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  1. Greetings, I present my latest completed model - 1/72 AMK Kfir C2, built as number 905 of the Fuerza Aérea Ecuatoriana (FAE). This machine is one of two Kfirs to ever score an aerial kill (first one was by an Israeli C2 in the 1970s). During the "Cenepa War" between Ecuador and Peru in 1995, on February 10, FAE Capitán Mauricio Mata shot down a Peruvian Cessna A-37 Dragonfly using Rafael Shafrir II missiles. The kill was "confirmed" by HUD camera footage (made public much later and available on official FAE Facebook page to this day) and is not "heavily disputed", unlike kills by FAE Mirage F.1s scored on the same day. It is still perhaps considered "clumsy", as the Kfir had to use 2 missiles to shoot down a much less advanced subsonic aircraft. Nevertheless, Capitán Mata was considered something of a hero in Ecuador and later retired from the military and went on to be a civil airline pilot. There are a few photographs of him posing near the cockpit of his famous FAE 905, with the kill marking visible just below the windscreen - a red/white silhouette of A-37 and the Peruvian fin flash below it. The airframe was repainted circa 1998 in a single color air superiority grey scheme and even later upgraded to Kfir C10 standard. The type was retired from FAE service around 2012 and replaced by ex-SAAF Atlas Cheetah aircraft. This is not my first 1/72 AMK Kfir build. I made the same aircraft in 2017, however upon further inspection of reference photos I realized I made so many small mistakes due to poor research that I felt obliged to remake it. The AMK kit is also not optimized to make any Latin American Kfir variant, really. There are many small errors, both in the instructions, decals and the plastic itself, but I will not bore anyone with the details. It is still best-in-scale kit of the type. For ordnance, I picked the most likely layout used in the Cenepa conflict - two Shafrir II AAMs and a centerline fuel tank. I also added a boarding ladder based on photographic reference. Other "ingredients" used: - Eduard Kfir C2/7 PE detail set - ResKit Kfir C2/7 engine exhaust - Master pitot - Eduard/Brassin Rafael Shafrir II missiles and launch rails - Aztec Dazzling Kings II decal sheet in combination with the kit decals and many from my spares - boarding ladder donated by PJ Productions Mirage III kit - various scratch-built antennas, brake lines, wires and generic small details specific to Latin American C2s - Badger Stynylrez primers, Vallejo Model Air colors and various washes, Tamiya weathering powders Some pictures: Capt. Mata posing next to his aircraft with the kill marking visible: HUD camera footage of the missile launch, taken from official FAE Facebook page (if this is not allowed on Britmodeller I will delete the link):
  2. Hi to all. A few weeks ago I finished this kit, AMK's MiG-31BM. I Painted the entire kit with AK real Color RC336 MiG-25/31 grey. The dielecrtic panels of rhe nose cone , front fuselage and vertical fins with dark grey from Tamiya's acrylic, XF-24. I decided to use the kit's decals. I hope you like it. Best regards, Pablo
  3. Hi to all. I've just finished this kit, enormous btw. The AMK's MiG-31BM no 880033. I decided to add some after bits: - Eduard PE no 49 752 mainly to detail the belts and engine area, - Resin wheels ,Eduard no. 648 248; - AMK improvement set, n° 88003U, consisting of metal landing gears, extra photo-etched parts, extra decals and a set of tinted transparents. Following the instructions, I started with the engines, to which I added Eduard's photo-etched parts for the afterburner basket. I painted the metal parts with Krylon spray and marked the recesses with a MiG dirt set. In some areas I painted those pink stripes formed with Humbrol 70 lightened with white, some panels I painted with a green from Revell 362 I hope you like it Regards, Paablo
  4. 1/48 - Mil Mi-17 Hip - by Annetra Annetra is local Avantgarde Models distributor cooperating on AMK 1:48 Albatros and 1:72 Delfín kits. Is Hip moulded by AMK?
  5. Mi-17 Hip Early (88010) 1:48 AMK – Avantgarde Models The Mi-8 was originally intended as a replacement to the ageing Mi-4, and started life as a single turbine medium lift helicopter of the Soviet Union. After the addition of an extra engine for greater lift and an element of redundancy, the Mi-8 entered service with Soviet and Soviet aligned forces in the mid-70s, the export variants known as the Mi-17 and having some differences from the indigenous airframes, in the shape of larger, more powerful engines and optional hot-and-high engines for environments where the originals might struggle. The new engines gave it a greater lift capacity, and they are easily separated from the Mi-8 variants by their tail rotor, which is on the port side of the Mi-17. They have become a very popular helicopter amongst former soviet states and their export customers, with over 6,500 airframes created if you incorporate the local Mi-8s and their many variants. ‘Hip’ is the type’s NATO reporting name, and it has been pressed into many roles throughout its long service life, which at time of writing is still ongoing with many countries. One such role is as a gunship, as the Mi-171V, which was fitted with rocket pods to provide close support to friendly forces, although this was a role better suited to the Mi-24 and later attack specific choppers. China have long been a customer of the Hip, and have built their own under license from Mil, although they have recently decided to use their own indigenous equipment going forward. They are still an excellent load-carrying chopper, and their rear clamshell doors are surprisingly capacious with plenty of space to load and unload equipment, vehicles or up to 24 fully armed and equipped personnel. The Kit This is a new tool from AMK from 2022, who have returned to produce more new kits for us modellers after a quiet period that seemed to follow their F-14A release, at least here in the UK. It has been reboxed a couple of times already, sometimes under the Annetra logo, although I’m not entirely sure who or what that means. The kit arrives in a standard top-opening box with their burgundy theme, and inside are nineteen sprues in grey styrene, a clear sprue, a sheet of Photo-Etch (PE), decal sheet and instruction booklet that is printed in colour on glossy paper in an A4 portrait format. Detail is everything we have seen from AMK in the past, including copious use of slide-moulding, raised and recessed features, and finely engraved panel lines next to raised rivets in places. Unusually, the painting and decaling diagrams are printed at the front of the booklet in colour, along with a chart of all the colours to be used in the build, with Gunze Sangyo C codes given, which are usually simply the same number as their