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  1. Latin American theme continues with this Peruvian Tucano which was used against Ecuador during the Cenepa War in 1995. DSC_0002 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr
  2. Joining in with this little guy with an odd design twist for a recon tank having armour thickness (80mm front with sides and rear at 50mm) approaching that of the Tiger I tank. Not sure if the nick name Tiger Cub was historically used, so just may be a modern term. The added weight did slow down road speed to maximum 31 km/h (19 mph). It's armament was the standard layout of the Panzer II, though the 2cm gun was an improved version with a faster rate of fire. some links of interest: https://tanks-encyclopedia.com/ww2/germany/panzer-ii-ausf-j/ https://www.worldwarphotos.info/gallery/germany/tanks-2-3/panzer2j/ kit contents: Couple aftermarket items, photo etch and metal track links: regards, Jack
  3. The M4 High-Speed Tractor was an artillery tractor used by the USArmy during the 2nd World War. The tractor used M4 Sherman tracks, roadwheels and drive sprocket. Two main variants were produced, one to tow a 90mm anti-aircraft gun (approx 2400 built) and the other to tow a 155mm gun or 8-inch howitzer (approx 3000 built) The rear passenger compartment carried the gun crew and other equipment and ammunition carried at the rear. I will be building this out of the box. That begs the question, what’s in the box?
  4. OK, so here's my first upload effort. Was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed this kit as my usual subjects are 1/72 modern or 1/48 WW2 aircraft. Currently unweathered (the kit, definitely not me!) I've ordered some oil paints and will make my first attempts when those arrive. I thought it was on the whole a good kit with most parts fitting well and no filling required. There is a lot of internal engine detail hidden beneath the hatches. In the end I couldn't fit all of it in, possibly due to my errors, so I permanently fixed the hatches shut. I also found that the turret wouldn't turn, obstructed by an internal bulkhead so carried out a little surgery to free it up. Again may be down to my errors. There appeared to be scope to maintain up and down movement in the wheels, though in the end it was necessary to glue things in place so that only one wheel pair now moves. The instructions weren't at all clear what was intended here. Enough whingeing, I'm quite happy with the result and will have a go at the Tamiya Chieftain in due course. Any thoughts welcome! Bigger images now inserted. Thanks to all for advice! Trevor
  5. HobbyBoss is to release in 2016-2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 etc. 1/72nd Devoitine D.510 kits: ref. 80294 - D.510C ref. 80295 - D.510TH Sources:http://scalemodels.ru/modules/news/img_9588_1449141901_7.jpg.html http://scalemodels.ru/modules/news/img_9588_1449141921_8.jpg.html V.P.
  6. Hobby Boss is to release in late July 2019 a 1/144th Shaanxi KJ-200 kit - ref. 83903 Source: http://www.hobbyboss.com/index.php?g=home&m=article&a=show&id=139&l=en V.P.
  7. Hobby Boss is to rebox in late December 2016 the Tristar's 1/35th Fieseler Fi 156A-0/C-1 Storch kit - ref.80180 Source: http://www.hobbyboss.com/index.php?g=home&m=article&a=show&id=76 Box art Even the box art is the same Sources: https://www.scalemates.com/kits/105657-tristar-35034-fieseler-fi-156-a0-c1-storch http://www.tonyshop.fr/tristar-103/tristar-35034-fieseler-fi-156-a-0/c-1-storch-1/35-6060.html For kit reviews: http://www.cybermodeler.com/hobby/kits/tri/kit_tri_35034.shtml http://www.perthmilitarymodelling.com/reviews/vehicles/tristar/tri35034.html http://www.militarymodelling.com/news/article/fieseler-fi-156-c-3-trop-storch-in-1-35/7466 V.P.
  8. Hobby Boss is to release a new tool 1/48th Lockheed U-2R Dragon Lady kit in 2015/2016 - ref.81740 Source: http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234972796-hobbyboss-148-for-2015/?p=1828290 V.P.
  9. Here is my Mitsubishi A5M2b “Claude” built for the Salty Sea Dog group build. The A5M was the world’s first monoplane shipboard fighter. This model represents the aircraft of Lt Tamotsu Yokoyama of the Soryu fighter squadron in November 1939. Hobby Boss easy build kit finished with Vallejo white aluminium and dull aluminium, Tamiya gloss red and AK IJN cowling blue-black. Thanks for looking. AW
  10. Hi folks, Looking forward to this GB - it will be nice to have this running alongside my Meteor GB entry so I can go back and forward between the two. So here's my entry - something a bit more unusual - the Soviet BA-10 Armoured Car from Hobby Boss. I don't think there's one in the running so far (although I think I've spotted a BA-6) So, obligatory box art and sprue pics below: I haven't decided on which of the paint schemes I'd like to do yet, although I do know it will be one of the Soviet schemes and not the German one. Please let me know if anyone has a preference and I could always go with the general consensus Good luck to everyone with their builds - looks like it's going to be a really interesting GB and looking forward to seeing the results in the gallery at the end Best wishes Kris
  11. Bergepanzer BPz3 Buffalo ARV (84565) 1:35 Hobby Boss via Creative Models Ltd # The Büffel as it is known as in its native Germany, is an Armoured Recovery Vehicle based upon the chassis and lower hull of the well-liked Leopard 2E Main Battle Tank, which itself is a variant of the 2A6. Most of the hull is identical or similar to its progenitor, but the turret is missing, replaced by a crane, a winch and a bulldozer blade that allows it to retrieve damaged or immobilised tanks from the battlefield even if the fighting is still ongoing thanks to its armour. It is also equipped with an MG3 machine gun for self-defence purposes, a set of smoke grenade launchers to hide itself and its charge from those that wish it harm. It is powered by a large 12-cylinder diesel engine from MTU Friedrichshafen, a division of Rolls-Royce, that outputs almost 1,500bhp that allows it to travel at good speed across all sorts of terrain, but also to pull its immobilised compatriots, whether they were retrieving Leopards or PzH2000 SPGs, or anything up to a similar tonnage. The BPz3 was a joint project between Rheinmetall Landsysteme of Germany who produced an initial 75 for the Bundeswehr and a further 25 for the Netherlands, where its name lost its umlaut over the U in translation. It was also sold to other countries including Canada where it is known as the L2-ARV, and Spain where it is known as the Leopard 2ER Búfalo, with Switzerland a surprisingly large 25 export, and Sweden taking a number on charge after adapting them to their specific needs to improve armour and customise their electronic systems. For service in Afghanistan, the German vehicles and some Canadian machines were upgraded with new high quality vision systems by Karl Zeiss for the drivers that would give them 24/7 visibility, no matter what the conditions. The crane is electrically driven, and can operate independent of the power-pack, so even the unusual sight of a Buffalo replacing its own broken engine isn’t outside the bounds of possibility, presuming they have enough electrical charge in the vehicle. At time of writing, the type is in the middle of another extensive upgrade programme to give it more capability on the interconnected battlefield. The Kit This is a partial retool of the 2015 release from Hobby Boss, adding a substantial number of new parts to depict the differences between the Buffalo and the original Canadian variant that was tooled. The kit arrives in a typically sturdy top-opening box with a painting of a Buffalo at work on another tank, and inside are twelve sprues and two hull halves in sand-coloured styrene, a small sprue in black, a clear sprue, two trees of poly-caps, a length of braided wire, two Photo-Etch (PE) sheets of parts, two flexible black lengths of track, the decal sheet and the black and white instruction booklet that has the colour painting guide between the centre pages. Detail is good throughout, as we’ve come to expect from Hobby Boss’s armour models for the most part, although there is some thought that the hull is around 4mm narrower than it should be, but that’s a question for your micrometre, not mine. Construction begins with the lower hull, which has the suspension and return roller details added while the road wheels are prepared, consisting of fourteen pairs of main wheels, two drive sprockets and two idler wheels, all of which have a poly-cap sandwiched between the two halves. Once the swingarms with stub-axles are glued in place, the road wheels can be pushed into place for removal during painting if required, thanks to the temporary nature of the flexible polythene sleeves. Quickly, the bulldoze blade is built from large, bulky parts, adding the supports and pivots, plus a large towing eye at the front of the blade. It is joined to the hull by a pair of large pins that you can leave unglued if you wish to move it later. The track runs are of the “rubber-band” style, but have good detail throughout, and you are advised that they will accept standard plastic glue and paints during creation. There is an overlap of two links on each run, and once the glue is dry they are slipped over the running gear so that attention can turn to the partial interior that is included. The interior is begun by taking a floor panel with upstands around much of the sides, and detailing it with three crew stations and their copious equipment and comfortable seats. The completed lower half (there is more to come) is glued into the bottom of the hull along with an insert against the lower glacis plate, and at the same time the rear bulkhead with towing eyes and shackles are put in place along with the convoy-light shield that has a PE bracket over it. The “more to come” begins with the upper hull half, which first receives an insert over the front that has two holes in it, and creates the roof of the casemate in which the crew sit. A very detailed insert is made up into a four-sided assembly into which a lot of equipment is placed over the space of five steps, including tools and even some decals. That is glued into the casemate and backed up with a box and some brackets, then more equipment and wall panels are dotted around the left side of the casemate after being detailed in rather busy steps around the main diagrams. Similarly, the right side is built around a long insert with five steps that increase the level of detail exponentially, and includes PE and styrene parts as well as some decals for stencils and dials. The driver’s console with lazy D-shaped steering wheel is inserted into the glacis plate, then the assembly is turned over to detail the exterior, including some spare track links from the black sprue, and additional towing eyes that are mounted on the back of the casemate. Ice cleats are placed on the flatter areas of the deck in groups, light clusters, grenade launcher packs, hooks and a pair of coils in braces, as well as all manner of small parts are all dotted around the upper hull, in diagrams that are