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Found 46 results

  1. For my second build I will be doing the Azur Morane-Saulnier MS.406C from the "Battle of France" boxing: In the box are the same parts as included in the other Azur releases of the MS.406/410: ...but with decals and paintschemes specific to Armee de l'Air machines from the period up to late June 1940: I will be building "Camo D" - Azur describe this as being an aircraft of the 3me Escadrille of Groupe de Chasse II/2, but the Colorado Decals set for the MS.406 has the same aircraft with a white "2" in a red disc and says it is from the 4me Escadrille... I have no idea who is correct so unless someone can correct me I will go with the kit description as it is the more recent of the two. Cheers, Stew
  2. Hello everyone! I think I dare to participate in this group build with this. I plan and hope that can build it out of the box.
  3. As described in the title, it's politely described as unusual, or more accurately as just plain ugly. I haven't built an Azur kit before, so all advice very welcome, and as for the surrender stripes, your guess is as good as mine. Cheers Pat
  4. Calling this one done - earlier stuff can be seen here. Comments/thoughts/abuse appreciated! Have fun... Iain
  5. My country for this one is Spain, and as the legitimate government of Spain was the elected Republican government during the Spanish Civil War, I will be doing a republican plane, and not a Nationalist (rebel) plane. I am still going through my stash of kits, so the particular craft is not yet decided, but will be at the start of the GB in January. Possibilities at present are the SB 2M-100 "Katiushka" (ICM kit in 1/72nd) or the Polikarpov I-16 (Eduard kit in 1/48th) or possibly the Vultee V-1A (Azur kit in 1/72nd). Advice on which of these to choose would be gratefully received in the meantime... Thanks, Philip
  6. Source: http://www.frrom.com/index.php?page=fr8001-iar-81-c-1-32-nd-2 AZUR-FRROM is to release in June 2013 a 1/32nd IAR 81-C fighter injected kit - ref. FR8001 V.P.
  7. I've just finished this; the Azur Ikarus IK-2 "VVKJ": I enjoyed building this, it is quite a simple kit, not that many parts, a bit of photo-etch but no resin parts. It went together very well and I built it more-or-less OOB though I did replace the tail struts and one of the undercarriage support struts which were provided as etched metal with micro-strip, I just thought the plastic would be easier to work with. I did my first go at rigging seeing as there was not much required, the tailplane bracing wires on the topside and the 'x'-shaped bracing wires on the main undercarriage - these were done with lycra knitting-in thread and I consider it a success. Incidentally although that undercarriage may look hideously complex it was remarkably easy to put together and quite strong once it was assembled. I used the Humbrol colours recommended by 'Lift Here!' decals which were 65 for the underside and 84/98/116 for the three-colour topside camouflage. Either I was lucky, or Humbrol enamels are getting better, I hope it was the latter. I used a couple of coats of Klear to give a glossy-ish finish as the instructions and other sources advise that the finish on the IK-2 and IK-3 camouflage was glossy. I can't say for certain that this is correct, from the limited number of pictures I have seen I am not really qualified to judge so I went along with it. The kit provides decals for most of the (I believe) 12 IK-2's produced by Ikarus, 5 in pre-war Aluminium dope and 5 in camouflage, of these camouflaged aircraft one wears the earlier national markings and the remainder the smaller wartime markings. I chose V.E.Br.2112 by the simple expedient of ruining the tiny rudder number decals for 2105, 2109 & 2110 with my big stupid fingers. No.2112 was one of the aircraft that helped resist the German invasion in April 1941 and which, along with the surviving IK-2s, IK-3s and the remaining VVKJ Bf109s, were eventually destroyed by their crews at Veliki Radici aerodrome on 12 April 1941 to prevent them falling into the hands of the Germans. The decals are by Aviprint in the Czech Republic and applied beautifully and really deserved a more skilful application than I was able to offer, but they all went on beautifully. Cheers, Stew
  8. Hi, Spanish Cierva C 30 was an Autogyro - a kind of precursor of modern helicopters. It was produced under licence in UK by Avro as Rota and in France by LeO C30. The model I made from Azur kit (1/72) required replace of engine and propeller to be a LeO C30 No 32. So this was small conversion, howver later I notice that such like mine version was also issued as limited edition by Azur. Things like that happens.. The engine consists of more than 40 pieces The markings are from French Campaign in May-June 1940. Regards Jerzy-Wojtek
  9. Howdy, folks! Here are my finished IK-2 and IK-3, Yugoslav pre-WWII planes. These brothers were made late 30s, very different designs and still very similar. IK-3 took part in air defense of Belgrade in April 1941. and had 11 wins with 4 casualties over Reich's Bf109s... Unfortunately, there wasn't enough of them for that defense to have any chance of success, out 12 produced only 6 were operational and after a few days the two remaining were captured and scraped. Heartbreaking... IK-2 was mostly stationed in Bosnia at the time and surviving ones were given to Croat Air Force. As for models themselves, mostly build out of box, Azur Frrom did a decent job with them. IK-2 was given a bit of details in the cockpit and not much more than that (save the wires on the outside, mentioned in instructions). There are a few inaccuracies outside, most of which can be easily fixed. Canopy could have been done better (goes for IK-3 also), but it's not completely useless. I wasn't going for 100% accuracy, so it didn't bother me much... IK-3 saw a bit more work in cockpit, seat and belts were made from scratch, as were side details. There were some touch-ups on the outside of both, mostly opening exhausts and intakes, IK-3 legs also got a bit of pedicure... More on this can be found in WIP thread... Thanks for watching... Cheers!
