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Shar2

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Shar2 last won the day on October 13 2013

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About Shar2

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    Wibble!
  • Birthday 27/08/1965

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  1. Building Trumpeters 1:16th JagdTiger AFV Modeller Publications I’m usually pretty sceptical about books that tell you how to build a particular model as it’s an individual hobby and the modeller should build their models as they wish or see fit. That said, having read through this book, Sam Dwyer hasn’t written it like that. He goes through the build from start to finish telling the reader how he’s built it step by step over 129 pages. The more interesting, and to me, useful sections, are where he’s showing how to make the kit more accurate, what materials he’s used and where he’s had some parts 3D printed or obtained resin parts. Sam has certainly put in a lot work in building this huge kit and the results are splendid. It shows that he has put in a lot of research and/or really knows his JagdTigers. After the build there is a thirty one page reference section with photograph of a preserved machine. Ok, while they say it’s preserved, it’s still rather dilapidated and while they would be good at having a go at extreme weathering it would have been nice to see photos of a machine that had had some restoration, like the one in the Tank Museum at Bovington, although the colour of the engine bay may be a bit dubious. IF you use the references in the book along with your own, the positions of equipment and their colours can be confirmed. The last two pages show the updates, correction sets and accessories you can buy for this kit, from AFV Modeller themselves, and very nice they are too, also new to this modeller. Conclusion Once I’d got over my scepticism, and read through this book, the more I got into it. Sam Dwyer certainly has modelling skills and he does a lovely job in building this awesome kit, and he writes in a straight forward, non-patronising way, which I find quite refreshing. If you have this kit and want to get the best out of it, you need this book. It will also be useful for those modellers who build in smaller scales and would like to add or modify the interior, or would just like to get the exterior right. Review sample courtesy of
  2. Junkers Ju-88 Kagero Monographs No 64 3D Edition Having reviewed the first two volumes on the Ju-88 HERE and HERE, I thought that this volume would cover other variants, it seems I was wrong, again. Whereas the first volume was mostly about the development and issuing of aircraft to squadrons, the second volume with the aircraft's participation from the phoney war, 3rd September 1939 up to the end of the fighting in France in June 1940. This volume deals with the development of the bomber and reconnaissance versions and their use in the Battle of Britain from 10th July to 30th September 1940. That said it is still a very good book, with lots of information on the actions in which the aircraft was used, losses and general info on the maintenance and servicing at the time. The text, which takes up seventy seven pages of the book, is accompanied by lots of period photographs from France and over Britain including those shot down whilst on missions over the UK. There are some idiosyncrasies in the photographs though, in that they are well out of chronological order, if the order of this series of books is anything to go by. There are photographs of Mistel aircraft, aircraft in Italy and North Africa, but these are not actually mentioned in the text. What is mentioned, and is very interesting, is the actual reports and interviews from the pilots about their missions. The rest of the book is filled with the fabulous 3D drawings that Kagero have become noted for, with some real close up detail of many of the aircraft equipment and fittings. It is these drawings that will probably be of most use to the modeller in helping get the most detail into a model, although the photographs can also help in working out aircraft codes, area of use and the dates in determining to model a particular aircraft. Conclusion The history of the Ju-88 is continued and expanded upon in this volume which, when accompanied with the photographs and 3D drawings makes this book another must have for the Luftwaffe historian and modeller alike.
