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  1. Hi All. Here is my recently completed build of a Lockheed Vega Model 5 Floatplane using the MPM 1/72 kit. The Vega was built as part of the The Golden Age Of Transport GB and the build log is here: The kit that was easy enough to build but being limited run, it needed a little coaxing along the way. The only issue I had were the decals that were slightly out of register. Thanks for looking. Stuart
  2. Heinkel He.59B (SH72438) 1:72 Special Hobby At the beginning of the 1930s, Germany was still under the thumb of the Versailles Treaty after their defeat in WWI, so they were forced to design only civilian aircraft, as they were prevented from having an Air Force at that time. Ernst Heinkel, the eponymous founder of Heinkel Flugzeugwerke designed an aircraft that was secretly intended to be a torpedo bomber or reconnaissance aircraft for what would eventually become the German Luftwaffe. Initially, the prototype was fitted with traditional landing gear that permitted it to land on an airfield, and that was referred to as the He.59A, later bringing the floatplane variant in as the He.59B. It was a large biplane that was predominantly built using traditional wood and fabric construction, although it also had some metal framework and skinning on the fuselage and empennage. It was considered a well-mannered aircraft to fly, but was underpowered, and without the float-based additional fuel storage, it was short in range. It was also not able to carry large loads, but that wasn’t a major issue as only torpedo or bombing missions required much in the way of additional weight, unless the crew went loaded for bear, expecting plenty of aerial engagements to expend ammunition upon. It might well be expected that by the time WWII broke out, the He.59 would have long been obsolete, belonging as it did to the halcyon days of ‘stringbag’ aviation, but it did see combat in the early days of the war as a reconnaissance and air-sea rescue aircraft, picking up floundering Luftwaffe pilots that hadn’t managed to make it to dry land before bailing out or ditching. It was fired upon by the British despite carrying red crosses however, as they sometimes disingenuously flew reconnaissance missions whilst wearing those markings. It also saw action during the Spanish Civil War in the German Condor Legion forces, and was involved in the invasion of Norway, where it assisted with the landings there. Those still in service during WWII that weren’t engaged in its two main missions were sometimes used as training aircraft, and four of them were rented to their erstwhile allies Finland, who used them to deliver and recover long-range patrols during the Winter War with Soviet Russia, in the process of seriously kicking their aspirations of invasion into oblivion. The Kit The origin of this kit was 2002, and as such the basic styrene parts are as you would expect from that era, but there are lots of more detailed resin and 3D printed parts to bring the level of detail up to modern standards. The kit arrives in a red/white/grey themed top-opening box with a painting of a He.59B flying low over coastal waters, and inside are four sprues of styrene parts, a clear sprue, forty-three resin parts, the traditional cast parts in grey resin, some 3D printed parts in orange, and two more in grey resin, a small fret of Photo-Etch (PE) parts, a large decal sheet, and the instruction booklet that is printed in colour on satin paper, with profiles for the decal options found on the rear pages. Detail overall is good, most of which is supplied by the resin parts, but the fuselage and wings are covered with a restrained rib and doped fabric surface with scalloped recesses between the ribs where appropriate. Construction begins with the pilot’s position at the very front of the nose, adding a resin seat to the bulkhead behind it, which has framework for the nose built out on the starboard side. Rudder pedal, foot tray and a chain-driven control column with bow-tie wheel are fixed to the framework, preparing the opposing frame with a throttle quadrant instead of the column, then bringing the two halves together to create the structure inside the nose. A length of duck-boarded floor with the nose gunner’s floor integrated has a sideways hinging seat made with a narrow support, plus a PE map case and resin strut for the gun. The completed assembly is slid into the underside of the pilot’s station, fitting his instrument panel to the front of the sills, mounting a tall rack of spare ammo cans to feed the machine gun in the nose, then building two more internal compartments. One has a ribbed floor onto which a seat with resin and PE supports is fitted for location next to the side windows under the upper middle gun emplacement. Forward of this is a resin bulkhead with partially padded and duck-boarded floor, both of which are installed in the fuselage along with the cockpit assembly and the two side windows mentioned earlier. Once the fuselage is closed and the seams have been dealt with, the lower wings can be mated with the wing root fairings moulded into the fuselage sides, each wing made from two halves, both with ribbing moulded-in. These joints are of the butt variety, and may benefit in terms of strength and rigidity by the addition of some spars that pass through their ends. A hollow brass box-section rod would make a good option. The two engine nacelles are moulded in halves that receive a resin front with louvres and the prop backing plate moulded-in, adding a pair of hollow-tipped exhausts, one to each side, then using the small 3D printed intakes that should be fitted to the inner side of each nacelle before they are mounted over the lower wing on a set of four struts and an aerodynamic stanchion under it. Two inverted-V cabane struts are fitted to the top of the fuselage, adding a V-strut and a straight strut to the front over the engines, and a further two interplane struts further outboard. The upper wing is moulded from full-span top and lower halves, and this is glued over the lower wing, locating all the struts as you go, and totally ignoring the rigging of the model for our purposes. Both the floats are moulded in halves, and mate to the underside of the lower wing near the engine nacelles via eight individual struts at various angles, one of which has a peg-ladder moulded-in, the pegs needing bending to the horizontal once you have their orientation clear in your mind. There’s a frontal drawing over the page to help you arrange them if you’re having trouble getting their location resolved. The tail fin and rudder are moulded into the fuselage halves, and the elevators are both two-part assemblies that butt-join to the root fairings either side of the fin, and again, the joints would benefit from brass pegs to strengthen them. There is a H-shaped support that is backed up by a pair of diagonals under each elevator, and a square hole in the ventral fuselage is filled with a four-pane window while you’re in the