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  1. Eastern Express has released 1/144th Short SC-7 Skyvan kits - ref. E144117 - Short SC.7 Skyvan civil aircraft "Olympic" Source: https://hobbyterra.com/product/short-sc-7-skyvan-civil-aircraft-olympic-eastern-express-144117.html - ref. E144117-01 - Short SC.7 Skyvan "North American set" Source: https://hobbyterra.com/product/short-sc-7-skyvan-n-american-set-eastern-express-144117-01.html - ref. E144117-02 - Short SC.7 Skyvan "British set" Source: https://hobbyterra.com/product/short-sc-7-skyvan-british-set-eastern-express-144117-02.html V.P.
  2. Eastern Express is reported having has just released a new variant of its 1/144th "May kit - Ilyushin Il-38N - ref. 144123 Source: http://modelsua.com/IL-38N-Ilyushin-Sea-Dragon-May-anti-submarine-warfare-1-144-Eastern-Express-144123.html Box art V.P.
  3. Yes I know another one you are all thinking But while the 466 MTB is taking shape I will be making sure I take my time with it as it is my first resin kit and the high price tag means I do not want to make any mistakes So as an in between build I have just started this old kit I have had in the storage area for some time i managed to get the PE set for it from Peter Hall at Atlantic Models So started with the hull sides and deck and also drilled out the portholes which will be filled with glue and glaze after painting of the hull Beefy
  4. Most of the airliner modellers were thrilled when Mikro-Mir in co-operation with Eastern Express anounced the first injection moulded MD-11 kit in 1/144. First pictures of the sprues looked very promising with great attention to detail and accuracy. I was also looking forward to this release and initially ordered 3 kits with the General electric Engines and placed another order for 3 kits with the Pratt & Whitney engines at my local hobby shop. When I received the call from the hobby-shop that the first batch arrived I was excited...till I saw the price tag Well,I bought them anyway,because the MD-11 is one of my favourite airliners and I started with the first one immediately. I planned to build the first one OOB and also using the kits decals to see how they work,so I could give some feed-back at the model shop for other builders who might be interested in this kit. All the parts looked good at first glance,but I realized that the parts had no locator pins at all.Which is not a big deal but I was surprised. Soon after construction commenced I had to realize that this would not be going to be an easy build as,as good as the parts may look,the fit is not the best and on almost every part filler was needed or some correction work had to be done. The most serious fitting issue is at the wing to fuselage join,were at the top side a quite large gap appears between the wing and fuselage... The construction of this section is actually quite smart by the manufacturer,as they provide a inspar panel (I guess its called that way...?) that will provide a good sit and places the wings at the right angle.But mounting the wings isn't as easy as I thought. I filled the gap with Krystal Klear and painted this section in the respective colours,as I built and painted the parts individually. Another "trap" is the front gear which needs to be installed before glueing the fuselage halves together.That way,as careful as one may be,snipping off the gear leg while handling the model is almost inevitable. I chose to cut off the lower part and put it back on after main assembly was done. I drilled a small hole at both sections and reinforced the leg with a thin wire,then glued the parts back on. After all construction and paintwork was done,it was time for the decals. The decal set looks really impressive and immensely improved compared to earlier Eastern Express sets. It has lots of details and even includes coroguard panels for the wings. The quality of the decals is really superb,but...and thats a real pain...the decals tend to settle almost immediately on the model after sliding them off the backing paper.Decal solutions are not much help,only lots of water can help you placing the decal in the right position. Once the water has been soaked off the decal sticks on the surface. Another issue are the dark blue stripes on the KLM set.They are printed with the front ends looking up.If applied as they are, the stripe will go up to the cockpit window instead of running in a straight line around the nose. I was lucky to have 2 sets, so I cut off the bent part (approx.3cm) and used a straight part to put it around the nose and then cut off the missing stripe from my other set to extend it again to the tail cone. The fit of the decals is otherwise fine and the details and the silver parts are great. For the front edge of the tail fin and the edges of the winglets,I used thin silver decal stripes instead of painting them. The build of this kit is really time,and