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  1. Past hour
  2. Potez 25 B2 Polish Jupiter "Against The Tide" (SH72416) 1:72 Special Hobby The Potez 25 was a French single engined, two-seater biplane designed in the interwar period and used widely by air forces around the world. A flexible design, the Potez 25 was used in a variety of roles, including as a fighter, bomber escort, light bomber and reconnaissance platform. The A2 variant was primarily a reconnaissance aircraft, powered by either a 520hp Salmson 18Cmb radial engine, a Lorraine 12Eb inline engine or a Hispano Suiza 12Jb engine. The Potez 25 had a range of 373 miles and a maximum speed of 132 mph. Armed with 7.7mm machine guns, it was also capable of carrying 200kg of bombs. Curiously, the aircraft could quite easily be converted from biplane to parasol-winged monoplane and served with the Romanian Air Force in this configuration. In total, over 4,000 examples were built, including many under licence. The Aircraft was license built in Poland for the Polish Armed Forces. 47 aircraft were powered by a 313 kW (420 hp) Gnome-Rhône 9Ac Jupiter radial, as the original engines were unavailable in Poland. They were in service at the time of WWII where they were outclassed by more modern German Aircraft. The Kit The Potez 25 has not been brilliantly represented by kit manufacturers over the years. The last time I remember reviewing one was a fancy mixed media kit released by Grand Models around three or so years ago. Now Azur Frrom have stepped up to the plate with a modern, injection moulded kit of the type that offers both Hispano and Lorraine engined versions, this is now followed by is new boxing from Special Hobby featuring the Jupiter engined aircraft as used by Poland. Inside the box are five frames of grey plastic and a single clear frame, as well as photo etched parts and decals. The plastic parts are all nicely moulded and have plenty of fine detail. Construction starts with the well-detailed cockpit. This sub-assembly is made up of the floor detail, seats, instrument panels, control columns, rudder pedals and the podium and machine gun for the observer/gunner. The cockpit sidewalls are packed with detail too. Once complete, the cockpit detail is sandwiched between the fuselage halves and the underside of the fuselage, which is separately moulded. The engine cowling is next. The inner struts fit inside this structure and tiny holes must also be drilled in pre-marked points in order to accommodate the rigging. Once complete, the cowling/forward fuselage can be joined to the main section of the fuselage which, in turn, can be joined to the lower wing (or blanking piece if building one of the Romanian parasol-winged monoplane versions). The upper wing joins to the fuselage and lower wing via a system of struts. There are different struts for the monoplane version. No jig is provided to help with alignment, so this model may be better suited to experienced biplane builders. The landing gear uses a similar system of individual struts. The instructions recommend making pins from brass rod to strengthen these parts and you will need to source this yourself as none is supplied. The main wheels benefit from some photo etched detail to represent the spoked wheels. More photo etched parts are used to represent the elevator control parts and the locating points for the rigging. Finishing touches include auxiliary fuel tanks and four small bombs. A choice of three different propellers is included, with helpful notes to explain which belongs to which of the different aircraft represented on the decal sheet. Decals Three decal options are provided; White 26 - Training Sqn, 1st Air Regiment Polish Air Force, Deblin 15th September 1939. Captured by the Germans. White 188, Polish Air Force. This Aircraft was damaged and subsequently captured by the Germans. Probably 42-285 Damaged at Torun Airfield during a German Air Raid on the last day of the war with Poland. Later captured by the Germans. The decals are nicely printed in house, and the colours look nice and bold. Conclusion The kit is very nicely detailed indeed, although I have to say it probably isn't ideally suited to biplane virgins. That said, if you take your time and pay attention to the instructions, you should be rewarded with a really appealing model. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  3. Today
  4. We did actually review that book direct from the publisher. Its also cheaper direct from them ATM
  5. US Navy MHU-191/M Munitions & Missiles Transporter (211948 & 212048) 1:48 VideoAviation The MHU-191/M is a bomb trolley used by the US Navy to transport either two bombs or four Missiles from the below decks arsenal to the aircraft that are intending to use them. They’re usually operated by two people and propelled by hand thanks to a long handle with T-shaped cross-bar that steers the front wheels. The two configurations are available as separate sets, and both arrive in clear clamshell boxes with card inserts at the front, the parts in separate Ziploc bags, the figures enclosed in bubble-wrap, and the instructions folded to provide protection for the parts. These sets both come with two figures each, but this time they are 3D printed using SLA resin, attached to a base plate by a webwork of supports that is easy to clip off and sand back (I tested it). The rest of the parts are resin, and each set has the same decal sheet that holds the stencils applied to the vehicle to differentiate one from another in the inventory. MHU-191/M Munitions Transporter (211948) This set comes with a pair of bombs that have separate tail-feathers, totalling twelve resin parts and the two 3D printed figures. The figures just need cleaning up before they can be painted, while the resin parts need removing from their casting blocks, after which the ladder chassis is fitted with four wheels, two bomb support cradles and the long handle with a crossbar at the end. The bombs are Mk.82s with BSU-86B tail units, and painting guides are included for them as well as the figures, which are called out using colour names with their uniforms colour coded in accordance with their deck jobs. One figure is pushing at shoulder height on the rear of the trolley, while the other walks along holding the handle, guiding it across the deck. As usual with VA figures, they’re well designed and realistic. MHU-191/M Missile Transporter (212048) This set is an empty cart, although there’s nothing to stop you adding some missiles of your choice from your kit or an aftermarket set you plan on using. The figures are again 3D SLA printed on a series of supports leading to the base, which will need clipping off and the tiny marks sanding back flush. The chassis gets a set four wheels in the corners, then two pairs of V-shaped supports with another layer on a longitudinal brace with another four supports. That should allow the carriage of four missiles if the operating crew are feeling strong enough. The towing handle attaches to the front just like the set above. Speaking of the crew, one operator is pushing or pulling the cross-bar with both hands, while the other is standing casually with one hand resting on the trolley. Again, colour call-outs are given in names for the crew and the cart, with the same stencils applied to both trucks. Conclusion VideoAviation never fail to impress with their sets, which by now could probably fill a full-sized carrier if you put them all side by side. It’s good to see them making full use of the new 3D Printing technology too. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  6. Yesterday
