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Mike

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Everything posted by Mike

  1. As the other topic has tripped the 40 page rule for chat-based stuff (a bit late I know), here's the new topic for posting up details about the latest releases. You can find the old topic here.
  2. Mike

    Bf109V14

    You're not the only one! (I meant me, not you (after re-reading it)) the way I look at it, we're always learning, and there's plenty left to learn for all but the most gifted (self-excluded).
  3. Mike

    Bf109V14

    Very nice, but I fear that Ernst's plane has flown off without him!
  4. Mike

    Spontaneous Combustion of Plastic!

    I'd agree that it was something in the Evo Stick that has reacted. I remember a similar softening of the plastic in a kit I made years ago after putting too much glue in. It went all soft and like leather - stayed that way for ages too. You can find the data sheet for it here, and there's Acetone and Xylene in it, so it'll melt plastic, given the right quantities. Some probably dribbled downhill into the fuel pack and settled there.
  5. Hawker Typhoon Mk.Ib (11117) Limited Edition 1:48 Eduard In the design process even before the Hurricane reached squadron service, the Typhoon was initially intended to be a direct replacement of its older stable mate, but with development scope to take advantage of the upcoming 2,000hp piston engines that would be near the limits of propeller powered flight. Initial problems were overcome, and the early razorback design was amended to a bubble canopy that gave the pilot a vastly improved view of the sky around him. A larger, strengthened tail and a change from 12 machine guns to four wing mounted 20mm cannon also improved the aircraft's offensive ability. It was never fully developed into a medium altitude fighter, but it did find a role nearer the ground, especially in countering the Fw.190 that was playing havoc with the Mk.V Spitfires at the time. It was a big stable aircraft with masses of power, which made it ideally suited to low level flight, and that naturally lends itself to ground attack. Fitted with unguided rockets or 1,000lb bombs under each wing, it became a feared sight by enemy ground troops and tankers. Although the rockets were tricky to aim well, they had a massive effect on morale, and played a large part in halting the advances made by German troops in the Battle of the Bulge, flying hundreds of ground attack sorties using rockets, bombs and cannon to great effect. Like any successful aircraft of WWII, the list of improvements is long, but with the Tempest making inroads into solving the Typhoon's shortcomings, it was soon withdrawn after WWII came to a close, lasting only a few months of peacetime. The Kit This limited edition is based upon the Hasegawa plastic, as evidenced by the little slips of paper inside the inner bags that state it was made in Japan and imported by Eduard. It arrives in the usual sized box with a painting of a Tiffie and the words Typhoon writ large in red underneath. Inside everything is bagged together, with the clear parts and some polycaps bagged inside. The full contents includes nine sprues of varying sizes in grey styrene, one in clear, a small sprue of black polycaps, a bag with a bunch of resin parts in it, two sheets of Photo-Etch (PE) one nickel-plated and pre-painted, the other bare brass, a sheet of kabuki-style masks, a sheet of decals and the usual Eduard instruction booklet with the painting guide to the rear. Quite a comprehensive package! Construction begins with the cockpit, replacing the complete instrument panel and side consoles with a highly detailed painted lamination, or using the original part with decals – your choice. The rudder pedals are also replaced, and the seat is tossed in the spare pile to be replaced by a complete PE replica with improved detail and scale fidelity. The Typhoon's cockpit is more-or-less suspended within the main frames, and the kit parts replicating this are augmented with some PE strengthening webs, as well as additional controls and equipment, before they are brought together with the floor and rear bulkhead to create the cockpit, the rear of which has new in-scale PE head armour that fits in the space where the old plastic is cut off. More PE is attached to the interior of the fuselage, and the chin scoop is made up with an additional PE central filter fitted for a couple of the marking options. This is the car-door Tiffie, so when you sandwich the cockpit and chin intake between the fuselage, you also add the appropriate inserts to the top of the fuselage around the cockpit that present you with the correct aperture for the type. The wings are simply made from three parts, with the full-width