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Mike

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Mike last won the day on August 22 2023

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  1. Street Musicians 1930-40s (38078) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Musicians playing their instruments on the street would be a familiar sight to anyone from any era, as that’s how many of them have made their living over the years, especially before recording contracts and gigs were a thing. They’d pitch-up, p ut out a bowl or some other receptacle for donations, grab a chair if necessary, and strum, pluck or blow their instrument of choice until they were too tired, were moved on, or earned enough to keep them fed for a little while longer. Of course, modern streets are more closely monitored for street performers, however before WWII there was little in the way of regulation, so performers could earn a living without the law getting in their way, although a hat or bag full of change would be a tempting target for vagabonds and thieves. This set arrives in a figure-sized box with the three musicians depicted in a high-quality painting on the front, and split apart in instruction form on the rear, complete with instructions for some of the more complex assemblies, and a paint chart that gives codes for Vallejo, Mr Color, AK RealColor, Mission Models, AMMO, Tamiya, plus colour swatches and generic names for completeness. Inside the box are five sprues in grey styrene, three containing figure parts, the remainder the accessories. Two of the figures are standing, one playing a fiddle/violin with the open case collecting his winnings, while the other standing man is a crooner with an acoustic guitar, supporting it on his raised knee, resting his foot on a small stool. The remaining figure is seated on a dining-style chair, playing an accordion, with the case in front collecting change, and a walking stick laid across it, implying that he may be blind, or at least somehow disabled. The parts for each figure are found on separate sprues for ease of identification, and parts breakdown is sensibly placed along clothing seams or natural breaks to minimise clean-up of the figures once they are built up. The sculpting is typically excellent, as we’ve come to expect from MiniArt’s artists and tool-makers, with natural poses, drape of clothing and textures appropriate to the parts of the model. The accessories include the two seats, violin, guitar, and accordion, but there are several percussion, string and wind instruments included on the sprue for use elsewhere, or for depositing in the spares box. Conclusion Perfect for filling some space on a street, or giving a focal-point to a milling crowd of bystanders for your next diorama. Review sample courtesy of
  2. It would make a lot of sense for me, but I'd still be happy if the 1:32 guys got their kits first. The speed I build, I'll be a dessicated skellington before I get around to building them anyway
  3. This is where you learn how ambidextrous you are I was lucky because apart from writing and firing a (pretend) gun, I can do most things with either hand. It gets tricky at times though
  4. I'd settle for 1:48 of both of those, but it'll excite some people if so
  5. I'd go for that option too. Really fine fuse wire, fly tying wire or similar would do the trick, and Klear or your preferred gloss varnish should hold it in place as long as you don't need to do anything majorly physical with it after that.
  6. Hurricane Mk.IIB (40007) 1:48 Arma Hobby The Hawker Hurricane was one of Britain's foremost fighters of WWII, and although overshadowed by the more graceful and slender Spitfire during the Battle of Britain, it was a capable aircraft that was available in large numbers, and achieved more than its fair share of kills during the conflict. It went on to see service to the end of the war, but was relegated to less onerous tasks as technology leapt forward resulting in faster, more agile aircraft that came on stream on both sides of the conflict. The type originated in the early 30s and first took to the sky in 1935, despite the Air Ministry’s tepid reaction to monoplanes at the time, and it was an aircraft that set standards for fighters that followed it, being a monoplane with a predominantly metal airframe, retractable landing gear, an enclosed cockpit and of course the delightfully powerful and throaty Rolls-Royce Merlin engine. Compared to the Spitfire it was a little old-fashioned, starting out with a fabric-covered ‘rag’ wing that was eventually replaced by an all-metal aerofoil, and it was less aerodynamically streamlined, with a thicker wing and overall chunkier, blunt appearance. Although the wing was replaced by a metal aerofoil later, it retained the fabric rear fuselage and as such was able to have minor damage repaired quickly and easily, compared to the Spitfire that would have to go back to a repair facility for structurally insignificant through-and-through bullet damage. A fabric patch followed by a few coats of dope, and the Hurri would be back to the fray, which endeared it both to its pilots and ground crew alike. The Mk.IIB was equipped with an extra four machine guns in the wings, bringing the total for each wing to six, but reducing its top-speed, further so because the wings were also fitted with bomb racks. These hard-points could also mount underwing fuel tanks, extending the aircraft’s range by 100%, which sometimes led to a mixed force of Hurricanes undertaking interdiction operations with faster variants providing cover. By the time the improvements to the airframe resulted in the Mk.IIC, it was tasked with ground attack, taking out German tanks, which weren’t as easy to crack as first expected, because 20mm cannon shells would often ricochet off the frontal and side armour, and bombing a relatively small target such as a tank was a matter of pure luck, all while the enemy poured lead in your general direction. It was withdrawn from front-line