  7. This is a good book to accompany this kit https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/U-S-Army-Chevrolet-Trucks-in-World-War-II-by-Didier-Andres/9781612008639
  8. Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.J Nibelungenwerk Mid Prod. Sep-Nov 1944 (35339) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd Unlike the later Tiger and Panther tanks, the Panzer IV had been designed in the years leading up to the outbreak of WWII, and was intended for a different role than it eventually played, which was as a form of infantry support with the mobile artillery function rolled into one. It was a heavier tank than the previous numbered types, and was well-designed, although it did suffer from the typical WWII German over-engineering that made them complex, expensive and slow to manufacture, as well as difficult to maintain. The type went through a number of enhanced variants including a more powerful engine to give better performance, improved armour thickness for survivability, and latterly the provision of a larger gun with a longer high velocity barrel that was based upon the Pak.40, but with shortened recoil mechanism and an enlarged muzzle-brake that helped contain the powerful recoil from the 75mm gun. The new gun was in direct reaction to the first encounter with the T-34 in Soviet hands, an incident that unnerved the German tankers and their superiors, as they knew very little of its existence until they met it on the battlefield, and didn’t like the manner in which many of their shots just bounced off the sloped glacis of the T-34. The Ausf.G and H were the later mainstream variants of the Pz.IV, and were made from early 1942 until 1944 with over 4,000 made, some of which were manufactured at Vomag, Krupp-Gruson, and Nibelungenwerke, one of the largest factories in the German area of influence, based in St Valentin, Austria. By the war’s end Nibelungenwerk was the practical home of the Panzer IV, and as such was bombed heavily, strangling production of the last variant, the Ausf.J as the bombers took their toll. The Kit This is a new boxing of the recently tooled model of the Panzer IV from MiniArt of a vehicle that was made at the famous Nibelungenwerk factory, with a mixture of parts from other boxings plus some new sprues. It is an Interior kit, which extends to the full hull, with a great deal of detail included that should keep any modeller happy and beavering away at their hobby for a long time. The kit arrives in a heavily loaded top-opening box, and inside are sixty-nine sprues in grey styrene of various sizes, a clear sprue, two sheets of Photo-Etch (PE) in a card envelope, a decal sheet and thick instruction booklet with colour profiles for the decal options on the inside covers. It has individual link tracks included that are made up on a jig (more about those later), and the level of detail is exceptional, which is something we’ve come to expect from MiniArt’s output. Construction begins with the interior, which is made up on a main floor with bulkheads, ammo stores with individual rounds that have stencil decals for each one, then a complete Maybach HL 120 TRM engine in a cradle. The engine is begun by putting together the transmission and final drive units, which are positioned at the front of the hull next to the driver, with a set of instruments fitted to the top that have their own decals. This is inserted into the interior with the drive-shaft, and the driver’s seat is assembled along with the foot and hand controls, plus a worrying amount (from his point of view) of shells behind his area, plus another three ready-round boxes layered on top of various positions around the turret base. A ring of tread-plate defines the location where the turret basket will sit, and various other components are arranged around a simple seat for the radio operator/bow gunner, then the engine is assembled from its various shaped elements, topped off with the rocker covers, decals and oil filler caps. A lot of ancillaries are added, including tons of drive-belts, engine bearers, exhaust manifolds, turbocharger between the cylinder banks, dynamo and pipework. It all fits snugly into the engine compartment section of the interior to await boxing in by the hull sides. The highly detailed brake-assembly for each drive sprocket is a drum-shaped affair that comprises a substantial number of parts, some of which are PE, and it really does look the part, fitted to the inside of each hull wall flanking the two crew seats, with more small equipment boxes and a fire extinguisher fitted nearby, then the exterior face of each side is detailed with the final drive housing, suspension bump-stops, return roller bases and fuel filler caps before they are glued into place on the hull sides, with the lower glacis plate helping keep them perpendicular to the floor. Back in the engine compartment, the empty spaces around the Maybach engine are filled with airbox, fuel tank and large radiator panels that are set in the compartment at an angle, as demonstrated by the scrap diagram. The rear bulkhead closes-in the final side of the compartment, and this is festooned with detail including twin cylindrical exhausts, armoured covers for the track tensioner arms, stiffener plates and access hatches, including a manual starter slot. Under the tank a plethora of mine protection in the shape of armoured plates that wrap around the suspension exits and the edges of the hull are applied, and up front the upper glacis with access hatches and their details are glued in place open to show off the detail, or closed at your whim, and both fenders are slotted into the sidewalls, attaching via the usual slot and peg method. A run of track links is pinned to the glacis plate with brackets, and another is made up and slung across the front of the lower glacis on a bracket in one of two variations. The addition of an internal cross-brace between the two hull sides