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  1. Bücker Bü.181/Zlín Z-181 Main Wheels (Q48404) 1:48 CMK Quick & Easy by Special Hobby Kit wheels are generally in two halves, which means you have the resultant joins to deal with, possible mould-slip issues on single part wheels, and sometimes less than stellar detail due to the moulding limitations of styrene injection technology, especially in the tread department. That's where replacement resin wheels come in, with their lack of seamline and superior detail making a compelling argument. They are also usually available at a reasonable price, and can be an easy introduction to aftermarket and resin handling, as they are usually a drop-in replacement. As usual with CMK's resin sets, they arrive in the familiar clear vacformed box, with the resin parts safely inside, and the instructions sandwiched between the header card at the rear. There are two pour blocks with eight resin parts, some of which are optional, and they are of course a drop-in replacement for the kit parts once they have been liberated from the casting stub. Sensibly, the main wheels are attached by the contact patch, so should be easy to clean up without ruining any of the radial tread. The six hubs include a rear hub and a choice of standard dished or four-spoke hubs at the front, all of which are attached to the casting blocks at the back. A little work with a motor tool or razor saw should see those removed in moments, then all you need choose is whether to have spoked wheels or dished. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  2. Mirage IIIC Martin-Baker MK.4 Ejection Seat (Q72403 for Special Hobby) 1:72 CMK by Special Hobby We reviewed the kit for which this set is intended late last year, and you can find that here. We’ve also reviewed some of the resin sets that CMK have already released, and now we have a replacement seat for the kit from their Quick & Easy range. As usual with CMK's resin sets, they arrive in the familiar clear vacformed box, with the resin parts safely inside, and the instructions sandwiched between the header card at the rear. The Photo-Etch (PE) is separated from the resin parts by a clear piece of acetate to prevent scratching and damage during transit. Inside the box is a single resin seat that is attached to its casting block at the bottom to avoid damaging the detail, plus a small sheet of Photo-Etch (PE). The seat is easily cut from the block, and has the detailed PE harness, leg restraints and the pull-handles on the headbox glued into place with super glue to complete the task, with detail painting being carried out according to the kit instructions. The seat should then slot neatly into the kit cockpit, but test fitting is always advisable in these situations, and a highly detailed seat is always a great investment to bring the cockpit detail up to snuff in a single-seat fighter. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  3. Ki-84 Hayate Armament (7505 for Arma Hobby) 1:72 CMK by Special Hobby We reviewed the excellent new 1:72 kit of the Hayate recently here, and here’s a new resin set from CMK to depict the wing-mounted armament that is absent from the kit. As usual with CMK's resin sets, they arrive in the familiar clear vacformed box, with the resin parts safely inside, and the instructions sandwiched between the header card at the rear. Inside the package are five casting blocks containing 20 resin parts of varying sizes, many on the small side. Before installing the set you must of course remove the corresponding panels in the upper wing, which are replaced by thin resin panels in the set, so you don’t have to be too careful with the removal. You are advised to test-fit the bays in a complete wing and grind away some of the thickness of the lower wing so that the bays will fit neatly. The larger troughs are the gun bays, which have a machine gun breech and cross-brace inserted before they are glued under the opening. The bay doors for this are supplied as three separate sections that fold forwards into the vertical position, as demonstrated by a scrap diagram. The ammo feeds are perpendicular to the bays, and have a length of ammo inserted in the shallow bays before they too are glued to the underside of their opening. Their doors are a single part that is laid flat on the wing as if left there by an armourer. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. Beaufort Mk.I Bomb Bay (7509 for Airfix) 1:72 CMK by Special Hobby Airfix’s new small-scale Beaufort kit has been around for over a year now, and here comes a new bomb bay set from CMK by Special Hobby to increase the detail in there, and add a set of bombs to populate it too. As usual with CMK's resin sets, they arrive in the familiar clear vacformed box, with the resin parts safely inside, and the instructions sandwiched between the header card at the rear. Inside the package are twenty-three resin parts on nine casting blocks, some of which are very fine, so care must be taken when removing them from their blocks. Before you can start work, you need to sand back the details from inside the kit fuselage sides and roof, plus remove the central section of the bomb bay door part, C17. With that out of the way, the bay can be skinned with new roof and side surfaces, adding a pair of C-shaped bulkheads with inserts, plus fine resin actuators front and rear. The roof is prepared by installing two bomb carriers with shackles front and rear, which accommodate one of the resin bombs each. The bombs have separate noses and cylindrical fin surrounds added beforehand, and are inserted between the V-shaped parts of the anti-sway shackles. The bi-folded bay doors are then glued to the sides of the bay to complete the job, with plenty of painting in between. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  5. Beaufort Mk.I Mainwheels & Tail-Wheel w/leg (4456) 1:48 CMK by Special Hobby Kit wheels are generally in two halves, which means you have the resultant joins to deal with, possible mould-slip issues on single part wheels, and sometimes less than stellar detail due to the moulding limitations of styrene injection technology, especially in the tread department. That's where replacement resin wheels come in, with their lack of seamline and superior detail making a compelling argument. They are also usually available at a reasonable price, and can be an easy introduction to aftermarket and resin handling, as they are usually a drop-in replacement. As usual with CMK's resin sets, they arrive in the familiar clear vacformed box, with the resin parts safely inside, and the instructions sandwiched between the header card at the rear. Inside are two main wheels with separate hubs for each side, and a tail-wheel with separate strut in a harder black resin. Our strut had taken a hit before it was packaged, and had a tiny piece missing, so check yours when you get it, just in case. Each main wheel is cast on its own block, and is joined to it at the bottom where the tyre is slightly weighted, so clean-up won’t be too onerous or risk damaging any detail. The hubs are cast in pairs, and are cut off at the rear at the base of a tapered “socket” so that fit is good once you remove any roughness. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  6. Yak-9D Wheels (Q48405 for Zvezda) 1:48 CMK Quick & Easy Line by Special Hobby Kit wheels are generally moulded in two halves, which means you have the resultant joins to deal with, possible mould-slip issues on single part wheels, and sometimes less than stellar detail due to the moulding limitations of styrene injection technology, especially in the tread department. That's where replacement resin wheels come in, with their lack of seamline and superior detail making a compelling argument. They are also usually available at a reasonable price, and can be an easy introduction to aftermarket and resin handling, as they are usually a drop-in replacement. To be clear, the photo above shows both sides of the set. You get two main wheels and one tail-wheel. As usual with CMK's Quick & Easy resin sets, they arrive in the familiar clear bag, with the resin parts safely inside, and the instructions sandwiched between the header card at the rear. Inside are three resin wheels on a single casting block. Each one is attached to the casting block at the contact patch, which has a small flat-spot and bulge that indicates the weight of the airframe on the tyres. Detail is excellent on the hubs, and the main wheel tyres have radial tread on the contact surface, while the tail-wheel has a circumferential tread with radial lines on the sidewalls. Once they’re cut from the blocks, installation is as simple as sliding them onto the axles of the main wheels, and flexing the kit's tail-wheel yoke to admit the replacement resin part. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  7. Yak-9K/T Exhaust Stacks (Q32406 for ICM) 1:32 CMK Quick & Easy by Special Hobby We reviewed the new Yak-9T from ICM recently here, and now CMK have a new set of Exhausts that improve on the kit parts whilst requiring little in the way of additional work. The Quick & Easy line are a series of upgrades to your kits that live up to their name, and usually arrive in a flat bag with a green-themed cardboard header and the simple instructions between them. Inside the bag are two sets of beautifully cast exhausts on individual casting blocks, and each exhaust has a hollow D-profile tip. There are two sets of paired exhausts in the centre and two more singles at each end of the profiled carrier, which has shaped inserts between the stacks. Once removed from the casting base they are a drop-in replacement for the kit parts, with the only difference (apart from the detail) being that you need to use super glue (CA) to locate them in their slots. Give them a quick wash in warm soapy water to remove any residual mould release, and don’t worry unduly about cleaning up the back of the parts, as they won’t be seen. A great update to the kit parts that are simple to use, and won’t exhaust you or your modelling budget (I'm sorry - they made me say it. Help me, they won't let me go!). Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  8. Panzerfaust for Bücker Bü.181 (P48003) 1:48 Special Hobby 3D Print The original Panzerfaust was a WWII invention of Nazi Germany that gave the power to take down a heavily armoured tank to a single soldier, in the shape of a disposable launcher tube that could project a shaped charge to a target over a short range. The operator needed little in the way of training, but some bravery or foolhardiness was required to get close enough to the tank in question due to the limited range. When used properly however, they could be highly effective in disabling or knocking out many an Allied tank or other armoured vehicle. They were even attached to aircraft on occasion, such as the Bücker Bü.181 which must have been quite an experience for the pilot, and a surprise for the intended target. This set from Special Hobby’s new 3D Print range arrives in an orange-themed blister pack with card hanger on the rear and the instructions sandwiched between the two halves. Inside are the resin parts, with decals at the front of the blister obscuring our view of the resin within. The set includes four Panzerfaust 60s inside a protective printing frame, printed with the priming lever locked out and intended to replace the styrene parts in their Bücker Bü.181 Bestman "Panzerjagdstaffeln" (SH48189), whilst retaining the kit mounts for the weapons on the top and underside of each wing. Again, it must have been a scary to fire them whilst flying what was essentially a light aircraft that was designed to be a liaison or courier, into enemy fire. Desperate times indeed. The decals have been culled from the recent boxed Panzerfaust set, so include stencils for the case that can be left on the sheet. Review sample courtesy of
  9. Ukrainian Soldier Firing FGM-148 Javelin (F35384) 1:35 CMK by Special Hobby The Javelin is a fire-and-forget anti-tank weapon developed by the American company Raytheon with a choice of top-attack or direct profiles, depending on whether a better result would be achieved through thinner armoured areas of an AFV for example. They have been successfully used over the years in many conflicts, and a substantial number of them have been shipped to the Ukraine since the invasion by the Russian Federation in March of 2022. They have been used to great effect against Russian armour by the Ukrainian troops, who have been trained on the weapon before becoming operational, learning that the Javelin offers excellent portability alongside accuracy and target penetration. The operator can aim and fire the weapon rapidly, retiring to a safe place immediately while the hardware inside the missile does the hard work, tracking and eventually hitting the target using infrared sensors. It also soft-launches, so that a launch plume doesn’t give away the position of the operator, and has a smaller warhead in the nose to detonate ERA or slat armour so that the main warhead can explode against the target’s primary armour layer. As usual with CMK's resin sets, it arrives in the familiar clear vacformed box, with the resin parts safely inside, and the instructions sandwiched between the header card at the rear. The main part of the figure is cast as a single, incredibly detailed part, and is joined by two jigs on a single casting block, and an orange 3D resin print-base that is filled with various parts of the missile and launch system. A small sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) and a set of decals complete the package, with the bifold instruction sheet guiding the way. The figure is complete apart from the operator’s hands that are moulded integrally to the 3D printed launch module, which has a targeting sensor at the front, to which you fit a drop-down protective cap. The barrel of the weapon is attached via a pair of small lugs and a circular flat-spot, and the rear end-cap is located on a keyed lug at the rear. You then have a choice of depicting the missile still in the launch tube by inserting the round-ended stub down the hollow barrel, but be aware that you may not be able to remove it again once it’s deep in there. The other option is to show off the missile, either just after launch or as a display – it’s entirely your choice. The short rear end slots into one of the jigs so that you can install the four tapered fins, and before it is glued to the main body, the larger forward section is slotted into its own jig to install eight more fins, after which the body halves are joined together on a square lug. A pair of diagrams show the location of the stencil decals and stripes, and also gives a hint about the paint colour, although no actual codes or colour names are given. The front cap of the launcher is also provided, and can be left on the ground near the soldier, as can the AK-74 that is found inside a protective frame. It also has a PE sling that can be laid out in a similar fashion to that shown in the instructions. Going back to the figure, the detail is fabulously well-sculpted, even down to the operator’s sun glasses tucked into the top of his tactical vest above a chest-full of loaded ammo pouches, and a radio with flexible aerial on his shoulder strap. The MOLLE loops are all represented on the vest, with a daysack mounted on the rear, and a modern spec-ops style helmet with adjustment dial on the rear frame, plus a night-vision mount on the front, four-point chin-strap system, and a tube scarf pulled up over his nose to ward off the cold, and probably Covid into the bargain. If you were wondering what the launch of a Javelin looks like, there’s not much smoke during the initial launch phase, and even the ignition of the main motor is relatively smoke-free, so hiding a supporting wire could be tricky. The video below should give you a lot more information than we can. Conclusion It’s a while since we’ve seen such a well-detailed, crisply moulded figure, and the addition of 3D printed parts and the PE makes for an impressive package. It’s a figure that deserves to be painted with as much care as possible, and lends itself to a poignant launch diorama. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  10. Yak-9D Exhaust Stacks (P48004 for Zvezda) 1:48 Special Hobby 3D Print We reviewed the new Yak-9D from Zvezda recently here, and now Special Hobby have produced a 3D Printed set of replacement exhausts to ramp up the detail on the kit. The set arrives in the new orange-themed blister pack with card hanger on the rear and the instructions sandwiched between the two parts. Inside are the resin parts, surrounded by a laser-cut foam insert. Inside the package are four rows of beautifully printed exhausts on a single print-base that all have hollow D-profile tips. The kit includes a full depiction of the Klimov engine for inside the cowling, with individual stacks included, but they don’t have hollow tips. The replacements do have hollow D-profiled tips, and are supplied as two paired exhausts in the centre openings, and two more singles at each end of the block. Once removed from the print base they are a drop-in replacement for the kit parts, with the only difference (apart from the detail) that you need to use super glue (CA) to locate them in their slots. An straight-forward update to the kit parts that is eminently simple to use and won’t leave you exhausted (I know, not funny ). Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  11. Dear fellow Britmodellers, here's my 1/72 Hasegawa B-26B Marauder "Big Hairy Bird" of 599th Bomb Squadron, 397th Bomb Group. Photographs by Wolfgang Rabel. I added CMK landing gear doors, Quickboost gun packs, True Details wheels and Scale Aircraft Conversions metal landing gear. The colorful nose art is provided as a large-scale decal, but I opted to paint the yellow area. The eyes, mouth, nose and horns were cut from the decal sheet and applied seperately. I also painted the yellow stripe on the fin. The markings are a mix of kit's own and Airfix (A04015A), which are better printed. I used Tamiya, Mr.Hobby and Alclad lacquers for the surface colors. Thank you for your interest! Roman
  12. Avia S-199 Pilot & Mechanic (F72385) 1:72 CMK by Special Hobby The Avia S-199 was a Czech-built copy of the Messerschmitt Bf.109G, based on toolings and parts left behind as the Nazis retreated from their country, but substituting the unobtainable DB605 engine with a Junkers Jumo 211F that was mated with the same prop used when it was fitted to the He.111 during wartime production. The result was a difficult aircraft to fly due to the mismatch of parts, which led to some derogatory nicknames from their pilots such as Mule from the Czechoslovakian pilots and Knife from the Israelis, who used it as their first fighter after establishing their new Air Force. This figure set is intended for the recent Eduard kit in this scale, and includes a pair of figures giving each other one last salute before the pilot goes off to fly his Mule, or a salute of relief from a pilot coming back from a mission. The two figures are well sculpted for the scale, and are supplied with ‘batwings’ of flash between their arms and torsos, as well as a little between their legs, which is a moulding aid to reduce bubbles and make the parts easier to remove from the moulds, and should be easy to remove. As with all resin moulds, there is always a little clean-up to be done, which is best carried out before giving the parts a wash in warm (not hot) soapy water to remove the particles and any remaining mould-release agent, which could reduce paint adhesion. With resin, you should take the precaution of wearing a mask when cutting or sanding it, as the tiny particles are harmful to your health if breathed in. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  13. Sukhoi Su-22M-3K Fitter J (Tumansky R-29BS-300 engine) Conversion (4455 for Kittyhawk) 1:48 CMK by Special Hobby The Sukhoi Su-17 was a successful Cold War supersonic interceptor with variable geometry wings to offer better performance at different areas of the flight envelope. Its export variant was dubbed the Su-22, and there were a number of variants through the years as aviation technology progressed. At the end of the 70s the larger M-3 variant of the Su-22 was released with a matching avionics suite to the indigenous Su-17, available with the Tumansky R-29BS-300 engine, which had a modified gearbox that necessitated a new rear fuselage and empennage. The Conversion This resin set is a conversion for the Kittyhawk kit, and arrives in a bulky cardboard box with the product details on a sticker on the top. Inside are fifteen grey resin parts, one 3D printed afterburner ring in orange resin, a set of decals and the instruction booklet that extends to 1.5 sheets of folded A4 printed on all sides as an A5 booklet. Many of the casting blocks have the Vespa Models logo on them, who are specialists in Sukhoi correction and detail sets, but aren’t mentioned in the instructions, so our guess is that it’s a collaborative effort. Construction begins with removing the rear of the kit fuselage at the panel lines marked in the first diagram, slightly offset between the spine and fuselage. The rear is replaced by the large monolithic casting