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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 08/27/1965

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    Male
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    Sunbury, Middx
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    Maritime and AFV modelling.
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  1. Fairmile D MGB 660 Atlantic Models 1/350 The Fairmile D has to be one of the most popular boat used in the narrow seas, certainly by this reviewer. Following on from the earlier Fairmile boats the D was designed purely as a gun boat to take on the German S boats, although it never matched the speed of the S boats the armament was such that if intercepted they could easily overwhelm the German vessels. When fitted with even heavier weapons and torpedo tubes, these boats were able to take on much larger craft with considerable success. Around 229 D’s were built between 1942 and 1945. The Model The kit arrives in a small cardboard box filled with polystyrene peanuts, and comes complete with single piece hull, a small resin block and a small etched brass fret. The main hull, which is around 2 inches, (50mm) long, and is a beautifully moulded item, although the review example has one very small remnant of a moulding stub on the stern, but this is well below the waterline so when using in a diorama it may well be ignored, unless the modeller is really picky, even then they will easily be removed with a sharp scalpel or a few swipes of a sanding stick. The rest of the hull and "superstructure" is very clean and nicely done. Another small bag contains the rest of the resin items, namely the dinghy, life rafts, 6pdr mounting, twin 20mm mounting and 2pdr mounting. The rest of the parts come on a smallish etched brass fret. As can be seen in the photo there is quite a bit of thin resin around each of these parts that will need to be carefully removed with a sanding stick or scalpel. Construction begins with the assembly of the twin Oerlikon mounting with the fitting of the two guns to the resin mounting along with the separate sighting and laying frame. Two single Oerlikons, each consisting of the barrel with sights attached and which have to be folded to shape, the two sides of the breech section and the gun shield. These are then attached to the moulded pintles on either side of the bridge The 6pdr mounting resin part is fitted with the sight and armoured top box before being glued into position. With the weaponry fitted to their respective positions, the bridge is fitted with the windscreen, the anchor is mounted on the foredeck and the mast glued into position and fitted with the small yardarm and upper mast section with gaff attached. The ships wheel is fitted as is the hatch aft of the bridge, along with its associated railings. The rest of the ships railings can then be fitted in their respective positions, and that is pretty much it, unless you are going to mount the model in a display case, in which case the four propeller shafts, propellers and two rudders can be fitted. Since there are a number of Fairmile D versions being re-released the etch sheet does have quite a lot of spare parts which can be used to modify this kit into the boat of your choice according to the references you are using. Conclusion This is another great re-release, and Peter Hall should be thanked for bringing this wonderful little kit back on the market. As usual the resin moulding is superb with absolutely no sign of defects such as pin holes etc, only the tiny bit of moulding stub needs to be cleaned up. It is also another great kit for those new to resin and etch which lends itself to a whole raft of different scenarios for a diorama or vignette. Review sample courtesy of Peter Hall of
  2. HMS Exeter 1:350 Etch Set With the release of the Trumpeter 1:350 HMS Exeter is was only a matter of time before White Ensign Models brought out an etched set. As per usual the set has been designed by Peter Hall of Atlantic Models and sold on the Toms Modelworks website, as well as a large, well known emporium in Lowestoft. If you’ve used WEM’s sets before then you pretty much know what you’re going to get. A great selection of brass parts to really enhance your model of this famous ship. Some kit parts will need to have their detail removed before the brass can be added others are completely replaced by brass and there are parts that Trumpeter missed out, but have been included on this sheet. This very comprehensive set comes on a single large fret which is 290 x 195mm with about 113 different parts squeezed onto it. As well as a full ships set of railings, including specially shaped parts for the fo’c’sle there are a host of watertight doors, some of which can be posed open should the modeller desire, deck hatches, vertical ladders, inclined ladders and support braces for all the smaller platforms that get missed in the kit. The main gun turrets are provided with new rear access doors, while the 4” secondary mounts are provided with new railings, hand