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  1. Latin American Kfir C10 (K48048) 1:48 Kinetic Model via Luckymodel.com The Kfir is an Israeli development of the Dassault Mirage III, which was used by the Israelis successfully as a Mach 2 all-weather interceptor, but the they felt that it lacked the loiter time that would be needed if a ground-attack role that had been envisaged was added its list of tasks. As a result of an arms embargo, Israel first built the Nesher, an unlicensed copy of the Mirage 5, which was then improved further still, and was suitably different from the Nesher to justify renaming it as the Kfir, which means ‘Lion Cub’ in Hebrew. It entered service in 1975, and was almost immediately superseded in the air superiority role when the first F-15s arrived from America, even though it remained in service, equipping several squadrons of the Israeli Air Force in other roles. The C10 variant was an export specific type, based upon the C7 that had more hardpoints added under the air intakes, a new engine with more thrust, in-flight refuelling probe, plus many upgrades to the avionics that included HOTAS capabilities and MFD screens embedded in the instrument panel. It was sold to South American operators, and was also known as the Kfir CE in Ecuadorean service with 24 airframes based on upgraded earlier models, and Kfir COA in Colombian service, some new airframes and some upgraded from C2 standard by Israel. It continued in service with the Israelis into the late 90s, after which it was replaced by more modern aircraft, but many are still on strength, whilst being offered for sale to potential purchasers with an upgrade and generous guarantee of aircraft that have been essentially returned to zero-hours. Argentina originally intended to buy a batch of Kfirs, but after much negotiation, nothing has materialised after many years. The Kit This is a reboxing with additional parts of an original Kinetic tooling from 2013, depicting this fairly niche variant of the Kfir in Latin American operation. The kit arrives in a traditional blue themed Kinetic top-opening box with a painting of a pair of Kfirs on patrol over jungle and a smattering of patchy white clouds obscuring the ground. Inside the box are ten sprues in medium grey styrene, two clear sprues, a decal sheet and the instruction booklet, which is printed in greyscale and has greyscale profiles for the decal options in the rear. The instructions state that colour profiles are supposed to be online, but the kit doesn’t yet appear on Kinetic’s site, so patience will be a virtue if the ones below aren’t sufficient for your needs. Detail on the kit is good, and the weapons includes are generous in number, with decals printed by an industry leader with utmost quality. Construction begins with the cockpit, starting with the seat that is built from five parts, with a HUD made from three clear parts for later use on top of the instrument panel, although someone has accidentally forgotten to paste the image of the HUD into that later step, leaving the arrows hanging in mid-air. Four small intakes are made up from two halves for use later, with the part numbers reused at the time to ensure you remember them, just don’t lose them in the meantime. The three-part rear bulkhead of the cockpit is also made up for later use before the seat, control column, rudder pedals and a choice of two instrument panels is inserted into the cockpit tub, adding the HUD from the invisible diagram once everything is painted. Note that there is no decal included for either the CE or C10 panels, but the detail of the parts is excellent, so you should be able to pick them out to make a good rendition of it. Also note that they are shown as parts H21 and H22, when they are in fact J21 and J22 on the sprues. The three gear legs are also made up in advance, each one a single part with three-part wheel, and the nose gear having twin landing-lights and other detail parts added, with its bay made from three parts with lots of moulded-in detail visible. In order to close up the fuselage, the intake trunks are first made up from two halves that hide the seams well, the exhaust is built from trunk with afterburner details moulded into the forward wall and a crisp exhaust ring fixed to the rear, and the nose cone with sensor blisters and pitot installed once the two halves have been joined. With all these sub-assemblies built and painted, the fuselage closing procedure is started by drilling a pair of holes within an oval marking on the top of each half, then sliding the intake trunks in through the cut-out in the fuselage sides, adding the external fairings in the next step. The cockpit, rear bulkhead, nose gear bay and nose itself are all mated with the fuselage during closing, after which attention turns to the delta wings. The lower wing is full span, and several holes are drilled out before adding the upper wings and their air-brakes to it, followed by the clear wingtip lights, one on each wing. The various flap actuator fairings are glued to the underside on pins, with the flying surfaces also attached