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Mike

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Everything posted by Mike

  1. Acrylic Concrete Texture for Dioramas (A.MIG-2108) AMMO by Mig Jiménez AMMO have a growing range of acrylic pastes for dioramas, some of which we've reviewed already, such as the excellent tarmac and beach sand we reviewed last year here. I tested the tarmac before I dispatched it, and it was awesome. This new one is concrete, and comes in the same 250ml tub as the others, with a screw-down lid and tub shape that makes it unlikely to tip over. Inside is a goopy paste in a cement grey colour, which has texture particles suspended within its matrix to quickly give the correct finish. I tested a patch by scooping an amount out with an artist's palette knife onto some styrene card that had been roughened beforehand to improve adhesion. It is quite wet to use, but once shaped it doesn't slump noticeably, so you can add texture to your initial layer for quite some time. I added an anti-slip tamp marking to part of my test patch with the edge of my knife, just to see how well it would hold it, and it has held its shape very well. Please bear in mind however that I'm hardly an expert diorama maker, and this is merely a quick test. The colour will change when the paste is dry, and lighten somewhat so you may want to adjust that with paint, washes or pigments, as concrete seldom stays just one colour after laying. If you are depicting new concrete however, you could quite easily leave it as-is because the colour is pretty much spot on. The dry paste is also very flexible, allowing me to flex the card so that the ends were parallel without any cracking or lifting of the concrete. Conclusion This is an excellent range of quick helpers to create dioramas for anyone from the novice to the expert, and they are easy to use, water-based acrylic so no noxious fumes, and it even smells pleasant and somewhat familiar. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  2. Modern RAF/RN Tractor (181248) 1:48 VideoAviation Made by Schopf, the F59 Multitow tractor is the current weapon of choice used by the RAF and Royal Navy to move their aircraft around the airfield or deck as appropriate. Powered by a 1104D-44T Perkins diesel engine or Deutz TD2011 L04 diesel, they are four-wheel drive with front steering, and left-hand drive due to its European origin. The Kit This is a multimedia kit from our friends at VideoAviation, a follow-on from their earlier 1:72 release. It arrives in a sturdy card box with a sticker showing the contents, and inside are thirty six resin parts, a sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a pre-cut sheet of clear acetate, a short length of styrene rod, a decal sheet and the instruction sheet, which you can also download from the Further Information link below. The body part is wrapped in bubble-wrap with a chunk of dense foam preventing the doors from getting crushed during transit, which is a good plan and was taken off to show more of the detail. The resin parts are in a ziplok bag, and the rest of the more delicate acetate, PE and decals are ion their own bag, protected by the card that the acetate is stapled to. The main body is cast as a single part, with the roof and windows added as separate parts after installation of the seat backs, steering wheel with rod column and dashboard. The acetate windows are pre-cut to fit the apertures, but it is suggested that you paint the main colour before installing them to ease your way. The 24v power generator fits between the rear wheels, the roof (with box and warning flasher) slots in between the doors, and the windscreen closes up the front of the cab. PE windscreen wipers are added to the front, another being added at the rear once the rear screen is in place. The light clusters are upgraded with PE parts, and a cluster of wing mirrors are also PE parts, which would benefit from a coat of Molotow Liquid Chrome to replicate the mirrors. A multi-loop towing hook is fitted to the front and rear with its pin, the wheels and their hubs attach to the moulded-in stub axles on each corner. When the rear screen is inserted, an L-shaped mesh panel is fitted over it, and grilles over the light clusters protect them from damage. The final PE part is a short upstand on the right side of the rear deck, which makes up a stowage area. Markings If you are painting your tractor as a British machine, yellow is the only colour, but other operators tend to favour NATO green, if you are going off-piste for your markings. The decals are well-printed and include the chevrons for the bumpers, number plates and a pair of RAF and RN logos that are applied to the lower side of the doors. Conclusion The inclusion of everything you need to build the model barring the paint and glue is a big plus-point for any VideoAviation kit IMHO, and this one is no exception, even down to the detail of the crew step that has a tiny PE insert. The positioning of the pour stubs is sensible, and preparation shouldn't be too difficult, even for the novice resin user. As usual with resin, take the precaution of wearing a mask when cutting or sanding resin, as the tiny particles are harmful to your health if breathed in. Washing the parts in warm water will also improve the adhesion of paint, as there may still be some moulding release agent on the parts when you receive them. Casting is excellent, although a couple of small bubbles were present on my sample's seat backs, but as they won't be seen, clean up won't be too onerous. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  3. Mike

    Are Hong Kong Models kits over-priced?

    From my roughly 12 years back in the hobby, I think that the perception of "value" is so different between people that it's impossible to get any more than a fraction of the hobby to agree with your personal opinion. Some people don't mind paying £500 for a high quality model that will give them endless pleasure in studying, detailing, building and eventually looking at their creation. Others would still complain if you gave it to them for free with a crisp £10 note, because they wanted two fivers. Some folks are genuinely and painfully miserly. Some folks are never happy, and nothing's ever right for some folks. The rest of us vary from about the same to happy-go-lucky folks that don't really think too hard about the cost of their hobby, and never mention it other than during the internal discussion they have when they're considering a purchase. It's just the way it is.
  4. You know, I honestly hadn't thought to that aspect! Because the cut is so much more gentle, you don't get that 10g acceleration that standard cutters impart. Good spot!