with oil can and fire extinguisher strapped on stiffens the hull laterally, and more shells are stashed on trays to the sides of the turret, again with a painting guide and stencil decals, joined by a number of dump bags of ammo for the coax MG34, which completes the lower hull for now. The upper hull is constructed in a similar manner to the lower, with the roof accepting side panels after making some small holes, the engine bay is fitted out with the side vents for the radiators and a flat rear panel that closes the area in. At the front the thick armour panel is glued in, the bow machine gun rear is created and set aside while the hatches and the barrel of the MG are fitted, mostly from the outside, together with the armoured covers for the radiator louvers, hatch levers and lifting hooks, plus the jack-block in its bracket, or the empty bracket if you choose. The driver’s armoured vision port cover and the ball-mount for the gun complete the exterior work for now, and the assembly is flipped over to detail the inside, which includes a highly detailed set of radio gear that has a painting guide next to it. The afore-mentioned bow gun’s breech and aiming mechanism are inserted into the back of the ball-mount, and the forward side sections of the upper hull are detailed with gas mask canisters, vision ports, stowage boxes and levers for operating the ports. Flipping the assembly again and it is time to add the hatch covers and interior louvers to the radiator exits, which are delicate parts and can be inserted in the open or closed positions, with a change in how they are fitted. A pair of fans that cool the radiators within the engine compartment using movable slatted panels to adjust cooling as necessary, and these two sub-assemblies are mated before the panels are glued in place with a choice of open or closed louvers. A set of four towing cable eyes are attached to the exterior along the way, but you’re responsible for providing the braided cable, which should be 152mm long and 0.75mm thick, times two. These are wrapped around two hooks on the rear in a figure-of-eight pattern. Now it’s pioneer tool time, with barrel cleaning rods, shovel, the well-detailed jack, a massive spanner, plus a set of four spare road wheels in an open-topped box with spanners strapped to the sides, and yet more track-links in a cage on the opposite side. The rear mudguards and front splash-guards are applied now, and the prominent external fire extinguisher with PE frame (and alternative styrene one if you don’t feel up to wrangling the PE) is fitted to the fender with a pair of wire-cutters and a pry-bar, all of which have optional PE mounts. Just when you think you’ve finished the tools, there’s a crank for the engine, track-spreaders, a choice of two axe installations, plus some styrene springs to allow you to show the front guards in the up position. We’re getting closer to the tracks now, but there are still a lot of wheels that need to be made. They are mounted in pairs on twin bogeys with a leaf-spring slowing the rebound of the twin swing-arms. There are two types of outer casting with two axles (for working or fixed suspension) that the swing-arms slot onto, and are then closed in by a cover, which you also have a choice of two designs for. Finally, the twin wheels with their hubcap slide onto the axles, and a small oil reservoir is glued to the side of the assembly. You make four for the left side and a mirrored set of four for the right, plus two-part idler, a choice of two-part drive sprockets and eight paired return-rollers that fit onto the posts on the sides of the hull. The suspension units have slotted mounting points that strengthen their join, and once you’re done, you can begin the tracks. The tracks are individual links with separate track pins, but don’t freak out yet! Each link has three sprue gates that are small and easy to nip off and clean up. The included jig will hold eleven links, which are fitted with the guides uppermost. Then you cut off one complete set of 11 track pins off the sprue and slide them into the pin-holes in the sides of the connected links all at once. They are then nipped off their length of sprue and can be tidied up. I added a little glue to the tops of the pins to keep them in place which resulted in a length of track that is still flexible. Just minimise the amount of glue you use. There are 101 links per track run, so you’ll be busy for a while, but the result is fabulously detailed as you can see from the pic. I didn’t bother cleaning up the mould seams for expediency, but if you plan on modelling your Panzer with clean tracks, you can sand them away if you feel the need. Two decal options have schurzen fitted, and first you must add the styrene and PE brackets on each side, then the long supports for the hook-on schurzen panels, with small horizontal in-fill panels stopping things falling between them and the hull. There are three vertical mesh panels per side, with diagonal front and rear lower edges to reduce the likelihood of them digging into the ground and being ripped off, and these are prepped with additional PE stiffeners and styrene brackets to latch onto the bar mounts, with a simple tapered section added to the front when the main panels are in place. Bear in mind that these panels were subject to the rigors of battle so were often bent, damaged or even missing entirely. Use your references and/or imagination to decide whether you wish to depict a fresh set, or a set that have been in the field for a while. Finally, we get to the turret, which begins with the ring and minimalist “floor”, to which some equipment, a drop-seat and the hand-traverse system are fixed. The inside of the mantlet is fixed to the floor after having the pivot installed, with the newly assembled breech glued into the rear once it has its breech block and closure mechanism fixed in place. The breech is then surrounded by the protective tubular frame, and the stubs of the coax machine gun and sighting gear are slid in through holes in the inner mantlet. A basket for spent casings is attached under the breech, the sighting tube and adjustment mechanism are put in place along with the coax machine gun breech, then the basket is made up from the circular tread-plated floor with tubular suspension struts and other equipment, seats, immediate ready-rounds and spare dump-bags for the coax. It is glued into the turret base, which then has the other facets added to the roof panel, with an exhaust fan and outer armoured cover included. The side hatches are the clamshell type, and can be posed open, closed or anywhere in-between, with latches and handles added, and grab-handles over the top to ease exit. The commander’s cupola is a complex raised part with five clear