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  1. Hawker Tempest Mk.V 1:72 MisterCraft The Tempest was designed by Hawkers to address some of the performance issues with the Typhoon. The wingspan was originally greater than the Typhoon but this was clipped back to be slightly shorter. The wing was changed with the cannon being moved further back. Ammunition capacity was expanded to 200 rounds per gun. The landing gear was given a wider track to improve landing characteristics. The new wing and four bladed propeller was to cure the high frequency vibrations problems suffered by the Typhoon. With a top speed of 432mph it was faster at low level than other propeller aircraft. The Tempests great speed would make it an ideal aircraft to intercept V-1 flying bombs. Over 1/3 of V-1 shoot downs were attributed to Tempests. Just over 800 Mk.V aircraft were built. The Kit The plastic in this kit is from Heller and dates back to 1978. Those in the know say that the shape is correct, and better in shape than some other kits. The kit arrives on four smallish sprues of light grey plastic. The mould look to have held up well. Construction starts with attaching the spinner to the propeller. Next up the prominent radiator is assembled. Following the it pilots seat is attached to the rear bulkhead/armour and the cockpit floor (though this seems missing in the instructions!). Construction then moved to the main landing gear. The wheels are added to the leg and the gear doors attached. The streamlined underwing tanks are next built up. Now that the various sub assemblies are built up construction can start on the main aircraft. The cockpit and radiator are installed, along with the instrument panel, and the fuselage can be closed up. Once this is done the propeller is attached with the backing part inserted through the wing aperture. The wing is then made up which is of a conventional one part lower, with left/right uppers. Once the wing is attached to the main fuselage the landing gear and tanks can be attached along with the tail wheel, tailplanes and canopy. Just a note on the instructions, don't be alarmed that they look to be for an Su-17, strange but it appears there has been a printing error and you get both a set of instructions for this kit, and the Su-17 as the Su-17 construction diagrams are on the back of the Tempest cover sheet/decal diagram and visa versa. Markings Markings are provided for 3 aircraft. Wing Commander P Closterman JV732. Wing Commander R Beamont JN732. JN766 RNzAF. The decals look to be in register, the SKY codes look a little dark to me and the tail bands will need to be matched to these. All bands and stripes will need to be painted. There is a set of White aircraft codes on the decal sheet but no reference to these on the instructions. Conclusion This is a good looking kit of the Tempest Mk.V, recommended. Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
  2. MiG-29M '23rd AFB' 1:72 Mistercraft The Mikoyan MiG-29, known in the West by its NATO reporting name 'Fulcrum' is an air superiority fighter designed and built in the Soviet Union in the 1980s. As with other comparable aircraft of that period, such as the Su-27, F-16, F-15 and Panavia Tornado, it was produced in significant numbers and is still in fairly widespread service with air arms around the world. The MiG-29 was developed as a lighter, cheaper aircraft compared to the Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker, an aircraft with which it is broadly comparable in terms of layout and design, if not size and weight. As with the Su-27, the engines are spaced widely apart, with the area between the engines being used to generate lift and improve manoeuvrability. The MiG-29 is powered by two Klimov RD-33 Turbofans, each of which is capable of generating over 18,000lb of thrust in reheat. As with many Soviet types, the aircraft is well suited for use from rough airstrips, particularly as the engine air intakes can be closed completely when on the ground, allowing air to be drawn through louvers on the upper surfaces of the wing roots. Armament is covered by a combination of Vympel R-27 medium-range air-to-air missiles and R-73 or R-60 short-range air-to-air missiles, as well as a GSh-30-1 30mm cannon. The aircraft can be used in a range of roles and is capable of carrying bombs and rockets as well. The MiG-29 has been widely exported and is still in widespread use by a variety of air arms, including several NATO member states such as Poland. There have been quite a few kits of the MiG-29 over the years, with many of the major manufacturers covering the type at one time or another. For many years, the best of the bunch were those released by Airfix and Italeri - although neither was without fault – followed by Hasegawa with a kit that is easy to build but not particularly accurate. All of that has changed over the last year, however, with both Trumpeter and Zvezda investing in brand new toolings of this important fighter. As a result, modellers may now choose from two ranges of modern, accurate and high-quality kits. So where, you might ask, does Mistercraft fit in to all this? The usually reliable Scalemates is rather circumspect about the origins of this particular kit. Some modellers say, however, that the moulds were discovered by Bedouin shepherds in a cave on the shores of the Dead Sea, tucked away behind some old scrolls. I could certainly believe that, but for the fact that the MiG-29 entered service in the early 1980s. Inside the compact top-opening box, complete with deceptively promising box art, are six sprues of plastic parts. The box states there are 60 of them, but it's hard to check this as every time I pick one of the sprues up, a part of the kit falls off. The kit sits at the basic end of the spectrum (or 'classic', if you wish to impart a positive spin), with prominent raised panel lines and fairly basic detail. Looking for positives, the instructions are absolutely first class. I mean really, really very good