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F4F-4 Wildcat (70047) 1:72 ARMA Hobby Expert Set Grumman began development work on a new fighter in the mid 1930. Originally the new aircraft was outpaced by the Brewster Buffalo and Grumman resigned their aircraft to carry a supercharged version of the Pratt & Whitney R-1830 "Twin Wasp" radial engine. Original orders from France were delivered to the British Royal Navy after France fell. The RN designated the aircraft the Marlet. The US Navy would then adopt the type in late 1941. Originally armed with 4 0.50 cal machine guns the F4F-4 was introduced in 1941 with 6 of these guns. The aircraft also featured a wing fold system to allow more aircraft to be on a carrier. Even though the armament was increased to 6 gun the ammuntion capacity was not, thus actually giving pilots less firing time which was disliked. The extra weight from the guns and wing fold also reduced performance. The Kit This is a new tool kit from ARMA Hobby which seems to have garnered good reviews. The kit arrives on a main plastic sprue, a clear sprue, a small sheet of PE, masks and decals. The moulds are crisp with what feels like the right level of detailing and recessed panel lines for this scale. Construction starts with the cockpit. The instrument panel is attached to the front bulkhead (instruments being provided as decals, behind a PE part). The rudder pedals then fit to the back of this bulkhead and it can be attached to the cockpit floor. The seat can then be attached to the read cockpit bulkhead. PE with decals seatbelts are provided. The rear bulkhead can then be attached to the cockpit floor. Side parts then join the front and rear bulkheads. The cockpit can then be added to the right fuselage. The front bulkhead for the landing gear area can now be added in front of the cockpit with PE details for the gear retraction mechanism going in. The internal parts of the gear mechanism can then go in. We then follow this up with assembling the engine and it's bearers as this goes onto the front side of the gear bulkhead. twin banks of cylinders have their parts added along with a PE wiring harness, the gearbox then fits to the front. At the rear the mounts and exhausts go on along with the oil tank and oil coolers. Once the bearers are on the fuselage can be closed up and the engine mounted to the front. The engine cowls can then be added. This is split in half with a front ring, with different ones being provided for one of the decal options. The propeller can then be fitted. Now the tailplanes and rudder can be fitted along with tail wheel. The wings can now be fitted, these are conventional left/right with uppers and lowers. If using the drop tanks you will need to open up the holes for these. Once the wings are one the complicated landing gear itself needs to be built up. Arma provide a frame to alight some of the parts or this. The ear can then be added to the fuselage and the wheels added. Some nav lights will need to be removed from the kit for this boxing and then wing lights and pitot tubes added. Bomb racks and the drop tanks go on if you are using them. Lastly the canopies and top aerial are fitted. Markings There are printed by Techmod so should pose no problems. 6 marking option are provided for the kit; VMF-121 Capt Foss (26 Aerial Vicotiries) Guadalcanal, Oct/Nov 1942 VF-6, USS Enterprise, April 1942. VGF-26, Ex Operation Torch Aircraft, Guadalcanal April 1943. VF-3, USS Yorktown, Ltd Cmr Thach Battle of Midway June 1942 VGF-29 USS Santee, crash landed by Esn Gallano during Operation Torch Nov 1942 Martlet II, 999 Sqn FAA, HMS Formidable, Algeria Dec 1942. There are also 4 additional bonus markings included; White 50, VMF-121 Capt Foss, Guadalcanal Nov 1941 Black 53, VMF-121 Capt Foss, Guadalcanal Nov 1941 White 1, VF-3, USS Yorktown, Ltd Cmr Thach Battle of Midway June 1942 29-GF-1 VGF-29 USS Santee, crash landed by Esn Gallano during Operation Torch Nov 1942 Conclusion It is great to see this important aircraft being kitted by a new manufacturer. The kit seems to have been very well received by modellers. Very Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