wheels and sights. The 0.5” quad machine gun mountings are completely replaced with brass parts with each mounting consisting of four parts, two of which will need some careful folding. The paravanes are also heavily modified with most of the plastic detail removed leaving just the body. The fins, fin support, tail and wire cutter are then added. One of the most interesting features of HMS Exeter at this period of her career was the twin fixed catapults. The kit pieces are completely discarded and replaced with much more detailed items complete with the two extending sections for each catapult. Please note that only one catapult could be extended at a time as they would clash if both extended. This set also included new aircraft launch cradles one for each aircraft in the kit. There is also an aircraft access platform which was mobile to access either catapult. The aircraft crane is also extensively modified, or if the modeller wants completely replaced. You can either add some detail to the crane base cab, and just replace the jib or you can replace the cab as well. Both of which will require some careful folding, but the finished crane will look so much more realistic. Each funnel is provided with a new internal walkway and funnel cap, while the fore funnel is also provided with two new sirens and their respective platforms. The various Carley flots need to have the internal gratings removed as these are replaced with brass parts giving them a much more accurate look. The floats are also provided with paddles. Some of the kit parts are themselves made of brass, but I find the Trumpeter brass to be too thick, thus, items such as the depth charge rails are replaced with the thinner brass in this set. If you want to load up the rails you will need to make the depth charges from 1.5mm styrene rod cut to 2mm lengths. Items such as the boat support frame and boat cradles are also provided on the sheet completely replacing the kit plastic parts, with the exception of the davits. The boats themselves are given new gunwales, thwarts, and rudders for the open boats, and new interior cabins for the motor boats, which is also provided with a seat for the coxswain, boats wheel, windscreen and hand rails and light mast for the cabin roof. Moving onto the aircraft, there are parts for each type, with the Supermarine Walrus receiving replacement struts for the mainplanes, horizontal tailplanes, engine mounted struts and floats. The Walrus also gets a new engine mount, propeller, scarff rings, wheels, landing gear legs and two Lewis machine guns. If you wish to pose the Walrus with wings folded, there is also an option for that in the shape of the wing hinge fold and inner rib faces. The Fairey IIIF has fewer parts to replace, but these include the interplane struts, Lewis gun, float struts, and propeller. For the rest of the ship there are new baffles and gratings for the bridge, a completely new WT office and aerial house, much finer signal platform supports that you could possible produce in plastic, anchors, and new boiler room vent boxes in two different styles. The two masts are provided with new yardarms, complete with footropes, while the foremast is also given a new DT aerial and platform, new lower platform and two TBS antenna. The rest of the sheet includes wardroom window hatches, washdeck locker hatches, 4” ammunition locker doors, leadsman platforms, flag lockers, bridge semaphores and aldis lamps. Conclusion It’s great that the fine name of White Ensign Models has been saved by Toms Modelworks and having great detail sets released under that name. The set itself is well up to the usual standard we have come to expect from Peter Hall and will help produce a wonderfully detailed model of this great ship. While it may not be as comprehensive as the detail sets from other manufacturers it’s still up there with the best, and if you are on a limited budget then this is the set to go for. Review sample kindly provided be Richard at
  3. 73ft Motor Torpedo Boat Atlantic Models 1/350 Motor Torpedo Boat (MTB) 379 was the prototype of a new Royal Navy design for a 73-foot fast attack flush decked wooden MTB combining torpedo and heavier gun armament. Chief designer was Commander Peter du Cane, Managing Director of Vosper Ltd, Portsmouth, UK. Power was provided by three 1400 horsepower Packard petrol engines. Top speed was 39 knots at full power. Armament was four 18-inch torpedo tubes, one 20mm Oerlikon gun and two twin Lewis .303 machine guns. Sixteen of this Type 1 design were built as MTB 380-395 and five Type 2 boats were built as MTB 524-527 featuring a six-pounder gun. MTB 379 was ordered in 1942 and built in early 1943 with the other boats being built thereafter. These MTBs were widely used in naval operations in the English Channel and along the coast of occupied Europe until 1945. The Model The kit arrives in a small, ziplock poly bag, complete with single piece hull, a small resin block and a small etched brass fret. The main hull, which is around 1.5 inches, (37.5mm) long, and is a beautifully moulded item, although