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  1. Joining you with this kit, costing me £8 in a HobbyCraft sale in 2020. I'm currently investigating my decal spares for available Federal German schemes.
  2. For my second build. Yes, It's another vac. Kosters 1/48 Lockheed PV-1 Ventura I've had this kit for a while and almost started it more than once or twice. But it will finally see the light of day. The British in their quest for a High performance patrol aircraft selected Lockheed/Vega's PV-1 which they promptly named Ventura(Spanish for Lucky star.More or less) And the US. Navy being the NAvy kept the name. It was better than Army's name "Lexington" Vega produced all versions of the Ventura for the Navy. Hence the V in PV. So much for the fractured history lesson. Let's what with this kit. As usual, all kinds of scratch building and maybe a touch of 3d Printing to boot. Let's see how "lucky" I can get.
  3. Pics of a T-33 as used by The Royal Danish Air Force, pics thanks to Hans J
  4. Hobby Boss is to release a new tool 1/48th Lockheed U-2R Dragon Lady kit in 2015/2016 - ref.81740 Source: http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234972796-hobbyboss-148-for-2015/?p=1828290 V.P.
  5. U-2R ‘Dragon Lady’ Senior Span (81740) 1:48 Hobby Boss via Creative Models Ltd Back in the 1950s, extreme high-altitude anti-aircraft missiles weren’t yet available, and aircraft could over-fly foreign nations with a degree of impunity, as long as they could stay high enough to keep out of range of enemy fighters and less capable missile batteries. Lockheed’s Skunk Works were tasked with creating a new aircraft on reasonably short notice that could fly higher than any previous aircraft or missile, virtually on the edge of space, to accomplish the task of gathering intelligence on America’s Cold War enemies, predominantly over-flying the Soviet Union. They took the fuselage of the new F-104 Starfighter that was then in development, adding massively extended wings more suitable to a glider, and shortening the fuselage, leaving sufficient space to carry high-definition optics and/or electronic intelligence gathering equipment. Developed in secret using black project money from the CIA, the airframes were developed in close proximity to the engineering staff, embedding them in the factory to quickly resolve any issues that came up, which resulted in the initial order coming in on time and under budget. New high-altitude fuel had to be developed, and the custom optics were designed specifically for use in the aircraft, which garnered the designation U-2, the U standing for Utility, to confuse anyone hearing about it, thus delaying its discovery a little longer. Once flights over the USSR had begun, it was discovered that the Soviets were regularly tracking the aircraft, which led to a project to reduce the type’s radar return, which was initially unsuccessful, but later was revisited by covering the skin in a Radar Absorbent Material (RAM) that was a matt black colour on application. There have been many upgrades and alterations to the type since it was initially fielded, leading to an aircraft that looks somewhat like the original, but is hugely different in terms of capabilities, especially when it comes to intelligence gathering. They still jettison their wing-mounted stabiliser legs on take-off however, and are stalked on landing by a muscle car to improve the pilot’s situational awareness from his cramped cockpit, which is worsened by the pilots having to wear a space suit due to the altitudes involved that would have a fatal effect on anyone flying whilst wearing a standard flight suit. The largest change other than building two-seat airframes for complex tasks and training of the elite pilots was the U-2R in 1967, which increased the size of the airframe by around 30% and introduced the wing ‘Superpod canoes’ that could be filled with intelligence gathering equipment and gave the aircraft a greater range by the enlargement of the fuel tanks. Despite the age of the basic premise and the march of technology, the U-2 has persisted attempts to retire it, even surviving the introduction of the un-manned Global Hawk, which is capable of many of the same tasks with extended loiter times due to the pilots being ground-based. NASA use a few U-2s, redesignated as ER-2s, which are used for high-altitude civilian research, painted white with the blue NASA cheatline as no-one is likely to want to shoot them down. The Kit This is a new tooling from Hobby Boss that was released late in 2023 and has only recently arrived this far from China, with another boxing depicting the U-2S expected soon(ish). The kit arrives in a top-opening box with a painting of the aircraft flying high, which is what it does best, with the stars visible in an inky black sky. Inside the box are seven sprues in grey styrene, a clear sprue, Photo-Etch (PE) sheet, decal sheet, instruction booklet, plus a colour profile sheet in A4, printed on both sides. Detail is excellent throughout, and incorporates some intelligent use of slide-moulding, particularly to create double-wall, single part intake trunks with detail on the interior and exterior. There are also a ton of aerials, antennae, a dorsal pod, and optional flat-spotted forward areas to the Superpod canoes under the wings. There is also plenty of detail in the cockpit, gear bays, and even a pair of detachable wing support wheels on their banana-shaped struts, plus air-brakes that can be fitted in the deployed position with a suitably well-detailed bay behind each of them. Construction begins with the two long fuselage halves, drilling out several holes in the top and bottom, and inserting the air-brake bay parts toward the aft end of the parts. Attention then turns to the cockpit, starting with the ejection seat, which is made from seven styrene parts plus four-point PE belts, which is installed in the detailed cockpit tub along with a two-part control yoke, fitting a bulkhead to the rear, and the instrument panel in front of the pilot, with a decal to depict the dials. Two side wall inserts are then fixed to the top of the consoles to