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Mike last won the day on March 25 2020

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About Mike

  • Birthday 05/09/1967

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  1. That's one of the reasons that we don't ever mention price in our reviews, unless it's a mention of it being "pocket friendly" when something seems unreasonably well-priced. I don't think it needs to go the way of politics, it just causes a few people frustration on both sides of the coin. Those that can't afford it can be tempted to have a moan, those that are minted or don't see it as a problem if they can't afford it, get wound up by it. I just think that if everyone's more aware that it's a slightly contentious subject, maybe we can avoid mentioning it overmuch, and certainly avoid getting into rows about it
  2. I've merged the two topics together, but as the text was posted after the pics, you'll have to scroll down to read it. to the forum Umut - you'll figure it out eventually
  3. US 1.5t 4x4 G506 Flatbed Truck (38056) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd The Chevrolet G506 truck formed the basis of a range of 4x4 load-carrying vehicles that were capable of carrying up to 1.5 tonnes of cargo or equipment. They were initially made under the 4100 code, then moved to the 7100 range, and usually had a standard enclosed cab, with a 3.9L straight-6 engine under the bonnet, with a four-speed “crash” (non-syncro) gearbox putting down a little over 80hp through all four axles. Under the new coding it rapidly became the Allies’ standard light truck, and served in substantial quantities with the Allies in the West, the Soviets in the East, and the forces fighting Japan in the Far East. There were a lot of variants, some in US Army service, others in USAAF service, with almost 50,000 of two specific types, the G7107 and G7117 sent over to the Soviets under the Lend/Lease program. The civilian vehicles could be almost as varied in form as the military options with some obvious exceptions (civilians seldom have a need to launch rockets), and they were well-liked by their drivers and crews, carrying out cargo shipping duties before, during and after WWII. They benefitted from widely available spares and the know-how to repair and maintain them, and they served long after the end of WWII. The Kit This is a new boxing of a recent tooling from MiniArt, and is one of a range that is lurking about in your favourite model shop. It’s a full interior kit, with engine, cab and load area all included along with some very nice moulding and detail, particularly in the cab and those chunky tyres. It arrives in one of MiniArt’s medium-sized top-opening boxes, and inside are twenty-one modular sprues in grey styrene, a clear sprue, Photo-Etch (PE) sheet in a card envelope, a wee decal sheet and glossy instruction booklet with colour profiles on the front and rear pages. Construction begins with the ladder chassis, which has leaf-springs fore and aft, cross-braces and rear towing eye fitted to create the structure, then has the fuel tank, PE rear bumper irons folded around a styrene jig, and axles installed, before the brake drums/hubs, battery and external brackets are added to the chassis rails. The transfer box and drive-shaft join the two axles together, and a steering linkage and box are inserted into the front of the chassis, then the engine is built up based on the straight six-cylinder block, with carburettor, dynamo and transmission added, plus the pulleys and fan at the front. The engine and substantial front bumper iron are fitted to the chassis, and at the rear a short additional chassis rail are attached to the frame at the rear behind the fuel tank. The exhaust and its manifold slip into the underside of the chassis from below later on, with linkages and axle brackets fitted to the rails. The crew cab is next, beginning with the firewall and forward sidewalls. The roof and windscreen frame are moulded as one, with a headliner insert and rear-view mirror that are inserted within, and the three-part radiator housing is made to be used later. The firewall and roof are joined with some of the dash pots fixed to the engine side of the firewall, while the doors and their interior cards are assembled with their handles and window winders, plus the clear window glass that can be posed open or closed at your whim. The dashboard inserts into the front bulkhead with seven decals for the instruments and stencils on the glove box. The diagonal foot panel is joined with the firewall and decked out with three foot pedals and the steering wheel on a long column that slides through a hole in front of the pedals. The driver and co-driver share a bench seat that is made up on the floor from back, cushion and a C-shaped surround that fits round the rear of the cab back wall, with small ovalised window and optional PE mesh grille fitted later. The roof and firewall assembly are fitted to the floor, with the doors installed within the frame in the open or closed position. The windscreen is two panes of clear in a styrene frame fitted to the front of the cab open or closed, and below it on the scuttle is a ventilator panel that is posed open or closed later as you like it. The cab and radiator are both placed on the chassis with spacer rods applied, and the engine cowling side panels fit between them with front wing/fender included. The aforementioned windscreen has a pair of PE brackets and styrene wingnuts that are installed either vertically for closed, or at an angle for open, with a scrap diagram showing the correct orientation of the various parts. The spare tyre is placed on a bracket near the exhaust later, and the front of the vehicle has its headlights with