the review example had two very small defect on the starboard side lower hull, near the chine and a slight moulding stub on the bow and stern, but these are all below the waterline so when using in a diorama they may well be ignored, unless the modeller is really picky, even then they will easily be removed with a sharp scalpel or a few swipes of a sanding stick. The rest of the hull and "superstructure" is very clean and nicely done. Another small bag contains the rest of the resin items, these are the four 18” torpedo tubes and four ventilator cowls, although the review sample only came with three as one seems to have been knocked off the moulding block and it definitely wasn’t in the bag. These items have a small amount of soft resin flash and pour stubs which are readily cleaned up. Otherwise they are once again nicely moulded. The rest of the parts are contained on the single, smallish etched brass sheet. These include the mast assembly, which is folded together to make the complete mast, with the radar antenna already in place. Just the anemometer and yardarm to attach and it’s ready to glue into position. The forward mounted twin 20mm cannon mounting consists of the guns which need to be folded into position, the separate sight, pintle, which isn’t actually needed on this kit as the pedestal is pre-moulded on the hull and shield. The bandstand railings are then carefully rolled to shape and glued in place. The rest of the brass fittings include the boats wheel and windshield for the bridge, two liferings, three deck hatches, jackstaff, anchor and railings for the bow and stern. On the forward pair of tubes there is a rocket projector, each required to be folded to make the complete part. On the rear tubes there are a pair of twin Vickers machine guns, which like the Oerlikon also need to be folded to shape along with the pintle and each gun fitted with a drum magazine. If required the model can be fitted with the three propeller shaft skegs, propellers and rudders, but as these kit will most likely find themselves in a diorama or vignette then they can be left off. Conclusion It’s great to see this and other narrow seas boats being re-released by Atlantic Models, having been lost to the modelling world since White Ensign went down. This is a great little kit and would be a good starter piece for those not used to working with resin or etch. Look forward to seeing other boats in the range being re-released as well as number of new kits which are or the drawing board. The instructions show the paint scheme for MTB 379 using Colourcoats paints, but if you wish you can paint it for whatever boat you wish to depict as there are no decals to worry about. Review sample courtesy of Peter Hall of
  4. Finnish and SS Figures SBS Models 1:35 SBS Models are getting a great reputation for their wonderful idiosyncratic aircraft which are mainly in 1/72, as well as their updates and modification sets in for both aircraft and military vehicles. They also stock another range from Hungarian company The Bodi who produce a quite extensive range of figures in 1/35 and 1/48 scales. The three single figure sets being reviewed here are produced in dark grey resin with some very fine details which will need some very careful painting to pick out. The three are:- Finnish Officer WWII – TB-35147 - The figure is moulded with the body and legs moulded as one part, with the arms moulded separately along with three separate heads, one with a steel helmet, one with a brevet style hat and one bare headed. The figure also comes with what looks like the iconic PPSh sub-machine gun with separate 71 round drum magazine, but is in fact the Suomi KP/-31 from which the PPSh was copied after the Winter War with Finland. Finnish Tank Crewman WWII – TB-35148 – As with the Finnish Officer figure, this figure comes with body and legs moulded as one piece, the arms are separate and you also get three choices of head, one with a peaked cap, one with soft tankers helmet, complete with headset and one bare headed. Waffen SS Mechanic WWII – TB-35152 – Unlike the other figures this one is a bit more, shall we say, dismantled. The legs are separate items, which once joined can be added to the torso. The arms are separate too, as is the single head. The figure comes with a ubiquitous Jerry can which he holds in his right hand using the central handle. Conclusion I’ve not come across this series of figures before and at first sight they are really well produced. There is quite a bit of clean-up required to get rid of the thin webs of extraneous resin and the moulding blocks. Once that’s done it’s just down to your patience and steady hand to get the most out of the detail. Review samples courtesy of
  5. Shar2

    Telford 2019

    I'll be hanging with reprobates of the Ipswich branch thanks to an invite by Julien, having bribed him with the promise of home made chocolate cookies.
  6. Cool, thanks. 8 filament and one resin. Mostly ABS, but one we use mostly for carbon fibre/Nylon. Oh and our large printer which can print up to 1m cubed, uses PLA.
