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  1. After reviewing this little gem from Eduard, I decided to give it a whirl, especially as I'd got a bunch of their aftermarket bits and bobs to go with it. It would be churlish not to really here's a pictorial run-down of what's there: Obviously, I'll not be using both sets of wheels, and there's a bit of overlap in the sets with seatbelts and a few other bits, but I'll probably hold those over for another build or something else later. I've been putting a few bits together over the last few days, and have managed to achieve a bunch of sub-assemblies that are now stuck to coffee stirrers and cocktail sticks ready for painting. The 3D printed cockpit is a bit of a jaw-dropper, so I began with that after I'd cut all the printing bases away and made good. Beautiful detail! I've mixed up a bottle of my favourite Gunze Mr Colour from the given recipe for the interior green, so should be ready to go with that when I get a minute. I've still got to decide what colour everything is to be painted though, as I've kind of lost the plot, and I think it's my first aircraft of this era from the American arsenal. I'll be making a few stuff-ups on the way, so if anyone's got any advice, just let me know in a calm and pleasant manner, and I won't break down in tears. Anyway, the cockpit. You can't get too far toward closing up the fuselage without making up the landing gear, and I'm going for the BRONZE set that I reviewed the other day. Minimal clean-up, and really nice and dainty. I'll be hanging a pair of resin wheels off the bottom too, using the later wheels, as I'm doing the last decal option, F for this build. lastly, the engine, which is all from the kit parts, even though there is a resin engine out there somewhere. That's all ready to go, and I might add some ignition harness wiring if there isn't a PE one in the various sets I've got. My mind's a blank as it stands: ....and why haven't I made any more progress? A combination of other stuff, including migraines, taking my mum to hozzy for an important appointment about her peepers, and taking our 12 year old Christopher for his birthday treat with the family. He got to drive Super Cars around a track on the Wirral (yes, a 12 year-old driving expensive cars). He got to drive three cars himself, including a Ford Mustang GT, a Maclaren P1, and his personal favourite, the Aston Martin Vantage (I think?). Here's a pic of him piloting his favourite with one of the instructors, who were all friendly and very encouraging. I know he's my son and I'm supposed to think he's brilliant, but he did really well, going faster and with more confidence on each successive lap, and needing little help apart from a few half turns in the car parking area so he got to the correct place to park. We got the videos of his performance, which includes an in-cockpit camera and one of the track he's going round, plus a photography dude in a red Audi taking pics as they all went round. I watched another kid go off in a Lambo while Christopher was out, and the instructor had to leap at the wheel as the kid was about to plough straight into the front corner of the Ariel Atom I was going to play in later I kept expecting to hear a crash while he was out Once he'd done four laps in each one, he also got a 3-lap trip round the circuit in a tricked out Mazda MX5 (Miata for the Americans) that was going hell-for-leather, but he seemed to take it all in his stride, smirking all the way around while the tyres wailed on every corner. Caz treated me to a neck-breaking ride in an Ariel Atom, a car I was familiar with from Top Gear and which I knew was fast, but didn't quite know it was THAT fast. My neck was aching horribly for an hour afterwards, but it was an absolute hoot that was over way too soon. They squeezed my massive head into their biggest helmet, and helped me into the cockpit, which is tiny and open at the sides, and the lack of doors made it very difficult for me to get my legs over the side, as they don't work like they used to and I had to lift the first one over They got me in eventually, strapped me down in a four-point harness and off we went. The helmet was super-tight, but I managed to slide my shades back on inside the visor, and after the first acceleration caused my head to clang against the rear fairing, I braced myself and started to get into it. The driver was so used to driving it that he had it almost diagonal and shrieking like a banshee on most corners, pushing its tyres to the absolute limit of their grip with a fabulous staccato howl coming from the rubber on the fastest corner. at the end of each lap Three laps took about 0.1 seconds, and I was into it by the start of lap two, bracing my neck against the lateral-G as we approached the next corner. That driver must have immense neck muscles! I almost had to keep the helmet, but managed to get it off in the end, and Caz said I was visibly shaking when I struggled out, probably buzzing from the adrenalin rush. My poor system isn't used to it any more I'll be back to my usual levels of lethargy in a few days, and can recommend having a go if you get the chance. Much fun, but not conducive to getting any modelling done
  2. Greetings one and all. Been a while since I built anything, and even longer since I posted a WIP.... So, with no further waffle - progress so far on a build of many (well... two at least) firsts - 1st WWII USN airframe... 1st Eduard kit (I know, I know... I only just crawled from under my rock....) Obligatory box art shot... Photoetch gets taped down to a kitchen tile - this prevents (for the most part at least) pinging of tiny bits of metal shrapnel into the ether.. 1 I still maintain my position that photo etch is the work of Beelzebub... Still... should look OK when wrapped around the seat (I hope) Cockpit beginning to take shape... OOOOH... another first... first time using Mr. Finishing Surfacer 1500 Black as a primer... Thinned 4:1 with Mr. Color Levelling Thinner. Gives a cracking base for colour and dries super fast Winner!! On the down side - don't try to clean out your airbrush with IPA... The resulting crud looked like coffee grounds, and took me the better part of an hour to clean out of my H&S Evolution Tally Ho Chaps and Chapettes... More soon!
