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  1. Freedom Tiger Limited Edition (11182) 1:48 Eduard The Northrop F-5 originated as a light fighter design with supersonic capability in the 1950s, initially as an independent project. The designers created a small, light-weight airframe that was powered by a pair of General Electric (GE) J85 engines, with the remit to make it cost-effective (no jet is cheap to run) and relatively easy to maintain, whilst being relatively cheap to procure, which would make it a tempting proposition to foreign buyers. Entering service in the 60s, it was sold overseas in large numbers, and to the US forces as the T-38 Talon supersonic trainer, where it was used to teach new pilots the techniques of supersonic combat. In the early 70s, a new generation under the designation F-5E was introduced, flying under the name Tiger II with aerodynamic, propulsion and avionics improvements that gave it a completely new lease of life, making for an equally tempting prospect for overseas customers, and flying under the stars-and-bars in large numbers in Vietnam and beyond, with more than a few hundred of the various developments still flying today. The Talon has been used extensively as an adversary trainer for in-service aircraft, as it can be flown in a manner representing aircraft of the potential enemy, giving pilots a taste of what a possible war could be like. Many upgrades and foreign customer variants have been made over the years, and the F-5G was to be a major improvement, eventually being renamed the F-20 Tigershark, running a single, more powerful engine and advanced avionics that gave it capabilities akin to the F-16 of the time, which worked against it when it came to export opportunities, and eventually led to its cancellation during the Carter administration. Other variants include specialised reconnaissance airframes, plus two-seat trainers that are in use with foreign operators as conversion trainers, as well as in the famous NASA white with a blue cheatline. The Kit This kit is based upon the 2010 tooling by AFV Club that I recall being welcomed with open arms by our hobby after a dearth of new kits in 1:48 for a long time. It’s a while since I have looked inside the box of the original kits, but it’s good to see it again, and it still offers plenty of detail. The kit arrives in a Limited Edition top-opening box, and inside are seven sprues and a fuselage part in light grey styrene, a clear sprue, three frets of Photo-Etch (PE), one of which is pre-painted, a slip of acetate sheet printed with HUD glazing, resin wheels and some smaller parts in various grey shades, a sheet of kabuki-style masking material in yellow (not pictured), three decal sheets, and the instruction booklet printed in colour on A4+ glossy paper, with colour profiles that take up the rear half of the booklet. As I alluded earlier, the detail is good for this kit, which is now fourteen years old (time flies!), and the extras that Eduard have included will bring it right up to date. Keep your eye out for a few minor sink marks along the way, and you won’t go far wrong. Construction begins with the ejection seat that is built from five parts and augmented with ten small PE detail parts, plus a full set of four-point crew belts, which takes a further twelve PE parts. The cockpit tub is covered with ejector-pin marks, but before you throw up your hands and pronounce it 'unbuildable', they’re covered by two side consoles that have their detail scraped off to be replaced by PE parts, and at the rear behind the pilot, the deck is covered with extra parts, and more PE on the bulkhead behind the seat. You now have a choice whether to pose the canopy open or closed, and as usual the closed option is the simplest, consisting of just three parts including the solid rear section of the hood. To pose it open requires a little more work to add detail to the hood, removing two lugs, then adding a skin to the front and underside of the part, and making good the lugs by replacing them with PE parts that are much more detailed. Two inner side skins are fitted, then a pair of longer scissor-link jacks are installed, adding more PE details to complete the upgrade. The instrument panel is built in two sections, first removing the moulded-in details from the front of the parts, then adding a lamination of two layers of pre-painted PE totalling six parts, plus several levers and pull-toggles. The HUD is folded up from PE and has a piece of the acetate sheet cut to match, removing the styrene part from the top and replacing it with the new in-scale HUD and two supports to the sides. The lower portion of the panel is glued under it, and rudder pedals are fitted behind, after skinning the foot-plates with new PE parts to improve them. The nose of the aircraft is next, covering the port side avionics bay cut-out with a pair of bay doors, taking care to align them carefully to reduce clean-up. The two interior surfaces have the cockpit side walls moulded-in, and these are detail painted and have half a dozen PE detail parts each side added before the cockpit tub is sandwiched between them and joined by the underside, into which the nose gear bay has been glued. A PE AoA probe is fitted into a drilled-out hole on the starboard side, mounting the instrument coaming and a curved plate to the front of the cockpit cut-out, finishing the nose by adding the nose cone and the twin gun barrels that project from troughs in the upper nose, painting them according to the marking option you have chosen. A single PE part is folded to shape and covers both the sills and the hoop at the rear of the cockpit, folding the part twice to match the cockpit’s shape. The main fuselage part has been engineered to squeeze multiple options from the one part, adding the main intake trunks to both sides at the front, and deciding whether to portray the engines running by inserting the auxiliary intakes in the open position on the sides, or the closed insert for a parked aircraft. The aft section of the fuselage mates with the main fuselage at an angle, quickly building the core of the wing from the full-width underside and two upper wing parts, remembering to drill out holes in the underside if you plan on using stores on your model. Splitter plates and intake lips are added to the front of the trunking, with PE plates inserted into recesses near the front, then the rest of the wings are made, adding two-part flaps at the rear, leading edge slats, and short Leading Edge Root Extensions (LERX) along the trunking. The elevators are a single part linked by a rod, and they are