  3. German Type XXI U-Boat Kagero Super Drawings in 3D One of the most influential designs in the history of the submarine, the Type XXI was to set standards until the introduction of the nuclear boat a decade later. Though both closed-cycle turbines and diesels had been introduced, both still needed development, so a stopgap high-power electric boat was produced, using mostly established technology. With the lower pressure hull packed with high power density cells, the Type XXIs could, for the first time, develop more power submerged than surfaced. Their main propulsion motors were supplemented by low power units for silent manoeuvring. The design was suggested at a conference in Paris in November 1942 as an alternative to the Walter turbine boats which were taking so long to develop, and by June 1943 the preliminary design work was complete. The first Type XXI was built in June 1944. Like that in the Type XVII, the pressure hull of the Type XXI was of ‘double-bubble’ cross section, though externally framed. It was prefabricated in eight sections at a variety of sites, being brought together for final assembly at the shipyard. The external framing increased volume and facilitated the addition of a hydro-dynamically clean outer skin. Construction was all-welded for a target of five boats per week in an ambitious programme to produce an eventual 1,500 units (U-2500 to U-4000). Most other submarine programmes were curtailed or cancelled to this end. The Type XXIs were designed to spend their full patrol time submerged, so the snort was used mainly to run diesels for battery recharge. Habitability was greatly improved, with air-conditioning and air-regeneration apparatus. The only guns were paired automatic weapons set into the forward and after profiles of the elongated fin. A combination of active and passive sonar was used to provide a full torpedo-firing solution without recourse to the periscope. Additional advantages of this type of U-boat were quick deep-diving capability, a fast and silent speed and rapid torpedo reloading. Two proposed but un-built variants, the Type XXIB and Type XXIC, would have increased the number of torpedo tubes from six to 12 and 18 respectively by the insertion of extra sections into the hull. Fortunately for the Allies, the Type XXI never became fully operational before the end of WW2 . Only one Type XXI U-Boat (U-2511) – of the total of 131 commissioned – began with the first operation one week before the German surrender. Several non-operational U-boats were sunk during the evacuation voyages from the ports in northern Germany, which were threatened by Allied troops, to Norway; all by aircraft and in home waters. This is the latest book in Kageros series in 3D format with the first seven pages describing the design, propulsion, armour, armament, and service. The rest of the book is filled with the highly detailed 3D renderings these books have become renowned for, covering every part of the hull, tower, armament, fixtures and fittings. With this title though, there is also a full set of renderings for the interior of the boat as well as separate pages showing the torpedoes, including their interiors, and engines. As usual the drawings are beautifully done with some excellent views for us modellers in showing items you wouldn’t normally notice, or even see. In total there are fifty three pages of renderings, giving a pretty comprehensive insight into the U-Boats shape and equipment. The book also comes with a fold out A2 sheet with multi views of the boat in a rather strange 1:150 and the more normal 1:350 scales on one side, while on the reverse there are line drawings of the interior sections of the boat, in no particular scale. Conclusion While the other books in the series have been superb, the inclusion of the interior renderings raises this book to another level. I’m not sure about the colours used and further research will be required, but I imagine they are pretty close and would be a perfect companion to those modellers building the Revell 1:144 kit with interior as well as the more normal kits of this revolutionary submarine. Review sample courtesy of
  4. Shar2

    MTB PT-109. 1:72

    MTB PT-109 Revell 1:72 PT-109 belonged to the PT 103 class of MTB’s, hundreds of which were completed between 1942 and 1945 by Elco. PT-109's keel was laid 4 March 1942 as the seventh Motor Torpedo Boat (MTB) of the 80-foot-long (24 m) 56 ton class, built by Elco and was launched on 20 June. She was delivered to the Navy on 10 July 1942, and fitted out in the New York Naval Shipyard in Brooklyn. The boats were manned by 3 officers and up to 12 crewmen. The Elco boats were the largest PT boats operated by the U.S. Navy during World War II, built with strong wooden hulls of two layers of 1-inch (2.5 cm) mahogany planking. Powered by three 12-cylinder 1,500 horsepower (1,100 kW) Packard petrol engines (one per propeller shaft), their designed top speed was 41 knots (76 km/h). For space and weight-distribution reasons, the center engine was mounted with the output end facing aft, with power directly transmitted to the propeller shaft. Because the center propeller was deeper, it left less of a wake, and was preferred by skippers for low-wake loitering. Both wing engines were mounted with the output flange facing forward, and power was transmitted through a Vee-drive gearbox to the propeller shafts. The engines were fitted with mufflers on the transom to direct the exhaust under water, which had to be bypassed for