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Showing topics in Aircraft Reviews, Kits, Aftermarket (updates/conversions), Decals & Masks, 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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  1. Yesterday
  2. s.E.Pkw Kfz.70 with Zwillingssockel 36 (35503) 1:35 ICM via H G Hannants Ltd The Horch 108 was developed and then built by Horch as well as Ford Germany as a heavy off-road transport for troops, light transport, searchlight and anti-aircraft installations. The passenger variant was known as the Kfz.70, but with the addition of the anti-aircraft mount in the passenger compartment, it was sometimes known as the Kfz.81. They were widely used by the Wehrmacht in various roles throughout their spheres of operation, and this model was employed as a mobile light anti-aircraft unit, having MG34 machine-guns on a twin mount that was capable of rotating 360° and was effective out to 2,000 metres in a similar manner to the ground-based MG34s, with a high rate of fire that often led to them being employed as fire support when they were handily placed. Eventually the type was withdrawn in favour of the more flexible kubelwagen. The Kit This is a relatively new tooling from ICM, dating from 2015, but adding a twin machine-gun mount in the rear to improve the overall value and give it a more aggressive countenance. The additional instructions for the machine-gun mount are given on the last two page of the booklet, once the vehicle itself is completed. The kit arrives in a top-opening box with a captive inner flap on the bottom tray, and inside are seven sprues in grey styrene, plus a clear sprue, a sprue of flexible black rubberised tyres, a small decal sheet and the afore-mentioned instruction booklet. The model is built up on its ladder chassis, including the engine, transmission, suspension with nicely moulded springs, plus body supports, brake hoses and exhaust system. Overall it's a very nicely detailed underside, with the engine being the focal-point. The hubs are split between inner and outer halves, which facilitates easy painting of the wheels and tyres separately, and installation of the tyres on the hubs without struggle. The coachwork is assembled on the floor plate, which has the rear wheel arches moulded in and stops at the firewall, with spaces for the driver's pedals in the left footwell. The body sides are added, with moulded-in framework, and the dashboard is fitted between them to stabilise the assembly. The dash has a decal for the instruments, a handgrip for the co-driver, heater ducting and a lever beneath the steering column, which is added later. The front inner arches are glued to the underside of the body, and a rear load cover with moulded-in seat back is applied over the rear arches, after which the two rear doors and their handles are installed. A delicate (in this scale) framework is fitted between the rear seats and the driver's area, with the fifth wheel behind the driver, and a set of bench seats in the back of the rear compartment, which also have delicate framework under their cushions. The front seats are individual, but of similar construction, and have space for the supplied KAR98 rifles between them, with two more pairs fitted in the rear compartment. The windscreen is of the flip-down type, and has two separate panes added to the frame, with no windows supplied for the sides, as it is modelled with the hood down. The doors can be fitted opened or closed, with their own separate handles inside and out. Once the chassis and body are mated, more of the underpinnings are added, and the radiator with cooling fan are attached along with the louvred bonnet and front bumper irons. At the rear the hood is constructed from four parts, sitting on top of the load cover in a folded state, as there isn't an option for a raised hood on this variant. Wing mirrors, pioneer tools, front headlights with clear lenses, and number plates are dotted around to finish off the main build. To make up the gun installation, the ammo cans are made up first, joined to the twin frame, which then has the gun mounts fitted on top. The guns are still fitted with their bipods, which along with the breech cover are moulded separately to the rest of the guns. If you’re a detailer, you may want to drill out the muzzles very carefully with a tiny bit in a pin vice. With the guns on their frame, the outer frame is fitted around it in two halves, slotting into the pivot points moulded into the frame, and supported by a cross-brace lower in the frame. Another bracing strut fits across the front and has a canvas brass catcher curtain suspended beneath it that is attached to the tube by a series of rings moulded into the part. The conical base is built from two parts and inserts into a socket in the underside of the outer frame, then it’s a case of making up the seat that fits at the very rear of the outer frame, and choosing the correct sighting part for your chosen pose, pivoting the guns to an appropriate elevation during the process. A pair of greyscale scrap diagrams shows the two finished poses. Markings There are three markings options on the decal sheet in various camo schemes, ranging from panzer grey, dunkelgelb and a camouflaged version striped with both the colours of the other options. From the box you can build one of the following: Russia, Autumn 1942 Sapper platoon of Heavy Panzer Battalion 501, Schw.Abt.501, Tunisia, 1943 Russia, Summer 1943 Decals are by ICM’s usual partners, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion A well-detailed model of a common vehicle in Wehrmacht service, with added fun-factor thanks to the twin MG34s in the rear that take up the room previously allocated to an extra bench seat. Imagine the noise! Highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  3. Mosquito B.Mk.IV Löök (644188 for Tamiya) 1:48 Eduard This set contains a combination of pre-printed resin and PE parts to detail up the cockpit of your Tamiya Mosquito quickly and efficiently. It’s a classic kit that is still just as crisply moulded as it was when first released, but aftermarket technology has proceeded apace in the years since it arrived on our shores. As usual with Eduard's Photo-Etch (PE), Löök 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. The resin parts are protected by a crystal-clear plastic clamshell box with a sticky pad in the bottom to prevent the parts from rattling around within, while the PE is glued to the cardboard backing. There is one resin part to replace the kit instrument panel in front of the pilot, and two more replacing the transmitter and receiver radio boxes in the rear of the cockpit, all with glossy faced dials, switches and knobs already painted for you on black resin. Additionally, the PE sheet contains four-point belts for the pilot and navigator, and a pair of grab-handles for the R.1155 Radio Receiver. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. Last week
