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Viking

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  1. And We have received one at Britmodeller!
  2. Boeing 757-200 Icelandair (7032) Zvezda 1:144 First flown in 1982 the Boeing 757 was designed as a replacement the to hugely successful 727 tri-jet. The initial version was the -200 as depicted in this kit, which entered service with Eastern Airlines on January 1st 1983. Designed to cruise at higher altitudes than the 727, the 757 was able to achieve up to 45% fuel saving over its predecessor. The later -300 version stretched the fuselage by 23 ft (7.1m) and entered service in 1999. It has served widely with Civil, Military, and Government/VIP operators, as both passenger and freight haulers. Offered with the Rolls-Royce RB-211 or Pratt & Whitney PW2000 engines, a total of 1,049 757's of all versions were delivered. After nearly 40 years of service it is becoming an increasingly rare sight in the skies. Since this kit was announced, it has been eagerly awaited by airliner modellers, and first impressions are that it was well worth the wait. It is presented in Zvezda's stout cardboard post-office resistant box, with an outer sleeve depicting an Icelandair 757 taking off. Slide the outer cover off and the box reveals a set of beautiful looking moulding in light grey plastic. Panel lines are lightly engraved, and details are razor sharp on all the finer elements such as engine fans and undercarriage legs. The fuselage features the 'lobe crease' along its length, but is difficult to photograph as it is so subtle. Construction starts with the cockpit (we don't say that very often in airliner modelling!) with seats, control columns and rear bulkhead. Strips of glazing are provided for the cabin windows, and the instructions show to remove various lengths from each one, a sure sign that a -300 is on the way, and this sprue will be shared with it. The cockpit opening is of the 'letterbox' type, with a clear insert for the glazing, like the Airfix 'Skyking' and some Revell kits do. The instructions note to include 10 gr of weight in the nose to prevent tail sitting. There is no option to assemble it with slats and flaps down (which seemed to divide opinion amongst modellers) as the wings are formed from a single span lower part with individual uppers for each side. This is a virtually fool proof way of getting the dihedral set correctly and equally each side, simplicity itself. The wing can be built with the upward curved 'winglets', or the standard tips which are included but marked as not for use. Either are probably appropriate as photos show Icelandair 757's with both at various times. Next up are the engines, and here we have a real bonus. Zvezda have included both the Rolls-Royce and P&W options in full, which is very welcome for those of us who like to buy multiple kits and finish them with aftermarket decals for other liveries. The Rolls-Royce engines are used on this Icelandair version, and feature stunningly moulded fan detail. Also welcome is the provision of inner liners for the intakes. They are in 2 parts so can be assembled and smoothed off before fitting to the fan units. Knowing how accurately Zvezda's kits fit together, a quick swipe with some wet & dry paper should clean up any seams in seconds. Finally the undercarriage is assembled, but there is the option to assemble it 'gear up' in flight, and a sturdy stand is provided should you chose to do this. The undercarriage is made up of Zvezda's typically fine detailed parts, so will need care in assembly. Attention to detail evident even here as two complete sets of wheels are provided, each with different hub patterns. Kudos to Zvezda! Nose leg main part: I've had a couple of messages since posting this review, asking if it is possible to fit the nose leg after assembly. The good news is yes! Stage 10 in the instructions is the final step, and this is where you fit all the legs to complete the model. Summaries from the instructions to illustrate some of the pints made above. Decals Just one colour scheme is provided, that of Icelandair. It is beautifully printed in perfect register and with minimal carrier film. Silver framing is provided for all window surrounds and the cockpit glazing. A much appreciated touch is the provision of blocks of colour for the blue and yellows needed for painting the model. These will be the engine cowlings (yellow) and the under fuselage and fin. A second sheet provides the wing and tailplane walkway markings. Conclusion. The 757 has been high on many airliner modeller 'wants' list for several years. There are nice resin kits available, but the two injection moulded 757's from Minicraft and Eastern Express are not up to most modellers expectations, and can now be consigned to 'collectors only'. This new kit far and away exceeds them, and looks to be outstanding 'in the box. I have no doubt that it will build up with the superb fit that Zvezda achieve with their kits, a little care will be needed with assembling the noseleg, but the rest of it looks to be simplicity itself. I am sure that it should be a big seller for Zvezda, and that the aftermarket decal producers should be releasing some of the many, many attractive schemes that the 757 wore over the years. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  3. British Fighter Aircraft in WW1 Design, Construction and Innovation. By Mark C. Wilkins. Casemate Publishers. ISBN 9781612008813 The Great War heralded a fascinating era of aeronautical development, coming as it did just as the very first aviators and their machines were establishing themselves in Europe. As answers to various problems were sought a huge range of designs were tried, from tail first canards, pusher and tractor engines, monoplanes, biplanes, triplanes and more. This book is a natural follow on from the same authors previous work 'German Fighter Aircraft in World war 1', reviewed here in 2019. Filling 192 pages it is richly illustrated with around 250 photographs and drawings, many of them contemporary. It is printed on good quality glossy paper, dimensions 254mm x 203mm, between hardback covers. Sections are: Introduction The British Aircraft Industry The British and Colonial Aeroplane Company (B&CAC)/Bristol The Royal Aircraft Factory Aircraft Manufacturing Company (Airco) A. V. Roe & Company (Avro) Sopwith Aviation Company Engines and Props Conclusion Appendix 1: The 1915 Defence of the Realm act Appendix 2. Aircraft Designer Patents Notes Bibliography Modern full colour photographs are used to illustrate preserved machines such as those owned by the Shuttleworth collection. Others cover reproduction machines under construction such as John Saunders SE5a, and John Shaws beautiful Sopwith Camel, shown below: These are accompanied by detailed drawings/sketches of key components such as tailskids, interrupter gear, and others. All valuable information for modellers. I particularly liked the period advertisements, and factory shots of aircraft under construction which are very atmospheric. The major manufacturers are covered in dedicated chapters, featuring individual aircraft such as the Bristol Scout and F.2B, the RAF BE.2 and SE5a, Avro 504 (not really a fighter, but it fits in well) and Sopwiths Pup, Triplane, and Camel to name a few. This is rounded off with a very interesting chapter on engines and propeller manufacturing. Finally there is a selection of original patent drawings covering Avro's method of seat mounting to Sopwiths method of securing rigging wires (- and it's not a turnbuckle!). It is not a book to give you a detailed history of each aircraft, rather it describes the development of the various companies and some of the deigns they produced. There is as much information on Tommy Sopwith and the establishment of his famous company, as there is about the aircraft themselves. Plenty of anecdotes are sprinkled through the chapters, I particularly like the contemporary accounts from pilots. For example, Elliot White Springs, US 148 Aero Sqn "in a dogfight down low nothing could get away from it...a Camel could make a monkey out of an SE or a Fokker at treetop level but it couldn't zoom and it couldn't dive". Conclusion When looking back to earlier times, nothing is more important than context. To properly understand the story being told, the reader needs to be 'in the shoes' of the people of the time, and see things from their knowledge base and social values. This something this book does so well. The introduction and first chapter set the scene very well, setting out how British design lagged behind the French, and developed in different ways to the Germans. The author makes interesting points that I not considered before, such as the British use of the wooden box girder fuselage on all major designs throughout the war, while other nations used welded steel or plywood semi-monocoques. He also discusses how designs not only had to be good flying machines, but also had to be practical to build, transport, and maintain. There is a great deal of original thought and presentation that lifts this book above being just another book about First World War Aviation. It is a 'Sunday Morning' book, sit in your favourite armchair with a mug of tea, and spend a pleasant hour or so reading and enjoying this lovely book. There are a good few Sunday mornings to be had! Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. That is a real beauty Ray, interesting back story as well. Cheers John