clear lenses plus sidelights fitted to the wings, and PE windscreen wipers hung from the top of the frame, then the front grille is built. You may have noticed that this doesn’t appear on the sprues, and there’s a good reason for that. It is constructed completely from PE, and two jigs are included on the sprues to assist with obtaining the correct shape. The lower rail and curved side panels are made up on one jig from a single piece of PE, while the centre panel is folded up on another, then they’re joined together ready to be attached to the front of the engine bay. There are two brackets stretched across the front of the radiator, and another small curved section is added to the left of the grille as it is glued in place with the help of some CA. The hood/bonnet is able to be fitted open or closed with two styles of clasp and in the open option, a PE stay is provided. Two closure clasps are fixed to the sides of the bay too. The load bed floor is a single moulding with a ribbed texture on the underside, a slim rear section with moulded-in reflectors, separate rear lights on PE brackets mounted to the chassis. The shallow sides and taller front are separate frames, and the underside is strengthened by four cross-braces. The load bed is joined to the chassis along with the spare tyre on the left side of the flatbed, then the fuel filler and exhaust are added on PE brackets. It’s time for the rest of the wheels to be made up, with singles at the front, each made from two parts each, and twin wheels at the rear, made up much earlier in the instructions for some reason. Each wheel slips over its respective axle, with the hub projecting through the central hub, with a pair of rear mudflaps behind the back wheels. The kit comes with a stack of ten barrels to be made up of four styles, all of which are made from two halves with end caps that are glued in with the embossed writing on the inside, and adding a separate tap on one end, with some of them having four-part stands so they can be laid down on the load bed. In addition, a civilian driver/loader figure is included on his own sprue, wearing overalls and a baseball cap with turned up brim on his head and work boots – on his feet, of course. He is made up from individual legs, torso, head and arms, plus the cap, which is separate so you can replace it with something else if you feel the urge. A top-hat or pineapple maybe? Markings There are five colourful markings options on the decal sheet from various eras of the types operation. From the box you can build one of the following: Indiana USA, 1940s Texas USA, 1945 Florida USA, 1940s New York USA, 1950 Philippines, 1946 Decals are printed by MiniArt’s usual partners Decograph, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion We seem to be blessed with new kits of the Chevrolet G506/G7107 truck in 1:35 recently, which was ubiquitous during WWII at home, lugging goods of all types around the USA and beyond. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. Haven't counted them yet, but the first one tasted a bit plasticky
  5. Fruit Delivery Van Typ 170V Lieferwagen (38044) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd The Mercedes 170 was based upon their W15 chassis, which was their first with all-round independent suspension, and was available as a bare chassis for coachbuilders, as a saloon, cabriolet or as a light van, debuting in the early 30s with sales affected by the worldwide depression that started in Wall Street in 1930. Sales picked up after the recession eased, and later versions had internal boot/trunk-space and sleeker lines, moving with the times. As well as sharing a chassis with the saloon, the van was essentially identical in the forward section and inside the crew cab. The bodywork from the doors backward were designed with the same ethos but differed due to the practical but boxy load area behind the drivers. These vehicles were often used for years after their original purchase passing through the ownership of several owners, especially after the war years where funds were sometimes short following the devastation in Europe. The Kit This is a reboxing of a partial re-tool of the original 2012 saloon and subsequent Beer Delivery vehicle (reviewed earlier), with the same new sprues and parts added to create the necessary changes for the wagon. The original kit is highly detailed, and this one is no different, showing just how far MiniArt have come in their design and moulding technology. There is superb detail throughout, with slender racks, realistic-looking fabric door pockets as well as a full engine and interior to the cab. Inside the shrink-wrapped box are eighteen sprues of grey styrene, one in clear, a decal sheet and a small fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass for finer details, protected in a card envelope. Construction begins with the 1700cc engine and transmission, which is made up from a substantial number of parts that just need a little wiring to do it full justice, and in fact the brake hoses are shown in diagrams to ensure that you obtain the correct bends, but you’ll need to find your own 0.2mm wire to begin with. The X-shaped chassis is prepped with a few mounts and a PE brackets, then the rear axle, differential and driveshafts are fitted on a pair of very realistic styrene springs that have hollow centres and individual coils thanks to some clever sliding moulds. Drum brakes, straps and brackets finish off the rear axle assembly, then the completed engine and drive-shaft are installed in the front to be joined by a pair of full-width leaf-springs from above and below with a stub-axle and drum brake at each end. The exhaust is made up with an impressively neatly designed four-part muffler, a pair of PE mounts, straight