anything other than idle speed. These mufflers were used not only to mask their own noise from the enemy, but to be able to hear enemy aircraft, which were rarely detected overhead before firing their cannons or machine guns or dropping their bombs. The principal offensive weapon was her torpedoes. She was fitted with four 21-inch (53 cm) torpedo tubes containing Mark VIII torpedoes. They weighed 3,150 lb (1,429 kg) each, with 386-pound (175 kg) warheads and gave the tiny boats a punch at least theoretically effective even against armoured ships. Their typical speed of 36 knots (67 km/h) was effective against shipping, but because of rapid marine growth build-up on their hulls in the South Pacific and austere maintenance facilities in forward areas, American PT boats ended up being slower than the top speed of the Japanese destroyers and cruisers they were tasked with targeting in the Solomons. Torpedoes were also useless against shallow-draft barges, which were their most common targets. With their machine guns and 20 mm cannon, the PT boats could not return the large-calibre gunfire carried by destroyers, which had a much longer effective range, though they were effective against aircraft and ground targets. Because they were fueled with aviation gasoline, a direct hit to a PT boat's engine compartment sometimes resulted in a total loss of boat and crew. In order to have a chance of hitting their target, PT boats had to close to within 2 miles (3.2 km) for a shot, well within the gun range of destroyers; at this distance, a target could easily maneuver to avoid being hit. The boats approached in darkness, fired their torpedoes, which sometimes gave away their positions, and then fled behind smoke screens. Sometimes retreat was hampered by seaplanes dropping flares and bombs on the boats. The Elco torpedo-launching tubes were powered by a 3-inch (76 mm) black powder charge to expel the torpedo from the tube. Additionally, the torpedo was well greased so it would slide out of the tube. Sometimes, the powder charge caused the grease to ignite upon firing, and the resulting flash could give away the position of the PT boat. Crews of PT boats relied on their smaller size, speed and maneuverability, and darkness, to survive. Ahead of the torpedoes on PT-109 were two depth charges, omitted on most PTs, one on each side, about the same diameter as the torpedoes. These were designed to be used against submarines, but were sometimes used by PT commanders to confuse and discourage pursuing destroyers. PT-109 lost one of her two Mark 6 depth charges a month before Kennedy showed up when the starboard torpedo was inadvertently launched during a storm without first deploying the tube into firing position. The launching torpedo sheared away the depth charge mount and some of the foot rail. PT-109 had a single, 20 mm Oerlikon anti-aircraft mount at the rear with "109" painted on the mounting base, two open rotating turrets (designed by the same firm that produced the Tucker automobile), each with twin, .50-caliber (12.7 mm) anti-aircraft machine guns, at opposite corners of the open cockpit, and a smoke generator on her transom. These guns were effective against attacking aircraft. The day before her most famous mission, PT-109 crew lashed a U.S. Army 37 mm antitank gun to the foredeck, replacing a small, 2-man life raft. Timbers used to secure the weapon to the deck later helped save their lives when used as a float. The Model Although based on the old 1963 release, I believe that this kit is from new moulds, and this certainly look the case when looking at the sprues as they are the more modern enclosed style and the dated on the inner hull sections has definitely been changed. The mouldings are nicely done, although the detail does seem to be a little soft and the plastic is quite glossy. There are no major imperfections, but there are quite a few flow marks in the deck section and only a few moulding pips. There are eleven sprues and three hull sections in a medium grey styrene, three sprues in clear styrene and a small decal sheet. The build begins with the gluing together of the two hull halves and the midships bulkhead. The small insert on the lower bow is then added, as is the stern section which includes the propeller shaft and rudder holes, plus the transom which is moulded integrally. The crew rest area is made up from six parts and glued to the underside of the deck section, along with the interior steering position. Depending on whether you want to build PT 109 with the bow mounted 37mm howitzer or not will determine which holes you will need to drill out before add the deck tot eh hull. Three cleats ate then attached to the deck and the model turn over to fit the three propeller shafts, propellers and rudders. The six mufflers and their control rods are then attached to the transom. The superstructure is then built up using individual sides and bulkheads, most of which will need the clear window parts to be added before gluing into position. The roof sections will also need holes drilling out before being glued into position. The deck above the engine compartment is then fitted with a three piece skylight, 20mm cannon guide rails and four ventilators, this assembly is then glued in place, as is the gun deck immediately aft. The upper steering position is then assembled from the sides and bulkheads to which internal detail is added such as the boats wheel, internal bulkheads, searchlight and console. The forward roof section is then added as