnamese Army - Vietnam War - 2 different variants Conclusion This is a really good kit, just be careful with the tracks, and consult your references as the instructions are a little vague in places. It is good to see other tracked vehicles apart from tanks now appearing for modellers. Overall highly recommended Review sample courtesy of UK Distributors for
  23. King Tiger Sd.Kfz.182 Henschel Turret with Zimmerit – Full Interior (2045) 1:35 Takom via Pocketbond 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 Kit 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. If you're unfamiliar with Zimmerit, it was a paste containing sawdust that was applied at the factory beginning in December 1943 and ending in September 1944, designed to prevent magnetic mines from sticking to the sides of tanks. It was applied in a number of different patterns, but was mostly seen in short horizontal ridges as depicted on this kit. Late war production eschewed this protection to speed production and remove the danger of fire hazard, the latter turning out to be false. This is a complete new tooling from Takom, and the first to feature a full interior from the box in this scale, although more new KT kits are on the way shortly. The box shows the tank cut in half to show off the interior, on a white background, and has deep sides to accommodate the contents, although my box didn't survive shipping very well and will need a bit of repair. Inspecting the parts shows that the Zimmerit coating has been well-done, showing individual tooling marks for each indent and "crowding" of the marks around raised areas on the mantlet and rear bulkhead, meaning that someone has spent a lot of time researching and producing this aspect, rather than just copy-paste (excuse the pun) of blocks of texture onto the CAD designs. The weld seams have all been reproduced too, and the skin has been quoted as being of scale-thickness to accurately depict the interior size. This has been done by laminating parts around the hull, rather than risk sink marks on the delicate Zimmerit texture. The interior has been faithfully reproduced within the limits of injection moulding too, and really does beg you to leave open as many hatches as possible so that all the detail isn't lost to darkness. There are bound to be some modellers tempted to do a partial cut-away to expose yet more of the detail, and I'm sorely tempted myself, but will probably chicken out eventually. Inside the box are a lot of sprues, taking up almost all the available space. There are fifteen sprues, two hull parts and upper turret in a grey styrene, one sprue of clear parts, two sheets of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, two decal sheets, and three bags of tracks, with one each for the tracks and their links, plus another for spare links for the turret sides. The instruction guide is in the by-now-familiar Takom format, in landscape A4, with glossy cover and painting instructions to the rear. A separate interior painting guide is provided that works for either turret design, with labels showing which is which. Construction begins with the whe… No, the hull, actually. The lower hull is decorated with cross-members internally, the final-drive housings at the front, and along the interior sides inserts add all the extra detail as well as scale armour thickness that will be visible around the interior parts. Torsion bar bearings are added across the hull in long lines, which receive the two-part axle/torsion-bar combination later on. Various internal equipment enclosures and fuel tanks are added to floor, along with the driver's controls. Even the lower escape hatch is depicted, and has handles and locking wheel added before it is installed in the front floor. The road wheels are built into pairs and attached to the axles, with long bearings on the inner sets and short ones on the outer, so that they all line up. The driver's seat is a complex arrangement that is attached to the floor, with the final drive unit to its right, supplying the motive power to the two bell-housings and drive-sprockets. It also includes the steering column, with a quadrant style wheel on the left. The rear firewall of the crew compartment is then detailed and added at around two-thirds of the way back, creating the engine compartment with drive-shafts and transfer boxes reaching from the bulkhead to the rear of the final drive housing. The engine compartment is split longitudinally into three main compartment, with the power-pack in the central section, a radiator bath with fans on either side, and a pair of slope-sides fuel tanks using up the space over the rear wheels inside the sponsons. Each section is separated by bulkheads, which are inserted before the engine is built up from a large number of parts over a couple of pages of the instructions, with colour call-outs on the interior painting guide. Add some wiring, some grease and grime, and it should look superb. Additional hoses, panels and a final centrally mounted fuel tank are added behind the engine, all of which were interlinked to allow the driver to select where to draw the fuel from, and were even