  10. Supermarine Sea Otter 712 Sqn Fleet Air Arm, RNAS Hatston, Orkney Islands, March 1944. Over the last month I have been concentrating on Azur's rather nice 1/72 Sea Otter. Although it is a short run kit, the quality of moulding is very high and with a big bag of photoetch and resin, it has definitely kept me busy for a few weeks! For the most part, the build is relatively simple, with nicely fitting parts despite the lack of location pins. However the wing and engine pod struts are a bit of a challenge, not least due to a lack of information on exactly how and where they should be fitted. After a few stressful hours, mine now fit, but I believe I have insufficient wing stagger and my outer struts should be angled in at the top. FredT
  11. Following Paul’s recent review of the kit, I’ve followed on with a build review of this pretty little fighter. Despite the box being named ‘Red & Yellow Stripes’, I have tackled the build being the coward I am by choosing the only scheme in the boxing not to include the stripes! Not only are the stripes small in 1/72 scale, but the camouflage patterns are rather complex too and I wanted to complete the review in a timely manner. So, with my declaration of cowardness out of the way, I shall proceed! Construction starts with the cockpit. Fitment of the parts and the instructions to support them I found to be a little vague in this area. Detail is adequate given that there is no open option for the canopy. The interior detail in the side walls has slots to fit the cockpit tub in, indicating a vertical front and rear bulkhead, but the only way I could get the parts to fit was by having the rear bulkhead to which the seat attaches to at a slight incline for everything to join up. The other issue I found was that I’m sure that the etch seatbelt is in fact a 1/48 one. If you look at the seat and etch belt in the red box compared to the instructions, the seatbelt is vastly over scale and wouldn’t fit into the seat. I got round this by simply cutting sections out of the middle of the belt and gluing the remains to the seat. The instructions call for you to supply your own rod to make the frame behind the sear armour panel so I did this using brass rod. The gun sight inside the cockpit is another part that I just couldn’t figure out. The instructions show it to mount on the instrument panel protruding forwards, but doing so would prevent the windscreen from fitting. It’s simply too long. I got round this by making a smaller one to fit the glass sight which was made from a piece of acetate. Well all this sounds like a bad start to the kit, however once I overcome these issues, most of the build was straight forwards and a delight to make. With the cockpit painted using Tamiya XF25 mixed with some black and the wings assembled, the aircraft soon came together. If you’ve not built Azur kits previously, they are typically short run kits, a feature often being a lack of location pins for the components. This didn’t prove to cause any problems during the build. I used liquid poly glue and strips of masking tape to hold the parts together until the glue / welds cured. I’d recommend against using superglue for this step as you will probably require some final micro positioning before the glue cures due to the lack of location pins. Use of filler in the construction was minimal with a small amount used to tidy the top of the engine. I had to rescribe the panel lines across the top of the engine nacelle once the two halves were blended. The wing to fuselage join was excellent, again a small amount of filler used to blend any imperfections. On assembling the tail planes, I used brass rod instead of the kit struts. Because I’d chosen to do the ‘simple’ scheme, I was able to add the struts at the assembly stage. If you choose to go for one of the more complicated schemes, I’d recommend leaving these off until after painting. Once the main components were fitted, the canopy was added and masked. This isn’t one of my strong points, but I never had an Eduard mask set so had to do it the old fashioned way, bring out the swear box! It was primed with Halfords primer and some pre-shading using the interior colour I had left over. The surface detail is quite stunning so I was looking forwards to getting the paint on it. Despite Mike giving me some Lifecolour paints to use, I got some Tamiya colours and followed the instructions posted in a recent thread thanks to Troy Smith: Brun = XF-10 Brown Khaki = XF-49 Khaki, XF-5 Green 2:1 Gris = XF-25Light Sea Grey, XF23 light blue 2:1 Gris fonce [underside] XF-25 light Sea grey, XF-2 White 2:1 Thread HERE Painting started with the lower surface before adding a few drops more of white to give some variation to the panels. This was then masked off before the top grey was added, again slightly lightening to add some tonal variation. The green and brown followed respectively, the whole lot done within a few hours given the benefits of acrylic paints. A coat of Kleer from the airbrush preceded the decals. I have to say that these decals were some of the best I’ve worked with. They are strong, but thin and went over some complex small compound curves with the aid of Daco decal setting fluid. Even the rudder decal went on fine around the training edge, this is something I've never been able to do well previously! Kleer was again sprayed on. A wash of oils in white spirit was used to bring out the detail in the surface. Adding the undercarriage required some care. Whilst the main legs have square lugs to locate into the wing, the diagonal struts appear to just sit against them. Fortunately, there is a good diagram in the instructions showing the correct angles at which everything should set. I left off the sticky out bits until the end for obvious reasons. Again, brass rod was used this time to make the guns and the pitot tube in the wing instead of the kit plastic parts. The landing lights were done by painting steel over coated with Tamiya clear red / green. The model was completed by spraying with Alclad matt varnish. I like this because you can build it up to get the finish you require. Simply applying less will give you more of a sheen. Conclusion Whilst this kit is a little trickier than a mainstream kit such as Airfix, it is still within the capability of a novice builder. Although the interior bits are a bit vague and questionable and the kit lacks location pins to aid construction, assembly is quite straight forwards and produces a stunning representation of the Morane Saulnier fighter. An open canopy would have been a good option if I was to criticise it. I really enjoyed the build despite a few parts that led to some head scratching and would certainly recommend it if you want one of these in your collection. Review sample courtesy of
  12. I've just completed this as a build review HERE Have to say, it's a great little kit and I like the red & yellow stripe scheme, just didn't want to spend all of Christmas tackling such a complicated camouflage and stripe masking monstrosity! Despite it's tiny size, the detail is good and I only started it over Christmas, finishing it this morning. I've posted it here too as we don't get much traffic in the Build Review section. Didn't expect to get this complete so soon, in fact it's just boosted my 2013 output by 20%!!!!!!! Cheers, Neil
