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  1. Gloster Gauntlet Mk.I (AZ7866) 1:72 AZ Model by Kovozávody Prostějov The Gauntlet bears a family resemblance to the Gladiator from the same stable because it preceded it, entering service earlier after an extended development process that would be worthy of a modern defence project. Its development began as early as 1929, but it wasn’t until 1933 that it was given the name Gauntlet, and another two years before it started to enter service with the RAF in small numbers. It was intended as a replacement to the Bulldog, which it outpaced by 50mph thanks to its Bristol Mercury engine, with heavier armament that included two machine guns in troughs in the fuselage sides, firing through the cowling and propeller. Only twenty-four of the initial airframes were made before there were improvements made, which were give the designation Mk.II, resulting in the initial batch being retrospectively named Mk.I. The Mk.II made up the majority of production, with over 200 manufactured in the UK, plus more built overseas. At its peak there were fourteen squadrons equipped with Gauntlets, but as the storm clouds of war began to gather, it was already outdated. By the time war finally broke out, only one squadron was left in frontline service, the rest having transitioned to more modern fighters such as the Hurricane, which was created by Gloster’s new owners, Hawker, still carrying over some design traits from the Gauntlet through the Gladiator to the Hurricane, particularly in the rear fuselage and tail areas. Happily for the Hurricane pilots however, the speed and armament of their new aircraft was much improved and gave them a fighting chance against the enemy. The Gauntlet lingered on as a trainer in the UK and abroad for a while, with a single Mk.II preserved in airworthy condition in Finland, one of its former operators, although the engine has been replaced by something a little more modern for practical reasons. The Kit This is a reboxing of a 2008 tooling from AZ that has been re-released with new decals that depict the Gauntlet in RAF and Danish service. It arrives in a small end-opening box with a painting of a gaggle of Gauntlets over rolling fields on the front, and profiles for the decal options on the rear of the box. Inside are three sprues of grey styrene, decal sheet, a small sheet of clear acrylic with two windscreens printed on it, plus the instruction booklet that is printed on a folded sheet of A4, with a series of rigging profiles on the rearmost page. Detail is good, with just a wisp of flash here and there, and a good representation of the fabric covered framework over the majority of the airframe. Construction begins with the simple cockpit that is based on a well-detailed flat section of floor, onto which the seat, control column and rudder pedals are fixed, applying four-point decal seatbelts to the pilot’s position for a little extra detail. There is cockpit sidewall detail moulded into the insides of the fuselage halves, and once these and the cockpit are painted and weathered, the fuselage halves can be joined together, adding a two-part instrument panel at the front of the cockpit cut-out. The engine is supplied as a single part with nine cylinders arranged around the core, which is surrounded by a three-part cowling due to the teardrop fairings around the perimeter, finishing the cowling off with a separate lip at the front. The tail fin is moulded into the fuselage halves, adding the individual elevator fins to the sides in small slots, and a tail-wheel with moulded-in strut underneath. The lower wing is a single part that is inserted into a slot under the fuselage, and once the seams have been dealt with, the landing gear can be built, made from two triangular struts that are linked by the axle that has wheels mounted on each end, positioning the assembly on the underside of the fuselage using the small recesses that are moulded into the model to locate them accurately. Four cabane struts are similarly fitted to the fuselage in front of the cockpit using more guide recesses, which supports the upper wing that is also moulded as a single part. Four interplane struts are fitted between the wings, and a scrap diagram gives details of the tensioner rods that are suspended in the rigging, which is dealt with over the page. A pair of exhausts are mounted under the cowling, cutting the windscreen from the acetate sheet and folding it to shape before gluing it to the front of the cockpit, then slotting the two machine gun barrels in the troughs on each side of the fuselage. The final task (if we ignore the rigging for now) is the two-blade propeller, gluing a spinner to the front to finish it. Speaking of rigging, there are four diagrams on the rear of the booklet, detailing the location of the wiring, which should assist with the process along with the box art for a three-quarter view. Markings There are three options on the decal sheet, two RAF, and one in Danish service, the latter having a more interesting scheme, as the RAF were heavily invested in silver dope in the 1930s – perhaps someone had shares? From the box you can build one of the following: The decals are printed using a digital process and have good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut loosely around the printed areas. This means that the carrier film on their decals can be coaxed away from the printed part of the decal after they have been applied, effectively rendering them carrier film free, making the completed decals much thinner and more realistic, and obviating the need to apply successive coats of clear varnish to hide the edges of the carrier film. It’s a great step further in realism from my point of view, and saves a good quantity of precious modelling time into the bargain. Conclusion The Gauntlet was a well-used interwar fighter that in its day was an impressive improvement over those that it replaced, but was soon to be left in the wake of the next generation of fighters due to the speed of development at the time. The kit depicts its fabric covering well, with a detailed cockpit, and it comes with some interesting decal options. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  2. Kovozávody Prostějov (KP) is to release a family of 1/72nd Cessna 150/152/180 & U-17 Skywagon kits Source: http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234931186-azmodellegatoadmiral-wwii-aircraft-comments-questions-and-wishes/?p=1518104 V.P.
  3. Kovozávody Prostějov (KP) is to release (in April 2024 ?) 1/72nd Ansaldo S.V.A.9 and S.V.A.10 kits. - ref. KPM0445 - Ansaldo S.V.A.9 - Italian Eagles Source: https://www.kovozavody.cz/produkt/ansaldo-s-v-a-9-italian-eagles/ - ref. KPM0446 - Ansaldo S.V.A.9 - Other services Source: https://www.kovozavody.cz/produkt/ansaldo-s-v-a-9-other-services/ - ref. KPM0447 - Ansaldo S.V.A.10 - Italian Service Source: https://www.kovozavody.cz/produkt/ansaldo-s-v-a-10-italian-services/ - ref. KPM0448 - Ansaldo S.V.A.10 - Other services Source: https://www.kovozavody.cz/produkt/ansaldo-s-v-a-10-other-services/ V.P.
  4. Kovozávody Prostějov (KP) is to release in 2016 2024 1/72nd Messerschmitt Me.262a/b Schwalbe & Avia S-92/C-92 kits. It'll be ex-Směr kits. Source: http://www.kovozavody.cz/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/AVIZOKP-EN-0116.pdf V.P.
  5. Sources: https://www.facebook.com/kovop/posts/1380741072119738 http://www.modelarovo.cz/nova-linie-modelu-v-kovozavodech-prostejov-dopravaky-1-250/ V.P.
