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  1. Kit - Italeri (Esci) 1:48 Paint - All enamels over acrylic base-coats Decals - CAM 48-042 Extras - AGM-45's from Hasegawa weapons set, Mk82SE's from spares box. Douglas A-4F Skyhawk VA-152 'Mavericks' Assigned to the Air Group Commander CVW-8 USS Shangri-La Tonkin Gulf, Mid 1970 Built for the Skyhawk GB over at www.kiwimodellers.com, Not one of my best builds but alongside my Hasegawa A-4C from quite a few years back, it looks fine. Surprisingly for a kit that traces back to the very early 1980's this went together with little fuss, any problems were entirely down to my own deficiencies and impatience, and little to do with the 'plastic'. Thanks for taking the time to look and/or comment. As ever all comments, questions and criticism are welcome. Next, a trip in to the unknown for me, a sci-fi kit with my No1 son... AFN Ian.
  2. One cannot have enough started kits I think,,,,, while one is drying, youcan always sand some parts, or rescribe something, or else,,, so I decided to do another Mirage with canards, this time it is set to be a Mirage IIIEBR of the Brazilian Airforce (FAB), or F-103E as they used to call them the kit will be the ancient ESCI/ Italeri kit for an Mirage IIIE, still mor or less the only choice out of the box. As I bought a Neomega resin cockpit once for it and also got an AML exhaust nozzle, I really wanted to build it once.... so here it is.... parts are already partially rescribed, the raised lines were quite crude. (as is my rescribing for the moment...) Resin parts are cleaned and dry fitted, so far so good! here some pics: hope it turns out at least somehow decent!! Werner
  3. This last week has seen the decommissioning of the last of the RN's Invincible Class carriers, as HMS ILLUSTRIOUS paid off at Portsmouth on Thursday. To mark this departure of the last remaining ship that I have served on, I have delved deep into the kit and decal stash to build this ESCI Sea Harrier FRS.1 representing an aircraft of 800 Sqn during the time that I was aboard. This particular aircraft came to a premature end on 1st December 1984 after a bird strike caused an in-flight engine fire and led the Pilot, Lt Collier to eject. I was on the bridge of ILLUSTRIOUS at the time acting as a trainee Officer of The Watch as the incident unfolded, firstly with a pan call, the ship going to emergency stations ready for an emergency landing, then a mayday and report from another aircraft that he had ejected, all in the space of a few minutes. Fortunately Lt Collier was OK, although he suffered some injuries to an eye during the ejection, but the aircraft returned to the ground via a number of remote farm buildings near Fort William that burned most spectacularly, despite the rapid despatch of a number of Sea King Mk4s loaded up with as many fire extinguishers as could be found. Prior to its demise, XZ458 had seen a busy career with no less than 45 combat sorties during the Falklands war with 809 and 801 Squadrons in INVINCIBLE, then back to the Falklands post war with ILLUSTRIOUS and 809 Sqn. ESCI’s Harrier kits first appeared in the early 1980s and were widely hailed as setting a new standard of finesse and accuracy for 1/72 kits. Now, over 30 years later they have been re-issued many times over the years by ERTL, Revell, Airfix, Tamiya and finally Italeri and in my opinion, they still represent the very best Harrier kits available in this scale. They are not without fault though and I have undertaken some simple corrections to this kit, using scratch built parts, bits from other kits and aftermarket accessories to correct the very poor ejector seat (using a Pavla resin replacement), underwing tanks (replacements from the Sword T.4N kit), boarding ladder (from the Hasegawa kit), as well as a scratch built plug for the after canopy and paper RBF tags. Unfortunately my resin replacement intakes with open doors suffered an accident and had to be abandoned. The kit generally goes together without problems and certainly needs no filler. However, in every example of this kit I have built, the port intakes have been a poor fit, and this one was no exception. The two parts of the canopy will only fit together if you position the first part very accurately and getting all the wheels to touch the ground at once is almost impossible. I also replaced the vulnerable nose pitot probe with a steel pin for strength. This 1990s ERTL issue is also moulded in a strangely soft and bendy plastic, which made cutting and tidying up some of the smaller parts much easier than usual. Decals are not the ones supplied in the box (those have been used on one of my other SHAR builds), but a combination of a Modeldecal set and some other spares in order to represent this particular aircraft. FredT
  4. Italeri is to re-release the ex-AMT/ESCI 1/72nd Stratotanker kit as KC-135A - ref.1353. Source: https://www.facebook.com/ItaleriModelKit/photos/pb.454765391262753.-2207520000.1412880396./744625815610041/?type=3&theater Box art & profiles V.P.