exit pipe and a curved length leading forward to the engine. With the addition of the bumper-irons at the front, the lower body can be fixed to the chassis after drilling a single hole in one of the front wings. The front firewall is next to be made up, and the pedal box is installed one side, with a set of tools and another neatly designed cylinder, this time the fuel tank, which is curiously situated in the rear of the engine bay. This fits over the transmission tunnel that is moulded into the floor, with more driver controls such as the gear lever, hand brake and steering column with PE horn-ring added at this time. The dashboard is integrated into the windscreen frame after being fitted with decals within the instrument housings, then covered over with clear faces for realism. There is also a nicely clear curved windscreen inserted before this is dropped over the firewall, joined by a rear cab panel that has a small rear window and the back of the bench seat applied before fitting. The base of the bench seat is also fitted on a riser moulded into the floor. Vehicles need wheels, and this one runs on four with a spare one lurking under a false floor in the back. Each wheel is made up from a layer-cake of three central sections to create the tread around the circumference, and two outer faces that depict the sidewalls of the tyres, with maker’s mark and data panel moulded into the sides. The hubs are inserted into the centres of the tyres, with a cap finishing off the assemblies. They are built up in handed pairs, and the spare has a different hub and no cap to differentiate it. The flat floor for the load area is a single piece with the pocket for the spare tyre to fit inside, and this sits over the rear arches and is supported at the front by a lip on the rear of the cab. The load area is then finished by adding the slab-sides and roof to the body, with a few ejector-pin marks that will need filling if you plan on leaving the door open. Speaking of doors, there are two options for open and closed, with moulded-in hinges and separate door handle, plus the number-plate holder above the door in the centre. The front doors are handed of course, and have separate door cards with handle and window winders added, and a piece of clear styrene playing the part of the window, which is first fitted to the door card before it is added to the door skin. Both doors can be posed open or closed as you wish, and are of the rearward opening "suicide door" type. At this stage the front of the van needs finishing, a job that begins with the radiator with a PE grille and three-pointed star added to a surround, then the radiator core and rear slam-panel with filler cap at the rear. This is put in place at the front of the body at an angle, with two cross-braces reducing body flex along with a central rod that forms the hinge-point for the side folding hood. Small PE fittings are fixed first on the louvered side panels, then added to the top parts in either the open or closed position. A pair of PE and styrene windscreen wipers are added to the windscreen sweeping from the top, a pair of clear-lensed headlamps, wing mirrors and indicator stalks on the A-pillars finish off the build of the van. To differentiate this from the previous kit, MiniArt have included an optional PE roof rack that is folded up and fitted to the exterior drip-rails around the roof, and seven small sprues full of fruit of various kinds and 12 double-height wooden boxes that can be used to depict cargo inside or on the rack if you use it. Markings Get your shades out for two of the three decal options. These were commercial vehicles during peacetime, so they were designed to attract attention. There are three options depicted in the instructions, with plenty of decals devoted to the branding on the sides. From the box you can build one of the following: Provinz Schlesien, Early 1940s Berlin, Early 1940s Colour based upon 50s Poster, registration from American occupation zone Decals are by DecoGraph, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion This is another well-detailed kit of an old Merc van, and even if you’re not a vehicle modeller it would make for great background fodder for a diorama, possibly of post-war Allied or Soviet armour making its way through town. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  6. It's a difficult one to answer without upsetting at least someone, as the most obvious comparison would be "do you go on Porsche forums and moan about the price?". That's a massive generalisation of course, but it kind of applies. I think maybe the reason why people are tired of the complaint about price is that there's ALWAYS someone having a moan, regardless of whether the price is high, low or somewhere in the middle, so it gets a bit "meh" after a while, as does the "wrong scale" and "they should have made an XXX" nonsense. I'm in the position where I get sent things for nowt (other than some short words about the kit - I don't know any long ones), but I do still buy the occasional kit, and they are going up in price, no doubt. We have to compare those increases with the increases in other things that we're buying on the regular though. I think everything's going through the roof presently, probably because vendors have learned that people will pay thanks to Covid, so kits going up too is only natural. It sucks if you can't afford them, it really does, but everyone's gotta eat before they can think about their hobbies. The kits are also getting more expensive to produce because we all demand more detail and fancy mouldings. There are so many factors, it's hard to make a definitive conclusion, and even if you do, someone's bound to disagree anyway. We all have to cut our cloth accordingly though, and if you ask someone from outside our hobby, they'll happily tell you either that it's a silly waste of money, or it's not a necessity, so stop yer whining. You really can't win