  6. Source: https://www.modelarovo.cz/kovozavody-prostejov-azmodel-co-noveho-v-roce-2024/ "I would like to start by wishing all our supporters a Happy New Year and especially good health. I also want to thank all our workers, subcontractors, our dealers and distributors for a job well done in 2023. I believe that 2024 will be a challenge for all of us to do even better and we will certainly have many nice new models to come. So, what’s coming and what’s coming? So, short and to the point: We will start with the first quarter of 2024, when we will continue our long-running line of 1/72nd scale Mustangs. After the successful P-51B/C and Mk.III series, the moulds for the two-seat TP-51B versions are in the pipeline. The same is also true with the P-51D-5 versions, and we will continue with the P-51D-10/15/20, P-51K and others in this extensive „Mustang“ family. Fans of modernity of our air force will be pleased with the brand new LET L-410UVP in 1/72 scale. Yes, we once released in AZmodel the vintage Turbolet by Gavia , but times are different and so now the molds for the new , shape and size correct Turbolet are in preparation. Later on there will also be a version of L-410A/M. Here I want to thank Firma49 for their help with 3D modelling. Fans of the First War will be pleased this year with the new Halberstad CL.II and Cl.IV models, Nieuport Ni- 11 Bebe / Ni-16 and the Avro 504K family. We will also offer you other Bf 109 and DH.9. For the „civil airline collector“ we have, after a long delay, finished moulds for the SAAB-340 and SAAB 2000 models in 1/200 scale. In 1/144 we are resuming production of the Yakovlev Yak-40 and from the new moulds the Tupolev Tu-134A/B. We have also prepared many modified reissues of older models from our or cooperating production. Unwanted PUR parts and etched parts are „removed“ from the models according to the latest trends. Everything is replaced with new plastic parts or even new transparent parts. In this format are in preparation for example models of Breda 65-A-80, MiG-17F, Fiat G-50, Fokker C-X , Messerschmitt Bf 108, H.P. Hampden Mk.I, Airspeed Oxford and others. In 1/48 scale there is MS.406, Ki-48 Lily and Gotha G.V. Also our company has purchased several molds from „second“ hand in 2023. Sales or preparations for distribution of Sukhoi Su-22M4, Sukhoi Su-22UM, Robinson R-44, Zlin C-106/Z-381 models are underway. From the cooperation with the company Směr Praha is surprisingly successful sale of the Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIc model in the KP-Club line edition. These models are intended for beginners, unpretentious modellers, and in comparison to the Směr models they contain „plastic in grey“, new camouflage schemes and new decals (can be used also for older Směr models). We are now preparing for sale Yakovlev Yak-3, Messerschmitt Me-262A, Bloch MB-152, LeO 451 etc. Finally, for the pleasure of your eye, we present a few boxart of our upcoming new kits by our court painter – Carlos Alonso from Spain, who is inherently and rightfully part of the KP/AZ team. I have to say many compliments from our customers on his awesome work! I hope that everyone will choose their model from our new products and once again I wish you a pleasant and beautiful modeling in 2024. Petr Muzikant and the entire KP/AZmodel team" V.P.
  7. Kovozávody Prostějov (KP) is to rebox the Heller/Směr Yak-3 kit. Release expected in February 2024. - ref. CLK0013 - Yakovlev Yak-3- Aces Source: https://www.kovozavody.cz/produkt/jak-3-aces/ - ref. CLK0014 - Yakovlev Yak-3 Source: https://www.kovozavody.cz/produkt/jak-3/ V.P.
  8. Kovozávody Prostějov (KP) is to re-release 1/72nd Marcel Bloch/Aero MB.200 kits Source: https://www.modelarovo.cz/marcel-bloch-aero-mb-200-1-72-kp-kovozavody-prostejov/ Box art V.P.
  9. Kovozávody Prostějov (KP) is to release in December 2023 some Aero Ae-45S/-145 & K-75 kits - ref. KPM0429 - Aero K-75 -Military Source: https://www.kovozavody.cz/produkt/aero-k-75-military/ - ref. KPM0430 - Aero Ae-45 Source: https://www.kovozavody.cz/produkt/aero-ae-45/ - ref. KPM0431 - Aero Ae-45S - Super Aero Pt.I Source: https://www.kovozavody.cz/produkt/aero-ae-45s-super-aero-pt-i/ - ref. KPM0432 - Aero Ae-45S - Super Aero Pt.II Source: https://www.kovozavody.cz/produkt/aero-ae-45s-super-aero-pt-ii/ - ref. KPM0433 - Aero Ae-145 Source: https://www.kovozavody.cz/produkt/aero-ae-145/ - ref. KPM0434 - Aero Ae-145S - Special Markings Source: https://www.kovozavody.cz/produkt/aero-ae-145-special-markings/ V.P.
  10. Kovozávody Prostějov (KP) is to release in April 2022 1/72nd Salmson Sal.2A2 kits. Source: https://www.modelarovo.cz/novinky-kovozavody-prostejov-azmodel-pripravovane-na-duben/ - ref. KPM0324 - Salmson Sal.2A2 - Czecoslovakia - ref. KPM0325 - Salmson Sal.2A2 - In Polish service - ref. KPM0326 - Kawasaki Otsu 1 - ref. KPM0327 - Salmson Sal.2A2 - USAS service V.P.
  11. Kovozávody Prostějov is to repop the Valom 1/72nd Fouga CM.170R Magister kit. Valom Fouga thread: https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234946157-172-potez-air-fouga-cm170r-magister-by-valom-released/ Sources: http://www.modelarovo.cz/fouga-cm-170-magister-1-72-kp-kovozavody-prostejov https://www.facebook.com/kovop/posts/1568511816675995 - ref. KPM0242 - Potez Air Fouga CM.170R Magister - Over Europe - ref. KPM0243 - Potez Air Fouga CM.170R Magister - Over Israël - ref. KPM0244 - Potez Air Fouga CM.170R Magister - Other services V.P.
  12. New 1/72nd LVG C.VI (?) kit in progress by Kovozávody Prostějov (KP) - ref.KPM7271 Source: https://www.facebook.com/kovop/photos/a.182240158636508.1073741828.182206638639860/480404745486713/?type=3&theater V.P.
  13. Spitfire Mk.Vc Trop ‘Over Yugoslavia’ (KPM0418) 1:72 Kovozávody Prostějov The Spitfire was the champion of the Battle of Britain alongside the Hurricane and a few other less well-known players, and it’s an aircraft with an amazing reputation that started as a bit of a damp squib in the shape of the Supermarine Type 224. This gull-winged oddity was the grandfather of the Spitfire, and despite losing out to the biplane Gloster Gladiator, designer R J Mitchell was spurred on to go back to the drawing board and create a more modern, technologically advanced and therefore risky design. This was the Type 300, and it was an all-metal construction with an incredibly thin elliptical wing that became legendary, although it didn’t leave much space for fuel, a situation that was further worsened by the Air Ministry’s insistence that four .303 machine guns were to be installed in each wing, rather than the three originally envisaged. It was a very well-sorted aircraft from the outset, so quickly entered service with the RAF in 1938 in small numbers. With the clouds of war building, the Ministry issued more orders and it became a battle to manufacture enough to fulfil demand in time for the outbreak and early days of war from September 1939 onwards. By then, the restrictive straight sided canopy had been replaced by a “blown” hood to give the pilot more visibility, although a few with the old canopy lingered on for a while. The title Mk.Ia was given retrospectively to differentiate between the cannon-winged Mk.Ib that was instigated after the .303s were found somewhat lacking compared to the 20mm cannon armament of their main opposition at the time, the Bf.109. As is usual in wartime, the designers could never rest on their laurels with an airframe like the Spitfire, as it had significant potential for development, a process that lasted throughout the whole of WWII, and included many changes to the Merlin engine, then the installation of the more powerful Griffon engine, as well as the removal of the spine of the fuselage and creation of a bubble canopy to improve the pilot’s situational awareness. Its immediate successor was the Mk.II that had a better Merlin engine and higher octane fuel to give it a healthy boost in performance. The IIa was armed identically to the Mk.Ia with four .303s in each wing, while the IIb carried the two 20mm cannons of the Ib and two .303s in each of the wings. The Mk.II was followed by the Mk.V that had yet another more powerful Merlin fitted, which returned the fright of the earlier marks’ first encounters with Fw.190s by a similar increase in performance from an outwardly almost identical Spitfire. The C-wing was also known as the Universal Wing, and could carry different armament types without modification, cutting down on manufacturing time, whilst offering easy armament changes depending on the task at hand. The Kit This variant of the beloved Spitfire is a reboxing with additional parts of the 2016 tooling, and arrives in a small end-opening box with a painting of the subject on the front and the decal options on the rear. Inside are three sprues in grey styrene, a tiny clear sprue, two decal sheets and the instruction booklet, which is specific to the Mk.Vc. Looking inside, the sprues are very nicely detailed with two sets of wings that have different gun fairings as separate parts for the topsides, so care will need to be taken when snipping them