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  1. My first place marker is this -B version by AZ Model in 1/72. The box with the obvious direction of the subject being foreign and in this case, Swiss or Swedish or Chinese. I'm liking the pretty Swiss option. The plastic Instructions and decals. Stuart
  2. Hi all, this is a place holder for my entry into this GB. I will build the AZ Model Vought Kingfisher. The one with the little training wheels. I have wanted this kit since it came out, and I found it by chance last year while in Sardinia. Who would have thunk it would be there, with my name already written on the box? Here is a photo of the kit, courtesy of Scalemates. I am a real sucker for yellow wings! But before I start building this little beauty, I have at least two other kits to finish. No pressure when one knows my building speed! So more to it later. Cheers. JR
  3. Bf.109T-2 Toni over the North Sea (AZ7874) 1:72 AZ Model by Kovozávody Prostějov The Messerschmitt Bf.109 was certainly the most numerous, and probably the best known of all the aircraft used by the Luftwaffe during the Second World War. Almost 34,000 examples were produced between 1937 and 1945, and the type saw active service in every theatre in which German armed forces were engaged. Driven initially by the relatively low powered Junkers Jumo engine, and later by various iterations of the more powerful Daimler Benz DB600 series of inverted V-12 engines, the later variants of the Bf.109 could achieve speeds of up to 400mph. When Germany first laid down the ill-fated Aircraft Carrier DKM Graf Zeppelin in 1936, the question of its complement of aircraft was already settled. It would carry a variant of the Bf.109 as a fighter, and the doughty Ju.87 Stuka as bomber, and as such was engineered with those airframes in mind, averting the need to have folding wings that add weight to an aircraft. The 109 was given the variant T for Träger, which mean Carrier in English. It had extended wings with larger flying surfaces, plus a tail-hook and catapult launch gear for taking off and landing on carriers. The T-1 was the first airframe to be completed, and underwent catapult tests before it was ordered in small numbers. With the cancellation of the carrier, those airframes were apportioned elsewhere, and a T-2 variant was created without the carrier specific components. Some of the T-1s were cross-graded to T-2 standard, which found their way to Norway with 11./JG 11, and when the carrier project was temporarily re-started it was decided that the T was outdated by then, so an alternative was sought. That too was re-assigned in a remarkable chronologically close case of history repeating itself, while the T-2s continued in service in Norway until mid-1944, after which time any remaining airframes were used as trainers. As far as we know none of them survived the war or the culling of Axis hardware that followed it, but if you extended the wings of a full-sized Bf.109E-4/N that you happened to have lying around with the DB601N engine, you’d be 90% of the way there. The Kit This boxing is based on a 2020 tooling from AZ Model, and it arrives in a small end-opening box with three sprues of grey styrene, a small separately bagged clear sprue, two decal sheets, and instruction booklet that are printed on both sides of a folded A4 sheet. Detail is good, and extends into the cockpit and wheel bays, as well as finely engraved panel lines with judicious use of riveting where they are most prominent on the real airframe. You may have noticed that there are two sets of wings, because the main sprue holds many of the parts that will be needed to complete the model, while the correct wing parts with longer span are moulded on a new sprue on their own. Construction begins predictably with the cockpit, adding decals to the instrument panel and detail painting the sidewalls that are moulded into the fuselage interiors. A double trim wheel is made up, the control column detail painted with three shades, then the seat with decal seatbelts is inserted on the rails in the cockpit rear, mounting the adjustment mechanism on the port side, which also has the trim wheels sited there. The instrument panel is fitted to the front bulkhead and glued in place along with the control column, painting and installing the gunsight to add to the centre of the coaming. The propeller is moulded as a three-bladed part that is sandwiched between the spinner and back-plate, with a choice of two spinner types, one without the centreline cannon installed. The cockpit is glued into the starboard fuselage half after painting the interior and inserting the two air-path parts in the nose for the chin-mounted oil-cooler before bringing the fuselage halves together, taking care that the inserts line up properly. The lower wings are full-span save for the tips, and have separate radiator faces fitted inside, while the new upper wings are in longer halves and have bay structure moulded-in, requiring a little detail painting as you go, sliding the completed assembly into the cut-out in the lower fuselage, ensuring that there is the required dihedral on both sides, which should leave both wingtips 10mm from the ground when the model is placed upright on a flat surface, although whether this remains true given the longer wingspan, I don’t know, as it’s a standard diagram. You could use the standard wings as a marking guide to place supports for measuring near the tip of the extended parts. The main wheel legs are each single parts with a wheel placed on the axle at the bottom, and a captive gear bay door glued to the inner face, plugging into the inner end of the gear bays under the wing, which was a source of the type’s instability on the ground, leading to many nose-overs and associated embarrassment. A scrap diagram from the side shows the forward canting of the gear legs once installed. An insert over the engine cowling is prepared by adding a pair of gun barrel stubs linked together on a carrier from inside the troughs. The cowling is installed over the engine along with the prop to the front, plus the air-intake fairing on the port side of the cowling, and a tail-wheel with moulded-in strut. A pair of wing-mounted cannons are slotted into holes in the leading-edge, just outboard of the prop’s rotation. A belly-mounted fuel tank or bomb can be fitted, and the instructions note that its mount is offset to one side, making the tank or bomb from two halves if you intend to use either option. If not, the underside is completed by a pitot-probe under the port wing, and mass-balance horns on the ailerons. With the model on its wheels, the single-part canopy is installed with extra armour externally using a non-fogging glue, adding an aerial to the aft portion, and slotting the elevators into the sides of the tail fin, supporting them with diagonal struts from underneath. Markings There are three decal options on the sheet, and the profiles can be found on the rear of the box, in variations that make heavy use of mottling. If the kit has been dispatched to a locale where that Swastika symbol is frowned upon under law, the corner of the sheet will have been snipped off, otherwise it’s up to you whether you apply them for historical accuracy or not. From the box you can build one of the following: The decals are printed using a digital process and have good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut loosely around the printed areas. This means that the carrier film on their decals can be coaxed away from the printed part of the decal after they have been applied, effectively rendering them carrier film free, making the completed decals much thinner and more realistic, and obviating the need to apply successive coats of clear varnish to hide the edges of the carrier film. It’s a great step further in realism from my point of view, and saves a good quantity of precious modelling time into the bargain. Conclusion Those that often complain about “another 109” might just like this one, as it’s not a standard option, and its longer wings will be evident when positioned next to a more standard 109 in the cabinet. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. Messerschmitt Bf.109V-13/14 (AZ7870) 1:72 AZ Model by Kovozávody Prostějov The Messerschmitt Bf.109 was certainly the most numerous, and probably the best known of all the aircraft used by the Luftwaffe during the Second World War. Almost 34,000 examples were produced between 1937 and 1945, and the type saw active service in every theatre in which German armed forces were engaged. Powered initially by the relatively low powered Junkers Jumo engine and later by various iterations of the more powerful Daimler Benz DB600 series of inverted V-12 engines, the later variants of the Bf.109 could achieve speeds of up to 400mph. Soon after the type was first shown off by the Nazi administration as part of their re-armament project, the 109 attended a meeting in Zurich where various aircraft from different countries attempted the world speed record, with three specially adapted airframes sent that were extensively tuned for speed. Other preparations included a fully puttied and polished airframe to streamline airflow, a lack of gunsight and armament, plus fairing-over of the gun troughs, all in the pursuit of more speed. On the 11th November 1937 V-13, converted from a D-series airframe and with a highly tuned engine that could output an impressive (for the time) 1,200hp for short periods, flew at almost 380mph, winning the record for Germany for the first time, although it was soon taken by a Heinkel He.100 before Messerschmitt could win it back just before WWII with an Me.209 that flew at an astonishing 469mph, a totally new design that was designed from the ground-up to break records, and shouldn’t be confused with the wartime Me.209/410. That speed record remained standing until long after WWII. The Kit This boxing is based on a 2020 tooling from AZ Model, and it arrives in a small end-opening box with three sprues of grey styrene, a small separately bagged clear sprue, two decal sheets, and instruction booklet that printed on both sides of a folded A4 sheet. Detail is good, and extends into the cockpit and wheel bays, as well as finely engraved panel lines with judicious use of riveting where they are most prominent on the real airframe. You may have noticed that there are two sets of fuselage halves, because the main sprue holds many of the parts that will be needed to complete the model, while the correct fuselage parts with flush exhausts are moulded on a new sprue with only two more parts that appear to be intended for the carrier-borne T series. Construction begins predictably with the cockpit, adding decals to the instrument panel and detail painting the sidewalls that are moulded into the fuselage interiors. A double trim wheel is made up, the control column detail painted with three shades, then the seat is inserted on the rails in the cockpit rear, mounting the adjustment mechanism on the port side, which also has the trim wheels sited there. The instrument panel is fitted to the front bulkhead and glued in place along with the control column, painting and installing the gunsight to add to the centre of the coaming if it is to be used. The propeller is moulded as a three-bladed part that is sandwiched between the spinner and back-plate, removing a small area at the tip from the spinner as per the accompanying diagram. The cockpit is glued into the starboard fuselage half after painting the interior and inserting the two airway parts in the nose for the chin-mounted oil-cooler before bringing the fuselage halves together, taking care that the inserts line up properly. The lower wings are full-span, and have radiator faces fitted, while the upper wings are in halves and have bay detail moulded-in, requiring a little detail painting as you go, sliding them into the cut-out in the lower fuselage, ensuring that there is the required dihedral on both sides, which should leave the both wingtips 10mm from the ground when the model is placed upright on a flat surface. The main wheel legs are each single parts with a wheel placed on the axle at the bottom, and a captive gear bay door glued to the inner face, plugging into the inner end of the gear bays under the wing, which was a source of the type’s instability on the ground, leading to many nose-overs and much embarrassment. An insert over the engine cowling is prepared by adding filler to the gun troughs to obliterate them, and removing a U-shaped raised area at the rear of the insert. Once the putty is cured, it can be installed along with the prop, a raised fairing on the port side of the engine cowling, plus a tail-wheel with moulded-in strut. A belly-mounted fuel tank can be fitted, and the instructions note that its mount is offset to one side, making the tank from two halves if you intend to use it. If not, the underside is completed by a pitot-probe under the port wing, and mass-balance horns on the ailerons. With the model on its wheels, the single-part canopy is installed with a non-fogging glue, adding an aerial to the aft portion, and the elevators are slotted into the sides of the tail fin, supporting them with diagonal struts from underneath. Markings There are two decal options on the sheet, and the profiles can be found on the rear of the box, one in bright red, the other in light grey, both wearing a swastika on the red tail band. If the kit has been dispatched to a locale where that symbol is frowned upon under law, the corner of the sheet will have been snipped off, otherwise it’s up to you whether you apply them for historical accuracy or not. From the box you can build one of the following: The decals are printed using a digital process and have good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut loosely around the printed areas. This means that the carrier film on their decals can be coaxed away from the printed part of the decal after they have been applied, effectively rendering them carrier film free, making the completed decals much thinner and more realistic, and obviating the need to apply successive coats of clear varnish to hide the edges of the carrier film. It’s a great step further in realism from my point of view, and saves a good quantity of precious modelling time into the bargain. Conclusion Those that moan about “another 109” might even like this one, as it’s not a standard airframe, and isn’t covered in splinter camouflage or mottle. Detail is good, the decal options interesting, and the red one especially should stand out in a crowd. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  5. 1/72nd Let L-410UVP Turbolet by (Gavia) AZ Model - ref. ADM7231 & 7232 Sources: http://www.modelarovo.cz/turbolet-bude/ http://www.modelarovo.cz/navrat-l-410-turbolet/ - ref. ADM7231 - Let L-410UVP Turbolet - Military - ref. ADM7232 - Let L-410UVP Turbolet Sprues V.P.