held in place by adding an insert under the tail, then capping the rear with a small part after removing a small lug near the top. Each exhaust is made from the outer ‘can’, with representation of the aft of the afterburner at the forward end, sliding each one into a hole in the rear of the fuselage, with optional triangular fairings on the side panels. A scrap diagram shows the correct orientation of the nozzles from above, which should be flush with the fuselage sides. The tail fin is made with a separate rudder, removing a small section at the tip for some markings, and fitting a flat PE plate for others, slotting the finished assembly into the top of the fuselage on two tabs. The nose assembly is then joined to the fuselage, with a pair of resin bulges glued low on the sides for some decal options. The nose gear is first to be built, starting with the strut, which can be posed ready for take-off or for ground-handling by adding the same accessory parts to a different strut part, then mounting the highly-detailed resin nose wheel on the cross-axle. It is inserted into the deep bay, with two doors to the side and rear, mounting some antennae around it, the fit depending on the decal option you have chosen. The main gear legs are each single struts with brake detail moulded into the lower leg, supported by a retraction jack that mounts across the bay, with a captive bay door attached by a trio of short linkages, finished off with more resin wheels. The inner gear bay doors are posed at an angle with the gear down, or installed flush at your choice, so check your references. A small arrestor hook is fitted to a fairing in the belly, then another choice of whether to deploy the air brakes in front of the main gear bays, or leave them flush, with the same choice available for the clear landing lights that are located under the intake trunking. All modern jets are usually short of fuel due to their high performance and limited internal space, making a 1042L tank from two halves plus a socket for one of the poly-caps and two stabilising winglets to the rear, and two more 568L tanks that differ in construction because they have two fins moulded-in, and a third vertical fin added during assembly. The larger tank attaches via a pylon under the belly, with a choice of two types of sway braces, the shorter one used at the front under with or without a tank, and an optional longer pin at the rear when the tank is in place. A similar fixture is used for the underwing pylons, the pair of tanks usually sited on the inner station, leaving the outer positions for munitions. A pair of AIM-9 sidewinders are made from a missile body with separate fins and exhaust, one fitted to each wingtip rail that was installed earlier, or an optional training round with no fins and an antenna on the nose. The canopy is augmented by PE parts all the way around the perimeter, including rear-view mirrors at the front, locking clasps to the sides, and a detail panel at the rear. This is glued to the opener that was built earlier in the open or closed position, gluing the windscreen into position over the coaming. A PE blade antenna with base is fitted behind the cockpit, and a probe is inserted into the tip of the nosecone, making a two-part access ladder that can be hooked over the port cockpit sill for your pilot to use, which will be especially useful if you plan on adding a diorama base to your model. Markings Technically there are nine decal options on the sheets, although two represent one aircraft at different times in its career, with minimal changes to its markings. Each option has a full page of profiles dedicated to it, plus its weapons, pylons and tanks where appropriate. From the box you can build one of the following: 73-00878, 63rd Tactical Wing, RVNAF, Bien Hoa, South Vietnam, 1974 73-00878, Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Renovation for the Aviation Museum Kbely, Prague, Czech Republic, 2023 VFC-13 ‘Fighting Saints’, US Navy, NAS Fallon, Nevada, USA, 1998 Maj. Lenny Bucko, NSFTIP, US Marines, MCAS Miramar, California, USA, 1983 73-0897, 57th Fighter Weapons Wing, 65th Fighter Weapons Sqn., US Air Force, Nellis AFB, US, 1981 VFA-127 ‘Cylons’, Capt. Jerry B Singleton, US Navy, NAS Fallon, Nevada, USA, 1993 425th Sqn., 58th TFTW, Luke AFB, US Air Force, Arizona, USA, Late 70s 1°/14° GAV ‘Esquadrão Pampa’, FAB, Canoas AB, Brazil, 2005 211 Sqn., Wing 21, Royal Thai Air Force, Udon Ratchathani AB, Thailand, Late 90s 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. At the rear of the profiles is a separate page where the common stencil decals are shown applied to a set of greyscale drawings to avoid over-complicating the other profiles. In addition, another page before the main profiles shows the location of the masks for the canopy, which includes extra masks to create a narrow rubber seal neatly around the canopy glazing in eight simple steps, plus masks for the resin wheels that are included in this boxing. Conclusion The AFV Club kit is a good base to start with, and the addition of the extras such as the extensive PE and the resin wheels brings a lot to improve it, which coupled with a wide choice of decal options, makes an impressive and tempting package. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  2. When I signed up to this group build I intended to build my P-47D, however on a recent trip to my local model/toy shop (which is closing down) I managed to get my hands on Italeri's reissue of the Fiat BR20 Cicogna, this is a limited edition kit (mine is 3139/3500). It is in the same box and with the same sprues as the first version released in 1972. so why build this aircraft? Well, the BR20 was the first all metal bomber to enter service in Italy, and was regarded as ultra modern, making it a pretty cool bit of kit. Also a stripped down pair of BR20A's were built to enter the Istres-Damascus air race, where they came 6th and 7th. Anyway, back to business, I intend this to be an out of the box build, although detailing is minimal (so I may add a little to the cockpit, not that you will see it.....but I will know!). The kit comprises 3 flesh coloured sprues (a fair bit of flash free with the kit!), and a clear sprue, the kit comes with a stand so I may make her wheels up🤔. There is a minimal sheet of decals, and an equally minimal set of instructions. These have 6 steps, with a small amount of detail. My main issue is the paint scheme, there are no paint codes, merely dark green, light green, brown etc. So I've done a little guess work and opted for Revell dark green, and light leaf green......fingers crossed!
