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Mike last won the day on September 9

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About Mike

  • Birthday 05/09/1967

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    Chester, UK
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  1. A6M3 Zero PRINT Upgrade Sets (for Eduard) 1:48 Eduard Brassin We’ve reviewed the recent minor retool of the new Eduard Zero, which is the A6M3 Type 32 in ProfiPACK guise, which you can see here if you haven’t yet. It’s a gorgeous kit, and these new sets have been created in parallel to give the modeller who is in search of even more detail than is possible with injection moulded styrene, even with today’s advanced techniques. There are eight sets in the review pile right now, so to avoid burn-out of your scrolling finger, we’re snipping them up into bite-sized chunks. This first chunk covers the three 3D printed sets that are intended as quick, effective updates to the detail of the kit. As usual with Eduard's Photo-Etch (PE), smaller 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. The delicate nature of the parts has been considered, encasing each one in a crystal-clear clamshell box that also has a sticky pad to keep the parts inside from rattling about during transit. A6M3 Seat (648786) This set has a single printed seat on a base with incredible detail, including the lightening holes that also let the bullets through, along with detail on every surface. Additionally, a sheet of STEEL PE seatbelts are included, nickel-plated and colour printed, with four belts present and a helpful series of diagrams to assist you in laying them out correctly. The seat is called out as being painted “cockpit colour”, so refer back to your kit instructions for that one. A6M3 Cannon Barrels & Cockpit Guns (648788) Containing two complete machine guns, two barrels and muzzle brakes, plus a tiny fret of PE brass that I forgot to photograph, this allows the modeller to replace the kit machine guns that protrude into the cockpit on either side of the instrument panel, along with the cocking lever from PE, with a spare just in case you lose one. The wing guns give you a choice of using the long barrel or just the short hollow muzzle that sits almost flush with the leading edge of the wings. A6M3 Exhausts (648801) The contents of this set are tiny, consisting of two short tear-drop profile exhaust stubs that replace the kit exhausts that you should remove beforehand. They share a print base, and can be cut off easily due to the minute tendrils that join them to the base. They’re not far from a drop-in solution that give you a more in-scale tip to the exhausts. Review sample courtesy of
  2. Love those pics of the underneath - makes me want to build a Mossie Nice job of the scheme too btw why have I never noticed that your username is equivalent to ‘toilet’?
  3. aboard Denis. Good to have you here
  4. That’s a surprise, cos that’s what I use. Are you using Klear too?
  5. Knowing the background info, it's been quite a hoot here in the Mod cave, but if we can get back to the discussion of this kit, it might be a bit more productive. Note: Large red text intended to draw people's attention to a Moderator's comment. Don't get upset or self-righteous. It's really not necessary.
  6. I've been mucking about looking at pics of the 100, and those pics that @Malc2 posted up, and it looks like most of the internal structure is plywood, or wood to go back a step up the categorisation. This pic below is a bit blurry, sadly, but shows the largest portion of the bay: Click to get a larger version. I'm seriously considering just laying some sections of wood decal on the insides of the bays, and some narrow sections on the walls. I'll paint the backing with a mid-brown first, to cater for any gaps. I still need to fill the gaps I left around the resin bay walls after thinning the edges down though. I'll do that next session when I'm a bit more awake
  7. I don't think so. it's not got that whiny self-righteous tone That one about the flap-track is quite important, TBH
  8. Planet Models are Special Hobby's resin kit brand, so I'd expect them either to be very similar, or the plastic one easier to build because that's what most of us are used to. Dunno. As mentioned above, I've been wrong before
  9. Hey Andy - when you say rescribe and deepen, what are you starting with? Are they lines that are a bit shallow, or have been damaged by seam sanding? There are tons of scribers out there, and I use more than one. I've got a UMM scriber, a BMF Scriber, a Hasegawa scriber, and a number of other things that I use, one of them being a razor saw blade. The important part is guiding your scriber and making a number of light passes rather than one deep one that could go astray. Most people use Dymo label tape, which was originally used for making labels where the latter pushes through and embosses the tape, turning the raised areas white. Remember those? The tape is sticky, and thick, so ideal to stick along where you want the line, and run your scriber down. Others use flexible metal rulers, or even thick tape. I'm not so sure of the last one, but you could always try it on a scrap part?