from the sprues. The interior is similarly well detailed, with raised and engraved detail on the sidewalls and instrument panel, plus the typical ladder of strengthening ribbing on the roof of the gear bays, which is moulded into the underside of the upper wings. Construction begins with the cockpit, with a decal provided to apply over the black panel to enhance the details, the control column, red-brown Bakelite seat, the seat frame with an armoured panel between the seat and its frame. This is attached to the floor section, then the stick and seat join them along with the instrument panel where the rudder pedals pass through the footwell cut-out. The completed cockpit is glued into the starboard fuselage half, and the two exhaust slots are backed by some styrene sheet from your own stock, with a drawing of a template given to assist you with this. If you have some 3.5mm wide strip to hand, you’re half way there already. The fuselage is then closed after adding the twin bottles in the port side, and the clear gunsight is fitted to the top of the panel, ideally after you’ve finished with the fuselage seams. The lower wing is full-width as you’d imagine, and this more modern tooling is detailed with the oil cooler and radiator fairing that has textured front and rear radiator surfaces, plus a pair of teardrop shaped blisters outboard of the gear bays, which also has the narrow tunnel that accommodates the gear strut when retracted. The upper wing halves are glued over the lower, and once dry it is joined to the fuselage, has the gun barrels installed in the leading edges, the elevators and rudder fixed to the tail, and the chin insert added to the front, followed by the two-part chin intake, exhausts, and tail-wheel with moulded-in strut. The landing gear is simple and made from a single strut, captive bay door and single part wheel on each side. The prop is moulded as a single three-blade part that is trapped between the front and rear spinner, the latter having an axle moulded to the rear that is inserted into the front of the fuselage. The canopy is a single-part, and has a rear-view mirror fitted to the top of the windscreen, and an antenna just behind the cockpit. The back page of the instructions shows the location of the aerials and all the stencils, including the flare-port decal on the side of the canopy. Markings There are three options on the main decal sheet, while the separate sheet contains all the stencils, which is good to see at this scale. From the box you can build one of the following: The decals are printed using a digital process and have good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut loosely around the printed areas. This means that the carrier film on their decals can be coaxed away from the printed part of the decal after they have been applied, effectively rendering them carrier film free, making the completed decals much thinner and more realistic, and obviating the need to apply successive coats of clear varnish to hide the edges of the carrier film. It’s a great step further in realism from my point of view, and saves a good quantity of precious modelling time into the bargain. Conclusion A well-detailed replica of Britain’s favourite fighter from WWII as it flew with Yugoslavian pilots, and in the Yugoslavian Air Force after WWII ended and before the Iron Curtain came down. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  14. Supermarine Spitfire PR.Mk.XI "USAAF" (KPM0291) 1:72 Kovozávody Prostějov The Spitfire was the champion of the Battle of Britain along with the Hurricane and a few other less well-known players, and it’s an aircraft with an amazing reputation that started from a bit of a damp squib in the shape of the Supermarine Type 224. The gull-winged oddity was the grandfather of the Spitfire, and despite losing out to the biplane Gloster Gladiator, designer R J Mitchell was spurred on to go back to the drawing board and create a more modern, technologically advanced and therefore risky design. This was the Type 300, and it was an all-metal construction with an incredibly thin elliptical wing that became legendary, although it didn’t leave much space for fuel, a situation that was further worsened by the Air Ministry’s insistence that four .303 machine guns were to be installed in each wing, rather than the three originally envisaged. It was a very well-sorted aircraft from the outset, so quickly entered service with the RAF in 1938 in small numbers. With the clouds of war accumulating, the Ministry issued more orders and it became a battle to create enough to fulfil demand in time for the outbreak and early days of war from September 1939 onwards. By then, the restrictive straight sided canopy had been replaced by a “blown” hood to give the pilot more visibility, although a few with the old canopy still lingered. The title Mk.Ia was given retrospectively to differentiate between the cannon-winged Mk.Ib that was instigated after the .303s were found somewhat lacking compared to the 20mm cannon armament of their main opposition at the time, the Bf.109. As is usual in wartime, the designers could never rest on their laurels with an airframe like the Spitfire, as it had significant potential for development, a process that lasted throughout the whole of WWII, and included many changes to the Merlin engine, then the installation of the more powerful Griffon engine, as well as the removal of the spine of the fuselage and creation of a bubble canopy to improve the pilot’s situational awareness. Its immediate successor was the Mk.II with a new Mk.XII Merlin, followed by the Mk.V that had yet another more powerful Merlin fitted. With the development of new Merlin 60 powered Spitfires, both the Mk VII and VIII were to have photo-reconnaissance (PR) variants. T he Mk XI was based on a combination of features from the marks VII, VIII and IX. It was the first PR variant to have the option of using two vertically mounted F52 cameras in the fuselage behind the cockpit. Other configurations could also be fitted, depending on the mission. The Mk XIs had a deeper nose fairing to accommodate a larger 14.5 gal oil tank and used the unarmoured, wrap-around PRU windscreen. Booster pumps for the wing tanks were fitted these being covered by teardrop shaped fairings under the wings. Retractable tailwheels were fitted as standard and the majority of the Mk XIs built had the later large-area pointed rudder. 260 Mk XIs were powered by Merlin 61, 63 or 63A engines, while the remaining 211 used the high-altitude Merlin 70. All of the Merlin 70 and 198 of the Merlin 60 series aircraft were fitted with the Vokes Aero-Vee dust filter in the extended, streamlined carburettor air intake under the nose. All Merlin 60 powered aircraft featured the fuel cooler in the port leading edge wing root. Additional slipper drop tanks could be fitted under the centre-section; in common with the Mk IX these could be 30, 45 or 90 gal capacity and, for the Mk XI, a tank of 170 gal capacity was also available. The aircraft were capable of a top speed of 417 mph (671 km/h) at 24,000 ft and could cruise at 395 mph at 32,000 ft. Normally Spitfire XIs cruised between these altitudes although, in an emergency, the aircraft could climb to 44,000 ft. However, pilots could not withstand such altitudes for long in a non-pressurised cockpit.[info from Wikipedia] The Kit This is a new tool 2022 boxing in KP's line of Spitfire kits. As is usual, they have produced a number of boxings that vary in decals and parts , giving the modeller plenty of choice which one(s) to get. The kit arrives in a small end-opening box, and inside are two sprues in grey styrene, a clear sprue, decal sheet and A5 instruction booklet, with the decal options printed in colour on the back of the box. Detail is excellent for the scale. Construction begins with the cockpit, the front bulkhead gets its instrument panel, with the instruments being provided as decals. The seat back and head armour attaches to the rear bulkhead and this is fitted to the floor members. The control column is added followed by the seat. Belts are supplied as decals. At the front of each fuselage half blanking plates go in for the exhausts and then the cockpit can go in the and halves can be closed up. Moving onto the wings the left and right uppers can be added to the single part lower wing making sure the small parts for the wheels wells go in first. The radiators go on. The wing can now be fitted to the fuselage and at the rear the tail surfaces and rudder are fitted, along with the tail wheel. The main gear can be built up and added along with the chin intake and prop. On top the canopy and aerial mast is added. At the front the prop is fitted. Markings There are three decal options in the box to represent The USAAF 14th Photographic Squadron of the 8th Air Force, which operated Spitfire Mark XIs from November 1943 to April 1945 Decals are printed in-house and have good registration, colour density and sharpness, with a very thin carrier film cut close to the printing. Conclusion Another great release from KP with excellent detail, and plenty of choices. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  15. Spitfire Mk.Vc Trop ‘Mediterranean Theatre’ (KPM0417) 1:72 Kovozávody Prostějov The Spitfire was the champion of the Battle of Britain alongside the Hurricane and a few other less well-known players, and it’s an aircraft with an amazing reputation that started as a bit of a damp squib in the shape of the Supermarine Type 224. This gull-winged oddity was the grandfather of the Spitfire, and despite losing out to the biplane Gloster Gladiator, designer R J Mitchell was spurred on to go back to the drawing board and create a more modern, technologically advanced and therefore risky design. This was the Type 300, and it was an all-metal construction with an incredibly thin elliptical wing that became legendary, although it didn’t leave much space for fuel, a situation that was further worsened by the Air Ministry’s insistence that four .303 machine guns were to be installed in each wing, rather than the three originally envisaged. It was a very well-sorted aircraft from the outset, so quickly entered service with the RAF in 1938 in small numbers. With the clouds of war building, the Ministry issued more orders and it became a battle to manufacture enough to fulfil demand in time for the outbreak and early days of war from September 1939 onwards. By then, the restrictive straight sided canopy had been replaced by a “blown” hood to give the pilot more visibility, although a few with the old canopy lingered on for a while. The title Mk.Ia was given retrospectively to differentiate between the cannon-winged Mk.Ib that was instigated after the .303s were found somewhat lacking compared to the 20mm cannon armament of their main opposition at the time, the Bf.109. As is usual in wartime, the designers could never rest on their laurels with an airframe like the Spitfire, as it had significant potential for development, a process that lasted throughout the whole of WWII, and included many changes to the Merlin engine, then the installation of the more powerful Griffon engine, as well as the removal of the spine of the fuselage and creation of a bubble canopy to improve the pilot’s situational awareness. Its immediate successor was the Mk.II that had a better Merlin engine and higher octane fuel to give it a healthy boost in performance. The IIa was armed identically to the Mk.Ia with four .303s in each wing, while the IIb carried the two 20mm cannons of the Ib and two .303s in each of the wings. The Mk.II was followed by the Mk.V that had yet another more powerful Merlin fitted, which returned the fright of the earlier marks’ first encounters with Fw.190s by a similar increase in performance from an outwardly almost identical Spitfire. The C-wing was also known as the Universal Wing, and could carry different armament types without modification, cutting down on manufacturing time, whilst offering easy armament changes depending on the task at hand. The Kit This variant of the beloved Spitfire is a reboxing with additional parts of the 2016 tooling, and arrives in a small end-opening box with a painting of the subject on the front and the decal options on the rear. Inside are three sprues in grey styrene, a tiny clear sprue, two decal sheets and the instruction booklet, which is specific to the Mk.Vc. Looking inside, the sprues are very nicely detailed with two sets of wings that have different gun fairings as separate parts for the topsides, so care will need to be taken when snipping them from the sprues. The interior is similarly well detailed, with raised and engraved detail on the sidewalls and instrument panel, plus the typical strengthening ribbing on the roof of the gear bays, which is moulded into the underside of the upper wings. Construction begins with the cockpit, with a decal provided to apply over the black panel to enhance the details, the control column, red-brown Bakelite seat, the seat frame with an armoured panel between the seat and its frame. This is attached to the floor section, then the stick and seat join them along with the instrument panel where the rudder pedals pass through the footwell cut-out. The completed cockpit is glued into the starboard fuselage half, and the two exhaust slots are backed by some styrene sheet from your own stock, with a drawing of a template given to assist you with this. If you have some 3.5mm wide strip to hand, you’re half way there already. The fuselage is then closed after adding the twin bottles in the port side, and the clear gunsight is fitted to the top of the panel, ideally after you’ve finished with the fuselage seams. The lower wing is full-width as you’d imagine, and this more modern tooling is detailed with the oil cooler and radiator fairing that has textured front and rear radiator surfaces, plus a pair of teardrop shaped blisters outboard of the gear bays, which also has the narrow tunnel that accommodates the gear strut when retracted. The upper wing halves are glued over the lower, and once dry it is joined to the fuselage, has the gun barrels installed in the leading edges, the elevators and rudder fixed to the tail, and the chin insert added to the front, followed by the two-part chin intake, exhausts, and tail-wheel with moulded-in strut. The landing gear is simple and made from a single strut, captive bay door and single part wheel on each side. The prop is moulded as a single three-blade part that is trapped between the front and rear spinner, the latter having an axle moulded to the rear that is inserted into the front of the fuselage. The canopy is a single-part, and has a rear-view mirror fitted to the top of the windscreen, and an antenna just behind the cockpit. The back page of the instructions shows the location of the aerials and all the stencils, including the flare-port decal on the side of the canopy. Markings There are three options on the main decal sheet, while the separate sheet contains all the stencils, which is good to see at this scale. From the box you can build one of the following: The decals are printed using a digital process and have good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut loosely around the printed areas. This means that the carrier film on their decals can be coaxed away from the printed part of the decal after they have been applied, effectively rendering them carrier film free, making the completed decals much thinner and more realistic, and obviating the need to apply successive coats of clear varnish to hide the edges of the carrier film. It’s a great step further in realism from my point of view, and saves a good quantity of precious modelling time into the bargain. Conclusion A well-detailed replica of Britain’s favourite fighter from WWII as it flew in the sunny Mediterranean in the hands of British, South African and French pilots. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  16. SA Bulldog T.1 RAF Special (KPM0299) 1:72 Kovozávody Prostějov The Bulldog was originally designed by Beagle Aircraft, who sadly went bust before they could honour any orders for this two-seat prop-driven trainer, the first customer being Sweden. A new concern, Scottish Aviation took over and brought the Bulldog to market where it was used most notably by the RAF and Swedish Air Force, but by other countries too, as we’ll find out in later boxings. There were several models made, many of which were designed for the export market, with the RAF using the 121 as the T.1, while the 101 was developed for Sweden, where it was designated Sk 61 in the Air Force, or Fpl 61 in army use. The Swedish aircraft differed mainly due to the additional two seats in the rear of the crew compartment behind the pilots who sat two abreast, with a wide expanse of Perspex giving excellent forward visibility over the relatively short nose. The last RAF airframes left service just after the new millennium, and many have gone into private hands from all variants across the world. The now familiar Grob Tutor replaced the Bulldog as the entry-level trainer with the RAF and continues to serve today, with some avionics upgrades to keep pace with technology. The Kit This is the second in a new range of boxings in 1:72 from KP that brings modern levels of detail to this scale. The kit arrives in a small end-opening box with an attractive painting of the type on the front and the profiles for the decal options on the rear. Inside is a single sprue in grey styrene, a small clear sprue, decal sheet and instruction booklet, the clear parts safely enclosed in their own Ziploc bag. Detail is good, although there’s a tiny amount of flash here and there, but it’s minimal and mostly confined to the sprue runners. Construction starts predictably with the cockpit, with the blank instrument panel receiving an instrument decal to detail it, and both seats getting decal belts. The floor is moulded into the one-part wing and has raised areas for the seats that are detailed with a pair of control columns, centre console and rear bulkhead, while the instrument panel is glued into the front of the cockpit