  13. PZL P.11c "First shots" 1:72 Azur The P.11 was designed by Państwowe Zakłady Lotnicze (PZL) The Polish state aviation works. They were Polands main aircraft manufacturer during the interwar years. The P.11 was designed by Zygmunt Pulawski. In the late 1920s he had designed the all metal monoplane fighter the P.1 using a high mounted gull wing. This became known as the Polish or Pulawski wing. The P.1 and later P.6 & P.7 lead to the development of the P.11. The original P.11a was powered by a Bristol Mercury IV S2 radial engine but was considered an interim model and only 30 were built. The final variant the P.11c had a new refined fuselage with a lowered engine to give the pilot a better view. Production of the P.11c began in 1934 with 175 being produced. The first 50 had the Bristol Mercury V S2, with the remainder being fitted with the Bristol Mercury VI S2. Even though in 1934 the P.11C was more advanced than the Gloster Gladiator and the He 51, the fast pace of aircraft design in this time period coupled with the untimely death of Zygmunt Pulawski left the Polish with the P.11c in 1939 which was by then totally outclassed. The Polish had tried to order Hurricanes from Britain and M.S 406s from France. In the end none of these were delivered and the Polish Air Force faced the Luftwaffe in 1939 in their P.11cs. Not only were the P.11s low in numbers, lacking armament and radios, but they found the Bf 109s & Bf 110s faster and better armed. The Polish fighters had better manoeuvrability and due to the design better visibility. Despite the odds the Polish pilots managed to acquit themselves well. German records show losses of 285 with 110 being credited to the P.11 though the numbers are not 100% verified. The P.11c also has the dubious distinction of being the first aircraft to be shot down in WWII on 1st September 1939. The Kit The kit arrives in a standard open end box with the parts packed into a re-sealable plastic envelope. You get two sprues of grey plastic; a small clear canopy, a small selection of resin parts and a small etched fret. The plastic parts are well moulded with restrained panel lines where needed. The shape of the wing is well represented along with the surface. Construction starts with the cockpit. Its fairly basic in there on the kit, but I suspect the real thing was not exactly brimming with features. A combination of plastic and photo etched parts are used with a little bit of wire the modeller will need to provide. In all this should be sufficient for what you can actually see into. Following construction of the cockpit this is placed inside the fuselage halves and it is closed up. No location pins are provided so the modeller will have to ensure correct alignment. Following this the wings are constructed. The main wing Is moulded as one on the top part to capture the gull shape. Two outer wing panels are then attached on the underside. There are some large towers which will need to be removed before the wing parts can go together. Trim tabs and flap hinges are provided in PE for the wings, though the hinges are very small in 1.72! there are a couple of spares though if one is claimed by the carpet monster. The wings can then be attached to the fuselage with two struts each side. The last steps are then to attach the landing gear struts. These are moulded as one side. Getting the angle right will be a challenge as no where on the instructions does it show a view for you to compare against. Once these are on and the wheels attached the tailplanes are added. A PE trim tab is also included at this stage for the rudder. Finally the engine & cowl can be assembled and added. Decals Decal are provided for four different aircraft. Marking diagrams are provided in the instructions and a colour side view for each on the back of the box. The smallish decal sheet is printed by Aviprint of the Czech Republic. All appears to be in register with good colour definition and minimal carrier film. White 4 - 2nd Lt Jan Dzwonek Shot down Hs 126 Sept 1930 - As box art. White 10 - 2nd Lt Hieronim Dudwai, captured Sept 1939. White 5 - Waraw 1939 White 8 - Krakow 1939 Conclusion A historical subject if you like to model the inter-war years, or the very beginning of WWII. A good looking kit which is not to complicated. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  14. We've just received some new stuff today, as well as the last week or 2. Here's a list of the latest items 1/48 - Eduard: MiG-21PFM and Messerschmitt Bf110C-6 (Ltd Ed) Profipacks Special Hobby: Heinkel He115, Fairey Firefly Mk I 'Pacific Fleet', Fairey Firefly Mk IV/V ' Korean War' 1/72 Special Hobby: Vought Vindicator 'Marines go to War' Azur: Caproni Ca.310, Morane Saulnier MS.406 'Battle of France, Morane Saulnier MS.410 Lifecolor paint sets - Finnish Aircraft 6 colour set, Rust Paint and Pigment set, Mud Paint and Pigment set We have all the (well nearly) latest Eduard Brassin resin, Masks and Zoom etch in both 1/72 and 1/48 and also the Aires Exhaust Nozzles for the Kitty Hawk Gripen. The one or 2 bits we haven't got should be here in the coming week. Please purchase from our Website, as you'll find the prices cheaper than our Ebay shop (especially with the recently enforced Ebay changes). http://www.mjwmodels.co.uk/ If there is anything we haven't got, please request it from us and we'll see what we can do. If it's part of ranges we stock, we will probably add it to what we stock. thanks Mike
  15. Vickers / C.A.S.A. Type 245 "Spanish Vildebeest" 1:72 FRROM Azur The Vildebeest was initially developed as a torpedo bomber by Vickers in response to specification 24/25 to provide a land based aircraft giving coastal defence capabilities. With several variants originating from the original design including the Vincent, Spain ordered 27 aircraft but specified the installation of a Hispano-Suiza V12 powerplant in place of the Bristol radials that were fitted to other aircraft. This changed the profile of the aircraft significantly at the front end giving a much more aerodynamic and tidier look. The order for 27 machines was met through 2 British aircraft being supplied and 25 being licence built in Spain by C.A.S.A. which were posted to Murcia although the delivery wasn’t until 1935, just before the Civil War despite manufacture starting in 1932. At this time, they were void of guns, bomb racks and bomb aiming equipment. Despite these omissions, they were pressed into service in 1936 by the Republicans during the civil war by using a 3rd crew member to drop bombs through a panel under the pilots seat! They later moved to Valencia in support of further bombing missions. After one and a half months of operations, seven Vildebeests had been lost in combat. Towards the end of 1936, the remaining aircraft were sent for repairs and to have the bombing equipment installed and went back into service with Grupo 73 in coastal defence duties until the end of the war. The kit This is another pleasing variant from FRROM Azur based on the original Vincent kit. Boxed in the new standard light blue style box with stunning artwork of an aircraft operating over the Aragon Front from Sarinena Airfield in 1937, the contents are plentiful containing injection moulded plastic, resin, etch and no less than 5 scheme options on the decal sheet. There is a hint of flash present along the mould seams in places, this is more noticeable on delicate parts such as the struts. I find running a sharp modelling knife along the edges is a good way of removing it. Typical of Azur’s product range, the kit doesn’t have location pins like you would expect on main stream kits, so construction will be more challenging if you’re not used to