lower having the main gear bays moulded-in with surprisingly good detail. before closing them up however, you will need to establish which holes (if any) you want to open up for the underwing stores later on. The cannon fairings are moulded into the wing, and for three of the markings options, a small section under the chin will need removing and replacing with a pairing of PE and resin parts. The tail fin is moulded into the fuselage with the rudder, while the new replacement resin elevators are a big improvement on the old parts, with realistic joins between the parts permitting easy placement of them at a suitably deflected angle. The landing gear is pretty much stock kit parts, with the exception of a few small PE stiffening parts applied to the bay doors, at which time there is also a choice of two types of additional PE for the chin intake. A whole host of additional PE and styrene parts are fitted to the underside, as well as landing lights in the leading edge, cannon barrels, and you will then need to fill around the landing lights, as they aren't present on these airframes. A choice of stubby pylons or rocket rails for the underwing storage are supplied, all from kit parts, with different fitments for the various decal options. The resin prop is built up using the accompanying jig, and is then covered with a resin spinner, while the remaining parts such as the gunsight, canopy sliding details, a new PE aerial and the two canopy parts are applied last along with the exhaust stacks and prop. Speaking of the canopy, there is a full set of masks (not pictured) supplied on a sheet of yellow kabuki tape for the canopy, with compound curved handled by using frame hugging masks, while the highly curved gaps are in-filled with either liquid mask or offcuts from the background tape. In addition you get a set of hub/tyre masks for the wheels, allowing you to cut the demarcation perfectly with little effort. Markings As usual with Eduard Limited Edition boxings, you get a good selection of markings, although given the aircraft's relatively short term of service in the late war, it's all based on grey/green over light grey with a variety of tactical and unit markings. From the box you can build one of the following: MN529, flown by F/O Ian Handyside, No. 184 Squadron, No. 129 Wing, RAF Westhampnett, Great Britain, June 1944 MN819, flown by S/Ldr Jack Collins DFC, No. 245 (North Rhodesian) Squadron, No. 121 Wing, RAF Holmsley South, Great Britain, June 1944 RB431, flown by W/Cdr John ‘Zipp' Button DSO, DFC, No. 123 Wing, B.103 Plantlünne, Germany, April 1945 RB207, flown by F/O Bill Beatty, No. 438 (RCAF) Squadron, No. 143 (RCAF) Wing, B.150 Hustedt, Germany, May 1945 MP197, No. 245 (North Rhodesian) Squadron, No. 121 Wing, B.164 Schleswig , Germany, June 1945 SW399, flown by F/O Ronald Sweeting DFC, No. 175 Squadron, No. 121 Wing, B.164 Schleswig, Germany, July 1945 Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion It's good to see this Limited Edition release, and if you've been wanting one, don't hang around as they have a habit of selling out quickly. Hasegawa plastic with Eduard aftermarket makes for an excellent combination that's likely to sell well. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  6. Seatbelts IJN Fighters STEEL (FE857) 1:48 Eduard In case you don't already know, new Eduard seatbelt sets are now all made from Photo-Etch (PE) steel, and because of their strength they can be etched from thinner material, which improves realism and flexibility in one sitting. Coupled with the new painting method that adds perceived extra depth to the buckles and other furniture by shading, they are more realistic looking and will drape better than regular brass PE. This set contains eight sets of belts, four for Mitsubishi aircraft, which had only lap belts until near the end of the war when a single shoulder harness was added; two for Nakajima aircraft, which had lap belts only throughout the war, and two more for Kawanishi aircraft, which had lap and shoulder belts throughout the war. As usual, the diagrams show the attachment points on the (generic) seats to assist you with fitting them to your model. Review sample courtesy of
  7. Victor B.Mk.2(BS) Air Brakes (72644 for Airfix) 1:72 Eduard Airfix pleased a lot of modellers when they released their new tooling of this awesome Cold War warrior, and we reviewed the majority of the sets from Eduard here. We missed the Air Brakes when a few items got mislaid, so here they are now. As usual with Eduard's Photo-Etch (PE) and Mask sets, they arrive in a flat resealable package, with a white backing card protecting the contents and the instructions that are sandwiched between. Supplied on a single brass sheet, this set provides skins for the majority of the air brake surfaces, adding rivet and panel detail, as well as lightening holes in abundance. A little detail needs removing before construction, and the Y-shaped part of the actuator ram is removed and replaced by a folded-up hollow piece with a substantial improvement in detail. The air brakes themselves are also skinned, again increasing the level of detail immensely. If you're planning on displaying your model with the air brakes open, then this is the ideal set for you. Back in stock at Eduard within the next week Review sample courtesy of
