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  1. Hurricane Mk.IIB (40007) 1:48 Arma Hobby The Hawker Hurricane was one of Britain's foremost fighters of WWII, and although overshadowed by the more graceful and slender Spitfire during the Battle of Britain, it was a capable aircraft that was available in large numbers, and achieved more than its fair share of kills during the conflict. It went on to see service to the end of the war, but was relegated to less onerous tasks as technology leapt forward resulting in faster, more agile aircraft that came on stream on both sides of the conflict. The type originated in the early 30s and first took to the sky in 1935, despite the Air Ministry’s tepid reaction to monoplanes at the time, and it was an aircraft that set standards for fighters that followed it, being a monoplane with a predominantly metal airframe, retractable landing gear, an enclosed cockpit and of course the delightfully powerful and throaty Rolls-Royce Merlin engine. Compared to the Spitfire it was a little old-fashioned, starting out with a fabric-covered ‘rag’ wing that was eventually replaced by an all-metal aerofoil, and it was less aerodynamically streamlined, with a thicker wing and overall chunkier, blunt appearance. Although the wing was replaced by a metal aerofoil later, it retained the fabric rear fuselage and as such was able to have minor damage repaired quickly and easily, compared to the Spitfire that would have to go back to a repair facility for structurally insignificant through-and-through bullet damage. A fabric patch followed by a few coats of dope, and the Hurri would be back to the fray, which endeared it both to its pilots and ground crew alike. The Mk.IIB was equipped with an extra four machine guns in the wings, bringing the total for each wing to six, but reducing its top-speed, further so because the wings were also fitted with bomb racks. These hard-points could also mount underwing fuel tanks, extending the aircraft’s range by 100%, which sometimes led to a mixed force of Hurricanes undertaking interdiction operations with faster variants providing cover. By the time the improvements to the airframe resulted in the Mk.IIC, it was tasked with ground attack, taking out German tanks, which weren’t as easy to crack as first expected, because 20mm cannon shells would often ricochet off the frontal and side armour, and bombing a relatively small target such as a tank was a matter of pure luck, all while the enemy poured lead in your general direction. It was withdrawn from front-line fighter service at this stage of the war, as by then the enemy aircraft outclassed it in most respects, so it carried on in ground-attack, night fighter and intruder roles where it excelled, without unnecessary exposure to enemy fighters. It was succeeded by the D that mounted a pair of 40mm cannon in gondolas under the wings, increasing its offensive power appreciably, at which point it acquired the nickname ‘The Flying Can Opener’, adding additional frontal armour to the airframe that was exposed during the run-in to target. They carried on in that role until the Typhoon came into service, which could do the job faster and more efficiently without the worry of being bounced by enemy fighters that outclassed it. The Kit This is a new boxing of the new tooling from Arma Hobby, which was one that many 1:48 modellers had been waiting for, as their 1:72 kits have a reputation for excellent detail, with the inference being that in a larger scale the detail would be even better, and we weren’t disappointed. The kit arrives in an end-opening box with a sturdy tray inside that prevents the dreaded crushing in storage. The painting of a bomb equipped fighter flying through an uncluttered sky, and the decal options printed in side-view on the rear. Inside the box is a cardboard tray that contains three sprues of grey styrene, a clear sprue, a sheet of pre-cut yellow kabuki-tape masks, and an instruction booklet that is printed on glossy paper in colour, with colour profiles on the rearmost pages. Detail is everything we have come to expect from Arma, with crisp engraved panel lines, fine raised rivets, restrained fabric scalloping effect on the fuselage rear, and plenty of raised and recessed features that should result in a superb model if care is taken during building and painting. If this is your first Arma kit, you should know that they have a technique of adding stiffening ribs and stringers inside their kits, and they hide away their ejector-pins in places that won’t be seen, usually with a circle of tiny turrets around them. They are usually placed so that they can be left intact without affecting assembly, but if they do need to be removed, you’ll be advised in the instructions. Construction begins with the lower wing for a change, drilling out holes applicable to whether you intend to fit bombs or drop-tanks under the wings of your model. The holes are marked in red for tanks, and blue for bombs, which is helpful, and the diagrams are accompanied by a little explanatory text that advises that the bombs are only used for one decal option, whilst tanks aren’t used in any from this boxing, catering to those that might want to use aftermarket decals. The gear bay is created from a well-detailed section of spar that has a pair of retraction jacks and a pressurised cylinder applied to it, then has the remaining walls and their ribs mated to it and covered by the bay roof, feeding a brass-painted hose through the bay once completed. Attention then shifts to the cockpit for a moment, building the seat from four parts, which is supplied with decal seatbelts and is glued to the rear bulkhead for later installation in the cockpit. We return to the wing again, removing the drop-tank location points for all decal options, and cutting new holes in the wing leading edge outboard of the landing lights, inserting supports for the barrels and the landing light bays in the lower wing at the same time. The gear bay assembly is glued into the full-span upper wing, adding another short spar closer to the rear, then joining the two halves together. Now we learn why we didn’t build the entire cockpit earlier, as it is built in the space between the wings once they are completed, starting with the control linkage and frame, with the foot rests/trays over the top, and a small lever glued to a cross-member on the left. The cockpit side frames are painted and inserted at the perimeter, locating in slots in the upper wing centre, and these are joined by the rudder pedals on a central mount, and a V-frame that stiffens the assembly. The control column is built from three parts and includes the linkages that lead aft under the pilot’s seat, which is inserted last over the V-braces at the rear, locating on more slots in the upper wing. Flipping the wing over, a pair of rods are inserted into the bays, their location shown by another drawing that highlights them in blue. The instrument panel is next, with raised details depicting the instrument bezels and other switches, with a decal included for it and the compass that fits between two legs under the panel, which you are advised to cut into sections for an easier fit. It is glued into the starboard fuselage half with a pair of small pieces of equipment, with six more in the port side, and the option to pose the foot step on the exterior skin in the lowered position, which is a nice touch. There is also a decal for a pair of dials moulded into the fuselage sidewall. With that, the fuselage halves can be brought together, seams dealt with, and then carefully mated with the wings, taking care not to damage the lovely detail in the cockpit. If you plan on modelling your canopy closed, you should also cut away the rails as indicated in red on a scrap diagram at this stage to allow the closed canopy to fit firmly. The underside of the fuselage has an insert with the tail-wheel fairing moulded-in, and further forward, the central radiator housing has its core made from front and rear sections with the matrix texture moulded-in, and a circular insert with hosing, all of which is glued to the underside of the fuselage and covered by the cowling that is made from body, intake lip and cooling flap at the rear, locating in a shallow recess in the lower wing that has a horseshoe flange with fasteners to add to the detail. A choice of tail wheel inserts in the hole under the rear of the fuselage, adding a full-span elevator panel with separate flying surfaces that fills the recess in the top of the tail, fitting the two-part fin to a stepped lug in the fairing, and fixing the rudder to the rear, allowing all the tail surfaces to be posed deflected if you wish. The main gear legs are made from a strut with a retraction jack moulded-in, and another added to the rear, plus a captive bay door that fits on the outboard side, and a two-part wheel fitted on the stub axle. There is a choice of two styles of gun camera fairing in the starboard wing leading edge that uses two different parts, and your choice depends on which decal option you have chosen. There are clear lenses to cover the landing lights, and the clear wingtip lights have a recess in their mating surface that you can add some green or red paint to depict the bulb before you glue them in position, adding two short barrels to the newly drilled out gun ports outboard of the lights. The gunsight and a clear lens are glued to a recess in the cockpit coaming at this stage, taking care not to disturb it before the windscreen is installed. While the model is inverted, a pitot probe and crew step are added to the port underside, and a clear recognition light is inserted just behind the radiator, painting it a clear amber, with a chin intake made from two parts in front of the wheel bays. The rest of the work on the airframe is done with the model resting on its wheels (if you’ve fitted them yet), installing exhausts and mounting blisters in recesses in the nose cowling, a pair of glare-hiding strakes in a straight line between the exhausts and the pilot’s eyeline for two decal options, and an aerial mast in the spine behind the cockpit, cutting off the little triangular spur near the top, and removing the short post on the fin for all options in this kit. A choice of two styles of prop are included for the different decal options, using the same blade part, but substituting different front and back spinner parts, plus a washer inside the spinner that can be glued carefully to allow the prop to remain mobile after building. To close the canopy, part T2 is used, but if you intend to leave the canopy slid back, a slightly wider part is supplied, marked T3, with pre-cut masks provided for all options, as well as the wheel hubs and landing lights. As already mentioned, drop-tanks are included for this boxing, built from two halves that trap the location pegs between them, and have a small stencil for one side, even though they also tell you they’re not used for any options in this boxing. The instructions also show the bombs being built up from four parts each, along with their pylons, for use with two options. Again, if you are using aftermarket decals, the tanks and bombs may be of use to you. Check your references to be sure. Markings There are three quite different options on the decal sheet, each having a full page of colour profiles at the back of the instruction booklet, with letter codes corresponding to a table on the front page that gives codes for Hataka, AK RealColor, Mission Models, AMMO, Humbrol, Vallejo and Tamiya ranges, which should be sufficient for most of us, although FS numbers are also included for most colours to help you further. From the box you can build one of the following: Hurribomber BE489/AE-Q 'Butch the Falcon'. 402 Sqn., RCAF, Warmwell, February 1942 Z3171/SW-P 'Hyderbad City', 243 Sqn. RAF, Hibaldstow, Pilot F.Sgt. J C Tate, Winter 1941/42 Z3675/WX-B, 302 Sqn. PAF, Church Stanton, August 1941 Decals are by Techmod, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion Another fabulously well-detailed model of this doughty fighter that shows amazing attention to detail, and deserves to be the new de facto standard in this scale. This back-dating of the variant helps to fill another gap in the range, which we hope will continue to broaden until everyone has the mark and sub-variant that they want. VERY highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  2. Here's a review of a new Battle of Britain film from the Guardian, including a link to the trailer; https://www.theguardian.com/film/2023/nov/27/battle-over-britain-review-spitfires-tin-hat-production The review is just about favourable, and it's released into cinemas on 1st December.