this. The instruction sheet is in a folded A5 booklet format with text in French and English. The diagrams are clearly drawn with exploded diagrams where detail necessitates. Assembly of the kit is very much the same as the Vincent Mk.I that I reviewed recently HERE. The cockpit is nicely detailed with a mix of etch, resin and plastic parts. The pilot’s seat is assembled on the internal framework that bridges the width of the cockpit to each side of the fuselage. On this is also mounted the resin control column. The seats are treated to some tech seat belts. According to the references I’ve read up on, the early operations lacked guns and had a third crew member, however the instructions include a rear gun position but no third seat (if the additional crew member actually had one), so keep this in mind when choosing your scheme. I suspect that a rear gun was indeed added for operations or else the rear gunner would of been able to drop the bombs instead of needing a third crewman. Due to the different powerplant, this version gets completely new fuselage halves. Again, interior detail is moulded in to the halves as on the other kits. Care will need to be taken fitting the small round side windows as there is no step to secure them as with on most main stream kits, so there is a higher risk of getting glue marks on them. A beautifully moulded resin engine is included that drops in to the opening at the top of the nose whilst the lower nose has two radiators sandwiched between the fuselage halves. A different propeller is included for this version with a pointed spinner. Unfortunately, my example has suffered from some sink marks on both the blades and spinner so some filling will be necessary. The tail on this version is different in that it has an extended base below the fuselage, similar to the hurricane but more pronounced. With the fuselage assembled, the wings are next. As mentioned in the other review, care should be taken aligning these up. Fortunately, this is made easier by the wings being completely parallel. A good thread is provided HERE by John (Viking) on handling this tricky stage. Some of the location points are barely visible, so you may want to address this with a micro drill. The instructions on the strut locations are quite thorough with exploded diagrams assisting the main drawings. The wings are moulded as single pieces with stunning surface detail. Whilst the sprue containing the spatted wheels is included, the Spanish versions didn’t use spats, so there are plenty of leftover parts to go in the spares box. I’ve read that some of the Spanish aircraft were fitted with floats and this version was covered by Special Hobby previously. It would of been good to have this option included. The weaponry in this kit is a little disappointing. The box artwork shows an aircraft fitted with wing racks which is to be expected for late 1936 onwards, but there isn’t any contained in the kit. Conversely, the instructions call for the torpedo to be fitted, but I’m not aware of them being fitted in service. It would of been good to see the wings ‘bombed up’ from the box. As with the other Vildebeest variants in this range, the kit is thoughtfully adorned with lots of resin and etch detail to give it the busy look reflected in the real aircraft. Additional coolers are mounted under the lower wing leading edges, these are provided in resin. There are prominent slat guides on the top wings of the Vincent, these are provided on the etch sheet. Markings There are 5 options included in the kit. Given the history of weaponry fitted that is described in the introduction above, this should be considered as to what year(s) of service your chosen aircraft was operational in, particularly if you want to scratch build some wing racks. The choice of schemes offers some eclectic finishes from brightly coloured over silver, dark green, and mottled green / yellow oche. The decals are printed by Aviprint with sharp definition and no evidence of registry misalignment. T-5 – Silver / red bands – Sarinena Airfield 1937 T-23 – Dark Green / Yellow Oche Mottle over silver – Los Alcaceres 1937 T-9 – Silver / red bands – Manises Airfield (nr Valencia) T-1 – Silver – shortly after delivery (1935 ??) BR-60 – Dark Green / red bands – Grupo 73 based at Los Alcaceres 1938 Conclusion This is another great variant to the Vildebeest range with quite a different look to it because of the liquid cooled powerplant. It's disappointing not to have wing mounted bomb racks and bombs included considering these were catered for in the Vincent Mk.I and the sink marks in the propeller will need some filling to tidy up this prominent feature. Apart from these issues, it’s a great kit full of detail thanks to the etch and resin supplements. The nature of these short run style kits means that beginners will find it a more challenging build if not used to them, but there is no doubt as to the quality of build you can achieve from the box. Review sample courtesy of
  16. IAR 39 1:72 Azur FRROM During the 1930s, the IAR society (Industria Aeronautica Romania) built planes from Poland and France under licence. These included the PZL P.11, later P.24, Potez 25. In 1936 the IAR-Brasov project team designed a reconnaissance and light bomber plane (IAR 37), this was basically an improved Potez 25. A first batch of 50 aircraft was built in 1937. Following the experience of flying the IAR 37 and, the IAR 38 (built with imported BMW engines) this led to slight modifications. The resulting aircraft was designated the IAR 39, this was test flown for the first time on the 13th of March, 1940. The production was then switched to the IAR 39 variant. At beginning of 1942, the IAR plant in Brasov, heavily engaged in the assembly of urgently needed IAR 80 and Savoias 79, transferred the IAR 39 production to the SET society in Bucharest. A /S was added to the serial number of the SET built planes, so that they were easily distinguished from the IAR built ones. During WWII, the IAR 39s were used by the Rumanian Army against The Soviet Union, and following the August 1944 coup, against the Axis forces.(Information from Azur FFROM) The Kit The kit arrives in Azur FFROMs standard open ended box. The parts consist of two sprues of injected plastic, one sheet of photo etched parts, one bag of resin parts, one clear sprue, one vac form canopy (in addition to the injected one) and an acetate film for the instrument panel. Construction starts with the cockpit. There are a lot of parts for this, and given the large canopy this should look very good if time is taken to do a good job. The inside consists of a frame into which the Pilot, observer and rear gunner sit; very much like the Swordfish. The instrument panel is provided in resin if you should just wish to paint this. If you want to use the PE & acetate film then you will need to sand the detail from the resin part. There is an under fuselage provided, however the modeller will have to make a cut in the fuselage for this as there is not one provided. Once all the cockpit parts are in the fuselage can be closed up. The glazing panels in the side of the aircraft are then added along with the tail planes. The PE struts for these will need slight trimming according to the instructions. Following this its on to the addition of the wings. This is not straight forward. The lower wings just join to the fuselage with a butt joint. I really think this will need to be pinned to get a good strong fit. The upper wing is one wing split into two parts. There are 8 struts holding the top wing up and these are all individual, this will be tricky. Once the wings are attached the engine can be made. This consists of a resin engine to fit inside the cowl. Looking at the kit there is no reason the engine can not be left off until after painting, even more so if doing the aircraft with a yellow cowl as this will relieve the need to mask it off. The canopy can then be added. Its very good that they have provided both an injection canopy for those of us who loathe vac form ones; and also a vac form canopy for those who prefer them. It will be a complicated masking job which ever is chosen. Finally the landing gear and bomb racks can be attached. 