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  1. Vought OS2-U Kingfisher KittyHawk 1:32 The Vought OS2-U Kingfisher was an American catapult-launched observation floatplane. It was a compact mid-wing monoplane, with a large central float and small stabilizing floats. Performance was modest, because of its light engine. The OS2U could also operate on fixed, wheeled, tail dragger landing gear. The OS2U was the main shipboard observation aircraft used by the United States Navy during World War II, and 1,519 of the aircraft were built. It served on battleships and cruisers of the US Navy, with the United States Marine Corps in Marine Scouting Squadron Three (VMS-3), with the United States Coast Guard at coastal air stations, at sea with the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy, and with the Soviet Navy. The Royal Australian Air Force also operated a few Kingfishers from shore bases. The Naval Aircraft Factory OS2N was the designation of the OS2U-3 aircraft built by the Naval Aircraft Factory in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The OS2U first flew on 1 March 1938. In the late 1930s, Vought engineer Rex B. Beisel was tasked with designing an observation monoplane aircraft for the U.S. Navy suitable for a multitude of tasks including directing battleship fire. In replacing the standard biplane observation aircraft with a more modern monoplane design, Beisel incorporated innovations becoming the first production type to be assembled with spot welding, a process Vought and the Naval Aircraft Factory jointly developed to create a smooth fuselage that resisted buckling and generated less drag. Beisel also introduced high-lift devices, spoilers and in a unique arrangement, deflector plate flaps and drooping ailerons located on the trailing edge of the wing were deployed to increase the camber of the wing and thus create additional lift. One of the more famous pilots flying the Kingfisher was one Douglas Fairbanks Jnr, when he was posted to the USS Washington. For combat missions, the pilot had a .30-caliber machine gun while the radio operator/gunner manned another .30-caliber machine gun (or a pair) on a flexible ring mount. The aircraft could also carry two 100 lb bombs or two 325 lb depth charges. Additionally, the "Kingfisher", as it was designated, served as a trainer in both its seaplane and landplane configurations. Beisel’s first prototype flew in 1938, powered by an air-cooled 450 hp Pratt & Whitney R-985-4 Wasp Junior radial engine. The Model It was with great joy hearing that Kittyhawk were going to release a big Kingfisher. Whilst not the most glamorous of aircraft, it did carry out an important job throughout WWII and was certainly one of the better looking floatplanes in the Allies arsenal. The kit comes in a colourful top opening box, with an artists impression of the aircraft sitting on its cradle atop a battleships catapult. Unfortunately the backdrop seems to show the aircraft at the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor. On opening, the modellers eye is drawn to a small brown box, which contains the clear parts. There are also five large sprues of light grey styrene two decal sheets, one very large and one small, and a small sheet of etched brass. All the parts are very well moulded, with few signs of imperfections other than some flow marks on the fuselage and on the wings. There is a small amount of flash and quite a few moulding pips throughout the sprues. Whilst the clear parts are very clear, there is a very slight distortion on the curved top panels of the canopies. Whilst there is quite a lot of detail, it doesn’t look to be overly complicated, which for this reviewer a good thing, particularly if you are trying to break out of a period of modellers block. Construction begins with the engine and the assembly of the rear mounted ancillary drive casing, which comes in three parts, and to which the alternators and air intake pipes are fitted. The two pieces of the cylinder block are glued together and fitted with the push rod ring, panel mounting ring, rear drive assembly and the exhaust manifolds. The nose section of the cowling is then attached, along with what looks like a magneto coil. The three piece engine bearer is then attached. The fire wall also comes in two parts, which once joined together are fitted out with the with the forward firing 30 cal machine gun, its support and ammunitions tank on the rear side, whilst on the front, the oil tanks and what I presume is a fuel tank, and the machine gun barrel extension tube. On top of the firewall the instrument panel and coaming are fitted, with the IP having had several levers attached. The engine assembly can then be attached to the firewall assembly and put aside to set properly. Each of the two pilots lap straps are made entirely of etched brass and consist of the main straps, slipped through the clasps and attachment ring, before the main seat fittings are glued on top and the loose strap section glued to the upper section. The seat is then fitted with its support frame, the two straps and the seats front edging strip before being fitted to the seat bulkhead. The assembly of the rear cockpit begins with the construction of the rear mounted 30cal machine gun, which, if you include the mount consists of twelve parts. The gunners seat is attached to the seat frame, which includes the backrest and two more lap straps made up in the same way as the pilots straps. The gun mount track is made up of five parts and once assembled glued to the seat frame, followed by the fitting of the gun assembly. The shoulder level cockpit frame is fitted out with a radio set, a DF loop, electrical box, spare ammunition canisters and shelf, spent ammunition tubes and multipart end framework. A separate shelf is fitted with more radio boxes and selector box before begin glued to the underside of the cockpit frame. The gunner’s seat assembly is then fitted along with the rear bulkhead. Before going any further the modeller needs to decide which version they are going to build, the floatplane, or land plane. Depending on version, the respective holes need to be opened up in the fuselage and underside of the wings. Each of the two fuselage halves can then be fitted with the various ribs, footboards, oxygen bottles, electrical boxes and the pilots side consoles, side mounted controls, rudder pedals and joystick. The engine and cockpit assemblies are then fitted to one halve of the fuselage, after which the fuselage can be closed up. If making the landplane version, don’t forget to fit the two piece tailwheel. The canopy sections and windscreen are then attached, along with the tubular telescopic gunsight and engine cooling gills. The access steps are then fitted, along with the upper and lower cowlings, side cowlings, venturi tube, seven piece propeller, aerial mast and small side mounted aerial beneath the rear cockpit. The wings each come in upper and lower halves, with the fixing tang separate. The tang block needs to be glued to the lower wing before the unpper wing section can be attached. Each of the ailerons and flaps are separate and each made from two halves. On both upper and lower surfaces of the wings, several identification lights are fitted, as are the tip mounted navigation lights and the pitot probe, fitted to the port wing. The horizontal tailplanes, elevators and rudder are again assembled from two halves before being fitted to their respective positions. The kit is supplied with two 100lb bombs, which are assembled from two halves and fitted with the bomb crutches and a mounting beam. If the landplane version is beign built then the main wheel assemblies are built up from the main oleo, two support struts, separate scissor link, tie down ring and the two piece wheels. The undercarriage assemblies are then fitted to the fuselage, with the rear struts glued to a separate two piece bullet fairing that is fitted to the centreline of the fuselage. The two bomb assemblies are then glued into place. If building the floatplane version then the wingtip floats are built up, with each float provided as two halves, to which the N shaped strut is attached and the floats glued into position and supported by two separate inboard struts. The main float is also in two halves and the mouldings include the main struts and even the central cross bracing. The other bracing wires need to be provided by the modeller, but the kit does provide the attachment points for them, as well as the separate rudder and its control wire fixings. To allow the floatplane version to stand upright the kit supplies to dollies, with two piece wheels, one for each side of the main float, and a tailwheel mounted on the left hand at the end of the float. The completed float is then attached to the fuselage. The build is completed with the fitting of a crew access ladder. Decals There are two decal sheet included in the kit, one large and one small. The larger of the two contains all the national insignias for the six colour schemes included on the paint charts, along with the id markings for each option and the stencils for one aircraft. They are beautifully printed, they are really vivid, opaque and in register. The smaller decal sheet contains the instrument panel and side console decals, plus the Donald Duck logo for one of the options. The options provided are:- OS2U-3 Kingfisher, Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas, 1942 in Light Blue over Gloss White, with Yellow upper wings. OS2U Kingfisher of VO-1 aboard USS Arizona 1941 in overall silver with yellow upper wings, red tail and red stripes on the nose and amidships OS2U-3 Kingfisher serving in the Soviet Union, based on the ex-Italian light cruiser Milwaukee, 1944 in grey over gloss white. OS2U Kingfisher, FN768 No 765 Squadron, Fleet Air Arm, based at Sandbanks, Dorset 1943 in dark green and medium sea grey topsides with sky undersides, (although the instructions call it hemp?). OS2U-3 Kingfisher US Navy 1941 in dark blue over white and with the Donald Duck emblem on the tail fin. Conclusion For some strange reason I’ve always liked the old Kingfisher, although not so much as a landplane, as it just looks wrong, so it was with quite a bit of excitement that I heard Kittyhawk were going to release one in 1:32. As I said above, it is a very nice, well detailed kit, one that can easily be built straight from the box, and yet has the potential, particularly when the aftermarket guys get into gear, to be built into a super detailed masterpiece. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of and available soon from major hobby shops
