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  1. As part of my effort to clear my backlog of started kits I have dug out my Matchbox Spitfire. I started this literaly decades ago, but didn’t get far. I have looked at it occasionally, but no action. Then I bought some Xtradecal decals for it, SAC MkIX undercarriage legs, MasterCasters interior, Master gun barrels. Finally I found out about the Grey Matter correction set for the nose, which of course I immediately ordered on a wim. Having now spent about ten times what the original kit cost, guilt has led me to this, my first WIP. It will not be a tutorial, I am not that good, it will not be a guide to the ultimate accurate Matchbox Spitfire, but posting about it will serve to prod me to get it built. With a little luck, at about the halfway point, somebody will announce a new accurate Mk 22/24 for you guys waiting for one. We will start with the nose, the Grey Matter nose is one seriously large accurate lump of resin. I may scratchbuild the u/c legs out of brass because even the SAC legs might fold under the weight! It also might be the first Spitfire build to need weight in the tail to prevent it becoming a nose sitter. You can see the difference with the kit item. The panel lines look much more to scale than the Matchbox lines-lol.
  2. After last week's débâcle with the Arado 240, I think I am on safe ground (or even water) with this one. Curious fact: There have been only two injection-molded kits of the He 115 in 1/72, both by British companies: Frog and Matchbox. Both molds were acquired and re-issued by Revell. I built the Matchbox kit back when dinosaurs roamed the planet, and I know it was this boxing because it's my scan: Here is the kit for this build, the Revell reissue from 2008, the second rebox in two years: The contents: A very nice Cartograf decal sheet: The plastic lacks a certain je ne sais quoi because it's not in 3 colours, but it will be easier to paint: For some reason, I still have the original Matchbox decals, begging the question of what exactly I put on that kit. Whether or not I will use any of them for this kit, who knows? I won't start this kit in earnest for another few days, not until I'm finished my P-70/Boston double build. But I might find the time to paint the crew figures.
  3. I was sitting under the fan the other evening, eating fresh-off-the-tree mangoes and feeling glad that the extant cyclone wasn't going to come near me (they're no fun, I feel for the people that it did hit), when I remembered that even though I no longer had the Matchbox Beaufighters that I had originally planned to enter into this GB, I did still have a Bf110. I washed the nectar from my hands and went digging in the stash. Ta-dah, there it be! It's a Hong Kong production kit, so I don't feel in the least bit bad about building it. The colours, as always, are glorious. The decals have apparently been feeding the cockroach population for a while, but I think that they'll be OK. If they're not, the LHS has an Eduard 110 with almost the same markings, so I'll go and buy that if necessary. With the decision made, clean up and assembly was started. Photos of progress will follow in due course.
  4. So this is a first ...WiP bit late but better late than never. So first is the Matchbox .....very basic but I scratch built the cockpit....nothing fancy a modified non descript white metal seat side walls and instrument panel blah ....cant see much anyway. Started to drill out airbrakes but made a mistake so filled the holes and might simulate airbrake holes with decals. Got a C scale white metal upgrade kit for about 7 quid so started to add some details plus tanks,recce pod maybe etc. Modeldecal decals still to decide on squadron . Then I started the Frog kit...to be honest it seems to be a better shape than the matchbox ...especially the hump but they are Jag shaped so that will do for me ....I seem to recall the vert stabilser is a bit off but meh. Found some 'french fancy ' decals so looking forward to fitting those. Had a few snags with phots and can't delete the doubles so if the mods have got some time to waste can you help me out 😌 please. I think I will add undercarriage to the French cab ....needs some thinking about ...stay 🎶 ed
  5. UC-64 Noorduyn Norseman 44-70290, of the 20th Fighter Group, RAF Kingscliffe. From July 1944 this was the Group’s general communications hack. It was based at King’s Cliffe until 11th October 1945.