nerve,consuming but in the end a very nice MD-11 will appear in front of you. But for being a CAD manufactured and very new kit together with the way too high price tag ,its a bit of a disappointment. Bad fit of the parts,and also the arrangement of the parts on the sprues is not very logic.Together with inept construction sheets,one needs to be very careful while building.A few times I used the wrong parts and had to correct the error later by either replacing the whole part with spares form my sparepart box or leave it as is. Those things wont happen on my other 2 kits,thats for sure. I chose to build the MD-11 of KLM who did the final passenger flights and the farewell flights in 2014; PH-KCD "Florence Nightingale. Painted entirely with Revell and Testors enamels using my airbrush. As mentioned before,this kit unfortunately isn't up to the standard in the likes of Zvezda or Revell airliner kits and its also over priced. For this money you may be better off with Kurts (Authentic Airliners) resin kit. Anyway,here she finally is...the Mikro-Mir/Eastern Express MD-11 Cheers,
  5. Fresh off the bench...Eastern Express/TOKO Hansa Brandenburg W.29...I built this kit years ago and it was good to revisit this interesting seaplane. The decals are Americal/Gryphon Kriegsmarine and are a much better color match than those in the box. Paints are Mister Kit German Naval Light Blue Grey for the fuselage and assorted Vallejo colors for the rest (greys, wood, etc...) varnished bits are Tamiya Clear Yellow over Vallejo Wood. I found the Mister Kit worked well over a light grey primer. The kit, for some reason, was kind of a dog although it finally came together easily with a few additions of putty, the usual filling along seams and some sanding. It was those large crosses I didn't like. Yes...I know, there are many inaccuracies with this kit as mentioned all over the web, but what the heck...I have to draw the line somewhere! I want to build eventually. I cannot continuously fall down the rabbit hole of historical OCD! Exhaust pipes and support struts (the kit pieces didn't fit and only 5 of the 6 pipes were supplied!) are scratched from Evergreen stock. The windscreen is from the spares box. I like it and it makes a nice addition to the shelves! --John
  6. If there would be an award for "The worst kits ever produced", the Eastern Express IL-96M / T would win this price miles ahead of any other competitor... I am used to the "not so easy" kits as I build a lot of yesteryear kits.But Eastern Express' offering makes even Plasticart kits look like state of the art. Not one single piece had a decent fit let alone a seriously warped fuselage that was not only warped,it had also a different diameter in the back end which resulted in tremendous use of putty and hours of sanding sessions. I worked on and off this kit since early 2016 and finally managed to get it through my production line last weekend.Seeing this airliner now done is a big reliev. Paints used for this build are Revell gloss white 04 for the fuselage upper half,Revell grey 374 for the lower part and the wings and Testors silver for the leading edges.All applied with my airbrush. Sealed with Revell 01 gloss clear. The decal set comes from a russian ebay seller (Pimenov2010) and the quality of the decals is very good. The only thing I have to change is the display stand as the model is not sitting comfortably on it. The finished model represents this elegant airliner nicely and as I really like the IL-96,I really hope that Zvezda or Amodel would produce decent kits of both IL-96 versions. And as long as this is not going to happen this IL-96T along with my IL-96-300 will be the only ones as it is very unlikely that I have the nerves for another Eastern Express offering of this type... This IL-96 version was equipped with Pratt & Whitney engines as well as a digital 2 man cockpit by Rockwell-Collins in the hopes of selling the type also in the west. Sadly,the interest was almost non exsistent,even Aeroflot chose used DC-10s as freighters over the IL-96T. It was also probably because the IL-96 came to the market after the break of the Soviet Union when they were also able to buy western airliners The aircraft was later refitted with russian engines and cockpit as the parts had to be given back to its respective manufacturers.If this plane is still active somewhere I cant say surely. Cubana showed interest in the bigger IL-96 version,but if they will ever be delivered is unknown now that Cuba is no longer under US-restrictions. cheers, And with my usual "something else" even though they seemed more interested in whats going on in the neighborhood...
  7. Eastern Express has just released a 1/72nd Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm Bo.105 CBS-4 - ref. EE72143 Source: http://hobbyterra.com/product/bo-105-cbs-4-multipurpose-helicopter-eastern-express-72143.html V.P.