indeed. As you may expect of a kit with such a low part count, construction is very straightforward. If you wanted to build the whole thing unpainted, you could have it together in 30 minutes tops. Before joining the fuselage halves together, you just need to fit the cockpit. This is made up of 3 parts, but you can reduce that by a third if you omit the pilot. The fabulous instructions show a reasonably accurate looking pilot, but in the flesh/plastic, I reckon he looks more like a cross between a snooker referee and a First World War Tommy. See what you think. A similar situation exists with the K-36 ejection seat, which looks great in the instructions but... well, you know. Mistercraft have included intake covers, which is good as there is no detail inside the engine air intakes. The instructions really are superlative. The vertical tail and wings are each moulded in top and bottom/port and starboard halves, while the elevators are solid parts. The otherwise outstanding instructions are slightly confusing when it comes to the landing gear legs. This is because you are looking for a part that, when you finally locate it on the sprues, looks somewhat less impressive than they would have you believe. There is no nose gear bay at all, but on the positive side, the wheels are round. Things take an interesting twist when it comes to the finishing touches. The otherwise fantastic instructions show the addition of small parts such as the IFF and temperature probe which are not actually numbered. Presumably this is because they don't actually exist. R-27 and R-60 missiles are included. The canopy exists. Decals are a high point. You get a generous five options spread across three small sheets: MiG-29A, 1st Regiment, Polish Air Force, Minks Mazowiecki AB, 1997; MiG-29A, 73rd Jagd Geschwader, Lagge AB, Germany, 1997; MiG-29A, Ukrainian Air Force, Ivano-Frankovsk AB, 1992; MiG-29A, 1st Flight, 1st Fighter Regiment, Czech Air Force, Zatec AB, 1997; and MiG-29A, Russian Air Force, Andreapol, 2002. I really couldn't say how well the decals are likely to perform, but given the nature of the kit, I really wouldn't worry too much about it. Conclusion It's a plastic model kit. It probably is the cheapest MiG-29 on the market, but for that bargain price, you must accept one or two compromises. The instructions are fabulous though. Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
  3. Space: 1999 Eagle 1 1:48 MPC/Round2 Back in the 70s the year 1999 seemed so impossibly far away that Gerry Anderson's prime time live-action near-future TV series was called Space: 1999 when mankind had begun using the Moon as a dumping ground for the world's nuclear waste. The Eagles were the spacefaring workhorses used to carry men, machines, and cargo around with interchangeable pods in the same manner as Thunderbird 2 providing specialised equipment when needed. When an out-of-control Eagle crashed on one such dump it triggered a chain reaction that blew the Moon out of earth's orbit, and we're left wondering whether earth even survived, as they lose contact with it very quickly. Through a number of plot devices they spend two series travelling around the galaxy meeting new species and entities who all conveniently speak English fluently. Eagle 1 is Commander Koenig's personal transport and features heavily in the show in various configurations. After a rather trippy second season, the show was cancelled by Lou Grade's production company, but it never quite left the consciousness of boys of a certain age, as well as later generations that became interested in the show. The Kit For years we have had the choice of either the old and inaccurate MPC/Airfix kit that purported to be 1:72 scale, or resin kits that came and went, some of which were rather expensive. This is a completely new tooling from MPC's new owners Round2, based upon masses of data accumulated by an avid Eagle aficionado who had access to the real 44" studio model on which this kit is based. It is 22" long, which makes it half the size of 1:24 scale original. It has also been designed to feature the fittings and livery of the first episode, because the models underwent some changes during filming, partially due to the wear and tear they suffered from handling, crashes and so forth. If you plan on painting your Eagle at a specific point in the series you should check your references and get some stills from the show if you're able. Now that both series are available on Blu-Ray, you've got no excuse and there's a new book out called "Modelling the Eagle" by well-known Anderson buff Mike Reccia that specifically documents the research and build of this very kit. It's ISBN-10 is 0993032052 and ISBN-13 is 978-0993032059 in case you wanted to pick one up. The kit arrives in a large box that is perhaps a tad too flimsy for the sheer size of the kit, but has a large brown cardboard bridge inside to prevent crush damage, which you should probably keep inside if you are planning to stash the kit. It also has the lower edges of the top folded back to stiffen the package further, so at least some thought has been given to it surviving shipping and years in your stash. Our review sample was the last of the current batch brought into the UK, but we understand that a new shipment will be arriving around August time, so get your pre-order in now while you can! Inside the nicely retro-style box is a host of plastic that pretty much fills it to the top, and as most of it is a rather fetching cream colour, it does hark back to days of yore, and evokes echoes of the old kit, even as far as the instruction booklet layout. There are eighteen sprues and a single part in the cream styrene, four in a light grey colour, two identical clear sprues, four springs, two small screws, a decal sheet and as folded-up concertina style instruction booklet. Adding to the retro feel is a Product Information mail-in card, and finally a little concertina-fold glossy booklet on the rest of the Round2 product line. First impressions