is the steering positions windscreen and aerial mast Each torpedo tube consists of four parts and once all four tubes are assembled the can be fitted to their respective positions on the deck, either stowed, or in firing positions. Each of the twin 50 cal machine gun turrets are assembled from four parts, with additional two parts of the guide cage around the top of the each turret. The 37mm consists of seven parts and is fitted to the foredeck, while the 20mm Oerlikon is an eight piece assembly fitted to the quarterdeck. There are two three piece depth charges fitted one per side on the foredeck. While on the quarterdeck the smoke discharger and ensign staff are glued into position. Lastly, the folding mast is fitted to the main cabin roof and can be posed raised or stowed. Decals Since there is only one option with this kit, naturally there aren’t too many decals. Other than those for the compass binnacles and instrument panel, there are also the hull depth markings, ensign and PT-109s codes for either side of the bow, bridge front and the 20mm cannon pedestal aft. There are also two large decals for the stands nameplates. Conclusion It’s nice to see this kit being updated, and for the most part it looks like a nice kit that can easily be detailed to the modellers own wishes and there are already etched detail sets from Eduard to help with this. Seeing as the plastic is quite glossy i would definitely prime before painting. It would make a nice introductory maritime model for those modellers new to the genre of narrow seas boats. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit
  5. Soviet ASW Cruiser Moskva Kagero Top Drawings The work on the design of future long-range active anti-aircraft and anti-submarine ship - as it was initially determined - was conducted by the Leningrad CKB-17 in close cooperation with OKB-938 led by N.I. Kamov. The author of the ship's design, which was given the number 1123 and the code "Kondor”, was A.S. Sawiczew, and from 1967 - A.W. Marinich. The main task of the ship was to search and destroy American nuclear submarines carrying "Polaris” ballistic missiles in the Antarctic Ocean and Barents Sea. The Moskva-class helicopter carriers were the first operational Soviet Navy aircraft carriers, called helicopter carriers by the Soviet Navy. The Soviet designation was Project 1123 Kondor. These ships were laid down at Nikolayev South (Shipyard No.444). The lead vessel was launched in 1965 and named Moskva; she entered commission two years later. Moskva was followed by Leningrad, which was commissioned in late 1968; there were no further vessels built, reportedly due to the poor handling of the ships in rough seas. Both were conventionally powered. The Moskvas were not true "aircraft carriers" in that they did not carry any fixed-wing aircraft; the air wing was composed entirely of helicopters. They were designed primarily as anti-submarine warfare (ASW) vessels, and her weapons and sensor suite was optimized against the nuclear submarine threat. Their strategic role was to defend the Soviet ballistic missile submarine bases against incursions by Western attack submarines, forming the flagships of an ASW task force. This is the latest book from Kagero in their Top Drawing series, and like the previous books it has a brief history and the ships specifications at the beginning. The rest of the eighteen pages are filled with beautifully drawn diagrams of every part of the ship. Of most interest is the drawings of the internals of the hanger and missile magazines, which while not much use to most modellers could make for an interesting scratchbuild. It is obvious that a lot of time has been taken to get the drawings this good and accurate. As well as the larger diagrams, all drawn to 1:200 scale, are smaller drawings giving accurate details on most of the ships weapons systems and radars in 1:100 scale. In addition to the booklet, there are two A2 plans. Sheet 1 is in full colour with top, profile and fore/aft views on one side, in a 1:400 scale on one side and similar line drawings on the reverse side. Strangely enough Sheet 2 has the same line drawings as sheet 1, but on the reverse are a pair of side view line drawings, the upper of which is full hull and shows the stowage for the helicopters, while the lower profile is annotated, describing the ships weapons systems, radars and sonar. Conclusion I’ve always liked the rather odd shape of the Moskvas and being the Soviets first real attempt at aviation at sea, they were of interest to a young Royal Navy engineer, as they appeared to be so heavily armed. While this book/booklet is not the thickest around, it does contain lots of useful information that a modeller can use, especially updating eh rather old Airfix 1:600 kit, building the Combrig 1:700 kit, or keeping it in the library patiently waiting for that 1:350 kit that will surely be produced by a major manufacturer. Review sample courtesy of
  6. Shar2

    Type VIIC/41 U-Boat. 1:350