fighter service at this stage of the war, as by then the enemy aircraft outclassed it in most respects, so it carried on in ground-attack, night fighter and intruder roles where it excelled, without unnecessary exposure to enemy fighters. It was succeeded by the D that mounted a pair of 40mm cannon in gondolas under the wings, increasing its offensive power appreciably, at which point it acquired the nickname ‘The Flying Can Opener’, adding additional frontal armour to the airframe that was exposed during the run-in to target. They carried on in that role until the Typhoon came into service, which could do the job faster and more efficiently without the worry of being bounced by enemy fighters that outclassed it. The Kit This is a new boxing of the new tooling from Arma Hobby, which was one that many 1:48 modellers had been waiting for, as their 1:72 kits have a reputation for excellent detail, with the inference being that in a larger scale the detail would be even better, and we weren’t disappointed. The kit arrives in an end-opening box with a sturdy tray inside that prevents the dreaded crushing in storage. The painting of a bomb equipped fighter flying through an uncluttered sky, and the decal options printed in side-view on the rear. Inside the box is a cardboard tray that contains three sprues of grey styrene, a clear sprue, a sheet of pre-cut yellow kabuki-tape masks, and an instruction booklet that is printed on glossy paper in colour, with colour profiles on the rearmost pages. Detail is everything we have come to expect from Arma, with crisp engraved panel lines, fine raised rivets, restrained fabric scalloping effect on the fuselage rear, and plenty of raised and recessed features that should result in a superb model if care is taken during building and painting. If this is your first Arma kit, you should know that they have a technique of adding stiffening ribs and stringers inside their kits, and they hide away their ejector-pins in places that won’t be seen, usually with a circle of tiny turrets around them. They are usually placed so that they can be left intact without affecting assembly, but if they do need to be removed, you’ll be advised in the instructions. Construction begins with the lower wing for a change, drilling out holes applicable to whether you intend to fit bombs or drop-tanks under the wings of your model. The holes are marked in red for tanks, and blue for bombs, which is helpful, and the diagrams are accompanied by a little explanatory text that advises that the bombs are only used for one decal option, whilst tanks aren’t used in any from this boxing, catering to those that might want to use aftermarket decals. The gear bay is created from a well-detailed section of spar that has a pair of retraction jacks and a pressurised cylinder applied to it, then has the remaining walls and their ribs mated to it and covered by the bay roof, feeding a brass-painted hose through the bay once completed. Attention then shifts to the cockpit for a moment, building the seat from four parts, which is supplied with decal seatbelts and is glued to the rear bulkhead for later installation in the cockpit. We return to the wing again, removing the drop-tank location points for all decal options, and cutting new holes in the wing leading edge outboard of the landing lights, inserting supports for the barrels and the landing light bays in the lower wing at the same time. The gear bay assembly is glued into the full-span upper wing, adding another short spar closer to the rear, then joining the two halves together. Now we learn why we didn’t build the entire cockpit earlier, as it is built in the space between the wings once they are completed, starting with the control linkage and frame, with the foot rests/trays over the top, and a small lever glued to a cross-member on the left. The cockpit side frames are painted and inserted at the perimeter, locating in slots in the upper wing centre, and these are joined by the rudder pedals on a central mount, and a V-frame that stiffens the assembly. The control column is built from three parts and includes the linkages that lead aft under the pilot’s seat, which is inserted last over the V-braces at the rear, locating on more slots in the upper wing. Flipping the wing over, a pair of rods are inserted into the bays, their location shown by another drawing that highlights them in blue. The instrument panel is next, with raised details depicting the instrument bezels and other switches, with a decal included for it and the compass that fits between two legs under the panel, which you are advised to cut into sections for an easier fit. It is glued into the starboard fuselage half with a pair of small pieces of equipment, with six more in the port side, and the option to pose the foot step on the exterior skin in the lowered position, which is a nice touch. There is also a decal for a pair of dials moulded into the fuselage sidewall. With that, the fuselage halves can be brought together, seams dealt with, and then carefully mated with the wings, taking care not to damage the lovely detail in the cockpit. If you plan on modelling your canopy closed, you should also cut away the rails as indicated in red on a scrap diagram at this stage to allow the closed canopy to fit firmly. The underside of the fuselage has an insert with the tail-wheel fairing moulded-in, and further forward, the central radiator housing has its core made from front and rear sections with the matrix texture moulded-in, and a circular insert with hosing, all of which is glued to the underside of the fuselage and covered by the cowling that is made from body, intake lip and cooling flap at the rear, locating in a shallow recess in the lower wing that has a horseshoe flange with fasteners to add to the detail. A choice of tail wheel inserts in the hole under the rear of the fuselage, adding a full-span elevator panel with separate flying surfaces that fills the recess in the top of the tail, fitting the two-part fin