  2. DH.9a 'Ninak' (Post war) 1:32 Wingnut Wings The DH.9 was first conceived as an improvement to the DH.4, with a new engine and the pilot and gunner cockpits brought closer together. Unfortunately it proved to be an inferior aircraft, largely due to the unreliable Siddeley Puma engine. It began to enter service at the end of 1917, and quickly established a dreadful record of failures and losses. Not only was it slower than the DH.4 it also had an inferior service ceiling, making it easier prey for the German Air Force fighters. A revised version was developed by Westland Aircraft to make use of the much better American Liberty L-12 engine. This transformed the aircraft into the reliable and versatile machine that was originally intended. The ‘9’ and ‘A’ part of its designation led to the nickname ‘Ninak’ being being used when referring to it. The First 9a’s were delivered to 110 Sqn in July 1918, and it served with 3 other squadrons until the November Armistice. Post war the DH.9a was chosen to be the RAF’s standard light bomber and went on to serve with a total of 24 squadrons until 1931. Many of these were overseas based on ‘policing’ duties in the Middle East and India. Very often they could be seen with extra radiators, fuel tanks, spare wheels, and other assorted bits and pieces lashed on, while they went about their work. The Soviet Union also built it as the Polikarpov R-1, having arranged to produce the DH.4/9 at the Dux factory in Moscow. Some used the Liberty engine, but most were powered by a copy of it, the M-5. It went through various modifications and changes through it service life, and fortuitously ‘Aeroplane Monthly’ recently ran a feature on it in their January 2016 magazine. Wingnut Wings have just released the ‘Ninak’ in post war guise, based upon kit 32007, the wartime version of the DH.9a released a few years ago. All the new parts for this post war version are contained on sprue 'J'; The Kit. Featuring a striking painting of pair of Ninaks in flight and loaded with the auxiliary petrol tank, extra radiator, and spare wheel, the box is absolutely packed to the brim with plastic sprues (or trees if you prefer). The thrill of opening a Wingnut Wings box never diminishes and lifting the lid reveals each of the thirteen sprues wrapped in its own heat sealed bag, as is the decal sheet and etched brass fret. As expected, most of the plastic parts are shared with the earlier DH.9a kit but there is an all new sprue and the etched brass is also new and has additional items. Construction follows the standard sequence of cockpit interior, engine, fuselage, wings, undercarriage, and armament. From stage 1 different options are pointed out in the instructions, so you need to have made your mind up before starting. The instructions themselves are everything we have come to expect from Wingnut Wings, I.e the best produced anywhere by anyone. Clear and logical assembly sequences are drawn, accompanied by colour call outs and reference photos of both preserved and period photographs. All is printed in full colour on high quality glossy paper, making these into mini reference works worth keeping for other kits, particularly if you also build in 1:48. Stages 1,2 & 3. Not surprisingly construction begins with the cockpit, which is filled with every fine detail, even down to a choice of which compass should be fitted. All the interior framework is provided, both sides of which attach to the floor/fuel tank assembly to form the basic ‘box’. More details are added, such as fine little throttle mouldings, a very pistol on its holder, a lovely wicker seat for the pilot, and of course the etched brass seatbelts. Topping it all off is the instrument panel – the jewel of all Wingnuts kits. A beautiful moulding is supplied, and once painted it will really come to life when all the individual instrument and placard decals are applied. Everything is readable under a magnifying glass and easily produces a stunning result. As well as colour call outs at each stage there is also a painting guide showing the colours of the completed cockpit sub assembly, which is a great help. The interior structure is finished off with the fitting of the engine bay, and a rigging diagram is shown if you wish to add the internal bracing and control runs. I always do, as it is not too difficult with stretched sprue or fishing line, but it is up to the individual modeller. Accompanying the assembly drawings is a whole page of colour photographs of the interior of the RAF museums F1010. Stage 4. The Liberty engine is a big V12 monster, and the parts supplied on sprue ‘E’ look exquisite. I often start my Wingnut Wings with building the engines as they are such enjoyable little projects, and the only time you can really deviate from the assembly sequence. Having built many, not one has ever required any filler or had any fit problems whatsoever. Parts can be assembled with Tamiya extra thin cement, and any seams lightly sanded the next day to make them disappear. The crankcase can be painted silver and the cylinders black before joining them together and adding all the ancillary details, right down to the black data plates with silver writing. When done they look beautiful, and make models in their own right. Stages 5 & 6. Two of the options, B & C, have a smaller stitched fabric access panel on the rear fuselage than that which is moulded on. This needs to be trimmed and sanded off and replaced with the shorter lengths of stitching on the etched brass fret. Various flashed over holes need drilling out from the inside, all of which is clearly marked on the instructions but will require the builder’s attention to make sure the correct ones are opened out. Once the fuselage halves are glued together, there are more alternative parts to be fitted according to your chosen option. Different fuel gauges, Aldis sight, ring sight, thick or thin cable fairing are just some of the fittings supplied for attaching (or not) to the chosen aircraft. Slightly more difficult will be the cutting out of a storage locker on the rear decking for options A & B, and possibly C & D as its presence cannot be confirmed on these two. An etched brass frame is supplied to edge it, so a good tip here would be to photocopy the frame and tape it where it needs to go. Then drill just inside each corner, and join the holes with knife cuts to open it out. The frame should then fit neatly over it. Stage 7. This concerned with the radiator and cowlings. The British built machines all use the same external frame while the Polikarpov uses a very similar, but different frame. The radiator honeycomb is supplied as a separate part to fit inside, then a choice of shutters can then be made, open or closed. There are subtle differences between the British built and Polikarpov side panels, so with typical Wingnut Wings attention to detail, both are supplied to ensure accuracy. The same is true of the exhaust pipes as two sets cover the British built and Russian examples. Stages 8, 9, & 10. With the fuselage work mostly complete, the wings and tail are next to be fitted. First up is the tailplane, fin and rudder, all of which is simple and straightforward. Then comes the lower wings and all the struts. Depending upon your preferred method of rigging it may be wise to do some preparatory work here. Most of the model should be painted by the time the struts are ready to go on, and as I use fishing line for rigging, I clean out all the anchor points with a .3 or .4 mm drill.It is then back to dealing with more options to fit to the upper wing. A and B require the auxiliary petrol tank, while E needs the leading edge slats, and D may have had them at some point. The top wing can then go on, and is best done with slow setting cement such as Revell’s ‘Contacta’ with its neat little needle applicator to put a small blob in every strut socket on the upper wing. This is always a nerve wracking stage, and I suggest that it should only be attempted once the struts have firmly dried into their locations at the lower end. Place the upper wing upside down on the workbench, and lower the inverted model onto it, lining up the struts from middle to outside as you go. Give it 10 -15 minutes for the glue to grab, then carefully lift it up and turn it over, not by performing a ‘roll’ but an ‘outside loop’, if you see what I mean, keeping the upper wing supported throughout. Then follow Wingnut Wings instruction book photo and place it in an empty box, wing leading edges first, to set the alignment of the wings. Stage 11. Two complete sets of undercarriage legs are supplied, and again it is the Polikarpov that is different to the others, with a very sturdy set of legs. There is a choice of weighted or unweighted wheels with two different styles of wheel covers, and the assembly can then be fitted to the main model. Stage 12. Smaller external fittings are now attached, including the extra ‘chin’ radiator if you have chosen an option that requires it. Holt flares & brackets can be fitted to the lower wing if required, and ‘screw downs’ to the wingtip skids. I assume these are to do with tying down the aircraft, and their moulding is extraordinary, they are like little corkscrews. It baffles me how Wingnut Wings can mould them. Stage 13. This is largely concerned with weapons fit, and what a superb range of