    Type VIIC/41 U-Boat Revell 1:350 Type VIIC/41 was a slightly modified version of the successful VIIC and had basically the same engine layout and power. Armament was the same with 5 torpedo tubes (4 at the bow and one at the stern). The biggest difference was that these boats had a stronger pressure hull giving them more depth to evade attack under (operational 120m and crush depth at 250m against VIIC's 100/200). They also had lighter machinery to compensate for the added steel in the hull making them actually slightly lighter than the VIIC. All the type VIIC/41 boats from U-1271 onwards had the mine fittings deleted. The Model The model comes in the new, glossy, but otherwise standard Revell end opening box with a picture of a submarine at sea on the front. Inside there is one large sprue, one small sprue and the two hull halves and deck, all in a medium grey styrene. The moulding on all parts is nicely done, with the vent holes and other detail on the hulls looking really nice. Being a submarine, construction is pretty simple as can be seen by the number of sprues. The build starts with the two hull halves being joined together followed by the deck. The foreplanes are then attached, as are the prop shafts, with integrally moulded fairing and A frame supports, then the propellers themselves. The sternplanes are then fitted, along with the rudders and rudder frame. The tower is assembled from two halves, the command deck, 20mm gun deck and the 37mm gun deck. The foreward periscope is then fitted, followed by the two piece 37mm cannon, and the two twin 20mm cannon are fitted. The main attack periscope is the attached, along with the railings around the 20mm gun deck and the 37mm bandstand. The tower is then glued to the deck, as are the fore and aft mounted guard rails and the snorkel in the raised position. The model is then affixed to the display stand. Decals The single sheet of decals provides markings for U998 and U1004, which also includes the ensign, (without swastika). The decals are nicely produced win good register and slightly matt. The paint schemes though, shows them with the yellow stripe on the tower depicting that they were being used in the training squadron. Leave this off if you want to depict her as an operational boat. Conclusion This is a very nice model of an late U-Boat from a time when Germany was improving all their U-Boat forces. The diminutive size of the completed model means it won’t take up much space in the cabinet. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit
  7. Soviet AA Type 1.5 ton Railroad Truck MiniArt 1:35 The GAZ AA 1.5 ton truck was a licenced manufactured version of the Ford AA truck for the Soviet Union, where more than 950,000 were built. There were many body styles, but the most recognisable version was the flat bed truck as depicted in this kit, although being slightly different, in that instead of standard wheels with rubber tyres, this on is fitted with rail wagon style wheels. The model is contained within a very attractive, bright and colourful box that MiniArt have started using recently. Inside, there are nineteen sprues in grey styrene, one of clear, and a single sheet of etch brass plus a full decal sheet. Unlike the original kit of this truck, you don’t get any cargo provided, but you do get a nice set of rails for the truck to be displayed on. The build starts with the nicely detailed engine with the block, head and sump being glued together followed by the addition of the starter motor, alternator, water pump, auxiliary drive belt, cooling fan, cooling pipes, oil filler pipe. The gearbox is then assembled from three parts and glued to the engine assembly, along with intake manifold. The two, chassis rails are fitted with an extra beam where the truck bed will sit. These are held on the rails by three “U” bolts and their associated clamps. The rear leaf springs are then attached via their support links. Four cross members are then used to join the rails together, as well as the rear chassis end piece, to which the towing eye spring is attached. There is a three piece box attached to the left hand rail, near the front. The rear axle and differential is made up from six parts, if you include the drive shaft. This assembly is then fitted to the rear leaf springs, while the front suspension is made up on a single leaf spring assembly mounted laterally and fitted with the front axle, steering rack and support arms. The rear differential is then fitted with a triangular support structure which also supports the brake rods. The front and rear brake drums are then attached to the axles, followed by two wheels per side on the rear axle and one per side on the front axle. The wheels are then assembled from the outer hub, to which the inner, flanged ring is attached and the central boss detail. The front wheels are then glued to direct to the brake drums, while the rears are fitted with a small spacer between the drum and the wheel. The front chassis end cap is attached as are the two bumper side arms, while to the rear there is a choice of towing hook styles, one, just a single piece unit, the other is made up from five parts. The engine assembly is then glued into position, followed by the two piece radiator, two piece front bumper and two support brackets on chassis rails. The five piece exhaust is the attached to the right hand side. The two front fenders are each single piece units to which a small hook is attached before being fitted to the chassis, as are two of the lateral truck bed beams. The cab floor is also attached and fitted with the bench seat, gear stick and panel support. The three piece wiper/wiper motor is fitted to the front screen surround, once the clear screen has been fitted. The screen is then fitted with two small arms, these can be glued in either the stowed position for a closed screen, or down, so that the screen can be posed open. The rear of the bonnet section is then glued to the front of the screen support, along with eh two side sections and engine bulkhead