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Paul A H

Product Reviewer
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Paul A H last won the day on January 10 2015

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About Paul A H

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    My vocabulary is absolutely big
  • Birthday 16/01/1979

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    Northampton
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    Describe yourself in three words:
    1) Lazy

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  1. Internet schminternet. They were all the work of my shining wit
  2. Paul A H

    Do 17Z-2 WWII Finnish Bomber - 1:72

    Do 17Z-2 WWII Finnish Bomber 1:72 ICM The Dornier Do 17, nicknamed the Fliegender Bleistift or flying pencil due to its slender shape, was a light bomber designed by Dornier Flugzeugwerke in the mid-1930s. During the early design period the aircraft was euphemistically referred to as a high speed mail plane, but it's highly likely that it was always intended to fulfil a combat role. The Do17 was able to carry a bomb load of 1000kg, but range was limited when carrying heavy loads. Defensive armament was comprised of MG-15 machine guns carried in various positions in the forward fuselage. This is the fourth or fifth iteration of the newly tooled Do-17 family from Kiev-based outfit ICM, although it is almost identical to the original Z-2 boxing (only the clear sprue has been revised). Inside the very sturdy top-opening box are three largish frames of light grey plastic and two of clear plastic which together hold a total of nearly 200 parts. The airframe is covered in crisp, recessed panel lines which look very good indeed, and the mouldings are crisp and clean. The instructions are an A4 stapled booklet which has been printed in colour and the decal sheet is clear and well printed. The overall impression is of a well-executed kit which looks as though it should be enjoyable to build. Construction begins with the very well detailed cockpit. Interior detail includes the crew seats, rudder pedals, control column (moulded in two parts), radio gear and other sidewall details and a large number of spare magazines for the defensive machine guns. The instrument panel is made up from two parts and is beautifully detailed. Internal frames for the bomb bay and wing spar are also included, as is an optional fuel tank for the forward part of the bomb bay. The upper wing is moulded as a single span, complete with interior detail for the main landing gear bays. The ailerons are moulded as separate parts, which is always welcome. The rest of the flying surfaces follow suite, with the rudders and elevators all moulded separately. The elevator balance mechanisms are also included. With the major parts of the airframe complete, construction turns to the bomb bay and landing gear. Twenty 50kg bombs are included, although whether you use them all will depend on whether you have installed the optional fuel tank first. The landing gear is nicely detailed, although construction is somewhat unconventional. You have to install the interior parts for the landing gear onto the undersurface of the completed wing and then build the engine nacelles around them. This is quite a clever way of approaching this stage of the build and it should work well. The exterior parts of the nacelle have to be constructed with the firewall and engine sub-frame fixed to one half of the nacelle. The engines themselves comprise six parts and include options for different exhaust arrangements. With the engines in place, the rest of the build is occupied with finishing details. The canopy is nice and clear and includes an option for the DF loop, or the later streamlined fairing. Six MG15s are included. The bomb bay can be finished in open or closed positions, and for once you aren't required to simply cut the bomb bay doors apart to finish it in the open position as separate parts are included for that option. Decal options include: Dornier Do 17Z-2 3/LeLv 46, Finnish Air Force, February 1942. This aircraft is finished in a partial white distemper; and Dornier Do 17Z-2 2/LeLv 46, Finnish Air Force, February 1942. Conclusion We waited a while for a nice, modern kit of the Do17/215 family. ICM's effort looks to be slightly ahead of the Airfix kit in terms of detail, and of course they have offered a wider range of variants from their moulds. Speaking of which, the mouldings are high quality, there is plenty of the aforementioned detail and surface structures are fine and crisp. Overall this is a well executed and carefully designed kit which is rich in detail. