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Shar2

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  1. Shar2

    1/350 British Nuclear submarines

    Sergey has told me he would gladly do British nuke subs, but there aren't any readily available plans, so he can't.
  2. German Battlecruiser SMS Seydlitz HobbyBoss 1:350 SMS Seydlitz was the fourth German battlecruiser, and was essentially an enlarged version of the previous Moltke class ships. She was 46 feet longer but 3 feet narrower, carried the same main armament of ten 11.1in guns, and had a designed speed one knot faster (although her actual top speed of 28.1kts was lower than that achieved by the Moltke). The Seydlitz was Admiral Hipper’s flagship from June 1914 until October 1917. She took part in the Gorleston Raid of 2nd – 4th November 1914, the first attack on the British coast during the First World War, and the attack on Hartlepool on 16 December, where she was hit by three 6in shells from the coastal guns, The Seydlitz was hit three times at the battle of Dogger Bank (24th January 1915). The second of those hits, a 13.5in shell from the Lion, hit the upper deck aft and penetrated the barbette of “D” turret. The flash ignited some of the cordite in the reloading chamber, causing a fire that spread up to the gun house and threatened to detonate the magazine. Only the actions of Pumpenmeister Wilhelm Heidkamp, who flooded “C” and “D” magazines, saving the ship. The damage spread to “C” turret when some of the crew of the “D” turret attempted to escape through a connecting hatch. The same thing would happen on four British battlecruisers at Jutland, destroying three. In the aftermath of the battle of Dogger Bank the Germans modified the way their cordite was handled. Automatic doors were installed in the ammo hoists, much more care was taken to reduce the amount of cordite charges in the turret, and the fore charges were to be kept in their tins until they were about to be used. These changes almost certainly saved several German ships from destruction at Jutland. The Seydlitz was Hipper’s flagship at the start of the Lowestoft raid of 25th March 1916. Early in the sortie she hit a mine, which blew a 90 meter hole in her side and let in 1,400 tons of water. Admiral Hipper had to transfer his flag to the Lützow, significantly delaying the raid. The Seydlitz needed two months of repairs, only coming back into service on 29th May. The High Seas Fleet sortie that led to Jutland was delayed until the Seydlitz was ready to take part. Once again she was very badly damaged in the battle, although not until after she had played a part in the destruction of HMS Queen Mary. The Seydlitz opened fire on the Queen Mary at 15.50. The British had the best of the early duel. A hit at 15.55 knocked out the starboard forward switch room. The significance of the changes made after Dogger Bank was demonstrated at 15.57 when the working chamber of “C” turret was hit. The turret was knocked out, but without the disastrous results that followed at Dogger Bank. At 16.36 the Queen Mary suffered from the lack of anti-flash precautions on the British battlecruisers and exploded under fire from the Seydlitz and Derfflinger. The Seydlitz continued to take damage throughout the battle. In all she was hit by 25 shells and one torpedo. C, B, D and E turrets were all hit, and she began to take on water. At 2.40am on 1st June she scrapped across Horns Reef, taking on more water, and by 2.30 that afternoon only her buoyant broadside torpedo room kept her afloat. She was rescued by two pump ships, and reached the entrance to Jade Bay by 2nd June, where she was briefly beached. She was repaired by 1 October 1916, taking part in most of the remaining High Seas sorties of the war. At the end of the war she was interned at Scapa Flow, and was scuttled on 21 June 1919. The Model Hobbyboss are continuing to release plenty of new and exciting maritime subjects. It’s even better now that they have started to manufacture German ships from WWI with this release of the SMS Seydlitz. Although it has actually been out a little while, it has proved so popular that we have only now been able to acquire a review sample. The kit arrives in a nice attractive box with a dramatic painting of the ship making way at sea. Inside you will find the instructions and hull sprue on the first level, then, once the cardboard shelf has been removed the rest of the kit, on seven sprues, along with three deck pieces and eight separate parts in grey styrene. There are also four sheets of etched brass, a length of chain and a small decal sheet. The moulding of all parts is superb, with no sign of flash or other imperfections other than the necessary moulding pips. The build begins with the joining of the two hull halves. These are strengthened with five internal bulkheads. The aft deck section is then attached, but before the mid section can be added, twelve two piece barbettes must be fitted to the hull and four to the underside of the deck. The foredeck can then be fitted and work begins on the underside of eh hull. There are four plated in propeller shafts, two A frame supports for the middle pair of shafts, four propellers, the main rudder and auxiliary rudder. With the hull turned upright work can then begin on the superstructures. Now, these ships didn’t really have much in the way of superstructures, there being three islands, the bridge, consisting of three decks, the top deck including the bridge wings, an eleven piece mast, plus a lower structure aft of the lower bridge, which contains two more tow piece barbettes. The bridge is then further detailed with PE railings, vertical ladders, halliard tie base and binnacle. Just behind the bridge is the fore-funnel structure. This consists of the three piece funnel split horizontally, three PE foot and hand rails, two piece funnel cap, with another pair of PE handrails. Eight individual auxiliary chimneys, a searchlight platform with two separate supports plus four searchlights, two lookout stations and four goose necked cranes. The whole structure is detailed with PE railings, vertical and inclined ladders. The bridge and fore-funnel assemblies are then glued to the foredeck lower superstructure section and the bridge unit is fitted with the forward mounted armoured control bridge, with separate rangefinder on top. In front of the control bridge, there is a ships wheel and separate binnacle, which are then encased in a deckhouse which is open to the rear. The lower bridge wings are made of PE parts are fitted, as well as some more PE inclined ladders, and railings. The foredeck is the detailed with the addition of the breakwater, capstans, windlasses, bitts, cleats and storage boxes. These are followed by the anchor chain, jack staff, three anchors, boat booms, inclined ladders between the main deck and fo’c’sle, bow torpedo tube cap, and ships crests either side of the bow. The after funnel is assembled with the single piece base attached to the main deck, along with five two piece cable drums. The three piece funnel is then fitted out with five hand/foot rails either side, and eight auxiliary chimneys before being fitted to the base, as are two ships crane king posts. Railings are then attached, as are two vertical ladders, one for each king post. The four piece jibs are then glued to the base of the posts and two top mounted cables are fitted to each crane. The after superstructure si made up from the base, main block, to which five platforms are attached followed by the main mast lower section. Several PE vertical ladders are glued into place, as are four searchlights, rear director tower with separate rangefinder, four lookout posts, and the top of the main mast which consists of eleven parts. The rest of the railings are attached as are two inclined ladders before the assembly is glued into position to the rear of the main deck. The quarterdeck is then fitted out with the paraphernalia that ships are known for, the bitts, cleats, ensign staff, stern anchor, nameplates, storage boxes, a host of skylights and other fittings. On the main deck the ships boats cradles are folded from PE parts and glued into position. The ships boats are assembled next, each of the ten boats multi-parts with separate hulls, decks, and rudders, the steam pinnaces then receiving a roof and smoke stacks. The completed boats are then glued to their respective cradles. The final assemblies are the five twin turrets of the main armament. Each turret is made from the base, two guns, separate trunnions and trunnion mounts. The barrels are well moulded and not too thick, so you could get away with not replacing them with brass parts should you so wish. They also have a nice indented end representing the interior of the barrel. The turret is the slid over the barrels and glued to the base and PE ladder fitted between the barrels. The turret assemblies are then fitted to the barbettes, one forward, two en echelon amidships and two aft. The model is finished off with a complete set of main railings and two three piece PE accommodation ladders The kit does come with a nice nameplate which can be painted as per the modellers wishes.. Decals The small decal sheet provides the ships name plates, ships crests and white identification circles for turret Anton and turret Dora. They are nicely printed with good opacity and in register. The ship is painted in Dark blue Grey hull and superstructure tow the height of the foredeck, then light grey above that, with red antifouling and no boot topping. Depending on the date for which the model is being built, and you will have to check your references, the modeller may choose to paint the aft funnel red. Conclusion This is another very welcome release, finally giving the modeller a German WWI battlecruiser. While this kit is pretty accurate, certainly with the hull form, which to be fair is quite simple, there does appear to be a slight discrepancy in the secondary armament. The kit has the rear mounted barbettes between the main and quarter decks as per her 1913 fit, but not the bow mounted barbettes, which had been removed by 1918, as had the rear barbettes. Easy fix though, just leave the barbettes out as their opening stayed unplated, although you will need to box the area in with plasticard. That said, it’s still a great looking kit. Review sample courtesy of
  3. Shar2