  8. Hi Everyone, Here's my latest build, a Royal Australian Navy Sea Venom FAW.53. Built from the 1/72 Eastern Express boxing of the old Frog kit with a vac form canopy, some resin seats, a modicum of scratch-building, a few scavenged parts together with many hours of sanding, filling and re-scribing. No doubt missing a few bits and pieces but I'm happy to call her done. There's a WIP under the same title but I can't quite work out how to link it to this post. Cheers, Andrew
  9. Admiring TheBaron's excellent Sea Venom RFI the other night prompted me to rummage through the stash and re-discover my own re-box of that old Frog kit from Eastern Express. I want to build a Sea Venom at some stage to plug a gap in my own RAN fleet air arm collection, and Tony's masterpiece, following on the heels of Navy Bird's equally extraordinary CMR rendition has got me thinking that the time is right. But can the forum handle yet another 1/72 Sea Venom build? The Eastern Express boxing doesn't have the copious amounts of flash seen in TheBaron's boxing, but it does suffer from a significant amount of sink holes over the wings and fuselage, in fact most parts even down to the rocket projectiles. The prescription for this is of course a major re-sanding , filling and re-scribing and until now I've never felt up to the task. So maybe, I reasoned, I could just do a little bit at a time. So here's the major bits cut off and stuck together with some tape alongside the other pieces from the kit. There's a couple of Pavla Mk 4 Martin Bakers as well but no Airwaves etch - I'm not that brave you see. The canopy is quite clear but exceedingly thick so I'll probably budget in a vacform replacement at some stage. For some reason I appear to be missing a pilot - I wonder if he got wind of TheBaron's body part re-purposing efforts. Side-tracking slightly into the included markings, I'm puzzled by the choice of the Australian decals provided in the kit. It's badged as wz906, with side number 209 with a "M" tail code. The excellent ADF-Serials web site only lists this airframe with side numbers 803, 804 and 880. No mention of 209 on any airframe. I've also noticed in all the reference photos and videos I can find of Australian Venoms that 200 series side numbers appear to be associated with the "Y" tail code. This was used by the carrier Melbourne for the first few years of service, before switching to "M". Maybe Steve, if he comes across this thread, can comment on this as other venom kits also use the 209 M markings. Regardless, I would like to model a "Y" code Venom and I reckon with some careful manipulation of the supplied decals I can patch together WZ896 or WZ897 with 206 Y side codes. Here's a link to a great pic of WZ896 as 206Y. http://www.adf-gallery.com.au/gallery/Sea-Venom-WZ896/Sea_Venom_WZ896_RAN_photo_via_Bev_Stringer Back to the plastic, it certainly looks like a Sea Venom. Tempting just to stick it all together, dress her up in some shade of Sea grey and Sky paint, slap on some stickers, mount it on the stand and call it done. But that would be much too easy, wouldn't it. So here's the first step on the descent into modelling madness. Wings nicely sanded down and one set puttied up and awaiting a second pass of the sanding sticks. The wing fences will probably come off before too long as it's hard to sand around them. I've been unable to locate a supply of Perfect Plastic Putty in the colonies so I'm making do with Tamiya putty. More to come, Andrew
  10. I hope I am not causing problems by deviating from the norm of one build per thread. This is a sample of my output this year. The problem with having a number of themes is that there are plenty of gaps that require filling. I have had the Special Hobby Boulton Paul Balliol in the intray for some time but was prompted to deal with it having seen the excellent build of the Sea Balliol on here. Here is the result. Overall the kit was not too bad with the exception being the fit of the canopy which left something to be desired. Another 1950's trainer is the lovely Airfix Jet provost. The only issue I had with this kit was with the decals, which are on the thick side to allow the dayglo pink to register properly. This means that they do not like curves and are prone to splintering. This means that at the moment the dayglo on the wing tanks and the leading edges is missing. Incidentally does anyone know of a suitable paint? Another Special Hobby kit to finally see the light of day fully assembled is the CAC Boomerang. This went together very well and I am particularly pleased with the result. Continuing with the trainer theme I have been picking up a number of Eastern Express boxings of Frog kits this year - one in particular being the Miles Master. The weakness of these Eastern Express releases tends to be the canopy glazing which can be very hit and miss. Fortunately Falcon make several sets of replacement canopy moldings and a set I bought for a Spitfire MkXIV cockpit had a replacement Master cockpit canopy. Sorted! I have had a lot of fun tracking down and building old Matchbox kits and there are three in this selection. The first is a twin tub Meteor which I have wanted for a while. This needed a bit of work to achieve the desired result but I am reasonably happy with it. The second took quite a while to get hold of - another trainer: the North American Buckeye. Quite a basic kit but it goes together well and whilst there is a more detailed kit now available this one serves my purposes. The third Matchbox kit was an addition to the early jets theme, the Douglas F3d Skyknight. Again a basic kit that does the job. One of my areas of interest is Eastern Bloc aviation and I have been able to add three subjects to the collection. The first is a very old kit, but an absolute cracker. It is a Czech kit - not sure of the vintage - under the Kovozavody Prostejov brand of the Aero L29 Delfin. This kit had zero issues and partners my L39 Albatross The second is a Polish kit that has to be made from the heaviest plastic I have come across. That being said it is reasonably well detailed and adds a PZL TS11 Iskra to the hangar. The third is something I have wanted for some time, a representative of the Sukhoi Su15 family, in this case the Su23 2wo seater. The kit is a Pioneer kit from Turkey, and whilst basic is an absolute cracker. Two more of my themes have been added to. The first is to have representation of each of the major Mks of Spitfire. Here is the MkVII from Italeri: The second is my prototypes collection and the Airfix new tooling of the Gladiator enabled me to produce this. K5200. The Glad prototype did not have the enclosed cockpit and was based on the Gauntlet. This involved reshaping the fuselage and cutting the cockpit glazing too suit. I am slightly disappointed in the finish as the paint I used has too much of a fleck to it. But here it is. Saving the best until last. This has to be one of the best kits I have ever got my hands on and adds to the early jets/FAA/De Havilland themes - the Sea Venom from Cyber Hobby. I managed to get hold of one for a reasonable price in the HLJ new year sale. I readily admit to being in the "if it looks like a duck" fraternity and resort to artistic licence on a regular basis!
