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Found 262 results

  1. Hi Here is my new finished kit with this reconnaissance fighter Dassault Mirage F1 CR from Special Hobby. This one is N°603 #33-NR of Escadron de Reconnaissance ER02.033 in 1988 in Chad. The shark mouth was added before going back to Reims AB, France. The vanilla/chocolate camouflage is typical of the Chad operations during the 1980s. She was loaded with two 1200 L fuel tanks, two Magic air-to-air missiles, a Phimat chaff dispenser under the starboard wing and a Barracuda ECM pod under the port wing. Patrick
  2. I.A.R. 80-A. 1:32

    I.A.R. 80-A Special Hobby 1:32 The IAR 80 was a Romanian World War II low-wing, monoplane, all-metal construction fighter aircraft and ground-attack aircraft. When it first flew, in 1939, it was comparable to most contemporary designs like the German Bf 109E, the British Hawker Hurricane, and the Supermarine Spitfire. However, production problems and lack of available armament delayed entry of the IAR 80 into service until 1941. It was forced to remain in front-line use until 1944, when – even if for some aspects outdated – it still could compete under certain conditions with more modern aircraft such as the Lockheed P-38 Lightning. Work began on the IAR.80 prototype in late 1937, originally with an open cockpit and the 870 hp (649 kW) IAR K14-III C32 engine which was a licensed Gnome-Rhône 14K II Mistral Major. The prototype was completed slowly, and first took to the air in April 1939. Test flights of the prototype were impressive; the aircraft could reach 510 km/h at 4,000 m (317 mph at 13,000 ft), service ceiling of 11,000 m (36,000 ft) with the ability to climb to 5,000 m (16,400 ft) in 6 minutes which was respectable at the time, though not up to the contemporary Supermarine Spitfire or Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighters. In comparison the P.24E was almost 450 kg lighter, yet over 80 km/h slower even though it used the same engine. The IAR.80 also proved to be a delight to fly and highly manoeuvrable. A number of minor problems turned up during the prototype phase, and were dealt with over the next year. To improve power the design was updated to mount the newer 930 hp (690 kW) C36 version of the K14-III. However this engine was slightly heavier than the C32, which required the fuselage to be stretched to move the center of gravity back into the proper position in relation to the wing. The extra space in the fuselage was put to good use by increasing the size of the fuel tanks to 455 l (100 imp gallons). The wing was also enlarged and the tail was revised to eliminate the bracing struts. Since the space was inserted behind the engine, the cockpit ended up further back on the aircraft. A side effect of this extreme rearward position was that the pilot had even worse forward visibility while taxiing than most other tail-draggers. To address this somewhat, the pilot's seat was raised slightly and a bubble-style canopy was added. The updated prototype was tested competitively against the Heinkel He 112, which had just arrived in Romania as the start of a potentially large order. Although the He 112 was somewhat more modern and much more heavily armed with two machine guns and two 20 mm cannon, the IAR.80 with its considerably more powerful engine completely outclassed it in all other respects. The ARR was impressed and ordered 100 of the new fighters on 18 December 1939. Orders for additional He 112s beyond the original 30 were cancelled. Production of the IAR.80 was to start immediately, although the armament proved to be a serious problem. The prototype had mounted only two Belgian-made Fabrique Nationale 7.92 mm machine guns, a licensed modification of the Browning 30 cal. This armament suite was clearly not heavy enough for combat use, and the production model was supposed to mount six of these guns. The German invasion of Belgium and the Low Countries in 1940 ended the supply of the FN guns, and there was no indigenous machine gun that was suitable for use in aircraft. Lacking armament, production was put on hold. It wasn't until November 1940 when Romania joined the Axis that the Germans eventually allowed the delivery of the guns to resume. As a result the first production IAR.80 didn't roll off the line until January 1941, although the first batch of 20 had been quickly delivered by the middle of February. The new armament supply still wasn't enough to fully equip the aircraft, so the production models only carried four guns. The production models also included new oxygen gear. The initial batch of fighters was well received by the Romanian pilots, but they considered the aircraft underpowered and lacking firepower. In order to address the power issue the aircraft mounted the 960 hp (716 kW) K14-IV C32 engine in the 21st through 50th examples, but there was little they could do about the firepower issue at the time. The Model The kit comes in a very attractive top opening box with an fine painting of an IAR 80-A in the foreground and its victim, a damaged Yak 3 diving away. Once you get the lid off, you are confronted with a single poly bag filled with six sprues of medium grey styrene, plus separate bags containing the clear styrene sprue, resin parts, etch sheet and decals. On inspection the styrene is very nicely moulded with finely moulded panels lines and details such as the rivets and “screw heads”. There doesn’t appear to be any blemishes or sink marks on any of the parts, but still has the feeling of a limited run kit, in that there are no attachment points on any of the parts, so careful fitting will be the order of the day before hitting the glue. The instruction booklet is very nicely printed in an A4 portrait format, which just feels quality. There is a very handy parts/sprue layout on the first two pages followed by five pages for the build. These could be a little clearer as it would be easy to confuse the colour call outs with the parts numbers. Take your time in reading the instructions before building to become acquainted with what’s what. The build naturally begins with the cockpit, which is quite complex and care will need to be taken with the rather fragile looking centre instrument panel support struts which are attached to the forward