  6. Gloster Gauntlet Mk.II ‘Special Markings’ (AZ7868) 1:72 AZ Model by Kovozávody Prostějov The Gauntlet bears a family resemblance to the Gladiator from the same stable because it preceded it, entering service earlier after an extended development process that would be worthy of a modern defence project. Its development began as early as 1929, but it wasn’t until 1933 that it was given the name Gauntlet, and another two years before it started to enter service with the RAF in small numbers. It was intended as a replacement to the Bulldog, which it outpaced by 50mph thanks to its Bristol Mercury engine, with heavier armament that included two machine guns in troughs in the fuselage sides, firing through the cowling and propeller. Only twenty-four of the initial airframes were made before there were improvements made, which were give the designation Mk.II, resulting in the initial batch being retrospectively named Mk.I. The Mk.II made up the majority of production, with over 200 manufactured in the UK, plus more built overseas. At its peak there were fourteen squadrons equipped with Gauntlets, but as the storm clouds of war began to gather, it was already outdated. By the time war finally broke out, only one squadron was left in frontline service, the rest having transitioned to more modern fighters such as the Hurricane, which was created by Gloster’s new owners, Hawker, still carrying over some design traits from the Gauntlet through the Gladiator to the Hurricane, particularly in the rear fuselage and tail areas. Fortunately for the Hurricane pilots however, the speed and armament of their new aircraft was much improved and gave them a fighting chance against the enemy. The Gauntlet lingered on as a trainer in the UK and abroad for a while, with a single Mk.II preserved in airworthy condition in Finland, one of its former operators, although the engine has been replaced by something a little more modern for practical reasons. The Kit This is a reboxing of a 2008 tooling from AZ that has been re-released with new decals that depict special markings of the Gauntlet in RAF and Finnish service. It arrives in a small end-opening box with a painting of a Gauntlet over a battlefield engaging with a Soviet i16 on the front, and profiles for the decal options on the rear of the box. Inside are three sprues of grey styrene, a decal sheet, a small sheet of clear acrylic with two windscreens printed on it, plus the instruction booklet that is printed on a folded sheet of A4, with a series of rigging profiles on the rearmost page. Detail is good, with just a wisp of flash here and there, and a good representation of the fabric covered framework over the majority of the airframe. Construction begins with the simple cockpit that is based on a well-detailed flat section of floor, onto which the seat, control column and rudder pedals are fixed, applying four-point decal seatbelts to the pilot’s position for a little extra detail. There is cockpit sidewall detail moulded into the insides of the fuselage halves, and once these and the cockpit are painted and weathered, the fuselage halves can be joined together, adding a two-part instrument panel at the front of the cockpit cut-out. The engine is supplied as a single part with nine cylinders arranged around the core, which is surrounded by a three-part cowling due to the teardrop fairings around the perimeter, finishing the cowling off with a separate lip at the front. The tail fin is moulded into the fuselage halves, adding the individual elevator fins to the sides in small slots, and a tail-wheel with moulded-in strut underneath. The lower wing is a single part that is inserted into a slot under the fuselage, and once the seams have been dealt with, the landing gear can be built, made from two triangular struts that are linked by the axle that has wheels mounted on each end, positioning the assembly on the underside of the fuselage using the small recesses that are moulded into the model to locate them accurately. Four cabane struts are similarly fitted to the fuselage in front of the cockpit using more guide recesses, which supports the upper wing that is also moulded as a single part. Four interplane struts are fitted between the wings, and a scrap diagram gives details of the tensioner rods that are suspended in the rigging, which is dealt with over the page. A pair of exhausts are mounted under the cowling, cutting the windscreen from the acetate sheet and folding it to shape before gluing it to the front of the cockpit, then slotting the two machine gun barrels in the troughs on each side of the fuselage. The final task (if we ignore the rigging for now) is the three-blade propeller, with a moulded-in spinner to the front. Speaking of rigging, there are four diagrams on the rear of the booklet, detailing the location of the wiring, which should assist with the process along with the box art for a three-quarter view. Markings There are three options on the decal sheet, two RAF, and one in Finnish service, which comes with the reversed Swastikas they used at the time, confusing the uninitiated for many years. The British subjects are away from the usual silver dope, including desert and night fighter schemes From the box you can build one of the following: The decals are printed using a digital process and have good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut loosely around the printed areas. This means that the carrier film on their decals can be coaxed away from the printed part of the decal after they have been applied, effectively rendering them carrier film free, making the completed decals much thinner and more realistic, and obviating the need to apply successive coats of clear varnish to hide the edges of the carrier film. It’s a great step further in realism from my point of view, and saves a good quantity of precious modelling time into the bargain. Conclusion The Gauntlet was a well-used interwar fighter that in its day was an impressive improvement over those that it replaced, but was soon to be left in the wake of the next generation of fighters due to the speed of development at the time. The kit depicts its fabric covering well, with a detailed cockpit, and it comes with some interesting decal options. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  7. Gloster Gauntlet Mk.I (AZ7866) 1:72 AZ Model by Kovozávody Prostějov The Gauntlet bears a family resemblance to the Gladiator from the same stable because it preceded it, entering service earlier after an extended development process that would be worthy of a modern defence project. Its development began as early as 1929, but it wasn’t until 1933 that it was given the name Gauntlet, and another two years before it started to enter service with the RAF in small numbers. It was intended as a replacement to the Bulldog, which it outpaced by 50mph thanks to its Bristol Mercury engine, with heavier armament that included two machine guns in troughs in the fuselage sides, firing through the cowling and propeller. Only twenty-four of the initial airframes were made before there were improvements made, which were give the designation Mk.II, resulting in the initial batch being retrospectively named Mk.I. The Mk.II made up the majority of production, with over 200 manufactured in the UK, plus more built overseas. At its peak there were fourteen squadrons equipped with Gauntlets, but as the storm clouds of war began to gather, it was already outdated. By the time war finally broke out, only one squadron was left in frontline service, the rest having transitioned to more modern fighters such as the Hurricane, which was created by Gloster’s new owners, Hawker, still carrying over some design traits from the Gauntlet through the Gladiator to the Hurricane, particularly in the rear fuselage and tail areas. Happily for the Hurricane pilots however, the speed and armament of their new aircraft was much improved and gave them a fighting chance against the enemy. The Gauntlet lingered on as a trainer in the UK and abroad for a while, with a single Mk.II preserved in airworthy condition in Finland, one of its former operators, although the engine has been replaced by something a little more modern for practical reasons. The Kit This is a reboxing of a 2008 tooling from AZ that has been re-released with new decals that depict the Gauntlet in RAF and Danish service. It arrives in a small end-opening box with a painting of a gaggle of Gauntlets over rolling fields on the front, and profiles for the decal options on the rear of the box. Inside are three sprues of grey styrene, decal sheet, a small sheet of clear acrylic with two windscreens printed on it, plus the instruction booklet that is printed on a folded sheet of A4, with a series of rigging profiles on the rearmost page. Detail is good, with just a wisp of flash here and there, and a good representation of the fabric covered framework over the majority of the airframe. Construction begins with the simple cockpit that is based on a well-detailed flat section of floor, onto which the seat, control column and rudder pedals are fixed, applying four-point decal seatbelts to the pilot’s position for a little extra detail. There is cockpit sidewall detail moulded into the insides of the fuselage halves, and once these and the cockpit are painted and weathered, the fuselage halves can be joined together, adding a two-part instrument panel at the front of the cockpit cut-out. The engine is supplied as a single part with nine cylinders arranged around the core, which is surrounded by a three-part cowling due to the teardrop fairings around the perimeter, finishing the cowling off with a separate lip at the front. The tail fin is moulded into the fuselage halves, adding the individual elevator fins to the sides in small slots, and a tail-wheel with moulded-in strut underneath. The lower wing is a single part that is inserted into a slot under the fuselage, and once the seams have been dealt with, the landing gear can be built, made from two triangular struts that are linked by the axle that has wheels mounted on each end, positioning the assembly on the underside of the fuselage using the small recesses that are moulded into the model to locate them accurately. Four cabane struts are similarly fitted to the fuselage in front of the cockpit using more guide recesses, which supports the upper wing that is also moulded as a single part. Four interplane struts are fitted between the wings, and a scrap diagram gives details of the tensioner rods that are suspended in the rigging, which is dealt with over the page. A pair of exhausts are mounted under the cowling, cutting the windscreen from the acetate sheet and folding it to shape before gluing it to the front of the cockpit, then slotting the two machine gun barrels in the troughs on each side of the fuselage. The final task (if we ignore the rigging for now) is the two-blade propeller, gluing a spinner to the front to finish it. Speaking of rigging, there are four diagrams on the rear of the booklet, detailing the location of the wiring, which should assist with the process along with the box art for a three-quarter view. Markings There are three options on the decal sheet, two RAF, and one in Danish service, the latter having a more interesting scheme, as the RAF were heavily invested in silver dope in the 1930s – perhaps someone had shares? From the box you can build one of the following: The decals are printed using a digital process and have good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut loosely around the printed areas. This means that the carrier film on their decals can be coaxed away from the printed part of the decal after they have been applied, effectively rendering them carrier film free, making the completed decals much thinner and more realistic, and obviating the need to apply successive coats of clear varnish to hide the edges of the carrier film. It’s a great step further in realism from my point of view, and saves a good quantity of precious modelling time into the bargain. Conclusion The Gauntlet was a well-used interwar fighter that in its day was an impressive improvement over those that it replaced, but was soon to be left in the wake of the next generation of fighters due to the speed of development at the time. The kit depicts its fabric covering well, with a detailed cockpit, and it comes with some interesting decal options. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  8. Hello everyone! Here is my first kit of the year which I finished last weekend. It is AZ Model's Supermarine Spitfire Tr.9 representing 162 of A Flight, No 1 Squadron, Irish Air Corps, at Gormaston, Ireland, in 1951. Before anyone says anything, yes the port wing insignia and the starboard side insignia are wrong. Sadly, I know. Read on to know why... This kit has been a struggle almost all the way. AZ Model kits are short-run and so inherently involve extra work but this one more so. I have read favourable comments about AZ Model's Spitfire IX/XVI kits (and I hope so as I have a couple in my stash) but negative comments about the two-seater. I just about managed to overcome all the problems but it got tiresome. Apart from the usual fit issues and mismatched parts that you get with these kinds of kits here some of the low lights: - Cockpit troubles: the rear cockpit was made almost like the front one but I believe it should have been shorter. The instructions have you put the oxygen bottles on one fuselage side as per a single-seater but, thankfully, they were placed horizontally behind the front cockpit. It's impossible to fit the rear cockpit if one doesn't do this. Because of the length of the rear cockpit and the position of the control yoke, I had to move the instrument dial forward. It's not correct but I had no choice by then. Getting the cockpit parts in place was fiddly due to the poor minimal mating surfaces but somehow I managed. As a note, I used the decals for the instruments and the harnesses. The latter aren't bad but in retrospect I should have removed more of the film. - Main wings: some of the parts work best interchanged! I swapped the wheel bay cover parts and the wing tips. I was a bit confused with the instructions as to the gun arrangements, initially leaving only the outer machine guns but later restoring the other ones after reading about the type and other kit builds of Irish two-seaters. I used bits of sprue to help fill the cannon holes. - Wing to fuselage assembly: with some trimming and checking, I just about managed a reasonable join along the bottom with the fuselage and cleaning it up wasn't too bad. The upper wing roots however were another matter with large mismatched trenches of varying width. Plenty of filling and sanding here. - Canopies: the front one needed some trimming and I had a problem because the front cockpit was a little twisted and I had to sand it a bit to stop fouling the canopy. The rear one was another story... It was too narrow lengthwise and too wide at the front. I managed to thin it along the bottom and the top of the front end enough to make it almost all the way down. I glued it in place with Kristal Klear but forcing it down with tape. It held and I then filled the remaining gaps a long the bottom and the cavity in the front also with Kristal Klear and then paint. - Other bits: the oil cooler intake was a terrible fit. I didn't try to improve it, glued it as it was and filled the gaps with CA glue and finally blending the part to the underside. I had to cut away a bit of the wheel bay lips to be able to insert the legs in the proper angles. The exhaust parts had to be thinned considerably in the inserting blocks to be able fit in the corresponding holes (on a positive note, the kit comes with inner blanking plates). Once I made it through all this and painted the kit, it was looking good and I was thinking that despite it all, it was going to come out nicely. And then came the decals... These went on well and required plenty of Micro Sol to settle properly. I had some trouble with the underwing flags which ended up cracking (my fault) and I had to fix cutting bits from the markings for option 2 (to match the colours) to "fix" them. The big BUT were the insignia decals. The instructions have them shown correctly but the sheet was printed wrongly. They are supposed to be handed with the green half forwards on the sides and inwards on the wings. I tried finding replacements (no luck) and considered repainting them but matching the colours and getting the patterns right was too daunting. It was a real let down and I was unhappy for a couple of days about the kit but I decided to press on, as I just wanted to finish the kit, and use the decals as they came. My apologies to any Irish readers. As usual, the kit was painted and varnished by brush. I weathered it just enough to break the uniform scheme but didn't overdo it as these machines seemed to be quite well-kept. In the end, despite everything and the decals, I'm pleased with how it came out. Sadly, there aren't many kits of Spitfire two-seaters but this one is really only for experienced modellers and masochists. AZ Model covered all of the two-seater options and I have their kit of the Soviet home-made two-seater version in my stash. I have been warned! Thanks for looking and all comments are welcome. Miguel
  9. Evening all, Don't often do Luftwaffe (the occasional Battle of Britain model aside, just to give the RAF models something to aim at!), and not really into what-if, but this release by AZ tickled my fancy! More of a very-nearly...I understand that the prototype was partially completed at least, so not quite as outrageous as some Luftwaffe 46 models! The kit itself was an odd mixture of soft detail and unclear fit...that said, it did come together to provide a strangely convincing model. I think Mike McEvoy, late of Scale Aircraft Modeller Tail Piece fame ( for us modellers of a certain age) would have approved...a historically plausible paint scheme with a plausible unit badge (a BoB unit as well) over a simple but very interesting 'almost' aircraft. My first for 2024...my second will continue the futuristic V-tailed theme, albeit something that actually flew, and a little closer to today! More anon. Paints AK Interactive and Tamiya. Decals kit and from the spares box.
  10. Hi to all In addition to all the obligations, i finally managed to finish one model AZ Model Messerschmitt in version E7. I was intrigued with those specific markings, because I did not know that this lunatic (Reinhard Heydrich) flew. Pity that he survived when he was shot down, probably more of unhappy people from Czechoslovakia/Prague would survive the war.. All in all, the standard AZ model, with few additions, AK REAL colours, and minimal weathering, as his plane did not fly long before it were shot down. I hope you like the model. Wish you all Merry Christmas and all best in New Year, best regards Djordje
  11. Bf.109G-6 with W.Gr.21 (AZ7862) 1:72 AZ Model by Kovozávody Prostějov With almost 34,000 examples manufactured over a 10-year period, the Messerschmitt Bf.109 is one of the most widely produced aircraft in history, and it saw active service in every theatre in which German armed forces were engaged. Designed in the mid-1930s, the Bf.109 shared a similar technical configuration to the Spitfire, employing monocoque construction and V12 engine, albeit an inverted V with fuel injection rather than a carburettor used in the Spit, and a much more angular outline. Initially designed as a lightweight interceptor, like many German types during WWII, the Bf.109 evolved far beyond its original brief into a bomber escort, fighter bomber, night fighter, ground-attack and reconnaissance platform. The Bf.109G series, colloquially known as the Gustav, was first produced in 1942. The airframe and wing were extensively modified to accommodate a more powerful engine, greater internal fuel capacity and additional armour. In contrast to early 109s, which were powered by engines delivering less than 700hp, some of the later Gustavs could output almost 2000hp with water injection and high-performance superchargers. The Gustav series accounted for a dizzying array of sub-variants, some of which featured a larger tail of wooden construction. Odd number suffixed aircraft had pressurised cockpits for high altitude operation, Erla Haube clear view canopy with clear rear head armour, underwing points for tanks, cannon or rockets and larger main wheels resulting in square fairings on the inner upper wings to accommodate them. The K series or Kurt replaced the Gustavs, and was an attempt by the RLM to standardise production after the myriad of Gustav sub-variants, adding large rectangular blisters on the upper wings to accommodate wider wheels, and a more powerful variant of the DB engine that could propel it to around 440mph on a good day with the right fuelling. Despite the difficulties experienced in manufacture at that late stage of the war, a few thousand of them were produced before the end, although the lack of well-trained pilots at that stage was more of an issue. The Kit This is a reboxing of AZ’s original tooling from 2014, with some new parts along the way, and the inclusion of the newly tooled weapons and accessories set that we reviewed recently here to add value to the package. It’s a well-detailed kit with deeply moulded features in the cockpit sidewalls, details in the wheel wells, and subtle exterior detail too. It arrives in a small end-opening box with an attractive painting of the subject matter sporting a red tulip nose on the front, and the decal option profiles on the rear. Inside are three sprues in grey styrene, a tiny clear sprue in its own Ziploc bag, two decal sheets and the instruction booklet. You will need to pay attention to the sprues and instruction steps, as there are several variants catered for on the sheet, so take care which parts you use to prevent mistakes. Construction begins with the cockpit, which is well-detailed as previously mentioned, consisting of the floor with rear bulkhead, seat base, rudder pedals, control column, trim wheels, gunsight, a well-recessed instrument panel (sadly no decal), and the afore mentioned moulded-in side wall detail, plus the forward bulkhead, which has the cannon-breech cover inserted before it is added to the front of the assembly, onto which the rudder pedals fit. It is glued into the starboard fuselage half when completed, and the exhaust stacks are slipped through the slots in the cowling on both sides ready to be closed. There is a top cowling insert added later to complete the fuselage, which has the two nose machine gun troughs and a pair of gun barrels moulded-in. The G-6 has an additional flash hider on the port exhausts, and an oil-cooler bay under the nose, adding radiator cores into the wing-mounted bays, trimming where necessary. The lower wing is full-width except for the tips, which are moulded into the upper surfaces for fidelity, and these have the uppers glued over and the radiator flaps inserted, all of which gets a coat of RLM02 on the inside, like much of the interior. The wings and the fuselage are mated, then the landing gear is prepped, although they’re best left off the model until later. The struts have the scissor-links moulded-in, separate wheels and captive bay doors, using the skinnier tyres in preference to the later wide ones that are left on the sprue. A combined fin and rudder or separate fin and rudder can be applied to the rear, fitting the prominent Beule of the G series after removing a tab that was added in later marks, and head armour that is either moulded clear because it has a section of armoured glass in the centre, or solid. The elevators are both moulded as a single part, and attach to the tail in the usual slot and tab manner, then the prop with broad blades is made up with the appropriate front and back spinner parts, sliding into the hole in the flat front of the fuselage. The fixed tail wheel and a blanking insert for the bay are fixed under the rear, and the single-part clear framed canopy with angular framing covers the cockpit with a choice of two styles of aerial masts behind the cockpit. Aileron horn balances, additional cannons in fairings under the wings, an extra fuel tank on a pylon under the belly, plus a pitot probe at the tip of the port wing. The two-part supercharger air intake on the port side of the cowling is last to be fixed on its raised mounting. Weapons & Accessories Set The weapons & accessories included with this boxing adds extra value to the package that means you effectively get the aircraft for very little money. The set’s tooling is also brand-new, and we’ve reviewed it here recently. There you will find the W.Gr.21 rocket pods that can be fitted under the wings instead of the cannon fairings. These rockets were intended to be fired into the bomber stream semi-randomly, in the hope that the explosion would cause damage and panic the bombers into breaking formation, thus leaving them vulnerable to individual fighters to destroy. Note that the rockets were fitted to the wings with a distinctive nose-up attitude to take the line of flight and ballistic drop into account after firing. Markings There are three options on the main decal sheet, while the separate sheet contains all the stencils, which is good to see at this scale. From the box you can build one of the following: The decals are printed using a digital process and have good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut loosely around the printed areas. This means that the carrier film on their decals can be coaxed away from the printed part of the decal after they have been applied, effectively rendering them carrier film free, making the completed decals much thinner and more realistic, and obviating the need to apply successive coats of clear varnish to hide the edges of the carrier film. It’s a great step further in realism from my point of view, and saves a good quantity of precious modelling time into the bargain. Conclusion Some interesting markings and camouflage options, including the famous red tulip motif on the nose of one. The detail on the kit is good, and the inclusion of the weapons & accessories set really increases the value, with ground equipment included to widen the appeal even more. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  12. German Luftwaffe Weapons Set and Accessories (AZ7860) 1:72 AZ Model by Kovozávody Prostějov During WWII, aircraft on all sides were loaded down with additional weapons as the war rolled on, including rocket pods, bombs of different weights, and the equipment needed to load them in addition to the run-of-the-mill repairs and maintenance of the ground-crew’s charges, refilling and topping off the life-giving fluids that made the aircraft move during the process. The Kit This brand-new set includes numerous pieces of equipment found on, under and around Luftwaffe aircraft during WWII in one handy place. Not all the assemblies go bang when you drop them, and there is a smattering of tools, equipment and other items mixed in for good measure. The kit arrives in a small end-opening box with a selection of the supplied parts laid out in colour in front of a greyed-out 109, with a little text above making it totally clear that the aircraft isn’t included, as some folks need extra information before it sinks in. Inside the box is a single sprue of grey styrene and a sheet of instructions on both sides of a sheet of A5 paper, printed in black and red. As it is a new tooling that was designed using CAD-CAM software, the finesse and detail is crisp and modern-looking, so should work well with a Bf.109 kit of any brand to add some interest and ground-handling equipment that increases the individuality further. The back of the box gives a full visual indication of what’s included in the box, which is as follows: 2 x Watering cans 2 x Buckets 2 x Chocks 2 x Tool Boxes 1 x Fuel Tank (Late War, we think) 2 x W.Gr.21 Rocket Pods with rockets inside 2 x Fuel Drum 1 x Manual Fuel Pump 1 x 500KG Bomb on Centreline Mount 4 x 50KG Bombs on Large Centreline Mount 1 x Fire Extinguisher on two-wheeled Cart 1 x Bomb Carrier Cart with Lifting Arm The watering cans are made from two halves plus the handle, the bucket a single part with handle, while each of the chocks have a T-shaped struts inserted. The toolbox is another three-part accessory, and the fuel tank is a simple two-parter. The pair of W.Gr.21 rocket pods are built from a two-part launch tube that has two pairs of supports that insert on a C-shaped portion of the tubes, adding the rocket in the rear. To top-up the fuel, there are two fuel drums, and one hand-cranked pump that inserts in the drum’s filler along with the crank, and a choice of two types of nozzles that will need some wire from your stock to represent the hose. The big bomb body is in two halves, and has two pairs of fins inserted into the rear at right angles to one another, adding four ‘screamer’ whistles to the fins, then mounting it on a curved base via two sway-braces. The smaller bombs are each two parts including the fins, each one fitting into the large base in recesses. The bomb carrier cart is the most complex assembly, consisting of sixteen parts, including three small wheels and the crutch that carries the bomb, raising it by moving the handle above the pivot to pump it up into position. The last assembly is a large fire extinguisher with a flared nozzle on the hose, mounted on a tubular frame that is raised to an angle, using the top of the tubular frame as a pull-handle and rolling along on two cart-style wheels, totalling ten parts overall. Markings There are no decals, and no painting guide to speak of, but there are colour cues on the front of the box that should help you choose the correct shades for these accessories. Conclusion Whilst many recently tooled Luftwaffe models do include some weapons, these are extremely well-detailed compared to the usual kit parts, and the accessories won’t be in any kit that I’ve seen, and certainly not as detailed. It’s all in there, and certainly won’t break the bank. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  13. Beech Travel(L)er Mk.I (AZ7858) 1:72 AZ Model by Kovozávody Prostějov More well-known as the Beech Staggerwing due to its unusual wing arrangement, the Type 17 was first flown in 1932 and was intended to be a small business transport that was fast and well-appointed, with a fully enclosed cockpit to prevent the busy businessman from arriving dishevelled. It was built on a welded metal framework that was covered with ribbing and fabric for a classic look, and the aerodynamics were improved once airborne by the fully retractable undercarriage with aerodynamically smooth doors, a luxury that was uncommon at the time. An upgrade a few years later increased the length of the fuselage and improved control layout, although some further amendments were made following some incidents that resulted in crashes, often a combination of weather conditions and flutter of the flying surfaces, which was solved by stiffening the wings and balancing the flying surfaces with lead. The speed of the type was such that it was popular with air racers in the early 30s, and when war loomed in Europe, its speed and agility was pressed into service with the US military as a communications and messenger aircraft as the UC-43 Traveler (sic), with few changes needed thanks to its existing capability and new occupation. Some private airframes were requisitioned by the US military, and by 1939 the British were looking for a small number to fulfil the same job as it was used for in the US, with 106 taken on charge under the Lend/Lease programme as the Traveller Mk.1, adding the extra L that is appropriate to the English spelling, and stops my eye corner from twitching. They served throughout the war, many of the British aircraft under the auspices of the Royal Navy. Only a few new airframes were built following WWII before it was superseded, with fewer than 20 manufactured post-war. The Type 17 was a much-loved aircraft, which resulted in many being taken on for civilian service after being struck-off from military rosters, many of which survived long after the end of the conflict, some remaining in flying condition today. The Kit Although the base kit was first tooled in 1999, a more recent vintage clear sprue has been engineered to ease completion of the model, and this reboxing includes those parts, as well as new decal options and a new box with a painting of a brace of Travellers in Pacific Theatre camouflage that have the central red-spot missing from their roundels to avoid friendly fire. The kit arrives in a small end-opening box, and inside is a resealable clear foil bag that contains a single sprue of grey styrene, plus a Ziploc bag with clear parts, decal sheet and instruction booklet that is printed in colour on a folded sheet of A4, with the painting and decaling instructions to be found on the rear of the box, but if you accidentally recycle it too soon, you can always find the details on their website. Detail is good considering the age of the tooling, and there is plenty of fabric covered ribbing moulded into the exterior, and very little in the way of flash on the parts. Construction begins with the interior, fitting a single seat in the front along with rudder pedals, up-and-over control yoke, adding a bench seat for the passengers in the rear, all of which are made from base and backrests that are glued together along the diagonal mating line. The instrument panel fixes to the front of the floor, with two side walls bracketing the entire compartment except for the very rear. The engine is depicted as cylinder bank that is fixed to a bulkhead at the back, which slips into the two-part cowling, adding exhaust outlets on both the lower sides. As with the cockpit, painting guidance is included throughout the entire build process. The cockpit is trapped between the two fuselage halves, inserting a bulkhead into the rear, and side windows under the upper wing roots. Once you have dealt with the fuselage seam in your own preferred manner, a small fairing is applied to the cabin roof between the wings, then the elevators and fin with moulded-in flying surfaces are butt-jointed to the rear, although pinning them in position would give the assembly more strength. A pair of balances are fitted under the elevator surfaces, but these might be best left off until after painting, installing the engine in its cowling to the front. The canopy is moulded as two mirror-imaged parts that form a U-shape along a convenient frame-line in the windscreen cut-out, taking care to choose your glue wisely to prevent fogging. Beneath the windscreen are a pair of raised outlets that are applied to the surface of the skin between it and the engine cowling. The lower wings fit into their locations via slots and tabs, linked to the upper wings by aerodynamically faired struts near the outer edges. The upper wings mate to the roofline via butt-joints, and would again benefit from pinning into position for strength. There is a rigging diagram on the back page of the instructions that should help with location, and the box art will doubtless resolve any confusion that may linger. A two-blade prop is slotted into the centre of the engine, adding an intake under the chin, and two-part fairings for the space under the cabin, forming around the retractable main gear bays. The tail wheel is inserted into a hole in its bay, cutting the bay door part in two and gluing one half on each side of the bay. The main gear legs each comprise a pair of Y-shaped struts, one holding the wheel, the other performing retraction duties. The gear bay doors are supplied moulded as a single part, and for wheels down should be cut in half, then have the smaller semi-circular sections removed and glued back at a sharp angle. The doors are then glued to the outer sides of the legs, with another small trapezoid door fitted to a diagonal portion of the bay, with a scrap diagram showing that the semi-circular doors should attach parallel to the ground. Going back to the rigging diagram again for a moment, many of the rigging points on the wings have raised lozenge or round strengtheners moulded-in to assist you with location of the holes, which you are advised to use wire or thread of diameter 0.2mm for fidelity. The pitot probe in the upper port wing must be made from your own stock of 0.35mm diameter, which you can make from brass for strength, stretched sprue for frugality, or a length of styrene rod for ease. Markings There are three decal options on the sheet, all of which are in British or Commonwealth camo, so should really have a double-L in their Traveller. Of the two brown/green camouflage options, one is a VIP transport and has yellow undersides to its wings and elevators to keep it extra safe from friendly fire. From the box you can build one of the following: The decals are printed using a digital process and have good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut loosely around the printed areas. This means that the carrier film on their decals can be coaxed away from the printed part of the decal after they have been applied, effectively rendering them carrier film free, making the completed decals much thinner and more realistic, and obviating the need to apply successive coats of clear varnish to hide the edges of the carrier film. It’s a great step further in realism from my point of view, and saves a good quantity of precious modelling time into the bargain. Conclusion The Traveller is a graceful aircraft even by today’s standards with rakish slope of the sweeping canopy that matches the step of the wings. The new canopy parts should ease the build, and a rather nice choice of decal options rounds out the package. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  14. Heinkel He.162B-5 Volksjäger ’46 (AZ7855) AZ Model by Kovozávody Prostějov As the tide of war turned against Nazi Germany, defensive action became more important than attack and expansion of the Reich, and aviation designs were called for under the jingoistic Volksjäger project, which translates to “People’s Fighter”. It was a specification that called for a jet engine point-defence fighter that was cheap to produce, used few strategic materials, could be piloted by a relatively unskilled pilot, and could be built in large numbers to break-up the Allied bomber streams that were pounding military production facilities and cities into rubble on a daily basis. Heinkel’s submission to the programme was the diminutive He.162 that was barely as large as a Bf.109, with short wingspan, a small fuselage that was low to the ground on squat landing gear, which assisted in repair and maintenance of the single jet engine mounted on top of the fuselage just behind the pilot’s canopy. This unfortunate juxtaposition resulted in an early ejection seat being fitted in the tiny cockpit, which would push the pilot clear of the engine intake, but with no anti-flail protection, it was as likely to injure or kill the pilot as save him. The slender fuselage meant that a low fuel load also contributed to a short 20 minute flight time, and there was also little room for armament, which consisted of two 20mm or 30mm autocannons mounted under the cockpit’s side consoles, firing through troughs under the nose. Once the initial issues were resolved, the aircraft was found to be an excellent and quick light fighter, but it wasn’t really simple enough to be flown by a novice pilot. Although it was simply engineered and was partly made of laminated wood, the parlous state of the German aviation industry meant that production was slower than anticipated, and only around 1,000 of the A-series type were completed or under construction by the end of the war, many of which remained grounded due to shortages of spares, fuel, pilots or any combination of the three, so very few saw action at squadron level before the end of the war, reaching service in April 1945, barely a month before the end. The training airframes were sometimes pressed into service in emergencies and racked up some kills, although ejection was highly dangerous, and the structure of the aircraft was known to have some issues, especially with the rudders. The B-series designs were intended to see action in 1946, but the end of the war curtailed development, so they remained predominantly paper-projects. The B was to have a longer fuselage to accommodate more fuel, larger wings, and a more powerful Heinkel designed jet engine, and straight wings with a lower dihedral. Pulsejet power units of the type used in the V-1 flying bomb were briefly considered, but their lack of power and need for a pre-existing airflow to start the engines meant that they were dismissed as a viable source of motive power. The Kit The war ended in 1945, but this kit assumes that hostilities had continued, and pulsejets were used as an alternative form of propulsion. It is based on the 2021 tooling of the A-2 Salamander kit, adding new parts for the engines and their mounts, plus a revised fuselage without the jet engine fairings. The kit arrives in an end-opening box with two sprues of grey styrene, a clear canopy part, decal sheet and the instruction booklet inside, the latter printed in colour on a sheet of folded A4 that covers all six of the B-series variants, so you’ll need to follow the instructions carefully to ensure you built the correct B-5 version with a single pulsejet and straight wingtips. Detail is good with crisply engraved panel lines throughout, a well-appointed cockpit, landing gear bays and even RATO pods for take-off assistance. Construction begins with the nose gear bay, which is built from two halves that have the rudder pedals mounted on each side, as the fuselage is that cramped. The simple ejection seat has decal belts, and a strip that joins the control column to the base, fitting the seat to the sloped bulkhead at the rear. The instrument panel and coaming are joined together and a decal is applied to the dials, adding a gunsight to the centre, and here you could nip off the styrene “glass” and replace it with a piece of acetate sheet for a little extra realism if your hands are steady enough. The main gear bay is built as a single assembly from five parts, which is inserted in the lower fuselage, while the cockpit, nose gear, instrument panel and two side consoles are added to the nose, painted and then the fuselage can be closed, making sure to add at least 10g of nose weight. The pulsejet engine is built from halves with a mesh panel in the front, and is mounted on a short pylon on the fuselage centreline, as marked in red on the instructions. As the engine is mounted further forward than some installations, an extension tube is added to the rear so that the jet efflux clears the tail of the aircraft. The V-tail is made from a one fin moulded into the rear fuselage insert, and this is joined by the other fin that is a separate part, as depicted in small scrap diagrams nearby. This variant has forward raked wings without anhedral wingtips, which are single parts that butt-join to the sides of the fuselage in the location picked out in red. Another scrap diagram shows the configuration from the front along with the other possibilities. Each variant shares the same landing gear, the nose strut equipped with a single wheel that is trapped by the two-part yoke, and the bay door opens down to the port side. The main gear struts have trailing scissor-links and forward-facing retraction jacks that have a single wheel on a stub axle perpendicular to the strut. They are shown fitted in the bare bay assembly so you can see all the location points properly. The bay doors open up and outward, and are each a single part, with detail moulded into the interior. An optional gun pack can be added under the centreline, and a pair of two-part RATO pods can be glued to the sides of the fuselage behind the main bay doors, their locations again marked in red. The final part is the canopy, which is moulded as a single part and glues into the cut-out over the cockpit. Markings There are three decal options on the sheet, with four-view profiles on the back of the box in full colour that have colour names rather than any maker’s paint codes to guide you. From the box you can build one of the following: The decals are printed using a digital process and have good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut loosely around the printed areas. This means that the carrier film on their decals can be coaxed away from the printed part of the decal after they have been applied, effectively rendering them carrier film free, making the completed decals much thinner and more realistic, and obviating the need to apply successive coats of clear varnish to hide the edges of the carrier film. It’s a great step further in realism from my point of view, and saves a good quantity of precious modelling time into the bargain. Conclusion Luft’46 is interesting to some and not to others, which is fine, as life would be dull if we all liked the same thing. I like it, and forward swept wings with a pulsejet is definitely out of the ordinary. A nicely detailed model that won’t take up much room in the cabinet, and with some interesting decal options. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  15. Heinkel He.162B-3 Volksjäger ’46 (AZ7853) AZ Model by Kovozávody Prostějov As the tide of war turned against Nazi Germany, defence became of greater importance than attack and expansion of the Reich, and aviation designs were called for under the jingoistic Volksjäger project, which translates to “People’s Fighter”, but was also known as the Emergency Fighter Programme. It was a specification that called for a jet engine point-defence fighter that was cheap to produce, used minimal strategic materials, could be piloted by a relatively unskilled pilot, and could be built in large numbers to break-up the Allied bomber streams that were pounding military production facilities and cities into rubble on a daily basis. Heinkel’s submission to the programme was the diminutive He.162 that was barely as large as a Bf.109, with narrow wings, a small fuselage that was low to the ground on short landing gear, which assisted in repair and maintenance of the engine mounted on top of the fuselage just behind the pilot’s canopy. This dangerous juxtaposition resulted in an early ejection seat being fitted in the tiny cockpit, which when triggered would push the pilot clear of the engine intake by an explosive cartridge, but with no anti-flail protection, it was as likely to injure or kill the pilot as save him, which sometimes happened. The slender fuselage meant that a low fuel load also contributed to short range and flight time, and there was little room for armament, which consisted of two 20mm or 30mm autocannons mounted under the cockpit’s side consoles, firing through troughs under the nose. Once the initial issues were resolved, the aircraft was found to be an excellent light fighter, but it wasn’t simple enough to be flown by a novice pilot. Although it was simple to produce and was partly made of laminated wood, the parlous state of the German aviation industry meant that production was slower than anticipated, and only around 1,000 of the A-series type were completed or under construction, many of which remained grounded due to shortages of spares, fuel, pilots or any combination of the three, so very few saw action at squadron level before the end of the war, reaching service in April 1945, barely a month before the end of WWII. The airframes of the training groups were sometimes pressed into service in emergencies, and racked up some kills, although ejection was dangerous, as was the structure of the aircraft, which was known to have some issues, especially with the rudders. The B-series designs were intended to see action in 1946, but the end of the war curtailed development, so they remained predominantly paper-projects. The B was to have a longer fuselage to accommodate more fuel, larger wings, and a more powerful Heinkel designed jet engine, and straight wings with a lower dihedral. Pulsejet power units of the type used in the V-1 flying bomb were briefly considered, but their lack of power and need for airflow in order to start the engines meant that they were dismissed as a viable source of motive power. The Kit The war ended in 1945, but this kit assumes that hostilities had continued, and pulsejets were used as an alternative form of propulsion. It is based on the 2021 tooling of the A-2 Salamander kit, adding new parts for the engines and their mounts, plus the revised fuselage without the jet engine fairings. The kit arrives in an end-opening box with two sprues of grey styrene, a clear canopy part, decal sheet and the instruction booklet inside, the latter printed in colour on a sheet of folded A4 that covers all six of the B-series variants, so you’ll need to follow the instructions carefully to ensure you build the correct version with twin pulsejets and anhedral wingtips. Detail is good with crisply engraved panel lines throughout, a well-appointed cockpit, landing gear bays and even RATO pods for take-off assistance. Construction begins with the nose gear bay, which is built from two halves that have the rudder pedals mounted on each side, as the fuselage is extremely cramped. The simple ejection seat has decal belts, and a strip that joins the control column to the base, fitting the seat to the sloped bulkhead at the rear. The instrument panel and coaming are joined together and a decal applied to the dials, adding a gunsight to the centre, and here you could nip off the grey styrene “glass” and replace it with a piece of acetate sheet for a little extra realism if your hands are steady enough. The main gear bay is built as a single assembly from five parts, which is inserted in the lower fuselage, while the cockpit, nose gear, instrument panel and two side consoles are added to the nose, painted, after which the fuselage can be closed, making sure to add at least 10g of nose weight. Two pulsejet engines are built from halves with a mesh panel in the front, and these are mounted on short pylons on either side of the fuselage centreline, as marked in red on the instructions. The H-tail is made from a shallow V-shaped elevator that fits on the rear fuselage insert, and has the fins with moulded-in rudders fixed at right-angles to the elevators, as depicted in small scrap diagrams nearby. As already mentioned, this variant’s wings have anhedral wingtips, which are single parts that butt-join to the sides of the fuselage in the locations picked out in red. Another scrap diagram shows the configuration from the front along with the other possibilities. Each variant shares the same landing gear, the nose strut equipped with a single wheel that is trapped by the two-part yoke, and the bay door opens down to the port side. The main gear struts have trailing scissor-links and forward retraction jacks that have a single wheel on a stub axle perpendicular to the strut. They are shown fitted in the bare bay assembly so you can see all the location points properly. The bay doors open up and outward, and are each a single part, with detail moulded into the inside face. An optional gun pack can be added under the centreline, and a pair of two-part RATO pods can be glued to the sides of the fuselage behind the main bay doors, their locations again marked in red. The final task is the canopy, which is moulded as a single part and glues into the cut-out over the cockpit. Markings There are three decal options on the sheet, with four-view profiles on the back of the box in full colour that have colour names rather than any maker’s paint codes to guide you. From the box you can build one of the following: The decals are printed using a digital process and have good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut loosely around the printed areas. This means that the carrier film on their decals can be coaxed away from the printed part of the decal after they have been applied, effectively rendering them carrier film free, making the completed decals much thinner and more realistic, and obviating the need to apply successive coats of clear varnish to hide the edges of the carrier film. It’s a great step further in realism from my point of view, and saves a good quantity of precious modelling time into the bargain. Conclusion Luft’46 is interesting to some and not to others, which is fine, as life would be dull if we all liked the same thing. I like it, and twin pulsejets sounds like a heap of fun. A nicely detailed model that won’t take up much room in the cabinet, and it comes with some interesting decal options. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  16. Fieseler Fi.167 Over the Balkans (AZ7845) 1:72 AZ Model by Kovozávody Prostějov While Germany still harboured the desire to be a major naval power that could rival the British Royal Navy, they began a huge expansion of their Kriegsmarine that included gigantic battleships such as the Bismark and her sister ship Tirpitz, and their first aircraft carrier, named DKM Graf Zeppelin. They needed aircraft to fly from their carrier(s), so a development of the Bf.109 and the Ju.87 Stuka were commissioned in preparation. A torpedo bomber was also part of the requirement, and the specification was issued for a full metal biplane that could fulfil the need, as well as being capable of dive-bombing. In a competition with Arado, the Fieseler design won the day, and a prototype was ordered, followed by some pre-series production airframes for assessment and flight testing. It turned out to more than meet the requirements set down, being able to 100% carry more weapons than the specification, and was also a pleasant aircraft to fly, with an impressive short-field performance that was a distinct advantage on an aircraft carrier with limited deck space. In fact, during testing one aircraft descended from 300m without moving forward from a point on the ground that was indicated for reference. When the Graf Zeppelin was cancelled and later reinstated, Fi.167 production was stopped soon after it started, and then was cancelled altogether when it was decided that the Stuka could carry out the dive-bombing task, and a torpedo bomber was no longer needed. Nine airframes were transferred into Luftwaffe service and sent to the coast of the Netherlands for trials. Upon their return they were sold to Croatia, who used their short-field abilities and load-carrying excellence to supply their troops, who were often fighting in difficult positions where traditional methods of supply wouldn’t work. On one such mission, the pilot of an Fi.167 was killed by a round from a trio of British Mustangs, but not before the gunner had claimed one of the Mustangs prior to bailing out. The aircraft subsequently crashed, and the fate of the rest of the nine was similar, with none surviving the post-war period. The Kit This is one of four boxings of a new tooling from AZ Model, and arrives in an end-opening boxing with a painting of the afore-mentioned incident on the front and the three decal options on the rear of the box. Inside the box are two sprues of grey styrene, a clear part in its own Ziploc bag, a colourful sheet of decals, and the instruction sheet, which is a folded A4 sheet printed in colour on both sides. Detail is good, including engraved panel lines, rippled fabric effect on the flying surfaces, plus raised and recessed details throughout the model. Construction begins with the cockpit floor, which is detailed with two seats, control column, mount for the gunner’s weapon, and a bulkhead between the two crew. The instrument panel is inserted into the starboard fuselage half, and a painting diagram is provided for the pilot’s panel and the gunner’s panel that is moulded into the back of the bulkhead. With the fuselage closed and the seams dealt with, the exhaust are added and the full-span lower wing is joined to the bottom of the fuselage, and the elevators are plugged into slots either side of the moulded-in tail fin. Inverting the model, the landing gear spats are installed, and these have moulded-in wheels, and the real struts could be jettisoned in the event of a water landing, reducing the chances of the aircraft cartwheeling when it touched down. An intake is fixed under the chin with a representation of the cooling surface glued inside, and a centreline pylon with separate sway-braces is glued between the landing gear, which has a pair of support struts fitted. The upper wing is also full-span, and mounts to the model via two N-shaped struts per wing, and another pair of N-shaped cabane struts that locate in recesses on the fuselage sides. A small diagram shows the bracing wires in simplified detail, but this is best viewed in association with the box art, which shows that they are double-strung, and there are also twin wires linking the ailerons together behind one of the struts. Another pair of supports are fitted to the tail fin and elevators, with a scrap diagram showing how they should look from behind. The tail-wheel has a V-shaped arrestor hook in front of it, and the four-part torpedo on the centre pylon if you feel the urge to portray a test aircraft or a what-if option instead of the decal options. The prop consists of a back-plate to which the individual blades are attached, to be covered by the spinner, with a drive-shaft fitted to the rear to insert into the front of the fuselage. An aerial is mounted near the leading edge of the upper wing, with an aerial wire joining it to the tail fin. The machine gun with dual drum magazines are fitted to the rear of the cockpit cut-out before the canopy is glued in place, which is moulded as a single part with the rear section tipped up in preparation for action. Markings There are three decal options on the sheet, and they are all sufficiently different to have a broad appeal to many. From the box you can build one of the following: The decals are printed using a digital process and have good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut loosely around the printed areas. This means that the carrier film on their decals can be coaxed away from the printed part of the decal after they have been applied, effectively rendering them carrier film free, making the completed decals much thinner and more realistic, and obviating the need to apply successive coats of clear varnish to hide the edges of the carrier film. It’s a great step further in realism from my point of view, and saves a good quantity of precious modelling time into the bargain. Conclusion I’m a little jealous that I can’t have one of these in 1:48, but it’s a nice model of a very rare aircraft that saw some unusual service toward the end of the war and beyond, changing hands in between times. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  17. Sabrekits is to reissue the AZmodel 1/72nd Aero HC-2/HC-102 Heli Baby with upgrades. Source: https://www.facebook.com/Sabrekits.cz/posts/pfbid02rDUYfeErKawp2AdQe3LVN2McGKT5DzxQFBNwEaYRsasyirFayJHkCRnrpuibyVYxl V.P.
  18. Bf.109K-14 Late (AZ7850) 1:72 AZ Model by Kovozávody Prostějov With almost 34,000 examples constructed over a 10-year period, the Messerschmitt Bf.109 is one of the most widely produced aircraft in history and it saw active service in every theatre in which German armed forces were engaged. Designed in the mid-1930s, the Bf.109 shared a similar configuration to the Spitfire, deploying monocoque construction and V12 engine, albeit an inverted V with fuel injection rather than a carburettor used in the Spit. Initially designed as a lightweight interceptor, like many German types during WWII, the Bf.109 evolved beyond its original brief into a bomber escort, fighter bomber, night fighter, ground-attack and reconnaissance platform. The Bf.109G series, colloquially known as the Gustav, was first produced in 1942. The airframe and wing were extensively modified to accommodate a more powerful engine, greater internal fuel capacity and additional armour. In contrast to early 109s, which were powered by engines delivering less than 700hp, some of the later Gustavs could output almost 2000hp with water injection and high-performance superchargers. The Gustav series accounted for a dizzying array of sub-variants, some of which featured a larger tail of wooden construction. Odd number suffixed aircraft had pressurised cockpits for high altitude operation, Erla Haube clear view canopy with clear rear head armour, underwing points for tanks, cannon or rockets and larger main wheels resulting in square fairings on the inner upper wings to accommodate them. The K series or Kurt was an attempt by the RLM to standardise production after the myriad of Gustav sub-variants, adding large rectangular blisters on the upper wings to accommodate wider wheels, and a more powerful variant of the DB engine that could propel it to around 440mph on a good day with the right fueling. Despite the difficulties experienced in manufacture at that late stage of the war, a few thousand of them were produced before the end, although the lack of well-trained pilots was more of an issue. The Kit This is a reboxing of AZ’s original tooling from 2014, with some new parts somewhere along the way. It’s a well-detailed kit with moulded-in equipment in the cockpit sidewalls, details in the wheel wells, and subtle exterior detail too, especially on the fuselage parts. It arrives in a small end-opening box with an attractive painting of the subject matter sporting a violet nose on the front, and the decal option profiles on the rear. Inside are three sprues in grey styrene, a tiny clear sprue in its own Ziploc bag, two decal sheets and the instruction booklet. You will need to pay attention to the sprues, as there are four fuselage halves in the box, due to the earlier G fuselage being on the same sprue as the wings, which will be needed. Construction begins with the cockpit, which is well-detailed as previously mentioned, consisting of the floor with rear bulkhead, seat base, rudder pedals, control column, trim wheels, gunsight, a well-recessed instrument panel (sadly no decal, despite the instructions mentioning one), and the moulded-in side wall detail, plus the forward bulkhead, which has the cannon-breech cover inserted before it is added to the front of the assembly. It is glued into the new starboard fuselage half when completed, and the exhaust stacks are slipped through the slots in the cowling on both sides ready to be closed. There is a top cowling insert added later to complete the fuselage, which has the two nose machine gun troughs and a pair of gun barrels on a carrier insert, a combined fin and rudder, while the fuselage has a smoothly faired side to that lacks the prominent Beule of the earlier G, and head armour that is moulded clear because it has a section of armoured glass in the centre. The lower wing is full-width except for the tips, which are moulded into the upper surfaces for fidelity, and these have the radiators depicted by front and rear faces inserted into the fairings after a little thinning, reducing their shape as per a set of scrap diagrams. The uppers are glued over and have the rectangular fairings laid over the previous half-moon blisters, and then you can paint the whole gear bays and insert the radiator flaps, which also get a coat of RLM66 on the inside, like most of the interior – I thought that the gear bays would still be RLM02, but what do I know? The wings and the fuselage are mated, then the landing gear is prepped, although they’re best left off until later. The struts have the scissor-links moulded-in, separate wheels and captive bay doors, using the wider