    Reims FTB337G LYNX. 1:32

    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
  4. 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.
  5. A new Ukrainian company, Proper Plane have been developing new, real wood laminated propellers for your 1;32 WW1 models. The first two have now been released and can be seen HERE. I was fortunate enough to have a nice chat over a coffee with the owner, Alex, whilst I was in Kiev back in September. He's an avid and rather brilliant modeller who wants to give something back to the modelling community with these new products. The first two propellers are for use with German subjects, but I'm sure there will be more to come in the future. I'd like to wish Alex all the best for his company and the wonderful products.
  6. 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
  7. Shar2

    Cessna O-2A Skymaster. 1:32

    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
  8. Shar2

    Gold Bar

    Hi Malcom. Thank you for the donation, your gold membership has been added. Cheers Dave
  9. @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.
  10. Shar2

    Arado Ar 196B. 1:32

    Arado Ar 196B Revell 1:32 The Arado 196 is probably one of the most well known of the Axis floatplanes, and it certainly was one of the best of its class. But it is the twin float version that most people know about as it was the most popular with around 537 aircraft built. The single float version, of which only a maximum of ten were built is, obviously not so well known. In October 1936, the RLM asked for a He 114 replacement. The only stipulations were that it would use the BMW 132, and they wanted prototypes in both twin-float and single-float configurations. Designs were received from Dornier, Gotha, Arado and Focke-Wulf. Heinkel declined to tender, contending that the He 114 could still be made to work. With the exception of the Arado low-wing monoplane design, all were conventional biplanes. That gave the Arado better performance than any of the others and the RLM ordered four prototypes. The RLM was also rather conservative by nature, so they also ordered two of the Focke-Wulf Fw 62 design as a backup. It quickly became clear that the Arado would work effectively, and only four prototypes of the Fw 62 were built. The Ar 196 prototypes were all delivered in summer 1937, V1 (which flew in May) and V2 with twin floats as A models, and V3 and V4 on a single float as B models. Both versions demonstrated excellent water handling and there seemed to be little to decide one over the other. Since there was a possibility of the smaller outrigger floats on the B models "digging in", the twin-float A model was ordered into production. A single additional prototype, V5, was produced in November 1938 to test final changes. In February 1938 an Ar 196 V4 carrying the registration D-OVMB and serial number 2592 was trialled as a test aircraft. The aircraft was fitted with a ventral float in which the fuel tank, two smoke dischargers as well as emergency provisions and additional ammunition was carried. The further in-service testing of the Ar 196 B was carried out during 1940-1941. The Model The kit comes in Revells usual slightly floppy end opening box which really should be redesigned. The box art is very attractive with and artists impression of the prototype V4 in its element. On opening the box you're faced with a raft of sprues. 13 in light grey styrene, and one in clear styrene. The package is completed by the instruction booklet and decal sheet. The majority of the kit is the same as the twin float variant released by Revell back in 2011, with only the floats being produced as new parts. There is a lot of work to do before the modeller can close up the fuselage, as the 196 had a ladder-like framework within the fuselage, which is visible through the cockpit aperture, a large hole in itself. Construction starts with the pilot's position, mated to the bulkhead between him and the observer, with radio equipment festooning the backside. The ladder sections have various parts added before they mate to the solid floor section, and detail throughout is good. The radio and instrument panel faces are suitably detailed for this larger scale, although there are doubtless wires and additional detail that could be added with the right references. It is worth noting that the rear cockpit seems to have been lined with sheet plywood or similar to stop the spent casings from the rear armament from finding their way into the workings of the aircraft. Check your references for confirmation if you can, and grab some thin styrene sheet cut to shape if you plan on replicating this. Once the cockpit and "chassis" is complete and painted, the engine compartment bulkhead attaches to the front, and you can begin adding the fuselage around it. The BMW radial engine isn't added until later in the build, but the detail and part count here is high. With careful painting and weathering it should build up into an excellent focal point of the model. The cowling is made up from a number of parts, allowing the modeller to leave part or all of it open to expose as much of the engine as they wish. There is also a choice of prop with a spinner or without, so check your references. The wings come in the traditional upper and lower halves, and have a rather sturdy looking spar arrangement sandwiched between the halves, plus a full set of poseable flying surfaces. You can choose here to pose the wings folded for stowage, unfolded ready for flight or with one wing folded one extended to show off the model's features without taking up too much display space. Care is needed here, as the construction