filled centrally from the rear filler cap. Parts of the hosing are included for good measure, although some is hidden from view. The two radiator housings are identical, and are topped off with a fan each, with another fuel tank outboard, as previously mentioned. A tread-plated panel with a large circular cut-out for the turret base is added to the aft of the crew compartment, along with a webbing across the forward section of the area, with ten machine-gun ammo bags attached ready for the bow gunner's use. All of the space over the sponsons is then filled with ammunition storage, which is represented by four trapezoid packs of shells in racks, which are built up from two or three layers of shells moulded to their racks, with PE percussion bases for each one. At this point all the lower hull parts are completed, with only the parts attached to the inside of the upper hull left to install, so that's where we go next. The upper hull has a separate panel including the driver and gunner's hatch, which fits into the hull along a fairly prominent panel line on the real thing. The edges of the insert are recessed and have recessed bolt-holes to allow the modeller to leave it off, or loose to show off the interior. Its underside has detail too, and a few raised ejector pin marks that are near some rivet lines, but away from much of the detail. The underside of the upper hull has some recessed ejector pin marks too, which will need filling level if you are serious about the realism of the interior, which will also behove you to remove the product code from the ceiling to the right of the insert. A selection of pioneer tools are included for attachment to the outer hull sides, and these have been supplied with little PE clasps that you bend into a U-shape to replace the kit lugs to better mimic the latches used by the Germans in WWII. These could have been done completely in PE, but would probably have alienated most purchasers, as they are notoriously tricky to complete, so this is a good compromise that promotes their use, while leaving the PE averse to use the plastic option rather than cut the lugs off. The engine deck is also separate from the upper hull, to allow for the subtle differences between production runs, whilst squeezing the maximum detail out of the area. The central armoured section has a large access panel with two mushroom vents in the centre, and this can be removed entirely (requiring a hoist for the real thing), or the inner section hinged open to reveal some of the detail of the engine. The radiator housing covers both have the circular armoured vent that is covered with a PE mesh guard, plus the two intake ducts, which are also covered over with PE mesh panels, but the right panel holds the extinguisher cartridge, while the left has the wire/bolt cutters lashed to it with another optional PE clasp. These covers hinge toward the centre, and have the hinge-notches laid out to allow them to be posed open or closed to further increase the detail on show just for the hell of it, or for diorama purposes. The array of towing cables are supplied as moulded parts with the barrel-cleaning rods moulded-in, which is perhaps a little retrograde in terms of detail, but makes the job of fitting them a lot easier, and with some sympathetic painting, they should look just as good as braided wire or cord. Flipping the upper hull over, the glacis plate is thickened to scale with an insert that has the kügelblende aperture moulded in, and the side armour is scaled by adding another insert on each side. Externally, the kügelblende's ball-mount is inserted from outside, then covered with a two-part armoured dome, which has the Zimmerit coating moulded into its surface, giving it a faceted look. The sides of the upper hull are coated entirely with Zimmerit patterning, which extends under the side skirt mounting points, which I have seen described as wrong, but after a little research, it appears that it was sometimes done at the factory, although never (or seldom) on the side skirts themselves. These were mounted by paired brackets on the hull, which are present in the moulding, in case you wanted to remove any or all the panels, and the skirts are provided as single parts from each side, with recesses in the back to accommodate the brackets without any cutting. Although moulded from styrene, the skirts have been given a very nice slender edge by chamfering the mould, the trick of which would only be exposed if you decided to remove any sections, or elected to inflict damage to the panels, as was frequently seen. If you intend the former, trimming the thickness at the breaks between panels will see you right, but the latter is probably better done using an aftermarket PE set to obtain the best scale thickness and ruggedness of the metal parts. Inside the upper hull the bow machine gun is installed with a pair of ammo bags of the kind attached to the bulkhead (and the rear of the turret ring too), and the raise/swivel mechanism for the hatch openers are also made up and inserted under the hinge-point on the deck. The front fenders attach to lugs moulded into the upper hull, and have