of the new fuselage, which is prepared by building up the exhaust from three sections plus the 3D printed afterburner ring at the front. The exhaust is inserted into the new fuselage rear and locked in place by adding the final fairing around the exhaust petals, and a bullet fairing over it that has various sensor bulges moulded-in. The spine and fin are slotted into the top of the fuselage and you have a choice of different sized tail fin tips, then the two elevators are butt-fitted to the fairings on the sides of the fuselage, which would be better pinned to give the joints more strength, and there is plenty of thickness in the fuselage at those points. A shallow fairing is removed from the starboard front of the new fuselage, then a quartet of new intakes are fixed to the remaining fairings on the top of the fuselage to complete the build phase. Markings The decals in the box give you three options for an Su-22M-3K in case you don’t already have any of your own. From the box (and with the Kitty Hawk kit of course), you can build one of the following: No.47 South Yemen Air Force, 1990s No.50, Air Force of USSR, A K Serov Higher Military Aviation Pilot School of Krasnodar, 1980s ‘Dignity’, Libyan National Army Air Force, Al-Watiya base, 2014 The decals appear to have been digitally printed by Eduard and are in good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cover the printed areas. Don’t forget that as of 2021, the carrier film from Eduard decals can be coaxed away from the printed part of the decal after they have been applied, effectively rendering them carrier-free, making the decals much thinner and more realistic, and obviating the need to apply successive coats of clear varnish to hide the edges of the film. It’s a great step further in realism from my point of view. Conclusion If you already have or can still get hold of the Kitty Hawk kit, and wanted to go a little bit off-piste to portray a more unusual operator of the type, this set should hit the spot. The detail is excellent, and it shouldn’t be too much effort to remove the casting bases, after which it will be much the same as a plastic kit to put together. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  14. Mirage IIIC Wheels (Q72401 for Special Hobby) 1:72 CMK by Special Hobby We reviewed Special Hobby’s new Mirage IIIC in various guises, the latest to be found here, and while it’s a nice kit, resin can always improve the detail that injection moulded styrene is capable of. As usual with CMK's resin sets, It arrives in the familiar clear vacformed box, with the resin parts safely inside, and the instructions sandwiched between the green Quick & Easy branded header card at the rear. There are two casting blocks inside the box, one containing two main and one nose wheel, the other with two rear hubs for the main wheels that include brake detail and a keyed hole for the kit’s axle. The wheels are attached to the block via their contact patches to ease removal, and the hubs are flat on their block so you can remove them with a razor saw and not damage any of the fine detail. Super easy, and a simple improvement on the kit parts. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  15. Mirage IIIC Atar 9B Engine Nozzle (Q72402 for Special Hobby) 1:72 CMK by Special Hobby We reviewed Special Hobby’s new Mirage IIIC in various guises, the latest to be found here, and while it’s a nice kit, resin can always improve the detail that injection moulded styrene is capable of. As usual with CMK's resin sets, It arrives in the familiar clear vacformed box, with the resin parts safely inside, and the instructions sandwiched between the green Quick & Easy branded header card at the rear. Containing just one resin part, it takes the place of two kit parts to depict the hot end of the Atar 9B engine nozzle that propels the Mirage IIIC and variants to supersonic speeds. The nozzle is mounted on a circular casting base, and should be easy to cut away due to the narrow supports that are holding it down. Sanding the surface flat should be all the preparation needed apart from a wash in warm soapy water to remove the rest of the mould-release agent. As well as not having to deal with a seam down the centre of the kit parts, you also get additional detail on the exterior in the shape of rows of rivets, and even more on the inside surface, plus the finesse of the lip. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  16. Zetor 25 Tractor Driver & Village Boy (F72382) 1:72 CMK by Special Hobby This delightful little figure set is intended for use with Special Hobby’s own resin Zetor 25 tractor that we have reviewed recently. As usual with CMK's resin sets, it arrives in the familiar clear vacformed box, with the resin parts safely inside, and the instructions sandwiched between the header card at the rear. Inside are two resin casting blocks, each one containing a figure. The driver is sculpted in the seated position, with a separate right arm for detail’s sake, and a thin film of flash running vertically down from his face to his vest to improve moulding reliability. That’s the work of moments to brush away with the side of a blade or even a cocktail stick. The other mounting points are where he sits and against the back of his legs, with excellent sculpting by M. Antfeist of his trousers, jacket and cap. The boy is standing with his legs slightly apart, looking up at the driver perhaps, wearing some baggy pants that are held up by a pair of braces over his shirt. There is a little flash between his legs to facilitate casting, but again that should be easy to remove. After a wash in warm soapy water to remove the last of the mould release, you can paint them any colours you like, but the instructions show a typical example if you’re stuck for ideas. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  17. Beaufighter Mk.I/VI Main Wheels Early (7481 for Airfix) 1:72 CMK by Special Hobby Kit wheels are generally in two halves, which means you have the resultant joins to deal with, possible mould-slip issues on single part wheels, and sometimes less than stellar detail due to the moulding limitations of styrene injection technology, especially in the tread department. That's where replacement resin wheels come in, with their lack of seamline and superior detail making a compelling argument. They are also usually available at a reasonable price, and can be an easy introduction to aftermarket and resin handling, as they are usually a drop-in replacement. This set is just that, containing two main wheels that are drop-in replacements once removed from their casting block, which is conveniently placed on the slightly flattened contact patch that just needs flattening off once removed. The tyres have the early block tread pattern, and the hubs are similarly early versions with five-spoked fronts and solid rears. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  18. WWII Fighter Pilot 1942 (F48383 & F32381) 1:48 & 1:32 CMK by Special Hobby A pilot figure in or next to an aircraft will give it a scale that might otherwise be missing, and if well-painted, it should also add a little realism and credibility to your model. Quite often the kit-provided figures are either softly-moulded and seated for ease of production, with hands on laps and simple structures, and seldom are you supplied with anything standing, and even less likely anything highly detailed or period specific. These two sets from CMK do just that, just in case you hadn’t already twigged. As usual with CMK's resin sets, they arrive in the familiar clear vacformed box, with the resin parts safely inside, and the instructions sandwiched between it and the yellow header card at the rear. Decals and Photo-Etch (PE) when included are separated from the resin parts by a clear piece of thick acetate to prevent scratching and damage during transit. RAF WWII Fighter Pilot – 1942 (F48383) This set includes a pilot figure stood up straight whilst admiring his aircraft, or watching his colleagues over-fly the field, with one hand down by his side, the other up near his waist, possibly holding the zipper on his sheepskin-lined leather flying jacket. He’s also wearing a traditional WWII flying helmet with the comms bulges over his ears, and a pair of fur-lined flying boots on his feet. The jacket’s low strapped waist buckles are supplied on a tiny fret of PE parts that can be annealed then glued in place with some super glue (CA) and draped with gravity. RAF WWII Whirlwind Fighter Pilot – 1942 (F32381) Although this pilot is dressed and posed exactly like the 1:48 chap above, he is of course half as large again, and has his head cast separately, which gives some leeway with posing. Again, he has PE straps on his jacket’s waist but also on his helmet, and you are shown where the helmet’s wiring should run by a Y-shaped green line on the instructions. You’ll have to provide that wire yourself of course. He’s called a Whirlwind pilot on the box, but he could equally be used with any British fighter of the period, it’s just that Special Hobby have recently released a large-scale kit of the Whirlwind, so you can’t blame them. Conclusion Superb sculpting by Special Hobby’s artists, and equally high-quality casting that results in an excellent figure, whichever scale you want, need or choose. You could argue that many pilots left their helmets plugged-in inside the cockpit, but they look better with them on, so why not? Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  19. Beaufort Mk.I Cockpit & Dinghy Upgrade Sets (7506 & 7508 for Airfix) 1:72 CMK by Special Hobby Airfix’s recent Beaufighter has been around for a year now, and it has been well-received and many have doubtless been built already. Special Hobby’s designers have now completed a number of resin upgrade sets to improve on the detail that the kit provides, on the basis that resin can perform some casting tasks that would be difficult or impossible in injection moulded styrene. As usual with CMK's resin sets, they arrive in the familiar clear vacformed box, with the resin parts safely inside, and the instructions sandwiched between the header card at the rear. Decals and Photo-Etch (PE) when included is separated from the resin parts by a clear piece of acetate to prevent scratching and damage during transit. Interior Set (7506) This set includes twenty-seven resin parts on nine casting blocks, a small fret of PE parts, and a small slip of clear acetate with printed dials for the instrument panel. The first act is to add the wafer-thin inserts into the forward fuselage after sanding off the moulded-in details, using three to cover the area. The cockpit is based