again somewhat chaotic, so it might be an idea to cross them out once you’ve completed each little section. The numerous hatches around the casemate are prepared with handles on both sides, and can be left open if you wish to show the insides, and one has a large retraction mechanism embedded in the open door. The driver’s hatch is given clear vision blocks before it is inserted into the hole, and at the rear the bulkhead with hanging mudflaps, and short mudflaps at the front bracket the hull. The two hull halves are joined together, and more detail is used to clutter up the engine deck with its moulded-in cooling fan grilles that includes pioneer tools and other equipment that would be useful. The side skirts on the left side are moulded as a main run with a separate rear part around the drive sprocket area that are repeated in mirror-image on the right, and back on the engine deck a substantial frame is built up from a substantial number of parts, including some fine PE brackets, attaching to two blocks on the middle of the deck and raised slots on the rear of the casemate. Additional towing bars and equipment boxes are festooned on the diminishing free space on the engine deck, with another raised platform that contains spare wheels and other tools/parts, additional rear-facing grenade launchers, and two large honeycomb platforms that sit over the twin cooling vents, with enough room to allow them to do their job. The remaining hatch is for the commander/gunner, and has a ring of six vision blocks, central laminated hatch, periscope and a remote variant of the MG3 machine gun on a crane-like mount, with the finished assembly dropped into the hole in the top if the casemate. Much bracketry is fitted around the rear bulkhead, and a short arm is locked in place on the right side of the deck, then the main crane is started. Built around a single three-sided jib, the hydraulic lift cylinder is mounted at one end within the three sides, then closed over by the forth side, with a V-shaped cut-out to allow the movement of it and its ram, which is attached to a two-part topper with the turntable beneath it, mating by inserting the ram into the cylinder and positioning the pivot-points at the bottom of the jib with those on the base so that pins can be inserted without glue. Even the crane doesn’t escape the application of tools, with several items on both sides, plus more details and of course the block and tackle that performs the heavy lifting. The pulleys are assembled with brass wire linking them, so some care will be needed, gluing the outer parts and the lifting hook in position, then locating the top pulley into the end of the jib, securing it with a pin from each side, again without glue. Another two towing rods are built with eyes glued to the ends and located on the rear bulkhead by a pair of clamps, rear view mirror, and towing cable that is cut from the brass wire to a length of 115mm and tipped with styrene towing eyes and draped across the engine deck. Markings There are two options available from the sheet, both wearing the same three-tone green/black/brown NATO camouflage. There are instructions to decal the two jibs, the decals for the main jib being on the instruction booklet, while the smaller one on the engine deck is in colour on the main sheet. From the sheet you can build one of the following: As usual with Hobby Boss, there’s no description or era of the subject matter, so a bit of Googling will be in order if you’d like to know a little more about your model. The decals are well-printed, in good register and sharpness, and are suitable to the task in hand. The instrument decals for the interior equipment with dials has a grey background, although much of the interior is painted white or NATO green. Again, Google is your friend. Conclusion It’s a well-detailed model of a niche, but extremely important vehicle in the Bundeswehr and other operators, with a lot of attention that has been paid to the interior, as well as the exterior. You don’t get the engine, but that’s not a big deal. Highly recommended. They’re out of stock presently at Creative, but check back soon as it has been a popular subject. Review sample courtesy of
  12. My "Last Legs Ponies" project is modeling American fighters on their last legs in the Caribbean (started with Mustangs, hence the "ponies"), with an entry for each country. For Nicaragua I am modeling a P-38, and she will be my entry for this GB. Kit will be Hobby Boss . . . . . . with decals from Aztec. Excited to get going! My biggest fears are a) getting the nose weight right and b) finding air intakes which for some reason Hobby Boss has failed to include.
  13. Panther Ausf.G Late (84552) 1:35 Hobby Boss via Creative Models Ltd The Panther was Germany's answer to the surprise appearance of the Russian T-34 after they finally reacted to the invasion that was Operation Barbarossa. Although the project had been in gestation some time before, they took some design cues from the T-34 in the shape of the sloped armour, resulting in the Panther that was intended to fill the gap between the Panzer.IV and the (then) new Panzer VI Tiger. It was eventually supposed to replace both the Pz.IV and the earlier Pz.III that was really showing its age, but in reality it often fought alongside the Panzer IV. It was planned as a lighter, more manoeuvrable tank than the Tiger, and was fitted with a high velocity gun from the outset, which gave it enormous penetrating power that was only equalled later by the 17-pounder the British fitted to the American Sherman to make it into the more lethal Firefly. The sloped frontal armour gave it an increased effective armour thickness, but this was not so true of the side armour, which was comparatively weak, and this area became the preferred target of engaging allied tanks, especially in urban combat where this was a telling issue. Like most German WWII tanks it was filled with advanced engineering and therefore complex to produce, so suffered in terms of volume output, and this led to it being rushed into service with a long tick-list of issues still to resolve. Later production solved most of these initial gremlins, but loses in the interim were high with many being abandoned after breakdown during combat. Confusingly, the Ausf.D was the first to enter production, with the Ausf.A following later in 1943, replacing attrition of the less reliable Ausf.Ds until they themselves were superseded by the Ausf.G, which became the final major variant with increased ammo storage, simplified design to ease production, and further improvements to reliability, although this was never fully cured with a high rate of attrition persisting due to mechanical issues, some of which resulted in catastrophic fires. The Kit This is a reboxing with different parts of a range of Panther kits from Hobby Boss that began unexpectedly with a Flakpanther Ausf.D and grew from there, increasing the range of parts available as the series expanded. This boxing arrives in a standard Hobby Boss top-opening box, and inside are twenty sprues plus four separate hull and turret parts in sand-coloured styrene, five sprues of brown track links, a clear sprue, two sheets of Photo-Etch (PE), a length of braided copper cable, the decal sheet, instruction booklet and A3 colour painting and decaling sheet folded inside it. Detail is good, as we’ve come to expect from HB Panther kits, and the individual links give you the opportunity for some well-detailed tracks with realistic sag if you put them together sensibly. The addition of a partial interior is also good to see at this price-point. Construction begins with the lower hull, which is detailed with suspension parts and a pair of final drive bell-housings at the front, plus the small roller that prevents track throwing. A long zig-zagging plate is inserted flat against the floor inside, then the internal ladder structure is built-up from two full-length ribs and a set of six cross-braces, plus a few detail parts. The torsion bar suspension units are slipped through the holes in the ribs from both sides, and capped off with twin sockets before the whole assembly is clipped into the lower hull on several slots in the floor. A couple of detail parts and panels are laid into the floor, and the whole area is painted in red-brown primer, as this kit has a well-detailed partial interior. With the hull inverted, the many swing-arms and axles are fitted into the holes in the side of the hull, and once dry they are dressed with interleaved road wheels, some in pairs, others in singles, taking care to put them on the axles in order so that they sit properly. The idler wheels and drive sprockets finish off the running gear, then it’s time for the tracks. Each track link is held on the sprue by five sprue gates, and has a pair of guide horns glued to the inner face on a pair of shallow slots, then are joined together with liquid glue in runs of 88 links. The track runs can be created in one-sitting each and wrapped around the wheels while the glue is still soft, taping and wedging them into position to give the correct sag when the glue finishes curing. Detail on each link is excellent, and although there are a total of seven sprue gates to deal with per link, there are no ejector-pins or sink marks to be seen, so if you use a good pair of single-edge nippers and sand them carefully while settled in front of your favourite TV show, the time should fly by. The rear bulkhead of the Panther is detailed with armoured exhaust protectors, plus a pair of tubular exhaust stacks with rearward pointing exits at the top, made from two halves each. These are inserted into the armour, then the two different stowage boxes plus a well-detailed jack are added, along with the small Notek convoy light on a bracket under one of the exhausts. A couple of towing eyes are inserted into the raised circular access hatch in the centre of the bulkhead with a pin slotted between them, then the bulkhead is glued into the rear of the hull, adding a pair of towing shackles to the torch-cut sidewall ends. This kit doesn’t include the full interior, and it is blank aft of where the engine firewall would be, but you do get a handsomely appointed transmission, clutch and drive-shafts, which are assembled and dropped into the front of the hull, connected by a pair of hoses that disappear into the underpinnings. A control linkage is assembled with levers and end-caps, and attached to the top of the transmission, then a power take-off shaft and turret rotation mechanism are inserted behind the transmission, locating on a rectangular plate in the centre of the hull. The upper hull is next, laminating an inner panel to the sloped glacis plate, adding a clear periscope for the driver, and making a few holes in the deck for later use. The bow-mounted machine gun is a complex assembly that is built-up over several steps, with scrap diagrams showing how it should look before and after it is inserted into the ball-mount and the top cap is added above the sight that allows the gunner’s head to assist with moving the weapon. The ball is inserted into the kugelblende from behind, and is locked in