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  1. Hi to all. I've just finished this kit, enormous btw. The AMK's MiG-31BM no 880033. I decided to add some after bits: - Eduard PE no 49 752 mainly to detail the belts and engine area, - Resin wheels ,Eduard no. 648 248; - AMK improvement set, n° 88003U, consisting of metal landing gears, extra photo-etched parts, extra decals and a set of tinted transparents. Following the instructions, I started with the engines, to which I added Eduard's photo-etched parts for the afterburner basket. I painted the metal parts with Krylon spray and marked the recesses with a MiG dirt set. In some areas I painted those pink stripes formed with Humbrol 70 lightened with white, some panels I painted with a green from Revell 362 I hope you like it Regards, Paablo
  2. At approximately 1230 hrs on 12th June 1942 a single Beaufighter Ic, crewed by Flt Lt. Ken Gatward at the controls and guided there by his navigator Sgt. Gilbert Fern, roared along the Champs-Elysees at rooftop height to drop a French flag over the Arc de Triomphe and then flew to the Place de la Concorde where they strafed the Kreigsmarine headquarters with 20mm cannon fire and dropped a second French flag over it. This event, the express purpose of which was to raise morale of the French people and remind them they had not been forgotten, was Operation Squabble. Ever since I read about the event I've wanted to model the 236 Sqn. Bristol Beaufighter Ic that took part. Although it is known to be coded ND-C there is some speculation if it carried the serial T4800 as shown in a photograph of a Beaufighter carrying the code letters taken a month or so later. Since nobody can confirm with any certainty whether or not this was the case or otherwise let's go with it as best guess for the purposes of this project. Tamiya's 48th scale kit provides a decent basis to backdate from the Mk. VI and was the only option in 48th when I started this one a few years ago. The wings have been assembled and some minor corrections to the panel lines done then a bit of detail added inside the fuselage, still more to do there, the crew figures are the kit parts slightly modified but with hindsight they still need oxygen masks fitted across their faces. The stalling point had been at the engines so I've returned there and got the cowlings cleaned up. One of standard kit parts in the background with the two modified parts for comparison. Removed the small bulges, tidied up the mold lines, and removed the intakes from the front of each exhaust pipe. A section of plastic strip to cover the inside of that exhaust molding finishes the cowl for now. Engines next and trying to recreate to individual exhaust pipes from each cylinder.
  3. I have had this P-51 Mustang in the stash for about 30 years, for it's age the detail is nice and refined, however the control surfaces are all moulded compete with the wing, the main undercarriage bay is also part of the one piece lower wing and is very shallow, even when compared to the Tamiya kit. I have the Eduard p/e cockpit set for this kit and some resin wheels by Barracuda. The decals I'm using are spare from an Eduard Mustang kit. I always like a story to go with a kit build and the pilot that flew this aircraft had quite an interesting one. Flown by 2nd Lt. Bruce W. Carr of the 353rd FS, 354th FG, 9th Air Force operating from Arconte, France. On November the 2nd 1944 he took off in his aircraft 'Angels Playmate' as part of fighter sweep to attack Luftwaffe airfields all the way to Czechoslovakia. During an airfield attack 'Angels Playmate' was hit hit by flak forcing Bruce Carr to take to his parachute. He landed unhurt and managed to evade capture, he then managed to get onto a Luftwaffe airfield and he borrowed a FW 190A-6 and flew it back to his base in France. By the wars end he had 15 credited victories, Bruce Carr stayed in the Air Force and flew combat in both the Korean and Vietnam conflicts. He survived all these wars and passed away in 1998. These are the markings that I'm using, it's how the aircraft was marked on 2nd November 44. Here are the sprue shots: everything is ready for the start of the GB.
  4. While I was building my Me 262 2-seater I thought it would be a good time to build this kit that I have had for a few years, the Hobby Boss Me 262A-1a/U4. First a bit of history behind it: As the daylight bomber attacks on Germany intensified in 1944, attempts to bring down large numbers of American B-17 and B-24 bombers was getting more difficult. they were coming in ever larger formations of up to 800 aircraft and with over a 1,000 fighters for protection. Gorings first idea was to build more German bombers, he reasoned that if the Luftwaffe bombed the UK severely they would be too pre-occupied to carry on attacking Germany. This idea didn't go down well and it was pointed out that German industry was unable to produce sufficient aircraft to match the allies productivity even without the bombing of their aircraft industry. General Galland knew that his fighter pilots were being killed in ever greater numbers due to the defensive fire from the bombers and also their fighter escorts. As heavier weapons were fitted to the FW 190 and Bf 109 German defensive fighters to enable them to bring down the US bombers, this extra weight reduced their performance and they became easier targets for the US escort fighters. An idea to use ever larger calibre weapons that could destroy the attacking bombers with a single round from outside the range of their defensive fire was devised. Bf 110's with 37mm canon and then Me 410 aircraft with a 50mm canon were utilised, however results were inconclusive, these heavily armed twin engined fighters were easy prey for the more agile single engine US fighters and with such a long barrel, even a small deflection made the projectile miss it's target. Despite evidence that the 30mm weapons were