  8. Mosquito Mk.VI Seatbelts STEEL (32921 for Tamiya) 1:32 Eduard Tamiya's new FB.Mk.VI with the gun nose completes the set for Tamiya, and it's a lovely kit, as is the earlier glass-nosed variant. This set is a replacement for the unpainted kit seatbelts, and arrives in a flat resealable package, with a white backing card protecting the contents and the instructions that are sandwiched between. In case you don't already know, they are Photo-Etch (PE) steel, and because of their strength they can be etched from thinner material, which improves realism and flexibility in one sitting. Coupled with the new painting method that adds perceived extra depth to the buckles and other furniture by shading, they are more realistic looking and will drape better than regular brass PE. The sheet is larger due the Mossie being a two-seater, so you get two complete sets of belts, with the shoulder belts made up from two main parts plus the metal strengthening part, which differs between the pilot and navigator, the pilot's being the wider of the two. The lap belts are each one piece, and their attachment point on the seats is shown in blue on the final diagrams. Review sample courtesy of
  9. Scammell Pioneer SV2S (36358 for IBG) 1:35 Eduard IBG made a lot of people very happy when they began releasing a range of Scammel heavy haulers, making the old resin options look difficult and overpriced in one fell swoop. The first boxing was the SV2S recovery vehicle, has been out for a while now, and it has proved popular and this set probably will be too. As usual with Eduard's Photo-Etch (PE) and Mask sets, they arrive in a flat resealable package, with a white backing card protecting the contents and the instructions that are sandwiched between. Inside is a single large fret of PE and a small sheet of printed acetate, which is used to provide dials on the instrument panel in the cab. There are a lot of brackets and small additions across the vehicles, with a set of brackets for a tank on the chassis; details for the winch gearbox; more detailed crew steps, brackets and filler cap details on the fuel tank; a new wire side to the open stowage bin with integral ribbing for the floor of the bin, which requires the front wire to be cut off the kit PE part, plus chain and latch for the wire front panel to the same bin, front and back; new mudguards and centre-rear panel in the bodyshell with a multitude of hinges, chains & clasps on the wooden storage on both sides of the body; Fire extinguisher cradle, tool racks, weapon racks and additional fixtures in the crew cab; Additional parts and exhaust details in the firewall area; instrument binnacle and detailed foot pedals for the driver's station; new side panels to the engine cowling, and ceiling mounted mesh stowage racks in the roof of the cab. A good all-round set that pulls the detail up a notch from stock. Review sample courtesy of
  10. Decals for 1:144 Aircraft Shelf Oddity Shelf Oddity are a new company to this reviewer, but as I don't get out much you've probably all heard of them before. They are based in Poland, and specialise in some of the smaller scales, both in aircraft and other genres, such as maritime in 1:700 and 1:350, although they haven't done much in 1:350 as yet (give them time). A thoroughly modern company, they provide you with the products with minimum packaging of a minimalist design, using the ubiquity of the internet to provide you with detailed instructions for each set from their website, harming no trees, but maybe bruising a few electrons in the process. Each set so far arrives in a small clear foil resealable bag, with a piece of card holding the decals with tiny pieces of tape, and their pink logo with backward Y in the top right corner. That's all there is – no bulky instructions to pad out the bag and increase transport costs – just what you need. Face it, if you're reading this review, you have the internet, so can download the instructions, which are in the de facto standard PDF format, which you can save or if you really, really must, print out at home. The decals are silk screen printed on a blue backing paper and have close-cut glossy carrier film over each individual one. Shelf Oddity do more than just decals, but it's the