to a stepped lug in the fairing, and fixing the rudder to the rear, allowing all the tail surfaces to be posed deflected if you wish. The main gear legs are made from a strut with a retraction jack moulded-in, and another added to the rear, plus a captive bay door that fits on the outboard side, and a two-part wheel fitted on the stub axle. There is a choice of two styles of gun camera fairing in the starboard wing leading edge that uses two different parts, and your choice depends on which decal option you have chosen. There are clear lenses to cover the landing lights, and the clear wingtip lights have a recess in their mating surface that you can add some green or red paint to depict the bulb before you glue them in position, adding two short barrels to the newly drilled out gun ports outboard of the lights. The gunsight and a clear lens are glued to a recess in the cockpit coaming at this stage, taking care not to disturb it before the windscreen is installed. While the model is inverted, a pitot probe and crew step are added to the port underside, and a clear recognition light is inserted just behind the radiator, painting it a clear amber, with a chin intake made from two parts in front of the wheel bays. The rest of the work on the airframe is done with the model resting on its wheels (if you’ve fitted them yet), installing exhausts and mounting blisters in recesses in the nose cowling, a pair of glare-hiding strakes in a straight line between the exhausts and the pilot’s eyeline for two decal options, and an aerial mast in the spine behind the cockpit, cutting off the little triangular spur near the top, and removing the short post on the fin for all options in this kit. A choice of two styles of prop are included for the different decal options, using the same blade part, but substituting different front and back spinner parts, plus a washer inside the spinner that can be glued carefully to allow the prop to remain mobile after building. To close the canopy, part T2 is used, but if you intend to leave the canopy slid back, a slightly wider part is supplied, marked T3, with pre-cut masks provided for all options, as well as the wheel hubs and landing lights. As already mentioned, drop-tanks are included for this boxing, built from two halves that trap the location pegs between them, and have a small stencil for one side, even though they also tell you they’re not used for any options in this boxing. The instructions also show the bombs being built up from four parts each, along with their pylons, for use with two options. Again, if you are using aftermarket decals, the tanks and bombs may be of use to you. Check your references to be sure. Markings There are three quite different options on the decal sheet, each having a full page of colour profiles at the back of the instruction booklet, with letter codes corresponding to a table on the front page that gives codes for Hataka, AK RealColor, Mission Models, AMMO, Humbrol, Vallejo and Tamiya ranges, which should be sufficient for most of us, although FS numbers are also included for most colours to help you further. From the box you can build one of the following: Hurribomber BE489/AE-Q 'Butch the Falcon'. 402 Sqn., RCAF, Warmwell, February 1942 Z3171/SW-P 'Hyderbad City', 243 Sqn. RAF, Hibaldstow, Pilot F.Sgt. J C Tate, Winter 1941/42 Z3675/WX-B, 302 Sqn. PAF, Church Stanton, August 1941 Decals are by Techmod, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion Another fabulously well-detailed model of this doughty fighter that shows amazing attention to detail, and deserves to be the new de facto standard in this scale. This back-dating of the variant helps to fill another gap in the range, which we hope will continue to broaden until everyone has the mark and sub-variant that they want. VERY highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  7. I can tell you've done a good job, cos it's creepy as I wasn't that fussed on the films, but Bill Skarsgård knocked it out of the park. He's becoming one of my favourite actors, and comes from a very talented family.
  8. It just keeps getting better Brian I'll definitely be up for a purchase of a jockey when/if you start selling them. It'd be churlish not to really
  9. Other than 12V and 1.6A of power required, it's difficult to say. You ideally need a polarity drawing that shows which pin (inner or outer) is the positive, or you could short it out. You also need the diameter of the plug, although you could measure that, or put another plug in (without power), and then measure that if it fits snugly. A lot of devices are protected against incorrect polarity, but yours might well not be - there's no way to tell. I'd brush off your Google Fu and look up those company, brand and model names on the stickers. Also, if you have the instruction booklet, that might help. Your other option is to turn the place upside-down and find the missing PSU. It can't have gone far unless you've had a massive clear-out, so it's there somewhere.
  10. I've tried all sorts of brands over the years, and have just tried another, and I'm impressed. JB Weld Super Weld, Professional Grade. It's not massively cheap, but neither is it particularly expensive, but it is a damn good glue that bonds very quickly, attaching small surfaces together with ease, and it grips like to a blanket. It's now my favourite bonding glue, and I use the remains of my no-brand CA for filling, and for applications where less viscose glue is needed for seam filling, or similar.
  11. aboard Virgilio. I've removed that blank quote of yourself as per your report
  12. A new spark plug for my old folks' lawnmower at £4.08. The old one had a crack in the ceramic insulator and fell apart as I removed it. That and a stuck choke mechanism was what was stopping it from firing up. A bit of cleaning and some lubrication, and off it went, happy to mow their massive lawn. which was overdue a haircut. I wonder how many people would have chucked the mower in the skip and bought a new one?