choices there are. The combinations are all shown in the instructions, and the modeller has the choice of fitting a mix of; 20lb Cooper bomb (x16) 100lb HERL bomb (x2) 112lb early HERL bomb (x2) 112lb late HERL bomb (x2) 230lb HE Mk.1 bomb (x2) To load them up there is a choice of 2 underwing Cooper bomb carriers (amazing mouldings); and for the fuselage 1 of the following can be fitted – double carrier for 100/112lb bombs, single carrier for 100/112lb bombs, single carrier for 230lb bomb, or double carrier for 230lb bombs. Decals are supplied for all the different types of bombs, the 230 pounders having five each to apply. This selection of armaments to add to the model is outstanding, and should really enhance the finished article. Stage 14. This covers the construction of the Scarff ring, using etched brass elevation brackets, and a choice of a Lewis Mk.II or MK.III gun to fit on it. In keeping with the provision of everything you could possibly want for your Ninak, there are 47 or 97 round magazine drums to select for the chosen gun. Stage 15. Completion consists of fitting the upper wing ailerons and windscreens. Two more options are available for the RAF machines, the spare wheel slung under the fuselage, and the Vickers gun strapped outside next to the pilot. Both of these are surely irresistible to most modellers. Options. A. E9939, Vulcan built, 8 Squadron RAF, Iraq, mid 1920’s B. H3510, ‘L’, Westland built. AC Jones-Williams * Benson, B Flight, 8 Squadron RAF, Iraq, 1923 to 1924 C. H3552, Vulcan built, 39 Squadron RAF, UK, June-July 1923. D. A1-17 (ex F2779), Berwick built, E Flight, 1FTS RAAF, Australia, 1922. E. Polikarpov R-1 ‘Amypa’, 19th Special Aviation Group, USSR, 1929. Decals are by Cartograf, sharply printed and in prefect register with accrate colours. Conclusion. Simply brilliant. Everything about it impresses. We are used to Wingnut Wings supplying kits that are beautifully engineered, moulded, and presented. But this one has drawn my attention to the less obvious aspects, particularly the thought and research that has gone into deciding upon the five different models that can be made. The building process will require careful attention to the instructions, as options occur at almost every stage, but this just underlines Wingnut Wings attention to detail. And how can anyone resist a post war Ninak in the silver doped finish, with everything but the kitchen sink strapped on. Modellers heaven. Very highly reccomended. Review sample courtesy of
  3. Crew Chief Sets Videoaviation 1:32 The latest releases from Videoaviation.com these three sets of figures for USAF and USN based dioramas/vignettes. Each set is manufactured in a creamy beige resin which is really well moulded and detailed. Two of the sets include two figures of crew chiefs, one for the USN and one for the USAF, the middle set only has one figure, but does include a useful piece of equipment for your vignette or diorama. [153632] Includes two figures of US Navy crew chiefs. The first is a single piece moulding of the chief standing with his hands behind his back, whilst the second figure, comes in four parts with separate arms and a line pouch. Although separate the arms look like they can only be posed with the right arm in a salute and the left arm straight down the side. The instructions do come with a couple of colour photos showing the helmet colours used. The rest of the uniform needs to be researched, but the instructions do give colour callouts for the various parts of the uniform. [153732] Also contains two figures, this time of crew chiefs in the USAF. Once again there is one single piece figure with his hands behind his back. The second figure is moulded with a single piece body, but with separate arms and a screwdriver, and can be posed as if he were fitting or removing a panel. The instructions provide a picture of part of the uniform in colour showing, in close-up, the digitised nature of the camouflage. [153832] This final set comes with only one figure, but with a very useful prop. The figure is a crew chief of the USAF and comes as a single piece moulding of the body, but with separate arms and is posed leaning over a laptop computer, (provided as two parts). The laptop sits on top of a tool chest, which is made up of the box, separate front, and four casters. The set is further detailed with the addition of a pair of battery drills. The instructions include the same detailed colour close-up of the uniform camouflage. Conclusion If you’re going to build a one of the amazing 1:32 aircraft on the market you may want to give it even more of a lift by placing it a diorama. For that you will need personnel such as these, and you really can’t go wrong with Videoaviations releases, as they are of superb quality and provide those little details that aren’t usually noticed. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. This build is going to be a model of the K-21 that I learned to fly and soloed in Not sure which of these two is the aircraft I soloed in as I neglected to record the GGA reg No in my logbook. Recording on Red K-21 Long Mynd. I know that the K-21 I flew was later in an accident but not sure if she was scrapped or replaced Bungee launching from the western slopes of the Long Mynd, this is a fun way to be launched or being a member of the launch crew, especially when the bungee rope snaps! Looking forward to this one
  5. Rumpler C.IV Late 1:32 Wingnut Wings Two words why I like this hobby so much. 'Wingnut Wings'. I have really enjoyed this build, the kit is well up to Wingnuts high standard and goes together like a dream. The Rumpler C.IV is perhaps not such a well known machine, as I tend to think we modellers are more aware of First World War aircraft that were kitted by Airfix or Revell, and built when we were kids. The Rumpler C.IV was an early multi role aircraft, with similar characteristics to the WW2 Mosquito. It had high speed, long range, and a high ceiling, which enabled it to work untroubled by allied fighters. Equally capable at reconnaisence, artillery spotting, or as a bomber, it was popular with its crews. Entering service in 1917 some 2,000 were built and it remained in service right up until the end of the war. I was attracted by the markings on this one. 'Good People dont shoot' was seen written on many German aircraft of the period as was the same phrase in German 'Gute Leute nicht schiessen!'. Quite what the meaning behind it was seems hard to understand as it can be read in a couple of ways. If anyone knows, please tell! With the removable cowlings off; A couple of pictures of the fuselage interior during construction; The icing on the cake is that this (and several other Wingnut Wings German 2 seaters) come with a diorama accessory set. A step ladder, boarding ladder, tail trestle, 2 oxygen bottles, 2 wheel chocks, 4 cameras, 2 boxes of photographic plates, homing pigeon box, first aid kit, flare pistols, and teddy bear! Yes, a teddy bear! More than once seen in period photos as a mascot strapped to a wing. He is tiny. A note for anyone building this particular scheme - the white fuselage band decal was too wide and would have meant the fuselage crosses being pushed back too far. I had to remove mine and put it back on the paper and trim about 5mm off while it was wet. Do yours dry, or at least make a photocopy and check. Other than that, this was joy to build, and was one of the easier biplanes due to the inverted 'vee' centre/cabane strut arrangement which locked the top wing perfectly in line to place all the interplane struts. The engineering on these kits is just brilliant. Thanks for looking, John
  6. I've decided I would like to join this Group build as I love the Meteor. I have build a Tamiya Meteor F.3 and have several 1:72 Meteors of various marks and a couple of Classic Airframes kits but I have decided to build HK Models 1:32 Meteor F.4. I've been excited about this kit since it came out and have been itching to start it. Here is a box shot along with the contents. I have some Fisher Models air intakes and have ordered some HGW Seat belts and an interior set from Eduard. Markings wise I have yet to decide between a 56 squadron Meteor using Pheon decals or a trainer one using the Kit World decals. After removing the parts from the sprue the first job will be the surgery required to cut out the intakes..... Thanks for looking. Mark
  7. Gun Barrels and Static Wicks 1:32 Master Yet more releases from Master Models, but this time we have eight sets for 1:32 scale aircraft. Similar to the 1:48 scale sets reviewed earlier there are six sets of replacement barrels, and two sets of static discharge wicks. [AM-32-081] – This set contains two turned brass 20mm conical, (early) cannon fairings, two stubs and two muzzles, which have been designed for the Tamiya Spitfire IXe/XVIe. As with all these sets, they are direct replacement for the kit parts, but with a better look to them. [AM-32-082] – Also designed for the Tamiya Spitfire IXe/XVIe, this set contains two turned brass 20mm rounded, (late) cannon fairings, two stubs and two muzzles. [AM-32-083] – This set has been designed to fit the Tamiya Mosquito kit, and consists of four .303 Browning barrels, and their associated perforated cooling jackets, and four 20mm cannon muzzles, along with their associated spring sections. As with the 1:48 set, this set also contains a replacement pitot probe. [AM-32-084] – This is an upscaled counterpart to the 1:48 set that contains sixteen static discharge wicks for any F-16 kits. Even in this scale they are quite small, but a little easier to photograph and I presume, use. [AM-32-085] – As with the set above, this set is the larger scale counterpart of the 1:48 scale set for the Russian static discharge wicks. Again for use on Sukhoi aircraft, but may be of use on Migs as well, just check your references. These are certainly unusually shaped and quite distinctive. [AM-32-086] – This set if for early armament barrels for the P-38 and contains four 50 cal barrels, each of a different length, their attachment collars and drilled cooling jackets, plus the single 20mm cannon muzzle. [AM-32-087] – Also for the P-38, this time though these barrels are for a specific a late armament fitting and contains replacement 50 cal machine gun barrels, this time with covered cooling jackets, attachment collars, and the 20mm cannon muzzle. [AM-32-088] – Also for the P-38, this time though these barrels are for a the P-38M and contains replacement 50 cal machine gun barrels, attachment collars, and the 20mm cannon muzzle, each of which are fitted with cone like flash hiders. Conclusion There’s not a lot more I can say, that I haven’t said before. These are great replacements for the kit parts and give a higher fidelity that injection moulding cannot readily match. The perforations on the P-38 cooling jackets are superb and the static discharge wicks, well, actually all the parts are beautifully turned. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of Piotr at