  10. back John. Always nice to have a dormant account for when you need it
  11. I suspect we'll never see a better kit than this one of such a rare and unusual machine, although I've been wrong before and am perfectly willing to be proved wrong again The way I look at it is this: If I don't build this one, I'm unlikely to ever build a Bugatti 100, so I've approached it with my eyes open, prepared to put a bit of effort* in to get the finish I want Did I mention that I'm really enjoying it? *Some would call it modelling skills, I'm not sure I could do that
  12. aboard. Are you going to use the Airfix or Gecko model kits in 1:35, or planning on something smaller scale? Also, if you're struggling with posting pics, there's an FAQ here. Just concentrate on the first post though, as the other 5 million are just people testing their skills
  13. Handley Page Victor B.Mk.2(BS) (A12008) 1:72 Airfix The Handley Page Victor was probably most famous for its participation as part of the RAF’s V-Force in the strategic bomber role, or more specifically to operate as a nuclear deterrent. Its career as an in-flight refuelling aircraft is where it cemented its place in RAF history however, with around 30 years of faithful service in this role. Like the delta-winged Vulcan, the Victor’s Crescent wing was a risky first, which was first tested to prove the concept by mounting it to a smaller airframe and assessing it the only way it was possible back in the 50s - flight. The full-sized aircraft first flew at the end of 1952, and the initial variant, the B.1 entered operational service with 10 & 15 squadrons in 1958. While the B.1 was designed to operate at high level impervious to Soviet defences of the era, the improved B.2 was primarily designed to deliver stand-off missiles from low level to avoid Soviet radar. This unfortunately was the undoing of the Victor in its original role, as the dense, buffeting “dirty” air at low level led to fatigue cracks within the wing structure, so the B.2s were 'retired' by the end of 1968 with only 6 years in service, in many ways mimicking the comparatively conventional Valiant from Vickers. An increased need for in-flight refuelling led the RAF to modify the languishing B.2s and put them back into service in this role after conversion. Apart from the obvious fitment of refuelling equipment and tankage, the wingspan was shortened to reduce wing bending stresses that would alleviate the fatigue issues. In 1982, the Victor played a pivotal role in a series of the most famous missions in post-WWII RAF history, known collectively as Operation Black Buck. Its part has been largely glossed-over by the media, who instead focused on the AVRO Vulcan that delivered the bombs, despite the fact that the fuel carried by the Victors are what made the whole operation possible. No less than 11 Victors were required to provide the complex refuelling pattern for the long outbound and return trip by a solitary Vulcan to the Falklands from the Ascension Isles, a back-up airframe turning back relatively early in the process. The Victors also had to refuel each other with critical timing that was aggravated by the higher payload and consequent faster fuel use of the Vulcan as a result of the additional equipment required for such a mission. The B.Mk.2 Victor was finally retired from its long and distinguished refuelling service in 1993 as it handed the reigns over to the VC-10s and Tristars. The Kit This is a reboxing of the initial 2016 release of a modern tooling of this incredible-looking Cold War warrior, and should go a long way to satisfy those of us unwilling to pay the premium asked by eBay sellers up until now. It arrives in a large red-themed box with a painting of an anti-flash white painted Victor on take-off, and inside are eight mostly full-size sprues in light grey styrene, a small sprue of clear parts, the instruction booklet, and decal sheet. We missed out on the first issue back in the day, and being the forgetful person I am, I even forgot to add one to the stash. It’s nice to finally lay hands on the kit, and find out for myself that the detail is good, there is some clever engineering evident, and Victors are large. I’ve stood right next to one a few times at Bruntingthorpe and other places, but when you see the size of the parts on the sprues, it hits you in a different way. Construction begins with the ejection seats for the two front seat crew, which are made from two halves on top of which the seat cushions with seatbelts moulded-in, then four more are made up for the rear crew, each one having a carcass with the back cushion and belts moulded-in, and a separate bottom cushion (literally). The cockpit starts with the rear instrument wall, which has the full-width desk slotted into it, and is attached to the main floor part, unsurprisingly at the back, with the four circular bases for the back seats moulded into the floor. A large side console is fixed to the left of the instrument wall (as you look at it), and a pair of rudder pedals with a link between them get slotted into the front of the cockpit. The rear seats mount on their positions, and the lucky two at the front have their ejection seats slotted into the holes in the front, completing the cockpit (almost). Unlike your average modern fighter, the nose gear bay isn’t