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  1. Bristol Beaufort Mk.I (48310) 1:48 ICM via Hannants Ltd The Beaufort was originally designed as a torpedo bomber by Bristol, using the experience they had gained in developing the then-excellent Blenheim. They were ready in time for the outbreak of WWII, and as well as their prescribed role, they were also used as light bombers, undertaking many ‘Rhubarb’ missions over enemy territory in the so-called ‘phony war’, undertaking daylight missions that saw heavy casualties, although the accidental loss tally outstripped combat losses, surprisingly. Roughly 1,200 were built in the UK, with the total being elevated to almost 2,000 by additional Australian-built airframes that were known as DAP Beauforts. They were rapidly overhauled by the German fighters and were withdrawn from frontline service as early as 1942, by which time they had also been tasked with Aerial mine-laying. From then on, they were assigned to serve away from the front, and saw extensive use as a trainer, which might go at least some of the way to explain the high attrition rate due to accidents. A further development of the Beaufort was the Beaufighter, which used important components of the Beaufort that included the wings and engines, with a new cut-down fuselage that was comparatively low and streamlined, with a powerful cannon armament under the nose that was useful in its assigned duties as long-distance heavy fighter, and later nightfighter, where it excelled. Some obsolete Beauforts were even converted to Beaufighters to make further use of the shared parts, which gave many of the original airframes a more honourable end than they would otherwise have seen. In an attempt to improve on the original Mk.I that took up the majority of production, the designers created additional variants that used other engines, had faired over turrets when they were to be used as trainers, and even a project that saw the fitment of a pair of Merlin XX engine that didn’t achieve the desired effect, so was cancelled, in much the same manner as the Merlin powered Beaufighter that managed to be “underpowered” despite the pedigree of the engines that propelled it. The Kit A lot of modellers that build in 1:48 have been waiting with baited breath for this new tooling from ICM, and now it is with us, despite the horrible circumstances that besets the Ukrainian people at the time of writing. This initial boxing rightly covers the Mk.I torpedo bomber, and there is another boxing on the way with a tropicalised engine fit that should arrive pretty soon. This new issue arrives in a reasonable-sized top-opening box with their usual captive lid on the lower tray. Inside are eight sprues in mid-grey styrene, a large clear sprue, decal sheet and glossy instruction booklet that has colour profiles on the rear pages. Opening the resealable bags reveals the detail that has been lavished on this kit that includes lots of internal ribbing, a set of ribbed flap bays and flaps, a representation of both banks of the Bristol Taurus engines, detailed gear bays and bay doors, and a torpedo to complete the package. Construction begins with a narrow torpedo bay under the fuselage that is glued to a section of the aft floor, then detailed with ribs, flipped over and joined to a bulkhead that has a doorway cut in it, then has a chute made up on one side before it is attached to the rest of the interior floor, which is initially free of detail, apart from underneath, where it has bomb shackles moulded-in, and a semi-cylindrical bay toward the front of the fuselage, which will allow the torpedo to nestle into the fuselage part way. The starboard fuselage half has an insert fitted in the wing-root depression to match the crisp moulded ribbing that is all over the interior as far back as the trailing edge of the wings, and extends into the tail-wheel bay. The side windows are inserted from inside, swapping the rear one out for an opaque cover if appropriate, then the floor is mated on a number of slots into the fuselage sides ready for the twin spars and a good quantity of detail. The forward spar is detailed with four parts to depict the radio gear with a plotting table below it, and on the other side a section of fairing is fixed, then the assembly is glued into its slot, joining the bottom of the spar with the fuselage blank. The cockpit is a two-tier assembly that is started by joining the two halves of the side console together, adding a raised floor panel, the instrument panel with five dial decals and rudder pedals, a short half-bulkhead and the swivelling front seat. Another simple seat is made up and glued to the rear spar along with another step-like fairing, and it too is slipped into the rear slot in the fuselage and glued in place. The pilot’s seat is made up from two parts and has a bow-tie control column placed in front of it, while to the rear, an Elsan toilet is dropped onto a raised plinth in the rear fuselage floor. The tail wheel bay is made up from ceiling with two small bulkhead ends, and it is glued into the very rear, which already has ribbing moulded into the sides. The tail-wheel and strut is a single part than inserts in the bay ceiling on a peg, so can be left off until after main painting. The port fuselage half is prepared in a similar manner to the starboard, save for the optional rear window, and a 0.9mm hole that is drilled in the ceiling. Just before closing up the fuselage, another detail part is fixed to the bulkhead behind the pilot’s seat, with more glued into the nose, which might be better added before you paint the cockpit. The main canopy is glued over the cockpit aperture, and the nose is glazed by four additional clear parts, and a choice of port-side aft door with a circular porthole or gun port fitted over the hole in the fuselage, which can have a Lewis machine-gun with dinner plate magazine on a spar across the opening. If you are installing the gun, the clamshell door part should be left off. The Beaufort had mid-mounted wings, so each one is separate, and made from two halves. The port wing has a small landing light bay inserted before it is closed up, and a small dome is removed from the leading edge, then the clear glazing is inserted once the glue has set up. A clear wingtip is fitted, and a one-piece aileron is added and able to be offset if you feel the urge. You also have to make a choice whether to fit the wing surface over the inner flaps with a trio of strakes in an nacelle extension, or a straight section with curved root fairing. The same process is carried out minus the landing light bay on the starboard wing, then both wings are slotted over the two spars that have corresponding guides moulded into the inside of the wings to ensure good location. The elevator fins are each two parts and are mounted in the usual slot/tab method, to be joined by one-piece elevators and rudder, which the latter having a pair of horns near the hinge. Two flap sections are added to each wing’s underside, then the two nacelles are made up from halves along with a bulkhead near the front, and another that is glued into the wing before the nacelles are put in place. The roof of the bay is free of any detail, and is the location that the twin strut gear legs and their actuators are fixed once they are built up. The main wheels are each two halves, and they flex-fit into the lower section of the main leg, which has a curved tubular framework added to the top section, probably to assist with the smooth opening and closing of the door bays. The lower section of the main gear forms a twin triangular framework that is linked by a number of cross-members before the lower section is glued into the sockets in the upper section, and has another pair of actuators added at the rear to brace the top section. Both assemblies are inserted into the bays on each level of the ceiling, then the twin bay doors with their ribbed inners are added to the sides of the bays on hinge tabs. At the same time, the bomb bay has a small insert attached to the front bulkhead to add detail to the area. Each Taurus radial engine is formed from two well-detailed banks of cylinders with a circular collector ring attached to the centre by three stators, plus a complex system of tubes installed around the circumference in between the cylinders, and another at the rear of the engine that has a square peg at the back for fixing them to the wing through the cooling flaps at the rear of the cowlings. Two holes on the top of the nacelle receive a two-part intake, then the cowling is wrapped around the engine, comprising two halves and a pair of curved exhausts for each engine. She’s looking very much like a Beaufort now, but needs some defensive armament in addition to the optional Lewis gun in the side. The mid-upper turret is semi-conformal to the back of the cockpit “hump”, and is built upon a section of the fuselage with a circular base that receives the guns’ mount and gunner’s bicycle-style seat below the lip, gluing the front of the turret into position, then creating a platter for the two Lewis guns, one of which is mounted at 90° to the other to fit within the confined space, plus an armour plate at the rear of the breech with a letterbox for the gunner to peer through. This is emplaced on the mount, and is closed in by adding the rear glazing. It is inserted into the aperture behind the wings, and is faired-in by a single horse-shoe shaped part that cuts down on the whistling as it flies along. The bomb/torpedo bay forms a cruciform shape when viewed from below, as it was lengthened to accept the torpedo, and has the mount fitted into the wider centre section, and if not carrying a torpedo, two inserts close off the bomb bay from its two narrower sections. The bay doors are in three sections, the narrower front and rear sections having one door per side, while the wider bomb bay section has two doors each side that fold together, minimising the aerodynamic drag, as well as fitting in the space below the aircraft when on the ground. If you plan on posing all the bay doors closed, there are three additional conjoined parts to ease your path, which is always nice to see. The torpedo has been seen in a separate box before, and its build is covered on the last page of instruction steps, making it up from two halves, adding a three-part H-tail with twin spinners, and another spinner-plus-spacer at the business end. There are also five steps to create a trolley for moving your Torp about and loading it onto the Beaufort on rising scissor-links if you want to add a bit of diorama appeal to your model. The torpedo is mounted with all bay doors open, and glues onto a long curved rectangular frame in the centre of the bomb bay. While the model is inverted, the underslung nose turret can be built from three parts for the gun and two-part dome, or a blanking plate is fitted over the aperture. A pitot is also mounted under the nose, a towel-rail antenna under the fuselage, and three small outlets are mounted on the wings and just behind the bomb bay. Back on its wheels, the cockpit hump is detailed with two more antennae, and another flush with the roof. Markings ICM have begun to include templates for masking material with each of their new kits, which can be found just in front of the colour profiles for you to place tape over, cut around and apply to your model, thanks to drawings above that indicate what goes where. There are a generous five decal options included on the sheet, all but one of them having the early war green/brown camo on top, and grey, sky or black undersides. The last option is in green/grey with black undersides. From the box you can build one of the following: L4449, presumably 1939 L4449 OA-H No.22 Sqn., North Coates, Lincolnshire, summer 1940 L4516 OA-W No.22 Sqn., North Coates, Lincolnshire, December 1940 N1016 OA-X No.22 Sqn., RAF St. Eval, April 1941 L9878 MW-R No.217 Sqn., RAF St. Eval, Autumn 1941 The decals are printed by ICM’s usual partners, and include dials for the instrument panels, with good register, sharpness and solid colours. Conclusion I’ve been looking forward to this one, and I’m not disappointed. You could almost say I’m quite happy if you were prone to understatement. It’s a Beaufort in my preferred scale, there’s plenty of detail, and a good choice of decal options. Very highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  2. So with the Tucano done I need another project. This one landed on my lap from a mate, he bought it purely for the donation to Ukrainian causes and asked me to build it. I couldn't refuse. So I won't go into the contents of the box as these are all we documented on this site, its a nice kit with decent detail, a bit of flash but nothing to serious. Going to model this one in flight with one of the Coastal Kits Blur bases but some mods need to be done on the kit as its depicted as on the ground only. A bit of a parts cleaning session so far. Some fettling of parts is required but considering ICM have produced and distributed this kit is quite amazing in its own right. Was thinking of adding a couple of AGM-88 HARMs as at the moment there is a lot of controversy on the integration of the system to ex Soviet airframes, I think it might add a bit of interest ? Just a bit of AM Decals will be from the kit but I do reserve the right to add a tad more AM to the build Enjoy