decals I picked out of their recent samples first, so here they are. Commonwealth Reisens (SO31449 Sweet/F-Toys) I'll admit to scratching my head at the name Reisens, but it's a sheet for captured Mitsubishi Zeroes used by the Commonwealth after WWII. You get markings for four aircraft, as follows: A dirty-white, green crossed A6M3 composite aircraft used by RNZAF pilots in Kara Island, Bougainville 1945 A6M3 c/n. 3844, its original IJN version with tail no. 2-282. OK, one of its predecessors to be exact A6M5 c/n.1303, a NMF machine with TAIC 11 marking wearing unusual RAF roundels. This is a 'Commonwealth' one, the actual plane never left the US. NAS Anacostia/Eglin AFB 1945 A6M5c c/n.5622, another NMF machine, the sole representation of 52 Hei type. Aircraft used by RAAF pilots in Clark Field, Luzon 1945 Rhodesian Air Training Group (RATG) Silver Hurricanes Mk.I (SO314412 for Sweet) Patterned on the Sweet Hurricane kit, you can decal two of the following three airframes as trainers at the central flying school at Norton Air Base in Rhodesia 1945: Canadian built AG244 featuring Dull Red spinner and tail belt T9531 featuring gun camera on starboard wing and tail wheel from Hurri Mk.II V6787 featuring Dull Red spinner and front of the fuselage plus a few panels in natural metal finish Canberra B.2/TT.18 (SO314416) The largest set comprising three sheets of decals for the following options: WH926 - B.2 of 76th Squadron, nuclear tests atmosphere sample collecting aircraft WJ608 - B.2 assigned to "Swifter Flight" tests WF890 - B.2 assigned to "Swifter Flight" tests WJ717 - TT.18 of FR&ADU Royal Navy, 1973, code 814 WJ753 - B.2 of 100th Squadron RAF Beverley C.1 Update (SO314418 for MikroMir) These decals to replace and improve upon some of the kit decals to give a more representative finish to your model. As well as containing some stencils for the camouflaged and white-topped airframes it has the following: Replacement markings for camouflaged XB106 machine Replacement markings for white-top XB267 machine RAuxAF Silver Spitfires LF.16e (SO314419 for Eduard) Decals of markings worn by the post war Royal Auxiliary Air Force squadrons 609 and 612 during their silver period. Markings for one model. This sheet is a limited run of 25 (now 24), so don't hang about! RAF Silver Tempests F.5/TT.5 Markings & Stencils (SO314420 for F-Toys) Although patterned for the F-Toys kit, it should fit any kit of the type if you can find one, and you can build one of the following: F.5 machines SN330 or SN136 from of 3 Sqn RAF based in Germany, TT.5 machines SN354 or SN274 of 229 OCU RAF based in Chivenor, UK Conclusion Great news for 1:144 scale fans, as it can't be every day you can just go out and buy aftermarket decals (can it?). Plenty of choices in addition to these as I write this, and it should hopefully please a lot of people with really good eyesight. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  11. Luftwaffe FuG16 Antennae (648331) 1:48 Eduard Brassin Many German WWII fighters carried a FuG 16 VHF radio, which necessitated carrying an aerial under the wing. You often see them depicted as single plastic parts in kits, but if you were to look closer you would see a rectangular base with a clear isolator between the airframe and the antenna. Eduard As usual with Eduard's resin sets, they arrive in the familiar Brassin clamshell box, with the resin parts safely cocooned on dark grey foam inserts, and the instructions sandwiched between the two halves, doubling as the header card. Inside are three antennae on a single casting block, plus a small fret of brass for the bases, each of which have a hole in the (nearly) centre to accept a small piece of the included acetate sheet. A 0.8mm hole is drilled in the centre of the clear part, and the antenna is inserted, gluing with a non-fogging adhesive, and ensuring that the curved tip faces backwards. Review sample courtesy of
  12. Walrus Mk.I Wing Bomb Bays (48932 for Airfix) 1:48 Eduard We reviewed the majority of the PE sets from Eduard here, with this one trailing behind. As usual with Eduard's Photo-Etch (PE) and Mask sets, they arrive in a flat resealable package, with a white backing card protecting the contents and the instructions that are sandwiched between. This set includes all the parts to create two wing-embedded bomb bays on one fret of bare brass. The bomb carriers are built up first, with each of the four attached to the removable palette along with a little black box. The palette is then fitted into the roof of a new bay, which slides into the wing after removing some styrene in the corners of the kit recesses. A bracket fits across the rack, which the accompanying scrap diagram shows from to ensure the correct fit. This is repeated for the other wing to complete the task. Review sample courtesy of