opening after closing up the fuselage halves. A pair of side windows pop in from the inside, and the front is closed up by adding the nose cowling, which has a depiction of the front bank of piston inserted behind it that will show through the oval intakes either side of the raised prop shaft surround. The wings and fuselage are joined, and the single-part elevators with their ribbed flying surfaces moulded-in are glued into their slots in the rear. The canopy is a single piece that has the framing engraved in, and it’s a crystal-clear part that will show off your work on the interior once its finished. There are a couple of choices of antennae on the spine behind the cockpit, and a clear landing light fits into a recess in the leading edge of the starboard wing. To finish off the build, the landing gear legs are glued onto raised teardrop shapes under the cockpit, and it might be an idea to drill and pin these for extra strength, with the one-part wheels attached to the stub-axle on each leg. The nose leg has its oleo-scissor link moulded in, and the wheel fixes to the axle moulded into the one-sided yoke. The two bladed prop is moulded as one piece with a spinner sliding over it, and behind it there’s a cowling under the nose with two exhaust stacks sticking out, then at the rear are another pair of antenna and a blade antenna under the trailing edge of the wing/fuselage. Markings The stencils are numerous and they are covered on the rear of the instruction booklet to avoid overly-busy diagrams on the back of the box, where you will find three decal options, two in black and yellow, and one in civilian service, from which you can build one of the following: The decals are well-printed in good register, with a thin glossy carrier film close to the printed edges for the most part, but with a few that are a little larger. This shouldn’t cause too much of an issue however, as the film is thin and has a relatively soft edge. There are seatbelts and an instrument decal on the sheet, which should add a little realism to your finished cockpit. Conclusion The Bulldog is a small aircraft, so the model is commensurately small and a simple build that’s very friendly to your pocket. Clean up those moulding seams and you should end up with a really nice replica of this much-loved RAF trainer in some more unusual colours. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  17. Bf.109G-6 with W.Gr.21 (AZ7862) 1:72 AZ Model by Kovozávody Prostějov With almost 34,000 examples manufactured over a 10-year period, the Messerschmitt Bf.109 is one of the most widely produced aircraft in history, and it saw active service in every theatre in which German armed forces were engaged. Designed in the mid-1930s, the Bf.109 shared a similar technical configuration to the Spitfire, employing monocoque construction and V12 engine, albeit an inverted V with fuel injection rather than a carburettor used in the Spit, and a much more angular outline. Initially designed as a lightweight interceptor, like many German types during WWII, the Bf.109 evolved far beyond its original brief into a bomber escort, fighter bomber, night fighter, ground-attack and reconnaissance platform. The Bf.109G series, colloquially known as the Gustav, was first produced in 1942. The airframe and wing were extensively modified to accommodate a more powerful engine, greater internal fuel capacity and additional armour. In contrast to early 109s, which were powered by engines delivering less than 700hp, some of the later Gustavs could output almost 2000hp with water injection and high-performance superchargers. The Gustav series accounted for a dizzying array of sub-variants, some of which featured a larger tail of wooden construction. Odd number suffixed aircraft had pressurised cockpits for high altitude operation, Erla Haube clear view canopy with clear rear head armour, underwing points for tanks, cannon or rockets and larger main wheels resulting in square fairings on the inner upper wings to accommodate them. The K series or Kurt replaced the Gustavs, and was an attempt by the RLM to standardise production after the myriad of Gustav sub-variants, adding large rectangular blisters on the upper wings to accommodate wider wheels, and a more powerful variant of the DB engine that could propel it to around 440mph on a good day with the right fuelling. Despite the difficulties experienced in manufacture at that late stage of the war, a few thousand of them were produced before the end, although the lack of well-trained pilots at that stage was more of an issue. The Kit This is a reboxing of AZ’s original tooling from 2014, with some new parts along the way, and the inclusion of the newly tooled weapons and accessories set that we reviewed recently here to add value to the package. It’s a well-detailed kit with deeply moulded features in the cockpit sidewalls, details in the wheel wells, and subtle exterior detail too. It arrives in a small end-opening box with an attractive painting of the subject matter sporting a red tulip nose on the front, and the decal option profiles on the rear. Inside are three sprues in grey styrene, a tiny clear sprue in its own Ziploc bag, two decal sheets and the instruction booklet. You will need to pay attention to the sprues and instruction steps, as there are several variants catered for on the sheet, so take care which parts you use to prevent mistakes. Construction begins with the cockpit, which is well-detailed as previously mentioned, consisting of the floor with rear bulkhead, seat base, rudder pedals, control column, trim wheels, gunsight, a well-recessed instrument panel (sadly no decal), and the afore mentioned moulded-in side wall detail, plus the forward bulkhead, which has the cannon-breech cover inserted before it is added to the front of the assembly, onto which the rudder pedals fit. It is glued into the starboard fuselage half when completed, and the exhaust stacks are slipped through the slots in the cowling on both sides ready to be closed. There is a top cowling insert added later to complete the fuselage, which has the two nose machine gun troughs and a pair of gun barrels moulded-in. The G-6 has an additional flash hider on the port exhausts, and an oil-cooler bay under the nose, adding radiator cores into the wing-mounted bays, trimming where necessary. The lower wing is full-width except for the tips, which are moulded into the upper surfaces for fidelity, and these have the uppers glued over and the radiator flaps inserted, all of which gets a coat of RLM02 on the inside, like much of the interior. The wings and the fuselage are mated, then the landing gear is prepped, although they’re best left off the model until later. The struts have the scissor-links moulded-in, separate wheels and captive bay doors, using the skinnier tyres in preference to the later wide ones that are left on the sprue. A combined fin and rudder or separate fin and rudder can be applied to the rear, fitting the prominent Beule of the G series after removing a tab that was added in later marks, and head armour that is either moulded clear because it has a section of armoured glass in the centre, or solid. The elevators are both moulded as a single part, and attach to the tail in the usual slot and tab manner, then the prop with broad blades is made up with the appropriate front and back spinner parts, sliding into the hole in the flat front of the fuselage. The fixed tail wheel and a blanking insert for the bay are fixed under the rear, and the single-part clear framed canopy with angular framing covers the cockpit with a choice of two styles of aerial masts behind the cockpit. Aileron horn balances, additional cannons in fairings under the wings, an extra fuel tank on a pylon under the belly, plus a pitot probe at the tip of the port wing. The two-part supercharger air intake on the port side of the cowling is last to be fixed on its raised mounting. Weapons & Accessories Set The weapons & accessories included with this boxing adds extra value to the package that means you effectively get the aircraft for very little money. The set’s tooling is also brand-new, and we’ve reviewed it here recently. There you will find the W.Gr.21 rocket pods that can be fitted under the wings instead of the cannon fairings. These rockets were intended to be fired into the bomber stream semi-randomly, in the hope that the explosion would cause damage and panic the bombers into breaking formation, thus leaving them vulnerable to individual fighters to destroy. Note that the rockets were fitted to the wings with a distinctive nose-up attitude to take the line of flight and ballistic drop into account after firing. Markings There are three options on the main decal sheet, while the separate sheet contains all the stencils, which is good to see at this scale. From the box you can build one of the following: The decals are printed using a digital process and have good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut loosely around the printed areas. This means that the carrier film on their decals can be coaxed away from the printed part of the decal after they have been applied, effectively rendering them carrier film free, making the completed decals much thinner and more realistic, and obviating the need to apply successive coats of clear varnish to hide the edges of the carrier film. It’s a great step further in realism from my point of view, and saves a good quantity of precious modelling time into the bargain. Conclusion Some interesting markings and camouflage options, including the famous red tulip motif on the nose of one. The detail on the kit is good, and the inclusion of the weapons & accessories set really increases the value, with ground equipment included to widen the appeal even more. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  18. German Luftwaffe Weapons Set and Accessories (AZ7860) 1:72 AZ Model by Kovozávody Prostějov During WWII, aircraft on all sides were loaded down with additional weapons as the war rolled on, including rocket pods, bombs of different weights, and the equipment needed to load them in addition to the run-of-the-mill repairs and maintenance of the ground-crew’s charges, refilling and topping off the life-giving fluids that made the aircraft move during the process. The Kit This brand-new set includes numerous pieces of equipment found on, under and around Luftwaffe aircraft during WWII in one handy place. Not all the assemblies go bang when you drop them, and there is a smattering of tools, equipment and other items mixed in for good measure. The kit arrives in a small end-opening box with a selection of the supplied parts laid out in colour in front of a greyed-out 109, with a little text above making it totally clear that the aircraft isn’t included, as some folks need extra information before it sinks in. Inside the box is a single sprue of grey styrene and a sheet of instructions on both sides of a sheet of A5 paper, printed in black and red. As it is a new tooling that was designed using CAD-CAM software, the finesse and detail is crisp and modern-looking, so should work well with a Bf.109 kit of any brand to add some interest and ground-handling equipment that increases the individuality further. The back of the box gives a full visual indication of what’s included in the box, which is as follows: 2 x Watering cans 2 x Buckets 2 x Chocks 2 x Tool Boxes 1 x Fuel Tank (Late War, we think) 2 x W.Gr.21 Rocket Pods with rockets inside 2 x Fuel Drum 1 x Manual Fuel Pump 1 x 500KG Bomb on Centreline Mount 4 x 50KG Bombs on Large Centreline Mount 1 x Fire Extinguisher on two-wheeled Cart 1 x Bomb Carrier Cart with Lifting Arm The watering cans are made from two halves plus the handle, the bucket a single part with handle, while each of the chocks have a T-shaped struts inserted. The toolbox is another three-part accessory, and the fuel tank is a simple two-parter. The pair of W.Gr.21 rocket pods are built from a two-part launch tube that has two pairs of supports that insert on a C-shaped portion of the tubes, adding the rocket in the rear. To top-up the fuel, there are two fuel drums, and one hand-cranked pump that inserts in the drum’s filler along with the crank, and a choice of two types of nozzles that will need some wire from your stock to represent the hose. The big bomb body is in two halves, and has two pairs of fins inserted into the rear at right angles to one another, adding four ‘screamer’ whistles to the fins, then mounting it on a curved base via two sway-braces. The smaller bombs are each two parts including the fins, each one fitting into the large base in recesses. The bomb carrier cart is the most complex assembly, consisting of sixteen parts, including three small wheels and the crutch that carries the bomb, raising it by moving the handle above the pivot to pump it up into position. The last assembly is a large fire extinguisher with a flared nozzle on the hose, mounted on a tubular frame that is raised to an angle, using the top of the tubular frame as a pull-handle and rolling along on two cart-style wheels, totalling ten parts overall. Markings There are no decals, and no painting guide to speak of, but there are colour cues on the front of the box that should help you choose the correct shades for these accessories. Conclusion Whilst many recently tooled Luftwaffe models do include some weapons, these are extremely well-detailed compared to the usual kit parts, and the accessories won’t be in any kit that I’ve seen, and certainly not as detailed. It’s all in there, and certainly won’t break the bank. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  19. Kovozávody Prostějov is to re-release 1/72nd Let L-200A/D "Morava" kits. - ref. KPM0089 - Let L-200A "Morava" Source: http://www.kovozavody.cz/produkt/let-l-200a-morava/ - ref. KPM0090 - Let L-200D "Morava" Source: http://www.kovozavody.cz/produkt/let-l-200d-morava/ V.P.
  20. Kovozávody Prostějov is to release 1/72nd Avia BH-10 kits - ref. KPM0421 - Avia BH10 - Czechoslovak sports plane of the 1920-30s Source: https://www.aviationmegastore.com/en/modelling/avia-bh10-czechoslovak-sports-plane-of-the-1920-30s-kovozvody-prostejov-kpm0421-199216.html - ref. KPM0422 - Avia B-10 - Military Source: https://www.aviationmegastore.com/en/modelling/avia-b-10-military-kovozvody-prostejov-kpm0422-199217.html - ref. KPM0428 - Avia BH-10 - Special Markings (CzAF, Czechoslovak Aeroclub) Source: https://www.aviationmegastore.com/en/modelling/avia-bh-10-special-markings-czaf-czechoslovak-aeroclub-kovozvody-prostejov-kpm0428-199218.html V.P.
  21. Beech Travel(L)er Mk.I (AZ7858) 1:72 AZ Model by Kovozávody Prostějov More well-known as the Beech Staggerwing due to its unusual wing arrangement, the Type 17 was first flown in 1932 and was intended to be a small business transport that was fast and well-appointed, with a fully enclosed cockpit to prevent the busy businessman from arriving dishevelled. It was built on a welded metal framework that was covered with ribbing and fabric for a classic look, and the aerodynamics were improved once airborne by the fully retractable undercarriage with aerodynamically smooth doors, a luxury that was uncommon at the time. An upgrade a few years later increased the length of the fuselage and improved control layout, although some further amendments were made following some incidents that resulted in crashes, often a combination of weather conditions and flutter of the flying surfaces, which was solved by stiffening the wings and balancing the flying surfaces with lead. The speed of the type was such that it was popular with air racers in the early 30s, and when war loomed in Europe, its speed and agility was pressed into service with the US military as a communications and messenger aircraft as the UC-43 Traveler (sic), with few changes needed thanks to its existing capability and new occupation. Some private airframes were requisitioned by the US military, and by 1939 the British were looking for a small number to fulfil the same job as it was used for in the US, with 106 taken on charge under the Lend/Lease programme as the Traveller Mk.1, adding the extra L that is appropriate to the English spelling, and stops my eye corner from twitching. They served throughout the war, many of the British aircraft under the auspices of the Royal Navy. Only a few new airframes were built following WWII before it was superseded, with fewer than 20 manufactured post-war. The Type 17 was a much-loved aircraft, which resulted in many being taken on for civilian service after being struck-off from military rosters, many of which survived long after the end of the conflict, some remaining in flying condition today. The Kit Although the base kit was first tooled in 1999, a more recent vintage clear sprue has been engineered to ease completion of the model, and this reboxing includes those parts, as well as new decal options and a new box with a painting of a brace of Travellers in Pacific Theatre camouflage that have the central red-spot missing from their roundels to avoid friendly fire. The kit arrives in a small end-opening box, and inside is a resealable clear foil bag that contains a single sprue of grey styrene, plus a Ziploc bag with clear parts, decal sheet and instruction booklet that is printed in colour on a folded sheet of A4, with the painting and decaling instructions to be found on the rear of the box, but if you accidentally recycle it too soon, you can always find the details on their website. Detail is good considering the age of the tooling, and there is plenty of fabric covered ribbing moulded into the exterior, and very little in the way of flash on the parts. Construction begins with the interior, fitting a single seat in the front along with rudder pedals, up-and-over control yoke, adding a bench seat for the passengers in the rear, all of which are made from base and backrests that are glued together along the diagonal mating line. The instrument panel fixes to the front of the floor, with two side walls bracketing the entire compartment except for the very rear. The engine is depicted as cylinder bank that