  7. Chipmunk T.10 Wheels (648699 for 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. As usual with Eduard's Photo-Etch (PE), small Brassin, 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. There are two wheels included in the package, each one on its own casting block, and there is also a small sheet of pre-cut kabuki tape masks, allowing you to cut the demarcation between tyres and hubs with little effort. Detail is excellent, and includes the raised Good Year name with winged boot and tyre stats on the sidewalls, a circumferential tread on the contact patch, and hub detail in the centre. The tyres have a very slight sag to simulate the weight of the aircraft on them, and they are joined to the casting block there, so clean-up is simple and you don’t risk damaging the detail. Once liberated from their block, they are a straight-forward drop-in replacement. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  8. B-26K with USAF Pilots & Ground Personnel (48280) 1:48 ICM via Hannants Ltd The A-26 was built by Douglas during WWII as the successor to the A-20 Havoc. Two types were designed, The C with a glass bomber nose and the B with a full metal nose filled with either 6 or 8 .50cal machine guns, which coupled with the three in each wing gave it quite a punch, deserving of the Strafer title. It also had a pair of turrets on the fuselage mid-upper and dorsal positions, which were both operated by a single gunner using a complex remote mechanism that flipped between the upper and lower turrets depending on where the gunner was looking through his binocular sights. This trained the guns accordingly and also calculated the correct offset for parallax and lead, but was very complex and caused some delays to it entering service, and even more issues with maintenance in the field. In 1948 it was re-designated as the B-26 by the US Air Force to confuse us, and later on back to the A-26 just to complete the process of befuddlement. It was developed a little after the Marauder and despite using the same engines it was conceived totally separately from its more rotund colleague. It was initially less than popular in the Pacific theatre where its poor cockpit view due to the canopy and engine position rendered it unloved by the first users. It was more popular in the European theatre and was accepted as a replacement for the Havoc fairly quickly. After the war it served in Korea, early Vietnam engagements and other conflicts, ending its days in US service with the Air National Guard in the early 70s. In the mid-1950s some Aircraft were converted to the Drone controller role with the DC prefix to launch Ryan Firebee drones in support of combat training. In a late twist the B-26 would be brought back in the 60s for the Vietnam War because it could still hold its own in combat. The aircraft externally still looked very much like the WWII aircraft, but the turrets were removed in favour of fixed forward firing guns and four hard points were fitted to each wing, allowing the carrying of 8,000lbs of ordnance. The wings of these aircraft were rebuilt and strengthened, the rudder was enlarged and permanent tip tanks (65 US Gal) were added to the main wings. Anti-icing was added to the airframe to cope with cold weather and higher altitudes, and a new anti-skid braking system was also added. In the cockpit the dials and displays were updated and a secondary control yoke was added to allow control from either seat. New 2,500hp engines were added inside the nacelles, along with cuffed broad chord props to cope with the enhanced power delivery. The USAF ordered 40 of the "new" aircraft which were known as Nimrods locally to their crews. As well as combat operations in South east Asia some aircraft flew on the down-low with the CIA in the Congo. The last aircraft were finally retired by 1969 when AC-130 gunships took over their night interdiction role. Only 6 of the type survive, with "Special Kay" having been restored to Flight as a memorial to crews who fought the covert missions in South East Asia. The Kit This is a new variant from the recent tooling from ICM, and this is the second boxing now of the so-called Counter Invader. While you get many parts from the original Invader boxings, this edition features a new fuselage sprue, new wing sprues, a new rudder, new engine nacelles, a pylon sprue, and weapons sprues ICM previously released as a stand-alone US Armament set. It also includes a new sprue filled with five crew figures, which we’ll cover toward the end of this review. It arrives in the familiar top opening box with a captive inner lid to the lower tray. Inside the box are a healthy fifteen sprues in grey styrene, one in clear, two decal sheets and the instruction booklet plus two extra instruction sheets for the armament & figures. A quick look over the sprues reveals that panel lines are very crisp, narrow and restrained, the surface is matt and very neat-looking, with plenty of engraved and raised details on the parts, plus subtly indented flying surfaces simulating their fabric covering. There are a number of red blocks printed over the sprue map, which shows how many of the parts will be left on the sprues once you have completed construction, such as original wings, props, cowlings and one of the canopies. If you’re a bit ham-fisted and plan on building many Invaders, you could well find these come in useful down the line. New Parts Original Parts Construction begins with the internal bomb load, which is then placed within the port fuselage half along with some detail panels and bulkheads. The former gunner’s