  3. Just now saw this on the Big H website! A limited edition re-release of the Mk IIc, LF III, XV early and late, and the XVII. For those of you like me who have just about given up hope of seeing the long ago announced Special Hobby kits, here's your chance! (I guess we can deal with the span and other issues, pending more accurate kits.) Mike https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/SW72129?&currency_id=1
  4. The famed 1/48 P6 Catapult is back for a limited time, grab it while you can. Tommo
  5. https://www.haertle.de/Plastikmodellbau/Raumfahrt+Bausaetze/Revell+04911+Space+Shuttle+mit+Startturm+Raumfahrt+Bausatz+1+144+LIMITED+Edition.html?ia-pkpmtrack=100-9343735313236323131303-543-547-101/ Tommo
  6. Petlyakov Pe-2 1:48 Eduard The Pe-2 has been described as comparable to the British Mosquito. Developed as a bomber the aircraft filled the roles of heavy fighter, ground attack, reconnaissance and night fighting. It was particularly well known for its ground attack role. The aircraft was actually designed in a prison! In 1937 Vladimir Petlyakov had been imprisoned on allegations of delaying the design work on the Tupolev ANT-42. While in prison Petlyakov was placed in charge of a team to develop an escort fighter for the ANT-42. Following lessons learnt from the Germans the Soviets ordered a re-design of this fighter to a bomber. Stalin was impressed enough to free Petlyakov and allow his name to be used in the aircraft designation. In service the Pe-2 flew very well once the crew struggled to get it airborne. It apparently took a great deal of strength to pull up on the elevators, so much so that with female crews it was common practice to get the navigator to help! It was also found in practice that the dorsal armament was insufficient. The 7.62 machine gun was replaced by a 12.7 one and this increased survival from 20 missions to 54. In total over 11000 aircraft were built. During WWII the aircraft was used by the Soviet Union and by Finland who gained captured examples from Germany. Post war the aircraft continued to be used by the Soviets and their satellite states long enough to gain the NATO reporting name of "Buck". The Kit As well as making their own kits Eduard are making a name for releasing other manufacturers kits with their own Eduard parts and decals. This is such a kit using the Zevezda plastic. In addition to the plastic Eduard have provided two sheets of photo-etch, resin wheels, propellers, and a full set of masks. Construction starts not in the cockpit as one would expect but out on the left wing. Here a complete open engine is provided which can be displayed open, but need t be built up even if you are going to keep the cowls on. Twin cylinder banks are added to the main crankcase with exhaust manifolds and other ancillary parts added on. Intake parts, filters and exhaust are then added. The engine bearing frame is also made up for the engine. The engine is then installed in its frame ready for installation onto the wing. Meanwhile both the wings are built up with the addition of engine areas, landing lights and flaps being added. There is no provision to drop these, though the flaps should be no problem. The leading edges of the out board wing sections are separate so there will be no seam to contend with. For each wing the landing gear frames are built up and added at this point. Next up the undercarriage fairings are built up and installed. The wheels and gear doors can now be added though I suspect most will leave these until much later on. For the right wing a dummy engine nacelle is made up and added, and for the left wing the completed engine is added. This now completes the construction of the main wings. Construction now moves to the main fuselage. The internal frame work for the cockpit is built up and installed in the front. The main rear bulkhead is installed along with the rear fuselage gun positions and other internal parts. Here PE replaces many of the kit parts. The seat and other frame parts are added into the rear position. The bomb bay and its bombs is now built up and installed between the cockpit and rear gun position. The pilots seat is also then built up and installed. Once all the internal parts are in and the tail wheel is installed the main fuselage can be closed up. Next up at the rear of the aircraft the tail planes are made up and installed. Here there are separate movable surfaces, but the rudders are fixed. The main wings are then attached at this stage. The engine exhausts are then added. Back to the front of the aircraft the upper defensive gun behind the cockpit is made up and installed into position. Moving to the undersides the crew entry hatch is installed. Additional PE parts are provided for this to leave in the open position. The ventral gun position is also built up and installed at this time. The bomb bay doors and tail wheel doors are now fitted. To finish up the glazing is added along with PE aerials. The propellers are made up and added. Here resin props are provided for use on two of the marking examples. Full masks are provided for all the glazing and wheels in the kit. Decals The decals for the kit have been designed by Begemot so we can be assured they are accurate for a Soviet subject. The decal are printed by Cartograf so should pose no problems at all. Five schemes are provided.=; Pe-2, later production batch, serial number 3/220, 161th Guards Bomber Regiment, 2nd Guards Bomber Air Corps, VVS RKKA, Winter 1943/44 Pe-2, later (post 205th) production batch, Generalmajor I. Polbin, CO of the 6th Bomber Aviation Corps, VVS RKKA, Germany, 1945 Pe-2 later (post 359th) production batch, 1st Guards Bomber Air Division, VVS RKKA, Germany, 1945 Pe-2 later (post 359th) production batch, flown by Senior Lieutenant E. Sedov, 40th Bomber Air Regiment, Soviet Navy Black Sea Fleet Aviation, August 1944 Pe-2 post 205th production batch, 36th Guards Bomber Regiment, 276th Bomber Division, VVS RKKA, Leningrad front, December 1944 Conclusion This is another great release from Eduard of an important of sometime overlooked Soviet aircraft. The plastic is great and the addition of the Eduard photo etch, resin and great decals make this a kit to be very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  7. Legion Condor Dual Combo 1:48 Eduard Limted Edition The Legion Condor was a unit formed by Hitler to assist Franco in the Spanish Civil War. It was composed of German "volunteers" from