  3. Hallo This is my 1/48 scale Mig-25 from ICM. I used Eduard etched parts for interior. Also I used the Reskit exhaust nozzle and the masks from NewWare. The ladder is from LD in 3D print. The gear is from Dream Model. Well in all it was a nice built. The instruction was fine and with the Mig-31 already done, it was a nice built. Somehow also relaxing. The legs for the gear are in much more detail as SEC gears usually are. The price is, the legs are a bit softer. The Reskit nozzle was easy to build and to install. The Eduard parts also no great hazard. The masks from NewWare are simple the best I have. No matter which a/c. The spraying was done with Gunze C, CX and MC, M and SM colors. Well, so have a look: Happy modelling
  4. Yak-9K (32091) 1:32 ICM via HG Hannants Ltd The Yak-9 was an evolution of the successful Yak-7 fighter, and was intended to retake the initiative from the Nazis’ new Fw.190 and improved Bf.109s, which it successfully did. Production started in late 1942, and by summer 1943 there were enough in service to make a difference, playing a part in the crucial Kursk battle, thanks to its agility in the denser air at lower altitudes and the heavy armament it carried. It was made in a number of different variants with diverse intended uses, with the D fitted with additional fuel tanks for longer range, and the DD for longer range still. The Yak-9T was armed with a larger 37 mm Nudelman-Suranov NS-37 cannon firing through the spinner but with only 30 rounds of armour-piercing ammunition carried, which it could fire in two or three round bursts and was intended for use against maritime targets and light armour, where it was quite effective. Careful aim was key of course due to the shortage of ammunition, but when used against another aircraft, a solitary shell strike would rip an opponent to pieces, making the enemy’s day end very badly. Because of the additional weight of the massive gun and its ammo, the cockpit had to be moved aft slightly to counter the change in centre-of-gravity, and various issues reared their heads thanks to the substantial vibrations from firing the cannon. Its standard armament of a 20mm UBS cannon still carried a full complement of 220 rounds as an auxiliary to the main armament. Almost 3,000 were made, and the designers later went one further and installed a 45mm cannon in the Yak-9K that had to be fitted with a muzzle brake to counter recoil of crippling proportions that could cause loss of flight control if fired at slower speeds, as well as instigating leaks of all manner of fluids due to the severe vibrations set up during firing. The pilot also wasn’t immune from the recoil, being tossed around the cockpit on firing, although a good aim was possible at high speed, and the impact of two or three 45mm rounds would literally disintegrate any aircraft that got in the way in a dramatic manner. Post war saw the continued development of the type, which involved the installation of a more powerful engine, and these were later hived off to Soviet-friendly satellite states at the end of the 40s, where they served into the 50s, although their unusual manual lubrication system saw accidents caused by engines seizing due to pilots that were engrossed in flying and fighting their aircraft forgetting to operate the hand-cranked lubrication lever in the cockpit. The Kit This is a minor additive reboxing of a brand-new tooling of this capable Soviet fighter from our friends at ICM, and it arrives in one of their standard top-opening boxes with the usual captive inner lid, and an attractive painting of the subject matter on the top. Inside the box are six sprues in grey styrene, a clear sprue in its own bag, a rectangular decal sheet and the instructions with colour covers and spot colour throughout, plus colour profiles for the decal options on the rear. Detail is crisp throughout the model, but don’t expect too many rivets to be visible on the exterior, as the metal structure was hidden away inside an outer layer of plywood impregnated with phenolic resin, that is better known in the west by its brand-name Bakelite. Construction begins with the port fuselage, which is adorned with the tubular cockpit framework and has six exhaust stubs on a runner pushed through the slot in the cowling from inside. The tips aren’t hollow, so prepare your pin vice if that bothers you at all. The starboard fuselage half goes through the same process, but adds the structure of the chin intake and its oil radiator cores, then the upper parts of the cockpit are made up, starting with the seat that has a pencil-rolled back cushion, and attaches to the short deck behind it, slotting into the starboard fuselage half along with a bulkhead and the instrument panel, which has a number of additional parts and a dial decal added along the way. With the completion of the tail-wheel assembly the fuselage can be closed up around these sub-assemblies, with an insert added under the chin, while most of the underside is open to the elements at this stage. The kit includes an engine that you can show off or hide away in its basic form of block with cylinder banks that is made out of nine parts plus another two for the cannon, which is similarly basic, but as none of it will be seen if you close the cowlings, that hardly matters. The muzzle brake can be found in the prop assembly if you’re in the mood to drill it out. The basic assembled engine slides into the front of the fuselage with the breech of the cannon slipping through a depression in the bulkhead, after which it can be covered over by two sections of cowling after removing a pair of pips that stand up from the seamline. If you intend to expose the engine however, the power plant is further detailed with an additional twenty parts for the engine itself, and another gaggle for the compartment around it, adding ancillaries, hoses, cowling support structure, the .50cal auxiliary cannon, and a pair of ammo cans for them both that slip into the aft section in front of the cockpit to create a nice replica with plenty of detail. The surround to the cockpit aperture is detailed with the gunsight mount and a piece of clear armoured glass behind the pilot, a small coaming, and the fixed rear canopy part, with the windscreen and its separate clear armoured panel, which is best “glued” on using a clear varnish such as Klear, taking care not to trap any bubbles in between the layers. The opening canopy slides back over the aft section, or you can leave it closed up to keep the snow out. In preparation for the wings, a short spar is created with a fluid tank in the centre and a couple of jacks at the ends, then a raised platform is made of the cockpit floor, which has the control column, rudder pedals and a flare pistol fixed in place for later attachment. The lower wing is full-width, and has the central radiator with textured front and rear panels added underneath, and the spar assembly inside, which forms the rear walls of the main gear bays that are joined by a number of other wall sections and internal ribs that are closed in by adding the upper wing halves. The bay roof is moulded into each wing half, with a little detail visible, but a single ejector-pin mark is visible, and is best dealt with before you glue the assembly together. The ailerons are individual parts that can be posed deflected, then the cockpit floor is glued in and a pair of tapering boxes are inserted in front, although I couldn’t divine their real-world purpose. The wings and fuselage are joined by carefully lowering the latter over the former, taking care not to bend or snap the control stick. The elevators and their fins are each two parts, and these also can be posed deflected if you wish, as can the rudder, which is also made of two parts and glued to the moulded-in fin. The landing gear is a little contrary in that it adds retraction jacks for the struts and inner bay doors first, which are also fitted at this time, with a scrap diagram showing the fine placement of the jack within the bay. The main wheels are each made from two halves with moulded-in hubs, and these are fixed to the axles at the bottom of the struts, with a separate scissor-link and captive bay door on each one, then they mate with the bays on a transverse pivot point, linking to the retraction jacks installed earlier. The model is finished off by adding the clear wingtip lights, gear-down indicator stalks on the wing tops, radio antenna on the fuselage spine, and the propeller assembly, which is made from the moulded-together blades plus front and rear spinner, then the brake of the new 45mm cannon’s barrel, which will need drilling out with a 1.4mm bit if you would like a hollow muzzle. Markings There are three markings options on the decal sheet, with three pages of profiles giving concise locations for the decals and letters showing the colours in reference to a table on the front page that gives names and codes in ICM, Revell and Tamiya brands of paint. From the box you can build one of the following: 274th Fighter Aviation Regiment, August 1944 43rd Fighter Aviation Regiment, 1944 812th Fighter Aviation Regiment, Germany 1945 Decals are by ICM’s usual partner, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. A decal for the instrument panel can be found in the top left of the sheet, with just the dials and white lines defining the sections of the panel, allowing the paint to show through from below. There are also a pair of fuel gauges for the wing tops that can be viewed by the pilot from his seat, rather than taking up space on the main panel. You might notice that the red stars have been cut in half by the decal designers, and the stars on the profiles are just a series of five < shaped points in white. Understandable under the circumstances. Add them yourself for historical correctness, or leave them off. Your choice, dear modeller. Conclusion A welcome new tooling of this impressive Soviet fighter that has the bigger 45mm, unreliable gun that should please many a large-scale modeller, with plenty of detail to be had from a relatively simple construction. Highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  5. At the Moscow "Мир детства 2021" expo, ICM has announced a 1/32nd family of Yakovlev Yak-9 onwards 2022 Source: AlexGRD V.P.
  6. ICM is to release in 2022 new tool 1/72nd Mitsubishi Ki-21 "Sally kits. - ref. 72203 - Mitsubishi Ki-21-Ib "Sally" - release expected in Q4 2022 https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/ICM72203 - ref. 72204 - Mitsubishi Ki-21-Ic "Sally" - release expected in Q4 2022 https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/ICM72204 V.P.
  7. ICM is to release 1/48th Gotha Go-242 kits. Gliders to put alongside the ICM's 1/48th Heinkel He.111Z Zwilling, I suppose! - ref. 48225 - Gotha Go-242B, WWII German Landing Glider (100% new molds) - March2022 Source: https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/ICM48225 - ref. 48226 - Gotha Go 242A, WWII German Landing Glider Source: https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/ICM48226 V.P.