directly under the cockpit, but is slightly behind it built on a separate roof section. One side is fitted first along with the front bulkhead, to act as supports for the nose gear assembly, the main leg of which is pinned in place by the addition of the other sidewall, then the rear bulkhead, and finally, a bulkhead that is also the front bulkhead of the bomb bay later on. In the meantime, the prominent V-tail that sits high over the tarmac is made up, commencing with a little surgery on the trailing edge, removing later sensors from the upper and lower halves. A 1mm hole is drilled in the top-side before closing them up, and a pair of elevators are built up of top and bottom halves to slot into the centre on a pair of pins where they pivot. There’s more sub-assembly building next, starting with making up eight sets of paired wheels to populate the main gear legs, which are substantial but not all that visible on a landed aircraft. The main leg is moulded in two halves that includes a substantial leading strut with two smaller struts added during closure. The legs have a peculiar trident-shaped topper, and the leg is further strengthened by a pair of cranked side supports before four sets of paired wheels are inserted on the axles of each leg. Like the cockpit and the nose gear bay, these also get put to one side while you make the wings, although you’d be forgiven for expecting the fuselage to be next, unless you’ve built one already of course. The centre section of the upper wing is the starting-point for the process, and the first thing you do is fix a pair of internal extensions that end outside the inner panel and will strengthen the joint with the outer wing. They fit on a trio of raised lozenges, and one of the strakes that project from the trailing edge of the wing is cut and filed away on each side before the linked intake halves are laid inside the centre section, providing both strength and four intake trunks, which are completed by adding the upper halves, and the engine faces to the rear, which are also linked to ensure the fit is snug. At this stage there’s a hole in the side of the inner intake, which is closed up by an insert, while the guide-vanes inside the trunks are cleverly slotted in through the slightly larger holes in the underside of the trunks, and there are five on each side, so it’s as well that they’re easily inserted. The main bays have their roof detail moulded into the inside of the upper surface, and it is boxed-in by the walls and a cut-away longeron that crosses the bay roof and latches into slots in the sides. The exhausts are made in pairs like the intakes, and have end-caps with engine detail to the front, situated in the upper wing on more lozenge shapes that reduce the likelihood of getting them in the wrong place. Finally, the outer wing panels are joined using those holy (hole-y?) spars, with a peculiar-shaped nick cut from the trailing edge, and the lower wing closing over it on each side. At long-last we get to the fuselage, or the starboard half at least, which has a few small windows installed, a small hole made in the underside, then placing the nose gear bay into position so that the bomb bay can be created by slotting the roof into the back of the bulkhead, and slotting the other end into a smaller bulkhead that has two slots to prevent the bay roof being put in backwards. There’s another hole to be drilled in the fuselage if you are posing the intakes in front of the tail open. Before you can close up the fuselage, the prominent air-brake system in the tail is created, or if you intend to pose them closed, the bulkhead and brake surfaces are used to close the area over. To open up the brakes, you start with a large tapering central structural member that the perforated opener slots through, with a Y-shaped strut and the other half of the structural part closing it in. The same bulkhead used in the closed brakes clips to the back on two pegs, and the two pairs of additional opener arms slide into the tip of the assembly, locked in place by a circular cover and inserted into the rear of the fuselage. If you can still remember where you put the cockpit, that is added to the front of the fuselage, and the port fuselage half is prepared with the same windows, holes and so forth to enable you to close it up after adding 25g of nose-weight under the cockpit, and the rudder panel in the tail fin. After a suitable pause to allow the glue to dry and the seams to be dealt with, the wing assembly is mated with the fuselage, the twin internal yokes linking the intakes entering the slots in the top of the fuselage, and painting a small section of the fuselage’s wing root the same aluminium as the rest of the main gear bays. The designers at Airfix are definitely modellers, as the majority of the seam in the top of the fuselage is later covered over by an insert that both covers the seam and allows Airfix to portray different sensor-fits for different boxings. A few holes are made in one edge of the insert before fitting it however, so don’t forget, or you’ll probably end up regretting it. The big V-tail is finally fixed atop the tail fin, and the intakes are finished off by adding a pair of small inserts into the wing-root, then in order to create the proper wingtip profile and length, a combined aileron and