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Mike last won the day on July 4 2017

Mike had the most liked content!

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About Mike

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    Proud dad
  • Birthday 09/05/1967

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    Chester, UK
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    Aircraft, AFVs & Sci-Fi

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  1. Mike

    Su-34 Fullback (KH80141) 1:48

    The irony! You're clearly in it for the trolling, so we'll leave it at that, eh?
  2. Mike

    Hello playmates!

    aboard Ben. Guard your wallet fiercely, or your hobby will empty it There are such things as idiot questions, despite what people say, but as long as you're polite and you're not asking why giraffes can't dance in the Tools area, you'll usually get a nice polite, helpful reply from the folks here
  3. Mike

    Su-34 Fullback (KH80141) 1:48

    You seem a little bitter about this kit, so please accept my commiserations. I've built a couple of Kitty Hawk kits in the past, and apply the same methodology to them, using modelling skills (such as they are) to resolve any issues. KH aren't a company that you can just slap together without first testing fit, and I have said this a number of times in my reviews. I'm sorry you got the special "flashy" boxing, but you can see from the sprue shots and detail pics that there was little in the way of flash on my example, and I can assure you that we don't get special versions that are superior to what's available on the shelves. Flash isn't something that should slow you down by much anyway unless you don't have tools such as a sharp blade and sanding sticks, so I've never really found it a problem. Clearly, I prefer not to have it, so I was happy with my example, and can only judge by that example. Models like this require and deserve the application of modelling skills, and as we're all only human, sometimes it's our fault when things go wrong. It's just the way things go, and recognising your own fallibility is a healthy way to view the world. I have to say though, the tape-up I did (check the photos again) was very encouraging with fit. I've used KH decals in the past too, and although they have improved somewhat in the printing, they've never been comparable with the likes of Cartograf, who seem to be the de facto benchmark for decal quality. Also, I can't tell how well the decals will go down on this particular model by tasting the glue or carrier film, so they must be judged on past experience. I've never yet met a decal that I couldn't soften with either Gunze Mr Mark softer/setter, or the excellent Daco strong solution, so perhaps pick up a pot of that next time you're shopping? Looking at the decals they don't appear thick in my boxing, so maybe you got the special edition "leatherette" version? I'm making light of it, as I don't have your decals to look at, but how could I have a different sheet when they're all printed in a run? Finally, we don't have time to build everything we review or we'd need some form of time dilation device, and mine would need to be permanently set to maximum as I'm a slow builder for various reasons. Don't forget that this is an in box review at essence, showing what's in the box, so calling my veracity into question over "issues" that couldn't possibly be visible in the box is a bit of a leap and a little on the disrespectful side. I'll put it down to sour grapes because you didn't enjoy the model, but that doesn't necessarily mean that others won't. I've seen people build a kit with no problems that someone else has built with massive gaps, copious filler and additional screw-ups, and it's not always novices having trouble, so it's clear that it's to a great extent objective. Except Silver Cloud. We all agree they're horrific!
  4. Blenheim Mk.IF Upgrade Sets & Masks (for Airfix) 1:48 Eduard At time of writing, we're currently waiting for the new Blenheim kit to get from the warehouses to the shelves, and as it's the first major injection moulded kit of the type to have been released in a long time, there's a lot of excitement. Eduard have a good relationship with Airfix, and because of their new range of sets are here to improve on the kit detail in the usual modular manner even before the kit hits the shelves. Get what you want for the areas you want to be more of a focal point. As usual with Eduard's Photo-Etch (PE) and Mask sets, they arrive in a flat resealable package, with a white backing card protecting the contents and the instructions that are sandwiched between. Upgrade Set (49935) Two frets are included, one nickel plated and pre-painted, the other in bare brass. A complete set of new layered instrument panels and sidewall/consoles are the primary parts on the painted set, with new rudder pedal straps; throttle quadrant; gun details and other small equipment. Externally, there are nacelle internal structure parts; access panels; top hatch; crew steps; engine details, and cross-braces for the landing gear legs. Zoom! Set (FE935) This set contains a reduced subset of the interior, namely the pre-painted parts that are used to improve on the main aspects of the cockpit, as seen above. Whatever your motivations for wanting this set, it provides a welcome boost to detail, without being concerned with the structural elements. Seatbelts STEEL (FE936) In case you don't already know, these belts are Photo-Etch (PE) steel, and because of their strength they can be etched from thinner material, which improves realism and flexibility in one sitting. Coupled with the new painting method that adds perceived extra depth to the buckles and other furniture by shading, they are more realistic looking and will drape better than regular brass PE. As well as the four point harness for the pilot, there are also three lap belts for the various "bar-stool" seats that are fitted to the interior. landing flaps (48975) Eduard landing flaps use an ingenious technique to achieve excellent true-to-scale flaps using few parts, and requiring the modeller to simply remove the retracted flaps from the lower wing, plus scrape the upper wings to accommodate the thickness of the completed bays and remove the moulded-in detail. Each half of the two flap sections (bay and flap itself) is constructed in the same manner, by twisting and folding over the attached ribs to create a 3D shape, with extra parts added along the way. The bays glue to the inside of the upper wing and the flap attaches to the rear wall of the new bay. Repeat this for the other side until all four are installed, and you're done. Masks (EX626) Supplied on a sheet of yellow kabuki tape, these pre-cut masks supply you with a full set of masks for the canopy, turret, landing light and wingtip lights. In addition you get a set of hub/tyre masks for the main wheels, allowing you to cut the demarcation perfectly with little effort. Masks Tface (EX627) Supplied on a sheet of yellow kabuki tape, these pre-cut masks supply you with everything above, but also give you another set of canopy masks tailored to fit the interior of the glazing so that you can paint the interior and give your model that extra bit of realism. Don't worry about the missing inner lines on two of the wheel masks - I can assure you they're there on my copy of the masks. Review sample courtesy of
  5. Mike