  5. F-4J Phantom - VF-213 'Black Lions' USS Kitty Hawk, 1974 This is the 1/72 Esci F-4C/J kit with a really old set of Microscale decals (they worked perfectly well even though they're over 25 years old!). A very nice kit for its age, with engraved surface detail as good as most current kits. The kit seems to be designed around the F-4C USAF version in that a) the rear cockpit consoles are provided, the nosewheel door has the USAF style landing lights and c) the USAF refuelling receptacle is moulded into the top fuselage. All easy to sort though. Had a depth-of-field issue with the photos as they were taken on quite a dull day, despite using 1/40th second to minimise the aperture size. Need to take another set sometime.
  6. Built for the obsolete kit group build, this is my first crack at armour (other than a 1/100 snap kit) so it's been an interesting learning curve. Build thread.
  7. Something wingless and different for me to build! This is the 1981 Esci kit reboxed by Humbrol in the same year, it has been superseded by releases from dragon, Planet Models and Trumpeter. I'll be building this OOB so it should be fairly straight forward. It's even got the Esci decals! One of the great things with building a kit from the year of release is that the whole kit is completely flash free and the only sink marks are in non-visible areas once assembled.
  8. I have bought an Esci 1:48 Phantom F-4B/J but it doesn't have any instructions or decals; therefore I have the opportunity to do some enhancements with it. I don't normally build in 1:48 so this is a little unknown territory for me. I would be grateful to learn from anyone here as to what after-market parts and decals would be recommended for this kit. At the moment I have not planned any type or theme so am open to suggestions as to what versions/variations can be built using this kit as a basis. Cheers Mike
  9. I won these on eBay tonight from two different sellers within ten minutes of each other so the timing is perfect because I can do a Cuban F-47 The FAEC flew the F-47D-35-RA so I will have to make the dorsal* fin because the kit is an early bubble top without one, but apart from that it'll be OOB. I'm also going to build it wheels up, something I've not done for a long time so it should be a fun project. ***UPDATE*** Now they've been delivered I've updated the photos. * Corrected from ventral, thank you dogsbody for pointing it out
  10. Back to 1978 and the new range of ESCI 1/48th scale kits. At this point ESCI had an excellent reputation for producing 1/9th scale motorcycle kits, then a range of scale military vehicles and many of their subsequent 1/72nd aircraft kits are still sought after today. So, what could possibly go wrong? In the late 70's ESCI released a range of 1/48th scale aircraft kits and these were eagerly purchased by many scale modellers. Some of them were superb - the Henschel HS-129 and the Mirage F-1 come to mind. However others were not quite so good - I have binned two awful F-100D Super Sabres so far - and the brand started to acquire a bad reputation. Some of the company's products were acquired by AMT/ERTL in the late 80's then IIRC they decided to stick to producing car kits and that was the end of much of the ESCI range. However, Italeri do still produce some of the better ESCI kits even today so the product still lives on. In the mid to late 70's the General Dynamics F-16 (it had no name then) was one of my favourite aircraft - it looked so sleek and cool compared to the aircraft then in service and had I had the money I would most likely have tried to build a 1/48th scale kit of this futuristic jet fighter. I think I had three choices in 'quarter' scale - from Monogram, Tamiya, and ESCI - and I think ESCI would have been my choice. So, for this Obsolete Kit Group Build I bring you the ESCI art 4010 General Dynamics F-16A Starting with the box art: The fun thing with these early kits is trying to work out what version of the F-16 this might be. The two prototypes had 1972 fiscal codes, the 'FSD' or Full Scale Development aircraft had 1975 fiscal codes, whilst the first production or service aircraft wore 1978 fiscal codes, the first being 78-0001 which was a Block 1 aircraft which was delivered to the 388th TFW at Hill AFB, where initial pilot training on the type was performed. The artwork is contradictory - an all over grey paint scheme, gloss black radar cone, original 'small' tailplanes and the lower UHF/IF aerial under the air intake. The serial of the aircraft to the left appears to end in '569' which could possibly have been 72-1569 which would have been the next serial after the two YF-16 prototypes - except this was allocated to the rival Northrop YF-17 Cobra. Oh dear! Better move on to the kit: Ahh <sigh> thin shiny lightweight silver plastic, raised surface detail, it's pure back to the 70's nostalgia The instructions and the decals: Way back then the ESCI instructions were very detailed and quite cutting edge (well, to me anyway). Now, the decals are very interesting. The USAF option is 75-0747 which was the third FSD aircraft, she was eventually converted into the F-16XL/B and she ever entered active service. The Danish and Norwegian decals have no detail at all, while the Dutch F-16A is J-212 which was serial 78-0212 and the first aircraft delivered to the RNLAF via