downing the majority of US bomber losses an attempt to fit the 50mm canon to the jet powered Me 262 interceptor was attempted in 1945. The first Me 262 was converted from a standard fighter, to accommodate the large weapon the nose shape was enlarged and the nose wheel had to rotate flat with the underside of the nose on retraction. after evaluation this aircraft was issued to JV 44 and flown in combat on 16 April 1945, attacking a force of B-26 Marauders of the 9th AF it's canon jammed. No other flights were recorded and the aircraft was destroyed as US ground forces approached the base. Two other aircraft were being converted to carry a 50mm weapon, only one was completed and it was captured by US ground forces at Lechfeld airfield. It was marked up with US markings and then flown to France with the intention of being shipped back to the USA for testing. Unfortunately it crashed on landing, thus ending the saga of the 50mm armed Me 262's. Here is the Hobby Boss kit: As can be seen, it has not been started. These kits are good fitting but need a bit more work to assemble than the Tamiya kit, but HB made all the obscure versions so we are lucky for that. I have some extra bits to help make this kit, some Eduard resin wheels to replace the strange kit ones, a Master metal barrel with a nicely perforated brass muzzle break to replace the kit's solid plastic one. The kit provides a metal nose wheel bay to provide sufficient nose weight and it is correctly shaped so that the nose wheel could lay flat. Some Quinta 3D cockpit decals to perk up the instrument panel and side consoles. The kit markings are a bit mixed up, it shows the initial nose art applied by the US forces, "Wilma Jeanne", this was later changed to "Happy Hunter II" before its final fight to Cherbourg where it crashed on landing. It never carried either of these names with German markings just the alpha/numeric V083. I'm not sure yet how I will finish the aircraft, but if you want the nose art you have to source your own US star and bar decals. It will give me something to do while my other Me 262 build has it's sprue gloop hardening. Any questions or comments are always welcome.
  5. My entry to this STGB is the Hasegawa F-8 Crusader, re-boxed with some p/e, resin parts and new decals by Eduard. The kit is of an F-8E and I will be back dating it to an F8U-2 from 1961, they were re-designated as F-8C in September 1962. VF-84 were the first Squadron to get the F8U-2 version of the Crusader in April 1959 and as part of CVG-7 on the USS Independence from August 1960 to March 1961 they wore some of the most colourful markings seen on a Crusader aircraft. It's an aircraft that I have wanted to make in 1/48th scale for some time, so here goes. Another difference with these aircraft of VF-84 when they had the intake flame paint scheme was their aircraft had the rear afterburner section painted Gull Grey over white, not left in natural metal. The name of the ship 'Independence' in red is only on this aircraft but points to notice are the natural metal area where the tailplane pivots and the small black painted aircraft type: F8U-2 and it's full serial number 145562 and just below the fin cap a repeat of the aircraft nose number 203 These details are missing from the MicroScale decal sheet and will need adding. Here is the decal sheet that has just arrived, I included the instruction sheet as there are errors like it being an F8E with a natural metal afterburner and the omissions noted above. No wonder in the early 80's I built the 1/72nd Hasegawa F-8E in these markings with out making any changes to the kit, my excuse, there was no internet then and I didn't have any books on the subject. The intake flame artwork slightly varied between each aircraft and these aircraft, being some of the first F8U-2 issued to the Navy, had the early Vought ejection seat and spoked wheels that I am waiting to be delivered from a supplier in Ukraine, so they may take a couple of weeks. Here is the kit I will be using. As I mentioned in the chat thread, I have some extras to go along with the kit, a Wolf Pack airbrake and wing fold sets, Aires resin cockpit, Master metal pitot Eduard resin wheels and New Ware mask set. Not sure I will use all those extra bits, when the GB starts I will start to backdate the airframe, first, the biggest job will be to remove the avionics hump off the top of the wing centre section, that and reducing the size and changing the shape of the radome are the main visual differences. I will get around to the other, minor things as I go along. Thanks for looking and any questions or comments are always welcome.
  6. I have in my stash some Hasegawa 1/48th Hurricanes one of which is the 40mm canon armed Mk.IId. I am going to build this kit with the hope that Arma will eventually produce this version of the Hurricane from their magnificent new 1/48th kit. This Hurricane kit is modular in design, with a separate nose section for the Mk.I and Mk.II different engines and wing inserts for the different armament that these aircraft carried. Compared to the Arma kit the fabric covering is rather overdone (too saggy) and the riveted wings are very smooth, I'll try and improve the fabric effect by a good coat of primer but apart from applying 3D printed rivets to the wings they will have to remain smooth. Here is the kit, Hasegawa kits from that period came with all the sprues in a single bag, only the clear sprue and decals were kept separate, so bag opened and sprues spread out. I am not using the kit decals but it will be finished in the 6 Sqn markings of HV594, aircraft letter P. Same camouflage colours as the box art, including the red spinner. I have bought some upgrades over the years. Some Aires separate tail surfaces, Brengun wheels, Eduard zoom set for the cockpit and a CMK resin cockpit seat as the kit one is too short. Let the fun begin, any advice or questions are most welcome.
