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Shar2

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Everything posted by Shar2

  1. Sergey has told me he would gladly do British nuke subs, but there aren't any readily available plans, so he can't.
  2. Ukraine State Aviation Museum Zhulyany Airport, Kiev As some of you know, at least, those who have read my report on MiniArt Models, HERE, back in 2017 I visited Kiev for the very first time. Just south of Kiev city is Zhulyany Airport, the north west section of which is a large open fenced off area, housing the Zhulyany Aircraft Museum, also known as the Oleg Antonov State Aircraft Museum and Ukraine State Aviation Museum. The museum contains more than 80 airframes, both fixed and rotary wing, plus a selection of drones, weapons and a great selection of Russian aircraft engines. Not all the aircraft are on display as there are some in storage and/or being restored. The museum was officially established in 2003 with 30 odd airframes and has been growing ever since into the wonderful museum it is today. If you are in Kiev and plan to make a visit to the museum then you can either take a taxi, which cost around 300 to 400 Hryvnia, (UAH) which equates to £9 to £12 depending where in Kiev you are staying. Once you arrive at what looks like an old industrial estate and bus parking area you will need to get your tickets at the small office in the middle of some iron fence work with three large signs, and next to the main gate. Entrance to the museum will cost you 50uah, (£1.50), and another 20uah, (60p), to take photographs. There are several aircraft that are open to the public but you will have to get your tickets from the office before you enter the museum, these are:- TU-154 – 5uah, (15p) TU-134UBI – 10uah, (30p) TU-134 Presidential – 10uah, (30p) IL-62 – 10UAH, (30p) Mi-26 Helicopter – 5uah, (15p) Mi-8 Helicopter – 5uah, (15p) The engine exhibition is also extra at 10uah, (30p), but is very interesting, with a whole range of soviet era engines, some of which have been cutaway to show their interiors, although the lighting in the large “shed” is, shall we say, a bit dim, so if you want to take photos you will need a flash or set up your camera accordingly, even though flash is said to be forbidden, I wasn’t thrown out or even spoken to by the lady at the door. Talking of ladies, most of the museum seems to be run by women of a certain age, and probably best not to be messed with. They are very helpful though and even with little English they can guide you to the various parts of the museum with great efficiency, they also look after most of the aircraft in which you can gain entrance with your additional tickets. In addition to all the airframes, there is a small, but well stocked gift shop offering everything from a fridge magnets to locally produced model kits such as those from Modelsvit and AModel at reasonable prices, and a second small shop nearby selling drinks and snacks. There is also a large earth mound about 50 yards from the shop, opposite the Bear and Backfires, which is a real boon for the avid plane spotter, as it overlooks the fence to Zhulyany Airport itself. It’s more of a regional airport rather than truly international with mainly Boeing 737’s and the like, but also gets the odd business jet and old Tupolev airliner. But you can get some good photographs of the aircraft landing, taking off and particularly taxing, as the taxiway is right next to the museum fence and main aircraft gate, through which many of the exhibits were brought into the museum. It is near the large gate to the airport that several trucks are parked, these include a large KRAZ fire fighting vehicle and airfield ice clearance vehicle complete with a Klimov VK-1 jet engine, better known by us Brits as a Rolls Royce Nene. Around the south side of the museum there are a number of workshops and a sort of aircraft graveyard. These aren’t open to the public, but there are a number of aircraft on the museum side of the fence being worked on and being restored. The restorers are very nice, once they understand you are interested in their work and if you’re lucky, will show you around their aircraft. Whilst already restored, some of the exhibits are still being worked on to keep them at least alive, if not flight worthy, particularly the IL-86 and IL-76 when I last visited. There is so much to see that you could easily spend the whole day there and take hundreds, if not thousands of photos, in my case over 3000 at the last count, in two visits. Doh! Most of which you will be able to see in the walkround section on Britmodeller. Conclusion This is a superb collection and museum, with lots of aircraft very few in the west have actually seen. While most airframes are in great to good condition, there are a number that look like they will need a good clean or paint-job soon, mostly the Mig and Sukhoi fighters in the centre of the museum grounds. For the price of entrance it is exceptional value for money, (just hope the museum doesn’t read this and put the prices up), but then the Ukraine is pretty cheap for westerners to visit in general. If you’re in Kiev, it is a must on your to-do list. I do hope that this article has given you a flavour of what this museum is like and you enjoy your visit, do remember though that the weather can be rather temperamental in Ukraine, much like here I guess, but it's more extreme, so plan your trip carefully, I have been lucky and visited their both in April and August with bright sunny days on both occasions, but August was particularly hot, around 30'C, so take plenty of water. Prices and currency conversion were correct at time of my last visit.
  3. Shar2

    Gold Bar

    Hi Malcom. Thank you for the donation, your gold membership has been added. Cheers Dave
  4. @Simon CornesIf you send me your drawing, I'll see what I can do ref drawing it up on Solidworks. I look after my faculties 3D printers and can use our projet 3600 to print it out. Can't promise a timescale as it'll be when I haven't got any teaching or project work.
  5. Have you tried Accurate Armour? Just looked and that would be a no. Sorry. But Resucast seem to http://www.resicast.com/products/kits/slideshow-34/index.html
  6. South Pacific Air War Vol.2 The Struggle For Moresby Avonmore Publications Written by Michael Claringbould and Peter Inhman and published by Avonmore publications, this book tells the story of the battle for Port Moresby in a day to day, blow by blow account of the air forces of Australia and the US against the Japanese air force and naval air arm. While the first volume, which we never received dealt with the air battles over Rabaul, This second volume, over two hundred and twenty nine pages, chronicles the aerial warfare in the South Pacific for the two crucial months of March and April 1942 when a deadly struggle for Port Moresby played out. It can be read alone or as part of a trilogy that culminates in the Battle of the Coral Sea in May 1942. The period begins with the stunning 10 March US Navy carrier strike against Lae and Salamaua, which caused the Japanese to pause their advance until their own carriers were available. Instead, they tried to grind the Allied forces at Port Moresby into submission through an unrelenting air assault by their Betty bombers and Zero fighters. After a long wait, Allied land-based fighters finally arrived in the form of Royal Australian Air Force No. 75 Squadron Kittyhawks. These were backed up by a growing collection of United States Army Air Force bombers, including A-24 Banshees, B-17 Flying Fortresses, B-25 Mitchells and B-26 Marauders (the latter two types making their worldwide combat debut over the skies of New Guinea). But it’s not just about the aircraft as the crew members and fighter pilots are also described and in some cases photographed next to their aircraft or in more relaxed surroundings that brings the human story to the fore. Together, this motley force took the fight to the Japanese, resulting in a complex aerial campaign that saw units from both sides reach exhaustion. The book is filled with the details of almost every encounter between the two protagonists, the identities of the pilots and even the ships that were involved. At the end of the book there are tables covering each aircraft lost and what happened to them, not only for the Allies but for the Japanese forces too. To accompany the text there are numerous period photographs as well as computer generated renders of combat between the various aircraft. The final thirty one pages are filled with either three views or side views of the aircraft involved, with descriptions of the unit, where they were based and occasionally their sad demise. Conclusion I’ve not come across this series of books before and will certainly be getting hold of the first volume as this one was compelling reading about a battle I knew very little about. While not aimed at the modeller Per Se, it has a wealth of information about aircraft markings, units and where they were based which, along with the side views allows the modeller to build a true replica of the aircraft involved. There are also some great photographs from which a vignette or diorama can be built should you wish. Highly recommended Review sample courtesy of
  7. Soviet BT-2 Light tank Hobbyboss 1:35 History The KhPZ design bureau headed by Morozov barely changed any features of the original BT-1 chassis and Christie design, concentrating instead on the engine, transmission, turret and weaponry. The turret was of the simple “barrel type”, a cylinder made of several layers of steel, 5-6 mm (0.2-0.24 in) in all, which was designed to house a 37 mm (1.46 in) long barrel, high velocity AT gun. It was not ready for production at the time and was later in chronically short supply. Because of this, many BT-2s were delivered with a mixed armament of DP-DT machines guns only or a 37 mm (1.46 in) gun with or without a single coaxial DT machine-gun. The standard configuration included the gun and a coaxial DT machine-gun mounted in an oblique fixed position, in the Japanese style. Its traverse depended on the turret. The “full machine gun” version consisted of a single coaxial DT machine-gun and a twin DP-28 (Degtyaryov model 1928) light machine gun mount replacing the gun. The other important point was the engine. The Soviets imported a licence for the American Liberty L12, a water-cooled 45° V-12 aircraft engine capable of 400 hp (300 kW), built as the M5-400. This first model, although powerful and light, was also found difficult to maintain and unpredictable. The power-to-weight ratio meant excellent performance, although less impressive than the original Christie M1931, mostly because of the added weight of the turret and all the military equipment. The first run and trials of the BT-2 were successful and showcased a road speed of 100 km/h (62 mph), with an off-road speed of 60-70 km/h (37-43.5 mph) depending of the terrain. They were largely showcased for propaganda purposes and featured in movies throughout the thirties. In 1933, it was a completely new and unrivalled concept in the world, allowing “true” cavalry tactics built on speed, mostly for breakthrough exploitation