  8. Vickers Mk.1 WW1 Guns. 1:32 Eduard Brassin. Developed from the Maxim Machine gum, Vickers improved the basic design by lightening it and using high strength alloys on key components. The ground based weapon had a water cooling system, but this was not found necessary when mounted on aircraft as the slipstream kept the gun cool, although the water cooling jacket was retained. It was very suitable for for use with synchronising system that enabled rounds to be fired through the spinning propeller, and thus widely used on British and French aircraft from 1916 onwards. The Brassin set provides 2 guns, with the main parts cast in resin with beautifully defined detail. Etched brass supplies brackets, sights, and a choice of 2 different cocking levers. The obvious place to use these will be on Wingnut Wings kits, where they will add that extra touch of detail to already beautiful models. Given that the gun was used well beyond the end of the First World War, and into the Second on the Gladiator and Swordfish, there are plenty of subjects that will benefit from a set of these. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  9. Focke Wulf 190F-8 Propeller 1:32 Brassin (632 069) Although the general feeling is that the Revell 1:32 Focke Wulf 190F-8 is pretty well detailed straight from the box, it seems Eduards intent to replace almost every bit of detail other than the main fuselage and wing components. With this in mind they have just released a replacement propeller set. The set comes in the hard blister pack that Eduard/Brassin parts are usually found. On opening there is a small etched template under a card backing, three dark grey resin propeller blades and four light grey resin parts, protected by foam inserts. The propeller boss and cooling fan need to be carefully removed from their moulding blocks and cleaned. The tangs on the brass template are then folded to 90 degrees which are slipped over the boss back plate so that the shaft hole can be accurately drilled out. The set includes a jig so that the propeller blades can be fitted to the boss at the correct angle. The spinner also needs to be carefully removed from its moulding block, and for some strange reason Eduard have made this so that the pour stubs are on the out surface of the spinner. This makes for quite a bit of careful sanding and polishing to get a really good smooth surface. With the blades attached to the boss, the spinner can be added along with the cooling fan and the whole assembly slipped onto the kits propeller shaft. Conclusion Although the new Revell kit has superb detail straight out of the box some modellers are just not content. This is a very nice set that is slightly marred by the way the spinner has been moulded, but hey, this is modelling, right? Once assembled the propeller will look superb. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  10. Decals for Mosquito Mk.IV and Mk.VI Eagle Editions 1:32 For many years those modellers who chose to build in 1:32 scale were limited in their choice of Mosquito kits to build, particularly injection moulded kits. Now, in this golden age we have the choice of two super. Modern injection moulded kits of the Wooden Wonder. EagleCal decals have now released two sets, one for the HK Models kit and one for the Tamiya kit. Both are contained in zip lock bags and come with an A5 pamphlet, which opens out to A3 size. The decal placement for the models are mostly in colour with large side views, smaller top and bottom views on one side, plus the stencil placement and aircraft colour call-outs on the other. Each of the two sheets in each set are beautifully printed, in register, nicely opaque and with a thin carrier film, of which there is very little as the decals are quite closely cropped. Set EC#167 is for the HK Models Mk.IV and contains five aircraft options but with stencils for only one aircraft. The Options are:- Mosquito Mk.IV, DK310, LY-G, Grim Reaper of No.1 PRU, August 1942 Mosquito Mk.IV, DK333, HS-F of No.109 Sqn 1944 Mosquito Mk.IV, KB195, AZ-B of No.627 Sqn, June 1944 Mosquito Mk.IV, DK337, GB-N, Uncle Sam, of No.105 Sqn, May 1943 Mosquito Mk.IV, DZ415, AZ-Q of No. 627 Sqn, Early 1945 Set EC#169 is for the Tamiya Mk.VI and contains four aircraft options, and again one set of stencils. The four options are:- Mosquito Mk.VI, HR551, UX-P of No.82 Sqn from the Summer of 1945 Mosquito Mk.VI, HP913, SM-W of No.305 Sqn, November 1944 Mosquito Mk.VI, NS927, SM-C of No.305 Sqn from Autumn 1944 Mosquito Mk.VI, MM403, SB-V of No.464 Sqn, September 1944 Conclusion As with the P-47 decals I reviewed some time ago, these are so well printed it seems a shame to actually use them. They have almost a vibrant quality that you don’t often see, even on aftermarket sheet. Whichever option you choose, they look like they will be nice and easy to use and will look great once flattened with a good varnish. Very highly recommend. Review sample courtesy of
  11. North American OV-10A Bronco detail sets Eduard 1:32 Since the release of the Kittyhawk NA OV-10A/C, it was only a matter of time before Eduard released some etched sets for it, as they did for the earlier release of the OV-10D. The three sets cover the interior, seatbelts and exterior. There is also a mask set designed for the kit, which will come in particularly handy, as there is a lot of Perspex on these aircraft. As with most of Eduards sets, some of the kit detail will need to be removed before any etch can be added. Interior Set (32850) The parts are contained on two sheets of relief etched brass of roughly equal size, with one being unpainted and the other pre-painted, and unusually not self-adhesive, as they usually are. The unpainted sheet contains items such as the canopy latching mechanisms and their respective handles, replacement rear console plates, a central panel for the rear cockpit, and several small panels for around the throttle box. It also contains the seat release handle box, and replacement parts for the seat headrests. The pre-painted sheet contains the instrument panels complete with the instrument faces on the backplate. A little dab of aqua clear will give them the appearance of glass fronts. The sheet also contains the myriad of side console panels, ejection seat parts; The ejection seat main firing handles are not shown in the instructions so check your references before attaching. The rest of the sheet contains the switch panels with separate switches which are fitted from below, circuit breaker panels, radio panels and the rudder pedals. Seatbelts (32851) This small single sheet set contains a complete and comprehensive set of seat belts, buckles and clasps for both the pilot and co-pilot. The belts look like they will be rather fiddly to assemble, but will look great when fitted. The seat belts are pre-painted so no need for some fiddly painting, just a slightly darker wash to tone them down a bit. To fit the lap-straps the modeller will need to cut a slot on both sides of each seat pad to allow the ends of the straps to slide into them. Exterior (32380) This two sheet set contains some very nice additional detail for the exterior and open areas of the kit. There are quite a few parts dedicated to the interior of the main wheel bays, including new side panels and roof frames. The main wheel bay doors also receive new hinge panels. The nose wheel bay also get the benefit of new panels, stringers, a control box, and hinges for the doors. The undercarriage legs receive brake pipes, brake detail, new scissor links and strengthening straps. Note that if you’re going to alter the kits lower oleo so that it represents a working unit then the scissor links and brake pipes will need to be altered too. Around the exterior of the model there are new access panels, new fittings for the flap bays and the flaps themselves. The stub wings are fitted with new gun bay panels which can be posed open or closed, whilst on the underside there are several new panels. The engine exhausts and boom panels are fitted with replacement parts. On the side of the aircraft there are new crew entry steps which can be posed open or closed. The detail upgrades aren’t confined to the aircraft, there are also parts for the weapons, including new strakes, panels, rocket motor ends, fuse clips and straps, whilst the pylons undersides are enhanced with new panels and the Sidewinder launcher is fitted with a new rail. Masks (JX185) This set of yellow Kabuki tape masks for all the Perspex on the kit as well as masks for the wheels. As with most masks the tape is only provided for the surrounds of the canopy, the infill being made up from masking fluid, the exception being the pilots middle windscreen, co-pilots rear quarter screens and outer wheel hubs, each of which comprise one piece of tape. Conclusion Once again it’s proven that there’s never a kit release without an Eduard set of two being designed for it, they are so prolific. Whilst not as comprehensive as some of the previous releases, they will add that extra level of detail sought by some modellers. It still disappointing that they chose to release the seatbelt set separate from what is basically an interior set, but I guess it gives modeller more choice on how much they want to add. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  12. Fokker DR.1Triplane 1:24 Merit International Instantly recognisable as one of the most distinctive aircraft of The Great War, the Fokker Triplane's fame far exceeds its actual contribution to the war effort. It's service life barely stretched to 6 months, and the number built was tiny (320) in relation to other contemporary fighter aircraft such as the Albatros D.V /Va (around 2,500 built). Undoubtedly it was the association with Manfred Von Richthofen 'The Red Baron' that made it such a famous aircraft. Even members of the public with no interest in aviation will surely be aware of the man and his blood red Triplane. It was not particularly fast, but Its greatest assets were its rate of climb and exceptional manoeuvrability, which made it a deadly opponent in a dog fight. Coupled to the fact that most were only issued to elite units and flown by the most skilled pilots, it is perhaps easier to appreciate why it built up such a formidable reputation in a short space of time. Roughly speaking, it was in service with the Jastas from the end of 1917,and gone from them by the middle of 1918. Very few aircraft of any type have ever had such a short lifespan. There have been many plastic kits available, almost from the start of the hobby. There cannot be many of us who did not build an Airfix or Revell Triplane in our early years of modelling. It has been well covered in all the main scales, with noteworthy examples from Eduard (1:72 and 1:48), Roden (1:32) , and even a 1:28 version from Revell which has been around for many decades. This new kit from Merit is however the first version that I am aware of in 1:24 scale, and seems to herald the beginning of a new range of Great War aircraft, as their website lists an SE.5a to join it soon. The kit. Until recently I was not aware of the 'Merit International' brand, but they are apparently an off-shoot of the well known Trumpeter company. They specialise in large scale kits such as the 1:18 scale F-86 Sabre, Bf 109, Me 262 and AV-8B Harrier amongst others. The DR.1 kit comes in a sturdy cardboard box with a separate base and lid, which is well filled with five individually wrapped sprue trees, an etched brass fret, two sheets of decals, colour profiles for the finishing option, and an A4 sized instruction booklet. First impressions are of a well packed and presented product. Sprue A. This holds the two fuselage halves and many of the interior components. Everything is cleanly moulded with good detail and virtually no flash. The under fuselage stitching along the centre seam is moulded on, rather than being as a separate strip as Eduard do it. It should work well, but will require care when gluing the fuselage halves together. Sprues B and C. Each of the three wings are split into upper and lower halves. The fabric effect is really well done, with the underlying structure and ribs being subtly portrayed. The fabric itself looks nice and tightly 'doped on' without the excessive sag that many manufacturers mould on. I'm impressed with how Merit have done it, and it should look very good under a coat of paint. Sprue D. The welded steel tube fuselage interior is fully supplied in the form of two side pieces with separate upper and lower cross members. The instructions suggest building it all around the interior components such as floor, seat, ammo tank, etc. Personally I would be tempted to see if I could build up most of the tubular skeleton and then fit in all these parts afterwards. It would make painting of all these parts easier, but might be risky! A bit of dry fitting should give some idea of how feasible this might be. Also on this sprue are all the cylinder heads and pushrods for the engine, and the cabane and interplane struts for the wings. The moulding is all very neat with no flash and the tiniest of seams to scrape once off the sprue. Sprue E. Engine halves, firewall, cowling, axle wing, wheels, rudder, tailplane and propeller are all here. Again the moulding is neat and almost flash free. None of the sprues show any sign of sink marks and are competently produced. The Axial propeller is moulded with nice thin trailing edges and blade cross sections. It is however a little bit 'pinched looking' at the rear of the blades near the roots. It is nothing too serious, but I will build mine up a little with Milliput and blend it in. The wheels are nicely defined as single piece mouldings with sharp hub to tyre definition, which will make painting a simple easy task. The engine has nicely defined detail, with separate spark plugs. Many of us will want to add some very fine copper wire for the plug leads. I do this on all my Wingnut Wings and Eduard kits, because once you have done it you feel obliged to do it to all your builds! Etch. The etched brass sheet supplies a pair of cooling jackets for the twin Spandau machine guns, and control horns for the elevators and ailerons. Decals. The smaller of the two sheets contains all the national markings and subjects for the two individual finishing options, along with some instrument faces and propeller logos etc. A larger sheet offers a representation of the Fokker 'Streaky' camouflage for the upper wing surfaces and fuselage. If you are not familiar with this, the Fokker factory applied a streaky effect to many of their aircraft types. It was hand painted by wide brush using a green/olive colour, and deliberately streaked in one direction. If you are not confident in doing this on the model, then the decals will do all the hard work for you. I have worked out a way to do this with oil paints described here, as I personally prefer to be able to vary the tone and shade of the streaking over what most decals provide. Well done to Merit for giving the modeller the choice though. Options. Both are well known, but it is pleasing to note that Manfred Von Richthofen's overall red DR.1 has been avoided. Instead we have one of his earlier DR.1s 152/17, which in my opinion is far more attractive in its streaky green with red sections. The second option is Jasta 2's Fritz Kempf 'Kennscht mi noch?' which translates as either 'Remember me?' or 'Do you know me?'. It was something of a taunt to allied pilots, and to make sure, Kempf had his name painted in large letters on the top wing. Although not mentioned in the instructions, it would be possible to create several other DR.1s using just the basic 'Iron Crosses'. Many had simple designs painted on the fuselage which covered most, if not all, of the serial number. Guns. The LMG 08/15 machine guns are supplied with etched brass jackets, but further comment is needed here. The kit supplies solid mouldings for the guns and the builder is instructed to wrap the etched jackets around the solid barrel. While this will work, I don't see the point in it, as the advantage of the etched 'slot' openings will be all but lost. I therefore modified mine to how easy it would be to improve them. Firstly I cut off the solid barrel, leaving a lip at each end for the etched jacket to glue on to. Then I drilled a hole in each end for the new barrel. The barrels on the Spandaus were only thin tubes, the purpose of the slotted jacket was to act as a heat sink and cool it down. A new barrel was cut from 1mm brass wire, and put in place. The etched jacket can then be slid over. Finally, there is a trigger/cocking mechanism on the right side of the gun, which is not represented at all. I built this up from rod and strip to give a reasonable representation of what I can see from photographs. A simple and effective improvement that took all of 10 minutes to do. I also drilled out the solid sight on top of the muzzle, and cyano'd on a cross hair from fine copper wire. The cross hairs were 1 cm long, trimmed off when set. I feel that these modifications/additions are essential in this scale, as the guns supplied ok in shape but lacking in detail. The other item that will need dealing with is the lack of seat belts. In this scale they are essential as they are such a prominent detail in the open cockpit. I was a little surprised that none were included on the etched fret. However, it is not too difficult to fabricate a set. A simple remedy might be to photocopy and enlarge some from a 1/48th set, and use the copy to cut some from tape or wine bottle foil. Alternatively the aftermarket may offer such items. Conclusion. An interesting model in the large 1:24 scale, which won't take up too much space. It will perhaps make a good companion to those similarly scaled 109's from Airfix and Trumpeter, showing the evolution of the German air force over the space of 25-odd years. Don't be put off by omission of seat belts or need to enhance the guns, this is a very nicely moulded kit and a good first entry into Great War modelling by Merit. The DR.1 has none of the complications of biplanes as the mid and lower wings fit directly to the fuselage, and the top wing fits easily onto the 4 struts. Rigging is simple, just 2 wires between the cabane struts and 2 more on the undercarriage. The unpainted but built up example in 'The Rumourmonger' shows a very accurate looking model. The proportions all look right and captures the look and feel of the DR.1 very well. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