is fixed to a bulkhead at the back, which slips into the two-part cowling, adding exhaust outlets on both the lower sides. As with the cockpit, painting guidance is included throughout the entire build process. The cockpit is trapped between the two fuselage halves, inserting a bulkhead into the rear, and side windows under the upper wing roots. Once you have dealt with the fuselage seam in your own preferred manner, a small fairing is applied to the cabin roof between the wings, then the elevators and fin with moulded-in flying surfaces are butt-jointed to the rear, although pinning them in position would give the assembly more strength. A pair of balances are fitted under the elevator surfaces, but these might be best left off until after painting, installing the engine in its cowling to the front. The canopy is moulded as two mirror-imaged parts that form a U-shape along a convenient frame-line in the windscreen cut-out, taking care to choose your glue wisely to prevent fogging. Beneath the windscreen are a pair of raised outlets that are applied to the surface of the skin between it and the engine cowling. The lower wings fit into their locations via slots and tabs, linked to the upper wings by aerodynamically faired struts near the outer edges. The upper wings mate to the roofline via butt-joints, and would again benefit from pinning into position for strength. There is a rigging diagram on the back page of the instructions that should help with location, and the box art will doubtless resolve any confusion that may linger. A two-blade prop is slotted into the centre of the engine, adding an intake under the chin, and two-part fairings for the space under the cabin, forming around the retractable main gear bays. The tail wheel is inserted into a hole in its bay, cutting the bay door part in two and gluing one half on each side of the bay. The main gear legs each comprise a pair of Y-shaped struts, one holding the wheel, the other performing retraction duties. The gear bay doors are supplied moulded as a single part, and for wheels down should be cut in half, then have the smaller semi-circular sections removed and glued back at a sharp angle. The doors are then glued to the outer sides of the legs, with another small trapezoid door fitted to a diagonal portion of the bay, with a scrap diagram showing that the semi-circular doors should attach parallel to the ground. Going back to the rigging diagram again for a moment, many of the rigging points on the wings have raised lozenge or round strengtheners moulded-in to assist you with location of the holes, which you are advised to use wire or thread of diameter 0.2mm for fidelity. The pitot probe in the upper port wing must be made from your own stock of 0.35mm diameter, which you can make from brass for strength, stretched sprue for frugality, or a length of styrene rod for ease. Markings There are three decal options on the sheet, all of which are in British or Commonwealth camo, so should really have a double-L in their Traveller. Of the two brown/green camouflage options, one is a VIP transport and has yellow undersides to its wings and elevators to keep it extra safe from friendly fire. From the box you can build one of the following: The decals are printed using a digital process and have good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut loosely around the printed areas. This means that the carrier film on their decals can be coaxed away from the printed part of the decal after they have been applied, effectively rendering them carrier film free, making the completed decals much thinner and more realistic, and obviating the need to apply successive coats of clear varnish to hide the edges of the carrier film. It’s a great step further in realism from my point of view, and saves a good quantity of precious modelling time into the bargain. Conclusion The Traveller is a graceful aircraft even by today’s standards with rakish slope of the sweeping canopy that matches the step of the wings. The new canopy parts should ease the build, and a rather nice choice of decal options rounds out the package. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  22. Alpha Jet A ‘Bundesluftwaffe’ (KPM0266) 1:72 Kovozávody Prostějov At the end of the 60s, with the SEPECAT Jaguar transformed from a trainer into an attack aircraft, it left the advanced jet trainer replacement unfulfilled, so France and Germany began a collaboration to design a new trainer that was to become the Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet, the Breguet part in the collaboration being absorbed by Dassault when they bought the company. It flew late in 1973, and went into service with France in 1979 after extensive trials as the Alpha Jet E, fulfilling a similar role to the BAe Hawk in the RAF. The Germans used the jet as a Light Attack aircraft with the A suffix appended, and limited export success brought the Alpha Jet to Francophile countries in Europe and Africa, with a number of ex-Luftwaffe aircraft finding their way to Thailand and Portugal. One of Britain's defence company QinetiQ bought 6 ex-Luftwaffe aircraft, which occasionally make appearances at airshows. Germany has retired the aircraft now, but many airframes are still in service, with the later MS2 with new avionics, engines, a glass cockpit and improved weapons carrying performance used to train pilots on modern types. The Kit Originally released in 2021, there have been a number of reboxings of the core kit, with various markings options and parts to address the needs and wants of us modellers, which is their stock-in-trade. This boxing offers you the ability to model the A, E or more advanced MS using the parts in the box, but the decals supplied are purely for the A, as stated on the box, opening the door for anyone with aftermarket decals for the other types to use this boxing to apply their own decals. Good to know. The kit arrives in a figure-type end-opening box, with two sprues in grey styrene, a clear sprue, decal sheet and instruction booklet. The rear of the box has all the profiles for the marking options printed on it in colour. Construction begins with the cockpit, which revolves around the two-seat tub, with the two seats having belt decals, a pair of control columns, additional console parts, and decals for the side consoles. The two instrument panels also have decals, with a choice of decals, depending on which mark you are depicting. The cockpit and rear coaming are inserted into the fuselage along with the nose-gear bay, and in anticipation of adding the underside insert, the main gear bays are built on a single roof part with bulkheads separating them and outfitted with landing gear struts and wheels, then glued into the inside of the insert, which can be fitted into the fuselage, closing up the underside. The wings are simple structures with two main parts each, the undersides smaller than the uppers, to make for a slimmer trailing edge, and attaching to the fuselage by the usual slot-and-tab method, as are the elevators, with a pair of blade antennae fixed near the top of the tail fin. The intakes are also installed at this stage, which each have an inner splitter plate with a C-profile intake trunk joined together and offered up to the fuselage either side of the rear pilot’s cockpit. The mark of your model is determined by the instrument decals within the cockpits and the nose cones, which you have a choice of for all three types of this aircraft. The decals are for the A, which has a pointed nose and pitot probe, and required the removal of a strake on each side of the nose, which is shown in the diagram. The E has a rounded nose, while the MS has an angled flat tip. A busy diagram shows the installation of the nose gear and all the remaining bay doors, the former being made from three parts with an additional retraction strut added as it is inserted into the bay. Four underwing pylons are included in the kit, which can be left empty or have two extra fuel tanks slung under them, with the option of a central gun pack under the belly. The forward sections of the flap fairings are moulded into the wings, but the aft sections are added from separate parts on the moulded-in flying surfaces. The sensor fit differs between options, with extra steps showing those for French, Canadian and QinetiQ, then the one-piece canopy is glued in place with a small intake on the side of the spine, after which it’s time to paint your model. Markings A separate sheet shows the location of all the stencils, of which there are quite a few, then you refer to the rear of the box for your main markings options. From the box you can build one of the following: Decals are printed without acknowledgment, and have good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The upper wing stencils are printed on a single decal per wing, so care will be needed to ensure it doesn’t break up, and here the thin carrier film will be a boon once applied, but tricky during fitting. Conclusion I’ve always liked the Alpha Jet, and this is a great little model with lots of detail moulded-in, and some nice decal markings for in service German Jets. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  23. Heinkel He.162B-3 Volksjäger ’46 (AZ7853) AZ Model by Kovozávody Prostějov As the tide of war turned against Nazi Germany, defence became of greater importance than attack and expansion of the Reich, and aviation designs were called for under the jingoistic Volksjäger project, which translates to “People’s Fighter”, but was also known as the Emergency Fighter Programme. It was a specification that called for a jet engine point-defence fighter that was cheap to produce, used minimal strategic materials, could be piloted by a relatively unskilled pilot, and could be built in large numbers to break-up the Allied bomber streams that were pounding military production facilities and cities into rubble on a daily basis. Heinkel’s submission to the programme was the diminutive He.162 that was barely as large as a Bf.109, with narrow wings, a small fuselage that was low to the ground on short landing gear, which assisted in repair and maintenance of the engine mounted on top of the fuselage just behind the pilot’s canopy. This dangerous juxtaposition resulted in an early ejection seat being fitted in the tiny cockpit, which when triggered would push the pilot clear of the engine intake by an explosive cartridge, but with no anti-flail protection, it was as likely to injure or kill the pilot as save him, which sometimes happened. The slender fuselage meant that a low fuel load also contributed to short range and flight time, and there was little room for armament, which consisted of two 20mm or 30mm autocannons mounted under the cockpit’s side consoles, firing through troughs under the nose. Once the initial issues were resolved, the aircraft was found to be an excellent light fighter, but it wasn’t simple enough to be flown by a novice pilot. Although it was simple to produce and was partly made of laminated wood, the parlous state of the German aviation industry meant that production was slower than anticipated, and only around 1,000 of the A-series type were completed or under construction, many of which remained grounded due to shortages of spares, fuel, pilots or any combination of the three, so very few saw action at squadron level before the end of the war, reaching service in April 1945, barely a month before the end of WWII. The airframes of the training groups were sometimes pressed into service in emergencies, and racked up some kills, although ejection was dangerous, as was the structure of the aircraft, which was known to have some issues, especially with the rudders. The B-series designs were intended to see action in 1946, but the end of the war curtailed development, so they remained predominantly paper-projects. The B was to have a longer fuselage to accommodate more fuel, larger wings, and a more powerful Heinkel designed jet engine, and straight wings with a lower dihedral. Pulsejet power units of the type used in the V-1 flying bomb were briefly considered, but their lack of power and need for airflow in order to start the engines meant that they were dismissed as a viable source of motive power. The Kit The war ended in 1945, but this kit assumes that hostilities had continued, and pulsejets were used as an alternative form of propulsion. It is based on the 2021 tooling of the A-2 Salamander kit, adding new parts for the engines and their mounts, plus the revised fuselage without the jet engine fairings. The kit arrives in an end-opening box with two sprues of grey styrene, a clear canopy part, decal sheet and the instruction booklet inside, the latter printed in colour on a sheet of folded A4 that covers all six of the B-series variants, so you’ll need to follow the instructions carefully to ensure you build the correct version with twin pulsejets and anhedral wingtips. Detail is good with crisply engraved panel lines throughout, a well-appointed cockpit, landing gear bays and even RATO pods for take-off assistance. Construction begins with the nose gear bay, which is built from two halves that have the rudder pedals mounted on each side, as the fuselage is extremely cramped. The simple ejection seat has decal belts, and a strip that joins the control column to the base, fitting the seat to the sloped bulkhead at the rear. The instrument panel and coaming are joined together and a decal applied to the dials, adding a gunsight to the centre, and here you could nip off the grey styrene “glass” and replace it with a piece of acetate sheet for a little extra realism if your hands are steady enough. The main gear bay is built as a single assembly from five parts, which is inserted in the lower fuselage, while the cockpit, nose gear, instrument panel and two side consoles are added to the nose, painted, after which the fuselage can be closed, making sure to add at least 10g of nose weight. Two pulsejet engines are built from halves with a mesh panel in the front, and these are mounted on short pylons on either side of the fuselage centreline, as marked in red on the instructions. The H-tail is made from a shallow V-shaped elevator that fits on the rear fuselage insert, and has the fins with moulded-in rudders fixed at right-angles to the elevators, as depicted in small scrap diagrams nearby. As already mentioned, this variant’s wings have anhedral wingtips, which are single parts that butt-join to the sides of the fuselage in the locations picked out in red. Another scrap diagram shows the configuration from the front along with the other possibilities. Each variant shares the same landing gear, the nose strut equipped with a single wheel that is trapped by the two-part yoke, and the bay door opens down to the port side. The main gear struts have trailing scissor-links and forward retraction jacks that have a single wheel on a stub axle perpendicular to the strut. They are shown fitted in the bare bay assembly so you can see all the location points properly. The bay doors open up and outward, and are each a single part, with detail moulded into the inside face. An optional gun pack can be added under the centreline, and a pair of two-part RATO pods can be glued to the sides of the fuselage behind the main bay doors, their locations again marked in red. The final task is the canopy, which is moulded as a single part and glues into the cut-out over the cockpit. Markings There are three decal options on the sheet, with four-view profiles on the back of the box in full colour that have colour names rather than any maker’s paint codes to guide you. From the box you can build one of the following: The decals are printed using a digital process and have good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut loosely around the printed areas. This means that the carrier film on their decals can be coaxed away from the printed part of the decal after they have been applied, effectively rendering them carrier film free, making the completed decals much thinner and more realistic, and obviating the need to apply successive coats of clear varnish to hide the edges of the carrier film. It’s a great step further in realism from my point of view, and saves a good quantity of precious modelling time into the bargain. Conclusion Luft’46 is interesting to some and not to others, which is fine, as life would be dull if we all liked the same thing. I like it, and twin pulsejets sounds like a heap of fun. A nicely detailed model that won’t take up much room in the cabinet, and it comes with some interesting decal options. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  24. Source: http://www.modelarovo.cz/supermarine-spitfire-mk-1a-1-72-kp-kovozavody-prostejov/ - ref. KPM72260 - Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IA - Wats Prop https://www.kovozavody.cz/produkt/spitfire-mk-ia-wats-prop/ - ref. KPM72261 - Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IA - Three-bladed Propeller https://www.kovozavody.cz/produkt/spitfire-mk-ia-three-blade-prop/ https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/KPM72261 - ref. KPM72262 - Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IA - Commanders https://www.kovozavody.cz/produkt/spitfire-mk-ia-commanders/ https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/KPM72262 - ref. KPM72262 - Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IA - Black and White https://www.kovozavody.cz/produkt/spitfire-mk-ia-black-white/ https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/KPM72263 V.P.
  25. Kovozávody Prostějov (KP) is to release a 1/72nd Fokker S-11/T-21 Instructor kits. - ref. KPM0371 - Fokker S-11 Instructor Source: https://www.kovozavody.cz/produkt/fokker-s-11-instructor/ - ref. KPM0372 - Fokker S-11 Instructor - Israël Source: https://www.kovozavody.cz/produkt/fokker-s-11-instructor-israel/ - ref. KPM0373 - Fokker T-21 Instructor Source: https://www.kovozavody.cz/produkt/fokker-t-21-instructor/ - ref. KPM0374 - Aermacchi M.416 Source: https://www.kovozavody.cz/produkt/aermacchi-m-416/ V.P.
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