  7. Very nice. I really must pull my finger out and get designing stuff as I have access to and look after 9 3D printers. Where did you get the dimensions for your design?
  8. Very nice. Brings back some great memories of my time on 899.
  9. @Billydick Yes, it's all part of rearranging the financing. Thank you for your support.
  10. Shar2

    Harrier T.4(N) cockpit

    Yes, the moving map was still fitted. From memory there wasn't much in the way of FRS-1 equipment fitted as they were purely used to train pilots to fly the Sea Harrier. The radar systems etc were fitted to Hunter T-8M's in which the pilots learned to fight. Only when they got into the SHAR did they combine the two disciplines.
  11. Type III Hunt Class Destroyer L’Arsenal 1:350 The Hunt class, of which eighty six hulls were completed, were modelled on an escort sloop HMS Bittern from 1938, she was 262-foot in length and of 1,190 tons with 3,300 shp on geared turbines for 18¾ knots. She had an armament of three twin Mark XIX mounts for the QF 4-inch gun Mark XVI. The guns were controlled by a Fuse Keeping Clock AA fire control computer when engaging aircraft. The Hunt class was to ship the same armament, plus a quadruple QF 2 pounder mount Mark VII on a hull of the same length but with 8 feet less beam and installed power raised to 19,000 shp to give 27 knots. The first twenty were ordered in March and April 1939. They were constructed to Admiralty standards, as were contemporary destroyers, unlike the frigates, which conformed much more to mercantile practice. The Hunts posed a major design challenge. They would be too short and narrow and of insufficient range for open ocean work, being restricted to the North Sea and Mediterranean Sea. This sacrifice was accepted to give any chance of meeting the requirements. The demanding specifications in an overworked Admiralty design department resulted in a major design miscalculation. When the detailed calculations were done the centre of gravity was lower than expected and the beam was increased. As the first ships were being completed it was found that the design was as much as 70 tons overweight, top heavy, leaving them dangerously deficient in stability. The first twenty ships were so far advanced in construction that it was necessary to remove the 'X' 4-inch gun mount and add 50 tons of permanent ballast. These ships became the Type I group, and had the multiple 2-pounder gun relocated from behind the funnel to the more useful 'X' position. The design deficiency of the Type I was rectified by splitting the hulls lengthwise and adding a 2½ foot section, increasing the beam to 31 ft 6 in and the margin of stability sufficiently for the designed armament to be shipped. These ships became the Type II group, and also had a revised design of bridge with the compass platform extending forwards to the wheelhouse face. Under the 1939 Emergency War Programme 36 more Hunts had been ordered; three of these were completed to the original Type I design. Depth charge stowage could also be increased from 40 in the Type I to 110 in the Type II. For the 1940 building tranche, torpedoes were deemed necessary. The next 27 ships were completed to a revised design, the Type III group, and were intended specifically for Mediterranean work. They sacrificed 'Y' gun for a pair of 21-inch torpedo tubes amidships, the searchlight being displaced to the aft shelter deck as a result. The Type III Hunts could be easily identified as they had a straight funnel with a sloping top and the foremast had no rake. Fourteen of them had their stabiliser fins removed (or not fitted in the first place) and the space used for extra fuel oil. The Model The model, which depicts one of the twenty seven Type III Hunts is packed into a brown cardboard box with a picture of the model on the front. Inside there is the single piece hull, nicely wrapped in bubble-wrap, along with several Ziploc bags containing the rest of the resin parts, and one containing the propellers which look like they’ve been 3D printed. There is also a bag of turned brass parts, produced by MASTER models, a fairly comprehensive sheet of etched brass and a nicely printed decal sheet. Most of the resin parts are still attached to their moulding block, although many in the review sample had come off the blocks and were loose in the bags, so be aware when you remove them. The moulding is very nicely done throughout, although the hull has a large seam that needs to be removed from the whole length of the keel. There also appear to be some areas where the resin has splashed that will need some careful cleaning up. Other than removing the small parts from the moulding blocks, some will also need to be cleaned up of flash, particularly the large items such as the torpedo tubes and main gun shields. The splinter shields on the main deck and superstructure sections is some of the thinnest resin I’ve encountered so care must be taken in not breaking them as the build progresses. Due to the way that the parts have been moulded, the hull can be cleaned up and painted