    Forum suddenly stops working!

    If you happened to open up those threads in very close succession and they had a ton of elements (pictures, usually), you could have tripped the defences into thinking you were a Bot trying to overload the server. If you're multitasking on the forum, try not to open too many tabs at once or in close succession (in the same second sort of thing).
  6. It's the wrong side of the Atlantic for me, sadly, but it's great to see someone with a goal of putting a Stuka back in the air I wonder if it will be capable of putting in the Gs to get those trumpets singing? I doubt you can properly understand how terrifying that sound is unless you've been there. Must have been horrible.
  7. Absolutely, but this isn't a wishlist thread, it's for the "existing" Blenheim.
  8. FV214 Conqueror II Heavy Tank (35A027) 1:35 Amusing Hobby Still clinging onto the "bigger is better" ethos that Hitler forced upon the Allies during the last years of WWII, post war British doctrine continued to specify and design huge and lumbering tanks for a while, such as the Tortoise, and to a great extent the Conqueror, carrying a 120mm gun that was intended to take out opposition armour at longer range than the smaller Centurion, whilst working in cooperation together. Design began while the war was still raging, and continued with subsequent changes to specification due to rapidly evolving needs for a further 10 years before it morphed into the Conqueror Mk.1, of which only a handful were made before it too was upgraded to the Conqueror 2 with improvements in armour over its short-lived predecessor. It was a behemoth, and lumbered across the terrain at a slow rate due to a combination of extremely thick sloped armour that was almost 180mm on the glacis, the huge gun, advanced fripperies such as the rotating cupola, and brass cartridges, although it could only carry 35. The upside of the 64 tonne all-up weight was that it could stably travel over almost any terrain, although with a top speed of only 22mph on metalled roads, it would be a slow-moving target off-road. The Conquerors were deployed solely in Germany, there to halt or at least slow the advances of the expected Soviet horde that thankfully never came. A few additional variants were proposed, but only the Armoured Recovery Vehicle (ARV) was built in small numbers on the basis you need a titan to pull a titan if a tank broke down, which they often did due to their weight and the strain that put on the Rolls-Royce Meteor engine and running gear. The Conqueror and Centurion were eventually replaced by the Chieftain tank in the mid 60s, which ushered in the era of the Main Battle Tank in British service. The Kit This is a minor retooling of the original Conqueror Mk.I kit (35A006) with the addition of an extra sprue of parts, a new decal sheet, and a change of styrene colour. The changes centre on the glacis plate, the front deck, the commander's cupola, and the exhaust/engine deck, with smaller parts either replaced or carried over from the original tooling. As a result, you can still build a Mk.I from this boxing if you wish to, taking your cue from the parts that are replaced with the K sprue parts instead. Detail is of course good, as per the previous issue, and the new sprue is engineered and detailed in the same manner, so will blend in seamlessly. In the box you get ten sprues and two hull parts in a sand coloured styrene, a bag of track-links in brown styrene, a sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a bag of eight springs, a length of braided copper wire, small decal sheet, instruction booklet and separate painting and markings guide. Construction begins with the hull, and the suspension bogies that contain the Horstmann suspension units, which is where the real springs come in. These are contained between two end-caps, which affix to a back-plate, and if you're careful with the glue when you attach the perforated front part, you should end up with working suspension. Two pairs of road wheels and a single pair of return rollers are fixed to the axles, and held in place by hub caps that fit using friction alone, so the wheels should turn too if you don't overdo the paint. This is repeated over the eight bogies, a multi-part drive sprocket with final drive housing is installed at the rear and the adjustable idler wheels are added to the lower glacis, with an element of adjustment possible before you apply glue, which should allow you to take up any additional