acrylic H equivalent, plus a Federal Standard FS or RAL colour code wherever possible to assist with conversion if necessary. Construction begins with the bulkhead between the cockpit and main cabin, which is built from two highly detailed layers and several extra parts, including a jump-seat and cabin door with porthole in the curved top. The finished assembly is inserted into slots that match the pegs on its underside in the combined floor, which is nicely detailed itself. Another simple (and uncomfortable-looking) jump seat is attached to the cockpit side of the door, then adding control consoles in the centre, with cyclic and collective sticks replicated for both crew, as are the pedals. The crew seat shells are made from halves that have the legs moulded-in, the seam hidden at the front by the L-shaped cushion parts that are pencil quilted vertically. The two pilots have an instrument panel each, which are supported either side of the centre console, and they each have a dial decal to apply over the raised details moulded into the panels, which have a blanking plate added to the back. The passenger/load area has an internal skin with plenty of detail moulded into it that is augmented by adding the canvas seats on tubular frames down both sides, which like a great many helicopter interiors, can be folded away on the real thing. With both sides completed and painted, the side walls are glued to the floor and closed over by adding the ceiling panel, which has a curved interior with yet more detail. Once the glue has fully cured on the interior “sausage”, the fuselage can be closed over the assembly after inserting all the portholes that line the sides of the aircraft, and a couple of consoles in the ceiling area of the cockpit on both sides, referring to the drawings in the front of the booklet for decal information. The modeller is advised to “duddy” the seamline of the upper tail boom, which with a little help from my iPhone means putty, or literally “replenish soil”. It’s a fair guess from a non-Mandarin speaker. There is a basic rendition of the two turboshaft engines inside the cowlings, which are made from two halves and each have a three-part engine face and bypass trapped between the parts. The engine cowling is moulded as a single slide-moulded part with several cut-outs for exhausts and intakes, fitting a central support for the central intake on a lug, then building the rotor base from just two well-detailed parts, before inserting the two engine sections in place on the supports moulded into the cowling, and closing the front with a bulkhead to admit the air into the turboshafts. The entrances are then covered by a pair of dust deflecting domed filters that are each made from three layers and have a fourth part that inserts into the openings in the front of the cowling. The cowl is detailed with grab-handles, handles, a blister over the transverse mounted APU on the starboard rear side, and an intake in the front above the main intakes. The completed assembly is then mated to the flat-spot on top of the fuselage, taking care to align the two parts carefully. The clamshell doors at the rear of the fuselage can be posed open or closed as you like it, starting by detailing the interior with additional parts over the ribbed surface, then either gluing them together and mounting them over the rear, or leaving them separate from each other and attached to the rear of the fuselage on their hinge-points. The front of the fuselage is closed by detailing the canopy with small sensors on the exterior and an overhead console with decal on the inside, lining it up gluing it carefully to the fuselage. The underside of the fuselage is closed by a curved insert, and the panniers on the sides of the fuselage are installed on their mounting locations, the port pannier made from a single part, while the starboard unit is built from four parts in order to provide further variants later, hopefully. The underside is covered with small details, and a sensor box that bears a resemblance to an old-fashioned tin bath is inserted into a recess under the tail boom, adding a pair of stabilising fins to the sides, and a vent insert right under the tail. The side door is outfitted with another porthole, and a winch is made from three parts and fixed to the fuselage next to the door at head height for easy access. More sensors, aerials and antennae festoon the upper fuselage, with an emergency exit over the pilot’s seats in case they get the urge for a quick flat-top haircut. In typical Soviet fashion, the landing gear is fixed, and relatively simple. The nose gear has a three-part strut and twin wheels with separate outer hubs, and sprouts from the floor under the cockpit bulkhead, while the main gear is mounted on a single strut attached to the upper fuselage side, and is mated to an A-frame outrigger that supports the four-part wheel, one on each side. The three-bladed tail-rotor is fitted to the tail after building the six-part mount, slotting into the top of the tail on a long peg for strength, and do remember that it is meant to be on the port side of the airframe. The main rotor has five blades that have been moulded with the necessary gravity-induced droop incorporated, and the hub is presented as the lower half, onto which the blades with the upper portion of the hub moulded-in are glued, then the axle with three-part actuator assembly, spacer and counter-weight crown are inserted, after which it can be inserted into the socket on top of the aircraft. A pair of tiny round rear-view mirrors on long frames are applied to the nose for the crew’s use, adding windscreen wipers, blown side windows, probes and a side access ladder that should be shortened before installation according to the scrap diagram. The model isn’t yet finished, as the tail boom needs some work, first removing some raised details that aren’t applicable to this variant, then applying many of the PE sheet’s parts to replace and augment the detail all around the tail and boom, which may have been damaged by sanding the seams earlier. Take care here, follow the instructions carefully, and perhaps consider doing this task early in the build after you have glued the fuselage together to save breaking off any small parts. Creation of the weapons and their pylons is interleaved between the other steps of the build, but we have left them until the end to preserve continuity. There are two racks of three pylons, one each side that are supported in the horizontal by a pair of inverted V-frames that latch into strengthened points on the side of the fuselage. Additional cross-braces are laid across the pylons to act as anti-sway braces, and each of the three pylons can carry a UB-32 rocket pod that are each supplied on their own sprue, making heavy use of slide-moulding, and providing two styles