of the wings differs considerably depending on which version you choose. Ploughing on without looking at the little black explanatory pictures could limit your choice later in the build. The tail, with one piece elevator is built as a single unit and slots into the rear of the fuselage later in the build along with the movable rudder. The large single main float is made up from five parts, the float halves, top deck and two internal bulkheads. The instructions call for 50g of weight to be placed in the nose of the float to prevent it from sitting on the rudder at the end of the float, although if you’re going to use the stand this problem is alleviated by the way the supports are moulded. The modeller is provided with optional rudders, either deployed or retracted. Whilst the four support struts look pretty rugged, they probably won’t take too much handling to break, unlike the much stronger supports in the earlier kit. There is a fairly clear rigging diagram to follow, and where Revell state to use cotton, the modeller can use whatever they are most comfortable with. The small outrigger floats are provided in two halves with three support struts, one of which is bifurcated and these are then attached to the lower wings and rigged as per the instructions, although this particular diagram is less clear and you may want to use your references instead. Also under the wings there are two hardpoints to which the cradles and small bombs are fixed The transparencies are clear & crisp, but the various parts are assembled from flat parts separate from the cockpit aperture, and here you could run into trouble if you either get the angles wrong, or use traditional cement and cloud the parts. It would be advisable to use a non-solvent glue like GS-Hypo Cement and build the parts in-situ to ensure you get the angles right to give a good join with the cockpit sills. Masking before building the assemblies could also be a good idea, to avoid cracking the joints with excessive handling. Decals The decal sheet includes markings for just the V4 prototype, D-OVMB, but does also have a fair number of stencils, plus the instrument panel. The red band and swastika are not included, only the white circle on which the swastika would be placed, so you’ll have to paint this area and use aftermarket decals if you wish to display this. The underside registration letters are large and will need some softening/setting solution to help bed down properly as although the carrier film is relatively thin. This goes for the side registration letter too. Conclusion Much like the earlier twin float kit, this is a beautiful model and will make a great companion piece with the two shown side by side. It certainly looks different, and yet familiar at the same time. I really like this aircraft and it’s great to have it released in this scale as it offers so much more in the way of detailing possibilities. Very highly recommended. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  11. USS Enterprise CVN-65 Eduard 1:350 The Tamiya 1:350 CVN-65 USS Enterprise was released as far back as 1984. It was the first aircraft carrier in 1:350 I had seen, so had to buy it, only a week after it was released, the first model I used an airbrush, and I still have it, although in a rather poor condition, this was also the year I joined the Royal Navy, and it became the centrepiece for many a Captains rounds, distracting the inspecting party from doing any actual inspecting. For some reason it has been ignored by Eduard, but they have finally released the first of a number of sets for the venerable old kit. As usual, there are many small parts and a number of kit details that will need to be removed before the PE parts can be added. Ships Boats and Liferafts, (53-223). This single sheet set contains an awful lot of parts, but for only a couple of areas, namely all the emergency liferaft canisters that are hung around the edges of the flightdeck and the ships boats. The Liferafts in the kit come as runs of anything between two and five rafts, these will need to be separated and cleaned up of the joints. The racks are then folded to shape and glued to separate backing plates, before the liferafts can be added and the whole assembly attached to the model. The backing plates are joined together by a thin length of PE and come in sections of two, three, four and five plates. With the number of liferafts in the kit, this could get rather laborious, and certainly time consuming; but the effect will be worth it. The ships open boat will need to have its centre section hollowed out carefully before the new engine casing, control lectern and wheel can be added, as well as the waist thwart that goes around the inside of the boat, followed by the fore and aft decking, and gunwhales, which are as one piece, is attached. The pinnace is also modified, with eh removal of all the top hamper, then opened up, the new, carefully folded PE is then glued into place and additional details such as the railings, windshield, propeller skeg, propeller and rudder are attached. Conclusion It’s about time this fabulous kit got the Eduard treatment, I know other companies have released etch for it, mostly before I even knew PE existed, but I find some companies PE rather too fragile and thin. I look forward to the next releases as they might give me the impetuous to take my old kit and give it a good refurbishing, and hope the skills I have learnt in the intervening years will be put to good use. Review sample courtesy of
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. At last a 78ft Higgins. Yay!
  16. 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
  17. Shar2