  11. When i got back into the hobby one of the models i bought of ebay was the eastern express spitfire mk xiv... wich is the old frog rebox, and it interestingly comes with a V1 flying bomb and a stand. overall the model is rather accurate in dimentions, but there are also some glaring errors, and what details are there all need refining. Anyway, i started playing with the V1 and well once a few pieces are off the sprue there's no turning back. so first the V1 in short, overall dimentions are ok, according to plans i found online (not the ones pictured as it later turned out) but the wings and horizontal stabilizes are to far forward, so these where cut and repositioned. the pulsjet was slightly lenghtened with a bit of plastic tube. the front strut seems to reseble perhaps and interior structure of the v1 but not the swept back aerodynamic strut to this was replaced with plasticcard. the intake was also beefed up with some miliput, although i think i overdid it a little. gave it a shot of tamiya primer, the bottom was painted with a 50/50 mix of white and pru blue, and the top was a mixture or vallejo, revell, heller, and italeri paints along with some vallejo flow improver and airbrush thinner... they all play nice together, and considdering my airbrush skills and the size of the thing, i think it came out ok... And with the buzz bomb done, it was time to build the thing that'll nock it out of the sky. Because the models will be posed in flight cockpit detail will be kept to a bare minimum... well i got a little carried away... i used scale drawings from the monforton spitfire mk xvi/ix (i know not xiv) pinted to 1/72 scale, wich is tiny, but it makes it real easy to correctly position all the ribs and bits and bobs... it's mostely just a few strips of styrene really Later i realised the oxygen hose, wich is missing from most spitfire kits and wich i so cunningly added, would probably not be in stowed position, as the pilot would likely have his mask on.. maybe not as i don't think V1's came in very high, but again, i'm sure he could use it! i modified the kit figure to look a bit more dynamic, fortunately the plastic played nice. so i cut the head and pinned it with a bit of metal wire... the arms where even cut off with sprue cutters... i cut the rudder pedals from the cockpit and stuck them the the gentleman's feet, that way they'll always line up... aha! i was initially going to use the airfix mk ix or xix pilots wich actually look rather nice, but u guess having a backup takes the stress away from this kind of surgery so they have to wait their turn. i'm actually surprised how well he fits in there, his stretches arm even reaches the throttle... and this is what we're going for one of the gravest errors on the frog kit is the wing fillets wich, don't look like the spitfire item from any angle (i think i have a picture of what they looked like somewhere but i wanted to get it over with), and i can only guess how these came about... also the gull wing is lacking, fortunately there is more plastic rather than not enough, so it's just a matter of chopping and sanding everything off that doesn't look like a spitfire. since the kit radiators where to small i need to make new ones, and might just as well go all the way and represent the sunken radiators as per original it's hard to see, but i actually bend the wing near the center to represent the gull wing. and that's where we're with this one... wich reminds me i still need to finish my mkII
  12. Because EE kits are very cheap and easy to get where I live (Moscow), I elected to go with an EE 737 over the Daco model as my entry to the Airliners GB. This starts next week, so I'll have to ask someone to move the thread, but one of the GB hosts (Specifically Ray/TrojanThunder) approved my idea of starting the thread early. I got into the build so whole-heartedly that I forgot to take box and sprue shots, but here is what the box looked like (Photo from ebay): And these are the decals I will be using: Sorry for the bad photo. They are from Ascensio, and seem to be of very high quality. I'll be building the plane as YL-BBL, as that is the one I flew on a few months ago. The image below shows all the parts that I have already worked on (since the photo was taken, I've assembled another horizontal stabilizer). Unlike the Revell kit (and pretty much all airliner kits I have seen), the horizontal stabilizers are made of two halves, like wings usually are. This makes for a lot of sanding to make the mating surfaces as flat as possible and attach perfectly, however annoying seams are still created. As seems to be a recurring problem with EE both fuselage halves are warped outwards like bananas. When placed together, they meet either in the middle, or only at the nose, or only at the tail (depending on how they are held), however never at more than one of those spots. I tried heating them in hot water, doing so while taping them to a wooden board, as well as taping them together into the correct shape and heating them with a hairdryer until they were too hot to hold: Nothing worked. The plastic is too sturdy and temperature resistant. This would be a massive plus if the parts weren't warped. Anyway, I gave up on the whole 'fixing the problem' idea, and instead glued in the nose weight and nose gear bay, as well as two sprue offcuts to help with aligning the fuselage halves properly, as all aligning pins are missing. All of this can be seen below: When the time comes, I'll have to glue the fuselage bit by bit, carefully bending it into place.