of rear housing, one with a conical rear shroud, the other with a curved cut-out under the rear. It is the cut-out option that we use for this boxing, sliding a tubular sleeve inside that has the rear of the pod engraved at the end, then closing the front with the conical cap that has all the rocket tubes moulded deeply into the surface. There are no rockets visible inside the tubes, so we’ll just assume they’re unloaded. Sanding the seams between the mould sections of the slide-moulded parts will take a little time, but it’s preferable to trying to align two halves and suffering from reduced detail levels that a traditional injection moulded rocket pod would offer. Markings There are three decal options on the sheet from three operators, with vastly different camouflage schemes for each option. You are advised to select your decal option before starting building, and three single profiles are printed at the front of the booklet with the paint codes beneath them. The options then have a further page devoted to each one, with another page showing the colours for the main and tail rotors, stencils for pylons, rocket pods and the decals for the instrument panels and consoles, as previously mentioned. From the box you can build one of the following: The decals were designed by L-Decals Studio and printed anonymously on light blue decal paper. Printing is crisp, colour density good, and sharpness allows you to read the stencils, providing you can read whichever language the Cyrillic stencils are. Conclusion A very well-detailed model that shows attention to detail inside and out, and with pre-sagged blades that are a huge relief to this modeller that is currently facing this task on another model. It’s great to see AMK back and producing kits that are just as good as their previous issues. Highly recommended. Available from all good model shops, whether they’re bricks & mortar, or virtual. Review sample courtesy of
  6. Hello boys and girls, today I'd like to show you my latest finished kit a.k.a. the reason I almost gave up. It's AMK's 1/48th scale F-14D Tomcat I got in my local hobby store after watching Top Gun one too many times. I had to choose between this and the Tamiya kit and decided to go with AMK because it was 40€ cheaper but now I know why. AMK stands for Avantgarde Mojo Killer and with Tamiya I'd probably not only get a kit but peace of mind. In short - this kit is a mixed bag. Beautiful fine details, great display options, two colorful liveries & sharp decals stand against a bad instruction and grave fitment issues. The long version - the kit is unnecessarily over-engineered. For example the various positions of the air intakes are a nice touch but in the end hardly visible and only create a source of mistakes to be made. The area around the intakes is just a complex mess with a lot of parts to be installed in a rather cramped space and even after several attempts of dry fitting & sanding, I never got the forward fuselage to align properly. That was the most tricky part but the rest of the kit wasn't that enjoyable either. In the end it went from "I'll give my best" to "Let's get this over with" as my patience ran thin and it can be seen in the finish. Tamiya primer and mostly Vallejo, Tamiya and Mig colors were used and also Mig washes for the weathering. The whole thing was sealed with Tamiya gloss varnish. That said, this kit in someone else's more skilled hands than mine will look fantastic and the build will probably feature nothing out of the ordinary, I was just expecting more of a kit in that price bracket, also because the last kit I built before it (ICM's MiG-25) was way more enjoyable and relaxing Still - hope you like it and thanks for stopping by. Until next time
  7. In November 2013, AvantGarde Model Kits (AMK) generated some buzz announcing a new tool 1/48th Grumman F-14 Tomcat kit project for 2014 ( http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234950051-avant-garde-2014-list/). Most of the rumourmongers - including myself - considered this project as dead. But some hours ago AMK has changed its Facebook introduction picture. The new one - rather grainy! - is a F-14 Tomcat taking off full AB. A sign or not? Time will tell. Source: https://www.facebook.com/avantgardemodelkits/photos/a.321594134672087.1073741835.279694855528682/485385101626322/?type=1&theater That said in my opinion a new tool 1/48th F-14 is like a new Me.109 or Fw.190: not necessary! To be followed. V.P.
  8. My finished MIG-31. The AMK kit is actually a nice kit. Well designed. In some points, here we have to notice a culmination of flaws in the instruction. This could easily be solved. Main points of critics: · The nose gear strut. To make the insert with the lower part, is not shown. · The order of assembling is sometimes impossible. · Inverted placing of parts is possible, not marked to care for. Or an idiot pin with hole could help easily! · In the design process of injection moulded parts less care was used to prevent ejection marks on highly visible areas. · When rectangle pins are used on small parts, most do not fit at all. No matter, which part. The use of Bregnun stencils is a challenge. Some numbers are not there in right amount or some are due to typing error hardly to identify. Panel lines on the instruction do not match with AMK in most areas. This kit is a challenge. I stumbled into two of the pitfalls listed myself. Happy modelling
  9. Hallo Now I started today with my MIG 31. To tell the story from the beginning: I was on a Su-25 UB from KP. The model was finished so far just before spraying. When I installed the cockpit glass I had to notice, that the complete cockpit was about 2 to 3 mm too far aft. The windshield for the rear cockpit was impossible to install. Since the windows are opening to the right, they have to be in a proper position. I had to stop it. My 3rd model I stopped after 30 years. Than I wanted to go on with the Jaguar from Kitty Hawk. But not at all after this frustration. This kit of the MIG 31 from AMK is a joy. I cannot remember having worked on such a wonderful kit. Two pins from the nose gear were off. So I replaced it with 1mm brass rod. As you see, the center box including main wing is done. The engine: Here I had a resin engine, bit I did not use it, because of unknown troubles of alignment ahead at the very rear end. I did not want to repeat a resin mis-alignment as on the Su-25! All you see is my doing from after breakfast until now approx.. 15.00. Happy modelling
  10. Rumor. After its stunning 1/48th MiG-31BM/BSM kit (http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234946328-mig-31bm-avantgarde-model-148/) AvantGarde Model Kits (AMK) is to release the earlier variants from the "Foxhound", the MiG-31B/BS - ref.AMK88008 Release expected in 2016. Source: serious & reliable 🙂 V.P.