  7. Well that didn't take long. Less than a month! To sum up, I had a gluebomb Stap & Droid bought cheap from the bay, and a box of 1/48th Italeri A-10 Warthog bits. I dismantled the Stap with TET and used the biggest part for the rear of this beastie. Obviously, the front end of the A-10 too. A previously unseen space going fighter from the Star wars universe. I've still not thought of a name for it or it's home Planet. Paints are Tamiya extra dark sea grey underneath & Model Master Braun Violet on top. There is lots of card and filler here. Panels had been cut out on the fuselage & I had to alter the Stap part. The pilot is ex spares box. Orange flight suit like the X wings. So probably a rebel. Laser cannons are repurposed machine cannons. I wanted some sort of insignia and came up with a white 20mm square and two blue stripes from a Matchbox Puma. Intakes, The slim one is ex F-16 tail. The round ones are a 1/32nd Airfix wheel and a jet exhaust from I know not where. Engines were cobbled together from various bits. Ships guns, Ju88 bomb clamps, copper wire etc. At the back we have this huge sensor fairing as on many modern Earth fighters. Playing 'dead ants!' Halves of drop tanks are obvious. As are the landing pads, Space 1999 Eagle. They'd retract straight in and seal the hole. I should have made the struts longer. It sits rather close to the ground. The paint finish came out a bit weird. I used Tamiya rattlecans underneath. The top was brush painted. The grey was okay but I think the cold got to the matt coat in the garage. It looks kind of worn now. Re-entry damge? Nose gear. (Obviously). The canards were in the spares box, but I don't know their origin. I've left most of the A-10 access panels in place and penciled in others. And the six inch ruler gives a clue to the size of this thing. Oh yes, there's another sensor fairing under the nose. The mottle was an experiment. Take a white primer rattlecan and a tumble drier scent sheet as a mask. Et Voila! Similar method to what they used to do on U.S. Custom cars with lace. Some sheets give a more random effect. It's probably rubbish as camouflage, but I think it gives an 'other worldly' effect. And another view. Most of the panel lines and scallops were already on the Stap part. A lot have been filled in. And that is your lot for another mad build. Thanks for looking and I look forward to your comments. The WIP is here https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235131889-a-10-with-a-stap-garnish/
  8. In all my years of building aircraft models, one avenue that I have never wandered down is the desert setting. Here is my chance to redress that omission by building a desert camouflaged Spitfire Mk.Vb. I was tempted by the newer Eduard kit but this Tamiya boxing has been in the stash for around 25 years, the kit was first issued in 1994 and was the best Spitfire kit available back then. However, progress has improved model aircraft and it does have a few flaws that I will try and improve on, mainly because along the way I have picked up some bits and pieces so I might as well use them. Here is the kit in question, with the sprues still in their poly bags. I'll start by improving the cockpit. Tamiya added detail to the inside of the fuselage sides but instead of copying how a real Spitfire is built they just added some detail following the inside shape of the kit halves, this means there isn't the curving section that forms the bottom of the cockpit. To remedy this I have removed the raised detail molded into the lower half of each fuselage part and will replace it with the internal curved sections and frames from an old Airfix Vb kit that I have in my spares box. A resin seat, some wiring and a Yahu instrument panel will improve the pit and after its all been painted some Eduard p/e seatbelts will finish off that particular upgrade. Todays task was to remove the inner detail from the fuselage lower halves and get the replacement parts ready to be installed. The round object on the Yahu i/p is the pilots compass, it needs cutting off and adding to a bracket under the i/p. Once everything is dry fitted I can start splashing some paint about. Thanks for looking, any questions or comments are always welcome.
  9. A little backstory for context: I'll confess it was hard to go back to the hobby bench when I saw this STGB come up. I haven't touched a plastic part since I put down my Xacto knife during the Mediterranean Group Build. My wife passed away from a sudden stroke right here in my office, and building models hasn't even been close to being on the list of things that have needed to be done around here. I still haven't really looked at the stuff on my workbench in more than a year/half -- I may discover I left glue or paints open. But I did pull some of the Fortress kits out of the garage to choose what I might do for this group build... so that is a start. The kit candidates: Has it really been a decade? I pre-ordered the massive 1/32 Fortress before HK released it in 2013, and haven't even opened the sprue bags even though it has sat on the shelf taunting me for more than 10 years now. I think I am still too nervous to build it at this point, but if I ever WHEN I eventually build it I will deck it out as B-17G-85-BO 43-38450 Lucky Partners -- the plane my friend's father flew out of Rattlesden with the 447th BG. --------------------------------------- The oldest kit in my stash is the old Airfix 1/72 B-17. I'd rather just hang on to the kit because it looks like hell... well, everything except the beautiful 447th BG markings as Bit O Lace, of course. --------------------------------------- I still have two unopened boxes of the classic Monogram 1/48 Fortress (ignoring the big Revell logos on the box) left over after the dust settled on the previous B-17 STGB. I really enjoyed clumsily working my way through my Ol Scrapiron build back in 2018, so I think I will build another (hopefully better) for this group build as well. My grandfather flew 11 missions on Ol Scrapiron, so I grew up thinking that was "his plane." At some point, I was doing deeper research and learned that not only did he fly several planes during his 30 missions, but that his second most frequent airframe was Lucky Stehley Boy, and that was actually the plane he flew his two D-Day missions on. --------------------------------------- I also have one of the odd-scale kits (forget the brand and can't find the box) I bought a couple of years ago at Hobby Lobby and an Academy/Minicraft 1/72 B-17F Memphis Belle.... but they're not really in consideration this time around. And the winner is... So the winning option is the Monogram (Revell) 1/48 Fortress to be done as Lucky Stehley Boy. I will have to decide if it will be marked as it was when my grandfather climbed aboard for two missions on the morning of June 6, 1944... or afterward when the extra D-Day references were added to the nose art. This plane also has another bit of significant history, but I'll wait to share that as the build progresses. I'll shoot some of the sprue pics when I decide to break the seal and get started. Won't be tonight, I'm too distracted by the many fine builds going on already in this group. Hopefully, I will have learned from some of the (many) mistakes made the last time, so I'll be free to make a whole new set of mistakes this time. What confidence LOL