  3. Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIB (04968) 1:32 Carrera Revell Although somewhat less glamorous than the Supermarine Spitfire in the eyes of some, it was the Hawker Hurricane that proved to be at least half of the backbone of Britain’s air defences during the summer of 1940. Designed in 1935, the Hurricane was relatively advanced compared to other fighters in service at that time, featuring a fully enclosed cockpit, retractable undercarriage, eight .303 inch machine guns, a powerful liquid-cooled V12 engine and, most importantly, a cantilever monoplane. Despite its modern appearance however, the design and manufacturing techniques were thoroughly conventional, which meant that it was relatively straight forward to produce in large numbers. This proved useful when it came to manufacture because the aircraft could be churned out quickly, and was easy to repair and maintain. The Hurricane's first kill was achieved on 21st October 1939 when 46 Sqn found and attacked a squadron of Heinkel He.115s over the North Sea. The Mk.I was initially fitted with fabric-covered wings, which limited its dive speed, which was rectified by the replacement with a more robust metal skin, and adding a stabilising strake beneath the rudder to assist with spin recovery. Armour protection for the pilot and self-sealing fuel tanks were also added in light of combat experience, making the aircraft more survivable for the pilot, and increasing its ruggedness. The Mk.II was equipped with the Rolls Royce Merlin XX engine, capable of developing almost 1,500hp with the help of a two-speed supercharger and revised glycol/water injection system. The longer cowling required by the new engine also improved stability further, and by the time the Mk.IIB was in production, it also had hard-points for carrying bombs or additional fuel for longer-range sorties. Although the Hurricane was a solid performer, it proved to have less scope for improvement when compared to the Spitfire, and as it was slower due to its aerodynamics, the Spitfire became the poster-child of the Battle of Britain and beyond, despite the Hurricane claiming more kills than the graceful Spitfire. Later variants were fitted with 20mm cannons, and the final production variant, the Mk.IV used the so-called ‘universal wing’ that could carry bombs, weapons, fuel and other options, with a deeper armoured radiator housing under the centre. The Kit This is a brand-new tooling from Revell, and has been anticipated by many larger-scale WWII modellers since its announcement. The bated breath should now have been released and some mouthwash slooshed, as it’s available now from all the usual places online and in the real world. It arrives in a deep end-opening box, and inside are eight sprues in light grey styrene in three bags, a separately bagged clear sprue, a decal sheet secreted inside a colour instruction booklet that has markings profiles on the back pages, and a list of paint choices in Revell codes near the front. Detail throughout is crisp and neat, with finely engraved panel lines and relief for the fabric-covered areas that do a good job of representing the skin of the real thing. There are a lot of ejector pin marks inside the fuselage halves, and a few of them encroach upon the sidewall details of the cockpit, although whether they’ll be seen is debatable. Construction begins with the cockpit, which is made from sub-assemblies, starting with the pilot’s seat, which is fabricated from base, back and two side panels, then the bulkhead behind the pilot is layered from four sections after drilling some holes in the tapered top-section. The foot troughs and framework are joined together, and the sidewall framework is detailed with small parts, predominantly on the port side, and a cross-member with framework and hose is assembled. There is a lot of detail-painting called out with coloured flags with letters that cross-refer to the paint guide at the front, and this continues throughout the whole build. The framework of the cockpit can then be joined together by adding the cross-member and a tubular A-frame, with the front slotting into four holes in the forward bulkhead. The ‘floor’ of the cockpit is inserted into the assembly and rotated into position, after which the control column and linkage is installed along with the rudder pedals between the two troughs. A compass with decal is dropped onto a mount near the front of the cockpit, and in the rear the armoured bulkhead is slid down into the framework at an angle so that the seat can be fitted, with a scrap diagram showing the correct location from the side. A long winding hose is inserted down the port side of the cockpit, with the rear end curling round and mating with the cross-member under the seat, and there is another scrap diagram to help you with this. A lever is inserted into a socket in the starboard side behind the armour, with the handle projecting into the cockpit, which brings us to the instrument panel, which is surfaced with raised and recessed detail, over which you apply three decals for the various sections before gluing in place between the two sides of the cockpit framework. A choice of oval or rectangular lensed gunsight are added to an angled mount that slips through a hole in the panel in front of the pilot. In order to close up the fuselage, the spacer that fills the area where the Merlin should fit is joined together, and this has exhaust ports moulded-in with good detail, and the two halves trap the axle in place, along with the front detail insert that depicts part of the motor. This and the cockpit assembly are added to the starboard fuselage half after it has been painted internally, the afore mentioned ejector-pin marks dealt with if you feel the need, and the addition of a small detail skin to the aft of the sidewall. The port fuselage half is painted and has a detail part fixed into a socket, then the two halves are brought together, and here the instructions advise not to glue the cockpit framework into either fuselage half, but leave it floating in the sockets, presumably to achieve a better fit. The top of the engine cowling is glued over the empty space, and the closed canopy is temporarily taped into position over the cockpit opening for reasons that aren’t expounded upon. The main gear bays are actually a single space beneath the two bay openings, and are made up in stages, starting with the leading edge, which has two ribs attached to the main shape, then has a clear roof insert added, which is clear to replicate the two observation windows there, and they have a hose snaking across front to back. Some small detail parts are inserted, followed by the rear bulkhead, which has a two-part cylinder attached to the middle, and two retraction jacks glued to the sides. The wing’s centre section is separate on this model, and has a spar fitted inside, locating on pins that are moulded onto the inside, then the bay assembly is pushed into position, feeding the hose through a hole in the spar until it locates on more pins. Both lower wing halves have a cut-out in the leading edge that receives a landing light bay that has a separate lens slotted in before it put in position, painting the inside interior green. They are both glued onto the centre section using pins and tabs, and are closed over by adding the upper wing sections, drilling a hole in the starboard part if the aircraft had a gun camera mounted. Flipping the wing over, the leading edge of the centre section is added, then the remaining inserts that include the gun ports, clear landing light cover and other small parts such as the gun camera shroud are inserted along with the clear wingtip light covers. The fuselage is dropped into position between the wings, and underneath the chin insert and lower fuselage insert are fitted, followed my a recognition light and the fairing around the tail wheel. The trailing edge of the strake in front of the tail wheel is then sanded to a new angle by removing 2mm from the bottom and nothing from the top. The chin intake is put together from top and bottom halves, and the radiator core is made up from front and rear sections, and dropped into the cowling, which is built from an oval intake and the streamlined fairing, and once installed under the wing it has the flap at the rear added in the open or closed positions, using the diagrams to the side as guidance. All the flying surfaces are separate, so can be depicted at any reasonable angle, starting with the rudder panel, which is made from two halves and has a clear lens fitted above the trim-tab. The elevators fins and panels are all similarly two parts each, and fit to the fuselage under the fin via the usual slot and tab system. The ailerons are dealt with later, and are again two halves each, slotting into the spaces in the trailing edges, then you can choose whether to depict the flaps in the open or closed positions by swapping out the parts as per the instructions. There are ribs moulded into the open flaps, but the flap bays are devoid of any detail. The front of the fuselage has a fairing added to the front, with a choice of styles, one of which is open at the front, the other partially closed by a cover. There is a choice of two styles of exhaust, one with round pipes, the other with fish-tail outlets, and are each made from two halves, although they don’t have open ends. This could be remedied by opening the tips before joining the halves, taking care to cut them to the same profile as the exhausts. When