  11. Wow this GB came up much quicker than expected!! Oh well guess I’d better chain myself to the work bench for a few more months. As soon as I saw this model release I knew I had to have one, but being patience for a change I finally saw one on evilBay at a price I couldn’t refuse……..that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. As most people know by now these AMK models are insane!! The attention to detail and attention and packaging is amazing….and of course the “Slide Moulded” parts!!! Oh course me being me I have to add bits to her.. … the AMK metal U/c, the guy was almost giving this set away…… ….Eduard PE detail set, I got this sometime back before the next item was released, I can use some of it…….. …Quinta Studio 3D printed interior, this is seriously some of the nicest cockpit stuff I’ve ever seen, I love it ……….. …..some proper resin wheels from ResKit, gotta have some resin in every build……. ….plus have some Amigo Models resin nozzles and Master Pitot set on the way as well. I think that should be enough AM stuff! Scheme…well I would have preferred the BM/BMS models ones, but to be different I’ll go with the Kazakhstan one….a Borat special! Am really looking forward to this build….the model just looks gorgeous…..now I just have to finish the other 2 (or one) first!!
  12. Hello, this is my ongoing project: An F-14D Super Tomcat in flight, probably in take off phase. Here is what the project is like now And I would like to share the whole project from the beginning.
  13. F-14A & F-14D Interior 3D Decal (QD48048 & QD48070 for Tamiya) 1:48 Qunita Studio When Quinta’s innovative products first came to our attention a few months ago they caused quite a stir, as well they should. The replacement Instrument Panels and internal details are mind-boggling to look at, because we’re used to seeing simplified styrene instrument panels, or Photo-Etch Brass panels with either two layers of etch, or laminated parts that can be tricky to glue together, even though they are pre-painted for your ease. But decals? These aren’t your run-of-the-mill decals though, they’re 3D printed in many layers and colours on a flat carrier film, having as much in the way of elevation as is needed to complete a realistic panel printed in the correct colours, complete with shiny dial faces, lustrous MFD screens and metallic-effect hardware, and often including cushions and seat belts in the set. Each set arrives in a ziplok bag with a folded instruction booklet protecting the decals, which are also separately bagged, so they should reach you in good condition. The pictorial instructions are printed on glossy paper, and are shown in full colour as befits the awesomeness of the sets, showing exactly where each part should go on the actual model, so there’s no confusion due to the “pictures speak a thousand words” maxim. Additional hints and instructions are also included, marking out parts needing bases, kit parts and other useful tips. The technical instructions in the text-based sheet gives additional tips to the new user about maximising adhesion and preventing lift at the edges by wicking in super glue. There are two sets because of the difference in avionics and instruments in each variant, with the -D having a group of Multi-Function Displays (MFDs) and more streamlined belts and ejection initiation handles for the seats, the -A using the Martin-Baker Mk. GRU-7(A) with additional twin head-loop handles, the -D flying with the more advanced MB Mk. 14 NACES with seat-cushion actuator only. Each set has a full complement of instrument panels, side consoles, ancillary instrument clusters, sidewall details, and of course the seatbelts with pull-handles as already mentioned. Each set also has a few tiny parts for the coaming, which you’ll need to remember to put in place before you attach the coaming to the cockpit aperture. F-14A Tomcat (QD48048 for Tamiya) F-14D Tomcat (QD48070 for Tamiya) If you’re wondering whether the -D set would work with the new(er) AMK Tomcat, fear not as Quinta have you covered. They have patterned a set just for this kit, and you can pick one up at the link below: F-14D Super Tomcat (QD48070 for AMK) Conclusion They’re still a highly impressive product and are likely to remain so to this reviewer, even after perusing several different sets, and I’m itching to use them live in the wild on a project soon. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  14. Hi all. Just a few shots of my last build. Was started not long after I finished my Tamiya F-14D, as a comparison build. Wish I had built them the other way around. Despite the AMK kit having more OOB options than a Tomcat fan could ever want from a kit, I find the kit falls short when compared to Tamiya's offering. The shape issues on the AMK kit have been well discussed already, but although I realise it's unfair to compare the fit of this kit to the Tamiya kit, I find the biggest shortcoming is the over-engineered approach AMK have taken. By giving literally every pose option you could think of, the fit of the kit suffers, and as a result, this kit fought me every step of the way. The Tamiya F-14D is maybe my favourite kit on the market right now, and I plan to build many more of them. If I were to add another AMK kit to my stash, I would be tempted to use it solely as a donor kit to add the wings to a Tamiya build. The dropped wings in the AMK kit are the real stars of the show. Still, it's a big, well detailed Tomcat with a million options from the box. I built mine OOB, with the exception of the decals which came from the Tamiya kit. Speaking of which, a debt of gratitude is owed to @exdraken who really saved this build by parting with the decals from his kit after a rather embarrassing accident with mine. Finished with Vallejo model air paints and weathered with Windsor & Newton oils/varnishes. C&C welcome as always. Hope you enjoy! Cheers Daryl
