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Mike

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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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    Chester, UK
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    Aircraft, AFVs & Sci-Fi

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  1. I've been reading through this and it's a sorry state of affairs. Sorry to hear that Dave has had to take his leave, but I'm going to keep my own counsel on what I think may or may not happen. I'm mainly clueless anyway, but it hasn't stopped some of you folks from speculating wildly so far. There's enough information here for most people to make up their minds, so I'm going to ask for the speculation to stop, and for just the facts from hereonin. Why? Because you're leaving yourselves and our site (a totally divorced party) open to legal action, if you spout falsehoods either knowingly or unknowingly. You're also just burning up electrons and stirring up trouble/speculation that may lead back to the legal action already mentioned. Stick to the facts, and drop the posts dripping with sarcasm too. It's starting to osund like an episode of The Young Ones on this thread, especially from one or two of the protagonists who continue to pontificate despite already having jumped ship. One especially seems to have joined specifically to stir the pot, which is suspicious. @DamnFockes I'm looking at you fella. i'm putting a lock on this to allow everyone to digest the information, and to allow those that are getting shouty time to take a few calming breaths. Also, for the avoidance of doubt, Britmodeller is a no swearing site, which includes the obfuscated type that was called up earlier.
  2. You may have noticed that there was just an outtage of a couple of minutes while I updated the forum again, thanks to an update to the update. These things happen when new code inadvertently intruduces new bugs or security issues and has to be patched up. We're up to date now, and it wasn't a very large patch, so that's nice
  3. We just had an email in from Meridienne Exhibitions asking if we'd mind helping publicise this show, which is taking place in September now that the old Covid restrictions have been peeled away by the government and the onus has been placed upon us to stay safe. We're not exactly a huge repository of railway modellers, but it can't hurt to give them a shout out, so here it is https://www.meridienneexhibitions.co.uk/events/the-international-n-gauge-show There's also a Facebook Page too: https://www.facebook.com/MeridienneEx/ We don't know about the restrictions, so have a good squint round their site if you're thinking of going, and do please keep yourselves safe That's my good deed for the day done, so I can go back to being thoroughly objectionable again
  4. Mike

    Covid Jab

    I know the other two! One of my neighbours and my dad. My mum's only got one because I gave her my old one though incidentally, in the UK we've got a "Covid Pass" that we can carry on our phones if we download the contact tracing app. but if you don't like having that piece of junk app on your device, you can order a paper copy from them online, which rocks up at your house a few days later. You never know when you might need one, so it's an idea to have it on hand, rather than rush round trying to get one urgently
  5. I still can't take the village of Shifnal seriously
  6. Eastern Front Vol.1 Camouflage & Decals ISBN: 9788366673205 Kagero via Casemate UK This is the first of a new armour series from Kagero Publishing that consists profiles of various armour and softskins from the Eastern Front during WWII, drawing from both German and Russian forces. It is 40 pages and is in a card bound portrait format, and it is rammed with profiles, as you’d expect. In addition you get a set of decals in the three major armour scales of 1:72, 1:48 and 1:35, with tons of numbers in black and white, a bunch of crosses in various styles, some bird of prey motifs, and the name Rudy, which is from a popular fictional story. The quality of the profiles is up to Kagero’s usual standards, and includes various scrap diagrams where additional detail is necessary on the rear of the vehicle or on the front etc. Each profile has a caption in English and Polish, giving some information about the subject, inasmuch as there is available to the researchers and artists. At the front of the book is a single page that is split between an introduction to the series, and in the bottom half of the page is a large table that suggests a colour palette for the German vehicles in FS codes, Humbrol, Gunze, Pactra, Testors, Extracolor and Tamiya paint codes. Conclusion This is a niche series that will doubtless appeal to those that enjoy looking at and studying profiles of vehicles, and the decals that are included, whilst generic for the most part also include the Rudy decals (as seen above) that will appeal to an Eastern European market where the series is more well-known. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  7. Jaguar E-Type Roadster (07687) 1:24 Revell The E-Type is perhaps Jaguar’s best-known type, and was one of their most successful too. Based on, but very different from their D-Type racer, it introduced a number of modern features that we take for granted today, such as a monocoque-type body that removed the weight and bulk of a ladder-chassis, adding disc brakes, a powerful engine, and a modern steering rack that gave the driver excellent feedback on which to judge their performance. It was beloved by purchasers, and even competitors, one of whom rated it as the most beautiful car ever made. It retained its popularity through the years and there are still many examples on the road, and even a replica that costs many hundreds of thousands more than the original - go figure. It was in production from 1961 to ’75, known as the XK-E in the USA, and was available first overseas, with Roadster and coupé versions, a choice of engines, fit and finish, and the occasional special edition throughout the Series, which extended from 1 to 3 with over 72,000 made before it was replaced by the “Marmite” XJ-S that polarised Jag lovers, although time seems to have softened the opinions of those that disliked it initially, as did the improvements over the years before it too was replaced by the soap-bar shaped XK8. I think everyone's had this conversation either internally, or with friends so far, but WHAT is 1990's Sean Bean doing in a Jag with 1960s Emma Peel? And Lassie???? Whatever the motivation, Sean's looking righteously very pleased with himself, but really should be paying more attention to the road , and ensuring he doesn't knock lassie into the well. The Kit This is a partial re-rool of a brand-new kit from Revell adapted to make the Roadster version, which will appeal to many an already aching wallet. It arrives in an end-opening box, and inside are two sprues in light grey styrene, one in a mid-brown, two in chrome, two more sprues and two bodyshell parts in an approximation of British Racing Green, two clear sprues, four flexible black “rubber” tyres, a decal sheet, instruction booklet and a helpful safety sheet to recycle. It’s a colourful model even before you get your paintbrush out, and while some of you folks might not like the chrome out of the box, we’re not all perfectionists, and it can be removed pretty easily using oven cleaner. Better yet, the novice modeller can build the kit without paint, and still have most things a decent colour once complete, so it’s not just a gimmick. It’s a thoroughly modern tooling, but there are a few ejection marks that you might want to cover up if you’re putting the effort in under the bonnet for example. The new bodyshell is just the rear section, as the immense bonnet is the same for both types, but of course it’s all in green this time, rather than red. There are also a few tiny sink-marks here and there too, with a pair of incredibly shallow ones on the bonnet where the hinge-point mounts are, so get to work on those before you start building in earnest so that they don’t bite you later. The deployed fabric hood also has a few very shallow ejector-pin marks too, which should be easy to hide, as the fold texture extends to the inner surface too. Construction begins with the engine block, which comes as two halves with the transmission moulded in, and has the sump and rocker cover added, then the ancillaries, fan-belt, and the exhaust manifold with six-into-two downpipes. At the rear is a differential, drive-shafts and suspension-link, bookended front & rear by a pair of formers. The suspension units either side of the differential are covered by the lower swing-arms, then it’s time for the twin exhausts and their mufflers to be made up to be added under the chassis once the engine has been popped in between the front rails, so that the manifold and pipes can be mated. The extensive framework under the bonnet is next, getting painted along the way, then being put to the side while the firewall and front brakes/steering are inserted into the chassis. A pair of drop-links slip in between the bottom of the brake assembly, gluing into the top of the bonnet framework, then it’s time to fill the bonnet/hood with stuff! The triple-carbs are fed by the airbox, with a choice of left- and right-hand steering boxes, battery, radiator and a bunch of other little ancillaries that festoon the area. Moving back indoors, you can choose the right- or left-hand drive dash, with decals appropriate for each, plus pedal-box and steering-wheel fitted underneath in your choice of positions. The centre console is made up with a shifter, and a handed hand-brake, so make sure you drill out the correct hole in the underside before you proceed with the gluing. The two seat areas within the floor are painted a two-tone brown, and are matched with a self-coloured bulkhead piece at the rear of the floor, and a couple of little chrome handles for the ventilation are installed low down in the front of the cab with some decal vents that they operate. The dash slides in and locates on some pegs and ledges in the floor, then