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  1. This Ace Corporation kit is a repop of the lovely little Revell F-5E with a great set of South Korean decals. The kit has very little flash, engraved panel lines and a fairly distortion free canopy.
  2. This is it! Build twelve since I restarted this modelling gig. I . Can. Stop. Counting! And it only took me 22 months to do 12. But what a choice. You SNEAKY Sword... Lulling me into a false sense of security with your nice little Spitfire kits that went together with little problem. Making me think all your kits are like that. SILLY me. This one was definitely in the check fit, file, check fit, rinse repeat category. I'm sure more experienced modellers would have no problem, but I'm glad I did the shake and bake Airfix Vampire before this. I don't think I'd survive doing two like this in a row. That on top of the suddenly very busy photoshoot schedule I have and it was touch and go whether it would get done! Here it is though. The Sword Photo Banshee. I chose it for build 12 because I don't think I'd seen one of these versions by Sword on here yet and I also fancied practising messing up the glossy sea blue finish a bit. I noticed the Marine aircraft based in Korea did get a bit mucky. In the end I don't think I messed it up enough, but it is what it is. A few build points. I used Lifecolor glossy sea blue for the main colour. The aluminium was Aclad 2. The camera nose is a separate section in the kit and all transparent. So that was masked off before construction. My fitting wasn't quite perfect though and it's a degree or two off clockwise. The decals are nice and thin and settled down very well. I washed the panel lines with a mix of humbrol dark earth and sand weathering powders in a mild mix of water and decal fix. The kit is missing a few details I think. For instance it doesn't have what I think are the tear drop lights on the front of the tip tanks that I've seen on photos of the real thing. Of course a REAL modeller would have fixed that. I also think the front undercarriage sits a bit low in comparison to the main gear, and I should have applied a bit of surgery to balance that out, but Real Life called and I needed it finished. In the end I quite like it. Not sure what 2015 will bring. More aircraft in 1/72 for sure, but I'm tempted to go Sci-fi for my first 2015 build. PhotoBanshee_021214_01 by IrritableRabbit, on Flickr PhotoBanshee_021214_02 by IrritableRabbit, on Flickr PhotoBanshee_021214_04 by IrritableRabbit, on Flickr PhotoBanshee_021214_05 by IrritableRabbit, on Flickr PhotoBanshee_021214_06 by IrritableRabbit, on Flickr PhotoBanshee_021214_07 by IrritableRabbit, on Flickr PhotoBanshee_021214_08 by IrritableRabbit, on Flickr PhotoBanshee_021214_11 by IrritableRabbit, on Flickr PhotoBanshee_021214_12 by IrritableRabbit, on Flickr
  3. I'm in! Better late than never so here goes. I'm doing the Hobby Boss 1/48 T-34/85 in North Korean markings. This will be my first armour build since I was a teenager, which is some time ago, if my memory serves me correctly. The kit comes with a ton of interior detail, I'm half expecting to find a kitchen sink on the sprues somewhere. Unfortunately I really want to model it with hatches down and so I'm not going to be ustilising all that gorgeous detail. It feels slightly sacrilegious to not take advantage of all the work HB have put into the kit but there it is! I will be making the engine compartment as that will be slightly visible through the mesh covers that they supply. For markings I will be making stencils to spray the 3 digit number code that they have on the turret. The kit does come with a set of numbers that would work for this but I want to try and make my own, as my mother in-law got me a Silhouette cutting machine, that I am itching to try out on a sheet of Tamiya Tape. Also going to try making some masks for the wheels to make them a little less painful to paint. So far I've only got as far as washing the parts. And reading the instructions, I thought I'd give that a go for once as there's a lot of them! Trying to work out what bits can be ignored inside without affecting the structure. To get in the mood i just finished reading Roger Baker's account of his experience as a USMC tanker in Korea. Nice little read with some great pictures and sketches that he did out there. The only downside is the pictures are a bit grainy as they are printed on regular paper and not as photo inserts on quality paper. cheers Segan