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  3. Spitfire F/FR Mk.XIV Bubbletop 1:144 Mark I Models When the prototype Spitfire took to the air for the first time on 5 March 1936, few involved could have foreseen where the development of the type would lead. By the end of the Second World War, the type had earned itself a place in the history books as well as the nation's psyche. Powered by the two-stage supercharged Griffon 65, the performance of the Mk.XIV was a quantum leap over its forebears, enabling the Spitfire to meet its German foe on equal terms. The FR Mk.XIV was a photo reconnaissance version, modified by Forward Repair Units to carry a single camera in the rear fuselage. Mark I Models have produced quite a range of 1:144 scale kits, including many British WWII and Cold War types. This kit is part of a range of Griffon-engined Spitfire kits released by the Czech manufacturer. The kit is limited run in nature, but the plastic parts are nicely moulded, with crisp detail throughout. There is a small amount of flash present and the sprue attachment points are on the chunky side relative to the scale. As with other kits of single-engined aircraft in the range, you get two Spitfires in the box. As you might expect, construction is fairly straightforward. The cockpit is basic but serviceable, with a separately moulded seat for the pilot, an instrument panel and rear bulkhead as well as a tiny control column. Detail for the instrument panel is provided courtesy of a very small decal. Once the cockpit is complete, the fuselage halves can be joined. The wings are a solid part, although you have the option to remove the wing tips and use the clipped versions supplied. The elevators are also solid, while the rudder is a separate part. The landing gear is nicely detailed and the main gear bays include a small amount of structural detail. The canopy is pretty good, despite its tiny proportions. The camera window is catered for by a decal. Mark I have included decals for four different schemes: Spitfire F Mk.XIV NH745 EB-V, No.41 Squadron, Royal Air Force, Eindhoven, March 1945; Spitfire FR Mk.XIV MV263 GCK, No.125 Squadron, Royal Air Force, Twente, April 1945; Spitfire FR Mk.XIV NH895 NI-K, No.451 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force, Wunsdorf, 1945; and Spitfire FR Mk.XIV SG-46 UR-G, No.2 Squadron, Belgian Air Force, Florennes, 1948 Conclusion Surprisingly tiny, even in this scale, Mark I's Griffon-powered Spitfire is nonetheless an appealing little kit. The standard of manufacture looks to be pretty good and it doesn't look as though it will be particularly challenging to build. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. USS Missouri Cartoon Model Meng The USS Missouri is an Iowa Class battleship, and the last of her type to be built for the US Navy. She was commissioned just in time to serve in the closing stages of the Second World War, and famously hosted the signing of the Japanese surrendered by Mamoru Shigemitsu. She went on to serve in the Korean War before spending the next three decades as a tourist attraction. She was reactivated in the 1980s under Reagan's programme of naval expansion and was fitted with Harpoon and Tomahawk missiles, as well as Phalanx defensive weapon systems and a multitude of other upgrades. She served in the first Gulf War prior to being retired for a second time in 1992. She is berthed at Pearl Harbour, overlooking the USS Arizona memorial. Cartoon-style kits seem to be in vogue these days, with an increasing number of manufacturers jumping on the bandwagon started by Hasegawa with their egg planes. Meng have quite a few under their belt now, and this is the fourth ship kit to be produced in this style. The kit has been moulded from styrene in three different colours, each appropriate to the parts represented (save for the rather bright blue decks). The lower hull is moulded from dark red plastic, the aforementioned decks and turret roofs are moulded in blue plastic and the rest of the kit is moulded from grey plastic. The kit is well packed into a sturdy box. All of the plastic parts are nicely moulded, and in line with their other similar kits, the parts snap-fit together and stickers are included instead of decals. Construction of the kit is fairly conventional, notwithstanding the fact that the parts snap together rather than requiring glue. Bearing this in mind, I would advise against test fitting the parts prior to final construction, as snap fit parts rarely snap apart again. Construction begins with the lower hull, to which the propellers and shafts click into place. The upper hull is formed from the joining together of the hull and the deck, with a part sitting below the deck that pushes through and includes parts for the turret bases and other details. some small details such as AA guns and deck cranes can be added at this point. Assembly of the superstructure is pretty straightforward, with blue deck parts sandwiched between grey structural parts in a layered fashion. All of the features you would expect to find, such as funnels and fire control systems are present and correct, except in cartoon form. Both the primary and secondary turrets are made up from three parts each (except No.2 turret, which features additional AA armament on top). The guns do not appear to be designed to be moveable once fixed in place. A colour painting guide is included within the instructions. AK paints are recommended by Meng, in what appears to be a commercial arrangement (their logo is emblazoned on the side of the box). The aforementioned stickers are used to add detail. There are no decal alternatives. Conclusion I shan't comment on the cartoon style of the model - not least because this sort of thing will either appeal to you or it won't - but I will state that this appears to be a well-executed kit, with nice moulding and detail. If you like this style of kit then this will be an excellent addition to your collection. Review sample courtesy of
