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  1. OK - I've been slacking on Connie, the Ju 52 and the Lightning stuff - but I have been busy with this: It's, erm, a bit large to photograph on a kitchen worktop! Hopefully paint at the weekend Iain
  2. Bell P-39 Airacobra Revell 1:32 The P-39 Airacobra was designed in 1937 in response to a tender by the U.S. Army Air Corps. In many respects the P-39 Airacobra was an unusual aircraft. The basic idea was to install a powerful engine as close as possible to the aircraft's centre of gravity in order to improve manoeuvrability and stability. An Oldsmobile T-9 37 mm cannon fired through an opening in the propeller spinner. The P-39 was the first American fighter to fitted with a freely rotating nose-wheel. The Airacobra also aroused interest in the British Air Force; the RAF however later rejected the aircraft. The Russian Air Force also expressed strong interest in the aircraft and initially took delivery of 179 units. The U.S. Army Corps also equipped some of its newly formed units with theP-39, including the 8th and 35th Fighter Groups which operated out of New Guinea. Often underrated in the West the P-39 proved to be an exceptional aircraft in the Far East. Its top speed of 580 km/h was sufficient to dominate an A6M Zero in a dogfight. The Model Originally released by Special Hobby this kit came with pre-painted etch, resin exhausts and gunsight. This Revell re-pop doesn’t come with these, but it shouldn’t really matter too much to the general modeller. The kit comes in the rather feeble end opening box which Revell seem determined to stick with. The box art is of P-39D Air A Cutie, with a rather comely naked lady on the nose, in flight over an island in the Pacific. Inside the box, there are 5 large, and 2 small sprues of light grey styrene and one small of clear. The parts are all well moulded with only a small amount of flash, there are a few moulding pips and some strengthening bars where needed. Panel lines are nicely engraved along with raised detail as per the real aircraft. Beginning the build with the nose wheel bay, which is made up of five parts to produce the bay and a further two parts that make up the rear bulkhead and rear bay roof, which is also the cockpit floor. The well detailed cockpit is made up of the forward bulkhead to which the rudder pedals are attached. This assembly is then fitted to the cockpit floor along with port control box. The instrument panel is made up of upper and lower instrument clusters and lower binnacle. The panel is attached to the floor, whilst the two machine gun breeches are fitted between the front bulkhead and upper IP. The control stick, rear bulkhead, seat supports, seat and rear decking complete the cockpit. Before fitting the cockpit to the fuselage, frame parts, control boxes and auxiliary intake interior are fitted. The cockpit is then fitted and the fuselage halves are closed up and the two part radio is fixed to the rear decking. From the fuselage to the wings, the upper and lower horizontal tailplane halves are joined together as are each of the primary control surfaces. The moving surfaces are then attached to the fixed in the desired position. The single piece lower wing has the radiator intakes and outlets are fitted, as are the outer main landing gear boxed units, the inners being moulded to the wing. The outer wings and ailerons can then be attached. The completed wing is then fitted to the fuselage, with the horizontal tailplane assemblies and rudder. At the front fuselage, the front upper decking piece, which includes the nose machine gun troughs, is fitted, once 50g of nose weight has been added. The nose gear, consisting of two wheel halves, main oleo, two part scissor link is fitted to the nose gear bay once the prop shaft and uplock are fitted. The retraction struts and actuator are then attached to the oleo, followed by the nosewheel doors. The main gears are made up of four piece wheels/tyres, outer doors and scissor links. These assemblies are then fitted to their respective bays which are finished off with the inner doors and actuators. Whilst the model is upside down the lower navigation lights, landing light and radiator outlet flaps are fitted as is the optional drop tank and associated sway braces. Flipping the model over the exhausts, each are made up of two halves, which could be a little problematical with cleaning up of the seams. The completed exhausts are then fitted with their outer panels. In the cockpit, the gunsight mount, gunsight and sighting glass are fitted, followed by the main canopy and the two doors which can be posed open if required. The final parts of the build are the addition of the nose and wing machine gun muzzles and pitot probe are glued into place. The propeller is built up of the backplate; separate blades, spinner and cannon muzzle, and then attached to the aircraft. Decals The large decal sheet provides options for two aircraft. Air A Cutie, of the 36th Fighter Squadron, 8th Fighter Group at Milne Bay, New Guinea 1943 in olive drab over neutral grey with a white tail, or an un-named aircraft of the same squadron and group, in olive drab over neutral grey. The decals are nicely printed, with good opacity, in register and slightly matt. The spinner of the second option is provided as a decal since the complex pattern would take some painting, but the decal will probably take a fair bit of softening solution to fit. The same aircraft also has a large green band around the rear fuselage which could be painted instead if the right shade could be identified. Air A Cuties more noticeable insignia are the ladies either side of the nose, and these are pre-cut to fit the doors, but will take a bit of patience when fitting and the use of softening/setting solution to settle down over the raised panelling. Conclusion Another very nice re-pop from Revell, this kit will build into a very good looking model. I have only heard good things about this kit, in its Special Hobby incarnation and can’t see anything difficult in the build. There is no engine, or gun bay that you may see in other kits of this scale, but this is not really a problem as it simplifies the build and probably improves the fit. There is scope for adding extra detail in the cockpit and undercarriage bays, but that’s about it. Personally I would only add some seat straps and build it out of the box. I can easily recommend this model to anyone interested in an unusual looking aircraft in a nice size. Review sample courtesy of