finished your chosen style assembly is slotted into the outlets in the side of the cowling and painted a suitably hot and grimy colour. The crew stirrup can be depicted dropped for access or retracted by inserting a stub into the opening, and an L-shaped pitot is pushed into a hole under the port wing near the aileron hinge. The landing gear is next, beginning with the tail wheel, which is two parts as is the strut, which is closed around the wheel to create the yoke, and is then inserted into a hole in the tail. The main wheels are two parts with an additional hub insert, and these are slotted onto the axles at the end of the main struts and have the three-part captive doors made up concurrently and fitted once the legs have been inserted into the bays and supported by their retraction jacks. You are advised to remove the canopy at this stage, and still no explanation is forthcoming, as if you intend to leave the canopy closed, you reuse the same part two steps later, adding a choice of rear-view mirror styles on the top of the windscreen. The same choice of mirrors is available if you are planning on leaving the canopy open, but separate parts are used, the canopy portion sliding over the spine of the fuselage on runners. It’s worth noting that the canopy parts look slightly “smooth” on the sprues, as we’re used to raised frames on our models, but these have been engraved as tramlines on a smooth canopy, which looks strange. Checking quickly on Google, the canopy has very shallow raised frames, which would disappear to almost nothing when factoring in the scale, so a few coats of paint should result in a reasonable facsimile. The windscreen however has thicker frames on the front, and a flared frame at the rear to deflect wind away from the pilot with an opened canopy. These aspects aren’t rendered at all on either the open or closed canopies, but if this bothers you it could be remedied by adding a few layers of primer strategically to build up thickness. A light and aerial mast is inserted behind the canopy at the end of the build, and you’ll need some thread or wire to depict the antenna itself. The three-bladed prop is moulded as a single part, which is enclosed in the spinner and rear plate before it is slipped over the axle to complete the model. Markings There are two decal options on the sheet, and they’re like day and night. Literally. The first option is a day fighter in traditional brown/green camouflage over sky of the time, while the second is an all-black night fighter. From the box you can build one of the following: No.79 Sqn., RAF Fairwood Common, South Wales, July 1941 No.253 Sqn., RAF Hibaldstow, England, late 1941 Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The decals for the instrument panel and compass are printed with black backgrounds, and have the dials line-drawn in white and yellow, plus a little red. Conclusion A new-tool Hurricane in 1:32 will please a great many of my fellow modellers, and there’s enough detail to please most of them. The canopy is a strange choice, but on balance the kit should build up into a well-detailed model out of the box. Highly recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  4. New research in the National Archives, and re examining an old photo, have revealed a fascinating Battle of Britain paint scheme. A Yellow recognition band. It makes the cover of a new book, and a fascinating Youtube documentary. Masking tape at the ready! The Rarest Battle of Britain Photo Ever? - The mystery tail band - YouTube
  5. Im starting to organize my Robert Stanford Tuck info for my planned builds. The builds will include Two Mk.I spitfires coded GR*P and FZ*L. A Hurricane Mk.I coded DT*A, and a Spitfire Mk.Vb coded RS*T. Im currently planning on building the Mk.Vb as I have decals and kit. Im looking for any photo’s of Tucks planes or him, anything i can use to glean info for future work. The only three photo’s I have of the Mk.Vb are the three of the plane after his crash. If anyone has photo’s of this plane prior to the last flight, I would be grateful if you shared them. If you send them via P/M or Email I guarantee i wont share them without your permission. They would be strictly for personal use. Any help would be grateful and I give thanks in advanced. Dennis
  6. My first Spitfire in 1:32. The kit was nicely detailed, but suffered from fit issues mainly on the wingroots. I first attempted to place a spreader, but after adding the cockpit I noticed it widened the fuselage enough to make the roots meet the wings. Decals were the best part of the kit, they conformed to the panel lines without the need for Micro Sol. I did use it to make the lower roundels conform to the many bumps of the lower wing. Here are the photos. Hope you guys had a nice Christmas!
  7. I got the Galland Eduard Bf109E and had a think about the subject. I saw the Possum Werks decals that covered the dogfight that ended in the demise of Luftwaffe top scoring pilot Maj Helmut Wick, Flt Lt John Dundas, his wingman PO Paul A Ballion. Perfect, I thought, 2 subjects in 1 go, I click buy.....then I looked at the date of Dundas'/Wicks' final battle....28 Nov 1940......after the official battle dates....not wanting to feel the wrath of the GB moderators, I looked at other options and with Helmut Wick he was promoted to Major just before the end of the battle, its debatable if his aircraft was repainted by 30 Oct.... So I sourced some other decals of his aircraft Wr 5344, before his promotion. He was the leading Luftwaffe ace the day he died, there are lots of old black and white pics of his aircraft, so thought I'd give it a go. Plenty of history here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helmut_Wick https://www.luftwaffe.cz/wick.html Never built Eduard, so any tips on this kit appreciated - will be built in flight so I have looked closely at the instructions ref the engine cover! Never done any mottling before so had a play over the weekend. The mottle on Wr5344 is really tight and what I would call 'dirty' so a sponge seems to be the best approach as per around the hole on the F111 wing! Nice 1/32 build here: https://forum.largescaleplanes.com/index.php?/topic/71809-eduard-bf-109-e-4-major-helmut-wick-1940/ http://falkeeins.blogspot.com/2009/12/helmut-wick-his-me-109-wnr-5344.html https://www.asisbiz.com/il2/Bf-109E/JG2-Stab/pages/Messerschmitt-Bf-109E4-Geschwader-Stab-JG2-Helmut-Wick-France-Oct-1940-0A.html Hope fully an interesting subject.
  8. Greetings Friends- Here is my latest build: an Excellent ICM kit, the Do-17Z-2 in 1/48. I really liked the kit and the fit problems were my own. I always have trouble fitting clear parts to opaque and the ventral gun section moved on me. I really liked the kit and am very happy with the result. The decals were by Owl and for F1+HH which I have a photo of it and it lacks the ID markings of the commonly portrayed F1+FH with the Devil insignia. Kagero also did a profile of it and this is the one I did. The Paint is Mr. Color 70/71 and 65 lightened a pinch. The Stencil and insignia decals are Eduard and were excellent. The Clear is Tamiya. Only adds were Eduard 'Look' Instrument and harness kit and Eduard Resin Do17Z Wheels. Oh yea, I added quickboost exhausts kit. Enjoy and comments welcome! Let me know what I can improve.
  9. Hi there! Fresh off my workbench, here is my E4, flown by the famous ace Helmut Wick before his promotion to Major. Wick achieved 56 air victories before he was shot down himself over the channel in November 1940. The new kit is quite nice, if not without minor fitting issues, The decals are extremely thin and hard to handle, but look very decent. Thank you for looking!
  10. Well I'm still 15,356 kms from my stash, so my planned Defiant and Do-17Z builds ain't going to happen. Second option - my Eduard Spit's - on order, will they arrive in time? I'm sure many are wondering that! My Corsair STGB build will wrap up within the 2 weeks. Everyone else is having fun and I could be sitting on the bench. So, I thought a trip to the LHS was in order. Can I be so lucky? Sitting on the shelf was Eduard's lovely 1/48 Bf-110C. Without hesitation, the cash quickly left the wallet and here it is, fresh off the shelf and still nicely wrapped in plastic. So, I'm in!! I have decided to build one of the options in the Eduard boxing. A nice rendition of Obl. Urban Schlaffer's aircraft with the RLM 70 over sprayed with RLM 02. A result of the Luftwaffe experiment to lighten the aircraft silhouette. Did it work? You be the judge. This particular aircraft was shot down by 602 Squadron August 16, 1940 - a twin that didn't get away. The build should be pretty much OOB. I'll probably add some resin exhaust and wheels. Maybe replace those cannon and machine guns with some brass. I'm sure another enjoyable build coming up. Only one problem. When ever I go to the LHS I pay double the price. Got this one free though. Or that's my story and I'm sticking with it. Ray
  11. Hi Folks! I'm glad to share with you this fantastic kit. A lot have been said about the new Tamiya Spitfire Mk.I... and I had to agree with all the positive critiques about the new tool. It almost build by itself! Not kidding! A complete delicatessen to my amateur modeller's taste!! In this case, I didn't use Tamiya's decals for the letters as I got ones from an Eduard kit for the Spit flew by the ace A. "Sailor" Malan, as 74th Sq. Leader, during Battle of Britain. Hope you like my approach to this legendary and beautiful aircraft. Happy modelling! Cris.