  4. Finally managed to finish this one, with a few stumbles toward the end. I tried out a host of new techniques and materials on this thing and am pretty happy with the result. Another thing I'm fairly happy with is I can now get rid of the ginormous box cluttering up the apartment. The only addition was a set of belts, some engine detailing and some nylon thread static dischargers. So without further ado, I give you the pictures.. The build thread can be found here: http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234940474-trumpeter-132-a-1d/
  5. Okay ladies and gents, the Easter break is over so it's time to get this show on the road. This is my entry for the Korean War Group Build and as the title says it will be the Tamiya 1/48 P-51D Mustang as flown by 77 Squadron RAAF during the initial stages of the war until the squadron re-equipped with Meteors. I am going to model the personal mount of the squadron CO, Wing Commander Lou Spence who was KIA during a raid on storage facilities at Angang-ni, north of Pusan in South Korea, which had been recently captured by Communist forces. Spence was leading four Mustangs in the attack armed with rockets and NAPALM when his aircraft failed to pull out of a steep dive at low altitude and was seen to crash into the centre of the town, exploding on impact. The best boxing of the Tamiya Mustang is definitely the Korean War F-51 one as this contains all the additional mustang parts that don't come with the other boxings, These include both standard and Dallas canopy, cHamilton Standard and Aeroproducts props, as well as all of the ordinance and drop tanks carried by the P-51. Now I admit I might have gone a little overboard on the Utracast resin accessories but in my defence I have been hoarding these for ages and this seems like a goon place to use them. Lastly we have the decals from Aussie Decals and unfortunately the aircraft I'm doing is the bottom one (A68-809) which is the most boring of the lot, oh well.
  6. Douglas A-1D, (AD-4) Skyraider Trumpeter 1/32 History The Douglas A-1 Skyraider (formerly AD) was an American single-seat attack aircraft that saw service between the late 1940s and early 1980s. It became a piston-powered, propeller-driven anachronism in the jet age, and was nicknamed "Spad", after the French World War I fighter. The Skyraider had a remarkably long and successful career, even inspiring its straight-winged, slow-flying, jet-powered successor, the A-10 Thunderbolt II. It was operated by the United States Navy (USN), the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) and the United States Air Force (USAF), and also saw service with the Royal Navy, the French Air Force, the Air Force of the Republic of Vietnam (VNAF), and others. The piston-engined Skyraider was designed during World War II to meet U.S. Naval requirements for a carrier-based, single-seat, long-range, high performance dive/torpedo bomber, to follow-on from earlier types such as the Helldiver and Avenger. Designed by Ed Heinemann of the Douglas Aircraft Company, prototypes were ordered on 6 July 1944 as the XBT2D-1. The XBT2D-1 made its first flight on 18 March 1945 and in April 1945, the USN began evaluation of the aircraft at the Naval Air Test Center (NATC). In December 1946, after a designation change to AD-1, delivery of the first production aircraft to a fleet squadron was made to VA-19A. The low-wing monoplane design started with a Wright R-3350 radial engine, later upgraded several times. Its distinctive feature was large straight wings with seven hard points apiece. These gave the aircraft excellent low-speed manoeuvrability, and enabled it to carry a large amount of ordnance over a considerable combat radius and loiter time for its size, comparable to much heavier subsonic or supersonic jets. The aircraft was optimized for the ground-attack mission and was armoured against ground fire in key locations unlike faster fighters adapted to carry bombs, such as the Vought F4U Corsair or North American P-51 Mustang, which would be retired by U.S. forces before the 1960s. Shortly after Heinemann began design of the XBT2D-1 a study was issued that showed for every 100 lbs of weight reduction the take-off run was decreased by 8 feet, the combat radius increased by 22 miles and the rate of climb increased by 18 feet. Heinemann immediately had his design engineers begin a program of finding weight saving on the XBT2D-1 design no matter how small. 