the two door cards are detailed with handles and window-winders, both of which are chromed. The two seats are each single parts and have nicely moulded cushion details included, although they look strange to modern eyes with the lack of head rests and seat belts. The passenger has a grab-rail placed across the corner between the dash and the short A-pillar, which differs between the left- and right-hand drive options. Even a Jag won’t go anywhere on its own without wheels, and these are next to be made up. The flexible tyres have a cruciform sprue arrangement in the centre that must be cut out with a sharp blade, then in the front the chromed hub and its moulded-in spokes are inserted, which should look good with a dark wash to bring out those spokes. There’s a separate knock-off hammer-on locking nut as is appropriate for the era, then at the rear is a simple hub with a hole in the centre and a cap that will glue onto the axle, leaving the wheel able to rotate if you’re frugal with the glue. Revell even supply a decal of the car’s green instruction manual, which you can cut out and leave on one of the seats if you like. The rear bodyshell is installed onto the chassis first, joined by the chromed windscreen surround and the glazing panel, adding the chromed rear-view mirror, door handles and sill trim, then more chrome parts with clear inserts make up the rear light clusters, joined by the rear bumper halves and a central clear reversing light, then a pair of chrome bumper overriders, and a choice of EU or US number plate frame. The E-Type is well-known for its gigantic bonnet, which takes up a large proportion of the front end, and makes pulling out of some junctions a whole heap of fun. The underpinnings are made up first, with the lights inserted into the front bulkhead, which is then fitted into a frame that holds the bonnet to shape once it is glued in place in the huge panel. The curved lower is then put in place underneath, and as this is a separate part on the real thing, you can leave the seamline there as it's mostly occluded by the bumpers anyway, unless your references show otherwise. The choice of colour for the light “tunnel” of body colour, silver or black isn’t mentioned on this variant, so while you have your references out you might want to check that too. With the paint choice decided, the chrome bezels and clear lenses are glued in, and the indicators join them with chrome bases and clear lenses. The front bumpers are also fitted as halves, then joined together by adding the central section with moulded-in overriders that hide the join between the three parts. There is another choice of EU or US numberplate frames, which glue to the lower lip of the oval intake under the bumpers. The hood can be depicted raised or lowered by choosing different parts, and both options are fairly simple to make. The deployed hood is a single moulding with a separate glazing panel that is inserted into the rear from the inside, then the two side windows are fitted into the spaces from the outside if you plan on portraying it with the windows wound up. For the top-down version, it’s just a single part that slots onto the back of the cockpit via the same three posts as the hood-up version, and although it doesn’t show it, you could always put the side windows in if you wish. More chrome is added in the shape of wing mirrors with clear lenses, an aerial that is relocated to the wing for the drop-top, and three small windscreen wiper blades. Markings Many of the supplied decals are used up in the cockpit, providing a comprehensive set of dials and instruments for the interior, a number within the engine bay, and smaller details around the vehicle, including meshes, grilles and stencils. In general, someone has taken a lot of time and effort to create a set of decals that really drills down into the detail, from filler cap logos to shock absorber badges, alternator shell cut-out patterns and battery filler caps – remember the non-sealed batteries that needed topping up with deionised water from time to time? The rest of the decals are number plates from various countries, plus a set of generic E-Type plates for showroom examples. A few “driving abroad” country stickers round out the sheet if you feel the urge to apply one. There is one colour option shown on the instructions, which is British Racing Green, but you’re at liberty to paint it any colour you like. Decals are 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 another modern kit of the wind-in-your-hair version of this classic car, and has plenty of detail moulded-in for the detail hound to finesse and add to. The decal sheet is excellent, and the consensus seems to be that Revell moulded initially the Roadster front windscreen angle and curve on the coupé that is correct for this version. 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
  8. Thanks for the suggestions Ian. Andy (Moore) has already volunteered to help out thanks to his good nature and superior PhotoShop skills, thankfully. I've got a few PMs from his now, so I'd better go and have a look in a sec.