slack in the tracks before you finish construction. A set of small side skirts are glued along the length of the road wheel area, with tie-downs/grab-handles at either end, although it may be better to leave these off until after the tracks are fitted, and possibly until after painting. The rear bulkhead fits to the opening in the back of the hull after being decked-out with towing hooks and various small parts, after which the upper hull becomes the focus for a while. The upper hull is essentially complete save for the front glacis plate, which is the first of the new parts, having the light clusters and lifting eyes fitted, while on the rear deck a few spare track links are added on the moulded-in fenders along with the usual complement of pioneer tools with moulded-in tie-downs. The driver's deck is also a new part and has a new hatch to be used with all the original hinge and vision block parts, dropping into the aperture in the hull, and leaving the hatch movable. The stowage boxes and other small parts that are sprinkled around the upper hull are also carried over from the Mk.1, with towing cables made up from the braided wire and having styrene eyes at each end. On the engine deck a pair of new filler caps are present in the spaces between the ribs and vents, and these are shown in an overhead scrap diagram because there are no location points on the hull. Also on the engine deck a new exhaust assembly is run down both sides of the sides of the area, with angled protective shrouds covering each one in place of the rather complex-looking assembly of the Mk.1. The turret is much the same as the Mk.1, and is made up from an upper part, lower bustle part, and separate turret ring, onto which the various hatches, sensors and vision ports are affixed. Two sets of smoke grenade launchers attach to the turret sides, a communications wire reel is fitted to the port side, and the shell-ejection port is glued in either the closed or open positions, using a small actuator to obtain the correct angle. The mantlet fixes to a pair of pivots that are added to the front of the turret early on, and the edges of the part are wrapped with PE strips that can be used to fix a canvas mantlet cover on the real thing. The barrel then threads through the hole into the socket, and is made up from two solid sections plus a hollow muzzle, and the new wrap-around sleeve that is split vertically and encases the barrel just aft of the prominent flange. The commander's fancy cupola-cum-sighting-mechanism is new, with some small differences in the cast shape, and the omission of casting serials on the sloped section. The majority of small parts are from the Mk.1, with hatch, lifting eyes, vision blocks and machine gun all reused, but with two additional lifting eyes on the rear of the cupola, which have their location points marked faintly on the rear. The completed assembly fits onto the cupola ring part, and then twists into place, locking to the turret with a bayonet fitting. Also new is the turret basket at the rear of the bustle, which is made up from four styrene parts, and is shown in its final location in a scrap diagram for your ease. The tracks are very nicely moulded, and are of the click-fit workable variety, which works very well indeed in this instance. The parts are moulded in pairs with a small injection manifold between them, and they are attached by only two sprue gates, with no ejector pins to deal with. Clean-up is super-simple due to the location of the gates, and the click action is quite robust, leaving you with a run of tracks in fairly short order, which is just as well as you need 98 links per side. Having seen a few rather poorly engineered track joining methods from other major manufacturers lately, it's refreshing to see a genuinely good track-making method from Amusing Hobby. With the tracks installed, the hull halves can be joined, the turret twisted into place, new armoured final drive covers installed, and the gun's travel lock added to the rear bulkhead. Markings It's an AFV kit, so the decal sheet is the size of an over-ambitious stamp, and because of the limited colour palette and lack of complexity of the designs, only four colours are used on the sheet. The white is very slightly out of register, evidenced by the slight "shadow" on the right of the yellow decals, and a very slight difference in width of the white outlines on the black 4 triangles. It's nothing of great importance however, as the 4s can be trimmed, and the yellow will doubtless disappear on a green vehicle. Otherwise the decals are well-printed, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion There's something about the bulk of the Conqueror that is even more impressive if you've ever stood near a real one, as it is truly massive. Amusing Hobby have captured that aspect of it very well, and now we have a choice of two variants. I wonder what our chances of the ARV is? Low, I should think, but we can wish, can't we? One thing is for certain, there's a Mk.1 with spaced armour knocking about – a Super Conqueror! Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of Available soon from good model shops.