Kursk Bailout from the Pocket (84417) 1:35 Hobby Boss via Creative Models Ltd The Battle of Kursk was the turning point of WWII for Nazi Germany where they were definitively beaten by the Soviets, who had finally awoken and revealed their military might that became the steam-roller to push the invaders back to their own borders and beyond. It began with an attempt by the Germans to cut off a salient or bulge that had developed along the front line at the insistence of Adolf Hitler himself, and against the wishes of some of his generals. It began in the summer of 1943 and carried on into August, with the reversal of role of the Germans from attackers to defenders – a role that they were trapped in until the end of the war. Figures of losses on both sides are difficult to be firm about due to the nature and scale of the conflict, but the German generals never recovered from the devastation of their forces, especially in terms of manpower, which could not be replaced quickly or easily by that stage of the war. It meant that more previously protected occupations were drawn into the military, which had a knock-on effect on the production of desperately-needed armaments. This figure set depicts a small group of four soldiers who are withdrawing from combat after one of their number has been injured, necessitating his being supported by two of his comrades, one on each side. The set arrives in an end-opening figure box with a single sprue in sand-coloured styrene filling the available space. There are four figures on the sprue, and their instructions and painting guide can be found on the rear of the box along with a colour chart giving codes in Mr Hobby (acrylic & lacquer), Acrysion, Vallejo, Model Master, Tamiya and Humbrol brands. Three of the figures are wearing later war smocks with pea-camouflage patterning, while the directing officer is wearing a Feldgrau uniform with jodhpur-style pants and calf-length boots. The two supporting soldiers are carrying their comrade between them as he is unable to walk, his feet dragging limp behind him, exposing the hobnails on his boot. They have their Kar98 rifles slung over their shoulders, so you will need to make some thin strips of tape or foil to create the slings, to add a little realism to the scene. They also still wear their stahlhelms, as does the officer, but only one supplied helmet is fitted with the later war cover that is also likely made of the same or similar pea-camo material. The injured man has lost his helmet somewhere near to the front, and his head has hair moulded into it. Breakdown of the figure parts are pretty standard, comprising separate torso, arms, legs, heads with flat-tops and helmets. The soldiers’ pea-camo smocks with elasticated cuffs and cinched waists are well-depicted with realistic drape and form. They all have accessories such as mag-pouches, bedrolls, gasmask canisters and entrenching tools, plus water bottles and mess-kit canisters. The officer has an MP40 clutched in one hand, and on my example there is a little flash evident, possibly due to its proximity to the centre of the sprue where the injection point is. The officer is also pointing anxiously away from the nasty Russians, with a map case hanging from his belt and the top end of a potato-masher grenade sticking from his belt. Conclusion These figures are well-sculpted, and would look good in a diorama of troops on the road back to Germany. As mentioned earlier, there’s a tiny amount of flash creeping in around the edges of a few parts, but it’s mostly confined to the centre and on the sprue itself, and flash is only the work of moments to remove. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
Street Furniture w/Electronics & Umbrella (35647) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd The busy streets of most Middle East towns and cities are often dotted with furniture and people sitting there, drinking tea, smoking a Hookah, and generally watching the world bustle by. In Modern Middle East, most of that furniture is moulded plastic, which is lightweight, cheap and difficult to break, unless it’s been subject to frequent hot/cold cycles such as those of Britain, which makes them brittle and perfect “You’ve Been Framed” fodder. The people-watchers tend to be older men or women, but that’s not always the case, and they sit around either watching TV on a small portable set, drinking, smoking and even playing board games to ward off boredom if the streets go quiet. An almost constant feature during the day is bright sunlight, so patio umbrellas with heavily sun-bleached canopies are often seen providing splotches of colour amongst the hubbub. This set contains just the sort of gear you would find in the description above, and arrives in a small top-opening box with twelve small sprues in grey styrene, two more in white, a single clear part, and a double page folded instruction booklet with three different canopies printed on one page and some TV pictures that you can use. Four of the sprues contain a patio chair with back and arms, one on each one. There are also two patio tables with separate legs that take up two more sprues, four sprues making up the umbrella, metal limbs and the weighted base, into which the adjustable centre-pole slots. When the parasol is built and the glue