  5. Let me reassure you that the profiles are correct and the classic box art is not.
  6. Marder I – 7.5cm Pa.K 40(Sf) auf Geschutzwagen FCM 36(f) (03292) 1:35 Carrera Revell The Marder series of Tank Destroyers were originally created to fill a need for mobile artillery that could be self-sufficient and yet work in unison with troops and tanks at the high speed of Blitzkrieg. The concept was to mount a PaK40 or captured Soviet 76 mm F-22 Model 1936 divisional field gun on a captured tank chassis that had been stripped of its superstructure and given an extended splinter shield around the gun and its crew, whilst leaving the roof open to the elements. Many of the initial Marder Is were built on French Lorraine or Czech 38(t) chassis, but a small number were constructed on the obsolete FCM 36, with a large shield that extended almost the whole length of the vehicle. FCM stands for Forges et Chantiers de la Méditerranée, who were based at Toulon in the French Riviera. They saw use on the Eastern Front initially, then also in the West after D-Day. Although they were intended to be mobile artillery that could destroy most tanks at a respectable range, they were only lightly armoured to protect their crews from shrapnel, shell splinters or light arms fire from all-round, which is somewhat better than a standard artillery piece would afford its crew, although the open roof would make a tempting target for grenades or demolition packs in close combat. It would have been uncomfortable for the crew in bad weather too, necessitating a temporary tarpaulin roof to keep the precipitation out, but very little of the cold. The Kit This is a reboxing by Revell of a substantial re-tool of ICM’s previous FCM 36 kits, adding the specialised parts for the conversion undertaken by Baustokommando Becker at the time. It arrives in a standard Revell end-opening box with seven sprues in grey styrene, two flexible black sprues of track links, a decal sheet and colour instruction booklet with profiles in the back pages for painting and markings. The original FCM 36 kit was only released in 2020, so it’s a modern tooling with plenty of detail and this boxing includes the majority of the interior due to the open roof. Construction begins with the lower hull, which is made up initially of the floor and two sides, with bulkheads added to the sides to support the lower sponson panels that give the vehicle more ground clearance. The running gear is made up from a three-part drive sprocket, eighteen sets of twin wheels that are fitted to eight double bogies and two singles, then the big idler wheels at the rear of the hull on sliding tensioning axles. The sloped armoured upper sponsons are installed along the way, with the mud-shedding apertures on each side. Two pairs of return rollers on the top run are glued inside the sponson, then the flexible black “rubberband” tracks are glued together, the instructions neglecting to mention that styrene glues won’t join them, so you should use super glue or epoxy instead. Each run has two sections, with the joints best placed in the centre of each run so they stand less chance of being seen on the finished model. Detail on the tracks is very nice, with twin guide horns and perforated centres like the real thing, but of course the links will curve round the ends, rather than give the correct faceted look that individual links provide. The upper hull is a new part, and has an opening at the front where the turret would have been, and has the two fender sides fitted to the rear before it is joined to the lower hull, hiding most of the upper track run. At the rear a large louvred panel and fixtures on the final-drive access hatches are glued on first, with the two exhausts and their mufflers slotted into grooves to their side, and a C-shaped manifold joining them at the top. Pioneer tools and towing eyes are the final parts for now, because the gun must be made up first. The PaK40 is begun by making up the cradle and inserting the breech, then the one-piece gun tube and part of the elevation mechanism. The cradle trunnions are held in place by the side frames, which are fixed to the arrow-shaped floor. More of the elevation mechanism is added, then the floor is mated to the hull, covering up the turret aperture, then having armoured supports slipped under the overhang. The gun’s double-layer splinter shield is slid over the barrel and glued to the gun, then the two faceted side panels are fitted out with shell racks, then attached to the side of the vehicle, to be joined by the rear wall after adding some stowage boxes inside and a pair of louvred panels to the sides. Twenty-eight shells are supplied on the sprues to be slotted into the holes in the racks nose down, then some spare tracks are fixed to the sides, and the self-defence MG34 machine gun is fitted to the front shield on a short pintle-mount. An outer splinter shield slides over the gun, and then you can put on the two-part muzzle brake, which gives the impression of a hollow barrel. Markings There are eight markings options on the decal sheet, with a nice variation between them, all of which saw action (or training exercises) in 1943 and 1944, two of them having alternative schemes worn at different times during those periods, and one is from the same unit with a variant of scheme. From the box you can build one of the following: Special event of new vehicles at Matford Werke Plant in Poissy, France, May 1943 First Marder during assembly line at Matford Werke Plant in Poissy, France, Early 1943 Sturmgeschutz-Abteilung 200, Normandy France, Spring 1944 Roll-out of first production vehicle Matford Werke Plant, France, early 1943 Sturmgeschutz-Abteilung 200, Art.Rgt.Stab z.b.V-931, Normandy France, June 1944 Sturmgeschutz-Abteilung 200, Art.Rgt.Stab z.b.V-931, Normandy France, June 1944 Schnelle Brigade West, Art.Rgt.Stab z.b.V-931, mobility and firing trials, France, 1943 Schnelle Brigade West, Art.Rgt.Stab z.b.V-931, mobility and firing trials, France, 1943 Decals are by Italian company Zanchetti, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion Another peculiar-looking, esoteric and interesting example of German re-use of captured vehicles, and a nicely detailed one with a wide choice of decal and camouflage scheme options. Highly recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  7. Pilots of the Soviet Air Force 1943-1945 (32117) 1:32 ICM via H G Hannants Ltd Adding figures to a model gives it scale and realism that is hard to otherwise achieve, and often this is done with resin figures that are both expensive and for those not too keen on resin, this can be off-putting. Styrene figures however are simple to deal with, and with advances in sculpting and moulding techniques they are becoming more detailed and realistic as time passes (unless I paint them!). This new set from ICM, who have an excellent reputation for injection moulded figures, depicts a group of WWII Soviet pilots stood relaxing. It arrives in a top-opening box, with the usual inner flap on the lower tray, and a single sprue of medium grey styrene inside, together with a sheet of instructions on glossy paper. The figures are moulded very crisply, and at 1:32 they are large enough to show off subtle details such as pockets, buttons, boot details, insignia, and other badges. Couple this with the sensible breakdown of parts, and you will have a highly detailed set of figures once you have assembled them. The moulding seams are minimal, with slender sprue gates that also won't need much clean up, and the parts join at convenient breaks such as waists, trouser seams etc. The obvious pilot figure is still wearing his flight helmet, but is otherwise dressed similarly to your average Soviet soldier of the period in a smock jacket, riding pants and calf-length boots. He’s accepting a healthy, nutritious cigarette from another officer that is dressed almost identically apart from his peaked cap and a few