  13. Spitfire Mk.VIII/IX Cockpit Doors (648380 for Eduard) 1:48 Eduard Brassin Cutting out the cockpit door on a Spitfire usually involves taking a saw or knife to the kit fuselage, taking care not to damage the part you cut out. No longer! Now you can cut out the opening and discard the piece, using this highly detailed resin alternative in its place. As usual with Eduard's resin sets, they arrive in the familiar Brassin clamshell box, with the resin parts safely cocooned on dark grey foam inserts, and the instructions sandwiched between the two halves, doubling as the header card. Inside the box are two resin doors on one casting block, one with the controversial crowbar installed, and one without, showing the clips that it normally affixes to. If you're building a post-war bird by all means paint it red, but for a WWII vintage build leave it interior green, otherwise the sticklers will get ya! There are also decals that are placed in vertically between the two internal stiffeners, with a choice of black or red text and the helpful folks at Eduard have split one set of stencils diagonally, to ease putting them in around the crowbar. Review sample courtesy of
  14. Victor B.2, Attacker FB.2 & Tempest Mk.V/TT.5 Photo-Etch Upgrades 1:144 Shelf Oddity Shelf Oddity specialise in the smaller scales, majoring in 1:144, but venturing into maritime too, with much to come in due course. They produce decals, resin and Photo-Etch (PE) brass too, and as a thoroughly modern company, they provide you with the products with minimal packaging of a minimalist design, using the ubiquity of the internet to provide you with detailed instructions for each set from their website, harming no trees, but maybe bruising a few electrons in the process. Each set so far arrives in a small clear foil resealable bag, with a piece of card holding the PE in place. Handley-Page Victor B.2 (SO214412 for GWH/Pit-Road) A single fret of PE contains parts for aerials; an open crew entrance hatch with a template for the U-shaped door locks; main undercarriage details in the shape of the dolly-locks; two options of bomb bay aero deflector either solid or mesh; vents and splitter plates at the wing root. Supermarine Attacker FB.2 (SO214414 for MiniWing) This set will work just as well for the F.1 even though it was patterned on the FB.2, and contains boundary layer splitter plates that slot into the intakes, vents and inlet bleed vents, the latter requiring a small hole to be cut in the fuselage; undercarriage doors that are much more in-scale but require the gear legs to be cut from the monolithic part (or replaced); main undercarriage details in the shape of new oleo-scissors; aerials on the nose, and an arrestor hook with tail gear doors nearby. Hawker Tempest Mk.V/TT.5 (SO214417 for F-Toys) This set is a larger fret that contains control stick and pilot harness; head armour; radiator details forward and aft of the chin scoop; a complete set of replacement undercarriage doors with wheel hubs; a new tailwheel with anti-shimmy groove made from layered PE parts; pitot probe, antennae masts; underwing rails for rockets; crew step and rear prop boss. Review sample courtesy of
  15. Soviet WWII flags STEEL (36370) 1:35 Eduard Soviets had flags, most of them were red and some of them had patriotic slogans sewn onto them as well as the old hammer and sickle. This is a set of Soviet flags, so you can probably guess what's in there. As usual with Eduard's Photo-Etch (PE) and Mask sets, they arrive in a flat resealable package, with a white backing card protecting the contents and the instructions that are sandwiched between. The fret is nickel-plated and pre-painted on both sides, which is a good thing as flags tend to be double-sided! There are three flags on the sheet, one a large banner with little lugs on the top to hang it "portrait", while the other two with their patriotic slogans have a golden fringe around the edges, and side loops to hang them. You will of course need to bend them yourself to get a more realistic drape, which will be easier due to them being etched from steel, which is more flexible and thinner than the usual brass PE. Very handy for anything Soviet! And 1:35 of course. Review sample courtesy of