finish the tub, moving on to the rear gear bay, building it from individual wall and roof parts, locating the gear strut between the side walls, and adding small diameter wide tyres to each end of the cross-axles. The exhaust is a simple tube made from two halves, and it is capped by a representation of the rear face of the engine after painting everything a suitable shade of burned metal. The front gear bay is moulded in excellent detail, showing the shape of the merging intake trunks within, to which the front strut and its retraction jacks are fitted, adding another pair of larger wheels to the stub-axle ends, painting both bays a grubby white. The merging intake trunks are made in two stages that are joined together to create a Y-shape, which is blocked at the rear by a part that represents the front of the engine, gluing it to the roof of the front gear bay, then fitting the cockpit, both wheel bays and the exhaust between the two fuselage halves and gluing them together. A forest of antennas is dotted around the underside, adding sideways opening front gear bay doors, a tail-bumper, and the actuators for the air-brakes into the bays near the rear. Yet more antennae are fitted along the belly, a sensor dome is mounted in front of the front gear bay, and the rear bay doors along with the air-brake panels are installed, flipping the model over onto its wheels to fit the instrument coaming to the cockpit, plus another antenna and light to the spine. The canopy is moulded in two parts, fitting a small exterior rear-view mirror on the port side of the windscreen, and PE interior rear-view mirrors to the canopy, gluing both into position, the canopy hinging to the port side if you plan to pose it open. The two intakes are an impressive piece of slide-moulding, having inner and outer surfaces provided as one part, with a hollow interior that reduces the likelihood of sink marks, whilst providing plenty of detail, each one gluing into the openings behind the cockpit. There is a slight seam around the intake lips that is easily removed, but the detail is well worth those few seconds of effort. The dorsal pod is made from two halves with a small raised blister on the pylon added to both sides, fixing it to the spine over the wing roots on pins, while the tail fin is built from two halves plus a single part for the rudder, which has a corrugated surface that is a little too deeply defined. Check your references and either fill the depressions, or sand back the raised portions as you see fit, although several coats of primer and some light sanding of the high spots might be better to retain the original thickness of the part. This also applies to the ailerons and other flying surfaces, so you might as well do them all at once, unless you’re upset by this minor issue. Each wing is made from top and bottom half, adding the majority of the Superpod body to the underside, with the top half of the tail cone a separate part, and the forward section that uses either two halves to create a cylindrical section with tapering nose cone, or by using different parts to create the nose cones with a flat-spot on the outer face, both styles having an optional L-shaped antenna installed on the top. The flying surfaces along the trailing edge are all separate, and are glued to the rear of the wing, with the possibility of deflecting them if you wish. Note that the black RAM isn’t painted under the extended flaps, so take care to check your references to help you paint this area correctly. A spoiler is also fixed to the upper wing around mid-span, near the jettisonable stabilising gear legs that are made from curved struts with a wheel glued to each side of the bottom end. These locate in a socket under the trailing edge of the wings, and of course the same process is carried out in mirror-image for the other wing. The wings are glued to the fuselage sides on three separate slots, and here it will become obvious that they have been moulded with a slight sag, which is correct for wings of this aircraft, so don’t be tempted to correct this. The two-part elevator fins have separate flying surfaces, and these fit to the fairing under the fin using a relatively small tab and slot, taking care to achieve the correct dihedral by checking your references. There are several nose modules used in U-2 missions, and this boxing includes a simple more aerodynamic nose that is made from two halves, plus a single cone tip, with two PE probes fitted to small depressions in the rear edge of the nose. It is glued in place to complete the build phase of the model. Markings Any U-2 after the early days is painted in black RAM, with very few markings, unless it’s one of the civilian airframes. There are three options included on the sheet, predominantly stencilled in red, and most of the decals are applied to the tail fin. From the box you can build one of the following: Hobby Boss decals and the decaling instructions can be a weak point of their products at times, and they are generally printed anonymously in China. This sheet is printed in this manner, but is suitable for purpose, particularly as the majority of decals are printed in red. Registration where it occurs is good, as is colour density and sharpness, with a clear backed decal depicting the dials and switch-gear for the instrument panel. Conclusion The moulding and detail included in the kit is excellent, and other than the excessive corrugated texture on some of the control surfaces, there is little immediately visible to grouch about, although some are still trying. Other than making sure you have enough space in your cabinet to accommodate the enormous wingspan of the Dragon Lady, there’s no reason not to have one. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  6. Clear Prop Models is to release a 1/48th Lockheed D-21A kit - ref. CP4819 Sources: https://www.greenmats.club/forums/topic/10727-lockheed-d-21-drone-148-clear-prop-models/ https://m.facebook.com/story.php/?id=100008186084785&story_fbid=3569152973367537 https://www.facebook.com/Clearpropmodels/posts/pfbid0sFd1cQ5Yicp4rQEHf8cQDC8dpfQjbKNn9Yzxap8jCbsR2f3uQhXfNAnvA48GiGT1l V.P.