place with an insert. On the exterior the forward crew hatch insert is prepared with the hatches on the outside and hinges on the inside, then it is dropped into the hole in the front deck, adding armoured protectors over the periscopes, the domed exterior armour to the kugelblende, headlight on its mount on the port fender, and a combination of PE and styrene brackets on the sloped hull sides. At the rear is the raised heater with PE “pizza slices” to adjust the amount of heat that escapes and this has a PE grille over the top, fitting on the port side of the engine deck, with a cast circular vent on the opposite side, and the engine access hatch between them. The various grilles and louvres are covered over by a set of PE grilles to keep grenades and dirt out, with a choice of open or closed louvres placed over them. Pioneer tools, spare track links and schürzen rails are fixed on the hull sides, the latter held in place by folded PE brackets. A travel-lock is made up and applied to the deck between the two front hatches, a few lifting eyes are added to the engine deck, plus handles on the hatches, brackets and other small parts on the sides to hold some of the pioneer tools in situ. The upper and lower hulls are then mated so that the pair of towing cable with styrene eyes and 115mm of braided cable between them can be laid over the deck, mounting on brackets at the rear and looped through the towing shackles at the front. The PE schürzen panels each have rectangular washers applied to stiffen the mounting holes before they are hung from the paired brackets on the sides of the hull, bending the ends of the brackets toward the rear to hold the sheets in position. These plates did get beaten up and knocked off despite this however, so there’s plenty of opportunity to customise the installation, starting with them hung at an 8° angle from vertical. The turret is similarly well appointed, with a full depiction of the basket, starting with the two-part floor and the boxed support at the rear, which has a seat hanging off the right and the rotation mechanism at the front, another seat with foot controls, the front supports and a lip around the pedals to prevent jamming caused by objects becoming lodged under them. A can is glued to the floor on the right, then the turret floor is mated with the basket and the rotation controls are fixed around the edge of the ring. A shallow lip is added around the sides, then the mantlet is made up, including the sighting gear, coaxial machine gun and the internal mantlet structure, with the hole for the barrel shroud. The assembly is locked between the inner panel and curved outer mantlet, then has the breech and protective framework fitted behind. The turret rear has a circular hatch in it, with a choice of posing it open or closed, scrap diagrams showing how it should fit in each position. The commander’s cupola has seven clear periscopes inserted from below, with styrene surrounds keeping them in place, then closing the assembly with the lower half and adding adjustment wheel and armoured covers on the top, which have the machine gun ring welded to the top. At the front is a PE blade sight that is folded up from a diamond-shaped part. The turret roof and sides are moulded as one part, to which the rear is glued, and a clear periscope and vent are applied to the inside. The mantlet with breech assembly are fixed to the front, and the floor with basket close the area, finishing off by adding the commander’s cupola and the external mantlet, taking care that the coax machine gun muzzle goes through the hole in the mantlet. The main gun is moulded as a single part, and thanks to sliding moulds, the detail on the muzzle brake is good, locking into the mantlet on a keyed base. A pair of pegs insert in holes on the sides of the mantlet, a mushroom vent is applied to the roof, and the shell ejection port is installed near the back of the roof. A PE cover is folded up and inserted between the mantlet and turret roof, with scrap diagrams showing the correct profile of the part once properly folded from above and the side. The roof periscope gets an armoured cover, and a grab-handle is glued over the rear hatch, with three lifting eyes added front and rear. As this is a late edition, it is fitted with infrared vision gear, mounted on a complex platform in front of the cupola, then installing an infrared searchlight and sight side-by-side on it, then adding an MG34 to the platform, gluing a yoke to support the end of the barrel at the front. Finally, the commander’s lift-up-and-rotate hatch is made up and inserted into the hole in the side of the cupola, and the model is completed by dropping the turret into the ring on the hull. Markings There are an unusually generous six decal options on the sheet, but only the first option has views of the camouflage from all sides. The rest have front and left profiles, so you may need to do some research to complete them accurately. As usual though, there is no detail on when, with whom or where the subjects served, but from the box you can build one of the following: The decal sheet is filled with vehicle numbers and the occasional cross, plus a few dials for the interior, and is printed with good register, sharpness, and colour density. Conclusion This is a well-detailed late Panther, and includes plenty of extras, including a partial interior. Although it lacks niceties such as seats for the drivers and machine gunners or an engine compartment, it does have a full turret, so some hatches can be left open without fear of blank styrene being visible. The inclusion of late-war night sights is a welcome addition, and will appeal to many, as will the price. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  14. I finished this 1/72 Hobby Boss P-38 Lightning last month as part of the P-38 STGB and really enjoyed the group build and my first experience building a P-38. I have been wanting to share an RFI here. She is also part of my "Last Legs Ponies" project, modeling American World War II fighters that ended their service lives in the air forces of countries bordering the Caribbean (one per country). Originally this started with P-51 Mustangs (hence the "ponies") and two of these join the P-38 in photos below. Nicaragua did fly some P-51s, but I wanted to diversify and so chose the P-38 to represent Nicaragua. These P-38s were apparently originally "Ms" (two-seat night fighters) converted back to "Ls," so the cockpit is an "L" cockpit, for example, but I believe the "M" radar pod fairing (not to mention the glossy all-black camouflage) are left overs from its days as an "M." Here is the only picture I have ever found of the original: Which believe it or not made it onto a postage stamp! https://touchstamps.com/Stamp/Details/521603/plane-type-p-38 I borrowed the radar pod fairing and air intakes (Hobby Boss missed these, somehow) from a Dragon P-38M kit, but did not correct a few other Hobby Boss errors (e.g., I believe there should be a landing light in the left wing). Marking decals are from Aztec and I used many of the stencils from the Dragon P-38M. Here she is with a couple of Caribbean neighbour P-51Ds (Dominican Republic [camo] and Costa Rica [aluminum]): WIP is here if interested:
  15. Soviet (9P117M1) Launcher w/R17 Rocket of 9K72 Missile Complex ‘Elbrus’ Scud B (82939) 1:72 Hobby Boss via Creative Models Ltd The Scud B is perhaps one of the best-known Soviet era short-range ballistic missile thanks in part to its uses with the former Iraqi dictatorship of Saddam Hussein, carrying explosive and possibly poison or nerve-agent a relatively short range, mainly to terrorise their enemies. In Soviet service it was carried by several types of mobile transporter erector systems, one of which is the 9P117 that was a basic chassis used for many weapons platforms, as it is a highly mobile, 8x8 platform that has a forward cab for the driving crew, and another mid-mounted crew compartment. The missile was laid centrally along the length of the chassis, facilitated by recesses in the superstructure, and two separate front cabs to accommodate the tip of the missile and its protective framework. Originally put into service as the Scud A in the 50s – a design that was at least partially inspired by the WWII V2, the later Scud B moved on in terms of capability, and again through the C and to D variants that improved the type’s performance incrementally. Powered by a diesel engine that was buried between the two forward cabs, the eight powered wheels made it a competent off-roader, allowing it to carry out its assignment as a mobile missile system that would be hard to pin-down, able to move to a new location, erect the missile and support it with recoil stanchions, compute the trajectory in the central cab where the electronics are located, launch was either controlled from the centre compartment or after moving the crew to a safe distance from the hot blast of the rocket motor. Then they could pack up and move again, reloading with a fresh missile along the way, getting away before the enemy could draw a bead on them and retaliate with missile, artillery or air bombardment. They have been gradually phased out from service since the collapse of the Soviet Union, to be replaced by more modern, mobile systems such as the 9K720 Iskander, which although it closely resembles its ancestor in many way, it is a more flexible, accurate and lethal system. The Kit This is a brand-new tooling in this scale from Hobby Boss, although their parent Trumpeter have produced one in 1:35. The kit arrives in a medium-sized top-opening box, and within are ten sprues, a chassis part, and a single loose panel in sand-coloured styrene, a clear sprue, eight flexible black tyres in their own bag, decal sheet, instruction booklet in black and white, plus a glossy full colour painting and decaling sheet slipped in between. Detail is excellent throughout, and the single part chassis is extremely well-done, making full use of sliding moulds to provide impressive detail. Construction begins with the afore mentioned chassis, which has the sloped front guard moulded-in, as well as the pivot-points for the eight wheels. Initially, the transfer boxes and drive-shafts are built up and are inserted into the hollow centre of the chassis along with cross-braces, actuator rods, tanks and hydraulic cylinders, followed by the creation of two sets of four hubs with stub axles inserted in the centre for insertion into the chassis over the next few steps. Starting at the front, the two front hubs, tyres and suspension arms are slotted into place, closely followed by the rear pair, both with steering linkages that pass through spaces in the chassis. The same process is carried out for the rear four wheels, minus the steering linkages, as only the front four are steered. The superstructure is then begun, starting with the big lift at the back that erects the missile, locking into lugs in the chassis rails, with an M-shaped support on a W-form cross-brace, then a pair of side panniers are installed over the rear four wheels, a rack of cylinders on two supports, and the rear chassis bulkhead, with a scrap