the Air Force and Army. It is widely acknowledged that the German Forces perfected the techniques they would use in World War II during this time. Originally He 51 aircraft were sent to Spain but this period saw the introduction of the Bf 109 to the Luftwaffe. This was to be cross over from Bi-planes to the more modern mono-planes and was to prove that the older aircraft were outclassed by the newer ones. The He 51 suffered many loses in air-to-air combat and was switched to the ground attack role with the Bf 109 taking over the fighter role. The Kits For this limited edition combo Eduard have boxed their own excellent Bf 109E kit along with the excellent Roden He 51 kit. He 51 This is the plastic from Roden. This kit has been previously reviewed here. Eduard have also included a sheet of photo etch, tape masks and decals for four aircraft. He 51B-1, Oblt. Hannes Trautloft, 2. J/88, Ávila, Spain, Fall 1936. He 51C-1, Adolf Galland, 3. J/88, Calamocha, Spain, Spring 1938. He 51B-1, Harro Harder, 1. J/88, Battle of Brunete, Spain, July 1937. He 51B-1, Stabsarzt Dr. Heinrich Neumann, Medical Battalion San/88, Spain, 1938. Bf 109 This is Eduard's own plastic. This has also been previously reviewed here as the E-1 version, additionally in the box there are the wings for the E-3. Eduard have also included two sheets of photo etch, tape masks and decals for four aircraft. Bf 109E-1, Oblt. Siebelt Reents, Staffelkapitän 1. J/88, León, Spain, Spring 1939. Bf 109E-3, Oblt. Hans Schmoller-Haldy, 3. J/88, Spain, 1938. Bf 109E-3, 2. J/88, Catalunyan Front, Spain, Early 1939. Bf 109E-3, Lt. Kurt Sochatzy, 3.J/88, Spain, Spring 1939. Conclusion These are two great kits, and are well presented by Eduard in this interesting boxing depicting aircraft from the Condor Legion. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  8. Danger Zone – F-14A Tomcat 1:48 Eduard The Tomcat was a much-loved and capable aircraft that had a unique look, and was brought fully into the mainstream media by the film "Top Gun" in the 1980s. It has its origins in the late 50s and a need in the 60s for a replacement to the (also much loved) Phantoms with something more agile and adaptable. After much faffing about (does all defence procurement do this?), a Grumman proposal was picked for development and to avoid any further flip-flopping by the then US Defence Secretary, building of a prototype was ditched in favour of development airframes. Only four years after first flight, the F-14A Tomcat went on its first deployment in 1974, serving with the US Navy until it was retired in 2006, accompanied by much gnashing of teeth and name-calling of its replacement, the F-18, which took some time to abate. The F-14A was the first model, and because of a change of heart by the powers that be, which resulted in the Marines leaving the list of potential operators, it did not have the air-to-ground capabilities it was originally scheduled to possess. Instead it with a pure interceptor/fleet protection aircraft, armed with AIM-54 Phoenix for Beyond Visual Range (BVR) engagements for up to 100 miles in perfect conditions. It was also capable of carrying AIM-7 Sparrow and AIM-9 Sidewinder for self-defence and closer intercepts. Later in service, the ground attack capability was added to upgraded A variants, Bs and of course the later D that was dubbed the "Super Tomcat" because of its vastly improved capabilities. This boxing is of course a tacit tie-in with the Top Gun era Tomcats with their flamboyant hi-viz schemes and swagger, but I'll try and keep any quotes from the movie to myself, although I'm sure some of you are by now singing Danger Zone… hopefully in your heads if you're with others as you read this. The Kit This is a re-boxing of the excellent Hobby Boss F-14A kit, and includes some resin and Photo-Etch (PE) extras to detail your model in the exhaust, cockpit and wheel areas. The kit arrives in a large box with black and yellow stripes and a painting of a Tomcat at speed on the front. Inside are a raft of sprues that are bagged individually or in pairs, plus a box of resin parts, all carefully protected within by foam sheets. There are twenty three sprues of various sizes within the box, plus upper and lower fuselage halves, and the two engine nacelles that don't appear on the sprue diagrams. All this is in a mid-grey styrene, and is accompanied by a long clear sprue that has a slight warping of the runners that thankfully doesn't affect the parts it holds. Twenty seven resin parts are inside the Brassin box, plus two frets of PE, one of which is pre-painted, the other in bare brass, and finally a set of masks in Eduard's usual yellow kabuki tape. The resin is bagged by subject, covering exhausts, ejection seats and wheels, and of course there's the instruction booklet in glossy full colour, with an equally colourful set of decals covering a large sheet and another smaller one. Construction begins with the forward fuselage, starting with the cockpit, the tub for which is thoroughly overhauled by the addition of pre-painted PE side consoles and instrument panels. With the addition of the coamings and sidewall inserts, it becomes a full tub that is sandwiched between the forward fuselage halves a little later, after construction of the other components. The radar is attached to the forward bulkhead, and is adorned with a PE skin and two rows of little T-shaped antennae before it is attached via the kit mount. The nose gear bay is the penultimate assembly to be inserted within the fuselage, and this is made up from an L-shaped roof and rear bulkhead, to which the sides and front wall are added to maximise detail. You have a choice of portraying the catapult bar up or down by substituting the gear leg, and to this is added a small captive door, oleo scissor-link and of course the wheels. The kit wheels and their rubber tyres are discarded and replaced by the superbly detailed resin parts, which simply require liberation from their casting blocks in order to be used. Once the refuelling probe bay and probe are built into the starboard fuselage half, the cockpit, nose gear bay and radar bulkhead can be enclosed within the fuselage halves, after which the modeller can choose to open or close the small rectangular crew steps on the port side of the fuselage. The lower part of the forward fuselage is provided as a separate insert in order to mould the recesses for the AIM-7 Sparrow missiles carried