  9. Dominic’s ’70 Dodge Charger (07693) Fast & Furious 1:25 Revell There’s a little-known petrol-head friendly film franchise called The Fast & The Furious that started out with Vin Diesel and the late lamented Paul Walker in a film by the name of “The Fast and the Furious” that now extends to nine films with a two-parter as 10th and 11th of the saga, plus a spin-off movie with two more planned, one with the ladies in charge, and one for the men. I lost touch with it after number 2, as it I felt it was getting a little extreme in terms of what a car can do on the open road without CGI and wires helping out. After tempting the car-buying public with a display in 1964 and a concept car in 1965, Dodge turned that into the first Charger by 1966 by fine-tuning it, knocking off the rough edges, and using some pre-existing components from their existing range to keep costs from spiralling. By 1970 it had been redesigned and far exceeded sales expectations, having become quite popular, one might say. The design was tweaked to include a full-width front grille with no central divider, and an unusual slant-6 engine joined the engine options, which had been carried over from the first generation largely unaltered. It wasn’t suited to racing however, so a more aerodynamic bodyshell was created and given the name Charger Daytona. Americans love to fiddle with their muscle cars, which is almost anathema to us over here in the UK, as our insurance would be null-and-void if we install even the smallest of upgrades and don’t tell them so they can hike up the price. The specification of the movie vehicle changed from scene to scene, and film to film, but the constant was a fake supercharger bulge in chromed plastic on the bonnet, with an alleged 900bhp being generated between the plastic and the real engine. Yeah. Right. This is Hollywood though, so we’ll let them off. It looks nice, and the shiny chrome contrasts well with the black of the bodyshell, with the fat tyres on the rear wheels completing the look. Of course, lots of different bodyshells and engines were used during production of the various films that it appeared in, but we’ll ignore that. The Kit This is a rebox of an original kit from 1997, but it has been treated to new parts over the years in order to represent other variants, such as the 1970 model that we have here. It arrives in an end-opening box and has seven sprues of white styrene plus three bodyshell parts, two small chromed sprues, a clear red sprue, a clear sprue, four soft black tyres, four “screws” and a colour instruction booklet with colour profiles on the rear pages. Time has been very kind to the sprues, and there is plenty of detail moulded-in. Pretty much the only thing that points to the age of the sprues are the few misaligned ejector-pin marks on the headliner inside the bodyshell. Construction begins with the engine, which is well-detailed and includes the transmission, with the alleged supercharger that sticks through the bonnet attached to the top. The exhaust manifold has four exit pipes on each side, merging into a single wider pipe that connects to the exhaust later on. The pulleys are installed on the front of the engine with paint and/or decals to add a little detail. A pair of front seats are made up with nice upholstery and piping detail on the front shell, and a back panel added to each one to complete them. These are installed on the floor pan, which has a cranked shifter and an anti-roll bar that has a fire-extinguisher strapped to the cross-bar, and a V-shaped brace that leaves the cab via a slot in the rear of the compartment. The dash is painted and decaled, has the steering wheel on a short column inserted, plus a chromed dial above the column, and two clear dials inserted from behind into the binnacle. The footwell is another insert that has the four pedals (four????) on the left, and what looks like a heater matrix or aircon unit on the passenger’s side, then the sub-assemblies are brought together around the floor pan, adding the door cards, which are moulded as one piece per side, and the two layers of dash/pedal box. The main bodyshell has the headliner moulded-in, which has those ejector-pin marks to deal with first, then after painting you add the windscreen, rear window, plus the quarterlights on the front sloped of the doors, together with a central cabin light and a chromed rear-view mirror. The windscreen has the sun-visors moulded-in, and those should be painted before you close up the model. The third body part is the chassis, which separates the floor pan from the road, and this is fitted with the stub of the steering column, then a few detail parts are fixed to the front