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Review Content

Showing topics in Aircraft Reviews, Kits, Aftermarket (updates/conversions), Decals, Reference material, Armoured Fighting Vehicle Reviews, Kits, Aftermarket, Diorama & Accessory, Reference Material, Kits, Aftermarket, Reference Material, Vehicle Reviews, Sci-fi & Real Space Reviews, Figure Reviews, Locos, Trains & Layout Reviews and Tools & Paint Reviews posted in for the last 365 days.

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  2. British Rocket Projectiles 60lb RP-3 F & SAP Sets (648393 & 648394) 1:48 Eduard Brassin As the name suggests, this was a 3" rocket projectile, unguided other than the pilot pointing his nose at the target, and the basic body could carry a number of warheads for different uses. The 60lb Semi Armour Piercing (SAP) head carried 12lb of explosives and could pierce a tank's armour if aimed carefully, bearing responsibility for many a Panzer losing its turret, wreaking havoc in the Failaise Gap. The F had a narrower 25lb head that was the original design. As usual with Eduard's resin sets, they arrive in the familiar Brassin clamshell box, with the resin parts safely cocooned on dark grey foam inserts, and the instructions sandwiched between the two halves, doubling as the header card. Both types build up in exactly the same way, and contain the same number of rockets (eight), with just the heads being different sizes, and the stencils differing. The basic rocket is supplied in one piece with the moulding plug attached to the tail. With this cut off, you need to drill a 1mm diameter hole to replicate the exhaust and attach the shackles that attach it to the launch rails. There are two types of these, with a Y-shaped of a W-shaped part that you need to bend to shape. In addition there are ignition wires for the electrical firing mechanism, which are inserted into the rear of the exhaust. Painting is covered along with the decal placement in a separate diagram with the usual Gunze paint codes. Once you're done you have a full load of eight for your WWII RAF fighter. British Rocket Projectiles RP-3 60lb F. (648393) British Rocket Projectiles RP-3 60lb SAP (648394) Review sample courtesy of
  3. @Diggers11 That's an odd one - I'd speak to AK if I were you, as it's not something I've experienced. In fact, I'd forgotten about having a tub of the thick stuff (maybe I'm the tub of thick stuff )
  4. Hi, I have just started using the AK Interactive Gauzy Glass Coat (orange tub) for dipping canopies but I'm having an issue with it. The problem I'm having is that as it starts to dry tiny bubbles appear on the surface. Not like the large bubbles that sit on the surface of the liquid in the bottle (I let these disappear before dipping), these are really small. They are not there when first dipped but within a minute or two they suddenly appear. At which point the agent has dried to the point where the bubbles can't be burst with a brush. The plastic parts are clean and the weather is not too hot (20-25°C). I have used Alclad Aqua Gloss in the past with decent results and Humbrol Clear with rather less decent results (both bottles have since yellowed). Mark.
  5. Today
  6. badger

    GTK Boxer GTFz A1 - 1:72 Revell

    Just had one of these land on the doorstep. Looks a very nice kit indeed!!
  7. The Chaco Air War 1932-35 The First Modern Air War in Latin America ISBN : 9781911512967 Helion & Company via Casemate UK The Chaco War was fought between Paraguay and Bolivia between 1932 and 1935 for control over the Northern part of The Gran Chaco region which was thought to be rich in oil. It is attributed that the conflict was as a result of Royal Dutch Shell backing Paraguay, and Standard Oil backing Bolivia for the said oil rights. It was not helped by Argentina looking to import oil from here as well. Historically this was the first time that aerial warfare took place in Latin America. Despite an arms embargo imposed the then League Of Nations both sides managed to to acquire their fair share of aircraft. The book looks at all aspects of the air war as well as the conflict in general. It is A4 softcover in format with 64 pages. Black and white photographs feature throughout the text. There are 6 pagers of full colour maps along with 7 pages of colour profiles of the aircraft which took part. Conclusion This book should provide readers with a understanding of the Chaco War, and an interesting look at the first use of Airpower in war in the Americas. There is interest here from those interested in not just conflict in the air, but Latin American wars as well. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  8. eclipse

    Mirage F.1 EQ/ED - 1:72 Special Hobby

    You welcome ! On the contrary, I see S530F on the sprue, instead of the R530 pictured on the Boxart...
  9. Yesterday
  10. Antoine