  3. Fokker D.VII Decals. 1:32 Wingnut Wings Although the Wingnut Wings D.VII kits already come with five different choices of markings in each box, they have released several sets to give you an even wider choice. Sensibly the individual sets offer extra schemes for one particular variant, so 'Fighting Fokkers Part 1' covers Fokker built aircraft, Part 2 Albatros, and Parts 3 & 4 OAW. Like in the kits, the decal instructions are printed in full colour on thick glossy paper, with drawings that look to be by Ronny Bar (although no credits are given). The first page consists of side profiles whilst the subsequent three show upper and lower views, and contemporary black and white photographs of the actual aircraft. With call outs for each decal number and also paint colours, there should be no room for doubt about what goes where. A list is even provided with each scheme to inform you which engine parts from the kit will be required for it. In each section there are a few paragraphs of text about the actual craft, and where known a little history about the pilots who flew it. This is a very nice touch which brings the subject matter to life. For instance, option D on the 'Part 1' sheet was flown by Max Holtzem, who after the war emigrated to the USA and ended up with North American Aviation as a Flight Inspector on P-51 Mustangs during the second world war. He remained active in aviation circles until his death in 1980 at the age of 87. Great little nuggets of information that characterise the Wingnut Wings attention to detail in all that they do. The decals themselves are by Cartograf, very cleanly printed on thin carrier film, with good colours and perfect registration. Most sheets are A4 sized with an A5 sized supplementary sheet of wing and fuselage crosses where required, as well as a plethora of data plates, propeller logos, instrument faces etc. None of the sets contain lozenge decals as these will all be found in the base kit anyway. (Notes - German aircraft were given a serial number followed with a '/' and the year of manufacture. So 373/18 is D.VII number 373, built in 1918. Jagstaffeln (Jasta)numbers are sometimes followed with a letter. these denote the region they were formed in, 'b' for Bavarian, 's' for Saxon, 'w' for Württemberg). 30006 Fokker D.VII (Fok) Fighting Fokkers Part 1. A. 'MK' Ludwig Reimann, Jasta 78b, late 1918. B. 373/18, Heinrich Piel, Jasta 13b, June 1918. C. 382/18, Georg von Hantelman & Kurt Wustoff, Jasta 15, June 1918. D. 402/18, Max Holtzem, Jasta 16b, Mid 1918. E. 244/18, Lothar von Richthofen, Jasta 11, and Aloys Heldmann, Jasta 10, June - July 1918. Close up detail; 30007 Fokker D.VII (Alb) Fighting Fokkers Part 2. As well as the standard five options, there are two 'bonus' options included on the sheet. Bonus 1 is a factory fresh fully lozenged 652/18 before any unit or personal markings were applied, whilst bonus 2 is Ltn.d.R Simons red and white striped fuselage machine. You will need to do the stripes yourself. A. 571/18, Adolf Gutknecht, Jasta 43, July 1918. B. 666/18, Hans Dannenberg,Vzfw Mohring, Rudolf Neckel, Kest 1a/Jasta 90, late 1918. C. 833/18 Robert Greim, Jasta 34b, October 1918. D. 5278/18, 'Hertha', Jasta 27, October/November 1918. E. Otto Creutzmann & Josef Raesch, Jasta 43, June - July 1918. 30008 Fokker D.VII (OAW) Fighting Fokkers Part 3. A. 2052/18, Karl Thom, Jasta 21s, 1918. B. 4453/18, Alfred Lindenberger, Jasta 2, November 1918. C. 4631/18, 'Lot', Jasta 64w, late 1918. D. 4635/18, 'U.10' Heinz Frieherr von Beaulieu-Marconnay, Jasta 65, September 1918. This aircraft was zapped after capture by the US 95th Aero squadron, with its kicking mule. The option is on the sheet should you wish to use it. E. 6441/18, Max Nather, Jasta 62, October - November 1918. 30009 Fokker D.VII (OAW) Fighting Fokkers Part 4. There are so many great schemes for OAW D.VII's that one extra set was never going to be enough, so here we have a second. A. 4025/18, Paul Strahle, Jasta 57, September 1918. B. 4649/18 'Seven Swabians' Wilhelm Scheutzel,Jasta 65, 1918. C. 6344/18, 'Yellow X', Jasta 58, late 1918. D. 6428/18, Hans Joachim von Hippel, Jasta 71, October - November 1918. E. Ltn Fritz von Schliewen, Jasta 6, September 1918. Close up detail; (Note - The 'Seven Swabians' are commonly mistaken for the 'Seven Dwarfs'. They have nothing to do with the Snow White tale, but are from a Brothers Grimm story). I suspect that these decal sheets are aimed at, and will be bought by Great War aviation aficionados. They have the same quality of research, presentation, and production that we have come to expect from Wingnut Wings, and makes them the number one model company. The standard kits already contain a superb range of options to satisfy the casual enthusiast. But once you get hooked and start to read up on the pilots, squadrons and aircraft, a plan inevitably starts to form in your mind as to how you can build a representative range, and these sheets will help tremendously. I find it starts with the personalities, and then moves on to their aircraft. My particular favourites amongst these sheets are Georg Von Hantelmann, Kurst Wustoff, Lothar von Richtofen, Alfred Lindenberger, Max Nather, Robert Greim, Paul Strahle, and Hans Joachim von Hippel. And then of course 'Hertha' and 'Seven Swabiens' are so colourful they deserve to be built as well. Looking at these decals has found me spending hours defining the builds I want to do, sorting out a representative selection of D.VII sub types, Jastas, and pilots. Inspirational decal sheets indeed. Yet again Wingnut Wings have come up with a top quality product. Very highly recommended. Review samples courtesy of