  7. P-38J Lightning (48043) 1:48 Iliad Designs The Lockheed Lightning was designed for the US Army Air Force during the beginning of Britain's WWII in 1939, and was ready for America's entry to the war where it performed well, despite its large size and unusual configuration. Initial troubles with tail flutter were quickly fixed by the addition of dive spoilers, and the airframe matured into the J toward the end of 1943. The aircraft was much loved by its pilots, as it was fast, manoeuvrable but with a few foibles to catch the unwary. It served in Europe, the Mediterranean and the Far East with distinction, and went on to become a night-fighter, with a radar housed in a pod beneath the nose in front of the nose gear bay. The Lightning name was given to the aircraft by the British in the run up to their subsequently aborted bulk purchase of aircraft, and stuck with the US forces rather than the unglamorous "Atalanta" chosen by the Americans. Although it was used in all theatres, it was most at home in the Far East, where it was ideally suited to long range missions, and its high speed gave it an advantage, allowing it to sweep in multiple times on its target, raking the lightly armoured Japanese aircraft with its formidable armament on each pass, concentrated in the nose that packed frightening destructive power. This new decal set from Iliad in Canada depicts a variety of airframes in US service, wearing different schemes on an A5(ish) sheet of decal paper. There are five decal options included on the sheet with side and top profiles printed on the instructions along with captions and arrowed areas that give additional details to help you make your model more accurate. Because of their unusual configuration, the nose profiles are also shown as separate partial images, as they are otherwise mostly obscured by the engine nacelles. They are intended to be used with any 1:48 scale Lightning, although with the introduction of Tamiya’s new de facto standard kit in this scale, many Academy kits have probably found themselves either pushed to the back of the stash or worse, consigned to a well-known auction site. The underwing decals are shown as ghost images on the overhead profiles, which both saves space and paper, which is always a good thing. From the sheet you can decal any of the following: P-38J ‘Gentle Annie’ flown by Col. Howard Rau, 79th FS, 20th FG, June 1944 P-38J ‘7 Wheel’ flown by Lt. Ken Ladd, 80th FS, 88th FG, New Guinea, late 1944 P-38J ‘Miss Ann’ 7th FG, UK, March 1944 P-38J ‘My Dad’ flown by James Morris, 7th FS, 20th FG, Kingcliffe, UK, Spring 1944 P-388J ‘Jewboy’ flown by Lt. Philip Goldstein, 49th FS, 14th FG, Triolo, Italy, May 1944 The decals are printed on a pale blue paper in good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. There are some large areas of carrier film between some of the lettering by necessity, but due to the extremely thin nature of the film it should disappear, especially if you ensure a highly glossy surface before application. Please note that the kill markings of German aircraft are represented by Swastikas, so if your location or your conscience doesn’t permit their use, they can be left on the sheet, or in the case of ‘My Dad’, you could paint over the black. It was interesting to see the photo on the instructions showing a highly polished section of the inner cowling sides to use as a crude mirror to check the condition of the aircraft’s landing gear. The edges of the area appears darkened too, possibly as a result of overlapping polish being absorbed by the paint. Highly recommended. To purchase this sheet directly, visit the link below, scroll down to the product code you need, and follow the instructions Review sample courtesy of
  8. Hi all Happy New Year to you all I have wanted to concentrate on some twin engined Aircraft such as a Beaufighter and Mossie, Oxford, but I thought I would start with a couple I have wanted to do for quite a while. A Lockheed Ventura Target Tug and a Royal Navy Avro Anson Radar Trainer. These are all yellow (apart from some black stripes on the TT) and as I brush paint, I may be setting myself up for some serious brushwork. The Ventura is the nice Revell kit and I will be using the lovely Aviaeology Venturas in Canada 4 decal sets. I shall be modelling one of the earlier machines serial 2222 with the all over black stripes. And the other is the Special Hobby Avro Anson Mk1 For this one I will use the Flightpath Photo Etch set and the Radar pod will be taken from the Special Hobby 1/48 Fairey Firefly Mk.V. A start has been made on the Ventura. The glazing and Bombay has been added to the fuselage halves , the doors will be closed so not too worried about the bay internals. Nose has been glued together and glazing added which will all be painted over. Guns are deleted from this type and gun troughs plated over. I have to drill the blanked of Port hole on the port side fuselage for the observation blister which I have nicked from the SH Airspeed Oxford. Cockpit components removed from trees and the rear bulkhead for the cockpit cut to what it should be. I have asked for some information on the type in the cold War section such as tge correct type of winch (C5) image and details or the main rear cabin if anyone has any info I would be grateful. Thanks for looking Chris
  9. F-80C Shooting Star (A02043V) 1:72 Airfix "Vintage Classics" The Lockheed P-80 was the US's first operational Jet fighter aircraft. Designed and built in only 143 days with two pre-production aircraft seeing limited service in Italy before the end of WWII. The aircraft like its British contemporary the Meteor was a conventional straight wing design which would limit its speed and manoeuvrability compared to later swept wing types which would be developed from captured German research data. The F-80C following re-designation on the formation of the USAF were P-80A aircraft with a J-33-A-35 engine and and ejection seat, also fitted were wing tip fuel tanks. 