upon the kit floor and the bulkhead/wing spar, although heavily augmented with new parts. The bulkhead first has a closed section removed, then has a new resin replacement placed over it along with three angled add-ons, and an additional box and cylinder applied to the new bulkhead skin. The cockpit floor has thin resin panels added at the front, the leftmost of which has the well-detailed pilot’s seat placed on top after building it from four resin parts and with four PE seatbelt sections, plus a two-part resin/PE control column in front of it. To the pilot’s side, a console, twin throttle quadrant with a total of eight PE levers, and the instrument panel, which is laminated up from two pieces of film, three of PE, and a resin backing layer, to which PE rudder pedals are glued. At the front of the floor a pair of seat parts are glued to the semi-circular front bulkhead, and on the port fuselage, a side console with two additional resin parts hanging from it are fixed to the sill. Dinghy & Bay (7508) This set holds just three parts, and requires a panel to be removed from the port wing, into which the bay is glued, with the packed dinghy placed within after painting. The bay cover is supplied as a separate part to replace the section of the skin previously removed from the upper wing, so you don’t have to be unduly careful with the removal process until you get toward the panel lines and begin testing for fit. Conclusion A pair of excellent new sets to add more detail and interest to your model, setting it apart from the others out there. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  20. Ki-84 Hayate Upgrades (7503 & 7504 for Arma Hobby) 1:72 CMK by Special Hobby Arma Hobby released their newly tooled kit of this WWII Japanese fighter this year, and we reviewed the Expert Set here. CMK have now released a number of upgrade sets to upgrade the detail even further for those interested in improving the realism of their models. These sets arrive in the usual yellow themed blister pack with card hanger on the rear and the instructions sandwiched between the two parts. Inside are the resin parts, with any Photo-Etch (PE) parts safely separated behind a piece of clear acetate at the back of the blister. Cockpit (7503) This set includes seventeen resin parts, a small fret of PE, and slip of clear acetate that is printed with the dials for the instrument panel. Before beginning, you should remove the detail from the sidewalls that are moulded into the fuselage interior, then create the instrument panel on its support, adding the film and the PE panel to the front of the resin support, which has the breeches of the twin nose-mounted machine guns cast in. The fuselage insert is detailed by adding sills from PE, plus a PE winder for the canopy and another resin part. The cockpit itself is based upon the new resin floor, with the rear bulkhead added to the back, the seat with PE belts attached to the mounting rails, various levers, rudder pedals and the control column glued in place along with the two resin sidewalls and the instrument panel sub-assembly to complete the tub, which is then inserted into the fuselage instead of the kit parts. Control Surfaces (7504) This set has seven resin control surfaces to replace those from the kit, removing the rudder from both sides of the fuselage, the ailerons from the wings, and replacing the kit elevator parts. The resin upgrades should then be a drop-in replacement for all those that they supplant, adding detail and the ability to deflect them as you see fit. Each one is attached to its casting block along the hinge-line, which is sensible to hide any imperfections you may leave during liberation of them from the block with a razor saw or sharp blade. Review sample courtesy of
  21. M35 Armament Subsystem Upgrade for AH-1G Cobra (4454 for Special Hobby/ICM) 1:48 CMK by Special Hobby Special Hobby’s newly tooled AH-1G Cobra has been around for a few months now, and now we have an upgrade set for the main armament that gave the Cobra quite a venomous bite. This set from their CMK range includes resin and 3D printed parts in their standard yellow-themed blister pack with the instructions between the parts and the car header. Inside the box are fourteen parts in resin on four casting blocks, plus a single 3D printed part in orange resin that allows the maximum detail on the flexible ammo guide between the sponson and the Gatling gun. The kit sponsons are adjusted by removing small sections of the opening at the top, replacing it with two resin parts to improve the detail. The Gatling gun is made up from five parts for the gun itself, another four for the ammo feed and ancillaries, and a resin hanger that fixes under the kit’s winglet. The two upgrades are then linked together with the ammo guide to complete the task. Detail is excellent, and improves on the kit parts as you would expect. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  22. Hi mates, 2020 was my "year of resin kits" - everything I built was resin. Since we all hope that 2021 will see a return to normalcy, I decided to return to my roots with injection moulded styrene. And what better way than an old gem from Airfix, complete with those funky square shaped sprues that remind me so much of my misspent youth? (I could have made something of myself, but no - I was social distancing in the basement building models.) Anyway, this is the 1:72 scale kit of the Shorts Tucano T.1 and by my guess her tooling is pushing 30 years old. I used a lot of aftermarket resin bits from CMK, and by doing so made it pretty much impossible to add weight to prevent tail sitting. To remedy that, I added the wheel chocks on the port side, but then discovered that the main gear legs were flexible and she still tipped over. Ultimately I resorted to gluing her down onto one of those nice bases from Coastal. Here's my usual summary: Project: Shorts Tucano T.1 Kit: Airfix Kit No. A03059 Scale: 1:72 Decals: Xtradecal sheet X72137 for the 2011 Display Scheme on ZF378. Stencils from the kit. Resin: Several items from CMK - 7358 Cockpit Set, 7356 Control Surfaces, 7359 Exterior Set, 7357 Engine, Q72285 Wheels Photoetch: P. P. Aeroparts AC703 RAF wheel chocks; various bits from the spares box including mirrors and canopy handles Paint: Floquil 110100 Old Silver, 110015 Flat Finish; Hataka C277 Roundel Blue; GSI Creos GX112 UV Cut Gloss, H12 Flat Black, H11 Flat White, H317 Dark Gull Gray, H23 Shine Red, H90 Clear Red, H94 Clear Green; Tamiya XF-69 NATO Black Base: Coastal Kits C20040 Circular Airfield Improvements/Corrections Cut out control surfaces and added resin replacements Complete resin cockpit and ejection seats, added rear view mirrors Resin engine, exhausts, and replacement prop/spinner Resin tyres and wheels Added blast shield and handles to canopy Airfield base Scratch built antenna on rear spine WIP can be found here. Now for some pictures: A better view of the cockpit: Cheers, Bill
  23. Here is my rendition of a Bell TH-13T training Helicopter. This started as the Italeri OH-13S kit. I was a little concerned about using this OH013S kit as the basis for this build because research showed that the TH-13T was a "wide body" model 47G-3B1/2 variant that is ~8" (20.3cm) wider, with a cabin width of 63" (160cm), than the standard H-13 such as the OH-13S with a width of 55" (139.7cm). But in typical Italeri fashion the kit measures out to 66.24 (168.25cm) scale inches and that was close enough for me, while actually much wider then the OH-13S it purports to be. See here for a discussion about this topic: Both Eduard and CMK make detail sets for the H-13. I would have preferred to use the Eduard set, but it is OOP and impossible to find so I ordered the CMK set. This came with a resin cabin, resin parts for the engine, photo etch for both and a vac bubble canopy. I liked the CMK cabin better then the Italeri one so I used that as well as some engine parts. I also added some boxes to the front of the instrument panel to represent the additional avionics of the TH-13T. I used the Italeri bubble that fit the CMK cabin very well. The doors did need a bit of work to get then to fit right. I am not sure if this would have been an issue with the Italeri cabin. All the other parts were from the Italeri kit. Markings for the TH-13T were pretty minimal. I used the stars and "ARMY" from the Italeri kit as well as the main and tail rotor stripes. The numbers and letter came from a Fantasy Printshop set. I used AK Real Colors Orange for the paint. It covered well and only needed one coat vs the 2 or 3 Humbrol 18 would have required. Total build time was just 10 days. So here it is: Next up is a Douglas AD-5Q (EA-1F) using the Hasegawa AD-6 kit and the RVHP resin conversion set along with the Skale Wings folding wing set. Enjoy.
  24. Lancaster Mk.I/III Mainwheels & Tail-Wheel (7499) 1:72 CMK by Special Hobby Kit wheels are generally in two halves, which means you have the resultant joins to deal with, possible mould-slip issues on single part wheels, and sometimes less than stellar detail due to the moulding limitations of styrene injection technology, especially in the tread department. That's where replacement resin wheels come in, with their lack of seamline and superior detail making a compelling argument. They are also usually available at a reasonable price, and can be an easy introduction to aftermarket and resin handling, as they are usually a drop-in replacement. This set arrives in CMK’s usual yellow-themed blister pack, with the resin parts inside the clear front, and the instructions held between the plastic and the card header. Inside are two main wheels in grey resin with two separate hubs each, plus a tail-wheel with its strut, the latter in tougher black resin. They’re suitable for any and all 1:72 Lancs, and are a drop-in replacement once you have them released from their casting blocks. There is a very light weighting to the tyres that is sited where they are attached to their casting blocks, which makes clean-up simple, and the tail-wheel strut can be trimmed to length as needed, unless you would prefer to use the kit part if it’s suitable. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  25. Lancaster Mk.I/III Exhausts (4449 for HK Models) 1:48 CMK by Special Hobby These eight resin exhausts are simple drop-in replacements for the recent HK Model kit parts, offering finer details and the impression of hollow exhaust tubes with a strake down the centre, and visible weld-lines. They glue directly to the kit-supplied Merlin engines during construction, one per side. Review sample courtesy of
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