semi-recessed on the belly hard-points. The 20mm Vulcan 6-barreled cannon is placed within the long series of bays on the port underside of the nose, and can either be locked away behind the access panels or displayed by leaving them off and painting the multi-part assembly according to instructions and your references. If you close it up, it may be of some use as a repository for nose weight, which isn't mentioned during construction. There are however numerous other places to stash any weight though, just so long as you remember to put some in there. The ejection seats are added later, and the new resin parts replace the kit offering, which simply can't compare with the detail that the resin and PE Brassin parts can provide. The belts are all pre-painted too, which saves us the job. Attention moves to the wings next, building up the two part main parts and their flap track insert, after which the large leading-edge slats can be added in either the deployed position, or closed by nipping off the location points and laying the slat in its bay, flush with the wing. Test fitting will be important here before you commit to glue. The full-width flaps can be fitted at any angle, depending on whether you want to be able to move the wings, or pose them swept back, or over-swept for storage below decks. Because this is the early A variant, the forward retractable glove-vanes were still installed, so you must cut out the slots for them in the upper and lower fuselage halves, but don't fret as they are half-thickness, so easy to do. A number of holes and slots will also need to be drilled/cut out to accommodate the various antennae and such later, with two on the belly only needed if you want to install the TARPS pod that was often carried. The underside also needs its engine nacelles and forward intake trunking adding, along with the variable inlet ramps, which can only be placed in one position using the supplied actuation jacks. The nacelle lips have sharp tapering leading edges, which could easily be damaged, and come wrapped in a layer of foam protection to keep them safe from harm. These mate with the fuselage on lugs, and should make a neat join with the aft section, which has a lip to assist in alignment. Each nacelle has a strake running along its rear portion, and the split lower airbrake is added in either the open or closed position. Before the aft fuselage can be closed up, the main gear bays and aft intake trunking must be built up, discarding the kit engine parts in the process. The wheel bays are built up from a stepped roof and separate walls that add extra detail over what can be achieved by a single piece moulding, and as long as you are careful with construction don't deserve the "over-engineered" epithet that is sometimes bandied about. We are modellers, are we not? The main struts have main retraction jacks and oleo scissor-links added before the new resin wheels are added, which have separate hub detail parts. You can add a degree of weighting by sanding a fraction off the contact patch when you are done. The bays are inserted from within the lower fuselage into a close-fitting recess to ensure a neat fit, and then the two-piece aft intake trunking is glued, the seams removed (if you think they'll be seen), and the two-part new resin engine faces are added at the rear. The fuselage can then be closed up, remembering to put the wings and their glove-vanes in at this point, or you'll look a bit silly when you realise your mistake! The twin-tails and tailerons are constructed from two halves each and added to their recesses on the aft of the fuselage, and the replacement exhaust trunking is built up from some exquisitely detailed resin and PE parts that slide within the aft housing and should be canted toward each other from the vertical by following the scrap diagram, before adding the exhaust petals to the ends of the trunks. The petals are moulded in the relaxed position, which will result in more of the interior being seen, but if you want to model them contracted you'll need to either use the kit parts, or source resin alternatives from elsewhere. The forward fuselage is mated with the aft by a large contact surface that should ensure a good join, and only short seams on the upper and lower spine will need to be looked at to establish whether remedial work is needed. Cautious application of glue and test-fitting should minimise this. The large canopy is made up from two crystal clear parts, with the windscreen glued in place, while the rear can be posed open or closed by adding a short jack, part E50. The inner sill of the canopy is decorated with PE parts to simulate the L-shaped locking lugs, while the horseshoe shaped forward and central sill are both detailed with PE and additional rear-view mirrors. It might be wise to secure these parts by clear gloss such as Klear/Future to avoid marring the expanses of clear styrene, as any marks will show on the goldfish bowl that is the Tomcat's canopy. More PE edging is added to the windscreen along with a grab-handle, and sill inserts are added to the long fuselage sills with slots corresponding to the closure latches on the canopy. A full set of masks for the canopy and windscreen are supplied, along with masks for the main wheels. The crew access ladder folds out of the side of the fuselage, and can be moulded deployed or stowed at your whim by exchanging one set of parts for another. To complete the airframe, the individual gear bay doors are added around the bays, and the four-part arrestor hook and its housing are added to the rear. Weapons The Tomcat's weapons were stored under the lifting body fuselage, most of them being in the recess between the two engine nacelles, but with one under each nacelle, and another two on the wing glove "shoulders". The belly weapons are placed on semi-conformal pylons that fix to the fuselage by pins that locate in the holes drilled in the lower fuselage earlier. The shoulder pylons are more complex affairs, and have a basic pylon that is angled outboard to clear the landing gear, to which a side-rail for a Sidewinder is added, and a further vertical adapter rail for either a Sparrow or a Phoenix missile. Included in the box are the following: 2 x Fuel tanks 2 x AIM-9 Sidewinder 6 x AIM-7 Sparrow 6 x AIM-54 Phoenix 1 x TARPS Recce Pod A diagram shows where the various weapons could be placed, but check your references for further details, as practical mission