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  1. Hello everyone. VMA-311 ‘Tomcats’ April 1985. After just a 40 year wait I’ve finally got myself a Scooter that was knocking around as I was growing up. With the Hasegawa kit not being really available for some time, the box art of the Hobby Boss kit was a good selling point for me. Sadly everything went down hill from here on in, with my build strewn with errors and too many accessories it’s made me feel a little stupid. . The M ‘Mike’ boxing is frankly a disaster zone, it’s missing the best part of two sprue’s, the clear parts missing are the anti-col lights, and a good chunk of aerials and air scoops. The wings don’t come with the prominent ‘slats’ which is a deal breaker for a lot of modellers. It comes with a vast selection of weapons, sadly not applicable for this A/C. Accessories used: ResKit wheels. (Didn’t enjoy these rascals.) Eduard Multiple Ejector Launcher. (Lovely - but time consuming to build.) Eduard Mk 82 Snake Eye with retardant tails. (Lovely but horrible to assemble.) Eduard cockpit etch set. (Really lovely.) Attack Squadron/Arma Hobby Douglas 150 Gal fuel tanks. (Ggggrrrrr - never again.) Quick Boost 48-574 F-105 Thunerchief aerials. (For missing kit parts.) Quick Boost intake covers. (Lovely.) Quick Boost 48-574 Kfir C2-C7 air scoops. (For missing parts.) Quick Boost refuelling probe. (I managed to snap the kit part off and couldn’t get it to stay back on.) Anti-col lights. Spares box. (Just not funny H.B ) Two Bobs 48092 Lo-Vis Mikes Pt I. (Out of production, really would like to see as set of 1/32 Tomcats decals low-vis.) Plus Models F-4 Phantom pilot set. (Pilot has his side arm weapon removed.) This dark and moody photo is where some of the model features became a prerequisite - intake blanks and white fuel tanks. Inspiration for paint colours and weathering. The air brakes have been depicted as just cracked as per reference photos. Many missing and much needed aerials and scoops are shown here. I’ve gone for a sun bleached weathered look. It might be just a grey colour scheme but, red intake blanks, yellow steps, blue bombs and black cat art lift things. This IPad is really struggling to create a decent photo. One of the problems with the underside, is well, it might not be seen. But I’ve given the bomb bodies a sun bleached look and a greasy grubby looking lower surfaces. The fuel tanks this time around being mostly clean. Now if I could make an OA-4M to go with this kit I’d be very happy, but Hasegawa TA-4J is rarer than hens teeth. Thanks for looking.
  2. HobbyBoss is to release a 1/48th Fairchild-Republic A-10C Thunderbolt II kit - ref. 81796 A new variant from its original A-10 kit - ref. 80323 - link Source: http://www.hobbyboss.com/index.php?g=home&m=article&a=show&id=207&l=en V.P.
  3. I stumbled across the Toldi a few months ago and knew that I wanted to build one right away. Germany would not supply its allies during WWII, so Hungary decided to build its own. Sweden was one of the few countries prepared to sell to Hungary, and they had what was at the time (1934) one of the best tanks around in the L-60 with sloped, welded armour and torsion bar suspension. Hungary purchased a licence and began to produce their own as means of kickstarting their industry. After many production delays they finally arrived already obsolete with just a 20mm gun and poor armour. A few attempts to up-gun them failed, and when they came up against Russian T-34s they didn't stand a chance. I've started with the HobbyBoss Toldi I. I bought an SBS resin and PE upgrade set, but have barely used anything other than the lights and storage chest clasps. A metal SBS 20mm gun barrel is on there too. It's built other than the upper/lower hull that I'll be able to leave until the very end. The weird circular aerial will go on last, and fall off within a week... The HobbyBoss individual link tracks are absolutely awful, they just don't fit together without forcing them so after making up about 1/3 of one side I gave up and shopped around. Way over-priced but I now have a set of Friul metal tracks to put together (I'm a Friul virgin, so it will be fun). Here it is in primer: And here is what I'm aiming at (excuse the shadows, my light is directly above my desk, useless for taking photos) I love these odd markings. A green cross on a red octagon? Who can that be? It will be finished simply, I've realised that I love the build, hate the painting, so I'm just after a nice clean finish for everything that I do from now on. A Toldi III in olive drab will soon join it on the shelf.