  13. Hello all For this group build I will be building three Lagg 3's. All will be in 1/72 but the kits are very different. One each of the Roden kit, the Emhar/Frog/RedStar and the Eastern Express kit. I will also be using Kuivalainen photo etch sets, Kora wheels and Steelwork undercarriage doors as a minimum of after market to start with. I may use at least one after market seat, also a Falcon canopy and perhaps two Rob Taurus canopies. All three aircraft can be seen here, they are 'White 68', 'Red 59' and 'Red 52' of 3rd Gv. IAP Baltic Fleet east of Lage Ladoga in winter 1942. All will have varying degrees of white distemper temporary winter camouflage applied: http://mig3.sovietwarplanes.com/lagg3/3gviap/3gviap.html I have the Roden kit, freshly purchased from BNA model world. This kit is a little notorious for the fact that in reality, although it looks nice on the sprues, nothing really fits together well: Some say with perseverance it is the best Lagg 3 in 1/72. Others say the Dakoplast/Eastern Express is the best. We will see, I am still waiting for that one to arrive. The third is the very old Red Star/Emhar kit. I only have a bagged version with the parts off the sprues and decals. It came with an instruction sheet for a KPM vac form. Although the instruction sheet may seem useless, it actually has some good plans and reference material in it. This kit is extremely lacking in detail and I hope to steal bits from the Roden and use the other two kits and all resources to make this kit the best it can be. I have made one before and it can be thrown together in a couple of hours, but rather more time and care will be taken on it this time. The KPM sheet: I hope to incorporate these three aircraft into a simple, snowy diorama. If anyone can recommend suitable pilot figures please let me know, as this time I'm going to try to include them and have some open canopies This should keep me busy for a while! Thanks for looking Best regards Tony Edited for spelling
  14. Dear Friends, I would like to notify all of you about latest new items that arrived in our shop's stock. - French 3,5t truck AHN w/Gaz Generator from Ace in 1:72 scale (ACE72532) - Decal for Mikoyan MiG-29 Fulcrum family full stencil from Begemot in 1:48 scale (BD48017) - Short-haul aircraft Short 330 from Eastern Express in 1:144 scale (EE14488) - M-Hobby, issue #09(183) September 2016 from Zeihgaus in scale (M0916) - Browning .303 (British) Aircraft barrel, 8 pcs from Mini World in 1:72 scale (MINI7243b) - Soviet submarine Project 628 from Micro Mir in 1:350 scale (MM350-030) - 7,62mm "Maxim" machinegun mod.1910/1941 (2 pcs per set) from Ace in 1:72 scale (PE7238) - Bench tool from Vmodels in 1:35 scale (Vmodels35019) - Fastening on Soviet pioneer tools from Vmodels in 1:35 scale (Vmodels35020) Sincerely, Alex Scale-model-kits.com - plastic scale model kits on-line shop
  15. Hello all, Here's my entry, I was drawn to it by the markings. It will be a nice challenge to spray the blue and red paint job. I'm somewhat scared of the kit decals though, there is an aftermarket for a -800 I may have to use if the kit decals fail. ee14423 by The 3rd Placer, on Flickr\ } Ryan
  16. I had posted this project in the Aircraft RFI a week ago. I'm guessing it fits the bill for this forum too. My apologies for the repost. Cheers, Alex. The Antonov An-2 was widely used in Russia, and neighboring countries. A hardy, easily maintained, Short-Takeoff-Landing aircraft, it proved to be a life-line to many far flung rural communities. This little vignette is supposed to reflect the aircraft in that vital role. Thanks for watching! Cheers, Alex.