270 lbs was found by simplifying the fuel system; 200 lbs by eliminating an internal bomb bay and hanging the bombs, drop tanks and rockets from the wings or fuselage; 70 lbs by using a fuselage dive brake; and 100 lbs by using an older tail wheel design. In the end Heinemann and his design engineers found over 1800 lbs of weight savings on the original XBT2D-1 design. Navy AD series were initially painted in ANA 623 Glossy Sea Blue, but during the 1950s following the Korean War, the colour scheme was changed to light gull grey (FS26440) and white (FS27875). Initially using the gray and white Navy pattern, by 1967 the USAF began to paint its Skyraiders in a camouflaged pattern using two shades of green, and one of tan. Used by the USN over Korea and Vietnam, the A-1 was a primary close air support aircraft for the USAF and VNAF during the Vietnam War. The A-1 was famous for being able to take hits and keep flying. There was added armour plating around the cockpit area for added pilot protection. It was replaced beginning in the mid-1960s by the Grumman A-6 Intruder as the Navy's primary medium attack plane in super carrier-based air wings; however Skyraiders continued to operate from the smaller Essex class carriers. The Skyraider went through seven versions, starting with the AD-1, then AD-2 and AD-3 with various minor improvements, then the AD-4, (the subject of this kit), with a more powerful R-3350-26WA engine. The AD-5 was significantly widened, (allowing the two crew to sit side-by-side), it also came in a four-seat night-attack version, the AD-5N. The AD-6 was an improved AD-4B with improved low-level bombing equipment, and the final production version AD-7 was upgraded to an R-3350-26WB engine. Skyraider production ended in 1957 with a total of 3,180 built. In 1962, the existing Skyraiders were redesignated A-1D through A-1J and later used by both the USAF and the Navy in the Vietnam War. The Model It is great to see another 1:32 Skyraider on the market giving the modeller a choice of either a complex or relatively simple build, even though the marks are different. This kit is of an earlier version, as used in the Korean War and is certainly the most accessible kit of this aircraft available, and I’m sure Trumpeter will be releasing later versions in the future, certainly going by the number of parts that aren’t used in this kit. The kit comes in quite a large box with an artists representation of the aircraft in flight over a target in Korea. Even with the size of the box, on opening it is stuff full with eighteen sprues of medium grey styrene, one sprue of clear styrene, rubber tyres, a small sheet of etched brass, and two quite large sheets of decals, one for the aircraft and one for the weaponry. All the parts appear very well moulded with no sign of flash and not too many moulding pips. Surface detail is a mixture of engraved and raised lines where appropriate such as strengthening straps and rivets. The instructions, on twenty four pages of landscape A4 are very clear and easy to follow. Despite the size of the kit, construction appears to be fairly simple, yet there is plenty of scope for additional detail to be added as has been seen on this site already. Once good thing about building a carrier borne aircraft in this scale is the useful feature of having the wings folded, thus taking up less space in the display cabinet. Construction starts with the engine build. The front and rear banks of cylinders are in two halves, each bank is then attached to each other and the push rods are fitted, as is the rear engine mounting plate. The crankcase is then built up with the addition of the magnetos and other ancillary parts before fitting to the front of the engine. The air intake manifold is the assembled and fitted to the rear of the engine followed by the complex arrangement of exhaust pipes which look quite fun to assemble and fit to each cylinder. The planetary gear case with the oil tank and sump moulded integrally is fitted with the two part battery and attached to the rear of the engine as are the very sturdy looking engine mounts. With the engine complete, the cockpit is then assembled. To the basic cockpit floor, with the side console shapes pre-moulded, the side console inners and tops are added, along with the seat, joystick, rudder pedals and instrument panel. The panel consists of a backing plate and clear front portion, onto the back of which the instrument decal is positioned. The instrument faces then need to be masked off before painting. When the masking is removed if should give the effect that the dials are behind glass. With the panel in place the rear bulkhead, having had the headrest attached can be fitted to the floor. Etched belts are provided for the lap and over-shoulder positions. To the completed cockpit assembly the main fuselage bulkheads fore and aft are attached. The