    Mirage F.1 EQ/ED - 1:72 Special Hobby

    I was in fact thinking precisely about those pods. Thanks Joffrey!
  11. eclipse

    Mirage F.1 EQ/ED - 1:72 Special Hobby

    Remora jammer pod and Sycomor chaffs/flares dispenser are also announced ! http://www.specialhobby.info/2018/03/newsletter-special-hobby-42018.html
  12. GBU-38 & GBU-38 Thermally Protected Bombs (648385 & 648386) 1:48 Eduard Brassin The GBU-38 is a 500lb iron bomb with JDAM kit installed that is considered "light" compared to others, and as such is used where dangers of collateral damage exist, to reduce the blast radius whilst still destroying the target. The core of the bomb is a Mk.82 casing, filled with tritonal explosive. The JDAM element is a bolt-on package that allows precision guidance once dropped, with a seeker head at the nose, and guidance vanes at the rear. It is currently in-use with a number of Allied countries. On-board a carrier they are usually coated with a thermal protection layer to prevent or delay cook-off in the event of fire. This gives the outer skin of the body a rough, stippled finish that is often grey in colour. As usual with Eduard's resin sets, they arrive in the familiar Brassin clamshell box, with the resin parts safely cocooned on dark grey foam inserts, and the instructions sandwiched between the two halves, doubling as the header card. The two sets build in exactly the same way, with just the thermal coating differentiating them. There are four bomb bodies, four tail units and four of four types of seeker head, plus an additional four of three inserts for the tail unit. There is also a set of masking for the complex seeker-head attachment, which will save you endless hand-painting, and a small PE sheet with four tail-cap ends that cover the mounting point of the casting block. Scrap diagrams show the positioning of the masks, and the alignment of the tail fins with the transport lugs, with colours being called out in Gunze codes as usual for Eduard. Finally, there is a small sheet of decals that includes the stencils applied to the bombs, which are shown in a final diagram on the instructions. From the sets you can make four bombs of either the USAF, USN, or B-2A Spirit specific units that use the pointed nose cones, and have their tail fins aligned differently, presumably due to the constraints of the Spirit's bomb bays. GBU-38 Non-Thermally Protected (648385) GBU-38 Thermally Protected (648386) The texture of the thermal protection is in-scale, so is quite hard to capture in photos, but it is definitely present, as you can see from the additional picture. Review sample courtesy of
  13. Tomahawk Mk.II Update Sets (For Airfix A05133) 1:48 Eduard It's a reboxing of the 2016 P-40B kit with British decals and name, but the same plastic in the box. Eduard's new range of sets are here to improve on the kit detail in the usual modular manner, much of which will be identical to their previous P-40B sets. Get what you want for the areas you want to be more of a focal point. As usual with Eduard's Photo-Etch (PE) and Mask sets, they arrive in a flat resealable package, with a white backing card protecting the contents and the instructions that are sandwiched between. Detail Set (49875) Two frets are included, one nickel plated and pre-painted, the other in bare brass. A complete set of new layered instrument panels that fit over the existing panel and sidewall details, are the primary parts on the painted set, with new seat in scale-representative PE; radio hatch interior detail; six mesh inserts for the intakes in the nose; cooling doors to the aft of the chin scoop; gear bay inserts; gear bay covers and brake hose parts as well as tie-down points for main and tail; access panels; ring & bead sights on the nose, and rudder actuator are also supplied. Zoom! Set (FE875) This set contains a reduced subset of the interior, namely the pre-painted parts that are used to improve on the main aspects of the cockpit, as seen above. Whatever your motivations for wanting this set, it provides a welcome boost to detail, without being concerned with the structural elements. Seatbelts STEEL (FE874) In case you don't already know, these belts are Photo-Etch (PE) steel, and because of their strength they can be etched from thinner material, which improves realism and flexibility in one sitting. Coupled with the new painting method that adds perceived extra depth to the buckles and other furniture by shading, they are more realistic looking and will drape better than regular brass PE. landing flaps (48941) Eduard landing flaps use an ingenious technique to achieve excellent true-to-scale flaps using few parts, and requiring the modeller to simply remove the retracted flaps from the lower wing, plus scrape the upper wings to accommodate the thickness of the completed bays. The two flap sections (bay and flap itself) are constructed in the same manner, by twisting and folding over the attached ribs to create a 3D shape, with extra parts added along the way. The bays glue to the inside of the upper wing with the flap attached to the rear wall of the new bay via a fold. Repeat this for the other side, and you're almost done. The bays have a rod running along the bay, which is 0.5mm thick and isn't included in the set, so you'll need to make sure you have some in stock, and a set of jacks are fitted later to obtain the correct angle once deployed. A small cover panel fits toward the middle, which is folded gently twice to match the profile of the bay ribs before it is installed. I've built a set of these for the previous P-40B boxing, and you can see how they look below. Masks (EX570) Supplied on a sheet of yellow kabuki tape, these pre-cut masks supply you with a full set of masks for the canopy, with compound curved handled by using frame hugging masks, while the highly curved gaps are in-filled with either liquid mask or offcuts from the background tape. In addition you get a set of hub/tyre masks for the tail wheel, allowing you to cut the demarcation perfectly with little effort. Review sample courtesy of
  14. Julien