  17. The Antonov An-2 was widely used in Russia, and neighboring countries. A hardy, easily maintained, Short-Takeoff-Landing aircraft, it proved to be a life-line to many far flung rural communities. This little vignette is supposed to reflect the aircraft in that vital role. The Build: There was some minor scratch-building attempted on the aircraft: The cabin door was molded closed, so it was opened and a basic interior was created before joining the halves together. The engine was detailed a little as it's visible thru the front. The kit was missing the prominent wing-flap hinges, so they were created from 0.5mm styrene sheet. A bi-plane without rigging is no bi-plane at all, so despite the 1/144 scale, it was worth the effort. The cockpit frame was created with decals, unfortunately that area is one of the weaker points of the build. The rest of the scene is scratch built. The base was made from epoxy-putty, with real stones,graded sifted soil and match-sticks for the fencing. Static grass and colored saw-dust was used for the ground cover. Twisted wire and brush bristles dusted with colored saw-dust made the conifer trees. The chocks, access ladder and crates were built from stretched sprue, styrene sheet and choice expletives. Barrels were just bits of sprue. The man and dog were made from styrene sheet and stretched sprue. The man measures around 1cm in height, and had me cross-eyed for a few days after making him. On to the photos! Thanks for watching! Cheers, Alex.
  18. My effort at the old Eastern Express Il-96. I added the Braz landing gear which involved lots of cutting, trimming, sanding, guessing, poor language then more trimming and sanding. It sort of worked in the end. Then I made a school-boy error by not putting weight in the nose. Doh..... The model now sits on the centre gear with the nose not quite touching the ground. The white is sprayed Halfords Appliance White and the grey brushed Light Aircraft Grey. Decals are from F-Dcal and were my first effort at laser printed decals with every design having to be trimmed closely. Anyway, here it is.
  19. Having seen a triplet of trainers at the IPMS Avon Show* I decided to build this alongside my Tiger Moth for the group build. WiP here. Once again I seem to have been attracted to a 'challenging' kit and once again I didn't check BM before buying it. I would like to think that I have learned my lesson but a quick look at the stash indicates that I'm probably suffering from some sort of issue... Anyway, there's some reference details in the WiP so here are the pictures. Magister by Ced Bufton, on Flickr Comments welcome as always * Thanks to whoever built those for the inspiration
  20. I saw these little cuties at the IPMS Avon show: and, along with my entry for the Tiger Moth GB, it's started me on a trainer theme so I picked this up at the show too: What's in the box? No guidance, really, on the paint schemes but there are some reference shots of R1918 on the 'net so I'll do some more research. I know there's going to be yellow
  21. Heavy Transport Aircraft An-22 (late version) Eastern Express 1:144 The Antonov An-22 was a specialist heavy transport aircraft that was originally assigned to the Strategic Transport Command of the Russian Air Force during the Soviet era. The An-22, Nato code designation "Cock", was powered by four sets of turbo-prop engines and was classed as the most powerful propeller aircraft the world had ever seen. The nearest equivalent being the massive Tupolev Tu-95/142 Bear. The An-22 first appeared in the mid-1960's; it had a registered load capacity of 80 tonnes within its wide-bodied fuselage and was used to transport heavy loads or troops on operational duties. The aircraft was superceded in the late 1980's by the larger jet engined Antonov An-124. The An-22 continued to operate in the Soviet/Russian Air Force for a number of years, including troop lifts to conflict areas during the break up of the Soviet Union and also providing humanitarian aid around the world. The Kit On opening the box it is obvious that this is going to be a big model once assembled. The fuselage alone consists of at least 12 components and that is not including the tail assembly. The panel lines are finely recessed and look good, however care made need to be taken that these fine lines do not get filled with primer and top coat; especially if brush painting. There are 16 sprues containing the main units and 1 clear sprue holding the canopy and fuselage windows, plus a nose unit. One important element to note is that, although the instruction sheets show part numbers, no corresponding numbers are shown on any of the actual components and therefore strict adherence to the illustrated instructions will be essential. The next point which again needs to be noted is that there are no locator pins or tabs (male and female connection points) on any of these components. This means that alignment of parts, such as the left and right fuselage halves, needs to be achieved by lining up the corresponding panel lines which meet at these junction points. I have had a go at dry fitting some of these pieces and the exercise was very fiddly, mainly as the fuselage is a three-piece assembly (top left, top right and underside) and without location pins I found it difficult to keep things aligned. I would recommend lots of tape be kept handy in order to hold and align two pieces whilst lining up the third and then apply glue. The sprue connectors are nice and small thereby making it convenient for removing the component part with minimal residue to file down. There are however small amounts of flash on the parts, as can be seen on the rear of the fuselage