  4. Sopwith Triplane 1:32 Wingnut Wings One of the things that I find interesting about First World war aviation is the variety of aircraft types that appeared as each side struggled for aerial supremacy. If you put yourself in the position of a designer back in 1914 a lot of what we take for granted today was unknown and had to be worked out, resulting in some quite unusual looking aircraft. Low powered engines require a generous amount of lift and therefore wing area in order make flight viable, thus the proliferation of biplanes and scarcity of monoplane designs. I remember reading somewhere that in aerodynamic terms most lift comes from the first 30% of a wing back from the leading edge, so that for a given wing area a long span, thin chord wing is much more efficient than a short span, wide chord one. Which leads us nicely in to the design philosophy of the Triplane, where the very similar Sopwith Pup had much the same wing area spread over two wings, the Triplane had three thin chord wings of the same span as the Pup . It was able to easily out climb, outrun, and outmanoeuvre its two winged brother, all whilst utilising the same type of engine, and had the improved all round visibility that is so vital in a fighting aircraft. Appearing over the Western Front in June 1916, it served almost exclusively with Royal Navy Air Service (RNAS) units. It served for just over a year before being replaced by the twin gun Sopwith Camel from late 1917. The most famous users of the 'Tripehound' were Naval 10 squadron, and particularly 'B' flight leader Raymond Collishaw and his all Canadian 'Black Flight' who claimed 87 kills in just three months. That it didn't see more widespread service is probably attributable to the fact that it was a fragile aircraft and difficult to maintain. Tasks that could be completed relatively simply on other aircraft would require major dis-assembly of the Triplanes wings and fuselage in order to gain access to components. The French were the only other operators of the Triplane, and unlike the Sopwith 1 1/2 strutter which they licence built in their thousands, they didn't really take to it. As noted in the Wingnuts instruction booklet where there is a decal option for a French machine, the French did not seem 'particularly inclined to repair them, with half a dozen being written off following often quite minor accidents'. As noted earlier, the arrival of the Sopwith Camel which was stronger and carried twice the firepower, saw the withdrawal of the Triplanes from front line service. The survivors remained in use as trainers until the end of the war, when it quickly disappeared. Although it was produced in relatively small numbers (153 in total, Vs 5,490 Camels) it gained a reputation greater than it's limited use would have suggested. Certainly the German Jastas had great respect for it and it started a 'Triplane craze' on their side, of which only the Fokker DR.1 gained any notable success. The kit. Another lovely surprise from Wingnut Wings was the release of this kit just before Christmas 2012. Packaged in the usual very smart box with Steve Andersons superb artwork showing a low level tailchase with another Tripehound and an Albatros, you know you are in for a treat as you lift the lid on this one. Packed to the top with individual sprues sealed in their own polythene bags, I usually head for the instruction booklet at the bottom of the box, and remove its wrapper. Printed in heavy gauge gloss paper, the twenty two page booklet is beautifully laid out and starts with a parts map. CAD drawings are then used for the assembly sequences, including completed sub assemblies in full colour showing how it should all look as you progress through the build. Colour photographs of the Shuttleworth collections N6920 are used to highlight and clarify various close up details, whilst contemporary black and white photos are used to explain other details. Towards the end of the booklet are the usual five colour scheme options featuring Ronny Bar's beautiful full colour profiles, and more black and white photographs of the actual aircraft being modelled. Nobody comes close to the completeness and quality of Wingnut Wings instructions, and as always you will want to file these away as reference material at the end of the build. Six sprues of various sizes are in the box, the two major ones being for the wings and fuselage. Crisp and clean mouldings are Wingnut Wings hallmark, and these are no exception. I particularly like the Sopwith 'quilted' effect on the sides of the fuselage behind the cowling. It really captures the look of fabric stretched over the wooden framework beneath, which incidentally is nicely moulded on the inside of the fuselage. The 'quilted' effect; The three wings are all together on one sprue. The top and bottom wings are single piece mouldings, thus making the process of setting the dihedral foolproof. The moulded detail is again first class. I've never seen better represented rib tapes on any kit, you can see how these were done. They stitched the wing fabric on to the ribs, sealed it with a strip of fabric and then doped it all to pull it taut. Even the little riblets on the leading edge between the main ribs show up with just enough effect. A nice touch is the inspection panels for the control runs. In reality these are clear panels that the fitters can look through to check that the control cables are correctly on their pulleys. These are moulded in, and separate clear parts are provided to fit over them. These also feature on Wingnuts