    Mirage F.1 EQ/ED - 1:72 Special Hobby

    I think you are being a little harsh there. They include the A2A missiles, pods, bombs; and drop tanks as standard, then in this boxing they supply the Exocet and larger tank. Some manufactures would give you nothing and expect you to buy their armament sets. Julien
  15. Antoine

    Mirage F.1 EQ/ED - 1:72 Special Hobby

    Thanks, Julien. Certainly one of the best looking jets, ever. By the way, ED stands for Libya, Qatar owned EDA. Despite obvious efforts by SH, I'm still a bit disapointed by the range of weapons/pods/tanks offered, considering the F1 capacity. Lets hope we'll soon find more on the aftermarket. Also, EQ is a bit vague. Looks like its an EQ4?
  16. Last week
  17. Mirage F.1 EQ/ED (72386) 1:72 Special Hobby The Dassault Mirage F.1 has been a successful point defence fighter for over thirty years, and was developed initially as a private venture by Dassault as a replacement to their ageing Mirage III fighters. It is a single-engined, single-seat fighter aircraft with a high-mounted delta wing and capability of reaching mach 2.2 in short order. Power was provided by a single SNECMA Atar turbojet providing about 7 tonnes-force (69 kN; 15,000 lbf) of thrust. Dassault soon found an eager customer in the shape of the French Armée de l'air, who bought various versions over the years starting on 1974. The French retired the Mirage F.1 in 2014. The ED is the export version for Qatar, and the EQ the version for Iraq. Its worth noting that private military contractors in the US are buying large surplus stocks of Mirage F.1s to use in the adversary role. The Kit This is a reworking of the superb new tool kit from Special Hobby. This boxing has extra plastic parts for this version being the tail and large centre line tank. There is also some small resin parts for the "lumps & bums", and a resin Exocet Missile for the Iraqi version. The parts are crisp with engraved panel lines deep enough not to disappear under a coat of paint, but not trench like. From the parts break down on the sprues it is evident more versions are on there way. Construction starts conventionally enough in the cockpit area. The instrument panel and coaming is built up and attached to the front of the cockpit, the rear bulkhead is attached, and the control stick added in. For some strange reason step 3 in the instructions has you placing the cockpit inside the fuselage and closing it up; and step 4 has you adding the front wheel well and exhaust into the fuselage. I would safely say that it's best to reverse these. On the subject of the exhaust, it is a three part affair and the quality of the kit parts is very good. Once the exhaust, front wheel bay, and cockpit are in the main fuselage can indeed be closed up. Once the main fuselage is together the correct nose can be added for your chose decal option. Various nose antenna are added along with the front airbrakes which are moulded in the closed position. The engine intakes are also added at this stage. Next the main wings are added which are of conventional upper/lower construction. Once these are on the rudder, tail planes, and ventral strakes are all added as well. Once the main aircraft is built it is time to switch to the landing gear. All three units are built up and added along with their respective doors. The undercarriage is quite detailed but has been moulded to be in as few parts as possible. The main legs along with their retraction struts are one part, with only a single small section needed for each of the mains. The wheels are one part each and have nice relief for painting. It is then a quick re-visit to the cockpit to build the ejection seat. For the scale this is quite detailed with 4 parts making up the seat. There is a choice of seat back/cushion however no indication of which to use for which option. It is suspected these options are time frame based, and the modeller should check their references. The penultimate step is to add the pylons. A single centre line pylon is added along with wing pylons, &chaff dispensers. Thankfully this time the instructions show which should be added for each decal option. The instructions show only fuel tanks to be attached, although the sprues do contain a nice selection of French weapons to be deployed as the modeller sees fit,. Lastly the canopy and front screen are attached. Markings There are four decal options on a sheet from Cartograf so there will be no issues there. 1. F.1EQ No.79 Sqn Iraqi Air Force (Sand / Grey scheme). 2. F.1EQ-5 No.81 Sqn Iraqi Air Force (Dark Sea Grey Scheme) - Fitted for Exocet. 3. F.1EQ-6 No.102 Sqn Republic Of Iran Air Force (Grey / Blue Scheme). 4. F.1ED Libyan Peoples Air Force (Aircraft which defected to Malta) Conclusion It is great to see more versions of this new tool from Special Hobby becoming available. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  18. Star Wars Name Placards (A-Wing, Slave 1, AT-ST) GreenStrawberry We've all had the situation where someone has extended a finger at one of our creations with a quizzical look on their face and uttered the immortal words "What's that then?". Forcing down the urge to roll your eyes and sigh, with some retort such as "Don't you know anything about Sci-Fi?", you dutifully explain what it is, which film it was in, and how many hours you put into its creation. Well now you don't even have to open that slot under your nose, as you can pop one of these rather attractive and "in theme" placards in front of your Star Wars models, and you're not just limited to the new Bandai kits, but any that you've made over the years, or even ones you have bought ready-made! I'll give you a moment to process that fact that some people buy things you don't have to build. Ok, now you've recovered from the shock, here are a selection of these handy, attractive and useful placards/name badges, call them what you will. They all follow the same format, have the same design cues etc., so will look rather splendid once you've been around putting them on all your bases, or in front of their stands. They arrive in a flat resealable package, with piece of card protecting the contents against bending, and the instructions sandwiched between. The two Photo-Etch (PE) sheets are of a thicker gauge for strength, and there are just three parts to each set. The placard itself, which has a fold-over edge all round that gives it a 3D latticework look, a flat base onto which is fixed the fold-up stand that the label can be glued to, soldered together or just stood on, holding it at an angle for ease of viewing without breaking your neck. Each one has the commonly used name of the model in large letters, with the