bulkhead. There is no floor in these aircraft just a pair of foot plates, which along with the seat, forward bulkhead and shoulder height deck that holds the structure together. Details, such as the two piece joystick, four piece rudder bar, (including etched foot straps), lower instrument panel. Main instrument panels, trim wheel and various other controls make up into a very busy looking cockpit. The seat itself is made up of nine parts and is finished off with a set of etched lap and shoulder straps. The five piece gunsight, with two glass segments looks superb. With the cockpit completed, the insides of the fuselage halves can be detailed with items such as the fire extinguisher, throttle, complete with control rods, and gear retraction lever and painted up accordingly. The cockpit is then attached to one half along with the engine mounting disc, before the fuselage can be closed up. Moving on to the wings, which are provided as a single piece lower and two upper sections. These are joined together and fitted with the machine gun barrels, pitot probe, intake grilles and navigation lights, (for which a 0.8mm hole will need to be drilled into the wingtips before fitting). The flaps and ailerons each consist of upper and lower halves and can be positioned as per the modeller’s wishes. There are two types of flap hinges provided, one set for raised flaps and another set for lowered. The ailerons are fitted with both hinges and mass balances. The completed wing can now be attached to the fuselage. The tailplanes are assembled in much the same way with upper and lower halves for each and with separate rudder and elevators all attached to the rear fuselage. Before moving on, the beautifully detailed gunsight is assembled and fitted to the forward bulkhead of the cockpit before the windscreen and canopy are fitted. The aerial mast is slid through the hole in the windscreen framing and there are clear diagrams to ensure the modeller achieves the correct angle, so be aware. The engine is a model in itself and going by the instructions will be a complex build in which care and patience will be required in spades. Especially as although the instructions are pretty clear, the number of red lines showing different parts positions does make it a mite confusing. The front and rear banks of cylinders come in two halves, which when assembled are joined together, followed by the crankcase and flange ring. The valve rods come in individual or paired parts, which is why the modeller will need to take care on what goes where. To the rear of the engine the intake manifold is assembled from individual pipes attached to the manifold ring before being fitted. For the exhausts the two main parts are in very nicely rendered resin, onto which the individual exhaust manifolds are attached before fitting to the engine. The completed engine is now attached to the mounting ring on the fuselage and encased in the three part cowling, which is then detailed with etched cowl flaps. It’s a shame that such a beautifully detailed engine is all covered up, so I’d imagine some modellers opening up the access panels in the cowl to show it all off. Turning the model over there are quite a few details to add, these include the two piece car intake, the five piece centreline bomb rack and the tail skid. The undercarriage is each made up of single piece main legs/oleos which includes one half of the wheel axle yoke, two piece wheels/tyres and the other half of the axle yoke. Each of the undercarriage bay doors are detailed with individual flange pieces and strengtheners before being fitted to either the undercarriage leg or the wing. The actuator jack and scissor links are then attached to their respective positions. Again, separate clear diagrams show the angles required for the undercarriage legs and doors. The final part to the build is the assembly of the propeller, which is assembled from three separate blades, the back plate and the spinner, then attached to the model, not forgetting the addition of the aerial wire once painting has been completed. Decals The single decals, designed by Radu Brinzan are really well printed, by AVIPRINT of The Czech Republic. Register and opacity are good and there appears to be very little in the way of carrier film. The coloured markings are bright and vivid. The markings are for four aircraft, all in variations of the standard Olive green, over light blue grey and yellow fuselage and cowling bands. The aircraft depicted are:- I.A.R.80-A “Anghel”, Escadrilla 47 Vanatoare, Grupil 9, Aerodrome de Pipera, Bucarest, Agust 1942. I.A.R.80-A Escadrilla 53 Vanatoare, Mamaia, July 1942 I.A.R.80-A “Felicia”, Escadrilla 47 Vanatoare, Grupil 9, Pipera, Bucarest, Summer 1942. I.A.R.80-A “Mamy” Escadrilla 47 Vanatoare, Grupil 9, Pipera, Bucarest, Summer 1942. Conclusion This aircraft, in my view, falls into the familiar but still unusual camps. I certainly knew of the aircraft, but didn’t know much about the genesis of the design and it’s quite successful use in the hands of the Romanian pilots. The kit itself is very nicely produced, and even in its short run format it should build into an interesting and colourful model. The detail is certainly there, yet I’m sure there are those who could do wonders with some additional scratch building. All in all a very nice kit and recommend it highly, with the caveat that you will need to take care in the areas mentioned above. Review sample courtesy of
  3. Hi all, I recently picked up this kit and thought I'd share my progress on BM Obligatory sprue shot Before I begin is there are faults or problems in this kit that should know about before I start? -Cam
  4. Special Hobby is to release in 2018 a 1/48th Dornier Do.24 kit - ref. SHxxxxx Source: http://www.specialhobby.info/2017/12/special-hobby-newsletter-january-2018.html V.P.
  5. Special Hobby is to release in 2018 a family of Armstrong Whitworth Meteor nightfighters kits incl. NF.11/12/13 & 14 - ref. SH72358, 72360, 72363 & 72364 Source: http://www.specialhobby.net/2017/12/sh72358360363364-aw-meteory-nf.html Canopies mould V.P.
  6. Special Hobby is to release in January 2018 a 1/72nd Messerschmitt Me.209V-1 kit - ref. SH72138 Source: http://www.specialhobby.net/2017/12/sh72138-messerschmitt-me-209v-1-sh72340.html Box art V.P.