  13. Bell P-39Q/N Dream Model 1:32 The new 1:32 Bell P-39Q/N from KittyHawk is a very nice kit straight from the box, but there’s always room for improvement, and Dream Model have released this etch set just for this occasion. Designed purely for the cockpit the single pre-painted sheet is full of those useful little items that can really make a cockpit. The set also includes the instrument panels in a three part systems, where the instruments, printed on an acetate sheet are glued to the back of the panel, then white pare, the templates of which are provided are glued to the back of the acetate. A quick dry run shows that this is particularly effective in this scale and will look great when installed. The rest of the sheet includes items such as the throttle quadrant, throttle cables, door handles, window winder handles, gun cocking handles, various control handles, and even the numerous toggle switches, for which you will definitely need a very fine pair of tweezers and an Optivisor. The set also includes a full set of shoulder and lap straps for the seat. Some parts will require the modeller to provide their own 0.5mm styrene rod. Conclusion I’ve not come across Dream Model before, but judging by this small, yet very useful set, I will be paying more attention to them in future. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  14. Bell P-39Q/N Airacobra KittyHawk 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 maneuverability 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 There’s something about the P-39 that even get’s my normally maritime modelling juices flowing, and having a new one released in 1:32 is always good to see. The kit comes in a very attractive top opening box with an artistic impression of the aircraft in flight high above the clouds, (not the normal operating area for a P-39, but there you go). Inside, there are four double sprues of light grey styrene. Thankfully, Kittyhawk haven’t folded these over, as is their usual modus operandi as the box is big enough to have them laid flat. Also included in the kit is a sprue of clear styrene, a small etched sheet and two decal sheets. The mouldings are very nicely reproduced, but, and it may just be me, the details are a little soft. It may just be the styrene, or my eyes, but they are lacking some sharpness seen in other manufacturer’s releases. There is also a small amount of flash, although, thankfully, this is only seen on the sprues themselves, rather than the parts. There an awful lot of moulding pips, which will make cleaning up of parts a little more time consuming. The kit does feature a lot of the interior with a lot of panels that can be left open to show it all off, which in this scale gives the modeller a great opportunity to really go to town with the super detailing, yet detailed enough out of the box for the less ambitious/OCD modeller to enjoy. The instructions are a little messy, but clear enough to see what goes where, just needs a little careful reading to fit all the parts in their correct positions. Construction starts in the middle, with the assembly of the lovely little Allison engine. The block and cylinder heads all come as two part sub-assemblies, which are then glued together, followed by the exhaust manifolds, a large two part cooling fan, crankcase, fuel pipes, carburetor, and a host of smaller items. With the engine assembled, construction moves to the cockpit. The long floor section also includes the floor for the gun bay and engine bay and is fitted out with the joystick, prop shaft extension, and a couple of control boxes. The cockpit area is then fitted with the two spent cartridge chutes, and three part seat, which is provided with a full harness. In the gun bay area, four two part oxygen tanks are fitted, whilst in the cockpit area the throttle quadrant, complete with trim wheel are glued into place. The gun bay is assembled from a selection of trays, braces and semi-bulkheads. The top tray is fitted with a couple of radio/navigation boxes, whilst fitted under the tray is the 20mm cannon, which is made up of two parts and glued to the three piece ammunition tray. The instrument panel consists of two styrene parts onto which the various decal panels are added. The completed panel and rear cockpit bulkhead are then fitted into their respective positions within the cockpit area. The two machine guns fitted above the 20mm cannon are glued to the two piece ammunition tank, after which they are fitted into the gun bay, along with the 20mm ammunition belt and its two guides, whilst the engine assembly is fitted behind the cockpit bulkhead. Above the engine the radio tray is attached to the cockpit bulkhead and is fitted with radio set and control box. The nose wheel bay is now assembled from seven parts and fitted with the nose wheel oleo, which has a separate scissor link and fitted with the two part wheel, and the nose leg retraction actuators. The propeller hub is assembled from five parts and fitted to the forward end of the gun bay via the propshaft fitted earlier. The fuselage halves are then detailed with the fitting of several fuse boxes and the radiator core before the cockpit/gun bay/engine assembly is glued to one half of the fuselage. Aft of the engine there is another tray, this time fitted with what looks like a gyro compass unit. This tray fits in the top half of the rear fuselage, whilst there is what looks like a piece of fuselage structure fitted behind that. The fuselage can now be closed up. The propeller is made up from a separate back plate, two piece hub and three separate blades. The spinner is then attached and can be fitted with one of two styles of cannon muzzle depending on the mark being modelled. The roll over hoop is then fitted aft of the seat along with the engine and fixed gun bay panels and the propeller assembly. The cockpit canopy is attached and the removable gun bay panels fitted into place. With the fuselage turned upside down, the radiator exhaust ramp is fitted, along with the oil cooler ramps, rear fuselage panels, two piece DF aerial loop and two piece rudder. The cockpit doors have separate clear parts and can be posed open or closed. The main wheels consist of two part wheels, single piece oleo, two piece scissor links, upper and lower outer bay doors. The single piece main wheel bays are glued to the upper wing sections, along with the four piece gun bays, after which the wings can be closed up and fitted with the separate flaps, which can be posed retracted or deployed, machine gun pods, with separate muzzles, identification lights, navigation lights, oil cooler intakes, separate ailerons, plus the upper and lower machine gun bay doors. The completed wings are then joined to the fuselage, along with the horizontal tailplanes, complete with separate elevators and the upper fuselage panel is attached. The inner main gear doors are then glued into place, along with their actuators. The modeller has the choice or loading the aircraft with either a single bomb or drop tank. Both are made from two halves and fitted with two cradles before being attached to the centreline. Decals There are two decals included in the kit, one large and one small. The larger of the two contains all the national insignias for the four countries schemes included on the paint charts, along with the id markings for each option and the stencils for one aircraft. Whilst beautifully printed in very bright colours and mostly in register, the centre spots on the French and Italian roundels are slightly off centre making them look a little droopy. The Soviet stars and US Stars N Bars are perfect though. The smaller decal sheet contains the instrument panel decals, and the banner, playing card and crest markings for three of the colour options. The options provided are:- P-39Q, GC 111/6 “Travail”. Armee de l’Air P-39Q-5-BE “Snooks 2nd”, 71st TRS, 82ns TRG, 5th AF, USAAF P-39Q-5-BE, 1st AE, 30th GvlAP, 6th IAK, Co of 1st AE, 1st Lt. A. P. Filatov, 1945 P-39Q, 1st AE, 213th GvIAP, Co of 1st AE Assistant, 1st Lt. M. I.Orlov P-39N-1-BE, 9 Gruppo, 4 Stormo, Italian Co-Belligerent AF, June 1944. Conclusion This is a very nice new kit of the P-39Q/N with plenty of detail and marking options. Overall a quality kit, although it is let down by a very slight softness on some of the details, whilst at the same being beautiful and crisps in other areas. The interior detail is very well done, and will provide a good base for those modellers who wish to add more. The choices of markings is good, just a shame that all the roundels aren’t centred. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of and available soon from major hobby shops
  15. This model was started a while ago by my husband before we both went through a big model making dry spell. Now we're both back on track we thought we might as well start a build log. The first and oddest thing you notice about this model is that they give you this lovely framed interior, then if you buy the Eduard photo etch like he did, you find you need to cover it up with a big blank panel. Much research says that yes this is the right thing to do. So despite my disappointment, accuracy won out. He found that the cockpit actually goes together very well when carefully fitted, although i'd say plenty of test fitting was certainly key to his success. He mixed up his own cockpit interior colour, he went for a fairly muted colour as he didn't want it too appear too over bright and toy like. The next job was masking off the instrument panel, after much deliberation he decided it was best to mask the background off and spray the panels black rather than the other way around. Here's the instrument panels mostly complete. David likes to use a palette of quite a range of colours to try and achieve the best effect. Along with the eduard etch set he also bought the HGW resin seat set with textile seat belts. Neither of us had ever used these before but they were really good and actually surprisingly easy to use. Plus they were far better than the kit part. However when the HGW set arrived the rear resin seat was broken, as the plastic one wasn't all that bad he just used the kit part instead. At the most recent Cosford model show we also bought a load of weathering powder from Pinnacle modelling supplies so he tried these out on his interior. The model needed a modest amount of filler but it wasn't all that bad.