assemblies above and below. As mentioned earlier, the fuselage assembly is made up from a considerable number of pieces; the lower part of the fuselage being a type of double-hull construction. This means that the main fuselage section, the piece with the three windows in the image above, needs to be glued to an inner part of the under-deck piece of the lower fuselage assembly, before the outer piece (the part in the lower left of the above image). I have dry fitted this area to demonstrate what is meant by this and posted the image below. This three-piece assembly could prove a challenge without the locator pin/tabs mentioned. The pieces appear to sit in place OK, once taped, but they may still be prone to movement so a final alignment check before glueing anything would definitely be recommended. This side view also shows how far in from the normal edge that the main fuselage has to be positioned, again without locator pins, before gluing into place. The rectangular piece which juts out from both sides of the fuselage, as seen above, comprises the main wheel bays component; as described in the section on sprue N further down in this review. The nose section of the fuselage, cockpit area and instrument panel parts are supplied on sprue C. I would think this area would need to be built and pre-painted internally before attachment to the rest of the fuselage. Once completed, this model is going to be quite long and may possibly be a tail-sitter. The instructions recommend weight to be added within the forward part of the nose section but does not elaborate on how much weight to use. This could be another area where a bit of time spent dry-fitting and testing with different weights may prove beneficial in the long run. Care may also need to be taken here, as too much weight could cause strain on the area around the front and main fuselage joints. Sprue D contains the lower fuselage assembly I described previously and where the main fuselage would be fitted to. The two long indentations, between the wheel bays, are the areas where the main fuselage would be glued to which is over 2cm (almost 1 inch) inside the outer edge of this piece. As such, this is a very unusual, but necessary, way of assembling a fuselage. The next three sprues; E, F and G, hold the wing and tailplane pieces. The top section of the upper part of the main wing has been produced in three parts; central, outer left and outer right sections. A nice little touch is the placement markings for the engines. Each engine location cut out on the wings is marked L1, R1, L2 etc., to denote the left and right engine pieces. The engines/cowlings are similarly marked to ensure the correct engine is mated to its corresponding location on the wing. We then have the vertical stabaliser/rudder pieces on spue H. Each piece is marked L or R and accordingly should be matched with its counterpart for glueing before to the tailplane elements from Sprue K below. The ramp section, which is situated under the rear fuselage and tail sections, is quite long and consists of three components. One of those, the main ramp, is also part of Spue K above. There are four sets of Sprue L, each consisting of a contra-rotating properller set, plus four of the 16 main wheels/tyres and two front wheels. The model has been designed so that the propellers can be assembled to be free-wheeling and, in order to allow for the contra-rotating element, there is a central plug on which both props plus four separation washers/cleats are to be assembled but not glued. A fifth washer/cleat is then glued onto the end of the plug thereby holding the propellers and cleats in free state. Sprue M has the engine cowling covers and, matching with the wing locators, are marked L1, R1, L2 etc. to ensure correct fitting to each other. The parts which make up the majority of Sprue N above make up the internal main wheel bays. When assembled, the unit has a square box shape and acts as a strengthener for attaching the main fuselage halves to. The final components sprue has all the remaining components for this build; consisting of seats, joysticks and various antennae and fuselage strakes etc. The clear sprue which came with this kit had some slight rubbing marks on the canopy surface. It should not be a problem though as the area concerned is a painted area. The marks are very light and should disappear with a bit of rubbing down, priming and painting. Instruction Sheets The two page instruction sheet is of the illustrative type, with no text as such for additional guidance. Due diligence really does need to be applied here, when identifying which item goes where; mainly because there are no corresponding numbers on the plastic parts themselves. With the exception of the engines and vertical stabaliser parts, that have L or R notations, you are left to make identify everything from these illustrations below. Although I stated that there are no numbers shown on the parts themselves, there is a visual breakdown of what those part numbers should be on the components sheet as shown below. The colour demarcations and marking sheet below should be very useful when painting up your completed model and applying the decals. I would take this sheet and get it enlarged to 1:144 scale so that I could get exact placement to match with the illustrations. DECALS The decal sheet is impressive. It contains over 100 items and the registration appears to be quite clear and crisp. I am, however, concerned that all the decals appear to be on one single backing sheet and will each need to be cut out separately before applying to the model. The kit area is so large though that cutting out each element should not be a major concern