  7. We've added the latest forthcoming Eduard, AZ Models and Special Hobby kits to our future release section on our website! http://mjwmodels.co.uk/future-releases-by-manufacturer-383-c.asp We've added the following kits - Eduard 1/48 Fw190A (early) Royal Class set, Messerschmitt Bf109G-14 Profipack, Aero L-29 Delfin Profipack - also the Kinetic two Seat Harrier! AZ Models 1/72 kits - Curtiss Mohawk Mk III, P-36A and C (Pearl Harbour markings included), Saunders Roe SR 53 (2 boxings), Martin Baker MB 6 (2 boxings) Eduard 1/72 kits - Fw190A 'Grunherz' Dual Combo set. Special Hobby 1/72 kits - Kittyhawk Mk Ia (P-40E) and P-40N Warhawk All kits are at discounted prices (provisional at the moment) and the Eduard kits are at very good prices (we expect the Bf109G-14 to go down in price to what we have advertised it for), much better than the big retailers! If anyone is interested in them, please put your email in the box provided to be notified when they are in stock, so you can place an order. We expect the December Eduard releases to be here next week hopefully! thanks Mike
  8. HA-1112 M-1L Buchón 'Ejercito del Aire' 1:72 Special Hobby The Hispano Aviación HA-1112 was a licence-built version of the Messerschmitt Bf 109, manufactured in Spain but fitted with a variety of different powerplants. The M1L was the final variant of the type and was named Buchón (Rock Dove). It was fitted with the Rolls Royce Merlin V12 and Rotol propeller, both readily available from UK postwar surplus. The new engine further altered the appearance of the HA-1112, giving it a prominent chin intake. Although hopelessly outdated at the time of its introduction into service in the mid-1950s, the Buchón was considered to be perfectly adequate for its intended role helping to police Spanish territories in Africa. The availability of the anachronistic Buchón was a boon for postwar film makers, who were famously able to use it in place of the Bf 109 in films such as Battle or Britain and Dunkirk. This is a re-release of Special Hobby's Buchón, which first saw the light of day in 2014. The package is identical to that release, right down to the marking options. The kit comprises two sprues of light grey plastic, a small fret of photo etched parts and resin engine exhausts and gun barrels. The cockpit is classic Special Hobby in that it's a mixed media affair, with plastic parts for the main structures and photo etched details for the seat harnesses, rudder pedals and various sidewall details. The overall effect should look great, particularly given the cockpit canopy is moulded as a single part. Once complete, the cockpit can be sandwiched between the fuselage halves and the upper and lower cowling fixed in place. The latter part includes a photo etched part for the engine air intake grille. In common with most kits of this type, the lower wing is moulded as a single span, with separate upper wing halves. Some basic structural details are moulded onto the inner face of the upper wing, but keen modellers will want to add more detail to this area. The landing gear legs themselves are nice, with photo etched torque links adding a little touch of finesse. The underwing radiators are particularly good, with photo etched parts and the ability to finish them in open or closed position. Ordnance comprises a drop tank and a pair of rockets, while finishing touches such as the gun barrels and exhausts are finished in resin or, in the case of the wings fences, photo etched brass. The decal sheet provides for three options: HA-1112 M1L (C4K-9) Buchón, 71-5, nicknamed Mapi, 71. escuadrón, Gupo de Caza 7, Los Rodeos airfield, Tenérife, Canary Islands, 1958. This aircraft is finished in dark green and dark olive over light blue/grey. HA-1112 M1L (C.4K-12) Buchón , 71-11, nicknamed Checa, 71. escuadrón, Gupo de Caza 7, Los Rodeos airfield, Tenérife, Canary Islands, 1958. This aircraft is finished in an attractive overall blue scheme. HA-1112 M1L (C4K-104) Buchón, 36-407, 364. Escuadron, El Aaiun airbase, Spanish Sahara, 1963. This aircraft is finished in silver over blue. Conclusion Special Hobby's Buchón is a nice little kit, and popular too judging by the speed with which it has been reissued. Construction looks straightforward, but some experience with photo etch might be helpful as quite a lot of what is provided is essential to the construction of the model. Overall, this is a nice kit an can be highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  9. Based on the old AZUR Loire 130M kit (ref.A051), Special Hobby is to release mid 2018 a 1/48th Loire 130CI "Colonial" kit - ref. SH48182 Source: http://www.specialhobby.net/2017/11/sh48182-loire-130-cl-148.html Box art V.P.