  5. That really is a beautiful piece of work, the finish is outstanding, and brush painted, wow! Cheers John
  6. Hi Dave, Good to know we are following parallel paths with regard to the A310! Which airline/livery are you gong to finish it in? Cheers John
  7. I really like that! Very interesting with the test engine mounted, and a superb colour scheme. (I also must get mine out of the stash and build it!) Cheers John
  8. Lufthansa Airbus A310 1:144 Revell with AA and 26Decals The A310 was a shortened version of the A300 Airbus, using the same fuselage sections, but with a new, smaller wing. Lufthansa used them from 1983 to 2005, A few are still flying, mainly as cargo haulers. This is the venerable old Revell kit of the A310, with a replacement resin nose from Braz to correct the kit part. It is a simple bit of work, and makes a huge difference to to the finished model. I also scraped and reduced the over prominent reinforcement bulge at the base of the fin, and blended it in a bit of Milliput to improve the look. Decals are silk screen printed from 26Decals and performed superbly. The cockpit and passenger windows are Authentic Airliners photo realistic decals, There is a new kit from Eastern Express, but it is pricey at over £60, so the Revell kit is still worth building if you have one in your stash. But it really does benefit from the Braz nose. Mine was kindly donated by the ever helpful Mr Stringbag, so thanks again Chris! With something else. Lets call this Frankfurt 1986! Thanks for looking, John
  9. I'll always steer clear of a multi striped cheatline that meets on the nose. You are braver than me Einar, and have made a beautiful job of it! I'd agree that this is one of the most attractive liveries. Cheers John
  10. Very unusual build of a DC-8. I'm always intrigued by civil airliners adapted for military use, great to see this one! Cheers John
  11. Blimey Dave, that looks like an Albatros, something the Airfix kit doesn't do straight out of the box! Great work on improving it, there is a lot of satisfaction to be gained from doing these improvements to old kits, lets see more please! Cheers John
  12. Boeing 767-300ER British Airways (03862) Revell 1:144 I'm amazed to recall that it has been nearly 40 years since I first saw the Boeing 767 back in 1982 at the Farnborough airshow, where it was making an appearance with it's stablemate, the Boeing 757. Since then over 1200 of all variants haver been delivered, with the cargo version still in production nearly forty years after the types first flight. Engine options were the Pratt & Whitney JT9D/PW4000, General Electric CF6, or Rolls-Royce RB211. British Airways opted for the RB211 as it was common (in sub-marks) to their 747 and 757 fleets, a choice made by only one other airline buying new (China Yunnan). There was also a lot of commonality between the 767 and 757 flight decks, which made crew training and availability more flexible. Entering service with BA in 1990, their 767's remained in service for 28 years until November 2018. In the early 2000's 7 aircraft were sold to Qantas, making them one of the few airlines to operate the RB211 powered 767.The initial variant was the -200, joined in 1984 by the -300 as modelled here, which had a 21 foot fuselage extension increasing seating capacity by around 50, depending upon layout. Revell's kit was first released in the early 1990's (the date moulded inside one wing is 1992), and has appeared in various different boxings over the years. This latest release is packed in one of Revell's end opening boxes featuring a painting of G-BNWB climbing into an evening sky. Inside is one polythene bag with all the sprues for the 'standard' 767 kit, and a separate bag containing the RB211 engines particular to this version. Also included is booklet of instructions in Revell's usual style, and a very nice A5 sized decal sheet. As far as I know only the previous Gulf Air/British Airways boxing has featured the Rolls-Royce engines, so they make a welcome return here. RB211's below: Produced in white plastic, the moulds are obviously holding up well the mouldings are very sharp with no evidence of flash. Detail is engraved, and comparatively few parts make up the whole kit. A separate clear sprue is provided for the cockpit glazing, but no provision is made for the cabin windows. This is not really a problem as most airliner modellers fill the cabin windows anyway, and use decals to represent them. A set of 'full' windows and a set of window frames are provided on the decal sheet, so you can make your own choice. Construction begins with the nose gear bay, which is inserted into the fuselage halves, which can then be joined. There