  3. F4F-3 Wildcat ProfiPACK (82201) 1:48 Eduard Grumman began development work on a new carrier-based fighter in the mid-30s, starting with the F2F, which was a biplane, but it and the successor F3F led to the basic shape of the Wildcat, minus two of the wings. Initially, the new aircraft was outpaced by the Brewster Buffalo and Grumman resigned their aircraft to carry a supercharged version of the Pratt & Whitney R-1830 "Twin Wasp" radial engine, and later new flying surfaces that gave it the needed improvement, receiving orders from the US Navy as a backup-plan in case the Buffalo was a let-down. Initial orders from France were delivered to the British Royal Navy after France fell before delivery, and was designated as the Marlet. The US Navy would adopt the type in late 1941 after the Buffalo turned out to be a disappointment, although it was quite a manoeuvrable little aircraft that saw some service elsewhere. Originally armed with 4 x 0.50 cal machine guns, the F4F-4 was introduced in 1941 with an increased 6 guns to increase the aircraft's weight of fire. Although the armament was increased to 6 guns, the ammunition capacity was not, giving pilots less time with their fingers on the trigger, which was generally disliked by the pilots for obvious reasons. The extra weight from the guns and wing fold gear also reduced performance. It was the primary US Carrier fighter during the early years of America’s war, with production continuing until 1943 when they switched over to building the replacement Hellcat, but one factory continued to make Wildcats for the British Fleet Air Arm (FAA). The Wildcat’s smaller size and slower landing speed was a boon on a smaller carrier that the British Navy operated in large numbers as escort carriers. The Kit This is a much-anticipated brand-new tooling from Eduard, and it seems that they have created yet another highly detailed and well-engineered kit, from which a wide range of variants can be produced for us, the modelling public. It arrives in Eduard’s modern gold themed top-opening box, and inside are five sprues in a dark grey styrene, a clear sprue, a nickel-plated pre-painted fret of Photo-Etch (PE), a sheet of pre-cut kabuki masking tape, a large and a small decal sheet, and the glossy instruction booklet with colour profiles in the rear pages. Detail is exceptional, as we’ve come to expect from Eduard’s engineers, right up there with, if not the best examples of plastic models as of today. There is some judicious use of sliding moulds to improve detail without increasing the part count unduly, the most notable being the rudder, which is hollow and ready for an insert during the build process. Construction begins in the cockpit, which takes over a page of the instructions and starts with the pilot’s foot boards that fit onto a Z-shaped bulkhead, and has the frame that holds the head cushion plus a pressurised bottle and two small PE parts that are only fitted to the later options. The two seat mounts are added to the frame before fitting the seat, which is prepared by adding a small PE strip diagonally across the rear of the seating area, plus a lap-belt for the early versions and four-point belts for wartime versions. The instrument panel is integrated in another frame that encompasses a tank, which is bulked out by adding another part to the other side, then you have a choice of applying a decal to the moulded-in dials, or a two-layer PE instrument panel that is applied in three sections, complete with a fully pre-painted set of dials and surrounds, plus the shiny curved dial glazing finishing. The side consoles are made up from a large number of parts, some of which are PE and pre-painted, with a part choice for early and later versions, then they are slotted into the rear frame and the instrument panel frame to create the cockpit’s tub. The rudder pedals are based on a single styrene part that is decorated by adding PE parts to the centre section, plus tiny little PE parts on each pedal, removing a little of the centre section before adding them. This slips in behind the instrument panel and is joined by a long rectangular lattice panel that mates to the front end of the foot boards. The cockpit is left to one side for a while so that the engine mount assembly can made. This is based upon the firewall, from which a tapered spar projects from each side. The engine mounts, a set of chains and the rear ancillary block of the engine are assembled to the front of the bulkhead, then a boxy assembly with two legs is added to the underside for the first decal option only, a strange clamshell-shaped assembly sits in the top of the mounts, and for most of the decal options there’s a C-shaped assembly that latches onto the sides of the mounts. If you are building the second decal option, the small location tabs should be removed and the part left in the box. The insides of the fuselage have fine ribbing moulded into them, and this is augmented by a number of PE parts, plus the removal of a moulded-in document folder that straddles one to the vertical ribs. Take care when removing this to ensure that the rib is still present once you’re done. There are also small rectangular windows with radiused corners in both sides of the fuselage, which are inserted from outside during closure of the two halves around the cockpit and engine mount. A tiny pip of styrene in front of the leading edge of the wing should be removed for one decal option, but it’s easy to miss as it’s right at the bottom of the page. Unusually for an Eduard kit, the landing gear is built next, even before the wings are considered, and that’s because the struts and retraction jacks are buried deep inside the fuselage, so would be difficult to leave until the end. Each leg is made of three parts with scrap diagrams showing how they are arranged, and once the glue is dry, they are inserted deep into the fuselage, the cylindrical top ends mating with cups that are moulded into the firewall. They are then buttressed by more styrene parts, and the front of the fuselage is able to be closed up by fitting a small insert into the bottom. The diminutive fixed tail strut is made up of two halves that trap a choice of two styles of wheel, and the main wheels are each made of a single tyre and two hubs that slip over the axles at the bottom of the main gear legs, with a pair of small inner doors added to the centreline while the fuselage is inverted. At the same time, the twin exhausts are slid into their troughs under the nose. The wings are next, and as they’re mounted mid-fuselage, they’re totally separate from each other. Each one is made from upper and lower halves, with a small insert with PE mesh parts wedged inside the bulged fairings on the underside before the two halves are closed, and the ailerons added to their position near the tips of the wings. The elevator fins are simple two-part assemblies each, and they’re attached to the tail via the usual tab and slot method, at the same time the wings are slid over their spars. The elevators are moulded as one piece, and clip into the rear of the fins either side of rudder fin, and are then locked in place by adding the rudder panel, which has a slide-moulded triangular hole inside, which is filled by adding an insert before gluing it in place. The very rear of the arrestor hook is slipped inside the fuselage with a clear light above it, and a clear light is inserted into the leading edge of the port wing and outlined by a PE strip. The engine is built up before adding the wings, and we get two banks of the Twin Wasp engine as separate parts, plus push rods and the bell housing that has the drive-shaft projecting from it. All it needs is some wiring for the spark plugs unless you’re going to get yourself some aftermarket for it. The cowling marks another choice for the modeller, with three choices of cowling lip, and a choice of two of the cylindrical sections depending on which decal option you select. One marking option has a panel line filled, a new line scribed and a pair of PE clasps added on both sides of the cowling. The final page finishes off the build with the canopy, starting with a tube sight pushed through the canopy for the first decal option. The other decal choices have a more usual early reflective gunsight inserted into the front of the cockpit before the glazing is started. The rest of the decal options have an alternative screen with no hole in it, and there are two canopy parts depending on whether you want to depict the canopy slid back over the spine or not. There are masks for all the included canopies included on the kabuki tape sheet, but only for the exterior. The model is then finished off with a number of clear lights at the wingtips; twin barrels in each wing leading edge; forward raked antenna on the spine with a clear light just behind it; pitot probe in the port wing leading edge; the single-part prop that has stencil decals supplied with an additional spinner; two bomb shackles for under the wing, and three PE aerials under the fuselage depending on which decal option you have chosen. There is another panel line on the lower cowling to fill for the first decal option here too, and again it’s easy to miss. Markings There are six decal options in the box, spread between one large sheet and another smaller one. The options are from the Wildcat’s earlier service, going back as far as the yellow-wing days before the US joined the war. From the box you can build one of the following: BuNo.1850, Lt. Charles Shields, VF-41, USS Ranger (CV-4), Dec 1940 VMF-111, Army-Navy Manoeuvres, Louisiana, United States, No 1941 Lt. Edward H O’Hara, VF-3, USS Lexington (CV-2), Hawaiian Islands, Apr 1942 BuNo.4019, Capt. Henry T Elrod, VMF-211, Wake Island, Dec 1941 BuNo.2531, Lt. Elbert S McCucskey, VF-42, USS Yorktown (CV-5), May 1942 BuNo.4006 (4008), Capt. John F Carey, VMF-221, Midway Island, Jun 1942 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. It’s worth remembering that as of 2021, the carrier film from Eduard decals can be coaxed away from the printed part of the decal after they have been applied, effectively rendering them carrier-free, making the decals much thinner and more realistic, and obviating the need to apply successive coats of clear varnish to hide the edges of the film. It’s a great step further in realism from my point of view. Conclusion Blimey this looks like a nice kit. It’s incredibly well detailed out of the box, but if you have an even larger appetite for detail, there are tons of additional sets that Eduard have made available in time for the release of the kit. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. F4F Wildcat Upgrade Sets (For Eduard) 1:48 Eduard Eduard’s brand-new Wildcat kit is a gorgeous piece of plastic engineering, as I’m in the process of finding out here, although progress has been slow – my fault and nothing to do with the kit. Eduard's new range of sets are here to improve on the kit detail in the usual modular manner. Get what you want for the areas you want to be more of a focal point. As usual with Eduard's Photo-Etch (PE), SPACE and Mask sets, they arrive in a flat resealable package, with a white backing card protecting the contents and the instructions that are sandwiched between. SPACE 3D Printed Cockpit Decals (3DL48076) The Eduard SPACE sets use new 3D printing techniques that lay down successive layers of different colour resin, creating highly realistic almost full complete panels that are supplied on a decal sheet. They can depict metallic shades, plus glossy, satin and matt colours too, which really ups the detail on everything they print. In addition, a small sheet of nickel-plated and pre-painted PE is included for the aspects of the set that lend themselves better to this medium, such as seatbelts and rudder pedals. This set includes a full set of 3D printed instrument panel sections, plus additional parts that are applied to the side consoles to replace many of the raised portions of the styrene parts. There is also a pair of printed document cases for the sidewalls, and while the PE sheet is almost totally made up of seatbelt parts, there is also a handle for the side consoles and a backing plate for the larger of the two document folders. Seatbelts STEEL (FE1290) These belts are Photo-Etch (PE) steel, and because of their strength they can be etched from thinner material, which improves realism and flexibility in one sitting. Coupled with the new painting method that adds perceived extra depth to the buckles and other furniture by shading, they are more realistic looking and will drape better than regular brass PE. As well as a set of four-point seat belts, you also get a pair of comfort pads for beneath the buckles to prevent the poor pilot from getting chaffed thighs. Masks Tface (EX878) Supplied on a large sheet of yellow kabuki tape, these pre-cut masks supply you with a full set of masks for the canopy, 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. It also gives you another set of masks tailored to fit the interior of the glazing so that you can paint the interior and give your model that extra bit of realism. In addition, you get a set of hub/tyre masks for the wheels, allowing you to cut the demarcation perfectly with little effort. Review sample courtesy of
  5. The P&W 2800 double wasp 10W is a little model all in itself and I think I spent more time researching this than most other models in their entirety. So to business. I'm sure most know that the crankcase of the engine is far to large in diameter to allow the various push rod rings and cylinder blocks to pass over it so lots of flexi file work needed as almost 1mm needs to come off across the diameter. I baulked at paying £9 for a resin one cast from a reduced master, after all this is what modelling's all about. While Airfix seem to have reduced the ejector pin marks, they've made up for it in seam lines so quite a bit of scraping and sanding needed. Once that's done, the cylinders need painting. The bottom halves I did in steel and the top halves in aluminium. I've used Vallejo Metal Colors as I think they're excellent. Quick drying, no mess and no smell and lovely coverage. The push rods were painted gloss black with aluminium ends. The crankcase colour was a first attempt at a mix but it had far too much blue in it. I read it should be Grumman grey but since the engine is made by Pratt & Whitney, not Grumman, I couldn't see that being the case and went for the engine grey specified. I finally settled on a mix of 4:3:1 of Mr Color Aqueous RLM 75 Dark Grey: Tamiya Flat White: Tamiya Blue. It seemed to be not too far away from some of the reference material. You can also see on this photo that I've removed the basic plastic links provided on the parts and replaced them, as they were originally, with rubber hose. The jubilee clips are thin strips of tinfoil. The oil flange is flat black suitably chipped and oil stained. Once everything fits onto the crankcase properly, it's time for the ignition wiring. I used 0.6mm braided cord from Hiroboy along with 1:24 sparkplugs in metal. I was a bit mean to spend a small fortune on scale nuts for the ends of the sparkplugs so I used 1mm evergreen hexagonal rod, drilled and painted silver then sliced into thin slivers and slipped over the end of the sparkplug before the ignition wire was attached. The intake pipes are gunmetal then brushed with copper and duraluminium till I was happy with the effect. The exhaust pipes go on very easily as long as you mark them up when they come off the sprues, otherwise it's a happy half hour mixing and matching. (me? never ) Paintwise, I followed a plan of painting them Tamiya red/brown then airbrushing with a very dilute solution of black/red brown as well as metallics and a light grey around the pipe ends. The heavy wear and chipping on the supercharger intakes is seen on many reference photos and was achieved by spraying first with a coat of duraluminium followed by chipping solution then a top coat of zinc chromate green. It's then a simple task to remove the green layer to the desired effect. Oil effects (which don't show too well on the photos) are sprayed on as a mix of black/redbrown mixed with Alclad Aqua Gloss varnish and diluted with IPA. The oil tank cap is yellow and my eyes were given a great workout by deciding to put the "US 19 Gal" writing on there in individual wet decals Some pics of the engine ready to mount are below, I'll be needing to add a fair bit of non supplied pipework when the time comes but next it's onward and upward to the cockpit. Thanks for looking.
  6. ust looking through my build pics and realised I'd missed out some of the finished engine before mounting. Since it's almost a model in itself I thought I'd include a few.... Important to say, I only ever use post production to try and recreate what I see with my eye, but on the photo. Never, ever any removal of faults, errors or anything else. It's warts and all. Thanks again for looking.
  7. AZmodel is to reissue its 1/72nd F4F Wildcat in Grumman Martlet Mk.I Two boxings expected in September 2021. Original AZmodel updated/cleaned mould and new parts like the engine. Source: http://www.modelarovo.cz/grumman-martlet-mk-i-1-72-azmodel/ box art - ref. AZ7804 - Grumman Martlet Mk.I https://www.azmodel.cz/produkt/martlet-mk-i/ - ref. AZ7806 - Grumman Martlet Mk.I/G-36 https://www.azmodel.cz/produkt/martlet-mk-i-g-36/ V.P.
  8. Hi all This time I propose to follow a build of the E-2C Hawkeye from Hasegawa at 1/72 scale The Grumman E-2C is a iconic plane for the 70 area like the F-14 Tomcat frequently associeted to it But if the Tomcat is now out of service, the E-2C always fly and is the "eye of the fleet" I started this buils several weeks ago but I really start the paint job only this week because I must wait that my F-104 dry I start with this kit Initially, I wanted to use a decals sheet with a plane with a "stars and stripes" flag on the nose. But this sheet is now unavable I decided to make the artbox scheme who is attractive. For this, I make a mask for the bird on the radome radar. This week I attacked the cockpit paint The Hasegawa cockpit is very well detailled for the scale It need only a good job paint and the add of the seatbelts I paint the two screen on the central consol with a drop of transparent green from AK For the dashboard, I made a mask with a Silhouette printer after to have scanne the decals sheet After I painted in black the dashboard, masked the panels instrument and spray the grey One drybrush later and some buttons in red, the dashboard finished On a E-2C there are buttons all around the cockpit even on the ceilling Like I wish a clean interior, I decided to paint the interior of the transparent piece I made the mask for this job and paint the upper console Like my Silhouette printer is warm, I decided to make the propeller mask Hasegawa give the white and aluminium part of the blade in decals I scanned it and made a new mask.