  10. Good day everyone, in the wake of the F-35B Lightning I managed to finish earlier this year, I stumbled across an old kit I love for different reasons and unlike in the real world, the Lightning won't replace this one on my shelf but rather park next to it. It's the well known Hasegawa kit in 1/48th scale of the Harrier II Plus and it had a rather troubled story in my hands. It took me 11 years to finish this, believe it or not. Most of the time it sat in hiatus half built in its box because my old compressor had given up the ghost in the process. I started this kit while I was in school, which also kinda interrupted my model making. Graduation, the first job, the first love, then studying, other hobbies along the way, so something had to give. Finally after many years of absence I bought a new compressor in 2016, dug up the Harrier and got it done. This was also a kit of many firsts - The first multi colored kit with a camo pattern I tried with airbrush, the first time I used a detail set, the first time I tried to replicate bigger decals by using them as a template and airbrushing them, the first time I tried weathering and back in the day it was the first item I ever ordered online 😄. The result, of course, doesn't do the mighty Harrier any justice but I love the aircraft and because it took so long for the kit to be finished and what happened in the meantime, I love this kit. What amazes me, I forgot what I had for breakfast today, but I remember the whole build. So the story begins in late 2006 (The exact date I actually only know because I found the receipt still in the box). My brother and I were browsing on the web for modelling stuff and ordered the Hasegawa Harrier plus the Hasegawa USAF weapons set and a resin cockpit from Aires. As soon as everything arrived, I immediately begun construction. I remember being frightened by the use of superglue for the resin parts because I didn't want to mess things up so early into the build 😅 All went well, though, until the cockpit section and the rear fuselage needed to be joined together. The well know fitment issues there were also a source of frustration for young Luke. But with a bit of putty and some swearwords, it went together somehow. The rest of the build wasn't bad at all. With most of the construction done I started painting. I remember I used Revell Email airbrush colors, which I think got discontinued at some point. I managed to get the first two shades of grey onto the kit, then airbrush the vertical stabilizer by cutting out the big decals and using them as masks, then the compressor decided he's done with my s**t 😅 Being still at school and not exactly flush with cash I couldn't afford a new compressor at the time and so the Harrier got mothballed. The years passed, my brother moved away, we moved house, too, my father retired, etc....crazy how much stuff happened, while the kit sat quietly in its box, which itself got lost in the back of my closet at some point. Finally after almost 10 years I got a new compressor (ironically while visiting my brother in Poland, so he somehow put it all in motion and spiritually helped me bring it to an end) and got back to model building. I got a few kits finished before going back to this one. The last shade of grey was airbrushed, all the smaller parts were glued in place, the ordnance from the Hasegawa weapons set was added, then the decals went on, which got really brittle over time. Then I tried to weather the aircraft with acrylics and in the end everything got sealed with semi gloss varnish. Apart from the one big fitment issue I remember the build being utterly enjoyable, this includes the Aires cockpit. I'm also quite pleased with the result for so many firsts and tries. In some aspects I find it better in some aspects than some of my more recent kits, which worries me 😅 Of course for the balance of things, in other aspects it's worse but overall I quite like it. I hope you do, too and as always, thanks for watching (and reading through my probably boring story 😄 ) Cheers
  11. Good evening gals and gents, today I'd like to present to you a gift for a good friend of mine. As he is a huge fan of Bugatti, mostly of the Veyron, I decided to get him a Bugatti he hasn't in his collection yet. Small wonder. Most people associate the name Ettore Bugatti with racing cars and luxury automobiles but only a few probably know the story of the Bugatti Model 100, sometimes called the Bugatti-De Monge 100P. In 1937 Bugatti decided to get back at the Germans and to win the prestigious Deutsch de la Meurthe Cup Race. He teamed up with Belgian engineer Louis de Monge and they were on course to enter the 1939 race, but to do so they needed to get their aircraft completed by September and we all know what happened in September of 1939. They missed the deadline and so the Model 100 never took to the skies and when in 1940 the Germans were approaching Paris, the still incomplete plane was moved to the French countryside where it was hidden in a barn for the next almost 30 years. It was sold a couple of times, among other to an American automotive aficionado who bought the Model 100 for its two Bugatti Type 50P Straight 8 4.9L engines, which were used for restoration works of Bugatti cars. In 1996 the airframe was donated to the EAA Aviation Museum in Oshkosh where it was restored and is now on display. But the story doesn't end there. While Ettore Bugatti never saw the plane fly, it finally did in 2015 - at least a replica did. It was built by a group of enthusiasts using the original plans. Some materials originally used by Bugatti and de Monge were changed for safety reasons and the plane was powered by two Suzuki Hayabusa engines. Nicknamed Blue Dream, the plane was slightly damaged during an landing incident on the first flight, but was repaired and did another successful flight. Almost exactly one year after its inaugural flight, Blue Dream took to the skies for a third and last time. Unfortunately it crashed right after take-off, tragically killing the pilot and initiator of the