by pins, plus more air-brakes underneath. If you wish to depict the flying surfaces dropped, you use a set of angled fairings instead of the straight ones, giving your model a little extra visual interest in the process. Returning to an inverted fuselage, the exhaust is slotted into the aft fuselage, a circular fan part blanks off the intake trunking after it merges within the fuselage, and the canards are fitted to the engine nacelles using slots and tabs, with a narrow insert under the nacelles. A host of antennae, aerials and two of the intakes made earlier are dotted around the fuselage and tail, differing slightly between variants, and then the wings are added from below, bearing in mind that the C10 late version had a small cut-out in the leading edge of the fin. You also get an option of posing the canopy open by leaving the tab on the rear, which slots into the spine. It doesn’t state whether you need to cut that off to pose it closed, so check by test fitting it in position once you have glued the windscreen in place. The main gear legs are inserted into the well detailed bays, adding a zig-zag actuator leg plus two bay doors, and the nose gear differs only by the location of the doors, and the fact that is has a single straight strut fitted between the leg and gear bay roof. More antennae, exhaust outlets, the remaining two intakes made early in the build, and a choice of inserts under the cockpit are fitted to the undersides, and a choice of two sensor bundles under the tail are provided, although the arrow showing where they go has been omitted, but it is visible on the profiles centred under the exhaust butted up to a moulded-in fairing on the belly. Each decal option carries a long refuelling probe on top of the starboard engine nacelle, and although it is on one of the sprues, it isn’t mentioned on the instructions. The profiles or your references will guide you here, and it is a butt-fit so plenty of test-fitting to find the right location may be needed. The model itself is complete by this stage, leaving only the weapons and additional fuel tanks to be built. There are two styles of tank with different tail fins and pylons for under the wings, plus a single tank for under the belly, plus a pair of Rafael Derby and Python 5 air-to-air missiles for engaging the enemy. The missiles are each made from a single body with two sets of fins and steering vanes moulded-in, and the perpendicular fins separate parts that fit into slots in the body. There are also other weapons on the sprues for the Red Flag airframe, such as the GBU-49 and the AN/AAQ-28 Litening Pod, but these aren’t shown being built. The GBU-49s are shown on the instructions for the earlier C2/C7 variant however, which you can find here on Scalemates. The profiles include painting and stencil information to guide you for all the munitions and pods used in this boxing, making for a nicely detailed weapon load-out. Markings There are three decal options on the busy sheet, which is separated into sections pertinent to each variant, plus common stencils and weapons stenciling. From the box you can build one of the following: Kfir CE FAE 905, Escuadron de Combate 2113, Taura Air Force Base, Ecuador, 2006 Kfir C10(EW) FAC 3056, Escuadron de Combate 111, Palanqueros Air Force Base, Colombia, April 2011 Kfir C10 FAC 3060, Escuadron de Combate 111, Red Flag 2018 Participant Decals are designed by FCM Decals and printed 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 An attractive boxing of an attractive aircraft in South American service that should build up into a detailed replica. A few mistakes in the instructions could trip you up, but this review covers most if not all of them, so forewarned is forearmed. As well as being available from Lucky Model in Hong Kong, you can now select UK, USA, Australia, and Malaysia with local shipping when purchasing your model, as Kinetic now have local warehouses in these locations to reduce the postage costs for us modellers. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  2. F-16A MLU NATO Viper (K48100) 1:48 Lucky Model The F-16 was the winner of the Lightweight Fighter competition, and under its official name of Fighting Falcon has become one of the most successful combat aircraft of the last 40 years, although most pilots, aviation buffs and modellers tend to refer to it as the Viper, which may or may not have something to do with the name of Battlestar Galactica’s fighters. It has provided the US Air Force and other air forces around the world with a comparatively affordable, reliable, high-performance multi-role fighter aircraft. More than 4,500 examples have been manufactured, making it one of the most produced jet fighters in history, and it continues to accumulate export orders to this day, with no sign of the later variants being replaced any time soon. The F-16A (single seat) and B (two seat) were the original production variants of the F-16, and many examples are still in service with air forces around the world after the Mid Life Upgrade (MLU) programme brought them up to a similar standard as the later