  9. From Wikipedia (link ‘The Grumman X-29 was an American experimental aircraft that tested a forward-swept wing, canard control surfaces, and other novel aircraft technologies. The X-29 was developed by Grumman, and the two built were flown by NASA and the United States Air Force. The aerodynamic instability of the X-29's airframe required the use of computerized fly-by-wire control. Composite materials were used to control the aeroelastic divergent twisting experienced by forward-swept wings, and to reduce weight. The aircraft first flew in 1984, and two X-29s were flight tested through 1991. X-29 number two was maneuverable up to an angle of attack of about 25 degrees with a maximum angle of 67° reached in a momentary pitch-up maneuver.’ The Hasegawa X-29 is a great little kit of this unusual and striking aircraft: with good fit, nice detailing (including the complicated-looking canopy raising mechanism), and it goes together quickly to deliver a satisfying result. Only two problems in my opinion: (1) the prototypes were painted gloss white and (2) the decals are a series of long stripes, which invite problems especially as Hasegawa decals are not always the best. My solution, therefore, was a what-if scheme. I’m not usually into WIFs but the extreme manoeuvrability suggested a potential ‘real world’ DACT (Adversary/Aggressor) application. I had a set of Colorado F-5 decals, which included a gloss black scheme for ‘Red 23’ of VF-127 Cylons that looked like it would work on the X-29 and show off the unconventional airframe nicely. To ‘operationalise’ my X-29 into a production F-29A, I raided the spares box. A Hobbyboss F-5E donated its instrument panel, centreline pylon and fuel tank, wing pylons, arrestor hook, RWR antennae on the nose and tail, navigation lights and gunsight. I added an airbrake under the rear fuselage, removed the bulge ahead of the MLG bay, and cut the main gear doors into two part … because I thought the single doors on the X-29 spoiled the smooth lines – my model, my rules The missile rails came from a Hasegawa F-16 and the antennae under the forward fuselage from a Wolfpack set. The AIM-9L acquisition round is Eduard Brassin and the ACMI pod is built up from a Hasegawa AIM-9E and some metal rod. Just a bit of fun and I like the result.
  10. Hi all, Fair to say that naval aviation types figure a lot in my builds, whether jets, props or rotors. And I've always had a soft spot for the Grumman C-2 Greyhound - it's the white van of the US Carrier Fleet, bringing anything from post and passengers to spare parts and jet engines to and from aircraft carriers, wherever they may be in the world. Not the prettiest,. Or the fastest. But one of the most important types I think. And sadly lacking in kits for such an important type with a service career dating back to 1965 and only being replaced this year with the Osprey Kit wise, there's Kinetic's lovely recent 1/48 issue and some 1/144 resin offerings. I built the OzMods conversion a couple of years back and while I really enjoyed it, I wanted something in 1/72. There is RHVP's epic resin conversion for the 1/72 Hasegawa Hawkeye (on which the Greyhound is based) but I don't fancy raiding the kids' rainy day fund just yet - besides, I need it for a Bandai PG Falcon someday. So when the chance came to get a Falcon Vacform conversion & donor kit last year, I decided why not - I'll never build a vacform but at least I have a Greyhound in 1/72!. And then...I went and built a vacform Super King Air for the Maritime GB here. With being at home for the immediate future (and waiting on some paint orders to finish some other builds), I thought...maybe it's time to tackle the Greyhound. So here we go, sandpaper and swear words at the ready! Falcon_ Grumman_Greyhound_vacform_1 by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr Cut out from the Falcon set and lined in marker pen liner.. Falcon_ Grumman_Greyhound_vacform_2 by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr Falcon handily give you some template drawings for the internal bulkheads (more on this later) Falcon_ Grumman_Greyhound_vacform_3 by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr And a drawing of where they go... Falcon_ Grumman_Greyhound_vacform_4 by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr So how big is this pooch? Here's the fuselage bits next to a Revell CL-415 Falcon_ Grumman_Greyhound_vacform_5 by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr And next to the slender Fujimi Hawkeye donor that will provide the wings, tail, gear and cockpit Falcon_ Grumman_Greyhound_vacform_6 by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr Onwards and upwards dear modellers! Thanks for looking, Dermot
  11. Having finished the 'Old Tool' Frog and Airfix versions of the Grumman Wildcat / Martlet for the Grumman GB, I wanted to carry on and do the new tool Airfix kits - I've seen so many great builds of these on BM. I've been knocking away at the Starter Kit version (kit no. A55214) which actually gives an F4F-4 of VC-12, number 3 (46685) from USS Core (CVE-13) in 1944 - this is different to the versions in the first issue kit no. A02070 (which I also have tucked away for a future build). I also picked up the Martlet IV version, kit no. A02074 so I could build the different engine option. This all started in March and the build has included sessions during trips away and even travelling backwards in a train from London! I must say at this point that this is my very first build of one of the modern 'new tool' kits of any manufacturer and also the very first time using acrylic paints on a model. Nevertheless, I found the build to be a joy - excellent fit of parts and no filler required anywhere. I used Tamiya Extra Thin cement for the first time and now am a confirmed disciple. I appreciated the quick drying nature of the paints but became aware you need to watch out for damage as it can get knocked off edges quite easily. Decals behaved beautifully on top of some 'Future' type gloss coat and the whole finished off with Matt Cote. Here's the little beauty then - I love this white and sea grey scheme (H34 / H27) and the highline demarcation on the fuselage. No masking employed here, other than for the yellow prop tips, and I felt like a real artist sweeping away with both flat and detailing brushes. During the build, I was giving the part-assembled kit a bit of a wash in preparation for more paint and I managed to knock off one of the exhaust pipes and rather than feed the carpet monster, it disappeared into the maw of the sink monster! Rather than pinching from one of the other kits, I bit the bullet and made up another exhaust port from some suitable cable insulation, reamed out with a sharp drill - managed to ream out an index finger at the same time. There was a bit of a mystery about the engine because the rear set of cylinders came with a moulded spigot which stuck out forward where the rotating prop shaft is supposed to go. This must have been a moulding error and it was quite hard to cut off as it's base was countersunk in. I did it pretty roughly and horror of horrors, once the engine was assembled, the propshaft would not spin - absolute hell for me! The cockpit assembly was enjoyable and you are given H117 (US Light Green) for this. Decals for the instruments are a good idea but you are already given moulded detail on the main IP. I did the canopy closed version and I liked how the closed canopy sat up slightly above the rear fuselage immediately behind so it looks like it will slide back. On the older toolings, it looks like they were content to have the canopy sit flush/level with the fuselage. I did this kit as wheels up but the Instructions for wheels down show a superbly detailed undercarriage and bay, which I look forward to building on the Martlet IV version. I had to look twice at the Instructions but they have you chopping the pilot's lower legs off if you want to sit him in the cockpit! Surely he could have been molded to suit? Also, no stand provided with this kit so I had to pull out an old style spare and cut a slot in the fuselage to display this kit in flight. Now here we have the new tool F4F-4 in formation with her older siblings - new tool or old tool, modelling is definitely fun! Glad I got this one finished so I can clear the decks for the Classic Frog GB!
  12. This is the Hasegawa kit, from the late 80's i think of an unusual NASA prototype. There wasn't many parts so most of the assembly was just a few hours, and hardly any filler at all.