and advanced reconnaissance missions. This emphasis on speed over protection also reflected the confidence in the naval “battlecruiser” concept, traduced in land warfare. The speed acted like an active protection on its own, since a target moving so fast was more difficult to hit. The M5 engine gave a 39 hp/t power-to-weight ratio and a 400 litre tank allowed a 300 km (186 mi) range at cruising road speed, with a tactical range of just 100 km (62 mi). This was impressive for the time, giving that it was at an average off-road 60 km/h (37 mph). The Kharkov Komintern Locomotive Plant delivered 620 BT-2 until 1935. Most were equipped with the 37 mm (1.46 in) model 30 gun, provisioned with 96 rounds. Some also received a radio “horseshoe” antenna fixed on the turret. The latter had only two side small vision slits. The gun mantlet also varied slightly in shape during the production run. Another external modification included the front mudguards, not mounted on the earliest model, and headlights. The Model The kit comes in a fairly small top opening box with an artists representation of the tank in the field. Inside there are five sprues and two separate parts in the standard tan styrene, two sprues of grey styrene, a small clear sprue, a very small sheet of etched brass and a decal sheet. This si one of those models that you just know is going to be a nice, quick build, until you get to the tracks. The thinness of the instruction sheet tells you that it is a fairly simple kit. The mouldings though are up to the usual standard with some fine detail, including the prominent rivets. There is no sign of flash or other imperfections, but a fair few moulding pips. Construction begins with the drilling out of various holes before the upper hull section is glued to the lower hull, along with the rear mounted drive covers, towing hooks, drive shaft cover and suspension bump stops, three per side. The five external beams either side are then glued into position, followed by the drivers hatch, suspension units and the eight piece front steering arms. The side plates are the attached, covering all the suspension detail, and the front wheels are attached along with their hub caps. On the hull roof there are six PE grab handles that will need to be carefully folded to shape before fitting. The two piece idler, and road wheels are joined together and glued to the their respective axle, as are the rear mounted drive sprockets. Now comes the fun bit, the tracks. The 48 individual links per side are quite small with the hinge parts moulded into them, these are glued together making up the track run, there’s not a lot of surface to glue so be careful, and they look to be particularly fiddly to drape over the wheels. Fortunately there was very little sag on the tracks of these vehicles so it may be best to make the top and bottom runs to length, glued them onto the wheels, then add the sections that go round the idler wheels and drive sprockets separately so that they can be curved to shape before the glue sets. The track guards are then attached, as is a large aerial looking item. These are followed by the exhaust silencer, engine hatch and engine grille. Finally the single main turret part is fitted with the lower turret ring, commander’s hatch and four piece gun/mantle. The turret is then fitted to the hull completing the build Decals The small decal sheet is sparse to say the least. What there are, are nicely printed and if previous experience has taught me, quite thin. All the sheet includes are two sets of numbers from 0 to 9 so you can choose whichever tank ID you like. There two colour schemes on the paint guide, Russian green overall or a mixture of red brown and flat black over flat white. Conclusion There is something about these inter-war tanks. It was a time of great experimentation throughout the world and while this was a quick tank it wasn’t a great success, but still is an interesting subject for your collection. There can’t be too many more Soviet inter-war tanks left to kit now. Review sample courtesy of
  8. Shar2

    BM-8-24. 1:35

    BM-8-24 1:35 MiniArt The T-60 was the result of the ongoing development of light tanks that had started well before WWII. This particular tank started development in 1938 as an attempt to replace the T-26, T-40, the failed T-46 project and the T-50. Whilst such a large number were produced, it was hated by all who had to deal with it – all except the Germans, who found it to be a substandard and underwhelming opponent, and a rather nice ammunition carrier or gun towing tractor, once captured. As a result of its poor armour, substandard armament and sluggish performance, it was more dangerous to its crews than anybody else, earning it the title Bratskaya Mogila Na Dovoikh, literally: “a brother’s grave for two.” The basic design was completed in a mere fifteen days, and Astrov, seconded by Lieutenant Colonel V.P. Okunev, wrote to Stalin contrasting the advantages of the mass-producible T-60 with the more complicated T-50, which had already received the go-ahead. An inspection from a senior minister resulted in two decisions: firstly, the 12.7 mm (0.5 in) machine gun was to be replaced with a 20 mm (0.79 in) ShVAK, although it was still inadequate against the Panzer IIIs and IVs that the T-60 would almost certainly engage whilst there was a shortage of T-34s. Secondly, the Main Defence Committee (GKO), headed by Stalin, ordered 10,000 T-60s to be produced immediately. Some sources have claimed that Stalin’s interest in the vehicle is because he attended the vehicle’s final trials in person. The Katyusha multiple rocket launcher is a type of rocket artillery first built and fielded by the Soviet Union in World War II. Multiple rocket launchers such as these deliver explosives to a target area more quickly than conventional artillery, but with lower accuracy and requiring a longer time to reload. They are fragile compared to artillery guns, but are inexpensive, easy to produce, and usable on any chassis. The Katyusha of World War II, the first self-propelled artillery mass-produced by the Soviet Union, were usually mounted on ordinary trucks. This mobility gave the Katyusha, and other self-propelled artillery, another advantage: being able to deliver a large blow all at once, and then move before being located and attacked with counter-battery fire. With the T-60 being cancelled with the introduction of the T-70 in late 1942, the T-60’s were put to other tasks, one of these being converted to be Katyusha carriers with the launchers fitted in place of the turret. The Model The kit comes in the fairly standard, yet sturdy and colourful top opening box MiniArt use, with an artists impression of the vehicle on the front. Inside there are fifty two sprues of varying sizes, mostly small, in a medium to dark grey styrene, along with one sprue of clear styrene, a small sheet of etched brass and a smallish decal sheet. The mouldings are superb with no imperfections and very few moulding pips. Some of the smaller parts, and there are a lot of them, do have a fair number of sprue gates, but fortunately they are relatively small and shouldn’t cause too many problems. The sheer number of parts is explained by the fact that this kit is equipped with a full, and I mean full interior, which for a model/vehicle this size will mean you will need a magnifying glass/Optivisor when building. The build starts with the lower hull floor, to which the drivers position is attached, complete with detailed gearbox, levers and brake drums. Then there is the comprehensively detailed engine, which is a model in itself, and has more parts than some whole kits, around 22 in total. The two batteries and battery tray are then added to the left hand side of the hull adjacent to the drivers position, followed by the right side panel which is fitted with a fire extinguisher and four support brackets. The rear bulkhead is fitted out with several parts on the outside, before being attached to the lower hull, as is the lower glacis plate. The engine assembly is then glued into position and connected to the gearbox via a couple of drive shafts. The interior is slowly built up with bulkheads, ammunition racks with spare ammunition drums and boxes and another fire extinguisher. The left hull panel is then attached, along with the outer drive covers, idler axles, internal longitudinal bulkhead and several pipes. The upper hull plate is fitted with several panels before being glued into place. The drivers hatch is made up from five parts, while the drivers vision block is made up from six parts. Both assemblies are then glued to the driver position, and can be posed either open of closed. Depending on which colour scheme the modeller has chosen there are two options for the style of headlights to be used. The suspension arms are then glued to the hull, followed by the road wheels, return rollers, drive sprockets and idler wheels. The engine cover is next made up of three plastic and two etched grille pieces. This is then glued into position on the top deck, along with the drivers access and viewing plate. The tracks are each built up from eighty five individual links, which, unfortunately are not click able, but have to be glued, making it a little more awkward to get the sag and fitted around the idlers/drive sprockets. But with plenty of patience and care they can be made to look the business. The track guards are fitted with many PE brackets, as well as storage boxes, pioneer tools and a nicely detailed jack. These are then fitted to the hull and the build moves on to the turret. There is a large PE grille fitted to the rear engine deck along with a PE surround. There are two covers that go over this if winterising the vehicle; each plate is fixed with four to six PE wing nuts, with the fitting of more PE brackets around the hull and the engine exhaust glued into position. With the tank assembly completed it’s on to the rocket launcher. The base unit is made up from fourteen parts with the option of the launcher to be in assembled in two different elevations with the fitting of option actuators and put to one side. Meanwhile, the tubular framework on which the rocket rails sit is made up from five parts. The rocket rails, all twelve of them are slid onto two rods, which fortunately have well marked placement points, before the framework is attached and the retaining clamps fitted. Each of the 24 rockets are assembled from three parts and there is detailed painting instructions for the different types of rocket used. The completed rockets are then fitted above and below the rails which already have the firing lead moulding onto them. There are an extra eight rockets included in the kit and these are to be able to be displayed in their transport boxes which are made up form eight parts, if you include the lid. The launcher base is fitted onto the tank followed by the launcher and some ancillary pipework and other fittings including a three piece sighting unit, completing the build . Decals The small decal sheet contains markings for four different vehicles, but these decals are the least of the modellers problems as there are three sets of markings for each of the 32 rockets and to say they are small would be an understatement, there are also identifying markings for the transport boxes. The vehicle options include:- BM-8-24, No 13 or No 11 of the Red Army, South-Western Front, May to July 1942 in Russian Green overall. BM-8-24, of the Red Army on the Don Front, December 1942, in overall Russian green with whitewash covering most of the vehicle. BM-8-24, No. 43/2 of the Red Army, Southern Front, during the Summer 1943 painted in a sand colour. BM-8-24, of an unidentified unit of the Red Army 1942 to 1944 Conclusion This is another amazing kit from MiniArt and brings yet another lesser known military vehicle to the mainstream modelling community. With the numerous parts count and the large number of very small parts, this kit is really aimed at the more experienced modeller, but looks like it should build up into a superb model, absolutely full of detail, so much so that there shouldn’t be any need for aftermarket parts. The additional rockets will be useful if you wish to add this to a diorama. Review sample courtesy of Miniart - Distibuted in the UK By Creative Models