  10. I first wanted to do a Sea Balliol after seeing a picture of Captain Eric Brown taking off from an aircraft carrier in a Balliol. I've got a resin version in the stash but the Special Hobby version is much more up my street. Mainly injection moulded with a bit of etch. I think the cockpit etch, especially the seatbelt/harness is a bit oversize. But here it is. Built pretty much OOB. It went together OK but the canopy seems over big and needed some filling around it. Revell Aluminium for the airframe,Tamiya red for the recognition stripes and Citadel yellow for the 'trainer' stripes. So here is WP328 from the the Maintenance Test Unit at RNAS Abbotsinch in 1963. A rather nice little aeroplane
  11. SB2C-5 Helldiver "The Final Version" 1:72 Special Hobby The Curtiss SB2C Helldiver was, as the name suggests, a dedicated divebomber which replaced the Douglas SBD Dauntless in US Navy Service. The design was beset by problems and its entry into service was severely delated while Curtiss attempted to resolve all of the flaws. The final production version was the SB2C-5 which was able to carry more fuel, featured a revised paddle-shaped propeller, enlarged bomb bay and revised cockpit canopy with simplified framing. It was also equipped with the AN/APS-4 radar. The SB2C-5 was delivered just in time to participate in the final skirmishes of the War. It survived in US Navy service for a short time after the War, but the real twilight of its career was through the post-War military aid programme. SB2C-5s were delivered to Italy, Greece, Portugal and Thailand. The Italian Helldivers flew until 1959, while Greek were deployed against communist insurgents during the Greek Civil War. French Helldivers were deployed in French Indo-China against the Viet-Minh and were used in the unsuccessfull operation to liberate Dien Bien Phu. All-in-all, quite a career for an aircraft that some considered to be a failure. As you might have spotted, this is Academy´s SB2C-4 kit with extra parts produced by Special Hobby to enable construction of the Dash 5 version. I shan't go into great detail about Academy's kit, save to say that it is accurate, well detailed and throughly modern. The kit has a good reputaton, and deservedly so. Special Hobby's extra parts include the enlarged bomb bay doors, the spinnerless paddle-shaped propeller and the revised canopy. The kit also includes a range of resin ordnance, including napalm tanks, the AN/APS-4 radar and rockets for the underwing hardpoints. Also included are resin wheels, complete with detailed tyre tread and separate hub covers. The decal sheet provides for four options: SB2C-5 89357, Flottille 3F, Aéronavale, French Indo-China, 1954. This aicraft operated from the carrier Arromanches; SB2C-5 215, VB-9, USS Lexington, US Navy, Pacific Ocean, August/September 1945; SB2C-5 80036, Italian Aeronautica Militare, 1950-55; and SB2C-5 3329, No.336 Squadron, Larissa, Hellenic Air Force, 1949. Conclusion It's interesting to see Special Hobby release another manufacturers kit with their own additional parts and decals in order to produce another version. The Academy kit is already a very good kit, while the addition of Special Hobby's extra parts opens up some great new possibilities and some attractive schemes. Overall, this is a nice kit an can be highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  12. Here's my entry into the Radial Engines Rock GB, Special Hobby's Tempest II in 1/72nd, No.33 Sqn based in Butterworth in 1951. Not a bad fitting kit, the main wing was the worse aspect, good job they include 2 vacform canopies as well. Vallejo ModelAir paint, decals by Xtradecal, rockets by Pavla.
  13. Model 239 Buffalo "Taivaan Helmi over Findland" 1:48 Special Hobby The Buffalo was designed by the Brewster Aeronautical Corporation in 1935 a US Navy requirement for a carrier based fighter to replace the Grumman F3F Biplane. As such it was one of the first US monoplane fighters. The prototype first flew in 1937 with deliveries commencing in 1939. Brewster had production difficulties and only 11 of the early F2A-1 aircraft were delivered to the USN with the remainder of the order being diverted to the Finnish Air Force. The US Navy and Marine Corps would order and receive the later F2A-2 and F2A-3 models although it was realised by this time that the Buffalo was no match for more modern fighters. It had been suggested that the later orders were just to keep the Brewster factories running, in fact they would later go on to produce Corsairs and other aircraft for the USN. Overseas Finland ordered the aircraft in 1939, the aircraft being assembled by SAAB in Sweden. The Finnish after initial doubts liked the aircraft. The cooler weather in Finland solved overheating problems with the engine, and the aircraft went on to become a success with 477 Soviet aircraft being destroyed for only 19 Buffalos. Belgium had ordered the aircraft but only one was delivered before the country fell to the advancing Germans. Their order was subsequently transferred to the British. The British facing a shortage of combat aircraft purchased the Buffalo. The original assessment by the RAF was not brilliant. The aircraft lacked pilot armour, was under gunned, had poor altitude performance and there were issues with overheating, maintenance and controls. The UK still ordered 170 aircraft which were sent to Australia, New Zealand and the RAF. The aircraft were initially sent out to the Far East. The aircraft were plagued with reliability problems in the hot climate, performance was poor, and the pilots did not have adequate training on the aircraft. Given all these problems and the superior numbers of Japanese aircraft the Buffalos did not fair that well. Some did escape to the Dutch East Indies where they would join those operated by the Netherlands East Indian Army. In Finnish service the aircraft arrived too late for the winter war but did take oart in the continuation war. The Finnish pilots like the Buffalo and called it Taivaan Heli "The Haven Pearl". Many pilots would become aces flying it with H Wind scoring 39 of his total 75 victories flying the Buffalo. With the arrival of Bf 109s the Buffalos were considered obselete but they fought untill the end of the continuation war, with the last battles being against their former allay of Germany. They were retired from service in 1948. The Kit Even in 1:48 this is a small aircraft. The kit is the original Classic Airframes molding and so is mixed media with injected plastic, resin and photo etched parts. In a break from tradition construction starts not with the cockpit but with the wheel wells inside the wings. The resin wells are placed inside the wings before they can be assembled. Luckily tradition resurfaces with the wings as the are conventional single part lower, and left & right uppers. A ventral pnael is also installed under the main wings at this time. The gun front gunbay/wheelbay is then made up, this sits between the cockpit and the engine. The rear bulkhead forms the front of the cockpit, and the front bulkhead the engine firewall. The top of the compartment forms the gun bay with the guns and ammo boxes, and the lower part the main gear retraction parts. Once made up it can be installed in the completed wing section. The cockpit fllor is then installed on the rear, and the engine and its mounts on the front. The cockpit floor parts are then installed on this section as well. Moving on to the main fuselage the rear cockpit bulkhead, rear shelf behind the pilot and the tail wheel area are all installed into the right fuselage. This is then installed onto the wing section. All the cockpit parts including the seat, instrument panel, controls etc are then installed onto the cockpit. The main fuselage can then be closed up. The tail cone, tail planes and engine cowl front can then be added. The framing for the area behind the cockpit is then added. The modeller can now move onto the landing gear. The tailwheel needs the moulded wheel removing from the housing and the correct wheel added on. The left & right main gear weels are added to the legs, the retraction struts added and then they can go into the fuselage. The outer doors are then added. To finish off the canopies and propeller are added along with the a few aerial and other small parts. Markings Markings for 4 aircraft are provided. The decals are by Cartograf so should post no problems. The Finnish markings are in two parts for obvious reasons. BW-393, Pilot Hans Wind, Finlands Top scoring ace with 75 victories, 39 in Buffalos, 1/LLv.24, Suulajarvi, April 1943 BW-393, Pilot Kni Eino Luukhanen, He marked his victories with Lahden Erikois beer bottle labels stuck to the fin. 1/LLv.24, Suulajarvi, Nov 1942 BW-378, Pilot Kni Per-Erik Sovellius, Otto Werde was painted under the canopy for Swedish Baron Hugo Hamilton who raised funds for the aircraft. 4/LLv.24, Lunkula, Herbst/Winter 1941 Conclusion Even though this kit is an older one now the parts are still good and the model should build up to a good looking aircraft in markings you dont see to often. Recomended. Review sample courtesy of
  14. Hello everyone! I just saw this notice from Special Hobby that they're discontinuing all their Azur and MPM kit lines. They're now running a 50% off sale to close out their inventories of them. Anyone else here catch wind of this and what's behind it all? Are the moulds going to be taken into the Special Hobby line? Eliminated entirely and redone, eventually, with new tooling? Special Hobby Website Announcement - Plastic & Steel Online - Azur and MPM product lines are being discontinued now!