foreward bulkhead also has the main engine oil tank, oil pump and fire bottle fixed to the front face, whilst the rear bulkhead has the fuselage fuel tank fitted to the rear face. The engine assembly is then attached to the front bulkhead and the whole assembly fitted to one side of the fuselage. The tailwheel bay is made up of the roof, sides and small front bulkhead to which the fuselage tail bulkhead is attached. The tailwheel itself is made up of the oleo, three part wheel support structure and the three part wheel including the rubber tyre. The tailwheel is then fitted into the well and the whole assembly fitted to its position in the fuselage. There are six further bulkheads fitted within the fuselage two of which are attached to the separate lower air brake well. With everything fitted into one half of the fuselage, the other half can be attached closing the fuselage up. With the fuselage closed up work still continues on the nose area. Firstly the two intakes are attached above and below the nose, aft of the engine; the lower intake is fitted with a PE grille. The two side panels aft of the engine are moulded in clear styrene, presumably so that the internal can be seen if one or both panels are left unpainted. The four nose strakes are attached to their respective positions, two per side whilst the cowling mounting ring is fitted over the engine and attached to the fuselage. In the cockpit the two canopy rails are fitted, whilst behind the cockpit two air scopes are attached. The engine cowling has the option of being posed open or closed as do the front and rear cowl flaps. If posed closed there is a very nicely moulded single piece outer cowl, into which parts representing the internal structure and front cowl flaps are fitted. Whilst this is a nice feature, it would be a shame to hide all the great engine detail. For the open cowling there is a separate nose structure into which the front cooling flaps are fitted, the support beam, two hinged panels and their gas struts. Moving back to the cockpit opening the coaming is fitted with a switch box and glued into place. There is a panel fitted behind the headrest and fitted with a support posts. The canopy slide rail is then fitted along with a blade aerial and the windscreen. The single piece canopy, moulded in clear styrene is a very complicated moulding and due to this does suffering from a mould seam which will need some careful sanding and polishing with something like the micromesh system before sealing in Kleer or Alclad aqua gloss before fitting to the fuselage. With the fuselage now complete work moves to the tail with the assembly of the horizontal tailplanes, elevators and rudder, each of which is in two halves. For the elevators to be posed drooped two small tags need to be removed first. The lower wing centre section is then fitted out with the main undercarriage bays box structures with cross bracing between the inboard and outboard sides. The inner wing cannon ammunition boxes are also fitted, as are the fold join ribs. The inner cannon are made up of the breech, with ammunition belt feed and ejector detail and a three part barrel and barrel bracket. The cannon are then attached to the inner wing between the inner and outer fold join ribs. If the wing is to be modelled unfolded then the three piece barrel can be replaced by a single, less detailed one. With the cannon fitted the upper wing parts can be attached. Turning the wing over, the flaps are assembled and attached to the wings by four actuators the choice of parts will depend on whether the flaps are to be modelled up or down. At this point the instructions call for the main undercarriage to be fitted, but it may be prudent to leave this until after the inner wing section is attached to the fuselage to prevent any breakages. As it is, the main undercarriage is each made up of the main oleo, retraction frame, gas strut, and front bay door. The wheels consist of the inner hub with separate brake piston detail, internal axle mount, a choice of spoked or solid outer hub and the rubber tyre. Once fitted to the wing the inner and outer bay doors can be attached. With the inner wing attached to the fuselage the side air brakes are fitted, again with the option of posing them open or closed. If closed then the internal panel and retraction jack can be omitted. The same goes for the underside air brake, just forward of which, on both sides a footstep is fitted. Right aft the two piece arrestor hook is attached, presumably in either retracted or extended position, but it’s not clear just going by the instructions. The propeller