vicinity. The next diagram shows the location of all the rigging wires for the wings in green, with two spacer-rods shown in red, which you will also have to source yourself, but you are given the dimensions 0.5mm x 31mm to assist you. Another diagram shows the cross-braces under the elevators, then the following steps show the location of several small parts around the engines, upper fuselage, and under the tail. Under the nose is a PE pitot probe that is folded to shape, and joined by a faceted window under the tip of the nose. More PE parts are used to add actuators to the elevator trim-tabs and the ailerons, the latter both above and below the flying surfaces. The defensive armament includes two machine guns mounted on Scarff rings, fixed to a PE bracket and using the orange 3D printed guns and ammo cans, plus a resin dump bag for the smaller weapon. Either the smaller or larger gun can be attached to its support and glued to the ring, fixing it in the circular cut-out in the nose, installing a leather bumper-strip around the pilots’ cut-out and mounting a three-faceted windscreen to the front. The mid-upper gunner’s Scarff ring is inserted in his cut-out, with a DF loop and windscreen in front, and a ladder that reaches from the lower edge of the fuselage to the starboard float for easy access. The last parts are the two props that are each made from two blades glued perpendicular to each other before they are fixed to the engine fronts to complete the build. Markings There are two decal options included in this boxing, one from the Condor Legion fighting in Spain in the 30s, the other with an early WWII scheme for its work recovering downed pilots from the Channel. From the box you can build one of the following: He.59B-2, AS/88 Legion Condor, Spain, 1936 He.59B-2, TH+HM, Seenotflugkommando 3, Boulogne-Sure-Mer, occupied France, 1940 The decals are printed using a digital process and have good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut loosely around the printed areas. This means that the carrier film on their decals can be coaxed away from the printed part of the decal after they have been applied, effectively rendering them carrier film free, making the completed decals much thinner and more realistic, and obviating the need to apply successive coats of clear varnish to hide the edges of the carrier film. It’s a great step further in realism from my point of view, and saves a good quantity of precious modelling time into the bargain. Conclusion It seems it wasn’t just the British that used out-of-date biplanes in WWII, although this one isn’t quite as famous as the Swordfish or Gladiator. It’s a surprisingly large aircraft, and just begs to be mounted in a watery diorama doing its job saving pilots. Good detail, simple rigging instructions and interesting decal options make it a compelling package. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  3. This was a great little kit to build. It fit nicely and was a very fast paced model. I used a matt black undercoat with Vallejo's aluminum color. The pilots are painted with Testor's enamels. The one problem I had with this model is that the some of the decals shredded. They were out of the package but I kept them out of the way and covered so I'm unsure of what could've happened. If you've experienced this and know what might of happened, please comment! Enjoy the photos! -Joanna
  4. A6M2-N Rufe Tface Masks (EX934) 1:48 Eduard We’ve just finished our review of the brand-new Mitsubishi A6M Zero derived Floatplane, the Suisen 2, more commonly known as the Rufe, which you can see here, and it’s a beautiful kit that’s every bit as well-detailed as its cousin, also from Eduard. If you’re inclined to cram as much detail into your models as you can, then Eduard also have you covered, with a raft of individual upgrade sets that allows the modeller to pick and choose which areas they’re interested in improving, or go mad and splurge on the lot, as your budget and inclination dictates. Supplied on a large sheet of yellow kabuki tape, these pre-cut masks supply you with a full set of masks for the canopy both inside and out, with compound curved handled by using frame hugging masks, while the highly curved gaps are in-filled with either liquid mask or offcuts from the background tape. In addition you get a set of hub/tyre masks for the three wheels of the beaching trolley and the aircraft’s wingtip lights, allowing you to cut the demarcation perfectly with little effort. Since using this innovative and accurate masking system on a recent build of and Eduard F4F-3 Wildcat here, I have become a huge fan, and will search out a set for any of my future builds thanks to the realism, crispness and extra detail they bring to the canopy area. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  5. A6M2-N Rufe Landing Flaps (648851 for Eduard) 1:48 Eduard Brassin We’ve just finished our review of the brand-new Mitsubishi A6M Zero derived Floatplane, the Suisen 2, more commonly known as the Rufe, which you can see here, and it’s a beautiful kit that’s every bit as well-detailed as its cousin, also from Eduard. If you’re inclined to cram as much detail into your models as you can, then Eduard also have you covered, with a raft of individual upgrade sets that allows the modeller to pick and choose which areas they’re interested in improving, or go mad and splurge on the lot, as your budget and inclination dictates. You’ll find the first batch of sets here, wing gun bays here, and now the landing flaps are in our sights. Inside the shallow Brassin card box are six 3D printed parts, two of which are in a crystal clear plastic clamshell box to protect them from damage, as they are quite delicate. A fret of Photo-Etch (PE) is also included in its own card backed ziploc bag, with the two flap sections also separately bagged. The combination of PE and printed resin has conspired to simplify the installation of the set, requiring just the flap area in the lower wing to be removed to provide space for the new parts. The delicate boxed parts are the spine and ribs for each bay, and are joined together, then have more smaller PE parts layered over them to create the bays that slide into the trailing edge of the wing and are joined by a small resin divider between the flaps and ailerons. The flaps themselves have been printed as a single part, which fits into the flap bay on two hinges near the centre of the bay, painting the bays and flap interior surfaces in Aotake, that mysterious metallic blue/green primer. There is also a stencil decal shown on the final step of the instructions, which can be found on the stencil decal sheet provided with every Eduard Rufe kit boxing except for the Overtrees. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  6. A6M2-N Rufe Gun Bays (648849 for Eduard) 1:48 Eduard Brassin We’ve just finished our review of the brand-new Mitsubishi A6M Zero derived Floatplane, the Suisen 2, more commonly known as the Rufe, which you can see here, and it’s a beautiful kit that’s every bit as well-detailed as its cousin, also from Eduard. If you’re inclined to cram as much detail into your models as you can, then Eduard also have you covered, with a raft of individual upgrade sets that allows the modeller to pick and choose which areas they’re interested in improving, or go mad and splurge on the lot, as your budget and inclination dictates. You’ll find the first batch of sets here, and we’ve now got the gun bays on in our sights. This set is a renaming of the same set for the recent Eduard Zero, performing the same task of replicating the detail found under the gun bay doors for the wing guns of the Rufe. As is now usual with Eduard's smaller resin sets, they arrive in the new shallow Brassin cardboard box, with the resin parts safely cocooned in bags, and the instructions folded around acting as padding. There are sixteen 3D printed resin parts and a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) inside the box along with the instructions, the first step showing the portions of the wings that should be removed in red, preparing the way for the new parts, but showing its heritage by also depicting the gear bays of the Zero in the drawings. Just pretend you didn’t see those, right? The panels removed can be discarded, so cutting from the centre and sanding it to the correct shape should be the simplest method. The main bay parts have the cannon slotted into the long partition, and the drum magazine in the compartment next to it, adding a length of 0.3mm wire from your stock from the front of the breech, snaking away into the interstices of the wing. The magazine compartment is trapped on both top and bottom with a PE frame, while the gun bay has PE on the lower, all of which fit inside the frames rather than on top of them so they don’t increase the height of the assembly. The finished bay is glued into the lower wing and has a pair of PE rib sections inserted into the leading edge on either side of the gun barrel, adding small stiffeners midway to the front. The bay doors slide into their hinges at the trailing edges of the bay, and the removable panels from the leading edge and underside are painted as per the rest of the model to be placed around the model as if by the maintenance crew once the model is completed. All the colour call-outs through the build process are given in Gunze Sangyo codes, as is usual with Eduard kits and upgrade sets, as it is their paint system of choice. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  7. Rufe Dual Combo (11171) 1:48 Eduard The A6M2-N was developed by Nakajima from the Mitsubishi A6M Zero that we know so well, and was intended to be an interceptor in remote areas where the lack of airfields wouldn’t hinder its operation. It used the majority of the Zero’s fuselage with an adapted tail, plus a substantial single float underneath, and two smaller wing-mounted floats to maintain balance when on the water. Fewer than 330 were made in total, and it saw active service in defensive battles as the noose tightened around the remains of the Japanese Empire toward the end of WWII. It was originally based upon the initial Zero Type 0 airframe, but changed as the Zero itself was improved, some later Rufes based upon the Type 21, finishing production in 1943. The floats reduced its top speed, and made it slightly less agile than its progenitor, but the aircraft that it was pitted against were often second-line Allied types anyway, the more advanced Allied aircraft reserved for the war in Europe, which was intended to be concluded first. It also faired well in anti-bomber operations, where it gave a good account of itself, although suffering substantial losses in the process. It was deployed in 1942 where it was given the name Suisen 2, although the Allied codename was Rufe, just to keep things confusing. As well as serving from remote jetties and make-do refuelling points, it was also flown from dedicated Seaplane Carriers, despite being a floatplane itself, and was engaged in numerous different operations such as reconnaissance, bombing from underwing stations, in addition to its interceptor and fighter roles that it seems to have performed well in, despite the drag and weight reducing its top speed by around 40 knots when compared to the Zero. It was often transported to its next assignment by Seaplane Tenders, conserving fuel and reducing breakdowns that might occur during a maximum range flight of just over 1,100 miles. At war’s end, a single example was overhauled by the French for use in Indochina, but that was quickly lost in an accident, probably due to the pilot’s unfamiliarity with the type. The Kit This is a new tooling from Eduard, based on their recent Zero model, and this first boxing includes two kits in Dual Combo guise, in the same manner as the Zero was launched. The kit arrives in a large top-opening box, with a painting of two Rufes wearing different schemes that are flying over a stylised patterned backdrop, with the word Limited indicating that it won’t be around forever, so snap one up now if you're so minded. Inside the box are ten sprues in grey styrene, two sprues of clear parts, two frets of pre-painted nickel-plated Photo-Etch (PE), a large sheet of pre-cut kabuki tape masks, one large decal sheet and two stencil sheets, and the instruction booklet that is printed in colour with profiles for the decal options on the rear pages. The majority of the sprues are brand-new, with just one that contains the engine and other small parts re-used from the earlier Zero, and the clear parts. That said, the other sprues that are similar but with slight variance in part locations and quantities, which benefits from the work done on the Zero tooling earlier. Detail is exceptional on modern Eduard kits, with raised and recessed features, finely engraved panel lines and rivets across the exterior, and even a beaching trolley included on the sprues. Having built a Zero (unfinished as I type this, to my shame), I’m confident that this kit will go together similarly well, making the modelling time expended on its building extremely pleasurable. Bear in mind that all the sprues are provided in duplicate to allow the completion of two models of the Rufe, giving you the chance to depict it in different camouflages, and/or with different levels of wear and tear. Only the main decal sheet and masks aren’t doubled-up, containing all the individual markings, leaving the stencils on two identical sheets. The instruction booklet has a four-page detailed description of the type from conception through production and service to the end of WWII, written by Jan Bobek, one of the directors of Eduard, who is clearly very interested in the Rufe. After the usual sprue diagrams, which are a useful tool for checking your box for completeness, construction begins with the cockpit sidewalls that are moulded into the fuselage halves, augmenting the ribbing with equipment and controls on both sides, some of which is PE, the rest styrene, and a choice of painted PE or