are that this thing is a monster!!! The crew compartment or beak is almost the size of my fist, and at 22" long, it is a substantial piece of plastic. This has been taken into consideration however, as some of the attachment points are pretty substantial, especially around the sponsons so they don't break off when you test the springs of the suspended landing gear legs. Because it has been designed as a direct mimic of the studio model you will doubtless spot some replica kit parts, such as the engine deck of a Tiger 1 dotted around, as well as the crew figures that are moulded to look like the Gemini capsule figures used in the real model, which was twice the size of this kit. Construction starts with the beak, which has clear windows to allow the inside to be seen once construction is complete. The rear bulkhead is well detailed, and the pilot figures fit to small stand-off blocks attached to points on the bulkhead. The figures have decals on their environment suit controls, and a few more are scattered around the bulkhead, which is detailed on the sides of the lower box, so remember not to throw that out too soon. The beak shell then fits over the crew, and you can leave this un-glued to allow better access to the crew, or lighting if you have decided to fit your own. The bulkhead has a detail panel behind it that forms the back of the compartment. And has the sockets to link the attachment points to the framework, while the beak front has four depressions for the manoeuvring thrusters. The largest feature of the model is the long ladder of tubing that forms the spine of the ship, and this is constructed from two frames made up of front and rear sections on each side, linked together with cross-beams on the top and bottom sections. Two pairs of these have stringers with a slot cut in them to attach the equipment pod later in the build. The two sections of fuselage that mount the landing gear pods are correctly build as an inner "box" with detailed surfaces, within an outer cage that is constructed around it after completion of the inner painting. Two of these are made up, and then four of the gear pods, which have a large structural member running through them and out into the fuselage, with the pod skins also creating a laminated two-layer sandwich of strength. A scrap diagram shows the correct orientation of the pods and their surface details, and it might worthwhile marking them to ease the installation later on. The landing gear struts have springs added to give them realistic sag and rebound, which requires a number of parts to be left unglued so that they can move. Four of these are built up and set to the side until final completion of the ship. The engines are next in the queue, with the main framework built up along with the complex mass of feeder piping and structural members. With the main structure completed, the large combustion chambers are added at an angle, going through loops at the rear and clipping in to the front, plus four expansion tanks/fuel tanks and their attendant hoses that are shown on a ghosted diagram to ease fitting of their hoses to the existing framework. The passenger pod is built from slabs of styrene on a flat base, with optional attachment pins on the front and rear to add extra strength to the assembly if you plan on leaving the pod in situ. The faces are all detailed as per the original, and the roof lights are all present in clear styrene, although there is nothing to see inside, so perhaps a smoked finish may hide that fact. The roof is made of three parts, so take care with fitting, and the floor has a number of detail parts added before the framework is attached to complete it. Final assembly begins by bringing the front and rear compartments together on the ladder, and then screwing in the passenger compartment using the provided cross-head screws. The gear sponsons are then added in the order stated earlier, and the assembled landing thrusters and Vernier jets are added to the undersides and sponson outers respectively. The landing gear pads are inserted in the holes on the lower of the sponsons, four feet are added to the passenger pod, and the engine bells are finally installed at the rear. There are on the grey sprues, and the bells have been made as two parts each with the cruciform diffuser added to the rear as shown in the diagram. There is a "deluxe" set of metal engine bells and thrusters that accurately depict the materials used in the real model, but with the modern metallic available to the modeller, a saving on budget could well be made with the aid of careful preparation. Markings The decals have been printed to match the pilot episode scheme, and there are plenty to detail up your model after painting, with the decal instructions shown on the colour printed sides of the box's bottom tray, which also includes the painting guide at the same time. It's an unusual method to me, but it's nice to see an actual model being used to show the colours and markings. Whether it would have been cheaper not to print the box and to add a single sheet of glossy printing for the markings guide is anyone's guess and a moot point at this stage. There is a long screed of copyright ownership at the bottom of the sheet, with the implication being that the decals were printed in China, but their quality seems to be more than adequate for the job. Registration, colour density and sharpness are fine on my sample, with three choices for the trapezoid Moonbase Alpha logo. Conclusion Whist I wouldn't describe myself as a fan of the series (That's no disrespect to the show, it's just the way I am about TV/movies), I did/do enjoy watching it. What I did love was the pseudo-realism and practicality of the Eagle's design, which made it look like it could actually do all the things they tasked it with. The interchangeable pods will doubtless start coming out for those of us with a hankering for personalising our models, and a landing pad would just finish off the look. I remember building the old Airfix/MPC kit in my bedroom as a young lad nursing my first hangover, so it will always have a special place in my heart, although I can't say the same for drinking too much booze. It's a BIG model, and nicely detailed into the bargain. With careful painting it can look stunning, as some of the early builds have already shown. There's a little flash around some of the sprues, but most of the parts escape, so it's not really much to talk about. Available in the UK in small quantities that are getting harder to track down by the day, but it will be back in stock at Amerang (the UK importers) in August 2016. Make your pre-orders when you can! Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