  5. S.N.C.A.S.E. S.E. 535 Mistral 1:72 Azur Frrom The distinctive De Havilland DH.100 Vampire was built to fulfil a wartime requirement for a small, lightweight jet fighter for the Royal Air Force. Although the prototype aircraft flew almost two years before the end of the War, the production aircraft arrived too late to see service in the conflict. Despite this, well over 3,000 examples were produced and the aircraft enjoyed a relatively long service life by the standards of the day. Powered by a single De Havilland Goblin turbojet, the diminutive Vampire was capable of 548 mph and had a service ceiling of over 40,000 ft. In common with many other fighters of the day, it was armed with four 20mm cannon. The S.E. 35 Mistral was a licence built Vampire, manufactured by Société nationale des constructions aéronautiques du Sud-Est (S.N.C.A.S.E.) and based on the Nene-powered Mk.53 that was also used in Armée de l'Air service. The Vampire has enjoyed something of a modelling renaissance recently. For a long while, the old FROG and Heller kits were pretty much it as far as 1:72 Vampires were concerned. Czech Master released a range of well-regarded but pricey resin kits some time ago, but it is not until fairly recently that we have had some new plastic kits of the type courtesy of A Model, Airfix, Cyberhobby and Special Hobby. This particular kit by Azur Frrom is based on the Special Hobby kit, which has already been released across a range of labels, including Xtrakit, Special Hobby and Azur. It includes a new resin seat and an extra frame of parts which includes a new upper fuselage, intakes and nose. Inside the top opening box are over 70 parts moulded in grey and clear styrene, as well as a sheet of decals, a resin seat and a full-colour instruction booklet. The kit looks excellent on the sprue, with lots of crisp, moulded detail and surface structures made up of fine, recessed lines and fasteners. The overall impression is closer to a modern, high pressure injection moulded kit than the older MPM/Special Hobby kits in my collection. Construction starts with the well-detailed cockpit. This area is made up of the floor, rear bulkhead, pilot's seat, control column and the instrument panel. The instrument panel features recessed detail and a decal is provided for the instrument dials themselves. The gun sight is moulded from clear plastic. The inside of the fuselage halves benefit from some separately moulded sidewall details. Taken together, the overall impression is of a well detailed and suitably busy cockpit. The resin seat really serves to lift the detail up a notch. Other internal detail includes the front and rear faces of the turbojet engine. Azur Frrom (Special Hobby) have elected for a bit of a smoke and mirrors effect here, splitting the front face of the engine into two parts so each can be seen through the intake trunking (part of which is cleverly moulded to the lower half of the fuselage pod. There is no separate tail pipe for the jet exhaust, with the pipe and protruding lip being moulded as part of the upper and lower fuselage halves. The nose cone is moulded separately to the rest of the fuselage, and it follows a panel line which should reduce the need to clean up the joint when finished. It will also enable you to fit the nose weight after the main structure of the model has been completed - a definite plus for a natural tail-sitter like the Vampire/Mistral. Once the two halves of the fuselage pod have been joined together, attention turns to the wings and the horizontal stabiliser. The wings are simply moulded in upper and lower halves, with control surfaces moulded in place. Surface details are very nicely represented, although the trailing edges are a little on the thick side (nothing that can't be sorted relatively easily though). The shallow main landing gear bays are moulded as part of the lower wing but are pretty well detailed. The engine air intakes are separately moulded on the extra frame of parts. Happily, this addresses one of the shortcomings of the original kit (titchy intakes). The tail booms look pretty good and, as with the wings and horizontal stabiliser, the control surfaces are moulded in place. With the airframe complete, attention turns to the undercarriage. The undercarriage itself is quite nicely moulded without being overly complex. Ordnance is catered for by the inclusion of a pair of drop tanks and a pair of rockets. The canopy is nicely moulded and is split into two parts, so it can be finished in the open position if desired. Three decal options are provided, which is more than reasonable for a kit of this size: SNCASE SE-535 Mistral No. 82, 8-PB, EC 1/8 "Maghreb", Rabat-Salé, Morocco, 1957; SNCASE SE-535 Mistral No. 195, 7-BC, 7 éme EC, Telergma, Algeria, crashed on 19 August, 1958; SNCASE SE-535 Mistral No. 64, 20-LF, EC 1/20, "Ouarsenis", Boufarik, Algeria, 1959; The decals are nicely printed and the colours look accurate to my eye. Conclusion I liked the original version of this kit a lot, and this version from Azur Frrom is no less appealing. The level of detail is very good indeed, and provided there are no surprises in terms of fit and finish, it should build up into a nice model. Overall, this is a nice kit which I am looking forward to building. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  6. MiG-25 RBT Soviet Reconnaissance Plane 1:72 ICM In the early part of the Cold War, the strategic bomber was seen as the obvious means by which to deliver a nuclear payload. The interceptor - large, heavy and fast - was seen as the equally obvious countermeasure. The MiG-25 Foxbat was, in many ways, the ultimate embodiment of this technology. It wasn't particularly groundbreaking and nor was it particularly sophisticated, but it was capable of incredible speed and could carry four large missiles to high altitudes very quickly indeed. The MiG-25's shortcomings as a combat aircraft were largely addressed through the MiG-31 Foxhound, but the type continued as an effective reconnaissance platform in a variety of guises. The RBT was an updated version of the RB reconnaissance bomber, fitted with Tangaz ELINT equipment and manufactured during the early part of the 1980s. This kit is the first iteration of ICM's new 1/72 MiG-25 family. The model is pretty much a scaled down version of their 1:48 kit, which is a jolly good thing indeed. Inside the very sturdy top-opening box are five frames of light grey plastic and one of clear plastic. The airframe is covered in crisp, recessed panel lines which look very good indeed, and the mouldings are crisp and clean. The instructions are an A4 stapled booklet which has been printed in colour and the decal sheet is clear and well printed. The overall impression is of a well-executed, modern kit which looks like it should be thoroughly enjoyable to build. Construction begins with the cockpit and nose gear bay. Some detail is moulded in place on the sidewalls of the cockpit, while there are extra parts provided to represent additional details. Before the main structure of the cockpit can be completed, however, you have to add the bulkhead that forms the front wall of the cockpit and the rear wall of the nose gear bay. The instructions have you installing the nose gear leg at this stage, but I can't see any logical reason as to why this can't be done at the end. This would, of course, save you from breaking the leg part way through the build. The cockpit itself is nicely detailed, with the ejector seat alone made up of no fewer than five parts. An instrument panel and control column completes this section of the build. Once the forward fuselage halves have been joined together, the whole sub-assembly fits onto a spart that holds the huge engine air intakes. I've noticed that kit manufacturers are moving increasingly toward this style of construction, where certain parts are provided for purely structural purposes instead of the older slot and tab style of construction. I guess the main advantage, other than strength, is that everything can be positioned at exactly the right angle - a helpful feature for kits that feature quit a complex breakdown of parts, such as this one. Each engine intake is full-length, with engine compressor faces provided. What results is a complete forward section of the aircraft up to the wing roots, with the internal structure of the air intakes protruding from the rear. The lower face of the main fuselage can be joined to this structure once the main landing gear bays have been added. ICM suggest that you add the main landing gear legs at this stage. Again, I can't see any reason why they couldn't be fettled into place after the main construction has been completed. Once the lower face of the main fuselage is in place, another structural bulkhead can be added, after which the slab-sides of the fuselage, including the outer faces of the air intakes, can be added. The dustbin-like jet exhausts are added at this stage, and very nicely detailed they are too. Once in place, the upper face of the fuselage can be added. Some modellers have noticed that the central spine has a flattened profile instead of a rounded shape. This is true, but I imagine most modellers will choose to live with this flaw. All that remains now is to add the nosecone, flying surfaces and finishing details. Each vertical tail is split vertically, with a seperate rudder. The outer face is moulded with part of the rear fuselage in place, so presumably it will be impossible to fit these parts at the wrong angle. Somewhat surprisingly, the upper wings are not moulded in one part with the upper fuselage. Instead, they are split into separate port and starboard halves, with two seperate flaperons and upper wing fences and fittings for bomb shackles below. The nosecone is simply split vertically, with a separate part for the camera pack and clear parts for the camera lenses. The canopy is nice and clear and can be finished in either open or closed position. A huge auxiliary fuel tank is provided. Other than that, and