as there will be a good sized gap around each part. I particularly like the cockpit window frames which are in silver. This really will be a benefit, rather than having to mask and paint those tiny areas. The same applies for the leading edges of the propellers as there are 32 little silver strips that are applied, one for each propeller blade. Conclusion This is a very large kit with lots and lots of components and, even with the lack of locator pins/tabs; plus the unusual and complex method of assembling the fuselage; I found that when dry fitted the parts looked to fit nicely. The only area that appeared to need attention was some uneveness on the top fuselage join and therefore some filling may be needed in that area. The model is probably not for a beginner, and will probably need a little more effort and concentration to assemble, with regular referrals to the instruction sheet and any other reference aids but it should turn out to be a lovely looking model when finished. Review sample courtesy of
  22. Aircraft Service Set 4 - Aircraft Tractor Tugs Eastern Express 1:144 This kit, the fourth set in a series currently running at a series of five, contains three different aircraft tractor tugs, each with its own aircraft towing bar assembly. The first tractor tug is a GSE Europe TT 45. It is a fairly dated version of tractor tug, with twin cabs at the front and a single cab at the rear which is located on the right hand rear side. GSE Europe TT45 The second tractor tug is a Schopf F160, a typical tug to be found on modern airports all around the world. It can tow aircraft up to 280 metric tons, such as the Airbus A350 and the Boeing B787 etc. Schopf F160 The third tug in the set is a Schopf F396 which can push and tow the largest aircraft such as this An-225. This tractor tug is possibly the most interesting of the set as this type has been seen around military airfields in UK and operating with various types of aircraft Schopf F396 The Kits Inside the box are three separate tug tractor kits, one each of the types described and illustrated above. The sprues are produced in a semi-rigid (not brittle but not soft either) plastic and the components are quite simplistic. This is to be expected, and possibly welcomed, as most of the parts with the exception of the wheels are angular. Schopf F160 Although fairly basic, the parts should assemble quite easily; I have not yet had chance to do any test-fitting, and should allow for plenty of additional enhancing with the odd piece of plastic rod etc. One nice feature on the GS TT-45 and Schopf F396 models is that the wheel hubs are separate from the tyres. This has got to be a real benefit, especially at this tiny scale, when trying to keep the colour separations on the wheels. GSE Europe TT45 The Schopf F396 has parts to make two versions; one as per the photo near the top of this page (the type also shown in the RAF photo) or one with an extension unit for an additional cab fitted to the back of the tractor, as shown in figure 3 of the colour sheet further down this review. Schopf F396 The clear sprues have sufficient glass pieces to fully glaze each kit; this is very welcome as quite a few vehicle kits in this scale are produced with solid window that rely on paint or decals for the glazing. The sprue example below is for the Schopf F160. Clarity of the clear parts is quite good however I feel that they will look much better after a dip in Klear or a similar solution. The GSE TT45 has three separate cabs, two at the front and one at the rear. The Schopf F396 has on large cab at the front plus clear parts for an optional cab at the rear GSE Europe TT45 Schopf F396 Each tractor tug kit is supplied with a sprue containing parts to make up an aircraft towbar. There are separate pieces to allow the towbar to be assembled in towing mode, with wheels up or with the wheels lowered. Instruction Sheets The front page is nicely detailed, showing colour marking details and decal placement locations. Each vehicle is shown in plan and profile views which will enable the modeller to paint and place the decals correctly on their finished models. The image of the towbar shows it with the wheels lowered as when not being used for towing. The wheels would need to be raised once the towbar has been connected to an aircraft ready for towing/pushing. The rest of the instructions are simplistic but that shouldn't be a problem as there are not that many components to fit together. The instructions are clear and straight forward, using illustrations to show the placement of parts. DECALS The decal sheet is, by comparison to the instruction sheet, quite comprehensive; with hi-vis bumper markings and various airline company logos. Of special note is that you can use the black decal glazing for you tractor tugs or, if using the clear glazing from the kit, you can use the decal 'frames' to be placed over the clear plastic glazing. This really must be a bonus, rather than have to paint on all those tiny window frames! Conclusion The potential uses for these tractor tugs could be endless; whether using them on dioramas of civilian airports or military airfields, or even as stand alone models in their own setting. These models should enhance any airfield or airport model setting enormously. Review sample courtesy of
  23. This is to advise you that I have added a review of a 1:144 scale Aircraft Tractor Tug set in the Vehicle reviews forum. Mike Aircraft Service Set 4 - Aircraft Tractor Tugs Eastern Express 1:144
  24. http://airliner-models.org/forum/index.php?app=core&module=attach&section=attach&attach_rel_module=post&attach_id=22433
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