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Found 19 results

  1. T-55A Polish Production (37090) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd. The T-54's gestation and transformation into the T-55 was long-winded and complicated by constant changes to an as yet unsatisfactory performing vehicle, and began at early as the end of WWII. Production of the T-54-1 was halted due to production and quality issues, and recommenced as the re-designed T-54-2, with the turret design changed to closer resemble the eventual domed shape of the T-55. The -2 didn't last all that long before the -3 replaced it, and the requirement for survival of tactical nuclear blasts led to the eventual introduction of the similar looking, but significantly different T-55 that we know so well. As the heavy tank fell out of favour, the T-55 became part of the burgeoning Main Battle Tank movement, with thousands of them being produced over the years in various guises. In the early 60s the T-55A was developed, providing more adequate NBC protection that required a lengthening of the hull and coincidentally added anti-spall protection for the crew. It also sounded the death-knell of the bow-mounted machine gun, which was removed to improve ammo storage, and hasn't been seen on MBTs for decades now. The Czechs built their own versions of the T-54 and T-55, with quite an export market developing due to their being of better build quality than the Russian built alternative. Of the many sub variants produced by the then Czechoslovakia, many were exported to Soviet Bloc aligned purchasers. Poland also produced over 7000 tanks between 1964 and 1983. Polish tanks had different stowage and slightly different rear decks. Many found their way to other countries and the were used by all sides in the Yugoslavian civil wars. The Kit Part of the ever-expanding range of early Cold War armour from MiniArt, who seem to be kitting every conceivable variant from the earliest T-54 to the later T-55, which will hopefully include some of the more unusual marks as well. The initial toolings were all brand new, and were designed in a modular format to ease the way toward new variants, which makes for a high sprue count. Some of the kits have been released in augmented Interior Kit boxings, with all the extra details to open up your model as much as you please. The kit arrives in their current orange themed box, with a painting of the tank in question on the front. Lifting the lid gives the feeling of how much is inside, as it is packed full and I'm dreading putting it all back in. There are 75 sprues in mid grey styrene, many of them quite small, and some of the larger ones linked together in pairs, two clear sprues, a sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a decal sheet, and the instruction booklet. Detail is everywhere, and is crisp, with judicious use of slide-moulding to improve details further, and make hollows where needed. The inclusion of PE helps further, allowing parts to be given a more scale-effect. Construction begins with the lower hull, which has cut-outs for the suspension mounts, hatches and access panels, all of which are supplied as separate parts. The suspension is torsion-link, so the bars are inserted with the axles at their ends, or shorter stubby versions if you want to freeze the suspension in the level position. The hull insides are separate and are well detailed parts, which are added to the lower along with engine bay firewall and rear bulkhead. Externally, the T-55 could be fitted with a mine-roller, and although one isn't included with this boxing, the fitments and bracketry is included for the upper and lower glacis alongside the standard light clusters, lifting hooks and pioneer tools. With the glacis and the turret ring "bat wings" added to the hull sides, the upper hull is assembled from the top with turret ring aperture, a multi-part engine deck with individual slats added before installation, and some PE mesh panels added later with optional raised covers supplied as additional parts. The main lights have clear lenses, and fit inside a multi-part cage to protect them from damage, which will take some care to glue together neatly. The fenders have additional fuel tankage fitted with hosing between them, and lots of PE fixtures, handles and such, with even more PE bracing inside the sprung mudguard parts, tools, toolboxes and the exhaust on the port side. The kit includes plastic towing eyes, but you are going to have to provide your own cables as none are include in the kit, but given the sheer volume of parts it's excusable. At the rear an unditching log is lashed to the bulkhead with PE straps, and the extra fuel drums so often seen are also lashed to curved brackets that overhang the rear of the hull. Between them the deep wading funnel is attached by a couple of pins to the bottom of the brackets, and it has its own group of PE brackets for the bracing wires that are seen when it is in use. the wheels are handled next, with five pairs per side with separate hubs, plus the idler wheel at the front, and drive sprocket at the rear. Tracks are left until a little later and are of the individual link type, requiring 90 links per side, each of which have four sprue gates, but no ejection pin or sink marks to worry about. What is there however is stunning detail, which includes the casting numbers inlaid into the hollows of each track link, and close-fitting lugs that should make the building an easier task. The turret itself is a busy assembly, having the basics of the breech mechanism and coax machine gun made up and mated with the lower turret on two mounts at the front. The upper turret has some holes drilled out from inside and is attached to the lower, after which the two-part turret roof is fitted with hatches, vents and vision blocks. Externally the grab rails, forward mounted searchlight, commander's cupola and a choice of cast mantlet or moulded blast-bag over the mantlet are added, and the single piece barrel with hollow muzzle slips through the centre and keys into the breech. The blast-bag is finished off around the edges with PE strips, and a large folded tarp is attached to the back of the turret by more PE straps near the included stowage boxes. An armature links the gun barrel and the searchlight together so they move in unison, and an ancillary searchlight is fitted to the commander's cupola, with a choice of the driver's poor weather hood built up in either the collapsed or deployed format, with the former stowed on the turret bustle, while the latter fits over the open driver's hatch. Additional ammunition for the DshK is added to the turret. The 12.7 mm DShK heavy machine gun is the last assembly, and is made up along with its mount, ammo box with a short length of shells leading into the breech, which is fitted into the mount in front of the loader’s hatch. The turret is dropped into the hull and your choice of location made for the driver’s poor weather hood made earlier. Markings There are six decal options, and plenty of colour (and operator) variation, which is nice to see. From the box you can build one of the following: Polish Army, 70s Yugoslav Army 80s. Slovenian Army 90s. Republic of Bosnia & Herzegovina Army 90s (Winter camo) Polish Army, Lublin 1995. Yugoslav Army, Kosovo War late 90s The decals are printed by DecoGraph on bright blue paper, and have good register, sharpness and colour density, with a closely cropped thin, matt carrier film. Conclusion These are amongst the most comprehensive kits I have seen in a long while, with even the tiniest details catered for, down to the tiny nuts holding the snorkel to the rear of the tank. It is a fabulous kit and will keep you modelling for hours and hours. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  2. Croatian T-55A (37088) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd. The T-54's gestation and transformation into the T-55 was long-winded and complicated by constant changes to an as yet unsatisfactory performing vehicle, and began at early as the end of WWII. Production of the T-54-1 was halted due to production and quality issues, and recommenced as the re-designed T-54-2, with the turret design changed to closer resemble the eventual domed shape of the T-55. The -2 didn't last all that long before the -3 replaced it, and the requirement for survival of tactical nuclear blasts led to the eventual introduction of the similar looking, but significantly different T-55 that we know so well. As the heavy tank fell out of favour, the T-55 became part of the burgeoning Main Battle Tank movement, with thousands of them being produced over the years in various guises. In the early 60s the T-55A was developed, providing more adequate NBC protection that required a lengthening of the hull and coincidentally added anti-spall protection for the crew. It also sounded the death-knell of the bow-mounted machine gun, which was removed to improve ammo storage, and hasn't been seen on MBTs for decades now. The Czechs built their own versions of the T-54 and T-55, with quite an export market developing due to their being of better build quality than the Russian built alternative. Of the many sub variants produced by the then Czechoslovakia, many were exported to Soviet Bloc aligned purchasers. Poland also produced over 7000 tanks between 1964 and 1983. Polish tanks had different stowage and slightly different rear decks. Many found their way to other countries and the were used by all sides in the Yugoslavian civil wars. The Kit Part of the ever-expanding range of early Cold War armour from MiniArt, who seem to be kitting every conceivable variant from the earliest T-54 to the later T-55, which will hopefully include some of the more unusual marks as well. The initial toolings were all brand new, and were designed in a modular format to ease the way toward new variants, which makes for a high sprue count. Some of the kits have been released in augmented Interior Kit boxings, with all the extra details to open up your model as much as you please. The kit arrives in their current orange themed box, with a painting of the tank in question on the front. Lifting the lid gives the feeling of how much is inside, as it is packed full and I'm dreading putting it all back in. There are 77 sprues in mid grey styrene, many of them quite small, and some of the larger ones linked together in pairs, two clear sprues, a sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a decal sheet, and the instruction booklet. Detail is everywhere, and is crisp, with judicious use of slide-moulding to improve details further, and