the same chamfered edge to fool the eye into thinking they're thinner than they are. They are attached and have three small PE jointing parts locking them to the sloped edge of the side-skirt, and between them is fitted the single headlight and bracket with a styrene part portraying the wire coming from a small armoured gland on the front of the deck. Two armoured covers for the vision blocks are added to the tops of the driver's rotating periscope and the bow-gunner's fixed 'scope to finish off the upper hull. Tracks can be pretty tedious to put together, and if you ask different modellers, rubber-band, individual link, link-and-length, or full metal workable track links are the only way to travel. Speaking personally, it's only rubber-band tracks that grate on my nerves, as they merely bend around the end-of-run, and you don't get that faceted look that is present on many of the real things. In this kit you get individual links in two bags, as each track link is made from two sections that interlink. They are also handed, and only go on the sprockets one way – fact that isn't mentioned in the instructions, which also omits the number of links you'll need to make a complete run for each side. 96 of each type are included in the bags, so it's a fair bet that it's around 45 pairs per side. Gluing up the tracks into a run using liquid glue along a straight-edge and then wrapping them around the wheels and fixing them in place will usually result in a good finish, but if you want to paint them off the vehicle, it might be as well to build them in two sections so they can be removed. That's up to you of course! Each link has four very small ejector pin marks on the interior surface, which can be buffed off in seconds with a sanding stick, although you'll need a skinny one for the mark between the two guide-horns. Equally, you could just slather the tracks with some muck to hide these from view and forget all about them! With the tracks on, the upper hull is joined to the lower, and the front of the lower hull receives the big armoured plate-ends and final drive protection that incorporates the towing eye holes, with the towing shackles clipping over the holes and giving the impression of the real thing. RB Productions do a lovely set of brass shackles to upgrade the look here if you feel inclined. The rear bulkhead is detailed with the armoured access panels, the C-shaped track tools and jack-block, plus a multi-part jack that fits on long brackets at the bottom of the bulkhead. The exhausts are two parts each, and have hollow tips, but you will need to hide the seamline after gluing, which are then covered by large cast armoured shrouds with separate lifting lugs on their sides. The rear mudguards butt-fit on the bulkhead against the hinge-detail that is moulded into the panel, and the whole assembly is glued to the rear of the hull, being careful to line up the exhaust pipes with the holes in the bulkhead, which also has a couple of ejector pin marks to fill while we're there. Another pair of shackles clip over the holes in the aft of the side armour, and we finally get to the fun part. Who doesn't like a big turret? With a separate roof making removal of the (sadly necessary) ejector pin marks easier, they will be the first task, followed by mating the roof with the side shell and the front. Inside are a number of items such as the fume extractor, periscopes, extinguisher and the interior portion of the commander's cupola, plus the gunner's hatch with optional open or closed positions of the ram that controls its movement achieved by swapping parts, as per the scrap diagram. The large rear hatch was partly for escaping a doomed tank, but was also the only way of extracting the big 88mm gun without dismantling the turret. This version has the pistol port, and attaches to the rear of the turret by two large armoured covers that allow it to hinge down flat to the deck for ease of exit. On the roof the various mushroom vents, shell cartridge ejection port and lifting lugs are all glued in place along with all the track hangers on the turret sides, which fit on little pips moulded into the Zimmerit finish. The topside of the cupola is built up with the covered vision blocks and a mount for the commander's machine-gun, with the lift/rotate hatch fitting neatly in the centre, while the gunner has to slum it with his simple opening hatch as described earlier. The spare track links are bagged separately, but I can see no discernible difference between them and the tracks themselves, so I guess someone put them in as a last minute addition? With most builds, the turret would be almost finished, but with a full interior, the basket, breech and sighting gear are required, and these are built up on a circular base that fits into the bottom of the turret, with a serious amount of detail and plenty of parts making for a good looking assembly. You will need to curve a few PE panels around the inside of the turret aperture, but that's not outwith the bounds of the skills of most modellers, and leaving them off may be noticed. If you've not rolled PE before and don't have suitable tools, just