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Mike N

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  1. Great scratch building there, and in the tricky silver finish too, it looks great! Mike
  2. Unfortunately, this one is a dud, at least in terms of the text. For example, the so-called "Panther At War" section is nothing of the sort, and instead spends 15 pages (excluding profiles) talking about the evolution of US aircraft carriers, the history of the build-up to the Korean War, and then a running commentary on the movements of the carriers during the war (and is fairly repetitive at that). Nothing wrong with this subject if it was in a different book, but this is supposed to be about the F9F Panther, and there really is scant mention of it in those 15 pages! Anyone looking for how they were used, notable missions or pilots (a certain Neil Armstrong for example), what ordnance was carried, operations of the photo-recon versions, etc, will be very disappointed (and much better off with the Osprey book on the subject, #103). This section therefore looks very much like padding as it accounts for about 1/3 of the entire book's text and does pretty much nothing to add to the reader's knowledge of the aircraft. I was also hoping for more on the development of the Panther, in particular the trials with the Emerson turret, but again this area is rather underwhelming, with the Emerson turret experiment being covered by some brief captions to 3 photos and no mention at all in the main text. At least the photos and profiles look good, and there are scale plans included. Unfortunately, they can't make up for the very poor text content. Mike
  3. Mike N

    Model Shops UK

    Not exclusively a model shop, but a quick shout out for Beachcomber in Filey on the Yorkshire coast. A decent selection of Revell kits and paints in amongst the needlecraft and nice seaside souvenirs. I've been popping in when on holiday over the least 30+ years, and gave them a bit more business when up there recently. Mike
  4. I love this series most for the inspiration given by the profiles, and occasionally the plans have been useful - and sometimes frustratingly not! I used to get each as they came out but stopped around #80 and then only got the ones of particular interest. There has been a general increase in content as the series has gone on, with the early ones now looking a bit anorexic next to the latest, but their subjects were often much bigger. It would be really nice if they revised these to bring them up to the same level! I have found the written content to be quite variable though, which I guess is the same with any series that uses multiple authors. I highly rate the ones by Charles Stafrace as they go into more depth while remaining readable and I feel no need to go elsewhere for the history side of his subjects. However, I find the ones by Kev Darling to be very poor, with shallow detail and entirely overlooked aspects. His one on the F9F Panther is definitely the worst, with missed details and the so-called operational use in Korea section being instead a repetitive summary of the carriers' activities. Similarly his B-45 title is lacking in the operational history side, which is a shame as there are few other sources on that aircraft. I always sigh when I see a new title on a subject of interest has his name against it... Mike
  5. That looks really nice. Weird, but nice. Mike
  6. That's a nice silver coat. What paint is that? Mike
  7. I got my kit yesterday and thought I’d share my initial thoughts. As usual for limited run kits, the single grey plastic sprue has flash on several components and has a slightly rough texture which will need sanding smooth. The cockpit has the bare essentials and there are decal seatbelts, which I think will probably look fine through the canopy. The nose wheel and leg is one piece and somewhat marred by flash. The X-2 had various skid arrangements during its life, the kit offering both the tip skids and whisker skids mounted at mid span, though no photos I've seen show both options fitted at the same time. The latter parts are very fragile looking, I will be replacing the struts with metal rod if I choose this incarnation, even though I think they don’t touched the ground when level – but I know it will roll at some point! Unsurprisingly there is no ground handling trolley supplied. Regarding accuracy, I don’t usually investigate these things but something about the kit had me suspicious. I struggled to find drawings of the X-2 to compare the kit to, but one I did find showed a near perfect match in profile, with the fin being a touch high. The wing looks good in shape and size too, however it is definitely too far forward. Not relying solely on the drawing, I scaled a few photos and I reckon it is around 10mm out. Unfortunately this spoils the look for me, but it will require major surgery to fix as the first few mm of the wing root are moulded into the fuselage. The tailplanes are good in outline but appear not swept quite enough. The instructions are a bit vague and haven’t been proof read, but are adequate. The decals are well printed but have quite a lot of excess carrier film around some items. It still annoys me that they couldn’t have included both X-2s in the same box, but AZ obviously expect this will generate more sales. Overall, I'd say it’s not a bad kit for the money, and if you can live with the wing location error it will look good on the shelf. Mike
  8. I'm intrigued by the Option 1 scheme above. I can't find any photos showing red wing and fin tips as shown, only a hint of a different colour on the wingtips (over a smaller area than shown) in some B&W shots. Can anyone provide evidence of the kit scheme? Mike
  9. Rapid work there, Steve, making these look easy They will look great posed next to a Lightning at the end too... Mike
  10. Looking even better with some paint on, good work! Mike
  11. What an eye-catching scheme that is, very nice work. I also really like the backdrop in your photos, really sets the subject off nicely. Is the hangar a kit or scratchbuilt? Mike
  12. Late to the party on this one, a truly impressive build. Keep it up! Mike
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