decals for the instruments on the faces of the boxes. The rest of the cockpit interior is then started with the styrene rudder pedals clipped off the part and replaced by new PE loops on the remaining bars. The pilot’s ventilated seat is laced with four pre-painted belts and attached to the fuselage frame by a pair of brackets and is joined by an adjuster with a curved PE bracket, the styrene version of which is first removed from the original part. The cockpit floor is well-detailed with rivets and is a shallow V-shape, with a small insert filling a gap in the underside, then the pilot’s control column and linkages are all installed on the topside along with the rudders, which are shown from above to assist with placement. The lower sides of the cockpit contain various equipment boxes, which are all either stripped of styrene detail to be replaced by PE parts or covered with decals, and they are then brought together with the rear frame, seat, and floor to create the cockpit assembly, which is then further detailed with more PE on the side consoles or optional decals, has the layered PE instrument panel built up and inserted into the front of the assembly, which then has the two nose-mounted machine guns added to a shaped part that slots into holes at the front of the cockpit. Behind the pilot a trio of tanks that are glued vertically to the back of the frame, then the completed assembly is put to the side briefly while the fuselage is glued together, adding the enhanced three-part rudder with clear light, and a section of the cowling in front of the nose as you go. Once the glue has dried, the cockpit can be inserted into the fuselage from below, using the gap in the fuselage where the wings will later sit. Like many WWII fighters, the new lower wing half is a single part, which is stiffened by a short spar that stretches across where the gear bays would have been, and on the exterior is a large teardrop location point for the single float. On the inside of the wings there are engraved lines where the folding tips can be cut loose, but for this boxing the folds are ignored or filled later, as it is indicated that only some of the Rufes had this facility. Holes in the lower wing are flashed over and should be opened with a 0.6mm drill if you are mounting bomb racks, then once the wings are closed, a pair of clear wingtip lights and styrene ailerons are added, and a scrap diagram shows how the trailing wing root should look once glued, to ensure you don’t make a rod for your back down the line. The rear fillet of the wing assembly is ribbed inside, and is fitted out with some small parts, although they can barely be seen. The elevator fins are separate from their flying surfaces, and while the fins are two parts each, the thin trailing surfaces are single parts with rib detail moulded-in. These and the wings are added to the fuselage along with some tiny fairings for the aileron actuators, filling the hole where the head cushion for the pilot would normally fit, and a little bunny (yes really) that reminds you to add some nose weight to the model to prevent it sitting on its tail. The model is looking more like an aircraft now, but has no powerplant, which is next to be made up. Both banks of pistons of the Nakajima Sakae radial engine are present, plus a ring of rods front and back, with a two-part reduction gear bell-housing and wiring loom at the front. This assembly fits on a stepped ring that glues to the tapered front of the fuselage, then a brief interlude has you making up the bomb load from halves, adding a PE spinner to the tail and the perpendicular fins with either a square plastic or PE ring at the very rear. Each bomb has its own mounting frame that connects it to the wing via the holes drilled earlier. The engine cowling is built up around a cylindrical jig that should remain unglued unless you enjoy feeling foolish. The intake lip is dry-fitted to a step on the narrow end of the jig, then two almost semi-cylindrical cowling halves are added, locating in slots in the aft lip of the jig, and gluing carefully to the lip at the front. The intake trunk is inserted into the gap in the underside, and this too has its own groove in the lip, and when that glue is dry, the assembly can be slipped off the jig, and the final section that contains the gun troughs can be added along with another pair of small inserts at the bottom-rear where the exhaust stacks are glued. The finished cowling can then be slid over the engine and secured in place with more glue and some appreciation of the engineering involved. For some markings options the small panel lines around the wingtip fold mechanism should be filled, as certain airframes didn’t have the capability. The float is all new, as you’d expect, and comprises the two main halves with the support linking it to the aircraft moulded-in, plus a circular oil-cooler in the front, adding PE mesh and louvres to the front. The forward section of the keel is separate, leaving you to add optional fairings over fuel tank purging equipment that was present on early aircraft, and the rudder to the rear. The bunny makes an appearance again, inciting you to add nose weight to the float to help keep it on the straight and level. As the float projects a long way forward, any weight added here will be more effective. The stabilising floats are simply two parts each, then the main float is located on the raised mount under the wings, with a pair of struts fitted to the aft spar to stabilise it. There is also an optional crew ladder on two Y-supports, should you wish to use it. Under the wings the small floats are inserted into their sockets and an optional pair of bombs are mounted on the holes drilled earlier, roughly where the outboard ends of the wheel bays would be. The three-bladed prop is moulded as a single part, with a front and rear spinner half, which slides onto the axle at the front of the engine. On the topside, the gun-sight installs on the coaming, allowing fitting of the windscreen, then you have a choice of a closed canopy that is a single part and an aerial, or in the open option that has the fixed rear, a slightly larger sliding canopy that fits over the rear, and the same aerial post. Inside the sliding portion are a pair of small PE detail parts, and if you spring for additional Tface masks, it may be best to apply the masks before the PE parts. Four formation lights on stalks are fitted into sockets in the mid-wing, the wing-mounted gun muzzles are inserted into the leading edge with a pitot probe on the port side. The beaching trolley is used as the name suggests to pull the Rufe out of the water for maintenance etc., and was made from wood and metal, starting with a box frame with two V-supports and four vertical risers, plus a tapering front section that has a small castor wheel between the ends. A rectangular sub-frame is made from two layers of styrene, adding a pair of trunnions to either side of the spoked wheels that have solid rubber tyres, and can be left mobile to roll