vision ports around it, and a choice of open or closed outer parts holding the clear lenses in place, sliding into the ring like the real thing. A ring of cushioned pads covers the interstices, and stirrup-shaped parts are fixed under each lens, with a single circular hatch with latch and handle glued into the top ring in open or closed versions, hinging open rather than the earlier two-part clamshell hatch. A blade-sight from PE is sited at the front of the cupola with an empty machine-gun ring around the base, and the turret can now be closed up with the lifting hooks each made up of two parts, and basket with optional open lid on the rear. The gun has a flattened faceted sleeve made up after removing some small raised lines, and the muzzle brake gives you a choice of four styles that differ slightly from each other if you look closely. Pick the one suitable for your decal choice, and you can begin to put the gun tube together. The outer mantlet section with the sleeve slotting into the front is applied along with a choice of two coax installations, and a single-part styrene barrel fitting into the front with a key ensuring correct orientation, then the muzzle-brake with the same feature. The turret has a bustle stowage box with optional open lid and internal details, and curved un-perforated metal schurzen are applied to the styrene brackets glued to the roof and sides, with gaps for the side hatches that are filled by a pair of hinged doors for more complete protection, and if you were ever in doubt, you get open or closed variants with PE latches. At the rear a pair of shaped PE mesh panels fit horizontally into the spaces between the bustle stowage and the schurzen, again stopping things from falling through. Because of the complexity and realism of the turret and its ring, it drop-fits into position as the final act, as bayonet lugs aren’t present in the real thing. Markings A generous six decal options are included on the sheet, and they have a wide variety of schemes that are appropriate for late war tanks, with not a monotone vehicle in sight, all having highly camouflaged surfaces over the standard base coat of dunkelgelb (dark yellow), some with the dotted Ambush scheme, one with a winter distemper scheme. From the box you can build one of the following: 6.Pz.Rgt. 3.Pz.Div. Poland, Autumn 1944. Variant 1 6.Pz.Rgt. 3.Pz.Div. Poland, Autumn 1944. With Toma Schützen Variant 2 1.Pz.Rgt. 1.Pz.Div. Hungary, November 1944 1.Pz.Rgt. 1.Pz.Div. Hungary, November 1944 With Toma Schützen II./Pz.Rgt.16, 116.Pz.Div. ‘Windhund’, Battle of the Bulge, December 1944 Unidentified Unit, Winter 1944/45 Decals are by MiniArt’s usual partner, DecoGraph, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion This is one well-detailed kit that should keep you occupied for a good number of modelling hours. The complete interior is depicted with a splendid level of detail, which should allow even the most detail-focused modeller to build it out of the box. Careful painting will bring it to life, and leaving some hatches open will show viewers just how claustrophobic going into war in these iron beasts would have been, and likely still is. Highly recommended. At time of writing, there’s a generous 20% discount on this kit at Creative Models, so click away! Review sample courtesy of
  9. Supermarine Sea Otter Mk.I/ASR Mk.II "Foreign Service" 1:72 Special Hobby (72431) The Se Otter was developed by Supermarine from its famous predecessor the Walrus. As a longer range Sea Plane the main difference is the arrangement of the engine from the pusher as seen on the Walrus to the more conventional puller. The Sea Otter was the last Sea Plane to be designed by Supermarine, and the last biplane to enter service with the RAF & FAA. Despite the prototype flying in 1938 it was not ordered until 1942 with only 292 of the nearly 700 ordered being produced before the end of WWII. Many aircraft were sold and used in civilian use post WWII with conversions to passenger and freight transport for remote locations being done. The Kit This is a re-release of the Azur Ffrom kit originally from 2011. The kit arrives on 4 spures, a clear spurue, A sheet of PE, a bag of resin parts and a cockpit film. Construction starts with the interior. Two seats complete with PE belts are made up these are fitted to the cabin floor along with all of the internal bulkheads. The instrument panel with its POE part and film goes in. The two rear windows go into the fuselage halves from the inside and then the fuselage can be closed up around the cabin interior. Now the tailplanes and rudder are fitted to the completed fuselage before work can start on the wings. Both the upper and lower wings are 3 part. There is a single upper with left & right lowers. The engine pod fits under the top with with the engine, cowl, and exhaust being in resin. The lower wing is attached to the main fuselage and then the upper wing is fixed on with all of the struts. There are shallow locating points for all the struts. Under the lower wing the stabilising floats can be fitted along with a pair of resin & PE bomb racks. At the rear the tail wheel is added and the main wheels are also built up ad added. To finish up PE & wire (not supplied) hand rails are fitted to the front and rear fuselage. These were used in SAR operations. A full rigging diagram is provided if the modeller wishes to rig the finished aircraft. Decals Three options are provided on the decal sheet, these look to have been made in house, they look to be in register with no issues.: Mk.I, 8S-10 8S Sqn, Cat Lai Air Base, French Indo-China 1949. Mk.II ASR - Dutch Navy 1950. Mk.I JM833 Danish Navy, Copenhagen 1947. Conclusion This is a good kit of an overlooked aircraft. The fabric effects are well represented without being overscale and there is a fair amount of detail. With some care this will build up into a good looking model. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  10. Last week
  11. He may not want to admit it, but yeah Absolutely did he make the pew-pew noises
  12. The more I see of the T-34, the more I love it. Might have to get this kit to support the 1:16 I already have
  13. This is how they wish us to do there corporate branding from now following Quantum buying Revell. Not sure if or when they will change their boxart. https://www.carrera-revell.com/en/ https://www.toynews-online.biz/2020/10/14/revell-to-supply-carrera-brand-to-uk-and-ireland-retail-from-january-2021/
  14. Nice kit if a rare subject! Thanks for the review!
  15. Thanks for the review! Great the kit is available again! The only alternative is the expensive, hard to get but also technically way more complex Zukai Mura kit. Since when is Revell: CarreraRevell by the way? The boxart only shows Revell....