  5. Single Blade Nipper 2.0 (ST-A) DSPIAE I'd never heard of DSPIAE until a friend of mine was muttering about the new sprue cutters he'd bought at Telford (thanks Dan), and how awesome they were. I was in the market for a set, as my old Xuron pair weren't looking too good, and I was sick of the crush-marks that were being left in parts when I removed them from their sprues. Post-Telford they were only available from the AliExpress shopping platform, so I took my life in my hands and ordered a pair. It wasn't too painful, and after I got over an initial inability to pay by card, the order was completed and I was kept apprised of progress toward delivery by email from the AliExpress platform. About a week later and a small box arrived with the DSPIAE logo on it. Inside the box was a shrink-wrapped black box with an overlapping lid made from sturdy card. Inside the lid is a card insert with a small holster for the blade visible, with cleaning cloth, plastic cover and instructions hidden inside. Removing that shows off the final layer containing the nippers and an adjustment wrench in a card-topped custom foam surround. The interior of the lid is a bright red, in keeping with the overall black/red theme that carries on a feeling of quality. Each nipper is also individually ID coded, which enables the buyer to confirm their purchase's authenticity and access product support if necessary. The adjustment wrench has a rounded Allen head that you use to change the limit of closure of the jaws, to ensure a clean cut with no stragglers, whilst maintaining the sharpness of the single blade by preventing it from mashing unfettered into the non-cutting jaw. The handles are 90mm across when open, and the length from stem to tip of blade is 110mm, so they're quite a compact set of cutters, but don't let that put you off if you have large hands. My mitts are fairly large, and I have no trouble using them, with the red foam grips making maintaining a good grip on them simple. Afterall, the last thing you want to do is drop them on a hard floor. I could show you some pictures of pieces of sprue that I have cut with the nippers, but that's not going to tell you much other than it's a clean cut. What a picture will not tell you is that the cutting process is smooth beyond all belief and almost effortless. I can honestly say that it has completely changed the way I cut parts from sprues, and has given me increased confidence that the result will be clean and require much less in the way of clean-up than previously achieved with side-cutters. Simply place the cutters close to the part, and lightly scissor the jaws closed. That's it. A beautiful, clean cut that is close to the part, and has not harmed, stressed or crushed the surrounding styrene in any way. It also applies much less pressure to the parts when cutting, so you're less likely to have any breakages as a result. For example, when cutting off fine tubular parts with multiple sprue gates, the sideways and lateral pressure of a standard cutter squeezing the gate can cause the parts to shatter as the gate widens by the thickness of the blade. This shouldn't be an issue with these nippers, and I have successfully cut a number of parts that would have otherwise been subject to this concern. With very small parts, you need to be careful to place the blades properly against the sprue gates, as the slightly wider nature of the non-cutting jaw can conceivably push the blade off course. With that in mind however, it should no-longer be an issue. That's the only caveat, and you'd only do it once! Note the comparative smoothness of the cut on the left compared with that of the right The instructions name all the components of the nippers and also give names to the accessories, such as the "nipper holster", which will be useful if you are storing your nippers in a tool box or transporting them. This will protect the blade, and also protect the world from tiny amounts of grease that are lubricating the pivot. There is also a plastic cover for the blade, which is very tight-fitting, but would protect your blade from much greater impacts than the leatherette holster, so it has a use. The little microfibre cloth is wrapped in a foil bag, and is DSPIAE branded in one of its radiused corners – very nice quality too. The instructions are a little "Chinglish" in places, but the jist is plain to see, with a final warning that you should under NO circumstances attempt to cut anything other than styrene, ABS or polyurethane resin with the blade, or it will damage it. Shortening polyurethane to PE may not have been the best idea however, as someone is bound to think that's the hobby's de-facto standard shortcut for Photo-Etch instead, with resulting damage. If you've read this however, hopefully you won't. Conclusion I wouldn't think you'd catch me enthusing about a simple sprue-cutter in such a gushing manner, but these things really are that good. Their performance when compared to other brands is like that of chalk and cheese, so they are most definitely worth the extra cost in my opinion, which when you remove the shipping cost makes them pretty good value. I have purchased two from DSPIAE now, plus a couple of pairs of their tweezers, and so far they have not been stopped by customs (presumably due to their low value), but always bear this in mind when purchasing from overseas. Oh, and before you ask. At this stage I have no idea what DSPIAE stands for - other than really good quality tools. Extremely highly recommended. This link and the one below takes you to DSPIAE's AliExpress shop, with lots of interesting tools for the modeller. Britmodeller cannot be held responsible for the amount of money you spend when you see what's available. Review sample purchased from
  6. I've got their tweezers so far, which I added on to my last order Cheap and nice
  7. Mike

    Moving Time Again

    Just bear with me while I buy shares i the copy paper company you're using
  8. Mike

    Moving Time Again

    We've only gone and outgrown our server again, haven't we? With the growth of the membership, the database that holds all our waffle, the Walkaround section, reviews, space taken up serving all the data securely, and general size of the forum, we're full. I also think we need a bit more processing power, so we're taking the opportunity to move to a newer server with more cores, a faster clock (makes the day go quicker!), and four times the storage we have now. As you can possibly remember if you've been around long enough, this will mean we'll be down for a wee while, mainly to prevent any of our gibberish from being lost during the move of the data, but also to give us a static picture of the site to take a copy of. We're not 100% certain when this will be for obvious reasons, and we'll try to give you as much warning as possible, but you will have to find something else to do for a little while during the process, so start thinking of things so you don't have to interact with family members, colleagues or other nearby people. You could perhaps take up a hobby, or print off a sign that warns people you're having Britmodeller Withdrawals, and not to approach you suddenly in case they startle you. Whatever you decide to do while we're offline, you can be sure that we'll be goading the hamsters as hard as possible in order to be back online as soon as we can. Now might be as good a time to remind you that we've always admired you, and think that you're one of life's excellent people. Yes... we want something from you Many of you have donated in the past to help support the costs of our server, and some of you even donate regularly, which is a huge help. The coffers have become somewhat deflated over the last year however, due in part to the exchange rate of the £ being dans le toilette, but also probably because the donate button isn't as prominent as it once was. Just in case you've no idea where it is now, and you haven't spent up over Christmas, here's where you'll find it - top right of the screen on Desktop, at least Watch this space for more info down the line. Wish us luck!