  6. Hi All, this will be my entry in this GB: Matchbox's venerable Bristol Beaufighter in 1/72 scale. A big shout out of thanks to Pat @JOCKNEY for this kit - cheers, Pat! Matchbox kits have a lot of memories for me: as a child of six or seven, sitting next to my Dad in the evening after dinner and watching him build a new kit. The Beau' was one of them, and almost fifty years later I still have it, slightly the worse for wear and in need of some TLC. I lost my Dad as we entered the new millennium, so this build will be a slice of nostalgia for me I've already decided that it will be a bit more detailed than OOB but, with the exception of decals, there'll be no after-market - all additions will be scratch-built. I'm also undecided on which version to build. The kit purports to represent the TF.X of course, but given its various shortcomings (engine cowlings, short-span tailplanes etc) I'm thinking maybe a Mk.I. Anyways, to the photographs. The wonderful box art: Fabulous! Look at those gopping colours peeping through the window: Just in case we were in any doubt, this is an ORANGE SERIES kit! The decals actually look okay! It's tempting to try the national insignia, depending on what scheme I choose. Eugh! EUGH! EUGH! Made a start on the kit over the weekend. The wing panels were assembled, which took about thirty seconds, clamped and set aside to dry, and I then turned my attention to the fuselage interior. Now I know one shouldn't make models of models, but using pics of a modern Airfix Beau' TF.X build I set about adding some internal detailing. I started by removing the lugs for the kit's rudimentary seats and scraping/sanding smooth, and at the same time thinning the edges of the cockpit openings. A framework was then added from 20thou' square styrene. Using a profile gauge, I marked and cut out a floor which was carefully sanded to shape and added to the starboard side. Then, using various offcuts of styrene sheet and strip, I began to construct a front office. Here's where I am at the moment: And a bit of a close-up: The seat and frame will be next, and then the Observer's station, rear spar thingy, and maybe some other details like ammunition boxes. I haven't decided yet how I'll tackle the Pilot's control consoles but I'm considering something like finding a picture and printing it to size, and then gluing on the printed image. Although I'm doing a fair bit to the interior, it won't be bells and whistles as the transparencies are quite thick. Having said that, however, a first dip in Future has shown that they're actually quite clear, so the inside definitely needs some dressing up! Thanks for looking in. Cheers, Mark
  7. It only took me 37 years or so to finish this kit! One night in the 1980s boy-me thought it would be a good idea to dry an enamel painted Matchbox Hellcat in front of a fan heater. Of course what I came back to was somewhat worse than battle damage. Fast forward to 2023 and having returned to modelling I thought it would make a good mission to finally build this kit. This is the result! Freehand three-colour camo using SMS and Gunze acrylic lacquers and weathering with oils. The decals are from Print Scale and I'm glad I read the words of caution here before using them, but with care they were fine. The deck crew figure is a 3D print from Reedoak and the carrier base is from Kelik. I replaced the original wheels with a nice resin set from Barracuda (I've made a rookie error with these, but live and learn!). I tried my hand at a little extra detailing around the fuel tank, using 1mm styrene tube and 1mm tape. Overall this was a joy to build and very satisfying. The plastic said 1973 so I'm counting this as 50th anniversary build Happy New Year!
  8. In a way, I'm glad I discounted this kit in my youth, though it goes together well patience is needed to get all the hull parts to meet neatly. I'm really pleased with the base I used Citadel texture paint to create cracked mud at the bottom of the crator. As always the figure is a delight to paint. OOB apart from the wing mirror arms which were replaced with finer wire. Shading and weathering were done with enamels, oils and acrylics as required (and probably the same brush!). I've done this as a Middle East vehicle that has a fresh Light Mud (Stamer mix) scheme applied for the Italian invasion so I've kept the wear light. I've used a mix of the kit markings for want of anything better as contemporary photos seem hard to come by on the internet - those who know can roll their eyes and grumble to themselves
  9. Here’s one I built earlier 🤪. I remember building this kit as a kid. Never painted it but as a kid you didn’t care with Matchbox’s multi coloured plastic. Fast forward 30+ years and a guy at work gives me a large box with kits he say he will never build, this kit was right on the top. So, first thing as I went through the kit, the rear cockpit canopy was not formed properly meaning only half of it was there. No contacting Matchbox for a replacement 🤦‍♂️. A little interweb search for a solution and I did my first ever plastic coke bottle repair.
  10. 🎵Here I go again🎶 another Matchbox build. The kit is from 1974 (I turned 2 that year) and these little kits are wonderful. The model in itself fell together. Almost no filling and sanding. Details were sparse so I added a little, like extending the oleos, adding brake lines, torpedo suspension bands and engine F.O.D covers. The covers were a great way to disguise the terrible intakes. Main colour was Games Workshop “Necron Abyss” blue. And the original decals were fine! Interesting detail on this model you will notice are the odd weapon stations and the 3 windows in the cargo doors. No Matchbox didn’t get it wrong. This is how the pre-production Lynx looked. The windows would be replaced by a single egress type each side and the fancy weapon stations changed to accommodate the release system that already existed.