dry, you can glue one of the paper canopies in place, or use them as a template to make one of your own from another material. A wooden coffee table with curved legs fills another sprue, and the final grey sprue has a portable TV, ghetto-blaster, a hookah and portable backgammon board with pieces crisply moulded into the board. The TV is made from a front and rear part, but it also has a clear lens that can be glued into the front after you have placed one of the eleven TV screen images from the instruction booklet. I have tested them in place, and they’re really quite convincing. The two remaining white sprues contain a plate, a tray, a selection of three jugs and teapots of different sizes, three tankards, and three cups with separate saucers. Conclusion A great set to help you depict a candid scene either in the Middle East or somewhere in the rest of the world really, thanks to the ubiquity of such simple furniture and the cheapness of plastic injection moulding. relegate the hookah to the spares box and you could be anywhere from the UK to Russia. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
P-51 B/C Mustang (70038) 1:72 ARMA Hobby Expert Set Originally developed to fulfil a British requirement for new fighter aircraft, the unmistakable North American P-51 Mustang famously went from drawing board to first flight in just 178 days. It went on to become one of the most famous and successful aircraft of the Second World War. Transformed by the addition of Rolls Royce’s legendary Merlin engine, the Mustang went from strength to strength and was eventually developed into several variants. Even though the D model is the most recognised the earlier models were still great aircraft. The B & C were the first to use the Merlin engine which gave better performance over 15000 ft. They were known in RAF service as the Mustang III. The B models were built at Inglewood and the C models which were identical were built in Dallas. The RAF decided that the original hinged canopy did not offer enough visibility for operations and the British corporation R Malcolm & Co designed a sliding bulged canopy for the aircraft which then became known as the Malcom Hood. The search for better all round visibility would lead to the later P-51D, however some pilots are said to have preferred the Malcom hooded P-51B/D than the later P-51D as it was lighter and had better handling, one of the downsides was only 4 guns as opposed to the D's six. Exiting the B/C in an emergency was also said to be easier than the D. The Kit This is a new tool kit from ARMA Hobby which seems to have garnered good reviews. It really also was time we had a new tool B/C in 1/72. The kit arrives on two main sprues, a clear sprue, a sheet of PE and canopy masks (not shown). The quality of the parts is first rate, all surfaces feature fine engraved panel lines, there is a great deal of moulded in detail in the fuselage and main wheel wells. There are two choices of tail featuring the small fillet tail, and the one with no fillet. Bombs and two types of drop tanks are provided for the wings. Due to the different options being provided from the kit its worth while checking the instructions for these before starting work. Construction starts in the cockpit. The frame for the seat is added to the floor and the seat is fitted. Belts are provided as PE with decals on top. The fuel tank is fitted behind the seat with the radios going on top. Two of the decal options dont have this tank and that is also shown in the instructions. The control column is added in front of the seat and then the instrument panel and its coaming are built up. Instruments are provided as decals. Work then moves to the inside of the fuselage parts with more decals being added. If the Recon version is to be made then holes for the cameras need to be made. The main radiator is made up and this can be installed in the right fuselage half, along with additional controls and the tail wheel parts. More parts are also fitted into the left fuselage half. Once done the tail wheel and cockpit can be installed and the fuselage closed up. Moving onto the wings the wing spar part is installed along with parts for the wheel well. These are added into upper wing, and the two wing parts can be assembled. The separate flaps can then be installed. The wings can then be mated to the fuselage. At the rear of the fuselage the tail and sailplanes can be added, a finless and filleted tails are provided for the different decal options. The main landing gear can then be made up and fitted. At the front the chin intake, propeller and exhaust are added. Different plates/vents are provided for the lower engine cowl. For the spine different antennas are also provided for the different options. Different canopies are provided for the model. If the normal canopy is to be opened then the modeler has the option for this. A slightly larger Malcom hood is supplied for the slid back option. Lastly bombs or drop tanks can be fitted to the wings as needed. Markings There are printed by Techmod so should pose no problems. 