  4. It's finished! 1/18 scale FW-190 A-8 has left the bench. The model produced by HobbyBoss lacking a lot of details, it has them less than models in 1/72 but I wanted to make it because the larger the model, the easier it is to stuff the electrics. I remade the interior of cockpit, added aluminum foil seatbelts, added gunsight and detailed a bit landing gear wells. The armament is made of brass tubes. Apart from that, I added diodes, optical fibers and a motor. As German equipment other than prototypes and what-ifs will never appear on my shelves, I painted my FW in the colors it wore when the Yankees tested it at the Toul-Rosières airport in France in 1945. To paint this one I've used AK Real Color, Tamiya and Mr Hobby paints, and weathered it with Ammo Mig pigments and liquids also from this manufacturer. It is driven by a 12V motor and the optical fibers are powered by 12V LED diodes. The resin lady on the wing (to distract from the lack of details of the model ) is also on a 1/18 scale, from Coree. My wife helped me plant the grass on the base, many thanks Short movie with working engine and lights:
  5. Lockheed U-2A Dragon Lady (87270) 1/72 HOBBYBOSS via Creative Models The U-2 is a high altitude reconnaissance aircraft currently in service with the US Air Force. It was proposed and developed by Lockheed in the 1950s. Proposed in 1953, approved in 1954; and test flown in 1955 the aircraft was designed by the legendary Clarence "Kelly" Johnson. The design was based on the F-104 with a shortened fuselage and longer wings the aircraft with its lack of conventional landing gear was in all purposes a jet powered glider. Although rejected by the USAF the aircraft came to the attentions of the CIA who were up until this point relying on the USAF for intelligence flights. In the end due to lack of performance of other projects the U-2 was given the go ahead by a joint CIA/UASF project. The U-2 has undergone many design changes of the years from the original U-2A with the aircraft still continuing to serve with the USAF despite attempts to retire it. The only other nation to officially use the U-2 was Taiwan, though it later emerged the RAF had access to aircraft during the 1960s via the CIA. The Kit This is a brand new tool kit from HobbyBoss. The kit has 66 parts over 4 main sprues and 2 clear sprues, the parts are very well moulded with fine engraved panel lines. The kit looks to represent the clean lines of the early U-2 with no issues at all. Construction starts not with the cockpit but with the main landing gear bay. This has a couple of parts for the gear added before it can be placed in the fuselage. Next up the basic cockpit is constructed. A five part seat, unfortunately this does not look like the early Lockheed seat at all but a later seat. You could always replace it with a wicker seat which the CIA did on a few flights to save weight! Next into the cockpit is the instrument panel (instruments as decals) and the control column. The exhaust is the next part to be built up. Once this is done the cockpit, exhaust, front & rear wheel bays and the airbrake bays can all be added into the fuselage halves, and they can be closed up. The wings which are conventional left/right/upper/lowers can be built up and added to the fuselage along with the single part tail plane and rudder (left & right halves). Next up the main and tail landing gear are built up and added along with inserts in the main wing. To finish up the air brake doors are added along with the main intakes; then the gear doors can be added along with the wing pogo units. The last items are a few aerial, lights, the canopies and the end wing bumper units. Decals Decals are provided for 3 aircraft, all in a Natural Metal Finish, decals are in house and look to have no issues. 66701 - UASF (overall NMF) 66701 - USAF (overall NMF with large patches of International Orange) 320 - National Advisory Committee For Aeronautics (later to become NASA) Conclusion This is a great looking kit from HobbyBoss and their attention to detail is to be commended. Overall recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  6. Small pleasant model that I had chosen to clear my mind after my first Mirage IIIE Modelsvit, to make a "quickly done" model.... Well, not so easy for me.... six months anyway ! This does not come from the model but only from me, which drags me miserably. The kit itself is very easy, no pitfalls, super assemblies. I also took a little time to have fun doing a two-tone camouflage (while the green suited him very well too...). And also to try various patina techniques. On a tank, we risk less. On the historical side, this SS-23 was designed at the end of the 1970s, entered service in 1979. Its fatal purpose was to transport nuclear tactical missiles. Intended to replace part of the Scub-B fleet, it was reputed to be very effective and made it a formidable weapon. The entire SS-23 fleet was disbanded in 1987 following the US-Soviet FNI disarmament agreements of 1987. And now photos : I hope you will like it. Complete set of photos can be find there and the work in progress there. Alain.
  7. I have begun a project I am calling "the Minor Gustavs," attempting to model Bf 109Gs that served in the air forces of "smaller" countries (i.e., not Germany and Italy). I wanted a quick way to get into this, and a "surprise" day off from work gave me the opportunity to challenge myself with a "blitz" build of HobbyBoss's "easy assembly" Bf109 G-6 "late" kit. I wanted to see if I could complete it in 24 hours, and that did not happen. But, she was all done in 66 hours, and anyway I had a blast! In the spirit of keeping it quick, I built this as a Romanian Ga-6 (main difference being teardrop MG blisters) with a single Russian blue colour (Tamiya XF-23), using decals from an out-of-print RB sheet I managed to procure from a hobby shop in California. I cut off the kit rear wheel and used a spare from an AZ kit, and RB provided resin for the unique blisters, but otherwise this is all OOB. This is the WIP thread, if interested:
  8. Here is my build of HobbyBoss's recently released F/A 18F in 1/48 scale. Really can't knock the kit, I haven't build the Meng or Hasagawa kit personally but I reckon it can hold its own against those kits, really no complaints at all went together a treat, used Mr Hobby Aqueous paints. Went for VFA-154 "Black Knights" scheme based on USS Nimitz on and around 2013. Please let me know your thoughts and critique appreciated.