  11. Krupp Protze Kfz.69 with 3.7cm PaK 36 (03344) 1:76 Carrera Revell The Krupp Protze was easy to spot due to its sharply sloping bonnet that was unusual then, and still looks strange to modern eyes. It was a general-purpose artillery tractor and transport vehicle that was used significantly on the Eastern Front and in North Africa before the rout of the Afrikakorps by Montgomery’s Eighth Army and the Allies. The Kfz.69 variant was the generic tractor for the PaK36, which fired a paltry 36mm shell that was considered sufficient for pre-war anti-tank warfare before the arms race rendered it little more than a pop-gun against armoured targets. It was powered by a 60hp Krupp petrol engine that allowed it to carry a crew of six including the driver as well as tow the relatively light PaK36, although top speeds wouldn’t have been earth-shattering with a full load plus ammo to feed the gun. It was manufactured from 1938 until 1941, by which time around 7,000 had been built of various styles, including troop transports, generator wagon, radio truck amongst others, each one having its own Kfz. designation. It had some relatively novel features, amongst which was its low bonnet profile that gave the driver excellent frontal visibility, advanced independent suspension that gave it good traction over rough ground, helped further by its six-wheel drive through three axles. As the weight of the guns it was expected to tow increased however, the vehicle’s limited towing ability counted against it, and it was gradually drawn down from its function as a gun limber. The Kit This is clearly a reboxing of the 1982 Matchbox kit in a new box and with modern decals. The diorama base, part numbers of the back of the sprues, along with the scale are enough to mark it as such, although the original stamp on the base has been obliterated at some point, but the original product code PK88 on one of the sprues gives the game away. The kit arrives in a small end-opening box with a painting of the subject matter in front of a knocked-out French Char, and inside are two sprues in pale grey styrene, a small decal sheet and instruction booklet that harks back to Revell’s earlier black and white era. Detail is as you would expect of the time, with some simplification of parts, and a very shiny surface to many of the parts. There doesn’t appear to have been any tooling damage over the years however, and any flash seems limited to the sprues except for the base of the truck bed that will be the work of moments to remove. Construction begins with painting the driver figure who is sitting with his hands by his side and legs firmly together to ease moulding, but for his scale and age he’s not too bad. He quickly gets somewhere to sit when he is inserted into the cab lower and joined by the firewall and moulded-in windscreen frame that also has the steering column and wheel pushed into it. There is no glazing, but if you feel the urge, you could carefully cut some thin acetate to size and glue it in place with some non-fogging adhesive. The sloped engine bay is then built from sides, grille and bonnet cover that fills the void in front of the driver, completed by the front wings that are moulded into the floor. The load bed is based on a simple planked floor with short risers at the sides, which have the bench seating fitted to the outside, and front head board, plus added double wheel-arches and the tailgate at the rear. The chassis is the base for the sub-assemblies, and work starts by adding the raised wheel pair that sits to the rear of the cab on a cranked axle, with the two back axles and their simplified suspension arms fitted to the rear along with a pair of trapezoid suspension units that link them together from above. The front wheels are mounted to their axle and fixed to the front of the chassis along with leaf-spring suspension. A simple tow hook is fixed to the rear of the chassis, then the cab and load bed are mated on two pins and lowered onto the chassis, adding an optional two-part tilt over the top. The frog-eye lights, front bumper, exhaust, convoy light and door mirrors complete the truck, allowing the gun to be built. The gun-trails are sandwiched between the boxy chassis halves of the gun, leaving them mobile if you are careful with the glue. Entrenching spades are fitted to the rear of the trails, adding stub-axles and adjustment gear to the chassis, before mounting the gun on its support and pushing the barrel through the splinter shield, finally gluing the assembly onto the chassis and adding the wheels to the axles. The diorama base is moulded in two halves, and consists of a cobbled street and a rough rise to one side with the remains of some duckboards over a trench, a piece of pipe in the bottom, and overgrown fencing to one side. A disused telegraph pole is inserted into a socket in the corner to give the piece some height, while sections of the road have been pock-marked with shallow craters where small explosions have lifted the cobbles. There is enough space for the model to sit on the road, but if you value its safety you could pin or glue it into position to prevent it rolling off if someone picks it up. Markings There are three decal options on the small sheet, but the profiles are all in black, white and shades of grey. You can depict one of three schemes, in Panzer Grey, Dunkegelb with green and red brown camouflage, or plain dark yellow. Other than different number plates, there is no other information given on where and when they were used. Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion There’s a lot of nostalgia value to this kit, and the scale difference shouldn’t show up too badly next to 1:72 armour, especially if you squint. With some careful building and painting, it could result in a good replica of this bug-eyed gun tractor. Recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  12. With four builds now completed 2019, time to move towards another subject. The subject this time is the Fairey SeaFox by Matchbox, I can't remember when I last built a Matchbox kit, must be 45+ years ago so hold onto your hats! So, we better start off with the usual stuff: Boxart The two options and at the moment it's the H9A option of 1939. Silver sprue Green sprue Clear sprue Decal sheet The idea with this build is to present it in-flight and about to land on water. So, it'll be crew fitted, a spinner with no props, dropped landing flaps and of course, a water base. A quick look at the glazing shows it to quite clear and thick but will most probably get used. Decals look like they have seen better days and only time will tell if they are usable or not, suppose I can prep a surface and try the decals. At the moment this will be a fill-in subject whilst the Avon Sabre is still in progress but hopefully you'll see progress albeit slow. Stuart
  13. After two years of hard slog during which I have also completed a Stranraer, a Chipmunk (as a sanity break!) and a PhD, here is my take on the Matchbox Heyford, finished as Heyford II K4877/H of 7 Squadron RAF at Worthy Down, circa 1935. The WIP is here. At some point I'm going to do a Heyford reference thread for the Interwar section to share all my refs and discoveries, I'll update this with the link when I've got round to it. Don't hold your breath! Having decided to start on adding some detailing to this and the Straraer, I went fairly mad. The following is a reasonably complete list of my alterations: Scribed some panel lines including those around the nose gunner’s position, plus a complete rescribe of the nacelles. Filled one porthole and cut two new ones to replicate the two starboard, three port arrangement of the real aircraft. Also added a small downward ID light under the forward fuselage. Replicated the fabric detail on the rear fuselage by scribing lines in the locations of stringers, gluing in 0.8mm plasticard rod, and building up with filler. Added the metal external stringers underneath the forward fuselage, using plasticard rod sanded to match the stringers moulded on the fuselage sides. Scratchbuilt majority of interior, including partial wireless operator’s position, complete cockpit and nose gunner’s compartments, and rear fuselage around mid-upper gunner. Retained half of a bulkhead and pilot’s control wheels, but remainder was made from plasticard stock, wire, spares box items and CD boxes (for the ribbed aluminium floor). Cut out small windows in top of dustbin turret and replaced with sections of glazing from spares box. Scratchbuilt Hawker High Speed mountings and ventral turret mounting, again adding Lewis Guns from Mini World. Added several fuselage external details, including pitot head and nose ID light, small ventral piping forward of turret, tracking rubbers for the tailwheel, and nose gunner’s grab handle. Replaced grab bar on top of fuselage and pilot’s arm guards with plasticard stock. Rescribed ventral entry door in correct position and in (probable) correct shape (MB have it one fuselage frame bay too far back and square, it should probably be closer to “D” shaped) Removed symmetrical fuselage exit fairings for tail control cables, and replaced with a scratchbuilt fairing on the port side only – drilled this out and added the control lines. Added balance weights to the tops of the rudders. Scratchbuilt the four central bomb bay cells including ribs, wing spars, bomb mounting tubes and bomb bay doors. Armed with 4x 500lb GP (resin replacements from CMK). Scratchbuilt struts between fuselage and nacelles/lower wing centre section, adding steps below the entry door and a tube probably containing a trailing wireless aerial. Replaced blobby air scoops on nacelles with scratchbuilt items. Cut out rear of kit radiator ducting and added radiator face and upper portion of interplane struts inside. Reshaped erroneous kit exhausts and scribed the angled slots. Cut out the open panel aft of the exhausts and added prominent sections of engine bearers plus black blanking panel to simulate engine. Added scratchbuilt landing flares, plus bomb racks and PE Light Series Bomb Carriers from Marabu to underside of lower wings. Added flares from Airfix Swordfish kit. Added aileron actuators to upper wing, plus jacks for leading edge slats and aileron balance weights. Full rigging job (including centre section which seems to be rarely attempted by modellers and took me about 5 hours!) using Sovereign Hobbies fine rigging thread. Painted in my own NIVO mix, decals are from the kit. I’ve speculatively gone for partly doped propellers in a grey colour based on some very ambiguous photo evidence. Things I chickened out of but which you could also do: Detail remainder of bomb bay (time and energy, plus the erroneous mislabelling of 500 pounders as 250 pounders by CMK all forced my hand) Detail remainder of fuselage interior (basically invisible) Replace kit windscreen with acetate (didn’t think I could do a neat enough job) Show the leading edge slats deployed (they do seem to have been retracted on the ground sometimes, and it just felt like too much work (!) As with the Stranraer, it's not a bad kit at all, and likely to remain the only game in town barring a very left-field choice from somebody! Even more so that the Stranraer, it benefits from a detailed cockpit (very visible through that massive opening) and bomb bay (ditto). There are also some minor errors, like the portholes and featureless underside to the nose, which are worth attending to if you're nuts like me. Ah yes, photos. Here y'are. This shows the end result of my attempts to replicate the fabric detail on the rear fuselage: Wretched dust! I brushed it off before the photoshoot and everything.