C/D airframes, and introduced compatibility with Night Vision Goggles (NVG) that are essential for 24/7 operation in the modern battlespace, offering a significant advantage over pilots relying on the Mk.1 Eyeball and their consumption of carrots (yes, I know, it was WWII propaganda to explain away the radar intercepts by the RAF). The radar was also improved in the MLU update with upgraded performance and faster, more reliable targeting. The US was originally intending to participate in the programme, but backed out eventually, leaving Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway and Denmark, joined later by Portugal, Jordan and Pakistan taking advantage of the improvements on offer, which also included structural enhancements to allow the aircraft to continue in service with the heavier loads that hadn’t originally been anticipated during the initial design process. The Kit This is a brand-new tooling, and Kinetic have confirmed that it shares no heritage with their original tooling of the type, but is instead based on new data. It is also a more modern tooling, which is evident immediately on opening the box. Speaking of the box, it is a sturdy top-opener in the modern Kinetic Gold style and with an attractive painting of the subject matter on the top cover, although a couple of the corners on my example had come unglued during shipping, so I stapled them back down again. Inside are nine sprues in grey styrene, a single sprue of clear parts, two decal sheets and the instruction booklet, which is printed in black and white, as are the markings profiles on the rear pages. Detail is excellent, and a great improvement on the original tooling, with crisply engraved panel lines and rivets, raised and recessed detail, and less prominent ejector pin marks where they will be noticed the least whenever possible. The kit also includes a generous helping of weapons with a full painting guide and stencil decals to apply when the time comes. Construction begins with the cockpit, which is built around a well-detailed tub, into which rudder pedals, control column, instrument panel with additional insert, an operable lever and the rear bulkhead are installed and painted, using AMMO colour call-outs that are the theme throughout the instructions, and can be converted to Vallejo, Mr Color, Tamiya or Humbrol codes using the table on the page opposite the sprue diagram. The centre section of the intake is next, made from top and bottom halves with a rendition of the first compressor face of the GE F110 engine inserted into the rear. The main gear bay is built onto the underside of this assembly, pre-detailed with moulded-in ribbing and ducting, adding front and rear bulkheads plus additional ‘greeblies’ over the following four steps. The exhaust trunking is made from two halves with internal ribbing near the open end, plus the rear face of the engine and afterburner ring depicted by two separate parts. A tapered cylindrical ring fixes to the rear of the trunk, and is joined by the exhaust petals that are assembled from five segments to form the rearmost tip of the exhaust, with a good level of detail moulded-in. The forward portion of the intake is the longest section, and is built from top and bottom halves, with a splitter spearing through a hole in the top and into a socket in the lower surface, which also has the nose gear bay glued to a recess on the underside. This is a single part, but is well-detailed already thanks to some quality moulding. The intake is then surrounded by the two halves of the outer skin, securing on a pair of pegs moulded into the trunk, and finished off with a separate lip in a similar manner to the original tooling, on the basis that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Having built one of the older toolings, I can confirm that this method of making the intake works very well. A small hole is drilled into the port intake fairing, as advised by a nearby scrap diagram. The forward fuselage and upper wings are moulded as one, and have several small raised details removed and a few more filled to correctly depict this variant, with more minor alterations to the lower fuselage in the next step. The cockpit is inserted from below into the upper fuselage, and the intake is lowered into the lower fuselage from the outside, adding the main gear bay and rear trunking behind it from within. The forward fuselage and aft section are then mated to the lower fuselage, adding a pair of cups for the elevons to pivot, the surround to the M61A1 Vulcan cannon on the port side of the fuselage, plus the instrument coaming and HUD glazing to the front of the cockpit. Underneath, a small intake is fixed to the port side of the intake, the lower wing halves are glued to the uppers, and two inserts are fitted around the sides of the nose after drilling a hole in one to accept a clear part from within. The main gear bay has another transverse bulkhead fitted with a central divider and detail part installed along the line of flight, which is then covered by a tapering skin insert, and another over the rear of the engine after