  4. SATURN V With Lunar Module AMT 1:200 The Saturn V rocket was the largest in the family of Saturn rockets developed by NASA for its Apollo and Skylab programs. It was a multistage liquid fuelled expendable launcher. NASA launched a total of 13 Saturn V rockets in total and it holds the record for the heaviest payload to low earth orbit of 118,000 Kgs. Even though this is the official record it has been said that weights up to 240,000 Kgs were carried (on Apollo 15). The Saturn rockets were developed under the leadership of Wernher von Braun, and Arthur Rudolph, who the Americans successfully removed from Germany after WWII under Operation Paperclip. Major industrial collaboration was needed on a programme of this scale with Boeing, North American Aviation, and Douglas Aircraft providing the aerospace expertise. IBM was to provide the computing expertise needed. The Saturn V would consist of three main stages, an instrumentation package with the Lunar Module (+adaptor), Service Module, Command module; and launch escape tower on the top. The first stage made by Boeing house 2000 tonnes of rocket fuel and liquid oxygen and generated 7600000 Lbf of thrust on launch via 5 Rocketdyne F-1 engines; stage one would run for 168 seconds getting the Saturn V to an altitude of 67km. Stage 2 built by North American Aviation would then kick in. Using liquid Hydrogen & oxygen through its 5 Rocketdyne J-2 engines 1100000 Lbf of thrust was generated. The last rocket stage 3 was built by the Douglas Aircraft Company and used the same fuel as stage 2. Stage 3 only had one J-2 engine though it burned for 2 ½ minutes to ensure allow for orbital insertion. On top of all three stages sat the instrument package designed by IBM. On top of the three main rocket stages sat the business part of the rocket. The lunar module adaptor covered the lunar module manufactured by Grumman Aircraft Engineering. This would take the astronauts down to the moons surface, and bring them back to the command module later. The service module made by North American Aviation sat above this. The command & service modules would orbit the moon while the lunar module went to the moons surface. This is where the crew would live on their journey to and from the moon. The command module would be the only part of the whole rocket to return intact to the Earth. This was fitted with a heat shield to survive re-entry. Lastly on the very top of the rocket was the Launch Escape Tower. In the event of a catastrophic failure of the rocket on launch the tower would pull the command module away from the explosion and allow it to land with its parachute system. To date the Saturn V is the only rocket to carry humans beyond low earth orbit, A total of 24 astronauts were launched to the moon between 1968 and 1972. Following the Apollo mission NASA created the AAP (Apollo Applications Program) which looked into missions which could be performed using Apollo hardware. Skylab was the only launch not related to the Moon landing program. The Saturn V remains to this day the tallest, heaviest and most powerful operational rocket system. The Kit The kit arrived on five sprues of white plastic. The rocket can be assembled as one part, or it can be made to come apart to revel all the different sections and internal modules. Construction seems fairly similar to how the real rocket was assembled. The first construction step is the rockets first stage. The five main engines are built up and attached to the engine fairing. The two sides of the first stage are joined together at the same time installing the to bulkhead for the Liquid oxygen tank. The interstage fairing is then attached. The next stage is shockingly the second stage of the rocket. The five engines are attached to the second stage engine support; this is then added to the second stage which is assembled from its two parts and the top liquid oxygen bulkhead. The third stage is is then assembled in exactly the same way as stage 2, but there is only one engine to add. None of the first three stages need to be glued together in order that the rocket can come apart to explain how it functioned. On top of the third stage is where it gets interesting. If you wish the rocket to be used for a display then the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM), the LEM housing, and the service module can be assembled at this point. The LEM housing parts should be be glued together if you want to display it open. Finally the Command module and escape tower are constructed and added to the top of the rocket. Decals A small decal sheet provides the National Markings for the rocket. The decal she looks in register and quite matt. There is no mention of the maker. Conclusion This should make upto a nice model of the Saturn V rocket without it being too big to display. If needed it can be made into a good instructional aid of how the rocket worked. Overall recommended if you want a smaller Saturn V in your collection. Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for If you would like more info on the Saturn V then please look at our walkaround