a few aerials, lumps and bumps, the huge aircraft is now finished. Four options are provided for on the decal sheet: MiG-25RBT of the Soviet Air Force from the late 1980s; MiG-25RBT of the 47th GRAP, Russian Air Force, May 2001; MiG-25RBT, Iraqi Air Force, late 1980s; and MiG-25RBT, Libyan Air Force, 2000s. The decals look nicely printed and a number of stencils are included. Conclusion We've waited a while for a new, more more modern kit of the Foxbat in this scale. ICM's new effort looks to be slightly ahead of, er... the older ICM kit (which admittedly represents the interceptor version) and of course it is light years ahead of ye olde Hasegawa effort. The the mouldings are high quality, there is plenty of the detail and surface structures are fine and crisp. Overall this is a well executed and carefully designed kit which is very appealing indeed. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  7. DH Mosquito PR.IV/B.IV 'Special Liveries' 1:144 Mark I Models The de Havilland Mosquito was conceived as a high-powered, high-speed bomber. Unlike other aircraft of the day, it was depended on its speed, rather than defensive gun turrets, for survival. It was also noteworthy for being constructed of wood composite, a technique pioneered by de Havilland in the sleek de Havilland Albatross airliner. This helped to save weight, but also reduced reliance on the scarce alloys used in the construction of other aircraft. Overcoming the skepticism of the Air Ministry, during early trials the Mosquito proved to be comfortably faster than the Spitfire Mk.II. In the end, almost 8,000 examples were completed, with the type serving well beyond the end of the War. The B Mk IV was the original bomber version of the Mosquito, while the PR Mk IV was simply a photo reconnaissance conversion of the former. Mark I Models have produced quite a range of 1:144 scale kits, including many British WWII and Cold War types. This kit is part of a range of Mosquito kits released by the Czech manufacturer. The kit is limited run in nature, but the plastic parts are nicely moulded, , with crisp detail throughout. There is no flash present and the sprue attachment points are pretty fine for the scale. Being one of the larger kits in the line up, you only get one Mossie in the box instead of the pair of kits you find in their Spitfires or Vampires. As you might expect, construction is fairly straightforward. The cockpit is basic, but structurally complete, with a separate moulded seat for the pilot and a control column and instrument panel. Detail for the latter is provided courtesy of a very small decal. Once the cockpit is complete and the small fuselage windows have been fitted, the fuselage halves can be joined. The wings are simply split vertically and they are designed to fit inside the recesses on the fuselage sides. Each engine pod is moulded in vertical halves, with bulkheads to close the landing gear bays off at either end. The landing gear itself is nicely detailed and a choice of wheels are included depending on which of the painting schemes you choose to build. A choice of engine exhausts are also included. Despite its diminutive size, the canopy is pretty good. Mark I have included decals for four different schemes: de Havilland Mosquito PR Mk IV DK310, LY-G, No.1 PRU, Royal Air Force Benson, summer 1941. This aircraft is finished in Dark Slate Grey and Sky Grey over PRU Blue; de Havilland Mosquito PR Mk IV DZ473, No.540 Squadron, Royal Air Force Leuchars, June 1943. This aircraft is finished in overall PRU Blue and was used to photograph the V-2 rocket facility at Peenemunde; de Havilland Mosquito PR Mk IV G-AGFV, BOAC, Royal Air Force Leuchars, early 1943. This aircraft is finished in Dark Earth and Dark Green over Sky. It was used for high-speed diplomatic courier operations to Sweden; and de Havilland Mosquito B Mk IV G-AGFV, T9+XB, 2./VVB OKL Trials and Research Unit of the Luftwaffe High Command, Konigsberg-Neumark Airfield, Summer 1944. Conclusion Small and simple it may be, but this mini Mossie is no less appealing for it. The quality of manufacture looks to be pretty good and although there are no luxuries such as locating pins, it doesn't look as though it will be particularly challenging to build. Reccomended. Review sample courtesy of
  8. F4U Wheels (for Tamiya) 1:72 Eduard I've reviewed quite a few different resin wheels from Eduard, and they've never failed to impress me. The resin is always flawlessly and the details are crisp and sharp. This set provides a complete set of resin wheels for Tamiya's 1:72 Corsair. The main wheels have flat spots cast in place, while the tail wheel actually includes a complete replacement strut assembly (except for the tail hook). The latter includes photo etched details and paint masks are included for both main wheels and tail wheel. Conclusion It's curious that Eduard have waited until now to release upgraded wheels for a kit that is nearing its twenty-first birthday. Notwithstanding that, the wheels themselves are up to Eduard's usual high standard and they will make a noticeable difference to the kit. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  9. Paul A H