diagram showing the correct location of the bulkhead. More stowage and boxes are dotted around the rear, and the stabilising legs are fixed hanging over the rear of the chassis, with thick pivots extending back from the rear. There are three sections of superstructure, two of which are crewed, the other is the site for equipment, and it’s the last of the three that is made first on a floor that receives detail parts before it is covered over by the undulating roof, with sections of the wall added underneath with pipework threading through it. At the front the twin cabs are each made from a sloped floor with two seats added to them, plus the inner wall of the cab that has a small window inserted, a steering wheel on the driver’s side, with more equipment in the opposite cab. The cab shell is inverted to install the glazing from within, and a twin-fanned radiator is inserted into the rear, then the two cabs in their respective areas. Additional detail is fitted under the cab and over it, including the clear front lights either side of the radiator grille, then the centre compartment is built in a similar manner, starting with windows, adding brackets and equipment, the larger electronics boxes having decals to improve the detail, and finally the floor is glued to the underside to finish it off. The missile is a straight-forward assembly, consisting of the two main halves, to which the perpendicular fins and rocket motor with steering vanes are inserted into the rear of the body. The cradle for the missile is arranged around the single part that outlines the missile, and has grab-handles, supports and the complex stand for the base of the missile that is clipped into place without glue to allow it to pivot. The missile and a pair of bracing travel locks near the nose finish off that assembly, then it‘s just a case of installing the three superstructure assemblies, followed by the missile once the glue on the others have dried, so the movement doesn’t unsettle the join between it and the chassis. A pair of wing mirrors are the last parts to be added to the sides of the two cabs. Markings Two decal options are the usual for Hobby Boss, but this kit includes decals for four, although there are only two drawings for the last two, as they have the same colour/pattern all over. You are also given details of the when and where they saw service, which is another surprise, but a nice one. There is also a series of drawings to assist you with painting the missile itself. From the box you can build one of the following: Czech Army Afghanistan Army, Kabul, 2005 Iraqi Army, Gulf War, 1991 Iraqi Army, Iran-Iraq War, 1980-88 Hobby Boss decals are printed anonymously, and are sometimes a weak-point of their kits, but this sheet should be more than sufficient for the task in hand, having good registration, sharpness, and colour density. The many instrument dial decals are printed on a clear backing that saves you from having to perform colour matching, which is always welcome. Conclusion This is a very nicely presented and well-detailed kit of the Scud B’s carrier from Hobby Boss, and with a diverse range of decal options, it should appeal to a wide audience. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  16. French R35 Tank with FCM Turret (83894) 1:35 HobbyBoss via Creative Models Ltd Designed by Renault, The R35 was an interwar light infantry tank used by the French army in their unsuccessful defence of their homeland at the beginning of WWII, after which it remained in service with the German forces as a beutepanzer, where it was either used in second line service, modified or heavily converted to a makeshift gun carriage and used as a self-propelled howitzer. It was originally intended as a replacement for the diminutive FT-17, but due to the sloth in re-training their crews, they were still ill-prepared even on the eve of war. When Germany pounced, there were almost a thousand R35s in service, although they had been found unreliable, poorly armed to battle other tanks, and with too little armour. All the remaining vehicles were taken on charge by the Germans and more than a little tinkering with cutting torches began. Some had their turrets removed to use as small gun emplacements, while others were thoroughly butchered to become tank destroyers, although in doing so the original chassis was horribly overloaded, leading to slow, breakdown prone vehicles such as this, that must have been loathed by their crews. The turrets from the similarly unimpressive FCM tank, that was originally equipped with a pair of machine guns in much the same way as the German Panzer I, one was later removed in favour of a 37mm cannon, mounted in a turret that was intended to become the standard design for all French light tanks, despite a number of problems. By the end of the war only a small number were left that were used by the French until they were replaced with more capable tanks. The Kit This is a cross-tooling from Hobby Boss, utilising existing sprues to create a new subject. There are a substantial number of options that make use of the basic chassis, which HB have naturally exploited to the maximum as you'd expect. The kit arrives in a fairly small box with a divider keeping the sprues from rattling about and damaging the hull and other smaller parts. Inside are eight sprues plus the upper hull in sand coloured styrene; two sprues in a brown styrene containing the tracks; a sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a tiny decal sheet, separate colour painting guide and black and white instruction manual. It shares many sprues with the previous editions of the R35, so if you’ve seen our reviews or possess some of the other options, there will be much that is familiar on the sprues, and there’s plenty of detail to be seen, including an engine, transmission and much of the interior of this diminutive oddity. The engine is first to be constructed, with a two-part block that is heavily detailed with additional parts, a great many of which are tiny, which results in a very nicely depicted and detailed motor for your R35 chassis. Work then commences on integrating the engine with the lower hull, beginning with the sand-cast rear bulkhead, which has the idler tensioning devices, a pair of hatches, an undocumented spare wheel that pops up and disappears in later diagrams, and towing hook added, after which the radiator, cooling fan and ducting are assembled with the power-take-off wheel projecting from the rear of the box. The hull itself is made up from two side panels and a floor, into which the radiator housing, a PE bracing plate over a styrene former and driver controls are added. The sides are fitted out with three return-rollers and a final drive housing per side, and four bogies with two wheels per unit and a big suspension spring are built up. Two more solo bogies, two drive sprockets and two idler wheels are also constructed, and are installed on the suspension mounting points on the hull sides. At the same time the driver's seat, fuel tank and engine-mount bulkhead are ensconced within the hull, and the rear bulkhead closes up the rear. After adding a few more driver controls and their linkages, plus a turret base plate, the drive-train is dropped into the hull, with a transmission housing added to the front, and thick drive-shafts link the sprockets to complete the drive-train. Given their small size in 1:35, HB have decided to go down the link and length route with the tracks, and I can't say I blame them. The straight track runs are made up from six parts with a few links in between the curved lower sections, and twelve individual links at each end. Each of the individual links have three sprue gates, while the lengths have additional overflow tabs that ensure against short-shot links, and also double as ejector-pin positions, saving the delicate detail from marring. Unless you're going to the trouble of using metal replacements, these should do you proud with a bit of sympathetic painting and weathering. Give them a final rub with an artist's pencil to impart a metallic sheen where they get worn by the wheels, and you'll never know they weren't metal. With the tracks in place, the full-length fenders are added, along with a little stowage and a big bottle-jack on the right rear. The upper hull is detailed inside with the driver's instrument panel, plus a choice of actuator for his vision hatch, which can be posed open or closed. The final drive inspection hatch is added along with some PE parts, as is the lower part of the driver's hatch, with the upper section added in the open or closed position, depending on your choice. The upper hull is then closed up and a host of pioneer tools are threaded through their tie-down blocks to be added to the sides of the hull together with the silencer/muffler and exhaust, the feeder pipe for which comes from the rear of the vehicle. A small armoured cover is placed over the exhaust exit on the rear, and a small hand-crank on a stiffened plate is installed vertically on the right of the engine deck. This edition comes with an anti-topple assembly at the rear reminiscent of the FT-17, with a curved underside and angular supports above, a splayed frame on the underside, and a long starter handle projecting through it. On top is the spare road wheel that was shown in a diagram earlier, probably a victim of copy and paste syndrome, because the C-shaped mounting point on the rear of the tank is shown bare while the assembly is attached to the rear, and would probably baulk the installation of the ironwork at this stage if it had been glued in place as originally suggested. The small angular turret from the FCM tank is moulded as a shell that has the rear hatch added along with the hinge and vision port, with side view ports installed along with a few grab-handles, before the main gun assembly is slotted into its mantlet and inserted in that gap at the front of the turret, after which the embarrassingly short barrel tips are added to give the impression of a hollow muzzle. The turret is then completed by the addition of the floor with integrated turret ring that locks into place on its bayonet lugs, completing the build. Markings There is just one option in the box for this kit, and as usual HB are stoically mute on its origin and time in service. From the box you can build the following from the box: The sheet is absolutely minute but sufficient to do the job, and as there are only three decals on the sheet, the identifying text takes up most of the space on the sheet. Conclusion It's a small tank that's almost cute in 1:35, with plenty of detail included in the box. If the alternative turret interests you, you should be pretty happy with what's in the box. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  17. #24/2022 So, after Harvard and Saab 17, here´s my dad´s third and last Swedish subject for now. As with all HB/Trumpeter kits the HB Lansen has its shape and accuracy issues but it looks like a Lansen. The only thing my dad did was engraving some missing detail in front of the fin. The Saab Lansen had its first flight in 1952, the last ones were retired in 1997. The lansen was used as attack, fighter, recon, training, target tug an electronoc warfare aircraft. With the HB kit you can build a "B" fighter or an "E" ECM aircraft. Funny thing is, HB didn´t add any ordnance for the B but some for the E, HB added decals for the B but not for the E... Painted in different shades of MRP-215 Swedish Army Olive Drab 325, underside painted with MRP-009 White Aluminium. Moose Republic Decals used, added some seatbelts. Build thread here https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235115293-viking-spear148-saab-j32b-lansen-svenska-flygvapnet/ Model shows the last built Lansen which spent most of its life with Försökscentralen (FC), the Swedish Airforce test center. DSC_0001 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0002 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0003 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0004 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0005 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0006 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0007 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0008 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0009 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0010 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0011 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0012 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0013 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0014 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0015 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0016 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0019 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0020 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0021 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0022 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0023 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0024 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0025 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0027 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0028 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr Swedish Connection DSC_0001 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr SAAB Connection DSC_0002 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr and my parents classic Saab 96 2-stroke back in the 70ies DSC_0001 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0001 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr
  18. As all good things come in three, after the Harvard and the Saab 17, here´s my dad´s third and last Swedish subject in a row. Gonna do a Lansen, using the Hobby Boss kit. As usual with HB kits, shapes and dimensions aren´t completely correct in several areas but it looks like a Lansen, costs only half the money of the Tarangus kit and is easier to build Regarding the markings, gonn use Moose Republic decals (Swedish company, printed by Cartograf) but don´t know which scheme it will be. DSC_0008 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0002 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0003 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0004 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr the kit includes only decals for the front IB, the rear one has to be painted. There are also decals for the sidewall instruments but my dad decided to paint all the other instruments will use the kit seats DSC_0001 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0009 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0010 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr
  19. German Flakpanzer V Ausf.A (84535) 1:35 Hobby Boss via The Flakpanzer V was a derivative of the Panther main battle tank that was developed by Rheinmetall and utilised a pair of 3.7cm Flak guns with 1,500 rounds between them that were mounted in an enclosed turret with sufficient elevation to allow the gunner to target aircraft successfully. The vehicle in this form was another paper or wooden Panzer because at the end of the war, the project had been cancelled with only a mock-up utilising a Panther D chassis and a wooden turret completed in 1944. The project commenced in 1943, initially considering a pair of 20mm cannons, then it was proposed to increase the size of the weapons to 3.7cm and eventually to 55mm in due course, as the feeling was that just as 20mm flak cannons were falling out of favour for being too light-weight, eventually the 37mm would suffer the same fate. The project was shut down following the D-Day invasion and Allied incursion into previously secure territory, partly because the Panther chassis were needed for the front-line, but also because the 37mm guns were already considered unfit for development. Before cancellation however, it was given the name Coelian. The Kit This is a partial retool of the original Flakpanther kit from Hobby Boss that was released in 2012 with a single flak cannon open on the deck, which has seen numerous reboxings with new parts over the intervening years, and now enters the realms of the paper/wooden panzer with this latest alteration. The kit arrives in a top-opening box with an interesting painting of an in-service machine with a pair of crew figures on top, although these aren’t included in the box. Inside are ten sprues in sand-coloured styrene and three separate hull/turret parts in the same colour, nineteen sprues in brown, two sheets of Photo-Etch (PE), a decal sheet, black and white instruction booklet and an A4 sheet of colour profiles in panzer grey. Detail is good and the part-count is high, moreso due to the individual link tracks that accompany the kit. Construction begins with the lower hull, which receives twin rows of torsion suspension tubes, plus axle sheaths that are first mounted on a rail for each side, then are slipped through the exits on the sides of the hull from the inside, to have the actual bars fed through with the swing-arms moulded into the ends. The idler axles are pushed into holes in the rear, and the armoured final drive covers are first added at the front, then have the housings with guide wheel and other suspension parts completing the fitting. The Panther spread its weight with interleaved wheels, the under sets in singles, the outer in pairs, which are slipped over the axles in order along with the three-part idler wheels and drive sprockets to complete the running gear in preparation for the tracks. Each track link has four sprue gates and has two separate guide-horns glued in place before they are linked together into runs of eighty-eight, which will require glue to hold them together. It’s best to make them into runs and drape them around the road wheels while the glue is still soft, securing them in place with tape, foam and anything else you can find to help. The sprue gates are on concave edges of the links, but with a circular needle file or motor tool on low speed, it’s the work of moments to deal with them. With the tracks in place, the fenders are fixed on tabs that mate with slots in the top of the lower hull, have the front mud guards added, making up the rear bulkhead to finish off, which has the usual twin exhausts with PE stabiliser brackets, angular stowage boxes, jack, and access hatches added to complete it. The upper hull has vision blocks inserted from below at the front, then with the part right-side-up, the forward hatch insert and swinging hatches, then the engine hatch with insert on the engine deck, followed by the circular grilles and rectangular radiator grilles with PE mesh over them, mushroom vents, lifting hooks and grab-handles are all installed. On the sloping sides of the hull the pioneer tools on frames, barrel cleaning rod tube and spare track link racks are placed all over any open area. At the front, the glacis plate has a single headlight, driver’s hatch, and notable by its absence, no kugelblende, as the bow machine gun had been deleted on this variant. The two hull halves are brought together, and have optional width indicator lollipops on the fenders, and tiny wingnuts across the join. The hull is completed by adding the towing shackles at the rear and gluing six hangers under the sponsors to accept the PE schurzen, which are in four sections, allowing you to bend, remove or dent them as you see fit to add a little individualism to your model. The turret is the last assembly to be made, and starts with the enclosure that covers the breeches of the 37mm cannons, with two holes in the forward end, and pegs in the bulbous rear, which mount on a pair of tapering trunnions inside the turret part, which is a complete moulding of the upper structure that is completed by adding the floor with moulded-in bayonet lugs and rear access hatch plus the two barrels, both of which have tapering hollow muzzles thanks to a bit of handy slide moulding. The perforations on the sides could be drilled out if you have the bits and patience, and there are depressions there to guide you if you’re feeling brave. On the top of the turret are two circular hatches, another that has a square cover laid over it, three mushroom vents and a shell ejection port on the centre rear with separate hatch. The commander’s hatch is relatively simple, but has a wide binocular targeting mechanism that is mounted over the hatch, which begs the question “how would you open the hatch with that in position?”. The turret and hull are joined by bringing them together and twisting to lock them in position. Markings There was only one of these wicked-looking beasts made, and that was partly made of wood. The prototype was painted Panzer Grey, so if you’re going for accuracy that’s the colour. If you’ve a mind to create a what-if or what might have been though, you have plenty of examples of late war camouflage out there, so have at it. From the box you can build the following: The scanner has made the red code digits appear slightly pink. They aren't in reality. Decals aren’t usually Hobby Boss’s strongest point, but these will be suitable for the job, as the sheet consists of three rows of digits plus a few spare zeroes, and two pairs of crosses in different sizes. The inclusion of the red digits will come in handy for anyone planning to go off-piste. Conclusion The Coelian is an interesting off-shoot of the successful Panther lineage that was still-born due to circumstances, but this is a nice modern tooling with plenty of detail. Add some figures, stowage to personalise it and place it in a small urban or factory diorama, and it will draw plenty of attention. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  20. Hobby Boss is to release in 2018-2019 two 1/32nd B-24 kits - ref. 83211 - Consolidated B-24J Liberator - ref. 83212 - Consolidated B-24D Liberator Source: https://www.facebook.com/TrumpeterModel/photos/ms.c.eJxFkdGRRTEIQjvaUVGj~;Te2czHmfTJROJhWQVhLnOo~_8tefdtVWg5Zdbfm9F3w0kOaR0Xr1Eeo4d16KWnu0VY~;~;zjfol3cewjzrmwcbHpfV~;vmlYPMP5yN3nzxp6w8M3~;I6~_Vt9~_3Bf8~_5bkz~_xPDH5uvk6~;rr~_ciZv74Wk3~_vv8b37735GHom9j7P~;4y~;6xet7gv20lof3anl8xXdcPyTvW~_8~;qumHWp7J0~;wHK7NkWQ~-~-.bps.a.910352652456662.1073742118.103526326472636/910353465789914/?type=3&theater V.P.