  9. Su-34 Fullback (KH80141) 1:48 Kitty Hawk The Sukhoi Su-34, known by the NATO reporting name 'Fullback' is an all-weather strike fighter, designed to replace the ageing Su-24 Fencer in Russian service. Despite being based on an existing design (the Su-27), the type endured an extremely protracted development, punctuated by the collapse of the Soviet Union. Eventually, 200 of the type are expected to enter service, replacing approximately 300 Su-24s. There are many differences between the Su-27 and the Su34, principal amongst which is a completely new nose, which accommodates the crew side-by-side, and gives it a duck-billed look that is hard to capture, plus small canards forward of the main planes, all of which has a reduced front radar signature, due to basic stealth shaping. Since September 2015, Su-34s have been involved in the conflict in Syria, dropping BETAB-500 and OFAB-500 bombs. There has already been interest in the type from overseas customers. Algeria has ordered an initial batch of 12 aircraft, while Vietnam is apparently also interested in the type. The Kit This is a complete new tool from Kitty Hawk, following on from another manufacturer's slightly flawed attempt, so a lot of people are hoping it's right. It arrives in a large box, as it is a big aircraft with 12 hardpoints for attaching munitions, of which KH are apt to include many! The boxtop art shows a Fullback climbing out after causing some chaos with some oil storage tanks, and inside the lid it quite a full box – the artwork header has also been updated from the original to a more modern, funky look to catch the eye, as you can see above. Many of these semi-blended designs are moulded with wings integral to the fuselage halves, which reduces the part count and usually means that half the box is taken up with just two parts. Not so here, as the wings are separate, and all the available space is taken up with parts. The fuselage halves still take up the full length of the box, and there is a high parts count due to the generous provision of Russian weapons. Beside the two fuselage halves there are thirteen sprues in pale grey styrene, a sprue of clear parts, four resin (yes, resin!) exhaust cans, a sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) parts, and three decal sheets of various sizes. The instruction booklet has a glossy cover with fold-out leaves that detail the box contents in front and painting of the weapons at the rear, while the full colour painting and markings guide is found in the centre of the booklet, which will be more use when removed carefully and the staples bent back so your instruction booklet doesn't fall apart, which is exactly what I've just done. First impressions are good, with a little flash around the large complex fuselage mouldings, which isn't entirely surprising, as they are complex shapes. There are slide-moulding seams behind and forward of the cockpit opening that will need a little attention before construction, and just aft of that a few panel lines have been tooled very faintly so they don't catch on the mould as the part is ejected. These would be best deepened with your favourite scribing tool before you get too far into the build. The inboard walls of the rear engine nacelles also suffer from this to a slightly lesser extent, so while you have your scriber out, fix those too. They're not defects, but necessities of production that have been present since injection moulding model kits began. The massive array of weapons provides spans six sprues, and it's best to consider them as a generic set, as there are some that won't be used and more that the Su-34 can carry. It's cheaper for KH to tool one set of weapons for all Soviet/Russian subjects than individual load-outs again and again. Construction begins with the cockp…. Nope, with the engines for a change, which KH have included for good measure, and to which are fair quantity of parts are devoted, only to be hidden away unless you're planning on opening up some panels, which will of course require some surgery to the upper fuselage, but if you flip it over, you'll see that KH have thoughtfully included two panels above each engine that can be cut out from the inside to provide access to the engines, with rivets engraved on the interior so they can be left lying about as if they are being worked on. Sure, they're a bit thick, but this is a much better option than just hiding the detail away, and if you're interested in scale fidelity, you have a shape template to base your work on. Both Saturn AL31FM1s are included, and they are set aside until later on in the build. Whether you paint them fully is entirely up to you and whether you want to cut those panels out, but I'd probably just do the front and rear faces, as they're all that will be seen eventually. Now it's the turn of the cockpit, and the first item is a pair of well-detailed Zvezda K36dm seats, which have PE seatbelts included, and are an improvement on earlier kits. The cockpit floor has the side consoles moulded in, and slots for the ejection ladders, plus control columns and decals for all panels, which are printed on a small decal sheet that has an almost photographic look to it. The rear bulkhead and access door fit to the back, and the instrument panel to the front to finish off, then this too is set aside while the gear bays and cannon bay are built up. The former are well-detailed with individual panels and additional parts to give a busy look, while the cannon bay is somewhat simpler with only a few parts in addition to the breech. The nose gear bay is more complex, and has the hatch for crew access moulded in, with a ladder built into the nose gear bay later on. This explains why you should never see a Fullback with its cockpit open, unless the crew are about to disappear on their ejection seats. Finally, the fuselage is ready to close up, after the aforementioned fettling and the removal of the residual sprue gates that can be found on the mating surfaces in places, which is an effort to avoid marring surface detail and IMHO is a great idea that is slowly creeping into kits from various manufacturers. The gear bays, two engine supports, the engines themselves and the cockpit are all added to the lower half, with the upper fuselage dropped on and glued along with the canards, which pivot on a pin, so you can set them to whatever pitch seems appropriate after checking your references. The forward facing radar is fitted to the blunt end of the fuselage, and the nose cone is popped over it, covering it up unless you do some scratching and pose it opened. The pilot's HUD is a sizeable part, and has a trough in the cockpit coaming, a PE glass support, and two part glazing, plus a horizontal lens on the clear sprue. A few probes and the refuelling probe are added, although I'd leave those until later on in case I broke them off. The twin vertical stabilisers are next, with a single thickness that is bolstered at the root, and with separate rudder, antennae and clear formation light. These are also set aside (the theme of this build!) while the exhausts and stinger are made up. You may have noticed that the exhaust cans are resin, and you can choose open or closed positions to suit your intended situation, with the tabs at the rear locking it in place on the two-part exhaust trunks. Careful painting whilst paying attention to your references will result in a good finish to this area. The Stinger is the fairing between the engines, and contains the rear radar, as well as various other equipment, and the chaff and flare dispensers that are fired to confuse and thwart incoming missiles. The body of the stinger is two part, with a recess in the top for the PE dispensers, and holes in the rear that accommodate three PE exhaust vents, which will need rolling to fit the contours of the surrounding area. These assemblies are all fitted to the rear along with some more small parts, and the tail fins attach to the sides of the fuselage with two locating pins each. Before the engine nacelles are installed, additional parts are added inside the main wheel bays that will mate with the corresponding cut-outs in the nacelles later on. Each nacelle is built up in the same manner, with a main outer skin, small PE auxiliary intakes on the sides, plus a pair of blow-in doors further back. The intake ramp attaches to the eventual roof of the intake, and a two-part trunk changes the interior profile to match the cylindrical shape of the engine front. A small elliptical insert is added to the outside of each one before they are fitted to the fuselage, along with a few more small parts hither and thither. It still needs wings, which is next and begins with the elevators, which have fairings added at their base, and when they are attached to the fuselage, another part is added, which connects them to a hinge-point in the fuselage rear. The main wings are each two parts, with slats and flaps front and rear respectively, along with a small wing fence toward the tip, and a choice of straight or curved fairing where the leading edge meets the tip rails, which you'll need to check your references to select the correct one for your airframe, as all the decal profiles show curved fairings. They fit into the fuselage on two tabs with a good mating surface, and should blend with the upper surface with a little care and test-fitting. Landing is tricky without wheels, and Russian fighters invariably have tough gear for rough field operation, and twin rear wheels on bogies are the norm. The Fullback has sturdy struts reminiscent of the Mig-31, but with both wheels on the outer face of the bogie. The legs have separate scissor-links and additional actuators, with a pair of two-part wheels each, which have decent hub and tyre detail. There should be some circumferential tread, which is absent due to moulding limitation, but as these aircraft are often seen with threadbare tyres, painting them to resemble well-used examples gets round needing to replicate this. Either that or you could treat yourself to a set of wheels from Eduard that will doubtless fit this newer tooling. The nose gear is also pretty substantial and has a high parts count, which includes a pair of clear landing lights. The crew ladder is in two parts and fits to the rear of the leg, above the mudguard that nestles behind the tyres to reduce FOD intrusion into the airframe on rough airstrip movements. The wheels are each two parts, and again there is no tread, despite it being shown on the diagrams. Happily, each gear leg can be added to a completed airframe, which is good news as it saves them from damage during handling. There are scrap diagrams of each main gear bay