  9. Hi All Completed build number 2, much happier with this than the first. The kit itself comes with five photoetch frets, so that up'd the challenge from Dreadnought for starters. She's brush painted in Humbrol enamels, mixed up my own red for the hull, then decks are 123, and hull/uppers is 125. The kits is very nicely engineered and goes together a dream generally. I augmented it with Model master barrels for the main and secondary armament and then likewise Model masters resin and turned brass aa guns (2 types) and training guns (they were chuffing awkward/tiny). The kit has some railing but lacks the main deck and most of the boat deck as well, so that is from my Repulse kit as I have after market for her. I added a thin line of evergreen strip to replicate a wooden rail that ran around her stern and scratch built the struts for the seaplane. It was my first proper go with photo etch and then I tries simplified rigging and overall I'm very pleased with her. She's taken a long while to complete but that was partly due to the amount of time between coats of paint at the start of the build then my wandering attention, a really nice kit to build and is such a lovely looking ship I might well do her sister ship at some point, Apologies some of the pics aren't great, my phone refuses to focus at times, Firsts; Photoetch as well as working out my own for that not provided Main barrels AA Resin and barrels Pin washing Rigging Build log here; I recently did a presentation course and the guidance was always one thing you liked (or more) and one thing you could do better so points I can improve are always welcome thanks for looking Sam
  10. Hi all, RFI, my completed Hobby Boss 1/48 Avenger built as an FAA 846 Squadron aircraft launched from HMS Trumpeter on 4th May 1945. Operation Judgement was the Royal Navy’s final offensive action of WW2 in Europe. The WIP is posted here and contains all the decision making, some the reasoning, and all the progress in completing this model. I’m very pleased with how it turned out particularly as there were some elements that stretched my abilities. The photos below were shot with a Canon DSLR and a 24-70mm macro lens on aperture priority at f11. The studio is my kitchen bench Cheers.
  11. One of my projects for the website this year is a piece focused on the events of a single day, the 4th May 1945. This was the date of the last offensive operation mounted by the FAA against the Germans, and on the other side of the planet, the RN was also mounting carrier operations, also with Avengers, against the Japanese. I’ll be building two Avengers for this piece, one Hobby Boss and the other Italeri, ex Accurate Miniatures. The first of these builds is the Operation Judgement Avenger using the Hobby Boss kit. My reference photo is this one; There are a series of impressive photos of this operation, of which this is one of the more well known. Some of you may remember that during an intermission in another build last year I actually started this kit. I had just smash moulded the round windows when it became apparent that I’d removed too much internal structure in the fuselage so the first order of business was to replace it. It’s a little on the crude side but will suffice considering the extremely limited view afforded of it once the fuselage is closed. Next I repainted the cockpit assemblies the correct interior green colours, I.e. I’ve now painted the bronze green as well as the interior green. I’d previously built the observer’s cockpit, and now that it’s base painted I’ll get on and detail that area. I also worked on the instrument panels. The pilot’s one is from references, the observer’s one from my imagination. I may or may not use it. I simply paired it black, dry brushed and then scratched lines in the gauges before filling them with Klear/Future. I picked out some of the details with paints and Calle sit done. Those who have followed my previous builds know I have little patience for cockpits! So that’s the state of play for now. I’m not going to build the two Avengers in parallel, the second will be later this year. I’m travelling a bit for work this week but hope that by the weekend I’ll have, or at least be close to having the fuselage closed up. Cheers.
  12. KJ-200 Chinese AEW Aircraft (83903) 1:144 HobbyBoss via Creative Models Ltd The KJ-200 NATO Reporting name Moth (Or Y-8 Balance Beam) is a Chinese AEW / Airborne Early Warning Aircraft. The key component of the system is an Active electronically scanned array (AESA) phased array radar antenna in which the radar beam is electronically steered without moving the antenna. This is mounted on a Shaanxi Y-8 which is itself based on the An-12. The PLA Air Force currently have 7 of these, and the PLA Navy 3. The Kit Until now I don't think there has been a kit of this aircraft. In 1.144 it is still large but manageable for most modellers. The kit arrives on 5 sprues of grey plastic, a clear sprue, a small sheet of PE and 4 individual propellers (these are packed in their own box for added protection). The whole cockpit/nose section of the aircraft is moulded in clear plastic. Construction starts by adding some internal parts and the windows to the main fuselage sections. Then the main internal floor is made up with the front gear well on the underside of this, Internal bulkheads are fitted as is the main cabin roof. At the front the basic cockpit is completed. Instruments are provided for the panel as decal. The cabin/cockpit is fitted into the main fuselage and this is closed up. The nose section can then be added along with the wings. There is a single part upper with left/right lowers, once these are together wing tips need to be added. The tailplanes are also then added with there end fins. The engine nacelles can then be built up and added along with the landing gear. Lastly the single part props are added and the radar beam id made up and added. The final thing to do is a to add a series of PE blade aerials to the fuselage though the instructions don't show them being added. They are just there in the last steps. Markings There is a small decal sheet as the aircraft carries minimal markings. Just National insignia, serials and warnings for the props. Decals are printed in house and have good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion This is a really nice rendition of this unusual aircraft. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  13. HobbyBoss is to release 1/48th Sukhoi Su-17M-4 & Su-17UM-3 "Fitter-K & G" kits - ref. 81758 & 81759 - in 2016-2017 Source: https://www.facebook.com/TrumpeterModel/photos/a.103538733138062.8169.103526326472636/537476479744283/?type=3&theater V.P.