  9. Augusta Westland Lynx Mk.8 Revell 1/32 History The initial design, then known as the Westland WG.13, was started in the mid-1960s as a replacement for the Westland Scout and Wasp, and a more advanced alternative to the UH-1 Iroquois. The design was to be powered by a pair of Bristol Siddeley BS.360 turboshaft engines. As part of the Anglo-French helicopter agreement signed in February 1967, French company Sud Aviation (later Aérospatiale) had a 30 per cent share of production work, Westland performing the remainder. It was intended that France would procure the Lynx for its Navy and a heavily modified armed reconnaissance variant for the French Army, with the United Kingdom in return buying Aérospatiale Gazelle and Puma for its armed forces. The initial naval variant of the Lynx, known as the Lynx HAS.2 in British service, or Lynx Mk.2(FN) in French service, differed from the Lynx AH.1 in being equipped with a tricycle undercarriage and a deck restraint system, folding main rotor blades, an emergency flotation system and a nose-mounted radar. An improved Lynx for the Royal Navy, the Lynx HAS.3, had Gem 42-1 Mark 204 engines, an uprated transmission, a new flotation system and an Orange Crop ESM system. The Lynx HAS.3 also received various other updates in service. A similar upgrade to the French Lynx was known as the Lynx Mk.4(FN). In the early 1990s, Westland incorporated some of the technology from the Naval Lynx-3 design into a less-radical Super Lynx. This featured BERP rotor blades, the Westland 30-derived tail rotor, Gem 42 engines, a new under-nose 360-degree radar installation and an optional nose-mounted electro-optical sensor turret. Royal Navy Lynx HAS.3s upgraded to Super Lynx standard were known in service as the Lynx HMA.8, and several export customers ordered new-build or upgraded Super Lynxes. From the 1990s onwards, Westland began offering the Super Lynx 200, which was equipped with LHTEC CTS800 engines, and the Super Lynx 300, which also had a new cockpit and avionics derived from the Agusta Westland EH101. Both of these models have achieved several export sales. In 2002, Flight International reported that more than 40 variants of the Lynx were in service, numbering almost 400 aircraft having been built for various customers The Model The original RN Lynx from Revell was released back in 2013 and it’s then them until the aircraft’s retirement to release the latest and final version. Although this is pretty much a re-box of the original Mk3 it does come with all the upgrades that the Mk8 was known for, namely the ugly nose FLIR on the modified nose panel, and under fuselage radome. It does also come with a different tail boom with separate fin allowing the possibility of posing the fin folded. The box the kit comes in is adorned with a nice painting of a Lynx in flight, unfortunately it is an end opening box, therefore and floppy as ever, so no shoving it in the stash with any more than one other kit on it. Inside there are fourteen sprues of grey styrene, two of clear and a largish decal sheet. The mouldings have stood up well and there is no sign of flash or other imperfections, but quite a few moulding pips. The internal details are very nicely moulded and includes the sound proofing and tie downs on the inside of the cabin, although it could be doing with being a little bit baggier. Construction begins with drilling out the requisite holes in the cabin floor before added the cockpit centre console frame, instrument panel pedestal and panel, which appears to be correct for the type. The rudder pedals, cyclic and collective levers for both pilots are then glued into position, followed by the centre console control panels. Each of the pilots seats are made up from five parts with the seatbelts moulded into the backrest and seat squab. Once assembled the seats are glued into position along with the cabin rear bulkhead, sidewalls and rear bench seat with front support frame. The middle set of six seats might look ok from a distance but they bear little resemblance to the real things as the end frames are solid, whereas you’d see the actual framework on the real items. There is a group of electronic black boxes fitted behind the pilots seat consisting of seven parts and the middle seat assembly is fitted at the same time. The roof soundproofing is fitted with a hand hold before being glued into position. Before the fuselage halves are closed up the sections are fitted either edge of the side doors and more holes are required to be drilled out. The engine exhaust plate is fitted with two, tow piece exhausts while the main rotor gearbox, which is very nicely represented is fitted with a drive pin and cap, so that, should you wish, the rotors can be turned once fitted. The cabin and main rotor gearbox assembly are then sandwiched between the fuselage halves as is the exhaust plate. The roof panel and engine covers are then glued into place, followed by the exhaust shrouds and several access panels. The underside of the fuselage is also attached at this point as are the underside tail panel and what looks like a doppler panel, but could be for the radio altimeter and orange crop panels. The intake grilles are unfortunately represented by clear parts, not mesh as per the rear aircraft. Personally, unless an aftermarket company can reproduce them the clear parts could make for good moulds for the modeller to produce their own mesh grilles. The underside is fitted with several more panels and aerials before work begins on the nose section. the nose comprises of five parts before the five piece FLIR unit is attached. The completed assembly is then glued to the fuselage. The thwo piece tail cone is fitted with the end bulkhead which includes the hinge and locking points, as does the two piece tail fin. If you were to pose the fin folded you will need to add some internal detail to both, including the tail rotor transitional gearbox in the fin. The kit does come with the locking handle for the fin as well, so it looks like Revell nearly decided to give the folding fin option in the kit, but decided to do it properly. The completed tail cone/fin is then glued to the fuselage, along with the side doors and the slides, windscreen and pilots doors, as well as smaller items such as the windscreen wipers and various blade aerials. The main undercarriage legs each comprise to halves for each oleo, two parts to the scissor links and two halves for each wheel. The completed undercarriage legs are then sandwiched between two halves of each sponson interior before the two part sponson itself is attached. The nose wheel oleo is also in two halves and fitted with a two piece scissor link, plus two, tow piece wheels. With all the undercarriage assembled they are glued into their respective positions, along with the large anti IR beacon under the front end of the tailcone, a large blade aerial on the port side near the beacon and a number of other items which this reviewer hasn’t a clue what they are. The SACRU hook is then attached, along with four strengthening straps and the hold down harpoon unit. The tail rotor is a single piece moulding to which the inner hub and outer control rods are attached before being fitted to the port side of the fin, while on the starboard side the horizontal stabiliser is fitted. Another large blade aerial is fitted where the sonar hole used to be while just aft and to starboard there is a retractable lamp fitted. The build now concentrates on to the weaponry. The modeller has the option to fit a 50 cal M2 heavy machine gun in the port doorway. This assembly is made up from no less than twenty two parts all told, and really looks the business, with the caveat that the cooling holes over the barrel could be better represented. The other options to add weapons to the Lynx include two Stingray torpedoes each from four parts or two Sea Skua anti shipping missiles, each consisting of eight parts. The launchers are made up from ten parts and if you’re not going to fir the gun you will need two launchers. Aside from the weapons, the kit also includes the rescue hoist consisting of ten parts and is fitted to the starboard side doorway. The HF aerial stays are fitted to the underside of the tail cone and fitted with a length of wire of the modeller’s choice. The last major assembly is the main rotor. The head is made up from thirteen parts, before the rotor blades are attached and the whole assembly fit to the main rotor gearbox finishing the build. Decals The single large decal sheet provides a complete stencil set for one aircraft all the marking specific to each option. The decals are very nicely produced with great colour density, in register and nicely opaque. The markings provided are for the following:- Lynx Mk8, 207 Flight, 815 Naval Air Squadron, HMS Iron Duke, March 2016 Lynx Mk8, 215 Flight, 815 Naval Air Squadron, HMS Monmouth, March 2012 Conclusion It’s very nice to see this kit re-released with the new parts to build the final version of this venerable helicopter, and it’s still a fabulous looking kit. Not being overly complex it shouldn’t take too much to make a good looking model out of it. I have heard there may be fit problems in some areas, but with a bit of care and patience I’m sure they won’t be too bad. It will certainly be an impressive model for any collection. There is certainly plenty of scope for super detailing if that is your wish. If you wish to pose your Lynx with the blades folded there si an aftermarket set that will help you with that. or
  10. I should have put may have been where the phrase came from, but the actual phrase could be older. It does fit though within Naval parlance. To quote the actual wording from the page I was searching. "While this may be fittingly related to the phrase "to mind one's P's and Q's", it may have happened too late to be its origin; that origin has also been claimed for printing with metal type, as the reversed forms of those letters on the type slugs can be confusing to distinguish, and for the tally of pints and quarts consumed on credit in a British pub, and several other possibilities are also still considered."