  12. Hi Folks! This time I read all the comments about this particular aircraft in 1/48 scale before starting the build. Dang! Just in time to put aside the Italeri kit and went for the Airfix new tool! Definitely, it worth it, because the building of the kit was a delight (after the Italeri's Hurricane experience). I used only some decals from the Italeri kit, because I like the yellow RLM 04 spinner tip on this particular Stuka. The pilot and rear gunner figures came from Zvezda kits. Here are the photos of the Airfix kit for the Junkers Ju-87 B-2 'F1+DP' of 9./StG 77, Caen/France, August 1940, during the Battle of Britain. Cheers and happy modelling, Cris.
  13. 81 Years ago to the day, on the 15th September 1940 P/O Cooper-Slipper of 605 sqn heard the scramble at the dispersal at RAF Croydon. It was the height if one of the most emblematic battles in the UK's history. Racing to his regular plane, he found it unserviceable, so he made for one of the reserve 'planes, Hurricane L2012 UP*V. Climbing into position, he came through clouds and almost instantly collided with a Dornier of Kg3, ripping the wing off his fabric winged Hurricane and sending both planes down. He luckily managed to get out to fight another day, even if the same could not be said for the Hurricane. Nevertheless, it accounted for an enemy aircraft; the score was even. The inspiration for this project was both my abiding interest in the BoB, and a rather more niche interest in early fabric winged Hurricanes that survived to fight in the Battle. The inspiration came from a photo from Dilip Sarkar's BoB Kaleidoscope books and help from Andy of Britmodeller provided the elusive code letter-thanks to him! Bae kit is the Airfix 1/72 Hurricane, with Yahu instrument panel and seat belts, resin five spoke wheels, an Arma open Hurricane canopy, and scratch built details such as the bespoke mirror fitted to the windshield. Paints were a mix of Tamiya and Xtracrylix, with decals a mixture of kit and Xtradecal generic letters and numbers. I rounded it off with a trolley acc from Flightpath. Thoroughly enjoyed this project, and my way of marking those now far off events that nevertheless continue to shape our lives. Work in progress link below, along with pics.
  14. Spitfire Mk.Ia ProfiPACK (82151) 1:48 Eduard The Spitfire was the champion of the Battle of Britain along with the Hurricane and a few other less well-known players, and it’s an aircraft with an amazing reputation that started from a bit of a damp squib in the shape of the Supermarine Type 224. The gull-winged oddity was the grandfather of the Spitfire, and despite losing out to the biplane Gloster Gladiator, designer R J Mitchell was spurred on to go back to the drawing board and create a more modern, technologically advanced and therefore risky design. This was the Type 300, and it was an all-metal construction with an incredibly thin elliptical wing that became legendary, although it didn’t leave much space for fuel, a situation that was further worsened by the Air Ministry’s insistence that four .303 machine guns were to be installed in each wing, rather than the three originally envisaged. It was a very well-sorted aircraft from the outset, so quickly entered service with the RAF in 1938 in small numbers. With the clouds of war accumulating, the Ministry issued more orders and it became a battle to create enough to fulfil demand in time for the outbreak and early days of war from September 1939 onwards. By then, the restrictive straight sided canopy had been replaced by a “blown” hood to give the pilot more visibility, although a few with the old canopy still lingered. The title Mk.Ia was given retrospectively to differentiate between the cannon-winged Mk.Ib that was instigated after the .303s were found somewhat lacking compared to the 20mm cannon armament of their main opposition at the time, the Bf.109. As is usual in wartime, the designers could never rest on their laurels with an airframe like the Spitfire, as it had significant potential for development, a process that lasted throughout the whole of WWII, and included many changes to the Merlin engine, then the installation of the more powerful Griffon engine, as well as the removal of the spine of the fuselage and creation of a bubble canopy to improve the pilot’s situational awareness. Its immediate successor was the Mk.II with a new Mk.XII Merlin, followed by the Mk.V that had yet another more powerful Merlin fitted, which returned the fright of the earlier marks’ first encounters with Fw.190s by a similar increase in performance of an outwardly almost identical Spitfire. The Kit This is a new tool from Eduard, following on from their other later marks of the Spit in their usual manner, providing us modellers with a wide selection of types and sub-variants as they proceed through their launch schedule. This is a thoroughly modern tooling with immense detail squeezed into every part, and for the inveterate upgraders, the kits are moulded with that in mind, to be augmented by a raft of super-detailed resin and brass sets from Eduard themselves, which benefit from concurrent launch and excellent fit. The outer skin has been fully riveted with fine lines and rivets everywhere, plus different widths of engraved lines, Dzuz fasteners on cowling panels, and even some lapped panels such as the fuel tank in front of the canopy. It arrives in Eduard’s standard ProfiPACK box, with five sprues in their grey/blue styrene, a circular clear sprue, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) that is nickel-plated and pre-painted, a small sheet of pre-cut kabuki masking material (not pictured), a large decal sheet with separate stencil sheet, and the glossy instruction booklet with painting guide at the rear in full colour. Construction begins with the cockpit, which will probably be familiar to most, although maybe not in so much detail if you’re not used to the Eduard way. It is built up on the starboard sidewall insert, with equipment, controls and a choice of seat-carrying fuselage frames depending on which decal option you have chosen. The seat is next, having the flare rack at the front removed and replaced by the daintier PE part, as well as some nice PE seatbelts and rear armour. The control column is also made up, and has a PE trigger added before it and the flight control box (more of a tangle, really) are joined to the seat and inserted in the next two fuselage frames forward. The next frame forward holds the instrument panel, which can be plastic with decals, or the more complex and detailed lamination of PE parts with those lovely glossy dial faces on a separate backing plate, either of which then glue to the frame, with the gunsight at the top of the panel, and the compass just below, then the rudder pedals are outfitted with PE straps and footrests, before being put just inside the cut-out below the panel. Forward of that frame is a blanking plate that is glued in place along with the spinner back during the fuselage closure procedure. The socket for the tail wheel and the leading edge of the wing fairing are also glued in, and take care here, as there are two diagrams below the fuselage closure that cover the painting and decaling of the cockpit sidewalls, which must be done before closure, as you’d imagine. The canopy will require small parts of the sidewalls removing to accommodate the appropriate glazing, so make sure you cut those parts off too. They slip in a mention of a panel line on the very front of the nose that you need to fill in, so don’t forget that one, as it’s called out with a line and the word “fill” during the attachment to the wings later on. The lower wing is a single part out as far as the clipped wing rib, and there are two small holes that need drilling out on both undersides before you go any further. A long wing spar bridges the gap between the wheel bay cut-outs, then the rest of the bay walls are made out of short sections and the wing-gun barrels are dropped into their slots ready for closing up the wing, then placing the fuselage into the gap and gluing home. The tail feathers are next, with separate elevator fins and flying surfaces, plus the rudder and its control link. Back to the wings, and the elliptical tips are slid into place along with the ailerons, which you can pose deflected if you wish. Staying with the wing, the model is flipped over, and the radiator, oil cooler and chin intake with fairing are all added in, the radiator and oil cooler both having PE mesh inserts, L-shaped feeder pipes at the rear, and a scale-thickness PE flap with two actuators for open and closed positions. The narrow track landing gear has replacement PE details fixed to the leg after removing the plastic representation, and these then have the captive doors attached to the rear, and wheels made up from a tyre and two hub parts, with a split yoke and wheel for the tail, which slots into the socket buried in the fuselage. The canopy has a choice of fittings on the windscreen, and a choice of open or closed canopies with a PE pull-handle in the top. The fixed rear glazing is fitted first for the open option, but is moulded into the closed canopy for better fit. The locations for the masks are shown in a diagram at the end of the instructions, using liquid mask for highly curved areas of the blown canopy. The cockpit door can be mounted open or closed, then the aerial is glued to the rear of the canopy on a base, two