requirements often result in asymmetric loads. Markings As you'd expect from an Eduard Limited Edition, there are five colourful options to choose from for your model, all of which have been created by Furball Aero-Design for them, and printed by Cartograf to a very high standard. You can build one of the following from the box, all of which have the same grey base colour apart from the last one, which has a white underside: 162702 VF-84 Jolly Rogers, USS Theodore Roosevelt, 1989 – black tails, strakes and cockpit surround, with skull and crossbones on the tails, and a black stripe with gold arrows through the fuselage stars-and-bars. Radome is tan. 161271 (TARPS) VF-111 Sundowners, USS Carl Vinson, 1982 – Red/White sun motif on tail outers, red strakes and shark mouth on the nose. 161147 (TARPS) VF-31 Tomcatters, USS John F Kennedy, 1984 – Red tails & strakes with Felix the Cat carrying a bomb on the tails. On the inner tails are AC in black text. Radome is black. 161144 (TARPS) VF-124 Gunfighters, NAS Miramar, 1983 – NJ on the tails, radome is tan. 159634 VF-211 Fighting Checkmates, USS Constellation, 1976 – Black NG on the tails, Red/White checkerboard on rudders, red strakes, dark blue cockpit surrounds. White undersides. A separate page details the many stencils on the airframe, as well as for the Martin Baker GRU-7 ejections seats. Conclusion A very attractive package that is bound to appeal and sell-out very quickly. If you want to take the detail even further, there is a BigSin Weapons set, Fabric seatbelts, Remove before Flight tags, and another PE set that details other parts of the airframe, all of which can be seen here. Extremely highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  9. New Limited Edition Aussie Eight Now In Stock £66.99 Scale kit of Spitfire Mk.VIII in Australian service Code named Aussie Eight Model Information Plastic Parts: Eduard Number Of Decal Options: 30 Decals: Cartograf, Eduard stencils Photo-Etch Parts Included: Colour Painting Mask Included Resin Parts Included: Wheels (2 pairs) Includes book about Australian Spitfires Mk.VIII (104 pages) in English. Click on the images to order or visit our website. www.creativemodels.co.uk
  10. http://www.die-leitplanke.de/1-herzlich-willkommen/4-modelle-im-bau-gebaut/scania-r-730-8x4-heavy-haulage-tractor-m1-24-no-3900-mt/ Due out in March '14, €120 - €150. Andrew
  11. Jugs Over Italy Eduard 1:48 Limited Edition This is the second release of the P-47 Thunderbolt from Eduard, the first, Jugs over Germany, was reviewed here last year, HERE and build HERE So, since the styrene is still the Academy kit, it would be rather churlish to repeat what hes already written this will be more of an over view of what you get in this box. The painting of Deacon Dandy on the box front is very attractive and inviting. The six decal options are printed in profile on one side of the box whilst the special edition resin parts are shown on the opposite side. On opening the kit looks even better in the plastic than even Mikes photography can convey. No sign of flash or moulding pips, without the extras it looks like it will build into a good looking model. Due to the addition of the resin and etch, there will be quite a few parts destined for the spares box. The resin and etch are well up to Eduards usual standards and includes all the parts from the earlier release, including the choice of propellers and the very useful tooling to get the blades fitted correctly. This kit will probably have the same minor problems in the build as found in the build review so it may be wise to take note and adjust your build accordingly. Decals The large colourful decal sheet is suitably impressive, with the various markings for the six options and full stencils for one aircraft. Whilst the schemes provided are for the aircraft serving, naturally, in Italy, there is an exception, and that is the last scheme where the aircraft in question was actually based in France. Perhaps there werent enough units in Italy to provide enough options? :- P-47D, 86th FS, 79th FG, Fano Air Field, Italy, February 1945, in an overall silver with olive drab spine/anti-glare panel and blue vertical tail. P-47D-25, flown by Capt. Edward F Jones, 64th FS, 57th FG, Grosseto airbase, Italy, early 1945, in olive drab over neutral grey and red cowling front. P-47D-25, 527th FS, 86th FG, Pisa Air base, Italy 1945, in overall silver, olive drab spine /anti-glare panel with red cowling front, red cooling gills and red striped tail. P-47D-27RE, flown by Lt. Sylvester Bud Hendricks, 65th FS, 57th FG, Grosseto air base, Italy, Autumn 1944/1945 with olive drab spine/anti-glare panel, red cowling front and yellow stripes in the wings and tailplane. P-47D-27RE, 315th FS, 324thFG, Early 1945 in overall silver, olive drab spine/anti-glare panel and a red lightning bolt on the fuselage sides beneath the cockpit. P-47D-27RE, 314th FS, 324th FG, Dole, France, winter 1944/45. Conclusion As with the other release this will make into a very nice looking model given that care and attention are taken with the fitting of the resin parts etc. The aircraft colour schemes in this box arent as different as the earlier kit, but they certainly are colourful. Highly recommended. Walkround photos are available HERE Review sample courtesy of
  12. Morane Saulnier MoS.30E.1 1:48 Special Hobby History Morane Saulnier had designed and built two new fighter prototypes in 1917. These were the high wing MoS 27 and biplane MoS 28. The high wing MoS 27 was powered by a 9 cylinder Gnome Monosoupape 9Nb rotary engine and equipped with one machine gun. This allowed the aircraft to reach 8000m. The trials of the new fighter were carried out in the summer of 1917 and proved successful. One month later the MoS 29 equipped with two machine guns was trialled. Eventually both versions were ordered for production. The company gave the type the AI designation. During January 1918 these new fighters were assigned to combat units. The performances of the AI were comparable to the SPAD XIII. Unfortunately, problems occurred with the wing rigidity and the 9Nb engine. It transpired that only three squadrons, (No 156, 158 and 161), were equipped with the A1s. In May 1918 the A1s were withdrawn from front line squadrons thus ending their short service record. On May 20 all units were re-equipped with the SPAD XIIIs. The premature withdrawal of the Morane Saulnier’s didn’t actually mean the end