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Everything posted by Tiger331

  1. I would suggest that the absence of the Kit Swap this year will have had a significant impact on the 'delay' in visitor peaking on Day 1. As you probably know, the Kit Swap does generate massive interest from buyers and sellers alike and the first few hours on the Saturday are organised mayhem in spite of our best efforts to encourage sellers to drop off their goods on the Friday afternoon/evening. Many prospective buyers, looking for the inevitable bargains, normally head to Telford very early to get to the front of the Kit Swap queue which can snake out the back door at times. I was obviously not there this year but can imagine this could be a contributory factor.
  2. I've had some useful feedback from fellow SIG members who decided to go along today as 'independents' and it was generally as expected. I do not want to put a dampener on things, since I really admire the EC's grit and determination for putting on the SMW show this year but I do think the 'glory days' of 2019 and before are behind us, at least for the foreseeable future. COVID-19 has of course, been the main driver for this but I think the 'Continental factor' could remain for sometime to come, especially for the traders. I think its going to be anywhere between 3-5 years before we return to anything like the level of activity we have witnessed pre-COVID-19 and Brexit and, in any case, is that such a bad thing ?. I understand many found the show much more 'comfortable' today with less frenetic activity (for the most part), less queues (in spite of the COVID-19 protocols) etc etc. I always found the two day event way too short to do everything so 'slowing' it down a bit with less traders, exhibits etc may be the way to go. Biggest isn't always best although this does, of course, have to be balanced against the costs associated with actually hosting the event in such a prestigious location. Anyway, as I said at the beginning, 'Hats Off' to the IPMS(UK) EC for going ahead and staging the event while we all continue to struggle with the aftershock of the COVID-19 pandemic. BRAVO !
  3. All the best to those brave souls attending SMW this year. Regrettably I will not be in attendance, which is a great shame since it would be my first SMW since taking over a SIG and the first time I have missed the show since 2013. Travel from/to Estonia is also quite tricky right now so I could not take the risk as an 'independent' either. Anyway, enjoy yourselves, hope to see the 'usual suspects' next year and above all Stay Safe Mark
  4. Notwithstanding the long list of alleged errors with this kit, I stand by my original assertion that it is clearly the best 1:72 scale C-130 kit on the market and I look forward to cross kitting the new C-130J-30 with a C-130E/H to provide me with a 'short wheelbase' C-130J and one of those stretched C-130K C3 that I operated with all those years ago on the Lyneham Wing.
  5. I think the alleged hefty price tag is going to be a sign of the times. I have previously bought quite a few kits directly from suppliers in the Far East but I've noticed that kits (especially those from China) are gradually increasing in price so I am being a little more circumspect. Many suppliers are now not shipping to my part of the world (fallout from the COVID-19 situation) and some of those that are have also ramped up their shipping costs. Once I add customs and duty to all of this, the project becomes cost prohibitive.
  6. Lucky You !........Understand some are now adding charges as part of COVID-19 'dividends' (i.e. States looking to re-coup non budgeted costs for dealing with COVID-19. Tip of the iceberg, I fear. I think we all need to understand that, one way or another, Governments (and government institutions) will be looking at ways to reccoup money while avoiding the hugely unpopular route of direct taxation increases (so they will do it through indirect taxation - money for COVID-19 measures has to come from somewhere.
  7. And not just with our change of status. Some of the new 'internal' EU VAT rules now mean that I am paying import tax on items I buy within the EU too ! (and I live in Estonia). Since June I have been paying import tax on BOTH UK imports and from elsewhere within the EU (Germany, for example). We are still not sure if this is a COVID-19 'dividend' or what but it is making the hobby that much more expensive all round. I have no doubt that Brexit has had an effect but its not the only culprit......grass is greener on the other side and all that. The UK still has the best hobby base in Europe (when it comes to manufacturers/online retail outlets....yes....and shops too).
  8. Great, great build of one of my favourite aircraft.....and in an unusual scheme too. Another masterclass in painting too, Russ ! Well Done, Sir !
  9. As Tony has already said, masterful finish with the weathering. That is a VERY NICE Tornado with just the right amount of 'wear and tear' IMHO. Well Done, Sir !
  10. NICE Job !. I do like these JASDF F-104s in their ACM Markings. Well Done, Sir !
  11. It was actually a little bit later still. I lived in Malta between 1976-79 and during that time the RAF Lightning and (UK-based) Phantom force regularly deployed on APC Camps, including (in the early period) Lightning F.2As from 19 & 92 Sqn. IIRC 19 Sqn converted to the Phantom FGR.2 in 1976 with 92 following some six months later in 1977 with the residue of RAFG based FGR.2s returning to the UK to re-equip existing ADF Lightning Sqns. We subsequently moved to Cyprus where the 19 & 92 Sqn Phantoms were a regular sight since the APC Camps re-located there after the closure of RAF Luqa in 1978/79. Anyway, none of this really detracts from the fact that you produced a great looking RAF Phantom !
  12. Brilliant Work, Angelo. You have really captured the look of the early RAF Phantoms extremely well and the finish is excellent. My only comment would be with regard to the weapons fit. The early RAF Germany based Phantoms (including those operated by 14 Sqn) were primarily optimised for Strike Attack missions and I don't think (though I may be wrong) that they were ever flown with AIM-9 Sidewinders. They were more commonly observed with SNEB rocket pods, 'Iron' Bombs, BL755 Cluster Bombs or practice bomb carriers (CBLUs). Otherwise, very well done, Sir !