  15. AMK finally released their long anticipated F-14D late last year to the sounds of various adjectives such as "yay", "Hurrah!", "Finally" and sentences such as "not sure about that rear end mate...". Having an affinity towards the F-14 - (I am after all a child of the 80's, I watched Top Gun and went "Phwoar" whenever the Tomcat or Kelly McGillis were on screen. Thankfully they rarely appear together - I digress), I seem to have accumulated a number of boxings from various manufacturers and having wrestled with the Academy, Hobby Boss and Hasegawa offerings (with Tamiya versions in the stash), I was keen to see if the AMK offering lived up to the claims. The good bits from my experience based on this build are; Cockpit - the detail is lovely. Exhausts - as with the cockpit, details is approaching resin quality, the decals performed flawlessly and the generous weapons supplied with the kit leave plenty of options. I'm not going to comment on accuracy - the end result looks like a Tomcat to me and that from my perspective is what matters. Unfortunately I did have problems with the undercarriage walls locating correctly which led to issues being manifested later in the build, particularly when it came to attaching the cockpit half to main fuselage together. This led to needing to employ clamps to perform a reverse "Wonderbra" manoeuvre, instead of lifting and separating, squeezing and integrating were required, followed with some filler to get things to look smooth and ensure no steps. Paints used were Tamiya Lacquer - Light Ghost Grey and Dark Ghost Grey for the fuselage underside and sides, with Hataka Medium Grey Lacquer used for the canopy/top of the fuselage. Jury is out as to whether the Tamiya colours are a little too blue, but having checked some references, there are certainly some photos out there of Tom's that appear to be close to these hues. I'm also aware that I got the placement of the "100" decals on the wings incorrect. Final thoughts? I'd build it again (I have three more in the stash), but I'd have the advantage of knowing what to expect and what the pain points are, those wheel wells being the main issue and cockpit to fuselage join. Having built a few different Tamiya kits I have no doubt that their offering will be an easier prospect to put together, although at the sacrifice of certain areas of detail that the AMK provides that the Tamiya does not (wings, slats, flaps and breaks deployed for instance). Having built the Hasegawa F-14, I'm inclined to state that the AMK kit is a similar, but more refined build experience to the former's offering and if you have experience of that kit, if you go into the AMK kit with expectations along those lines I do not think you will go to far wrong. I do after all like the end results. AMK F-14D Tomcat by Some Geeza' AMK F-14D Tomcat by Some Geeza' AMK F-14D Tomcat by Some Geeza' AMK F-14D Tomcat by Some Geeza' AMK F-14D Tomcat by Some Geeza' AMK F-14D Tomcat by Some Geeza' AMK F-14D Tomcat by Some Geeza' AMK F-14D Tomcat by Some Geeza' AMK F-14D Tomcat by Some Geeza'
  16. The new AMK Mig-31BM/BSM kit in 1:48 is an awesome testament to its designer's skill, and as well as fitting beautifully it captures the look of this mean-looking Cold War Warrior, and builds into a highly detailed and BIG model. I took this on as a review build at Martin from AMK's request, and I have thoroughly enjoyed the process. While it is an Out Of Box build with no extras other than a couple of AoA vanes added from scrap, I have tried to replicate the details in the painting, with lots of help from Gabor, for which thanks Painted with AKAN paints from Coastal Craft, weathered with Ultimate Dark Dirt Wash, and some AMMO streaking grime, it also marked a few new departures for me. First off was the foiling of a couple of parts on the R-33 missiles, plus the most interesting and useful addition to my arsenal, which are the new Vallejo Metal Color paints from Creative Models. I didn't get chance to use them until later in the build, but I used a number of shades on the exhaust cans, and their chrome is especially good Anyway - there's 28 pages of waffle if you're interested here, so without further ado, I give you... some pictures This one shows the static wicks installed, including a pair on the elevators, which aren't on the kit parts, so I couldn't knock them off during the build! You know what? I thoroughly enjoyed the build, and if that's not what modelling should be about then my name is Michael Caine I've just noticed that I forgot to unmask the landing lights
  17. F-14D Super Tomcat (88007) 1:48 AvantGarde Model Kits The F-14 Tomcat was America’s primary carrier fighter through the 70s and into the new millennium, retiring to the sound of many tears in 2006, with around 80 airframes inherited from the Shah by the Iranian regime still flying… apparently. It originated with a need for Long Range Carrier Defence aircraft that the F-111B was intended to fill but couldn’t, so another more capable aircraft was needed. They required a heavy fighter/interceptor that could fly at Mach 2 and carry a range of weapons, especially the AIM-54 Phoenix long-range air-to-air missile. Grumman’s design was eventually awarded the contract and the result was a huge twin-engined airframe using swept-wing technology to cope with the slow speeds of landing and swept to handle well in the supersonic flight envelope. It first flew at the end of 1970 and entered fleet service in 1974 with a powerful radar in the nose, spaces for six Phoenix missiles under the belly, plus more stations on the wing gloves and engine nacelles. It was capable of speeds well in excess of Mach 2 thanks to the General Electric F110-GE-400 (post upgrade) with full afterburner, was fitted with a multi-barrelled Vulcan gatling cannon that was intended for use when things got up close and personal, shredding anything in its way. With over 500 of the A model produced, the first major upgrade happened in the late 80s, resulting in the F-14B, which got the GE engines mentioned above that replaced the troublesome TF30s that may have cooked Goose’s… err, goose, new avionics and radar, with new airframes and upgrades to existing airframes totalling under 100 aircraft. The D, nicknamed Super Tomcat, was the last upgrade with a glass cockpit and new avionics, giving the Tomcat the ability to keep up with more modern designs. The plug was finally pulled on the F-14, being called 1960s technology, despite the upgrades it had received over the years. The uproar from the fans was legendary, probably fuelled in some small part by the love for the type generated by the movie Top Gun in the 80s, but the die was cast and the Tomcat’s days were numbered. Many airframes went to museums, but in order to keep the spare parts out of the hands of the no doubt desperate for spares Iranians some were shredded to render them as scrap and thereby useless to any sneaky Iranian operatives. The Kit It’s difficult to mention this kit without also mentioning the fact that has been delayed for some years for reasons unknown to this reviewer, and of little interest if we’re concentrating on the here and now if I’m honest. This is a model of a much-loved aircraft and that often generates super-fans, a few of whom are not well adjusted to playing nicely with others. Nuff said. The kit arrives in a large top-opening box with a painting of an F-14D launching from a deck somewhere at sea. On lifting the lid you are greeted by the instruction booklet, some internal boxes and a couple of sprues poking out from underneath. On closer inspection you’ll find a total of four small sub-boxes that contain the weapons and more delicate parts, keeping them a little safer than if they were rattling around in a larger box. These have an added benefit