more bottle-caps on his chest, and both are wearing a leather belt that carries a holstered pistol with an extra magazine in an external pouch. The third figure is wearing overalls and a forage cap worn at a jaunty angle over one eyebrow. He too is wearing a leather belt around his ample waist, and he has his right hand in his pocket, the other pointing at something. The instructions show the part numbers and paint codes on the same diagram, which relates to a table on the rear in ICM, Revell, and Tamiya codes with the colour names in English and Cyrillic text. Conclusion Excellent sculpting, sensible part breakdown to maximise detail, and three figures in the one box make for a good value package that will be of great use to large scale WWII Soviet Air Force modellers. Very highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  8. Beaufort Mk.I Bomb Bay (7509 for Airfix) 1:72 CMK by Special Hobby Airfix’s new small-scale Beaufort kit has been around for over a year now, and here comes a new bomb bay set from CMK by Special Hobby to increase the detail in there, and add a set of bombs to populate it too. As usual with CMK's resin sets, they arrive in the familiar clear vacformed box, with the resin parts safely inside, and the instructions sandwiched between the header card at the rear. Inside the package are twenty-three resin parts on nine casting blocks, some of which are very fine, so care must be taken when removing them from their blocks. Before you can start work, you need to sand back the details from inside the kit fuselage sides and roof, plus remove the central section of the bomb bay door part, C17. With that out of the way, the bay can be skinned with new roof and side surfaces, adding a pair of C-shaped bulkheads with inserts, plus fine resin actuators front and rear. The roof is prepared by installing two bomb carriers with shackles front and rear, which accommodate one of the resin bombs each. The bombs have separate noses and cylindrical fin surrounds added beforehand, and are inserted between the V-shaped parts of the anti-sway shackles. The bi-folded bay doors are then glued to the sides of the bay to complete the job, with plenty of painting in between. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  9. The detail on those axles and tyres is very good indeed Mike. The price is good for that amount of detail, plus the masks and, as I have the kit, I shall be investing in a set of those. Thanks for the review and link. Cheers, Mike
  10. Buccaneer S.2C/D Wheels (648814 Airfix) 1:48 Eduard Brassin Kit wheels are generally in two halves, which means you have the resultant joins to deal with, possible mould-slip issues on single part wheels, and sometimes less than stellar detail due to the moulding limitations of styrene injection technology, especially in the tread department. That's where replacement resin wheels come in, with their lack of seamline and superior detail making a compelling argument. They are also usually available at a reasonable price, and can be an easy introduction to aftermarket and resin handling, as they are usually a drop-in replacement. This drop-in replacement set comprises three wheels on separate casting blocks, each of which is attached at the bottom where you will also find a slight weighting to depict the pressure of the airframe above. The detail is stunning, as we’ve come to expect from Eduard, with circumferential tread on the contact surface, detail and raised maker’s mark plus statistics on the sidewalls, and intricate hub detail on the front and rear, which includes the brakes around the axle. The set also includes a sheet of kabuki-tape masks (not pictured) to allow you to cut the hub/tyre demarcation with minimal effort, adding a little extra masking to cover the rest of the tyre surface. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  11. It arrived a week too late. There are templates for mask printed in the instructions, but they are a bit too large, so today I masked the last piece of the transparent parts the old fashioned way. Great model, though, fun to build.
  12. I know someone who has made this already, I will get to see it tomorrow night. Apparently the decals test the patience somewhat.
  13. Star Wars The Mandalorian Grogu – The Child (06783) 1:3 Carrera Revell Firstly, some minor spoiler alerts. If you’ve not seen the series and plan on doing so, skip this section and go straight to text below 'The Kit' heading, where I’ll try to keep the spoilers to the minimum. We’ve all heard of Star Wars, the three trilogies, the spin-off films and now under the auspices of the massive Disney corporation, we are being treated to some television series on their streaming service Disney+ that are bringing back some of the magic that perhaps had been lost, or at least dulled over the years under the helmsmanship of J J Abrams. The Mandalorian reached our screens in 2019, right around the time the Covid-19 pandemic first hit, and it has helped keep us Star Wars fans entertained for two seasons now, with a third in the offing for 2023. It has brought us new characters into the much-loved Star Wars universe such as the Mandalorian, Din Djarin himself, Grogu the baby Yoda, and it has reintroduced the previously reviled but strangely popular Boba Fett, who seems to have mellowed during his time in the Sarlacc Pit, and has now got his own series on the strength of his performance in season 2. Even Luke Skywalker has made a brief appearance at the end of season 2, heavily de-aged to fit in with the show’s timeline of post Return of the Jedi Star Wars. Season 3 is just coming soon, airing toward the end February, and at time of writing, I can’t wait. The stand-out star of the series has been Grogu, who until the end of season 2 was known only as “The Kid” in the show, and “Baby Yoda” by the many viewers and fans. He’s a tiny wee thing that rides around with the Mandalorian in an ovoid basket that hovers a few feet above the ground at about waist height, trailing after Mando on command of his wrist control panel. He’s a half-pint cutie with the characteristic green-tinged flesh and a slightly fuzzy pelt, the cuteness being accentuated by an oversized robe, the sleeves of which all but swallow his wee hands at times. What’s coming for him and Din for the next series remains to be seen. The Kit This is a brand-new tooling from Carerra Revell, hopefully cashing-in on the buzz surrounding the launch of season 3 of the show, which will hopefully see the two buddies reunited after their dramatic parting of the ways at the end of season two. It’s a large-scale kit, only a third of the size of the ‘real’ thing, and as such it arrives in a reasonably large top-opening box (yes, you read that correctly). Inside are two large sprues of parts, two separate parts of the hover-basket all in the same grey styrene, a clear sprue with parts for the base and his eyeballs, a decal sheet that is mostly devoted to chipping of his basket, and of course the instruction booklet, which is printed in colour with colour profiles on the back pages. At this scale the detail is crisp, especially on the basket, while the organic components of the kit are similarly well-sculpted. The only missing item is the wispy hair that is characteristic of little Grogu’s head and ears, taking after his uncle/father/relative/clone Yoda. Construction begins with the head, which is shown painted in two colours in separate halves. The front half includes the ears, while the rear is just the back of his skull, with a seam that will need filling down the back. Before the halves are joined together, a choice of eye styles needs to be made, as they are installed from within. There is a styrene pair of orbs on a carrier on the main sprues, which are painted black and have the pupil/iris decals applied over them, or a clear pair of orbs on an identical carrier that are painted black. I can’t recall whether that’s what happens to his