24 separate resin bombs in what look to be the 20lb range are provided, 12 for each side, these will be a painting challenge! Lastly the prop is added. Decals Decals are provided for 3 examples in Rumanian service. All are painted RLM71 over RLM65 with Yellow underside wing tips. Standard markings, yellow fuselage stripe, yellow wing tips (underside) Standard markings, yellow fuselage stripe, yellow engine cowl,yellow wing tips (underside)[/ This version is post the 1944 coup and features white underside wing tips, a white fuselage stripe and roundels in place of the pre coup crosses. No unit information, or in fact any information is provided for the markings. Conclusion This is a nice kit of an aircraft type I certainly have never heard of. The kit is quite complex with its mulitmedia parts, intricate cockpit and bi-plane configuration. It is certainly not for the beginner. Azur are to be complemented on giving us both a vac form canopy and an injection one. However again we have no rigging diagram supplied. The box art gives a good impression of what looks like complicated rigging, but it would be nice to have a diagram provided. Overall I would recommend this kit to those with some experience of short run kits and bi-planes. Review sample courtesy of
  17. Fleet 10G 1:72 Azur FRROM Fleet was a Consolidated subsidiary which built models of their trainers which were widely used in United States by the US Army (PT-1, PT-3, PT11), the US Navy (NY-1, NY-2, NY-3, N4Y), AND the National Guard (O-17. For the export market they were sold to Canada, where they where known as Fleet Fawn and Finch, to Portugal, and too Rumania. China did use some planes, probably US models. Three main Rumanian aircraft manufactures, I.A.R., S.E.T. and I.C.A.R built more than 330 of these aircraft under license. In 1931, Rumania impressed into service 20 Fleet F-10G The Fleet F-10G was used for initial training; liaison and mail transportation. Some of these planes were allocated to the headquarters of infantry divisions or other main Rumanian Army units. The civilian training Fleet F10G were impressed in the ARR during WWII. (Information from Azur FFROM) The Kit On opening what seems to be Azur FFROMs standard open end box you are presented with a model which can only be described as one of few parts. There are two small sprues of shorter run injection plastic, one small bag of resin parts and one sheet of clear acetate with the canopies on. The parts feature some nice if restrained detail, appear to be well moulded with no problems. Construction starts with the cockpit. This is a simple affair with the rudder pedals moulded into the floor, two seats and two very fine resin control columns. In what seems a strange way to dot he kit, the canopies, or should that be windscreens are attached to an upper fuselage plug which has the holes in it, which is then attached to a larger hold in the upper fuselage. This just seem to create extra seams to deal with? It should be said at this point that the vac form windscreens are very indistinct on the acetate and I for one with my eyes cant actually see where to cut them out. This is an early kit from them (no.72002) and I am thankful in later kits they provide both injection and vac forum canopies. Following the joining together of the fuselage halfs and insertion of the previously mentioned insert its time to attach the lower wing. This is one piece and mounts to a slot cut in the fuselage, thus providing a very positive and stable join. The Engine, tail planes and rudder are now attached. The tailplanes are a straight butt join so you might want to pin these. There are only one pair of wing struts to mount the upper (one piece) wing, with another pair on the top of the fuselage in front of the cockpit. Following mounting of the upper wing the landing gear is assembled and installed. The modeller with have to fabricate their own tail skid. As with all Azur FFROM kits no rigging diagram save the box art seems to be provided. Decals Decals are provided for 3 examples in Rumanian service. All are painted RLM71 over RLM65 with Yellow underside wing tips. Fleet F-10G Of Aeronautica Regina Romania (AAR)- IAR built 1943/1944 Fleet F-10G Interstingly an aircraft with belonged to the Romanian Railways Sports Association pressed into military service. - ICAR built. Fleet F-10G of AAR used as a trainer 1943 Conclusion This is a well made kit of a little known aircraft. If you fancy building something a bit different or Rumanian aircraft appeal to you then get this kit. It would also I suspect be a good first bi-plane for someone due to its low part count and what seems easier assembly (Aside from the clear parts). Review sample courtesy of
  18. Vickers vincent Mk.I 1:72 Azur FRROM The large, ungainly and yet somewhat attractive Vildebeest was first flown in 1928 using proven design methodology incorporating an all metal airframe with fabric skinning. Crewed by either two or three, production variants predominantly used the Pegasus radial engine. Whilst the Vildebeest was primarily employed as a torpedo bomber, a private venture by Vickers was to create a general purpose version to replace the Westland Wapitis and Fairey III’s in supporting the army out in the Middle East. Successful trials in the hotter climates were successful and this was to become the Vincent. The Vincent first entered service in 1934 with 84 Sqn based at Shaibah in Iraq and by 1937 equipped 6 squadrons in Iraq, Kenya, Sudan and Egypt. Differences on the Vincent were fairly minor with the most noticeable change replacing the torpedo with a long range underbelly tank. By WWII, the Vincent was mostly replaced by Blenheims and Wellesleys, however 84 aircraft continued service into WWII. They operated bombing missions against the Italians in the East African Campaign and Iraqi rebel forces attempting a coup in 1941 as well as coastal patrols from Aden. A notable achievement was the attack on the Italian submarine Galileo Galilei which led to its surrender. Vincent’s were retired from front line RAF service in 1943 although continued on in some more unusual activities until 1944. Around 60 of the retired machines were passed to the RNZAF in 1939 where they served in the reconnaissance and attack role. Altogether, 197 Vincent’s were either produced or modified from Wildebeests. The kit Azur released the Vildebeest a few years ago (See Paul’s review HERE) and it was warmly welcomed by the modelling community. This is a release of the same kit with some additional parts as necessary to create a Vincent. Whilst it’s a limited run kit with typical characteristics like a lack of location pins, the quality of the moulding is quite stunning. So what’s included in the kit? Firstly, there’s 4 medium grey injection moulded sprues holding around 