showing how things should look once you have installed them and the small surrounding panel at the rear of the bays. The front gear bay doors are single parts, while the rear bay doors all have additions before they can be inserted, with actuators adding a bit of realism. More scrap diagrams show their orientation after they are added, so there's little chance of making a slip-up here. Before you can load up your Fullback, you need pylons, which are all fitted with PE shackles or styrene sway-braces before they are added to the model alongside the wingtip rail. A twin rail fits between the nacelles, and either three underwing pylons, or two and a double are attached to each wing, plus the wingtip pods already mentioned. Additional single rails fit to the underside of the nacelles level with the gear legs. As already mentioned, there is a ton of weapons on those six sprues, with ten pages devoted to building them up. This is what's selected to be carried by the Su-34: 2 x FAB-500-M54 general purpose bomb 2 x BETAB-500 bunker buster 2 x OFAB-250-SZN bomb 2 x SPPU-22 gun pod 2 x U-6 pylon adapter 2 x R77 Missile Adder medium range A2A missile 2 x R73 Archer short range A2A Missile with APU-73 adapter 2 x UBK-23 gun pod 2 x GUV-8700 gun pod 2 x R27-ET/R27-ER Alamo medium range missiles with APU-470 pylon adapter 2 x R27-T Alamo medium range missiles with APU-470 pylon adapter 4 x R60 Aphid short-range A2A missile with three types of pylon adapters 2 x U-4 adapter rail 2 x UB-32 rocket pod 2 x KH-35 Kayak anti-shipping missile 2 x S-24 rocket with APU-68 pylon adapter 2 x KH-23 Kerry A2G missile with APU-68 pylon adapter 2 x KH-59 Kazoo TV guided missile 2 x KAB-250 satellite guided bomb 4 x FAB-250-M62 bomb 4 x FAB-250-TS bomb (there's a spelling mistake showing it as "F2B" on the instructions) 4 x FAB-250-M54 bomb 2 x BETAB-500-ZD penetrator bomb 4 x SAB-100 high explosive bomb 2 x S-25-A, B & C rocket 2 x RBK-500-250 cluster bomb 2 x B-8M rocket pod 2 x B-13 rocket pod 2 x KH-25-ML/MT Karen A2G Missile 2 x KH-29L Kedge laser guided A2G missile 2 x KAB-500KR TV guided bomb 2 x KAB-500L laser guided bomb 2 x KAB-1500-L/KR laser/TV guided bomb 2 x UB-16 rocket pod 2 x KH-31 A2G missile 2 x KH-58ME Kilter missile 2 x KH-58 Kilter missile with AKU-58 pylon adapter There are two pages of diagrams showing which stations the various weapons are suitable for, but if you're going for accuracy, check your references for some real-world loadouts, as with all aircraft there are limitations. The parts on the sprues are also marked by designation, with all the parts for each weapon sub-numbered within that section of the sprue. Markings The largest decal sheet is for the armament, with each weapon's stencils and markings sectioned off with a dotted line and the designation, which will make applying them a much easier proposition. Four pages of colour diagrams at the rear of the booklet show their colours and markings. Once you have unpicked the main painting guide from the centre of the booklet, you can rotate them so they're easier on the eye, where you'll discover that there are four markings options, each with four views so that there is no guesswork with the camouflaged options. Everything is a good size too, which makes reading the decal numbers and other details a lot easier than some of their first kits, proving that KH have come a long way in all departments. There is a variety of schemes available out of the box, two of which use the three shades of blue camo, one in primer, and another in dark blue over blue, and all rocking a fetching white radome. There are also large expanses of bare metal where paint wouldn't last, on the underside of the engine nacelles, and the leading edges of the elevators (hot missile exhaust?). From the box you can build one of the following rather generically described airframes: Russian Aerospace Defence Forces Red 02 in three-tone blue camo Russian Aerospace Defence Forces Red 03 in three-tone blue camo Russian Aerospace Defence Forces in primer Russian Aerospace Defence Forces in dark blue over pale blue It is unclear where and by whom the decals were printed by, but in general they are of good quality with decent sharpness and colour density except for the use of half-tones to create orange and the dielectric panel decals. On my sample, the dielectric panels also expose an element of mis-registration of the white, which is offset, giving the panels a drop-shadow effect on the sheet, which will probably disappear once applied. I would however be tempted to paint them and create some masks using the decals as templates. The white also shows up in the outlined digits as well as the tail decal BBC POCCИИ having the entire white outline projecting from the top, rather than equally spaced around the letters. Conclusion The plastic looks great, and as Kitty Hawk has stated that they want their Su-34 to be the best on the market in the scale, it shows that they have put additional effort into this model. The huge choice of weapons are also highly detailed, which are likely to be seen again as KH fill more gaps in the Soviet/Russian line-up, and we can forgive them for the little faux pas with the decals, which can be rectified fairly easily – hopefully it's an isolated case. As to shape, I've put some of the main parts together with tape to get a feeling for the overall shape of the airframe, and my first impression is that it's a good overall shape, with maybe a little more of a flare to the tip of the radome needed at the front, but it's very hard to gauge against photos of the airframe due to distortion and such, so I'll leave the final decision to you guys. If you want to discuss it further, start a thread in the main forums and link back to this thread Very highly recommended. We're now building this one, and you can find the thread here, with plenty of hints and tips, as well as pictures of the process Review sample courtesy of Available soon from major hobby shops
  10. Tornado GR.1 "Gulf War" (03892) 1:32 Revell After the debacle that was the cancellation of the TSR.2, the European nations aligned (for once) in the common need for a new Multi-Role fighter, and partnerships began forming an dissolving, resulting in the joining of British Aerospace (now BAe), Aeritalia and MBB of Italy and Germany, who formed the Panavia company with a view to creating a Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MRCA). The basic design was a swing-wing airframe to provide good handling at high and low speeds, but with the usual problem of goal-posts being moved, layering additional requirements upon the project that resulted in a larger airframe. The MRCA first flew in the early 70s, powered by two Rolls Royce RB199 engines, and looking very much like a Tornado, replete with the two seats that were a bone of contention at one point. By the late 70s there were initial airframes with the British and German air forces, and training was undertaken at a joint base at Cottesmore, which stayed open until the beginning of the end of the Tornado in British service. During service in the RAF it fought in almost all conflicts, except for the Falklands, where the tried and trusted Vulcans were dragged from the brink of retirement, rather than use an as-yet untested airframe so far away from home. The Gulf War, the Kosovo war and subsequent peace-keeping duties, and Kuwait were amongst the most well-known operations the GR.1 was present for. In the 1990s the original GR.1s and 1As were upgraded to GR.4/4A standard, which involved many changes to the avionics and a broadening of the weapons it could carry. The GR.4 saw the RAF to the end of service, with the EF2000 Typhoon, another collaboration with European companies taking its place. The Kit This is of course a reboxing of the pre-millennial tooling from Revell with new decals for the Gulf War aircraft, which are probably the most popular options for a Tonka with many folks for their own reasons. The original kit is around 20 years old now, and is a very good product of its day, with engraved panel lines, a decent level of detail, and a wide range of aftermarket now available. Where it does suffer is the intakes, which are hollow, but have no internal trunking, leaving interior and the wing-swing mechanism visible if you don't cover them with FOD guards. The kit arrives in one of Revell's preferred top opening boxes with seven large sprues in light blue-grey styrene (one cut in half), two of clear parts, the instruction booklet and a colourful decal sheet. It's been a while since I've perused the sprues of this kit, and I was pleasantly surprised at how modern it looks, with fine engraved panel lines and raised details, a full set of fuel tanks and weaponry, and some good interior detail that will suffice for many, or act as a jumping-off point for detail hounds. This boxing has the additional parts for the GR.1, which also includes the small clear additional sprue, and while not new it does give the modeller a more accurate finished result. Construction begins with the two Martin-Baker seats, which are provided with slightly anaemic moulded-in seatbelts that could do with replacing after being scraped off with a sharp blade. The instrument panels are decent, and with the addition of the rather nice instrument panel decals, they should please a lot of builders. This carries over to the side consoles that are moulded