7 marking option are provided for the kit; P-51B "Ding Hao" Major Howard, 356th Fighter Sqn, 354th Fighter Group, Boxted UK, April 1944 F-6C "Azel/Boomerang" 162nd Recon Sqn, 10th Photographic Recon Group, Chalgrove, UK 1944 Mustang III, CV-C 3 Sqn RAAF, Cervia, Italy, 1945 Mustang III, "Barbra Jurek" F-C-F KH516, Captain Mencel DFC, 309 Sqn (Polish) RAF, April 1945 P-51C "Evalina" 1st Lt Strawbridge, 26th Fighter Sqn, 51st Fighter Group, China 1945 P-51C "My Pal Snookie" Lt Pawlak, 282nd Fighter Sqn, 363rd Fighter Group, France, July 1944 Option 5 but captured by the Japanese after landing due to technical failure, Japan 1945 Conclusion It is great to see this important aircraft being kitted by a new manufacturer. The kit seems to have been very well received by modellers. Very Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
most importantly, there is also a scheme for the Marines TBird. Tanks!
Not this sheet, but they have http://www.iliad-design.com/decals/72NavalTBirds.html
Available in 1/72 scale?
T-33 More Naval T-Birds 1:48 Iliad Design (48040) As well as use by the USAF and various overseas air arms the T-33 was used by the US Navy, US Marine Corps; and the Royal Canadian Navy. Illiad seem to like to bring us different schemes for the T-33 and this is no exception. There are two USMC, one USN, and one RCN aircraft on the sheet 4 different aircraft can be built from the sheet; T-33B 141547 Marine Corps HQ, Washington DC. Overall Light Gull Grey. T-33 Silver Star VU32, RCN from HMCS Shearwater 1961. Overall NMF with large areas of Fluro Orange/Red. TV-2 Marine Air Sqn 32. Overall NMF with unusual fuselage insignia. T-33B 139014 US Navy VX-4 "The Evaluators" Pt Mugu NAS, overall Light Gull Grey with the Sqns usual Blue stripes. The decals look excellent, well printed, colour dense and with minimal carrier film. Conclusion These decals will enable the modeller to make a lesser represented user of the T-33. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
T-38C Heritage Schemes 1:48 Iliad Designs (48039) There has recently in the USAF been a whole host of special schemes, and in particular Unit Heritage Schemes. This new sheet from Iliad brings us schemes recently seen on T-38C Talons. 5 different aircraft can be built from the sheet; 50th Flying Training Sqn Columbus AFB. In recognition of the 50th Pursuit Sqn from 1941. Olive Green over Grey. 90th FTS Sheppard AFB, In recognition of the P-47s used by the 90the Pursuit Group WWII. Dark Green over grey. 469th FTS Sheppard AFB. In recognition of a Vietnam era Phantom. SEA Colours. 586th FTS Hollman AFB. In recognition 586 Bomb Group B-26. Dark Green over Grey with invasion stripes. 49th TFS Columbus AFB. In recognition of the 49th FIS P-38 Lightnings. Gloss black over Grey. S/n 1730 Guatemalan Air Force. The decals look excellent, well printed, colour dense and with minimal carrier film. Conclusion These decals will enable the modeller to do something different from the normal schemes. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
The Last Bridge #3 Splinter (MB24075) Post Apocalyptic Series 1:24 Masterbox Ltd via Creative Models Ltd Master box have various series of figures that have themes unrelated to history, film or TV series. The Desert Battle series is a dystopian future (aren’t they all?) that’s not too far away, and based more than a little on the facts of today. A climate crisis happens in 2023 and throws the world into disarray on a global basis. Better get stocking up on kayaks and rubber duckies. If you check Master Box’s website, there are a number of individual figures being released (you can see them in the instructions), plus a few boxed sets to fuel your fevered dreams and fill your dioramas. They’d look equally at home in any slightly futuristic, slightly dystopian setting, so if you read the back-story on the back of the box, which you should be able to read below, and it doesn’t suit you, check over the figure in isolation instead and judge for yourself where you can use her and what her backstory is. The figure arrives in an oversized end-opening figure box, with a single narrow sprue inside, and instructions and back-story on the rear of the box. It depicts a woman in hiking boots and civilian clothing, wearing a knitted beanie and carrying her whole life on her back, a her overcoat tied round her waist, and big pump shotgun in both hands, with