  16. Bristol F-2B Fighter, Post War Wingnut Wings 1:32 The Bristol F.2 Fighter was a British two-seat biplane fighter and reconnaissance aircraft of the First World War flown by the Royal Flying Corps. It is often simply called the Bristol Fighter or popularly the "Brisfit" or "Biff". Despite being a two-seater, the F.2B proved to be an agile aircraft that was able to hold its own against opposing single-seat fighters. Having overcome a disastrous start to its career, the F.2B's solid design ensured that it remained in military service into the 1930s, and surplus aircraft were popular in civil aviation. Post-war developments of the F.2B included the Type 14 F.2B Mk II, a two-seat army co-operation biplane, fitted with desert equipment and a tropical cooling system, which first flew in December 1919. 435 were built. The Type 96 Fighter Mk III and Type 96A Fighter Mk VI were structurally strengthened aircraft, of which 50 were built in 1926–1927. The Bristol fighter's basic design stemmed from design studies by Frank Barnwell in March 1916 for an aircraft intended, like the R.E.8 and the F.K.8, as possible replacements for the B.E.2c – the Type 9 R.2A with the 160 hp Beardmore engine and the R.2B, powered by the 150 hp Hispano Suiza. Neither type was built, as the new 190 hp (142 kW) Rolls-Royce Falcon inline engine became available, and Barnwell designed a new aircraft around the Rolls-Royce engine. This, the Type 12 F.2A was a more compact design, intended from the outset as a replacement for the F.E.2d and Sopwith 1½ Strutter two-seat fighters: it first flew on 9 September 1916. The F.2A was armed in what had by then become the standard manner for a British two-seater: one synchronised fixed, forward-firing .303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers machine gun, and one flexible .303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis Gun mounted on a Scarff ring in the observer's rear cockpit. This remained the standard armament. Only 52 F.2As were produced before production switched to what became the definitive Bristol Fighter, the Bristol Type 14 F.2B which had first flown on 25 October 1916. The first 150 or so were powered by the Falcon I or Falcon II engine but the remainder were equipped with the 275 hp (205 kW) Falcon III engine and could reach a maximum speed of 123 mph (198 km/h). The F.2B was over 10 mph (16 km/h) faster than the F.2A and was three minutes faster at reaching 10,000 ft (3,000 m). F.2Bs often carried a second Lewis gun on the rear cockpit mounting, although observers found the weight of the twin Lewis gun mounting difficult to handle in the high altitudes at which combat increasingly took place in the last year of the war. A number of attempts were made to add forward firing Lewis guns on a Foster mounting or similar on the upper wing - either instead of, or in addition to the Vickers gun. Unfortunately this caused interference with the pilot's compass, which was mounted on the trailing edge of the upper wing. Some F.2Bs were fitted with a Lewis gun offset to starboard to minimise this effect. The Model Don’t think I need to say anything here, other than it’s a Wingnut Wings kit, there you go, that’s all you need to know. Seriously though, and for those who have to yet to experience the loveliness that is a WNW kit then I will elucidate further. This kit is for the post-war version, WNW having released the WW1 version back in 2009, and this release is an extension of it with new parts. The kit comes in the usual WNW top opening box, very a nicely printed artistic impression of a pair of Bristol Fighters flying over the Pyramids near Cairo. Inside, you will find 8 sprues of light grey styrene, a small sprue of clear styrene, a small etch sheet and a large decal sheet. The booklet style instructions are probably some of the best you will come across. They are beautifully printed and not only include very clear diagrams of the build process but also photographs of each particular area for those who would like a detailed view of what the parts should look like. The styrene parts are superbly moulded, with exquisite detail throughout. There is absolutely no sign of flash or other imperfections and only a few moulding pips. The build process begins with the assembly of the 2 part 19 gallon rear fuel tank, onto which the pilots seat is attached. The seat is a masterpiece of moulding with the wicker work precisely depicted. The cockpit floor is fitted with the joystick, rudder bar and gunners control column, followed by the seat/tank assembly. The synchronising system grease pump is fitted forward of the pilots position, whilst the hand leaver for adjusting the tailplane incidence is fitted to the right side of the tank. Both cockpit side frames have three machine gun magazines glued to each side, the port side also having the hand pump for the petrol pressurisation. The frames are then glued to the cockpit floor with the gunners sear fitted between the two. The forward bulkhead/firewall, is moulded complete with the Vickers ammunition magazines onto which the instrument panel is attached and detailed with the decal instruments, which would be further enhanced with a drop of Kear or Aqua Gloss to act as the glass face. The single Vickers machine gun breech is fitted to the centre of the instrument panel, between the magazines, and detailed with the mounting handle, PE cocking handle. The completed assembly is then glued to the front of the cockpit, between the side frames. The cockpit is finished off with the fitting of the rear mounted PE screen which has the spent ammunition pockets included and will need some careful bending, and the PE seatbelts. The instructions do provide clear diagrams for the rigging of the cockpit structure so if you’re up for the rigging challenge then this is a good place to start practicing. Moving onto the fuselage, the four PE control line brackets are fitted to the rear fuselage. The fuselage is then closed up and the cockpit assembly is slid in from the underside. The engine mounts are then glued to the forward bulkhead, the tail skid added, along with the bottom fin. The forward underside of the fuselage is then fitted with the control column linkage elevator control horns, and four struts for the attachment of the lower wing. The undercarriage sub-assembly is then built up, using the two V struts, axle and spreader bar, a pair of wheels and their separate outer hubs. The assembly is finished off with the fitting of the Rotherham air pump propeller. Before fitting the wings, several holes need to be opened up for the Holt flares and lights. The centre section of the lower wing is then glued to the struts fitted earlier, followed by the undercarriage assembly, making sure of a proper alignment. The lower outer wing panels are then glued to the centre section. The modeller has a choice of whether to fit the centre bomb rack and its four bombs at this point, but it might be easier to fit after painting. Moving aft, there is a choice of tail fin and rudder to be used, depending on the scheme you’re intending to build. Forward, the fuselage mounted cabane struts are attached, along with the pilots windscreen. The interplane struts are then glued to the lower wing, after which the upper centre section is fitted to the cabane struts, followed by the upper out wing panels to the centre section and the interplane struts. The four ailerons are then attached, as are the elevators. The engine is a little masterpiece and a model in its own right. The two engine block halves are joined together, after which the gear housing, with propshaft fitted, is glued to the front. The two banks of cylinders, each of two halves are joined together and fitted to the block, followed by the four carb intakes. The two, twin carbs are fitted with the air filters, then fitted to the front and rear of the engine, attaching to the carb intakes. The cylinder heads are then glued into position, along with the ancillary gearbox/timing mechanism, the two magnetos, water pump, water pipes, oil pipes, and oil pump. The completed engine is then fitted to its bearers, as is the oil tank and the front radiator, which is made up from two styrene parts and a very nicely etched PE part. There are a choice of exhaust pipes which run from the engine down each side of the fuselage and will depend on the scheme being modelled. The auxiliary radiator, attached to only two schemes, is fitted to a panel that fits under the engine and detailed with the inlet and outlet pipes. The four engine panels are attached, with the two parts that make up the top panel requiring the seam to be filled. The build is finished, (well, apart from the rigging), with eth fitting of the gunners scarff ring, which is a complex mix of styrene and PE parts and will probably be the most taxing part of the build. The single Vickers machine gun is fitted to the elevating section, (although the accompanying photograph does show a twin gun layout, something for the scratch builders to do then), and the complete ring fitted to the gunners cockpit surround. Decals The large decal sheet is, as usual, beautifully produced, designed by WNW and printed by Cartograf. They are in perfect register, with good opacity and very little carrier film. The decals are quite thin and should settle down well over the ribs etc, without the need for softening solution. There are markings for five aircraft:- Bristol F.2B Fighter Mk.II, F4392, “B2”, Aboukir, Egypt, 1926 Bristol F.2B Fighter Mk.II, F4435, 208Sqn, Ismailia, Egypt, 1925 Bristol F.2B Fighter Mk.II, J6647, “K”, Gerad Combe, 31Sqn, Dardoni, India, 1923 Bristol F.2B Fighter Mk.II, “19”, Irish Free State Air Corp, 1925 Bristol F.2B Fighter Mk.III, 7122, New Zealand Permanent Air Force, 1930s Conclusion Wingnut Wings don’t seem to put a foot wrong, with excellent research, design, and a full control on the moulding of their kits, they have to be at least near the top of the best kit manufacturers currently in business. This kit is just superb, with great moulding, wonderfully clear instructions and a level of detail that means that it can be built straight from the box without the real need for any aftermarket gear. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  17. Afternoon folks Ok so my current obsession with the Hunter continues and this time it is the Hunter F6 of Fighter School 1960. A gentleman on Facebook very kindly sent me some of the photo's he had taken of these machines in 1963 when he was on DFCS at Binbrook when the unit left West Raynham. It is my second 1:32 Hunter - the first being the FGA9 of the current Revell boxing and I did this in the RAF Brawdy scheme of red spine and fin so the two together look great - some photos of the two below. This one is OOB except the pilot who is a PJ Productions figure. Upper sides are Mr Color paints and the underside is Halfords Aluminum post shaded with various Alclad shades. Pleased to say I have another F6 and FGA9 to build! May be Black Arrows for the former. I hope you like it Chris
  18. Hi all, I haven't posted in ages but I just got news from PCM that they have no plan to reissue their later version Hurricane kit; PCM 32012 - Hawker Hurricane MK.I Battle of Britain version w/metal wings I occasionally see these on US eBay for 100+ $ - seems to be more of the earlier "rag wing" version popping up once in awhile. Sigh... Anyone know of any other manufacturers out there with a 1:32 Hurricane in their pipeline? Given it's importance and critical role played in the Battle of Britain, and many other campaigns, I feel this aircraft has not been well represented by the industry. The Airfix and Tamiya 1:48 efforts may be the best ones out there today? Opinions, comments welcome! Cheers Eric PS - like many others, I'm still waiting to see if the 1:32 HK Models Lancaster ever does see the light of day...
  19. My entry for the GB will be the Revell 1:32 Spitfire IIa, dressed in the colours of 19 Sqn in October 1940. Specifically this will be the aircraft QV-Y, P7423 flown by S/Lt Arthur Blake at that time, who was sadly shot down by 109s later in the month. My aim is to add some propblurs and show the aircraft in take off mode. This will need a pilot figure needless to say. Initial photos will be added later... I'll be nice to make something that isn't Science Fiction for a change!!! Wonder if I can remember how to do that...