80 parts of which some aren’t used. There is hardly any flash present. This is supplemented by 24 resin parts; a clear sprue and a fret of etch containing over 50 parts. In the box I received, there was also an additional larger resin engine that isn’t mentioned in the instructions but I assume to be a Perseus engine with moulded on connecting rods. This was only used in small numbers on the Vildebeest Mk.IV, 12 of which were sold to the RNZAF so there is the possibility to make one of these. The A5 instruction booklet is provided with text in English and French. The diagrams were well drawn with useful exploded views of some of the more intricate elements such as accurate location of wing struts relative to each other. Paint schemes refer to Gunze paints. Rigging diagrams are also included. Perseus engine ? Construction starts with the cockpit interior. Azur don’t just provide great external detail, they make sure the interior is well provided for too. A combination of etch, resin and plastic is used to give the cockpit a comprehensive and scale accurate look. The interior of the fuselage halves include detail to represent the metal framework. Etch parts include seatbelts, trim wheels and rudder pedal straps. The control column is finely produced out of resin. One of the more tricky elements of the kit is the clear windows. Whilst most mainstream kits tend to have a tab that windows locate against, these simply push in from behind with a very subtle taper to hold them. Take care to ensure you glue them carefully and adequately so they don’t push in when it comes to painting. With the interior complete, the two fuselage halves are closed up and mounted onto the lower wing. Surface detail on the exterior is a combination of fine recessed panel lines and raised fabric effect and access panels. Mounting the tail and tail planes looks to be simple by way of the design of both aircraft and kit. What I think will be the most difficult part will be mounting the upper wing to the lower one via the struts. This isn’t a skill that I’ve readily mastered, so I’ll let someone else off advice on this step! (Edit: See Christopher's comment below ) One thing to be aware is that the location points for the struts in the wing are very shallow and a few are marginal, so it might be worth drilling them out with a suitably sized micro drill. With the feathers on, the engine comes next. The assembly is quite a complicated affair and Azur have replicated this superbly. The resin engine is sandwiched between the exhaust manifolds and the exhausts mounted to the sides of the fuselage. There are no location pins for the exhausts to mount to the fuselage, so care will have to be taken when gluing them, especially if you prefer to fit these parts after painting. The undercarriage has two options; spatted or non-spatted so at this point you will have to choose your scheme to suit. According to the instructions, there’s a hook mounted to the starboard unit but it’s not clear how it’s stowed. As with the wing strut points, the holes for the undercarriage mounting points are either fine or non-existent, so take care. It might be worth doing this before you even build the model as a dry fitting exercise. The final major step is fitting the weaponry. The aircraft was armed with bombs and a central fuel tank. The bomb racks are each comprised of a plastic body with two etch clamps to support the bomb. These look very fine indeed. The bombs themselves are made of resin with separate fin sections. Each wing holds 4 bombs. Various etch parts are finally added to the wings and fuselage such as control linkages, mass balances, access ladder etc. There are very delicate so probably better to fit after painting if you’re clumsy like me! The rear facing gun gets an equal treatment of detail from the etch fret to supplement the plastic main components. Decals One of the things I like about the Azur kits is the great selection of schemes that you get straight from the box. 4 options are included, two RAF and two RNZAF. The colour on the decals look excellent, the register spot on although the small placards look a little under defined compared to some I’ve seen, but this is me trying to be balanced in my observations. The schemes included are: K4712 - 8 Sqn RAF based at Khormaksar, Aden, August 1940 – 6 colour shadow scheme K6363 - 244 Sqn RAF based at Sharjah, 1942 – Mid stone / Dark Earth / azure scheme NZ344 – 30 Sqn RNZAF, Gisborne, May – July 1943 – Dark earth / dark green / grey scheme NZ322 – 2 SFTS, Woodbourne, 1940/41 – Dark earth / dark green / aluminium high level demarcation scheme Conclusion Bi-planes are typically more difficult to build than monoplanes. Couple this with the some of the issues like strut location points I’ve mentioned and the small etch parts, it’s not going to be one of the easiest kits to put together. That said, the quality of the kit is certainly worthy of praise, the moulding is superb and the detail is very well catered for, so I’m very pleased that Azur have chosen this subject as part of their range. Clearly, a lot of research has gone into its design. In a nut shell, I think this kit is a little gem! Review sample courtesy of
  19. Focke Wulf Fw-58B "Export" and "South American" kits Azur 1:72 Kit FR009 - Fw 58B "Export" Kit FR010 - Fw 58B "South American" Before doing this review I hadn’t heard of the Focke Wulf Fw-58. After doing some research, I can honestly say that I don’t know much more than before I started! What I do know is that there were over 1300 produced with many being exported to no less than 8 nations. Wikipedia states that 17 nations in total operated the aircraft, so I find it quite surprising that there is so little information about this attractive little aeroplane. First flying in 1935, it set out to provide a light training, transport and communications aircraft for the Luftwaffe. It was powered by two Argus AS 10 inverted V8’s of 240hp and constructed of welded steel tube and semi-cantilevered wing. The surfaces were a mix of fabric and metal. The two main variants were the Fw-58B as modelled here and the more widely used Fw-58C that was fitted out to carry passengers. The armed version was fitted with guns in the nose and ventral position. The B model also has provision to carry small bombs, although more for training than any combat requirement. Only one aircraft survives today in Brazil but another one is being restored in Norway. The kit The B & C models were released by Special Hobby a few years ago. This is a re-release under the Azur brand of the B model. Both kits have the same plastic offerings but with different decal options. OK, let’s start with first impressions. The kits are presented in the new style top opening boxes with inspiring art work of what I believe to be a nicely formed aircraft. Three medium grey sprues are supplemented by several resin components and an etch sheet that are separately bagged. Moulding quality on the plastic looks to be very good although limited run, missing the location pins that were are used to on more mainstream kits. The fabric effect on the fuselage and wings is very well reproduced in a subtle way that gives good scale accuracy and finely recessed panel lines give a good presentation of the metal surface areas. There is minimal flash and no sink marks that I can see. The A5 instruction booklet provides clear diagrams for assembly. Before I go on, I’ve come across a good pdf document that would be useful for building this kit. Please