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Julien last won the day on July 13 2013

Julien had the most liked content!

About Julien

  • Birthday 01/01/2000

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    The Far Side
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    Sabres, Wheeled AFVs

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  1. FCM 36 French Light Tank in German Service (35337) 1:35 ICM via Hannants The FCM 36 was a light infantry tank that was the result of a proposal issued by the French government in 1933 after Hotchkiss had offered a design to the ministry. Of the resulting series of designs from the different manufacturers, three were taken forward including designs by Hotchkiss, Renault and of course FCM, which stands for Forges et Chantiers de la Méditerranée, who were based at Toulon in the French Riviera. The FCM offering was well-liked due to its sloped welded armour, and was continued with despite the fact that they couldn’t get the thing working during the initial test period. It was sent back for repair, and that also turned up a number of other issues such as weak suspension and insufficient armour, increasing weight even further over the original limit. It was originally equipped with a pair of machine guns in much the same way as the German Panzer I, but one was removed in favour of a 37mm cannon, mounted in a turret that was intended to become the standard turret design for all French light tanks, despite a number of problems. One of the reasons it was well-liked was that it was considered to be the design with the most design potential, which was in part responsible for some serious delays spent working on an upgraded version that eventually came to nothing. By the time they had reverted back to the comparatively superior original it was outdated, and too late to fight the advancing Germans in any great numbers. Some tanks were captured and used by the German Army, the Germans used the title Panzerkanpfwagen 737 FCM (f) for these tanks. The Kit This is a new tool of this type from ICM, so is a thoroughly modern kit, arriving in ICM’s usual top opening box with captive inner flap, holding six sprues of grey styrene, two runs of flexible black tracks, a small decal sheet and instruction booklet within, the latter having colour painting guides on both sides of the glossy rear cover. It is crisply moulded with lapped panels, rivets and weld-lines over the exterior, and although there is no interior, the crew hatches can be posed open as long as you either block the view with figures or prepare yourself for some scratch-building of any visible areas. Construction begins with the lower hull, which is made up initially of the floor and two sides, with bulkheads added to the sides to support the lower sponson panels that give the vehicle more ground clearance. The running gear is made up from a three-part drive sprocket, eighteen sets of twin wheels that are fitted to eight double bogies and two singles, then the big idler wheels at the rear of the hull on sliding tensioning axles. The sloped armoured upper sponsons are installed along the way, with the mud-shedding “windows” on each side. Two pairs of return rollers on the top run are glued inside the sponson, then the flexible black “rubberband” tracks are glued together, the instructions neglecting to mention that styrene glues won’t join them, so you should use super glue or epoxy instead. Each run has two sections, with the joints best placed in the centre of each run so they stand less chance of being seen on the finished model. Detail on the tracks is very nice, with twin guide horns and perforated centres like the real thing, but of course the links will curve round the ends, rather than give the correct faceted look that individual links provide. The upper hull is mostly complete, needing some small facets adding near the glacis, and some louvered vents on the engine deck and sides. Lifting eyes, latches and other small parts are added around the rear and sides, then are joined by a set of pioneer tools, a loop of cable, and a large bifurcated exhaust system that exits the top of the engine deck and has two mufflers, one on each rear fender with a hollow flared exhaust pipe. Stipple those with some Mr Surfacer and paint them lots of shades of rust, and they should be a nice focal point of the model. The driver’s pop-up hatch has grab handles, armoured vision port and large exposed support ram on the left side that can pose the hatch open if you wish. Hinges for the moulded-in lower panel on the glacis are also fitted at this time, as is a folded tarp on the left side. Despite the kit having no true interior, you get a full breech and coaxial machine gun that slots through a perforated inner mantlet that bears a passing resemblance to a piece of swiss cheese, then has supports added to the sides, which are in turn glued to the turret bottom with the upper dropped over it, and an outer mantlet cover slid over the barrel. The barrel is tipped with a hollow muzzle, a domed recuperator cap, and armoured bell-shaped cover for the machine gun barrel, then the various vision ports are fixed to the sides, and the large trapezoid hatch at the rear is made up and can be attached open or closed. A couple of grab-handles are glued to the sides of the hatch aperture to assist the commander in and out of the turret, then the completed assembly is twisted into position on a pair of bayonet lugs that should hold it in place throughout most of its traverse. The final task is to make up four lengths of chain from the two sprues of oval-shaped styrene parts, which are held on the towing eyes front and rear by a pair of pegs. Markings There are three decal options on the colourful decal sheet, all featuring captured examples. From the box you can depict one of the following: Panzerkampfwagen 737 FCM (f), Approx 1940 In Panzer Grey FCM 36, Tank 30061 4th French Tank Battalion, Captured in June 1940. French colours with German Markings. FCM 