into the cockpit tub, which is topped and tailed with bulkheads, panels, control columns and rudder pedals before the seats are added, and the single-part nose gear bay is attached underneath. This part suffers a little from mould-damage inside, with some scuffing in between the ribbing on the bay roof. Whether this will ever be seen is moot, but it is worth knowing about in advance. The completed assembly is then trapped between the two nose halves, the extra equipment and coaming between the two crew is added, and the HUD on the pilot's coaming is also constructed from two half ramps and a clear part. The nose cone is separate, and a basic representation of the radar is provided, with nose-weight of 55g suggested to prevent having a tail-sitter on your hands. Leaving the nose cone closed gives you a lot more space further toward the front of the airframe, losing out on only a little detail and preserving the lines of the aircraft. The nose cone is moulded as a single part, with an additional ring that attaches to the rear, and either hinges open to reveal the radar, or is fitted shut as already mentioned. The Tornado is a variable-geometry fighter, with wings that can swing back and forth, requiring the weapons pylons to also be able to rotate to follow the line of flight. Revell's engineers have managed to mimic the wing swing in styrene, but you will need to be careful with the glue and paint if you want to retain that past the build stage. The pylons are built up first, and have pivots and cams moulded into the tops, which will allow you to move the pylons manually later, while the wings have a sector cog on their roots, which mesh together, and permit their synchronised pivoting once they are in the fuselage. They are formed into an assembly by the addition of a rail top and bottom, and are then set to the side while the elevators and main fuselage are made up. The lower fuselage has the main gear bays fitted to the apertures, the wing-root gloves added to the sides, and a bulkhead with simple engine faces moulded into the front. The inflatable bags that seal the wing against the fuselage during pivoting are simple plastic, which might not suit modellers looking for accuracy, as their shape changes with the angle of the wing. There are aftermarket parts to help out here if you don't feel up to the task of adapting them yourself, but if you want to leave the wings able to pivot, you'll have to leave the parts as standard. The wings and elevators are then fitted into the lower half and the upper section is dropped on top, with a pair of holes drilled in the spine for the later fitting of a couple of blade antennae. One of the Tornado's nicknames (of unknown origin) is the Fin, due to the massive tail fin that makes it easy to see across a busy airfield. It has two main parts, plus an electronics lump on the leading edge, a hollow intake at the root, and a pen-nib fairing at the bottom of the moulded-in rudder. The twin exhausts are moulded with their trunking integrally, and these two parts drop into the rear fairing, which has much of the thrust-reversing bucket structure moulded-in, with two small parts between the exhausts added to depict the mechanism, and a pair of exhaust petals that finish off the area. With this last subassembly completed, the nose, fuselage, tail and exhausts are brought together, and joined by the two substantial intake ramps that fix to the fuselage sides via two pegs, and should stand proud of the upper fuselage by a fraction by design. The internal ramps inside the intake are separate to the main parts, but the trunking finishes there, which is why you'll see a lot of Tornados with FOD guards in place at model shows. At the rear the two air-brakes are separate, with an actuator jack each to set them to the correct angle, but they are equally at home flush with the fuselage to retain the clean lines of the aircraft. The tricycle landing gear of the Tonka is well-depicted, with a single strut at the nose, with twin wheels that have a flat-spot to depict weight. The bay doors all attach to the edges by small tabs, which are cut off if you plan on modelling your Tornado wheels up. The main gear struts are similarly detailed, with the forest of hoses moulded-in and the retraction mechanism shown in detail. Each leg has one larger tyre, which are also weighted for realism, and the same bay doors can be used in-flight as well as with the gear down. The nose of the Tornado is festooned with aerials and the distinctive FLIR pod with its clear window are supplied, plus various other aerials around the airframe. The rather "scabbed-on" refuelling probe runs down the cockpit side, and can be posed opened or closed next to the canopy, which is moulded in windscreen and canopy parts, with a support included to prop the canopy open. Apart from some small parts on the tail, the airframe is now complete, and it's a case of choosing a weapons load-out, which Revell have been proactive about, and have supplied three different options for you to choose from. You can of course go your own way too, but having three actual loads to choose from is a good start. The first item are the centreline rails, which need some holes drilling according to a diagram. They are detailed with cleats and shackles, then all three are glued to the flat underside of the fuselage ready for your chosen load. Included in the box are the following: 2 x 1,500L tank 1 x BOZ 101 chaff and flare pod AIM-7L Sidewinder A2A missile 1 x Sky Shadow ECM pod 2 x 2,250L tank 2 x 1,000lb LGB 4 x 1,000lb iron bomb Markings There are two options in the box, and you'd be right if you guessed that they were both painted in desert pink. From the box you can build one of the following: "Foxy Killer" RAF detatchment, Tabuk AB, Saudi Arabia 1991 "Nikki" RAF detatchment, Muharraq AB, Bahrain 1991 The decals are printed in Italy for Revell by Zannetti, in good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt/gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The weapons are shown on the last page of the markings guide, with stencils provided on the sheet. Conclusion If you want a 1:32 Tornado, then this is the one. It's an older model, but it checks out with a few caveats mentioned above. It's still a good kit, decent value, and boy does it look smart once built up. Highly recommended. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  11. Today sees the launch of a new brand of Acrylic Lacquer paints from well-known company AK Interactive, which have been worked on in association with a number of respected aircraft and armour colour experts for over a year, including our own @Nick Millman. They have produced a range of colours that will be of great use to anyone making models of WWII aircraft or AFVs of the main protagonists in the European arena, namely Great Britain, America, Russia, and their foes Nazi Germany. Using their own knowledge of paint manufacture and formulation, coupled with the named experts (you'll see those names later on), they are more than a little bit proud to launch the range, which is accompanied by a book on the subject that looks to be well worth a read. At time of writing we are waiting for our samples, plus a copy of the book, but from looking at the pre-release publicity material, it all looks very interesting. If you scroll to the bottom there are some useful links to the initial range of paints and other information, so you can see all the shades that will be available initially, and if you visit their site you should be able to see the new racks with the branding on so that you can hunt them down in your local bricks & mortar model shop if you're not ordering online. You should be able to buy the pots individually or in themed sets, and as well as the Real Color AIR sets, there are also a range of Real Color AFVs coming too, with 133 available AIR and a further 114 in AFV flavours. If you're feeling flush you can buy the whole set in one fell swoop, which will ensure you have every colour to hand plus their clear coats right from the outset. The formulation is suitable for use their own thinners which are odourless (always good), and other thinners that can be used with non-latex acrylic paint formulations. The pots are glass, and contain 10ml of paint with a textured lid that makes it easier to remove, and the details of the paint colour and number are easily seen on the colourful labels. To accompany the range of paints, AK have also launched two books, entitled Real Colors of WWII Air and Real Colors of WWII AFV, which are a companion to the colours, and have a serious quantity of information and colour photographs that will amuse you for hours, and serve as a reference for future use. You can see details of both volumes here, but we have reproduced a few pages of the Air edition here in case you're short of time. You can find a handy PDF conversion sheet here, the full release information and range of paints can be seen on their dedicated website here along with information about how to use them, the names of the collaborators, and how they went about selecting shades for "The Accuracy". We're really looking forward to seeing the fruits of their labours, and will report back in due course when we have the paints and books to hand. Thanks to Fernando at AK for the information, and to all the people that took part in this expedition into colour accuracy.