a bandana of ammunition diagonally around her torso. As usual, the sculpting is first rate and the recent nature of the tool shows in the detail, with the figure broken down into head, torso, arms, legs, personal gear, and separate sections of long hair flowing over her shoulders, with a choice of shotguns that have differing stocks and barrel lengths. Painting of the figure is entirely up to you, as in the dystopian future you can wear what you want. The box art gives you some useful clues however, and the addition of the hair sections and her coat arms and tail draping down over her legs give additional depth to the figure. Conclusion An interesting and well-sculpted figure for you to use and abuse as you see fit. Build her as a stand-alone model or as part of a diorama with or without others of the series. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
This looks like great value, thanks for the in-depth review. I love that Special Kay is a decal option, fantastic!
@Mike Thank you for this excellent review. Will order a copy for myself
It got missed, its there now
No Foto of the transparencies? I know they often get forgotten to add, but it's still a stain on a otherwise excellent review. I for one am thinking about getting one, so the quality of the canopy parts is important to me
I do like the look of this. I find that my interest in the Vietnam war has been growing over the last few years ( not just Aircraft, but the ground war as well ), so I will be keeping a look out for this when I go to any modelling shows this summer. B R
Review updated to add: Feldgrau 1939/45 (CS55) German Military Uniforms WWII Includes: UA464 Feldgendarmerie Uniform, UA465 Feldgendarmerie Trousers, UA466 Panzer Div. Commander Coat, UA467 Artilleryman Trousers Early War, UA468 Waxed Coat M40, UA469 Coat M42
T-55 Czechoslovak Prod. w/KMT-5M Mine-Roller (37092) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd The T-54's gestation and transformation into the T-55 was long-winded and complicated by constant changes to an as yet unsatisfactory performing vehicle, and began at early as the end of WWII. Production of the T-54-1 was halted due to production and quality issues, and recommenced as the re-designed T-54-2, with the turret design changed to closer resemble the eventual domed shape of the T-55. The -2 didn't last all that long before the -3 replaced it, and the requirement for survival of tactical nuclear blasts led to the eventual introduction of the similar looking, but significantly different T-55 that we know so well. As the heavy tank fell out of favour, the T-55 became part of the burgeoning Main Battle Tank movement, with thousands of them being produced over the years in various guises. In the early 60s the T-55A was developed, providing more adequate NBC protection that required a lengthening of the hull and coincidentally added anti-spall protection for the crew. It also sounded the death-knell of the bow-mounted machine gun, which was removed to improve ammo storage, and hasn't been seen on MBTs for decades now. The Czechs built their own versions of the T-54 and T-55, with quite an export market developing due to their being of better build quality than the Russian built alternative. Of the many sub variants produced by the then Czechslovakia, many were exported to Soviet Bloc aligned purchasers, sometimes fitted with the KMT-5M Mine-roller. Mines are a problem for AFVs, softskins and foot soldiers alike, and there are different types used for different circumstances. Mines intended to disable tanks generally have larger charges to penetrate the thinner underside armour and tear off tracks and drive wheels, with a higher pressure required to trigger them. The resulting explosion can cripple or destroy a tank, leaving crew killed or injured, a valuable tank out of action and sometimes blocking the way. Most Soviet and Russian tanks are fitted with attachment points for mine-rollers that can be fitted as needed and clear a path for the tank's tracks to allow them to proceed. Other tanks without a mine-roller must follow in their tracks exactly or risk detonating mines that are outside the cleared paths. It's not an ideal solution, more of an expedient one that probably requires a more complete cleaning later when the enemy aren't shooting at them. It has been in service since the 60s and was used until the T-64 after which is was replaced for newer vehicles with the improved KMT-7 and KMT-9. It operated by breaking the ground up with toothed rollers of substantial weight to simulate the footprint of an AFV, ploughing up the ground and detonating any mines it finds. Its rugged construction means that it can survive explosions, although they do take their toll