  11. Royal Navy Signal Flags Eduard 1:350 Quite a few maritime kits these days provide a selection of flags and pennants that are printed on paper. These can look ok, but generally always have a tired well worn look, like they’ve been left in the sun for a few months. Eduard have now countered this look with the release of this pre-painted steel set, which supersedes the etched brass set previously available. The forty five flags and ten pennants are beautifully painted and will look great either as a coded message from a halyard or two or even on a ship dressed overall, although it would have to be modelled for a calm day as, even though the metal is quite thin I doubt you’d be able to replicate a flapping flag too easily. To use, just cut the chosen flag from the sheet and wrap it around your favourite rigging material. Conclusion This is a very nice and easy to use set which would add a dash, or even a lot of colour depending on how many you use. Please note however these flags are based on the 1937 Royal Navy signaling Handbook so for use on ships from that time up until the new, revised handbook was issued during the war, where the flags for P and Q were swapped over, and is where the phrase “Mind your P’s and Q’s” comes from. So, research is your friend when it comes to modelling. Review sample courtesy of
  12. Löök Resin Instrument Panels & Seatbelts – January 2019 Eduard 1:32 Continuing their line in the LOOK series of instrument panels, Eduard have released two more sets. These are for the 1:32 Eduard/Hasegawa Curtiss P40N-1, and Republic P-47D. As with the previously released sets, the modeller is provided, in these cases with the main instrument panel. Each set also includes a sheet of etched steel for the seat belts. The panels have all the correct markings and placards painted on them and the faces of each instrument is glazed, making them look very realistic, particularly with a bit of weathering to get away from that newly built look. Conclusion This series is a great resource for those of us who are unable to replicate all the markings on a panel, all in one easy package. They are certainly a neat and innovative idea from the masters of aftermarket. Review sample courtesy of
  13. BMR-1 Early Type with KMT-5M MiniArt 1:35 Based on the SU-122-54, which MiniArt have also produced, this kit is of the first version of the armoured mine clearing vehicle. The main gun has been removed and the fittings of the attachment of the KMT-5M mine roller system. Where the top hatches would normally be, there is instead a round cupola fitted with a single heavy machine gun. The forward section of the lower hull was fitted with much thicker armour to prevent penetration in the event a mine exploded under the vehicle. Surprisingly these vehicles were still in use during the Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion in the 1980’s. The Model As with the TOP engineering vehicle this is typically Russian in style, tough, rugged and with the singular purpose of clearing mines. As with most MiniArt kits the box, with an artist’s impression on the front is full to the brim with sprues, a total of seventy one in grey styrene, one in clear, a small sheet of etched brass, two lengths of chain and a small decal sheet. The way the sprues are moulded is how the company gets so many versions of their kits out, as there is a lot of commonality. The mouldings are extremely well executed with no sign of flash or other imperfection, but there are quite a few moulding pips which increases clean up time. Whille the build looks fairly simple there are a lot of parts used to build up the suspension and particularly the mine roller system. Construction begins with the lower hull, which is fitted out with the torsion beam suspension fixtures and you have the option of fitting the whole torsion beam or just the end part. Each suspension beam/axle plate consists of seven parts and there are ten axles to fit. Once the suspension is assembled the lower hull is built up from two side plates a rear plate and the internal firewall for the engine bay, the engine being available separate should you wish to fit one. The suspension bump stops are then attached, as are the drive gearbox covers and idler wheel axles. The large armoured olate is then fitted to the forward underside of the hull. The superstructure is next and is made up from separate plates which require holes to be drilled out before gluing together. In order to help get the plates the correct angles there is a small internal part the helps with this and give the structure strength and rigidity before the roof and mantle are attached. The roof is fitted with two, spades, with their respective clamps and the commander’s cupola is fitted with three vision blocks. The superstructure assembly is then glued to the lower hull, along with the track guards, and three multi-part engine deck covers. The rear of the superstructure has a single large hatch glued into place, as well as other unidentifiable fittings. The commander’s cupola is made up from no less than nineteen parts if you include the searchlight. There is a much simpler second hatch on the right hand side of the super structure. The front and rear mudguards are then assembled and fitted along with the very complex PE engine deck grilles, with separate shutters are built up and fitted. On the sides of the superstructure there are a lot more grab handles and brackets to be attached, while to the rear there is the five piece exhaust outlet fitted to the right track guard. The twin headlights fitted to the left and right sides of the glacis plate are assembled from thirteen parts including the base and all the support beams. On each front track guard there is a visual width pole fitted which are also fitted with reflectors. The turret ring is then fitted to the roof, while on the left side of eh superstructure the canvas roll is fitted with PE straps. The glacis plate is fitted with a selection of brackets, towing hooks and four pairs of spare track links. Two large stowage boxes are assembled and glued to the track guards, one per side. The BTR style conical turret is fitted with the 14.5mm heavy machine gun and a co-axial light machine gun via a separate mantle before being covered with an additional circular turret and fitted wot the turret ring on the roof. There is an aerial mount and aerial fitted to the front left of the superstructure and a further three pairs of track links fitted with their brackets, also on the left hand side. Each of the road wheels are glued into pairs and fitted with a small hub cap, as are the sprockets and idler wheels. Once assembled these are all glued into place, as are the large towing cables. Finally the tracks are assembled and draped over the running gear. With this kit you get the newer link and pin system that MiniArt have started using. This system is so easy to use and you can get a full length of track within minutes, even with 91 links per side. With the vehicle complete it’s on to the raison d'être of the tanks mission, the mine roller system. Now these are quite complex, so take care in reading the instructions carefully as it could easily go wrong. The rollers themselves are of three wheels on a common shaft, these are then fitted with two axle plates and hub covers. The axle plates are also fitted with two beams onto which the thicker of the two chains are attached. The main support arms are each assembled from thirty nine parts and are fitted to the lower glacis plate of the tank. The roller assemblies are then attached to the support arms and fitted with the smaller sized chain and some cable with simulated spring units. Between the rollers there is another length of chain with a smaller roller fitted at the mid point. Decals The decal sheet gives the modeller four options, all of which were used in the war against Afghanistan. The decals are beautifully printed, are clear and in good register with a slightly matt finish. The options are:- BMR-1, No.004, Soviet Army, Afghanistan in the early 1980’s BMR-1, No.11, Soviet Army, Afghanistan in the early 1980’s BMR-1, No.165, Soviet Army, Afghanistan in the 1980’s BMR-1, No.059, Soviet Army, Afghanistan in the late 1980’s Conclusion Continuing their march through the various T-55 variants, MiniArt are producing some really interesting vehicles. Although the mine roller system is quite complex to assemble it will look superb once complete. This is another vehicle that’ll make an interesting stand alone model or great in a diorama. Review sample courtesy of Miniart - Distibuted in the UK By Creative Models
  14. TOP Armoured recovery vehicle MiniArt 1:35 Vi Creative Models Although based on the SU-122-54 assault gun, there is very little else I can find out about this vehicle, the identifying feature of the donor tank is the gap in the wheels between the third and fourth road wheel. The main gun was removed and a large plate welded in the place of the mantlet. Large towing eyes were welded to the rear of the superstructure and rear hull plate and a small cupola fitted with a searchlight for the commander. Only about one hundred were made and mostly stayed within the Moscow military district or seen at the big parades Russia/Soviet Union likes to give. The Model Without the main gun this vehicle does look rather odd, in a typically Russian style. As with most MiniArt kits the box, with an artist’s impression on the front is full to the brim with sprues, there being a total of fifty one, which, considering there is no interior, is still quite a lot, no matter how small they are. The way the sprues are moulded is how the company gets so many versions of their kits out, as there is a lot of commonality. The mouldings are extremely well executed with no sign of flash or other imperfection, but there are quite a few moulding pips which increases clean up time. Even though it looks a fairly simple vehicle take your time to read the instructions carefully as there are a lot of small parts and options. Construction begins with the lower hull, which is fitted out with the torsion bean suspension fixtures and you have the option of fitting the whole torsion beam or just the end part. Each suspension beam/axle plate consists of seven parts and there are ten axles to fit. Once the suspension is assembled the lower hull is built up from two side plates a rear plate and the internal firewall for the engine bay, the engine being available separate should you wish to fit one. The suspension bump stops are then attached, as are the drive gearbox covers and idler wheel axles. The superstructure is next and is made up from separate plates which require holes to be drilled out before gluing together. In order to help get the plates the correct angles there is a small internal part the helps with this and give the structure strength and rigidity before the roof and mantle are attached. The roof is fitted with two, three piece vision scope and the commander’s cupola is fitted with three vision blocks. The roof is also fitted out with grab handles and other fixtures, which this reviewer cannot identify. The glacis plate is fitted out with a variety of hooks, eyes, plates, brackets and a pair of spare track links. The superstructure assembly is then glued to the lower hull, along with the track guards, and three multi-part engine deck covers. The rear of the superstructure has two large hatches glued into place, with, rather oddly, two external seats attached to them, and there are two, large four piece bottle jacks assembled to be fitted