    What would be your ideal Job?

    It's all fun and games until lunchtime, when you have to swap over
  10. Paul A H

    Viking (IX Century) - 1:16

    Classic Nordic good looks. I bet he's a dab hand at putting flat pack furniture together too
  11. HMA R33/R34 Transatlantic Flyer 1:720 Mark I Models In 1916, While the R33 class of airships was still on the drawing board, the German airship L33 was downed by anti-aircraft fire over Essex. Despite the crew's attempts to destroy the stricken craft, it was captured largely intact and thus yielded the secrets of German airship construction to the British authorities. With the design now based heavily on the German airship, the R33 was constructed b Armstrong-Whitworth in North Yorkshire, while the sister ship R34 was built by William Beardmore and Co. in Renfrewshire. Neither airship was completed before the cessation of hostilities in 1918. The R33 enjoyed a surprisingly long career, much of which was spent resting the launch and recovery of aircraft from airships. In April 1925, she was torn from her mooring mast at Pulham during a gale, Despite suffering a partially collapsed nose section, the crew were finally able to regain control over the Dutch coast and eventually bought her back to Pulham 28 hours later. The first officer, coxswain (the fabulously named 'Sky' Hunt) and four other crew were recognised with medals. The forward section of the R33's control car is preserved at the RAF Museum at Hendon. The R34's career was no less eventful. A few weeks after John Alcock and Arthur Brown made the first non-stop transatlantic flight, the R34, commanded by Major George Scott, made the first return flight over the Atlantic. She was written off after an (non-fatal) accident in 1921. Mark I announced their intention to produce a series of 1:720 scale airships some time ago. They have covered the WWI era P/Q and R class airships via several different boxings, as well as the interwar LZ127 'Graf Zeppelin', making this the fourth kit in the range and the first British airship. Inside the box is a single frame of grey plastic which holds both the parts for the airship and the display stand. The kit is limited run in nature, with the moulds manufactured from hardened resin. The plastic parts are nicely moulded, however, with crisp detail throughout. There is no flash present and the sprue attachment points are reassuringly fine. As you might expect, construction is fairly straightforward. The main structure of the airship is split vertically down the middle, as are the fore and aft gondolas. The midship gondolas are moulded as solid parts. All of the gondolas have separately moulded propellers and struts to join them to the body of the airship. I spy another set of gondolas on the sprue, at least one of which is shaped to fit directly onto the hull, so presumably an R36 is on the way, presumably with a plug to lengthen the fuselage. The only other construction work involved is assembling the flying surfaces. A stand is included to display the finished model, along with a decal to identify the finished model. Mark I have included decals for three different schemes worn by the R33 and one for the R34: HMA R33, Pulham Airship Experimental Station, March-October 1919; HMA R33 G-FAAG, Croydon Airport, Summer 1921. Ths is essentially the same scheme as the first one, but with additional civil registration codes; HMA R33 G-FAAG, National Physical Laboratory, Cardington Airship Station, Bedfordshire and Pulham Experimental Station, Norfolk, April 1925 to November 1926. This is a plain design without the Roundels; and HMA R34, Royal Navy, East Fortune Airship Station, Scotland. This is the scheme worn for the first return crossing of the Atlantic in July 1919. Decals are provided for the markings and the windows and other features of the gondolas. Conclusion Just like their other airships, the R33/34 is a really appealing kit. It should look great on its display stand and will make an ideal companion for the other kits released by Mark 1 Models in the same scale. Construction is simple and detail is as good as it needs to be. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  12. Paul A H