which has been detailed with several small parts. Inside the foot pedals are attached lower bulkhead, part of the floor panel fitted earlier, before the front cab assembly is glued into place, along with the steering column and wheel. The three piece rear panel and roof of the cab are then glued into place, as are the two bonnet supports, between the bulkhead and the radiator. Each door is made up from five parts, including clear section, door handles, latches and window winders. The doors are then put to one side. The bonnet halves, split longitudinally are each made from two sections, which can be posed in either the open or closed positions, allowing the modeller to show of the engine should they so choose. The doors are then attached; again, they can be posed open or closed as the modeller wishes. The three piece horn is attached to a rail, which in turn is attached to the front of the vehicle between the fenders. The two, three piece headlights are then fitted, as is the single, two piece wing mirror, on the drivers side. The truck bed is then assembled from five parts, depending on the colour scheme being built you can have either four plank sides, front and rear sections you can use six plank sections. The bed, sides, front and rear sections are glued into place, completing the truck section of the build. The rest of the build concentrates on the tracks. These consists of sleepers, two lengths of rail per side being joined by fishplates, and the individual rail ties. When assembled and painted there will look very realistic, when compared with the Trumpeter style of rail track. Since they are of Russian gauge, you won’t be able to use them with Axis vehicles, but MiniArt do additional sets of track if you wish to build a rail diorama with the Soviet armoured railcars that are on the market. Decals The decal sheet gives the modeller six options. The decals are beautifully printed, are clear and in good register with a slightly matt finish. The different companies Initials are included for two of the options, as well as the other vehicles respective registration plates and insignia. The options are:- An Unidentified Waffen SS unit, presumably the Reichskommissariat, Ostland 1943 – 1944, four plank bed. An Unidentified Soviet unit used between 1941 and 1945, with four plank bed. An Unidentified of the Wehrmacht, on the Eastern Front 1941 – 1943, with a four plank bed. Deutsche Reichsbahn, (Imperial Railway Administration), on the Eastern Front between 1942 and 1943 with a four plank bed. An Unidentified Soviet unit used between 1941 and 1945 with a six plank bed. Deutsche Reichsbahn, (Imperial Railway Administration), Ostland, used between 1943 and 1944 with a six plank bed. Conclusion I just love these trucks from MiniArt, they are so evocative of the period and can be used in so many situations, whether on their own, or an evocative diorama. The oddity that is having a truck on rails will make it stand out in your collection and certainly be a conversation piece. The staff at MiniArt should be commended for giving us modellers such great kits with pretty much everything you need, just let your imagination run wild. Review sample courtesy of Miniart - Distibuted in the UK By Creative Models
  8. Thanks very much. Didn't realise there was one in 350. Will add that to my wants list.
  9. Shar2

    Soviet T-34/85 with Riders. 1:35

    Ah, right thanks not up on my Soviet small arms..
  10. IJN Destroyer Fubuki Kagero Super Drawings in 3D The IJN’s plans called for 24 Fubuki-class destroyers. These were produced in two groups of ten, the Special Type I and the Special Type II which were distinguished by several technical differences. Type A turret, while the Type II had the Type B turret. The last four ships that were to be produced featured so many changes from the original design that they were redesignated as the Akatsuki-class. Despite the advantages of the Fubuki-class, it was not without problems. The design was overweight from the outset, which caused serious stability issues. There were also concerns with the structural integrity of the design. On September 26, 1935, the IJN fleet ran into a typhoon at sea. Two Special Type destroyers lost their bows, three more suffered severe structural damage, and six others had hull damage. As a result, from November 1935 to 1938 all of the Fubuki-class were sent back to the shipyards for hull strengthening and weight reduction. A ballast keel and an additional 40 tons of ballast were added. To lighten the topside of the ship, whose weight was the partial source of instability, a number of measures were taken: the bridge was reduced in size, smoke stacks were shortened, the number of torpedo reloads reduced, and magazine storage for the main guns was reduced. The result of these efforts was that the displacement was increased to 2,090 tons and top speed reduced to 34 knots, but the stability concerns had successfully been addressed. During the Pacific War, the Fubuki saw extensive service. For example, the Shikinami, which was assigned to Destroyer Division 19, was responsible for finishing off the cruiser USS Houston at the Battle of Sunda Strait during early 1942, participated in the Second Naval Battle of Guadalcanal from November 12-15, 1942, survived the Battle of the Bismarck Sea in 1943, and was finally sunk by the submarine USS Growler on September 12, 1944. Another Fubuki-class, the Amagiri, was the ship responsible for sinking John F. Kennedy’s PT-109 on August 2, 1943. It was later