  15. Just wanted to share some pics of one of my latest finished models. Supermarine Seafire FR.46, LA546 / 600 LM, RNAS Lossiemouth, 1948. From the Special Hobby kit #72231, just added a few details in scratch, a new instrument panel, scribed some lost panel lines and rivetted the whole airframe. Here's the model: And a picture of the real thing... Hope you like it! UnCarlitosModelista
  16. Special Hobby is to release 1/72nd Messerschmitt Me.209V-1 & V-4 kits - ref. SH72138 & SH72221 Source: http://happy.ap.teacup.com/runchicken_s/ V.P.
  17. Hello I have just finished in time this 1/72 Special Hobby Boulton-Paul Balliol as the factory demonstrator aicraft #G-ANSF in a nice red and white dress for the "Made in Britain" GB. The red came from acrylic range Gunze Sangyo H-33 Russet which is not visible on the pictures. You can go to work in progress here : Patrick
  18. Hello Here is my new finished kit with this 1/72 Special Hobby Nakajima Ki-43-III when used by the Armée de l'air (French Air Force) in Indochina between December 1945 and February 1946. The GC I/7 Provence stationed at Po Chen Tong near Phnom Penh when they used less than a dozen former Japanese Army Air Force Nakajima fighters. There were many accidents and after a couple of months they were replaced by Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX, and this is another story. The kit is easy to assemble. For the very worn effect I painted first the kit with Alclad Duralumin. Next I applied with a piece of sponge some masking fluid before airbrushing the dark green. After one hour I peeled off the paint with the finger. I made the same for the yellow identification markings. I saw on the pictures that the metal blades of the propeller were in perfect conditions. The transfers came from two sheets on the subject by Printscale. I say two because the transfers are too thin and after the first I could see the mottle effect through the white and red transfers. Then I bought another sheet to put exactly a second layer of the same transfers. Patrick
  19. Letov Š.328v “Czechoslovak Floatplane” 1:72 Special Hobby Letov was one of the most important manfacturers of aircraft in pre-war Czechoslovakia. The Š.328 was a development of the Š.28, a multi-role biplane which entered service in 1935. Until the occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1939, the type was primarily assigned to reconnaissance and light bomber units. Despite its obvious obsolescence, the type remained in service after the outbreak of the Second World War. It was used in a variety of roles including reconnaisance, bombing and anti-partisan activities. Four Letov Š.328 were used as target tugs operating in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. These aircraft were fitted with a metal floats, but could be converted back to standard undercarriage for use in the winter months. Special Hobby's Š.328 is one of the Prague-based firms more recent offerings, having first seen the light of day in 2015. This, the third iteration of the kit, comes with extra plastic parts for the floats, as well as resin and photo etched parts for the target winch system and float rudders. The other three sprues of grey plastic parts are the same as those supplied with earlier versions of the kit. Construction starts with the winch system and engine before moving on to the cockpit. The interior part of the target winch is cast as a single piece of resin, while the exterior part is a mixture of resin and photo etch. The cockpit comprises the tubular framework of the sidewalls, as well as the usual control column, seats and instrument panels. The small observation windows on either side of the fuselage do not need to be fixed in place before the cockpit parts as they are thankfully fitted from the outside. Once the fuselage halves have been joined together, the flying surfaces can be added. The vertical tail is moulded as part of the fuselage, but the rudder is a seperate part. The elevators are moulded in place with the horizontal tail, with a pair of extra support braces on either side. Both wings are moulded as solid parts. The lower wing fits into the underside of the fuselage, while the upper wing relies on eight struts for its strength. I don't imagine it will be a particularly easy job to align everything correctly, but those practiced in the dark arts of biplane assembly shouldn't find it too challenging. The floats fit onto the fuselage by virtue of four struts. As with the wings, care and patience will be needed in order to ensure everything lines up nicely. interestingly, Special Hobby have included a note explaining that all of the aircraft featured on the decal sheet can be fitted with the standard wheeled undercarriage if desired, as the four floatplanes were converted back to conventional use during the winter months. A couple of rigging diagrams are included. Although the target tugs were unarmed. twin machine guns are included as one aircraft had these fitted specifically for the 1937 national aviation exhibition in Prague. The decal sheet provides for four aircraft, all practically identical apart from serial numbers and minor differences between the pennants. They are Š.328v 18, 19, 20 and 21, all of the Czechoslovak Air Detachment, Kumbor, Bay of Kotor, Kindom of Yugoslavia (modern day Montenegro), 1936. The decals themselves are nicely printed, with bold colours. Conclusion Special Hobby's Š.328v is an interesting kit of an elegant interwar biplane. In floatplane guise, it looks very similar to a Fairey Swordfish, albeit slightly more slender in the fuselage. I can just picture them cruising lazily around the sin-kissed Adriatic coastline in the years before the outbreak of war. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  20. Hello I am joining this Group Build with this training aircraft which is the Boulton Paul Balliol. As I have been seduced by the box art of this recent kit made by Special Hobby, here she is in civilian guise. This airplane was used as a demonstrator. First I started to make the cockpit with the metal and injected parts from the box. The instrument panel was made of a picture behind the metal part Next I painted the cockpit with mainly a very dark grey I glued the cockpit in the starboard fuselage half To be continued... Patrick