re-creation of the Model 100, Scotty Wilson. Even more tragic - this was to be the aircrafts final flight anyway as the team behind the project planned to donate it to a museum afterwards. So while these enthusiasts proved the Bugatti Model 100 could fly, neither them, nor Ettore Bugatti and Louis de Monge themselves could prove that this might have been the fastest, most advanced racer in its time. At least it looks absolutely stunning! So...after a long brainstorm what to get that guy for his birthday ("I don't want anything!") I got back to the most obvious but I didn't want to get him another 1/18 scale Bugatti Veyron, even when I entertained the idea of getting one, remove the paint and spec it individually, I finally settled on the Special Hobby 1/48th scale kit of the Model 100. It's compact enough so he can add it to his collection without any problems, which was the main reason I didn't go for another Veyron or the 1/32nd variant of this kit. The build was quite enjoyable. The bulk of the parts is used in the cockpit and the fitment of the small parts amazingly is not bad at all. The airframe on the other hand didn't go together so easily, there was quite a gap in the front of the fuselage, but with the help of putty it wasn't that big of a deal. What I couldn't get rid of is the visible step between the fuselage and the wings at the rear. The fuselage seems to sit way lower than it should or the wings are to thick, don't really know where the mistake was made and unfortunately I'm not that skilled with sculpturing and rescribing to get it done with putty. But it bugs me so much, I even consider to keep that one for myself and build another one and approach the attachment of the wings differently and hoping it will look better. Anyway, the rest was easy going, except I had to write to Special Hobby because one of the resin parts was missing from my kit. But one mail and two days later I got the part in my mailbox, free of charge. Kudos for that service, thank you Special Hobby team! With everything in place the kit was primed with Tamiya white primer from a spray can and sprayed with Tamiya French Blue. For the cockpit, canopy, landing gear and propellers Vallejo and Revell acrylics were used, I kept the weathering to a minimum, just suggesting a bit the plane might have been raced once or twice and yeah, Bob's your uncle. Except for the problem with the wings, I'm quite pleased with the result and it certainly looks sexy in blue next to all the mostly grey and huge military jets on my shelf, as I still haven't decided if I should give it another go or if this actually is worthy as a gift. Either way sooner or later I will add this little beauty to my collection. That at least is decided Thanks for reading and watching!
  12. Hello guys and gals, today I'd like to present the HobbyBoss MiG-31M Foxhound I recently managed to finish after having it in my stash of shame for years. Probably everybody knows the MiG-31B/BM but the MiG-31M is a rather obscure topic. The MiG-31, the replacement for the aging MiG-25 interceptor first flew in 1975 and this time the performance was achieved by sophisticated engineering, rather than brute force as it was with the MiG-25 and at the beginning of the 1980's the first MiG-31's were introduced into service with the Soviet Airforce. Although it was vastly superior to the MiG-25, the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau began working on a more advanced and modernized version shortly after and in 1985 the first prototype of the MiG-31M took off. 6 prototypes and one pre-series aircraft were made and apparently successfully tested, although the full extend of the evaluations and the true combat capabilities of the interceptor remain secret, the MiG-31M showed a huge improvement over the basic MiG-31. Some of the upgrades tested on the MiG-31M were later incorporated into the MiG-31B and BM versions, so the program was not for nothing. But avionics, electronic suits, radar and engines are one thing. The MiG-31M was also thoroughly reworked on the outside. For starters - it was way bigger. The MiG-31 had a gross weight of 41 tons - the MiG-31M was clocked at 50 tons. The wingtips housed ECM pods, the underbelly hardpoints were increased from 4 to 6, the standard framed windscreen was replaced by a one piece round windscreen, big LERX were added to the wings, an in-flight refueling probe was also added and the gun removed. The most prominent change was probably the bigger, wider dorsal spine. But the end of the Soviet Union also meant the end of this program. The MiG-31M Blue 057 was the last to be built and after a period of unsuccessful sale attempts, this pre-series jet was put into storage indefinitely at Zhukovsky Airport after the 1995 MAKS show, where it was displayed publicly for the last time. It remains at Zhukovsky till this day and it actually can be seen even on Google Maps but its condition has deteriorated severely over the years. The HobbyBoss kit depicts Blue 057 while it was tested. The kit itself is not bad. The details are quite fine, the fitment is alright and except for the join between the forward fuselage and the rear half the putty stayed mostly where it belonged. It also features metal landing gear legs, although these could have been cleverer because the metal parts are mixed with plastic parts and the fitment there is wonky at best but the metal landing gear is highly welcome. The M in the name stands for massive! The kit is very heavy and the extra weight in the nose doesn't make things easier. The rest of the build was very enjoyable, no major problems were encountered. The canopy of the WSO was a bit stubborn, I'm guessing because it was meant to be open. Even the instructions don't mention the closed position but it was nothing a little bit of enthusiastic filing couldn't fix. The kit also has some options to offer when it comes to armament. Most photos show the MiG-31M with 6 R-37 AAM under the fuselage and 4 R-77 AAM but I went for drop tanks and 4 R-60's, which is also a loadout possibility on the MiG-31B. Where it falls apart are the decals. These are awful in any and every way. Compared to those on the ICM MiG-25 the print is rather crude, their film is quite thick and they respond badly to decal softeners and are quite hard to work with. So I ended up omitting a lot of the little decals. Even the instructions got some of the positioning wrong when you look at the few reference pictures available on the internet. As usual Vallejo and Tamiya paints were used for the most part, weathering was done with oil paints and washes and the whole kit was sealed with Tamiya Varnish. So...here it goes. I hope you like it and thanks for watching!