  21. B-24J Liberator (83211) 1:32 Hobby Boss via Creative Models Consolidated's Liberator always seems to have flown in the shadow of the more popular B-17 Fortress in the media's eye even thought there were more of them, and in some aspects it was inferior, with poor low-speed handling and a lower ceiling, but it saw more than its fair share of action in almost every theatre of WWII, both in US use and in the hands of the RAF. It has a specification written around its main design traits, and had a long wingspan, twin bomb bays and four super-charged engines to provide motive power. It was unusual in having a high wing placement, tricycle undercarriage, and tamboured bomb-bay doors that retracted up the side of the fuselage, and was fitted with a fully glazed nose cone with .30cal machine guns for protection from head-on attacks. This was later updated to a turret fitted with .50cal guns with a glazed lower for the bomb aimer's position, but many of the earlier D models were still in use concurrently. Taking a leaf from the B-17's defensive armament book it could be fitted with up to 10 .50cal M2 Browning machine guns, with the layout changing during production changes, when various options were found to be unsatisfactory, such as the poorly defended nose, and the underside guns, which were eventually replaced with a Sperry ball turret that could be retracted into the fuselage to reduce drag, and must have pleased the crew no-end if they had to make a belly landing. The name "Liberator" was coined by the British, and soon spread to other operators, as they were early adopters of the type after the fall of France, serving with Coastal Command, and later with the RAF after the fuselage had been lengthened. In US Service the Liberator flew with the B-17, and later superseded it when the shorter range of the B-17 began to be an issue, with the Ploiesti raid being one of the most notable operations that featured the B-24, which suffered heavy losses due to the low level nature of the attack. After the J introduced the nose turret, the N was intended to be a major upgrade that incorporated a standard single tail fin to improve handling. Due to the end of the war this was cancelled, although the tail was still seen in the PB4Y-2 Privateer operated by the US Navy until long after WWII. After the huge success of the B-29 and the dawning of the jet age, the Liberator was drawn down at the end of the war, with only the Privateer soldiering on. A civilian airliner was prototyped as a potential offshoot, but that didn't proceed due to the same issues. The Kit There was quite a bit of hubbub about this kit when it was announced by Hobby Boss, and much has been said about its size and so forth. With the increasing number of 1:32 kits of WWII four-engined heavies however, it seems less unlikely now than it would have a few years ago. It is a brand-new tooling from Trumpeter's stablemate, and has been released at a price point that might make your eyes bulge for one of two reasons. If you're used to paying £30 for a kit, the fact that it's around £150 might make you swallow hard, but if you've bought other 1:32 heavies from other manufacturers, you might be surprised at how low the price is. Actually – make that three reasons for shock. The wingspan of this model is one metre five centimetres. 1049.5mm in total, with a length of 675.9mm. It's enormous! The box is pretty huge too, and has a rather retro-style boxart that reminds me of the model boxes of yesteryear, even down to some of the lettering, and the loose but effective manner that the bare metal has been painted. It is a top-opening box in sturdy cardboard, with a sub-box holding a number of the smaller sprues, and a compartment for the clear parts and delicate bits such as the PE, which are all separately bagged, the clear parts having bubble-wrapped bags for extra protection. Once you get over the awe of the size of the box and then the parts, you begin to realise that for the money you are getting an inordinate amount of plastic, which includes an almost complete interior, encompassing a lot of detail missed out from other kits of this scale and size. The surface detail is relatively straight forward, with engraved panel lines and rivets, which is consistent across the airframe and a good starting point for anyone that want to super-detail the exterior. A number of areas have been improved by the use of slide-moulding, and the landing gear has been strengthened by inserts within the detailed legs that appear to be made from a stronger plastic, although Aerocraft Models have produced a set of brass internal struts that will ensure your B-24 never does the splits once it's finished, which are really nice. This has got to be a must if you are planning on putting any kind of aftermarket in there, as it all adds weight. I'll be penning a review of this useful addition shortly, so keep an eye out. I'll link it from here when I'm done. First impressions are excellent – the panel lines may be a little deep for some, but I suspect they'll look fine once there's some primer then paint involved, and the level of detail is really good, especially considering the attractive price. Some folks have picked up on the engine fronts being a little simplified, but when you step back and consider the whole, it's not a deal-breaker and there are at least some Photo-Etch (PE) wiring harnesses to busy them up. Construction begins with the cockpit, which is set on the large floor, with consoles, seats and the main instrument panel fitted on it, the latter having a set of decals for the dials, and the throttle quadrant benefitting from a set of PE levers and side panel skins, which is nice to see from a mainstream manufacturer. The rear bulkhead has a doorway cut into the middle, and two tables for the next compartment attached in anticipation. Another short bulkhead affixes to the floor in front of the panel, closing off the nose from the cockpit area. The nose gear bay is moulded into the front of the lower floor, which has an opening for the crew hatch cut into it, and is detailed with separate rib-work aft of the partial bulkhead, with a PE skin in the hatchway. The nose gear leg is a short affair, with the aforementioned central inner leg, surrounded by the two outers, a large frame aft and a small scissor-link forward. The tyres are made of black flexible plastic, and have a two-part hub that fits from each side, and then slides onto the sturdy axle with a clipped mudguard close to the contact surface, which has a pair of small braces to prevent vibration. The leg is fitted into a square hole in the bay and stabilised by a central tong-shaped brace, plus retraction jack on the port side. A scrap diagram shows how the wheel and the forward bulkhead should look from the side, to avoid issues later. The two assemblies are brought together, with the entry floor moulded into the other side of the bay floor and additional parts added before the additional bulkhead with access ladder and another floor panel are fitted below the entryway, with the front resting on the partial bulkhead installed earlier. Another small piece of flooring is made up with ammo canisters flanking a simple hinged stool and the bomb-sight, with a rest pad in front of it for the bombardier's comfort during the run-in to target. This slots into the holes in the front of the lower bulkhead, and is joined by another bulkhead at the rear of the entry area, which has another stool fitted, this time with a back for the comfort of the radio operator as he hunches over his table. By now it is clear we're building the interior of the fuselage from front to back, which leads us to the bomb bays, which are bisected along their length by a tiny and dangerous 9" (23cm) wide walkway that wasn't at all liked by the crews. The bomb racks act as supports, and the completed assembly plugs into the roof, which is the underside of the wing. Ribs are added behind this area, and a bulkhead with doorway slots into the end. If you are planning on loading your B-24 with bombs, now is the time to build up twelve bombs, each of which is made up from two halves of the body, and another two parts for the fins, plus a spinner at the rear inside the box of the fins. Three go on each ladder, and you can have a bit of fun weathering their olive drab finish, as bomb dumps are usually outdoors a long way from shelter. The belly turret surround is also made up from a floor section with hexagonal hole for the turret, a short bulkhead that suspends it above the fuselage floor, and a step up/down to get in and around the turret. These two assemblies are then slotted into the back of the forward interior, and joined by the aft floor on which the waist gunners will stand to operate their .50cals from their windows. There is no "floor" as such aft of this area, so it is built into the fuselage halves later on. First, the various turrets are built up with their interiors looking very good OOB. The nose turret is first, with the internal structure built up around the two .50cals and fed by flexible styrene ammo belts from the centre. The glazing fits around the internals split front and back, with two small doors for the gunner's use separate at the rear, which necessitated a traverse full to the side to enable bail-out in an emergency, putting the gunner dangerously close to the likely still flailing props just behind his position. The aft turret is split into two side parts, into which the guns and their supports are installed, again being fed centrally via flexible styrene ammo runs. A piece of armoured glass at the front of the turret, and two more doors in the aft are added, then the turret is fitted through a base plate, and locked in place by adding the turret floor, permitting the turret to rotate freely, all being well. The belly turret is a more complex affair, as it has two axes of rotation. The suspension unit has the ammo cans fixed to the sides, and has a ring at the bottom, which has two pivots for the turret to rotate "up and down". The ball turret begins with the two clear side panels having a gun fitted and then joined together by a detailed cross-member with sighting equipment added. Then the clear central halves are closed around the assembly to form a rough ball, which is then clipped into the ring's pivots ready for installation. Before the fuselage and internals can be joined together, a great deal of equipment is added along the fuselage length on both sides, plus windows and various colours for the wall sections, which already have some nice detail moulded in. Scrap diagrams show the more complex assembly of the cockpit area parts, and colour call-outs are given where necessary, which is a big help. The waist gunner positions are added, as are copious yellow oxygen tanks, the prominent cable runs that pass through the bomb bay, and more ammunition. The uppermost sections of the rear fuselage are blank due to moulding constraints, but as the area will be seen through the waist windows, an insert that mimics the ribbing throughout the rest of the fuselage is installed on each side, with oxygen bottles and the waist gun window panels stowed there whilst they're in use. The starboard aft fuselage then receives a hollow bulkhead, equipment on the walls and a short length of walkway just forward of the rear turret, which acts as a step up/down for the cramped gunner, with his turret being installed at this stage, a small set of parts in the roof above the waist gunners, and the nose gunner's turret, which is locked in place without cement to allow it to turn. The interior is then installed in the starboard fuselage, the nose gunner's ammo belts are linked in, the belly turret is inserted through the hexagonal opening, and the long run of ammo is placed into its trough in the side of the fuselage, with additional parts having curves to enter the turret and leave their box by the waist gunner's station. This all sounds very quick, but there are a lot of parts, and a great deal of painting to be done during this stage, so it won't be a five minute job, and you still have another turret to build. The top turret has another two .50cals on a mount, which is sandwiched between the top and bottom "floor" and is joined by a number of other small parts, plus a short length of ammo leading down into the curved cans that are then fitted at the front, plus an armoured back with two oxygen tanks for the gunner in a small PE sling. It is set aside while the fuselage is joined, and slotted into the hole behind the canopy shortly after. The B-24's Davis wing relied on a long wingspan and narrow chord for high speed, but in return gave poor low speed handling, and had a high wing loading, which put a lot of stress on the airframe. In order for the model not to tear itself in half once completed, HB have included the mother of all spars, which extends 36cm across the centre of the aircraft once inserted. It slides into the slot over the bomb bays, and ledges on a lug to ensure it fits centrally, after which you can finally (finally!!!!) close up the fuselage, at which point you'll see a lot less of your hard work on the interior, but because of the scale, you'll still see a lot more than if it was 1:72 or 1:48. The aforementioned top turret drops into place behind the cockpit, and the canopy is fixed down over the aperture along with the nose-mounted astrodome, the "whiskers" on the nose sides, the open tamboured bomb bay doors and the wind deflectors in front of the waist gunner windows. Flipping the fuselage over, the bombardier's window goes on under the nose turret, the nose gear bay doors are added to the sides, four PE skins are fitted to the bomb bay centreline, the belly turret insert slots in on four upstands that hold it level with the skin of the outer fuselage, and here you'll just need to double-check that it is level before committing to glue. The rear hatch fills the aperture in the space between belly turret and tail, and that's the fuselage done for now. The main gear bays are buried deep in the wing, so need building up before construction on the wing begins in earnest. They are made up from individual slabs and a slightly curved roof that is in fact meant to be the underside of the skin. A number of ribs and stringers are installed, and it's all painted interior green, times two in mirror image. The finished wells fit into the lower wing, which has no nacelles at this stage, while the upper wing has the tops of the nacelles moulded-in, with a gap for the cooling flaps, which are separate. Top and bottom formation lights and a landing light near the gear bay are added from clear parts, and the process is repeated for the other side. The wings have heavy stiffening ribs inside, and are closed up around the spar that is now poking out of the fuselage on both sides, retained in place by stout turrets that pass through holes in the spar (see the pics for details). They could be adapted to be removable, and my first thoughts are to remove the turrets and add a neodymium magnet to the side of the gear bay to clamp against a piece of sheet metal that is attached to the spar. It could work, and it's bound to be something someone figures out fairly quickly, as there can't be all that many modellers with enough space to permanently display a complete B-24 with its wings on. During the mating process the flaps and ailerons are trapped between the halves, and the two lower engine nacelles with their cooling flaps and huge supercharger intakes recessed into the bottom complete the aft section of the nacelles and await the engine cowlings. There are some issues with the wing thickness and angle of incidence that have already been brought to light by other diligent modellers, but the fix is quite involved, and may terrify some of us (self included), for what might seem to some to be a slight difference, and to others it will make all the difference. I'm not sure yet which camp I fall into, but you can work that one out for yourself! Repeat the process (this is getting repetitive!) for the other wing, and then assemble the main gear legs around their central tougher strut, with retraction jacks, scissor-links and rubbery wheels with two-part hubs. This will be the first time the B-24 has stood on its own three wheels, and here I'm going to apply my usual pet worry about rubberised tyres on what is a rather heavy model. I don't know for sure what the long term prognosis will be for this plastic, but I would be sorely tempted to replace them with resin aftermarket wheels as and when they become available, just in case. We'll reconvene in 10 years and see whether I was right or not – I won't gloat if I am, I promise There are predictably four engine cowlings, and they are made up from an outer section and a small insert that blanks off the intakes on the sides. The Pratt & Witney R-1830 radial engines, which were a direct lift from the Catalina are depicted as two pseudo banks by applying the cylinder parts back-to-back, so that they will be seen through the front of the nacelle, and through the cooling flaps at the rear. The aforementioned PE harness is bent around the front bank, and an old-skool axle with collar is buried inside to take the three-bladed prop and allow it to spin freely once installed. The completed quartet are applied to the fronts of the nacelles once assembled, the retractable bumper is added at the rear, and small gear bay doors are attached to the newly fitted main gear legs. The instructions would have you fit the whiskers again at this stage, but don't be fooled – just do it the once, as late on as you can get away with, as they look eminently breakable! The build tails off with the big H-tail, and I'm really sorry about that pun. The main plane has separate elevators, all of which are made up of top and bottom parts, with the rudders also being separate from their fins, so that you can pose them as you please to add a little more interest to the area. The completed tail drops into the gap in the fuselage, closing over the fuselage, and completing the build save for a trio of antennae on the spine between wings and tail. At this stage you'll probably have knocked most things off your desk at some point with those massive wings, and be starting to wonder where you'll put it. Markings You'll probably need a larger spray booth for this one unless you've figured out how to make the wings removable, and you'll be pleased to hear that HB have included three decal options from the box on this large sheet. If you're phobic about natural metal finishes, you'll also be pleased to hear that there's an olive drab option too, although the aftermarket decal options are sure to balloon once this has been on general release for a while. Polka-dotted assembly ship anyone? There were a few Js. Now I'm wondering… and yes, there are some schemes out there that will probably be scaled up soon if not already. From the box you can build one of the following: B-24J-185-CO 44-40927 "51" 'My Akin?' of the 722nd BS, 450th BG B-24J-25-CF 42-109816 "YM" 'War Goddess' of the 409th BS, 93BG B-14J-175-CO 44-40674 "Going My Way" of the 431BS, 11BG As usual, Hobby Boss give very little info regarding the decal options, so I've had to use my rudimentary Google Fu to come up with any more information, although it's not hugely difficult. The two letter codes in the type represents the factory where the airframe was constructed, with CO standing for Consolidated's San Diego factory, and CF for their Fort Worth operation. The numeric code after the J Series letter is the Block Number. You can find a huge list of factories and such online here. Conclusion For the money, it's unlikely you'll get a bigger model, and to a great many of us it's a B-24J Liberator that will look awesome once built and painted. If you're a super detailer, you've got a lot more than a blank canvas on hand, as the detail levels are already excellent, especially when you consider the price. There are a couple of issues, the most notable being with the wing, but if that's not an issue for you, and I can very well see that being the case with a lot of folks, then it's a no-brainer. Go and get your credit card! If you're concerned about the wing, get your search engine to point you at the fix being worked on by our member Iain, or any others that are doubtless being worked on. As a point of note, it'll be impossible to sneak this box in past the missus if this is a criteria for you, but if you do get caught, it's almost big enough to live in anyway, so it's all good. Speaking personally, I'll be figuring out how to make the wings removable, loading it up with detail, and probably hiding my eyes about the wing, whilst singing "la-la-la can't hear you". Review sample courtesy of
  22. This is the Hobby Boss kit of Richard Vogt's gloriously asymmetrical design for Blohm & Voss. About 20 Bv141Bs were built, intended for short-range reconnaissance and ground support roles. The production details are murky and many airframes are unaccounted for. Competition for the BMW 801A engine meant that production was halted in 1942. The kit contains decals for two 141Bs - call-sign NC+RA, which was photographed while undergoing testing but seems never to have flown operationally; and GK+GH, a later airframe photographed by the US Army in a wrecked condition at the end of the war. I've built the former, which was numbered Bv 141 V10 or Bv 141B 02. I used the kit decals, but ignored the painting instructions, which called for a dark grey interior and RLM65/02/71 exterior. I went with RLM02 interior, which seemed more likely for the date of manufacture, and RLM 65/70/71 camouflage, which fits better with the low-contrast appearance of photographs. (Reference images from Richard A. Franks's Bv 141 Technical Guide.) The kit goes together well and was a pleasant build, the main error being that the propeller is the wrong way round - a particularly glaring error for an aircraft which was designed to be asymmetrical in part to counter the engine torque. Fortunately, True Details make a replacement propeller. I also used the (very nice) Eduard PE detail set, and paint masks from Montex (for the interior) and Eduard (exterior). Paints are Colourcoats from Sovereign Hobbies, weathering a mix of TrueColor Liquid Pigment and Tamiya powders, and Plastikote sealer from a rattle can. These aircraft seemed to get pretty grubby/faded: I was a little more understated with my own attempt at weathering, trying to reproduce this sort of appearance: I did some minor scratch building as detailed in the WiP thread: Here's the result:
  23. Greetings Friends! I recently finished this model and was disappointed in my build, but just decided to post anyway... I was having health issues and so this one dragged out and I just decided to finish it up quick. I had tremendous decal struggles and there is quite a bit of silvering that no amount of solvent could eliminate fully. Then like a dummy, I glopped extra glue on the underside when attaching flaps! All in all a job that I really wrecked! Oh well... This Hobby Boss kit built well but is very inaccurate and so I got a Fusion Resin correction kit for the nose and the prop. Now it looks like a Ta152C, with the cockpit slid back from where it is in a Dora, gives it a unique appearance as does the Mercedes Engine with the supercharger scoop on the port side. I had to cut the tip of nose off but the Fusion resin parts fitted great and look great Highly recommend! More of my problems is the Fusion exhaust pipes fell inside the model in a tiny hole! So had to use the bad kit exhausts. A build I rather forget! I painted with Mr. Color RLM75/83 on Top over RLM76 and natural Metal underside, using the excellent Super Silver and Super Iron Mr. Color metallizer paints. This is real as the Germans were running low on RLM76 and photos of these Ta152C's show partial underside in NMF. I was sick and still painted it but didn't do well with the green. I just rushed to get it done. Decals are Eagle Strike Ta152C and Aeromaster Wing Walks. I had a devil of a time with the decals, they kept popping off the surface despite nice Tamiya gloss coat and solvaset... The last pic shows the unique wood grain flaps. The Eagle strike sheet gives you these decals, and they look different... Here it is...