  13. Good evening everyone. For my next project I decided to do something that wasn't bare metal or camo. I had a Monogram F8F in my stash for a long time, but dreaded the thought of building it, since the decals had yellowed terribly. At last I decided to build it. I thought I'd either try to fix the decals (put in sunlight to get it white again), or find replacement decals, or just use some of my many spares and build a "generic" Bearcat without unique markings. But "luck" wasn't on my side. I couldn't get the decals white again, couldn't find replacement decals and couldn't get my head around building a Bearcat with generic markings. After all, this would probably be my first and last Bearcat, since there aren't a lot of them available in 1/72 out there (the only other one I'm aware of is the Revell, which is the same sprues, just different decals). In the end I decided to use the decals as is and see how it turns out. So it turns out the yellowing of the decals aren't terribly visible against a the glossy sea blue paint scheme! Despite the kit's age, I really enjoyed building it - and someone once told me enjoying it is the whole point. Won't win any model-of-the-year awards, but I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. I used Tamiya's AS-8 Navy Blue rattle can spray, and the other bits were brush painted with Humbrol Acrylics. Cheers Jimmy
  14. F6F-3 ProfiPACK Edition (8227) 1:48 Eduard The Grumman Hellcat was a US Naval World War II carrier based fighter aircraft designed to replace the earlier Grumman Wildcat. Although the two aircraft do look externally similar, the Hellcat was a completely new design from the ground up. The aircraft featured the Pratt & Whitney R-2800 as used by the Chance Vought Corsair and the Republic Thunderbolt. It proved to be a well-designed fighter able to stand up to carrier operations and the rough air fields used in the Pacific Theatre of operations. Grumman's initial design was so good that the Hellcat was the least revised aircraft of WWII. In total 12,200 Hellcats were built for the US Navy, The US Marine Corps and the Royal Navy. The Hellcat is credited with more kills in WWII than any other allied fighter. Post war the Hellcat was phased out of day fighter service but continued in US service as late as 1954 as a night fighter. One notable exception was in late 1952 when F6F-5K Drones carrying 2000lb bombs were used to attack bridges in Korea. Post war the aircraft were also used by the Aeronavale (French Navy), using them in Indochina; and the Uruguayan Navy who flew them until the 1960s. The Kit This marks a welcome re-release of Eduard's range of Hellcats from earlier this millennium, with a few tweaks and changes to the package, including using their new blue/grey styrene instead of the old chewing gum beige of yesteryear. The tooling is still the same, and that's already a well-known quantity, with plenty of detail that's augmented by the extras that come with the ProfiPACK boxing. Inside the orange-themed box you will find five sprues in the aforementioned grey styrene, a clear sprue, two frets of Photo-Etch (PE) brass - one of which is nickel-plated and painted, a sheet of pre-cut masks (not pictured), two decal sheets, and the glossy instruction manual that has the colour guide printed on the rear pages. Detail is good, although it's not leading-edge technology that you can now expect from Eduard's brand new releases, but it's a good kit that captures the look of the Hellcat and gives the modeller plenty of options for markings. Construction begins in the cockpit, with the instrument panel upgraded with a lamination of PE parts that have glossy printed domes over each dial for ultimate realism. The side consoles have decals to lay over the details, and if you don't fancy the PE instrument panel there are also decals included for that area too. The controls are added to the floor along with the seat with PE belts, rear bulkhead, control column and rudders, and the fuselage is then closed around it after some interior painting. The small rear windows have PE parts glued across them (I'd suggest clear gloss as your adhesive), the tail wheel and a belly insert are also added at this time, along with a slot that should be opened up if you're portraying an aircraft that carried a drop-tank. The elevators with separate flying surfaces are next, and the rudder is added to the tail fin at an angle of your choosing, in case you wanted your model to look a little more candid. Up front the two banks of pistons are fitted together and have a PE wiring loom added, with a diagram showing how it should be bent around the pistons, and the bell-housing at the front contains the shaft on which the prop will later spin if you're careful with the glue. This is fixed in place on a stub at the front of the fuselage, then enclosed in a three-part cowling with a PE grille installed in the bottom section during assembly. The exhaust stubs are glued into their troughs, and peek out from under the cowling once in place. The wings on this kit are relatively unusual in that they fit into recesses in the sides of the fuselage, rather than the usual tab and slot or full-width lower that you often see. This is due in part to the barrel-like fuselage and the wing placement on the lower sides of the fuselage, rather than at the bottom. Each wing has two halves and these trap the gear bay and gun inserts within, and accept the flying surfaces at their trailing edge before they are slotted into the aforementioned recesses on the fuselage sides. Small details such as gear bay parts, landing light and recognition lights are added to the underside, then joined by the main gear, which are sturdy single struts with separate oleo-scissors, retraction jacks, captive bay doors and very crisp resin wheels with a separate outer hub to show off the internal structure of the hub. The spaces between the spokes are flashed over, so will need to be cut or sanded away before fitting, and while this is a little fiddly, it is well worth the effort when you see the finished article. The gear is fitted in place with a small forward-folding door, the correct location of which is shown in a pair of scrap diagrams to ensure you get it just right. Depending on your decal option you can fit empty bomb shackles under the wings, and an additional fuel tank on the centreline, with PE sway-braces attached forward of the main lug. The last aspect is adding a few small lights and antenna on the upper fuselage, then gluing the canopy in the open or closed position, for which two sliding parts are included to achieve the best fit. The masks are all die-cut to match the frames, so masking should take only a few minutes thanks to this helpful inclusion. Markings There are five decal options in this boxing, all of which are painted in some variation of the Naval Sea Blue/Intermediate Blue/White scheme that is synonymous with the Hellcat, varying little in application in three of the options, and differentiated mostly because of the markings and crew personalisations. From the box you can portray one of the following options: flown by Lt. Oscar Chenoweth, VF-38, Segi Point airstrip, New Georgia Island, September 1943 flown by Ens. Gordon Arthur Stanley, VF-27, USS Princeton (CVL-23), October 1944 VF-8, USS Intrepid (CV-11), Summer 1943 flown by Lt. Lochridge, VF-34, Nissan island, 1944 OTU VF-2, NAS Melbourne, United States of America, October 1944 The main decal sheet is printed by Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The stencil sheet is printed by Eduard, and is also up to scratch, with the locations of each stencil noted on a separate set of grey-shaded profiles on the very back page for clarity. Conclusion A welcome re-release of this plucky, robust WWII naval fighter that saw extensive action in the Pacific, and a nice broad choice of decal options that show plenty of individualism despite using the same base scheme. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  15. Hi all and my first build for 2019, Grumman's X-29 for the Grumman Group Build here. The X-29 project tested forward swept wing technology and two aircraft were built, flying from 1984 to 1991. The short build thread is here but to recap: Kit: Hasegawa 1/72 X-29 kit number 00243 Build: Out of Box Paints: Halfords white from a can, Revell acrylics by brush for anything else! Klear. Flory Models wash (gear) and 4H pencil for some panel lines (thanks son). Decals: from kit Extras: Seat belts from Tamiya tape The wing decals are off - I didn't put them on right and they should meet the leading edge of the wing. Oh well, at least both the wings are wrong! But I enjoyed making something different and happy how it turned out. Hasegawa Grumman X-29_finish_9 by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr Hasegawa Grumman X-29_finish_6 by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr Hasegawa Grumman X-29_finish_5 by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr Hasegawa Grumman X-29_finish_3 by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr Since it's an X-plane, alongside Boeing's X-32 Hasegawa Grumman X-29_finish_10r by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr Hasegawa Grumman X-29_finish_14 by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr And that's it! Thanks for looking and enjoy your modelling. Cheers, Dermot
  16. My entry will be a Hasegawa EA-6B. I have an Eduard? cockpit for an ICAP II bird and Wolfpack folded wing set for the build. Decals will bee from a Cutting Edge sheet for a Marine jet, final scheme to be decided.