  5. Nakajima C6N Saiun, (Myrt) 1:48 Hasegawa History The C6N originated from a 1942 Imperial Japanese Navy specification for a carrier-based reconnaissance plane with a top speed of 350 knots (650 km/h) at 6,000 m and range of 2,500 Nautical miles (4,960 km). Nakajima's initial proposal, designated N-50, was for a craft with two 1,000 hp engines housed in tandem in the fuselage, driving two propellers mounted on the wings. With the development of the 2,000 hp class Nakajima Homare engine though, this configuration was abandoned and Nakajima decided on a more conventional single-engine layout. However, the Homare's output turned out to be less than initially expected, so the design had to be optimized in other areas. The resulting aircraft was designed around a long and extremely narrow cylindrical fuselage, just large enough in diameter to accommodate the engine. The crew of three sat in tandem under a single canopy, while equipment was similarly arranged in a line along the fuselage. The C6N's low mounted laminar flow wing housed fuel tanks and was fitted with both Fowler and slit flaps and leading edge slats to lower the aircraft's landing speed to ease use aboard aircraft carriers. Like Nakajima's earlier B6N "Tenzan" torpedo bomber, the rudder was angled slightly forward to enable tighter packing on aircraft carriers. The first flight was on 15 May 1943, with the prototype demonstrating a speed of 639 km/h (345 kt, 397 mph). Performance of the Homare engine was disappointing, especially power at altitude, and a series of 18 further prototypes and pre-production aircraft were built, before the Sauin was finally ordered into production in February 1944. Although designed for carrier use, by the time it entered service in September 1944, there were few carriers left for it to operate from, so most were used from land bases. Its speed was exemplified by a famous telegraph sent after a successful mission: "No Grumman’s can catch us. The top speed of the Hellcat was the same as that of the Myrt, so overtaking a Saiun was out of the question. A total of 463 aircraft were produced. A single prototype of a turbocharged development mounting a 4-blade propeller was built; this was called the C6N2 Saiun-kai. A night-fighter version C6N1-S with oblique-firing (Schräge Musik configuration) single 30 mm (or dual 20 mm) cannon and a torpedo carrying C6N1-B were also developed. The C6N1-B developed by Nakajima was not needed after Japan's aircraft carriers were destroyed. As Allied bombers came within reach of the Japanese home islands, there became a need for a first class night fighter. This led Nakajima to develop the C6N1-S by removing the observer, and replacing him with two 20mm cannons. The C6N1-S's effectiveness was hampered by the lack of air-to-air radar, although it was fast enough to enjoy almost complete immunity from interception by Allied fighters. Despite its speed and performance, on 15 August 1945, a C6N1 was the last aircraft to be shot down in World War II. Just five minutes later, the war was over and all Japanese aircraft were grounded The Model Originally released in 2002 this kit has been released in a number of different schemes, in fact this example is the eighth iteration. That said the moulds are still pretty good and the parts are all well moulded. The finesse on the details such as rivets and panel lines is very nice indeed. There is no sign of flash and only a few moulding pips, plus no sign of imperfections on the review example. The instructions are well printed, clear and easy to read. The standard Hasegawa style of box comes with a nice painting of the aircraft in flight. Inside, there are five sprues and a separate cowling in a medium grey styrene, one sprue of clear styrene, a medium sized decal sheet, and four poly caps. The plastic is quite glossy, and will need either a light rub down with a fine emery cloth or a good etch primer for the paint to stick to. The build begins with the very nicely detailed cockpit. The long single piece cockpit floor is fitted out with the pilots rudder pedals, joystick, six oxygen bottles, and a couple of electronic boxes. The pilots seat is then assembled from three parts and glued to the floor, followed by the instrument panel, co-pilots shelf, two piece seat, three piece instrument panel, and what looks like a large gyro instrument. The inside of the fuselage halves are fitted with large interior side panels and a rear bulkhead before the cockpit assembly is fitted. The third crewman’s seat is fitted to the starboard fuselage, along with the DF loop and its associated platform. Before the fuselage is joined, you will need to open up the hole for the front drop tank steady. With the fuselage halves joined the win assembly is built up. This comes in a single piece lower wing, main undercarriage bay boxes, and two upper wing panels. More holes need to be drilled out if you are goin got fit the drop tank. The moulded navigation lights also need to be carefully removed, and replaced with clear parts. The wing is then attached to the fuselage assembly, along with the two single piece horizontal tailplanes. The engine is also a very nicely detailed part, even though most of it won’t be seen with the cowling fitted. The single piece engine is fitted to the rear bulkhead, which is moulded complete with the cooling gills. The six parts that represent the exhaust pipes are glued to the rear of this bulkhead, whilst the front of the engine is fitted with some pipework, and crankcase before the cowling is slid onto the engine and glued to the rear bulkhead. The whole assembly is then glued to the front of the fuselage. The main undercarriage units are each made up from a single piece leg, separate scissor link,, three piece wheel and two outer bay doors. The assemblies are then fitted to the undercarriage bays and fitted with the retraction actuators and a third outer bay door. The inner doors are then attached, and fitted with their retraction jacks. The arrestor hook isn’t fitted, and the resultant empty bay is covered with a blank panel just forward of the single piece tail wheel. On the underside of the fuselage, there are two clear viewing panels fitted, along