  21. Gloster Meteor Mk.IV 'World Speed Record' 1:72 Special Hobby The twin-engined Gloster Meteor was jointly developed by Frank Whittle’s Power Jets Limited and the Gloster Aircraft Company. It was first flown in March 1943. When 616 Squadron commenced operations on the type in July 1944, it became the first jet fighter to enter operational service with the Royal Air Force. Forbidden to fly the Meteor over occupied territory, 616 Squadron used the new aircraft to combat the threat of V-1 flying bombs, eventually accounting for 14 of them. The design evolved considerably in the post-war period, spawning night fighters, reconnaissance aircraft and target tugs among other variants. The Mk. IV was the first major post-war variant. It was powered by Derwent 5 engines, housed in elongated nacelles. Additional wing strengthening was incorporated into the design, but was found to be insufficient. The clipped wing was introduced in order to reduce stress on the airframe, resulting in improved maneuverability but reduced rate of climb and service ceiling. The type was used to set a number of speed records, a fact which this edition of the kit celebrates. Special Hobby's Meteor is a tried and tested kit, having been released in multiple guises by Special Hobby themselves, Revell and (briefly) Airfix. The cockpit is well detailed for the scale, and there is a decal for the instrument panel. Nose weight is an absolute must, and there should be enough space for this in the area of the nose in front of the cockpit. The lower wing is moulded as a single span up to and including the engine nacelles, with seperate outer wings, while the upper wing is split into four parts. If you want to build the overall blue aircraft, you'll need to use the clipped outer wings, while the other three aircraft all have the regular MK.III style wing. The landing gear is nicely detailed, but joins to the landing gear bays by way of a simple butt joint, so watch out as it could be easily broken off once fitted. The canopy is pretty good, and Special Hobby have included masks for all of the different marking options provided on the decal sheet. This is handy as some of these machines had specially adapted canopies. The decal sheet provides for three options: Meteor EE455, a Mk.III converted to a Mk.IV and flown by Gloster Chief Test Pilot Eric Greenwood OBE, who achieved a speed of 603mph on 7 November 1945. This aicraft is finished in yellow, with silver outer wings and horizontal tail; Meteor EE454, another Mk.III converted to a Mk.IV and flown by Wing Commander Hugh Joseph Wilson, AFC and two Bars, who achieved a speed of 606mph on 7 November 1945. This aircraft is finished in standard Ocean Grey and Dark Green over Medium Sea Grey camouflage; Meteor EE549, an adapted Mk.IV with modified canopy (for which paint masks are included), flown by Group Captain E.M. Donaldson, who achieved a speed of 616mph; and Meteor EE549, another adapted Mk.IV with clipped wings. This aicraft established a new Paris-London record of 520mph on the return from the 1946 Parish Air Show. It is finished in overall pale blue. Conclusion Special Hobby has the day fighter Meteor market pretty sewn up, but it's still good to see them using their tooling to release some special scheme boxings like this. The overall package is pretty complete, partcularly with the addition of paints masks, decals and full-colour painting diagram. Overall, this is a nice kit an can be highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  22. There's been several excellent Firefly builds on the forum over the past few years and I thought it high time that I dusted off my special hobby kit and gave it a go myself. I'll be using all the information gleaned from the previous builds, in particular that of Navy Bird who was brave enough to build two Special Hobby kits of these wonderful aircraft as once. Australian Fairey Firefly stickers are pretty hard to come but I did manage to secure what appears to be a more recent printing from Red Roo depicting VX388/207Q (AS5) from HMAS Vengeance and VX385/205K (Mk5) from HMAS Sydney in 1953 latter Korean War schemes. I'm very tempted by VX388 which just happens to now reside at the Camden Museum of Aviation and was the subject of Navy Bird's target tug version. Here she is in Stewart Wilson's excellent Sea Fury, Firefly and Sea Venom book. I also have a hankering to represent a Mk.4 from HMAS Sydney during the late 1940's with a Dark Slate Grey/EDSG/Sky scheme. I have the following airframe in mind which is here being flown by one of my late father's friends, and still with Royal Navy codes. I'd need to cobble together some stickers of course which may be the hardest part of that scheme but I'd also be unsure about cockpit colours, whether it was all black as in the latter marks, or had one or more cockpits in interior green. Still some time to decide. Progress to date has involved separating the resin cockpit components from the pour blocks wearing the requisite gloves, mask and eye protection, and tidying up the fuselage halves. A coat of primer can't be too far away. As this is my first resin cockpit, I might also ask what glue do people prefer with resin - superglue (cringe) or epoxy (messy)?