Sopwith Pup and Se5a kits, and I can vouch that they look extremely good. Interestingly sprue 'B' is labelled 'Sopwith Pup' showing that real life is being mirrored in model form, as these components shared between the Pup and the Triplane. It contains the wheels, tailplane, cockpit seat and various other small ancillary items. This wide span tailplane is the one initially fitted to triplanes, (options A and C use it) but later on a shorter span one was developed. This can be found on sprue A, so you have the choice. Various different cowling panels and a choice of prop are on sprue 'F', and I notice that the large square inspection panels are greyed out on the parts map, possibly meaning that we can expect another Triplane release (purely guesswork, but the 'Black Flight' Triplanes featured these panels so maybe we will see a boxing for them?). The Clerget engine is a nice little model in it's own right, and comes with very delicately moulded cooling fins, induction pipes, and push-rods. An optional crankcase front enables you to build either a 110 or 130 hp version, depending upon which finishing option you choose. Clear parts are provided for the very minimal windscreens, and the aforementioned inspection panels in the wings. Rigging on the Triplane is rather like a biplane, in that the bracing runs from the top wing to the bottom wing, and line lines actually cross in the middle wing. There is further bracing fore and aft on the lower and middle wing, to the fuselage. Patches were appently placed over these crossover points, and these are provided on the etched brass sheet, along with a set of seatbelts. Marking Options. Wingnut Wings always provide at least five interesting marking options with their kits. These ones are especially nice as well as three RNAS machines, they also feature a French variant, and a captured German one. The 'obvious' option of a Naval 10 'black flight' machine is not present so I would guess that this might come out separately or feature on one of Wingnuts own aftermarket decal sheets. Personally I tend to like the less obvious choices as they often have an interest of their own, and spur you on to do a little extra reading and research. The decals are printed by Cartograf on an almost A4 sized sheet and have excellent register, colour density and sharpness. The wing roundels have a little cutout in them where they fit around the clear inspection panels, and are also designed to fit down into the slot formed by the aileron gap. Finally, the little dials for the instruments are particularly impressive, you can actually read them through a magnifying glass. Tthe profiles are in full colour by Ronny Bar, some just as side profiles sharing anothers upper and lower drawings, but most as full three-views. It can often take several days of thinking around the subject to actually decide which one to do, as the choices are so interesting. I'm strongly tempted by the French and German options, but also have a nagging feeling that I would like one of the RNAS machines in my collection, as it was really one of 'their' aircraft. It' all good fun mulling it over though, and part of the enjoyment. Option A. Triplane F4 Centre d'Aviation Maritime, Dec 1916 to Jan 1917. Option B. N534 1 (N) Squadron August 1917. A very interesting option, N534 was flown by no fewer than three aces who all obtained kills in it. 'Sammy' Maynard (6 kills) was a New Zealander, whilst Richard Minifie (21 Kills) and Roderick Dallas (32 kills) were both Australians. Option C. N5427 1(N) Squadron April 1917. Another machine flown by 'Sammy' Maynard to obtain a kill. Option D. N5429, Jasta 4 September 1917. Serving with 1(N) Squadron in September 1917, JR Wilford was shot down by 27 victory ace Kurt Wusthoff on the 13th of the month. With it's pointy spinner and eisernkreuz markings, this certainly is an unusual triplane. Option E. N6301, Roderick McDonald, 8(N) Squadron May 1917. Named 'Dusty II' . Conclusion. In previous builds of my own Wingnuts Wings kits (LVG, Pfalz D.IIIa, Roland D.VIa, SE5.a, Sopwith Pup, Bristol F2.b, and FE.2b), the fit has been extraordinarily good, so it is safe to assume that this one will go together with the same precision that all the others have. It also has the same meticulous attention to detail that characterise these kits. Alternative parts are provided for cockpit coamings, windscreens, struts with/without pitot heads, propellers, etc for all the different making options provided in the kit. The one piece wings and simple interplane struts should make it an ideal first or second build for the WW.1 novice, and the rest of us 'Great War' addicts will certainly want a 'Tripehound' in our collections. Buy with confidence, this is another beautifully designed and presented offering from Wingnut Wings which will provide you with many hours of pure modelling enjoyment. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  5. Hannover CL.II 1:32 Wingnut Wings The Hannover CL.II was designed in 1917 as a two seat escort fighter to protect other two seat reconnaissance aircraft.Hannoversch Waggonfabrik AG were actually manufacturers of railway waggons who had branched out into license building Halberstadt, Rumpler and Aviatik aircraft. Their first indigenous design was the CL.II, which first flew in July 1917 and entered service in August 1917. Like the Roland CL.II the fuselage was a lightweight structure formed of thin plywood layers covered with fabric and doped, as were the wing centre sections. It makes an interesting comparison with the Bristol F.2b fighter as some of the design aims were the same. Most obvious was the need to give the gunner as wide a field of fire as possible. Frank Barnwell did this on the Bristol aircraft by placing the fin and rudder pretty much half and half above and below the fuselage. The CL.II achieved it by shortening the span of the tailplane but maintaining the surface area by