  24. HobbyBoss is to release in late February 2019 a 1/72nd Douglas A-4E Skyhawk kit - ref. 87254 Source: http://www.hobbyboss.com/index.php?g=home&m=article&a=show&id=129&l=en It'll be the first of a 1/72nd Skyhawk family. - ref. 87254 - Douglas A-4E Skyhawk - ref. 87255 - Douglas A-4F Skyhawk - ref. 87256 - Douglas A-4M Skyhawk V.P.
  25. CH-47D Chinook (81773) 1:48 Hobby Boss via Creative Models Ltd The CH-47 Chinook is a tandem rotor heavy lift helicopter, developed by Vertol and manufactured by Boeing Vertol since 1962. Its incredible longevity is testament to the quality, flexibility and robustness of the original design. Over 1,200 examples have been produced, and the type has seen frontline service in conflicts such as the Vietnam War, the Falklands Conflict in British service, both Gulf Wars and Afghanistan where its utility was so much in evidence that many airframes became worn out as a result. In its capacious loading area, the Chinook could lift a 24,000lb payload or carry anywhere between 33 and 55 troops. The CH-47D was fitted with more powerful engines than its predecessors, adding an additional 2,000lbs to its internal or external carriage capacity. It is often used to carry 105mm howitzers, associated equipment and crew, as well as the usual troop transport role, with improved avionics leading to a production run of just over 20 years, with moderate overseas sales, and served alongside the comparable MH-47D that was used primarily by Special Forces with in-flight refuelling capability amongst other alterations to suit its cloak-and-dagger role. The Kit This is a re-boxing of their 2021 tooling of the CH-47A with new parts to represent the improvements made to the airframe between initial variant and the late 70s upgrade. It arrives in their standard top-opening box with a painting of the aircraft on the front, plus some profiles and 3D CAD renderings on the sides. Inside the box are nine sprues in grey styrene, three clear sprues, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, decal sheet, instruction booklet in black and white, plus a colour painting guide printed on both sides of a glossy sheet of paper. Detail is good throughout, and if you have seen the original release, you’ll recognise many of the parts in the box. Construction begins weirdly with the fire extinguisher from the rear of the cockpit, which is mounted on an L-shaped base, then fixed in the rear of the cockpit floor on a pair of pegs, along with twin rudders, cyclic and collective sticks, then the main instrument panel with integrated centre console, all of which have white dial decals applied after painting. The seats have cushions added, a grab-handle on the top and a frame at the back, then they too are joined to the cab area of the interior floor, which is a very nicely detailed single part. There is a tunnel between the cockpit and load compartment, which is made up from a number of parts, the visible areas of which have diamond quilting engraved into the surface, plus equipment boxes on some of them. The completed sub-assembly is then joined to the floor aft of the raised crew area, and a door in the floor is also added from underneath. More racks of avionics are added in the tunnel between the two areas that will be visible from the load area, but notionally sectioned off by a pair of C-shaped rails. The fuselage halves both have quilting moulded into the insides, and the rear part also has raised ribbing, all of which is painted aircraft grey, and after they are joined together the circular side windows are installed from inside, with the choice of domed viewing ports for the rear two on each side. Two small PE grilles are also fitted inside the rear rotor tower, and some holes are cut out before the two halves are joined later. Another of those fire extinguishers is made up and glued into the rear of the port fuselage half, an L-shaped ribbed hose is inserted into the starboard cockpit, and another ribbed assembly is inserted into the rear rotor tower, then the fuselage is closed up around the interior, whilst adding the quilted roof as you close up. There are two powerful turbine engines turning the blades of the Chinook, and these are both made up with a pleasing amount of detail, including some PE grilles inserted from inside of the cowlings and forward filters along the way, which increases realism over the usual plastic rendition. The completed assemblies are fixed to the fuselage sides in recesses, and the additional fuel tanks are detailed with internal bulkheads and inserts before being glued to the side of the fuselage along with a long high-frequency rail antenna that runs down much of the length of the fuselage. The starboard side door at the front of the fuselage is also added, with the step and optional window panel fixed to the aperture by two hinges. The rear of the fuselage is open at the moment, until the rear tail is glued into position after detailing it with some small parts in preparation for the rear access ramp later. While the fuselage is inverted the underside is dotted with aerials, a tear-drop shaped fairing or front shackle, plus two more shackles further back, the optional floor hatch cover and a beacon just forward of the hatch. The front wheels are each two parts, applied to a T-shaped strut made from three parts each, and inserted into the cut-outs in the fuel tank sponsons, which have two covers with clear lights inserted. The rear wheels hang out of the back of the sponsons, and are suspended on horizontal struts with braces and a pivot to allow the wheels to swivel. More aerials are fixed to the underside, a small PE grille and two clear lights are attached to the rear of the rotor tower, and the load ramp is made up with a choice of two slightly different options. They share many of the same parts, but have a different lip to accommodate the two styles of fold-up sections, of which there are three in each option. With the detailed floor added to the top, it is joined to the fuselage and secured at the correct angle by adding a pair of stuts to the sides. To finish off the fuselage, the windscreen has a pair of holes drilled into it (carefully) to accept a pair of probes and two other small parts before it is glued onto the front of the cab. A long avionics tunnel stretches between the front and rear rotor towers on the D, locked in place by a series of pins and holes in the top of the fuselage, with a clear curved window in the front of the rear rotor tower. For a helicopter with twin rotors, the blades are a big part of its appeal, both from an aerodynamics point of view because it cancels out the torque of the single-rotor design that necessitates a tail-rotor, but also because they’re massive, broad and highly visible on the finished model, making the distinctive rotor-slap that garnered the Chinook the nickname ‘Wokka’ in some quarters. The two rotor sets are identical, starting with a tapered drive shaft onto which the various layers of the rotor-head lower are slid, with the three-blade boss laid onto the circular head to be joined by the blades, followed by the rotor-top that locks them in place. Each blade has the prototypical droop moulded-in, an insert under its root to thicken the area to scale, and has a small actuator for the pitch-control trapped between the two halves. The two blade units are dropped into the holes in the top of the rotor turrets and should be able to rotate unless you’ve made a mess with the glue. You may elect to leave them completely loose to ease transport if you take it to shows on occasion. The last two parts are the windscreen wipers, with a small inset diagram showing their correct location on the two sides of the front screen. Markings There are two decal options on the sheet, and in Hobby Boss’s usual style there’s little information about them, other than which decals goes where, and colours in Gunze codes. From the box you can build one of the following: The decals are well-enough printed to carry out the task, and consist mostly of stencils and walkway markings for the top of the fuselage, with a couple of US Army markings and the serials. The main differences are the yellow rotor tips and the tail codes. Conclusion Chinooks are great, and this is a well-detailed modern tooling of the type in my favourite scale. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
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