tip are glued in place with a clear lower side to the tip to portray the lights, fitting by the usual slot and tab system, and a peg on the inner end of the aileron. At the tail, the open or closed air-brake panels and inner section are slotted into the assembly and completed by a choice of a smooth tail-cone, or one with sensor bumps all over it. Under the brake housing, a bump-strip helps protect the tail from over-aggressive take-off rotations that could scuff up the paint job. The lower wing inner panels cover up the engine nacelles and their innards after removing the same trailing edge strakes, and drilling some holes in the skin to mount the semi-permanent underwing tanks. There is also a small rectangular insert fixed to the inner edge of the starboard skin if you aren’t dropping the ancillary intake. The main gear legs and bay doors are fitted to the now completed and framed gear bays, and a pair of new wheels are glued to the nose gear leg along with a twin mudguard and a pair of bay doors. Things jump around a bit from this point on, starting with the exhausts, which each have a pair of internal tubes and a single-part external fairing. You may have noticed that there was no instrument panel mentioned earlier, but there is one, which is glued to the deep coaming with a decal to replicate the instruments, with two steering yokes pushed through it into two holes, and a sloping centre console between them, which also has its own decal. It is glued into the front of the cockpit, but the glazing isn’t installed until much later. The bomb-aimer’s triple-paned window is inserted under the nose however, along with some more sensors at the tip. We then leap to the underside of the engine nacelles, adding paired auxiliary intakes that are fitted into recesses in the surface, starting with the paired rear portions, and completing the intake by adding the separate lips to give it a more accurate appearance. Staying with the wings, the Victor has sizeable flaps, which are in two parts and pass over the rear of the engine nacelles. They can be fitted flush with the surrounding skin by cutting off the pips on the inside of the parts, or in the deployed position by adding a small part onto one of the tracks, then gluing the panels in their deployed position. The fuel tanks are next, made from halves, plus a front insert, and the tapered rear to get the shape right, and cutting back the rear parts if you are opening the flaps. This variant of the Victor was tasked with carrying the Blue Steel stand-off nuclear missile, so instead of a standard pair of bomb bay doors, a single fairing is placed over the opening, ready for the missile that comes later. On the upper wings are the Küchemann carrots that are each made from three parts, and fix flat to the wing using that notch you cut in the wing earlier. There is another intake made up and inserted into another depression under the fuselage, next to a retractable intake where the flush insert would otherwise be. More intakes fit on the top of the fuselage in front of the tail along with a number of aerials, the bullet-fairing on the tail, a couple more blade antennae, then finally we get round to the canopy, which is fixed with the addition of a pair of styrene parts and the refuelling probe that is glued into the centreline of the canopy and has a clear fairing that projects further down the middle. A pair of pitot probes slot into each wingtip, and the slide-open crew door is made up from two styrene parts and a clear porthole to slip into the opening and is joined by a long access ladder. The Blue Steel missile is a large, scary creation that is included in the box, and is built from two main halves plus a pair of forward vanes moulded on a pivot, and you can still mount the model on an Airfix stand (available separately) by drilling two holes in the underside of the missile. The upper fin is fitted perpendicular to the body of the missile, while the lower fin has to be folded flat for carriage, as it would otherwise interact with the ground, creating sparks and debris, a possible explosion and ensuing catastrophe. With a pair of tubular fairings glued to the top of the rear fins and the exhaust cone in the rear, the finished missile can be attached into the recess in the bomb bay, completing the model. Markings There are two decal options included in the box for this Cold War warrior, covered by two folded A3 sheets of glossy colour printing. From the box you can build one of the following: No.139 Sqn., RAF Wittering, England 1963-4 Victor Training Flight, RAF Wittering, England 1968 Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin satin carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The stencils are comprehensive, and differ between the two decal options, so each option is covered on a separate side of the page, so make sure you use the right one. Conclusion Judging by the prices on a famous auction site, the demand for a re-release of this kit is there, and we’re getting a new boxing of the Victor doing the job that it was originally intended for. It’s a well-detailed model, well-liked in its previous boxing, and it’s the best of a very small number of Victor models in this scale. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
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