making it a biplane unit, and locating the gunner very high in the fuselage. Also similar to the F.2b the top wing is at the crews eye level, giving them an excellent view above and below. Unlike the Bristol with its lower wing mounted below the fuselage on short struts, the Hannover simply has a much deeper fuselage to maintain the gap between the two wings. In service it was very well liked, being strong, fast, highly manoeuverable and generally versatile. It also had the advantage of being smaller that most two seaters, leading allied pilots to think it was a single seater that could be sneaked up on from behind. Any pilot who did so would place himself at the mercy of the rear gunner. As the war progressed into 1918 the Hannover was also used in the ground attack role, and continued in front line service up until the November armistice. The Kit. This was a surprise announcement at Christmas 2012, and one that was most welcome.It comes with the usual beautiful full colour instruction booklet in a box packed with sprues, three near A4 sized sheets of decals, and photo etch for the seatbelts and machine gun jackets. Its a real treat to open and spend time poring over all the contents an marveling at the thought and care that has gone into it all. Construction begins with the cockpit and every detail has been provided, including the fuel tank that the pilots seat is mounted on. Bulkheads are superbly moulded with crisp detail; There is also an optional wireless set, complete with readable decals for all the dials, and large FK camera for photo recce missions. CAD drawings of the complete assembly in full colour should leave you in doubt how the final assembly should look. Fabulous. The Argus As.III engine is up next and as is usual with Wingnuts there are optional cylinder heads with pushrods molded on, or without if you prefer to make your own from stretched sprue for extra realism. All you really need to do yourself is wire up the magnetos to the spark plugs with fine jewellers wire and you will have a stunning little engine to fit up front. Cowlings are separate parts so you can leave the off or fit them to your liking. On other Wingnuts kits I have built it is possible to push fit them on so that they are removable. The biplane tail follows next, complete with drawings and contemporary photographs to show you the two possible rigging options for the unit. The wings on four of the five finishing options are covered with lozenge fabric, so you have to decide by now which one you are going for, as the decals will need applying now. I normally paint the uppers green and lowers pale blue to give the decals something to key on to, and blend in any tears if I am ham fisted applying them. Don't be tempted to apply them to the bare plastic, it won't work. Optional upper wing radiators are provided, so again you need to pay attention to you chosen option. Finally comes the undercarriage which should present no problems, and and choice of three appropriate propellers. Final details are the the Parabellum LMG.14 or 14/17 with etched jacket where appropriate, and various external racks for flares or grenades. Also included is a generic sprue with Cameras, ladders, wheel chocks, barograph, trestle, homing pigeon box,flare pistols, and teddy bear(!), everything to completely fit out you CL.II for a mission. The rigging looks moderately complex but is clearly illustrated. Colour options. There are the normal five options to choose from. The Hannover featured a hand painted lozenge finish to the fuselage, and either all over or just on the rear fin, so you can select one according to your confidence. The last option is a very attractive overall pale blue machine, if you want to avoid dealing with lozenge camouflage all together. A) 9295/17 White 2, Ltn Ruhr FA A 286b, Late 1917. B ) 9339/17 Red 5,FA 7, Winter 1917-18 C) 13189/17 FA 287b, Early 1918. D) 13274/17 White 4, Schlasta 25 Mid 1918. E) 690/18, FEA 8, Late 1918. Conclusion. Well I have to say that this looks likes another winner from Wingnut Wings. Perhaps not one for the beginner because of the rigging, it should nevertheless build up without any problems. If you have already built a couple of biplanes, the fit and engineering of this or any other Wingnuts kits should encourage you to have a go. The Hannover is an inspired choice for a kit, and all those lovely extras just call out for it to be set in a little diorama. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  6. Fokker D.VII 1:32 Wingnut Wings The Fokker D.VII first appeared over the western front in the late spring/early summer of 1918, as the Great War was entering its final phase leading up to the November Armistice. Much has been written about it, but it was an outstanding fighter often awarded the accolade of being the finest such machine produced by any side in the conflict. It is also well known that it was the only aircraft specifically named by the allies to be surrendered in the Armistice agreement, such was its fearsome reputation. Due to its success, Fokker could not keep up with demand so in order to increase the numbers available production was licensed to Albatros who produced machines at their Johannisthal plant and also their Ostdeutch Albatros Werke plant at Schneidemhl, now in Poland. Thus there are three suffixes commonly used when referring to the aircraft as either a D.VII(Fok), D.VII(ALB) or D.VII(OAW). Each one has subtle differences which help to distinguish which manufacturer it originated from, mainly in the area of cooling gills on the nose panels (although extra gills and openings were often cut in at the font line). A further distinction on the OAW machines is that the nose and axle stub wing were factory finished in dark green with a Giraffe pattern of irregular lilac shapes, but this would often be overpainted at unit level. All had wings finished in either 4 or 5 colour lozenge fabric as