is no cockpit interior provided, unlike in some of the more recent airliner releases. Wings and tailplane halves are then assembled and joined to the fuselage in a construction sequence which is simplicity itself. You have the choice to build the model 'in flight' with retracted undercarriage, or with it deployed for when on the ground. Finally the engines are added to complete construction of the model. The kit still contains the original engines which represent the Pratt & Whitney JT9D/General Electric CF6. As such they are a little 'generic' but useful if you plan to use aftermarket decals and build a non-BA machine. Aftermarket engines are also available if you wish to go down that route. Here they are, but are marked as not for use in the instructions: The decals are beautifully printed with good colours and razor sharp detail. The Chelsea Rose was one of my favourites from the 'World Image' era, so makes a great choice for this model. Plenty of stencilling is provided, and the tiny 'Roll-Royce' logos are little works of art. Your guarantee of quality is assured as sheet states it was designed by DACO, who only produce the highest quality. The painting/decaling instructions are in full colour, with paint numbers called out from Revell's own range. 767 window and door arrangements can vary by airline, so it is always worthwhile checking references for the particular aircraft you are modelling. The instructions show the correct layout for a BA 767. However the fuselage mouldings do not tie up with the drawings, particularly with reference to the door by the trailing edge of the wing. It is not present on the kit fuselage, which is not a problem, but at the very least you will need to fill some of the windows where it is located. I expect though that most modellers will anyway fill all the windows and use the decals provided, which have the correct pattern, and door outlines. Conclusion. It has been a while since this kit was last available, so it is great to have it back. The provision of the RB211 engines is also welcome, as this is the only 767 kit that can give you the BA option straight out of the box. Add to this the provision of a beautiful decal set that would cost a fair bit as an aftermarket sheet, and this is a great package all in one. Recommended. [edit] Some useful tips on building this kit from member Skodadriver here. [/edit] Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  13. I think he is talking about a different release of the kit, 'The Few' Dual Combo : https://www.eduard.com/eduard/plastic-kits/limited-edition/aircraft/1-48/spitfire-story-the-few-dual-combo-1-48.html Which contains this figure Based on Mikes review I bought this kit and couldn't resist the Dual Combo either! Cheers John
  14. Nice to see a 747 in the classic Negus livery. Cheers John
  15. Two lovely models, I agree the Minicraft is good, one is a one of the best airliner models available. It's a shame the real DC-9.MD-80 family is disappearing from the skies. Cheers John
  16. Mean, Moody, and Magnificent! Another superb build from the Russ stable, the photos look very realistic too, Cheers John
  17. Nice to see the Heller kit, especially when so well build and finished. Cheers John
  18. Very classty747 Alex, the SAA scheme is definitely one of my favourites. I must get around to building my Revell kit, I've had it for 15+ years now, waiting its turn on the bench, to roll out as a 136 in the BOAC delivery scheme. Cheers John
  19. It's a nice looking Comet, and I love the Olympic livery, nice job! It is a shame that as Dave says it is a missed opportunity to have produced a state of the art Comet. I got a bit carried away with my build, maybe when in a hole I should have stopped digging! Dimensionally my Comet is correct, but I think the fuselage is slightly too skinny now. Next time I think I'll just build an Airfix one, Cheers John
  20. Very nice Julien, I quite like these one off special schemes. Hopefully we will see an increased range of decals for the 757 now that Zvezda are releasing a mainstrem kit. Cheers John
  21. First builds in 50 years? You've got a real talent for this , lovely models. Cheers John
  22. Looks like a fabulous kit, ICM just keep getting better, and it is good to see them breaking into new areas such as this. Now how can a justify getting one, and fitting it in with my collection of WW1 biplanes? Cheers john
  23. A real beauty of an airliner! The windscreen looks undersized from some angles, and perfect good from others. Isn't it just typical that we only notice these things after everything is complete. If I had a pound for every error noticed by taking pictures....... Cheers John
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