  8. ICM is to release in 2016 two new variants from its Junkers Ju-88 kit. Already released: Ju-88A-5 kit http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234975682-148-junkers-ju-88a-5-by-icm-released/ - ref. 48233 - Junkers Ju-88A-4 - WWII German Bomber - released Source: https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/ICM48233 - ref. 48234 - Junkers Ju-88A-14 - WWII German Bomber - released Source: https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/ICM48234 V.P.
  9. At the Moscow "Мир детства 2021" expo, ICM has announced a 1/35th Sikorsky CH-54 Tarhe kit for 2022. Source: AlexGRD V.P.
  10. The Ghost of Kyiv (72140) Mig-29 of Ukrainian Air Force 1:72 ICM via Hannants Ltd. This is going to be a difficult review to steer a centreline on, so you’ll have to forgive me if I drift to one particular side a little, although I’ll try not to. Please don’t be tempted to engage in any jingoism of your own. On 24th February 2022 an aggressor invaded Ukraine with malevolent intent, a variety of fallacious explanations as to why they were there, and intentions of taking over the whole country to make it their own. Ukraine, its government and people have fought back valiantly against this attack, and one Ukrainian aviator in particular gained notoriety for shooting down a number of the aggressor’s aircraft in quick succession, flying an upgraded Mig-29-13 in a grey digital camouflage scheme. There is conjecture whether the ‘Ghost of Kyiv’ exists, has since been killed in action, or whether it is simply a conflation of the exploits of the Ukrainian Air Force as a whole. Whichever it is, it has given the aggressors pause for thought, and prevented them from achieving anything resembling air superiority over most of Ukrainian territory, giving the brave Ukrainian fighters one less thing to worry about amongst many perils. We at Britmodeller would like to wish all of Ukraine’s armed forces the best with their struggle, and hope that it is resolved soon to their satisfaction. The Kit This is a reboxing of ICM’s 2008 tooling of this classic Cold War Soviet-era jet, but with new decals appropriate for the subject matter. The kit arrives in a stylishly appointed top-opening box with captive inner lid, and inside are three sprues of medium grey styrene, a small clear sprue, two sheets of decals and the instruction booklet, which shares the same design as the box lid, and has spot-colour throughout, including full colour profiles on the back page. Detail is on par for the era of its original release, with engraved panel lines, raised and recessed detail where appropriate, cockpit and gear bay detail, and a complement of weapons and fuel tanks, the latter remain unused. Construction begins with the cockpit, which has an ejector pin mark in the middle of the floor that will be covered by the ejection seat, but should be cut flush to ensure everything fits properly. A control column and instrument panel with raised and recessed detail moulded-in completes the cockpit, although the Zvezda K-36 seat could do with a little additional work, including adding the tubular housings for the ejection stabilisation beams that sit at each side of the headbox. The cockpit inserts into the upper fuselage from below, after which it can be closed up ready for the other components. There aren’t many stages to the instruction booklet, and we see the wings, elevators and stabilisers added at the same time as the two-part canopy. Two inset diagrams show the twin engine nacelles being made up with integral FOD guards before they too are joined to the underside of the fuselage, with the exhausts also made up from inner and outer parts in more inset diagrams. The included weapons also have inset diagrams, and you can make up two each of R-27 Alamo, R-60 Aphid and R-72 Archer air-to-air missiles, but bear in mind that the weapons sprue has a little flash, so some clean-up might be needed. Each missile has its own pylon, and the larger R-27s have separate fins perpendicular to the seamline. They are all shown inserted into the holes in the wing undersides at the same times as the main and nose gear, which have separate wheels and retraction jacks, plus gear bay doors and a clear landing light in each main gear well. The nose gear bay has three doors, and at the tip of the nose a pitot probe will poke out your eye if you look to closely. Markings There is just one decal option spread over the two sheets, with all the digital camouflage on the larger sheet, while Ukrainian national markings and codes are on the other. As the real identity of the Ghost is unknown, there are six lines of numeric codes in white/blue, blue/white and white/yellow options, plus a stylised skull for the nose on a black circular backing. The underside is painted sky grey and the topside off-white, glossing them ready for the digital camo decals, of which there are eighteen in three shades of grey. An instrument decal is also included to improve the detail in the cockpit, plus a number of stencils for the airframe, all of which should settle down well with the help of some decal setting solution. They are printed by ICM’s usual partner, and registration, colour density and sharpness is good. Ghost of Kyiv Paint Set (3027) ICM have this year released their own brand of acrylic paints to the market, and are creating some kit specific sets to go with their major releases, of which this is one. The set arrives in a cardboard box with six screw-capped bottles inside, each containing 12ml of paint. The bottles are clear Polypropylene, and are capped with cylindrical tops with knurled sides, and a one-time security seal that you break on first opening. A label on the side gives you basic information about the colour and code, a little information regarding application in English and Ukrainian and a bar-code. The paint is thick in the bottle, with plenty of headroom between the surface of the paint and the lip of the neck. I dropped a glass stirring ball into each bottle, and they took a few seconds to disappear beneath the surface, indicating their viscosity. Inside the box are the following bottles: 1028 Offwhite 1033 Sky Grey 1034 Dark Sea Grey 1037 Dark Grey 1038 German Grey 2002 Satin Varnish The paint is undiluted, so will need thinning by between 40-60% with water or acrylic thinner for use with an airbrush, and they naturally have a semi-gloss finish that can be adjusted later by the use of varnishes, and are waterproof when dry like most acrylics. During my initial testing I used Ultimate Thinners, my go-to thinners for any acrylic paint, which helps keep the number of large bottles in my spray booth to a minimum. The paint comes out of the bottle quite thick and viscous, so it’s possible you’ll have to dilute it even for brush painting use, although I used it neat during testing, so a small bottle will go a long way in either case. It sprays well when diluted, and like a lot of acrylics a light coat is best initially, followed quickly after by heavier coats until you have the coverage you require. It dries quite quickly, and is touch-dry in 5-10 minutes in summery 20-23oc temperatures, unless you’re in the antipodes as I write this. I have used them to create a number of spray-out cards and spoons for other sets in the range, and they both spray and brush very well, with little issue other than my inexpert application by paint brush. Conclusion It’s a poignant re-release of this model, and the decal choice is inspiring. If 1:72 is your thing and you like jets, you should get one. A set of acrylic paints specifically designed for this kit makes painting your model much easier to accomplish too. It’s all made by a Ukrainian company that is still capable of doing business despite the circumstances, which is singularly impressive. Very highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. The Ghost of Kyiv Mig-29 (72140) Ghost of Kyiv Paint Set (3027) Review sample courtesy of
  11. ’Jig Dog’ JD-1D Invader with KDA-1 Drone (48289) 1:48 ICM via Hannants Ltd The good old B-26 Marau… hang on. The A-26 Invader? Wait, erm... B-26 Invader. That's it, as long as it's after 1948 as that's when it was re-designated as the B-26 by the US Air Force to confuse us, and later on back to the A-26 just to complete my befuddlement. It was developed a little after the Marauder and despite using the same engines it was designed totally separately from its tubular colleague. It was designed to replace the A-20 Havoc, but it was initially less than popular in the Pacific theatre where its poor cockpit visibility due to the canopy and engine position rendered it unloved by the first users. It was more popular in the European theatre and was accepted as replacement for the Havoc fairly quickly. Two types were designed, The C with a glass bomber nose and the B with a full metal nose filled with either 6 or 8 .50cal machine guns, which coupled with the three in each wing gave it quite a punch, deserving of the Strafer title. It also had a pair of turrets on the fuselage mid-upper and dorsal positions, which were both operated by a single gunner using a complex remote mechanism that flipped between the upper and lower turrets depending on where the gunner was looking through his binocular sights. This trained the guns accordingly and also calculated the correct offset for parallax and lead, but was very complex and caused some delays to it entering service, and even more issues with maintenance in the field. After the war it served in Korea, early Vietnam engagements and other conflicts, ending its days in US service with the Air National Guard in the early 70s. It continued in civilian service as a fire bomber and in other roles, such as actor in the film Always with Richard Dreyfuss playing its brave but ill-fated pilot. The US Navy would also use the Invader originally designating it JD-1, giving rise to the nickname Jig Dog. They were used for secondary roles such as target towing, and drone carriers. The drone carriers had blown clear nose cones and were usually painted in garish schemes to ensure they weren’t blasted instead of the drones. They were usually called ‘Jig Dog’ by servicemen, later officially changing to DB-26Js because, why not? The Kit This is a reboxing of a new tooling from ICM, with extra parts for the US Navy version and a Firebee Drone for under one wing and a fuel tank under the other to balance things out. The kit arrives in the familiar top opening box with a captive inner lid on the lower tray, and inside are twelve sprues in grey styrene, two in clear, a decal sheet and the instruction booklet. A quick look over the sprues reveals that panel lines are very crisp, narrow and restrained, the surface is matt and very neat-looking, with plenty of engraved and raised details on the parts, plus subtly indented flying surfaces mimicking their fabric covering. Construction begins with the cockpit, creating the pilot's seat, instrument panel (with instrument decals) with built-in door to the nose, centre console with throttle quadrant before adding those and the single control column to the floor. The aft compartment is built up around the front wing spar with a set of radio gear hanging from a pair of risers. The port fuselage half is detailed with some side console and panel parts, nose gear bay sides, forward spar with radio gear, rear spar in the centre of the bomb bay, sloped aft bulkhead and another frame behind that, followed by the cockpit floor, so you'll have to do some detail painting as you go. After this the starboard fuselage side is prepped, along with an internal detail panel and nose gear bay side, and a hatch that does a credible impression of a toilet lid. Here's where a little cautionary note about sink-marks on the exterior of my sample needs mentioning. The right side of the cockpit and bomb bay with its detailed ribbing has caused the shallowest of sink-marks on the exterior, which would be best dealt with using a little filler before you get busy building. You could have dismissed it as oil-canning of the skin if it were consistent, and on both sides, but as it isn't you'll need to decide whether you're going to fix it. Happily, the majority of it is in areas that are open enough