position and the cockpit are next, creating the pilot's seat, instrument panel (with instrument decals), centre console with throttle quadrant before adding those and the twin control columns to the floor. The aft compartment is built up around the front wing spar with a set of radio gear hanging from a pair of risers and a pair of wing spars, so you'll have to do some detail painting as you go. After this the starboard fuselage side is prepped, with the right side of the cockpit and bomb bay with its detailed ribbing. With that and a quantity of detail painting you can then slide the starboard fuselage over the two spars, and it would be a good idea when fitting those spar parts to let the glue set up with the starboard fuselage taped in place to ensure they make the correct angle when they're set in place permanently. The instructions then have you building up the tail feathers, with the elevators having separate single-part flying surfaces, plus a two-piece rudder to attach to the moulded-in tail fin. The gun-nose comprising the fixed lower and rear section of the nose are built up out of three parts, making space for the 40g of nose weight you are encouraged to fit before you add the single cowling panel that covers the gun bay, with a pair of four-barrel gun-inserts added through the holes to depict the .50cals. You'll need to drill out the muzzles or take the lazy way out and get a set of Master barrels. The nose section is a straight-forward butt joint to the fuselage, with a small half-moon cut-out that should help align it. The new wings are next with a small radiator intake prism moulded-in to which you add a radiator panel, and the lower parts have holes and long depressions ready for the four pylons per wing. You'll notice that there are fairings and a hump in the upper wing where the engine nacelles will be, and these are separate assemblies to be built up later. First, the separate two-section flaps, and the ailerons are prepared and added to the trailing edge of the wings, the latter being of one piece each and slotting into the wing via two tabs. The tip tanks are made of two halves and are glued in place, and underwing landing lights are added from clear parts. At this stage the instructions have you sliding the wings onto the spars and gluing them in place. Whether you'd rather wait until you've added the engine nacelles though is entirely up to you. It’s your model! There are of course two engine nacelles and these build up pretty much identically apart from their outer skins, which are handed to fit their respective fairings as you'd expect. They are split vertically, and each half has internal structure moulded-in, with bulkheads added fore and aft of the gear bays, coupled with bay lip inserts that bulk out the edges and also hold captive their bay door. This may require some clever masking and a little care during handling, but it shouldn't hold you up too much, as the hinge-points are relatively robust. The two halves are joined together, the prominent intake on the top of the nacelle is made up from two parts, then is added to the nacelle front which is in turn glued to the rest of the nacelle, with the completed assemblies attached to the wings from the underside, as yet without their engine cowlings, engines or props. The engines are added later in the build, and the Twin Wasps are depicted in their entirety with both banks of pistons, push-rods, ancillaries and reduction housing at the front, plus the collector ring and exhausts at the rear, the latter made up from eight parts each. Again, the engines are identical and interchangeable with each other, and they fit to the nacelles with a teardrop-shaped tab, after which the engine cowling is slotted over them. The cooling flaps are last to be added in four sets around the rear of the cowling. The top of the fuselage is still open at this point, as it has an insert with the faired over section where the top turret used to be, with another for the former dorsal turret fitted later on. Each of the three tyres are made from two halves with separate hubs applied from either side, then hung on their respective legs, which have retraction jacks and scissor links added along the way. Happily, these can be fitted late in the build, so the open bays can be masked quicker than if they were present. Speaking of bays, you can depict the bomb bay open or closed by using either a one-piece door for closed, or two separate doors with internal detail for open. This is nice to see, as it's always a little tricky to join two doors and get them aligned with the fuselage so there are minimal join-lines. The main airframe is ostensibly complete save for some antennae and the new broad-blade props, and if you've been sparing with the glue when assembling the engines, the latter should still spin once complete. The four pylons per wing are each made from two parts, and should have some 0.8mm holes drilled in their lower surface for later use, then you need to make a choice what to put on the pylons, with the help of a load-out diagram provided, or from your own references. US Aviation Armament (48406) As well as the internal bomb load, there are four sprues containing various munitions, as follows: 2 x LAU-10A Pods of 5" Rockets 2 x LAU-69 Pods of 2.75" Rockets 2 x LAU-68 Pods of 2.75" Rockets 2 x BLU-23 500LB Fire bombs (Can be made with or without the fins) 2 x BLU-27 750LB Fire Bombs (Can be made with or without the fins) 2 x Mk.77 750LB Incendiary Bombs 2 x SUU-14 Dispensers 2 x Mk.81 Snakeye Bombs* 2 x MK.81 Low Drag Bombs* 2 x Mk.82 Snakeye Bombs* 2 x Mk.82 Low Drag Bombs* *All of the above bombs can be fitted with Fuse extenders In addition, there are 2 MERs with Sway braces, with what look to be 12 Flares to load on the MERs. All of