of cushioning the sprues not in the box. In total there are 21 larger sprues of varying sizes and two fuselage halves, plus another 30 smaller sprues of weapons and pods, a small sheet of Photo-Etch (PE), three decal sheets and the instruction booklet with colour jacket and spot colour throughout. You may remember their Mig-31 Foxhound that I reviewed and built a few years back. This was an excellent model that built up very nicely and I have the feeling that this one will too. There have been some huge and extended discussion on the kit’s accuracy or otherwise, some of which may bother you, others likely won’t. It’s impossible to find a perfect kit however, so you have to gauge this kits pros and cons against the competition and choose your preference. Construction begins with drilling some holes on the lower fuselage and under the engine nacelles for any or all of the weapons stations you intend to fit. With the drill put away, the highly detailed seats, which consists of 13 parts each for the driver and the RIO (Radio Intercept Officer), closely followed by the cockpit tub, which all fits within a base with complex shaping to replicate the facets of the real thing. Each instrument panel is fitted to the surface with a couple of tabs for ease and decals to speed up completion. They’re joined by the rudder pedals, control column and the main instrument panels, which also have decals including MFD (Multi-Function Display), then are enclosed by adding in the side walls, making it into a proper tub. The tub is flipped over and the nose gear bay is made up from individual panels, all of which have rich detail moulded in and begs for some detail painting. The Tomcat’s nose section is engineered with another one of AMK’s favourite techniques, and arrives as a single slide-moulded part ready for the cockpit to be slid inside and completed. There are a couple of raised panels under the starboard nose that need sanding off, as they’re not supposed to be there, and you’ll also have to remove the tiny mould seam marks that are a necessary part of slide-moulding technology, which is used extensively on this and many other of AMK’s kits. These shouldn’t tax the modeller too much if tackled with the correct grade of sanding stick, so take care and if any of the panel lines are more faint than you’d like after the process, grab your scribing tool to make good. It’s the necessary compromise for having sharp detail on all faces of a curved 3D shape, and has been with us for a while now. With the cockpit now inside your nose (not your nose, silly), the coamings, top-mounted instruments, gun sight with PE supports and rear bulkhead are added with the windscreen, which needs a coating of clear green paint to replicate the real thing (or the excellent Galaxy Models mask set, which includes a pre-cut coated sheet). The radome and its adaptor ring fit to the front with the pitot probe at the sharp end, then you add the seats and PE side rails to the assembly so you can put it aside for a while. The powerful GE engines are next to be made up, and AMK have included a long section of the exhausts that are moulded into a simplified approximation of the engines themselves to which four engine face/afterburner parts are added internally. A lick of paint will also be required, and the exhausts themselves are made up from a single outer ring, into which four sections of internal detail are fixed, giving the assembly more detail. The outer rings are slender, if a little soft in the petal area but this can be remedied with some careful masking to give the impression of more depth (another thing the Galaxy Model set helps with). A set of constricted exhausts are also on the sprues, but these parts aren’t mentioned in the instructions until later (as they are both single parts) and have some fairly prominent sink marks in their thicker areas. Sometimes aircraft are parked with the exhausts at opposite ends of their extension with the port nozzle closed due to the effects of the shut-down process, but as they can be manipulated manually on the ground or for maintenance it’s not the end of the world if you want to use both the open nozzles. Each intake needs a trunk, which are each made up from two parts that fit together and slide inside the engine nacelles, each of which have the same slide-moulding seams to sand back in order to have sharp detail on all three sides. The F-14 adjusts the speed of the air into its engines internally to the intakes to suit its intended flight envelope, which are made up on a frame to which rams and intake surfaces are added in one of three positions, either subsonic, transonic or supersonic to optimise airflow and thereby engine power. Side-on diagrams are provided to assist you with this task, and these too are put aside for later integration. With the internals almost complete, the engine nacelles and their strakes are added to the underside fuselage part along with the innermost surfaces of the main gear bays, which are finished off from the inside later. In between this, you get to choose the orientation of the horizontal tails by inserting two of three types of supports within the rear of the lower fuselage through the pre-formed holes in the side. You have a choice for up, down or level planes, so check your references for which option will suit your needs. Engines with their integral exhaust tunnels are inserted into the lower fuselage from within, as are the main gear bay sides, all of which are individual parts with plenty of detail moulded in. That also gets put to one side while the wings are made, as these have to be fitted between top and bottom halves. You need to decide on whether to pose your wings open or closed from the outset and there is no mechanism to adjust them later, which means you can’t play with them. The open wings have separate flying surfaces, individual hinge parts, slats and spoilers, so will come out well-detailed, while the closed wings are simply two wing halves plus the shared tip parts and clear tip lights that won’t take long to make up. The two horizontal tails are two parts each with a slot through the middle to attach to the fuselage sides at the previously chosen angle. The beaver-tail with airbrake bays is also made up at this stage, ready to be added during fuselage closure along with the rudder fins, which are two parts each with tip lights of clear plastic. Back to the wings again. To fit the wings to the fuselage, AMK have provided three spar parts at the three usual positions that the wing will be seen in during flight and when parked. When a Tomcat lands it folds its wings back swept, and then a little bit more to save more space on deck, so you have slow-speed swept out, supersonic swept, and highly swept for parking. The assembly ends up as a single V-shaped set of wings with whichever angle you have