  17. ROCAF S-2A/E/G Tracker (K48074) 1:48 Kinetic Model via Lucky Model Designed from the start as an Anti-Submarine warfare aircraft, the Tracker was powered by a pair of Wright Cyclone engines, the same type that powered the B-29. It entered service in 1954, and quickly acquired the nickname Stoof, from the S-2F variant. It was eventually replaced by the S-3 Viking in 1976 after a long service career with the US Navy, but continued to serve with other navies long after, with Taiwan being amongst them, using their airframes until the 90s, when Grumman upgraded the engines on most of their fleet to turbo-props, removing the big cylindrical cowlings and replacing them with a streamlined prop that looks really out of place when you first see it. The Kit The original Tracker kits from Kinetic have been with us now since 2011, and this is the first reissue in a while, portraying the Taiwanese Republic of China Air Force (ROCAF) airframes that were used until they were turbo-propped. It is also the first boxing to encompass the A, E & G models by adding additional fuselage, elevator, nacelle and outer wing panels that were originally included in the S-2A boxing into the E/G boxing to give a wider range of options. The A fuselage is shorter than the others, and as such a small portion of the weapons bay is removed to accommodate this lack of length. The A wings were more squared off, and have wingtip lights included, while the engine nacelles are broken down differently and have a completely different panel line arrangement for the A, with much shorter elevators. A simple cockpit is included, with the two crew seats as single parts, but with a nice instrument panel, that has a large central screen and plenty of raised detail. The seats are a little basic, but little will be seen once the fuselage is closed up, although the open access door on the rear bulkhead might need a cover, or perhaps a curtain making, to avoid a view into the empty rear fuselage. A few holes will need opening up before your choice of fuselage is closed, with the ventral radome and bomb bay shell trapped between the two halves, the latter needing shortening if you elect to build an A. Curiously, there is an open crew hatch on the starboard side, although there is no interior within - some scratch building will be required if you want to leave this open. The cockpit windows are part of a larger insert that encompasses the top section of the fuselage above the compartment, avoiding the trap of installing fiddly individual glazing parts. This assembly is split into two halves, with the seam running down the middle along a frame-line. An overhead console piece gives the joint strength, although the part is oddly still devoid of any switch detail all these years later. The inner wings have two large tabs that give it a strong attachment to the fuselage, ensuring that the correct angle is obtained. Onto these parts, the correct engine nacelles for your version are built up and attached to the wings once completed. It might be wise to assemble them in-situ instead, to avoid any complications with incorrect angles of the parts, and to ensure a good seam with as little sanding/filling results. Only the front row of pistons are depicted inside the cowling, with a spacer taking up the slack behind. The purists would probably obtain some aftermarket Cyclones here, but with a little careful painting and some ignition harness detail added, it should be adequate for most modellers. The long outer wing panels can be depicted open or folded, and have separate leading edge slat parts, with the aforementioned shorter wingtips of the A. To build the wings open, a pair of short plugs fill the gap, but I'd again be inclined to attach the parts earlier in the build than the instructions suggest, to ensure that the mating surfaces are joined accurately, and the wings end up straight. The folded option requires a detail insert installing, and the outer panels are then held in place by two pre-formed hinges that hold each wing at the correct angle to the airframe. The tail is fixed, and there is no option for posing the flying surfaces at an angle, other than getting out your razor saw. The large bomb bay can only be modelled as open from the box, and an alternative closed bay isn't shown in the instructions. That's a shame, but as a pair of torpedoes are included to busy up the otherwise blank bay, it's not the end of the world. The gear bays are nicely detailed, and have a good level of detail in them, although the super-detailer could of course go mad with the scratch-building materials here. Landing gear struts are made up from a number of parts, and should prove sturdy enough for most of us, while the wheels have separate hubs to please those that don't like painting wheels. There is no weighting to the tyres, but that is easily remedied with a few strokes of a sanding stick. A trio of rocket launcher tubes is included for under each wing, and a slipper-style radome affixes to the starboard wing to add a little visual interest. The large paddle like props with their square cut tips are well depicted, with a light panel line where the protecting strip appears on each blade's leading edge. Markings There are four ROCAF decal options on the large sheet, with a nice split between camouflaged and grey aircraft, although not much information regarding the individual aircraft is given. From the box you can build one of the following: S-2E Sea Blue/Light Grey/Mid Grey Camouflage (new Roundel) Tail No. 2128 S-2E Sea Blue/Light Grey/Mid Grey Camouflage (old Roundel) Tail No. 2150 S-2E FS36622 Grey (old Roundel) Tail No. 2123 S-2E FS36622 Grey (old Roundel) Tail No. 2127 S-2A FS36622 Grey (old Roundel) Tail No. 2102 The paint call-outs are given as AMMO codes on the black and white profiles, but there's a helpful chart on the rear that gives conversion details for Vallejo, Gunze, some Tamiya and a few Humbrol codes, which should make it easier to convert to your preferred paint system should that be required. Oddly, there aren't any decal options for the G, but hey-ho, as they say. The decals are designed and printed by Bestfong from Taiwan, who specialise in Taiwanese subjects, and they are very nicely printed with good registration, sharpness and colour density, plus a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. As well as the decal options from the box, there are also strips of digits that could enable you to portray other options, but be aware that these numbers are all over-printed with a single layer of carrier film, so must be cut out individually. The stencils are shown on separate pages, using separate diagrams for the different camouflage variants. The A model's stencil layout seems to have been omitted from the instructions however, but I'm sure it's not too difficult to work it out. Conclusion A welcome re-release of this kit, and as it adds the A variant to the roster, it should appeal both to anyone wanting to model an early ROCAF S-2 (pre-turboprop era), and folks that might have missed out on the older boxings and wanted to play catch-up with their own aftermarket decals from another provider. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  18. Which is the best available 1/72 Hellcat today? Built some during 40 years but untill today I never found a kit of quality and without problems. The worst kits have been the Heller and Italeri kits. Both comes with big problems to take care of. When it comes to the Italeri (also reboxed by Revell) there is problems with the engine, bad fuselage/windshield fit and the smal windows behind the cockpit (concerning variant to build - F6F-3 or F6F-5). There are also problems to get the landing gears and the flaps in correct position. https://www.scalemates.com/kits/162227-italeri-1213-f6f-3-hellcat The older Heller kit... https://www.scalemates.com/kits/158931-heller-272-grumman-f6-f-5-hellcat We have kits from Hasegawa, Academy, eduard. And we have the older kits from Airfix, Frog etc. What can be said and written about them? Cheers / André
  19. Hi Fellow modellers! This is my last of 2017. It´s the old Airfix Duck, It was a fun kit to build, and despite it´s age it´s very good. I added some details to the cockpit, vacuformed a new canopy using a mould made modifying the original, and replaced the engine with the Starfighter Decals Wright R1820. The engine was allso modified to later version and the cowling was thinned and the exhaust made from scratch. Decals are from Starfighter too and are of great quality. I hope you like it and every critics and comments are welcomed! Best regards from Uruguay Ignacio
  20. This is my Grumman E-2C Hawkeye by Hasegawa. This took me longer then usual because the build was interrupted by a 2 week vacation . I can't think of anything negative about the kit; the fit was good and the decals were excellent. After some of my more recent more challenging kits this was a pleasure to build. I used the Eduard interior, but you can't really see much of the inside. This was one of the bigger aircraft I have built in a while and the next up is the Hasegawa P-3 Orion, which is even bigger. Enjoy.