  20. US Navy and Air Force GBU-38 Bombs Videoaviation 1:32 A very welcome pair of releases from Videoaviation arrived at BM Londons offices the other day. Two sets of GBU-38 JDAM bombs in 1:32 scale, one of US Navy style and one US Air Force style. Each set is very well protected, being contained in a clear plastic box, within a zip lock bag wrapped in bubblewrap. Although the bomb lugs need a bit more as a couple in the review sample were broken. Each box contains eight complete bombs, and come in these separate parts. Bomb Casing Tail Lugs GPS Antenna Protective caps Decals Whilst the tails, lugs, caps are the same for each type, the USN bomb casing is a much rougher casting allowing for the ablative coating used on Navy bombs. It is details like this that make Videoavition products to be some of the best in the business. Naturally, the USAF bomb casing is nice and smooth. The extreme nose sections are also slightly different between versions, with the USAF version being a more pointed affair than the USN type. The builds are pretty straightforward, as once the parts have been carefully cut away from the moulding blocks they will only need a swipe with a sanding sponge before the tail is attached to the casing, followed by the lugs and the tail mounted GPS aerial. If the protective caps are to be used, then the nose of each bomb needs to be used before the cap can be fitted. Each type comes with its own distinct style of markings contained on a nicely printed decal sheet. Conclusion These two sets make very nice additions to the Videoaviation product range and will add something special to a completed model. With the well moulded, flawless resin, it should go together fairly easily. Once built and painted they will look great, although it would have been nice if some remove before flight flags had been provided too. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  21. Azur kit with my own modifications.
  22. Mask sets for Wingnut Wings Felixstowe F.2a and AEG G.IV 1:32 HGW Models Two new masking sets have been received from HGW models, designed for the recent releases from Wingnut Wings. Both are cut on yellow kabuki tape with very crisp edges to each element. Kabuki tape is by far the best material for making masks from, as it adheres well to the surface, has a litlle 'give' in it for compound curves, and easliy peels off leaving no residue. 632029 Felixstowe F.2a This set is most applicable to the early version of the F.2a with the fully enclosed cockpit glazing.Masks are provided for all the glazing elements and should make light work of it. The masks for the propeller tips are very welcome. Having struggled to do similar masking on my FE.2b 4 bladed prop, I know how hard it was to make 8 similar shaped masking elements. All the hard work has been done for you here. 632030 AEG G.IV Also finely cut on yellow kabuki tape, there are elements here for the propeller hubs, wheels, and glazing. The large clear panel (part C4) on the underside adn both the small cockpit windshields are provided for. The wheel masks will also be useful and make swift work of accurately painting all four tyres. Conclusion. These are very useful items, and I notice that HGW has quite an extensive range for Wingnut Wings kits. I wish I had known about the one for the Fe2b prop earlier! It is proving virtually impossible to photograph the yellow sheets and show the detail of the elements on them. The cutting is very fine and sharp though, so I would expect them to go onto the model surfaces and give very neat edges to the paint, particularly if you spray paint. Both those reviewed here are of excellent quality, and the set for the Felixstowe F.2a (early) will be essential for anyone building this kit, and the AEG G.IV set will make light work if some fiddly masking. Highly recommended Review samples courtesy of
  23. Spitfire MkI/II 1:32 Pavla Although having a number of problems from the box, the Revell 1:32 MkI/II Spitfire is still a very nice kit. Since there is always room from improvement a number of manufacturers have released correction sets and detail sets. With this in mind Pavla has released three new sets to improve the cockpit area. All three sets are contained in a blister pack with card backing and header. The first pack contains a replacement seat, which looks a lot closer to the real metal seat, but is still not 100% correct, although the missing detail on the seat back will probably be covered by the seatbelts. The second pack contains a replacement access door. This is very nicely moulded with some very fine surface detail on the outer skin and nice rib detail on the interior. The door does not come with a moulded on crowbar, nor is any provided, which, I believe is correct for this era. The final set contains the cockpit sidewalls, which are drop in replacements. As per the other sets the mouldings are very well moulded, with lots of detail such as the cabling between electrical boxes, the longerons, stringers and frames, along with numerous smaller details. Some careful painting and the use of washes will pay dividends in making these details pop. In addition to the sidewalls the set comes with separate throttle quadrant, oxygen bottles and trim wheels, another smaller oxygen style bottle and the undercarriage control box and lever. Conclusion Pavla have produced some very nice detail in these three sets. I thinking the sidewalls are the best of the bunch, although the door is a nice easy addition. I’m not sure when the metal seat was used, but if the aircraft you’re modelling uses this style then go for it. Highly recommended Review sample courtesy of
  24. Seatbelt and Mask sets for Tamiya F4U-1A Corsair 1:32 HGW Models As with the set for the Revell 1:32 Fw-190, reviewed HERE, this set has been released in HGW’s Basic Line. The quality is the same as the previously reviewed set, as are the components, i.e. a sheet of laser cut seatbelts, etched buckles and clasps for the seatbelts and a sheet of masks. Being laser cut, the edges of both the seatbelts and masks are as crisp and clean as you could want. Only the small join to the sheet marring the perfection. If you’re using a new No11 blade then you should be able to cut them out without the need for any further cleaning up. The buckles and clasps are quite small, even in this scale, but the seatbelts are stiff enough to pass through them with relative ease. The completed assemblies should be given a bit of a dark wash to tone them down a bit, and then just attached to their appropriate positions. They will probably need a bit of a bend to get them to sit correctly and realistically. Job done. As with the masks in the Fw-190 set, these too have suffered a little bit of shrinkage, which hopefully has been taken into account. The set includes masks for both the interior and exterior of the windshield and canopy, which is a great help, particularly for the interior. Just fit and, using your favourite paints and airbrush, spray away. Conclusion This is another very useful set by HGW, and can be used by any level of modeller. The masks are generally used for when painting with an airbrush, but I’m sure they could be useful for those who don’t. The seatbelts are little more fiddly, but with a bit of care and patience, anyone can have a good looking addition to the kits seat. Very highly recommended. Review samples courtesy of
  25. Focke Wulf Fw-190F8 detail sets Eduard 1:32 Eduard appear to be covering all the bases with their aftermarket detail sets for the Revell 1:32 Fw-190F8. First, you have the wonderful resin cockpit, machine gun bay, wheels and undercarriage legs, now they have released four etched sets and a set of masks. The etched parts are for the interior, seatbelts, flaps and a smaller zoom set for the cockpit. At least the modeller can’t say they don’t have a choice of what to use on his model, or how much they want to add. Interior Set (32842) The parts are contained on two sheets of relief etched brass of roughly equal size, with one being unpainted and the other not only pre-painted but self adhesive as well. The unpainted sheet contains items such as the fittings for the gunsight and the coaming that surrounds it, the rear bulkhead seat rails and fixings, and seat fittings. The canopy slide panel is fitted with a replacement upper face and access panel, map case and strap, joystick cable, side wall stringers/longerons, and canopy fixtures. The pre-painted sheet contains the upper and lower instrument panels, replacing the moulded on dials, complete with the instrument faces on the backplate. A little dab of aqua clear will give them the appearance of glass fronts. The sheet also contains the myriad of coloured levers, knobs, side consoles, new throttle quadrant, switch clusters, trim wheel, and rudder pedal plates,. Flap Set (32372). To use this set the kit details have to be removed first, both from the flap bays and the trailing edges of the wing where the flaps join. The interior of the flap bays have their ribs joined at the tip and will require carful bending to enable the modeller to glue them in place. With the bays positioned the inner face of the flaps are also carefully folded around the leading edge so that they match the profile diagram in the instructions. The leading edge is then fitted with the provided hinge plates with the curved leading edge plates between them. The trailing edge of the flap bays are then detailed with the opposing hinges, into which the flap is slid into position. The result is a pair of very nicely detailed, and accurate flaps. Interior Zoom Set (33149) This zoom set contains only the above pre-painted sheet and allows the modeller to build a well detailed cockpit without the hassle of getting bogged down with detail that might otherwise be deemed superfluous. Seatbelts (32843) This small single sheet set contains a complete and comprehensive set of seat belts, buckles and clasps. The belts really are rather fiddly to assemble, but will look great when fitted. The seat belts are pre-painted so no need for some fiddly painting, just a slightly darker wash to tone them down a bit. Masks (JX181) To complement the sets mentioned above, Eduard have also released a set of paint masks for the Fw-190, which helps masking the clear areas a whole lot easier particularly as there is a quite a lot of clear styrene edges on the rear canopy. As usual they don't provide the whole canopy, just the edges, the rest you will need to cover yourself. Conclusion There’s never a kit release without Eduard set of two being designed for it as they are so prolific. Whilst not as comprehensive as some of the previous releases, but then they have released all that resin stuff, they will add that extra level of detail sought by some modellers. The flap set looks to be particularly good and really will make the model stand out from the crowd. It is still disappointing that they chose to release the seatbelt set separate from what is basically an interior set, but I guess it gives modeller more choice on how much they want to add. The instructions aren’t the clearest, so care will need to be taken when adding the parts. The masks are always useful though. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
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