  12. Boeing 747-8 Lufthansa New Livery (03891) 1:144 Revell At the end of September 1968, Boeing revealed to gathered crowds at its Everett factory, an aircraft that would forever change the world of air travel. Taking advantage of the new generation of high by-pass turbofan engines capable of huge power output compared to the previously available power units, Boeing unveiled the B747 which would become affectionately known as the ‘Jumbo Jet’ due to its immense proportions. Designs for the new Boeing747 had actually been started three years earlier when engineer Joe Sutter approached the airlines to discuss their proposals with the companies that would actually buy the aircraft, and it was to be the Pan Am CEO, Juan Trippe, that had the greatest influence in the final design. Although intended from the outset to be a passenger aircraft, it was decided early in the design phase to ensure that the aircraft should be easily adaptable to a freighter; a decision that was to prove fortunate in later years. The original high wing designs were discounted in favour of the more popular low wing position, and at the request of Juan Trippe, various options in upper deck layouts were explored. These designs led to the now familiar ‘hump’, a feature that in no way detracts from the graceful lines of the aircraft that was finally rolled out at the end of September 1968, and provided the airlines with the first jet powered airliner capable of carrying more than 400 passengers. Over the next three decades, the original design was further modified by the enlargement of the upper deck and the introduction of improved engines and avionics. Probably the most radical change made to the airframe was with the introduction of the 747SP which featured a significantly shorter fuselage and a re-designed wing targeted at the short to medium haul and high density routes. In 1988, Boeing rolled out yet another variant in the shape of the -400 series, but it was not until November 2005 that the subject of this kit, the Boeing 747-8 family was launched. Incorporating advanced technology developed for the 787 Dreamliner, the first -8 model to fly was the freighter with Cargolux being the launch customer and taking delivery of its first aircraft in February of 2010. The 747-8i, the passenger version, made its maiden flight in March of the following year with the first delivery to an undisclosed private customer made in February 2012. Lufthansa, the original launch customer took delivery of their first aircraft in April of the same year. On June 28th. 2014. Boeing reached a significant milestone when the deliveries of the 747 totalled 1,500 aircraft. Deliveries of the 747-8 have been relatively slow with only just over 150 examples of both the freighter and passenger version ordered with only three national carriers taking options on the passenger version at the time of writing. (Preamble text courtesy of @stringbag) The Kit This is a reboxing of Revell's well-liked 2012 era 747 kit with a newly tooled -8i fuselage and new decals depicting the new, modern livery that was first unveiled in May 2018. Inside the top-opening box (yes, you read that right) are two fuselage parts, seven sprues of white styrene, three clear sprues, a long sheet of decals and the instruction booklet. The model is well-detailed, with fine engine components, engraved panel lines, landing gear bays and even a cockpit part, with the copyright marking on the inner wing showing 2012. The fuselage has open windows along the side, with clear parts that are applied inside, so if you plan on using alternate solid porthole decals (some folks do), you'll need to fill and smooth them out. It's probably not all that often a civilian aircraft review starts with the words "construction begins with the cockpit", but this one does. There is a tub that includes seats and instrument coaming moulded-in, plus a rear bulkhead with crew door moulded-in, which you are instructed to paint up with basic colours. If you're building it with the wheels down, you'll need to build the gear bays, which have some nice ribbing detail moulded-in, and add the landing gear legs, which are really well-detailed for the scale, with brake detail and retraction jacks worthy of a larger scale. The windows, gear bays and the cockpit tub are all inserted into the fuselage halves which are then joined together, with a short bulkhead slipped into the wing root area to prevent the weight of the wings from pulling the seams apart later. The underside is covered up by an insert which surrounds the main gear bays, and closes over those areas that are normally shut on the ground with additional parts. The wings have clear light inserts in the root, which are installed before the halves are brought together, with a standard tab and slot fixture to the fuselage, which is repeated on the elevators on a smaller scale. The wings need their flap actuator housings adding, which are all separate parts made up from two halves each, and you will need to take care to get the correct one in the proper recess. The engines are made up from a pair of fans on a central spindle, which is slid into the aft section of the engine which has another set of blades moulded into the rear. The fans can be left mobile by carefully gluing the retaining ring in place, which is then hidden by the tail cone, and then further enclosed in the outer housing with the single-piece intake lip and the two different sized zig-zag exhaust lips that are there to reduce exhaust noises. The engines are all handed, so take care with construction again, as the strake on the bypass housing faces the fuselage. The outboard main wheels are added at the same time as the engines, and then it's just a case of adding some aerials, the main wheels and their brake assemblies, gear bay doors, and the clear glazing for the cockpit. Instructions are also given for the installation of the bay doors for an in-flight model, which requires a little cutting of the parts, but nothing too taxing for even a novice modeller. As an addition, a three-part stand is included on the sprues, which fits between the landing gear into some holes in the belly. A nice addition that will allow you to sprinkle a few smaller models around the 747 on your display shelf. Markings The new livery is a simple tail-band that you will have to mask and paint, with the Lufthansa logo on the tail, and the name on the familiar hump behind the cockpit. The windscreen, window frames and doorframe decals are also included, plus many, many lengths of walkway markings for the gargantuan wings and tail surfaces. A dark blue swatch of the correct colour for the dark blue is included for reference on the sheet, and as usual the colour call-outs are using Revell's own paints with the blue being a 90%/10% mix of gloss midnight blue and black. If you're mixing your paint for this task, it's always best to mix too much and store the spare paint in an empty pot until the project is finished, in case touch-ups are needed at any point. Conclusion It's a great modern tooling of the still-impressive former holder of the largest passenger aircraft trophy, and these new decals will look splendid on a well-painted model. A cockpit and gear bays are good to see, all of which adds extra realism to the model. Highly recommended. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  13. They do look identical even down to the accessories, but at £50 plus shipping, the DSPIAE branded ones at £26.80 delivered when I bought them start to look excellent value
  14. I've ordered two of the cutters now from the UK directly from AliExpress, and both have got through unfettered. I couldn't tell you whether it was due to what was written on the waybill, as I didn't look at the time, but there you go
  15. Mike

    How do I post Pictures?