on the hardware eventually. The Kit Part of the ever-expanding range of early Cold War armour from MiniArt, who seem to be kitting every conceivable variant from the earliest T-54 to the later T-55, which will hopefully include some of the more unusual marks as well. The initial toolings were all brand new, and were designed in a modular format to ease the way toward new variants, which makes for a high sprue count. This is an exterior kit with Mine-Roller parts included, which arrives in their current orange themed box, with a painting of the tank in question on the front. Lifting the lid gives the feeling of how much is inside, as it is packed full and I'm dreading putting it all back in. There are eighty-nine sprues in mid grey styrene, many of them quite small, and some of the larger ones linked together in pairs or triplets, two clear sprues, a sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, two short lengths of chain in different link sizes, a decal sheet, and the instruction booklet. Detail is everywhere, and is crisp, with judicious use of slide-moulding to improve details further, and make hollows where needed. The inclusion of PE helps further, allowing parts to be given a more scale-effect. Construction begins with the lower hull, which has cut-outs for the suspension mounts, hatches and access panels, all of which are supplied as separate parts. The suspension is torsion-link, so the bars are inserted with the axles at their ends, or shorter stubby versions if you want to freeze the suspension in the level position. The hull insides are separate and are well detailed parts, which are added to the lower along with engine bay firewall and rear bulkhead. Externally, the T-55 could be fitted with a mine-roller, and one is included with this boxing, so the fitments and bracketry is included for fitting to the upper and lower glacis alongside the standard light clusters, lifting hooks and pioneer tools. With the glacis and the turret ring "bat wings" added to the hull sides, the upper hull is assembled from the top with turret ring aperture, a multi-part engine deck with individual slats added before installation, and some PE mesh panels added later with optional raised covers supplied as additional parts. The main lights have clear lenses, and fit inside a multi-part cage to protect them from damage, which will take some care to glue together neatly. The fenders have additional fuel tankage fitted with hosing between them, and lots of PE fixtures, handles and such, with even more PE bracing inside the sprung mudguard parts, tools, toolboxes and the exhaust on the port side. The kit includes plastic towing eyes, but you are going to have to provide your own cables as none are include in the kit, but given the sheer volume of parts it's excusable. At the rear an unditching log is lashed to the bulkhead with PE straps, and the extra fuel drums so often seen are also lashed to curved brackets that overhang the rear of the hull. Between them the deep wading funnel is attached by a couple of pins to the bottom of the brackets, and it has its own group of PE brackets for the bracing wires that are seen when it is in use. the wheels are handled next, with five pairs per side with separate hubs, plus the idler wheel at the front, and drive sprocket at the rear. Tracks are left until a little later and are of the individual link type, requiring 90 links per side, each of which have four sprue gates, but no ejection pin or sink marks to worry about. What is there however is stunning detail, which includes the casting numbers inlaid into the hollows of each track link, and close-fitting lugs that should make the building an easier task. The turret itself is a busy assembly, having the basics of the breech mechanism and coax machine gun made up and mated with the lower turret on two mounts at the front. The upper turret has some holes drilled out from inside and is attached to the lower, after which the two-part turret roof is fitted with hatches, vents and vision blocks. Externally the grab rails, forward mounted searchlight, commander's cupola and a choice of cast mantlet or moulded blast-bag over the mantlet are added, and the single piece barrel with hollow muzzle slips through the centre and keys into the breech. The blast-bag is finished off around the edges with PE strips, and a large folded tarp is attached to the back of the turret by more PE straps near the included stowage boxes. An armature links the gun barrel and the searchlight together so they move in unison, and an ancillary searchlight is fitted to the commander's cupola, with a choice of the driver's poor weather hood built up in either the collapsed or deployed format, with the former stowed on