face of the firewall on the cab, after which the whole body can be put together with the engine slotted into the space between the wings. At this stage the front end is a bit bare, which is next to be rectified by adding in the front panel, radiator with decals included, and the complex front axle and suspension ironwork. At the back, the two leaf-springs are added to the rear axle and inserted into the rear of the vehicle, joined to the transmission by its drive-shaft, and adding a pair of shocks that damp down the movement of the back axle under power. She’s not going to go very far without wheels, so the kit includes two pairs of chromed hubs that slip inside the tyres, and are fixed to styrene hubs at the rear by the “screws” that are actually blunt pins, by friction alone. These glue into the wheel wells, with the big ones at the back so people don’t laugh at you. Attention turns back to the engine bay, adding the battery, some hoses, one needing a hole drilling to fit, the underside of the bodyshell and that full-width super-shiny chrome grille, the centre of which is painted matt black. A pair of clear “blinkers” are added under the front after painting them orange, the chromed door handles, fuel filler cap, and two windscreen wipers finish off the front (the bonnet comes last), with a rear panel, clear red rear lights and tiny round clear ones underneath, then the chromed bumper covering the lower half. The rear number plate is chromed, but needs painting black, which seems a waste of time, but never mind, eh. The bonnet has a large hole in the centre, and around it there is some nice detail on the underside, which has two hinges added at the rear edge, then is slotted inside the bay, clicking into position and allowing you to leave the bonnet open or closed. The last part is a chromed wing mirror for the driver’s side. Markings You can paint the model any colour you like as long as it’s black. That’s if you want to be true to the movie car anyway. From the box you can build the black beastie below: Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. There are a lot of seatbelt decals, stencils, stickers and even tie-downs for the bonnet and boot (sorry Americans), although the purists might want to make those a little more 3D. You have a choice of three numberplates for your Charger, all from California, but the black option is distinctly of the vanity variety. Conclusion A nicely timed reboxing of a decent kit that builds up into a good replica of the smoke & mirrors of a Hollywood cash-cow franchise. 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
  10. Mike

    Hello!

    aboard
  11. WWII Regio Esercito Colours Paint Set (A.MIG-7180) AMMO of Mig Jiménez This four-paint set arrives in a clear clamshell box with four bottles inside, each containing 17ml of paint that is dispensed by a dropper found under the yellow screw-top cap. Inside each bottle is a little stirring ball that rattles when agitated. AMMO paints separate quite readily as you can see from the box photo, so having a ball in the bottle makes mixing them a lot easier. We’re all familiar with the quality of AMMO paints by now, and they have a pretty good reputation amongst us modellers, and dry a little slower than some of the competition, which can be useful to avoid paint drying on the tip of your needle when spraying. The paints are as follows: A.MIG-0238 FS34092 Medium Green (verde Medio) A.MIG-0275 Giallo Mimetico 3 (Giallo Sabia) A.MIG-0277 FS34159 Green Grey (Grigioverde) A.MIG-0912 Red brown Shadow (Marrone Rossiccio) Conclusion It’s great to be able to get boxes of paint that will set you up to paint a WWII Italian AFV project in one hit with just the addition of some white and black to assist you with modulation if that’s your methodology. The paints are rich with pigment, brushing and spraying well with many adherents to the brand from all walks of modelling life. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  12. This is why I like Britmodeller. People have a sense of humour. It's not a great sense of humour, but I'll take what I can get at my age I think I'll stay