with an access step. The flaps are provided as single piece units, and are designed to be displayed dropped, as are the leading edge slats. The four piece drop tank is then assembled and fitted to the lower forward fuselage. With the model the right way up the multi-part canopy is fitted. The modeller has the option of having the canopies open, using the individual parts, or closed using the full single piece part, a nice addition by Hasegawa. The rear section is fitted with a single machine gun, whilst the windscreen has a separate upper section. The propeller is made up form a spinner, three separate blades and a back plate. When assembled it is glued into position. The rest of the parts, which include a three piece intake on the port side of the rear cowling, aerial mast, pitot probe and rudder trim tab are then glued to their respective positions, thus completing the build. Decals The decals from the latest batch of Japanese aircraft kits from Hasegawa have been pretty good, and it’s no different with this kit. Well printed, with thin carrier film, they are in good register and nicely opaque. The walkways on the wings, fin stripes and the identification numbers have any significant visible film, but on a nice glossy finish this shouldn’t silver too much. There are two aircraft for which markings are provided. All are from the 121st Naval Flying Group, based on Tinian Island 1944 and both are in the Nakajima green over silver scheme, with aircraft numbers 21-101 and 21-103 represented. Conclusion This is another aircraft i was previously unaware of, but it will fit well into any collection of Japanese Naval aircraft. The standard is pretty much what we have come to expect from Hasegawa, with a good amount of detail, especially in the large greenhouse cockpit and what should be a hassle free build. Highly recommended Amerang – Hasegawa Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
  6. SE.5a 1:48 Lindberg One of the most famous of all British fighters of the Great War, the S.E.5a entered service in 1917, and stayed on the front line until the end of the war in November 1918. It was a much easier aircraft to fly than the tricky Sopwith Camel, and given that many pilots were arriving with as little as 20 hours flying training, a much more suitable mount for the inexperienced. Designed by H P Folland, it's characteristics can be readily seen in the post war Gloster Grebe and Gamecock which Folland also designed. Other of his notable works were the Gloster Gauntlet and Gladiator, and he went on to found the Folland aircraft company.The earlier aircraft were powered by the 200 hp Hispano-Suiza 8b geared engine, and later on the 200 hp Wolsely Viper direct drive engine was introduced. In simple terms, the drive shaft of the Hispano Suiza drove a gear wheel, which then drove another gearwheel above, attached to the back of the prop, which rotated clockwise when viewed from the font. Visually this raised the prop higher in the nose, and often these machines had 4 bladed propellers. The Wolsely Viper was a licence built version of the Hispano-Suiza, and dispensed with the gear mechanism. The prop was bolted directly to the drive shaft, so that visually it sat in the mid position of the nose, and rotated anti-clockwise. This is a quick way to spot the difference between a geared Hispano Suiza, and a direct drive engine, probably a Wolsely Viper, although to complicate things, Hispano Suiza started to produce direct drive engines as well. The Kit Using the way back when machine this kit in fact dates back to 1958 The kit arrives as a bag of parts, most of which are on one central sprue. There is also a length of wire to rig the kit. The engine detail is basic and the interior consists of just a seat, control column and rudder pedals. The wheels attach over the axles and then the end of the axle must be melted down with a hot nail/screw driver etc. The fabric detail on the wings is reasonable, and they have managed to capture the large exhausts & seams down the side fairly well. A length of steel wire is provided to rig the aircraft. Decals The decal sheet is well printed, however the colours do seem a little muted to my eyes. Decals for two aircraft are provided; No. 35 Sqd Royal Flying Corps C Flight, 25th Aero Sqn, Air Service, US Army. Conclusion This kit is a product of it's age. Recommended only if you fancy some nostalgic modelling. Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
  7. Su-7BKL "Fitter-A" 1:48 MisterCraft The Su-7 was a swept wing supersonic aircraft developed by the Sukhoi design bureau in the 1950's. Originally designed as a fighter it was not a great success, but would later find its role in bombing and ground attack. The Su-7BKL added a rough field capability to the BM which was itself an upgrade for the B model featuring an upgraded engine. In addition wet hard points under the wings were added, and the airframe made nuclear capable. The BKL also featured provision for JATO rockets. 267 were built and many were supplied to Soviet satellite states. The Kit The plastic in this kit is from OEZ in 1989, and has been reboxed over the years by many different companies. Even though the pastic can be a little thick this is still the best Su-7 kit produced to date. Construction starts off not in the cockpit but with the underwing thanks, ordinance, and the JATO rockets; though I suspect many modellers will leave this until later and move straight onto the cockpit. A basic 4 part ejection seat is made up, this fits into the cockpit which is built up on top of the front wheel well. Attached to the front of the cockpit is the nose radar bullet assembly. 