  9. Panzer III On the Battlefield 2 World War Two Photobook Series Peko Publishing The Panzer III was developed due to a lack of medium armour by the Third Reich in the mid 30s and as an adjunct to their lighter Panzer I and IIs that were still deemed suitable for the task early on, and they began WWII with predominantly light tanks that were often outgunned and relatively lightly armoured compared to their opponents, with only the III capable of meaningful armour-on-armour combat. Only the Blitzkreig tactics gave them the advantage, and following on from this Hitler became obsessed with the mantra "bigger is better". The Pz.IV was a pre-war development that supplanted the Panzer III, although they were originally supposed to support each other, the Allies advances in armour began to make the Panzer III look increasingly dated, although the chassis soldiered on to the end of the war in the shape of the StuG.III, which is another book entirely! This new volume from Peko's World War Two Photobook Series, and as the name suggests it is primarily a book of photos, which isn't too difficult to divine. As Volume 2 of the set it covers the more mature variants of the Pz.III, beginning briefly with the Ausf.B and carrying on through E to Ausf.N with all the variations in fit and finish between the factories that were engaged in construction of this, and the variations between marks and production batches. It is hardback bound with 112 pages, finished in an overall white cover, and authored by Tom Cockle. The photos are almost without exception full page, with space left only for the captions, which are in Hungarian and English, each one adding valuable insight to the photo, which may not be immediately apparent without it. For the modeller there are plenty of diorama possibilities, as well as opportunities to see how the crews actually stowed their gear on their vehicles (or otherwise) in real-world circumstances. Seeing how they come apart when blown up is also useful for diorama purposes, but thankfully there is only one grisly scene (seen from a distance) accompanying the destroyed vehicles. Quite a few of the photos are from private collections with attributions in the top corner as appropriate, with substantial quantity of soldiers standing in front of damaged or abandoned vehicles after the fighting is over, plus a number of groups investigating the wreckage after a cataclysmic explosion of the tank's magazine, or demolition by the escaping crew. While the contemporary photos are in black and white, the detail in which they are depicted would be an absolute boon to any modeller, especially those wishing to go down the route of realism and authentic settings. Conclusion Whether you have the models that you intend to use this book for reference, or have an interest in the subject, this book will give you all the reference pictures and some besides, as well as some inspiration for dioramas. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  10. Thanks - not being able to speak word one of either languages, it's all Greek to me. Wait, what? Edited
  11. Mike

    What the Hell is Bit Locker ?

    We'll just call you Billy then
  12. Mike

    What the Hell is Bit Locker ?

    Sorry to hear that Dennis. Very frustrating, I'd imagine. If you do manage to successfully fix it, I'm sure someone will appreciate a post giving some info on what you did. It's bound to be affecting more than just you. I've been pondering this on and off, and can only wonder if there was a screen/dialogue at some point that asked you to enter an encryption key that you may have mistaken for a password request. Is it possible that the key is your usual password for your machine? It wouldn't be the first time someone had entered something and pressed NEXT before they'd properly read it. Any of that sound familiar?