eyes when he’s doing “Yoda stuff”, but those are your options. After the head is joined, filled and painted, it is secured between the two halves of the robe without glue, which will allow his head to rotate once finished. A two-part cowl is then applied around his neck to hide the join and complete the robe, leaving just his hands and feet to be made, each one built from two halves and located on pegs that slot into the robe after painting. Attention turns then to the basket, starting with the two hinge mechanisms for the sliding cowl that protects him when there’s danger. The egg-shaped assembly is made from two halves, and is then detailed by adding two circular inserts and an actuator arm that is moulded into a third circular detail, which is keyed to achieve the correct angle. The two hinges are handed, and are then put to one side while the body of the basket is built. The outer shell has two inserts fixed into the lower edge, the smaller of which contains the socket for the clear support that gives the impression of it levitating. A two-layer insert is added to the front of the basket, then the interior half is clipped into position and painted in contrasting colours as per the accompanying diagram, with a pair of conical inserts adding more detail. The hinges can then be put in place on the sides along with Grogu and his blanket, which is a single part. The protective cowling is built from two parts that fit into sockets in the rim at the back of the basket, layered to hide the pins that hold it in place. Strangely, the insert under the base of the basket is then shown having two additional sub-inserts glued into recesses, the circular one having a decal applied over the top. To complete the model, the clear circular base can have either one or two lengths of clear rod inserted into it, with a sleeve joining the two lengths for a higher stance. The basket is then slotted into the peg on the top of the support(s) and should give a reasonable impression of hovering once it stops wobbling. Markings The majority of the model is painted during construction, using a few speciality decals for the pupils/irises and a vent on the underside. The rest of the sheet consists of stripes around the rim of the basket and the hinges, and a number of scratch-mark decals that are dotted around over the main body of the basket. Much of this could be replaced by painting and paint effects if you prefer, but it’s good to have them there in case you don’t feel up to the task. 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 A lot of fans of the series have probably been hankering for a model of this cute little fella, and at 1:3 it makes for a good-sized representation of him. Adding some fibres to his head would increase realism appreciably, and give you some special-effects street-cred into the bargain. Very highly recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  14. Messerschmitt Bf.109G-6 (RFSQS-48029 for Tamiya) 1:48 Red Fox Studio via AMMO of Mig Jiménez During the last few years we have been blessed by the introduction of new technologies to our hobby, amongst them being 3D Printing in coloured resins to create instrument panels, dials and all sorts of interior (and exterior) details for our models in various scales. New company (to us) Red Studio of Hungary have begun producing a range of these panels in various scales under the distribution of AMMO by Mig Jiménez, which broadens their introduction to the market appreciably. Their sets arrive in clear foil bags with a red card topper for display on racking, held together by a single staple. With the staple undone, the bag empties to unveil a folded card backing that also has the parts printed on its satin surface, a concertina folded instruction sheet, and the sheet of decals that face outward at the back. The sheets are small, but the detail is exceptional, looking about as realistic as a panel can get at this scale. The instructions lay out clearly where the parts should go, and the areas that will need their moulded-in detail removing are marked out in blue over photographs of the kit parts, which are also called out by sprue and part number for your ease. The next step shows where the individual parts should fit, again arrowed to their location on the actual parts. This set is patterned for the Tamiya Messerschmitt Bf.109G-6, and preparation begins with the removal of the moulded-in detail on the instrument panels, throttle-quadrant, plus other equipment boxes on the sidewall and right console. In addition, it also includes an extra panel for controlling the 210mm Wfr.Gr.21 rocket tubes that this variant could carry under its wings in an attempt to break up the bomber streams with poorly-aimed, almost indiscriminately into their echelons. The main instrument panel consists of three or four parts depending on which variant you are building, adding the rocket panel if needed. The panel that the fuel line is wrapped around is a large part that brings a lot to the party, with another four parts on the side walls, and three small decals added to the boxes on the starboard console. There are several notes made throughout the instructions advising you not to try to cut the decals with a scalpel as they could disintegrate due to their delicate nature. They also tell you that you can apply most types of washes and varnishes over the surface once they are applied, and that once wet they are somewhat flexible, although there are limits of course, which is stated to be 5%. The resins used in production are also ultra-violet (UV) resistant, so your dials and other light parts shouldn’t be affected over time, retaining the same look as if they had just been applied. Here is a link to an instruction guide on how to apply this type of decal to your models, which should help you avoid any pitfalls. Conclusion The detail applied to 3D printed instrument panel is at the current apex of realism, and they’re one of my must-have choices of aftermarket for the discerning modeller. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  15. Stencil Decals for Ju.87 Stuka (D48106 for Hasegawa/Airfix/Italeri) 1:48 Eduard Decals Eduard’s stencil range has been growing steadily of late, providing sharp, detailed stencilling for numerous types, some of which are lacking from the originating manufacturer’s box. The latter can come in handy for your average modeller, as sometimes the kit doesn’t include a complete set of stencils for expediency or whatever reason. Some folks, myself included, think that the inclusion of a full suite of stencils adds extra realism to a model, although there is of course the time element and the extra carrier film edges to hide. Eduard have been busy of late and have released this comprehensive set we have to review. It arrives in a clear foil re-sealable envelope with a card stiffener, a cover page with instructions, plus the decals with wax paper protecting the delicate printed surface. This set arrives on one sheet, and is patterned for almost any 1:48 Stuka due to the generic nature and placement of the stencils. Over the course of four profiles from overhead, underneath, and the sides, plus a diagram of the prop from the front, the locations of all the stencils are shown clearly on greyscale line drawings that use coloured arrows and numbers to differentiate from the background. Link to PDF of instructions. The decals are printed in-house by Eduard and have good register, sharpness and colour density, with a glossy carrier film printed close to the edges of the printed areas. Don’t forget that as of 2021, the carrier film from Eduard decals can be coaxed away from the printed part of the decal after they have been applied, effectively rendering them carrier-free, making the decals much thinner and more realistic, and obviating the need to apply successive coats of clear varnish to hide the edges of the film. It’s a great step further in realism from my point of view. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  16. Trabant 601 Builder’s Choice (07713) 1:24 Carrera Revell The Trabant 601 was the third generation of the utility vehicle that was produced in East Germany by VEB Sachsenring from 1957, and over 3 million were built before the production line closed in 1990. With its 2-stroke engine that suffered from poor performance, the Trabant was a popular and well-loved car in the former eastern bloc due to its simple construction and ease of maintenance and repair, despite its many failings. The bodyshell was made from a plastic called Duroplast, which was made from waste materials from other areas of manufacturing, including cotton and resins. There were different versions of the Trabant available, including the most popular saloon (sedan or limousine), and the 3-door estate (Universal or Station wagon) version. It has now become a classic in enthusiast circles around Europe, and examples of this car are sought after with collectors worldwide. For the last 2 years of production following the fall of the Berlin Wall, Trabant production methods were modernised by Volkswagen, which included adding a 1.1L Polo engine to give it some additional reliability, access to four-stroke fuels, and more of a turn of speed, coupled with upgrades to the brakes and suspension to cater for the increase in power. This last variant was known as the Trabant 1.1 after the engine size, even though it was more like a 3.1 in terms of versions. The Kit This reboxing of Revell’s Trabant kit is due to it winning the Builders’ Choice poll for 2022, as voted for by you the modeller, apparently! It must have passed me by, but then so do a great many other things. It arrives in one of Revell’s much beloved thick end-opening boxes, and inside are six sprues in white styrene of varying sizes, five black, flexible tyres, two clear sprues, the decal sheet and instruction booklet in colour, and a single page of profiles in the rear. The original tooling has 2009 stamped on the inside of the floor pan, and has been seen in various boxings and with an estate bodyshell over the years. This is the 3-door sedan, brought back by popular demand for another turn on the shelves, decorated in pacifist slogans related to the tearing down of the Berlin wall. I have a feeling that the sprue with the grille and exterior trim parts was once chromed, but that has been left off for this boxing, which will probably please many of the more serious modellers, as it won’t need removing. Construction begins with the engine block and transmission, which has raised cross-hatching moulded-in, and is completed by addition of the sump, forward end with pulleys, and a rear face to the gearbox. The boxy motor is installed transversely in the floorpan with a leaf spring across the bay, and two inner arch panels added to the sides and joined together by a simple bulkhead that the steering mechanism passes through. More ancillary parts are layered into the bay, including the exhaust manifold, fluid reservoir and battery, then under the bay the remaining space is filled with suspension and steering components and covered over by a subframe. The rear suspension is simpler, with a short spring supporting each axle, which has the exhaust pipe and muffler passing between the two halves, and a towing hitch sticking out of the back. The wheel hubs are made from two halves with a third part trapped between them without glue, each of which has a flexible tyre pulled over it before four of them are glued to the axles, taking care with the glue if you intend to leave the wheels mobile. The back wheels also get a mudflap at the rear of their arches, fitting into a slot for strength of bond. The interior is based upon a large part that has the rear shelf moulded in, adding the pedal box, hand brake, a pair of three-part seats for the driver and front passenger, plus a simple bench seat at the rear, which has a support glued underneath to form a pair of tubular legs. At the front of the cab is a lower console that holds a few instruments and provides a little shelf space under the dashboard, which will be along in a moment. First, the door cards are prepared by adding a seatbelt to each side before they are glued to the sides of the cab. The dash is a single part that has been given extra detail thanks to some sliding moulds, and it has the three part steering column attached on pegs under the binnacle, and is detailed with decals to complete the job. It is set to one side briefly while the bonnet (hood) and boot lid (trunk) is built. Both panels have two hinges fitted, the bonnet as a single full-span piece, the boot as two separate hinges. The boot also has a push-button lock inserted into a hole in the centre. The bonnet is dropped into position in front of the windscreen, and its hinges are locked in place by installing the dashboard, while the boot lid is trapped by the interior trim, which is a single part that clips into the rear bulkhead. The headlights have separate bezels and reflectors, with a clear lens placed over them, adding a clear side-light underneath. The rear lights also have separate bezels and clear lenses, which should be painted with clear amber and red before installation, with separate flat clear lens beneath each one painted with clear red, or using the decals that are supplied on the sheet. At the front, the rear view mirror is fixed to the centre of the headlining after applying a silver decal to the rear, and the grille is inserted into the front of the engine compartment to give the Trabbi a big smile, adding a bumper and number plate holder underneath. The rear bumper has additional lights and over-riders moulded in, the former having clear lenses, and on the C pillar are a pair of decorative trim panels either side of the rear windscreen. The rear plate holder inserts into a recess under the boot lid. It's a bit breezy inside the Trabbi at this stage, lacking windows and roof, as well as the underside and cab, which is about to be remedied by an infusion of clear parts. The windscreen, rear screen, rear side windows all have painted black surrounds, while the front door windows are without, as are a pair of L-shaped inserts on the B pillars. The windscreen wipers and aerial are glued into holes in the scuttle panel, door handles are added to paired depressions, and a pair of wing mirrors with decal lenses are fixed to holes in the A pillars, then the roof panel is dropped into position, leaving it loose or gluing it down if you wish. The (usually) chrome trim is applied to the break line on the vehicle sides, with the instructions advising that they have a raised black centre along their length, three parts per side. The interior clips into the bodyshell first, and is covered by the floorpan, with the final tasks installing the spare tyre in the boot, and popping a cover over the end of the towing hitch. Markings As this is a special edition, there is just one decal option on the sheet, which has a white body that has birds and a white dove carrying an olive branch on the sides, and a number of peaceful slogans on the rear, boot and on the windscreen as a sunvisor strip. The final decal is a CND peace emblem in the centre of the bonnet, with a brand logo at the front. From the box you can build the following: 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 A welcome return of the Trabant to the shelves with a peaceful message that should be heeded more readily everywhere. The moulds have been kept in good condition, and an impressive replica of this… let’s face it… piece of junk will be the result. Highly recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  17. I know they do it to save money by only having to make one mold but it would be nice if they instead had two separate tire masters so both tires were not oriented to the ground identically which you seldom see on real aircraft. That said, I'll still be buying this set for my Beaufort build.