inserting the exhaust assembly made earlier. There are scrap diagrams offering advice on painting the new gear bay parts dotted around nearby to break up the overall white of the gear bays. Clear lights and an optional intake are fitted to the intake cowling, then we take a break to build up the landing gear and its doors. Unusually, the first act is to make up the nose gear bay door with clear landing light that fits onto a styrene backing part before it is set aside for a while. The nose gear strut has three detail parts including the scissor-link fitted, adding three more as it inserted in the bay, plus the wheel, which is made from two halves with three pegs and sockets lining things up. The bay door runs along the starboard side of the bay once complete. The MLG, or Main Landing Gear struts are each V-shaped parts, adding three supports and retraction jacks, then they too get a wheel each that is made from two parts. Several small intakes/outlets are dotted around the bay cut-outs, then the door opener mechanism is fixed to the front of the bays to support the large, well-detailed bay doors at the correct angle. There is an ejector-pin mark in the centre of the door that will need some filler, but it’s far enough away from the raised details to make a difference, and with some careful sanding, possibly with a fancy home-made sanding implement, it should disappear pretty quickly. A pair of strakes and arrestor hook are installed under the exhaust with a blade antenna, then the model is flipped onto its own wheels to finish off the cockpit, starting with the nicely detailed ejection seat that is made from six parts and inserted into the empty cockpit, gluing the fixed rear canopy into position, and adding a frame to the interior of the front section, cutting the tabs off the openers if you intend to pose it closed, or inserting them into the groove for the open option. A small detail part is glued into the rear of the cockpit before adding the seat, and a tiny blade antenna fits into an equally small hole in the spine behind the cockpit. The nose cone is split vertically into two halves, and has a probe slotted into the front, and can then be installed opened or closed over the radar sensor panel that fits against the bulkhead in the nose, which has a hinge on which to mount the opened radome. Although it looks like an F-16 by now, there’s lot missing in the rear, which is the next step. The fin is made up from two-sided panels, adding a cap to the top, and the wider base that contains sensors and other avionics, the business end of which are in the rear section under the rudder, which is also a separate part. The sensor gaggle is made from separate small parts that give it the correct look, some of which require holes drilled to locate properly in the rear. The completed assembly slots into two holes in the spine at the rear of the fuselage, taking care to add the correct small parts for your chosen decal option. The elevons are each one part, and they slot into the cups in the rear of the fuselage next to the air-brakes, the interiors of which are well-detailed but you are given no option to pose them open, unless that’s for a later boxing? Moving on, we have a choice of wingtip rails with an adapter, then the flaps can be added to the slots in the trailing edges of the wings by removing the appropriate pair of securing tabs, adding a second layer on the thicker inner edge. That finishes the airframe, leaving the weapons and their pylons, plus a lot of painting left to do. First up are the pylons, which are each made from two halves plus additional parts for sway-braces, Triple-Ejector Rack (TER) outriggers, attachment plates and rear edges. There are a host of weapons, as follows: AAQ-13 LANTIRN Navigation Pod AAQ-14 Targeting Pod AAQ-33 Sniper Advanced Targeting pod ALQ-184 ECM Pod AIM-9M Sidewinder AIM-9X Sidewinder GBU-31 JDAM Bomb AIM-120 AMRAAM Missile 370 Gallon Wing Tank 300 Gallon Centreline Tank GBU-12-49 Paveway II Bomb GBU-24 Paveway III Bomb Each weapon, bomb or pod is made from a number of parts, giving the modeller the opportunity to depict them as little models in their own right, after careful painting and decaling with stencils provided on the sheet. A page of the instructions is devoted to possible load-out diagrams, and another gives an illustration of where the pylons should fit, and an example of the munitions and fuel carried on them. The following page includes a comprehensive painting and stencilling guide for all of them for you to pick out the ones you intend to use. Markings There are five markings options on the decal sheet, each one having its own page, with another page at the rear showing the stencils that are common to all variants. From the box you can build one of the following: Air Policing Baltic States, Ämari Air Base, Estonia, 2016 Royal Netherlands Air Force, EEAW – EPAF Expeditionary Air Wing, Kabul Airport, Afghanistan, Circa 2006 Norwegian Air Force 338 Sky ‘Tiger’, Kabul Airport, Afghanistan, 2006 Royal Danish Air Force Esk 730, Aalborg Air Base, Denmark, 2016 Esquadra 201 ‘Falcões’, Monte Real Air Force Base (Ba.5), Portugal, 2017 The decals are printed on two sheets, separated into those for the aircraft and the weapons, and all have been printed 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 It’s nice to see some Kinetic plastic again, and they seem to have put a lot of work into this tooling, bringing their F-16 offering up to modern standards, with an improved crispness that’s good to see. Look out for more boxing as time goes by, and if you’re UK based, Lucky Model have a new UK based outlet that takes away the chances of being hit by customs charges on the way to your front door. Highly recommended LuckyModel Hong Kong LuckyModel UK LuckyModel US (Available soon) Review sample courtesy of