the parts are well moulded and there are enough parts to give some additional detail to the weapons. US Pilots & Ground Crew Personnel - Vietnam (48087) This new set is designed for this kit, but could equally be used elsewhere. There are two pilots getting ready for flight, one of whom is carrying a helmet. An officer figure (possibly maintenance) is standing around with a clipboard in hand, with two ground crew reaching above their heads to fiddle with things such as the external weapons. The uniforms are Vietnam era and the sculpting is up to ICM's high standards. Markings In this diorama-style boxing there are four similar options included on the decal sheet, all of which are in Vietnam light and dark green, brown and black camouflage. From the box you can build one of the following: 64-17651, 56th Special Operations Wing, 609th Special Operations Sqn Nakhon Phanom 1969, "Mighty Mouse" name and artwork 64.17649, Davis-Monthan AFB, 1970 "Sweet Therese" name 64-17645, 56th Special Operations Wing, 609th Special Operations Sqn Nakhon Phanom 1969 64-17679, 1st Special Operations Wing, USAF Late 1960s "Special Kay" name. This aircraft has been restored and is the only B-26K flying The decals are printed anonymously, although they look like DecoGraph's output to my eye. They have good registration, colour density and sharpness, and include a number of stencils that are legible with the right optics. The decals for the armaments are of the same quality and sharpness. Conclusion This model is excellent for anyone wanting to create a diorama or at least add a few weapons and figures to their model. Detail is excellent and the addition of the figures and weapons is great news. Very highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  9. It does make a lot of sense. The fact that it's a German car manufacturer and a total legend makes it even more likely, but since when have we ever been 100% right about what model companies do?
  10. Just blame me, and hope that Bristol is too far for her to come to throttle me instead
  11. to the forum Daniel. Good to have you here
  12. Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Coupé G-Model (07688) 1:24 Carrera Revell The original Porsche 911 reached the market in 1963, and if you have one of those, you’re probably quite wealthy in theory if it’s still in good condition. The Carrera name had been used in the 70s for a special edition, and was re-used for the 1983 variant that saw the engine size increased to a healthy 3.2 litres with a choice of body styles including Coupé, Targa and Cabriolet, the Targa having a removable roof panel to give the occupants a wind-in-the-hair/scalp feel without the bodyshell flexibility inherent in removal of the whole roof. The flat-six engine was mated to a new 5-speed gearbox that gave it an impressive 5.4secs 0-60 time that was the downfall of many a Yuppie in the corners and on roundabouts. The American variant was slightly lower in terms of power, and was subject to their safety constraints that resulted in some pretty chunky over-riders being added to the bumpers, and IIRC (which I seldom do), a slightly higher ride height. The overall design remained stable for the most part until it was entirely replaced, with various minor adjustments to the package such as a revised dash and an increase to the size of the disc brakes to improve stopping-power. By the end of the 80s the type had sold well, but as sales began to drop off the next generation was already in-hand, with the 964 straddling the 80s and 90s with a subtly different look and technical specification. The Kit This is Revell’s new 2021 911 Coupé kit, the Targa version we reviewed a little while back, and this one has a different bodyshell to depict the hard top amongst other things. It arrives in a thick end-opening box with a painting of a silver 911 on the front, being driven by (I think) Nathan Fillon, and with a probably famous Asian lady I don’t recognise in the passenger seat. What’s going on with their artists and the occupants of their cars these days? Inside are four sprues in grey styrene, three more and a bodyshell in silver, two clear sprues and four black flexible tyres in differently sized front and rear pairs. The instructions are printed in colour with profiles on the back page, and the decals with a protective wax paper cover hidden within, along with the box-ticking health and safety sheet that you should definitely read so you don’t mutilate yourself during the build. Detail is excellent throughout, with a reasonable replica of the flat-6 engine and Getrag transmission, plus left- and right-handed dash parts that will be seen through some nice clear glazing parts. Construction begins with the motor, which is well-detailed and made up from a good number of parts with a painting guide to assist you in making a good job, which continues throughout the booklet. The basic block and transmission are set inside a frame, which is slipped into the floorpan from below along with a wide U-shaped mount that is painted black. The drive-shafts and suspension are arranged around the transmission with the convoluted exhaust system attached to the underside of the engine. The front brake disks and hub assemblies are made up with an unglued cuff in the centre of each one, joined together by the steering linkage and dropped into the front underside along with the rest of the suspension parts and a protective cover over the centre. Back in the engine bay, the ancillaries, turbo inlet and airbox are painted up and installed, then the running gear is set to one side while the interior is made up. The passenger compartment is made up from front and back sections with moulded-in rear seats and slots for the front seats in the forward section. A pair of