  16. J35 Draken, Vulcan B.2 &TSR.2 Photo-Etch Upgrades 1:144 Shelf Oddity Shelf Oddity specialise in the smaller scales, majoring in 1:144, but venturing into maritime too, with much to come in due course. They produce decals, resin and Photo-Etch (PE) brass too, and as a thoroughly modern company, they provide you with the products with minimal packaging of a minimalist design, using the ubiquity of the internet to provide you with detailed instructions for each set from their website, harming no trees, but maybe bruising a few electrons in the process. Each set so far arrives in a small clear foil resealable bag, with a piece of card holding the PE in place. J35 Draken (SO214419 for F-Toys/Platz) A single fret containing parts for the beautifully detailed undercarriage doors; an incitement to create your own landing gear parts from brass; aerials and rear fuselage intakes on what would have started life as a pre-painted toy. Avro Vulcan B.2 (SO21441 for GWH/Pit-Road) This set comes on four frets and also includes some tiny resin parts in a poly-bag that I daren't open for fear of losing them. It is a rather comprehensive set for the kit, containing parts the crew access hatch and ladder; a complete set of four air brakes, including their wells within the upper and lower surface of the wing roots; ECM plate and air cooling scoop (where most of the resin domes go) between the engine pairs; landing gear door skins, landing gear legs and bays details; jet pipes fittings; several air scoops and vents across the airframe; small surface details and antennae that have to be seen to believed, plus windscreen wipers for the canopy. It's an incredible set! BAC TSR.2 (SO21447 for GWH/Pit-Road) Back to single frets again for this world-beater that never happened. It contains parts for the auxiliary air intake flaps around the main intakes; undercarriage scissor links and details; various antennas; outlet vents fairings around the tail; parachute cover hinges behind the tail fin, and LTU (Lateral Thrust Unit) plates that were specific to airframe XR220, with a scrap diagram showing their exact location on the model. Review sample courtesy of
  17. Mike

    Mossie for UK skies 2020

    I can't wait! I've often said that I grew up with the one stationed at Hawarden flying over me weekly or even daily at times, so I've really missed us having one in the air over here. I shall be attending as many displays as possible that year
  18. R-27T (AA-10 Alamo-B) & AIM-7C/D/E/F/M Skyflash (AIM-7E2) Missiles 1:144 Shelf Oddity Shelf Oddity specialise in the smaller scales, majoring in 1:144, but venturing into maritime too, with much to come in due course. They produce decals, resin and Photo-Etch (PE) brass too, and have teamed up with Master to produce these superbly detailed missile sets. A thoroughly modern company, they provide you with the products with minimal packaging of a minimalist design, using the ubiquity of the internet to provide you with detailed instructions for each set from their website, harming no trees, but maybe bruising a few electrons in the process. Each set so far arrives in a small clear foil resealable bag, with a piece of card holding the PE in place, and a taped ziplok bag doing the same for the turned brass parts. To the rear are a set of stencil decals that are silkscreen printed and have individual glossy carrier film cut close to each one. R-27T (AA-10 Alamo-B) SO11449 A Soviet/Russian Air-to-Air missile of medium to long range, this is the infrared targeted version and can launch from up to 33km head-on, or chase a target down over 63km if necessary. The set includes four turned brass missile bodies that are surprisingly large for the scale, with the stabilising fins and guide-vanes on the PE fret, which even has a couple of jigs to ensure you set the fins at the correct angle. The instruction manual on their site caters for the T and R variants, and shows construction and stencilling details for both types, with plenty of written guidance added for good measure. AIM-7C/D/E/F/M Sparrow/Skyflash (AIM-7E2) A medium range US missile that has been used since Vietnam in various variants, and known as the Skyflash in British service with an improved motor (we do that a lot) it has seen some action. Like the Alamo-Bs above, the set includes four turned brass missile bodies, with the stabilising fins and guide-vanes on the PE fret. The stencil decals are on a large sheet, as there are 13 variations in colour/stencilling between variants/operators. More text guidance is included, and it's all very colloquial and amusing in tone. Conclusion Detailed missiles this good don't often come in boxes for 1:48 kits, so these will really make your model shine if you put them together and paint them well. The details of a model make it shine, so get yourself some. What are you waiting for? Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  19. Ammo Belts 20mm Hispano (648409) 1:48 Eduard Brassin Hispano Suiza developed a 20mm cannon in the 1930s that saw extensive use during WWII in Allied service both in aircraft as well as light anti-aircraft weapons, with a belt-feeding mechanism developed by Martin-Baker to facilitate their use in the wings of aircraft instead of the inferior .303 machine guns previously fielded, replacing 4 .303s with two 20mm cannon in each wing. As usual with Eduard's resin sets, they arrive in the familiar Brassin clamshell box, with the resin parts safely cocooned on dark grey foam inserts, and the instructions sandwiched between the two halves, doubling as the header card. All that's in the box is four lengths of 20mm belt, each one 70mm long and attached to a long casting block, which needs to be removed before it can be prepared for paint. The instructions are basically a painting guide, showing a large drawing of a section of link and the colours that they should be painted. Clearly, you'll be using metallic, as the parts of the belt were all unpainted metal, so ensure you have some copper, brass and dark iron in stock before you begin. Review sample courtesy of
  20. M3A3 Bradley CFV (36394 for Kinetic) 1:35 Eduard Kinetic have recently released a new kit of the Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle in 1:35, and this set has been patterned on that kit, which we're hoping to have in for review shortly. As usual with Eduard's Photo-Etch (PE) and Mask sets, they arrive in a flat resealable package, with a white backing card protecting the contents and the instructions that are sandwiched between. The parts are presented on a single fret of bare brass, and many of the parts are used to replace the moulded-in handles, brackets and other small parts that are best done with PE. A number of these parts are used on the rear passenger door; the stowage bins; sloped sections of the aft deck, which have endless tie-downs and clasps/latches for the pioneer tools that are also upgraded to remove the chunky styrene attachment points; mesh panels over the engine radiator panel and optics; ten long tie-down straps for external stowage, of which there is often a considerable amount due to the internal layout, and another blizzard of tie-downs. Review sample courtesy of
  21. Gee Bee Model R1 (48002) 1:48 Dora Wings The Granville Brothers Aircraft company produced a number of racing aircraft under the Gee Bee name, starting with their Model Z that won awards in the 30s, and leading to the similar but shorter profiled Model R super sportsters of which the R1 was first, with R2 being a sister aircraft. The R1 was flown by Jimmy Doolittle in 1932 and won the Thompson Trophy Race with a dash speed of rather healthy 296mph. It was a difficult machine to fly, but Doolittle loved it dearly, however another racer was killed flying it when it stalled during the Bendix Trophy in 1933. It was rebuilt with an extension to the fuselage to help counter its murderous tendencies, but even with wings transferred from R2 it still managed to crash very quickly after. After that it was sold to its final owner, who modified it further by adding fuel tanks in the rear, but it crashed and killed him, never to be rebuilt again. A replica was built more recently, which flew for several years before being retired to a museum, and there are also a few non-flying replicas in museums in the US. The Kit This is a new tooling from a relatively new company who have produced a small number of new kits with a healthy upcoming catalogue of new toolings in the works for the coming year. Their kits are in the short-run tooling category, with nice detail once you have the parts off the sprues and have dealt with the moulding seams, which is much the same as many kits but with a little more preparation time. This is of course time that repays you by easing your way later in the build. The kit arrives in a relatively small box, as it is a small aircraft that was pretty much engine, wings and a space for the pilot. Inside the box are four sprues of grey styrene, a small clear sprue, a sheet of copper-coloured Photo-Etch (PE), masks for the red and white colour scheme, a sheet of decals and the instruction booklet with colour scheme on the back page. The R1 was a small plane. I've said that already, but it bears repeating. The instruction booklet is actually a single sheet of A4 folded into A5. The instructions cover only one side of this sheet, with 19 steps to make the complete airframe. Construction begins with the cockpit, which consists of three bulkheads that are linked by a series of tubes, with the seat placed against the rear bulkhead and the pilot's legs going through the central hole in the remaining two. A simple instrument panel, throttle box, control column and rudder pedals are fitted, and before closing up the fuselage you can elect to remove a portion of the cockpit sidewall to depict the access door on the side of the fuselage, the job of which is done by a new part so you don't have to be careful to keep the cut-out intact. The rudder is in two parts and fits to the rear of the fin, and a ventral fuselage insert with ribs matching the rest of the aft fuselage