make hollows where needed. The inclusion of PE helps further, allowing parts to be given a more scale-effect. Construction begins with the lower hull, which has cut-outs for the suspension mounts, hatches and access panels, all of which are supplied as separate parts. The suspension is torsion-link, so the bars are inserted with the axles at their ends, or shorter stubby versions if you want to freeze the suspension in the level position. The hull insides are separate and are well detailed parts, which are added to the lower along with engine bay firewall and rear bulkhead. Externally, the T-55 could be fitted with a mine-roller, and although one isn't included with this boxing, the fitments and bracketry is included for the upper and lower glacis alongside the standard light clusters, lifting hooks and pioneer tools. With the glacis and the turret ring "bat wings" added to the hull sides, the upper hull is assembled from the top with turret ring aperture, a multi-part engine deck with individual slats added before installation, and some PE mesh panels added later with optional raised covers supplied as additional parts. The main lights have clear lenses, and fit inside a multi-part cage to protect them from damage, which will take some care to glue together neatly. The fenders have additional fuel tankage fitted with hosing between them, and lots of PE fixtures, handles and such, with even more PE bracing inside the sprung mudguard parts, tools, toolboxes and the exhaust on the port side. The kit includes plastic towing eyes, but you are going to have to provide your own cables as none are include in the kit, but given the sheer volume of parts it's excusable. At the rear an unditching log is lashed to the bulkhead with PE straps, and the extra fuel drums so often seen are also lashed to curved brackets that overhang the rear of the hull. Between them the deep wading funnel is attached by a couple of pins to the bottom of the brackets, and it has its own group of PE brackets for the bracing wires that are seen when it is in use. the wheels are handled next, with five pairs per side with separate hubs, plus the idler wheel at the front, and drive sprocket at the rear. Tracks are left until a little later and are of the individual link type, requiring 90 links per side, each of which have four sprue gates, but no ejection pin or sink marks to worry about. What is there however is stunning detail, which includes the casting numbers inlaid into the hollows of each track link, and close-fitting lugs that should make the building an easier task. The turret itself is a busy assembly, having the basics of the breech mechanism and coax machine gun made up and mated with the lower turret on two mounts at the front. The upper turret has some holes drilled out from inside and is attached to the lower, after which the two-part turret roof is fitted with hatches, vents and vision blocks. Externally the grab rails, forward mounted searchlight, commander's cupola and a choice of cast mantlet or moulded blast-bag over the mantlet are added, and the single piece barrel with hollow muzzle slips through the centre and keys into the breech. The blast-bag is finished off around the edges with PE strips, and a large folded tarp is attached to the back of the turret by more PE straps near the included stowage boxes. An armature links the gun barrel and the searchlight together so they move in unison, and an ancillary searchlight is fitted to the commander's cupola, with a choice of the driver's poor weather hood built up in either the collapsed or deployed format, with the former stowed on the turret bustle, while the latter fits over the open driver's hatch. Additional ammunition for the DshK is added to the turret. The 12.7 mm DShK heavy machine gun is the last assembly, and is made up along with its mount, ammo box with a short length of shells leading into the breech, which is fitted into the mount in front of the loader’s hatch. This is only used on 4 of the decal options, on the other options a browning 50 Cal is provided. The turret is dropped into the hull and your choice of location made for the driver’s poor weather hood made earlier. Markings There are six decal options, and plenty of colour (and operator) variation, which is nice to see. From the box you can build one of the following: 1st Guard Brigade "Tigrovi" Republic of Croatia Armed Forces, 1990s, tank marked "Marnia" 1st Guard Brigade "Tigrovi" Republic of Croatia Armed Forces, 1990s, tank marked "Croatia" 2nd Guard Brigade "Gromovi" Republic of Croatia Armed Forces, 1990s, tank marked "19775" 1st Guard Brigade of the Croatian Defence Council "Ante Bruno Busi" Republic of Croatia Armed Forces, 1990s, tank marked "Dnimid Torcid / Martn" 1st Guard Brigade "Tigrovi" Republic of Croatia Armed Forces, 1990s, tank marked "939" 4th Guards Brigade "Pauci" Republic of Croatia Armed Forces 1990s, Marked "4025" The decals are printed by DecoGraph on bright blue paper, and have good register, sharpness and colour density, with a closely cropped thin, matt carrier film. Conclusion These are amongst the most comprehensive kits I have seen in a long while, with even the tiniest details catered for, down to the tiny nuts holding the snorkel to the rear of the tank. It is a fabulous kit and will keep you modelling for hours and hours. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  3. German Tractor D8506 & Trailer With Crew (35314) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd Tractors were a boon to farmers when they were introduced soon after the reliability of the motor car became a thing, as they were especially useful for lugging around heavy equipment around the farm, as well as the typical ploughing, sowing and reaping of crops. They also had power take-off points that could be used to drive other stationary machinery, further expanding their usefulness. Lanz were the leading maker of farm machinery in Germany, and their Bulldog range were the “hoover” of the tractor world in their country for many years. They were good quality and reliable, which led to them being copied by a number of countries, and as the initial 1921 model was improved the model number was increased until well into the 9,000s. One of the primary selling points of the vehicle was the simple “hot-bulb” single-cylinder engine that could be run on a variety of fuels and had very few moving parts, which made it easy to repair and maintain. They started off as 6L and grew to 10L engines, and their slow turnover high-torque output suited the tractor’s work very well. In 1956 they were sold to John Deere, and the name slowly fell out of use. There are still many working examples to be seen at country fairs and historic events, kept in splendid condition by their loving (some may say obsessed) owners. The Kit This is another rebox of MiniArt’s D8500 range of kits, with this being the six that we know of. This boxing brings together one of the tractors with a large cargo trailer, plus a set of German Soliders as it looks like this tractor was impressed into Military Service. Detail is excellent as we’ve come to expect from MiniArt, It arrives in a standard top-opening box, and inside are twenty-eight sprues of various sizes in grey styrene plus two tread parts for the big wheels on their own sprues, a clear sprue, a small sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) in a card envelope, decal sheet and the instruction booklet that has colour profiles of the decal options on the inside covers. Construction begins with the tractor, which has a large cast metal chassis that is made up from two halves each end around a centre-point, with lots of parts used to create its distinctive shape, plus a few PE parts on the forward end cap. The superstructure is roughly rectangular, having various filler caps on the top, radiator panels on the sides, and a PE name-plate and number plate on the front, which should be curved ever-so-slightly to match the shape of the cowling. The driver’s foot pedals are long curved linkages to the underside of the chassis, and with these in place the driver’s tread-plated floor is installed and a big handbrake is fitted to the deck, with a stowage box under the lip at the left rear. The driver’s seat is mounted on a sturdy spring, a couple of hand controls are inserted into depressions in the deck in front of her, then the large drive housing is mounted on the left side of the chassis, with a bell-housing on the opposite side, and two large fenders/sidewalls over where the rear wheels will be, plus a sturdy bumper-bar at the rear with some PE cross-braces. Two large exhausts are made up from various odd-shaped parts, and the front axle is built with a central leaf-spring and steering arms, then attached under the chassis in several places, with a pair of large clear-lensed headlamps on an oversized cross-member on the topside. The wheels on this tractor have heavy tread, which is built up by layering five parts together to make a tyre-sandwich at the front, and a three-part layer for the larger rear wheels. The tyres have their hubs moulded-in, while the rears have additional rear hub parts added between the wheels and rear axles. Long vertical air intakes, and an exhaust are added to the left side of the engine. The engine hood is fitted, along with a flat windscreen in a frame at the front and two upstands sloping backwards at the rear that support a curved canopy that is the last thing to be fitted in the instructions, presumably after inserting the driver. The fifth wheel is the steering wheel, which can be fitted atop the steering column as you’d expect, or detached and used on a shaft to manually start the vehicle via the input shaft hidden behind a cover in the centre of the right-hand bell-housing. The flatbed for the trailer is next, made up on a ladder chassis with two sections of bed, which has fine engraved wood texture on both sides, as do the other wooden structures in the kit. The towing hitch is attached to a cross-member at the rear, and in front of it are a pair of leaf-springs for the fixed rear axle. The front axle is similarly built, but on a frame that has a turntable between it and the bed to enable the axle to rotate freely for easier manoeuvring. The pneumatic tyre wheels are supplied as a five-part sandwich to achieve a realistic tread, and each one slots into the end of its axle when complete. A small bench seat is added to the front of the shallow headboard of the flatbed, with two long sides and rear tail-gate with tiny styrene clasps giving the impression of holding it in place. To model it with the sides and tail-gate down is simply a matter of gluing them in place folded down and fitting the clasps loosely against the sides accordingly. Bench seats are provided for both side of the trailer. These are single part bases with a single back rail, these both attach to three standing frames. For the crew there are are 10 soldiers and one officer. One set Miniart released as 35040 German Artillery Crew Riders, the others are no doubt from other Miniart sets but there are no clues on the sprures to their original sets. There are four sprues of personal equipment and weapons for the figures, and 2 sprues of equipment / boxes to add to the load. Markings There are two schemes available from the small decal sheet. From the box you can build one of the following: Unknown Luftwaffe Unit 1942-43 Unknown Wehrmacht Unit 1943-45 Decals are by MiniArt’s usual partner DecoGraph, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion This is a detailed model from Miniart of a tractor and trailer with great detail of these which would have been pressed into Military Service. The inclusion of 10 figures and all their equipment will make this into its own stand alone diorama, or it can be integrated into a larger one quite easily. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. British Lorry 3t LGOC B-Type (38027) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd Built by the Four Wheel Drive (FWD) company, this was a very early truck used by the military of Britain and the US during WWI, beginning in 1915 with a small order from the British Army. It was full of curious technology from a modern standpoint, but then vehicles of this type were still in their infancy, so that’s hardly surprising that there were a few dead-ends. It was originally supplied with solid tyres and the front wheels had a strange toed-in look due to the suspension geometry set up to give a light steering load. Its T-head engine produced a monstrous 36bhp and it could be connected to all four wheels or either front or rear in the event of necessity or damage to either drive-shaft. It also had a distinctive pig-nosed front due to the fact that the engine was mounted below the cab, with only the radiator housed in the front and precious little (read: none) cover for the driver and crew. Over 12,000 were made up until the end of WWI, with them finding a ready market in the post-war period in the civilian sector, sometimes with pneumatic tyres added to improve the ride quality. The Kit This kit began with the militarised version in olive drab (39001), and was developed into the London Ominbus. Detail is excellent with a full chassis, engine and interior included in the box, giving you just about everything you need to build a detailed replica of the truck. Construction begins with the engine, which is well detailed and even has diagrams showing you how to wire up the spark plugs with some of your own wire if you wish. The exhaust manifold, big clutch flywheel are added to the block along with a load of ancillary parts and hoses, then the gearbox is made up with its short drive-shaft to link it to the engine later on. The chassis is made up from the two side rails and cross members, then the engine is inserted from below while the fan belt and blades; starting handle; leaf springs for the suspension; and a large rear axle are all added, then flipped over to begin work on the engine compartment. A wood-textured bulkhead is installed aft, and at the front the large radiator is assembled and fitted to the front of the chassis, then linked to the feed hoses that were fixed earlier. A small linkage is made from 0.3mm wire and joined with and end-piece that completes the link, which has a couple of scrap diagrams to assist you, one at 1:1 scale to ensure you have it right. The chassis is flipped again and the front axle is built then inserted into the leaf-springs, while brake rods are threaded along the length of the vehicle to provide the meagre braking force to all wheels. The gearbox gets a guard fitted to its bottom as it is inserted into the chassis, at which point it is also linked to the back axle with another drive-shaft that is bracketed by a piece of PE. The what must have been uncomfortable solid tyre wheels, and the front vehicle lights are made up and set to one side. The chassis is flipped again, and the gearbox is linked to the cab, with steering wheel, PARP! style horn plus the cab floor with foot board and cut-outs for the steering wheel, foot brake and other pedals (right-hand drive of course). Now the front and back of the engine bay are linked by the fixed centre panel, and you can build the cowling in either open or closed positions with PE plates attached to the vertical panels. The chassis continues again with the exhaust pipe and muffler, which has a PE lip added to each end of the welded cylinder. This and the remaining driver controls are fixed into the chassis,. The rudimentary drivers cab is built up (with glazed windows which the military version did not have) and installed onto the chassis which is then set aside while the load compartment is built. The load bed is built up from the bottom part, and four sides all of which have fine wood grain moulded in. Underneath five mounting rails are added for mounting to the chassis. The load bed can now be added. Stowage boxes are then added. The front mud guards are then assembled and these can be mounted along with the lights and a front grill over the radiator. Finally the wheels can be added. Markings A nice decal sheet from Decograf provides decals for 3 attractive civilian trucks; J Cooper & Sons Coal delivery - London 1918 Henry Evans & Sons Transport Contractors - London 1918-1922 William Wood & Company - Liverpool 1920s Conclusion It is great to see the civilian post war users getting a look in, Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  5. DPRK Pukguksong-2 (84544) 1:35 Hobby Boss via Creative Models Ltd Unsurprisingly there is not much information out there about this Missile system. The Pukguksong-2 (NK-15 western designation) is a North Korean Ballistic missile. It has been classed as a Medium Range or Intermediate range ICBM as little is know about its real range; this is estimated between 1200 kms and 3000 kms. So far there have only been two test flights both on a deliberate low trajectory. Unlike previous North Korean missiles the Pukguksong-2 is a solid fueled missile. Transport is through a new local design fully tracked Transport Erector Launcher. The missile is cold ejected from an enclosed transport canister using compressed gas. Footage seen shows the missile to have slipper blocks inside the tube similar to the US Minuteman system. The missile is said to be Nuclear capable. The Kit Hobby boss have have thrown a curved ball with this release, who knows where they got the info from! The kit arrives on 9 main sprues, a lower hull, two upper hull parts, a clear sprue, 12 sprues of track parts, a small sheet of PE, A sheets of masks (not shown) and a small decal sheet. Construction starts with the vehicle cab, The drivers controls go in along with two seats and the cab fire extinguishers. Next up all the suspension arms and transmission housings are fitted to the lower hull There are 8 arms per side. Once these are on the idler fixings and return rollers are added. The wheels can then be built up along with the drive sprockets and idler wheels. Next We turn to the tracks This make take a while as they are individual links, 121 per side each with its own track pad. There is no jig or guide and the links must be glued together. Once the tracks are on the addition of a rear plate completes the lower hull. Now we move to the top hull. The main part is one moulding to which is added various hatches, doors grab handles, aerial mounts, and the headlight protectors. The large top deck is next. At the rear of this are fitted the mud guards and two stabilising legs. Flipping it over the two rams for the erector are added along with some plates which protect them. Engine hatches then go on, and PE engine grills are also fitted. Some auxiliary seating goes on the sides of the top plate and then me main top hull moulding can go on. Next up we turn out attention to the missile tube and its erector. The main tube is in two halves, at the front a single part nose cane goes on. The rear of the tube is more involved with a total of 6 rings forming the base. A few other fixings then go to the tube. Two large boxes are added to the side along with a couple of large cable runs, two pipes attach these to the vehicle. The erector is then assembled. There are two large base parts to which the erection rams attach, and then its pined to the rear of the vehicle. The instructions say to to glue these parts, however there is not enough travel on these parts to have the missile in the upright position, though it could be done with some work and additional parts. Two supports are added to the front of the main hull. The lower hull, upper hull and missile tube can now be joined. Markings A small decal sheet gives markings for two different camo vehicles. No other information is given. Conclusion This is a great kit from Hobby Boss of a little seen vehicle, the kit is first rate and builds up easily into a good looking vehicle. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  6. Leopard 1A5 MBT (84501) 1/35 HOBBYBOSS via Creative Models The Leopard project started back in the mid 1950s with the goal of producing a modern tank to replace the M47 and M48 tanks which where then in use by the recently reconstituted Bundesehr (German Army). The specification called for a tank weighing no more than 30 tonnes capable of surviving 20mm rapid fire cannon and having a power-to-weight ratio of 30hp per tonne. The tank had to be capable of surviving on a nuclear/chemical contaminated battlefield. Armament was to be the then standard NATO 105mm gun. For this design Mobility was the primary concern with firepower secondary, and armour being seen as low down the list as it was envisaged there was little possibility of standing up to modern hollow charge weapons. Three design teams competed for the Tank contract from Porsche, Rheinmetall and Borgward. The Porsche prototype was eventually selected as the winner. Production was set up with Krauss-Maffei in Munich and deliveries began in late 1965. In the 1980s research was done into upgrading the tank. The turrets were upgraded to store more ammunition, a new, and a new fire control system was fitted. Provision was made for bolt on Lexan armour, and the 120mm gun of the Leopard 2 (though this was never fitted) As well as the German Army the Leopard 1 would go on to serve with the Armies of Belgium, Holland, Norway, Italy, Denmark, Australia, Canada, and Turkey. The A5 with Germany, Holland and Chilie. The Kit This kit from HobbyBoss is a re-boxing of the standard Leopard 1 with different parts for the 1A5. The kit looks good on the sprues with lots of detail parts. Moulding is first rate. Construction starts lower hull. Various suspension components are fitted, and the ends of the main torsion bar system and its arms are fitted. The wheels can then be built up and attached, followed by the tracks which are individual links. While at first glance thy look good and there is a jig provided in the kit to make short runs of track however it will take some work to get them right; and the end connectors are moulded to the links so will not articulate like the real ones when the runs go round the end sprockets. The next step is a surprising one in that it looks like a full power pack is provided. While the engine has many parts and looks quite detailed there is no detailing for the engine bay, and the actual block is missing all of its hoses and connector, though there is nothing stopping the modeller going to town here if they want to do an open engine bay. Then the rear bulkhead is made up. There is virtually no moulded on parts here with a lot of small detail parts making up this bulkhead. The rear mud flaps are fitted to the bulkhead at this point. The bulkhead can then be fitted. Moving to the top main hull the engine deck hatch is added, along with some side parts and the drivers vision blocks, the rear exhausts are then added along with quite a few detailed parts such as tools , mirrors etc. The lower and upper hulls can now be joined and the rear bulkhead fitted. PE parts for the engine deck are then fitted. The rear tow cables are then added. Then the track side guards can be added. Work now moves to the turret which has good casting detail moulded in. The mounting points for the Lexan armour are all moulded to the turret. After the turret is together the large rear mounted turret storage bin is made up and added to the turret, Next up the roof mounted machine gun and its mount can be added. Next up the hatches and aerial mounts are added. The gun and its additional armoured mantlet are built up, The smoke dischargers are added to the turret and its then ready to be mounted to the hull Decals Decals are provided for 2 German Army tanks, though there is no information on these provided at all in the instructions. Conclusion This is a great looking kit from HobbyBoss and their attention to detail is to be commended. Overall Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  7. Focke Wulf FW C.30A Heuschrecke Late Prod (41018) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd There was a time when the Autogyro was looked at with great promise but the never materialised, The Avro licence built the Cierva C.30 designed by Juan de la Cieva. This was built from the fuselage of the Avro Cadet biplane and used an Armstrong Siddeley Genet Major engine. Lift was provided by an 11.3m diameter 3 bladed rotor. In Germany the Air Ministry thought as well that the Autogyro was the future for aviation. These were produced under licence by Focke Wulf using the AVRO pattern. The main difference between the early production models is the fuselage front of the pilots and the engine. The fate of these machines is not known. The Kit Until now I don't think there has been a kit of this in 1.35 scale. The kit is upto Minart's modern standards; there are 4 main sprues, 3 smaller sprues, a small clear spure and a sheet of photoetch in the box. Even in 1.35 scale this is not a large kit. Construction starts with the front mounted radial engine. The cylinder bank is made up fro individual cylinders, with the exhaust and collector ring being added. Ancillary parts are then attached to the engine and it is put aside for later. Construction then moves to the interior/cockpit. The two seats are made up complete with PE seatbelts. These then attach to their mounting frames. Onto the cockpit floor are mounted the rudder pedals and control column. Additional controls are added to the side frames and then these frames can be attached to the cockpit floor. Front and rear control panels are then added. The seats are added in and then the side frames added. The cockpit can then be closed up inside the main fuselage, Next up the mount for the rotor blades is made up and attached to the fuselage. The tail wheel assembly is added as are the tailplanes. The engine and its propeller are then added. The landing gear struts are made up and the wheels are added. Lastly the rotor blades are made up and added, these can either be in the flying or stowed positions. Markings There are two decal options provided on the sheet From the box you can build one of the following: D-EELA - Germany mid 1930's D-EIRO - Germany mid 1930s DE-TAX - Germany mid 1930s (Though the insignia would suggest Austria) Decals are printed by DecoGraph and have good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion This is a really nice rendition of this unusual but important civil aircraft. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  8. Y-8 Chinese Transport Aircraft (83902) 1:144 HobbyBoss via Creative Models Ltd The Shaanxi Y-8 is a Chinese built medium range transport based on the An-12. In the 1960s the Chinese purchased several AN-12 with an option to licence build more. However due to the souring of relations between the two communist powers the Chinese reverse engineered the aircraft. The nose and tail are from the H-6 bomber with the tail turret being deleted after a while. The aircraft also did away with the An-12 overhead conveyor for a floor mounted one. The Kit Until now I don't think there has been a kit of this aircraft. In 1.144 it is still large but manageable for most modellers. The kit arrives on 5 sprues of grey plastic, a clear sprue, a small sheet of PE and 4 individual propellers (these are packed in their own box for added protection). Construction starts by adding some internal parts and the windows to the main fuselage sections. Then the main internal floor is made up with the front gear well on the underside of this, Internal bulkheads are fitted as is the main cabin roof. At the front the basic cockpit is completed. Instruments are provided for the panel as decal. The cabin/cockpit is fitted at the front and parts for the large cargo door at the back. Once all of this is in the main fuselage can be cloded up. The wings can then be added. There is a single part upper with left/right lowers, once these are together wing tips need to be added. The tailplanes are also then added followed by the engine nacelles after they are built up. Next its the turn of the landing gear. The front and rear glazing can then added to the model. At the rear the large cargo doors are constructed and brought onto the build, the last things to add are the four bladed props. Markings There is a small decal sheet as the aircraft carries minimal markings. Just National insignia, serials and warnings for the props. Decals are printed in house and have good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion This is a really nice rendition of this large aircraft. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  9. T-60 Screened Plant No.264 Stalingrad INTERIOR KIT (35237) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models The T-60 was the result of the ongoing development of light tanks that had started well before WWII. This particular tank started development in 1938 as an attempt to replace the T-26, T-40, the failed T-46 project and the T-50. Whilst such a large number were produced, it was hated by all who had to deal with it – all except the Germans, who found it to be a substandard and underwhelming opponent, and a rather nice ammunition carrier or gun towing tractor, once captured. As a result of its poor armour, substandard armament and sluggish performance, it was more dangerous to its crews than anybody else, earning it the title Bratskaya Mogila Na Dovoikh, literally: “a brother’s grave for two.” The basic design was completed in a mere fifteen days, and Astrov, seconded by Lieutenant Colonel V.P. Okunev, wrote to Stalin contrasting the advantages of the mass-producible T-60 with the more complicated T-50, which had already received the go-ahead. An inspection from a senior minister resulted in two decisions: firstly, the 12.7 mm (0.5 in) machine gun was to be replaced with a 20 mm (0.79 in) ShVAK, although it was still inadequate against the Panzer IIIs and IVs that the T-60 would almost certainly engage whilst there was a shortage of T-34s. Secondly, the Main Defence Committee (GKO), headed by Stalin, ordered 10,000 T-60s to be produced immediately. Some sources have claimed that Stalin’s interest in the vehicle is because he attended the vehicle’s final trials in person. The Germans would use captured tanks under the designation Panzerkampfwagen T-60 743(r), and the Romanians would modify 34 captured tanks into TACAM tank destroyers in 1943 armed with captured Russian 76mm divisional guns housed in a lightly armoured superstructure. These vehicles were confiscated by the Russians when Roumania changed sides in 1944. The Model The kit comes in the fairly standard, yet sturdy and colourful top opening box MiniArt use, with an artists impression of the vehicle on the front. This tank is modified by having a 20mm main gun, octagonal commanders hatch, spoked idler wheels without rubber, a welded drivers hatch, and different engine hatch. Additional armour is provided at the front and a winter screen for the rear . Inside there are thirty three sprues of varying sizes, mostly small, in a medium to dark grey styrene, along with one sprue of clear styrene, two small sheets of etched brass and a smallish decal sheet. As with most MiniArt kits there is a huge amount of detail contained on the sprues and in this one there are 490 parts, including the etched brass. The mouldings are superb with no imperfections and very few moulding pips. Some of the smaller parts, and there are a lot of them, do have a fair number of sprue gates, but fortunately they are relatively small and shouldn’t cause too many problems. The sheer number of parts is explained by the fact that this kit is equipped with a full, and I mean full interior, which for a model/vehicle this size will mean you will need a magnifying glass/Optivisor when building. The build starts with the lower hull floor, to which the drivers position is attached, complete with detailed