to allow easy sanding back of filler, so it shouldn't slow you down very much. I'll be using some Tamiya Basic on mine in due course and have no doubt it will be just fine. With that and a quantity of detail painting you can then slide the starboard fuselage over the two spars, and it would be a good idea when fitting those spar parts to let them set up with the starboard fuselage taped in place to ensure they make the correct angle when they're set in place permanently. The instructions then have you building up the tail feathers, with the elevators having separate single-part flying surfaces, plus a two-piece rudder to attach to the moulded-in tail fin. The nose for this version is made up from two halves plus the floor, after which the internal equipment is added and the glass nose is then fixed over the front. A partial bulkhead is fixed between the nose section and the fuselage with a small hatchway for the crew to access the nose, then the nose assembly can then be glued to the fuselage. The wings are next, and the lower parts have a smattering of flashed-over holes ready to drill out for bombs, gun-pods or drop tanks, plus three cartridge ejection chutes to be cut out for the wing mounted .50cals. You’ll also need to open up the holes for mounting the mounting gear for the tank and the drone, which are marked out on a plan diagram of the wings, in relation to the notch in the leading edge that usually accepts the wing gun insert. The faces of the in-line radiator baths are added to the lower wings and then it's already time to bring the halves together. You'll notice that there are fairings and a hump in the upper wing where the engine nacelles will be, and these are separate assemblies to be built up later. First, the separate two-section flaps and the ailerons are prepared and added to the trailing edge of the wings, the latter being of one piece each and slotting into wing via two tabs. The tip lights and underwing landing lights are added from clear parts, and a small insert is glued into the wing that blanks over the wing gun ports. At this stage the instructions have you sliding the wings onto the spars and gluing them in place. Whether you'd rather wait until you've added the engine nacelles though is entirely up to you though. There are of course two engine nacelles and these build up pretty much identically apart from their outer skins, which are handed to fit their respective fairings as you'd expect. They are split vertically, and each half has internal structure moulded-in, with bulkheads added fore and aft of the gear bays, coupled with bay lip inserts that bulk out the edges and also hold captive their bay door. This may require some clever masking and a little care during handling, but it shouldn't hold you back too much, as the hinge-points are relatively robust. The two halves are joined together, the prominent intake on the top of the nacelle is made up from two parts, then is added to the nacelle front which is in turn glued to the rest of the nacelle, with the completed assemblies attached to the wings from the underside, as yet without their engine cowlings or props. The engines are added later in the build, and the Twin Wasps are depicted in their entirety with both banks of pistons, push-rods, ancillaries and reduction housing at the front, plus the collector ring and exhausts at the rear, the latter made up from eight parts each. So that they are fitted correctly and mesh properly with the nacelles, they are attached using a jig that is discarded later, so remember not to glue it in! Again, the engines are identical and interchangeable with each other, and they fit to the nacelles with a teardrop-shaped tab, after which the engine cowling is slotted over them. The cooling flaps are last to be added in four sets around the rear of the cowling. The top of the fuselage is still open at this point, as it has an insert to be fitted which encloses where the turret was, and the gunner's compartment is added along with the new glass area for the top that is made from three sections that are assembled on a disposable styrene template. The canopy is glued over the cockpit, and at the rear an insert is fixed under the very rear of the fuselage with the tail light provided in clear. Attention turns to the landing gear, which is of the tricycle variety as became the fashion in late war. Each of the three tyres are made from two halves with separate hubs applied from either side, then hung on their respective legs, which have retraction jacks and scissor links added along the way. The main airframe is ostensibly complete save for some antennae and the props, and if you've been sparing with the glue when assembling the engines, the latter should still spin once complete. Two pylons under the wings a single part to close the bomb bay tidy up the underside, then a pair of mounts are made up from three parts each and inserted into the additional holes under the wings that are level with the landing lights, and fix on V-shaped legs. The fuel tank is of two parts, and can be fitted under the wing on the unused mount, the other being used to carry the drone. KDA-1 Firebee Drone This part of the kit has been available separately for a while, but is now offered integrated to its carrier. All the parts are found on one sprue, and work starts around the engine trunking with an intake fan on a bulkhead and exhaust fan toward the rear. A bulbous bullet is inserted in front of the intake, and the two fuselage halves close up around the subassembly to be joined by the swept-back wings and tail, with the top covered over by a tapering insert, and the tip fairings made from two halves each then inserted over the wing tips. A pair of chevron vertical tips slot onto the elevators, and the assembly is completed by adding the rudder to a slot near the aft of the fuselage. It is painted garishly so that it shows up in the air, as shown on the main painting drawings. Markings In this boxing there are two options of drone controllers in Gloss Sea Blue with yellow wings & tail, along with orange stripes. From the box you can build one of the following: JD-1D 89075, Utility Sqn. VU-3, US Nav, 1950s JD-1D 140356 US Navy, China Lake 1958 The decals are printed by ICM’s usual partners, and consist of all the necessary markings plus, stencils and a few other small decals, with good register, sharpness and solid colours. Conclusion Any boxing of this model should make a fair few people happy, and consign a lot of old Monogram kits to deep stash or eBay, if they’re not there already. Detail is excellent and made so much nicer by the matt surface, and there's a fair proportion of the interior included for what has become a popular kit and the de facto standard in 1:48. Smear a little filler into those light sink-marks before you get started, and no-one will know they're there. Another great Invader from ICM. Very highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  12. APA-50M ‘ZiL-131’ (72815) 1:72 ICM via Hannants Ltd The military ZiL-131 chassis was a 6x6 general purpose truck chassis that was capable of lugging 3.5 tonnes, developed from the earlier ZiL-130 civilian truck. Its versatility made it useful for many tasks when suitably fitted out with an appropriate cab and load area for the assigned task. The power was provided by a 7 litre V8 petrol engine that gave it a top speed of 50mph under ideal conditions, but it was off-road with all six wheels under power that it came into its own, although 6-7mpg was far from economical compared to a modern vehicle. The cabs were fitted with standard Soviet-era equipment to give the drivers a sense of familiarity, although cost-saving was probably a bigger motivator to those making the decisions. It was often seen around airfields undertaking various tasks, and the APA-50M was a mobile power unit that served in both military and civilian situations. It was fitted with an additional large diesel engine sited in the boxed-in load bed area, which was used to generate sufficient power to keep aircraft running while their engines weren’t burning fuel. It was hooked to its customer via a hefty umbilical, and the chugging diesel would generate the power for starting the engines, or to power the aircraft’s avionics without its own engines having to be started, which was both expensive in terms of jet fuel used, noisy and often dangerous for ground crew venturing behind the aircraft. The driver and crew of the vehicle didn’t even have to get out of their cab to control or adjust the generator, as all the controls were conveniently situated in the cab, possibly because it would often be bitterly cold on Soviet airfields for a good portion of the year, so staying ‘indoors’ was always preferable to avoid frost-bite. The Kit This range of kits was originally started by little-known company Omega-K as a truck with canvas tilt in the 90s, before the tooling was taken over at the turn of the millennium by ICM, since when it has been re-released many times and with various alterations to the basic kit and its chassis. This boxing arrives in a relatively small top-opening box that has a captive lid to the lower tray, and inside are five sprues and two loose cab parts in grey styrene, a clear sprue, a small decal sheet and the instruction manual, with colour profiles on the rear pages showing the decal options. Even though its base kit is of a certain age, the detail is excellent throughout, and small amounts of flash are easily removed to expose that detail. Construction begins with the one-piece ladder chassis, which first has two supports removed from each side that are marked in red for your ease. The underside of the engine, transfer box, drive-shafts and various tanks are installed around the ladder, then the twin axles at the rear and single front axle are both inserted below the rails on leaf-spring suspension with the axles interlinked by numerous drive-shaft elements, and a steering link for the front. Underneath, the twin exhaust pipes merge into a muffler then make their way out to the rear as a single pipe, near to a large towing hitch. The six road wheels are all moulded in two halves with chevron tread, and have a separate hub cap for extra detail, with just the seam to clean up in the middle, conveniently located at the centre of the tread pattern. If you want to add some weighting to them, a quick swipe with a coarse sanding stick should do the trick, after which you can glue the wheels with the flat-spot at the bottom. The cab is a really nice crisp moulding that has a little flash here and there, but it’s well worth the effort to remove it, after which the cab floor with various controls and the wheels are inserted from below, then the crystal-clear windows, windscreen and headlamps are inserted to the front, with cages finely moulded, although suffering a little flash that will take care to remove, but again it’s worth the effort. Door mirrors, a small spotlight and a fire extinguisher on the rear corner finish off the detailing of the cab, after which the load box is begun. The floor panel is bracketed by a front and end bulkhead before the sides are added, then two narrow sections of roof, and an upstand with separate roof and curved sides are attached to the centre section, giving the roof a stepped surface. A pair of rails are glued to the edges of the lower roof section, quickly finishing it off, then the three subassemblies can be mated by fixing the cab and body to the chassis, whilst adding the chunky front bumper iron, a section of treadplate between the outer sections behind the bumper, and adding a couple of towing/tie-down hooks to either side of the radiator. Markings There are three decal options on the sheet, with two green examples, and one in bright yellow for a little variation. From the box you can build one of the following: 738th Fighter Aviation Regiment, Zaporozhye, 1982 Unknown Military Unit, Soviet Armed Forces, 1980s Civil Aviation of the USSR, 1980s The decals are printed by ICM’s usual partners, and consist of dials, number plates, warning chevrons, stencils and a few other small decals, with good register, sharpness and solid colours. Conclusion This little kit will look great hooked up to