before any other parts need to be glued to the deck, great for those of us that use an airbrush. The separate parts can then be painted and fitted in accordance to the instructions. The assembly begins with the fo’c’sle with the bitts, cleats, capstans, anchors the hawse pipe onto which the Jackstaff is attached and a ventilator. Aft of the breakwater the ready use lockers for A turret are fitted, along with a cable reel, and seven ventilators. The twin 4” gun turret is assembled from three resin parts, the mounting, breeches and gun shield and two turned brass barrels. The bridge structure is assembled next with fitting of two flag lockers, two signal lamps two PE watertight doors at main deck level, two PE life raft racks onto which the resin life rafts are then attached, a PE frame fitted to the front of the bridge, onto which a separate anemometer is attached. On either side of the flag deck, one on either side of the ship is a 20mm Oerlikon mount, each made up from one resin and two PE parts. Aft of the bridge is the main gun director, made from four resin and eight PE parts. The instructions show the director access ladder running from the flag deck to the director access hatch. This doesn’t look right as the director rotates and the ladder would prevent this, so check your references. The completed bridge can then be glued into position and the various bits of deck furniture fitted, these include cleats, ventilators, intakes, inclined ladders and tall deckhouse with PE door and the two PE wing support frames. Aft of the bridge, the foremast is assembled from six PE parts and one resin part; this is then glued into position. Between the main deck and fo’c’sle are two inclined ladders and on the bulkhead there are two more intakes. Just aft there are two more deckhouses, to which two cable reels are attached along with four large intakes, two of which have a support frame between them and four PE access hatches on the deck. There are two more cable reels just forward and outboard of the intake structures. The funnel is a single resin part to which three chimneys are attached along with a PE walkway facing aft. The assembly is then glued into place just aft of the mast supports. The intake structure mentioned earlier also acts as support for the PomPom deck, accessed by two vertical ladders from the main deck and fitted with a four barrelled PomPom made up from six resin parts. The two ships boats are then assembled, each with a separate PE rudder and supported by PE davits, the whaler is then fitted on the starboard side and the motor boat on the port adjacent to the PomPom deck structure. Aft of the PomPom is the twin torpedo tube launcher and the deck is fitted with more cleats, bitts, ventilators, a cable reel and a small crane. The central superstructure block is fitted with a cable reel each side, a vertical ladder and a resin searchlight. The assembly is then glued into place. The aft superstructure is fitted with the second 4” gun turret, several ventilators, four ready use lockers, a short mainmast with brass yardarm, watertight doors, cable reels, five depth-charge reloads on one side and three reloads on the other, plus two intakes per side. Once complete the assembly is glued into position. The quarter deck is then fitted out with more cleats, bitts, and ventilators, along with another cable reel, a capstan, three smoke generators per side, plus two depth charge rails, each made from a resin part and a folded PE frame before being attached to their positions on the stern. Just aft of the aft superstructure is a bandstand for a 20mm Oerlikon mount and either side of this there are two depth charge throwers with stands for three reloads each and their associated cranes. Since this kit has a full hull option only there are parts for the lower hull to fit, these include the two brass propeller shafts, resin A frame supports/bearing shafts and two beautifully rendered 3D printed propellers, along with the rudder aft, whilst forward there are the two stabiliser fins, one each side and the ASDIC dome forward. The decal sheet provides enough numbers and designation letters for any of the 27 Type III’s, but there are no nameplates or any other markings included so you will need to source these yourself should you really want to. Conclusion This is my first look at a full kit from L’Arsenal and I am quite impressed. Yes it’s a little rougher than those from another company that deals mainly with British subjects, and will take little more work to clean up and build, but at the end of the day it is a Hunt Class in 1:350 and we should applaud L’Arsenal for releasing it. I know it has been selling very well for them, as it took quite a while for a review sample to be made available. Highly recommend to the more experienced modeller. Review sampled courtesy of