to the right hand side of the engine deck. The commander’s cupola is made up from no less than nineteen parts if you include the searchlight. There is a much simpler second hatch on the right hand side of the super structure. The front and rear mudguards are then assembled and fitted along with the very complex PE engine deck grilles, with separate shutters are built up and fitted. On the sides of the superstructure there are a lot more grab handles and brackets to be attached, while to the rear there are three large multi-part stowage bins to be assembled and glued to the track guards. The twin headlights fitted to the left and right sides of the glacis plate are assembled from thirteen parts including the base and all the support beams. On each front track guard there is a visual width pole fitted which are also fitted with reflectors. Each of the road wheels are glued into pairs and fitted with a small hub cap, as are the sprockets and idler wheels. Once assembled these are all glued into place, as are the aerials and large towing cables. Finally the tracks are assembled and draped over the running gear. Unfortunately these are of the glue together type rather than MiniArt’s latest system of pin and link, so you will need some patience, as there are ninety links per side, or go out and buy some aftermarket metal tracks, which in my view gives a better natural sag anyway. Decals The decal sheet gives the modeller three options. The decals are beautifully printed, are clear and in good register with a slightly matt finish. The options are:- TOP ARV, USSR, Moscow Military District 1970’s to 1980’s TOP ARV, USSR, Moscow Military parade, November 7th 1990 TOP ARV, USSR, Moscow Military District, presumably early 1990’s Conclusion MiniArt seem to be attempting to produce every variant stemming from the T-55, no matter how odd or obscure they are. This is great for the military modeller who is either into weird vehicles or Russian/Soviet equipment, or as in most cases, both. Once again it’ll make an interesting stand alone model or just as great in a diorama. Review sample courtesy of Miniart - Distibuted in the UK By Creative Models
  15. German VK.30.01(P) Hobbyboss 1:35 The VK 30.01 (P) was the official designation for a medium tank prototype proposed in Germany. Two prototype hulls were made. The tank never entered serial production, but was further developed into the VK 4501 Tiger (P). The VK 30.01 (P) was sometimes known, and referred to, as the Porsche Typ 100. The requirements for the new development of a 30-tonne schwere Panzerkampfwagen included the ability to mount at least the 7.5 cm KwK L/24 main gun with a desire to fit the 10.5 cm KwK L/28 if possible. Later, in 1941, the German Army encountered —unexpectedly— heavily armoured enemy vehicles such as the Soviet T-34 and KV-1. Plans were then made to instead mount the more effective 8,8 cm KwK L/56. Krupp were directly contracted by Porsche to produce the turret to house the 8,8 cm KwK L/56 and the two teams worked together to develop it for the VK 30.01 (P) chassis. A fully developed drawing with the Krupp turret was completed, dated 5 March 1941. The Krupp turret would be used on both the Porsche and the Henschel Tiger. Uncommon for tanks at the time, Porsche selected a gasoline-electric drive. The front drive sprockets for the tracks were driven by two electric motors mounted forward in the hull. Two air cooled V-10 gasoline engines, mounted toward the rear of the vehicle, were each connected to a generator to produce electricity. The generated electricity was then used to power the motors. Each engine produced 210 PS at 2500 RPM; giving a total of 420 PS available to drive the generators. The model The kit comes in the standard stly of box we’re used to from Hobbyboss with an artist’s impression of the tank on the front. Inside there are four sprues and three separate parts in the Caramac coloured styrene, five sprues of dark, browny coloured styrene, a small sheet of etched brass and a small decal sheet. The mouldings are well up to their usual standards with no sign of flash or other imperfections, just a few moulding pips to clean up before use. The thinness of the instruction booklet shows that, besides the tracks the build will be a fairly simple one. Construction begins with a number of sub assemblies, notably the suspension arms, idler axles, road wheels, return rollers, drive sprockets and idler wheels. The suspension and axles, along with the drive gearbox covers are then glued to the lower hull which is a single piece moulding with some nice detail on the underside, which unfortunately you won’t see once complete. The road wheels, drive sprockets, idler wheels and return rollers are then glued into their respective positions along with two large tow piece brackets onto the rear plate. The tracks are now assembled from individual links,, now, each link is attached to the sprue by five gates, so there will be plenty of cleanup required before they can be glued together, 78 link per side. Personally I don’t like this style of fixing the links together and will probably by aftermarket metal tracks for when I build this. With the tracks fitted, I would normally leave this till the end of the build to aid painting, but since I’m going by the instructions will stick with it. Inside the lower hull just forward of the rear plate there is a support bulkhead fitted, while on the plate the two, six piece exhausts are assembled and glued into place. Moving onto the upper hull, the two track guards are fitted with PE sections on the inboard fronts before the guards are glued to the hull, as are the four hatches on the engine decking. Tow more large towing brackets are glued to the lower glacis plate and the additional armour plate fitted to the driver and gunner’s positions. On the engine deck there are four PE grilles to be fitted while and either end to the track guards, large angled support brackets are attached. The driver’s vision port and gunners four piece machine gun are glued into position. The turret comes as a single piece section to which the rof is attached, along with the commanders ten piece cupola and four piece gunners hatch. The mantlet is a two part unit which is then fitted with the co-axial machine gun and trunnion mounts and the whole assembly glued to the front face of the turret. The cartridge exit door is glued to the rear of the turret, and the three piece gun with another three pieces making up the fume extractor is glued into the mantlet. The completed turret is then fitted to the hull completing the build. Decals. The small decal sheet contains just a pair of German crosses and two sets of individual numbers from 0 to 9 so that you can make up your own identifying number for the turret side. Conclusion This would be a nice simple kit from Hobbyboss, if it wasn’t for the way the individual track links are assembled, that said the whole kit could be built in a weekend and would make a pretty good mojo reviver. While the vehicle never went into series production there are no reasons why the modeller couldn’t detail it up with pioneer tools and other equipment and use it in a diorama or vignette. Review sample courtesy of
  16. No worries Dick. As a matter of interest does the instrument panel have analogue instruments or a glass cockpit? That's the clincher on which type Kinetic think it is. Dave
  17. Definitely a T-4N, if 1985, T-8's didn't enter service till the SHAR F/A-2's arrived around 1993.
  18. Chinese Type 59 Medium Tank MiniArt 1:35 Obviously, the Type 59 was a faithful reproduction of the Soviet Type 54A, internally and externally, although the Chinese did make some modifications. It was simplified in design, without the characteristic IR searchlight and main gun stabilization system. The hull was welded with some 99 mm of armour thickness on fht front slope, and 100 mm for the front turret armour, which had the characteristic decrease in thickness from the base to the top, according to ballistic penetration calculations. The turret floor was non-rotating. The driver, loader, commander and gunner positions were unchanged. Main armament was the 100 mm Type 59 tank gun, a copy of the original D-10TG with its characteristic muzzle fume extractor, with 34 rounds in store, mainly into the hull. Secondary armament comprised a coaxial Type 59T 7.62 mm machine gun, a bow MG manned by the driver from inside the central glacis (3500 rounds in store), and the anti-aircraft heavy machine gun Type 54 12.7 mm over the loader’s hatch, apparently also a copy of the DShKM, with 200 rounds in store. The engine was the Model 12150L V-12 liquid cooled diesel, giving 520 hp at 2000 rpm. The overall weight was also equivalent to the T-54A and road range was about 600 kilometres, with the rear external fuel tanks. These tanks, were upgraded several times throughout their career which lasted from 1959 till 1985. The Model Having reviewed the T-54A here MiniArt are now releasing the various derivatives and those used by other countries. As with earlier kits there are a lot of similarities but quite a few new parts as well. Although not having as many sprues as those kits with interiors, the box is still stuffed full of sprues. On opening you are greeted by a mass of sprues, many of them quite small because of the tooling's modular nature, with quite a few parts going unused for this boxing. The mass of sprues fill up just about all the space in the box, leaving only room for air between the sprues, anyone familiar with the old Krypton Factor will realise getting all this back in the box is one of life’s little challenges! Construction is almost identical to the earlier releases, The lower hull then fitted out with a multitude of parts that include the torsion beam suspension, multi part axles, gearbox covers, and interior escape hatch plus PE beam covers. The upper glacis plate is then fitted as are the three piece road wheels, drive sprocket and idlers. The turret ring assembly is the attached, followed by the rear bulkhead, each fitted with more detail parts. The engine deck is then built up and the separate hatches are able to be posed open or closed as per the modellers’ wishes, but since this kit doesn’t have an interior there seems little point unless you have purchased the separate engine kit which is available. The deck is topped off with PE grilles in their frames and the large hinge for the main hatch. The tracks are of individual link type, with ninety links per side, and it will be a case of assembling it like a link and length style, gluing each link together before draping them over the road wheels. The fenders are fitted with stowage boxes, fuel tanks and spare track links plus front and rear mudguards before being glued into position. The two fuel drums mounted to the rear of the tank are assembled and glued into their mounting frames, as is the unditching beam and the pipework for the fender fuel tanks. The turret roof comes complete with all the periscopes and hatch details for the commander and gunner positions, a highly detailed Dushka (DsHK) 14.5mm heavy machine gun, consisting of twenty nine parts, and rolled up tarpaulin. The single piece main barrel is glued into the breech, and fitted with the mantlet cover. There aren’t as many grab handles fitted to the outside of the turret on this version, or brackets and clamps. Finally the driver's wet weather cover, that fits over his hatch can be posed stowed or in place. If you are stowing it, there are some PE straps to tie things down on the bustle. The turret assembly is then fitted to the hull, completing the build. Decals The decal sheet gives the modeller seven options. The decals are beautifully printed, are clear and in good register with a slightly matt finish. The options are:- Type 59, No.308 of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army currently still in service. Type 59, of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran, used during the Iran – Iraq war in the early 1980’s Type 59, of the Albanian Army, used on the border area with Kosovo, April 1999 Type 59, No.503 of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army currently still in service. Type 59, No.408 of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army currently still in service. Type 59, No.852 of the 201st tank regiment, Viet Cong, on the 17th Parallel, March 1972 Type 59, No.808, of the 108th Tank Regiment, 43rd Army Corps of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army during the the Sino-Vietnamese War, February 1979. Conclusion MiniArt’s march through the various T-54 and T-55 variants continues apace with this release. Being without the mega amount of parts found in the interior kits, this is definitely more suited to the intermediate modeller, or those who just don’t want interiors to their models. It’s still a great looking kit and with the decal options available for a number of different coutries something different for the collection. Review sample courtesy of Miniart - Distibuted in the UK By Creative Models