sunk by a mine in the Makassar Strait on April 23, 1944. As the war progressed, surviving Fubuki were modified to increase their survivability. Anti-aircraft armament was increased first to 2 x 13mm twin mounts, then to 2 x 25mm triple mounts, then to even more 25mm triple mounts, with some destroyers apparently being armed with as many as fifteen triple 25mm mounts. Seven of the destroyers were also eventually fitted with No. 22 radars, but the first was not installed on the Yugiri until November 1943, long after the tide of the war had shifted in favour of the Allies. Eighteen of the class were sunk- six to Allied submarines, seven to aerial attack, three to Allied surface ships, and two to mines. Only one of the destroyers, the Ushio, survived the war (another destroyer, the Miyuki, was sunk in a collision in 1934). This is the latest book from Kagero in their Super Drawings in 3D, and like the previous books it has a brief history and the ships specifications at the beginning. This includes the following:- Overview Design, Propulsion and Armour Armaments Service Record Conclusion The rest of the ninety three pages are filled with the now well known style of beautifully drawn 3D renderings of every part of the ship. It is obvious that a lot of time has been taken to get the drawings this good and accurate, and there is a wealthy of information for the modeller to use during their build. Every area of the upper hull and superstructure is dealt with plus the lower hull including the propellers and rudder. I particularly like the renderings of the torpedo launchers and the turrets and ships boats, plus the interior of the bridge with the paraphernalia contained therein. She certainly was a very good looking ship, even with the unbalanced main armament with one turret forward and two aft. For even more detail, especially for the rigging, Kagero have included a double sided A2 fold out sheet with a three view on one side, unusually in 1:200, with additional drawings of the fore and aft views, ships fixtures, such as bridge, funnels, AA platforms and radar, most of which are in 1:100 or 1:50 scales. Conclusion This is another superb book in the series and a great addition to any maritime modeller’s library. This series is a boon to any ship modeller and is turning into a magnificent collection of titles. The detail included is second to none, and the renderings are so clear that they will be a delight for the superdetailers, particularly if building the Tamiya, Pit-Road and Yamashita Hobby kits in 1:700. Review sample courtesy of
  11. RKKA Drivers (1943 – 1945) ICM 1:35 ICM have a great selection of figures in their catalogue, the latest set is of is for RKKA Drivers, consisting of two drivers, with eh picture on the front showing one in a truck and one in a staff car. I’m sure each could be posed to fit in most of the vehicles released by ICM or indeed any other manufacturer that needs a driver. Each figure is made up from separate legs/lower torso, upper torso, arms and head; the truck driver also has a separate hat. Conclusion This is another very useful set for the diorama builders where it’s good to have the vehicles built actually being driven. Review sample courtesy of
  12. Soviet Pilots (1939 – 1942) ICM1:32 ICM have a great selection of figures in their catalogue, the latest set is of is for Soviet Pilots, consisting of two pilots and a member of the operations staff. One pilot is in a sitting position, just right to pose in your lovely I-16 or I-153. The other pilot is standing and should be posed with the third figure as it looks like he’s giving the pilot a briefing before a mission. Each figure is made up from separate legs/lower torso, upper torso, arms and head; the standing pilot also has a two piece helmet. Then there is a selection of map and ammunition pouches, holsters, and parachutes and goggles. The parachute packs could do with some better webbing as the two parts provided for the standing pilot don’t look that realistic. Conclusion As usual ICM brings us something a little different, and it’s nice to see some 1:32 scale figures for use with their lovely aircraft kits. Review sample courtesy of
  13. Shar2

    Soviet T-34/85 with Riders. 1:35

    Soviet T-34/85 with Riders ICM 1:35 History The T-34 was and remains a legend. It is not only the most produced tank of the WWII-era, with 84,000 built (compared to the 48,966 Shermans of all versions) but also one of the longest-serving tanks ever built. Many are still stored in depots in Asia and Africa, and some served actively during the 90’s (such as during the 1991-99 Yugoslavian war). They formed the backbone of countless armoured forces around the globe from the fifties to the eighties. The basic design was drawn for the first time in 1938 with the A-32, in turn partially derived from the BT-7M, a late evolution of the US-born Christie tank. The T-34/85 came about after it was recognised that there was a need to increase the firepower of the T-34/76 following the Battle of Kursk in 1943. While the hull stayed the same, a new turret was designed and was to be originally fitted with a derivative of the M1939 air defence gun. This gun wasn’t chosen to be produced en masse, that honour went to the ZIS-S-53 which armed the 11,800 tanks produced between 1944 and 1945. The Model The model arrives in a strong box with a separate top sleeve with a nice artist’s representation of the tank and riders on the front. Inside, within a large poly bag, are five sprues and two hull