fold up a piece of kitchen roll, place the PE on that and use a cylinder of some kind (pen barrel or X-Acto knife handle) to apply pressure as you roll it over the part gently. Keep testing the fit, and stop when you get there. The glue will hold the parts in place from thereon in, just remember to use Super Glue (CA). The bustle contains a pair of ready-ammo racks with 11 shells on each side of the access-way, which are supplied in the same style as the shells in the lower hull. The finished assemblies fit to panels that mate with the turret floor, and again there are PE bases to each one. The long-barrel Krupp 88mm KwK 43 L/71 was considerably longer than that mounted on the Tiger I, and could propel the shell significantly faster due to the new design, increasing its penetrating power immensely with the new Armour Piercing (AP) shells that were designed for it. Typically, the KT carried a mix of AP and High Explosive (HE), and this is accommodated on the second decal sheet, which includes the correct stencilling and painting guides. The full breech is depicted, and the part count is high, as you'd expect, with the completed assembly fitting unglued between two supports that attach to the floor of the turret to enable it to elevate once completed. With the breech fitted and the glue cured, the upper turret is slipped over the end of the breech and glued together, the circular mantlet is built up from three sections, and the one-piece barrel are both then glued to the breech, with the three-part muzzle brake added to the end of the solid barrel to give it a hollow tip. Before the turret is dropped into place on the hull, a pair of PE mesh panels are added to plastic frames and applied to the front of the engine deck. The turret is just drop-fit, so remember this when you're handling the finished model. Markings You get two options in the box, and of course the decal sheet is small – this is an armour kit afterall. Registration, colour density and sharpness are all good though, and from the box you can build one of the following: Tiger II Ausf.B, 3./s.H.Pz.Abt.503, No.301 Mailly De Camp, France, July 1944. Tiger II Henschel s.H.Pz.Abt.503, No.233 Budapest 1944. Both are painted in Dunkelgelb, Olivegrun and shokoladebraun camouflage but in different patterns, and the colour call-outs are in Mig AMMO, who also drew the profiles, with small advertisements to the sides showing the new paint sets that Takom and AMMO have collaborated on to coincide with this release. We've got a couple of sets in for review, so watch out for that in due course. The second sheet of decals contains stencils for the many shells, the driver's instruments and even the red cross for the first-aid box, all of which are small details that improve the look of any model. Conclusion This is a very nice kit of the lumbering pinnacle of German WWII armour, and there have been some nice examples of attention to detail and careful tooling of the moulds to improve or preserve detail. The full interior is well worth the additional effort, and despite my initial concerns that none of it would be seen, there are plenty of opportunities to leave various panels off that will allow you almost full access without cutting into the model. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of UK Distributors for
  24. We've just received stock of these greatly anticipated 1/35 scale Model Tank Kits from Takom Models. Including three excellent German King Tiger models with interior detail parts and a 2-in-1 Chinese PLA Type 59/69 Tank Kit. https://www.wonderlandmodels.com/blog/article/takom-tanks-stock-king-tiger-type-59-69/
  25. I'm getting into russian tanks in a big way, I'm going to work through a few, starting with this one. I like all the boxy armour stuff. Some sprue shots. Some PE Yep, those tracks again. At least the bag is more robust than the Chieftain's was. Took a while to work out that this is actually Sprue M, not a second sprue E. I like the subtle waves they molded into these plates Glorious turret and rubbery bit. correction to instructions, a bit weird. I made a start, the underside is nocely detailed, the wheel legs are complcated little things, with many small parts. I spent so long down here looking for A7 that it qualified as a valid part of the process worthy of a photo. No luck. The part just vanishes, no sound to idea how far it bounces... Wow! I lost this small handle for another model about 6 weeks ago! More wow, Takom somehow knew I would lose this part and included two spares! In fact, there are two spare drive sprockets on the sprue too? Takom included a pair of polycaps with the kit, but don't refer to them anywhere on the instructions? They look like they fit inside the front idler wheel but the peg the wheel fits onto is very short. Takom are crazy. With the wheel legs done (it is wheel legs right?) onto the hull top, which is split into three, presumably for versions. Just checking ahead to see what the instructions say about the tracks. These are the same 'instructions' as the chieftain, in other words, 'Here's a bag of links that don't clip together, good luck, brave modeler'. Cheers!