technicalities and additional information in a smaller text above and below. The lattice-work structure around the edges gives it a bit of strength as well as making it look Sci-Fi like, as do the motifs found to the left of each one. With some careful painting, even a little weathering maybe, they should look rather nice. They are of course unconstrained by scale, but if you're displaying it in front of a 1:144 A-Wing, you may have trouble seeing the model behind it! I quickly knocked together one of them with super glue as a demonstration, and they're quite quick to build. Using the proper tools is important to fold the thick brass concisely at the bend-lines, and the upstand parts become delicate when you're midway through the folding, so take care not to twang one of the arms like I did. Splash some Star Wars appropriate paint on, put a contrasting colour in the low-spots of the letters and symbols, and it will look great. Jango Fett's Slave 1(04418-N/A) Boba Fett's Slave 1 (04518-N/A) AT-ST (04618-N/A) RZ1 A-Wing (04718-N/A) Conclusion A good idea well executed. You can lie them down, stand them up, but most importantly, people will know what your model is without having to ask and they add a certain something to your builds! Review sample courtesy of
  19. Fokker D.VIII - Profipack Edition (8085) Eduard 1:48 The parasol winged Fokker D.VIII was the last of this companies aircraft to enter service before the end of the Great War. Originally designated the Fokker E.V. it was an agile little machine with a parasol wing and rotary engine, much like some of the early machines from the start of the Great War. It might have had greater success, had it not suffered from poor manufacturing standards. After barely two weeks service in August 1918, The E.V. had to be withdrawn due to failures causing the wing to disintegrate in flight. Badly made wings and poor materials were found to be the main cause. Examination of several sets revealed such things as incorrect wing spars, and nails that secured the plywood skinning completely missing the ribs it was supposed to attach to. Redesigned wings were manufactured under more stringent quality control, and the aircraft resumed production with the new designation of Fokker D.VIII. Surviving E.V.s were retro fitted with the new wing, and it seems were also then referred to as D.VIII's. Re-entering service in October, it did not much have much time to prove itself before the 11th November armistice brought the conflict to a halt. The kit. Not a new kit, as It has been issued before, but it is making a welcome return. Inside the box are three plasic sprues, one etched fret of details, a sheet of pre-cut masks, two decal sheets, and a full colour instruction booklet. The cockpit is well detailed, with the typical Fokker steel tubework well represented by finely moulded frames. Smaller details such as throttle and compass are provided, with the option of using alternatives from the pre printed etched fret. The seatbelts also come from this fret, and interior lozenge is provided on the decal sheet. The fuselage halves are closed around the completed cockpit unit, and the forward coaming attached to form the basic fuselage. The Etched sheet contains the forward underside panel, which helps to enhance the look of this area. The instructions show it being fitted after the wing is on, but personally I would fit it before. The little Oberursal engine also gets enhanced with an easy to fit 'spider' of push rods, to add to the finely moulded crankcase/cylinder unit. For most finishing options it will probably be best to leave the engine & cowling off until final painting and decalling is done. Various little etched footsteps, rings, filler caps etc are offered, all of which go to enhance the final look of the model. The Spandau machine guns can be fitted as solid plastic items, or you can remove the cooling jackets and replace them with finely etched alternatives. This is always worth doing as the slotted etched versions are far superior. Two wings are provided, which at first look may seem odd. The reason is that one is provided with a perfectly smooth finish, whilst the other has a lightly 'rippled' look that D.VIII's sometimes showed. The choice of which to use is up to you. Fitting the wing requires care, but is not as difficult as it may look at first glance. After painting or decalling the fuselage, clean out the locating points for struts C2, C6, C7, C10 & the pair of C31's on both the fuselage and wings. A fine drill is best for this. Glue the forward pairs of C2+C10 and C6+C7 first, and check that they dry fit and locate correctly into the upturned wing. Let it dry overnight, and then attach the wing to the strut ends. Add the C31's at this point and leave it all to set. This whole task is easier to do with the wing and fuselage upside down. Finishing off sees the undercarriage attached, along with control horns (etched or plastic), cable exits (etched only) and struts for the tail group. Decals Five options are provided. Four of them are D.VIII.s, but I assume that the Jasta 6 example dated August 1918 is an E.V. Two decal shhets are provided, the larger of them holds all the individual aircraft markings and is sharply printed with good colours and minimal carrier film. The second sheet contains a full set of upper and lower four colour lozenge fabric, applicable to four of the five options. Lozenge colours are always controversial, and personally I think these are on the bright side. I would tone them down after application with a brown 'glaze' as was often done in real life. Tamiya X-19 'Smoke' lightly airbrushed is ideal for this. Others may prefer to replace them with their favoured aftermarket brand. The instuctions show the wings being painted in Fokker 'streaky olive drab', which may well be the case. However it is now thought likely that they were painted in brown & green on top, with blue & violet undersides. Conclusion. This is a lovely little kit, I have already built two of them from previous releases. The moulding is very fine and free of flash, and all parts fit together with precision. There are no problems with its construction, the wing strutting is actually easier to do than most biplanes and there is virtually no rigging. Eduards 1:48 First World War aircraft are the best you can get in this scale, and this one deserves a place in any collection. Recommended. Review samples courtesy of One I completed a couple of years ago from a previous release of this kit;
  20. It's all relative, like most things that cost money. You could also give them away free with a bag of crisps and someone would still complain they're the wrong flavour
  21. SleeperService