your Rufe around on later. The sub-frame is attached under the main structure, which has a small V-support added to the front, allowing the aircraft to sit within the trolley for movement, with the addition of an inverted T-support behind it that also has a V cut into the upper end that prevents it from tail-sitting once stationary. Scrap diagrams show the finished assembly from various angles to help with completion. The painting guide shows the trolley in grey, but there is conjecture whether it was painted in a dark blue, as discussed in the first few pages of the booklet. Markings There are eight decal options on the main sheet, with later versions having green topsides, while the early airframes are all-over grey in the Pearl Harbour era colour scheme. From the box you can build two of the following: Yokohama Kōkūtai, Tulagi Island, Solomon Islands, August 1942 5th Kōkūtai, Kiska Island, Aleutians, August 1942 C/n 15, Lt. (jg) Keizō Yamazaki, Kōkūtai 802, Shortland Island, February 1943 Kōkūtai 802, Faisi-Pororang Base, Shortland Islands, February 1943 Kōkūtai 452, Bettobi Lake, Shumshu Islands, Kuriles, July 1943 Kōkūtai 802, Emidj Island, Jaluit Atoll, Marshall islands, October 1943 Ensign Jin’ichirō Ozawa, Saebo Kōkūtai, Sasebo Air base, Japan, September 1944 Kōkūtai 934, Ambon Island, Moluku Islands, March 1944 The decals are printed by Eduard and are in good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The stencils are on two separate sheets, and are marked on a page of the booklet, separate from the rest of the markings to avoid confusion from trying to read overly busy diagrams. As of 2021, the carrier film from Eduard decals can be coaxed away from the printed part of the decal after they have been applied, effectively rendering them carrier-free, making the decals much thinner and more realistic, and obviating the need to apply successive coats of clear varnish to hide the edges of the film. It’s a great step further in realism from my point of view. In addition to the decals, there are two full sets of masks for the exterior of the canopies as well as the main and castor wheels of the trolleys, plus the wingtip lights, all of which are in pre-cut kabuki-style tape, and are dealt with on a separate page of the instructions. Conclusion A fabulous new tooling of this unusual fighter floatplane. The pre-painted PE and masks make a great product better, but having two of them in the box makes it awesome. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  8. Rejoining with this Tiger Hobbies Spitfire floatplane. A very unlikely looking development - which did fly. Based upon the same Italeri Kit, from which I built a Spitfire VI. I was unimpressed, let's see if that changes. First the Italeri parts. Then the Tiger Hobby bits. Floats obviously, a new tail, and fillers for the wheel wells, with stubs for the floats. My thanks to Jet Age for this kit, which will be joining one of the collections.
  9. I'd like to present my 1/72 Scale RAF Spitfire Vc floatplane W3760. This started out as a PM Models kit, but ended up as 90% Airfix Spitfire Vc and just the floats and prop from the PM Model kit. The PM kit is reminiscent of a 1960s Airfix kit... the new Airfix Vc is a joy. Added frustration was caused by the PM transfers, fortunately the only usable parts were the serial numbers. From above..... From the front..... Underneath... And 3/4 view. Overall, not a bad model of a very rare Spitfire version, there were 4 Vbs converted, they varied in many details as they evolved. Some were armed and trialed in Egypt on the Great Bitter Lake, so probably did not have yellow undersides. They also had a larger, straight front edged fin. There is a chapter in The Spitfire Story by Alfred Price with a good overview and photos. The full story of the build is here: Including an IWM photo of the aircraft I tried to represent.
  10. Well here I go, I'm in! Let me start by taking you back in time a little. This machine, which had won the 1921 Pulitzer Trophy (at average 176.7mph), as the Curtiss CR-1... *SDASM .. and had then gone on to place third in the 1922 Pulitzer Trophy (at 193.2mph) as the CR-2, modified to replace those drag-inducing pineapple-like Lamblin radiators with integral upper-wing surface radiators... *SDASM ... was further modified by Curtiss for the US Navy as the CR-3 floatplane, contesting in 1923 as the first ever US entry to the annual international Schneider Trophy race - and won! (at average 177.38mph / max 181.87mph): *P (scroll through to watch from 22:00 to 26:05mins for the bit on the 1923 race & the significance of the CR-3, within a lecture by Mike Marsden, former head of wind tunnels Airbus, given to the Bristol Aero Society). This machine would go on to be further modified in 1924, and as the CR-4 it set a closed-circuit speed record for seaplanes of 188.08mph. Back to the present. Inspired by this group build theme, and Curtiss' successful transformation of a land plane to floatplane I have decided to do just the same at 1/48 scale (hopefully also successfully!!), by converting this kit (labelled CR-2 but I think actually CR-1?!) ... ... to the Schneider Trophy winning CR-3 floatplane! (Noix did also make a CR-3 .. but I know not to hold my breath waiting for such a thing to appear!) It will be a bit of a kit-bash: the lovely Noix resin fuselage & flying surfaces + floats from a donor Testors (Hawk) Curtiss R3C-2 + some etched detail bits for those floats taken from an XS Models upgrade intended for the Testors kit. This may seem a bit wasteful of both the R3C-2 kit & upgrade, but after I had put these in the stash I later came across the far superior Noix kit of the same machine, which made them redundant. This will be putting them to some use after all. Oh, and finally I'll add a pilot - probably white metal from Phoenix Figures - as I intend to display the machine in flight. So that's my submission, hope to be underway very soon! g. Here's a final image to build the excitement! *SDASM Images so marked have been sourced from San Diego Air and Space Museum online archives. I waded through the 'terms of use' and believe I'm not in breach by using these images here .. but let me know if not & I will remove! *P Pathe .. much the same as above!
  11. My fascination with 1930’s/40’s floatplanes continues with this build of the Swordfish floatplane. This is the SMER 1:48 (1:50) version - it’s very basic and on reflection I wish I’d invested in the Tamiya model which is streets ahead on detail. But we are we’re we are... The areas needing most work are the cockpit and engine both of which are oversimplified. So here are a few shots of my scratch build work. The pilots instrument panel is non-existent so I’ve been experimenting with producing my own transfers - not perfect yet but getting there. Of course I could just order one from Eduard but that wouldn’t be so much of a challenge! Equally this kit has no detail for the mount for the Vickers K machine gun - this seems critical so I’ve scratch built that.