    Posting pictures on the new forum version couldn't be easier, and you don't even need the old Image button that looked like a Polaroid of a tree any more. It is so simple that you'll wonder why you even needed to ask Firstly though, if you're a long-time user of the forum you'll know that we don't allow images to be uploaded to the forum as attachments. It's just not secure, and it would overload our server's storage capability and burn through our data quicker than you can imagine. Once you need more storage and more data allowance, that increases costs. A good enough reason not to do that on its own! Ok - assuming you already have your photos hosted online somewhere, you just copy the DIRECT link from wherever it is (Photobucket, Flickr, you name it), and you paste it into your posting window. Press either enter, or space, and SPANG! The forum software will automatically convert it to a photo. If for some reason you didn't want it as a photo, a little notification bar appears at the bottom of your posting window to give you the opportunity to undo the action. Look smug. You've learned how to post a photo. Told you it was simple, didn't I? If you've got a lot of photos to post that are numbered sequentially or with slight changes to the filename, you can post those easily too. Paste your image as above, but before you press space or return, just edit the filename to the next in the sequence. Rinse & repeat as necessary until you run out of pictures. Pretty simple, eh? If for some reason you have SPACES in your URL (why would you do that????), or it doesn't seem to be working with the automatic system, don't panic. Down at the bottom right of your posting window, there is a button called Insert Other Media. Click that and choose Insert Image from URL and enter your URL in the box that pops up. Save that and you should have a pic when the screen finishes loading it. "What's a URL" you might be wondering? It stands for Universal Resource Locator, and is a short form of "web address". You know - the thingy that begins with http:// and has lots of fun characters after it. You'll find the URL for this page at the top of your browser in a long box that is called your Address Bar
  16. TBH, the hassle of ordering them online is negligible once you've created your account. I'm currently trying to resist the drill set and numerous other things
  17. Pz.Kpfw.VI Tiger (P) "Truppenübungsfahrzeug" (35A023) 1:35 Amusing Hobby After encountering the T-34 during the invasion of Russia, it was realised that new tanks were needed to combat them, one of which was the Panther, while the other was already in development and eventually became the Tiger. There were two designs proffered for the contract, one by Porsche, the other by Henschel, and it was eventually the Henschel design that found favour with Hitler, after the Porsche design famously failed in a cloud of smoke whilst being demonstrated in front of him at Rastenburg. There were other reasons, such as the complexity of the design and the fact that its petrol-electric drivetrain required too much in the way of the strategically valuable copper. The Tiger (P) ran with a very similar turret as the Henschel design, with the name Tiger coined by Ferdinand Porsche himself. Where it differed was the forward positioning of the turret, which made for a long overhang of the main gun that was deemed a problem for descending hills or crossing large ditches. In the rear were two petrol engines that provided power to an electric generator that ran the two drive motors at the very rear of the tank. Although a mechanical gearbox wasn't necessary, the extra weight of the additional engine, generator and electric motors made for a very heavy vehicle and much added complexity. The road wheels were paired, and not interleaved like the Henschel design, which gave a higher ground pressure, but simplified maintenance at least in that area. It was not enough, so the design lost out and the name was transferred to the Henschel offering. Much of the chassis was reused however in the Ferdinand/Elefant Tank Destroyer, which shared the same track layout and lower hull, 100 of which had already been built at the Porsche factories. Only one Tiger (P) was ever built to completion, and it was pressed into service as a command tank late in the war. The Kit This is a complete new tool from Amusing Hobby, although there have been a number of kits of the type in 1:35. It arrives in a pretty standard looking top-opening box with a picture of Ferdinand Porsche next to his creation, a resin figure of whom is included in the box as a bit of bonus. The rest of the content consists of six sprues and a lower hull half in sand coloured styrene, eight sprues of track links in brown styrene, a pair of "rubber-band" tracks, a decal sheet, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a small bag of springs, a roll of braided copper wire, the instruction booklet and the aforementioned figure. Detail is good throughout, and the inclusion of two styles of tracks should appeal to most, while the figure will look good next to the model, although you will need to warm his arms up to get them to fit properly in his pockets judging by my brief efforts. Construction begins with the paired road wheels that are built up, affixed in twos to three suspension units on each side of the tank, and then offered up to the hull with end-caps holding them in position, allowing them an element of movement to accommodate the ground, assisted by the custom springs that are inserted during assembly. The wheels themselves are also held on by end-caps, which allows them to rotate, and the same feature is visited on the idler and drive sprockets using an internal collar that is glued to the axle. Without further ado, the tracks are introduced, where you have a choice of using the supplied flexible tracks (which aren't mentioned in the instructions), or the individual links that consist of two parts per link. Each of the eight sprues contains a jig, which you can use to build the runs of 109 links per side, and as the jigs can be glued together, you can construct a long run at one sitting, up to 40 links if my maths is correct (it usually isn't). The links have two sprue gates per part, and clean-up is straight forward, so shouldn't take too long with a sharp knife. The contact ridge on each link is separate, and you glue these to the main part of the link to trap the pins inside their recesses. Using liquid glue may cause some issues with glue wicking into the joints and leaving you with unworkable track links, so for my test I used Super Glue (CA), which I dabbed on the contact points with a needle in small quantities. This worked, but CA is a little brittle for the task, so I would suggest getting some tube glue such as Revell Contacta with the precision applicator that will weld the parts together and give more strength. As already alluded, take care with applying too much, as the pins are very close to the contact points by necessity. When completed, the tracks have a great deal of movement available, so wrapping them around the road wheels should pose no issue. With the tracks on, the hull sides are added, with an insert on the diagonal panel next to the glacis added on each side. Taking care with alignment will benefit you here, as the hull top drops onto the side panels, so taping this loosely in place while the glue cures will ensure a good fit. The hull top is detailed with jack blocks, the front glacis with machine gun ball mount and driver's armoured vision port, and at the rear, two louvered panels to cool the engines, with each one having separate slats added before they are joined. The fenders are prepared with stiffeners and bumpers that take the wear from accidental track hits on the angled parts, with long tabs helping to make a good joint with the hull. Pioneer tools, PE engine grills, lights and additional spare track in a bracket along the rear of the hull are all added, and the towing cables are created from the braided copper wire with styrene eyes finishing off the ends, with a scrap diagram showing their arrangement. Now for the turret. The main part provides the turret ring and curved side-walls, into which you place the panel with the gun's pivot point engineered in, which is held in place by external pins. The vision ports, top hatch and commander's cupola are all fixed in place, and at the rear a special bracket allows the rear storage bin to fit over another two short lengths of spare track links. The bin has a separate lid so could be posed open if you wish. The barrel is made up from two tubular sections, with a three-part flash suppressor, the core of which is hollow. The rear of the barrel is inserted into the keyed hole in the mantlet, which is backed by another part for attachment to the interior, and a coaxial machine gun is threaded through the hole. All that is left to do now is to twist the turret into position where it is locked by a bayonet style fitting. The figures is cast in resin, and has already been removed from its pouring blocks, except for a pair of platform