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Silbervogel Antipodal-Bomber (72014) 1/72 AMP via A-Market Silbervogel is German for Silver Bird. It was also a design in the late 1930s for a liquid rocket powered lifting body aircraft designed for long rage bombing using sub-orbital flight. To say it was ambitious for the time is certainly right. It was one of the designs considered by Nazi Germany for an Amerkia Bomber. The aircraft was intended to fly long distances in a series of short hops. It was to be launched by beng propelled along a 3 km long rail track by a rocket-powered sled. Once airborne, it would fire its own rocket engine and continue to climb to an altitude of 145 km, at which point it would be travelling at about 21,800 km/h. It would then gradually descend into the stratosphere, where the increasing air density would generate lift against the flat underside of the aircraft, eventually causing it to "bounce" and gain altitude again; this pattern would be repeated. but because of aerodynamic drag, each bounce would be shallower than the preceding one, even given this the aircraft should have been able to cross the Atlantic, deliver a 4,000 kg bomb to the continental US, and then continue its flight to a landing site somewhere in the Japanese–held Pacific, a total journey of 19,000 to 24,000 km. When there was interest in these spaceplanes after WWII ex German Rocket Scientist Major-General Dr. Walter Robert Dornberger referred to the aircraft as the Antipodal Bomber as this was more politically correct than "Amerika Bomber" to his then American hosts under project Paperclip. The Kit This is a new tool from AMP part of MikroMir with the sprues and moulding hedging more to the shorter run style. Moulding quality is good with a small amount of flash being present on some parts, panel lines being engraved. There are two major parts for the body along with one major sprue and four smaller ones, and a complete clear nose for the front. Masks (not shown) are also included in the kit. Construction starts with the cockpit (no surprise there). The floor attaches to the rear bulkhead then the seats go in along with the control columns and instrument panels. A surprise here is that the instrument panels and side console details are provided as 3D printed decals. Once the cockpit is finished the wheel bays and and landing gear are made up. For the rear the tailfins and the rocket exhaust are assembled. Now construction of the aircraft itself can take place. The cockpit section fits to the main underside part. This is a simple butt join so will most definitely need some internal reinforcement. The wheel bays go in and the rocket exhaust at the back. The single large body part can then go on along with the clear nose. The landing gear together with the gear doors can then be fitted, followed by the tails and the main wings. There are small tabs to attach the main wings but nothing for the tailplanes, which given the size will need some reinforcement. Decals Decals are in house and look to be fine. Normal crosses are supplied for the tail. Conclusion Its good to see a new tool of this unusual aircraft / Spaceplane in 1/72. This is not a complicated kit but will look the part once built up. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
SNCASO SO 9050 "Trident II" 1/72 MikroMir via A-market In the 1950s after Jet Technology came in the original engines were still a developing technology and various ways were looked at to improve interceptors. Different countries looked at mixed rocket/jet powered aircraft with the rocket giving the main boost to get the aircraft to altitude quickly. In France this drive also came at the same time as a national move to re-build French military power after WWII. Here the French Air Force issued a request for a supersonic capable point defense fighter. SNCASO came up with a design which combined a single fuselage rocket engine which was to be supplemented with wingtip turbojets. Due to the high speeds envisioned a convectional ejection seat was replaced by a jettisonable nose section. The Trident II was an improvement over the original aircraft with a more powerful rocket, smaller wings, and a bigger cockpit. The speed brakes were relocated from the wings and the landing gear made longer to accommodate a single large missile under the fuselage. The rocket used a mixture of Furaline and nitric acid which were highly volatile. The first prototype was lost in a mid air explosion more than likely caused by the mixing of the fuels; and the second was lost when the turbojets were starved of fuel. The Kit This is a new tool from MikroMir with the sprues and moulding hedging more to the shorter run style. Moulding quality is good with a small amount of flash being present on some parts, panel lines being engraved. A small fret of PE parts is also included in the kit. Construction starts with the cockpit (no surprise there). The floor attaches to the rear bulkhead then the seat is made up and added in. The control column is added as are PE rudder pedals. Side parts are added to the floor with PE instrument consoles going on top. Upper side parts go in and then the instrument panel with PE overlay goes on. This is then put to one side. Next up the nose wheel assembly is completed and added into the nose cone. Next up the wingtip Turbojets can be built up, these have full depth intakes and exhausts. Now some of the sub-assemblies are built up we can move onto main model. The wing tip engines are attached to the short wings. For the main fuselage the central main gear bay is built up and added in, this is followed by the cockpit. Once these are in the main fuselage can be closed up and at the rear the rocket exhaust added. The nose can then be added to the fuselage. All the wheels are fitted along with the gear bay doors. The wings, tailplanes and vertical tail are now added to the fuselage. The appropriate missile for your choice of decal option can then by built up and added to the centreline. Finishing touches are the addition of some PE blade aerials and the canopy. Decals There is no printer name on the decals, though they look good and are in register. There are markings for two of the prototype aircraft. Conclusion Its good to see a new tool of this unusual aircraft in 1/72. This is not a complicated kit but will look the part once built up. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