is then constructed out of a two part boss and four individual propeller blades. The completed propeller can be fitted once painting and decaling has been finished. The outer wings are now assembled with the wing cannon constructed in the same way as the inner wings guns and fitted into the gun bays built using the front, rear and side bulkheads with the ammunition boxes outboard of the guns. The wing lights, just inboard of the tip is fitted along with the wing join rib which has had the fold mechanisms attached, the type used will depend on whether the model is to be built with wings spread or folded. With the internal parts fitted the upper wing panels are attached, followed by the clear light covers and the ailerons. If the wings are spread then the outer cannon and ammunition bays can be shown with their access panels open. The completed assemblies can then be attached to the inner wings. Again, these can be left off until after painting and decaling, particularly if the wings are to be folded. Final attachments to the wings and fuselage are the various pylons. Alternative pylons are provided for the inner wing, dependent on whether the 2000lb bombs are to be mounted. Each pylon is detailed with separate crutch plates which is an item normally missed on kits, even in this scale. There have been some concerns over the type of pylons fitted to the outer wings, but having done a fair amount of research the kit pylons seem to match those fitted to the AD-4 during Korea. The kit has plenty of weaponry provided, including:- • Four M64 500lb bombs • Eight Mk82 500lb bombs, (not used in Korea) • Two M66 2000lb bombs • Eight Mk81 250lb bombs, (not used in Korea) • Two M-117 750lb bombs, • Eight M-57 250lb bombs • Four LAU-3 rocket pods, (not used in Korea) • Four SUU-14A/A cluster bomb units, (not used in Korea) • Sixteen 5” rockets • Two wing drop tanks • One centreline drop tank • Two toilet bombs, (not used on this model, but another sign of what is to come) So, whilst there is a large stock of weaponry in the box, very little of it can actually be used on an AD-4 in Korea. Still, the modeller should be able to attach a pretty unhealthy load. Etch Of all the parts on the small sheet of etched brass only five are actually used, the two lap straps, two shoulder straps and the intake grille. Although quite a thick sheet, it appears to be malleable enough to use without the need to anneal beforehand. Decals The two large decal sheets, one for the aircraft and one for the weaponry are both very nicely printed, in good register and opacity. They are quite glossy and thin, but some of the backing sheet is quite noticeable, although with a good gloss coat beforehand they should bed down well without silvering. The only real concern is the mottling on the surface, particularly noticeable on the Stars N Bars. Two aircraft schemes are provided, these are for:- • US Navy, VA-95, AD-4NA 515, BuNo127003 • US Marines, VMA-324, AD-4B 2, BuNo132364 The weapon sheet provides the yellow live weapon rings and placards for the M-64, M-66, Mk-82 and M-117 bombs, even though the latter two are not relevant for this era. The rest of the sheet covers the placards for each of the pylons. Conclusion I’ve always like the Skyraider and have been several in 1:72 and 1:48, but never thought I’d see one in 1:32, now we have two. This kit provides excellent value for money in my view, with some lovely moulding on the acres of styrene. The detail is great and should cater for all but the most fastidious of modellers, who can add detail to their hearts content as the basics are definitely here. It’s nice to see an early mark being released but it will be a challenge to weather the aircrafts overall dark blue realistically. Having got the ZM A-1H I think this kit complements the more complex product and as mentioned above is certainly more accessible to casual modellers, yet good enough for the more hardcore brigade. Highly recommended Walkround photos available HERE Review sample courtesy of
  7. Originally I wanted to built this kit together with the new Corsair from Hobby Boss. The latter has ended up on The Stash. Maybe some time in the future... The kit is pretty much straight forward. It has a non-foldable wing and posable flaps. It also includes some ordnance (rockets, bombs) and some parts to build a F4U-5N (nightfighter). The wing consists of three parts; an underside and two uppersides. The underside is a big piece of plastic to glue. And I am afraid I messed up the left part of the wing. First let it dry. What brand glue you people use???? I use the UHU-bottle with brush.