shoes that you will need to flatten off. The hat and arms are separate parts that fix to the body with square pegs for security. My sample had some issues with locating his hands properly in his pockets, so a little heat will be needed to coax them into position. I tend to use hot water and then plunge the parts into cold water to fix the shape, so it's just something to be aware of before you try to assemble and paint. As usual with resin, take the precaution of wearing a mask when cutting or sanding resin, as the tiny particles are harmful to your health if breathed in. Washing the parts in warm water will also improve the adhesion of paint, as there may still be some moulding release agent on the parts when you receive them. Markings Only two schemes are provided from the box, one being the initial prototype livery of Panzer Grey, the latter being a Dunkegelb, green and red brown camouflage. The paint call-outs are given in the AMMO range, which you can always convert using one of the many charts available if you don't use them. The decals are a generic sheet of white outlined red turret numbers, plus a choice of two styles of crosses in case you fancy doing a speculative colour scheme for a change. The decals are sharp and with good colour density, although the white is very slightly offset, but as many of these markings were hand-painted by inexperienced mechanics or crew, they're hardly likely to be pin-perfect anyway. Conclusion It's nice to see a new kit of the fairly well forgotten Tiger (P), and the inclusion of a choice of track styles will please those phobic about individual track links, with Mr Porsche in resin a bonus that if not used in this model can be pressed into service as a civilian at some point. A complete package too, with only glue and paint required. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of Available from all good model shops soon
  18. WWII German and Soviet Figures Paint Sets (A.MIG-7021 & A.MIG-7023) AMMO of Mig Jiménez Mig Jiménez's company AMMO has been producing acrylic paints now for some years, and they have a deservedly good reputation in the hobby. There are an ever-widening range of shades, available singly and in sets to bolster your collection and make painting specific themes easier. These two sets are under the Figures Sets banner, and are designed as a one-stop pack to permit you to paint uniforms with the addition of a brush and a little skill. Each set arrives in a blister pack with four 17ml dropper-type bottles that have a white cap, but still have the little metal mixing balls that you'll find in all the new paints from AMMO. The header card has a figure on the rear with the colour call-outs showing where they have been used in painting the examples, although you'll have to visit the AMMO website for a little more assistance with techniques, where you'll find lots of help in video and step-through form. Furthermore, a new set of encyclopaedia books for figure painting are underway, so if you're a little clueless on how to achieve the superb results you see online and at shows, prepare yourself to be enlightened. We'll bring you some reviews of these books and the other figure-related products that are being released to coincide with the books in the near future. German Field Grey uniforms (A.MIG-7021) AMMOF512 FIELD GREY FS-34159 AMMOF513 FIELD GREY HIGHLIGHT FS-34414 AMMOF514 FIELD GREY SHADOW FS-34086 AMMOF502 OUTLINING BLACK Soviet Uniforms WWII (A.MIG-7023) AMMOF503 DARK OLIVE GREEN FS-34130 AMMOF504 YELLOW GREEN FS-34259 AMMOF505 PALE YELLOW GREEN FS-33481 AMMOF506 MEDIUM RUSSIAN GREEN FS-34092 More sets will be along soon, so we'll expand this review as time goes by. Review sample courtesy of
  19. Bristol Beaufighter – Airframe Album 14 A Detailed Guide to Bristol's Hard-Hitting Twin Valiant Wings Publishing Based upon the Beaufort bomber, the whittled-down heavy fighter became an excellent nightfighter, ground-attack and maritime strike in European and South Pacific theatres, with many variants and improvements along the way. Entering service in time for the Battle of Britain, it quickly fell into the nightfighter role, with its ability to carry heavy armament and equipment without unduly affecting its performance endearing it to the pilots and strategists alike. After being re-engined early on with Hercules radial engines to gain the extra power needed, it became a common sight behind German bombers at night, raking them with four 20mm cannon and wings full of six additional machine guns. The Fleet Air Arm (FAA) were also fond of the type, as it was able to carry enough munitions in either free-fall or rocket-propelled forms to deal a substantial blow to any enemy shipping it happened upon. The Mosquito coming on-stream took some of the limelight away from the Beau, and it was eventually replaced by it in many roles, most notably the night fighting arena. The Book The fourteenth volume of the popular and interesting Airframe Album series by Richard A Franks details this pugnacious heavy fighter, its versions, trials and tribulations. It spans 178 pages and is perfect bound in an A4(ish) portrait format. If you are familiar with the series you will know what to expect, with the book broken down into sections, as follows: i. Introduction A brief narrative history of the development and operation use of the Beaufighter by Fighter & Coastal Commands and the FAA, as well as those by the USAAF and supplied to other nations. 1. Technical Description Detailed coverage of construction and equipment 2. Evolution – Prototype, Production and Projected Variants 3D isometrics illustrating differences between variants 3. Camouflage and Markings Colour side profiles, notes and photographs 4. Models A build of the 1:72nd scale TF.Mk.X from Airfix by Libor Jekl and the all-new 1:48th scale TF.X from Revell by Steve A Evans. Appendices I Beaufighter Kit List II Beaufighter Accessory, Mask & Decal List III Bibliography As usual with Valiant's books, the pictures are both high quality and unusual, with lots of "behind the scenes" shots of production, testing and their ultimate capture by the Allies, plus plenty more pictures of museum examples for those needing reference pictures. I always find the 3D Isometrics very interesting to discern the differences between variants, especially as I have the memory of a goldfish. I particularly enjoyed the teaching installations that consisted of the front end of a Beaufighter, inner wings and nacelles, and behind the wing a scabbed on shed (yes – a garden variety shed) that was used as a classroom. What a brilliant diorama that would make! Conclusion Valiant Wings publish a good book about interesting subjects, and this is another one that tweaked mine right away. If you're a modeller, aviation buff or even just interested in engineering, this will make an interesting read, which you'll come back to again when you need it for references. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  20. Mike

    Moving Time Again

    Thanks fellas If anyone making donations hasn't received their Gold Brick in a few days, just drop @Shar2 a PM and give him your info so he can tie it up
  21. Mike

    Moving Time Again

    Thanks to everyone for the comments, donations and so forth so far. We've managed to find a tidge more space that takes the away from us moving ASAP if not sooner, but it's only a smidge, so we're still going to shift, just not tomorrow. It's a relief in a way, as I wasn't looking forward to making the move so soon. Now we'll have a bit more prep time, which is always nice
  22. Tornado GR.4 Stencils (ED-32118, ED-48118, ED-72118) 1:32, 1:48, 1:72 EuroDecals by Fantasy Printshop Accurate stencils aren't always provided with model kits, and even when they are you don't always get a full complement, as the research is time-consuming and stencils take up space on a sheet. Fantasy Printshop have taken the trouble to create this sheet in the major scales (don't take it personally, 1:144) so that if you're not satisfied with the kit stencils, or you have an older kit that sometimes don't have stencils (this was a big thing back in the day), you can detail the exterior of your model up to modern standards. It's also good news if you've messed up your kit decals or had the urge to repaint your model for whatever reason. Available in three scales, you get the same thing in each ziplok bag, only in a different scale. I know, shocking! The cover sheet is thick stock A4 paper folded in half, which has the stencil locations printed on the backside, and includes the stencils for the pylons and weapons too for good measure. They're printed by Fantasy Printshop of course, in good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The stencils are crisp and legible with all the relevant colours, including silver for panels on each side of the cockpit. There are sufficient stencils to make one model as you'd expect, and it includes walkways, no step markings and lift markings. 1:32 Stencils 1:48 Stencils 1:72 Stencils Review sample courtesy of
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