tyres in preference to the earlier narrow ones that are left on the sprue. The elevators are both moulded as a single part, and attach to the tail in the usual slot and tab manner, then the prop with broader blades is made up with the appropriate front and back spinner parts, sliding into the hole in the flat front of the fuselage. The correct retractable tail wheel and two doors for the bay are fixed under the rear, and the single-part clear blown canopy with edge framing only on the canopy covers the cockpit with the D/F loop and fairing quite a way back down the spine. Aileron horn balances, chin intake, extra fuel tank and pylon or bomb, plus the outer bay doors are put on toward the end of the build, although many pilots would remove the outer doors in the field to save weight and reduce the number of things to maintain by two. The two-part air intake on the port side of the cowling is last to be fixed on its raised mounting. Markings There are three options on the main decal sheet, while the separate sheet contains all the stencils, which is good to see at this scale. From the box you can build one of the following: The decals are printed using a digital process and have good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut loosely around the printed areas. This means that the carrier film on their decals can be coaxed away from the printed part of the decal after they have been applied, effectively rendering them carrier film free, making the completed decals much thinner and more realistic, and obviating the need to apply successive coats of clear varnish to hide the edges of the carrier film. It’s a great step further in realism from my point of view, and saves a good quantity of precious modelling time into the bargain. Conclusion Some interesting markings and camouflage options that appear to be dated just after WWII, although a little research on both the named pilots indicates that Herman Graf went missing late in the war, while Willi Maximowitz was languishing in a Soviet gulag at the time he was supposed to be flying the violet-nosed option. Perhaps they’re what-if markings? Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  19. INTRO Consider this Hurricane 1/72 to be my first kit. Comments and criticism are *welcome* My goal is to try techniques that I can use later for a personally-meaningful Ventura 1/48. This is my place to try and fail and fix HISTORICAL PLANE I am building this 127 Squadron RCAF Hurricane Mk.XII, C/N 1080, serial 5655, code 1-Z, named "Kitchener." School children from Kitchener, ON raised $25,000 to help pay for the plane. In 1943, 127 Squadron in Dartmouth, NS was regularly flying Hurricanes over to 34 OTU Pennfield, NB to cooperate with crews who were training on Ventura bombers. On Aug. 21, 1943 P/O Paul Piche belly-landed his Hurricane at Pennfield Ridge, NB when he forgot to lower the landing gear. Can you believe that he'd started his career as a flight instructor? I plan to model this crash as the meeting of a plane and a pilot in a place. Within six days, the plane was flying again. A year later on Sept 18, 1944, the plane crashed again. It was moved into storage, then sold off in June, 1946 with 715:00 airframe hours. HISTORICAL PILOT LPE "Paul" Piche was a Quebecer who moved to New London, Connecticut when he was 13. During the Depression, he married, fathered several girls, worked at a theatre and managed a gas station. In Dec. 1940 aged 30, he enlisted with the RCAF in Montreal. At 5'7 and 139 pounds the blue-eyed, fair-skinned Piche was summed up by the recruiter as follows: "Does not appear to be very rugged type." In Piche's favour, he had nearly 400 hours of flying experience. However, he also had a $11,000 debt from buying a 4-seater plane. Perhaps a Stinson or Fairchild. Asked for his plan after the war, he wrote "keep on flying." Piche trained as a flight instructor and performed those duties until Summer 1943 when he earned a commission and moved to 127 Squadron to fly Hurricanes. After the wheels-up landing at Pennfield, he was uninjured and soon flying again. In 1944 he followed 127 Squadron to the UK where it transformed into 443 Squadron, flying Spitfires. Piche died in October 1944 when his Auster took a 25mm shell to the exhaust manifold. He'd drifted over enemy lines in Venray, Netherlands while ferrying a pilot to pick up a Spitfire. CHOICES I bought the AZModel MK.IID limited run kit (OK it was the wrong kit for an XII but I'll make the best of it... I was clueless at the time) I'm geared up for Vallejo Model Air acrylics and an airbrush. (I've practised already -- great fun) So far I've spent a lot of time cleaning parts on the sprues. With no pegs and holes or guiding ridges, and pretty sparse instructions, this is definitely not a beginner kit. Ah well. I'm feeling very Zen about it. I'm a bit confused about some of the parts. I'll post about it later. My wife is taking a stab at 3D modelling the propeller replacement and the front of the engine you'd see without the spinner. We'll see how that goes.
  20. Here's mine for now. I have to get it in there. As my bench slowly clears I can add new builds. There are a couple on deck already, so this is a placeholder. The is the kit... And this is the profile. Nice paint job! Looks like at least two aircraft cobbled together... --John
  21. So with the 100th Anniversary of the Irish Air Corps this year, thought I would try my hand at one of their very first aircraft...and my first attempt at a biplane. AZ_Martinsyde_F4_Box by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr The Buzzard entered service with the Air Corps in the summer of 1922 and were the first aircraft and single seat fighter of the new force. I'm building this one in-flight so first step was to add a pilot - this fella was from the spares, with his head cut and repositioned. You can't tell but there is a panel, rudder pedals and joystick in there! AZ_Martinsyde_F4_Wip_1 by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr Lower wing and tail planes/rudder added. I've never built an AZ model before but it's going together fine - just taking my time as there are no locating pins or tabs. AZ_Martinsyde_F4_Wip_3 by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr The engine supplied is resin and looks the part but the instructions say you need to add the exhausts from rod or stretched sprue - i'll do those at the end. AZ_Martinsyde_F4_Wip_2 by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr Then with the top cowling added - the fit here was a bit iffy and the plastic is very soft so some filling will be needed. AZ_Martinsyde_F4_WIP_4 by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr More soon, thanks for looking! Cheers, Dermot
  22. Messerschmitt Bf.109K-4 ‘The Last Chance’ (AZ7819) 1:72 AZ Model With almost 34,000 examples constructed over a 10-year period, the Messerschmitt Bf.109 is one of the most widely produced aircraft in history and it saw active service in every theatre in which German armed forces were engaged. Designed in the mid-1930s, the Bf.109 shared a similar configuration to the Spitfire, deploying monocoque construction and V12 engine, albeit an inverted V with fuel injection rather than a carburettor used in the Spit. Initially designed as a lightweight interceptor, like many German types during WWII, the Bf.109 evolved beyond its original brief into a bomber escort, fighter bomber, night fighter, ground-attack and reconnaissance platform. The Bf.109G series, colloquially known as the Gustav, was first produced in 1942. The airframe and wing were extensively modified to accommodate a more powerful engine, greater internal fuel capacity and additional armour. In contrast to early 109s, which were powered by engines delivering less than 700hp, some of the later Gustavs could output almost 2000hp with water injection and high-performance superchargers. The Gustav series accounted for a dizzying array of sub-variants, some of which featured a larger tail of wooden construction. Odd number suffixed aircraft had pressurised cockpits for high altitude operation, Erla Haube clear view canopy with clear rear head armour, underwing points for tanks, cannon or rockets and larger main wheels resulting in square fairings on the inner upper wings to accommodate them. The K series or Kurt was an attempt by the RLM to standardise production after the myriad of Gustav sub-variants, adding large rectangular blisters on the upper wings to accommodate wider wheels, and a more powerful variant of the DB engine that could propel it to around 440mph on a good day with the right fueling. Despite the difficulties experienced in manufacture at that late stage of the war, a few thousand of them were produced before the end, although the lack of well-trained pilots was more of an issue. The Kit This is a reboxing of AZ’s original tooling from 2014, with some new parts somewhere along the way. It’s a well-detailed kit with moulded-in equipment in the cockpit sidewalls, details in the wheel wells, and subtle exterior detail too, especially on the new fuselage parts. It arrives in a small end-opening box with an attractive painting of the subject matter on the front, and the decal option profiles on the rear. Inside are three sprues in grey styrene, a tiny clear sprue in its own Ziploc bag, two decal sheets and the instruction booklet, which on my sample isn’t all that clearly printed, although it is legible. You will need to pay attention to the sprues, as there are four fuselage halves in the box, due to the earlier G fuselage being on the same sprue as the wings, which will be needed. Construction begins with the cockpit, which is well-detailed as previously mentioned, consisting of the floor with rear bulkhead, seat base, rudder pedals, control column, trim wheels, gunsight, a well-recessed instrument panel (sadly no decal, despite the instructions mentioning one), and the moulded-in side wall detail, plus the forward bulkhead, which has the cannon-breech cover inserted before it is added to the front of the assembly. It is glued into the new starboard fuselage half when completed, and the exhaust stacks are slipped through the slots in the cowling on both sides ready to be closed up. There is a top insert added later to complete the fuselage, which has the two nose machine gun troughs and C-shaped gun insert, a combined fin and rudder, while the fuselage has a nicely faired side to obviate the prominent Beule of the earlier G, and head armour that is moulded clear because it has a section of armoured glass in the centre. The lower wing is full-width except for the tips, which are moulded into the upper surfaces for fidelity, and these have the radiators depicted by front and rear faces inserted into the fairings, reducing their size and shape as per a set of scrap diagrams. The uppers are glued over and have the rectangular fairings laid over the previous half-moon blisters, and then you can paint the whole gear bays and insert the radiator flaps, which also get a coat of RLM66 on the inside, like the majority of the interior – I thought that the gear bays would still be RLM02, but what do I know? The wings and the fuselage are mated, then the landing gear is prepped, although they’re best left off until later. The struts have the scissor-links moulded-in, separate wheels and captive bay doors, using the wider tyres in preference to the earlier narrow ones that are left on the sprue. The elevators are both moulded as a single part, and attach to the tail in the usual slot and tab manner, then the prop with the broader blades is made up with the appropriate front and back spinner parts, sliding into the hole in the flat front of the fuselage. The correct retractable tail wheel and two doors for the bay are fixed under the rear, and the single-part Erla-Haube canopy with reduced framing covers over the cockpit with the relocated D/F fairing quite a way back down the spine. Horn balance, chin intake, extra fuel tank and pylon, plus the outer bay doors are put on toward the end of the build, although many pilots would remove the outer doors in the field to save weight and reduce the number of things to maintain by two. The two-part air intake on the port side of the cowling is last to be fixed on its raised mounting. Markings There are three options on the main decal sheet, while the separate sheet contains all the stencils, which is good to see at this scale. Two of these aircraft were captured or reused after the war, so are wearing their new owner’s markings, sometimes painted straight over the crosses of the defunct Luftwaffe, and these markings are included on the decal sheet. Where the old crosses and swastikas have been painted over however, you will be responsible for painting those, so be prepared for a little detail painting. From the box you can build one of the following: The decals are well-printed in good register, with a thin glossy carrier film close to the printed edges for the most part, but with a few a little larger. This shouldn’t cause too much of an issue however, as the film is thin and has a relatively soft edge. There are decal seatbelts on the sheet, which should add a little realism to your finished cockpit. Conclusion Some interesting markings and camouflage options that were in use before the end and just after WWII, and its final German variant of this aircraft into the bargain. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  23. Messerschmitt Bf.109G-6 ‘Captured’ (AZ7818) 1:72 AZ Model With almost 34,000 examples constructed over a 10-year period, the Messerschmitt Bf.109 is one of the most widely produced aircraft in history and it saw active service in every theatre in which German armed forces were engaged. Designed in the mid-1930s, the Bf.109 shared a similar configuration to the Spitfire, deploying monocoque construction and V12 engine, albeit an inverted V with fuel injection rather than a carburettor as used in the Spit. Initially designed as a lightweight interceptor, like many German types during WWII, the Bf.109 evolved beyond its original brief into a bomber escort, fighter bomber, night fighter, ground-attack and reconnaissance platform. The Bf.109G series, colloquially known as the Gustav, was first produced in 1942. The airframe and wing were extensively modified to accommodate a more powerful engine, greater internal fuel capacity and additional armour. In contrast to early 109s, which were powered by engines delivering less than 700hp, some of the later Gustavs could output almost 2000hp with water injection and high-performance superchargers. The Gustav series accounted for a dizzying array of sub-variants, some of which featured a larger tail of wooden construction. Odd number suffixed aircraft had pressurised cockpits for high altitude operation, Erla Haube clear view canopy with clear rear head armour, underwing points for tanks, cannon or rockets and larger main wheels resulting in square fairings on the inner upper wings to accommodate them. The Kit This is a reboxing of AZ’s original tooling from 2014, with some new parts somewhere along the way. It’s a well-detailed kit with moulded-in equipment in the cockpit sidewalls, details in the wheel wells, and subtle exterior detail too. It arrives in a small end-opening box with an attractive painting of the subject matter on the front, and the decal option profiles on the rear. Inside are two sprues in grey styrene, a tiny clear sprue in its own Ziploc bag, two decal sheets and the instruction booklet, which covers G-5/6,8 and G-14 variants. You will need to pay attention to the headings on the various steps to ensure you build the correct version, and some scribbling out of unnecessary steps could be a good plan if you’re forgetful like me. Construction begins with the cockpit, which is well-detailed as previously mentioned, consisting of the floor with rear bulkhead, seat base, rudder pedals, control column, trim wheels, gunsight, a well-recessed instrument panel (sadly no decal), and the moulded-in side wall detail, plus the forward bulkhead, which has the cannon-breech cover inserted before it is added to the front of the assembly. It is glued into the starboard fuselage half when completed, and the exhaust stacks are slipped through the slots in the cowling on both sides ready to be closed up, after which you can add the chin mounted oil-cooler fairing. There is a top insert added later to complete the fuselage, which has the central hinge-point of the cowlings moulded-in, as well as the two nose machine gun troughs, a section of the fin and a choice of two rudders, the prominent Beule fairings over the enlarged breeches of the nose armament, and a choice of head armour, one of which is clear because it has a section of armoured glass in the centre. Incidentally, the port Beule has a smaller fairing to the front, which should be cut off and made good unless you are building a tropical Gustav. The lower wing is full-width except for the tips, which are moulded into the upper surfaces for finesse, and these have the radiators depicted by front and rear faces inserted into the fairings, reducing their size if necessary. The uppers are glued over, and then you can paint the two gear bays and insert the radiator flaps, which also get a coat of RLM02 on the inside, like the majority of the interior. The wings and the fuselage are mated, then the landing gear is prepped, although they’re best left off until later. The struts have the scissor-links moulded-in, separate wheels and captive bay doors, using the narrower tyres in preference to the thicker ones that are left on the sprue. The elevators are both moulded as a single part, and attach to the tail in the usual slot and tab manner, then the prop with the broader blades is made up with the appropriate front and back spinner parts, sliding into the hole in the flat front of the fuselage. The correct tail wheel and insert to close the bay over are fixed under the rear, and the single-part canopy covers the cockpit with a choice of two styles of antennae. There are some additional parts on the sprues to add weapons and extra fuel to your model, with two-part MG 151/20 that depict field-modification or Rüstsatz VI, 20mm cannons in their own gondolas. A four-pronged palette under the centre of the wings is also included, although these were generally taken off captured aircraft. Markings There are three options on the main decal sheet, while the separate sheet contains all the stencils, which is good to see at this scale. These aircraft were captured, so are wearing their new owner’s markings, sometimes painted straight over the crosses of the then defunct Luftwaffe, and these background markings are included on the decal sheet. Where the old crosses and swastikas have been painted over however, you will be responsible for painting those, so be prepared for a little detail painting. From the box you can build one of the following: The decals are well-printed in good register, with a thin glossy carrier film close to the printed edges for the most part, but with a few that are a little larger. This shouldn’t cause too much of an issue however, as the film is thin and has a relatively soft edge. There are decal seatbelts on the sheet, which should add a little realism to your finished cockpit. Conclusion This boxing includes some interesting markings options that were in use before the end and just after WWII, and it’s an iconic variant of this aircraft into the bargain. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  24. HA-1112M-1L Buchon The Movie Star (AZ7669) & The Air Show Star (AZ7670) 1:72 AZ Model The Hispano Aviación HA-1112 was a licence-built version of the Messerschmitt Bf 109, manufactured in Spain but fitted with a variety of different powerplants. The M-1L was the final variant of the type and was named Buchón (Rock Dove). It was fitted with the Rolls Royce 27 Litre Merlin V12 and Rotol propeller, both readily available from UK postwar surplus. The new engine further altered the appearance of the HA-1112, giving it a prominent chin intake and intakes at the top of the cowling instead of the bottom for the inverted V of the DB engines originally used in wartime 109s. Although hopelessly outdated at the time of its introduction into service in the mid-1950s, the Buchón was considered to be perfectly adequate for its intended role helping to police Spanish territories in Africa. The availability of the anachronistic Buchón was a boon for postwar film makers however, who were famously able to use it in place of the Bf.109 in films such as Battle or Britain and Dunkirk, although many of us can spot one a mile away. They’re also sometimes seen at air shows in warbird guise, as they are a lot more readily available than Bf.109s, and the support infrastructure for Merlins is more common. The Kit These two kits are reboxings of the 2021 new tooling from AZ, and they depict the Buchon in either Movie guise or as an air show participant with identical plastic in both boxes, just the decals and the boxes that set them apart. They arrive in a small end-opening box with a painting of the subject on the front, and decal options on the rear, while inside are two sprues of grey styrene, a small Ziploc bag containing the clear parts, instructions and decals, all within a resealable clear foil bag. Construction begins with the cockpit, which is made up from a floor part with rear bulkhead and rear deck, plus instrument panel with raised details, sidewall details moulded into the fuselage, the control column, rudder pedals, trim wheel and separate base to the seat. The completed assembly fits within the fuselage halves along with the exhaust stacks and backing plate inserted from within before closure. The top cowling and chin intake are inserted into their slots, then it’s time to make up the wings, which have an almost full-width lower and two upper halves with the wingtips moulded-in. You have a choice of arranging the split flaps behind the radiator fairings according to the scrap diagrams, and a pair of fences are glued on the upper wing along an engraved guide line. The main gear legs are each single struts with separate wheels and bay door covers, and a scrap diagram shows the correct angle for them to be set. The tail-wheel is a single part, and there is a separate rudder, plus the four-blade prop with two-part spinner slipped into the hole in the nose. If you are portraying a movie star, the wingtips should be trimmed slightly according to a scrap diagram, and the cannon fairings on the leading edge of the wings should be removed and smoothed over, drilling a hole to insert a simple rod and adding two supports under the elevators. The movie version also has a WWII-style antenna added behind the canopy. For the Spanish version the wings are left as-is and the cannons are attached to the fairings with a choice of twin-rail unguided rockets under the wings. The horn balances on the ailerons are applied to both the movie and in-service airframes, although this isn’t made abundantly clear on the instructions. The canopy is moulded as a single part, but is clear and thin, as is the head armour part that installs in the cockpit behind the pilot. Markings Each boxing has three decal options on their sheet, with the layout printed on the rear of the box and reproduced below. From each box you can build one of the following: The Movie Star (AZ7669) The Air Show Star (AZ7670) The decals are well-printed with good registration, colour density and sharpness. The carrier film is thin and glossy, and although it extends perhaps a little further than usual, it’s thin enough not to make a difference. Conclusion The Buchon is an attractive variant of the Bf.109, and modelling a Warbird or Yellow-Nosed Bleeper from The Battle of Britain movie is a popular subject. The other markings options are unusual and interesting too. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  25. This is the 13th Hawker Hurricane from my Hawker Hurricanes around the world project, a post-war Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia Mk IV. Mostly I've been modeling Hurricanes from unique countries, but in this case it's a duplicate, because I modeled a Kingdom of Yugoslavia Mk I already. The markings are very different though, and I was excited to model both the lovely and unique Royal Yugoslav Air Force camo and the rocket armed Mk IV, so Yugoslavia is getting featured twice. But, maybe you could argue that the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia were not exactly the same country? Slightly different borders and very different governance model and all that... This is the AZ kit I used. Mostly OOB, but I opted for styrene rockets from an Airfix Typhoon kit versus the resin AZ pieces. I also drilled out the ID light so that I could model that with Kristal Klear. Hand brushed with Tamiya XF-23 underneath and XF-77 on top which I chose based on insights regarding camo from @Supercuber and @Troy Smith. I opted for no weathering. This is the second Mk IV of my collection (the other is Argentina) but this will be the only rocket-armed of the group. Enjoy! Here is a photo of the original 9539, and my attempt to photograph the same angle... I understand this photo is once the Hurricane was already at a museum, and obviously she's wearing a tarp or something. You can also see how overly large the fin flash I had to use is versus the original. And here is the RFI for her older Yugoslav sibling (the Mk I);
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