were fuselages, although early Fokker fuselages had the same streaky green finish often seen on the DR.1 Triplane. Initial variants were powered by the straight six Mercedes D.IIIa of 150/160 hp, changing to the 180/200 hp higher compression D.IIIau as production got into full swing. Most liked of all were those equipped with the over compressed BMW IIIa which gave from 185 hp up to 240 hp for short periods, although this engine was always in short supply. Exhausts were on the starboard side of the engine, and format tended to vary by manufacturer So, with three possible manufactures, three possible engines, and a number of different finishes, there is quite a variety of detail applicable to the D.VII. Fortunately in many cases the serial number was painted on the sides of the aircraft along with the appropriate designation of FOK, ALB. or OAW. I have always liked the boxy, functional appearance of the D.VII and from a modelling perspective it has the advantage of requiring almost no rigging at all. Most attractive of all is the sheer number and variety of markings that were applied to them. One of the most rewarding aspects of this hobby is learning something about the men who flew particular machines, and WW1 aviation offers a treasure trove of colourful markings and interesting characters to go with them. German aircraft were often under the ownership of a particular pilot and his mechanics, and so received highly colourful and individual finishes. Many units had their own base colours, such as Jasta 15's red nose and blue fuselages, with individual motifs applied on top, whilst others allowed free rein with the paint pot. The Kit Wingnut wings have released three boxings to cover the Fokker, Albatros and O.A.W. versions of the aircraft. The main sprues are the same, with the variations for each type being covered by an extra sprue for each type. Here I will review the OAW version, noting at the end the differences in the Fokker and Albatros boxings. Before you even open the box you can see that this is no ordinary kit. The lovely artwork with its silver gilt edging, the line up of colour scheme options along the side, and even the weight of it all combine to raise your sense of expectation. And when you take that lid off, it reveals a box packed right to the top with sprues individually shrink wrapped, as are the decals and even the instruction book. Quality indeed. Anyone who has ever opened one of the kits will know what I mean. Personally the first thing I do is cut the instruction book from its shrink wrap, and read through from cover to cover. Printed on heavy gloss paper with all assembly stages illustrated with CAD drawings and colour call outs, you are left in no doubt as to how it all goes together. Add in relevant photographs (both contemporary and modern) to further clarify and illustrate various aspects of assembly, and what you have here is not just a set of instructions, but a valuable reference manual as well. There are two full pages of colour photographs of all sides and details of the Mercedes engine alone. However, the bit I enjoy most is the first look at all the colour scheme options towards the back of the book. Again these are beautifully done, featuring Ronny Bars lovely profiles. I particularly like the way that Wingnut always seem to select their finishing options. Yes you may get one or two of the more well known ones but you always get 2 or 3 of the lesser known, and to my mind more interesting colour schemes to finish your model in. Thus begins the long and enjoyable process of thinking through which one you are going to choose. Filtering your choices and defining a shortlist, figuring out the top two, picking one of them only to find yourself changing it around the next day. I love this part of the process as it usually stimulates me to get looking at further references. This is where it becomes more than just planning the model, as part of my decision making process requires that I find out more about the individual pilot and his squadron. My final choice will be based on a combination of an attractive/interesting finish, and what the life story of the pilot was. Already I can see that it's going to be a difficult task with this kit as Rudolph Starks 'Li', Franz Buchners 'Lion head', and Wilhelm Leusch's 'Dragon' are all ones that I absolutely must build. Construction starts with the Cockpit, which is built up of several sub-assemblies that all come together in the welded steel tube 'cage' that forms the Fokker's fuselage construction. Everything you need is there, a particularly nice touch is that the different engines used caused the guns to sit higher or lower on the fuselage, and Wingnuts provide you with different ammunition tanks with different length chutes to feed the guns as appropriate. The seat is a nice moulding with separate cushion and etched brass seat belts. Etched brass is also provided for the two Spandau machine guns, or there is the option of fully moulded Spandaus if you are not confident with rolling the etched ones. The instrument panel has the dials moulded on with flat faces into which you put individual decals. This always looks stunning, as you can actually read the instruments. Next up is the engine, which is beautifully and crisply molded. I've already built several Wingnuts engines and they are pretty much foolproof. The only thing I add is ignition wiring, which gives that extra bit of detail not really possible to mould in plastic. Finished in alcald with the data plate decals on, they look fantastic. Some engines has asbestos 'bandages' wrapped around the intake manifolds. If you want this on your model you will need to do it yourself with tissue and white glue as the kit manifold is the 'unwrapped' variety. Withe the engine and interior made, the instructions show the fuselage halves being joined together. Interestingly Wingnuts have done as Eduard did with their