  18. North American F-100D Supersabre Collection Pt.2 & Part 3 (ED32-132 & ED32-133) 1:32 Euro Decals by Fantasy Printshop The F-100 began life as a development of the F-86 Sabre with a more sharply swept wing to achieve supersonic speeds, but it evolved into a completely different airframe before it was accepted into service, being much more than just a supersonic Sabre. It fought extensively in Vietnam, then later in Air National Guard (ANG) units as well as some overseas sales. The last airframe flew in US service at the end of the 70s, with the overseas aircraft carrying on for a few more years into the 80s, after which a lot of them found their way into air museums around the world. Fantasy Printshop’s Euro Decals line have created some sheets for the fans of the Hun during its service, including the many ANG units, which often sported colourful markings on their shiny metal airframes. We now have four sheets in the major scales, namely 1:72, 1:48 with identical subjects in each scale, just a change of the size of the sheets and price due to the obvious increase in decal real-estate. These new sheets are filling in the gaps in 1:32 for the larger scale modeller, so while you’re checking out these sets from the links, you may want to also have a look at Part 4, which should be along any minute. Each set arrives in a Ziploc bag with a cover sheet and two pages of A4 colour instructions inside (one side per airframe), plus the two sheets of decals printed on shiny blue decal paper. The common national markings and stencils are printed on the one sheet, while the airframe specific markings are on the other, wider sheet. Each sheet is protected by a sheet of wax paper to keep condensation at bay. North American F-100D Supersabre Collection Part.2 (ED32-132) This set contains decals for the following four subjects: #56-3151 of 481st Tactical Fighter Squadron, 27th Tactical Fighter Wing, United States Air Force, based at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico, 1959 #56-3056 of 524th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 27th Tactical Fighter Wing, Unites States Air Force, based at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico, 1959 #56-2862 of 454th Fighter Bomber Squadron, 323rd Fighter Bomber Wing, United States Air Force, based at Bunker Hill Air Base, Indiana, 1957 #56-2933 of 1st Fighter Day Squadron, 413th Fighter Day Wing, United States Air Force, based at George Air Force Base, California, 1959 North American F-100D Supersabre Collection Part.3 (ED32-133) In this set you can model the following three subjects: #55-2796 flown by Capt. Robert Maxwell, 511th Tactical Fighter Sqn., 405th Fighter Bomber Wing, US Air Force, Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, US 1959 #55-3558 ‘Stinger’ of 35th Tactical Fighter Sqn., 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, US Air Force, Itzuke Air Force Base, Japan, 1960 #56-3315 flown by Maj. C Jones of 492nd Tactical Fighter Sqn., 48th Tactical Fighter Wing, US Air Force, Chaumont Air Force Base, France, 1959 Conclusion There’s a wide choice of schemes and locations between these two sets, and plenty of assistance with painting the rest of the airframe surrounding the four good-sized profiles that accompanies each decal option. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  19. Beaufort Mk.I Tface Masks (EX909 for ICM) 1:48 Eduard ICM’s new Beaufort is a great kit, but it’s got a lot of glazing that might make some of our fellow modellers wince at the prospect of having to mask off the many clear parts, especially as is common with a lot of early WWII aircraft, it was quite a greenhouse, with frames everywhere the order of the day. Well, worry not because Eduard are riding to the rescue with this comprehensive set of masks. Unlike the usual Tface sets, this is supplied in an A5 flat-pack, on two sheets of yellow kabuki tape with extensive diagrams guiding you. These pre-cut masks supply you with a full set of masks for the canopy and all the other glazing both inside and out, 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 landing light masks, masks for the forward-facing gondola under the nose, and a set of hub/tyre masks for the wheels, allowing you to cut the demarcation perfectly with little effort. Having used a Tface set of masks for my recent Wildcat build, I’m a huge fan of the concept, as I believe it gives your model’s glazing extra realism and depth, so will be using these sets at every opportunity. They’re highly accurate too, and once you have installed masks on the exterior panes, locating the inner sections is much easier, as you don’t have any doubt as to where they should fit. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  20. Earlier
  21. Yak-9D Wheels (Q48405 for Zvezda) 1:48 CMK Quick & Easy Line by Special Hobby Kit wheels are generally moulded in two halves, which means you have the resultant joins to deal with, possible mould-slip issues on single part wheels, and sometimes less than stellar detail due to the moulding limitations of styrene injection technology, especially in the tread department. That's where replacement resin wheels come in, with their lack of seamline and superior detail making a compelling argument. They are also usually available at a reasonable price, and can be an easy introduction to aftermarket and resin handling, as they are usually a drop-in replacement. To be clear, the photo above shows both sides of the set. You get two main wheels and one tail-wheel. As usual with CMK's Quick & Easy resin sets, they arrive in the familiar clear bag, with the resin parts safely inside, and the instructions sandwiched between the header card at the rear. Inside are three resin wheels on a single casting block. Each one is attached to the casting block at the contact patch, which has a small flat-spot and bulge that indicates the weight of the airframe on the tyres. Detail is excellent on the hubs, and the main wheel tyres have radial tread on the contact surface, while the tail-wheel has a circumferential tread with radial lines on the sidewalls. Once they’re cut from the blocks, installation is as simple as sliding them onto the axles of the main wheels, and flexing the kit's tail-wheel yoke to admit the replacement resin part. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  22. OV-10A Bronco US Navy (48304) 1:48 ICM via H G Hannants Ltd The Bronco was conceived as a light attack, long loiter aircraft of modest size, enabling it to operate from roads close to the combat zone. As so often seems the case, the final design turned out to be much larger and heavier due to the requirements of the avionics and ejection seats, thus limiting its use to conventional airfields. The twin boom aircraft first flew in 1965 and was destined to serve with the US Navy, Airforce and Marines as a replacement for the Cessna O-1 Bird Dog & O-2 Skymaster. The Marines were the first to take the OV-10 into service as a forward air controller platform operating both night and day missions. Whilst the Bronco is best known for its operations in Vietnam, it also served in later conflicts as late as the Gulf War before being retired from US service in 1995. The USAF received Broncos in 1968 and deployed the aircraft in the Forward Air Control (FAC) role, using smoke laying methods initially, and later using laser targeting designators. Eventually it carried its own ground attack armament including rockets, machine guns and bombs that gave it the capability of Light Attack Aircraft, and made it a daunting prospect for the enemy to see overhead. The US Navy used it in this capacity in Vietnam, although attrition was quite severe, and later in its service several airframes were used as testbeds for special operations, eventually being transferred to the Marines. Seven export contracts were signed with other foreign operators including Germany, Columbia and Indonesia, the very last of which will be leaving service in the near future after long service. The Kit A reboxing of a 100% new model from ICM with new decals, which arrives in one of their standard top opening boxes with the captive inner lid, and has ten sprues in grey styrene, one in clear, two sheets of decals and a glossy instruction booklet with spot colour inside and glossy colour profiles on the back pages. Unpacking the sprues reveals the detail is excellent, and the booms have raised as well as engraved rivets on their surface, which is just as it should be if you check out any walk arounds that get close enough to the aircraft to see them. The clear parts have been engineered so that they fit together as individual facets, and are crystal clear, allowing the modeller to see their hard work in the cockpit, providing they don’t put any gluey fingerprints on the glazing during the build. Overall, it looks like it will build into an excellent replica of the aircraft. Construction begins predictably with the cockpit, starting with the crew seats, of which there are two. The base of the seats are made from the curved lower and cushion, while the backs are formed from a shell with two cushions, one for the pilot’s back, the other for the headbox. The two elements are brought together and a small part is added to the headbox, then different rear detail and a launch rail are added to the rear of them both. There are colour call-outs as we go along, and two warning decals are supplied for the seats, although these are shown applied to the cushions, which seems odd, but having checked some references, that’s where they go. Every day’s a school day! The rear seat is glued to the cockpit floor which has a bulkhead and a shelf moulded into the rear, then side consoles are fixed onto the floor around the seat with control column on a lateral support, and a throttle quadrant that sits on top of a raised portion of the port console. A divider between the two seats is prepared with rudder pedals and other details, then has a choice of either of two instrument panels added atop the flat section, based on your decal choice. These are well detailed and have dial decals for each option. The divider is glued in place, then the front cockpit is made up starting with the seat again, but with a different set of launch rail parts with “antennae” to the side of the headbox. He too gets a control column and floor-mounted rudder pedals, after which the seat is bracketed by side consoles that have detailed tops, but no decals which is a shame. A bulkhead for within the footwell of the front cockpit is created from several parts, and fixed in place with the details facing forward, forming the rear bulkhead of the nose gear bay. The pilot gets a well-appointed instrument panel with coaming and decal, plus a number of small parts sitting on top of the coaming. This is glued in, and more details are added to the rear shelf in the shape of equipment boxes that probably have festive twinkling lights on the real thing, especially at Christmas. The cockpit is put to the side briefly while the crew nacelle is prepared with interior sidewall details, plus an internal frame that runs up the side of the canopy. You are advised to align this with the canopy sides, which have a shallow groove running top to bottom, so it would be an idea to glue the parts, then tape the canopy sides in place and align the frame with the groove, taping it in place until the glue sets. With the sides complete and painted internally, the cockpit can be secured inside and locked in place by bringing the two halves together. Providing you have painted the front of the crew nacelle, the nose gear bay is already complete and just needs the main strut, a diagonal support that goes far back under the canopy, and a pair of bay doors. The underside of the cockpit floor is then covered over by a well-detailed underside panel that has recesses ready for the stubby weapons pylons, and has a small central strake added toward the rear. Here it will be key to align the nacelle skins before the glue sets to avoid having to make good later and risk losing any of that lovely detail. The weapons “wings” need four holes drilling in their underside if you are going to hang weapons from them, then they are closed around a small rectangular insert that the barrels later plug into, the wingtips are added, and each one has an insert applied to the leading edge that makes up the rest of the fairings for the weapons. These are glued into their recesses on the underside, and are fitted with shackles on the twin pylons on their undersides if you plan on using weapons. Another small nose gear door fits to the diagonal leg, and the four-part nose wheel with separate hub parts is first trapped between the yoke, which is then glued to the bottom of the nose strut along with the other half of the oleo scissor-link. I suspect this could be a weak point of the nose gear, so ensure you leave this to set up for a good while before attempting to put weight on it. The addition of the four gun barrels to the winglets and a couple of sensors completes the crew nacelle for now. The upper wing of the Bronco is a single full-width part that also has a section of the fuselage upper and the twin boom tops moulded-in, while the