10 grams of weight is recommended here, but it looks like as much as you can cram in would be advisable! The exhaust nozzle is also completed at this stage. The next stage of assembly is the landing gear which is fairly complex. Each main gear has 6 parts and the wheel, then the gear doors which need to be cut if doing a wheels down aircraft need attaching to the legs. The nose gear has a two part leg trapping the wheel, then two struts. Once these are made up the two part vertical tail and rudder assembly is put together. This is then followed by assembling both wings. These are of standard upper/lower construction. Now that a lot of the sub assemblies are complete construction can move to the main task. The cockpit/nose radar units along with the exhaust are enclosed in the main fuselage, then the wings are attached along with the vertical tail, and tail planes. Two prominent cable ducts are added along with the under wing hard points. The rear airbrakes can be open or closed. The landing gear is added along with the JATO bottles if you wish, and armament of your choice. Rocket pods and large single rockets are provided along with fuel tanks. Lastly the canopy is added, and a boarding ladder is provided if the modeller wishes to use it. Markings As well as having Bort numbers for nine different aircraft assigned to the Polish Air Force all in NMF, four other decal options are provided. Red 25 Soviet Air Force 1960's (NMF). White 25, Soviet Air Force in now Ukraine (4 colour Camo) 1960. 6427, Czechoslovak Air Force, 1984-89 (4 colour camo). 6514, Czechoslovak Air Force, 1984-89 (3 colour camo). The decals are seem to be well printed, colour dense and have minimal carrier film Conclusion This kit is still really the only game in town for a 1/48 Su-7. It is showing its age a bit, but builds upto a good looking model. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
  8. Dodge L-700 Tractor Unit with Chrome tanker or Box Van Trailer 1:25 Plastic kit from Lindberg Models The Dodge L700 is a medium duty truck manufactured by Dodge trucks in the USA using components from there A100 light duty trucks. The L-700 was available with either a Dodge, or Cummins V8 engine. The L-700 had a smaller sibling , the L-600, that was outwardly similar but designed to pull smaller weights, this had the option of straight 6 diesel of a V8 Gas engine. The Dodge L-700 was available as a tractor with a very short 89inch wheelbase, and a steering angle of 50o for great manoeuvrability in towns and cities, where this truck was designed to live and work. The L-700, and L-600 could also be specified with a longer rigid chassis up to 192inch wheelbase and the Dodge had various bodies, and pulled a variety of trailers. Lindberg have now re-issued the Dodge L-700 in 1:25, this is an old kit but a welcome re-issue.A couple of versions of this kit have arrived on the review bench and as they are very similar I will start by looking at the cab and tractor as they are the same in both boxes. The cab comes as a single part cast in white plastic, the doors are separate to the shell to allow them to be posed open. The cab has some reinforcing bars cast across the door apertures to help the cab hold its shape, take care when removing so not to damage the frame, the cab is nicely done and captures the complex shapes on the cab. The doors are moulded on a different sprue, and they have separate interior door cards. A quick check shows them to be an OK fit, will need some work but I don’t think it will be too hard to get them in and straight. The parts on both kits are nicely cast with very little flash anywhere. I will guess Lindberg have cleaned up the moulds for this re-issue. The interior and floor are cast with the big wheel arches, there is some nice engraved detail on the cab floor showing the rubber footwall covering and some rivet detail on the cab floor and wheel arches. There is no detail on the underside and this is a shame as the Dodge L-700 is a tilt-cab, and on this kit the cab can be tilted to show off the V8 engine. No doubt the detailers will go to town here, Ill add some foil for the heat and noise shields and a few wires and cables under here. The cab interior parts include the basic dashboard as found in this truck, there isn’t allot of detail on the part but in reality the real truck is basic, there are 3 seats that have some nice engraved detail to simulate the stitching in the covers. Some careful painting will bring the interior to life, and I would add some scale cab junk to be viewed through the big windows. Also found on this sprue is the engine parts. This is a small V8 diesel engine, the truck had the option of 2 engines and I’m not sure what is depicted in the kit, but a quick search will pop up some images of either engine to allow you to detail and paint the parts to depict your choice of power. The parts are well moulded with a fair amount of detail on the parts, some extra cables and wires will bring it to life when painted. Also seen in the sprues above is the rear axle, the Dodge has a choice of a single or 2 speed axle, and my guess is a twin speed example is tooled on this build again there is good detail with the rough cast housing and some bolt details on the parts. The chassis is made up from 2 rails that look very short for a tractor unit in this scale, but a quick calculation and looking at side on shots of the real deal on the net show them to be correct as it is a very stubby tractor, and I guess this makes it more use in an urban setting. The chassis is made up from the 2 rails and 5 cross members so you will need to take care to get it all straight and true so you build isn’t twisted. The truck is suspended on 4 multi-leaf springs and 2 axles, the two speed rear axle is described above, and the front axle that is supplied can be build working so move the steering lock. Personally I pose the wheels turned a bit then glue solid for strength. Fuel tanks, air tanks and the exhaust are in 2 parts each so will need gluing sanding and filling before painting and adding to the chassis. A pair of large rear spray flaps is included, they are quite thick and have the IPC logo cast on the parts so I will remove them from the mounting and replace with some thin plastic painted black. The wheels are the trilex style, popular at the time in the States, and they have nice detail