  13. I will be building this newer version of Eduard's FW 190 series of kits, their original series of FW kits were somewhat difficult to make and did not cover the early variants before the A-5. This kit of the A-2 will be, hopefully, just the first member of the Focke Wulf family I build in this STGB. I have several sets of markings I can use, unless I change my mind this is the aircraft I plan to build. All these Eduard FW kits contain four identical sprues, the clear canopy sprue plus three that contain all the other parts regardless of variant. Which means lots of spare parts. The fuselage, wings, p/e, masks and decals are different for each boxing, This kit has two wing options, the ones for version I plan to build with outboard canon are still on their sprue, I removed the spare ones to see if they fitted the Eduard D-9 kit, they do. This boxing also contained a pair of resin inner gear doors, I added a pair of resin early wheels and a set of Master brass gun barrels and pitot tube because they look so good. Everything is ready for the start date, roll on the 21st.
  14. Following on with a theme here, when I bought the Eduard FW 190A-3 kit one of the options for that model was for a 'hit and run' ship attack aircraft from 10 Staffel (Jabo) JG 2. As this kit has the new style decals that can be a bit of a problem, luckily I have some of Eduards older type that have an impressive score tally on the rudder. So I have 'obtained' another A-3 kit. These aircraft were armed with either a 250Kg or a 500Kg bomb and were used to attack British shipping in the English Channel. They were formed originally with Bf 109F-4 aircraft but were replaced with FW 190A-3's. The emblem they used on both sides of the nose was a brown fox with a ship in it's mouth. These original decals are labelled for an A-2 but this was an error by Eduard, A-2's were not equipped to carry bombs and they are identical externally to the A-3 aircraft. So what I have do is remove the outboard guns, remove the underside canon bulges and fit a bomb rack on the centre line. I have made a start, painting the undercarriage bay with RLM 02, the engine front was sprayed black and dry brushed with silver, I decided to try some Barracuda hollow exhausts. The cockpit was sprayed up with RLM 66 dark grey and detailed with the kit p/e parts. Here is a close-up of the cockpit just before I joined up the fuselage. Thanks for looking.
  15. Hi folks, first things first - happy Easter everyone! 🐰🥚 Today on the menu is Italeri's F-35B Lightning II in its fierce Beast Mode configuration in 1/48th scale, my latest finished kit. Bought it last year after seeing the USAF F-35A demo during an airshow in Belgium. It impressed me so much I just had to have at least one Lightning II in my collection but I like it so much I aim to get the whole range. The kit itself is not bad but IMO a bit overpriced compared to Tamiya's F-35A which only costs around 20€ more than this one and even if I haven't build that one yet, it's safe to say it will be better in a number of ways. The Italeri kit is nicely detailed in many areas (Cockpit, landing gear, weapon bays, some surface details) and is kinda winging it in others (engine nozzle, other surface details) but it goes together very well and features a great many options. Sure, this also comes down to the F-35B variant, which is the one with STOVL capability. I chose to open every hatch, bay and intake possible to make it look like a Transformer. The kit also comes with some extra ordnance and weapon carts you can put next to it. Speaking of ordnance - there is plenty but the options are rather limited. You can either go for a stealth clean look or a full Beast Mode loadout with 6 pylons under the wings packed with 4 bombs (either JDAMs or Paveways) and 2 AIM-9X. The internal weapon bays can be filled with 2 AIM-120 AMRAAM and 2 again either JDAMs or Paveways and an optional underbelly gun pod. I went for the 4 Paveways and 2 Sidewinders under the wings and 2 JDAMs and 2 AMRAAM in the bays and ditched the gun pod. The build was quite easy going despite the rather complex nature of the plane itself. The problem is the masking afterwards. There is a lot of stuff that needs to go into the fuselage before the lower and upper halves go together and unfortunately a lot has to be painted in what I like to call gods cruelest joke - white. The masking and painting were the most time consuming aspects of this build. I used Tamiya's white for the internal bays, Hataka's Have Glass Grey and several Vallejo greys (and brushes this time) for all the surface details, followed by some Tamiya gloss varnish. Washes were done as usual with Vallejo and Ammo washes. The decals were fantastic. Printed by Cartograf on a very thin film and crisp as hell. Even the smaller stencils are still readable. They were easy to work with and a responded very well to decal softener. In the end the whole thing was sealed with gloss varnish. All in all it was a fun kit and I'm quite pleased with the result (although I made a few mistakes while painting which I noticed too late to be corrected) and I learned a few lessons for any future F-35 project and how I'm going to tackle a few things next time to make it even more enjoyable. I also found the box of the PC sim JSF - from 1997. That puts it into perspective how long the Joint Strike Fighter program is going on and me being in my early 30's now, it took almost my entire lifetime from start (around 1993) to introducing the plane into service (2015 to 2019 depending on the variant and their respective users). The time, money, thinking, testing and developing that went into these machines is simply incredible. That's it for now. Wish you a happy Easter weekend and thanks for watching (and reading)
  16. I always feel that the A-7 Corsair was overshadowed by it's better looking brother, the F-8 Crusader. I'm not sure I have ever made an A-7 Corsair kit before but I have a few in the stash. I've dug this kit out, bought when it was first released back in 1987, so after 35 years of stacking with another couple of A-7 kits I'm going to build my first SLUF. Here is the un-started kit in it's box, lovely box art: I have some AM to improve this old kit. Decals are from CAM, two nice choices but I'm always up for some teeth around the intake, Some nicely detailed ResKit wheels, Eduard p/e cockpit set and New Ware mask set to help paint the canopy. Just finishing off some Focke-Wulfs from that GB then I can crack on with this.
