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Seahawk

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  1. I'd never heard of MACO until Revell started marketing them. I'm sorry to have missed the Moebelwagen, though maybe Revell will get round to re-releasing that. Nice that the PT-76 includes the photo etch. In defence of other renditions of the Ostwind, there is a severe shortage of photos of the Pz IV Ostwind (and obviously a complete absence of ones of the Pz III Ostwind) so almost all kits have been based on the same few photos of the prototypes which didn't have the relocated radio operator's hatch or the additions to the turret front. It seems that information on both has only come to light in recent years. I still don't think I've seen photographic corroboration of the hatch change. A problem with both Ostwinds and Wirbelwinds is that most (all?) seem to have been based on chassis with Zimmerit. I shall probably put my Revell/MACO turrets on Zvezda chassis because Monroe Perdu do some Zimmerit overlays made out of laser-cut paper which work rather well but are tailored to the Zvezda kit (which they fit almost perfectly) so probably won't fit the Revell. But, like you, I don't fancy moving the radio operator hatch, especially on the Zvezda kit where it is moulded closed.
  2. The short answer is yes, the long one more of a no. The Pz III Ostwind would most probably have shared the production Ostwind turret used by the Pz IV Ostwind. The thing is that the Ostwind turret as modelled by everyone including MACO is a prototype turret, lacking the small triangular bulges fitted to the bottom of the front plates on either side of the gun aperture to protect the turret ring. I'm surprised that MACO overlooked these in their kit because the box-top shows them. And, unless you're modelling an Ostwind prototype, you can't just plonk a turret from the Pz III Ostwind onto the Panzer IV chassis, because it was discovered that the Ostwind turret, larger and differently shaped than the Wirbelwind turret, fouled the Pz IV engine hatches, preventing them from being opened. On production Ostwinds therefore the turret ring was moved forward ever so slightly and the radio operator's hatch likewise so that it aligned with the driver's hatch. I find it hard to credit that such a minor change was contemplated at this stage in the war so it was evidently critical. To their immense credit, MACO recognised this change and included a new Pz IV hull top reflecting it in with their kit of the Pz IV Ostwind. To their everlasting shame Revell have not seen fit to include that part in with their Pz III Ostwind.: where it was is indicated on the frame map in the Revell instruction sheet by the black rectangle on frame E. By far and away the best reference on the Ostwind (III & IV), as well as the Wirbelwind and Kugelblitz, is Nuts & Bolts 25: the 3 photos of 2 Pz IV Ostwinds of s.Pz.Abt. 507 abandoned in Nove Benatky are especially useful. As to whether the Pz III Ostwind ever actually existed in the metal, choose whichever version of the story you like best. The bottom line for N&B 25 is that it cannot be confirmed that the 18 units approved on 5 March 1945 were actually built. The establishment building them (Sturmgeschuetzschule Burg) reported production difficulties on 12 March 1945 and further work on them should have been cancelled by an order issued on 18 March 1945.
  3. Some time ago I asked @Mike Starmer what colours an Australian Grant ARV in a rather fetching two-tone scheme was in. This was his answer: "In early 1942 the Australians adopted a two coloured scheme for all vehicles as seen in the Grant in that image. I have a drawing of that pattern. The basic colour was ASC 'W' Light Earth with the patterning in ASC 'J' Khaki Green' These colours are not the same as the British colours of those names. The information I have from Australia on these are that ASC 'W' is between FS.33303 and 34201, I mixed this with Humbrols, 3 x H118 + 4 x H84 and ASC 'J' is similar to FS.33070 which is 5 x H150 + 1 x H100 + touch of 33 black. By 1943 these patterns were all replaced by a series of three coloured schemes using a range of different colours according to the areas in which they served." Bottom line: Austalian ASC 'J' Khaki Green bears no relation to British early war Khaki Green and can be mixed using 5 x Humbrol 150 + 1 x Humbrol 100 + a touch of Humbrol 33 black. HTH.
  4. Verbatim quote of a note from Kenneth Meekcom's The British Air Commission and Lend-Lease (Air Britain, 2000), p.109, re deliveries of Kittyhawk IAs (P-40E-1): "Aircraft were delivered with serials up to ET1029 and appear in squadron ORBs. Presumably they should have changed over at EV100." I don't doubt the accuracy of Meekcom's statement but does anyone have photographic evidence of these Kittyhawks serialled ET plus 4 numbers? They seem to have escaped the attention of Bruce Robertson (British Military Aircraft Serials, 4th Ed) though Halley's Royal Air Force Aircraft EA100-EV999 lists 12 aircraft in the ET1016-ET1029 range: they seem to have served mostly with Australian and South African units in the desert. ET1017 served with 112 Sq (lost 28/8/42) but no photo (that I can see) in Robin Brown's Shark Squadron.
  5. So, less accurate and less delicately moulded than the 21-year-old Tamiya kit, yet 15% more expensive (Hannants prices, 24/8)? I will pass on this one - and happily take on the chin any accusations of cutting off my nose to spite my face. Sometimes Airfix really do get it right (eg Buccaneer, Beaufort) but too regularly for my taste they have this habit of charging up to the goal-mouth, with the crowd roaring them on, only to shoot wide at point-blank range, It's just so sad and unnecessary. And then there are times when they just seem to be extracting the urine (don't get me going on that Sherman Firefly): even the Spitfire Vc, which I rather like, has details (eg pitot head, wheels, nav lights) which are vastly inferior to those on the 1975 (ie 46-year-old) Spitfire Vb. In the meantime Airfix's competitors, even the small guys like Arma and Zvezda, are continually raising the bar. I wonder where Airfix see themselves in the spectrum of model manufacturers. I'd like to think they do have some ambition.