the 388th TFW at Hill AFB. The Belgian decals are also very interesting:- A two greens and tan camouflage scheme aka the Belgian F-104 Starfighters and the Mirage V's which the F-16 was to replace! Note the large roundels on the wings only. Don't ever recall seeing this before and this could be a great scheme to finish the model in. The first F-16A FA-01 was delivered to the Belgian Air Force in March 1979 so it seems that ESCI was still very much guessing with this kit's markings. A last photo of another decal possibility:- The part decal sheet to the left is from the AMT/ERTL F-16A 'Falcon' which was issued 2002. This was identical to the ESCI kit but had better plastic and much more accurate decals for a Block 1 F-16A. At this point I am minded to build F-16A 78-0004 as she was when delivered to the 16th TFTS at Hill AFB in Utah on 17th February 1979 (though the Belgian camo scheme is very tempting!). And to finish off - how much did this kit cost? Purchased on eBay in 2007 for £0.99 plus £2.95 P&P total £3.94 Michael
  11. US Navy Group Build? There just has to be a McDonnell-Douglas F-4 Phantom II somewhere here! Back in the later half of the 60's the F-4 Phantom *was* the US Navy and the 'Double Ugly' reigned supreme and she was probably the aircraft that became most publicly associated with the Vietnam War. Currently I have got the midsummer building blues so I want to do something which is easy and gives a good visual result. As a result I have chosen to start another ancient ESCI 1/48th scale F-4J Phantom. The kit is ESCI 4067 'Bicentennial Phantom II' which suggests that it is an F-4B but in reality is an F-4J. I have the SuperScale decal No.48-857 which is a very showy F-4J operated by VF-74 'Be-Devilers' off the USS America in 1972 somewhere in S.E. Asia. She will most likely be kitted out with a 600 US gallon centre line fuel tank, four AIM-9 Sidewinders and several AIM-7 Sparrows. What's in it for me? This kit has excellent recessed panel lines and I want to work on my wash skills as well as overall weathering effects. I could still change my mind however a USN F-4J she will definitely be Michael
  12. Here there is my try at this old Esci model, reissued by Italeri. It has some inaccuracies, but it is a interesting model. I needed a Dodge truck for my wargaming, but buying just the kit of a truck is always a bit dull, and sometimes quite expensive. When I saw the version with anti-tank "power" for a good price, I didn't think twice. I thought that it was a new tooling by Italeri, but no, it is old school Esci. You can see more pics and a review here; http://toysoldierchest.blogspot.com/2013/06/italeriesci-m6-anti-tank-gun-motor.html
  13. Sea Harrier FRS.1 Etch Detail Sets for Italeri Kit 1:72 Eduard The Italeri Sea Harrier is a tool first produced in 1983 under the ESCI name, but it still stands strong next to its rivals some 30 years on and gets favourable reviews from the modelling community. Eduard have released this set, however I suspect you can use most of the parts in an alternative kit if you have one of those in the stash already. As per usual, there is the full set on offer and a cheaper alternative known as the Zoom range. Set 73457 If you’re familiar with these sets, then you’ll know the format. Typically, with the full set you get a cockpit enhancement and usually, undercarriage and other external improvements too. Included in this set are the following: Seat belts, ejector handles, seat back pad (coloured Self Adhesive etch) Main panel, side panels including throttles, rudder pedals, HUD (coloured S.A etch) Rear cockpit, canopy frame, canopy detonation chord, windscreen wiper Replacement u/c doors, airbrake panel Exhaust blast plates Various exterior panels, antennas and tie down loops Boarding ladder Weapon mounting points on the pylons As normal with etch sets, there are some fine parts that will take some skill to handle and fix in place. Fitting the canopy denotnation chord will need to careful gluing, perhaps Kleer may be the best option. That said, apart from this rather delicate operation, the remaining parts are relatively straight forwards in assembly Set SS457 Just containing the pre-painted self adhesive fret as pictured above, you get most of the cockpit enhancements that are in the above set including the following: Seat belts, ejector handles, seat back pad (coloured Self Adhesive etch) Main panel, side panels including throttles, rudder pedals, HUD (coloured S.A etch) Rear cockpit, canopy frame, canopy detonation chord, windscreen wiper Conclusion For Harrier fans these are great packs. Obviously budget plays a part in your selection, but the larger pack with boarding ladder and many external improvements is the must have to produce a great little diorama. In fact I’ve got slightly distracted planning what mine will look like !! Review sample courtesy of