  8. What we have here is my fourth build since my thirty year break. There does seem to be quite a few of us like that. Must be the water. Or the pies more likely in my case. So, after fighting with my 1/72 SHAR build (and winning), and with time being at a bit of a premium, an OOB build of the very nice new Airfix F-51 Mustang was in order. It's a shame they weren't this good when I was at school. Even so, I like to try something new in these 'return to modelling' builds, so an NMF was just the ticket. I thought I'd try the Alclad2 stuff everyone bangs on about, so this is just a simple Alclad2 Aluminium, with some Tamiya metallic acrylics over the top in places. It also appears that Mustangs do appear to be a bit popular this week, so sorry for posting another one. Not sure what my next build will be, maybe another cleaner NMF on an F-100D, but here are the pictures of this one. Setup01 by IrritableRabbit, on Flickr Setup03 by IrritableRabbit, on Flickr Setup02 by IrritableRabbit, on Flickr Setup06 by IrritableRabbit, on Flickr Setup04 by IrritableRabbit, on Flickr Setup07 by IrritableRabbit, on Flickr
  9. Light Tank M-24 Chaffee (British Army) 1:35 Bronco Models In association with The Chaffee was developed to replace the ageing an relatively unsuccessful Stuart light tank, and every care was taken to keep the weight down, resulting in an incredible 20 ton tank with a relatively large 75mm gun, good manoeuvrability and off-road performance. It played a small part in the end of WWII after entering service in 1944, but very few tanks were delivered in time for the end of hostilities. Post-war it served in Korea and Vietnam, and was generally well liked by its crews. The armour package was light, but heavily sloped to give it extra effective thickness, and the 75mm gun punched way above the 37mm unit in the Stuart, and although it couldn't penetrate the thicker armour of the heavier tanks it might encounter, it could at least give them pause for thought if the need for engagement arose. Although it was received too late into British service to participate in WWII, it was used used in Korea, where it was a capable reconnaissance tank and its accurate and powerful main gun could be used to good effect in close quarters. The Kit The kit shares most of its parts with the earlier release, which has already garnered an excellent reputation, and on inspection this kit looks to keep that reputation intact. The first thing that struck me when I opened the box was that for a small tank, there was a lot of plastic in the box! There are 18 main sprues, plus 14 "strip sprues" of track-links, a clear sprue, two sheets of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a number of separate parts, the lower hull "tub", and a length of string. A small sheet of decals and Bronco's usual glossy instruction manual complete the package, and once out of the bags, there isn't much room to re-pack the box. Wide use of slide-moulding has been used to enhance the kit, and the little raised "bridge" sprues are all over the main sprues, giving us hollow barrels, and more complex shapes than would otherwise be possible with traditional injection moulding. The part count is impressive too, with the sprues densely packed, as is the main PE sheet, which even has individual casting numbers to be applied to the final drive bell-housings. Construction begins with the lower hull, which is very nicely moulded, with plenty of detail present even before you start installing the suspension parts. A full set of torsion bars are included, and their covers hide them away from sight, but they can be set up to function the same way as the real thing, although I would be wary of stress fractures in the bars if you test the suspension too often! The exposed dampers and swing arms are installed next, and if you are careful with the glue, you will end up with suspension that actually works. The dampers are made from a hollow outer and inner slider, with separate bolts to attach to the brackets on the hull. The return rollers are next, and drive sprockets are built up from a central hub that has been slide-moulded with detail on every face, to which the sprockets themselves are added, hub back, and then onto the final drive housing. Again, with care, the sprocket can be left mobile. My example has some minor damage to one of the inner hubs, possibly where it was cut from the sprue, but nothing that cannot be fixed with a little piece of styrene sheet and careful sanding. The idler wheels are similarly constructed from layers, and attach using a free-floating pin to the hull mount. The various sub-assemblies that attach to the upper hull are then built, and set aside for later installation, including some nice PE grilles for the engine deck, alternative styrene or PE light protection cages, and the driver's flip-down windscreen. The top hull is broken into sections to eke out as many versions from the same basic parts as possible, with the front section being the largest, and including the finely detailed turret ring, bow mounted machine gun and the spare roadwheel mounted on the glacis plate. The rear is built up from quite a number of panels, and care should be taken here to ensure the deck is square and symmetrical once done. The two hatches on the front deck can be posed open or closed, and have rotating mounts for clear periscopes included. More PE mesh and detail parts are added during the next few steps before the final deck panels are added along with the rear bulkhead. The tracks are provided as individual links (my favourite) on unusual sprues that are minimalist and have no outer ring that we have come to expect from modern toolings. The parts are instead laid out in a "ladder" with a small length of sprue connecting them together. Not only does this save styrene, but it also makes cutting them from the sprue an easier task. Each link has three sprue gates, and cleanup should be pretty simple, just needing a sanding stick to return the rolled edges to their correct shape. The links are also a click-fit rather than the traditional glue-and-wrap style "Magic Tracks" favoured by the likes of Dragon. You simply click the tracks together, and a pair of pins and sockets retain the parts, while remaining workable. It should make painting and installation easier, although some touch-ups might be needed where the tracks are at sharper angels to eachother, exposing sections that may have been covered when the painting stage was done. The fenders are built up off the hull and added once complete, but I would be tempted to attach the base first and add the ancillary parts in situ to ensure everything lines up correctly. Some PE detail parts are added here too, as well as stowage boxes and spare track-links, which have PE retention clips for a bit of added realism. The main gun is a curious piece of styrene engineering, as it has a delicate slide-moulded spring that has to be seen, as it is quite impressive. This is sealed within the recoil block along with the flange of the barrel, and guide part. This gives the gun recoil, which although it is a bit of a gimmick does beg the question "why not use a more durable metal spring?". The barrel itself is slide moulded and has a hollow end, so a quick scrape with a convex curved blade should be enough to prepare it, although I understand that an aftermarket turned metal barrel is already available. The turret itself is built up from a number of parts around the bottom ring, and the gun is integrated, receiving lots of extra parts to detail the breech and loading mechanism. The gunner's seat is also included, oplus a couple of jump-seats around the turret edge for the commander and loader. The coaxial machine gun slips through the mantlet part, then the main gun is then mounted, which should result in it being able to elevate as well as recoil. It's quite a blast from the past having moving parts on a kit of this type, but hats off to the engineers, who probably enjoyed the process. The mantlet is then joined to the front of the turret, and that in turn is glued to the lower part. A radio set is included to give the turret more detail, and the top of the turret is then detailed before being added to the lower part later in the build process, with the commander's cupola plus the turret mounted AA gun being built up in the interim. The big .50cal weapon has a slide-moulded cooling jacket into which the barrel drops, and a PE handling grip is included to improve the detail further. The turret bustle stowage bin is made up from slabs, with plenty of PE detail added including some chains and locking clips. The various parts are then added to the upper turret before it is all mated with the lower. Personally, I would mate the turret halves earlier to save knocking off all the additions during handling. A bonus offering of a milk churn, ammo boxes and jerry cans are included on the sprues, but some extra stowage in the form of a kit bag, four go-bags and a tarpaulin roll aren't documented. A figure is also included in a relaxed pose with tea mug in hand, just the chap on the boxtop. Finally, the string is used to provide the towing cable, although no mention of the part numbers for the towing eyes is made on the instructions, but after a concerted search I found them on the two spruea marked Ga, part 37. The weave of the string provided is however incorrect for a braided cable, being an interweaved plaited type, so a suitable replacement would be in order if you're looking for accuracy. RB Models make a range of different width real braided wires that look very good once installed, mainly because they're real braided cable. There are five decal choices included on the small sheet, and you should choose early because some structural differences are noted during the build between some of them. From the box you can build one of the following: HQ Troop, 5th Royal Tank Regiment, 22nd Armoured Brigade of the 7th Armoured Division, Germany 1945 "Kelly's Aye" C Squadron, Reconnaissance Regiment, 5th Infantry Division, British Army, 1946 "Chieftain" Newly delivered tank for trials purposes, England, Winter 1944 3rd Royal Tank Regiment, 22nd Armoured Brigade, 7th Armoured Division, 1944-45 "Annie" 1st Royal Tank Regument, 22nd Armoured Brigade, 7th Armoured Division, 1945 "Trigger Happy" The first three options are overall Olive Drab, while the reminder are printed in a scheme reminiscent of Dark Bronze Green, but the colour call-out tells us this is also Olive Drab. If you're in any doubt over which is right, you can see some rather good information at the MAFVA site here . Decals are of course quite limited in scope, but they are crisp, seem to have good colour density and a reasonably thin carrier film. Conclusion It's a great kit, and can be built from the box into a stunning replica of this small light tank. Detail is excellent, and the turret interior is very nice, as is the fine detail that is to be found pretty much all over the kit. The working suspension, tracks and barrel recoil are perhaps a little gimmicky, but they do have an appeal, and can always be set in place with a little liquid glue at some later point. That feature would be especially useful if you were posing the tank on a diorama, giving you the opportunity to show the suspension in action, compressing over bumps. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
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