  17. I thought I would carry on with a theme. As a deal with James @franky boy I opted to build an A-8 from JGr.10, the combat unit that trialed different weapons to try and bring down the 4 engined bombers of the USAAF in greater numbers. Their aircraft were adorned with snakes from the engine cowling back to the tail. I have the EagleCal decal sheet for two of these aircraft plus another decal sheet from a Kagero book about these Focke Wulfs. The kit I'm using is the Eduard overtrees box that just has the plastic kit, no plans, decals, p/e or masks. This is not a problem as I have plenty of options, either the Quinta or Eduard 3D decals for the cockpit and a spare fret of Eduard p/e or the 'Space' p/e that comes with the 3D decals. The W.Gr 21cm rockets are from Eduard, they came with a Bf 109 kit but they were exactly the same type used on FWs. Another option is a single rocket, these were attached to the centre line pylon, facing rearwards, the idea was to attack a bomber head on using canon fire and as the FW flew past it fired the rocket back at the bomber, it wasn't successful and the pair of rockets, one under each wing made the attacking aircraft slow and vunerable, the escort fighters usually made short work of them. Here are the photos of the extras, the kit sprues have been shown on several threads already. Here is a photo of the kit, cockpit options and the wing mounted rockets. The full length rockets are for a loading diorama, for loaded launchers just the rocket fronts are used. Here is a close up of the 3D decals and accessories and the single, rearwards firing rocket launcher, and no they never carried all three. Thanks for looking, I'll get stared as soon as I can.
  18. This build has been on and off (more off than on to be fair) the bench for the last 7 years! It finally crossed the finish line earlier this week and thank Christ for that! Fonderie kits have a poor reputation but when I first bought this and fellow modellers imparted their horror stores I didn't think it could be that bad. I was wrong. It was worse. It didn't look too bad in the box to be fair - lots of flash but nothing a good clean up with a new blade and a sanding stick couldn't put right. It was when I started building the thing that the true horrors emerged. The fuselage was badly warped, the interior parts simply didn't fit, wings were different thicknesses, one stabiliser was positioned higher on the fuselage than the other, the vacformed canopy and tail turret were hopelessly inaccurate and not worth using, the rear fuselage had the turret faring missing and it was too narrow, props were completely the wrong shape, most white metal parts, including the undercarriage legs, were badly warped and mis-shaped, dropped flaps fouled the bomb bay doors and the decals, probably due to age, had yellowed and broke up when I tested them in water. In short, it was a nightmare and was a resident on the Shelf of Doom for long periods as I plucked up the courage to do some more work to it. 7 years later and it was finally done. Work completed is summarised here: - Interior mostly made from scratch - Scratch-built bomb-bay and wing bomb cells - Bomb load from the Tamiya Lancaster - New vacformed canopy (thanks Neil!) - Rear fuselage widened and new turret fairings made - Sanger vac rear turret transparency used - Prop blades slimmed down and rounded (I'm still not happy with the shape!) - 100 Group aerials added - Xtracolor enamels - DK decals Anyway, it was fun I suppose and she's not come out too badly. My model represents Handley Page Halifax B Mk III MZ913, Z5-N of 462 Squadron RAAF, Foulsham (100 Group), April 1945. All the best, Tom
  19. This is a placeholder post until the group build starts. Like several others, my entry into this group build will be the Airfix 1/48th Supermarine Seafire FR.47. I'll be doing it in the kit markings for the 800 NAS aircraft... Extra Dark Sea Grey and Sky, plus a nice selection of stripes. Stripes, like bow ties, are cool. In addition to the kit, I have the Quickboost replacement nose and exhaust stacks, Falcon vacform canopy, and am waiting for the Barracudacast replacement prop blades and cockpit upgrade set. Also, I'm debating designing and 3D-printing replacement wheels/tyres. Might be fun if I have the time, inclination or skill. I'm still deciding whether I'll be doing this wings folded or extended.
  20. I want to join this GB with another Airfix 1/48th Meteor F.8, the kit looks very good but to improve it I have some AM in the form of the Eduard Zoom cockpit p/e set and Eduard resin wheels and mudguards. I am planning to paint this kit in the high speed silver finish and 615 Sqn markings as worn by WH445 as flown by the CO of the Sqn. Here is the kit, ready for a soapy wash. I don't know too much about the Meteor, so I have bought a book to learn more, pictured here with the AM that I have. Ready to begin this kit, I will get the cockpit started first.