  13. Sd.Kfz.10 Zugkraftwagen 1t ‘Demag D7’ (SA72021) 1:72 Special Armour by Special Hobby In the decade before WWII, Germany was rearming - secretly at first - but overtly once they had publicly thrown off the constraints of the Versailles Treaty. In order to mechanise their military, many different vehicles were required, from large to small, with the Sd.Kfz.10 being at the smallest end. It was based on a hull rather than a ladder chassis, which gave it a low profile similar to that of a standard truck, despite it having a half-track running gear and a pair of steerable wheels at the front. It was powered by a 6L petrol engine from Maybach, and was intended to transport up to eight troops and tow smaller artillery pieces, which it did throughout the war, although production ceased before the end, despite a few attempts to re-vitalise the design. In its production form, the D7, it was capable of 40mph on road, although one of its main users, the Luftwaffe, limited it to 19mph to preserve the rubber trackpads, even though it was happy to cruise at a shade under 30mph. It had seven forward gears and three reverse, with a clever steering mechanism braking one or other track when larger steering inputs were made. It was demonstrated in 1938 and had entered service by the beginning of hostilities, with some further minor upgrades adding to its robustness and the added ability to tow heavier loads to increase its usefulness to the military. Toward the end of the war, proposals were made for an improved variant, but nothing came of it other than a few prototypes of one design, and drawings of another. The Kit This is another reboxing of the amended tooling that originated in 2011, but don’t let that dissuade you – it’s a modern tooling with lots of detail throughout. It arrives in a small end-opening box, with two grey sprues, decal sheet and A5 instruction booklet, printed in colour. The smaller sprue covers the revised idler wheels, drive sprockets, and more detailed tracks, which are an improvement over the originals that are still on the larger sprue, although the new tracks have some recessed ejector-pin marks on the inner face. Construction begins with creation of the track runs, which are based on a beam with axles moulded-in, onto which you slide the sets of wheels that are moulded in linked units for the two rear layers, and individually for the three outer wheels, plus the new two-part drive sprockets. The track on each side is moulded as a single run, and is wrapped around the wheels carefully, cutting off any spare links, then gluing the run in place. Take care when bending the parts, and warm them up a little to assist with flexibility. This is done twice as you’d imagine, and the completed runs are glued to the sides of the hull, with the crew area placed over the top, and firewall with windscreen frame moulded-in at the front of the area. There's a substantial sink mark below the windscreen, but this doesn't matter as it will end its days under the hood. You will need to provide your own windscreen from clear acetate, a piece of packaging material or even the front of a clear vacformed clamshell package, but they have included a template to assist you in this. It seems a little churlish not to include a slip of acetate sheet, but there you go. The bonnet/hood is fitted in front of the windscreen, with a nicely detailed radiator attached to the front. The front wheels are each two parts, and have a deeply dished hub moulded-in, as well as tread for the tyres. The axle is supported by a single lateral leaf-spring, steering arms and anti-roll bar that are put together and inserted into the wheel arch, with additional rods fitted afterward, their location shown from another angle in a scrap diagram. Number plate, towing eye, pioneer tools, width-marker lollipops and headlights are all clustered around the front, and inside the crew cab the driver controls, wheel and two seats are fitted, with a decal provided for the instrument panel. In the rear, bench seats, fenders, spare fuel cans and stowage boxes are assembled and attached, with the rear number plate and Notek convoy light at the back over a pair of mudflaps, and length of cable on a circular frame fixed on the back of the vehicle on three pegs, two of which are moulded-in. Markings There are four decal options on the sheet, which consists mostly of number plates, white stencils and the aforementioned instrument panel decal. From the box you can build one of the following: Sd.Kfz.10, unknown combat unit, Wehrmacht, Russia 1942 Sd.Kfz.10, Adler-built vehicle, unknown unit, Wehrmacht, Poland 1939 Sd.Kfz.10, Demag-built vehicle, unknown unit, Wehrmacht, Yugoslavia, summer 1942 Sd.Kfz.10, unknown combat unit, Wehrmacht, Czechoslovakia, May 1945 The decals are printed using a digital process and have good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut loosely around the printed areas. This means that the carrier film on their decals can be coaxed away from the printed part of the decal after they have been applied, effectively rendering them carrier film free, making the completed decals much thinner and more realistic, and obviating the need to apply successive coats of clear varnish to hide the edges of the carrier film. It’s a great step further in realism from my point of view, and saves a good quantity of precious modelling time into the bargain. Conclusion A welcome re-release of a lesser-known half-track from the early war, with a variety of camouflage options that should suit most folks. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  14. That's nice. I will be wanting one of those. Will I live long enough? Who knows?
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