  16. T-34/85 Composite Turret 112 Plant Summer 1944 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd The T-34 was Stalin's mainstay medium tank that was produced in incredible volume by sometimes crude methods, and thrown into the fray against the numerically inferior German tanks on the Eastern Front. The designers combined a number of important advances in design such as sloped frontal armour, wide tracks to spread the load, and the ability to cope with the harsh Russian winters without grinding to a halt, which was a problem that affected the Germans badly after the successes in the summer of Operation Barbarossa. The part count and cost of the tank was continuously reduced during production, with plants turning out up to 1,300 per month at the height of WWII. The initial welded turret was replaced by a cast turret with more room, and later the 76mm gun was replaced by a more powerful 85mm main gun in the T-34/85 with an enlarged turret, giving even the Tiger pause for thought. Czechoslovakia was subsumed by the Nazi war machine in a two-stage operation just prior to the outbreak of WWII that began with the Sudetenland, and it stayed under the Nazi jackboot until the beginning of 1945 as the Soviet juggernaut rolled back the Germans to their old borders and beyond. The incoming Soviet influence provided the Czechs with T-34/85s to jump-start the Czech army, and once they themselves had completed their integration of the area within the Soviet Bloc, Czech factories began making their own under license, with over 1,800 made, some of which were exported abroad to Soviet friendly allies in either new or used condition. The tank itself was a kind of Frankenstein made using moulds and specifications from different factories, and occasionally adding in a soupçon of other people’s technology, such as some knock-off German Notek convoy lights in the very early issue. They stayed in Czech service a lot longer that they perhaps otherwise would, had the Czech soldiers in exile not been already familiar with them, but by 1954 production was ceased and geared up for license building of the T-54 to replace it. The tanks sold abroad often had very short, violent lives, passing through the hands of various Middle Eastern and South African nations, with losses heavy when they were faced with a more modern enemy. The Kit This is a boxing of MiniArt’s new T-34 line, and as well as being of an early type with the larger gun and turret, it is also a full interior kit, so the box is loaded with sprues of all shapes and sizes. In total there are seventy eight sprues in grey styrene, two in clear, a good-sized Photo-Etch (PE) brass fret, a decal sheet and instruction booklet with colour profiles inside each of the front and back covers. Many of the sprues will be seen in various other boxings of the T-34, which is the reason for their use of smaller sprues that make their kits so eminently modular. It makes the process easier and cheaper for them, and makes the likelihood of receiving many different options to choose from very much more promising for us. As always with MiniArt, the design, detail and crispness of moulding is excellent, and the inclusion of Photo-Etch (PE) brass in the box is one less thing you need to fork out for. Unsurprisingly, construction begins with the lower hull and suspension. The floor is fitted with four tubular fittings for the suspension on each side and a lower escape hatch, then the engine firewall near the rear, and many of the interior parts are fitted into the front of the floor, joined by ammo stowage below the turret location, plus ammo cans for the bow machine gun, driver controls that include foot pedals and linkages, with the driver’s and machine gunner’s seat completing his area, each of which have generous side bolsters to prevent them from being tipped out of their seats on rough ground. The lower hull walls are next, with their Christie-style suspension springs contained in channels up the inside wall, and numerous equipment attached in between, including fire extinguishers, ready-rounds and some small PE parts. These are joined to the floor and the engine is begun, complete with the whole block, twin banks of pistons and rocker covers, exhaust manifolds, ancillaries and a sturdy trestle mount on which the engine rests. Radiator panels, first-motion shaft and clutch are fitted next as the block is inserted into the rear hull along with the radiators, fuel tank on the sponson, then another bulkhead behind the engine, with a cut-out that surrounds the clutch that in turn mates to the transfer box and brake drums that fit up against the final drive housing at the very rear of the vehicle. Various brake and transfer linkages are added on top with the generator for the electrics and two air intake boxes and hoses, one on each side of the bay. The exhausts pass over the top and are later covered with external armoured tail pipes, but in the meantime the upper hull is begun. The upper hull begins with the ball-mount and DT Machine gun for the bow, complete with light-weight sliding stock for the gunner’s comfort. The gun is left to swivel inside the port, so be sparing with the glue when you complete this assembly. The glacis plate accepts the gun from inside after fitting of the armoured protection, hinge for the driver’s door, convoy light with cable, and a set of five spare track links attached to the lower area. Inside a small instrument panel with decals for the dials is installed below the lip of the hatch. A light interlude of making the additional fuel tanks for the sides of the hull, complete with carry-handles on each end then takes us to the upper hull. The top and sides are moulded as one, and the sides have a myriad of holes drilled out before they are applied to the hull, with a few nubs cut from the exterior on the way, and this is then joined by the glacis plate with PE stiffener plates at the sides. At the rear the engine is still exposed, which is next to be addressed, by adding a frame around the rear bulkhead before attaching this large panel that can be fitted closed or hinged down for maintenance, and has a number of holes drilled out, depending on which decal option you are building. The bulkhead has a circular inspection panel in the centre that can also be open or closed, with a pair of armoured exhaust covers to the sides. The engine deck is covered with vents and louvers that are added with a central inspection hatch, then dropped over the engine bay. Additional armoured covers are fitted over the basic louvers, then the suspension swing-arms and stub axles are installed under the sponsons, and the mudguards with PE detail parts are glued into place at the front, with more simplified flaps to the rear, again with the PE details. Small parts and various pioneer tools or stowage boxes are made up and fitted onto the sloped sides of the hull, with racks of winter track grousers attached to the flat portions of the side and fuel tank supports behind them. At this stage the driver’s hatch is also built with twin clear periscopes, hatch closures and external armoured cowls for the ‘scopes and hinges. By installing a gas-strut part inside the hatch rim earlier, you can set the hatch open to expose some of the interior, and fitting the bow-wave deflector half way up the glacis you can ensure his knees don’t get wet. Ten pairs of wheels with separate hub caps are built with two drive sprockets and idler wheels to complete the rolling part of the tracks. At the same time the main towing cables are made from styrene towing eyes, but you will need to supply three lengths of 94mm braided cord or wire, so make sure you have some on hand when you begin. The side tanks are fitted to their frames with PE shackles on both sides with the short, ribbed containers having