small holes are opened up on the upper wing for the PE landing gear markers, with a fuel filler cap on the cowling in front of the windscreen. The exhaust stacks have been moulded carefully to give hollow tips, and the prop is a single part, covered front and back by the two-part spinner, with the peg on the rear sliding into the front of the fuselage. The final steps show two aerial wire layouts for the different markings, which you will need to provide from your own toolbox. Markings There are a generous seven marking options from the box, including some very early war aircraft with the black and white underwing markings, and the over-sized roundels with yellow outer rings under the wings. From the box you can build one of the following: R6709, flown by P/O Colin Falkland Gray, RNZAF, No. 54 Squadron, RAF Hornchurch, United Kingdom, March 1940 N3250, flown by P/O Allan R. Wright, No. 92 Squadron, RAF Croydon, United Kingdom, late May/early June 1940 R6690, flown by P/O John C. Dundas, No. 609 Squadron, RAF Middle Wallop/RAF Warmwell, United Kingdom, August 13th, 1940 R6835, flown by F/O Brian J. Carbury, No. 603 Squadron, RAF Hornchurch, United Kingdom, late August 1940 P9386, flown by S/Ldr Brian J. Lane, No. 19 Squadron, RAF Fowlmere, United Kingdom, September 1940 X4253, flown by P/O Wilfrid G. Duncan Smith, No. 611 Squadron, RAF Hornchurch, United Kingdom, February 1941 X4828, flown by F/Lt Wojciech Kolaczkowski, No. 303 Squadron, RAF Speke, United Kingdom, September 1941 The decals are printed by Eduard and are in good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The stencils are marked on the rear page of the booklet, separate from the rest of the markings to avoid confusion from trying to read overly busy diagrams. Conclusion There are bound to be some moans about another Spitfire model, but other people’s kits don’t make money for Eduard. They’ve done a great job of this early mark, and the detail is second to none from the box, with nothing else needed to create a great replica other than paint and glue, with a sprinkling of talent. Very highly recommended. You can also get an ART poster of the full box art, which really is a nice one. You can see that below: Review sample courtesy of
  15. This was my first build for a long time and since retiring late last year. Its the Airfix 1/48 Hurricane kit and was built straight out the box, apart from the addition of aftermarket resin exhaust stacks (I messed up the kit originals trying to drill them out. Doh!) Paints are the MiG acrylic Early RAF WWII Early Colo(u)rs and various Tamiya acrylics. Radio wires are mig 0.02mm elastic rigging thread. Decals are the kit ones in the main, with aircraft serial No and Sqn codes supplied by Xtradecal. I used my cheap old Aztek airbrush to spray this one. Hence the rather spluttered finish. I've since splashed out on a H&S Infinity CR+. I'm only just starting to try various weathering techniques and concentrated on dirtying up the underside and wheel wells here. For although the aircraft were being heavily used in war time conditions and were no doubt lacking the normal pampering that groundcrew would have provided in peace time, I didn't want to over do it because it was hot and dry in summer 1940, so dust, boot scuffs and screwdriver scratches would have been the likely main wear and tear on what were relatively new airframes. My chosen aircraft can be seen in this contemporary Pathe Newsreel featuring 56 Sqn aircraft, normally based at North Weald in Essex but filmed operating out of an Ashford in Kent during the Battle of Britain. P3153 US-U has the moniker 'Euthanasia' hand painted on the port fuselage side, just below the windshield. U is for Euthanasia presumably? The dark humour behind this appealed to me. My attempt to replicate this is unfortunately slightly overscale, but it's the smallest script I could write by hand on decal film using a 0.3mm Rotring pen filled with white ink! Hard to see the camo pattern demarcation in this old B&W film, but glimpses of the rear fuselage during taxying lead me to believe its type A, so that's what I went with. I was also able to choose what I believe is the correct serial number font based on the film footage and scratch build an appropriate rear view mirror. I've since also completed an Albion 3-point re-fuelling vehicle based on the 1/48 Airfix kit. I hope to complete a BoB Diorama featuring the Hurri and the re-fueller at some point. Am I the only one who finds researching the subject matter ultimately more rewarding than the final model? Update 18/08/2023 I finally took the following pics with ICM RAF Personnel, including some with the Albion 3-point Fueller.
  16. Spitfire Mk.I Early ProfiPACK (83152) 1:48 Eduard The Spitfire was the champion of the Battle of Britain along with the Hurricane and a few other less well-known players, and it’s an aircraft with an amazing reputation that started from a bit of a damp squib in the shape of the Supermarine Type 224. The gull-winged oddity was the grandfather of the Spitfire, and despite losing out to the biplane Gloster Gladiator, designer R J Mitchell was spurred on to go back to the drawing board and create a more modern, technologically advanced and therefore risky design. This was the Type 300, and it was an all-metal construction with an iconic thin elliptical wing that became legendary, although it didn’t leave much space for fuel or weapons, a situation that was further worsened by the Air Ministry’s insistence that four .303 machine guns were to be installed in each wing, rather than the three originally envisaged. It was a very well-sorted aircraft from the outset, so quickly entered service with the RAF in 1938 in small numbers. With the clouds of war accumulating, the Ministry issued more orders and it became a battle to create enough to fulfil demand in time for the outbreak and early days of war from September 1939 onwards. Fairly early on the restrictive straight sided canopy was replaced by a “blown” hood to give the pilot more visibility, although a few with the old canopy still lingered. The difference between the Mk.I early and Mk.Ia was negligible and the A was given retrospectively to differentiate between the cannon-winged Mk.Ib that was developed after the .303s were found somewhat lacking compared to the 20mm cannon armament of their main rival, the Bf.109. As is usual in wartime, the designers could never rest on their laurels with an airframe like the Spitfire, as it had significant potential for development, a process that lasted throughout the whole of WWII, and included many changes to the Merlin engine, then the installation of the more powerful Griffon engine, as well as the removal of the spine of the fuselage and creation of a bubble canopy to improve the pilot’s situational awareness. Its immediate successor was the Mk.II with a new Mk.XII Merlin, followed by the Mk.V that had yet another more powerful Merlin fitted, which returned the fright of the earlier marks’ first encounters with Fw.190s by a similar increase in performance of an outwardly almost identical Spitfire. The Kit This is a revised tooling from Eduard, following on from their other later marks of the Spit in their usual manner, providing us modellers with a wide selection of types and sub-variants as they proceed through their launch schedule. This is a thoroughly modern tooling with immense detail squeezed into every part, and for the inveterate upgraders, the kits are moulded with that in mind, to be augmented by a raft of super-detailed resin and brass sets from Eduard themselves, which benefit from concurrent launch and excellent fit. The outer skin has been fully riveted with fine lines and rivets everywhere, plus different widths of engraved lines, Dzuz fasteners on cowling panels, and even some lapped panels such as the fuel tank in front of the canopy. It arrives in Eduard’s standard gold-themed ProfiPACK box, with six sprues in their grey/blue styrene, a clear sprue, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) that is nickel-plated and pre-painted, a small sheet of pre-cut kabuki masking material (not pictured), a large decal sheet with separate stencil sheet, and the glossy instruction booklet with painting guide at the rear in full colour. Construction begins with the cockpit, which will probably be familiar to most, although maybe not in so much detail if you’re not used to the Eduard way. It is built up on the starboard sidewall insert, with equipment, controls and a slot in the rear that needs filling. The seat is next, having the flare rack at the front removed and replaced by the daintier PE part, as well as some nice PE seatbelts and rear armour – you should probably check to see whether the rack was fitted for your decal option. The control column is also made up, and has a PE trigger added before it and the flight controls box (more of a tangle, really) are joined to the seat and inserted in the next two fuselage frames forward. The next frame forward holds the instrument panel, which can be plastic with decals, or the more complex and detailed lamination of PE parts with those lovely glossy dial faces on a separate backing plate, either of which then glue to the frame, with a choice of gunsight at the top of the panel, and the compass just below, then the rudder pedals are outfitted with PE straps and footrests, before being put just inside the cut-out below the panel. Forward of that frame