  13. Fallschirmjäger! Helion & Co. via Casemate UK Before WWI there was no such animal as the paratrooper, although it was considered briefly by the Americans but was rejected due to the lack of preparedness of any aspect of the mission, troops, technology or method of delivery. Under the circumstances it was little more than a pipe-dream, but you could also argue that it was some seriously advanced thinking by Brigadier General Billy Mitchell, he of B-25 fame. After WWI the static-line parachute was developed, and with the rapid progression of aviation technology, the idea became a reality, initially in a small way. With the rearmament of Germany after Hitler came to power, Göring had a rare good idea that the Luftwaffe could benefit from having a parachute division, which in German the parachute part is Fallschirm, while the Jäger element originates from the Prussian hunter regiments of yore. Their initial success at the outbreak of WWII made the Allies sit up and take notice, resulting in most countries establishing an equivalent group within their military structure. The members of the Fallschirmjäger were initially volunteers, and wore a distinctive brimless variant of the Stahlhelm worn by the Wehrmacht and SS soldiers. Their battle dress was also different, consisting of knee-length smock and voluminous trousers tucked into their boots. They were a respected foe, as they were well-trained and heavily indoctrinated, so after their usefulness as paratroopers waned, they became more of a special forces outfit that fought on the ground, and were called upon to provide support to struggling areas of the front. This book by Helion & Co is a collection of memoirs of survivors of the Fallschirmjäger, that have been gathered together by author Greg Way over a number of years. Greg is a self-confessed addict to their history and exploits, having served in a totally unrelated branch of the British military himself, cultivating his interest through correspondence with survivors of this dangerous branch of the German military via the internet and upon his own dedicated forum. It is a perfect-bound measuring 170x245mm in portrait form with card cover as you can see at the top of the page. Inside are 308 pages of glossy paper, the last of which is blank. It is divided into chapters based upon the experiences of one contributor per section, some of which are longer than others, depending on what they each have to say. Each soldier has seen action of varying types, which differs but has a common theme of initial success that is coupled with sadness over loss of their comrades, and eventually leads to more loss and eventual retreat as the conditions of the war turned against the Nazis, with the inevitable resignation to captivity or death. These brave guys were little more than boys when they took weapon in hand and offered to jump out of perfectly serviceable aircraft to carry out their orders. It is interesting to hear the story from the opposite side of the lines, and how they fought as individual fighters, made their way through the battlefield when they got separated from their units, and how often it was random chance that one man lived while another died, sometimes horribly. On this subject, there are some stories that might be hard to read and some photos that might be upsetting if you’re of a delicate nature. I wouldn’t say I was, but one photo in particular of a heap of dead people in a building was quite disturbing, so you have been warned. The sections of the book are broken down as follows: Foreward Preface Acknowledgements Fallschirmjäger Rank Structure Glossary of Terminology & Abbreviations Précis of the Luftwaffe Fallschirmjäger operations and campaigns 1939-45 Introduction Part I Dr Kurt Erich Schulz Wolfram von Beck Rudolf Jackl Sebastian Krug Wilhelm “Willi” Schulte Freidrich “Fred” Wilhelm Kranefeld Helmut “Bolle” Bollmann Karl-Heinz “Charlie” Pollmann Kurt Engelmann Josef “Sepp” Jendryschik Bernd Bosshammer Carl Bayerlein Erwin Bauer Robert “Bob” Frettlöhr Rudolf Müller Volker Strutzer Part II Bernd Bosshammer Heinrich Gömpel Franz Rheza Afterword Bibiography Index This is a book that you get to read primarily, but there are plenty of photos interspersed with the text, often from the protagonist’s personal collection, including photos of friends they lost along the way and some that survived to take more photos together in their old age. Also, at the end of some of the stories there are notifications of the date of death of the contributor, as their stories have been collected over a number of years, some of them 20 years or more ago, and no-one’s getting any younger. Conclusion This is a very interesting book for anyone that is interested in WWII, regardless of your interest in the parachutes, which to me adds another intriguing aspect, as they floated into some interesting places at times. Of course they were on the losing side, and that becomes evident as their stories progress, with occasional incidents of joy in amongst the pain along the way to the end of the war. Very highly recommended. Currently out of stock after a discounted offer, but worth looking out for the next restock Review sample courtesy of
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