  21. Hello boys and girls, today I'd like to show you my latest finished kit a.k.a. the reason I almost gave up. It's AMK's 1/48th scale F-14D Tomcat I got in my local hobby store after watching Top Gun one too many times. I had to choose between this and the Tamiya kit and decided to go with AMK because it was 40€ cheaper but now I know why. AMK stands for Avantgarde Mojo Killer and with Tamiya I'd probably not only get a kit but peace of mind. In short - this kit is a mixed bag. Beautiful fine details, great display options, two colorful liveries & sharp decals stand against a bad instruction and grave fitment issues. The long version - the kit is unnecessarily over-engineered. For example the various positions of the air intakes are a nice touch but in the end hardly visible and only create a source of mistakes to be made. The area around the intakes is just a complex mess with a lot of parts to be installed in a rather cramped space and even after several attempts of dry fitting & sanding, I never got the forward fuselage to align properly. That was the most tricky part but the rest of the kit wasn't that enjoyable either. In the end it went from "I'll give my best" to "Let's get this over with" as my patience ran thin and it can be seen in the finish. Tamiya primer and mostly Vallejo, Tamiya and Mig colors were used and also Mig washes for the weathering. The whole thing was sealed with Tamiya gloss varnish. That said, this kit in someone else's more skilled hands than mine will look fantastic and the build will probably feature nothing out of the ordinary, I was just expecting more of a kit in that price bracket, also because the last kit I built before it (ICM's MiG-25) was way more enjoyable and relaxing Still - hope you like it and thanks for stopping by. Until next time
  22. My entry into the Phantom STGB is the new Tamiya kit of the F-4B. It is an excellent kit but one or two areas can still be improved so I will be adding a bit of AM here and there because I can. The box art is rather nice and back in the early 80s when Hasegawa released their F-4B it too had a Screaming Eagle for the box art and I was always going to build one but I never did. So now is the time, almost 40 years later to get this particular Phantom onto my model shelf. I mentioned that I would be adding some AM, I have these items that I bought for the Academy F-4B but it will do if it fits and looks better than the kit supplied parts. I am waiting on the 3D cockpit sets that Quinta and Eduard are due to release soon, it will be my first use of these 3D decals so looking forward to how good the office will look with these items and the resin seats with steel seatbelts. Although the kit decals look good I have this Furball decal sheet in the stash, it covers four VF-51 aircraft, all Mig-19 killers, again it was for the Academy kit but the Tamiya model looks so much better in the box. It has been a struggle not to start this kit as soon as it arrived, so far I have just cut some parts off the sprue to see how well they fit, let's just say I do not see any need for any filler. If any other kit manufacturer had made the fuselage like this I would have deep reservations about buying it but after their F-14 and Spitfire, no worries. The slots and pins for attaching the wings to the fuselage ensure that there will be no gaps between those parts, just run some Tamiya thin glue into the joint and smile . Just waiting for 00.01 Saturday morning.
  23. This is my entry. Tamiya's 1/48th scale P-47D build as a D-20 from the 19th Fighter Squadron. The decals are from the very nice Thundercals sheet, Razorback of the PTO part 4. I'm going to use Ultracast wheels and seat and the excellent Vector P-47 upgrade set.
  24. Since the lockdown started, it seems to be the fashion to go with multiple builds, so I thought, why not. The M51 will continue as it's not far off finished, and I'll do some more on the Centurion, as and when. But as this dropped through my post box a couple of days ago, I decided that I wanted to make a start on the conversion. And this is what you get in the box. X2. It's certainly a very nice looking kit. Gone is the old Tamiya cast metal hull, and this one looks as though it assembles easily. Tamiya include two lengths of metal to give it some weight and a sensible method of fixing it in place. One thing that I did find strange is the fact that the indentations on the forward and rear parts of the track guards have been moulded raised instead of recessed. It's up to individual taste as to whether you correct this. My original intention was to turn this into a Tiran 5, but getting hold of an M68 105mm main gun in this scale is a no no as it doesn't exist, and I didn't want to start scratch building one. So the alternative was to go with and early Tiran 4 as the D10T 100mm gun is included in the kit. I have the Sabingamartin book on the Tiran 4 which has a few profiles of possible candidates. I spoke with Das Abteilung with regards to whether this is possible and there are some pitfalls apparently. BUT, I decided to go ahead with the conversion and try and produce one of the profiles from the book. 100% accuracy might not be there, but hopefully it will look like a Tiran 4. I’ve got both the Miniart kit and the Takom kit of the Tiran 4, so I will be using those as a guide. So I'll be getting this up and running very soon. John.
  25. For this GB I will be building a Navy Adversary the F-16N - probably the best Adversary Jet the Navy have had KIt : Tamiya 1/48th Scale F-16C/N AM Parts: Tamiya US F-16 Detail Parts, Aries Exhaust, Aries Under Carriage Bays & Quinta Studios 3D Cockpit 'Decals' Photo's of Box , Sprues to follow .... when the AM Goodies arrive ( since this is a @trickyrich led GB .... AM goodies are required )
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