  19. This kit has now been released in a simplified form for those who don't want an interior. The build is exactly the same as above, including the decals, just without the interior sections within the instructions, even though you get a lot of interior parts on the sprues. Expect to expand your spares box by a considerable margin. Review sample courtesy of Miniart - Distibuted in the UK By Creative Models
  20. Soviet 2 ton 6x4 Truck w/76mm USV-BR Gun MiniArt 1:35 The ZIS-6 is a Soviet general purpose 6×4 army cargo truck, a three-axle version of the ZIS-5 two-axle truck. It was built from 1933 until October 1941 at the Moscow Zavod imeni Stalina factory and reached a total production of 21,239. The robust and reliable base was used for many different bodies, for example as a searchlight truck or mobile workshop. But is best known for its role as the first multiple rocket launcher in July 1941. It was built by the "Compressor" Plant's Design Office during World War II (1941–45). Very few ZIS-6 trucks survive till today. The 76-mm divisional gun M1939 (F-22 USV or USV) was a 76.2 mm cannon produced in the Soviet Union. It was adopted for Red Army service in 1939 and used extensively in World War II. The gun was designated as "divisional" - issued to batteries under the direct control of division headquarters. The F-22 USV was an intermediate model, coming between the F-22, which had limited anti-aircraft capability, and the simpler and cheaper ZiS-3, which eventually replaced it in production and service. The Model MiniArt ahs a great habit of combining several kits into one set and this is no exception, the Gaz AAA and Divisional gun have been released separately before, but then they have added several new parts that will make for a great addition to a diorama, this includes ammunition boxes, shells and a couple of figures. The mouldings, particularly for the truck are showing their age in that they are really quite complex and certainly not for the beginner. This is shown more in the running gear and suspension as well as the steering rack parts. That said the parts are still well moulded with no sign of flash or other imperfections, but there are a fair few moulding pips. The gun is of a similar vintage and again the parts are well moulded. I still don’t understand how MiniArt packaging department get all the sprues into the poly bag, I’ll have to video them the next time I’m there. There are seventy five sprues of grey styrene in total, plus one of clear, along with two sheets of etched brass and a small decal sheet. 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 wheels are assembled, and in this, MiniArt have deviated from the norm, by making the inner tyre half made up from four individual rings, while the outer section is made up of three rings. The wheel itself is then sandwiched between the two tyre sections. Whilst this sounds odd, I think it’s to make a realistic tyre with the type of radial tread used at the time. The rear axles and differentials are each made up from fifteen parts, if you include the drive shaft. These assemblies are 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 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 spare wheel, mounted under the rear chassis is held in place by a support large clamp. 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 engine assembly in then glued into position, followed by the two piece radiator, two piece front bumper and two support brackets on chassis rails. The three 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 six 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, bed, sides, front and rear sections, and glued into place, completing the truck section of the build. The truck bed is made up from the bed itself which is strengthened by four small and two large lateral beams along with three tie hooks per side. The rear large beam forms the backplate of a stowage box, while the two spare wheels are stored just forward of this. The front, side and rear panels are then assembled with their associated latches, with the side panels also being fitted with holders of the snow tracks which are also provided with the kit. With the bed sides attached the six ammunition boxes are assembled, complete with shells, three with armoured piercing and three with high explosive shells. The snow tracks, which wrap around the rear wheels when required, are assembled completely from PE parts, and are assembled from a series of two piece links and two piece connecting rods, there being a total of 90 links. The tracks are split into three sections per side and if not being used around the wheels there are stored on the sides of the truck bed and clamped into place. The completed bed is then attached to the chassis completing the truck build. Ensure you have taken you’re yearly dose of patience and dexterity when building these tracks, because you’re going to need them. Work then begins on the gun and its carriage. The split trails are assembled from two parts and fitted with items such as the cleaning rods, grab handles locking pins, spreading handles, rear mounted spades and towing eye. The central mounting is a complex affair consisting of 29 parts, to this the trail brackets are then attached, wach being made up from three parts and the trail assemblies glued to the brackets. The wheels are assembled in the same way as the truck wheels and fitted to the axles on the mounting. Then its onto the gun, with the slide assembly built up from six parts and the gun from eight. The gun is then slid onto the slide before being fitted with a large PE plate and small mid section splinter shield. The two trunnion mounts are fitted out with a selection of hand wheels, gear housings and sights before being attached to the mounting and the gun to the trunnions, as are the recupertor cylinders. The main splinter shiedl is a single piece item and fitted with a multitude of smaller parts such as site doors, stowage boxes and support bars. This assembly is then fitted to the gun assembly finishing the build, well apart from the option of having the gun in operational or towing position, if in towing configuration there is a locking bar that locks the two trails together. In addition to the truck and gun, the kit also includes a couple of figures, one appears to be pouring water out of a bucket, perhaps into the radiator, the other looks like a driver, but standing on the fender holding onto the steering wheel. Each figure comes in multiple parts such as separate head, hat, legs, arms, lower coat for the bucket holder, and bucket. Unusually there is fair bit of flash on the figures, but nothing that can’t be sorted with a sharp knife or sanding stick. Decals The decal sheet gives the modeller just two options for the truck, and yet there are three options for the gun. The decals are beautifully printed, are clear and in good register with a slightly matt finish. The names of the different companies are included, as well as their respective registration plates and insignia. The options are:- Soviet 2T 6x4 Truck of an unidentified unit of the Red Army, presumably during the winter of 1941 – 1942 Soviet 2T 6x4 Truck of an unidentified unit of the Red Army, 1941 – 1944 Divisional gun from an unidentified unit of the Red Army, Western Front, December 1941 Divisional gun from an unidentified unit of the Red Army, Winter 1943 – 1944 Divisional gun from the 889th Artillery regiment, 387th Infantry Division, 2nd Ukrainian Front, May 1945 with the gun shield showing 5 victory marks, denoting 5 destroyed German tanks. Conclusion As most people will know I am a big fan of MiniArt, and not just because the owner and some of the staff have become friends. Their product line continues to grow almost exponentially, both with new releases and products like this one where several separate kits have been brought together to provide the modeller almost a diorama out of the box. The truck and gun are quite complex as mentioned earlier, but they will build into lovely models for any collection. Review sample courtesy of Miniart - Distibuted in the UK By Creative Models
  21. I-153 Winter Version ICM 1:32 The Polikarpov I-153 was the last of Nikolai Polikarpov's biplane fighter aircraft to enter service and despite being the most advanced entry in the series was already obsolete when it first entered service in 1939. The I-153 was developed as a result of a misreading of the results of the aerial combat during the Spanish Civil War. In July 1937 a meeting chaired by Stalin concluded that the Fiat CR.32 biplane was superior to the Polikarpov I-16 monoplane. The nimble Fiat fighter had achieved impressive results against the Soviet fighter, but partly because the I-16 pilots had attempted to dogfight rather than use their superior speed to break off combat. The successful introduction of the Bf 109 was ignored, and instead of focusing on producing a superior monoplane the Soviet authorities decided to work on an improved biplane. The new aircraft needed to maintain the manoeuvrability of the I-15 and I-152 while also increasing in speed. This presented Polikarpov with a problem, for he had already argued that any increase in speed came at the cost of an increase in weight (from the heavier more powerful engine and stronger fuselage needed to support it). The heavier aircraft would then be less manoeuvrable. Work on the I-153 was officially approved on 11 October 1937. Polikarpov's main aim was to reduce drag and weight in an attempt to compensate for the weight of a heavier engine. He did this in two main ways - first by introducing a retractable undercarriage, and second by returning to the 'gull wing' configuration of the I-15, in which the upper wing was linked to the fuselage by diagonal sections, eliminating its central section. This had worked on the I-15, but had been unpopular with some pilots and higher authorities, and had been removed from the I-152. As a result that aircraft had been less manoeuvrable than its precursor. The 'gull wing' on the I-152 was an improved version of that on the I-15, with a bigger gap between the wing roots, which improved the pilot's forward view when landing and taking off. The fuselage and wings of the I-153 were similar to those of the I-15 and I-152, with a steel tube framework, covered by metal at the front of the fuselage and fabric elsewhere. The manually operated retractable undercarriage rotated through 90 degrees before folding backwards into the fuselage. The first prototype was powered by a 750hp M-25V engine. Its maiden flight is variously reported as having taken place in May or August 1938, with A.I. Zhukov at the controls. Tests that began on 27 September are variously described as state acceptance or factory trials. These tests weren't entirely satisfactory and production was delayed while some of the problems were solved. In June-August 1939 state acceptance trials were conducted using an I-153 powered by the new Shvetsov M-62 engine, a version of the M-25V with a two-stage supercharger. These trials were not officially concluded until January 1941, long after the type had been superseded. Next in line was a version powered by the 900hp M-63, and this version passed its trials on 30 September 1939. Only a handful of aircraft were produced with the M-25 engine. The 800hp M-62 was used in the largest number of aircraft, around 3,018 in total. The 1,100hp (at take-off) M-63 was used in 409 aircraft. A total of 3,437 I-153s were produced, beginning in 1938. 