128 P-80A aircraft were modified to the F-80C standard. These aircraft would see front line service in Korea where the aircraft were outclassed by the swept wing MiG-15. Despite this USAF F-80 pilots would account for 6 Migs. With the introduction of the F-86 Sabre the Shooting Star would be transferred to a ground attack role. The Kit This is a re-boxing of Airfix's original kit from 1973 and released under their Vintage Classics Series, as such its a tooling of the time. Construction starts in the cockpit. The pilot fits into his seat which in turn slots into a simplified cockpit tub, An instrument panel is fitted along with the pilots control column. Into the fuselage is fitted the completed tub, the single part nose wheel, and a roof for the nose wheel bay. The fuselage can then be closed up not forgetting the advised 5 grams nose weight. Next up we move to the wings, these are a conventional single part lower with left/right uppers. Holes must be drilled for the wing bomb pylons and the tip tanks. To the main fuselage the intakes and their splitter plates are added, followed by the main wing assembly. At the rear the tail planes and exhaust are added. The main landing gear is then built up and added along with its gear doors. The nose bay door and ventral speed brakes are also added to the underside. The bombs are assembled and added to their pylons which can be fitted under the wings, then the same is done for the tip tanks. The rounder and later Misawa tanks are provided in the kit. To finish off the pitot tube under the nose is added and finally the canopy is as well. Markings There are two options on the decal sheet; A. 9650 "Saggin Dragon", 16th FIS, 51st FIW, USAF, Suwon Air Base, South Korea 1951. (Box Art) B. 9873 36th Bomber Sqn, 8th FBW, USAF, South Korea 1951. Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion Recommended bearing in mind its a classic. Review sample courtesy of
  10. P-38J Seat PRINT (648811 for Tamiya) 1:48 Eduard Brassin Although this set arrives in a flat package, the directly 3D printed parts are safe inside a clear plastic clamshell box inside the package, which also has a sticky pad inside to prevent the parts from rattling about. The parts are printed resin, attached to the base via thin tendril-like fingers that are easy to cut off and sand the little upstands away, leaving them ready for action. Consisting of just one crisply printed resin part, plus a small fret of nickel-plated pre-painted Photo-Etch (PE) STEEL that contains seatbelts plus comfort pad, the set should be a relatively straight forward replacement for the kit part, with the addition of substantial fine detail, plus the highly realistic seatbelts that should drape over the seats well thanks to the softer, thinner steel substrate. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  11. P-38J Over Europe Decal Sheet (D48107) 1:48 Eduard Eduard’s decal range just keeps expanding, and as with their PE sets, they arrive in resealable foil bags with instructions to the front and the decals to the rear with a sheet of translucent paper protecting the printed adhesive side. The decals are printed by Eduard and are in good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. This sheet is for the Lockheed P-38J Lightning, concentrating on subjects that flew and fought in the European Theatre of Operations, where they were something of a lower-profile participant unless you happened to be piloting a German aircraft at the time, although there were times when the tables seemed to turn against the Forked Devils. There are five decal options in total, and each one has a full side of A4 devoted to four-way profiles plus inner tail surfaces and the fuselage pod, plus a list of Gunze paint codes that you will need to paint your model. From the sheet, you can depict the following, providing you have enough kits: P-38J-25-LO, S/n:44-236627, 1st Lt. Sam Plotecia, 392nd FS, 367th FG, Juvincourt AB, France, 1944 P-38J-15-LO, S/n:44-680004, 1st Lt. Clark R Livingston, 392nd FS, 367th FG, Juvincourt AB, France, 1944 P-38J-10-LO, S/n:44-67685, Maj. Joseph Myers, 38th FS, 55th FG, Nuthampstead AB, England, 1943 P-38J-10-LO, S/n:44-67940, Lt. Jack M Jarell, 485th FS, 370th FG P-38J-25-LO, S/n:44-328677, Maj. Robert C Rogers, 492nd FS, 367th FG, Peray, France, August 1944 I’m a purist when it comes to Lightnings, so my favourite is the mount of Lt. Jarell with an olive drab topside and D-Day stripes, the tops of which are either faded or overpainted badly with thin paint. The nose art is a pink little piggy relaxing lasciviously under the banner ‘My Little Pig’. Paint me like one of your French girls. Don’t forget that as of 2021, the carrier film from Eduard decals can be coaxed away from the printed part of the decal after they have been applied, effectively rendering them carrier-free, thereby making the decals much thinner and more realistic, and obviating the need to apply successive coats of clear varnish to hide the edges of the film. It’s a great step further in realism from my point of view, and saves a substantial amount of work. Conclusion Useful, varied, and colourful sheet for your Tamiya Lightning in 1:48 that will allow the modeller to go off-piste without breaking the bank and with detachable carrier film that makes the job so much easier. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  12. P-38F/G/H & P-38J Raised Rivets & Surface Details (ER48003 & ER48004 for Tamiya) 1:48 Eduard ‘Eddie the Riveter’ Even using slide moulding techniques to provide additional exterior detail to modern injection moulded kits, there are limits to what can be achieved due to many factors, particularly the curve of moulds and the fact that curved parts with raised details can’t be removed from such moulds. That fact isn’t lost on Eduard’s designers, and they’ve been working on these new 3D printed sets that fills that void and adds lots more detail besides. Each set arrives in a flat, resealable clear foil package around A5 size, with the instructions wrapped around the contents to keep them safe, aided by a sheet of white card. Inside are two sheets of decal paper that have been printed with incredibly fine resin details in many sections, which correspond to coloured sections on the instructions, while the back page includes guidance notes to help the novice getting to grips with this interesting new use of the 3D printing facilities that they have been so ably using in their SPACE printed instrument panels. There are 49 individual decals on the two sheets of each set, and the detail is phenomenal, including rivets by the million (possible slight exaggeration), and inspection hatches, all surrounded by a faint border line, which is your guide for cutting of the decals from the sheet. The instructions tell you to build your model, spray it with Mr Surfacer 1500 primer with a little gloss medium to give it a sheen, and prepare each decal by cutting it just the other side of the afore mentioned grey lines. You are advised to use a kitchen sponge with a mixture of water and a few drops of “dishwashing saponite”, which confused me a little until I Googled it. Saponite is another word for soapstone, so I suspect there has been a slight mis-translation somewhere along the line, although Google’s translation was “spring”, but I suspect it means dish soap as a water-tension breaker. You moisten the sponge with the mixture and place the decal on it until it is ready to release, after which you press it carefully onto your model without moving the sponge. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? After the decals are fully dry, you are told to give it a few thin coats of Mr Surfacer to help them bed-in, and take care if you are masking your model for painting, as the decals don’t have the same adhesion as primer. If you do mask, reduce the tack of the tape by applying it to the back of your hand or a scrupulously clean desk a few times before using it. Conclusion These decals have the potential to be a game-changer for models that were created minus some of the finer details, as these can now be added later with the modern technology at Eduard’s fingertips. The detail is amazing, even down to the different sizes and pitches of the rivets and their patterns around the model. They’re not cheap at this stage, but the price is reducing, and they offer a lot to an otherwise great kit that suffers from some missing fine raised details. Just choose the correct set for your model, as follows: P-38J (ER48003) P-38F/G/H (ER48004) Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  13. P-38J Superchargers & Gun Barrels (648791 & 648789 for Tamiya) 1:48 Eduard Brassin Tamiya have a growing range of new P-38 Lightning kits in 1:48, the latest one being the -J variant, kit numbered 61123. It’s a great kit, but you can always improve on even the best, most technically advanced styrene injection moulding with resin and other media. As usual with Eduard's smaller Brassin sets, they arrive in a flat resealable package, with a white backing card protecting the contents and the instructions that are sandwiched between. The printed parts are protected within by a crystal-clear plastic clamshell box that has a small sticky pad to reduce the chances of the parts moving during transit. P-38J Gun Barrels (648789) This set consists of five 3D printed resin parts on a single print base that has protective arches to one side for safety’s sake. They are a drop-in replacement to the kit parts, and main part has a choice of three barrel jacket options for the left-most gun position depending on the fit applicable to your model, and a totally separate barrel with a larger diameter circular guard that ensures the barrel projects from the nose to the correct length. Each barrel has a hollow tip to the muzzle, whether they’re depicted with flush jackets or the type that are stepped back from the barrel. P-38J Superchargers (648791) The Lightning had its superchargers prominently displayed on the top of its engine booms, so detail here is key. This set includes two replacements that are printed at an angle on their own bases, supported by dozens of tiny posts with tapering tips to reduce clean-up work. Once removed from the bases they are a drop-in replacement for the kit parts, locating on the nub in the base of the recess on the kit parts. There are also two arches over the more delicate ends of the base to protect them from harm before you remove them for use. This is one set that doesn’t have the sticky pad in the plastic box, as it could damage the detail. Review sample courtesy of
  14. Browsing through the serials of aircraft ordered by the RAF in 1935-45, I came across a strange item: 50 Lockheed 2B14s with serial numbers from P5571 to P5620. Of course, the number 14 next to the manufacturer's name is automatically associated with Super Electra and Hudson, but the only Hudsons in the block of numbers starting with P are a few months earlier series of 50 a/c from P5116 to P5165. Moreover this was not the first batch of Hudsons for the RAF, as this honour went to a block of 200 from N7205 to N7404. Would anyone be able to shed some light on what the UK-ordered Lockheed 2B14 was? Cheers Michael
  15. The P-38 Lightning – Airframe & Miniature #19 ISBN: 9781912932276 Valiant Wings Publishing The Lockheed P-38 Lightning started life before WWII, and was designed as a long-range fighter powered by twin Allinson V-12 engines that were mounted in booms either side of a pod-like cockpit nacelle. It entered service mid-1941, and was surprisingly fast, manoeuvrable and packed quite a punch with its nose mounted weaponry concentrated in a small area along the line of flight. Like many good aircraft, there were a plethora of variants that were considered for production, some of which were ugly, bordering on the visually gruesome, but many came to fruition during its long career throughout and after the war. Although the type was most successful in the Pacific Theatre of Operations (PTO), where it was responsible for taking out the Japanese tactician General Yamamoto, it also saw service in the European Theatre of Operation (ETO) where its power and speed was more closely matched by the opponents, but it was still a feared adversary. Although the aircraft suffered some aerodynamic issues during development, they were mostly resolved by the time it entered service, and in addition to the offensive operational airframes there were a number of reconnaissance variants created and operated, and a ‘Droopsnoot’ variant with a clear nose that actually was less droopy than the standard nose, so that’s weird. One of the Droopsnoot options even had a pair of machine guns mounted either side of the second crew member, which must have been really good for his hearing, but meant that it could at least defend itself on a reconnaissance mission if the enemy caught up with them. After WWII a number of Lightnings were converted for civilian use doing all kinds of tasks. The Book The book is perfect-bound with 256 pages on glossy paper, tons of photographs, diagrams and profiles, the modern pictures being in colour, while the contemporary content is predominantly black and white due to that being the predominant film format of the day, although there are some striking colour photos from the time. It is of course written by Richard A Franks, with profiles by Richard J Caruana, isometric drawings by Wojciech Sankowski, plus models by prolific modeller Steve A Evans. If you're familiar with the series, you'll know that the tome is broken down into the Airframe section that deals with the 1:1 real thing, and the miniature section that covers the scale models and has a number of builds, plus a host of photographic detail that will be of great help to the modeller. Airframe Chapters 1. P-38 Prototypes & Production Page 31 2. Photo-Reconnaissance, Night Fighters, Droop Snoots & Pathfinders Page 50 3. One-Offs & Projects Page 62 4. Camouflage & Markings and Colour Profiles Page 64 Miniature Chapters 5. Lockheed Lightning Kits 6. Building a Selection 7. Building