  3. Turkish Air Force F-16C (K48069) 1:48 Kinetic Model I would pretty much assume that almost all modellers reading this review are familiar with the F-16 Fighting Falcon. It is probably the most used combat aircraft in the world at this time. The F-16 was developed by General Dynamics for the USAF. This was as a result of proposals for an Advanced Day Fighter Concept. Following on from an Air Force study group the idea of a Lightweight Fighter was developed. Certain elements of the Air Force remained hostile to this as it was perceived as a threat to the then F-15 programme. In 1972 General Dynamics was awarded a contract to produce the YF-16. The aircraft introduced numerous innovations in fighter design, including a frameless bubble canopy affording the pilot greater visibility. Air-to-air missiles were mounted on wing tip pylons to free up underwing stations and the central control column was replaced by a side stick controller. The pilots seat was reclined by 30° to reduce G forces. In technological terms the aircraft was one of the first to use fly-by-wire and relaxed stability were by the computers actually flew the aircraft instead of conventional inputs. Like many aircraft the F-16 has developed over the years, probably to point where the original designers would marvel at the difference between the YF-16 and the latest 2 Seat aircraft with external Avionics spines & conformal fuel tanks. It has certainly gone from a Lightweight fighter to a more overweight example, no doubt like a lot of us over the years! It is estimated over 4500 F-16 aircraft have now been produced. The Turkish Air Force like a lot of NATO countries has bought F-16s. Eight Aircraft were purchased from the US with Turkish Aerospace Industries licence building a further 232. TAI have also exported aircraft to Egypt. Turkey is one of only 5 countries to locally produce the F-16. The Kit This is a re-issue of Kinetic's F-16 kit which dates back to 2008 and has seen multiple re-issues since. This edition comes with decals for 3 special schemes used by the Turkish Air Force. Construction begins with the cockpit. The read bulkhead is added to the tub followed by the side instrument panels, the main panel and the side stick controller. We then move to the central air intake duct, the bottom of which also forms the top of the main gear bay. The front and rear bulkheads of the bay are added followed by a fan front part at the rear, it can then it can fitted into the lower fuselage section. We then move to the upper fuselage section. The front part is split to allow single and two seat models to be made from the same tool. The single seater front part is added to the rest of the top and the gun muzzle added. The completed cockpit from earlier can then be added in. The read air brakes are moulded closed, however they can be cut off and positioned open if wanted. The fuselage sections can now be joined up. The main single air intake can now be built up. The bottom of this forms the nose wheel bay. The intake is then surrounded by its outer skin and this can the added to the fuselage. The instructions have the modeller add the nose gear at this point, though I suspect most will do this later. The main gear is also built up and added at this time. Moving to the read of the aircraft the exhaust nozzle is built up and added along with the tail planes. The vertical fin is built up from the fin, its base, and the rudder, along with a separate rear housing. This can then be added. Back to cockpit the seat is built up and added. For the canopy Kinetic have moulded the frame and canopy separate to these will need to be carefully joined. Weapons & Stores Kinetic gives us basically 4 sprues which deal mainly with weapons and under wing stores. We get A centre line tank, two wing tanks, AIM-120s, AIM-9Ms, AGM-65s, GBU-38s, GBU-31;, GBU-12's, GBU-24s; as well as an AAQ-29 & AN/AAQ-13. While the Turkish Air Force use of some of these weapons, they dont use them all, and there use on the special schemes is doubtful, the modeller will have to do their research to check. Markings The new decal sheet has be designed by Crossdelta and printed by cartograf so there should be no issues there. The sheet gives 3 special schemes as worn by he Turkish Air Force. 143 Sqn from 2007 20th Ann of Turkish F-16 Operations. The aircraft has a striking red fin & tanks as seen on the box art. 143 Sqn, this was the second special scheme, similar to the red one but using blue. 132 Sqn, aircraft as seen at "Anatolian Eagle 2015" in Konya, Turkey. You can find a colour copy of the instructions and profiles here, although the product hasn't yet been added to the product listing on the Kinetic website. Conclusion This is still a good F-16 and its great to see decals for other users of the F-16, and these special schemes do look good. Recommended. In association with