1,011 aircraft had been completed by the end of 1939, and a massive 2,362 were built in 1940, at a time when the Soviet Union desperately needed more modern monoplanes. Production came to an end early in 1941 and only 64 aircraft were completed that year. The standard I-153 was armed with four ShKAS machine guns. These replaced the PV-1 guns used on the I-15 and I-152, and had a much higher rate of fire (1,800 compared to 750 rounds per minute) as well as being much lighter. The four under wing bomb racks could carry up to 441lb of bombs. The Model Having released a wheeled version of the I-153, it’s now the turn of the sky fitted winter version. Contained in a sturdy box the three large sprues of grey plastic are pretty well protected in their single plastic bag, with the clear parts in a separate bag, there is also a largish decal sheet. All the parts are superbly moulded, with no sign of flash or other imperfections and only a few noticeable moulding pips. There are a few swirl marks in the plastic, but nothing to worry about and will easily be covered when the kit is primed and painted. Since the aircraft was mostly wood there are very few panel lines, where fabric was used in the construction, the kit shows the underlying structure, but in a nicely restrained way. Construction begins with the lower wing and the two upper sections being attached to the single piece lower section, after which there are two insets that fit into the main undercarriage bay roof. The cockpit is assembled next, and is a very nicely detailed area. The two seat supports are attached to the seat back and glued to the cockpit floor, followed by the seat base. The two piece control column is glued into place along with its separate control rod and rudder pedals. The tubular framework of the cockpit is quite delicate, and care should be taken when removing from the sprues and assembling. Side tubular structures are fitted with ancillary instruments, levers, radio controls, throttle lever and flare pistol. The side sections are then glued to the front and rear sections. The whole assembly is then attached to the cockpit floor assembly and the whole lot glued to the lower wing assembly.The fuselage sides are then detailed with an oxygen bottle, and side access doors before being glued together. The fuselage is then slid over the cockpit structure and glued to the lower wing. The horizontal tailplanes, elevators and rudder all come in two halves. When glued together they are attached to the rear fuselage. The upper wing comes as single piece upper section and two piece lower sections. Once joined, the assembly is attached to the forward fuselage and the two interplane struts glued into position. The engine is quite a simple affair, being moulded in two halves, to which the valve rods are attached, followed by the exhausts. The cooling shutter ring is then fitted to the inside of the nose cowling, followed by the engine assembly, rear bulkhead, and separate exhaust stubs and five piece propeller. The engine/nose cowling assembly is then attached to the front fuselage, followed by the two side panels, top panel, windshield, gunsight and oil cooler duct. Each of the main undercarriage legs are made from three parts, But instead of the wheels, the legs are fitted with skis and their fixtures, comprising five parts each ski, once assembled they are glued into their respective positions. The tailplane struts are then added, along with the undercarriage bay doors and single piece tail skid. You then have the option of adding wither eight rockets, each of three pieces, two small bombs, also three parts or four larger bombs also three parts. The bombs have separate crutches while the rockets are fitted to rails. Then it’s just a bit of very light rigging and the model is done. Decals The decal sheet is printed by ICM themselves. The decals are quite glossy, well printed, in register and nicely opaque, particularly useful for the large white numbers. There are four decal options, the four aircraft being:- I-153, Red Army Air Force, 1940, in overall Aluminum, 1940 I-153, Red Army Air Force, 1940, in overall Aluminum, March 1940 I-153 aircraft VH-101 of the Finnish Air Force, 1940, in Field Green over Light blue undersides. I-153 aircraft IT-15 of the Finnish Air Force, 1940, in Field Green over flat black upper sides of the wings and fuselage sides and Light blue undersides. Conclusion As with the I-16, this is a very cute and recognisable little aeroplane. The biplane design, whilst out of date, makes this aircraft look a nicer design then the I-16. It’s certainly great that ICM are catering to those of us who like the larger scales and there is still plenty that could be done with the interior should you wish to go to town on it. Nice to now have the option of the ski equipped version. Review sample courtesy of
  22. Reims FTB337G LYNX Roden 1:32 Under the terms of total sanctions, the purchase of new weapons was absolutely impossible. The management of adjacent South Africa, which also had increasing confrontation with the world community, over apartheid, nevertheless managed to transfer helicopters and trained pilots to Rhodesia; in addition, through unofficial mediators, it was possible to acquire dual-purpose aircraft in some Western European countries, which were de facto civilian, but could be easily reconfigured for military purposes. One such aircraft was the Reims 337G, the French license build of the American lightweight multipurpose Cessna Super Skymaster 337. In 1975, it was possible to purchase 18 such machines, one of which was lost while flying over Mozambique. All the other 17 succeeded in arriving at new bases and were soon involved in anti-terrorist operations. The civilian airframes were converted for their future missions - two 7,7 mm machine guns in containers were mounted above the cockpit over the wings, a number of pylons for hanging various types of weapons were mounted under the wing - from light bombs to cassette bombs, unguided rocket pods as well as special Mini Golf bombs, which turned out to be very effective weapons. The right row of seats in the cabin in almost all 17 planes were dismantled to allow for installing litters to evacuate wounded special forces directly from the battlefield. Also, the engine exhaust outlets were shielded to reduce infrared radiation, as irregular combatants at that time already widely used the Soviet "Strela" MANPADS against government aviation. The first application of the new machine, which received the semi-official name of Lynx, revealed it to be a very effective weapon for anti-partisan warfare. The ability to launch attacks from low altitudes, a respectable turn of speed, and low visibility in the face of ground to air defence, and fairly high survivability made this aircraft indispensable in all significant operations against Nkomo and Mugabe. Particularly successful were attacks with the use of napalm containers - when they were used whole units of insurgents seemed to be paralysed, because the chances of surviving Lynx attacks with napalm were virtually non-existent. Another successful innovation was the Mini Golf bomb with a long, 1200-millimeter detonator in front of the body of the bomb itself. When dropping it from the plane under a parachute, the pin struck the surface of the ground, and detonation of the explosive occurred at a height of a meter above the surface. Due to the special composition of the explosive there was an effect, which was compared with the "mini-explosion of a nuclear bomb" - in the strike zone, this weapon destroyed absolutely everything alive without exception in an area of 100 by 150 meters. The use of this type of weapon was only occasional, but it had a very great psychological impact on Mugabe's armed groups. Another important role of these planes, just as with their US sibling the O-2, was to direct more heavily armed planes on to a target. A Lynx flew directly to a target and marked it with light or phosphorus bombs, and after that, there appeared a Hunter or a Canberra, which completed the mission. Also, very often, Lynx pilots flew in "free hunting" fashion, patrolling areas where insurgents were crossing the borders of the country from neighbouring Mozambique or Zambia. The Model Third in the 1:32 series of Cessna Skymaster derivatives, the kit comes in a rather large box with an artist’s impression of a heavily armed Lynx in-flight. Opening the box reveals ten sprues of grey styrene, and one of clear, there is also quite a large decal sheet. As with the previous releases there is quite a lot of flash visible and wave fronts on some of the parts. That said the details are finely done and there is a fair amount of detail included in the kit. While it looks great on the sprues, I’ve read that while the accuracy is fairly close, although there have been no reports of build problems I’d imagine the ones seen in the 0-2A Skymaster kit will probably surface in this kit as well. While the majority of parts are the same, this release includes a new clear sprue which contains the bulged pilots door windows there are also two new sprues containing the Rhodesian specific weaponry. The different wing tips and tail booms are also included The build begins with the assembly of the two, four piece propellers, which include the spinners, horizontal tail unit with separate elevator, two, two piece wing mounted machine gun pods, two four piece pylons which includes the nicely produced crutch pads. The tail booms are assembled next, each from two halves and with separate rudders and anti collision light on the port fin. The engine exhausts are also assembled at this point and fitted. The engines themselves are complex little models in their own right, each engine consisting of no less than 50 parts. The rear engine frame and nose engine compartment/nose gear bay are also assembled, as is the seven piece nose landing gear. The seven piece front engine bay is fitted with the nose wheel assembly, followed by the engine assembly and the pair of exhaust pipe assemblies, which go into a new exhaust collector that sits under