  12. Here is my Fine Molds Curtiss R3C in 1/72 scale from the animated movie Porco Rosso, the perfect companion to my earlier Savoia-Marchetti S.21. It is not very big: Build thread here: And both planes together: Nice kits and definitely worth checking out if you're a fan of the movie.
  13. Having completed (and very much enjoyed) my 1/72 model of the Savoia-Marchetti S.21 flying boat from the animated film Porco Rosso, I ordered the companion kit of the Curtiss R3C, also by Fine Molds. This is the plane flown by Porco's adversary, the brash American Donald Curtiss. It is an 'unauthorised' version (according to the instructions) of the well known racing floatplane from the 1920's - 'unauthorised' presumably referring to the twin machine guns mounted on the fuselage sides. Apart from those, and the addition of a beefy chin radiator, the plane looks quite faithful to the original. The plane in the film looks like this, here flying side by side with Porco's S.21: And here we see Donald Curtiss himself standing next to Porco (Marco Pagot): =============================================== The kit arrived from Japan in a sturdy box, with on the lid a brief explanation of what this aircraft is all about: This is also pretty much the only English text in the kit since the instructions are almost entirely in Japanese. However, this is not a complicated kit and I don't think I will have problems following the diagrams. If the parts fit as well as they do on the S.21 I will have a good time. There are two sprues, a dark blue one with most of the parts of the aircraft, and a grey one with parts for the beach trolly and the flying display stand. The stand can be built to accommodate not just the Curtiss but also the S.21, something I will try out. There is also a tiny pilot figure, we'll see if I can manage to make it look like Donald Curtiss! There are decals for various liveries, I will opt for the one with the yellow bars on the wings. As an alternative, skull symbols are included if you want to show the plane as one of the 'Mamma Aiuto' Air Pirates fleet. A second decal sheet contains yellow decals for the undersides of the floats and the bars on the wings. You could opt to use these and not even paint anything and you'd get a reasonable representation of the original, but I will try to spray the various colours myself. The overall colour is a very dark blue (Midnight Blue?) with Intermediate Blue struts. Colour call-outs are given for Gunze paints but I will use Vallejo equivalents. So far I have just washed the sprues and ordered some paint. I'll make a start with the interior soon.
  14. My build for this GB is this kit I found on Ebay while looking for something I'd never come across before. Should be an interesting build, I think. I've also got myself a PE set from Part in Poland, and a Yahu control panel as another option. Not too many parts, and they look pretty good. Not sure about the deep lines on the floats though...a bit "padded cell": Also not many decals for a 1/48 kit. 1930s aircraft had fewer markings though, I guess. Only one page of instructions, along with a black and white painting guide: Thanks for looking in - I'm excited to join in the GB as I've not joined one for ages. I've made a start on the fully PE cockpit so far, but I'll post that later on. Let the fun begin!
  15. Friends, This is the Fujimi F1M Pete floatplane. I built this kit a number of years ago. While this is the only biplane that I have ever built, I found the kit and subject to enjoyable and interesting. I used E-Z Line for rigging which by now is much too thick for 72nd scale aircraft and has since been supplanted by other types such as Uschi and Infiniti brands. I built this Pete straight out of the box and weathered and detailed it with pencils, paint, and pastels. I decided to be a bit creative with the display base which I use for other WWII Japanese Navy types. I`m guessing that the kit is a bit of a challenge to find anymore but I do recommend it. Thank you in advance!!!!! Respectfully submitted, Mike
  16. Hi guys, Slowly, floatplanes are starting to swim around in my head and also creeping into the stash. I have the 1/72 Spitfire Vb Floatplane by Brengun but have found this image: 3-Float Spit So far, I have found two spits fitted with these and was wondering how widespread were these? Also, does anybody know what Mk this is, if their is a conversion set or are we looking at kit robbing? Stuart
  17. hi All, finally got round to starting my Iris, as you already know Jockney is doing a very similar Contrail Perth. All parts now snapped from the plastic and the two halves of the fuselage sanded! Doesn't sound much but it's a start! Someone asked about Contrail v Sanger versions of these kits, the answer is Contrail as the Sanger ones don't come with any strut material, you have to make your own. If only Aeroclub still had some....