  12. Heaven High, Ocean Deep Naval Fighter Wing At War Casemate Publishers. 9781612007557 After several limited deployments by individual ships, sailing with the US task forces and with the naval task winding down throughout the European Theatre the Royal Navy started to focus on the Pacific from around the August 1943 Quebec conference of Allied leaders. It wasn’t until the second Quebec conference the following year that Britain voiced its intent on playing a part in direct operations against Japan. Formed on the 22nd November 1944, the British Pacific Fleet became the largest and most powerful deployed force in the history of the Royal Navy. The US Admirals were against such a forces expressing that they could not supply the BPF with the supply train it would need, so the RN ensured that, apart from fuel oil, which became a shared resource, the fleet was totally self sufficient. The core of the fleet was built around the six Illustrious Class armoured carriers, ensuring that four would be on task at any one time. This book takes the story of one of these carriers, namely HMS Indomitable, and the 5th Fighter Wing from April 1944 to the end of the war in August 1945. While the book gives a more personal account of why the author came to write the story of his father’s part in the BPF, being that of a Hellcat pilot with 1844 squadron. The story is interposed with anecdotes and excerpts from letters from the men who flew and maintained the aircraft from Indomitable’s deck. It does take a bit of concentration when reading though, as you don’t want to miss anything of the rather ad hoc training regime to the almost blow by blow account of the battles the FAA had with the Japanese. It’s words from the men though really brings it all to life, along with the fantastic collection of period photographs some this reviewer has seen before, but the majority are new. Actually seeing the faces of the young men sent to fight for King and Country makes you feel proud, but tinged with sadness that so many never made it back home. Conclusion As with the Far East campaign on land and in the air, the Pacific Fleet appears to have been forgotten by all except the families whose parents and Grand -parents fought in the theatre, or those with a keen military interest. This book will hopefully address this, which even if in a small way to show what the RN accomplished in such a short time, and to keep those who fought and died in our thoughts, never to be forgotten as they continue to serve, on their never ending patrol. Review sample courtesy of
  13. IDF K-9 Unit “OKETZ” ICM 1:16 ICM continue their releases of 1:16 figures that don’t fit in with their World of Guards series, is this figure of an Israeli Defence Force soldier and his K9 companion. The kit comes on two sprues of grey styrene and one of black, with a separate black pedestal. The parts are very well moulded with no sign of flash or other imperfections, and while the build is relatively simple, the painting is what makes these figures stand out, both with the figure and the dog. Being 1:16 scale it’s large enough for the detail to be seen and painted, yet small enough to have a nice collection in a display cabinet. As with the other kits in this series the instructions are not very clear. They consist of a colour drawing of the completed and painted model, with the parts numbered and arrowed. At least ICM have included some detail drawings on the painting guide this time, rather than having to squint and guess. Seeing that the kit is fairly straightforward it probably won’t worry the seasoned figure builder, but it might put off the beginner. The two legs are glued together at the waist, followed by the separately moulded boot soles, and then the two part torso is glued together and attached to the legs. The separate arms, one of which includes the end of the lead in the hand, three piece head, and four piece helmet are the glued into place. Then there is the myriad of equipment pouches attached to the chest, back and sides of the torso, while the separate Glock 17 pistol is fitted to the three piece holster around his right leg. IWI Tavor assault rifle is fitted with the front hand grips, then glued to the right hand and the separate fingers glued into place around the grip. The dog consists of a two part body, two piece head, separate ears, separate tail, and, after searching the instruction sheet carefully I realised the part I couldn’t identify by its shape is in fact the dogs testicles, (now there’s something I’ve never had to write in a review before). Also included is a short length of lead between the dog and handler. The kit comes with a nicely moulded pedestal, large enough for both figures with just single option of top. Alternatively the figure can be presented on a plain flat base. Conclusion If you’re a figure modeller then this will be a great way to pass the time. The painting, although not as difficult as some of ICM’s figures will still require a great deal patience to get right, particularly the shading, and the dog even more so. This is really nicely made though and although quite small, (you will need an optivisor to paint the finer details), and it will look really nice in the display cabinet. Review sample courtesy of
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