  21. Hi all and this is my latest finish, the 1/144 OzMods conversion of the E-2 Hawkeye into a C-2A Greyhound. While 1/72 is normally my scale, I've always had a soft spot for this one. The full build is here but to recap: Kit: Heller Hawkeye (donor kit) and OzMods C-2A conversion set Scale: 1/144 Paints: White from a Rattlecan, all others with a brush. Future, FloryModels wash, W&N Matt Varnish (also brush) Extras: None Decals: From the conversion set, for VRC-30 'Providers' Really enjoyed this one and here's to all those who fly transport and haul stuff for a living... Thanks for looking. Dermot
  22. Airfix 1:72 Wildcat build almost OOB with kit decals -After pre shading, all paints were as given in the instructions except the upper surface which Airfix gave as HU125 and was replaced by my own mix 5xHU125 5xHU127 2xHU25 to make USN M-485 -I tried blending in the lower windows with CA (A Phil Flory technique) then sanding and polishing once cured, Think I need some practice in this as the vapours got on the inside and did what CA vapours do. I wont write off the technique just yet. - Rudder decal was discarded and rudder painted with Tamiya white primer and HU 153 - Decals applied with MicroSol & MicroSet. - Model was given a coat of Humbrol Gloss Cote prior to decals, clay washes, oil dot weathering & Tamiya wethering masters then matted with Humbrol Matt Cote. - Aerial rigging was done with 0.12mm fishing line secured with UV cured glue (UV glue really makes this job so much easier) then tightened by holding a soldering iron near. - Kit jury stays were discarded as too thick and replace with lengths of Plastruct 0.3mm rod. Please forgive the stand its just a bit of printed paper blue tacked on to a unpainted base just for the pictures. Enjoy CT Thanks for looking Mark
  23. A-6A Intruder 1:48 Hobbyboss The Intruder was the eventual replacement for the successful and long-lived Skyraider (as was the A-4), and was unusual in having a side-by-side cockpit arrangement for the pilots, which meant a wide nose that became well known due to its involvement in operations and deployments around the world. Entering service in 1963 in the Vietnam war, it performed all-weather and night attack missions extensively throughout the conflict for the US Navy and the Marines, it had a long service life that was ended prematurely by the need to cut costs after the Gulf War. The A variant was the first into service, and incorporated some leading edge systems to enable it to fly low over terrain with little to no visibility. Due to the complexity of the systems, it was also equipped with a self-diagnosis system that could be used to test and report faults from within the aircraft without costly and time-consuming strip-downs, thus saving many hours in the hangar. The following variants showed the versatility of the airframe from buddy-buddy refueller to electronic warfare in the EA-6 Prowler, but the definitive variant is considered to be the later E, which was upgraded in the 70s with the TRAM (Target Recognition and Attack Multi-Sensor) turret that allowed it to drop laser guided munitions, further extending its usefulness. The Prowler was the last Intruder based airframe to be drawn down in 2009 and was replaced by the EA-18G Growler that took over electronic warfare duties. The Kit The A variant was the basic airframe for all Intruder variants that came after, with few changes to the aerodynamics, but plenty of changes to the equipment fits. Almost 500 were built of the A, and this is the subject of the kit. It arrives in a large flattish box with a painting of two Intruders flying over a mountainous area on the lid, and you wonder whether it's going to be one of those boxes that is way too big for the kit. Once you open the box, you find that it isn't, although there is a section at one end that it divided off to keep the canopy and other delicate parts safe from the mass of plastic in the box. The Intruder is also a surprisingly large airframe, with a long fuselage and large tail fin, which takes up a fair amount of room within the box. There are thirteen sprues of grey styrene, three of clear parts, a small fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a bag of metal landing gear parts, two decal sheets, instruction booklet and two glossy sheets containing painting and decaling instructions. The detail on the parts is impressive, and the breakdown is that of a kit that has been designed to provide other variants, which have indeed just been announced for the 2014 year from Hobbyboss in the form of the A-6E and A-6E TRAM that I mentioned in the preamble. Good news for Intruder fans all round. Construction begins with the cockpit, with two nicely detailed ejection seats with PE seatbelts fitting into a cockpit tub that has substantial detail moulded in. The rear turtle-deck is also nicely detailed, although as you are told to glue it to the tub before it is fitted into the fuselage, getting the angle right might be tricky unless you offer it up to the fuselage and let it dry there in order to get it just right. The instrument coaming is also busy, and the instrument panel conveys a good likeness of the multi-layered nature of the real thing, although there are no decals provided for any of the panels for those that perhaps find the painting tedious or difficult. For no apparent reason the landing gear is built up next, and here HB have been clever and given the modeller a strong metal casting to act as the central support for the more detailed styrene landing gear parts, which should result in a handsome, strong depiction of the real thing that will stand up to the rigors of time, and the weight of any resin that you might add to your base model, because we all know that's sometimes quite tempting, don't we? The gear of a carrier based aircraft is always substantial due to the hammering it takes on a sometimes pitching deck, and this comes across well, particularly the nose gear with twin wheels and massive retraction link. The main gear centres are L-shaped and the end carries the two-part wheels, ensuring no problems with weight, while the styrene retraction jacks and outer-legs are purely cosmetic. In order to close up the fuselage, you need to make up the intake trunking amongst other parts, which goes full-length and includes the turbine face that one deck-crew member got to know intimately when he was sucked into the low-slung intakes on night-ops. The outer skin is separate from the trunking, making seam-fettling a little easier, and as they are only around 5cm long, it shouldn't be too hard to make them silky smooth. They are inserted through a hole in the front of the fuselage, necessitating the alignment of the outer skin with the fuselage side, which is just in front of the built-in crew access ladder. The instructions would have you install the aft fuselage mounted air-brakes at this time, but most modellers would probably wait until later for such a fragile part of the build. The detail within the bays and brakes is nicely done, and the brakes have the correct holes moulded in to allow air to bleed through when deployed. The nose-gear bay has separate sides to allow extra detail to be moulded in, and although the instructions show it being installed in the fuselage with the leg already attached, that isn't actually necessary. The arrestor-hook housing is added along with the rudder, which isn't glued to give some "wiggle", and the fuselage is closed up, then the radar that sits within the nose cone is added along with its bulkhead to the front of the fuselage, to be covered up later by the radome, which could be left open, but isn't that detailed inside out of the box. The Intruder's fuel-efficient wings are next, and as you would expect from a carrier-borne aircraft, they have a hinge-point to facilitate efficient stowage below decks. The wing inner portions have the exhaust bulges moulded in, plus the large flat gear bay sections, and have poseable flaps and slats, and pop-up spoilers on the upper surface, the tabs for which are simply cut off if you are modelling them closed. The kinked exhaust trunking is built up from a single part nozzle, two-part trunking and rear engine-face before being placed within the rear bulge at the wing root and enclosed in the other half of its fairing, and at the outboard end, a nice hinge-plate is added to a ledge within the wing that also has guides moulded in for the hinges themselves that pass