  18. OK...to explain...I didn't read the fine print on the instructions when I thought, "I yeah...I'll do the Swedish one..." The Swedish aircraft was not the Morane 'WR'...it was the MS 3G Thulin B. I discovered this when I went to modify the wings for the WR (sawed off sections of the ribs) as instructed and then later that day noticed that the Thulin did not have the shorter wingspan. Luckily I didn't pitch out the removed sections so they have now been glued back on. Phew! I have also found some excellent photos of the real thing from a museum so I might try to replicate that...I'll post a photo or two in the chat thread. But for now... I removed the resin floats from their sprue and cleaned them up. Same with the prop, etc... Construction is basic. I have built this kit before when it was a Pflaz (Az Models also) back then...the moulds are pretty much the same. Basic Gnome-shaped motor, cockpit essentials...I may try to improve them a bit since you can see inside pretty well. I tried my hand at some rib detail...not so bad, not the best. I primed it with Humbrol Desert Sand rattle can and then airbrushed MrKit French Doped Linen on top. And as I write this I am suddenly aware that I have cleaned and painted the wrong motor! So it begins...with a sense of humour and some humility...as it should. --JDCM
  19. Calling all Swordfish experts! I am building the Tamiya Swordfish floatplane and I was happily going to depict it carrying the torpedo as shown on the boxart and on various drawings in my references and on the net. By coincidence I was doing some reading on the Warspite at Narvik which is one of my next projects - the book I was perusing was "Warspite" by Ian Ballantyne. I was reading the account of the exploits of the Swordfish floatplane that Warspite had at the time, and I was surprised at the following statement by the pilot P.O.Fred Rice who had just spotted a U boat { U64} and I quote " With floats on a Swordfish you couldn't carry a torpedo. What we carried was 250lbs armour piercing bombs " { page 98}. Surely the pilot should know - are all the drawings etc. wrong? I have quite a lot of reference on the Swordfish, so I went through looking for photographs of floatplanes carrying torpedoes and could only find three, all of K5662, the first Swordfish on floats - two in the "in action" title and one in an Air enthusiast mag.Can anyone shed any light on this? Thanks in advance, Malcolm
  20. Still doing some research, but hope to end up with something looking like this: Appears to be two schools of thought towards the finish of these particular aircraft, with either overall aluminum or CDL surfaces -or could that possibly be opaque yellow? I had thought of using a shade of horizon blue for metal surfaces other than the cowl, but now I'm not sure if the floats were constructed of metal or wood? Any takers?? --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Anyhow, this is where it's at so far on the bench. On the left side, below the dime, is initial gluing of the fuselage halves. Not sure if it is warp-age or what, but only applied cement at the cowl end and once that was set, some hand held pressure coaxed the back half together. Next to that is Small Stuff resin engine of the Clerget 9B/Z (130/110 hp) Engine. This will be a like mini kit to build, I count about 46 pieces in total. Even a tool is provided to handle the tiniest detail. Lastly, Minute72 PE detail specifically dedicated to the Hanriot. The PE cockpit detail is done, and although the instructions do indicate four points to attach control wires, I'll likely skip that being 1/72 scale. The seat cushion is not affixed so it can be painted separate. Lower wing attached, and dry fit of the PE detail inside the fuselage. The interior required both walls and floor sanded down. regards, Jack
  21. After the Mk.V floatplane (http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234947642-172-supermarine-spitfire-mkv-floatplane-by-brengun-released/), Brengun/Hauler (http://www.brengun.cz/) is to release a 1/72nd Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXb Floatplane kit - ref.BRP72019 Source: https://www.facebook.com/440180076140646/photos/a.443370235821630.1073741831.440180076140646/465876970237623/?type=1&theater Box art V.P.
  22. Hi everyone I apologise for having failed so spectacularly in completing any of the recent group builds, so have set the bar much lower ! Please see below the sad remains of the Spitfire recently unearthed from the shelf of doom, which I genuinely had forgotten all about (old age no doubt) The kit is very basic and I haven't tried to "pimp it up" in anyway, so it will be just a matter of finishing the painting, and finding the canopy. What can possibly go wrong with that......... Cheers Pat
  23. Thought it was time I presented the result of my efforts to take an Airfix F2b and turn it into a Bristol Tourer Seaplane. It took far too long but has proved that I can take a kit and change it into something else using reasonable scratch building techniques. All of this was originally inspired by The Old Mans excellent WW1 scratch builds, I just thought I'd go half way to start with. Anyway the history of the Tourer is basically that at the end of WW1 manufacturers like Bristol had to diversify to stay in business and like Avro they looked to the civilian market and their new found fascination with flying. The tourer came in a number of types, two seat, three seat, open passenger compartment, closed in and a seaplane. There's a part WIP for anyone interested, I'm afraid I lost patience with posting progress; must give up the day job! http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234969660-airfix-f2b-conversion-to-bristol-tourer-seaplane/?hl=%2Bbristol+%2Btourer There is a bit of a mistake which I have to confess, the logo is wrong! I had them specially made based on artwork I found on the internet and overlooked the fact that this is the later Bristol logo used after the late '20's. One day I might correct it but getting white bespoke decals made is not cheap!
  24. This is Trumpeter’s 1/24 Nakajima A6M2-N “Rufe” Floatplane. This has been on my shelf of doom for about 5 years for a very pitiful reason; I needed to get some weights to put in the main float and I didn’t have any. I put this aside meaning to get some weights, a couple of weeks went by and then I forgot about it. Sheesh, what a dunderhead am I! My goal is to clear out my shelf/shelves of doom by May 2015; a daunting task if you only knew how large a shelf it is. This is one off of the list. It is mainly an OOB build; the build thread is here http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234970811-zero-floatplane;-a-big-rufe-rufe-finished;-well-almost/. There were a couple of modifications to the kit. I added Eduard seatbelts and I got stumped about a hole in the main float that just looked stupid. Kind people on this site who know a whole lot more about the Rufe than I told me the hole was for an oil cooler. I half-heartedly scratched an oil cooler inlet/vent. The major modifications to this kit were done on the beaching trolley. It was rebuilt to look like some photos as the kit version was somewhat simplified. This was an enjoyable build. The parts fit well, the kit is well engineered, and the detail is really good. I understand there is some shape issues regarding the fuselage aft of the cockpit, but I am not skillful enough or knowledgeable enough to correct it. The kit decals were used and they went down without a fault and behaved perfectly with the Micro Sol setting solutions. I would recommend this kit in a heartbeat if what you are interested in is an enjoyable build. It is, however really big once completed so have some room. Here is the beaching trolley by itself. And, last but not least, the infamous oil cooler that is difficult to see and probably no one but me will ever notice. So the Rufe gets its own little shelf due to its size. So far it is playing well with its shelf mates As always, all comments are welcome.