is a blanking plate that is glued in place along with the spinner back during the fuselage closure procedure. The socket for the tail wheel and the leading edge of the wing fairing are also glued in, and take care here, as there are two diagrams below the fuselage closure that cover the painting and decaling of the cockpit sidewalls, which must be done before closure, as you’d imagine. The canopy will require small parts of the sidewalls removing to accommodate the appropriate glazing, so make sure you cut those parts off too. They slip in a mention of an access panel on the very front of the nose that you need to fill in, so don’t forget that one, as it’s called out with a line and the word “fill” during the attachment to the wings later on, plus an access hatch on the rear port wing fillet. The lower wing is a single part out as far as the clipped wing rib, and there are two small holes that need drilling out on both undersides for various decal options before you go any further. A long wing spar bridges the gap between the wheel bay cut-outs, then the rest of the bay walls are made out of short sections and the wing-gun barrels are dropped into their slots ready for closing up the wing, then placing the fuselage into the gap and gluing home. The tail feathers are next, with separate elevator fins and flying surfaces, plus the rudder and its control link, and a PE antenna at the top of the fixed part of the tail. Back to the wings, and the elliptical tips are slid into place along with the ailerons, which you can pose deflected if you wish. Staying with the wing, the model is flipped over, and the radiator, oil cooler and chin intake with fairing are all added in, the radiator and oil cooler both having PE mesh inserts, L-shaped feeder pipes at the rear, a cooling flap with two PE stiffeners and actuators for open and closed positions. The narrow track landing gear has replacement PE details fixed to the leg after removing the plastic representation, and these then have the captive doors attached to the rear, and wheels made up from a tyre and two hub parts, with a split yoke and wheel for the tail, which slots into the socket buried in the fuselage. The canopy has a choice of open or closed canopies with a PE pull-handle in the top. The fixed rear glazing is fitted first for the open option, but is moulded into the closed canopy for better fit, with the flat un-blown canopy used on the majority of the markings options. The locations for the masks are shown in a diagram at the end of the instructions, using liquid mask for highly curved areas of the blown canopy. The cockpit door can be mounted open or closed, then the aerial is glued to the rear of the canopy on a base, two small holes are opened up on the upper wing for the PE landing gear markers, with a fuel filler cap on the cowling in front of the windscreen. The exhaust stacks have been moulded carefully to give hollow tips, and the prop is a single part, covered front and back by the two-part spinner, with the peg on the rear sliding into the front of the fuselage and a choice of two or three bladed options, the former having the central section of the spinner moulded into each blade. The final step shows the aerial wire for the early variants, which you will need to provide from your own toolbox. Markings There are a generous seven marking options from the box, including some pre-war and very very early war aircraft with the black and white underwing painting, and over-sized roundels plus some yellow outer rings and faint overpainted rings for some markings options. From the box you can build one of the following: K9797 Flown by Sgt. George Unwin, No.19 Sqn., RAF Duxford, Cambs, United Kingdom, Oct 1938 No.19 Sqn., RAF Duxford, Cambs, United Kingdom, early 1939 K9843 No.54 Sqn., Hornchurch, Essex, United Kingdom, early 1940 K9938 No.72 Sqn., Church Fenton, North Yorkshire, United Kingdom, Apr 1939 K9962 flown by S/Ldr. Andrew Farquhar, CO of No.602 Sqn., RAF Abbotsinch, Renfrewshire, United Kingdom, May 1939 No.609 Sqn., Drem, East Lothian, United Kingdom, Mar 1940 No.602 Sqn., Drem, East Lothian, United Kingdom, Apr 1940 The decals are printed by Eduard and are in good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The stencils are marked on the rear page of the booklet, separate from the rest of the markings to avoid confusion from trying to read overly busy diagrams. Conclusion There are always moans about yet another Spitfire model from some quarters, but other people’s kits don’t make money for Eduard. They’ve done a great job of this earliest variant, and the detail is second to none from the box, with nothing else needed to create a great replica other than paint and glue, with a sprinkling of talent. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  17. On the anniversary of the Battle of Britain, I decided to make a model of the Spitfire Mk.I. The model is an Airfix, I enjoyed doing it. Here's the picture.
  18. The Hawker Hurricane – Airframe & Miniature #16 ISBN: 9781912932122 Valiant Wings Publishing The Hurricane was the lesser-known stablemate of the Supermarine Spitfire, the plainer (in some people’s opinion) sister that didn’t get the limelight like its slightly younger, slightly faster and slightly sleeker colleague in the battle against the marauding hordes of Luftwaffe bombers that were intent on the destruction of our cities, airfields and infrastructure before, during and after the famous Battle of Britain. Often, the Spits kept the faster and more agile escorts such as the Bf.109s and later the Fw.190s busy, while the Hurricanes went after the slower bombers where their slight speed deficit wasn’t such an issue against the lumbering heavies. The Hurricane was also a sturdy aircraft thanks to its stronger, more traditional airframe construction and its fabric aft fuselage that was easier to repair than the all-metal Spitfire. It didn't get the love that the Spitfire gets from the public and press, but anyone that knows the full story knows that Britain would have been equally stuffed without either of them. The Book The book is perfect-bound with 272 pages on glossy paper, tons of photographs, diagrams and profiles, the modern pictures being in colour, while the contemporary content is black and white due to that being the dominant film format of the day. It is of course written by Richard A Franks, with profiles by Richard J Caruana, isometric drawings by Juraj Jankkovic and models by Libor Jekl and Steve A Evans. If you're familiar with the series, you'll know that the tome is broken down into the Airframe section that deals with the 1:1 real thing, and the miniature section that covers the scale models and has a number of builds, plus a host of photographic detail that will be of great help to the modeller. Airframe Chapters 1. Evolution – Prototype & Mk.I 2. Evolution – Mk.II to Mk.V 3. Sea Hurricane & Canadian Production 3. Reconnaissance (PR & TacR), Prototypes & Projects 4. Camouflage & Markings and Colour Profiles Miniature Chapters 5. Hurricane Kits 6. Building a Selection 7. Building a Collection 8. In Detail: The Hawker Hurricane Engine, Cowlings & Propeller Cockpit & Canopy Mid & Aft Fuselage Tail Wings & Control Surfaces Undercarriage & Arrestor Hook Armament Radio, Radar, Cameras & Misc. Electrical Access Panels & Miscellaneous Appendices I. Kit List II. Accessories & Mask List III. Decals IV. Bibliography A concertina sheets of 1:48 Scale plans captive in the rear cover (equivalent to 8 pages printed on both sides) The scale plans are nicely thought out, and fold out sideways with the left-hand edge captive to the inside cover, and the isometric drawings by Juraj Jankovic that pick out the differences between variants and sub-variants are a dream for anyone like me that struggles to remember the details that separate the marks. As usual with the photographs in these titles, they're excellent for the most part, and as good as they can be for the occasional slightly grainy one that is all that remains of this or that variant. Afterall, there's only so much that modern photo editing software can do. The builds by Libor Jekl and Steve A. Evans are all first-rate too, with two in 1:72, one Arma one Airfix, two other completed Arma kits in summary, one Hasegawa kit in 1:48, and one Sea Hurricane by Fly Models in 1:32, all of which wouldn't look out of place on competition tables at the highest level. Conclusion This book is brimming with interest and information, with something for everyone – the modeller, the aviation enthusiast or history buff. My personal favourite parts are the variant isometrics as previously mentioned, but there is so much to enjoy and it’s all good. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  19. Spitfire Mk.IIa ProfiPACK (82153) 1:48 Eduard The Spitfire was the champion of the Battle of Britain along with the Hurricane and a few other less well-known players, and it’s an aircraft with an amazing reputation that started from a bit of a damp squib in the shape of the Supermarine Type 224. The gull-winged oddity was the grandfather of the Spitfire, and despite losing out to the biplane Gloster Gladiator, designer R J Mitchell was spurred on to go back to the drawing board and create a more modern, technologically advanced and therefore risky design. This was the Type 300, and it was an all-metal construction with an incredibly thin elliptical wing that became legendary, although it didn’t leave much space for fuel, a situation that was further worsened by the Air Ministry’s insistence that four .303 machine guns were to be installed in each wing, rather than the three originally envisaged. It was a very well-sorted aircraft from the outset, so quickly entered service with the RAF in 1938 in small numbers. With the clouds of war accumulating, the Ministry issued more orders and it became a battle to create enough to fulfil demand in time for the outbreak and early days of war from September 1939 onwards. By then, the restrictive straight sided canopy had been replaced by a “blown” hood to give the pilot more visibility, although a few with the old canopy still lingered. The title Mk.Ia was given retrospectively to differentiate between the cannon-winged Mk.Ib that was instigated after the .303s were found somewhat lacking compared to the 20mm cannon armament of their main opposition at the time, the Bf.109. As is usual in wartime, the designers could never rest on their laurels with an airframe like the Spitfire, as it had significant potential for development, a process that lasted throughout the whole of WWII, and included many changes to the Merlin engine, then the installation of the more powerful Griffon engine, as well as the removal of the spine of the fuselage and creation of a bubble canopy to improve the pilot’s situational awareness. Its immediate successor was the Mk.II that had a better Merlin engine and higher octane fuel to give it a healthy boost in performance. The IIa was armed identically to the Mk.Ia, while the IIb carried the cannons of the Ib. It was followed by the Mk.V that had yet another more powerful Merlin fitted, which returned the fright of the earlier marks’ first encounters with Fw.190s by a similar increase in performance of an outwardly almost identical Spitfire. The Kit This is a reboxing with new parts of a new tool from Eduard, following on from their other later marks of the Spit in their usual manner, providing us modellers with a wide selection of types and sub-variants as they proceed through their launch schedule. This is a thoroughly modern tooling with immense detail squeezed into every part, and for the inveterate upgraders, the kits are moulded with that in mind, to be augmented by a raft of super-detailed resin and brass sets from Eduard themselves, which benefit from concurrent launch and excellent fit. The outer skin has been fully riveted with fine lines and rivets everywhere, plus different widths of engraved lines, Dzuz fasteners on cowling panels, and even some lapped panels such as the fuel tank in front of the canopy. It arrives in Eduard’s new ProfiPACK box with the gold banner, with five sprues in their grey/blue styrene, a clear sprue, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) that is nickel-plated and pre-painted, a small sheet of pre-cut kabuki masking material (not pictured), a large decal sheet with separate stencil sheet, and the glossy instruction booklet with painting guide at the rear in full colour. It is a very similar airframe to the Mk.Ia that we reviewed recently, so shares four sprues and the clear parts with its sibling. The new sprue has many of the external differences upon it, so keep your eyes open for the options as they occur through the build. Construction begins with the cockpit, which will probably be familiar to most, although maybe not in so much detail if you’re not used to the Eduard way. It is built up on the starboard sidewall insert, with equipment, controls and a choice of seat-carrying fuselage frames depending on which decal option you have chosen. The seat is next, having the flare rack at the front added from PE, as well as some nice painted PE seatbelts and rear armour. The control column is also made up, and has a PE trigger added before it and the flight control box (more of a tangle, really) are joined to the seat and inserted in the next two fuselage frames forward. The next frame forward holds the instrument panel, which can be plastic with decals, or the more complex and detailed lamination of PE parts with those lovely glossy dial faces on a separate backing plate, either of which then glue to the frame, with the gunsight at the top of the panel, and the compass just below, then the rudder pedals are outfitted with PE straps and footrests, before being put just inside the footwell below the panel. Forward of that frame is a blanking plate that is glued in place along with the spinner back during the fuselage closure procedure. The socket for the tail wheel and the leading edge of the wing fairing are also glued in, and take care here, as there are two diagrams below the fuselage closure that cover the painting and decaling of the cockpit sidewalls, which must be done before closure, as you’d imagine. The canopy will require small parts of the sidewalls removing to accommodate the appropriate glazing, so make sure you cut those parts off too. They slip in a mention of a panel line on the very front of the nose that you need to fill in, so don’t forget that one, as it’s called out with a line and the word “fill” during the attachment to the wings later on. There is also a hole to be drilled in the port wing root fairing as well. The lower wing is a single part out as far as the clipped wing rib, and there are two small holes that need drilling out on both undersides before you go any further. A long wing spar bridges the gap between the wheel bay cut-outs, then the rest of the bay walls are made out of short sections and the wing-gun barrels (four per side) are dropped into their slots ready for closing up the wing, then placing the fuselage into the gap and gluing home. The empennage is next, with separate elevator fins and flying surfaces, plus the rudder and its control link, chopping off the short tube on the top of the fin. Back to the wings, and the elliptical tips are slid into place along with the ailerons, which you can pose deflected if you wish. Staying with the wing, the model is flipped over, and the radiator, oil cooler and chin intake with fairing are all added in, the radiator and oil cooler both having PE mesh inserts, L-shaped feeder pipes at the rear, and a scale-thickness PE flap with two actuators for open and closed positions. The narrow track landing gear has replacement PE details fixed to the leg after removing the plastic representation, and these then have the captive doors attached to the rear, and wheels made up from a tyre and two hub parts, with a split yoke and wheel for the tail, which slots into the socket buried in the fuselage. The canopy has a choice of fittings on the windscreen, and a choice of open or closed canopies with a PE pull-handle in the top. The fixed rear glazing is fitted first for the open option, but is moulded into the closed canopy for better fit. The locations for the masks are shown in a diagram at the end of the instructions, using liquid mask for highly curved areas of the blown canopy. The cockpit door can be mounted open or closed, then the aerial is glued to the rear of the canopy on a base, two small holes are opened up on the upper wing for the PE landing gear markers, with a fuel filler cap on the cowling in front of the windscreen. The exhaust stacks have been moulded carefully to give hollow tips, and the prop is a single part, covered front and back by the two-part spinner in either blunt or pointed versions, with the peg on the rear sliding into the front of the fuselage. The final steps show two aerial wires from the fuselage to the elevators, which you will need to provide from your own toolbox. Markings There are a decent five marking options from the box, including some early war in Dark Earth/Dark Green and later examples with Ocean Grey and Dark Green camo. From the box you can build one of the following: P7881, flown by S/Ldr. Michael L. Robinson, CO of No.609 Squadron, RAF Biggin Hill, Great Britain, April 1941 P8387, flown by Sgt. Stanislaw Blok, No.315 (Polish) Squadron, RAF Northolt, Great Britain, August 1941 P8038, flown by Fl/Lt. Brendan E.F. Finucane DFC, No.452 Squadron RAAF, RAF Kenley, Great Britain, August 1941 P8081, flown by Fl/Lt. Tomáš Vybíral, No.312 (Czechoslovak) Squadron, RAF Ayr, Great Britain, November 1941 P7840, No.340 (Free French) Squadron, RAF Ayr, Great Britain, January 1942 The decals are printed by Eduard and are in good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The stencils are marked on the rear page of the booklet, separate from the rest of the markings to avoid confusion from trying to read overly busy diagrams. Conclusion There are always some moans about another Spitfire model, but other people’s kits don’t make money for Eduard. They’ve done a great job of these early marks, and the detail is excellent from the box, with nothing else needed to create a great replica other than paint and glue, with a soupçon of talent. Very highly recommended. You can also get a Dual Combo containing a Mk.IIa and a Mk.IIb for a bit of variety, which named “SPITFIRE STORY: Tally ho!”. You can see that below: Review sample courtesy of
  20. Hi folks,just thinking ahead to the BoB GB I want to portray a couple of Aircraft that served with my home county squadron,so need to think about sourcing 1/72 kits and serials,codes etc,there are a couple of sites giving their aircraft and bases during the battle but any further information,profiles photo,s etc would be greatly appreciated. regards Steve.