  4. Boeing F/A-18A/B/CF-188 Hornet 1:48 Kinetic After losing out to the F-16 for the light fighter requirement with the USAF, the US Navy became interested, and the Northrop YF-17 became the F/A-18, hooking up with McDonnell Douglas for their carrier aircraft experience, and making substantial changes to make the aircraft rugged and easier to park on a crowded aircraft carrier. The initial variant was designated A, with a trainer variant coded B after it was cleared for combat flight. It led the field with a glass cockpit and advanced electronics, although its relatively short range limits the usefulness of the afterburning GE turbofans unless substantial additional fuel tanks are carried. Canada chose the F-18 as their new fighter in the early 80s, with the official designation CF-188, although the aircraft were almost identiQe, although the Canadian roundels should give away the aircraft type long before that becomes relevant. Early in the new millennium the Canadian aircraft were upgraded to the then-current standard of US F-18s of the same mark, in order to interact with other NATO forces on exercises and in combat situations should they arise. The Kit We reviewed the initial Kinetic F-18 in September of last year here, and this new edition adds a little flexibility of building either a single seat or two-seat variant, as well as a Canadian bird from the one box. The sprues are almost identical to the earlier boxing, with a few additions that may be used, depending on which variant you intend to build. It includes and extra cockpit with seat, two-seat canopy, different main gear legs, vertical stabs with separate rudders, pylons and a replacement port nose part to accommodate the Grimes Light used for identifying aircraft at night. The box art depicts a couple of Canadian Hornets, one of which has just loosed off a Sidewinder at an unseen foe, and inside are fifteen sprues plus the lower fuselage part in grey styrene, three clear sprues, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass parts, and the combined instructions and painting guide. The build proceed along the same path as the earlier boxing with the exception of the options that differentiate the variants, which are noted up by the markings options. For the single-seat A model, a simple cover is fitted over the rear cockpit aperture, while in the two-seat B, another instrument panel, coaming, rudder pedals, control column and side consoles are installed instead. Of course, there is also another seat, and both have a couple of stencils on the headbox, and a full set of decals are included for the instrument panels, with a wide choice of extra decals to individualise the MFDs with eighteen alternative displays. The aforementioned Canadian Grimes light necessitates use of the additional nose part, which has an aperture in the centre of the ammunition loading door on the port side, which receives a clear lens that you should paint silver on the back to represent the reflector. The bird-slicers on the nose are appropriate for the majority of F-18s, but should be shaved off for early airframes, so check your references. If you are planning on posing your aircraft with folded wings, which is a lesser used option for the Canadian birds, you will need to cut off the wingtips along the pre-weakened lines as per the instructions before joining the wings, so plan ahead. Different vertical stabs are found on the new sprues, with small PE stiffening strips applied to each assembly on the port sides, leaving the original stabs for the spares bin. The spine behind the canopy will be different depending on whether you are modelling a single or two seat Hornet, so take care in applying the correct one, although it would be difficult to make a mistake with the glue, as the 2nd seat will stop you mid-flow. The construction of the canopies are almost identical, with separate framing, a set of PE rear-view mirrors and HUD for the pilot, but the two-seat canopy also has a bracing strut between the seats, and a more substantial opening jack. The main gear legs also have optional parts for the Canadian aircraft, with a slightly different bracing strut differentiating between them, but the nose gear is the same between all variants. Munitions for this variant are slightly changed from the original boxing, and a new centreline pylon is included, although it is never shown installed on the instructions. On the sprues you have the following stores: 2x AIM-120B AMRAAM 2x AIM-120C AMRAAM 2x AIM-9M Sidewinder 2x AIM-9X Sidewinder 2x GBU-38 500lb JDAM 2x CBU-87 Cluster Bomb (referred to as GBU-87) 2x GBU-12 Paveway Laser