a Collection 8. In Detail: The P-38 and F-4/F-5 Fuselage Engines, Cowlings, Propellers & Turbosuperchargers Oil, Fuel, Coolant & Hydraulic Systems Wings Boom & Tail Undercarriage Armament Electrical Equipment Appendices I. Lightning Kits II. Lightning Accessories & Masks III. Lightning Decals IV. Bibliography A concertina sheet of 1:48 Scale plans are held captive in the rear cover (equivalent to 8 pages printed on both sides). My sheet had fallen in half along the crease, although that may have happened since it arrived in my workshop. The scale plans are nicely thought out, and fold out sideways with the left-hand edge glued to the inside cover, and the isometric drawings by Wojciech Sankowski that pick out the differences between many variants and sub-variants are a dream for anyone like me that struggles to remember the details that separate the marks. As usual with the photographs in these titles, they're excellent for the most part, and as good as they can be for the occasional slightly grainy one that is all that remains of this or that variant. A few captions apologise for the quality, but I was unable to find much to fault with them. There is however, only so much that modern photo editing software can do to tease detail out of them. The builds by Steve A. Evans are all first-rate too, with A Hobby 2000 (Hasegawa plastic) kit of a P-38J and a resin Anigrand XP-58 Chain Lightning in 1:72 – A P-38J from Hasegawa and a P-38F/G from Tamiya in 1:48, all of which wouldn't look out of place on competition tables at the highest level. Conclusion This book brims with interesting and informative content, with something for everyone – the modeller, the aviation enthusiast or history buff. My personal favourite parts are the variant isometrics as previously mentioned, but there is so much else to enjoy throughout the book. There are some pig-ugly prototypes too, which even though they’re hideous still appeal. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  16. SR-71A Ejection Seats PRINT (648758 for Revell) 1:48 Eduard Brassin Revell’s new SR-71A Blackbird in 1:48 has catapulted the old Testors kit into the back of the stash, and brings a lot more detail to the party, as well as a much more structurally rigid model once complete. Eduard’s heap of detail sets for this kit was already quite long, and you can see some of our other reviews here, here, and here too. This new set provides a pair of directly 3D Printed ejection seats for the Blackbird in incredible detail. The set arrives in a flat Brassin pack with card insert keeping it and the instructions straight, and the parts themselves are safely inside a small clear plastic box to prevent crush damage and jostling. Inside the clear foil bag is the box containing both ejection seats, which has a small sticky label to reduce the likelihood of excessive movement within. The detail is truly stunning, and there is more to come from the included Photo-Etch (PE) sheet of seatbelts, and a small decal sheet that contains stencils for the sides of the seat. Construction is simple, as much of the detail is already printed. The belts and pull-handles are also pre-painted and nickel-plated, so painting of the seat itself is all you need do, apply the stencils to the sides of the seats, then glue on the belts as instructed, all of which is times two, as the Blackbird is a two-seater. The detail is exceptional, which is what we’ll come to expect in the 3D printing age we’re entering. The cushions, sides of the seat and other such details are crisp and accurate, with the first print as good as the last, removing the lottery that was mould-wear on traditional cast resin. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  17. SR-71A Blackbird Wheels (648740 for Revell) 1:48 Eduard Brassin Kit wheels are generally in two halves, which means you have the resultant joins to deal with, possible mould-slip issues on single part wheels, and sometimes less than stellar detail due to the moulding limitations of styrene injection technology, especially in the tread department. That's where replacement resin wheels come in, with their lack of seamline and superior detail making a compelling argument. They are also usually available at a reasonable price, and can be an easy introduction to aftermarket and resin handling, as they are usually a drop-in replacement. This set contains nine of the special wheels that were used on the Blackbird, with its aluminium-impregnated, dotted tyres on the main wheels in groups of three, and twin nose wheels with circumferential tread. Each one is a drop-in replacement for the kit parts, and they are all supplied with pre-cut masks from the Kabuki-tape sheet (not pictured) inside the package to make the job even easier. The detail is exceptional as we’ve come to expect from Eduard’s wheels, and it has to be seen to be believed. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  18. Hello again. After taking a few days off for the Holidays, here we go again! After completing the XP-80 last year, I determined that I needed a P-80A to round out the collection. So, I picked up a Sword P-80 A/B kit like so: A relatively new tool kit, optional parts for A vs B model -- good to go, right? Not so fast. While researching the build, once again, the Spectre of Tommy Thomason's Tailhook Topics blog reaches out to crush simplicity. See the link HERE In it is various quite useful information, along with one single "Dag Nab It!"; the cockpit for the A model is in the same location as on the XP-80, which means that the windscreen (not the whole cockpit) needs to be moved back around 1/8 inch, and the canopy needs shortening by a scale 6 - 7 inched, or a tad less than 1/8 inch. There goes the easy day, so let's get on with it. Below, the red lines indicate where the cuts need ti be made in each fuselage half: Above right, the cackpit wall is moved aft and glued onto the fuselage side in it's new position. It seemed a lot more simple to shorten here, since all the parts fit well. The mods being done on the fuse, the next step is to paint all needed interior parts with Interior Green (FS 34151), and add around 3 grams lead weight to the nose. The nose gear well fit to the fuselage is really poor, so a LOT of sanding and test fitting is required here: Above right, the intakes are fitted before the fuselage is closed up. The drill here is to try and get the best seam possible at the leading edge of the splitter plate (shiny white spot). Additional sanding will be needed at the rear as well as the splitter plate, which I will show later on. Meanwhile, the cockpit is painted. Fortunately the cockpit can be inserted from the bottom, after the fuselage halves are assembled, which makes life much easier: Above right, note that the cockpit has not yet been inserted. The gap in front of the windscreen is filled with scrap plastic sheet, which is much easier to manage than filler, and also adds strength to the structure. I use Weld-ON #3 for the construction. User's of other types of glue may have their mileage vary. While this dries, I'll step away and ponder steps to follow. Be well, Ed,