    Two-Seat T-Harrier (T.2/T.2A/T.4/T.4N/T.8) 1:48

    Completely agree. Look at the current price of Hasegawa Phantoms for example. Then add in the stuff you have to buy to correct the cockpit and bring it up to a modern standard. Judging by how fast they are selling I think most people agree.
  22. Around £40 for a new tool 1.48 kit is not expensive. Julien
  23. Lord Riot

    Two-Seat T-Harrier (T.2/T.2A/T.4/T.4N/T.8) 1:48

    It looks great, but is far too expensive.
  24. Sea Hurricane Mk.IIb Upgrades (for Airfix A05134) 1:48 Eduard Airfix's Sea Hurricane is a minor re-tool of their popular and still fairly recent Hurricane kit, which was well received on launch some while back. Eduard's new range of sets are here to improve on the kit detail in the usual modular manner, and many of the parts will be familiar if you have the sets for the kit it is based upon. Get what you want for the areas you want to be more of a focal point. As usual with Eduard's Photo-Etch (PE) and Mask sets, they arrive in a flat resealable package, with a white backing card protecting the contents and the instructions that are sandwiched between. Detail Set (49873) Two frets are included, one nickel plated and pre-painted, the other in bare brass. A complete set of new layered instrument panels and side consoles are the primary parts on the painted set, with new rudder pedals; a brand new metal seat with details; sidewall instrumentation; radiator surface panels and rear vent-flaps; ammo feeder details; gear bay parts; rudder actuator and trim actuator rods, edging and access panels to the gun bays, and canopy handles are also supplied. Zoom! Set (FE873) This set contains a reduced subset of the interior, namely the pre-painted parts that are used to improve on the main aspects of the cockpit, as seen above. Whatever your motivations for wanting this set, it provides a welcome boost to detail, without being concerned with the structural elements. Seatbelts STEEL (FE876) In case you don't already know, these belts are Photo-Etch (PE) steel, and because of their strength they can be etched from thinner material, which improves realism and flexibility in one sitting. Coupled with the new painting method that adds perceived extra depth to the buckles and other furniture by shading, they are more realistic looking and will drape better than regular brass PE. landing flaps (48940) Eduard landing flaps use an ingenious technique to achieve excellent true-to-scale flaps using few parts, and requiring the modeller to simply remove the retracted flaps from the lower wing, plus scrape the upper wings to accommodate the thickness of the completed bays. Each half of the two flap sections (bay and flap itself) is constructed, the flap by twisting and folding over the attached ribs to create a 3D shape, with extra parts added along the way. The bays fold up simply and glue to the inside of the upper wing and the flap attaches to the rear wall of the new bay. Repeat this for the other side, and you're almost done. You'll around 120mm of 1mm rod cut into four sections to act as the hinge-point of each of the flap sections, so make sure you have some on-hand. Masks (EX571) Supplied on a sheet of yellow kabuki tape, these pre-cut masks supply you with a full set of masks for the canopy, one for each pane of the canopy and windscreen. In addition you get a set of hub masks for all the wheels, allowing you to cut the demarcation perfectly with little effort. Review sample courtesy of
  25. Paul A H