    Royal Navy Signal Flags. 1:350

    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."
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. This is the first batch from this years output, you'd never guess I was mainly a maritime modeller, all the ships I started seem to stall at one point or another. Still not a bad number of builds, none of which are actually finished as I have plans for dioramas for most of them, except the big guns which need crew, which, I have been told, may appear in 2019. Takom 30.5cm WW1 mortar, on a ground base of AMMO dark earth acrylic paste Trumpeter Grille30-30.5cm (Grw) L/16 Morser 'BAR' (Bear) SPG Takom 420mm howitzer, "Big Bertha" once again using the AMMO dark earth acrylic paste. Trumpeter StugE100, out of the box, and I've just seen needing some attention on the left track join. This was a mojo lifter when I had a slipped disc back in November. Takom General Lee late, Straight out of the box, really enjoyed this one. Dragon Maus super heavy tank, with ET models etch set and Metal barrel set from Aber. The camera seems to have picked up some strange patterning on the hull which isn't visible in real life. Trumpeter TOS-1 Heavy Flamethrower for something a bit more modern.
  22. 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
  23. Shar2

    German VK.30.01(P). 1:35

    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
  24. 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
  25. Definitely a T-4N, if 1985, T-8's didn't enter service till the SHAR F/A-2's arrived around 1993.
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