  14. Sd. Kfz. 251/16 Flammpanzerwagen 1:72 Italeri The Sd. Kfz. 251 (Sonderkraftfahrzeug, or Special Motorised Vehicle) was one of the most widely used halftracks in the Wehrmachts wartime inventory. Development of the vehicle began in 1937 and it was designed around the successful halftrack formula established by the Heereswaffenamt (German Army Weapons Agency) during the Weimar Republic. The Sd. Kfz. 251, commonly known as the Hanomag after the principal manufacturer, was designed from the outset to give its passengers a good level of protection whilst being able to traverse rough terrain at speed. This was considered essential in order to enable panzergrenadiers to keep pace with the rapid panzer advances that were characteristic of Blitzkrieg tactics. Over 15,000 examples were produced between 1939 and 1945, and the vehicle saw service in every theatre in which the Wehrmacht fought. Twenty two official versions were produced, many of which mounted heavy weapons to give them an infantry support role. The Sd. Kfz. 251/16 flammpanzerwagen was fitted with two flamethrowers, enabling the crew to make effective attacks against heavily fortified infantry positions. The Sd. Kfz. 251 design was kept in production by Czechoslovakian firm Skoda after the end of the war and they were still in use by the Czechoslovakian army until the 1980s. In common many other small-scale Italeri armour kits, this model was originally designed and manufactured by ESCI. Despite dating back to the 1970s, the moulds look to be in fairly good nick and the kit appears to be reasonably well-detailed. It contains over 120 parts spread across three sprues, one of which contains the parts for the link and length tracks. Fine details such as the pioneer tools are moulded as separate parts and a couple of crew members are included too. Construction of this model differs slightly from most halftrack kits in that you must start with the hull rather than the chassis and running gear, but it should be pretty straightforward nonetheless. The kit contains a reasonably respectable interior, comprised of a floor for the driver/crew compartment, a dashboard and steering wheel and benches and ammunition boxes for the crew area. Compromises have been made - details such as the seats and gear lever are moulded in place but the overall affect should be reasonably good. Youll need to paint the interior details as you go, because they wont be particularly easy to get to once the upper hull is in place. Detail on the overlapping main wheels is fairly decent, although the drive sprockets have been simplified. As mentioned above, the tracks are of the link and length variety. ESCI were early adopters of this style of track, and as with most of their kits these look pretty good. I have a strong preference for link and length tracks as, even though they can be fiddly, I hate the rubber band tracks. To my eye they never look particularly convincing in this scale. The front wheels are nicely moulded and suspension and steering components have been replicated too. As mentioned above, most of the pioneer tools are provided as separate parts. This is a really nice touch from Esci/Italeri as there are kits being produced today, almost 40 years after this kit hit the shelves, which lack this feature. The flame projectors are each made up of four parts. They look pretty good to me, but it wouldnt hurt to add some extra details if you can find some good reference photographs. Two machine guns are also provided, as are two crew members another reminder that this is an ESCI kit. I wish manufacturers producing 1:72 armour kits today would do this as good figures are hard to come by in this scale. Dragons series of AFV kits with crew is a reminder of how good figures can be in the smaller scale. The crew doors can be posed open or closed, which is a nice finishing touch. A generous four options are included on the decal sheet, all of which are illustrated in colour on the back of the box. The first three options are for vehicles belonging to unknown units operating in Poland or Russia in 1943-44. They offer a good variety of schemes in grey or dark yellow with mottled or squiggled camouflage. The fourth option is for a Hanomag of the Panzergrenadier Regiment Grossdeutschland, Russia 1944. It is camouflaged in dark yellow with brown and green stripes. The decal sheet is obviously small but appears to be well printed. Conclusion Escis small scale armour kits were, on the whole, very good for their time. They were usually fairly detailed and the link and length tracks were excellent. Im glad that Italeri are still releasing them as I think they can still hold their own today. This might not be the very best Hanomag that you can buy, but overall it is a pleasing little kit which has much to recommend it. Review sample courtesy of
  15. Hi all, Been putting the finishing touches to this today so thought I may as well get it up in RFI. Another old kit hopefully brought to life with a bit of work, I know this isnt going to come anywhere near to the Kittyhawk Jags that we have seen on this site recently, they are awesome (Respect to Mike & Mattius), but I’ve enjoyed doing it, probably pick up a Heller jag for my next big cat! Anyway, she’s painted to represent XX733 ‘Pink Spitfire’ of the first Gulf conflict circa 1991. I re-scribed some of the raised panel lines and made a few modifications here & there, paint is a mix of Revell aqua colours, decals from Xtradecal, Pavla seat and RBF tags are from Eduard. FOD guards are scratch built. To finish this properly I need to source the stores for the outer pylons and the overwing Aims, guess its going to have to be the Flightpath set for these but cant stretch to that at the moment. Anyway, here she is... Cheers Simon
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