of their careers. They were redesigned and redesignated the MoS30, to be used as a trainer with less powerful Le Rhone 9Jb or 9Jby engines. Eventually more than 1000 AIs were built and used not only by the French air force but also the air forces of Belgium, Switzerland, Poland and Japan. There are currently three AI’s still flying in the world, one each at Fantasy of Flight, Old Rhinebeck and La Ferte Alais. The Model The kit comes in a nice solid top opening box with an oversleave showing the limited edition markings for the completed model. Inside there are just two sprues of medium grey styrene a bag of resin parts, two small etched sheets, two metal rods and two sheets of decals. The details on the styrene parts is very good with areas such as the fabric covered fuselage, wing and tailplanes looking very nice and not overly done. Even though it is obviously a limited run kit there is no sign of flash and no moulding pips. The resin parts are also very well moulded and are replacement parts for the styrene ones. There doesn’t appear to be anything to catch the modeller out other than the lack of location pins, so care will need to be taken when gluing the parts together. Construction starts with the very well detailed cockpit, with floor side framework, rear bulkhead and shoulder frame provided in styrene, whilst items such as the seat and instrument panels come in both styrene and etch, (with acetate backing sheet. The seat is provided with a nice set of etched seatbelts and the cockpit is finished off with the rudder pedals and joystick. The completed cockpit assembly is then sandwiched between the fuselage halves. PE strapping is then fitted around the fuselage and an additional PE part fitted just behind the cockpit opening. Once again the modeller has a choice of whether to use the styrene parts for the engine or the alternatives, in the case produced in resin, with separate cylinders and crankcase. The completed engine is fitted to the resin mounting and attached to the fuselage followed by the cowling and a panel just in front of the cockpit opening. The tail feathers are then attached and the process of attaching the complex array of cabane struts to the underside of the wing, (what looks like the most demanding section of the build, apart from the rigging). With them in place the wing can be attached to the fuselage and the final struts from the fuselage to the wing can be fitted. With the fuselage and wing complete it’s on to the undercarriage. As before there are optional parts in resin and etch to replace the styrene parts should the modeller wish. The wheels come in spokes or covered styles and the etched spokes will look really nice within the resin wheels. The alternative axle is made up of the two metal tubes and an etched aerodynamic fairing, which once assembled is fitted to the undercarriage struts and the wheels attached. Construction is completed with the fitting of the propeller and windscreen with etched frame, followed by some interesting rigging. Decals The decal sheet for this limited edition provides markings for three Polish machines. They are well printed, in good register and with very little in the way of excess carrier film. The markings are for:- MoS.30.E1, Flight School, Bydgoszcz about 1923, in five colour, Chestnut Brown, Beige, Dark Green, Light Green and Black. MoS.30.E1, No.2071, Flight School, Bydgoszcz about 1923, in Dark Green over Light Blue. MoS.30.E1, No.2087, Flight School, Grudziadz 1923, of aerobatic Instructor Boleslaw Orlinski in overall aluminium dope. There is also a sheet with French markings on it which provides the underwing roundels for the five coloured option. Conclusion This is a lovely little kit and will certainly make an impact in a collection that belies its size. The mouldings of bother styrene and resin parts are very well produced and although the resin will need more clean up it will make quite a bit of difference to the completed model. With everything in the box the modeller could possibly need it should bring many hours of fun without any extra outlay. Some parts could be tricky so probably not for the novice modeller but anyone with some experience with building biplanes shouldn’t have a problem. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  13. Pacific Lightnings (Limited Edition) 1:48 Eduard The P-38 Lightning is well known, so I won't bore you with the details, although you can find some information at the top of my review of the earlier Limited Edition P-38J Lightnings over Europe kit that Eduard released last year. Comparing the two sets will also show you that the basic Academy plastic is entirely the same, as are the bespoke Eduard resin and Photo-Etch (PE) parts, so the construction process will be too. I won't re-take the photos, but I'll add a sprue that I missed from the previous review, and please accept my apologies for that oversight! The Kit Arriving in Eduard's sturdy top-opening box, the kit contains seven sprues of mid greeny-grey styrene, with Academy's familiar shiny finish, a clear sprue, some black rubbery tyres, a large bag of resin containing 35 parts, a sheet of pre-cut masking material, two sheets of PE, a large decal sheet and of course Eduard's excellent instruction booklet and painting guide, printed on hard-wearing glossy paper in colour. The idea of these limited editions is to provide an augmented kit with some custom decals, and this is one of the many things that Eduard do well. The resin makes up a wonderfully detailed cockpit, with the PE adding extra detail such as seatbelts and a laminated instrument panel, although it seems that you will need to be careful when fitting this inside the fuselage pod, as the tolerances are quite tight. It is possible though, as proven by Chris Jephcott in his review build here. The instrument panel coaming needs to be removed from the kit part, although this shouldn't tax many modellers. The gear bays receive a new super-detailed skin to their insides, and the gear legs also get upgraded with some PE oleo-scissor links, with PE brake hoses running back into the bay. The bay doors also have new PE hinges, which are bent 90o to provide a good sized mounting surface to the door. Externally to the engine nacelle/booms, the main intakes have a small PE grille inserted into the intake trunking, and the small auxiliary intakes are replaced with a set of finely cast resin parts with very crisp intake lips. The kit