  14. I’ve actually finished this build, but because we are discouraged from posting in progress pics in the Ready for Inspection area, I’ll create a build post here. 🙂 Who hasn’t built at least one Matchbox kit? They were cheerful well-engineered, beautifully packaged and colourful (colorful on this side of the pond). I’d also say they were cheap, but in the states, they were a little pricier than their alternatives from Revell and MPC (American made Airfix). In my experience, the earliest Matchbox kits ALWAYS fit beautifully, and built up well. Later ones… well… some were better than others. Depending on the range, Matchbox would offer two or three sets of markings and parts. As a kid, I was flabbergasted by the Hawker Tempest… the engine options allowed for what appeared to be two completely different aircraft! I also like that Matchbox released some pretty esoteric subjects. Saab Tunan, Vickers Wellesley, Supermarine Stranraer, anyone? Detail was generally pretty basic, but no worse than their contemporaries. And there were some releases that still hold their own, including the subject of my post, the first Matchbox plastic kit, the Hawker Fury (PK-1). Yeah, okay… I like their Lysander, too.
  15. Hi folks! Ages since I've done a WIP, but here we go. Welcome to my latest (and particularly barmy) build! I'm going to be attempting to clear the logjam of biplanes in my stash by tackling these two Matchbox beauties (alright, the Heyford is a Revell repop, but still a beauty)! It feels like a nostalgia trip back to the 1970s, apart from the fact I'm much too young to remember. I have always imagined the 1970s as being a sort of beige decade, and my mind is filled with visions of Status Quo, AC/DC, striking miners, institutionalised sexism, raging unemployment and violently awful moustaches. A decade perhaps only brightened up by new heights of luridity (is that a word?) in model kit plastic: I've had these two for years while slowly trying to scratch together references - which is a remarkably difficult task. What's worse, the longer it's gone on ( since 2009, in the case of the Stranraer), the more determined I've become to do some kind of superdetail job on them, hence more internet trawling, hence more time the kits languished in the stash. There's plenty of big hatches and holes to see into, but Matchbox provided very little to fill them with. "Why couldn't I pick some nice P-51 or F-16 or something else with references falling out of the trees?" you might well ask. Well, that just wouldn't be as fun as eight years of on-off research. Honest. With my Borneo field seasons done, and a good stretch of time ahead, I decided the time was ripe to up my research efforts, collate all the data I could get, and crack on at last. So I spent an afternoon in the National Archives perusing maintenance manuals and evaluation reports from the 1930s - oh, and purchased these: I've also got scans of the Mushroom Modelling Publication Walrus and Stranraer, 1930s excerpts from Flight, and the Profile Publication on the Heyford, which I think completes more or less all the available information known to mankind. Honestly, it's easier to find out about lesser-known ancient civilisations in Asia Minor than the internal equipment of a 1930s flying boat! I quite often start a complex interior detailing job by drawing sections in large scale with colour-coded bits - it helps disentangle and present complex information much more understandably. This one is a bit rough, and there are a fair few errors, but it's a start: I've drawn out the necessary structure inside the fuselage halves. I think my sanity will walk a fine line throughout these builds, so I've already cut myself a little slack and decided to have the nose hatch closed and the bow compartment undetailed - this is the area for which references are thinnest and I think there'll be more than enough to do already! But we're getting ahead of ourselves. Before I can start adding structure, the Stranraer in particular needs a fair amount of panel lines adding. The only panel lines which the kit provides are a longeron under the window (which is wrong for about 3cm at its rear end) and one other horizontal line above the porthole in the bow. Take up thy scriber and scribe... The starboard side will be tougher as I've got to remodel the access arrangements. RAF and RCAF Stranraers did not have the large access hatch surrounding the smaller door - this was a more commodious postwar modification applied to Stranraers operated by Canadian civil airlines, and MB clearly copied it from the survivor at the Royal Air Force Museum in Hendon - so I've got to grind off the raised area to the right - fun fun fun! Hopefully by next time I'll have either achieved this or written off the kit - so long for now!