selected. The whole build so far has been leading up to closing the fuselage, so the top part needs detailing with some antennae, aux. intakes, strakes and a choice of swept or unswept wing glove extensions depending on your wing choice, which are marked as L and R and have matching marks on the inside of the fuselage part to save you getting confused when you flip the part over. The actual fuselage closure process revolves around the lower fuselage, into which the wings are placed and are joined by the final inserts that are again chosen based on wing position, and are held in the correct position by a web-work of braces between them adding strength to the build. The upper fuselage is lowered and glued, and is then decked out with tail feathers, exhaust shroud and the exhaust petals in your preferred position, bearing in mind those sink-marks on the closed option. Your Tomcat is without a head as yet, which needs rectifying, by sliding the nose into position within the aperture at the front of the fuselage, then decked out with probes, crew steps and ladder, which in my sample had been broken due to the way it is held on the sprues. Hopefully yours will fare better on the slow-boat. Under the nose the TCS and Infrared sensors are fitted out with clear lenses then attached to the airframe, and on the starboard side of the cockpit the refuelling probe can be fitted open for business or closed for normal flight. Every Tomcat needs landing gear at some point, and this is the next stage of the build. You begin with the sturdy front strut that takes some hammering from the catapult and heavy landings, with twin wheels helping to spread the load. Each wheel is made from a central hub with two-part tyre, and if you like weighted wheels you can sand in a small flat at the bottom, and the same is true of the larger main gear wheels. These things were weighted, but seldom underinflated until they reached museums. The main gear legs are decked out with struts and wheels while you have your white and tyre grey to hand. The nose gear is fitted along with additional retraction strut and five bay doors, each of which have separate hinges and retraction jacks, while the rear door attaches to the larger strut that stows behind the majority of the bay when retracted. The main gear also has an additional strut fixed, but only has two doors each, again with separate hinges. The airbrakes also have their own retraction jacks, and between the lower pair there is the all-important arrestor hook that stops the pilots getting wet or tangled in the safety nets. There are also a couple of PE representations of the chaff and flare buckets to distract and confuse enemy missiles that might want a closer inspection of their exhausts. At this point your model is looking very Tomcat-like, but is a little draughty for the occupants. You can pose the canopy open or closed, and it is a very nicely detailed piece of plastic engineering that can be made up from a completely clear outer into which the internal structure and closure mechanisms are added, or you can use the styrene frame and individual curved canopy parts instead, whichever you prefer. My example had suffered from a blow during shipping resulting in the middle hoop being damaged but not beyond repair, despite being cocooned in a separate inner box. Perhaps some of these parts need a little extra sprue around them, or some foam adding at the factory? That’s the airframe done, and all that’s left to do now is load it out with weapons and their palettes/pylons. Weapons The Tomcat is capable of carrying a lot of munitions as it’s a big, powerful aircraft. AMK haven’t short-changed us with providing everything we need, and you will probably have a fair quantity left over at the end of your mission. You get four each of the weapons, plus a targeting pod and a TARPS pod into the bargain. The weapons are as follows: 4 x AIM-54 Phoenix 4 x GBU-31 JDAM 4 x GBU-38 JDAM 4 x GBU-16 PAVEWAY II 4 x GBU-12 PAVEWAY II 1 x LANTIRN targeting pod 1 x TARPS Tactical Airborne Reconnaissance Pod System 4 x AIM-9 Sidewinder 4 x AIM-7 Sparrow Four Phoenix missiles might seem stingy given that the aircraft was able to carry six, but the full load was rarely carried due to the stresses on the airframe that were undesirable during peacetime operations. All these weapons require pylons, and there are a set of semi-conformal pylons called palettes in between the aircraft’s widely spaced engines, which have an upswept nose to streamline airflow over the missiles, and some folks have questioned the shape of these areas. They’re a little off, but not stunningly so and they’re kind of out of the way, so once you’ve added the attachment inserts and filled them with missiles, you’ll probably not even notice. A pair of fuel tanks are included with small pylons to fit them under the engine nacelles for additional range, and there are more pylons that attach to the underside of the wing glove, with an additional pylon at the crank-point that allows the Tomcat even more weapons options. The weapons have all been designed to utilise slide-moulding, which reduces the parts count while adding crisp detail all around. The downside of this is you have moulding seams to square away before you can begin to assemble your weapons, so bear this in mind as you begin. Usually a scrape with the side of a sharp blade will remove most of it, and you can then sand them back to profile with a sanding stick. The AIM-54s have an additional exhaust part, the AIM-7 has an exhaust and choice of two types of seeker, the Sidewinder has a tiny control-link part, while the bombs have separate tail units, with a choice of closed or open tails for the PAVEWAY II options. The LANTIRN pod is made up from six parts, and the TARPS pod comprises four parts and is fitted instead of the belly palettes when in use. A page of the instructions is devoted to load-out and you should combine this with your references if you’re planning on replicating a realistic warload for your model. Markings There are five decal options included on the kit’s three decal sheets, including a full set of stencils that takes up one of the sheets. These include a couple of more colourful options as well as some lowviz schemes in an effort to offer some variation. From the box you can build one of the following: BuNo.164348 of VF-213 Black Lions, Feb 2002 BuNo.164342 NE 106 of VF-2 Bounty Hunters, May 2003 BuNo.164600 NK 100 of VF-31 Tomcatters, 1997 BuNo.164604 Vandy One of VX-9 Vampires, Spring 2000 BuNo.163900 AD 155 of VF-101 Grim Reapers, 2005 Furball Aero Designs have created the decals, but we’re not told who did the printing. That said, the sheets are well-printed with good register, colour density and sharpness, although the yellow on sheet B has been over-printed quite generously. Conclusion Detail is excellent for the most part, with the closed exhausts being the only disappointment in that department. There have been some rumblings regarding the aircraft’s back-end, including width and the shape of the curve over the horizontal tails. They’re probably correct from what I’ve seen, but whether that will bother many people I don’t know. I’d be tempted to soften the shape a little with the aid of references, and the same could be done with those belly palette noses. Overall though, it’s still a lovely kit and it is well priced to compete with the other kits in this scale. A few adjustments in the packaging might save those delicate parts from harm, so remember to check your kit when it arrives. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  18. As the title notes. I haven't finished a kit in awhile. No excuses really, just too busy for my model therapy🤪 The AMK kit is fantastic, I can't give it enough praises. I meant to make this a quick OOB build, but it was building up so well, I bought the ResKit wheels, Aires bang seat, and ended up using different decals - probably the only gripe with the kit, as they are overly thick, and won't lay down. I ended up using a mix of Kinetic decals (same airframe ironically), Superscale insignia, and a couple stencils I made using my new cricut maker. The cut stencils were the new technique I tried. If you've seen any of my other posts in the last 18-24mo., I try to use something new on each kit. I'm attempting, in my own ham-fisted way, to expand my skills, getting back into modeling after a too long absence. Enough Rambling, on to the model; Hope you enjoy. As always, comments, critiques and questions are always encouraged. Mark
  19. Hi you all This will become my Kfir C-2. I built it several years ago a C-7with an Italeri kit and a conversion set from Isracast . This was very difficult, to achieve a proper result. This time I build 2 Kfir C-2. The first from AMK and the second from Kinetic. The aftermarket products I bought you may see. Beside this, I have as left over a complete conversion set from Isracast for the C-2 and the fuel tank and pylon set from Isracast. Of course, the book about the Kfir too. My personal linkage to the Kfir is that I had to live with this a/c. Every day over years and months, I could see them on the sky in Israel. I spent so much time there. The dogfight exercises I liked most, to climb up like at a candle in a group of three or four. Several times, I got lost in time or I was sunburned during this. Now to the build: First, the bad news. The AIRES cockpit set is NOT TO USE!!!!!!!! You will lose the entire front wheel well. The same experience I had with my Skyhawk. You may use parts of it, but that is it! I do not understand how the Aires people can release such a nonsense! The AMK kit is actually well designed. I could not make out any major flaws. I want to create a C-2 for ground support. That means to install the Kfir MER and the four stations in the back and front for a single bomb. I intended to install the supersonic tank, but there is none in the kit. Anyway, maybe I will take this one from Kinetic or from my resin kit from Isracast. In my case, I would load the Mk. 82 bombs and the Python 3 missile. The build until today went all straight ahead. I changed the cockpit front part to resin. Here is to mention, that the MB 10 ejection seat was used at late C-2 also. And the dashboard I will change to C-2 standard, since my Aires one is for C-7. The nose gear: Here I glued all the parts together and drilled holes for a pin to hold the nose wheel. It is an eye catcher on the Kfir, the nose gear! Tomorrow I will start spraying the cockpit. Well, so far. If you have any question, you may look at the walk around from our website. I took many many pictures on the Kfir. The history of the development is so interesting, if you may like it, I will give you next times a short intro. Happy modelling
  20. As Martin from AMK has announced that the planned SuE is on hold while they finish off the F-14 and the L-39. The question was asked on another thread whether it's worth their while continuing with the project now that other kits of the subject in the same scale (1:48) are out there. Do you want them to continue? Please keep any comments germane to the subject and let's not go off on any wishlist of new kits like happened in the other thread. Thanks
  21. I haven't posted for a while, loss of modelling mojo but I have finally completed the AMK 1/72 Kfir as a Colombian AF C12 I added the High Planes refuelling probe, Master brass pitot and some Eduard brass in the cockpit. The decals are from Aztec the only thing I would say about these is that the 'No Pise' markings on the trailing edge are in black and the pictures I have seen on the internet suggest they should be in red. The weathering was kept minimal as these Colombian jets seem to be kept very clean. Anyway enjoy (or not) Willy _IMG6083_1 by Phillip Wilmshurst, on Flickr _IMG6084_1 by Phillip Wilmshurst, on Flickr _IMG6088_1 by Phillip Wilmshurst, on Flickr _IMG6090_1 by Phillip Wilmshurst, on Flickr
  22. I started this kit two years ago and for the best part of last year it was just sitting collecting dust,I just didn't feel like doing any work on it.I finally decided to get it done this month and here it is.No it didn't turn out as good as I hoped it would (I still got a lot of learining and improving ahead of me) but it could have been worse. Took these pics real quick with my phone hence the bad quality.
  23. Colombian Airforce KFIR C10 - upgrade - the brand new AMK upgraded Kfir (one week delivery from Hobbyeasy!! ) kit forms the basis, Wingman Models conversion kit the necessary ingredient, and HPM produced Derby missile and Skunkworks (Kinetic ) Spice bomb, Eduard Brassin GBU-49, some Eduard PE Academy Liteting pod, Academy PhytonV, ..... and ... quite a lot, build during the Britmodeller 10th anniversary GB earlier this year! some canard colleagues: and a neighbour: hope you like it! cheers, Werner
  24. Hi. Santa dropped this on my doorstep. 019 by Bosse Persson, on Flickr And I've been drooling over it all Christmas. But yesterday as I was waiting for the Junior World Championship Ice hockey tournament to start I somehow opened up one small bag and started to prime the engine parts. Orca 001 by Bosse Persson, on Flickr So I guess I can say that this build officially started. I'll continue with the massive engines tonight... To be continued... /Bosse
  25. G'day all, The AMK has recently come available at my LHS. Now to build a modern Colombian Kfir C10 I need the conversion made by Wingman Models. Does any of you have an idea if this would fit on the AMK nose? Has one of you maybe both the Kinetic C7 kit and the AMK so that a comparison of the diameter of the nose can be made? Thanks! Evert
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