  19. The Lockheed L-1011 TriStar 500 is my dad's favorite aircraft. He flew on it at least 4 times when he was a kid from Portugal towards the South America back in the 80's. This year it will turn 25 years since my dad joined TAP Air Portugal and to celebrate that mark, he decided to make this model that is very special to him. Since he doesn't have time to share his work online, he asked me if I could share it here on his behalf. I didn't mind at all and on this topic I will show you all his work. This job is not mine, but in order to facilitate the writing I will write on the first person, although the credits belong to my dad! The L-1011 operated with TAP Air Portugal between 1983 and 1997 and it played a very important role on the long haul network of the airline through those years. But let's go to the kit itself! The beginning of this project started actually with the decals and by mistake! I was searching online for decals for a 747 and I found by accident the L-1011 ones. Immediately I've order them just in case they ran out of stock. The next step was finding a kit. Thing that probably wouldn't be that easy. But I had time and I wasn't in a rush for starting it so I've waited, until I've found this kit on a bargain on eBay that costed my around 20€. It's a very old kit and the funny fact is that is from the same year as I. Among other models I had in queue I kept the Lockheed stored until this week when I've started to work on it. The instructions were in a very bad shape and the box didn't brought any original British Airways decals but I wouldn't mind that because I had my own ones already. The first part was to glue all main and cargo doors onto the main fuselage, the next step was gluing the cabin windows and assemble the mainframe. This cabin layout is different from the TAP one, which means I have to putty and sand the doors (I would have to do that one way or another). That would be the next step! One thing that always captivated me was the L-1011's S-Duct on Engine 2. It gives the airplane a very own style. I will for sure work this area very much when details and weathering are concerned! And once more, Airfix did a great job with this L-1011 when it comes to fitting and when it comes to details. The back is very well done! Looking forward to continue this model and share the progress with you all!
  20. Stencil Decals for Do.17Z, Harrier GR.7/9 & P-38 1:48 Eduard Now and again Eduard release decal sheets in connection to newly released kits, or stencils for kits that they have done the research for previously. The latter can come in handy for your average modeller, as sometimes the kit doesn’t include a complete set of stencils for expediency or whatever reason. Some folks, myself included think that the inclusion of a full suite of stencils adds extra realism to a model, although there is of course the time element and the extra carrier film edges to hide. Eduard have been busy these last few months and have released three new sets that we have in to review. Each one arrives in a clear foil re-sealable envelope with a card stiffener, a cover page with instructions, plus the decal sheet with wax paper protecting the delicate printed surface. The decals are printed by Eduard and have good register, sharpness and colour density, with a glossy carrier film printed close to the edges of the printed areas. Lockheed P-38 Lightning Stencils (D48071) This set will fit any of the available kits in 1:48, including the Tamiya, Academy or Hasegawa kits, and over the course of eight profiles from overhead, underneath, the sides of the fuselage and booms, plus an additional one for the props, the locations of all the many stencils are shown clearly on coloured line drawings that will be familiar if you've built one of their kits before. The back page has an advert for their other decal sheet that has numerous P-38F/G airframes depicted on it. BAe Harrier GR.7/9 Stencils (D48072) This set contains two 99% complete versions of the same markings for the Hasegawa kit or an Eduard reboxing, one in black, the other in loviz grey, depending on which timeframe the aircraft you are depicting flew. There is a large note on the front of the sheet that incites you to check your references to ensure you choose either A (black) or B (grey). Four main profiles show the location of stencils on the airframe, while a whole page is devoted to pylons, tanks, gear legs and even the numbering for the 26 blades within the front of the engine. That’ll be fun! Dornier Do.17Z “Flying Pencil” Stencils (D48073) Although not the smallest set from this little gaggle, it has the lowest number of decals, but I have checked the box of my ICM kits for which it is intended, and none of the stencils are included, but they are both night fighters if that has any bearing. The location of each stencil and wing walk lines are given over four views, with a choice of white or red for the walkway marks. An additional diagram covers the markings on the props, which always improves the look of any model – providing it has props of course. Conclusion To me, stencils go a long way toward adding realism to a model, so the effort of applying them to a project is well worth it. These stencils should help you with your task of creating realism in miniature, and with Eduard's decals you know they'll go down just fine. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  21. P-38F/G/H 3D SPACE Cockpit Sets (3DL48009, 3DL48010 & 3DL48011 for Tamiya) 1:48 Eduard SPACE Tamiya’s new P-38 Lightning in 1:48 was a welcome release, as the old Academy kit is getting long in the tooth now and needed a successor. It’s a lovely kit, but some new-fangled detail sets can always improve on styrene injection moulded parts at this scale (and many others too). Now we have a trio of 3D Printed instrument panels with Photo-Etch (PE) accessories to use instead of either the kit parts or traditional PE. The Instrument Panels are 3D Printed with relatively new technology resin “inks” onto a carrier paper, with depth replicated by successive layers in different colours as appropriate. Instrument faces are also overcoated with a clear gloss-coat to give them a shine and replicate the glass. The other details are supplied on a fret of PE brass that has been nickel-plated and pre-painted with detail and colour. Eduard's new SPACE sets arrive in a flat resealable package, with different branding and a white backing card protecting the contents and the instructions that are wrapped around. P-38F SPACE 3D Printed Cockpit Set (3DL48009) The 3D Printed sheet contains a brand-new one-piece instrument panel with glossy dial faces plus a number of dials, black box faces and a few small placards. The PE set has a set of four-point seatbelts; rudder pedals; support for the canopy interior glass panel; control column dial; skins for various boxes around the cockpit; overhaul of the twin throttle-quadrants and other instruments on the sidewalls. A little filling and scraping off of moulded-in detail will be required to fit some parts, but nothing taxing. P-38G SPACE 3D Printed Cockpit Set (3DL48010) At first glance this set is identical to the P-38F set above, but if you look really hard at the panel, there are a couple of dials in the main panel that are different, and some changes to the side consoles. Let it not be said that Eduard don't differentiate between the smallest details. You might also have noticed that the PE sheets are the same for all three sets. P-38H SPACE 3D Printed Cockpit Set (3DL48011) This one also looks identical to the P-38F and G sets above, but closer inspection reveals that there are a couple of dials in the main panel that are different, and the side panels have reverted back to more closely resemble the earlier F. Conclusion 3D Printed panels are very impressive, and Eduard’s method really lends itself to these WWII birds, so the resulting panels are believable, simple and realistic, backed up by the PE extras that give you a little more depth around the rest of the cockpit. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  22. I would like to take part in this GB with the 1/48th Monogram Lockheed F-104G Starfighter. This is the 1986 #5447 version of this venerable kit that was first released in 1978 and last in 2013. This version was released as the specially painted "Buschel Canary" operated by Jbg 33 and was retired in 1985. I paid £4.39 for the kit on eBay 11 years ago and I almost sent it back, the box smelled of mildew and sadly the decals are unusable. Not sure how I am going to paint her yet, maybe a 'Tiger' scheme but I have plenty of choices. Whilst looking around in the stash I found some Eduard photo etch detail sets which must have been in a sale so I might use some of them on this build. Michael
  23. P-38H Lightning Big Ed Update Set (BIG49268 for Tamiya) 1:48 Eduard Tamiya’s new Lightning kit has been well-received, and has become the de rigeur kit in this scale. Eduard's new range of sets are here to improve on the kit detail in the usual modular manner. Get what you want for the areas you want to be more of a focal point. The Big Ed set curates the most useful sets and offers them in a card envelope with a discount on the cost of buying them separately. Inside the sets are packaged as usual with Eduard's Photo-Etch (PE) and Mask sets, in a flat resealable package, with a white backing card protecting the contents and the instructions that are sandwiched between. Upgrade Set (491115) Two frets are included, one nickel plated and pre-painted, the other in bare brass. A complete set of new layered instrument panels and side wall equipment are the primary parts on the painted set, with new rudder pedals; other cockpit details; gear bay detail; multi-layer intake meshes; radiator bath mesh with framing; cooling flaps under the engine cowling; details for the gun-sight, and replacement oleo scissor-links for the main and nose gear legs also supplied. Seatbelts STEEL (FE1116) These belts are Photo-Etch (PE) steel, and because of their strength they can be etched from thinner material, which improves realism and flexibility in one sitting. Coupled with painting style that adds perceived extra depth to the buckles and other fittings by shading, they are more realistic looking and will drape better than regular brass PE. The set contains a full set of crew belts to detail the pilot’s seat. Masks (EX719) Supplied on a sheet of yellow kabuki tape, these pre-cut masks supply you with a full set of masks for the canopy, with compound curved handled by using frame hugging masks, while the highly curved gaps are in-filled with either liquid mask or offcuts from the background tape. In addition you get a set of hub/tyre masks for the wheels, allowing you to cut the demarcation perfectly with little effort. Conclusion A cluster of useful sets to improve your model with the usual discount on buying them separately. What’s not to like? Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  24. Pepelatz is to release a 1/72nd Lockheed L-210-10 Convoy Fighter resin kit - ref. 7208 Source: https://www.facebook.com/563609150678038/photos/a.731482003890751/830141737358110/ Box art V.P.
  25. F-104G/J & S Starfighter Ejection Seat (Q48369 & Q48370 for Kinetic) 1:48 CMK by Special Hobby Kinetic’s new Starfighter kit is part of their new and growing range, and has been well-received as it’s a while since we’ve had a new tooled kit in this scale. The new Luftwaffe G that we reviewed here used the Martin-Baker seat, but other marks used the factory-fitted C-2 seat, and Special Hobby are cognisant of that fact. As usual with CMK's resin sets, they arrive in the familiar clear vacformed box, with the resin parts safely inside, and the instructions sandwiched between the header card at the rear. Decals and Photo-Etch (PE) when included is separated from the resin parts by a clear piece of acetate to prevent scratching and damage during transit. F-104G/J Starfighter Seat (C-2) (Q48369) A single resin part that needs cutting from its pouring stub and fitting with a wire ejection handle between the pilot’s knees as shown in the instructions, for which you’ll need to source from your own supplies before painting and installation. F-104G/S Starfighter Seat (M-B Q Mk.7) (Q48370) Again a single resin part that needs grab handles in between the pilot’s knees and a double-loop at the top of the headbox, this seat has the revised fibreglass para-pack either side of the seat frame that was requested by the Luftwaffe after concerns over the original seat were raised. Conclusion Two exquisitely detailed ejection seats that will be a big help to the detail of any 1:48 Starfighter cockpit, although it is designed to fit the new Kinetic kit. Remember to have some fine wire on hand for the ejection initiator handles, and you’ll be good to go. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
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