  14. South African Olifant Mk.1B Hobbyboss 1:35 History The Olifant Mk.1B (Elephant) is an upgraded variant of the Olifant Mk.1A tank. The Mk.1B was developed as an interim solution. It entered service with South African National Defence Forces in 1991. About 44 vehicles were upgraded to the Mk.1B standard. The Olifant Mk.1B main battle tank has a number of armour improvements over its predecessor. Passive armour has been added to the glacis plate and nose of the hull. Turret has been fitted with stand-off composite armour. Protection against mines has been improved by adding double floor. New side skirts were fitted. This main battle tank was also fitted with an automatic fire suppression system. The Olifant Mk.1B MBT is armed with the British L7 105-mm rifled gun. This gun is compatible with all standard NATO 105-mm munitions. A total of 68 rounds for the main gun are carried inside the vehicle. This main battle tank was also fitted with new fire control system. Secondary armament consists of two 7.62-mm machine guns. One of them is mounted coaxially with the main gun, while the other one is placed on top of the roof. The Olifant Mk.1B tank has a crew of four, including commander, gunner, loader and driver. The Olifant is powered by a new Continental turbocharged diesel engine, developing 950 horsepower acquired from Israel. These replaced the petrol engines in the earlier variant and improved the power to weight ratio. By fitting the diesel and additional fuel tanks range was increased by quite a margin. The Model It’s been a long time coming and on the wants list of many an armour modeller, but at least it has been released and joins an ever growing list of South African military vehicles now available in injection moulded plastic. The kit is packed in a nice sturdy box with a depiction of the tank on the move on the front. Inside there are six sprues and four separate parts, all in a dark yellowish styrene, four sprues in a brown styrene, on in clear, twenty four plastic “tyres”, two sheets of etched brass and a small decal sheet. The mouldings are, as usual very well done, with no sign of imperfections or flash, but there are quite a few moulding pips to clean up before many of the parts can be used. The moulded detail on the hull and turret parts is very nicely done, and matches pretty well with the real vehicle. The build begins with the fitting of the torsion bean suspension arms to the lower hull, along with the lower glacis plate and three under side mounted access panels. Each of the axles is then fitted with their respective shock absorbers, with the foremost and rearmost units being fitted with bump stops. The twelve double return rollers are then assembled, each from three parts, while the two part drive gear covers are fitted with a single roller These assemblies are then glued into place on the lower hull. Each road wheel consists of an inner and outer wheel, separate tyres and an outer cover. Once assembled these are then glued to their axles, as are the two piece idlers and drive sprockets. The individual track links are held onto the sprue by only two gates, thus making them easy to clean up. What is not so easy is the assembly of ach track length. Consisting of one hundred and five links, each link has to be glued to the next, which is fine for the upper and lower runs, but less easy getting the correct flow around the idlers and drive sprockets. Moving on to the upper hull, the driver’s vision ports are fitted from the inside, while on the outside the track guards and rear mudflaps are attached. The large forward mudflaps are next, and these are fitted with three attachment straps before being glued into place. The rear lights, towing hook and eyes are fitted to the rear, along with a large breaker bar. Also fitted to the rear bulkhead is a large storage box, which is covered by a PE chequer plate along the top and sides, the two exhausts are also fitted, one each side of the storage box. Several small brackets are glued to each side of the hull, along the track guards, while on the drivers position and large external armoured vision port is fitted, along with its associated wiper and wiper motor box. The large spaced armour block is fitted to the upper glacis plate, along with several small items. The drivers hatch is then assembled from three parts and fitted into position, while either side of the front engine deck, two, three piece intakes are attached, probably air conditioning units. Staying on the engine deck, several guards and grab handles are attached along with more brackets. The upper hull is then attached to the lower hull, followed by the fitting of the two five piece heavy duty towing eye blocks, which also incorporate the headlights are fitted to the glacis plate. Two more eyes and their shackles are fitted to the lower rear plate. The main gun is split in two parts longitudinally, once the two halves have been glued together, they are slid into the four piece mantle. Inside the upper turret section the commanders clear vision ports are fitted, before the gun assembly and the lower hull section glued into place. On each side of the rear of the turret there are four smoke dischargers, their two bar guard and just behind them an unusually shaped bin. The rear bustle of the turret is fitted with three sets of three track links and their fixing bars. The top of the turret is fitted with two more vision blocks on the gunner’s side, lifting eyes and two aerial bases. The commander’s side is then fitted with a sighting unit which also has a wiper and associated motor, plus to protection bars over the top, at the same time the gunners hatch is assembled and glued into place. Finally another large sighting unit is assembled from nine parts, and fitted onto the commander’s cupola, followed