  6. It’s a complex kit moulded to very fine tolerances so a little flash causes a lot of trouble. Also the engine exhausts are truly horrible: this is one case where the Quickboost replacements really are an big improvement. And, if you manage to buy a kit in which the rear canopy has not arrived broken, nip out and buy a lottery ticket!
  7. Depends what’s (most) important to you: the prototype’s place in history, accuracy of the kit, buildability, … For me the Bf 110 is early Hornby: the shape of the upper engine nacelles is wrong (though correctable), other details are simpllified/missing altogether (eg DF loop). Eduard kit infinitely better - and probably cheaper. Me 262: Airfix should have done better with this more recent kit. Outline accuracy okay but some parts are very heavily moulded (eg pitot head and aerials) and in my experience fit of parts,especially around the engine gondolas, is poor. Cannon muzzles very shallow, worse than Hasegawa or IIRC Revell. Ju 87; some flash to be trimmed away to sharpen up the details but otherwise I can’t think of anything too wrong with it. Only kit of the B-1 variant on the market and holds up well against the 1/72 Stuka competition. So, on grounds of historical impact, accuracy and buildability, the Ju 87 gets my vote.
  8. Glad you found the 2010 thread which discussed (some of) the issues thoroughly with reference to photos of the real thing. I’m not sure anything has changed much since then. IIRC Danni’s measurement of the radome’s diameter showed that the Revell one was a bit too big and the Trumpeter one a lot too small. To answer your question as posed, I would personally go for the Revell kit, but file the lower rear fuselage into a more rounded shape, reshape the bulges above the jet outlets with a bit of putty and maybe fiddle a little with the cabling ducts below the pilots’s cockpit. Others’ mileages may differ.
  9. There is/was a saying, “There’s no such thing as a bad kit, only bad modellers.” I don’t believe it but you’ve certainly made me pause for thought. Excellent result.
  10. But some come nearer than others. There are flaws with the Tamiya P-47D and the Starfix [insert kit name of choice here] but I know which I’d rather devote my hobby time to. Agree: the Arma kit renders the Hasegawa and Airfix, let alone the Frog and Revell, opposition obsolete.
  11. Still working your way through FAA Aces of WW2? I’m sorry I’m away from my references at the mo so this is all from the notes on my PC. As far as I have been able to establish from photographs (ie discounting all artwork) JX780 was definitely in TSS (K7P on Speaker 16/2/45: Aeromiliaria 91/3 p.74). JX841 was definitely in SBG (B9L of 898 Sq, Pursuer, July 45: Wings for the Phoenix, p.213) and I don’t believe I have seen any photos of any late-serialled Hellcats in TSS. Between those 2 serials it is, as far as my researches have taken me, a mixture of murky inconclusive photos and artwork. So it looks to me as if JX886 was probably in SBG but that JX814 could have in either. If we are talking about the Hellcats detached to Formidable, there is a 14 sec clip showing at least 2 Hellcats. One, 122 (seen on u/c door)is in SBG with a TSS cowling ring and, less definitely, a white top to the port aileron. It has prominent white stencil markings and no rocket stubs. The other seen was POSSIBLY 123/X but I don’t seem to have recorded any details for that: too fleeting a glimpse maybe. But at least one of Formid’s Hellcats was in TSS: photo of one, alas with no identifying markings visible, in Brooke’s Alarm Starboard! If I recall Brooke correctly there were a total of 6 transferred: 4 nightfighters and 2 recce. The 14 Sec clip can be found at 2:28:46 to 2:29:00 of Part 3 of Ron Owen (correct name?) DVD on the British Pacific and Eastern Fleets. I’m pretty sure we have discussed Formid’s Hellcats before on this board: maybe worth looking those earlier threads up. And, if @iang pitches in, I defer to him and scuttle back under my amateur dilettante rock!
  12. Pah! Andy Pack beats that even on box-art. They were adorned with amateur watercolours in what I believe is properly called the naive style (and the rest of us call not being able to draw). (is this beginning to sound like the Four Yorkshireman sketch?)
  13. ISTR they had some strange gimmick where major parts were screwed together, with the screw head then covered by screw caps. Regardless of the ill-judged snobbery of some modellers, they were as kits superb examples of the toolmaker’s art and thus can be summarily dismissed from further consideration in the thread, which repeatedly tends to wander from considering the truly horrible into the mildly unpleasant. At this rate of drift we shall soon be discussing the new Airfix Sherman Firefly. I hold to my view that the only people who wouldn’t agree that the Andy Pack vacforms weren’t the worst kits ever are those who have never seen one. Imagine a sheet of plastic card placed over something or other and heated under an oven grill. Which may indeed have been how they were produced. (Did anyone anywhere ever manage to build one?)
  14. 50? Just reaching your prime.
  15. Oh: disappointed! For a moment I thought we were in for a Sherman in the ambush scheme.
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