any Cold War Soviet jet or civil aircraft in 1:72, adding a little human scale and interest to your model. Detail is excellent for the size and age of the kit, with just a little flash to work on. Highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  13. Hello comrades So, let's get it started! After one not easy work with Amodel short-run kit I want to take something high-quality and easy to assemble and just to build model without big problems, half a kilo of putty and pare meters of sanding paper. After I've have built enough modern Boeing and Airbus aircrafts, I think it's time for something from USSR civil aviation. From the other side, I prefer to make models of machines, that still in service. So, when I've chosen the prototype, I've noticed that in Sheremetyevo you can meet one unique machine.It's IL-62 MGr still flying in small Belarus cargo air-company Rada airlines. The main interesting fact - there is monument near airport with IL-62M mounted there. And it looks amazing for me when I can see one old girl on the monument, and turning my head I can see the same one machine moving on taxiway. The monument of IL-62M near Sheremetyevo in hot evening of July 2022 (some smoke from forest fires in neighbour Ryazan region) And her "sistership" still in service onto parking slot of Sheremetyevo. August 2022. A little info about prototype. EW450TR was produced as usual passenger version of IL-62M in 1985 (wow, it's older than me!). First was delivered to Interflug company in GDR (eastern Germany). This machine was the first one performed flight between Western and Eastern Germany. B/n DDR-SET After Germany became united the machine was returned to USSR Uzbek civil aviation administration. СССР-86576 A year later USSR was disintegrated, machine was re-registrated in Uzbek republic as 86576 (later UK-86576) In 2007 the plane was returned to Russia (B/N RA-86576) and was converted to cargo version. Todays modification IL-62MGr or IL-62МГр means IL-62M "Gruzovoy" that translated as "Freighter" Since 2015 plane was delivered to small private Belarus company Rada airlines with new B/N EW450TR. I can't say certain, how many IL-62 still in service. Maybe some another machines are in a state of airworthiness in reserve of ministry of defence, and maybe some another also still exist in North Korea or Cuba. But doubtless this unique plane is one of last "dinosaurs" still flying. What about kit, there are two good kits of IL-62M are available in 1/144. First is Zvezda, well known for it's ultimate edition, and another one is Ukrainian ICM, also well known for good quality. I've chosen ICM for experimental reasons. I've assembled some Zvezda kits, but never had a deal with ICM aviation kits. So, after reading some positive reviews, I've decided to purchase ICM kit. And there is one intersting thing that ICM IL-62M is available in two versions of livery - Aeroflot USSR and Interflug GDR airlines. And the joke is that GDR version is about 1000 rub (EUR 15) cheaper. Sure I've bought DDR version, besides I'm not going to use out-of box livery. ICM plastic is well-looking enough, I like it. For me, it's something like Revell's plastic, also white and thin enough, with high detalisation. Assemble without glue is also neat and I hope I'll do not need much putty and assemble will be not an exhausting task. So, I've started from protecting windows that will stay transparent. I've used a few masking tape for this purpose. Then I've covered inner surfaces of fuselage and wings with Decorix dark primer from the balloon. This method prevents model of transparency when situated under bright sunshine. To be continued as usual Respects, tMikha.
  14. Bundeswehr Vehicles & AFVs Acrylic Colours Set (3017) ICM via Hannants Ltd ICM have long been a plastic model company that is well-known to most of us, but until recently they haven’t had their own paint range, and that gap in their armoury has now been remedied. There are 77 acrylic colours in the initial range, plus three varnishes in matt, satin and gloss, all in the same clear 12ml plastic bottles. A conversion chart is available that will give you equivalents in AK, Tamiya, Humbrol, Gunze, Testors, RLM, RAL, FS, Revell, AK Real Color, and even Citadel paints, although there aren’t many direct cross-overs in that last one. This set is intended to assist you with painting your Bundeswehr vehicle and AFV kits, which is particularly relevant after the release of their newly tooled Unimog S404 in Bundeswehr service. The set arrives in a card box with a header tab at one end, and inside are six clear 12ml plastic bottle with white plastic lids and a one-time tear-off safety ring. While they bear a passing resemblance to another brand of paint in a similar direct to ICM’s part of the world, ICM have stated categorically on Facebook that it is not a collaboration, and having now used both brands, they are indeed substantially different in every way other than being acrylic paint that is stored in a bottle and contains pigments. 1026 Oily Steel 1060 Middle Stone 1072 US Dark Green 1039 Rubber Black 1052 Hull Red 1073 4BO The paint is undiluted, so will need thinning by between 40-60% with water or acrylic thinner for use with an airbrush, and they naturally have a semi-gloss finish that can be adjusted later by the use of varnishes, and are waterproof when dry like most acrylics. During my testing I used Ultimate Thinners, my go-to thinners for any acrylic paint, which helps keep the number of large bottles in my spray booth to a minimum. The paint comes out of the bottle quite thick and viscous, so it’s possible you’ll have to dilute for serious brush painting use although I used it neat during testing, so a small bottle will go a long way in either case. It sprays well when diluted, and like a lot of acrylics a light coat is best initially, then followed quickly after by heavier coats until you have the coverage you require. It dries quite quickly, and is touch-dry in 5-10 minutes in those summery 20-23°c temperatures, but as I write this, we’re heading back to the cooler days of Autumn. I have used them to create a number of spray-out cards and spoons for other sets in the range, and they both spray and brush very well, with little issue other than my inexpert application by brush. On the rear of the box are a number of suggestions for using the shades to paint a Unimog from their new kit, unsurprisingly, but the set will be useful for most Cold War West German military hardware that runs of tracks or wheels. Conclusion ICM have created a very nice and economical paint system for their customers, which will increase their income stream and make picking up a suitably themed acrylic paint set along with your next ICM or other branded model more likely. We modellers do enjoy convenience. Highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  15. ICM 1/72 The Ghost of Kyiv Straight of the box build Its been some time since I posted here . I should start this build this weekend
  16. The Game Triangle (16211) 1:16 ICM via Hannants Ltd There’s a TV series out there called ‘The Squid Game’, and I’ll be honest and tell you that I’ve not seen it. It’s a South Korean series consisting of 10 episodes that has become a blockbuster on Netflix, that’s insanely popular with Western audiences despite the language barrier, as most of us don’t speak Korean – thank goodness for dubs. It’s about a TV game show that involves hundreds of impoverished players competing in childish games for a huge cash prize that is paid to the ultimate winner, totalling 45.6 billion ₩ (pronounced Won) (that’s £29,129,494.70 or $33,587,701.44 for the Brits and Americans at today’s exchange rates), but the caveat is that these games are deadly. Yousa gonna die if you lose, Ani (do that part in a JarJar Binks voice). Each episode is 55 minutes long, and I have to admit that I’ve picked it up but not watched it yet, so I still don’t know what all the fuss is about. The contestants all wear a loose-fitting jumpsuit in a number of colours to hide their gender and identity, which is further hidden by the black full-face masks that they wear, giving the impression of an ant face, which was deliberate according to the IMDb trivia section. Even the staff wear the same gear, but on the ‘forehead’ of the staff’s masks is a simple white symbol in the shape of a circle, square, or triangle, the reason for which I don’t yet know, as it doesn’t seem to matter which colour jumpsuit they wear. I’d make an awful cryptanalyst. If you’re wondering why it’s called The Squid Game, it’s because the player board is in the shape of a squid roughly scratched into the ground. So I’m told, and no-one has contradicted me yet. The Kits This figure arrives in a small top-opening box with a captive inner lid on the tray, and inside are three sprues in grey styrene, and three in black styrene, a small decal sheet, and the glossy instruction sheet that is printed in colour. The final item in the box is a glossy colour print of the box top art, which you can stick on your wall or not. It’s a simple kit because it’s a figure dressed in a jumpsuit, but it is well sculpted and as detailed as we’ve come to expect from ICM. Construction is carried out according to the same diagram as the painting guide, which uses the same drawings to give paint and part numbers for simplicity. Each figure has a head included in the kit, even though the black mask tends to obscure all the detail, but there it is, so if you wanted to adapt your figure to have the mask off, you can do so by removing the strap with a motor tool or old-fashioned sanding stick. The figure is made up from twenty parts in grey, with separate legs, arms, a two-part torso, two-part hood, a well-detailed head that is wearing a face mask, hands, separate cargo pockets with keyed attachment point, and a single black mask that fixes to the front of the head, which has the retaining strap moulded into it. This figure is armed with a four-part MP5 machine gun with retractable stock, and you’ll need to make the sling for it using your own materials. There is also a camera that is mounted on the figure by a chest rig, the straps moulded into the torso, while the camera enclosure is a separate part. There is also a revolver in a holster included on the sprues, although it isn’t shown being used in the instructions. The gun is moulded into the holster, and a separate pair of parts for an empty holster are also included, but whether that’s of any relevance to the story or not is unknown until I’ve watched the show or someone tells me. The base is moulded in black styrene, and has a choice of four different surfaces for the top and a flat base for the bottom. The choices comprise a flat asphalt surface plus three styles of cobble or paving stones, and is a constant theme of ICM’s 1:16 series of figures, so they’ll all match. Markings The decal sheet includes one triangle decal for the player’s forehead, and you are advised to paint the jumpsuit blood red, with rubber black (dark grey) and black for boots and other accessories. You can change the colour of the suit to your whim if you know what you’re doing and have watched the series, and some simple masks or decal strip could be used to create the other shapes if you have a favourite or wanted to create a new one. Conclusion A nice figure that hits near the height of popularity of the series, according to my 12-year-old son who gets bombarded by spoilers for it at school. You can use it as intended, or tinker with it to portray other players, staff, or even go totally off-piste and use it in another situation entirely. Highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  17. Hallo Today I need help, for some detailed information on this famous Russian jet. What do I seek for? Which panels in the rear, all views, side, top, and bottom are in pure metal? In my case, please the RBT version. And what do the panels where the probes are attached look like? The AoA panel is probably circular pure metal? The antennas at the bottom of the forward fuselage? Which color? The lenses for camera, and light, how does the sealing look like? What do you suggest for the overall color in Gunze C-range? Anti-glare and cone? The pylons I have in my ICM kit, are basic only. Which color? Grey, pure metal or anything else? The model is already finished, polished with 2400. Before attaching Eduard etched parts for the panels. My nozzles are from Res-Kit. Quite well. I built some time ago the Mig-31. This kit is well designed, but ill designed with a cone on the stubs for attachment of main wheel and tail-plane. Thank you all in forward. Happy modelling