gearbox, levers and brake drums. Then there is the comprehensively detailed engine, which is a model in itself, and has more parts than some whole kits, around 22 in total. The two batteries and battery tray are then added to the left hand side of the hull adjacent to the drivers position, followed by the right side panel which is fitted with a fire extinguisher and four support brackets. The rear bulkhead is fitted out with several parts on the outside, before being attached to the lower hull, as is the lower glacis plate. The engine assembly is then glued into position and connected to the gearbox via a couple of drive shafts. The interior is slowly built up with bulkheads, ammunition racks with spare ammunition drums and boxes and another fire extinguisher. The left hull panel is then attached, along with the outer drive covers, idler axles, internal longitudinal bulkhead and several pipes. The upper hull plate is fitted with several panels before being glued into place. The drivers hatch is made up from five parts, while the drivers vision block is made up from six parts. Both assemblies are then glued to the driver position, and can be posed either open of closed. Depending on which colour scheme the modeller has chosen there are two options for the style of headlights to be used. The suspension arms are then glued to the hull, followed by the road wheels, return rollers, drive sprockets and idler wheels. The engine cover is next made up of three plastic and two etched grille pieces. This is then glued into position on the top deck, along with the drivers access and viewing plate. The tracks are each built up from eighty five individual links, which, unfortunately are not click able, but have to be glued, making it a little more awkward to get the sag and fitted around the idlers/drive sprockets. But with plenty of patience and care they can be made to look the business. The track guards are fitted with many PE brackets, as well as storage boxes, pioneer tools and a nicely detailed jack. These are then fitted to the hull and the build moves on to the turret. There is a large PE grille fitted to the rear engine deck along with a PE surround. There are two covers that go over this if winterising the vehicle, each plate is fixed with four to six PE wing nuts. While the turret is very small there is still plenty of detail packed into it. The turret ring is fitted with commander’s seat, ready use ammunition locker, plus traversing and elevation gearboxes and hand wheels. Inside the turret itself there are two four piece vision blocks, spent ammunition plug, vent cover, the breech and sight for the main gun which is slid through the trunnion mount, as is the three piece co-axial machine gun. The turret roof is fitted with a two piece hatch and before it is glued into position the machine gun ammunition drum is attached and the spent cartridge chute to the main gun. The roof is then attached, as is the outer mantlet and barrel cover of the main gun. The turret is the attached o the hull and the build is finished off with the fitting of more PE brackets around the hull and the engine exhaust glued into position. Decals The small decal sheet contains markings for 4 tanks. White 7, unknown unit Red Army 1942 White 41, unknown unit Red Army, Rzhev, July 1942 Wjite 3, 3rd Guards Tank Brigade, Kalnin front 1942 Red 83, unknown unit Red Army Feb-March 1943 Conclusion This is another amazing kit from MiniArt and brings yet another lesser known military vehicle to the mainstream modelling community. With the numerous parts count and the large number of very small parts, this kit is really aimed at the more experienced modeller, it looks like it should build up into a superb model, absolutely full of detail, so much so that there shouldn’t be any need for aftermarket parts. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of Creative Models
  10. Our Route Has been Changed Modern War Series kit No.1 1:24 Master Box Ltd Master Box have seen a market for some well-sculpted, modern mouldings of soldiers for a while now. This looks to be the first in a new 1:24 scale series. This set arrives in the de facto standard figure shaped box with a painting of the included figures on the front, and parts breakdown with pictorial instructions on the rear. On opening the end of the box, you're greeted by a re-sealable bag containing one large sprue and one smaller one containing all the parts you'll need to build the two figures on the box top. The weapons come as a sprue from the ICM Swat kits and as such feature a HK MP5 for the female figure not the weapon shown on the box art., though it is shown on the instructions at least. Torsos, legs, arms and heads are all separate parts, with webbing also separate for a more realistic in-scale feel, with helmets, weapons and load-out also separate, which gives the modeller some scope for individualising each figure without too much work. The sculpting is good, though not as good as some of the 1/35 sets I have from MB Conclusion The feel of this set is something generic, even though the figures have US Flags on their helmets they dont really say US armed forces to me, more maybe Private Military Contractors? The female figure does not really stand out as such. The inclusion of the SWAT weapons sprue again lends to being more generic as the HK MP5 is not something in normal use with certain armed forces. Overall not the best from MB but if you want some 1:24 figures for a project that will build up well then go for these. Review sample courtesy of
  11. Soviet Infantry Tank Riders Set 1 (35309) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd We have all seen pictures from all forces in WWII with infantry soldiers riding on tanks, after all why walk when you can cadge a free ride from the tankies. This set arrives in a figure sized end-opening box and as advertised on the front it holds four figures that can be posed on and around the vehicle. There are then 4 additional sprues of personal weapons and equipment. They are all armed with the Soviet PPS 9mm gun. There looks to be one officer and 3 other ranks. Sculpting is as ever spot on, with sensible breakdown of parts along natural seams, good understanding of the draping of different materials, and realistic poses and proportions that all add realism to the finished figures. There does seem to be some larger seem lines of these figures which will need to be removed, however that is an easy process. The painting and construction guide can be found of the back of the box in colour, with paints called out as numbers that relate to a table below converting between Vallejo, Mr Color, Mission models and AMMO brands plus the colours and their names in English. Recommended if you need some Soviet Infantry to ride on your latest Soviet tank model. Review sample courtesy of
  12. British Military Lorry B-Type (39003) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd Built by the Four Wheel Drive (FWD) company, this was a very early truck used by the military of Britain and the US during WWI, beginning in 1915 with a small order from the British Army. It was full of curious technology from a modern standpoint, but then vehicles of this type were still in their infancy, so that’s hardly surprising that there were a few dead-ends. It was originally supplied with solid tyres and the front wheels had a strange toed-in look due to the suspension geometry set up to give a light steering load. Its T-head engine produced a monstrous 36bhp and it could be connected to all four wheels or either front or rear in the event of necessity or damage to either drive-shaft. It also had a distinctive pig-nosed front due to the fact that the engine was mounted below the cab, with only the radiator housed in the front and precious little (read: none) cover for the driver and crew. Over 12,000 were made up until the end of WWI, with them finding a ready market in the post-war period in the civilian sector, sometimes with pneumatic tyres added to improve the ride quality. The Kit This kit began with the militarised version in olive drab (39001), and was developed into the London Ominbus. Detail is excellent with a full chassis, engine and interior included in the box, giving you just about everything you need to build a detailed replica of the truck. Construction begins with the engine, which is well detailed and even has diagrams showing you how to wire up the spark plugs with some of your own wire if you wish. The exhaust manifold, big clutch flywheel are added to the block along with a load of ancillary parts and hoses, then the gearbox is made up with its short drive-shaft to link it to the engine later on. The chassis is made up from the two side rails and cross members, then the engine is inserted from below while the fan belt and blades; starting handle; leaf springs for the suspension; and a large rear axle are all added, then flipped over to begin work on the engine compartment. A wood-textured bulkhead is installed aft, and at the front the large radiator is assembled and fitted to the front of the chassis, then linked to the feed hoses that were fixed earlier. A small linkage is made from 0.3mm wire and joined with and end-piece that completes the link, which has a couple of scrap diagrams to assist you, one at 1:1 scale to ensure you have it right. The chassis is flipped again and the front axle is built then inserted into the leaf-springs, while brake rods are threaded along the length of the vehicle to provide the meagre braking force to all wheels. The gearbox gets a guard fitted to its bottom as it is inserted into the chassis, at which point it is also linked to the back axle with another drive-shaft that is bracketed by a piece of PE. The what must have been uncomfortable solid tyre wheels, and the front vehicle lights are made up and set to one side. The chassis is flipped again, and the gearbox is linked to the cab, with steering wheel, PARP! style horn plus the cab floor with foot board and cut-outs for the steering wheel, foot brake and other pedals (right-hand drive of course). Now the front and back of the engine bay are linked by the fixed centre panel, and you can build the cowling in either open or closed positions with PE plates attached to the vertical panels. The chassis continues again with the exhaust pipe and muffler, which has a PE lip added to each end of the welded cylinder. This and the remaining driver controls are fixed into the chassis,. The rudimentary drivers cab is built up and installed onto the chassis which is then set aside while the load compartment is built. The load bed is built up from the