    KM Bismark - 1:700 Meng

    KM Bismarck 1:700 Meng Laid down in July 1936 by Blohm and Voss of Hamburg, the Bismarck was one of the largest and most powerful battleships to see action during the Second World War. She, along with her sister ship Tirpitz, represented the epitome of German warship technology. Weighing in at 50,900 tons deep load, the Bismarck’s design prioritised stability and protection over firepower; her broad beam of 118ft making her a very stable gun platform even in heavy seas. On 21 May 1941, Bismarck left the Kjorsfjord in Norway to embark on her first raiding sortie, accompanied by the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen and three destroyers. Three days later she sighted and engaged the Royal Navy warships HMS Hood and HMS Prince of Wales, sinking the Hood and damaging the Prince of Wales. Having suffered damage herself in the engagement, Bismarck disengaged and attempted to make for St Nazaire. Eventually spotted by a Catalina flying boat, her rudder was then jammed by torpedoes launched from the Swordfish of HMS Ark Royal. Left unable to manoeuvre, she was battered by HMS Rodney and HMS King George V and was soon reduced to a burning hulk by their heavy guns. She was finally sunk by torpedoes from HMS Dorsetshire before she could be scuttled. Pretty much every major manufacturer of warship kits has produced a Bismarck at some point. Aoshima, Revell and Trumpeter have all produced kits of the famous warship in this scale, but none have been as colourful as Meng's new kit. The kit has been moulded from styrene in four different tones, each appropriate to the parts represented. The lower hull is moulded from dark red plastic, the deck is moulded in teak-coloured plastic and the rest of the kit, save for a few parts moulded in black, is moulded from battleship grey plastic. The kit is well packed into a sturdy box adorned with evocative artwork. All of the plastic parts are nicely moulded, but the big difference between this and other kits of the Bismarck is the fact that the parts are all snap-fit. In line with this simplified approach to construction, stickers are included instead of decals. Construction of the kit is fairly conventional, notwithstanding the fact that the parts snap together rather than requiring glue. Bearing this in mind, I would advise against test fitting the parts prior to final construction, as snap together rarely means snap apart again - at least not in the same shape! The build begins with the lower hull and fitting the propeller shafts, propellers and rudders. The hull itself is made up of three parts, although you can omit the lower section if you wish to finish the kit in waterline configuration. Once the hull is complete, construction moves on to the deck. The, er, deck coloured parts fit onto a grey part which contains a number of structural parts such as the bases for the turrets. This means you don't need to worry about painting a lot of fiddly deck features, even if you intend to pain the parts anyway. The decks themselves are nicely detailed, with chains and planking moulded in place. The rest of the build is completely conventional, save for the fact that you don't need to use glue (although I suppose you can if you want to make sure the parts are properly welded together). The superstructures, funnels, masts and rangefinders all look just as good as any other conventional kit of the Bismarck. Perhaps the only compromise is the small calibre weapons, which are pretty basic compared to what you get in a Trumpeter kit. Even the ships boats are good enough to pass muster in this scale. Construction of the main turrets is fairly straightforward. While the eight 15 inch guns are not independently posable,they do at least have blast bags moulded in place. Finishing details include the secondary armament, masts and anchors. The display stand will be handy if you wish to finish your model in full hull configuration, although my personal preference would be for the waterline option. The colour scheme is printed in black and white and shows the ship as she appeared at the time of her engagement in the North Atlantic. AK paints are recommended by Meng, in what appears to be a commercial arrangement (their logo is emblazoned on the side of the box). The aforementioned stickers can be used if desired, but I can't imagine many enthusiast modelles will chose to use them. Conclusion While the level of detail is pretty good and the multi-coloured plastic is appealing, I can't say this is the best kit of the Bismark in this scale. It isn't the cheapest either, which is curious given the snap together nature of the kit. There's no doubt that snap together kits have their place, but they don't normally cost north of £30. It's not that the kit is a bad option for those wanted to build a Bismarck, but I'm struggling to see why it would be a better option than the Trumpeter or Revell kits. Nevertheless it is a nice thing and I'm glad to have had the opportunity to review it. Review sample courtesy of