  18. Unimog S404 German Military Truck (35135) 1:35 ICM via Hannants Ltd Unimog was the brand-name used by Mercedes for their truck, tractor and commercial vehicle range that began post WWII as an agricultural brand, initially built by another company for them whilst using their engines. The range broadened in the late 40s and early 50s to include trucks, of which the 404 series was one, entering production in 1955. It is a small (1.5 tonne) 4x4 truck that was driven by a 2.2 litre M180 straight-6 Mercedes engine and has impressive off-road performance due to a change that had been required by a customer, the French Army, who wanted the spare tyre to be stored clear of the load compartment. The designers altered the shape of the rear chassis rails to allow the wheel to sit under the floor, the downward sweep giving the chassis extra flexibility that smoothed the ride on rough surfaces, assisted by coil springs, rather than traditional leaf springs. The four-wheel drive system could be disengaged on smoother ground, leaving just the rear wheels engaged, thereby saving fuel and wear on the front drive-shafts, and generally improving performance all round. The 404 series was the most numerous of the Unimog line, and was available as a short or long-wheelbase chassis, with the shorter option phased out at the beginning of the 70s, while the longer wheelbase continued on for another decade before it too was retired. The nascent West German Bundeswehr were a major customer, buying substantial quantities of the 404S as a workhorse for their forces, taking on many roles in their service. A total of over 62,000 of the 404S were made over its lengthy production run, with many of them still on and off the roads to this day due to their rugged engineering. The Kit This is a brand-new tooling from Ukrainian company ICM of this Bundeswehr pillar of their transport arm. It arrives in a top-opening box with another captive lid on the lower tray, and inside are five sprues of grey styrene, a small clear sprue, five flexible black tyres, a small decal sheet and a glossy printed instruction booklet with colour profiles on the rear pages. Detail is excellent throughout, and includes a full chassis and engine, plus the bodywork and load area, all crisply moulded as we’ve come to expect from ICM. The grille of the vehicle is especially crisp, as are the coil springs on each corner, and the wheels are very well-done with multi-part hubs. Construction begins with the ladder chassis, which is joined together with a series of cylindrical cross-members, plus front and rear beams, the latter braced by diagonal stiffeners to strengthen the area around the towing eye at the rear. The suspension is next, adding an insert to the opposite side of each spring to avoid sink-marks, but care must be taken to align them neatly to minimise clean-up afterwards. Triangular supports for the fuel tanks are added on each side, then attention turns to the six-cylinder Mercedes motor. Beginning with the two-part cylinder block and gearbox, the basic structure is augmented by ancillaries, fan, pulleys and drive-shaft for the front wheels, after which the engine is mated to the chassis and has the long exhaust system installed, adding a muffler insert around the half-way point, and siting another drive-shaft adjacent. Two stamped fuel tanks are each made from two parts, with the forward one having a filler tube and cap glued to the side, sitting on the out-riggers that were fitted to the chassis earlier. The front axle is made up from five parts to capture the complex shape of the assembly, to be installed between the suspension mounts and mated to the forward drive-shaft, plus the stub axles for the front wheels. Two stowage boxes are made for the opposite side of the chassis from the fuel tanks, then the rear axle is made up with similar detail and part count, fitting between the suspension and having larger circular stub-axles that have the drum brakes moulded-in. The front wheels have separate drum brakes, and both front and rear axles are braced with damping struts, while the front axle has a steering arm linking the two wheels together, with more parts linking that to the steering column. With the chassis inverted, the front bumper and its sump guard are fixed to the front, and a curved plaque on the rear cross-member, plus another pair of diagonal bracing struts for the rear axles. Each wheel is made up from a two-part hub that goes together much like a real steel hub, but without the welding, around the flexible black tyres. The front and rear hubs are of different design, so take care inserting them in the correct location. Lastly, the chassis is completed by adding the radiator and its frame at the front of the vehicle. The cab is the first section of the bodywork to be made, starting with the floor, with foot pedals, shaped metalwork around the gearbox cut-out, sidewalls and the internal wheel wells below the floor level. A number of additional parts are glued beneath the floor for later mounting, then the lower cab is built up on the floor, including the front with recessed headlight reflectors; bonnet surround, dashboard with decal, plus various trim panels. The floor is then lowered onto the chassis with a number of arrows showing where it should meet with the floor, taking care with the radiator. Once in place, the bonnet and more interior trim as installed along with a bunch of stalks between where the seats will be inserted. The seats are made from the basic frame to which the two cushions are fixed, much like the real thing, then mounted inside the cab, followed closely by the two crew doors, which have handles on both sides, and pockets in the interior. They can of course be posed open or closed and there is no glazing to put in, thanks to the cabriolet top. More grab-handles, controls and other small parts are fixed around the dash, and the windscreen with two glazing panels are put in place, with a highly detailed steering wheel that has the individual finger ‘bumps’ on the underside, and for your ease, it’s probably better to put the wheel in before the windscreen is fixed in place. The cab is finished off by adding the cabrio top, which starts with an L-shaped top and rear, to which a small rectangular window and two side sections are added, dropped over the cab when the glue is dry and the seams have been dealt with. The load bed begins with a flat rectangular floor that has engraved planking, plus two longitudinal supports and three lateral beams that takes the weight of the bed once complete. The sides of the load area are stamped with raised and recessed detail, and comprise four parts, one for each side, plus raised side framework, and what looks like a spoiler on two short upstands at the front of the load area. Underneath is a rack for a nicely detailed jerry can, a stowage box or three, and the spare wheel on a dropped C-shaped mount, built in the same manner as the road wheels. The number plate holder is hung under the rear, also holding the rear lights for that side, with another less substantial part on the opposite side. I said the cab was finished earlier, didn’t I? Silly me. The front doesn’t yet have a face! The recessed headlight reflectors should be painted with the brightest metallic you can find before they are covered by the clear lenses and their protective cages, joined slightly outboard by combined side-light/indicator lenses, a choice of two styles of door mirrors, and a pair of windscreen wipers to keep the screen clear. Now it’s finished. Markings You might guess that most of the decal options are green, but there is one in NATO camouflage that is so typical of how I remember the Unimog in West German service. From the box you can build one of these four: Bundeswehr, Upper Bavaria, 1970s German Air Force, 74th Fighter Sqn., Neuburg, 1970 5th Artillery Regiment, Idar-Obrestein, 1970s 363rd Tank Battalion, Külsheim, 1980s The decals are printed by ICM’s usual partners, and consist of dials, number plates, stencils and a few other small decals, with good register, sharpness and solid colours. If you don't think you have the correct paint shades in stock for this kit, there is a new Acrylic Paint Set from ICM specifically designed for this model, our review of which we can see here. Conclusion The Unimogs were ubiquitous in Cold War West German army service, so there ought to be a good market for a modern tooling of the type, with many variants probably on the way in due course. Highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  19. Laffly(f) Typ V15T (35573) 1:35 ICM via Hannants Ltd The Laffly V15T was a particularly niche entry into the French Artillery Tractor roster, with only 100 being made before production ceased at Laffly to be taken over by another company. The type saw limited service in the French army pulling the outmoded 25mm anti-tank guns, and after capitulation, in service with the Wehrmacht as transport or radio wagons, where they bore the suffix (f) to denote their French origin. The unusual aspect of this vehicle was the four apparently ‘vestigial’ wheels on axles spurring off the chassis rails that were intended to increase the off-road abilities of the type. When viewed from the side however, the small balloon-wheels appear to be above the level of the main axles, so whether this actually worked anywhere but in the deepest ruts is a mystery. We don’t see them on modern vehicles, so I’m guessing they were more trouble than they were worth. The Kit This is a reboxing of a brand-new tool from ICM, and I was not wrong when I imagined we’d be seeing a few more boxings, and that’s no bad thing. It’s typical of modern ICM in that it is well-stocked with detail, and arrives in their standard compact top-opening box with captive inner lid. There are seven sprues of grey styrene inside, plus a clear sprue, four flexible black tyres, a small decal sheet and the glossy-covered instruction booklet with spot colour and colour profiles to the rear. It’s a full interior kit including engine, chassis and crew compartment, so there are plenty of parts to get your glue on. Construction begins with the chassis, with an option to remove the rounded rear-end where the towing hitch attaches, which is cut off easily with a scalpel or razor saw using the red outlined section on the drawings as a guide. A number of cross-braces are added, and a jig is placed under the inverted chassis onto which the rear suspension arms are laid, so that they set up at the correct angle, taking care not to glue the arms to the jig. If you have left the rear section on the chassis, the towing eye and other parts are glued in place, then the various leaf springs, ancillary axles and other suspension/steering parts are attached to the sides, with a sizeable transfer box and twin drive-shafts placed in the centre facing aft. The front axles are made up and glued in place with twin springs above them on the chassis, two more drive-shafts pointing forward, and more suspension/steering parts for the small wheels. The little balloon tyres are each made from two halves each, and four are created to affix to the small axles that project from the chassis rails, the front one of which has some limited steering capability. The 4-cylinder 2.3L petrol engine is next to be built, beginning with the two-part block and adding the sump, timing pulleys, transmission, exhaust manifold and finely-moulded cooling fan, plus other ancillaries that should result in a highly detailed rendition that just needs some HT-wires and sympathetic painting to complete. It is laid into the centre-front of the chassis along with the airbox and intake hosing, then is bracketed by a pair of tapered inserts that fill the gap between the block and the chassis rails. The main cab is