a styrene fitting that hooks to the frame with a PE hook. The headlight fits to the join between the sloped glacis and sides on a mixed styrene/PE bracket with styrene rear housing and clear lens at the front. Now for the tracks. The T-34’s wide tracks were simple and easy to produce, as well as great at spreading the tank’s weight and helping prevent freezing of the drivetrain in cold weather, of which Russia has more than its fair share. There are two track parts, one flat, the other with a guide horn in the centre, and both have exquisite casting details that includes the ID numbers on both parts and indeed both faces. They have four sprue gates on each link, attached on the curved hinge-points, making them easy to cut back flush and then sand smooth with a sanding stick, to ease assembly and gluing. I made up a short length as a test, and was finished in a few minutes with a little liquid glue thanks to their close tolerances that keep them together while you glue. Each side needs 72 links, which equates to 36 of each piece, and once you get into a rhythm, it won’t take too long to complete the task, wrapping the still flexible links around the curved sections and holding them in place with tape and other clamps etc. to obtain the correct sag on the top run once the glue has cured. The detail is so good it’s almost a shame to weather them once painted. Next up its the turret. The gun breech is made up from a substantial number of parts with another 7.62mm DT machine gun mounted coaxially in the mantlet, before it is set to one side while the busy turret floor is completed. The floor part first has a lip inserted within the ring, then is detailed with seats, traversing equipment, plus a stack of sixteen accessible rounds in a frame that is mounted in the rear of the bustle for easy access. The inner mantlet is prepared with the main gun’s mount, plus elevation hardware and sight, which is glued to the turret floor and has the breech slid in from behind and joined by the coax DT with its mount. Another seat with PE leather strap suspension is strung between the turret side and the breech. The main turret is C-shaped part with three sides moulded into it, holes must be opened up for external fittings at this point. The separate roof then goes on with two mushroom vents to the rear. Back inside the turret this has inserts within for the interior skin, with ready-rounds, radio gear, spare periscope glass and other equipment needed for fighting. Reverting back to the top, the roof also has two forward periscopes under armoured shrouds. The roof then has a large cupola with clear vision blocks and periscope built into the bi-fold hatch, plus a more simple hatch for the gunner, both of which can be fitted open or closed. The turret top is fitted over the base and joined by the gun tube, which is a single part, and has an outer mantlet slid over it once inserted. An aerial, some grab handles, stowage loops and lugs are dotted around the turret and a folded canvas sheet (of your own making) can be lashed to the bustle with some PE straps that are included on the fret. Dropping the turret into place in the hull completes the build. Markings There are five decal options in the box, and due to the length of service of the Czech produced T-34s, there are a number of more attractive camouflage schemes, rather than just green or winter distemper white. From the box you can build one of the following: 31st Tank Corps, 1st Ukrainian Front, Poland, Jan 1945 9th Tank Corps, Germany, Spring 1945 1st Czechoslovak Tank Brigade, Spring 1945 5th Guards Tank Corps, 3rd Ukrainian Front, Austria, Spring 1945 7th Guards Tank Corps, Poland, Spring 1945 The decal sheet isn’t huge because this is a tank, but the sheet is printed by DecoGraph, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion The T-34 played a huge part in the Soviet response to Operation Barbarossa, albeit after a substantial delay caused by Stalin’s apparent indecision. It was a stalwart of their defence then offense, sweeping the Germans aside thanks to its sloped armour and weight of numbers. This kit shows the internal workings of the vehicle in extreme detail, and gives a good idea of just how cramped and claustrophobia-inducing it was. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  17. Not all Mk.II's, these are tropical vents, and are seen on Trop Mk.I's as well, though in later Hurricane batches they do become a standard fitting, as a lot of Hurricane by this point were going to the ME and FE.
  18. It might also be worth mentioning that the pitot head has been omitted. That's understandable as it would have been very difficult to include it considering that the kit's intended to be assembled without glue, even though there's some pretty ingenious engineering to allow the navigation and landing lights to be snap-fitted. The pair of vents above the wing root on Mk II Hurricanes are also missing, though they're visible in the box art. Essentially it's a kit of a Mk I fitted with a four-cannon wing and the deeper radiator of the Mk II, plus a Constellation spinner. It's a real shame as it's very nicely moulded, beautifully detailed and doesn't suffer from the narrow nose syndrome that some other Hurricane kits have.
  19. So are the Airfix click together Bugattis regarded as toys rather than model kits as far a licencing is concerned? I guess they must be from Matt's comments. The big Lego Bugatti is a brilliant bit of technical innovation but to my eyes is not really meant to be a scale model but more of a caricature of the car where the emphasis is a fun build with lots of working features.
  20. Cavalier Turbo Mustang III (11149) 1:48 Halberd Models Conversion for Eduard P-51D After WWII, the P-51 Mustang continued to serve with the US Air Force for a while as their standard fighter, although with every day it became more out-dated due to the headlong rush of aviation technology after the advent of jet propulsion and the race to break the sound barrier. By 1957 the last Mustang left US service, and North American sold the intellectual rights to the design that they then considered worthless to Trans Florida Aviation Inc., who intended to create a high-speed executive transport by taking surplus airframes and rebuilding them as an improved two-seat civilian aircraft. The initial Cavalier Mustangs were stripped and rebuilt without their military equipment, but apart from their livery and the taller rudder fin, they were visually almost indistinguishable from the old warhorse. They were well-appointed, with new avionics and luxury interiors, were powered by an improved Merlin engine, and were available with various-sized fuel capacities that gave a range from 750 up to 2,500 miles. Around 20 were made of the initial mark, then the Mark II was designed, with tip-tanks for extra range and various structural and avionics improvements. It was also outfitted with hard-points for weapons, and another boost to the power of the Merlin engine. Some of these were sold to Asian and South American countries, where some El Salvadoran airframes took part in the Soccer War. During this period Cavalier were actively courting the US Air Force trying to sell them the improved airframe as a Counter Insurgency (COIN) or Close Air Support (CAS) platform, but they weren’t biting, so sales were low to other customers. Soon after, they retired the trusty Merlin and replaced it with a Dart 510 turboprop, again from Rolls-Royce, although they had really wanted a Lycoming engine. It reduced the maintenance burden and was more gutsy and fuel efficient, but they still couldn’t get the US government interested. The design with the preferred Lycoming turboprop engine replacing the Dart was sold to Piper, and became the PA-48 Enforcer, but only four were made and shared