holes need to be drilled out for the pedals of the left- or right-hand drive positions, then the central console, gear-shifter and handbrake are fixed to the centre along with a pair of pre-tensioning seatbelt receivers. The front seats are elegantly shaped with rolled cushions and separate back covers. In addition, there are a pair of contoured seat-cushions for the rear seats that fit over the moulded-in bench-type backs. The front seats secure in their twin slots in the front well, then the left door card is glued in place after a comprehensive painting and decaling, with the new rear squabs attaching in front of the simpler rears. The left- or right-handed dash is painted up and decaled with some very realistic dials, knobs and controls, to be joined by the short steering column with moulded-in stalks and a separate steering wheel, which also have decals for the logos and control instructions. The dash is glued into position with the opposite door card, then you’ll need to get some paint on the bodyshell inside and out. The bodyshell is moulded in silver, as are the other outer panels, which you will probably want to paint after the next step, which is drilling out some holes in the front wings. Incidentally, there are a couple of unavoidable sink-marks on the rear C-pillars, due to brackets on the interior. They're quite small, but it's still best to fill those right at the start to avoid any complications later. The bodyshell is filled up with the interior and floorpan whilst inverted, locating on pegs within. The front of the body is detailed with a pair of recessed headlamp reflectors that need painting with a suitable chrome paint beforehand, then have their textured lenses installed and the indicators placed in the bumper below, painting the clear part orange beforehand. The front bumper has an underside section added from below, with a choice of European or American fitments, only one of which has fog-lights and their surrounds with a number plate in the centre. At the rear, a full-width clear part fits into a groove in the back of the body, which will also need painting chrome within, and the clear part should be painted orange and red as per the diagram before insertion. The rear bumper iron shows a set of over-riders fixed either side of the number plate, but check your references to see if these are appropriately sized to the variant you plan to build. A reversing light attaches under the bumper, and this too has a clear lens that you should paint clear red. The wheels are different widths Front and Rear, so take note of the F or R on the small central sprue, although it’s fairly obvious when viewed from above. The sprue should be cut off with the sharpest blade you can find, then the hub is slipped inside to ledge on a rim at the rear after painting the outer rim chrome and aluminium, and the centres black for all four. The rims have hollow cylindrical pegs on the rear to fit onto the disk-brake hubs, and scrap diagrams show where to apply the glue sparingly. As this is the coupé version, the roof is pre-moulded into the bodyshell, so it’s a case of inserting the windscreen with rear-view mirror from the front. The doors are moulded closed, and the two side window clear parts are also inserted from outside, as is the rear window, all of which have black rubbers painted on. To finish off the build, there are two door handles, indicator repeaters and wing mirrors with separate mirror glass and a silver decal are fitted into their requisite sockets, then last of all there are twin wiper blades on the scuttle, and a retracted radio antenna added to the front-left wing. Markings The majority of decals will have been used before you get to the end, forming part of the interior or instrument panel, but also included are a set of number plates from various countries, their overseas boot stickers, plus a pair of Carrera branded showroom plates, and an engine data booklet for the firewall. The profiles show a silver vehicle as per the box artwork, but you can paint it any colour you like in reality. Decals are by printed for Revell by Zanetti, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion This is a well-detailed kit of a very famous and much-beloved German sports car that’s a classic in the figurative and literal sense for good reason. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  13. World of Tanks Leichttraktor Rheinmetall 1930 (03506) 1:35 Carrera Revell After WWI the German military were forbidden from developing any serious form of weapons by the Versailles Treaty, so their initial efforts were made underground, with the assistance of their then-friends the Soviet Union providing the trials locations. The name Leichttraktor translates literally to "Light Tractor", which was part of the subterfuge, and both Rheinmetall and Krupps produced design proposals for consideration for VK31. Rheinmetall created prototypes, which were a fairly unusual (for the time) engine-first design, with the fighting compartment for the four crew and turret bearing a 37cm cannon at the rear. The tracks were suspended using leaf springs, and an order for around 300 examples were made initially, but later cancelled after testing. Only the two prototypes were made, due to the vehicle's poor performance and reliability, especially the tracks, which were prone to slipping off the poorly designed wheels, and were hard to swap due to their poor design. World of Tanks Many of you will have heard of the game World of Tanks (WoT), and some will even have played it because it is a Free-to-Play game for the PC and major consoles that allows players to take the role of a tank commander of any of the major combatants almost anywhere in huge play areas set in WWII. You have to grind to work your way