based on the shaped floorpan, with sides, aft bulkhead and some internal structures added along the way, which later form ammunition storage bunkers around the sides of the rear portion. The front crew have a seat each with separate backs, and there is another optional wider seat in the middle of the rear compartment, which installs over a moulded clamshell door with pull-handles. A set of driver controls are added to the left front of the body, then a firewall with pedals, a breadbin-like compartment and other small parts is fixed to the front of the body, with a steering column and wheel added after the bodyshell is fixed to the chassis. The dashboard with dial decal is added over the wheel, and the area is covered over with a curved scuttle panel. In the rear compartment, the tops to the stowage boxes are fitted, and these have the individual sections and their handles moulded-in. Returning to the engine compartment, the steering column is extended into the lower chassis and a horn is fixed to the trim panels, then the three-part radiator is assembled and glued to the front of the vehicle, defining the engine bay. A loop of hosing joins the radiator to the engine, and the cowling panels are closed over the compartment, although you have the option to leave them open if you wish. Some small parts are added to the lower edges of the cowlings, which has crisply detailed louvers moulded-in. A pair of curved front wings are glued to the lower body over the wheels, and each of the four main wheels have a brake drum part added to the end of each axle, after which the wheels themselves are made from two hub halves that mate inside the hollow tyres and glue to the axles, allowing the vehicle to stand on its own wheels. At the rear, an axe and shovel are fixed to the bulkhead with a stop sign and the towing hook, a folded tilt is added to the rear, and the windscreen is made up from a frame and two individual clear panes. A trio of rolled-up canvas anti-splatter covers are pinned to the fronts of the door apertures and the two headlights have their clear lenses glued on before they are put in place on their mounts next to the tiny wheels at the front. The final parts are a front number plate board and an optional square unit plaque on the left front wing. Markings There are three varied markings options provided on the decal sheet, one more than the original boxing, and they’re painted in differing shades, depending on where they were based and the prevailing colours at the time. From the box you can build one of the following: Unknown Unit, 1941 931st Assault Gun Division, France, Mobile Brigade (West), 1943 Mobile Brigade (West) France, 1943 The decals are printed by ICM’s usual partners, and consist of dials, number plates and a few other small decals, with good register, sharpness and good solid colours. Conclusion Until the first boxing of this kit arrived, I had no clue that the type existed, and it’s a curious-looking beast that’s endearing for its unusual shape and design. Detail is excellent, and if you didn’t fancy the options on the sheet of the original kit, these alternative schemes are a lot more interesting, and you have to love those weird vestigial wheels. Highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  20. Hi All, Whilst my Sunderland build is still chuntering along, I fancied a bit of light relief after marathon sanding and scribing sessions (I also thought it would be polite to give @AliGauld a bit of clear air, as our builds appear to be converging to alarmingly similar stages, and he started first!). Anyways, I've had ICM's lovely Gladiator Mk.II sitting in the stash for at least a couple of months, so I thought I'd run both builds in parallel (what could possibly go wrong?!). Here's the box art: This is my first ICM kit, and initial impressions are certainly favourable. A nice sturdy box, and some jolly nice artwork to boot! Here's the sprue shots: Detail and quality look to be superb. Here's the decals, which also look lovely: I've got a couple of extras for this build - Yahu instrument panel and Eduard harness: I also had some of these sent over from the UK after I'd seen them used to great effect on other builds: I've also invested in a set of Montex masks, which allow for 2 schemes: Now I'd had my heart set on a DE/DG/LE/LG colour scheme, and was surprised when the Montex scheme showed up as DE/DG over B/W, and looked... well, rather dull! Nevertheless, I started to do a little due diligence on the scheme, N5581 of 615 Sqn RAF, which Montex have based at RAF Kenley in August 1939. A quick trawl of t'internet has the same aircraft: This time based at RAF Ford in the same month - hmmmm. Imagine my further confusion when searching on 615 (County of Surrey) Sqn (as noted in the above pic), there appears a completely different squadron code ('KW' as opposed to 'RR'), with one of the box schemes being the former based at St Inglevert (Northern France) in April 1940. Without digging into the history of 615, I am guessing that they vacated St Inglevert in a hurry in May 1940, and presumably remustered in England shortly after? Anyway, here's the box scheme of the France-based aircraft: It does have the 4-colour upper camo, which ticks a box - some rather fetching red hubs too . Also, I did find this: So, the top scheme is the Montex one, the second is the box scheme (although this time in December 1939), and 3 & 4 are also strong contenders for unusual camo!! Here's a photo I found of the bottom aircraft, which is in standard DFS colours of DG/OG over MSG. Here's a photo I found of said aircraft: I haven't seen a Gladiator modelled in that scheme before, so some marks for originality! I now don't know whether I'm Arthur or Martha as far as the schemes go, so I think I'll just go and throw some primer around and not worry about it for now! Thanks for looking, Roger
  21. OV-10A & OV-10D+ Bronco ‘Desert Storm’ (48302) 1:48 ICM via Hannants The Bronco was conceived as a light attack, long loiter aircraft of modest size, enabling it to operate from unprepared fields and roads close to the combat zone. As so often seems the case, the final design turned out to be much larger and heavier due to the requirements of the avionics and ejection seats, thus limiting its use to conventional airfields. The twin boom aircraft first flew in 1965 and was destined to serve with the US Navy, Airforce and Marines as a replacement for the Cessna O-1 Bird Dog & O-2 Skymaster. The Marines were the first to take the OV-10 into service as a forward air controller platform operating both night and day missions. Whilst the Bronco is best known for its operations in Vietnam, it also served in later conflicts as late as the Gulf War before being retired from US service in 1995. The USAF received Broncos in 1968 and deployed the aircraft in the Forward Air Control (FAC) role, using smoke laying methods initially, and later using laser targeting designators. Eventually after extensive modernisation to the -D model with the addition of a FLIR turret and new avionics, then another upgrade to the -D+ version that involved replacement of much of the wiring loom and further stiffening of the wings to enable it to carry more and fly harder. By this time it carried its own ground attack armament including rockets, machine guns and bombs, plus targeting equipment that gave it the capability of Light Attack Aircraft, and made it a scary prospect for the enemy to see overhead. Seven export contracts were signed with other foreign operators including Germany, Columbia and Indonesia, each having their own letter suffixes, and the very last of which will be leaving service in the near future after long service. The last action of the Bronco in US Marine service was the first Gulf War, where a mixture of As and D+s fought side-by-side bravely carrying out the Forward Air Controller (FAC) task against enemy forces, although they did suffer some losses due to equipment inadequacies and possibly because of its relatively slow speed making it an easier target for the anti-aircraft assets of the opposition. Although efforts were made to keep the bronco in service, by 1995 it was withdrawn from active service and handed-off to other government institutions, with the job being carried out from there on by two-seat F-18s that had speed and plenty of self-defence capabilities to hand. The Kit This is a twin-boxing of ICM’s excellent new Bronco kits, and includes one of each of the OV-10A and OV-10D+ in one fairly compact box that will be stash friendly due to the two-for-one size of it. The kits arrive in a slightly larger top-opening box with the usual captive lid, and inside are twenty sprues in grey styrene, two clear sprues, a decal sheet and a thick instruction booklet that has sprue diagrams at the front, and here a little oopsie occurs. There’s a mistake in the binding of the instructions of my example due to the inclusion of a duplicate leaf in the booklet (pages 3, 4, 41, 42), as some of the decal options were also duplicated at the rear of the leaflet. The correct sprues are used in the instructions however, so just ignore or remove the extra pages if your example is affected, and everything should be fine. We’ve reviewed these kits in great detail before, and because it’s a rebox of two of them, the review would be far too verbose and many of the paragraphs would be almost identical, so we won’t subject your scrolling finger to all that work unless you really want to. You can see the links to the original reviews below, which has a ton of photos of the sprues, detail photos and a full description of putting each one together. Once you get to the Markings section, come back here and have a look at the new decal sheet for this boxing. Review of OV-10D+ Review of OV-10A Markings This boxing depicts two airframes that took part in the Gulf War in 1990/1, all of which were in service of the US Marines in two Marine Observation Squadrons during the period. They all wore the same two-tone sand-brown scheme during their time there, and that differed only slightly between the As and Ds because of slight differences in their nose shape. From the box you can build two of the following, taking into account that you have one of each variant: OV-10A 155428, Marine Observation Sqn. 2, (VMO-2) Saudi Arabia, 1991 OV-10A 155454, Marine Observation Sqn. 2, (VMO-2) Saudi Arabia, 1991 OV-10D+ 155473, Marine Observation Sqn. 2, (VMO-2) Saudi Arabia, 1991 OV-10D+ 155494, Marine Observation Sqn. 2, (VMO-2) Saudi Arabia, 1991 Decals are printed by ICM’s usual partners, with good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The weapons all have stencils to apply, which are shown next to the profiles, and there are also rear and white tip decals for the propellers, and the T-shaped walkways on the top of the wings in a dark brown, as are the majority of the main markings. Conclusion This boxing is very good value for money, giving you two kits in a one kit sized box that can be depicted on the same runway or apron once complete. Even if you don’t want two desert birds, it’s still good value, and it helps immensely that it’s a great kit. Very highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  22. A-26C-15 Invader w/Pilots & GP (48288) 1:48 ICM via Hannants Ltd The A-26 was built by Douglas in WWII as the successor to the A-20 Havoc. Two types were designed, The C with a glass bomber nose and the B with a full metal nose filled with either 6 or 8 .50cal machine guns, which coupled with the three in each wing gave it quite a punch, deserving of the Strafer title. It also had a pair of turrets on the fuselage mid-upper and dorsal positions, which were both operated by a single gunner using a complex remote mechanism that flipped between the upper and lower turrets depending on where the gunner was looking through his binocular sights. This trained the guns accordingly and also calculated the correct offset for parallax and lead, but was very complex and caused some delays to it entering service, and even more issues with maintenance in the field. In 1948 it was re-designated as the B-26 by the US Air Force to confuse us, and later on back to the A-26 just to complete the process of