bottom part, and four sides all of which have fine wood grain moulded in. Underneath five mounting rails are added for mounting to the chassis. The load bed can now be added. The front mud guards are then assembled and these can be mounted along with the lights and a front grill over the radiator. A rudimentary bumper is added for one of the decal options. Finally the wheels can be added. Markings A small decal sheet from Dechograph is included with the minimal markings seen on wartime truck. Markings are included for four Royal Army Service Corps trucks from WWI. Conclusion This will be a good model in its own right, or great in a WWI diorama, Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  13. T-55 Mod. 1970 With OMsh tracks (37064) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd. The T-54's gestation and transformation into the T-55 was long-winded and complicated by constant changes to an as yet unsatisfactory performing vehicle, and began at early as the end of WWII. Production of the T-54-1 was halted due to production and quality issues, and recommenced as the re-designed T-54-2, with the turret design changed to closer resemble the eventual domed shape of the T-55. The -2 didn't last all that long before the -3 replaced it, and the requirement for survival of tactical nuclear blasts led to the eventual introduction of the similar looking, but significantly different T-55 that we know so well. As the heavy tank fell out of favour, the T-55 became part of the burgeoning Main Battle Tank movement, with thousands of them being produced over the years in various guises. In the early 60s the T-55A was developed, providing more adequate NBC protection that required a lengthening of the hull and coincidentally added anti-spall protection for the crew. It also sounded the death-knell of the bow-mounted machine gun, which was removed to improve ammo storage, and hasn't been seen on MBTs for decades now. The Czechs built their own versions of the T-54 and T-55, with quite an export market developing due to their being of better build quality than the Russian built alternative. Of the many sub variants produced by the then Czechslovakia, many were exported to Soviet Bloc aligned purchasers. Starting in 1970 these tanks were fitted with the 12.7mm DShK 1938/46 or KPVT loader's anti-aircraft heavy machine guns. These tanks were known as Model 1970. OMsh track is the standard type fitted to all T-54/55/62. These were later upgraded to the RMsh type which was fitted to the fitted to the T-72. The Kit Part of the ever-expanding range of early Cold War armour from MiniArt, who seem to be kitting every conceivable variant from the earliest T-54 to the later T-55, which will hopefully include some of the more unusual marks as well. The initial toolings were all brand new, and were designed in a modular format to ease the way toward new variants, which makes for a high sprue count. Some of the kits have been released in augmented Interior Kit boxings, with all the extra details to open up your model as much as you please. The kit arrives in their current orange themed box, with a painting of the tank in question on the front. Lifting the lid gives the feeling of how much is inside, as it is packed full and I'm dreading putting it all back in. There are 80 sprues in mid grey styrene, many of them quite small, and some of the larger ones linked together in pairs, two clear sprues, a sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a decal sheet, and the instruction booklet. Detail is everywhere, and is crisp, with judicious use of slide-moulding to improve details further, and make hollows where needed. The inclusion of PE helps further, allowing parts to be given a more scale-effect. Construction begins with the lower hull, which has cut-outs for the suspension mounts, hatches and access panels, all of which are supplied as separate parts. The suspension is torsion-link, so the bars are inserted with the axles at their ends, or shorter stubby versions if you want to freeze the suspension in the level position. The hull insides are separate and are well detailed parts, which are added to the lower along with engine bay firewall and rear bulkhead. Externally, the T-55 could be fitted with a mine-roller, and although one isn't included with this boxing, the fitments and bracketry is included for the upper and lower glacis alongside the standard light clusters, lifting hooks and pioneer tools. With the glacis and the turret ring "bat wings" added to the hull sides, the upper hull is assembled from the top with turret ring aperture, a multi-part engine deck with individual slats added before installation, and some PE mesh panels added later with optional raised covers supplied as additional parts. The main lights have clear lenses, and fit inside a multi-part cage to protect them from damage, which will take some care to glue together neatly. The fenders have additional fuel tankage fitted with hosing between them, and lots of PE fixtures, handles and such, with even more PE bracing inside the sprung mudguard parts, tools, toolboxes and the exhaust on the port side. The kit includes plastic towing eyes, but you are going to have to provide your own cables as none are include in the kit, but given the sheer volume of parts it's excusable. At the rear an unditching log is lashed to the bulkhead with PE straps, and the extra fuel drums so often seen are also lashed to curved brackets that overhang the rear of the hull. Between them the deep wading funnel is attached by a couple of pins to the bottom of the brackets, and it has its own group of PE brackets for the bracing wires that are seen when it is in use. the wheels are handled next, with five pairs per side with separate hubs, plus the idler wheel at the front, and drive sprocket at the rear. Tracks are left until a little later and are of the individual link type, requiring 90 links per side, each of which have four sprue gates, but no ejection pin or sink marks to worry about. What is there however is stunning detail, which includes the casting numbers inlaid into the hollows of each track link, and close-fitting lugs that should make the building an easier task. The turret itself is a busy assembly, having the basics of the breech mechanism and coax machine gun made up and mated with the lower turret on two mounts at the front. The upper turret has some holes drilled out from inside and is attached to the lower, after which the two-part turret roof is fitted with hatches, vents and vision blocks. Externally the grab rails, forward mounted searchlight, commander's cupola and a choice of cast mantlet or moulded blast-bag over the mantlet are added, and the single piece barrel with hollow muzzle slips through the centre and keys into the breech. The blast-bag is finished off around the edges with PE strips, and a large folded tarp is attached to the back of the turret by more PE straps near the included stowage boxes. A series of extra cans for the 12.7m gun are added to the turret sides. An armature links the gun barrel and the searchlight together so they move in unison, and an ancillary searchlight is fitted to the commander's cupola, with a choice of the driver's poor weather hood built up in either the collapsed or deployed format, with the former stowed on the turret bustle, while the latter fits over the open driver's hatch. The 12.7 mm DShK heavy machine gun is the last assembly, and is made up along with its mount, ammo box with a short length of shells leading into the breech, which is fitted into the mount in front of the loader’s hatch. The turret is dropped into the hull and your choice of location made for the driver’s poor weather hood made earlier. Markings There are six decal options, and plenty of colour (and operator) variation, which is nice to see. From the box you can build one of the following: 101 st Mechanised Rifle Regiment, 5th Guards Motorised Rifle Division of the Soviet 40th Army, Afghanistan early 1980's. Presumed Syrian 85th Separate Motorised Infantry Brigade, Beirut Lebanon June 1982. Unknown Iranian unit, Iran-Iraq war 1980's. Iraqi Army, Al Mutla District, North Of Kuwait Operation Desert Storm 1991. Peruvian Army, 2010. Kurdish Peshmerga unit, Battle of Mossol 2016. The decals are printed by DecoGraph on bright blue paper, and have good register, sharpness and colour density, with a closely cropped thin, matt carrier film. Conclusion These are amongst the most comprehensive kits I have seen in a long while, with even the tiniest details catered for, down to the tiny nuts holding the snorkel to the rear of the tank. It is a fabulous kit and will keep you modelling for hours and hours. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  14. Russian Air Defense Weapons System 96K6 Pantsir-S1 (SS-016) 1:35 Meng Model via Creative Models The Panstsir S1 is a Russian air defense system combining a medium range surface to air missile system and anti-aircraft artillery gun system on the same platform. The system can be mounted on a truck (KAMAZ 6560) or tracked chassis (GM-352). The system is designed to provide point air defense to priority targets against aircraft, Helos, drones, cruise missiles; and other smart munitions. They can be seen protecting long range missile systems such as the S-300. The missile armament is 12 SA-22 Greyhound missiles which are command guided. They are boost launched, then sustained to the target. The missiles have a range of 20km and a height on 8km. The gun system is a pair 30mm auto cannon. They can fire from a range 200m to 4 km at a rate of fire of 2500 rounds per minute. The gun/missile combination ensuring a continued coverage from 200m to 20km. The firecontrol system combines a target acquisition radar with a dual band tracking radar. These operate in the UHF & EHF wavebands ensuring detection at 32kms, with tracking at 24km for a target with an radar cross section of 2 square metres. The radar can track both the target and missile. In addition to the radar there is electro-optical back up with a thermal image system and infrared detector. The system can track and engage multiple targets at the same time. The Kit This new tooled kit from Meng. On first inspection there are a lot of parts, all upto the quality we now expect from Meng. There is also a 43 page instruction booklet which also gives some indication as to the complexity of the kit. Construction starts with the chassis for the truck, and it pretty much builds up like the real thing. There is a central beam with side plates onto which attach the suspension components. At the front a full engine and radiator