underside is in four sections. Before the two surfaces are joined, two spar sections are attached to the upper wing straddling the future location of the engine nacelles, and if you plan on adding wing pylons, there are a few holes to be drilled in the outer lower panel of the wings. All the flying surfaces are separate and the twin flap sections per side are made of three parts laminated together, while the ailerons are a single part each to which are added balances and trim actuators. When completed, the six flying surface sections are fitted to the cut-outs at the rear of the wing unit along with a pair of actuators for the ailerons, a pair of exhaust deflectors on top of the engine nacelles, and a large sensor blister at the centre-rear. The wing assembly is then mated to the crew gondola, and the canopy is begun. The blown windscreen that offers the pilot a good field of view has a sight fitted to the top centre before it is glued to the front of the cockpit, then has the clear canopy roof put in place, bridging the gap between the windscreen and cockpit rear. The two canopy sides are next, and these parts are each single pieces, which doesn’t give the modeller the opportunity to prop the front two sections in the open position without taking their life in their hands and cutting the parts with a razor saw or fine scriber and a lot of trepidation. No doubt an aftermarket company will step-in here. Building of the two nacelles begins with the gear bays, which starts with the making of the gear legs that have two main parts and a Y-shaped insert that traps the lower section in place but leaves it movable. Two more parts make up the suspension strut, which are also trapped in place by a V-shaped insert, and then glue is applied to the previously mobile joint, setting the correct angle for the leg permanently. It is glued to the stepped bay forward roof with several small parts, after which it is joined by the detailed sidewalls, rear bulkhead and another few parts to close over the rear of the roof and add more detail. The nacelle sides have a couple of holes drilled on each side, and these are joined around the bay assembly, capped off at the front by the intakes and propeller backing plate. Underneath, the triangular inserts with their many raised rivets are glued in carefully to avoid damaging that lovely detail, and two optional towel-rail antennae are glued into the holes on the sides of the nacelle. The two-part rudder is fixed to the tail, and an exhaust is made up from two halves, with baffles within. Align these carefully to minimise the join-line and check your references to get this right. A small intake is added to the side of the nacelle just forward of the exhaust. This process if carried out twice of course, in mirror-image so your Bronco doesn’t fly round in circles. The large horizontal elevator panel is made from top and bottom surfaces plus the elevator itself, and this is slotted into position between the nacelles as they are glued into place under the wings. You might need to grow another hand or two to make this happen, or get yourself one of those wonderful jigs like that of EBMA to help hold everything in place for this. Four optional shark-fin spoilers can be glued onto their corresponding slots in the top of each wing if you wish, or leave them in the box for a clean upper wing. The twin props have the three blades moulded as one, with a front and back boss, and take care to install the correct props on the nacelles, as the blades (and the turboprop engines) are handed, spinning in opposite directions to cancel out the effect of torque steer. A windscreen wiper and various sensor lumps are added around the fuselage, with more underneath, at which point you’ll notice that the main gear is without wheels. Each of these are made of a two-part wheel and two-part hub, with no weighting moulded-in, although that’s easily remedied by a quick sanding of a flat-spot on the bottom, just don’t overdo it so it looks like it needs more air. Fun with weapons is next, and this modeller thinks that the Bronco looks best when loaded for bear, as they say. There are two wing pylons on long supports to add to the outer wing panels, then it’s just a case of choosing which munitions you want to hang from them. There is a diagram showing which weapons can be fitted to which pylons, but if you’re aiming for realism, check your references to establish real-world load-outs for training and live-fire missions. In the box you get the following: 2 x LAU-33 twin rocket pods 2 x LAU-069A 21 rocket pods 2 x Mk.77 Incendiary bombs 2 x LAU-68 6 rocket pods 2 x 150gal fuel tanks 2 x Mk.81 Lowdrag iron bombs with optional daisy-cutter fuse 2 x Mk.81 Snakeye iron bombs with optional daisy-cutter fuse 2 x Mk.82 Snakeye iron bombs with optional daisy-cutter fuse 2 x Mk.82 Lowdrag iron bombs with optional daisy-cutter fuse 2 x LAU-10A 4 rocket pods The detail of the individual weapons is excellent, with multiple parts for fins, fuses and rockets, and only the seamlines to clean up along the way. The canopy is about as clear as can be, so it’s going to be important to mask it up before you inadvertently ruin the startling clarity. Although masks aren’t included in the box, there is a handy template near the back of the instructions that you can place tape on and cut out masks for your use on the model. Each section is numbered and there is another drawing showing their location on the canopy. Very handy! Markings There are four options in the rear of the instructions in various schemes, including blue and camouflage green. From the box you can build one of the following: #155470/RA-8, VS-41 Shamrocks, NAS North Island, 1969 #155470/RA-8, VS-41 Shamrocks, NAS North Island, 1971 #155473/RA-09, /VS-41 Shamrocks, NAS North Island, 1971 #1554880, Naval Air Service test Centre, NAS Pax River, early 1980s Decals are printed by ICM’s usual partners, with good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The weapons all have stencils to apply, which are shown next to each profile, as their colours varied over time. There are also rear and white tip decals for the props, and the large wide T-shapes on the upper wings are also included as decals, as are the tapered exhaust gas “hiders” on some of the decal options. Conclusion The Bronco is an appealing aircraft, and this new boxing with Navy schemes is an excellent looking model that is crammed full of detail, and opens up a new market for the Navy loving modeller. Very highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
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