smaller D.VII kits and provided the underside stitching as a separate insert, which is really the only way to do it without it being obliterated by sanding the seam line. The nose panels are fitted next, and these are what really distinguishes the various D.VII's with their various cooling gills and exhaust positions. The instructions are very clear about what you need for each of the colour scheme options, with optional panels provided on the sprue, and some gills needing to be shaved off. From here it is wings, tailplane and undercarriage that need assembling and decalling. All very straightforward and clearly illustrated. The axle wings varied between manufacturers, and this has been reflected in the kits. Having build several Wingnuts kits already, I am totally confident that the struts will fit precisely, and if you scrape any paint off the lugs & sockets (the mouldings are that precise that a layer of paint will interfere with the fit) the top wing will drop precisely into place with no bother. Finally you select one of the three propellers appropriate to the D.VII. Generally I fit the one that appears in contemporary photos of the actual plane I am modelling, but in reality props were frequently replaced with which ever make was available. Almost no rigging was fitted to the D.VII, this being part of its design philosophy. Fortunately for us modellers it also makes the build a lot easier. There are only 2 lines between the undercarriage legs, a couple of control wires from the fuselage sides, and very short rudder & elevator control lines. All very simple. The Decals Continuing with the theme of excellence, the decals are by Cartograf and look fabulous. There are five near A4 sized sheets and a couple of smaller ones. Three of the bigger sheets concern them self with the lozenge fabric. The real fabric was produced in both ‘four colour’ and the later ‘five colour’ variants, and although only one will be appropriate to your chosen scheme, you get both. The colours of lozenge fabric are one of those contentious areas of WW.1 modelling. Samples still exist but may have faded and or degraded over the years, reproductions have been made using as near original materials and techniques as possible, but still many opinions abound. Google will provide you with endless hours on this subject should you want to go deeply in to it. Suffice to say that I think that Wingnuts have got it exactly right, and both options give an excellent representation. In previous Wingnuts kits I have built (LVG, Pfalz D.IIIa, Roland D.VIa the lozenge decal has been in strips which you had to cut and trim span wise, as per the real thing and the fit individual rib tapes. It should be a lot simpler now as the decals are designed to cover each wing surface in one go, including rib tapes. In case your option requires the light blue or salmon pink tapes, these are also provided. Colour options. A) 4198/18 Karl Ritscherle, Jasta 60 mid to late 1918. An eight victory ace, Karl Ritscherle survived the war, only to be shot down and killed over Essex in a Heinkel 111 during the battle of Britain. B ) 4523/18 Rudolf Stark, Jasta 35b, late 1918. C) Serial unknown Franz Buchner, Jasta 13 October-November 1918. D) Serial unknown Willhelm Leusch, Jasta 19 October 1918. E) Serial unknown Ulrich Neckel, Jasta 6 November 1918. I have slight reservations about this one as the stripes are only provided as decals for the top and bottom of the fuselage. The instructions are to paint the black stripes on the fuselage sides. My reservations are to do with not wanting to get masking tape anywhere near the already applied decals, so I would be inclined to use solid black decal sheet cut into strips for the fuselage sides on this option. Fokker D.VII version. As noted before, the differences between various manufacturers are in the nose panels around the engine, and the axle wing. This release contains a sprue 'I' with the parts appropriate for a Fokker built machine. Two large sheets of decals are provided for the marking options, as well as the four and five colour lozenge sheets and the rib tapes shown in the OAW kit above. Early Fokker built aircraft had fuselages and tailplanes finished with a brush painted streaky green effect, which is quite difficult to replicate on models. This kit provides an interesting innovation, with the streaks being provided on one of the decal sheets with more than enough material to cover a fuselage. All the modeller needs to do is apply a light green base coat. I plan to make Willi Gabriels 286/18, so will be able to report back on how well they work. Colour options. A) 234/18 Friedrich 'Fritz' Freidrichs, Jasta 10 March-April 1918. B ) 286/18 Willi Gabriel, Jasta 11 June 1918. An interesting character, Gabriels squadron commander was Herman Goering. The two men disliked each other, resulting in Gabriel being removed from Jasta 11. Gabriel was active again in WW.2 Flying Junkers Ju88's, and died in 1966. C) 368/18 Hans Schultz, Jasta 18 June 1918. D) 4301/18 Fritz Oppenhorst, Jasta 71 August-November 1918. E) Serial unknown, Gotthard Sachsenberg, MFJGr1, October 1918. Slightly unusual option here, as it is a Naval machine. (MFJ standing for Marine Field Jasta). Sachsenberg was a 31 Victory ace. His aircraft is typical of some of the more outrageous schemes applied to D.VII's. Albatros D.VII Version. Sprue 'K' contains the Albatros appropriate variations. One large A4 sized sheet has all the individual markings, and again the four and five lozenge & rib tapes are provided. Colour Options. A) 611/18 Uffz. Harbers, Jasta 73 mid 1918. B ) 817/18 Fritz Blumenthal, Jasta 53 August 1918. C) 5324/18 Richard Kraut, Jasta 63 October-November 1918. D) Serial unknown, Herman Pritsch, Jasta 17 mid 1918. E) Serial Unknown, Carl Degelow, Jasta 40 August 1918. Conclusion. Well I have eagerly awaited this kit ever since it was announced, and have not been disappointed. Each