  13. Another of your masterful Vietnam-War themed builds, Russ. I love the little O-2A Skymaster and you have done a great job, as always, with this kit. Well Done, Sir !
  14. Superb !. I am looking forward to the day when I have the time to start on my own kit. I too have the live resin figures and other goodies to complete the model. As you have so amply illustrated with the quality of your build and finish, they really set off the finished model IMHO. Well Done, Sir !
  15. Lovely rendition of one of my favourite aircraft. I have both the Kinetic and Kittyhawk Super Etendard in my stash.....not sure which one to start with. Anyway, Well Done Sir !
  16. Welcome to BM Luca. Very nice to see the Hawker Hunter in different markings. I'm looking forward to my own Mk.58 finished in the famous 'Flying Newspaper' special scheme. Well Done, Sir !
  17. Hi Folks, Not that many are contemplating foreign travel at the moment, but for future planning, here is some information on the current status of the Riga Aviation Museum, based on my transit through Riga on business earlier this week. For those that may be unfamiliar, the Riga Aviation Museum was co-located at the International Airport and could easily be seen by anyone transiting through the airport since it was less than 5 minutes walk from the Arrivals Hall. It was a superb (but rapidly deteriorating) collection of Soviet-era military aircraft and helicopters. Many of the exhibits were unique. Sadly it's prime location has become its downfall since the airport is currently undergoing massive expansion and the Museum was given its marching orders on 31 March 2021. The Airport had offered to move the entire collection to the other side of the airport but the downside would be that no-one could actually then visit and would only be able to view from their aircraft window or at distance from the terminal. The owner quite understandably refused this offer and is currently seeking alternative accommodation but, as I observed, the collection has already been broken up and dispersed with a fraction left at the airport. I understand a fund raising campaign has been started but the current status is unknown. As soon as I return to Estonia I will check with my Latvian colleagues and see if I can get further information but in the meantime, I would advise anyone planning to make a visit to cancel it for now. It is a great pity since it was the only collection of former Soviet types of any note in the region. An example of one of the rarer types (Yak-28R 'Brewer D') previously on display at the Riga Aviation Museum. I can confirm (from my transit on Monday) that this particular aircraft still resides at the airport although its future fate is unknown (the photo was taken in 2018) Mark
  18. You will not be disappointed....I can assure you. I actually find it quite surprising that it took Tamiya so long to introduce the F-4 Phantom into their 1:48 scale range, given the type's long-term connection with Japan (both with the USN/USMC and JASDF). In another way, I'm pleased they waited until 2021 so they could take advantage of stage-of-the-art tooling and design etc.
  19. So, looking at these photos, I can categorically proclaim that the Ark kit parts are for more accurate than those of the HB kit. The Ark parts are not perfect (in that they do not include all of the panel lines shown in the drawings here) but the 'reinforcement strips' are far closer in shape and dimension to those shown in the drawings.
  20. Received the first of my kits this week. I really did think that the Zoukei-Mura F-4 kits were going to be hard to top (notwithstanding the shape issue with the rear fuselage on the short-nosed versions), but Tamiya have now taken us to the next level with their F-4B. There is even more evidence of Tamiya's ingenious engineering in this kit, when compared with the aforementioned F-14 Tomcat and P-38F/G Lightning. As always, Tamiya will look to maximize the potential with these moulds (F-4N for example) but I was particularly intrigued (as, I suspect like many others) by the breakdown of the parts for the starboard fuselage with that curious break between the forward section. This, combined with the separate upper fuselage spine part leads me to believe that they have at least planned for the release of non-IFR probe equipped F-4s in the future too (i.e. USAF etc F-4C/Ds). The wing fold and 'seamless intakes' are superbly rendered too. While the armament and stores fit is not stellar with only AIM-7E Sparrows and AIM-9G/H Sidewinders supplied along with the three drop tanks, we do finally get separate and accurate outer wing pylons for some of those Vietnam-era configured jets. I think the Tamiya kit has now also taken over the other No.1 spot from Zoukei-Mura; that which relates to price. If you pay the standard RRP it does work out to be the most expensive of all 1:48 Scale F-4 kits but as the saying goes "You get what you pay for" and while I also have no doubt there will be a plethora of aftermarket detail/enhancement sets released in the future these are really not necessary IMHO. This is going to be an expensive time for me, with at least five USN/USMC F-4B projects planned covering VF-84,VF-111,VF-161,VMFA-251 and VMFA-531 but I already have another two of these superb kits on the way !
  21. I agree. I have just done a comparative check between the two sets of sprues and the only issue with the Ark kit (if it is, indeed, an issue, after several coats of paint) are the deep panel lines. In every other respect the Ark kit looks superior. I think those 'reinforcement strips' (if that is what they are) across the wings are too pronounced on the Hobby Boss kit when compared with the Ark version. I also prefer the wheel hubs and propeller in the latter kit, since they also appear more accurate and are more finely detailed. The aileron surfaces on the Ark kit are also nicer, so I will stick with this one and add the Ark La-9 to my collection too. Looking forward to the new decal sheet from Begemot for these two aircraft as well !.
  22. Nice Job on that VF-1 F-14 Tomcat. I seem to remember seeing this particular jet on a post-Gulf War 1 visit to USS Ranger during her port visit to Hong Kong. It was a target rich environment with a whole host of aircraft (A-6Es in particular) spotted on deck, all sporting mission markings and, in some cases, artwork too. Well Done, Sir !
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