Supermarine S-5 1/72 AMP / MikroMir via A-market The S-5 was one os a series of flying boats designed by RJ Mitchell specifically to compete in the Schneider Trophy races of the 1920s. The aircraft was designed as an all metal structure following the crash of the wooden S-4. The aircraft though was not all metal as the wings would feature a spruce main spar with ply ribs and skin. The S-5s came 1st and 3rd in the 1927 race. Later the first S-5 would crash during an attempt on the world speed record tragically killing the pilot RAF Flight Lieutenant S.N Webster. Mitchell then came to the conclusion that the Napier engine had reached its peak and looked to Rolls Royce for a new power plant which then became the S-6. These aircraft would ultimately lead Mitchell into designing the Iconic Spitfire, but that's another story. The Kit This is a new tool from AMP (Part of the MikroMir family) for 2020. This is a fine tooling on three sprues with excellent detail, there is a small amount of flash on some parts which should be easy to clean off. As well as the plastic parts the bracing wires are provided in photo etch. There is a tiny canopy with an even smaller mask. Construction starts in the cockpit which for the size is quite detailed with a control column, rudder pedals and other details going in. The frame is attached to the rear bulkhead and placed inside the fuselage which can be closed up. The engine covers and prop go on next which about completes the fuselage. The single part main wing is then attached. Next up the floats are assembled and added onto the main fuselage. All the bracing wires for these are provided as PE should the modeller wish to use the, Rigging is shown on the instructions if the modeller wants to make their own. Now the wing ailerons, tailplanes and rudder can be added. Lastly the small canopy is attached. Decals There is no printer name on the decals, though they look good and are in register. There are three markings for N220; at the factory in 1927, in Venice 1927 when it won the race, marked with No.4 race number; then finally at Calshot in 1928. Conclusion Its good to see a new tool of this important aircraft in 1/72. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
Piasecki HUP-1/HUP-2 Retriever 1/48 AMP / MikroMir via A-market The Piasecki Helicopter Corporation were one of the pioneers of rotary aviation. Founded in 1940 by Frank Piasecki & Harold Vemzie the company would build early helicopters including tandem rotor designs. Frank Piasecki would be forced out of the company to then form Piasecki Aircraft, which then become the Vertol Corporation, only then to be taken over by Boeing to become Boeing Vertol. The V107 tandem helicopter developed by Vertol would eventually become the famous Chinook while their YHC-1 would become the Sea Knight. The HUP Retriever was developed to a US Navy requirement and produced between 1940 and 1954. The US Navy wanted a compact utility & recue helicopter able to operate from all of its ships. The Piasecki design for this would feature two 3 bladed rotors in the tandem overlapping design. As well as being used by the US Navy, the US Army would use it under the H-25A Mule designation. Overseas the Canadian Navy and the French Navy would also use the Helicopter. The Helicopter Museum in Western-Super-Mare has a restored Canadian Helicopter on Display, The Kit It is good to see companies bringing us new tool kits of early helicopters as the are lacking. The kit from AMP (A Mikromir company) arrives on 5 sprues of plastic, a clear spure, two sheets of PE, a set of masks(not shown) and resin part for the engine. The plastic is more of the short run type but much better than seen before, there is little flash and the detail is better. The clear parts look good but, a little polish up will improve them no doubt. Construction starts in the cabin. The two seats are made up and added to the cabin floor. The flying controls (cyclic, collective and pedals) are added in. The centre instrument console is made up wit the panel being a PE/Decal/Plastic sandwich. The webbing seats for the rear of the cabin are also made up and installed., followed by the rear bulkhead. The main wheels are also built up now and put to one side. Next up the engine is built up. No turbines back in the day but a rotary piston engine. The cylinders are two parts and attach to the exhaust ring at the rear with the wiring harness and cooling fan at the front. The driver shaft to the main gear box then goes on. The mounting for the engine is assembled then the engine goes onto this. The engine shroud is then fitted. Above the engine goes the drive shaft to the front rotor. The two drive shafts then go in to the read engine compartment bulk head . The whole engine compartment can then be fitted into the right fuselage . Windows and other components are then added into both fuselage halves. The cabin floor can then be fitted in and the fuselage closed up. After this the main door is added if you want it closed (if open then best left until later. An insert then fits over the engine which you can leave off if you want it more visible, Next up the two rotor heads and the blades can be assembled. There are many small parts here and care will be needed to get everything in the correct orientation. The rotors can then be fitted along with the main front bubble. To finish off the main gear is fitted along with various panels and aerials. Though I would think the rotors would be best left until last to avoid damaging them. Decals The decals are from Decoaph and look to be good quality, they are sharp with good register and minimal carrier film. The whites do look dense enough to go over the OD schemes but only time will tel on that one. From the box there are two US Army options and one US Navy one. H-25 51-16616 now in the US Army Aviation Museum. Overall OD H-25 51-16572 US Army 1953, with large Mule on tail. Overall OD HUP-2 1285517 US Navy, NAS Willow Grove 1961. Overall Yellow with red band. Conclusion This is something which is overdue, the kit is welcome addition to early Helicopters from AMP. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of