confusion. Development of the Invader was begun shortly after the Marauder and despite using the same engines it was engineered totally separately from its rotund colleague. It was initially less than popular in the Pacific theatre where its poor cockpit visibility due to the canopy and engine position rendered it unloved by the first users. It was more popular in the European theatre and was accepted as replacement for the Havoc fairly quickly. After the war it served in Korea, early Vietnam engagements and other conflicts, ending its days in US service with the Air National Guard in the early 70s. It continued in civilian service as a fire bomber and in other roles, such as actor in the film Always with Richard Dreyfuss playing its brave but ill-fated pilot. The Kit This is another new Invader boxing from ICM, initially released as the Solid nosed variant, this is now the glass nosed type with the inclusion of additional parts (though all the parts for the solid nose are still in the box), plus another sprue that includes five figures appropriate to the era of operation of the early glass-nosed Invaders. It arrives in the familiar top opening box with a captive inner lid on the lower tray, and inside are ten sprues in grey styrene, two in clear, a decal sheet and the instruction booklet. A quick look over the sprues reveals that panel lines are very crisp, narrow and restrained, the surface is matt and very neat-looking, with plenty of engraved and raised detail on the parts, plus subtly indented flying surfaces mimicking their fabric covering. You might also notice that there are parts for an open or closed canopy, the open one having the flat top surface, while the closed canopy has the slightly blown roof that was used after 1944 to improve visibility. That might give you some latitude in case you can't wait to build a WWII aircraft. Construction begins with the cockpit, creating the pilot's seat, instrument panel (with instrument decals) with built-in door to the nose, centre console with throttle quadrant before adding those and the single control column to the floor. The aft compartment is built up around the front wing spar with a set of radio gear hanging from a pair of risers, then a pair of bombs on their racks, the reason for which will become clear in a moment. The port fuselage half is detailed with some side console and panel parts and then has the bomb racks, nose gear bay sides, forward spar with radio gear, rear spar in the centre of the bomb bay, sloped aft bulkhead and another frame behind that, followed by the cockpit floor, so you'll have to do some detail painting as you go. After this the starboard fuselage side is prepped, and here's where a little cautionary note about sink-marks on the exterior of my sample needs making. The right side of the cockpit and bomb bay with its detailed ribbing has caused the shallowest of sink-marks on the exterior, which would be best dealt with using a little filler before you get busy building. You could have dismissed it as oil-canning of the skin if it were consistent and on both sides, but as it isn't you'll need to decide whether you're going to fix it. Happily the majority of it is in areas that are open enough to allow easy sanding of any filler, so it shouldn't slow you down very much. A 0.8mm hole is drilled in the section behind the canopy and the two remaining bomb racks are added inside along with an internal detail panel, nose gear bay side, and a hatch that does a credible impression of a toilet lid. With that and a quantity of detail painting, you can then slide the starboard fuselage over the two spars. The instructions then have you building up the tail feathers, with the elevators having separate single-part flying surfaces, plus a two-piece rudder to attach to the moulded-in tail fin. The glass-nose is appropriate for this model, but as it's a modular part that in real-world situations could be swapped for the gun-nose in a short time. This is built up and added on as a complete unit along with its glazing. The wings are next, and the lower parts have a smattering of flashed-over holes ready to drill out for bombs, gun-pods or drop tanks, plus three cartridge ejection chutes to be cut out for the wing mounted .50cals. The faces of the in-line radiator baths are added to the lower wings and then it's time to bring the halves together. You'll notice that there are fairings and a hump in the upper wing where the engine nacelles will be, and these are separate assemblies to be built up later. First, the separate two-section flaps (oddly with no deployed option), and the ailerons are prepared and added to the trailing edge of the wings, the latter being of one piece each and slotting into the wing via two tabs. The tip lights and underwing landing lights are added from clear parts, and a small insert is glued into the wing that includes three more barrel stubs each and will again need drilling out. At this stage the instructions have you sliding the wings onto the spars and gluing them in place. Whether you'd rather wait until you've added the engine nacelles though is entirely up to you. There are of course two engine nacelles and these build up pretty much identically apart from their outer skins, which are handed to fit their respective fairings as you'd expect. They are split vertically, and each half has internal structure moulded-in, with bulkheads added fore and aft of the gear bays, coupled with bay lip inserts that bulk out the edges and also hold captive their bay door. This may require some clever masking and a little care during handling, but it shouldn't hold you back too much, as the hinge-points are relatively robust. The two halves are joined together, the prominent intake on the top of the nacelle is made up from two parts, then is added to the nacelle front which is in turn glued to the rest of the nacelle, with the completed assemblies attached to the wings from the underside, as yet without their engine cowlings or props. The engines are added later in the build, and the Twin Wasps are depicted in their entirety with both banks of pistons, push-rods, ancillaries and reduction housing at the front, plus the collector ring and exhausts at the rear, the latter made up from eight parts each. So that they are fitted correctly and mesh properly with the nacelles, they are attached using a jig that is discarded later, so remember not to glue it in! Again, the engines are identical and interchangeable with each other, and they fit to the nacelles with a teardrop-shaped tab, after which the engine cowling is slotted over them. The cooling flaps are last to be added in four sets around the rear of the cowling. The top of the fuselage is still open at this point, as it has an insert with the top turret to fit in place, with another for the dorsal turret fitted later on. The remote turrets are both made up together with the ability for the twin .50cals to be left movable if you wish. The top turret has its mechanism and ring made up first, with the two halves brought together on either side of the insert before being glued into the fuselage, closing up that area. Then the gunner's compartment with simple seat and periscope is made up and installed under the glazing that sits behind the top turret. Flipping the model over, the lower turret is added to the insert and glued in place too. Another clear light is added to the very rear of the fuselage, and attention turns to the landing gear, which is of the tricycle variety as became the fashion in late war. Each of the three tyres are made from two halves with separate hubs applied from either side, then they are hung on their respective legs, which have retraction jacks and scissor links added along the way. Happily, these can be fitted late in the build, so the open bays can be masked quicker than if they were present. Speaking of bays, you can depict the bomb bay open or closed by using either a one piece door for closed, or two separate doors with internal detail for open. This is nice to see, as it's always a little tricky to join two doors and get them aligned with the fuselage so there are minimal join-lines. The main airframe is ostensibly complete save for some antennae and the props, and if you've been sparing with the glue when assembling the engines, the latter should still spin once complete. Your final choice is bombs, tanks or gun-packs hung under the wings. The bombs are made up from two halves each with a spinner insert in the rear and their attachment points moulded into the port side, the gun-packs have a handed three-part pod that fits around the central gun-tray, and the drop tanks are simple two-part assemblies with their attachment points moulded into the port side again. They are all mounted on pegs, and fit into their holes that you remembered to drill in the wings before you closed them up, didn't you? Pilots and Ground Personnel Figures (48088) Inside a separate bag is a single sprue of grey styrene and a glossy instruction sheet with spot colour profiles of the five figures that can be found on the sprue in parts. There are three flight crew members, two of which are dressed for flight, complete with their life jackets and harnesses, while the third crewman is wearing just his olive drabs and a leather flying jacket with an officer’s cap and his hands in his pockets. Two of them have large kit bags at their feet, while the guy in the peaked cap is carrying a parachute pack in one hand and a glove in his other. The two ground crew figures are dressed in overalls, one kneeling down with a spanner pack to his side, while the other is reaching up with what looks like a screwdriver in one hand. Sculpting is excellent, with an abundance of crisp detail throughout, even down to the sewn-in ribbing on the underside of the crewman’s turned up cap bill. The poses, breakdown of parts and fabric drape is also beyond reproach, and they should build up into an excellent set of figures to dot around your new Invader kit, or another WWII US bomber of your choice. Markings In this boxing there are three options included on the decal sheet, two in bare metal, the other in black. From the box you can build one of the following: A-26C-16DT, 553rd Bomb Sqn, 386th Bomb Group, Beaumont-sur-Oise, France, March 1945 A-26C-20DT, 86th Bomb Sqn, 47 Bomb Group, Grosseto, Italy Early 1945 (Overall semi-gloss black) A-26C-30DT, 646th Bobm Sqn, 410th Bomb Group, Beaumont-sur-Oise, France, June 1945 The decals are printed anonymously, although they look like DecoGraph's output to my eye. They have good registration, colour density and sharpness, and include a number of stencils that are legible with the right magnification. Conclusion This model should make a good number of people happy and represents improved value with the inclusion of the figures. Detail is excellent and made so much nicer by the matt surface, and there's a fair proportion of the interior included for what is bound to be a popular kit. Smear a little filler into those light sink-marks before you get started, and no-one will know they're there. Very highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  23. Hi mates. I'd like to share my last work...I didn't make the Turning Japanese GB deadline, but I had a good time in building the little thing Thanks!
  24. In Q3 2022, ICM is to release a 1/72nd APA-50M (ZIL-131) Airfield mobile electric unit Special purpose vehicle kit - ref. 72815 Source: https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/ICM72815 V.P.
  25. In 2019 ICM is to release a new tool family of A/-B-26B/C Invader kits: - ref. 48281 - Douglas B-26B-50 Invader, Korean War American Bomber - released Source: https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/ICM48281 - ref. 48282 - Douglas A-26B-15 Invader - released Source: https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/ICM48282 Dedicated decals by ICM: - ref. D48001 - Douglas A-26B/C Invader (WWII) - released Source: https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/ICMD48001 - ref. D48002 - Douglas B-26B/C Invader (Korean War) - released Source: https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/ICMD48002 V.P.
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