by the three piece hatch and two more two piece aerial bases. The completed turret is then attached to the hull completing the build. Decals While there is really only one colour scheme, the decals have markings for up to four different tanks. Essentially only the turret markings and numbers plates are different, although there are enough individual numbers to change two of the number plates to any tank with the same prefixes and suffix letter you can find reference for. The decals themselves look to be the usual fare from Hobbyboss, there are bright. clear, with good opacity and little carrier film. Conclusion It’s great to see this tank finally being released, bringing another part of the Centurion story to life. Not only that but with three South African vehicles now released, who knows what might be next, as there’s plenty of weird vehicles to choose from. The kit itself appears to be quite accurate when comparing with pictures of the real vehicle on the net, well, once I’d got over the fact that there is the Mk.1B and Mk.1B Optimum which is quite different from the kit tank. There’s nothing in the kit that should cause anyone any problems, other than the tracks, which can always be replaced with metal or resin aftermarket items. That said, I wish Hobbyboss/Trumpeter would make their tracks as user friendly as MiniArt are doing with their latest releases. Oh, and what were they thinking when they moulded the road wheel tyres separately? I guess once painted and weathered they will look ok, but for some modellers they will have to be replaced with resin road wheels or scrounge a set from the AFVClub Centurion kits. Review sample courtesy of
  15. Land-Wasser-Schlepper Hobbyboss built out of the box.
  16. This is the second Israeli Improvised Armoured Car that I've built, the previous one being a Type 4. This one required a bit more scratch building, but was just as enjoyable as the first one. I'm going to give them a rest for a while until the Armoured Car GB next October, and then it'll probably be based on a different vehicle. Meanwhile, if anyone is interested in the build, it can be found here; And this is the Type 1 and Type 4 for comparison; Type 1. Type 4. That's it for armoured cars until the GB in the Autumn. Thanks for looking and for any comments. John.
  17. The next Hobby Boss Corsair kit will be a 1/48th Vought F4U-1 Corsair late version - ref.80382 Release announced for late November 2015 in China. Source: http://www.hobbyboss.com/index.php?g=home&m=article&a=show&id=51&l=en V.P.
  18. So I'll be building this for the GB - got a bit of aftermarket stuff, some resin crew, Eduard photoetch and masks. Probably go with the low-vis scheme as it's a single overall colour making masking life easier for myself. I probably haven't built a Tomcat kit for almost 30 years, this one looks nice - even though it's in the 'easy assembly authentic kit' range it looks from the instructions to just be a rebox of their other F14 kit. Some of the kits in that HobbyBoss range look very simplist, however I really enjoyed building their 1/72 P-61 Black Widow in this range. Sprue shots etc. once I get started
  19. HobbyBoss is to release in late July 2021 a 1/72nd Lockheed U-2A Dragon Lady kit - ref. 87270 Source: http://www.hobbyboss.com/index.php?g=home&m=article&a=show&id=185&l=en 3D render+box art V.P.
  20. USS Gato SS-212 1941 1/350 HOBBYBOSS via Creative Models Beginning to enter service near the end of 1941, the diesel-fuelled Gato class submarines adopted the traditional US Navy submarine arrangement used since the end of WWI. They were equipped with four engine rooms, diesel-electric reduction gear, one auxiliary generator, four electric motors generating 5480 hp when submerged driven by two 126-cell batteries. Submerged endurance was 48 hours at 2 knots. Cruising range was 11,000 miles on the surface at 10 knots with 94,400 gallons of diesel fuel. Patrol duration was 75 days. Their performance was better on the surface than submerged, much like the rest of the worlds submarines at the time. At the outbreak of WWII the Gato class was produced in large numbers and became the workhorse of the US submarine fleet. In an attempt to cut off the supply chain of US forces from Australia the Japanese forces landed on the Solomon Islands on 20th January 1942, which also allowed Japan to target Australia directly. In retaliation, the US submarines were ordered to attack the Japanese supply chain which they did, from New Guinea waters all the way to Japans coastal waters. Throughout the war modifications and conversions to the Gato fleet were carried out the 3 inch deck guns were replaced with 4 inch and the bridge structures modified to accommodate 20mm Oerlikon cannon. The Gatos had many notable successes throughout the war, including the sinking of the carriers Tahio, (by USS Albacore), Shokaku, (by USS Cavalla) and virtually throttling the Japanese Islands of precious fuel and oil. The Kit This is a new tooling from HobbyBoss. The kit represents USS Gato the lead ship of her class as she was in 1941. She was laid down 5 October 1940, by the Electric Boat Company. She was launched 21 August 1941 sponsored by Mrs. Louise Ingersoll, wife of Admiral Royal E. Ingersoll, and commissioned 31 December 1941. As you can imagine in 1/350 the parts count is not large. There are 25 plastic parts and a PE name plate. The two main hull arts go together trapping the rudder at the stern. Also at the stern the two propeller shafts go on as well as the propellers. These are followed by the stern dive planes. At the bow the forward mast or jackstaff is added along with the bow planes and two anchors. Amidships the deck gun is added. Next up the deck house is completed with its fittings and at the top the masts and periscopes. If needed the base can then be made up along with the PE name plate and the finished boat placed on it. Decals Decals are provided for pendant numbers only. Conclusion This is a great looking kit from HobbyBoss. Overall recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  21. German Sd.Kfz.179 Bergepanther Ausf.G (84553) 1/35 HOBBYBOSS via Creative Models The Panther was WWII Germany's answer to the surprise appearance of the Russian T-34 after they finally reacted to the invasion that was Operation Barbarosa. 