  26. Markgraf WWI German Battleship 1:700 ICM The SMS Markgraf was the third of four König Class battleships, all of which served in the Imperial German Navy during the First World War. Laid down in 1911, the Kronprinz was launched in 1913 and commissioned the following year. She was armed with ten 30.5cm (12 inch) guns and was capable of just over 21 knots. She participated in a number of engagements during the War, most notably the battle of Jutland, during which she sustained significant damage at the hands of the British fleet. In common with most other capital ships of the High Seas Fleet, she was interned at Scapa Flow following the signing of the armistice in November 1918 and scuttled on the orders of Admiral Ludwig von Reuter. Unlike most of the other ships at Scapa, she was never raised for salvage as she sank in a deeper part of the bay. She remains submerged to this day, although some examples of her radiation-free steel have been removed for scientific purposes This is the fourth and final installment of ICM's König Class battleships, following König, Großer Kurfürst and Kronprinz, and represents another addition to the small surge of WWI-era models that have been released during the 100th anniversary of that conflict. Inside ICM's typically robust (read: almost impossible to open) box are five frames of grey plastic, as well as a couple of red plastic parts for the lowe hull, a black display stand, full colour instructions, decals and self-adhesive name lables. Moulding is clean and crisp, with plenty of fine detail. Construction begins with the lower hull. The instructions suggest that the outermost propeller shafts and the trio of propellers be added to the lower hull prior to joining it with the upper hull. Personally I would add the propellors at the end, as they are bound to get damaged during the build, but of course it's your choice. You can omit this stage altogether if you want to finish the model in waterline configuration. Once the hull is complete, construction moves on to the deck. The casemate for the secondary armament, along with the fourteen gun turrets, has to be fitted to the underside of the forecastle, before the forecastle can, in turn, be joined to the main deck. The decks themselves are nicely detailed, with chains and planking moulded in place. Construction of the turrets is fairly straightforward, with each of the ten 12 inch guns independently poseable. The squat superstructures are fairly straightforward too, although you'll need to remember to add the tertiary armament casemate before fixing the bridge superstructure to the forecastle. Finishing details include funnels, searchlight platforms, stairways, davits, masts and anchors. A full completment of boats is included, and very nicely detailed they are too. The display stand will be handy if you wish to finish your model in full hull configuration. The colour scheme is perfectly adequate and includes a very basic rigging diagram. The decals are the same generic set that were included with the other three kits in this series, but are nicely printed nonetheless. Conclusion We've seen quite a few WWI-era battleships released to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the conflict, so this kit is already in good company. While a nice set of photo etch will be required to bring the kit up to competition standard, ICM have done a great job of providing a platform to work from. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  27. CASA C-212-100 (72344) 1:72 Special Hobby The CASA C-212 Aviocar is a medium cargo aircraft with a short field capability designed by Construcciones Aeronáuticas SA or CASA of Spain. The aircraft is a boxy fuselage with a high mounted wing and twin turbo prop engines. The cabin is not pressurised. In the 1960's the Spanish Air Force was looking to modernise as at the time it was still relying on a mix of C-17s and Ju-62s for its transport requirements. The SASA 212 was a proposed 18 seat transport aircraft which could fill a few different roles. The aircraft first flew in 1971 and the Spanish Air Force would acquire them from there. 477 Aircraft were built over 42 years, with the last -400 with a glass cockpit by then being built in 2012 when Airbus Military decided to discontinue production. Production continues though under license in Indonesia. The aircraft has been used by many military and civil users all over the world The Kit This is a new toolkit from Special Hobby. The kit arrives on five sprues of plastic and a clear spure. From the look of the unused parts on the sprue a maritime/patrol version is planned at some point. Construction starts with adding the instrument panel in at the front. Instruments are supplied as decals. The windows are put into the main fuselage halves from the inside at this point, as well as the side cockpit glazing. The main fuselage doors and inserts at the front are then added. The rest of the cockpit is then built up, this can then be added and thee main fuselage closed up. Its worth noting there in no interior for the main cargo cabin and the ramp is moulded closed. Next up the undercarriage is made up and the main sponsons added. The nose is added along with the main cockpit glazing. The tail planes are made up with separate control surfaces. The instructions advise to add nose weight but omit how much is needed. The tailplanes ad rudder are now added to the main fuselage, along with the tail plane fairings. The wings are made up next. There is a single part upper and left/right lowers. 