so few parts with the original Mustang that there was little in the way of cost-savings from use of existing Mustang parts. Only two of the four survived the years in between, and are to be found in US museums. Many of the original Cavalier Mustangs were converted back to their original specification when Warbirds and heritage flights became popular. The Kit This is a new resin conversion kit for the Eduard P-51 Mustang in 1:48, and will convert it to the Rolls-Royce Dart equipped Turbo Mustang Mk.III that was unsuccessfully marketed to the US Airforce, and we’ve already reviewed the original Mk.I and Mk.II Cavalier conversions that carried piston engines here, which has the same preamble for obvious reasons (my laziness, and a shared story). It was an evolutionary dead-end, but looks pretty awesome, so I for one am extremely pleased to see this conversion kit, resigning the old set by the now defunct Heritage to the bin where it belongs. You can buy the set in a box with some Eduard Overtree sprues, or separately in a smaller white box if you already have a candidate kit in your possession. The conversion arrives in the aforementioned white box with a large sticker and a profile of the aircraft on the front, plus logos and a link to their eBay shop in red. Inside are 22 resin parts in Halberd’s signature green resin, surrounded by bubble-wrap and Ziploc bags, with the two large replacement fuselage parts taped together and encased in bubble-wrap to keep them safe and aligned during shipping and storage. In addition to the resin is a small set of decals on white backing paper, plus three pages of A4 instructions printed in colour on both sides. The parts are expertly cast, and the fuselage parts have all the detail of the Eduard parts, carried over flawlessly onto the new nose that extends from the front of the canopy. The new and old details are perfectly matched, which is very impressive, given the finesse of the originals – kudos indeed. This finesse is carried through to the large square-tipped prop blades, the oval side-mounted exhaust and the antennae that are attached to the new taller tail fin. As usual, take care with sanding resin, as the fine dust can be hazardous to your health if you breathe it deep into your lungs. Wearing a mask and wet-sanding will help keep you safe, and carrying out the task outdoors would be ideal. Construction begins with adapting the seat to remove the head armour, adding it and the new resin rear passenger seat to the cockpit along with the headrest as part of building the kit cockpit with whatever upgrades you may or may not wish to apply from other sources. The new fuselage needs little in the way of clean-up, but ensure it is done before you begin adding the kit parts, and remember to use CA to glue them, as resin cannot be bonded together or with styrene parts by our usual plastic glues. Not even the mighty Tamiya Extra Thin can do the job. Epoxy resin can be used for large parts if structural strength is needed, but it’s slippery stuff and takes 5 minutes for initial cure, so needs to be held in place with tape or clamps, whereas CA generally bonds almost instantly. It’s your choice of course. At the tail the fin has been adapted ready for the extended tip, and you should drill two 0.2mm holes in the sides for the antenna on each side. The fin fillet from the kit will fit in the gap at the leading edge of the tail, and the kit rudder will fit too once you have removed a short section from the top, using the new fin top as your guide. The kit canopies are used, but with the stiffening hoop omitted to avoid decapitating the passenger and a new resin part at the rear, while the windscreen loses its rear-view mirror. Going back to the fuselage, the front is finished with another fine resin part, with a top intake and a small gap between the cowling and the gearbox housing, with some fine stators visible at the back of the space. The prop boss has recesses for the four blades cut into its sides, and a peg that mates with the recess at the centre of the nose for easy installation. The prop blades however aren’t keyed, so you will need to set the angle yourself to ensure they are all correctly aligned and facing the right way. It may be an idea to create a small temporary jig to help with this. The large exhaust is fitted through an oval opening in the starboard side of the fuselage, and the inner end butts up against a recess inside the nose, so insert that before you get too far ahead of yourself and can no longer see the part’s destination. The kit wings are built up as normal, but have the front section under the nose removed back past the curved section of the root fairing, and the wingtips too, both as shown in red on the instructions. Take care here, because the centre section is shown being removed in steps in two separate diagrams, which could lead to some confusion. The tip tanks have their fairings and a shallow peg to mate to the open wingtips, and they are moulded with the nose separate to allow them to be cast as smooth as possible. I have cut one of the parts free on the previous set, and with careful fitting, the noses can be mated perfectly to the main tank section. Just take some time and care with sanding and test-fitting the joints. The pylons for the numerous weapons the Turbo Mustang could carry are attached to the underside of the wing on pins, and you should first measure and drill the holes, preferably before you have completed the wing, so take care there too. There are six pylons in total, two from the kit, and four resin parts from the conversion, all of which are set 13.5mm apart in a line. I’ve also marked these out on a kit wing and drilled them out, so it’s not so hard. The rest of the kit is put together in the same manner as the Eduard instructions suggest, but it will be key to your success to familiarise yourself with both sets of instructions to ensure you know exactly where all the parts go, and at which stage in the build you should insert them into the model. Markings There were only a few of these aircraft made, so there aren’t many options unless you’re going to go with a “what-if” scheme. From the box you can build the following: Cavalier Turbo Mustang III, Sarasota, Florida, 1968 The colour call-outs use FS numbers and colour names, and the few decals are shown in an enlarged form where necessary to save straining your eyeballs. The decals are well-printed with a thin carrier film, and a small arrow is printed next to the step-marks on the wing roots so that you fit them correctly. Stencils for the large prop blades are included, as are a selection of RR logos and fire warning stencils. My example had two decal sheets in the bag, but yours may not, so don’t assume. Conclusion The previous sets were excellent, but the sheer weirdness of the nose of this version makes me unreasonably happy, and the fact that it has been so well done almost brings a lump to my throat. You really need one for your stash, and to encourage Halberd to create more excellent oddities to fill our cabinets and stashes with interesting aircraft and their lesser-known derivatives. Extremely highly recommended. Halberd Models sell their products via eBay for their ease, and the link below will take you to their shop there. Review sample courtesy of