through the plate. The inner wings are then mated to the fuselage sides, along a substantial mating area that includes the usual tongue and tab arrangement along the top edge. The outer wings have a similar hinge-plate added, plus poseable slats and outer flap sections, and a choice of two shapes of hinge for the clamshell decelerons at the tips of the wings, with one posed open with two deceleron parts, the other closed, using a single part to portray them at a near scale thickness. Clear formation lights are added to the front of each wingtip, and you then have a choice of using a straight linking rod for wings down, or an angled rod plus lots of ancillary linkages if you're posing it with the wings folded. The hinge-covers are also similarly different, with a single part for wings down, and two comb-like parts for folded. The APU on the top of the port wing root is shown deployed, but it wouldn't be difficult to close that up if you're minded, and the elevators, although they are of the all-moving type, are installed using the tongue and tab method, meaning that if you wanted to show them deflected, you'll have some work to do. The canopies are very nicely moulded with clear glazing and well-defined frames, which should make masking them pretty easy. The inside of the sliding canopy is fitted out with a "parcel shelf", retraction rails, a small instrument box on the centre rail, and an opening handle, plus a quartet of rear-view mirrors spread around the forward frame. The windscreen is fitted with a single part just off-centre on the frame that bisects the front screen, and both are fitted to the airframe after some interior painting. The radome that is mentioned earlier is capable of being mounted in the open position with a two-armed hinge that fits to the top and engages in matching slots in the radar bulkhead within the fuselage. A PE hinge fairing and two retaining clasps are added to the radome, but whether you feel the radome would need more work before being used in the open stance is entirely up to you. A simple thinning of the lip would be a good start, and as it's going to be difficult to see inside when the model is planted on the table, you could probably get away with just that. If you're posing it closed, just glue it on and add the PE parts, then you're done. The instructions advise you next to assemble and install the integral crew-access ladders before completing the outer skin of the engine nacelles, so perhaps skip forward over this step and come back to it later, unless you are planning on closing them up. It's not immediately clear whether the fit will be good if you close them, but if you feel it'll spoil the lines of your Intruder, it shouldn't be too difficult. The steps are a nice mix of styrene outer skin, PE side-frames and steps, with two more PE retention straps. The two steps within the engine nacelles are added from styrene parts, and of course this is repeated on the opposite side. If you skipped making up the ladders for now, the next job is to complete the engine nacelle outer skins, which is where your delicate ladders are likely to be rent asunder, causing much gnashing of teeth and wailing. Due to the Intruder's sub-sonic flight envelope, the intake trunking was simple and short, with the bulge of the engines contained by a large fairing that was removable for maintenance. This area of the fuselage is blank for ease of moulding, and the detail is added by installing an insert with separate auxiliary intakes added along the way, and the bulged door to the electronics bay sat between the fuselage mounted air-brakes, complete with a small transparent window. The main gear legs and their nicely detailed bay doors are added to complement the already installed nose gear leg and its doors, and these have closing mechanisms added as separate parts for extra detail. With airframe construction completed, the prodigious load-carrying capacity of the Intruder is demonstrated by a choice of weapons that hang from the two plyons on each wing and the centre-line pylon nestling between the two engine humps on the underside. The pylons make up from two halves, plus a pair of separate sway braces, which is a good start. The weapons are plentiful and varied, as follows: 1 x Centre-line fuel tank 4 x Wing mounted fuel tanks 2 x GBU-8 HOBOS guided bomb 6 x Mk.82 iron bomb 2 x M117 iron bomb 2 x multiple ejector racks 12 x Mk.81 small diameter bomb 12 x Mk.20 cluster bomb A diagram on the following page gives a suggestion for what each station might carry, but there's no substitute for checking your references for actual load-outs that were carried. There are no air-to-air weapons included in the box, so if you find a weapons load that includes them, you'll have to source some from the spares, or get hold of some of Eduard's excellent Brassin range of resin weapons. Markings The A-6A was in service during what's now called the hiviz (or variation on the spelling) period, with colourful tails, national insignia and black unit markings. Consequently, the decals are bright by modern standards, and with the tan radome, you'll end up with a bright Intruder on your shelf. From the box you can build one of the following: US Navy VA-115 Eagles, USS Midway 07/NF Bu.No. 155715 grey over white, tan radome, black tail with grey tip and yellow flashes on tail and fuel tanks. US Navy VA-35 Black Panthers CVW-9 USS Enterprise, 10/NG Bu.No. 152940 - grey over white, tan radome, black panther motif on a white circular background on the tail. Decals are printed by an unknown source, but are typical of Hobbyboss quality, with good printing, register and colour density, although there is a little over-printing of the yellow past the edge of the white background, and a very slight mis-register of the black that shows under magnification on the slime-lights on the fuselage sides, and the apparently undocumented wrap-around lights on the wingtips, which are shown on the decaling diagrams but not numbered. The stencils are shown on the same diagram as the unit and national markings, so at times it gets a little cluttered, but if you take your time, it shouldn't cause you any problems. The decals for the munitions are on a separate sheet, and the single page bomb painting and decaling diagram shows where everything goes. If you are portraying the Black Panthers airframe however, a quick check on the colour of the drop tanks reveals that they weren't painted in the same fashion as is shown on the diagram in the style of the Eagles scheme. It appears they were plain white in the pictures I have seen, but if you're not quite awake when you build and paint them, you could easily make that mistake. Conclusion This looks to be a promising model of the early Intruder, and certainly comes loaded with detail sufficient for a great many of us out of the box. The inclusion of metal gear leg centres, PE brass parts and plenty of modern slide-mould use gives it the edge, and once the A-6E and TRAM variants are available, the Intruder will be well-served by modern toolings in this scale. To get you in the mood, why not watch (or re-watch) the Flight of the Intruder, an oldie but goodie, with plenty of in-flight footage to get your enthusiasm going. Caution before clicking the YouTube link, as there's a little bit of bad language scrawled on the bomb passing the lens at the beginning of the clip. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  24. A wee bit of a test to see if I can still post photies on the new set up forum. I back-dated the old Airfix Grumman Avenger to a Mk1 Tarpon of the FAA. A lot of the info for doing this was gleaned from this very Britmodeller Forum Changes and improvements are; fish-bowl observation windows, gun trough in top front of fuselage, removal of chin intake & reprofiling of engine cowling with the reduction of the number of cooling fins. Exhausts drilled out and replaced with sliced aluminium tubing. Guns changed for white metal ones. Yagi aerials correctly positioned and made from plastic strip. Main radio aerial raked backwards. Better crew figures installed in three positions. Wheel wells boxed in. Thinner bladed prop, from an Airfix F4U Corsair. Decals all came from the files.
  25. Airfix is to release in 2016 a 1/72nd Grumman Martlet IV kit - ref.A02074 Source: http://www.airfix.com/uk-en/news/workbench/exclusive-new-2016-announcement-airfix-at-ipms-telford/ V.P.
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