on the parts with some bolts in the appropriate places. Also on this sprue is the internal door cards for the cab, again basic as is the real truck with some winder handles for the opening door windows and rivet detail on the parts. There is a clear sprue for the cab glass and lights, they are packed in their own bags and don’t look too thick. A small chrome sprue covers the shiny bits for the cab, the bowls for the headlamps come on this chrome sprue and they include the bezels for the lamps and these are a big feature on the Dodge cab. The cabs bumper is also chromed along with the regulation cab roof marker lights along with wipers, and handles for the cab outside. The chrome is nice and not too heavy but along with many others Ill strip and re-do this anyway. A bag of rubber tyres are enclosed, 14 are included for the tractor and trailer. There is some flash on the tyres that will need a swipe with a knife or sandpaper, nothing too major though. The detail is nice, I would say a little heavy on the sidewalls but as I rub the rubber with some sandpaper to dull and weather it a bit and I’m sure this will subdue this. This now concludes the parts for the tractor units for both kits as I said you get all the above plastic in both boxing. I will now look at the trailer parts from the two kits. Trailer parts Chassis The chassis and running gear is also the same in both kits, both trailers run on two axles sitting on multi-leaf springs. The tanker version does have some basic detail on how to convert to a single axle trailer, but as I said this is basic detail and not complete! The parts are again cast in white plastic and there is some minor flash on some of the parts, You start by making a small chassis frame that holds the suspension and axles. A single air tank need gluing together and adding before the suspension and axles. I would pop some wire in to simulate the airlines for the braking system, and also some cables for the electrical wiring on the trailer. The axles include the hobs and brake chambers, I’d drill and plumb these to the air tank to give extra detail on these parts. The wheels are the trilex style to match the tractor unit with the same rubber tyres shown above. You have optional long or short landing legs so you can hook it to your tractor (short legs) or have it as a solo model (Long legs) Tanker The first trailer I will look at is the chrome tanker, this can be built as the long version shown on the box, or a shorter single axle version. As I said the instructions on how to achieve this is sporadic and you will need to take care and take your time if doing this conversion. The tank comes in 4 main parts, 2 upper and two lower with a joint both horizontally along the tank, and vertically in the centre. The parts are designed to hide this with overlaps on the parts. To build a short tank you need to forward upper and lower parts and in the upper section you need to cut a hole for the manhole, this is shown on the underside with an engraved circle to follow with your knife. There is a lot of chrome with the rear locker, hose lockers and ladders all being chrome. It wouldn’t be hard to strip and re-paint either as a lower spec painted trailer of using your choice of chrome paints. Box Trailer. The second trailer on the review bench is a box van style. This is very 70s in style with its vertical beading on the side walls and the twin axle design. The body is supported by the same chassis and running gear as seen above on the tanker so I won’t go over this again. The body is split across the middle with the roof, floor and sides split needing a centre support part. You start by building the chassis and running gear, adding these to the 2 floor parts to create a flat bed, there is some basic detail on the floor, and if you add a small headboard you could leave it as an open flat trailer. The rear doors and frame is build next, the doors and be left to swing on the hinges if wanted to allow you to open and close them to show the inside of the trailer. The sides, back door section and front bulkhead are then added to the floor using the central support to hide and reinforce the joints, take care to keep it square and straight before adding the two roof sections. In this kit you get a couple of scale wood pallets for the load, they come in a light brown and are made up from slats of plastic glued together, painted and weathered they will look good with their fine engrave wood grain surface. You don’t need to worry about making them too square or straight either! A small decal sheet includes some logos for the box van, the Lindberg logo for the two sides and rear along with some US flag and the ‘Made in the USA’ legend under the flags. Conclusion A very welcome re-issue of some classic kits, they will need some work to get tighter being older mouldings, but them where a popular little truck and this can be converted to other L-700s and even the smaller L-600 trucks. Look forward to getting it on the build bench. UK distributors for
  9. Hasegawa have announced a couple of new kits for this year (so far), as follows: HA2032 1:72 F4U-1A Corsair Combo (2 kits in the box) HJT07332 1:48 Arado Ar234C-3 W/BT700 "Anti-Shipping Attacker" HJT07333 1:48 Mitsubishi A6M2b Zero Fighter Type 21 "Junyo Fighter Group" I'll be looking forward to the 234, as that is a legendary kit IMHO, but you can't have too many Zeroes. In the smaller scale, the Corsair was one of the longest serving piston engined fighters, and was always a favourite of mine and many others. Of course, we'll have to wait and see what the UK prices will be, and although they're going to be high because of the fact that they've been imported from outside the EU, Hasegawa have a reputation for producing good quality kits. So - let's not get bogged down moaning about the prices, or I'll make you all go on car forums and complain incessantly because you can't afford a Bentley (or whatever - you get the jist).
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