find it HERE. It has good drawings of the structure and undercarriage assembly if you wish to add some scratch built detail. You will have to register with the site to access it if you've not already. Construction starts with the interior. There is more than enough detail to leave you satisfied straight from the box. The plastic parts are boosted by etch details that include panel, seatbelts, rudder pedals and throttles. The etch panel also has a film that is to be fitted behind it with the instrument details on. Referring to the link I mentioned above, there is a diagram showing a dual control option. The kit only provides for single control options and one seat, so if you want to add further detail, adding the second pilot position could be your chance! The interior steel framework is represented by formed detail on the inside of the fuselage halves. A great addition often over looked on kits is side walls to cover the wing root area inside the fuselage. These wing chord shaped parts simply locate on the side walls. The ventral gun location needs to be cut out from the upper fuselage. As there are no marks on the fuselage as where to apply your cuts, you will have to mark them by lining up the ventral fairing that fits into the cut-out. As there are no locating pins, the usual care will be necessary to get the fuselage halves accurately joined. I find using Liquid Poly or similar very useful for this as it gives a good initial bit but allows manipulation until you’re happy with your positioning. Holding it together with strips of masking tape is suffice until the glue (or weld) has dried. I’d recommend dry fitting the clear nose and cockpit before going ahead with the gluing just in case there are any alignment issues which might necessitate a thin fillet or plastic removal for a flush fit. The lower wing root houses the rear nacelles. Blanks are provided for these so that you’re not left looking into a big void inside the wheel bays. There’s no detail in these blanks, so you might want to add a bit of detailing yourself. The wing root locates to the underside of the assembled fuselage with the outer lower wings and uppers wings fitting around them. Again, short run kits can have a tendency to be challenging during this phase, so be prepared for any surprises that you might face. The tail plane has an unusual forward location of the tail. Again the fabric is well represented on this part without being over done. The nacelles are supplied in two halves with a front part locating the prop hub face and radiator intakes. The undercarriage is quite a complicated affair using a mixture of etch, resin and plastic. Etch wheel hubs give a good lick of detail in a place where it really gets noticed. The clear parts are beautifully formed. The transparent nose is moulded as a complete circumference so there are no fears about hiding glued seems. The nose blister is a separate part and houses a resin gun with additional ammunition magazine. I'd recommend dry fitting the smaller windows as some fettling may be required to seat them correctly. Note that some of them aren't required in this kit. With the bulk of the kit assembled, focus turns to the detail. Several struts, aerials and masts are provided in resin, plastic and etch to finish the kit off. I’d be tempted to leave the struts off until after painting to make masking easier if doing the camouflaged scheme. The resin parts are a little vague and will requite care cleaning them up. Decals The sheets in the kits are produced by Aviprint. Register is spot on with very sharp and precise detail. Schemes provided are: Kit FR009 “Export” – note the box top is labelled “Expert”! Hungarian G2+58 - operating from Poltava, Russia 1943 – light grey scheme Hungarian G2+47 – military mail runs on Hungarian front lines 1944 – camouflage scheme Romanian – Popesti –Leordeni Training School, Romania 1942 – camouflage scheme Romanian – Popesti –Leordeni Training School, Romania 1944 – camouflage scheme This last aircraft was shot down by a US P-38 on the 10th June 1944 Kit FR010 “South America” Argentinean “171” – Grupo 1 de Observacion, BAM Parana 1938-48 – aluminium scheme Brazilian “2-V-6” – Aviacao Naval, Brazil 1938-41 – aluminium scheme Brazilian “AT-Fw-1530” – Forca Aerea do Brasil, 1948-50 – Light grey scheme This last aircraft has been restored and is on show in Rio de Janeiro Conclusion This is a very nicely detailed if unusual kit. I doubt it will fall together given the limited run sprue design, but for a modeller used to doing such builds, I’m confident great results are possible straight from the box. How accurate the kit is, I couldn't accurately comment. It certainly picks up the character of the aircraft. Whilst some manufacturers offer main stream aircraft choices, I’m really grateful that Azur (amongst others) are prepared to invest in these rarer aircraft, especially when they are as attractive as the FW-58! Review sample courtesy of
  20. Savoia Marchetti SM79 JIS / JRS B & SM79 JRS B1 Azur 1:72 Kit FR004 - SM 79 JIS/JRS B Kit FR005 - SM 79 JRS B1 This famous trimotor Italian workhorse started out as a proposed passenger aircraft in the mid 30’s. With a good pre-war performance, it was also envisaged to be capable of air racing and did in fact set several air speed records in 1935. It was constructed out of wood and metal, with a wooden wing including the spars with a welded steel tubular frame, plywood and duralumin fuselage. Powered by three Alfa Romeo radials of 780hp, the aircraft could endure at over 220mph and had good low speed handling thanks to the flaps and slats fitted to the wings. Indeed, it could land in 200m and take off in just 300m! The aircraft took a crew of 5 or 6 of whom it was popular with and operated in the bomber and torpedo role. The SM.79 first saw combat in 1936 during the Spanish Civil War and went on to serve with several air forces including the RAF in the Middle East. In 1937 Romania ordered a twin-engine version of the SM.79 to serve with the Aeronautica Regala Romania. An initial order for 24 aircraft powered by 1000hp Gnome-Rhone Mistral radial engines proved to be underpowered so a new power plant was sourced in the guise of the Junkers Jumo 211 engine with 1200 hp. The first 8 aircraft were built in Italy as the JIS.79B (JIS standing for Jumo Italia Savoia, B standing for Bimotor), however subsequent aircraft were license built in Romania. This included the JRS 79B (R indicating Romanian built) and the JRS 79B1 which had the more powerful Jumo 211F engines of 1380hp. As well as having only two engines, the cockpit arrangement was changed from a side-by-side arrangement to a tandem set up. Production continued in Romania until 1946 with 72 license built machines being produced in total. Romanian combat was initially against the Soviet Union, but as the war progressed, attention was turned to Germany and its allies. The kit Presented in a top opening box that judging from our review samples seems to be the standard for their newer kits, you are welcomed by three bags, one containing f grey sprues, one containing the clear parts and one containing the resin supplements. These kits were first released in 2009. First impressions are of a very good quality limited run kit; typical of such kits is a lack of location pins. Surface detail across the kit is a mixture of fine recessed panel lines for the metallic & plywood area and subtle raised fabric effect where it would be stretched across the stringers along the fuselage