  25. Douglas TBD-1A Devastator Floatplane 1:48 Great Wall Hobby History The Douglas TBD-1A aircraft was a specially modified standard TBD-1, mounted on Edo floats. The very first production TBD-1 off the line, BuNo.0208, was selected as the test aircraft. It was originally conceived as a test bed for the Dutch Navy, as the Dutch were interested in procuring the type for their use in the Dutch East Indies. Events in Europe at the time precluded the order and it never materialised. However, the single aircraft converted was retained by the US Navy to test different torpedo variants. It was often joked that the TBD-1A dropped more torpedoes in testing than the entire fleet did in WW2. This may not be too far from the truth, as it saw service from the beginning of 1939 out of Newport, Rhode Island, USA, long before the US entered the war in 1941. The Model The kit comes in a very attractive top opening box with an artists impression of the aircraft presumably taking off from quite a heavy sea. On opening the initial impression is very good indeed. There are five sprues of medium grey styrene, a separate cowling, one sprue of clear styrene, all carefully protected in their individual poly bags. Also included is a small etched brass fret, two metal parts, a large sheet of masks and the decal sheet. The mouldings are superb, with crisp fine details in the form of rivets, panel lines, (raised where required), even the corrugated upper wings look more to scale than the some other manufacturers releases of the base aircraft. There is absolutely no sign of flash or imperfections on the review sample, and only a few moulding pips. Construction begins with the pilots, and navigators seats and there complex looking set of etched seat belts, followed by the radio operator/rear gunners rotating seat, made up of the seat pan, lower support bar and ring shaped top section. Onto the top section the race and gun traversing mechanism/mount is attached. The pilots’ seat is the attached to the supports, and then onto the bulkhead, which is then slide into position into the cockpit tub, followed by the control column, rudder pedals. The navigators’ seat is then fixed into place, followed by the mid bulkhead, foreward bulkhead, radio stack, the pilots throttle lever and torpedo release lever. The shoulder height cockpit deck is then fitted out with the gunners’ seat assembly from the underside, which requires the fitting of three PE brackets. Turning the deck over the fire bottle, DF loop aerial, and the 30cal machine gun, consisting of a one piece gun, firing handles, magazine tray and magazine, is fitted to the gunners’ seat mount. The machine gun can be posed either in the firing position or stowed. Before the fuselage can be closed up there are several fittings to be fitted to the cockpit sides, such as more pilots’ controls and the small side windows. With the cockpit assembly fitted to one half of the fuselage the upper and lower instrument panels are then painted up and glued into position. The instrument panels and side consoles have very nicely rendered instruments which will take some careful painting to make the most of them. With everything in place the fuselage halves can be closed up. The pilots’ headrest support is then attached, along with several other fittings on and around the headrest. The complex torpedo ranging sight in then assembled and fitted the front coaming. This is a very detailed and fiddly assembly and is made entirely of PE parts so take care not to feed the carpet monster. The engine, consisting of the two banks of cylinders plus two sets of control rods, is assembled. To this, the crankcase cover and air intake pipe ring is attached. The two exhaust manifolds are then fitted to the front of the fuselage, followed by the engine. At this point the two piece horizontal tailplanes are assembled and attached their respective sides. The engine cowling is mated to the gill flaps and then fitted to over the engine to the fuselage. The instructions call for the canopy to be assembled here, if the closed canopy is chosen then this can be done as it is a single piece moulding. If the open canopy is chosen, leave off the sliding parts an only fit the fixed parts, thus protecting the fragile internal structures. Construction of the wing begins with the single piece lower centre section being fitted to the fuselage, followed by the two upper inner sections can be attached. The torpedo bomb sight windows/doors are assembled with one layer of styrene and two layers of PE. The three piece oil cooler is also assembled, then attached to the lower wing, whilst the bomb sight doors are attached in either open or closed condition under the foreward fuselage. The separate flaps are also fitted at this point, presumably in either retracted or lowered state, but the instructions aren’t particularly clear on this. The torpedo mounting plate is then fitted to the fuselage centre section and the torpedo, made up of front and rear body sections and twin PE propellers, can be attached. Because the original aircraft was meant to be carrier based it was fitted with folding wings, well this wasn’t dispensed with just because they fitted floats. The inner wing fold joints are added along with some nice detail parts, whilst the tow piece outer wing panels are joined and fitted with the separate ailerons, the reciprocal fold joins and the pitot probe on the starboard wing leading edge. PE strengthening brackets are then attached and the wings joined with the two metal wing fold hinges, although it would be wise to leave this until later in the build, as the model will need to be set upside down to allow the fitting of the floats. I’m not sure how well the wings will fit if the option to have them extended will be, as there doesn’t appear to be optional parts to cater for this, being just a butt joint. It may be an idea to use some metal rod to give the join some strength. Each float consists of inner and outer halves with a separate top deck. To each there are a number of cleats attached fore and aft, followed by the nose tip and rudder. Each float is then fitted with their respective support struts, which when set firmly; the two assemblies can be attached to the underside of the model. Decals The decal sheet provides markings for the one aircraft produced. They are very nicely printed, with no sign of carrier film, in good register and nicely opaque. Along with the national markings, you also get the identification and serial numbers, plus some stencils, access walkways and the propeller blade tip stripes. If you’d rather paint the main markings, GWH have provided a full mask sheet just for this occasion, although how good the masks fit over the corrugations on the upper wings is any ones guess. The mask sheet also includes masking panels for the cockpit canopy/canopies. Conclusion Considering that only one aircraft was produced, it does come as a bit of a surprise that Great Wall Hobby decided to release it. That said they turned out what looks like a very nice kit and it’s certainly unusual. Being pre-war the colours are bright with the then standard yellow upper wings, but it would have been nice to have had a “what if” set of markings for the proposed Dutch operated aircraft. Overall a very nice kit that will get people talking at club meets or shows. Highly recommended. Available Soon Review sample courtesy of
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