the turret bustle, while the latter fits over the open driver's hatch. The 12.7 mm DShK heavy machine gun is the last assembly, and is made up along with its mount, ammo box with a short length of shells leading into the breech, which is fitted into the mount in front of the loader’s hatch. The turret is dropped into the hull and your choice of location made for the driver’s poor weather hood built earlier. KMT-5M Mine Roller The KMT-5M has already been seen when included with various MiniArt kits, and here it is in another one! The instruction booklet is included in the main kit booklet, which is for good reason as it's a fairly complex build and there are plenty of steps. Construction begins with the toothed rollers, which each have three wheels on a central axle plus two end-caps. These are fitted into short bogies that have small sections of chain attached in strategic places for later fitting at the end of the suspension arms. These are next to be built and each has a pair of pads at the tank end and a hinged arm that is long enough to keep the tank away from the brunt of the blast, as well as absorb some of the upward momentum and reduce damage to the rollers. The arms spread apart so that the rollers are placed at exactly the same spacing as the tracks, and there are parts supplied to fit the roller to your model. There are a couple a styrene rope parts in the box to further secure the assembly, with another momentum-absorbing spring at the roller end. The bogies are attached to the arms via the short lengths of chain fitted to hooks fore and aft, with another chain linking the two together with a bobbin-like part loose along its length, acting as a further damper for asymmetric detonations. Markings There are three decal options, and plenty of colour variation. From the box you can build one of the following: Egyptian Army, 1967-73 Lebanese Army, 2000s Syrian Army, 2000s The decals are printed by DecoGraph on bright blue paper, and have good register, sharpness and colour density, with a closely cropped thin, matt carrier film. Conclusion These are amongst the most comprehensive kits I have seen in a long while, with even the tiniest details catered for, down to the fine chains on the mine-roller. It is a fabulous exterior kit and will keep you modelling for hours and hours. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
Ah - I was wondering what that engine component was, as I'd noticed that the drive belt wasn't in the Targa kit. That all makes sense now. However, until you mentioned it, I hadn't spotted that the dashboard sprues were different though, and looking more closely, the front seats on that sprue are slightly different to the coupe ones, meaning that there are now three different front seat options across both kits. The US Federal spec bits are presumably for Revell USA's own release - of no interest to me personally, but I think it's a nice feature to have the option. However, I'm now torn as to whether to get this one, the coupe, or wait for the convertible...
Unless I'm mistaken the kit's currently going at Model Hobbies for £20: https://www.modelhobbies.co.uk/hobbyboss-172-u-2a-dragon-lady--87270-313439-p.asp
Soviet Six Wheel Army Truck with Shelter (35002) 1:35 ICM Via H G Hannants Ltd Even though not mentioned the truck is a KamAZ-4310. This was an all wheel driver truck produced by Kamaz between 1981 and 1995. Following 1995 production switched to the similar looking but more powerful the KamAZ-43114. Trucks may not command the same attention as other Army vehicles such as Tanks but they are the life blood of any Army delivering personnel and supplies, as well as many specialised roles involving the fitting of specialised bodies to the standard chassis. The K4320D shelter body could serve a number of purposes from the installation of communications equipment though to mobile workshops. The Kit This is a re-boxing of ICM's 2016 kit with the addition of parts for the shelter body. Construction begins by building up the truck chassis. The two side rails are joined by cross members and mounting brackets for various components. The first of these are the rear is a chassis mounted winch. In the centre goes a transfer box. The front leaf springs are moulded to the rails but the rear ones need building up and fitting to the chassis. To the front of the chassis the bumper is added. Next up a full engine and gearbox is provided. This is a small model in itself. The Engine can then be fitted, and to the front of this the radiator assembly is added. The exhaust system is then fitted. Next up the rear axles are built up and added to the chassis. Transfer shafts join these to each other, and the main transfer box. Suspension dampers can then be fitted