  21. Spitfire Mk.Ia Decals (48-174) 1:72, 1:48 & 1:32 EagleCals Decals We’ve never been short of Mk.1 Spits in any scale, but there have been a few new 1:48 kits from a couple of manufacturers of late, and it’s only natural that decal manufacturers are on the spot providing some alternative options to what can be found in the decal sheet within your kit’s box. EagleCals are one of those happy band, and have released this set of three specific airframes from early war, namely 1940 in the run up to, and during the Battle of Britain. The set arrives in the almost ubiquitous (for decal sets) ziplok bag, with the A3+ cover sheet and instruction booklet folded into four at the front, and two sheets of decals within, the smaller of the two containing the overflow of the first option with the Kiwi bird on the side. Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The instructions guide you through the decaling process, with the stencils on separate diagrams to avoid confusion, and photographic quality side profiles show where the rest of the decals go, with a little help from some smaller top/bottom profiles overleaf. There is a lot of background information for each option along with a little blurb about the Spitfire in general, and the former is shown below along with the profiles of your options. The quality of research is clearly very dilligent, and the instructions take the time to thank Mark Proulx for his help, and credits James Bentley for the excellent profiles. Conclusion For a Mk.Ia Spit, this is an excellent set, offering three options, some of which you may have heard of, printed by the de facto gold standard of decal printers. Great instructions round out the package. Highly recommended. The sheet is available in 1:72, 1:48 and 1:32 flavours, and you can see more information and choose which scale you fancy from the link below: Review sample courtesy of
  22. Morning all, May I present my 2020 yearbook. Obviously it's been a mostly dreadful year in so many ways, but one positive I've taken away from it is a renaissance in my enthusiasm in modelling. I had rediscovered my mojo before lockdown hit, but being furloughed for two and half months, and subsequently working reduced hours has meant I've been able to dedicate so much spare time to the workbench. As such, I've managed 26 completions this year, a personal record since I got back into the hobby properly in 2008. I've found building to themes has helped maintain the enthusiasm; the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain was my main priority going into the year, but it turns out my naval theme contributed to the bulk of my builds. I do love naval types! As ever for me, all are 1/72, and posted in chronological order. More images and details of the builds can be found by following the RFI links for those interested. Bandai's superb A-Wing. (Obviously, this didn't fit either of my themes, but it had been sitting on the shelf of doom for two and a half years so I pulled my finger out and got it done!) 1/72 Bandai A-Wing Starfighter by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Hasegawa Su-33 Flanker 1/72 Hasegawa Sukhoi Su-33 Flanker by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Tamiya Spitfire I 1/72 Tamiya Supermarine Spitfire I by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Airfix Ju-87B-1 Stuka 1/72 Airfix Junkers Ju 87B-1 Stuka by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Trumpeter Su-33UB Flanker 1/72 Trumpeter Sukhoi Su-33UB Flanker by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Airfix Buccaneer S2C 1/72 Airfix Blackburn Buccaneer S2C by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Arma Hobby Hurricane I 1/72 Arma Hobby Hurricane I by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Hobby Boss Rafale Marine. This was the first of three models built as a mini French Navy theme within the wider naval theme 1/72 Hobby Boss Dassault Rafale M by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Academy F-8P Crusader 1/72 Academy Vought F-8P Crusader by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Eduard Hellcat II 1/72 Eduard Grumman Hellcat II by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Tamiya Bf109E-4 Tamiya 1/72 Messerschmitt Bf109E-4 by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Academy Super Etendard Academy 1/72 Dassault Super Étendard by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Airfix Hurricane I Airfix 1/72 Hawker Hurricane I by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Academy F-14A Tomcat Academy 1/72 Grumman F-14A Tomcat by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Arma Hobby Wildcat VI Arma Hobby 1/72 Grumman Wildcat VI by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Hasegawa Avenger II Hasegawa 1/72 Grumman Avenger II by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Tamiya Corsair IV Tamiya 1/72 Vought Corsair IV by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Academy Helldiver I Academy 1/72 Curtiss Helldiver I by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Airfix Do17z Airfix 1/72 Dornier Do17 by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Revell Ju88A-1 Revell 1/72 Junkers Ju88A-1 by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Eduard Hellcat II 1/72 Eduard Grumman Hellcat II by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Revell Tornado IDS Revell 1/72 Panavia Tornado IDS by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Tamiya Corsair II Tamiya 1/72 Vought Corsair II by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Academy F-4J Phantom II Academy 1/72 McDonnell Douglas F-4J Phantom II by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Airfix Sea King HC4 Airfix 1/72 Westland Sea King HC4 by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Fujimi A-4E Skyhawk Fujimi 1/72 Douglas A-4E Skyhawk by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Thanks for looking, hope they were of interest. Merry Christmas, Shaun
  23. My next build continues with Erprobungsgruppe 210 - this time I want to build a Bf110D. I have no link to this other than my mother lives in Southampton, over which the aircraft was targeting the Supermarine works on the night of 24th Sept 1940. Interestingly one of my other builds, a Spitfire flown by Crelin Bodie, is mentioned in my main reference source for the build, Bombsites over Britain, by John J Vasco. His Sqn, 66 Sqn RAF, engaged 3 x Bf110 over Aldebugh, downing 1 x Bf110D. This build will be of Bf110D-0 of the 1st Staffel, Wr 2284 coded S9 + HH. I will be also using the 1/72 build that @Stew Dapple completed back in 2014 as my paint reference etc as he'd done some previous research that showed a slightly different approach than the decals set. The aircraft was hit by anti aircraft fire that night and crashed into the channel. The 22 year old pilot, Lt Ulrich Freiherr von de Horst and 24 year old W/T Op, Ogefr Franz Ollers were listed as killed in action, their bodies never recovered. Ogefr Ollers would have celebrated his 25th birthday 2 days later. The Luftwaffe list the aircraft as shot down by fighters, although there are no traceable claims. Sold as new, when I opened the box there are signs of a few scratches, maybe sanding and copious notes on the instructions - thats E Bay for you! Should be fine though. Have some Montex Masks - didn't fancy that masking task ! @Stew Dapple - you mention some tinkering with the personal marking/unit marking on your thread, can i ask what that was? I have not done any WW2 Luftwaffe camo before, so plan a bit of practice on a paint mule. I have Mr Paint paints, but not sure it will work with a stipple brush etc, also have Mr Color that I may be able to thin to allow this. Any top tips on mottling appreciated - one of my builds will need real tight mottle that an airbrush just won't do....
  24. Hi everyone and happy new year! For the last 6 months or so I have been in the modelling doldrums, I've lost count of the number of threads that I've started only to loose interest at the early stage of the build. This is a model I stared when it was first released back in 2015 only to shelve it at the first hurdle. Anyway with a new year comes a new enthusiasm for modelling, my wife has allowed me to take over our summer house and convert it into my man cave and I have a real urge to build the RAF airplanes that took part in the Battle of Britain. I already had a Mk.1 Hurricane (this one) and I've bought the Airfix 1/48 Blenheim Mk.1F, Tamiya 1/48 Spitfire Mk.1 (new tool), Airfix 1/48 Defiant Mk.1 and a Tamiya Beaufighter Mk.VI (I need to look into what it will take to convert it into a Mk1), I'd like to find a good 1/48 Gloster Gladiator and I need to try and finish my 1/48 Eduard Lysander. So, first model first, the Airfix 1/48 Hawker Hurricane Mk.1. I wont bore folks with sprue shots as the can be found anywhere on the web but I will show the box art of the kit that I'm using, the 2015 release. For the markings I'll use the excellent Xtradecal set X48146 available from Hannants. Whilst I was looking for information on Hawker Hurricane Mk.1 P3675 UF*S I found a build thread on Britmodeller started by Tonyot, it threw open some interesting questions as to the validity of the picture showing UF*S and its rather gaudy markings for a RAF figther during the Battle of Britain. So the aircraft (and picture) in question. Picture credited to Asisbiz. Hawker Hurricane Mk.I UF*S was the regular aircraft assigned to F/L Michael L "Mike" Robinson of No 601 Squadron RAF Exeter during 1940. F/L Robinson claimed 4 a/c destroyed and 1 damaged whilst flying this aircraft until being posted to 238 Sqn on 28th September 1940. Ok to the build, I've added some extra detail to the cockpit (framework and fuselage sides) and I redid the instrument panel using Airscale decals and I've added some lap belts made from masking tape. Since these pictures were taken earlier today I've glued the fuselage to the wings and painted the prop and spinner. Cheers Iain
  25. Hi everyone and here's my Tornado F3 built for the 'Tornado Warning' Group Build. The short build thread is here but to recap: Kit: Tamiya (ex Italeri) Tornado F3 Scale: 1/72 Build: Out of box with tape for seatbelts Paints: Halfords plastic primer, Revell acrylics airbrushed, Klear, Flory Models Wash, 4B pencil Decals: XTRADECAL Tornado F.3 229 OCU/65 Sqn "Red Zebra display" scheme Extras: some panel lines rescribed. Notes: This aircraft ZE809 was lost in a non-fatal crash in June 1994 while flying with 111 Squadron. A seal around a high pressure shaft failed leading to an engine explosion and fire. Really enjoyed this one and very happy how the decals turned out - but a little touch up with red paint was needed where they cracked. Tamiya_Tornado_F3_1 (4) by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr As the Tornado scheme commemorated 50 years since the Battle of Britain, thought I should pose it with a Spitfire from that time - this is an Airfix Mk1a from 602 Squadron, July 1940. Thanks for looking, stay safe and happy modelling. Dermot
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