    Viking (IX Century) - 1:16

    Viking (IX Century) 1:72 ICM The latest figure in ICM's popular series of 1:16 figures is this ninth century Viking. The ninth century was, of course, the period in time when the Vikings rampaged through ancient Britain, subjugating most of the seven ancient kingdoms before having their progress halted by King Alfred, the great king of Wessex (now he would make a great figure). The kit is spread across two sprues of grey styrene. One holds the figure itself, while the other holds the armour, shield and weapons. There is a separate black pedestal. The parts are very well moulded with no sign of flash or other imperfections and the sculpted face of the figure is simply outstanding. The overall impression is of a well-executed kit which looks like it should be thoroughly enjoyable to build. As Julien has pointed out, the instructions are somewhat vague, comprising as they do a colour diagram of the completed figure with the part numbers identified. That said, as its a figure you'd have to be trying really hard to glue the legs on back-to-front. The figures comes with both sheathed and unsheathed swords, a knife, axe, shield and three arrows which can be fixed to the shield in order to enhance the sense of drama. The weapons appear to be accurate for the period. The painting diagram is nice and clear and colour references are provided for Revell and Tamiya paint. This is one model where you can use whatever you have to hand, however, for the colour references are only a guide and it's pretty obvious what colour the steel and leather components of the kit should be. Conclusion This is a lovely figure and it should prove to be immensely enjoyable to build. It will require a different painting technique to most other modern kits, so if you're better with the sable than an airbrush, you should enjoy this. I hope ICM follow up with some more kits in this range and perhaps some up with some modern replacements for the old IMEX medieval knights series. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  13. GBU-32 Non-Thermally Protected 1:72 Eduard 672207 The GBU-32 is a 1000lb air-dropped weapon that is part of the JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition) family of GPS-guided bombs. The weapon is relatively modern and was deployed in combat in Afghanistan. In common with most other 1:72 scale brassin weapon sets, the set of eight GBU-38s arrive packaged into the usual Eduard blister pack, complete with decals and a tiny fret of photo etched parts. Each bomb comprises the main body of the weapon with the ballistic tail cast in place, a choice of four heads are provided for both USN and USAF variants. The casting is flawless and smooth, with minimal cleanup required thanks to the positioning of the pouring stubs at the tail-end of the weapon. Colours and stencil positions are marked in a colour diagram, with Gunze Mr Color paint references as usual. Review sample courtesy of
  14. German A4/V2 Rocket 1:72 Revell (03309) The Vergeltungswaffe 2, commonly known as the V-2, was the first ballistic missile to be used in combat anywhere in the world. Although relatively simple by modern standards, it laid the foundations for the space programmes of the USA and the Soviet Union in the postwar period. The V-2 was a liquid-fuelled, single-stage rocket, steered by rudders placed on the tail fins and graphite vanes at the exhaust nozzle. Guidance was provided by two gyroscopes (one for horizontal and one for vertical) and an accelerometer providing inputs to an analogue computer. From September 1944, over 3,000 V-2 rockets were launched against targets such as London, causing an estimated 9,000 civilian and military casualties. The British Government initially sought to suppress public information about the V-2 rockets, blaming the damage caused on gas main explosions. The public were not fooled however, and the V-2s acquired the sardonic nickname of "flying gas pipes". The missiles proved almost impossible to intercept, and the most effective countermeasure proved to be the disinformation system operated by MI5, whereby double agents fed false reports about the impact points and damage caused by V-2 attacks. This model is a re-release of a kit released five years ago by Special Armour, the small scale AFV imprint of CMK. Inside the end-opening box are two sprues of grey and a small decal sheet. Even a cursory glance at the sprues indicates that this is as far from a limited run kit. The mouldings are pin sharp and there is a wealth of fine detail. The overall effect is reminiscent of a modern Eduard kit, which is quite a compliment. The kit is made up of almost fifty parts. This is pretty impressive for a rocket, but most of the parts are for the launch structure. The rocket itself is made up of two halves, split vertically, plus the four fins and the rocket exhaust. The latter part is nicely detailed but is made up of two halves and will require careful assembly in order to remove the join. The rest of the parts are used for the launch platform, which can be finished in either launch position or stowed position. The platform is made up of well over twenty parts and is superbly detailed. It features accurately represented components such as the stabilising feet and the controls. A wheeled trolley is also provided, but this isn't used if you want to build the rocket in the launch position. The painting scheme shows four differnet rockets, from a black-and-white prototype through camouflaged in-service rockets and finishing with the emergency rockets used in 1945. Conclusion If you are expecting this to be a relatively simple kit with few parts, then you're in for a surprise. The rocket itself is superb, with fine surface details and precise engineering. The launch pad and transportation section are superbly complex, and I'll be paying close attention to the instructions when I finally get round to building mine. Highly recommended. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
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