36, Tank 30022 7th French Tank Battalion, Captured in June 1940. French colours with German Markings. The decals have good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion A fairly niche subject that has been well-represented by this new kit. Its good to see captured markings now being provided. Highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  2. The Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 Vol 1 Indian Military Intervention in East Pakistan Asia @ War No.18 ISBN : 9781913118631 Helion & Company via Casemate UK India and Pakistan have had a fractured relationship and many conflicts since the countries were partitioned post WWII. Partition was rushed by all sides with the former colonial no longer having the will or finances to guide a successful and conflict free partition. Both India & Pakistan were also impatient in wanting the British to leave. The whole affair was done in haste without real consideration to some of the finer points, including the large elephant left in the room of Kashmir. There have been no less that 5 major wars, a continuing insurgency and simmering rivalries to this day with both states possessing some from of Nuclear capacity. In partition Pakistan was divided into East & West Pakistan. Despite being "Pakistan" these two areas had little in common with each other apart from being predominately Muslim. West Pakistan was six time larger than the East, The West was the centre of political power , where as the East had the rich agricultural lands of the large delta and accounted for 75% of all foreign earnings. The West in Effect treated the East as a Colony to exploit much like the former colonial rulers had done. This lead the East to Declare independence. India saw helping East Pakistan as a means to both cement its status in the region and to shift the balance of power, plus im sure they liked to use it as a club to hit the old enemy with. Islamabad also miscalculated that it might receive either Chinese or American support against India, neither of which they received and in general the UN was pretty ambivalent to the whole affair. Originally the Indians supported the initial East Pakistan insurgency, however this lead to a full on invasion prompting Pakistani attacks on India. The Indians quickly over ran East Pakistan and only then did the USSR & USA force a ceasefire. Thus the State of Bangladesh was formed out of East Pakistan. The book is 74 pages long with many black & white photographs used throughout. There are five pages of colour profiles and one of colour maps. The book considers the historical back ground to the conflict, forces garrisoned in East Pakistan, The role of foreign powers, Air & Naval forces, India's initial support; and then the Indian Invasion. Conclusion This book will give the reader a good understanding of the History of conflict and how the State of Bangladesh came into being. It is by no means a comprehensive tome on this as its only 74 pages but it will give the reader a broad understanding of the region, the conflict, those fighting it; and the weapons they used. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  3. Rotorcraft did a HAS2/3 conversion set https://www.scalemates.com/kits/rotorcraft-4805-westland-lynx-has2-3-conversion-set--942508
  4. Zetor 15 "Czechoslovak Tractor" (MV127) 1:72 Planet Models by Special Hobby Following WWII industrial plants worldwide turned in some cases to making civilian vehicles. The Zetor 15 was the first farm tractor to be produced at Zbrojovka plant in Brno after WW2. The Zetors were delivered both to civil users and the military, in Czechoslovakia and abroad as well. The Czechoslovak army for example used Zetor 15 tractors for towing the military aircraft such as the MiG15 on airfields. Amongst many unique features to be brought into tractor manufacturing they unitised parts across the range and introduced the first roll over protected cab for a tractor. The company is still in existence to this day and still making tractors after UTC Holding rescued the then failing State owned company from bankruptcy in 2002. The Kit This is a new tool kit for 2021 from Planet Models, part of the Special Hobby group of companies. It is a resin kit with a number of small parts which will need careful handling in their removal from the casting blocks. There is also a small PE Fret and a small decal sheet. A small length of wire (not included) will also be needed to finish the model. The main chassis is a single part to which the seat and controls are added along with the cooling fan on the front the exhaust. The engine cover/fuel and oil tanks is added to the radiator and all of this is added to the front of the tractor. The front steering axle is then built followed by the rear frame. The large rear mud guards go on and then the wheels. Markings There are two different styles of factory markings on the small decal sheet. Conclusion This will probably be used by most modellers for an aircraft diorama, but it will make a good stand alone build for anyone who likes tractors. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  5. Hard to find now but worth getting if you can is the earlier F-86 Blue Impulse kit from Fujimi, not all the Blue Impulse were blue !
  6. yes that covers it.
  7. While I dont know this author I do know a couple of people who write these and its not always easy to be an expert on everything of a particular aircraft, so yes the odd thing may slip through as its not always easier to find someone who is an "expert" on the particular aircraft, but these guys do their own research. I stand by my comments, but everyone is free to have their own opinion. Julien
  8. Dont go saying things like that, he will get a big head
  9. Ive mentioned to @Mike about the changes, he has been out doing stuff after the upgrade so not sure he has caught it
  10. Please leave politics and accusations out of this thread.
  11. You could not miss the lime green Volvo
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