  21. Horten Go.229A (03859) 1:48 Carrera Revell The Horten brothers were a pair of visionary siblings that designed a series of flying wing gliders in pre-WWII during the period when Germany was prohibited from having an air force. Each design improved on the last, and once the Luftwaffe broke cover in their expansionist phase before WWII, development began in earnest. The requirement for a light bomber capable of the 3x1000 by the RLM, which was for an aircraft capable of carrying a 1,000kg bomb load a distance of 1,000km at 1,000kph in 1943 set the wheels in motion that resulted in the Horten.IX, which is better known as the Ho.229, and sometimes referred to as the Go.229 due to the fact that the Gothaer factory had been chosen for production examples. The flying wing had a low drag form, and the addition of two jet engines gave it the potential to fulfil the requirement, although it suffered a little from lateral instability due to its slick shape. The first prototype flew un-powered and with fixed landing gear in 1944, with results that bore plenty of promise before crashing due to a pilot error. Gotha altered the design in practical ways to ease production and increase longevity, as well as adding a rudimentary ejector seat that was probably as much of a danger to the pilot as being shot down and having to bail out. Another prototype was lost due to an engine fire, but this did not deter the RLM from striving to reach production, despite the worsening situation in Europe for Germany. The third prototype was enlarged, and it was this that fell into the hands of the advancing US troops, and subsequently the Operation Paperclip team, who took it back to America with plenty of other advanced designs. It remains there to this day, in the restoration area of the Smithsonian's NASM. The Kit This is a reboxing of Dragon’s excellent rendition of this unusual flying wing design that inspired a number of efforts to create a flying wing design post-war, most of which weren’t unduly successful with a few notable exceptions thanks to the march of technology. The kit was first seen in a Dragon box in 1992, and the moulds are wearing well, although a little flash has crept into the moulding for some of the small parts on my example, but that’s the work of moments to remove. At the time, the kit was fêted for including a cockpit, gun bays and two engines in their compartments, with the option to show them off if you wished. Those aspects of the kits haven’t gone away, so there’s plenty of options to personalise your model from within the box. The kit arrives in an end-opening box with seven sprues of pale grey styrene, a small clear sprue, a sheet of Photo-Etch (PE), decal sheet and the instruction booklet with colour profiles on the rear pages. Construction begins with the cockpit tub, which is moulded into the top deck of what could be called the fuselage. The cockpit sides are decked out with tubular framing, and the small crowded instrument panel with decal fits into the front with the control column. The basic ejection seat has a separate headrest and foot pegs, and the last step of the instructions show the application of seatbelts that you are shown making from paper with PE furniture included on the nickel-plated fret, so they can be fitted without painting. A lot of folks will substitute some Tamiya tape for the paper, as it’s a little less absorbent of paint, and closer to the right colour. Rudder pedals and the gunsight are installed in the front of the cockpit, with a clear part for the glass. Attention shifts then to the twin Junkers Jumo 004B turbojets, the front and rear of which will be immediately familiar to anyone that has built an Me.262. The rear bullet is made up first, with a representation of the aft of the engine visible behind it, then the main casing is made from two parts with a front bullet and the aforementioned rear inserted within on a pair of ledges. Nine additional parts are attached to each engine to depict the ancillaries, and there are detailed painting instructions throughout for anyone wanting to leave the top panels open to show off their hard work. The front of both engines are inserted into the nose cone intake trunking on location pegs, then put to one side while the lower fuselage and gun bays are made up. A pair of chunky MK 108 cannon are included in the box, with ammo feeds glued to the sides before they are laid in the floor of the lower fuselage, to be surrounded by the framework structure of the aircraft, and a representation of the ammo boxes that feed these 30mm beasts that consume ammo at a rate of over 600 rounds per minute each, given the opportunity. A pair of frames are then placed at the wing roots, and the engines with their forward cowling are dropped in place, taking care to align the two parts for a good flush join. The top of the fuselage is brought in and glued into place, with either the engine cowling panels fitted over the top, or with a little more framework added over the engines, you can choose to leave the panels off to showcase your work. The laminated wooden wings had very little in the way of panel lines, which is faithfully depicted here, with the elevons and spoiler flaps moulded in the neutral position. Each wing is two parts, and they attach to the fuselage in much the same way as the real thing, mounted on twin brackets with large pegs (read: bolts) fitting through both parts to hold them in place. You wouldn’t be blamed for adding a little glue to the proceedings to ensure they stay in position however. A pitot probe slots into the leading edge of the port wing, and wingtip light lenses can be found on the clear sprue. To save development costs and time, the tricycle landing gear initially utilised some parts of existing aircraft, with He.177 wheel rims remaining in this version of the airframe’s development. The nose wheel is made from two halves with a balloon tyre, and is attached to the strut by a pair of V-shaped yoke parts on a two-part pivot that also holds a substantial mudguard. The assembly is then linked to its retraction system, with another U-shaped yoke, cross-braces, and surprisingly long links that lead well back into the fuselage. The main gear legs are more straight forward, having a stub axle and moulded-in scissor link, plus the retraction jack that pulls it sideways into the bay. Each one has a captive door on the axle, with two smaller doors attached to the edges of each bay. The nose gear has a large curved front door, and two long side-opening doors covering up the insanely long retraction mechanism. The two cannon barrels with their perforated muzzle-brakes that are well-moulded for the scale are popped in the leading edge of the wing roots, while an antenna, small intakes, clear light and D/F loop are fitted to the underside, and the lower fuselage/engine bay panels are inserted, leaving a small rectangular chute for the disposal of spent brass casings. Finally, the canopy is fitted in two parts, with the shallow windscreen glued to the front lip, while the sliding rear has a T-shaped retainer added, which allows it to be inserted into the track in the rear deck, so that you can open or close the canopy at will. Markings The 229 never saw active service thankfully for the Allies, so the two schemes are speculative at best. From the box you can build one of the following: Blaue/Blue 4, Luftwaffe, 1945 Rote/Red 13, Luftwaffe, 1945 Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion There’s something impressive about the futuristic look of this 1945 era flying wing, and although it was largely untested as a fighter, it does have an appeal that attracts many modellers, myself included. Whether the laminated wood construction would have held up to extended use is anyone’s guess, but the tooling for this kit certainly has. Highly recommended. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  22. A number of Hurricane rebuilds use Constellation spinners, probably why the spinner looks wrong. It’s a shame they didn’t do the lIB with the option of the replacement Russian guns . Wulfman
  23. They didn’t lidar-scan the pilot ! Wulfman
  24. Thanks for demonstrating the colours, I like the three 81’s, but which one on what ? Will we ever know ? Wulfman
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