Guided Bomb AAQ-28 Litening targeting pod Sniper XR advanced targeting pod AAS-38 Nitehawk FLIR & Laser Designation pod 3x 330gal fuel tanks Adapter rails for the missiles and pylon for the Sniper XR pod are included on the sprues, as well as a pair of Multiple Ejector Racks (MER) should you require them. A page of the instructions deals with their painting and decaling with stencils, as well as their possible locations on the pylons in a graphical format. As always, if you are going for a real-world load-out, check your references before settling on your final choices. Markings Colour call-outs are given throughout with Mig AMMO paint codes, but at the end of the main instructions equivalent codes for Vallejo, Gunze, Tamiya and Humbrol paint systems are given in a large table above the guide for the instrument panel decals mentioned earlier. Stencil details are given in the next two pages, after which the decal choices are shown in greyscale drawings from the sides only, as the upper and lower decaling is completed in the stencil pages. From the box you can build one of the following: CF-188A, 409Sq Canadian Air Force, June 2016 CF-188A/B, 410Sq Canadian Air Force, June 2016 CF-188A/B, 425Sq Canadian Air Foce, 2015 F/A-18A A21-35, No.75Sq Royal Australian Air Force, 2015 Australian International Airshow Special Scheme F/A-18A A21-4, No.77Sq Royal Australian Air Force, 2014 F/A-18A A21-57, No.3Sq Royal Australian Air Force, Operation OKRA against ISIL, 2015 EF-18AM C.15-25 Ala 15, Spanish Air Force, Anatolian Eagle exercise in Konya, Turkey, 2015 EF-18AM C.15-50, Ala 12, Spanish Air Force, 2016 F/A-18A+ (Ex US Navy) C.15-85, Ala 46, Spanish Air Force, 2016 The Australian and Canadian Hornets are painted medium grey (FS35237) over light ghost grey (36375), while the Spanish aircraft are light ghost grey (36375) all over with black canopies painted on the underside of the nose to confuse the enemy in a dogfight. Decals are designed by Cross Delta, printed by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin glossy carrier film cut close to the printed areas. An additional decal sheet is also included, adding a few that appear to have been missed from the main sheet. Conclusion Another nice looking model from the Kinetic stable, giving some of the non-US operators precedence out of the box. Detail is excellent throughout, the stores provided in the box are more than adequate, and the choice of decal options is pretty wide. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  5. Royal Navy Tow Tractors 1:48 Skunkmodels Workshop The Vickers 4x4 Mk.2 Type tractor was used on our now retired Through-Deck Cruiser fleet from the 1960s to the end of the Sea Harrier's service and beyond to the withdrawal of the Harrier fleet at the end of 2011. They are small vehicles and guess what? They are used to tow aircraft around the deck when the engine is off. The Kit This release has been timed to coincide with Skunkmodels' sibling company Kinetic's release of their Sea Harrier FRS.1 and will also go well with their earlier FA.2. It arrives in a slim but wide end-opening box, and inside you will find sufficient parts to create two tractors and nine figures. There are two identical sprues for the tractors, and one tree of small linked sprues containing the figures. The tractor builds up from a basic chassis part to which side, top, front and rear panels are added, plus the driver's compartment, and various small parts including fire extinguisher, top of the fuel tank and a rolled up hose. A three-part wheel with separate hub and stub axle is added to each corner, and then it's just a case of adding the V-shaped axle and small wheels to the towing bar to finish the build. The figures are each moulded within their own frame, and inside are all the parts needed for that figure. There are no instructions included to assist you building them, so you'll have to test fit them together to see their eventual pose. Curiously though, there is only one seated driver figure, which is a shame given you get two tractors. Markings These little tractors were painted Golden Yellow until the mid-80s, after which they were Olive Green, so pick your era and go for it. They saw hard labour, and got quite beaten over the years, so check your references and weather them accordingly. As to the figures, you'll need to check your references for the correct uniform colour, as no direction is included. The decals are nicely printed on a small sheet, with numeric codes and ABCDE in black and white, plus yellow and white number plates. For those of you not familiar with UK plates, the yellow one goes on the rear, with the white on the front. Conclusion A nice little set to help you build a diorama with your SHAR, and there's even a section of carrier deck printed on the back of the box in case you fancied using it. It's a shame there are no instruction or colour guides for the figures, but I can't help wondering whether I've either lost them, or they weren't included in my box. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
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