sides. They have got the effect spot on in my opinion given the scale we are dealing with. The instruction booklet comes in an A5 folded form with text in English, French and Romanian. Whilst the parts on the sprues aren’t numbered, there are suitable drawings in the booklet giving the part numbers to refer to. Paint references are to Gunze colours. The assembly diagrams are quite straight forwards to follow and include where to fit the rigging & aerials wires if you choose to fit them. Assembly starts with the interior of the aircraft. The tubular steel framework is represented on the interior of the fuselage halves and is more than adequate for the scale considering what will be seen once closed up. The interior is very well catered for with the tandem cockpit, nose area, rear gun and rear fuselage areas getting suitable attention to the detail fairy! Using a wash when painting the interior will give much opportunity to reveal the detail in most places. Unfortunately, there is no option to have the rear facing gunner position open immediately behind the cockpit which would show off some of the interior detail; however I’m sure this could be done by cutting out the sliding panels and replacing with some thin sheet plastic bent to the correct profile to simulate them in the opened position. As there are no location pins, I’d strongly suggest plenty of dry fitting as you build up the interior to ensure that it all goes together as planned. With the fuselage closed up, the tail planes and rudder go on next. The tail planes are secured by two struts below for each side; however there is no locating tab so making your own out of some thin steel rod would be advisable. This is the type of thing that would differentiate the kit from being suitable for beginners. There are a lot of windows on this aircraft. The glazed nose comes supplied in two halves which inevitably leaves a seam down the middle to take care of, so care will need to be taken to get this assembled without glue marks. The JRS B1 kit (FR005) only has one nose type, although both boxings come with the same clear sprue containing two options. The earlier JIS variant contained in set FR004 utilises the second option. Apart from the nose seam as just mentioned, the clear parts are thin and free from distortion. Many kits that provide side windows suffer from concave profiles resulting from the moulding process, but the windows in these kits are beautifully flat. A quick attempt at locating one of the windows into the rear fuselage indicated that some fettling will be required to get them to fit, however a snug fit should be achievable as a result. The wings are a straight forwards affair and the wing spars are simulated by plastic strips that sit within the gear bays before joining the top and bottom parts together. The full wing section fits into t5he completed fuselage section. The gear bays are quite basic other than the wing spars, so you may choose to add some detail in here. With the wings on, the next major assembly is the engines. The cowlings are simply two halves with the exhausts attached. Again, detail in the surfaces and the exhausts are very refined. The large radiator housings are mounted below the cowlings and have resin radiators that locate inside. The undercarriage mounts across the wing spars inside the gear bays. I suspect these will be fiddly to assemble as the trailing links don’t have locating pins to attach them to the main legs, so patience and your best set of tweezers will be necessary here. The gear doors are lacking in any interior detail. What the real items looked like, I couldn’t say, but you may want to add some creative detail through scribing or plastic strip to add some interest. Finally the props are added. These come moulded as complete units that then sit on a back plate with the hub fitted over the top. Good photos of these variants are few and far between. If they had the same props as the Ju-87, the leading edge roots of the props where they enter the hubs look a little too straight, but this could be corrected (or at least improved) by filing the plastic away if it bothered you. Someone may be able to comment on this better than I can. Decals The decals are printed by Aviprint. Register of the colours is excellent and the colours vivid. The decals have a glossy finish to them. The schemes included are as follows: Kit FR004 – SM.79 JIS / JRS B JIS 79B ‘155’ - ‘Yolanda’, Escadrila 71, Grupul 1 Bombardament, Stalingrad, October 1942 JRS 79B ‘4’ – Escadrila 75, Grupul 2 Bombardament, gruparea Aeriana de Lupta, July 1941 JRS 79B ‘134’ – Escadrila 72, Grupul 1 Bombardament, October 1942 JIS 79B ‘120’, summer 1942 Kit FR005 – SM.79 JRS B1 ‘216’ – Trencin, Slovakia – April 1945 – Dark Green ‘154’ - Trencin, Slovakia – April 1945 – Dark Green ‘219’ – Markings prior to coup 23rd August 1944 – dark green / light brown / light blue camouflage Conclusion These are very fine kits and great to see such unusual variants being produced. Due to the limited run features, they aren’t kits for beginners; care has to be taken with some of the inherent features such as lack of locating pins if this is something new to you. It would of been good to have the rear gunner position with an optional 'open' position from the box, but this shouldn't be too difficult to scratch build. The quality of the moulding is excellent and with average skills a stunning and rare model may be built. Review sample courtesy of
  21. Hi, This is one of the Arsenal VG-40 used by the Swedish Volunteers Wing F19 in Finland during the Continuation War. As the Swedish Air Force had great difficulties replacing obsolete aircrafts at the outbreak of the war they turned to various manufacturers around Europe and the US. Only the Americans and Italians were willing to sell ready to assemble aircrafts, but those were already aging models. Therefore in late 1940 the French manufacturer Arsenal came up as an alternative, a proportion actually given by the Germans. The backside of the offer was that only the drawings were available, neither finished aircrafts nor engines or armament was provided in the deal. This postponed the Swedish decision as the Air Force was more interested in the Saab and FFVS developments. On the outbreak of the Continuation War in Finland, once again Swedish volunteer aviators joined the Finnish forces. During the Winter War the F19 wing had fought in the northern part of Finland using Gladiators and Hawker Harts. As the Swedish Air Force had a noticeable shortage of Fighters the VG-40 reappeared as an alternative. The metal and wood construction was relatively cheap to build and the RAF had provided Sweden with a number of Rolls Royce engines from Lancaster bombers that had made emergency landings in Sweden. F19 was the only wing that used the VG-40 and only 23 were ever built. They were all painted in Swedish Air force colors and marking except for the national insignia that was the Finnish one, as Sweden in itself was a neutral country during WWII. That is also the reason why the national insignias, as in the vignette, were painted over at the end of the war, just as the F19 wing did after the Winter War ended, before returning to Sweden. I used Azurs VG-36 and an aftermarket Merlin III and wheels for the build. The decals are a mix of leftovers from other builds. Or at least this is what might have been... The VG-40 never flew and for sure not in Swedish colors Thanks for looking! /Fred
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