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. The Germans came to the realisation that they needed a form of armoured recovery vehicle as even the larger halftracks could not recover a Panther or Tiger tank. In fact so many tanks themselves became lost to recovery efforts that order were given not to try recovery with another tank. MAN were tasked to develop the vehicle and used the Panther chassis which was fitted with a central 40 tonne winch in place of the turret and a large rear spade to dig the vehicle in. Over the winch would be placed a wooden work platform and a light crane (1500 kgs capacity). The added benefit of the vehicle was that crew protection was improved and it could work under fire. As well as the standard machine gun a 2cm KwK-30 cannon was mounted on the front, though the use of this fell off in the latter stages of the war, The Kit This is a new tooling from HobbyBoss following on from a series of Panther kits which all use parts of the same toolings as needed. As well as the two main hull parts there are 21 sprues in caramac plastic, a clear sprure, two sheets of PE, chain thread and cable. Construction starts with the lower hull, to the outside are added bottom hatches, and to the side the gearbox housings and small fittings for the suspension. Moving to the inside a frame is made up for the full torsion bar suspension thats included in the kit. the bars insert from each side with end caps on the opposite ends. This frame is then fitted into the lower hull. The suspension arms are then fitted to the outside of the hull. The row of inner wheels is then fitted followed by 8 pairs of inner wheels which must be made up. The idler wheels are mad up and added to the rear. Next up the drive sprockets are made up and added along with the outer set of wheels. Construction then moves to the tracks, these are individual links which must be glued together and assembled while the glue used still has some flexibility. There are 98 links needed for each side. Each individual link has to have two guide horns added to it. We now move to the rest of the interior. With its open hull all of this can be seen. First up the front gearbox and drive train is made up and added in following a pair of checker floor plates. Now its the turn of the main recovery winch. This is a small model on its own with a raft of parts. The thread included is used here. The inner bulkhead to the engine compartment is fitted and then the winch assembly follows it in. The front bulkhead to the winch bay can then be added, To the rear of the tank the outer bulkhead has its exhausts added and then can be fitted to the hull. This now completes the lower hull. Work now moves to the upper hull. To the inside of the front hull is fitted the inside bulkhead and all the parts for the bow machine gun. To the top of the upper hull engine grills are fitted at the rear, and at the front is fitted a light and additional recovery equipment. Engine hatches and intake fans follow as well as additional hull fittings and tools. Additional track links are fitted to the side as well as the mounting rails for the PE side plates. The upper hull can now be fitted to the lower hull. To the rear the large blade to steady the vehicle when recovering gets assembled and fitted. This can either be raised or lowered. Tow bars fit to the engine deck and then the PE side pates are fitted to each side. The rear mounted lifting crane and its stays are added. At the front the bow mounted 2cm cannon is constructed and added, along with an additional machine gun which is mounted on the front right side of the tank. To finish off the large central mounted wooden/steel deck box is assembled and fitted over the main winch. Decals Decals are provided for national markings and hull numbers only. Two schemes are suggested in the kit, one in Dunkelgelb and one on three colour camo as per the box art. Conclusion This is a great looking kit from HobbyBoss and their attention to detail is to be commended. Overall Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  22. F/A-18F Super Hornet (85813) 1/48 HOBBYBOSS via Creative Models The Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet is the second generation F/A-18 following on the the F/A-18C. The F/A-18E was developed from the original Hornet and while it may look alike its very much a new aircraft which is 25% bigger. The US Navy managed to keep the F/A-18 designation partly to make the US Congress believe it would be a low risk development from the original aircraft (not the first time in US Aviation this has happened). The new aircraft was ordered in 1992 with a first flight in 1995. The aircraft introduced a new era in electronics including an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, bigger displays and a helmet mounted sighting system. To date the Super Hornet has replaced the legacy Hornet in all US Navy operations apart from the USN Aerobatic Team The Blue Angels, and even they will have transitioned by 2021. As well as the E model there is the two seat F model, and the latest development the G or "Growler" Electronic Warfare Aircraft. The Kit This is a new tooling from HobbyBoss. It arrives in a large top-opening box with an internal divider, and inside are 14 sprues and two fuselage halves