go in, behind the engine goes the transmission and gear box with shafts to all axles, and the axles themselves go in as well. Additional suspension components then are added to the axles. For the front two axles the steering parts go in as well, all wheel hubs and brakes are now fitted. The top part of the chassis goes on which will support all the body components. At the front the bumpers are added, and at the side the fuel and air tanks. The mudflaps are also fitted at this time. The four hydraulic stabiliser units are added, and then the wheels are attached; this now completes the vehicle chassis. Now we move onto to the front cab unit. The dash is assembled and added into the main cab unit. The interior is then assembled onto the floor pan and then this slides into the cab. The roof and doors are added. The doors could be modelled open if the modeller wants to. To finish of the cab the roof hatch is added along with the wipers and mirrors. The cab can then be attached to the chassis. Also being added at this stage is the engine air intake, spare wheel and radiator assembly for the cooling of the rear crew area. The rear crew are is then built up. Doors are added to each end, these could be left open but there is no interior to the compartment. The external air filter is built up and added along with the roof and the rear overhanging access panels. Once complete the crew area then goes onto the chassis. Now we move to the rear turret and its base. The base is made up first with 4 sides being made up and the roof added. Various external comments such as handles etc are add and then this can be added to the chassis. The power supply module which is mounted at the very rear of the vehicle is then made and added. This module differs between marking options so make sure you build the right one. Now the turret can be built. The front part which holds the weapons and the rear radar unit are both made up and attached to the turret base. The radar unit can then be made up and attached. This can be in either the raised or lowered position with 2 units being included depending on which one you want to use. The guns are then built up and added with different ones again being included depending on the marking option. Following this the missile tubes are also built up and added. The optical sight can then be made up and added to the turret roof. Side loading platforms for the turret are then made up and added (again these differ between marking options). The vehicle is then finished off by adding the turret. Markings 6 options are provided on a sheet made in house by Meng. There are 2 Russian green vehicles, two Russian Camo Options, a dessert Syrian option, and a dessert camo Iraqi option Conclusion This looks like a comprehensive kit of this weapons system. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  15. KJ-200 Chinese AEW Aircraft (83903) 1:144 HobbyBoss via Creative Models Ltd The KJ-200 NATO Reporting name Moth (Or Y-8 Balance Beam) is a Chinese AEW / Airborne Early Warning Aircraft. The key component of the system is an Active electronically scanned array (AESA) phased array radar antenna in which the radar beam is electronically steered without moving the antenna. This is mounted on a Shaanxi Y-8 which is itself based on the An-12. The PLA Air Force currently have 7 of these, and the PLA Navy 3. The Kit Until now I don't think there has been a kit of this aircraft. In 1.144 it is still large but manageable for most modellers. The kit arrives on 5 sprues of grey plastic, a clear sprue, a small sheet of PE and 4 individual propellers (these are packed in their own box for added protection). The whole cockpit/nose section of the aircraft is moulded in clear plastic. Construction starts by adding some internal parts and the windows to the main fuselage sections. Then the main internal floor is made up with the front gear well on the underside of this, Internal bulkheads are fitted as is the main cabin roof. At the front the basic cockpit is completed. Instruments are provided for the panel as decal. The cabin/cockpit is fitted into the main fuselage and this is closed up. The nose section can then be added along with the wings. There is a single part upper with left/right lowers, once these are together wing tips need to be added. The tailplanes are also then added with there end fins. The engine nacelles can then be built up and added along with the landing gear. Lastly the single part props are added and the radar beam id made up and added. The final thing to do is a to add a series of PE blade aerials to the fuselage though the instructions don't show them being added. They are just there in the last steps. Markings There is a small decal sheet as the aircraft carries minimal markings. Just National insignia, serials and warnings for the props. Decals are printed in house and have good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion This is a really nice rendition of this unusual aircraft. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  16. ZTZ96B Chinese Main Battle Tank 1/35 MENG MODEL via Creative Models The Type 96 or ZTZ96 is a second generation MBT of Chinese design which entered service with the PLA in 1997. The Type B tanks are an upgrade to the originals making the tank equivalent to a third generation MBT. The Type Bs have a new improved chassis coupled with a new engine and drive train. A new gun system has been added which features a new high performance gun, an upgraded fire control system, and an independent sight for the commander. The new Type B was first seen in 2016 when it attended the 2016 Tank Biathlon in Russia. The Kit This is a new kit from Meng though tooled in 2017 this is the first look we have had at it. As well as the main hull castings, and turret top there are 11 sprues of sand plastic, a clear sprue, the rear turret basket and a sheet of PE. In flexible vinyl there are the tracks, two separate gun mantlets and an ammo feed for the remote weapons station. Your build starts with the wheels. Two drive sprockets, two idler wheels and 12 sets of main wheels are built up. These include a poly cap which gets sandwiched between the pairs of wheels for each. Next up is the suspension. Here steel pins are joined to the suspension arms before they are pushed through the hull, Plates then secure these down from the inside of the hull. Additional mounting points for the drive sprockets, idler wheels, and return rollers are then added, with the return rollers being added as well. The wheels can then be pushed on, and the rubber tracks added. The rubber tracks are flat and must have the guide horns attached separately, these come on runs of 5 on the main sprues. Work now moves on to the upper hull. Various vision blocks, light, and other small parts are added. To the front of the main hull additional armour is added, along with the front fenders. Engine intakes are added, and a PE grill is put over these. The upper hull can then be joined to the lower hull. Once on the rear plate can be attached along with towing eyes and other small parts. The rear mounted extended range fuel drums can then be added. Side armoured skirts are then fitted. These vary dependant on which markings you are using, although the marking/paint diagrams don't actually show this and the information is in the main instruction booklet. Construction now moves to the business part of the MBT, the turret. The upper and lower parts of the main turret are put together and the outside armour plates added. Topside sights and vents are then also added, along with smoke dischargers and aerial mounts. The side mounted, partially enclosed stowage baskets are then built up and attached to the turret. The rear open basket is provided as a one part moulding, though TBH PE would give a truer representation of scale thickness. The hatches are then added, as is the commanders independent sighting system. The gun mantlet is added along with the main gun barrel. For the top of the turret depending on your marking options there is the standard 12.mm gun, or a modern remote weapon station. This is only for the decal option seen at the trade show, The turret can then be mounted onto the hull. Decals Decals are provide for 5 tanks;. two which attended the Tank Biathlon in 2016, two which attended in 2017 and one which was on show at a trade exhibition in China. Conclusion This looks to be a good kit from Meng of the latest Chinese Type 96, and their attention to detail is to be commended. Overall recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  17. French R39 Light Infantry Tank 1/35 HOBBYBOSS via Creative Models Designed by Renault, this was an interwar light infantry tank used by the French army in their unsuccessful defence of their homeland at the beginning of WWII, after which it remained in service with the German forces as a beutepanzer, where it was either used in second line service, or heavily converted to a makeshift gun carriage and used as a self-propelled howitzer. It was originally intended as a replacement for the diminutive FT-17, but due to the sloth in re-training their crews, they were still ill-prepared even on the eve of war. The R39 is a variant of the R35 but armed with the heavier 37mm SA38 L/33 gun allowing it to operate in an anti-tank capacity. When Germany pounced, there were almost a thousand R35s in service, although they had been found unreliable, poorly armed to combat tanks, and with too little armour. All the remaining vehicles were taken on charge by the Germans and more than a little tinkering with cutting torches began. Some had their turrets removed to use as small gun emplacements, while others were thoroughly butchered to become tank destroyers, although in doing so the original chassis was horribly overloaded, leading to slow, breakdown prone vehicles that must have been loathed by their crews. By the end of the war a small number were left and used by the French until they were replaced with more capable tanks. The Kit This is a re-boxing by HobbyBoss with a new sprue for the heavier turret on this version. The kit arrives in a fairly small box with a divider keeping the sprues from rattling about. Inside are seven sprues, upper hull in sand coloured styrene; two sprues containing the tracks; a sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, decal sheet, colour painting guide and black and white instruction manual. The engine is first to be constructed, with a two part block that is heavily detailed with additional parts, a great many of which are absolutely tiny, which conspires to give you a very nicely depicted motor for your R35 chassis. Work