the rear fuselage. The rear engine frame is then fitted with its engine and the simpler exhaust parts. Unfortunately the anti Strela exhausts are not included. The completed front engine assembly is then the attached to the firewall and under pan. Work then begins with the aft avionics bay that sits between the engine bay and the cockpit, this consists of four shelves on which the various radios and other avionic boxes are fitted. The instrument panel is then assembled, consisting of the panel, coaming, four rudder pedals, centre pedestal and control yolks with separate shafts. The four seats are then built up, two from five parts and two from four parts, before being glued into position on the cabin floor, unfortunately this is incorrect as I believe the rear seats were removed and the two 600 round ammunition boxes for the wing mounted machine guns are fitted in their place, but there appears to be very few, if any photos of this on the net. The three piece doors are then assembled and the windows and viewing ports added to the fuselage sides. If you wish to have the starboard side cargo door open the instructions show you where to cut so that it can be split and posed open, the struts are also included for this option. Now while the interior is quite nicely done, there is plenty of scope for the modeller to add further detail, including the quilted sound proofing, circuit breaker panel on the captain’s side of the cockpit, and seat belts. Hopefully an aftermarket company will release the parts required for the exhausts and interior. If building out of the box the cabin floor is glued to one half of the fuselage, along with the engine assemblies and instrument panels and the three piece aft engine intake glued into position. The wing comes as three main parts with the upper section being a single piece moulding, not forgetting to open up the holes required for the pylons. The separate flaps can be posed in either extended or stowed positions and there is a skylight fitted above the cockpit area. The wingtips are also separate and are of the correct type for this version. The main landing gear comprises of a single piece strut and a pair of three piece wheels. With the fuselage all assembled, which will require a significant amount of weight in the forward area, wherever you can squeeze it in, the wing is glued into place along with the two booms and horizontal stabiliser. Then the main undercarriage assembly is add as are the pylons, weapons pods, nose bay doors, Rad Alt panel, and main gear doors. Finally the outer pylons are fitted with the four piece mini golf bombs, while the inner pylons are fitted with four piece napalm bombs, while the two wing mounted pods are also fitted, as are the various aerials. Decals The decals are really rather a disappointment, while they are correct colour and style, they are not in register, although they are better than those in the O-2A kit. FBT337G Lynx , #Sqn RhAF, late 1979 FBT337G Lynx , #Sqn of Zimbabwe Air Force, October 1981 FBT337G Lynx , Air Force of Zimbabwe , late 1982 Conclusion It’s great to see this variant finally kitted in 1:32, as although it was only used by one air force and in limited numbers, it is still an interesting sub-type. As with the other releases it is a disappointment with the amount of flash as there is no way a newly released kit should suffer from this, and the wave fronts can be overcome by heating the moulds better. Now we have to see what the aftermarket companies come up with to make this a more accurate and impressive model. Review sample courtesy of
  23. Cessna O-2A Skymaster Roden 1:32 Cessna O-2A Skymaster In the early 1960s, the Cessna aircraft company built a small commercial aircraft, the Model 337. Compared with similar aircraft of the same class, it had an unusual layout: a tractor engine in front, and a pusher in the rear. Instead of the classic fuselage layout, two booms extended backwards from the wing, which were connected by the horizontal tail assembly. The aircraft could carry two crew members, and four passengers or up to 450 kg of payload. It was quite successful commercially, but Cessna also hoped to find an outlet in a military role. In 1967 a military version of the machine appeared, the O-2A Skymaster. With the start of the Vietnam War, the US Air Force began to actively employ light aircraft as scouts, for fire direction or lightweight communications. One of the most widely used was the O-1 Bird Dog, but it was not always able to perform certain military tasks, such as controlling targeting for other planes. The O-2 was more suited to this type of task and, therefore, was soon involved in missions of this kind in the Vietnam conflict. Also, the O-2 could be used as a light strike plane, like its predecessor the O-1. For this, pods of unguided rockets and other light weapons could be hung under the wing of the aircraft. Some machines, designated O-2B, carried out 'psychological warfare missions - they were fitted with speakerphones broadcasting calls to the population to stop the war, but this exercise was not successful. Another important application for the O-2 was the rescue of pilots whose planes had been downed in an area of operations. The O-2 could take off from the shortest airstrips and land in the most unsuitable places for this purpose. Many US Air Force pilots had this machine to thank for their rescue. Series production continued until 1970, during which time at least 532 aircraft were produced. The end of their active military career in the US Air Force coincided with the end of hostilities in Vietnam, but in the US they were used long afterwards by the Air Force for patrol or liaison tasks, and were eventually decommissioned due to age and obsolescence. Despite this, this aircraft is still very popular among private owners. And many former military machines are still operated under civil registration or take part in numerous vintage airshows. The Model The kit comes in a rather large box with an artist’s impression of an armed O-2 in-flight. Opening the box reveals ten sprues of grey styrene, and one of clear, there is also quite a large decal sheet. Surprisingly for a new kit there is quite a lot of flash visible and wave fronts on some of the parts. That said the details are finely done and there is a fair amount of detail included in the kit. While it looks great on the sprues, I’ve read that while the accuracy is fairly close, there are problems encountered during the build, particularly with warped fuselage halves and an awkward roof fitting. So while I will go through the build process, be aware that there will be a fair bit of work required to get everything to fit correctly. You should also note that there are no spinners included, so some of the aftermarket deals may not be suitable for aircraft that were fitted with spinners. The build begins with the assembly of the two, six piece propellers, horizontal tail unit with separate elevator, four piece pylons which includes the nicely produced crutch pads, and two, four piece rocket launchers and two seven piece gun pods. The tail booms are assembled next, each from two halves and with separate rudders and anti collision light on the port fin. The engine exhausts are also assembled at this point and put to one side. The engines themselves are complex little models in their own right, each engine consisting of no less than 50 parts. The rear engine frame and nose engine compartment/nose gear bay are also assembled, as is the seven piece nose landing gear. The seven piece front engine bay is fitted with the nose wheel assembly, followed by the engine assembly and the pair of exhaust pipe assemblies. The rear engine frame is then fitted with its engine and the simpler exhaust parts. The completed front engine assembly is then the attached to the firewall and under pan. Work then begins with the the forward avionics bay that sits between the engine bay and the cockpit, this consists of four shelves on which the various radios and other avionic boxes are fitted. The instrument panel is then assembled, consisting of the panel, coaming, four rudder pedals, centre pedestal and control yolks with separate shafts. The four seats are then built up, two from five parts and two from four parts, before being glued into position on the cabin floor. The three piece doors are then assembled and the windows and viewing ports added to the fuselage sides. Now while the interior is quite nicely done, there is plenty of scope for the modeller to add further detail, including the quilted sound proofing, circuit breaker panel on the captain’s side of the cockpit, and seat belts. Check you r references when using aftermarket deals as some O-2’s had the rear seats removed and the co-pilots seat moved aft so that a litter could be fitted for medevac purposes. If building out of the box the cabin floor is glued to one half of the fuselage, along with the engine assemblies and instrument panels and the three piece aft engine intake glued into position. The wing comes as three main parts with the upper section being a single piece moulding, not forgetting to open up the holes required for the pylons should you be using them as not all O-2’s were armed. The separate flaps can be posed in either extended or stowed positions and there is a skylight fitted above the cockpit area. The wingtips are also separate allowing of later versions to be released. The main landing gear comprises of a single piece strut and a pair of three piece wheels. With the fuselage all assembled, which will require a significant amount of weight in the forward area, wherever you can squeeze it in, the wing is glued into place along with the two booms and horizontal stabiliser. Then the main undercarriage assembly is add as are the pylons, weapons pods, nose bay doors, Rad Alt panel, and main gear doors. Finally the upper wing is festooned with a multitude of aerials and the two propellers attached. Decals The decals are really rather a disappointment, while they are correct colour and style, they are not in register and there are numerous spelling mistakes. Also the aircraft using the serial number is number 67-00109 is an imposter as that number was assigned to an F-111A. There are markings for three aircraft on the sheet, these being:- Cessna O-2A Skymaster “Don’t’ Shoot”, Vietnam, 1967 (No unit or squadron information provided). Scheme composed of overall Aircraft Gray with Snoopy nose art on cowl and White upper wing panels carrying “Don’t Shoot” in large letters. Cessna O-2A Skymaster, Unknown Unit, Vietnam, 1971. Scheme composed of overall Black with Ghost nose art on cowl and “THE FAC” in large white letters on upper wing. Cessna O-2A Skymaster, Unknown Unit, Vietnam, 1970. Scheme composed of interlocking swirls of Tan, Dark Green, and Medium Green with Light Gray undersides. Conclusion Over all it’s great to see this aircraft being released in 1/32, yes it is more of a short run release that will require a little more work than say something from Tamiya, but it will look great once built. I have heard reports that some fuselages are warped so please check before starting the build. I am disappointed with the amount of flash as there is no way a newly released kit should suffer from this, and the wave fronts can be overcome by heating the moulds better. Review sample courtesy of
  24. I have to be loyal to my old squadrons, so wish that we could have 899 and 800 stood up. One point though, the 899 codes should begin with a 7.
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