parts of green styrene and, four lengths of tracks, a small sprue of clear styrene, and a smallish decal sheet. On initial inspection the parts are really well moulded, clean, with no sign of flash. There are a number of moulding pips, some of which are on quite fragile looking parts, so care should be taken when removing. The sprue gates attaching some items like are also quite heavy and I can see these parts breaking if not careful. The build begins with the fitting of the engine cover onto the rear decking, and the bow machine gun, armoured tear drop, mantle and ball. The two intake covers are then assembled and also fitted to the rear deck. The two piece bow mounted machine gun is then assembled and slide into the ball of the mounting, being glued such that it is still moveable, whilst there are four plates that are fitted to the underside of the rear decking. The drivers hatch is made up form four parts before being glued into position. Back aft, the rear bulkhead is attached, followed by the radiator cover. Inside the lower hull section the eight suspension boxes are fitted, four per side as are the two driver’s control sticks, whilst the rear mudguards are fitted to the rear. On the outside the driver gearbox covers are fitted, as are the five axles on their torsion beam suspension arms and the idler axles. The drivers are machine gunners seats, each made from six parts are glued in their appropriate positions and the two hull halves joined together. Each of the idler wheels, drive sprockets and road wheels are made from two parts before being fitted to their respective axles. The four towing hooks are then attached, two at the front and two aft. The upper hull is then fitted out with grab handles, stowage beams and a couple of smaller hooks. Each of the two halves of rubber track lengths are joined together and slide of the wheels. While there isn’t really any interior, ICM have allowed for the fact that some modellers like to have the hatches open, to that effect there is some semblance of interior parts. The main gun breech is made up form thirteen parts, and although relatively simple, does look quite effective. On the outside of the turret the mantlet and fixed section of the mantlet cover are fitted, the breech assembly is then glued to the mantlet from the inside and the lower turret, including the turret ring is glued into place. The moving section of the mantlet cover is then attached, along with the machine gun muzzle. The three piece mantlet extension and three piece main gun is then fitted, along with the four piece cupola, gunners hatch, grab handles, ventilator dome, viewing block and top armour plate for the mantlet. There are more stowage bars, periscope sights, lifting eyes and viewing blocks fitted to the turret before the whole assembly si fitted to the upper hull. Final assembly includes the four, four piece fuel drums, each with two cradles, spare track links, stowage boxes and aerial base. There is a four piece folded tarpaulin, (in place of one of the fuel drums), another stowage box, two more track links headlight, horn, two towing cables and a large saw attached before the model can be declares complete. The riders are then assembled. There are four of them, and each is made up from separate legs, upper torso, arms, head and headgear. There are also separate pouches, water bottles, ammunition drums and ammunition pouches. The weapons are also separate with the ammunition drum or magazine to be attached. Three are armed with the PPSh-41 sub-machine gun and one with a German MP-40 sub-machine gun. Decals The decal sheet provides four options for tanks that each served in 1945. All of the tanks are in all over green, each with tank ID numbers and unit markings. The choices are:- A T-34/85, 7th Guards Tank Corps, Germany, Spring 1945 A T-34/85, 7th Guards Mechanised Corps, Germany, Spring 1945 A T-34/85, 4th Guard Tank Army, Germany, Spring 1945 A T-34/85, of an undesignated unit, from the Spring 1945 Conclusion This is another fine kit from ICM. Although not the most complicated of tank kits, it does look the part and would make a nice, relaxing weekend build. The addition of the riders makes for some interesting diorama builds. Review sample courtesy of
  14. Shar2

    Holt 75 Artillery Tractor. 1:35

    Nice one, thanks Andy.
  15. Lucky Varnish, Gloss and Ultra Matt AMMO by Mig Jimenez When my colleague Mike reviewed the previous incarnations of these varnishes he found there was a problem with reaction to pain and bubbling. So we had high hopes that the formulation had been changed to prevent this. It would appear that AMMO, have indeed sorted out this problem, only I found another problem. On doing a trial spray at the recommended pressures etc, the gloss went on white and splotchy, whether this was due to the warm temperatures we are currently experiencing in the UK on not, I do not know. I also tried the matt varnish and while it went on better, but still reacted to the underlying paint., When dry it had lightened the paintwork to a dull white sheen. See attached photos, gloss on the left, matt on the right. Wet Dry Conclusion Now, I love AMMO products, I use their paints and scenics almost exclusively without any problems at all, and have always had superb results, so it’s a bit surprising they cannot get these varnishes right, in fact there is something very wrong with these products, as even I can’t get them this wrong. Review sample courtesy of
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