in grey styrene, two in clear, a small fret of Photo-Etch (PE), a length of vinyl tube, three decal sheets, two glossy colour printed sheets with decal and painting instruction, and the instruction booklet in Hobby Boss’s usual landscape greyscale style. Detail is excellent throughout, with some exceptionally well-moulded gear and equipment bays around the model, and the inclusion of a small sheet of PE to add belts to the cockpit that is behind crystal clear glazing, so will be seen whether you leave the lid down or not. Construction begins with the two seats, which have been slide-moulded to reduce the part count while keeping the detail high. They are both fitted with a set of PE crew belts, and have stencil decals applied to the headbox, which also has a separate drogue-chute on the top, and a back plane fitted before they are dropped into the tub. HOTAS controls are supplied for each of the crew, and additional instruments are applied to the faceted side consoles, with controllers added along with decals. The instrument panels also have decals for their MFD covered faces, and the rear IP has a coaming between it and the front cockpit. The sidewalls are fitted in between the two sections, hiding away the blank interior of the fuselage once installed. As with many modern jets, the nose gear bay is directly below the pilots, and that bay is made from individual sides plus a few small additional detail parts. The bay is attached to the bottom of the cockpit tub using a short I-beam to support the rear, after which the completed assembly is surrounded by the skin of the nose section, which also has a pair of equipment bays moulded-in with impressive detail. Moving quickly on, the upper fuselage is prepared by drilling out a number of holes in its surface, plus those of the lower wing halves that are added early in the build. An A-shaped apron under the Leading Edge Root Extensions (LERX) is also installed along with doors for the built-in crew ladder under the port side, then the nose is attached to the fuselage from below after which it is faired in. With the model righted, the rear ‘turtle-deck’ and insert in front of the coaming are installed, the HUD is made up from two PE parts, two clear parts and a sled that it sits on once fitted to the coaming. The windscreen can be glued in place now, although there is a very fine seam from manufacture that should ideally be sanded away and polished back to clarity. Both parts of the canopy are slightly ‘blown’, so are made using three mould sections, with the resulting seam down the middle on the outside only. The seams on this kit are relatively fine thanks to the reduction in tolerances over the years, and you could create a perfectly acceptable model without bothering to remove them if you don’t feel confident. The circular hole in the nose is filled with a four-part radome, which can be left visible by hinging the nose cone open in the next step. This is achieved by changing the insert in the rear of the cone for one with the hinge projecting from the side, with a common insert in the top of the cone. There is plenty of space for nose weight in this area for either option, although with the nose closed over, the centre of mass will be that much further forward, so less weight will go further. Hobby Boss have provided full intakes and engines for the kit, not all of this detail will be seen but they are there. Each tubular assembly is made up from two sub-assemblies, one made from three sections, the other from two. With the glue dried, they are both wrapped in two-part rings and have further detail parts applied to the sides, and representations of the afterburner and engine faces at appropriate ends. The lower fuselage ‘torso’ is then made up from three larger sections that have the intake trunks made by adding additional surfaces and tiny PE vanes on the inner side walls. The completed engines and their exhausts are fixed into the rear of this assembly, then are joined by the square intake trunks that transition to round by the time they meet the front of the motors. It is then attached to the underside of the fuselage and the moulded-in bays are painted white. They are further detailed by a number of ribs, and small section of the fuselage side is installed next to the exhaust trunking, ready to support the elevons later on. The Super Hornet being a carrier aircraft has suitably robust landing gear that are captured here in plastic, with the rugged nose gear first to be made from a single part to which the clear landing light and other detail parts are added, then the twin two-part wheels are fixed to the axles, plus a bay door glued to the trailing retraction jack. Using different parts you can pose the launch bar up or down, depending on what you have in mind. The main gear legs are made from halves that trap an L-shaped insert and have layers of jacks fitted over the main struts, with a single wheel on a stub-axle at the end. All bays have additional actuators for the doors added in preparation for a plethora of well-detailed parts, one of which has a PE insert, and others have stencil decals applied after painting. At the same stage, the two equipment bays on the sides of the nose are given doors and stays, with no option shown for posing them closed, this will not be difficult to close them up though. The wings are simplistic stubs at this stage, which is remedied now by adding the full-width flaps, each with their actuators, which can be posed deployed or ‘clean’ at your whim. The leading-edge slats and flap spoilers are then added, after which the outer folding section of the wings are made up in a similar fashion, with either a straight or angled joint if you plan on posing your model with wings folded for below-decks, missile rails go on the outer edge of