  23. Nakajima Ki-115 Tsurugi 1:72 Special Hobby The Nakajima Ki-115 Tsurugi (sabre) was a kamikaze aircraft designed for the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force towards the end of the Second World War. In the absence of a large number of obsolete aircraft being available for suicide attacks, the Japanese command decided that a simple, cheap aircraft should be designed in case a last-ditch effort to halt an Allied invasion would be required. The resulting aircraft was designed to be easy to build (the fuselage has a circular cross-section rather than elliptical) and used mainly non-strategic materials such as wood and steel. The undercarriage was designed to be jettisoned after take off - a grim reminder of the one-way journey its pilots were expected to take. The aircraft was designed to be able to use any surplus or obsolete engine from stocks. In the end, the prototype was fitted with the Nakajima Ha-35 radial engine, and it is unknown if any other engine was ever fitted. By all accounts, the resulting aircraft was extremely challenging to fly by anyone other than experienced pilots, which was not ideal for a kamikaze aircraft. The design of a revised version, intended to address these shortcomings, was interrupted by the end of the War. It's good to see Special Hobby re-releasing some of their back catalogue. There are quite a few kits that I didn't think would see the light of day and it will be interesting to see what else they bring back over the next few years. Returning to the Tsurugi, the kit is as simple as the real aircraft. A single sprue of plastic is all you need, although there are a few resin parts, mainly for the bomb and engine, as well as a small fret of photo etched details. The cockpit is surprisingly well detailed, with a seat, instrument panel, control column, rudder pedals and throttle controls. Photo etched parts are used to provide fine detail to the rudder pedals and instrument panel, while there are also etched harnesses for the pilot's seat. Typically for a low-wing monoplane, the lower wing is moulded in a single span, with separate upper surfaces. None of the control surfaces are moulded separately and the horizontal stabilisers are solid parts too. In contrast, the engine is richly detailed. The cowling is split into two halves, while there are 12 tiny exhaust pipes as well as the resin engine itself. The undercarriage is as basic as you would expect, and of course there are no landing gear bays. The propellor has been moulded as one part, with a separate spinner. There are a couple of air intakes to fit to the forward fuselage, as well as some basic slats, which affix to the trailing edge of the wing via tiny photo etched hinges. This will probably be the only tricky part of what looks to be a very straightforward build. The canopy is moulded in two parts and is thin and clear. The decal sheet provides for three options: ⦁ Ki-115, September 1945. This option depicts the first scheme worn by the Tsurugi. It comprises a black anti-glare panels and Hinomaru; ⦁ Ki-115, September 1945. This is the option shown on the box artwork It comprises the same black anti-glare panels and Hinomaru, but the latter are painted on a small area of IJA Green camouflage and have white outlines; ⦁ Ki-115, September 1945. This is the final scheme worn by the prototype, with overall IJA Green camouflage and grey-green under surfaces. Conclusion From time-to-time I review a kit that really appeals to me, regardless of the subject. This is a really nice little model. Despite its simplicity it is well detailed and nicely executed. I can't see how it would take longer than a week to build, and it will take up hardly any space on your model shelf. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  24. Asian Elephant - 1/72 CMK

    Asian Elephant 1:72 CMK It's not ivory day that an item as original as this lands on the BM review desk. While an elephant might seem to be an unusual choice, it's good to see that CMK refuse to be part of the herd and are happy to produce items that are a little left of field. So let's see if they are up to the tusk, or if this product is, in fact, a white elephant. The overall size and shape of the beast looks good to me, and the features of the Elephas maximus indicus appear to have been captured accurately. The casting is pretty good, but there is a large casting seam running along the spine of the creature, as well as a few bubbles on the surface. This surprised me, as I've never encountered problems with CMK resin in the past. Perhaps this one just needs a pachydermitologist. Conclusion It's great to see that some manufacturers can maintain the elephant of surprise and bring us some genuinely interesting items. Far from being irrelephant, this item will be a fantastic addition to many dioramas from the Asian theatre of war. Thanks a ton, but I'm afraid that's all the elephant puns rhino. Review sample courtesy of
  25. Heinkel He 115 "Scandinavian Service" Special Hobby 1:48 The Heinkel He 115 was the most successful German floatplane of the Second World War, and served as a reconnaissance and attack aircraft. When the Luftwaffe was officially established on 1 March 1935 the Heinkel He 59 was its only twin-engined floatplane. In July the Air Ministry issued a replacement for its replacement. This was to be a twin-engined aircraft that could act as a long range reconnaissance, torpedo bomber, minelayer or fog dispenser. The first prototype made its maiden flight in August 1937. Early test flights revealed that it was difficult to fly, but Heinkels designers were quickly able to solve this problem, and the resulting aircraft gained a very favourable reputation for its handling. The second prototype, V2, was similar to the V1, but with an improved nose, new tail surfaces, and NACA type engine cowlings. V3 had the separate cockpit canopies of the pilot and radio operator replaced by a single glasshouse canopy, while the V4 was the production prototype, with an improved tail and float supports. During the development process the original rather ungainly nose was replaced by the streamlined glazed nose used in production aircraft. The He 115 was in competition with the Ha 140. After tests in Lübeck Bay early in 1938 the Heinkel design was judged to be superior, and was put into production. After undergoing flight tests the V1 was modified in preparation for a series of record attempts. The early nose was replaced with a smooth wooden version, the radio operator and observer were both removed (a mechanic was carried), and a streamlined canopy installed. On 20 March 1938 the modified V1 set eight records, carrying a series of loaded from 0kg to 2000kg over 1,000km and 2,000km courses. These records were only held for eight days, before being