once the axles are in place. The same procedures are then followed for the single front axle, though with steering components being added as well. A bump plate it then fitted to the underside in front of this axle. Brackets are added to the outside of the chassis for the fuel tanks, air tanks; and battery box. The front mud guards are then also fitted. The wheels and their rubber tyres can now be assembled and fitted to the model. A spare is provided and a carrier for this needs to be built up and added to the chassis. Next up it time for the cab to be built up. The floor pan get the drivers foot controls and a hand brake. Three seats are then constructed and added to the floor pan, these are followed by the rear bulkhead and the cab sides. An underside part is then added containing the rest of the mud guard area. The dash is then assembled and added to the cab front. This is attached to the main body of the cab and then the steering column and wheel can be put in. The roof is then added along with the side doors. To finish of the cab windscreen wipers are added to the front and engine intake pipe to the rear. The rear mounted shelter body now needs to be built up. The two sides are added to the base, followed by the ends; then the roof is added. The rear and side doors are then put in place. Underneath the body the mounting rails are built up and added. Various openings are sealed with hatches and the mudguards are fitted to the body. External lockers, lights, stowage boxes and a rear mounted generator are added along with a ladder to access these. Now the completed cab and body units can be fixed to the chassis finishing the model off. The cab if wanted can be in the raised/tilted position. Markings Markings are provided for 2 generic Russian vehicles in overall green, and one in a later green/grey/black camo scheme. No information is given on these. Conclusion Trucks are often overlooked but this is a great model from ICM. Highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
The Last Bridge #5 Nadezhda (Hope) MB24077 Post Apocalyptic Series 1:24 Masterbox Ltd via Creative Models Ltd Master box have various series of figures that have themes unrelated to history, film or TV series. The Desert Battle series is a dystopian future (aren’t they all?) that’s not too far away, and based more than a little on the facts of today. A climate crisis happens in 2023 and throws the world into disarray on a global basis. Better get stocking up on toilet rolls and Pot Noodles then, folks! No really, don’t. Not again. If you check Master Box’s website, there are a number of individual figures being released (you can see them in the instructions on the back of the box), plus a few boxed sets to fuel your fevered dreams and fill your dioramas. They’d look equally at home in any slightly futuristic, slightly dystopian setting, so if you read the back-story on the box and it doesn’t suit you, check over the figure in isolation instead and judge for yourself where you can use her and what her backstory is. The figure arrives in an end-opening figure box, with a single narrow sprue rattling round inside, and instructions and back-story on the rear of the box. It depicts a woman in hiking boots and civilian clothing, wearing a knitted beanie and carrying her young child on her back, a bag over one shoulder, and an M4 derivative in her left hand. As usual, the sculpting is first rate and the recent nature of the tool shows in the detail, with the figure broken down into head, torso, arms, legs, her baby on her back sitting on a bed-roll, and a shoulder bag, with her M4 appearing to be on a sling, but it’s not immediately clear where that is. Painting of the figure is entirely up to you, as in the dystopian future you can wear what you want. The box art gives you some useful clues however, and the addition of separate front sections to her coat give additional depth to the figure. Conclusion An interesting and well-sculpted figure for you to use and abuse as you see fit. Build her as a stand-alone model or as part of a diorama with or without others from the series. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
33 quid for 66 parts that's quite expensive! But, it has nothing to do with the kit. It's all about marketing, shipping and handling costs and the fact that inflation is way up high despite what they say on the news. Just have a look at the supermarket prices and how often the last couples of months have increased. And the prices will continue to go up. My advice is buy now what you can afford because later on you might see this kit or as a matter of fact any kit's price skyrocketing! Just my two cents. Cheers, Bill
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