the folding part. The three pylons per wing are all made from two halves, and are affixed to the wings with another on the centreline that slots into holes in the underside of the fuselage. At the rear you can pose the arrestor hook in either down or stowed positions, and there are also two exhaust petal types for open or closed pipes. On the topside, the wing joints are covered by panels, and fences are installed on the inner wings, plus a few antennae around the nose area. The twin tail fins have separate rudders that differ if the wings are folded, and has a pair of clear lights added to each one, with the elevons just a pair of single thin aerofoils with a peg to join them to the aft of the fuselage. If you recall the optional boarding ladder door fitted at the beginning of the build, the reason it is optional becomes clear right at the end, when you build up the ladder, with separate steps and a brace that rests against the fuselage. It’s not abundantly clear how the area looks when exposed, but there are plenty of photos available online if you’re unsure. Weapons The kit comes with an impressive array of weapons, some of which will be used, and some not. The modeller will have to check their references for load outs. The only downside to including the Buddy re-fueling pod is that they only give you 2 fuel tanks not the 4 carried when acting as a tanker. A full sheet of decals for the weapons is also supplied. Provided are; 2 x Fuel Tanks 1 x Buddy Refueling pod 4 x AIM-120 (B & D) 2 x JDAM 2 x AN-ASQ-228-DCH Pod (With different carrying pylons) 2 x GBU-10 2 x GBU-12 2 x MK.83 6 x AIM-9X (With two twin rail carriers) 2 x GBU24 2 x MER 2 x TER 2 x AID-120D Launcher rails 2 x Twin stores carriers 4 x AGM-88 HARM Markings Two large decal sheets provide markings for 6 aircraft, in a break from their normal lack of information HB actually supply some details on these, the decals are glossy and in register, markings are provided for the following aircraft; 165913 - VFA-106 "Gladiators" - 2010 166621 - VFA-103 "Jolly Rodgers" - USS Dwight D Eisenhower 165915 - VFA-2 "Bounty Hunters" - USS Abraham Lincoln 166663 - VFA-213 "Black Lions" 166873 - VFA-154 "Black Knights" - USS Nimitz 2013 Aircraft from the Top Gun Maverick Film Conclusion This is a great looking kit from HobbyBoss and their attention to detail is to be commended, they really seemed to stepped up a notch here. Overall Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  23. HobbyBoss is to release a 1/48th Lavoshkin La-11 "Fang" kit in 2016-2017 - ref.81760 Source: https://www.facebook.com/TrumpeterModel/photos/a.103538733138062.8169.103526326472636/537476479744283/?type=3&theater V.P.
  24. 48N6E of 5P85S TEL S-300PMU SA-10 Gumble (82929) 1/72 HOBBYBOSS via Creative Models The S300 Missile System (NATO codename SA-10 Grumble) is a Russian developed long range Surface to Air Missile System. The 48N6E part designates the missile which is a newer one doubling the range of the older system. This is a 1500kg missile with an 143 Kgs warhead. The missile has a range of upto 150 kms up to 32000 feet. The 5P85S designates the TEL (Transport erector launcher). This carries 4 missiles. Form stop to ready takes 5 minutes then there is a 22 second reaction time. The system can work with the 64N6 Big Bird target acquisition radar, the 30N6E1 Tomb Stone target tracking radar; and the 5N66M/76N6E Clam Shell height finding radar. The vehicle chassis is the same across the Radar, command centre, and launcher vehicles. The Kit This is a brand new tool kit from HobbyBoss, first inspection reveals some very finely moulded parts in the box. The vehicle chassis is moulded as one part, and all the missile tubes are single piece hollow moulded. As well as the single chassis part the Cab & rear command module are single part mouldings, there are a further 4 spures, a clear sprue; and 8 rubber tyres. Construction starts with the chassis, even though the single part moulding is impressive it still needs the drive train and cross bracings to be attached. Once these are on the rest f the axles, suspension units and wheels can be fitted. The rubber tyres fit straight to the wheels. Next the storage boxes afix to the chassis and the hydraulic levellers for when the TEL is active. Once the chassis is complete we move onto the cab. The internal structure for the driving position is assembled and fitted into the single part cab moulding with the glass going in first. The underside parts can now be fitted. A frame is attached to the chassis and the Cab unit fits onto this Next u the module behind the cab is assembled and attached to the same frame. The TEL part of the unit is next to be assembled. Care must be taken with this in order for it to move. The main rear floor is then built up with mud guards being added along with tool lockers between the rear axles. The TEL mechanism then fits under and through the flooring so that the supporting parts are under the floor, the mount for the missile tubes is a above the floor and the raising hydraulic jack goes through the cut out and joins them both. The four single part missile tubes have their end caps attached and then can be mounted to the launcher. In front of the tubes the missile control module is then built up and attached. Once this is done the rear parts are then attached to the chassis. Decals Decals are provided for 9 different launchers, all with differing camo schemes. There is no information whatever about these schemes which is disappointment given the quality of the kit. Conclusion This is a great looking kit from HobbyBoss and their attention to detail is to be commended, only let down is no information for the decals. Overall high;y recommended. Review sample courtesy of
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