closes the bottom of the cockpit. The Pratt & Whitney R-1340 Wasp engine is supplied in six parts, with a further two for the exhausts, and this is enclosed in the two-part cowl with a PE ring at the rear before it is fitted to the front of the fuselage later in the build. The fixed and spatted landing gear are made up around the two-part tyres, the wings and their ailerons are put together and fitted to the roots using a modified butt-join that has pins and depressions to register the join more accurately. The elevators fit the same way, and the wings are braced by V-shaped PE wires that fit into holes in the wing upper and the fuselage top. A small panel inserts into the top of the forward fuselage with delicate louver patterns moulded-in, and a further pair of V-shaped PE bracing wires are fitted under the wings, with an additional two smaller wires bracing the landing gear spats. The canopy is supplied in two parts with separate windscreen, and the final part is the simple two-bladed prop that fits into the boss at the front of the engine's bell-housing, which should be able to be left spinning if you have been careful with the glue. Markings The R1 wore a rather striking scheme during its racing life, which began at the front with a red cowling, with red wing leading-edges which were scalloped into white, as was the fuselage. This is a tricky scheme to paint, so the included masks will come in very handy. They are vinyl and pre-cut for your ease, and while they're not as flexible as kabuki tape, they are less likely to stretch out. You will need to burnish them down over the ribbing under the fuselage, and expect a little touching up to be required due to the edges of the ribs, but once done it should look stunning. The decals cover the rest of the markings, which are in good registration, are sharp and have good colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. There are two instrument panel decals supplied, and with some decal setting solution should settle down over the lightly raised instrument faces on the styrene panel. Conclusion Interwar racers aren't everyone's thing, but then neither are Bf.109s. Between the wars was a time of innovation that sometimes led to some quite nasty dead-ends, so racers and their aircraft were often short-lived, as demonstrated here. The kit should go together well as long as you don't expect it to fall together without your help, and you will end up with a nice replica of this short, tubby little racer for your cabinet in a scale where you can actually see it! Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  22. T-54 Update Set (36372 for MiniArt) 1:35 Eduard MiniArt have been beavering away for a while now filling any voids in the pre-and-post T-55 range of kits in 1:35, and their efforts are excellent, topping any kits we have seen before in terms of detail. This set has been created to add a little extra scale fidelity to the kit, as you will see. As usual with Eduard's Photo-Etch (PE) and Mask sets, they arrive in a flat resealable package, with a white backing card protecting the contents and the instructions that are sandwiched between. Arriving on a single fret of bare brass, it contains some additional details for the hull, such as a new 2-man saw and brackets on the front of the tank, plus more detailed light lens fittings, but it majors on the stowage boxes that are fitted to the fenders. It replaces them with in-scale boxes that can be posed open or closed, with detailed hinges and locks, as well as the stamped-in stiffeners that you need to roll in with the head of a ballpoint pen before you begin folding. As well as external details, internal dividers are included, as are padlocks and the brackets holding the boxes to the fenders. There are four boxes in all, two larger ones with internal structure, and two smaller ones that aren't segmented internally. Additional diagrams show where they should be fitted, and how they mesh with the kit fender stiffening parts to ensure they all fit together properly. Of course, the new metal boxes can be dented and dinged to give a more realistic appearance, even if you aren't planning on leaving them open. Review sample courtesy of
  23. Mike

    F-35

    Firstly, thank you gents for keeping this a laudably civil discussion bereft of histrionics so far. I'd just like to post a note of caution to anyone that hasn't yet realised that we have a fairly large Turkish contingent on the forums, so that we can avoid any ill-advised generalisations and so forth that might kick up a fuss. While it continues in this manner we're happy to let it continue, but if it dives too much toward politics and the in-fighting that usually stimulates, we'll have no choice but to close it down
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