wheels are replaced by resin ones with separate hubs and very much improved tread and hub detail, which should improve their look and remove the necessity of using those love-them-or-loathe-them rubber tyres. One decal option requires a large raised panel on the underside of the wing to be removed, which looks like fun! Approach this only if you're desperate to use markings option E, and are confident that you can return the surface to a good facsimile of smoothness afterward. On top of the tail booms are the super-chargers, which are replaced entirely by some exquisite resin castings, with PE heat-shrouds on the boom to protect it from the high temperatures that are present in the real thing. On either side of the super-chargers are two moulded in intakes, which are to be removed, which will be best done before the resin parts are added, so you don't slip and ruin them. These are replaced by a quartet of resin parts (two per boom) that compliment the detail on the aforementioned super-chargers. The kit transparencies are of reasonably good clarity, although the bulged hood at the rear is a little thick, and you'll need to take care when gluing the sides of the canopy to the "roof", to ensure you get them at the correct angles. Inside the windscreen a clear resin gun-sight is included with a PE brace that affixes across the front panel. Markings Eduard's special edition markings are always interesting, and this one is no different, having a variety of finishes and some bright markings, with a total of six choices, as follows: P-38L-5 44-25863 Flown by Capt. Ken Hart, 431st FS, 475th FG, Lingayen, Philippines June 1945 - all over bare metal with olive drab anti-glare panels on the nose and inner nacelles. The name Peewee is emblazoned on the port-side nose. P-38L-5 Flown by Capt. Bob DeHaven, 7th FS, 49th FG, Tacloban, October 1944 - all over bare metal with olive drab anti-glare panels on the nose and inner nacelles. Blue tails and red/white striped rudders. P-38L Flown by Lt. M. M. Jarboe, 36th FS, 8th FG, Le Shima, Okinawa, May 1945 - all over bare metal with black anti-glare panels on the nose and inner nacelles. Payoff noseart and black/white diagonal tactical markings on each wing and tail booms. P-38J-15 42-103921 Flown by Lt. Richard L. West, 35th FS, 8FG, Owi, July 1944 - all over bare metal with olive drab anti-glare panels on the nose and inner nacelles. Playing cards noseart and large 3 on nose and tail. P-38L-10 42-67590 Flown by Capt. Jay T. Robbins, Co, 80th FS, 8th FG, Finschhafen, December 1943 - Olive drab over light grey with a wavy demarcation. Large A on the nose and tails, red/white/blue spinners and Buddha figure on the nose. P-38L Flown by the CO of 70th FS, 18th FG, Moret Field, Zamboanga, Philippines, 1945 - all over bare metal with olive drab anti-glare panels on the nose and inner nacelles. Rough & Dirty noseart, red chequers and three red stripes on tail boom intakes, with 100 in red on the tails. The decals are all supplied on a single large sheet, which is printed by Cartograf, and all of the potentially tricky aspects of the markings are supplied as decals, such as the striped tail, chequers and fancy spinners. A few decals will need care during application due to compound curves, but if you take your time and use plenty of decal softening agent, they should settle down well. The stencils are all legible, and their application is detailed on the back page of the instruction booklet, to avoid ending up with confused and busy diagrams. The last option on the decal sheet is only shown in profile on the front page of the instruction booklet due to lack of space, but the complete scheme is provided online here in full on the penultimate page, although in truth, there aren't many decals on the top and bottom surfaces. Conclusion Another good release from Eduard, using Academy's well respected Lightning kit as a jumping off point, improving on the cockpit, wheel bays, wheels and external engine detail, while providing some rather fetching decals that give a fair spread of squadrons and areas of operation that the Lightning was engaged in. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  14. Hello, the postie dropped this off this morning: the 2012 PAS Models Boeing 757-200 resin kit. Hopefully I'm not treading on anyone's toes by posting some pictures of the kit. I have no first-hand experience of the Minicraft or Authentic Airliners kits, so I can't really compare directly, however, this looks like a finely detailed kit and I think it will build into a nice model. The moulding seems generally good, with only a few small bubbles. The trailing edges are paper thin, unfortunately one of the horizontal stabilisers has lost a corner because of this. Thanks for looking. Sorry the lighting isn't fantastic. Larger versions are available on my Flickr page. PAS Models 752_Box by Caution Wake Turbulence, on Flickr PAS Models 752_Contents by Caution Wake Turbulence, on Flickr PAS Models 752_Decals by Caution Wake Turbulence, on Flickr PAS Models 752_Instructions by Caution Wake Turbulence, on Flickr PAS Models 752_Parts Overview by Caution Wake Turbulence, on Flickr PAS Models 752_Fuselage 1 by Caution Wake Turbulence, on Flickr PAS Models 752_Fuselage 2 by Caution Wake Turbulence, on Flickr PAS Models 752_Fuselage 3 by Caution Wake Turbulence, on Flickr PAS Models 752_Fuselage 4 by Caution Wake Turbulence, on Flickr PAS Models 752_Wings 1 by Caution Wake Turbulence, on Flickr PAS Models 752_Wings 2 by Caution Wake Turbulence, on Flickr PAS Models 752_Engines 1 by Caution Wake Turbulence, on Flickr PAS Models 752_Engines 2 by Caution Wake Turbulence, on Flickr PAS Models 752_Engines 3 by Caution Wake Turbulence, on Flickr PAS Models 752_Engines 4 by Caution Wake Turbulence, on Flickr PAS Models 752_Engines 5 by Caution Wake Turbulence, on Flickr PAS Models 752_Winglets 1 by Caution Wake Turbulence, on Flickr PAS Models 752_Winglets 2 by Caution Wake Turbulence, on Flickr PAS Models 752_Landing Gear 1 by Caution Wake Turbulence, on Flickr PAS Models 752_Landing Gear 2 by Caution Wake Turbulence, on Flickr PAS Models 752_Landing Gear 3 by Caution Wake Turbulence, on Flickr PAS Models 752_Landing Gear 4 by Caution Wake Turbulence, on Flickr PAS Models 752_Landing Gear 5 by Caution Wake Turbulence, on Flickr PAS Models 752_Landing Gear 6 by Caution Wake Turbulence, on Flickr Cheers, Andrew
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