up the tree to the monsters such as King Tigers, the Maus and other top-flight tanks, but you’ll get plenty of experience in light tanks like the Leichttraktor on the way unless you have deep pockets and can afford to become a ‘whale’ and pay-to-win. The Kit This is a reboxing of a 2019 tooling from ICM of this little tank, and as such it is a modern tooling. The kit arrives in a WoT themed box and inside are five sprues of grey styrene, four lengths of black flexible tracks, a tiny clear sprue, a generic decal sheet and the instruction booklet. Detail is good throughout as we've come to expect from ICM, with plenty of external detail, including the spiral exhaust mufflers. There is a small card with a special bonus code for players on the PC and three invite codes for you to give to friends to introduce them to the game and give you some squad mates to play with. These two freebies mean the following to the PC version player: Bonus Code 2 x +50% Experience for 2 hours 2 x +50% Credits for 2 hours 2 x 200% Crew experience for 2 hours Invite Code T2 Light Tank Garage Slot 7 World of Tanks Premium plus days 1000 Gold I don’t profess to know what all that means to the players, but the info is there for you to see. There are long alpha-numeric codes and a URL for the website to redeem your codes, so good luck with that! Construction begins with the upper deck for a change, which has two engine access panels with individual louvers fitted beforehand, and a smaller armoured cone-shaped hatch further back toward the turret ring. Either side are two crew hatches, the left of which stands proud of the deck, while the right-hand hatch is flush with the deck. More louvers are added to the front bulkhead before it and the top deck are attached to the right side of the hull, then it has the floor and rear bulkheads glued into place and is finally closed up by adding the left side. The rear bulkhead has a crew hatch on the right side, which is added along with a bunch of shackles and towing eyes, with none at the front. The road wheels are made up in four pairs per bogey, which are held in place by two sets of triangular parts trapping the small wheels in place. There are three of these per side, plus two double-bank return rollers, and another pair on the lower run just aft of the front-mounted idler wheel. The idler and drive sprocket are both made of two parts, with the teeth on the drive wheel central within the flat outer section. With the wheels done, the mud-shedding fenders are constructed from the outer panel and a run of box-sections, and they are then fixed to the hull sides with two pins locating them firmly. The process is repeated on the other side, and the rubber tracks, which are accurate to the initial designs that are mostly rubber with metal inserts, and these are made up from two sections each with one run each side. You will need to use super-glue for the joins, as liquid glue doesn't melt the plastic they are made of – I know because I tried. The top plates are fitted last to the rear three quarters of the track run, and then attention turns to the turret. Despite this being an exterior-only kit, there is a nicely detailed full breech included in the kit, which is made up over six steps, then set aside to wait for installation. The turret is supplied in two halves, with crew access hatches in each side, which are separate parts and could be left open if you desire. The two halves are brought together around the breech, and sealed in by the turret ring below, and the fairly featureless circular roof part. The mantlet is next, covering the interior of the breech, and is completed by adding the coaxial machine gun mount and the barrel, which is a single part with a short insert at the dangerous end to give it a hollow muzzle. The turret is then decked out with two roof-top vents, lifting eyes and other small parts before it is twisted onto the hull and held in place by a pair of bayonet lugs. The clear headlight lenses are fitted to the domed rear and attached to each side of the front, and a wrap-around railing is glued around the aft area of the hull and turret area. The unusual exhaust exits the right side of the hull and travels over the fender, with a spiral muffler and short tip - this section being made in two parts to achieve the correct shape. There is just one colour option and that’s green, which is shown in a four-view set of line-drawn profiles. The decals are generic and representative of the way the game allocates players to groups. There are eighty clan symbols in various styles and colours, plus four each of German, Soviet, US and US roundel markings if you decide to depict your model as a more realistic combatant. The decals are printed by Cartograf in Italy, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion A nicely rendered model of this failed attempt to create a light tank prior to the Panzer I, which was actually a lot more suited to the task and performed well in the early days of the German expansionist attempts. It's also dinky, so won't take up much space on the shelf once built, and if you're feeling adventurous you could always hack it up and create the drop-top early version that had a windscreen where the turret front was later to be found. There are some pictures of them online if you're up for a challenge. Highly recommended. Currently, Revell are unable to ship to the UK from their online shop due to recent changes in import regulations, but there are many shops stocking their products where you can pick up the kits either in the flesh or online. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  14. No. Did you not notice the lack of typos? I got my mummy to write it for me, if you must know
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