then commences on integrating the engine with the lower hull, beginning with the sand-cast rear bulkhead, which has the idler tensioning devices and towing hook added, after which the radiator, cooling fan and ducting are assembled with the power-take-off wheel projecting from the rear of the box. The hull itself is made up from two side panels and a floor piece, into which the radiator housing, a styrene/PE stiffening plate and driver controls are added. The side panels are fitted out with three return-rollers and a final drive housing per side, and four bogies with two wheels per housing and a big suspension spring are built up. Two more solo bogies, two drive sprockets and two idler wheels are also constructed, and are installed on the suspension mounting points on the hull sides. At the same time the driver's seat, fuel tank and engine-mount bulkhead are ensconced within the hull, and the rear bulkhead closes up the rear. After adding a few more driver controls and their linkages, the drive-train is dropped into the hull, with a transmission housing added to the front, and driver-shafts to the sprockets complete the drive-train. Given their small size in 1:35, HB have decided to go down the link and length route with the tracks. The straight track runs are made up from six parts with a few links in between the curved lower sections, and twelve individual links at each end. Each of the individual links have three sprue gates, while the lengths have additional dead-end tabs that ensure against short-shot links, and also double as ejector-pin positions, saving the delicate detail from marring by miss-alignments. The upper hull is detailed inside with the driver's instrument panel, plus a choice of actuator for his vision hatch, which can be posed open or closed. The final drive inspection hatch is added along with some PE parts, as is the lower part of the driver's hatch, with the upper section added in the open or closed aspect, depending on your whim. The upper hull is then closed up and a host of pioneer tools are threaded through their tie-down blocks to be added to the sides of the hull together with the silencer/muffler and exhaust, the feeder pipe for which comes from the rear of the vehicle. Their is a large tail on the rear of the tank like those seen on the Renault FT-17 to assist on crossing trenches, a throw back from WWI. This is then built up and added to the rear of the tank. The new turret which is the feature of this boxing is then built up. The main hatch is added along with the vision opening on each side. The 37mm gun is quite detailed and is a full gun both sides of the mantlet. The rear loading hatch is then built up and added, The turret base can then be added and the completed turret placed on the tank. Decals Decals are provided for one rench tanks, and one re-used by the Germans. No details regarding units etc are provided. Conclusion This is a great looking kit from HobbyBoss and their attention to detail is to be commended, it is good to see more lesser known tanks being kitted. Overall Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  18. Ukraine KrAZ-6322 "Solider" Cargo Truck 1/35 HOBBYBOSS via Creative Models KrAZ is a Ukrainian company which produces trucks and other specialist vehicles based in Kremenchuk in the Ukraine. The 6322 is an 6x6 truck designed for off road use and in extreme conditions making it ideal for military use. Like many trucks is comes with a wide variety of body types, the "Solider" version being the general cargo truck type. It is powered by a V8 turbocharged diesel engine giving it a top speed of 75 mph. The Kit This is a new kit from HobbyBoss of the 6322. The kit looks good on the sprues with lots of detail parts. Moulding is first rate. and the kit looks comprehensive, with PE parts, window masks, and rubber tyres.Construction starts with the V8 engine. This has quite a lot of detailed parts, in fact the first 3 pages of the instruction booklet detail mainly with its construction. The gearbox is also built up and then attached to the engine. Transmission boxes are constructed at this stage for later placement in the chassis. The chassis is then built up from two major side rails with some cross components, the engine/gear box is added along with the main transmission box with a shaft linking it to the gearbox. A chassis mounted winch is then built up and added to the chassis along with its PTO shaft. Rear light mounts are added at the rear while at the front the main bumper is assembled and added. The exhaust is also then added. Next up we move to the rest of the transmission and suspension components. The front axle is made up and added (the leaf springs being moulded onto the chassis rails), the transmission shaft then connects this to the main transmission. Shocks are then added and the wheel hubs can then be made up and added. The steering box and connector shafts are then added. The two rear axles share a common mounting to the chassis and leaf springs are added for this. The individual axles are added to this and the transmission components added and connected up with their drive shafts. The fuel tanks, battery box, air tanks, and drivers steps are all then assembled and added onto the chassis. All of the wheels and tyres are then put together and added. This now completes the chassis. We now move onto the vehicle cab, The seats are made up and added to the cab floor and the floor mounted controls added. The dashboard, steering column, and wheel are mounted to the cab front and the front glazing is added. This sub assembly is then mounted to the floor. The back of the cab with its glazing is then added, along with the doors which can be open or shut as required. Lastly the roof is put on with its lights being added. The font wings are added with the grill then going on as well. The bonnet is added and the air cleaner made up and mounted to the side. Last up the mirrors and wipers are added to the cab, The cab is then mounted to the chassis. At the rear of the cab an equipment locker and spare wheel carrier are made up and added along with the spare wheel. Last up for construction is the rear cargo body. The underside stiffeners are added then four sides can be added to the main floor. Seats familiar to every military truck are then added to the sides, these can be raised or lowered as needed, Back on the underside the mounting points and mud flaps are added, The body can then be added to the chassis. If wanted a large one part moulded rear cargo body canvas cover is provide. Your truck is now complete. Decals Decals are provided for for one Ukrainian truck and one Russian one Conclusion This is a great looking kit from HobbyBoss and their attention to detail is to be commended, the only downside is the one part cover for the back, it looks too toy like, and there are no seperate supporting frames for the back to display the kit with the rear cover off. It is thought good to see more military softskin vehicles being kitted. Overall Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  19. The New Eduard Releases For October Are Now In Stock. EDK8285 - Eduard Profipack 1:48 - Spitfire Mk.XVI Bubbletop £25.99 EDK70111 - Eduard Kits 1:72 - Fw 190A-8 £11.99 EDK4432 - Eduard 1:144 - Nasi Se Vraceji (Quattro Combo) £15.99 EDK8496 - Eduard Weekend 1:48 - Mirage IIIC £17.99 Octobers New Releases (Photoetch) EDP32378 - Eduard Photoetch 1:32 - Ju 87G-2 Exterior (TRU03218) EDP32847 - Eduard Photoetch 1:32 - Ju 87G-2 Interior (TRU03218) EDP33150 - Eduard Photoetch 1:32 - Ju 87G-2 Interior (TRU03218) EDP36326 - Eduard Photoetch 1:35 - US Army Bulldozer (MIN35195) EDP48857 - Eduard Photoetch 1:48 - B-1B Exterior (RV04900) EDP48858 - Eduard Photoetch 1:48 - AC-47 Gunship Exterior (RV04926) EDP48859 - Eduard Photoetch 1:48 - AC-47 Gunship Landing Flaps (RV04926) EDP49089 - Eduard Photoetch 1:48 - Mirage IIIC Seatbelts (Fabric) EDP49090 - Eduard Photoetch 1:48 - Mirage IIIC Seatbelts (Super Fabric) EDP49733 - Eduard Photoetch 1:48 - T-38A Talon (WP10005) EDP49734 - Eduard Photoetch 1:48 - Mirage IIIC Ejection Seat (Eduard) EDP49735 - Eduard Photoetch 1:48 - Su-22 M-4 (Smer) EDP49736 - Eduard Photoetch 1:48 - AC-47 Gunship Interior S.A. (RV04926) EDP49737 - Eduard Photoetch 1:48 - B-1B S.A (RV04900) EDP53144 - Eduard Photoetch 1:200 - Figures Royal Navy EDP53145 - Eduard Photoetch 1:350 - HMS Queen Elizabeth 1943 - Railing & Ladders (TRU05324) EDP53146 - Eduard Photoetch 1:350 - HMS Queen Elizabeth 1943 - AA Guns (TRU05324) EDP72611 - Eduard Photoetch 1:72 - Fw 190A-8 (Eduard) EDP72612 - Eduard Photoetch 1:72 - Fw 190A-8 Landing Flaps (Eduard) EDP72613 - Eduard Photoetch 1:72 - Swift FR.5 Landing Flaps (Airfix) EDP73033 - Eduard Photoetch 1:72 - Fw 190A-8 Seatbelts (Superfabric) EDP73533 - Eduard Photoetch 1:72 - Swift FR.5 (Airfix) EDP73534 - Eduard Photoetch 1:72 - T-2C Buckeye (Wolfpack) EDPFE733 - Eduard Photoetch (Zoom) 1:48 - T-38A Talon Interior (WP10002) EDPFE735 - Eduard Photoetch (Zoom) 1:48 - Su-22M-4 Interior (Smer) EDPFE736 - Eduard Photoetch (Zoom) 1:48 - AC-47 Gunship Interior S.A (RV04926) EDPFE737 - Eduard Photoetch (Zoom) 1:48 - B-1B Interior S.A (RV04900) EDPSS531 - Eduard Photoetch (Zoom) 1:72 - Whitley Mk.V S.A. (AIR08016) EDPSS533 - Eduard Photoetch (Zoom) 1:72 - Swift FR.5 Interior (Airfix) EDPSS534 - Eduard Photoetch (Zoom) 1:72 - T-2C Buckeye Interior (Wolfpack) Octobers New Releases (Brassin) EDB632063 - Eduard Brassin 1:32 - Fw 190F-8 Engine (Revell) EDB632067 - Eduard Brassin 1:32 - Vickers Mk.I WWI Gun EDB648205 - Eduard Brassin 1:48 - Lewis Mk.III WWI Gun EDB648222 - Eduard Brassin 1:48 - Storm Shadow EDB672055 - Eduard Brassin 1:72 - AIM-4D EDB672057 - Eduard Brassin 1:72 - M117 Bombs Early EDB672080 - Eduard Brassin 1:72 - Fw 190A Wheels Late (Eduard) EDB672081 - Eduard Brassin 1:72 - Fw 190A-8 Cockpit (Eduard) EDB672084 - Eduard Brassin 1:72 - Fw 190A-8 MG 131 Mount (Eduard) EDB672085 - Eduard Brassin 1:72 - Fw 190A Exhaust Stacks (Eduard) October New Releases (Masks) EDMCX423 - Eduard Masks 1:72 - T-2C Buckeye (WP10005) EDMCX424 - Eduard Masks 1:72 - Swift FR.5 (AIR04003) EDMCX425 - Eduard Masks 1:72 - Spitfire Camo Scheme B EDMCX426 - Eduard Masks 1:72 - Hurricane Camo Scheme B EDMEX478 - Eduard Masks 1:48 - T-38A Talon (WP10002) EDMEX479 - Eduard Masks 1:48 - Su-22M4 (Smer) EDMEX480 - Eduard Masks 1:48 - B-1B (RV04900) EDMEX481 - Eduard Masks 1:48 - AC-47 Gunship (RV04926) EDMJX183 - Eduard Masks 1:32 - Ju 87G-2 (TRU03218) Visit The Website For All New Releases Or Click On The Image To Go Straight To The Product. www.creativemodels.co.uk
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