broken by a CANT Z 509. The He 115 was an all-metal stressed-skin aircraft, with a slim streamlined fuselage. The mid-mounted wings had a rectangular centre section and tapering outer panels, and carried two BMW 132K engines (based on the Pratt & Whitney Hornet). The three man crew were carried in three cockpits. The observer was located in the glazed nose, with a bombsight and an MG15. The pilot was located just above the wing leading edge, and the radio operator/ rear gunner above the trailing edge. In the prototype the pilot and radio operator had been given separate canopies, but in production aircraft a single 'greenhouse' canopy was used, connecting their positions. An internal weapons bay was installed between the wings, and could carry either a 1,763lb torpedo or three SC 250 bombs (550lb each). The six aircraft exported to Norway soon found themselves being used against the Germans. At the end of the Norwegian campaign three of the Norwegian aircraft and a captured German aircraft escaped to Britain, where they were given an heavier armament of four forward firing and four rear firing machine guns, and used for clandestine operations. Two went to Malta, from where they were used to drop agents in German occupied North Africa, while two were used for the same purpose over Norway, operating from Scotland. These aircraft were withdrawn in 1942. One aircraft deemed unfit to be flown to the UK was flown to Finlandposing as a civilian aircraft. While the Fins interned the aircraft they let the crew go. The aircraft was used for ferry troops behind Soviet lines. However it was ambushed and forced to land where it was captured. Subsequently the aircraft was attacked by Finnish Fighters and sunk. There were reports the Soviets salvaged the wreck. Finland also borrowed two German aircraft to use inthe role of the ex Norwiegian example, one was retured but the second was surrendered to the Soviet. The Sweedish Air Force purchased and operated 12 aircraft, 6 more being on order but not delivered due to the outbreak of WWII. These were only retired in 1952 being well liked by their cres. The Model The kit comes in quite a large and sturdy top opening box. On opening the box the modeller is a large bag of medium grey styrene, a cardboard shelf on which the small poly bag of resin and another bag with the etched brass sheets and decal sheet are stapled. The styrene parts are very nicely moulded, with some very fine detail such as the recessed panel lines and raised panels where required. There is no sign of flash as one would expect of a new kit these days, and no moulding pip, just a few strengthening bits between the more fragile parts. The styrene appears to be quite soft and has a slightly rough texture, so paint should stick to it well. The clear styrene parts are quite clear and respectably thin, but there is some distortion on the curved areas, particularly the nose cone. The small bag of resin contains some very nicely moulded parts, such as the engines, spare machine gun ammunition drums, radio sets, levers and DF loop teardrop housing. There are a sheets of etched brass containing the instrument panel, seatbelts, boarding ladders, cockpit leavers and handles, radio operator’s panel, machine gun sights, and the float handrails. There is also an acetate sheet containing the instrument panels back sheets. Construction begins with the cockpit, which is quite complex with lots of parts from all three mediums making up into a very busy and detailed area. The instructions aren’t too clear for this area and should be studied carefully. It may be an idea to scan the instructions and print them in a larger format to improve things. The bomb aimers position is equally detailed with numerous parts being use to build a very detailed area. With the smaller parts in place the bomb aimers floor and support can be fitted, followed by the centre section, which consists of the bomb bay, cockpit floor, fuselage side inserts plus the fore and aft bulkheads. The radio operator’s position is also fitted out with the resin radio boxes and spare ammunition drums. Just forward of the radio position another bulkhead is fitted, onto which a brass and acetate radio panel is attached. The operators seat is then assembled and glued into position, at which point the fuselage can be closed up. The two piece wings are now glued together followed by a large panel just aft of the engine nacelles. The resin engines, once painted up are fitted with their two piece cowls. There are alternative horizontal tailplanes, each of which are in two halves and these should be assembled and put to one side. The completed fuselage is fitted out with the glass nose side panels, nose position canopy and the centre section roof. The tailplanes can also be fitted at this point. The large two part floats are now assembled and fitted out with the brass handrails, along with the two part float struts. The wing assemblies are now attached to the fuselage and fitted with the engine/cowling assemblies, propeller assemblies, (each from a back plate, three separate blades and the boss), and the cockpit windscreen. Turning the model over onto its back the tailplane struts can be fitted as are the main float struts, inner float struts, bomb aimers window, bomb sight, exhausts, and under fuselage panel. With all the struts in place the floats can now be attached. With the model the right side up and sitting on its floats it’s onto the final stages of the build. The machine guns are assembled from a separate breech, ammunition drums, PE gun sights and when fitted to their positions the barrel, with PE sight is fitted. In the case of the nose gun position the barrel needs to be fitted from the outside. The nose cone is then fitted along with the main canopy centre section, aft section and the cockpit canopy. The two PE boarding ladders are fitted between the floats and the aft cockpit position just aft of the wing trailing edges. And finally the rear gunners canopy can be posed either open or closed. If closed the machine gun needs to be posed in the stored position. Decals Decals are from Aviprint, look to be in register and are colour dense. Markings included are for the following aircraft:- W/Nr 3027, F-2 Wing of the Sweedish Air Force. 1939-1952 Ex Norwegian no.50. Defected to Finland 1940. Served with No.14 Recon Sqn. Later captured by Russia. Royal Norwegian Naval Air Service, machine 60. Captured by German Forces. Conclusion It is nice to see this imposing model re-released, with non German markings. It is a pity the instructions are small and sometimes complicated, though when blown up to A4 size on a photocopier it makes them much easier to read. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
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