4 flap actuator fairings are added to each side. The two engine nacelles are made up and added along with the fronts and propeller assemblies. These can then be added to the wings. Two trim tabs on the wing need to be removed. The wing is now fitted to the fuselage along with various antennas and sundry parts. As these differ in the varietals attention will be needed to select the correct ones. The wings are made up next. There is a single part upper and left/right lowers. 4 flap actuator fairings are added to each side. The two engine nacelles are made up and added along with the fronts and propellor assemblies. These can then be added to the wings. Two trim tabs on the wing need to be removed.The wing is now fitted to the fuselage along with various antennas and sundary parts. Markings There are printed by Eduard and should pose no problems, three options are provided; Spanish Air Force. Paracute school Murcia Alcantarilla AB, 2009 - Overall Grey. Chilean Army, Santiago de Chile International, 2009. Two Greens/tan over grey. Colombian Navy 2005. Two tone grey. Conclusion It is great to see this over looked small transport aircraft now being injection moulded in 1/72. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  28. Delta 1D/ E US Transport plane (72329) 1:72 Special Hobby The Delta was designed by Jack Northrop alongside the the Gamma in 1932 when the Northrop Corporation was set up with as a joint venture with The Douglas Aircraft Company. The Gamma was to be a mail plane where the Delta was to be a passenger transporter. It was a low wing monoplane with a fixed undercarriage. The wings were common to both aircraft with the Delta having a wider fuselage for the passengers with the pilot being seated upfront behind the engine fighter plane style. Space behind was for 8 passengers. The Delta flew in 1933 but suffered from a change in the regulations in the USA which prohibited single engined aircraft from carrying passengers at night, or over rough terrain. Only three aircraft were made before this regulation came into place with the first being used by TWA, the second by Pan-Am's Mexican subsidiary and the third to AB Aerotransport of Sweden. A single example was built for the US Coastguard and 7 more were built as executive transports. Of these three were purchased by the Spanish Republicans for use in the civil war there. Two of these were captured by the Republicans and used by them. The third was later used by the Republican Airline LAPE until the end of the war when it was also handed over to the Air Force. In addition to the US Built examples the Delta was built under license by Canadian Vickers where it was used as a photographic survey aircraft by the RCAF. The first example was supplied to Vickers by Northrop part assembled, and 19 examples were then built by them. This would be the first all metal stressed skin aircraft to be built in Canada. These aircraft were capable of being used with wheels, skis and floats although the latter was not a success due to corrosion issues. Delta were used for anti-submarine patrols in early WWII, but were withdrawn to training roles by 1941. The Kit The kit was first released in 2017 under the Azur FFROM label. The kit has 4 main sprues of injected plastic , and a clear sprue. The plastic is more limited run than main stream, the parts are well moulded with restrained panel lines, however there are a lot of ejector pins to clean up, all though on unseen surfaces. Construction starts without any surprises with the cockpit. The single cockpit for the pilot sits in the middle of the fuselage slightly higher than the main cabin floor. The rudder pedals are moulded to the cockpit floor, the side consoles are added along with the pilots seat. The instrument panel is then added along with the control column. Next up the 8 passenger seats are added to the main cabin floor. The cockpit and main cabin floor can then be added into the main fuselage along with the rear cabin bulkhead. Lastly before closing up the main fuselage the cabin windows need to be added. Once the main fuselage is together the engine is added to the front of the fuselage. The wings can now be added. These have a main full span lower wing with left & right uppers. Once the main wing is on the tail planes can also be added. The Spats and enclosed wheels are then built up and added to the main wing. To finish up the exhausts, tail wheel, aerial, pitot tube and propeller are added. Markings Decals are printed by Aviprint and look in register with good colour density. There are are three markings in the kit 1. Aircraft purchased for use in Elsworth's Antarctic flight of 1936, then bought by the Australian Govt for war use. Earth & Foliage Green Camo. 2. Ex US Coast Guard Aircraft used by the US Corps of Engineers in Eritrea 1942. Dark Earth & Olive Drab camo 3. The previous aircraft as a US Coast Guard machine. Conclusion It is great to see more boxings of this esoteric aircraft being released. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  29. 1/72 WWII US bomber pilot and two gunners 1:72 CMK Here we have pilot and two gunners/crew representing what looks the USAAF in WWII Conclusion These will enhance any diorama or scene. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
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