of the three boxings are outstanding, and will provide a beautiful model. Past experience with building Wingnuts kits tells me that these will fit together with absolute precision. This can mean that fuselage halves can be a tight fit with all the interior parts fitted in, but all you have to do is scrape paint off all the bulkhead sides and the grooves they fit into, and things will be fine. It is a factor of the precise tolerances of these kits that a few thou of paint can make a difference, particularly if you use some of the thicker primers. The instructions are fabulous, with their clear CAD drawings, colour call outs, and reference photos to help you on the way. No other manufacturer has ever provided anything as good, and you will find yourself filing them away as excellent reference material in their own right. The decals are also fabulous, each kit has either four or five near A4 sized decal sheets with the individual markings and upper and lower lozenge fabric in its two varieties. All in perfect register and with the colours looking exactly right. There is something else about Wingnuts kits which is less tangible. It starts with opening the box for the first time and looking through the contents. It becomes evident that an awful lot of thought and care goes into these kits, that these are models created by other modellers. It is also apparent that compromises don't feature. Each component is precise and correct. 'Good enough' wont be found here, superb engineering will. It seems that Wingnuts don't release a kit until they are 100% satisfied with it in terms of accuracy and ease of building. Plenty of reviewers have heaped praise on Wingnut Wings for their extraordinary kits, and I understand why. Everything about them is the best it can be, from the box art to the quality of the plastic used, from the research on the colour schemes to the breakdown of each component. You name it, you'd struggle to say how it could be better. They raised the bar with their first releases, and are continuing to set the gold standard. If you are frightened of WW.1 subjects but want to try one of these kits then the D.VII should convince you to take the plunge. Beautiful subject, fabulous marking options, lozenge fabric all done with simple decals, and almost no rigging. This is the one to get, and you have three boxings to choose from, all gorgeous. I will start building one of these shortly, and recording the experience in 'Work in progress' [Edit] Build startred in Work in Progress HERE [/Edit] Review sample courtesy of
  7. We've just received the December 2012 releases from Wingnut Wings, and a pretty impressive bunch they are too. Three... yes, THREE Fokker D.VIIs, from the home of the Fokker (Fok), Johannisthal (Alb) and Schneidemühl (OAW - Ostdeutsche Albatros Werke) with any of their idiosyncrasies faithfully reproduced. Not only, but also... a Sopwith Triplane and this year's final surprise release from WNW, the Hannover C1.II with its distinctive biplane tail. In addition to those five releases, there are four additional decal sets. One for the Fok built aircraft, one for the Alb built aircraft, and two for the OAW built aircraft. Each one contains five colourful options, just in case the kit options don't float your boat. We'll be crafting detailed reviews of them just as soon as we can, and have a new reviewer that is knowledgable on the subject of WWI aircraft, and just happens to be an excellent modeller too. Please join me in welcoming John, also known as Viking on Britmodeller to the reviewing cadre. A couple of quick pics on the lounge rug this lunch time seemed to be in order In the meantime, if you just can't wait and want to find out a little more info, you'll find all the featured releases at WNW's website, here Mike.
  8. Revell New Releases 25th October 2012 RV04652 Revell 1:32 - Westland Sea Lynx Mk.88/HAS.Mk.2 SRP - £19.99 Received - 25 of October 2012 RV04666 Revell 1:32 - Heinkel He219 A-7 "UHU" SRP - £49.99 Received - 25 of October 2012 RV04824 Revell 1:48 - TA 154 Mistel & Fw190 SRP - £36.99 Received - 25 of October 2012 RV04281 Revell 1:72 - BAC Canberra PR.9 SRP - £12.99 Received - 25 of October 2012 RV07406 Revell 1:24 - Kenworth Dump Truck SRP - £49.99 Received - 25 of October 2012 RV03235 Revell 1:35 - German Staff Car 'G4' SRP - £19.99 Received - 25 of October 2012 RV05115 Revell 1:144 - U-Boat Typ IIB SRP - £12.99 Received - 25 of October 2012 RV07080 Revell 1:24 - BMW Z8 SRP - £17.99 Received - 25 of October 2012 RV06677 Revell Easykit - Sith Infiltrator (Episode 1) SRP - £26.99 Received - 25 of October 2012 RV06734 Revell Easykit Pocket - TIE Fighter ""Pocket"" SRP - £8.99 Received - 25 of October 2012 RV06735 Revell Easykit Pocket - Imperial Star Destoryer""Pocket"" SRP - £8.99 Received - 25 of October 2012 RV06736 Revell Easykit Pocket - Boba Fett's Slave I ""Pocket"" SRP - £8.99 Received - 25 of October 2012 RV04863 Revell 1:144 - Space Shuttle and Boeing 747 SRP - £19.99 Received - 25 of October 2012 RV04865 Revell 1:48 - MQ-9 Reaper UAV SRP - £17.99 Received - 25 of October 2012 RV39694 Revell - Masking Tape - 6mm SRP - £2.25 Received - 25 of October 2012 RV39695 Revell - Masking Tape - 10mm SRP - £2.99 Received - 25 of October 2012 
  9. Calling it done - need to get the build written up for Military in Scale now... May add a little more oily stuff underneath - but will sleep on it. Model is extensively weathered - albeit fairly subtly in places. Last one to show I have replaced the static wicks on the control surfaces... Iain
  10. Pretty well there - beautiful kit to build - hopefully to be published in a future edition of Military in Scale: Iain
  11. Need to get some daylight shots - and she's a real *bu**er* to photograph as she's so large... Anyhoo - please forgive the colour casts - will post better images when I have them. Iain
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