  16. I'm toying with the idea of converting the Revell/Matchbox Tiger Moth to a Fox Moth. Apart from the new fuselage. centre wing section and tweaked u/c legs, my research indicates that not much else needs changing. Does anyone have any other views to the contrary? Anyone have any scale plans?
  17. Churchill A.V.R.E (03297) 1:76 Carrera Revell The Churchill Tank was devised to fight in conditions similar to WWII where emphasis was put on the ability to cross difficult terrain and keep pace with the infantry. This resulted in a heavily armoured long tanks with multiple wheels and the ability to climb steep slopes. The design was rushed into production before it was really ready due to the rush to build up the UK's defences in case of invasion. The Tank would undergo many different design modification throughout its life with later versions being quite capable. Like many Tanks it would be adapted for other roles. One of these being the AVRE or Armoured Vehicle Royal Engineers. One of the lessons from the Dieppe raid was the fact that a vehicle was needed to overcome defence obstacle. The Churchill was chosen due to its ability to climb steep slopes and cross difficult terrain. The AVRE was equipped with the Petard Mortar (Or Mortar, recoiling Spigot Mark II). This 230mm Spigot Mortar would fire an 40Lb Bomb Demolition Number 1, or "Flying Dustbin" with a 28Lb warhead. As well as the Mortar the vehicle could be equipped other equipment such as the Canadian Indestructible Roller Device, Bobbins, fascines; and a Small Box Girder Bridge as seen in this kit. This 30' Assault Bridge could be laid by the tank without being exposed to small arms fire. The Kit even though this say "New" on the Revell box the kit is certainly not new but the matchbox kit from 1983, even though traces of "Made in England" and the original manufacturer have been removed from the moulds the kit number PK-177 can still be seen on the Sprues Even though the kit dates from 1983 the moulds have held up very well with only a little flash on the plastic parts. Construction begins with the multiple wheel units down each side. The wheels are moulded as part of these and not individual units. Two outer sections with the wheels mount to a centre section, these then fit to the outer armour section. This is repeated twice, once for each side. The fore and aft main wheels are then added before the tracks can be threaded on. The inner hull part is added along with top cover. This then completes the sie track units which can be mated to the lower main hull section. Construction now moves to the upper hull and starts with the turret. The large mortar is assembled and then sandwiched between the upper and lower halves of the turret. Stowage boxes, aerials and hatches are then added to the turret before it can be placed onto the upper hull section. At the front of the hull the pate with the drivers vision slit and bow mounted machine gun is added. Under this the attachment points for the front of the bridge go on. Racks for the bridge section winch section are then put on the rear. The winch is made up and added to the tanks rear deck, and at the back the aft bullhead goes in with its towing attachment, This then completes the main body of the tank. The box bridge now needs to be built up. this consists of two halves which fold in the middle. Each side consists of a main top plate under which two boxes are built up, one on each side. These have two side girders and a lower girder. End plates are added at the rear and a single link plate goes onto the front. The two sections are then joined and at the end which attaches to the tank a large A frame is added. A rigging diagram is provided for the cabling (Not included) which is needed to rig the bridge. Once built the model can be placed on the included base if required. Markings There are markings for three vehicles on the small decal sheet. 5th Assault Regiment 6th Assault Regiment 42nd Assault Regiment Conclusion Recommended as its still a good kit and does provide some nostalgia. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  18. I really liked this kit once I got into it. Initially, I was unsure if the body could be built and fitted as one piece - it can and it does. As with all these Matchbox cars the detail is superb and stands up well today. The short windscreen which leaves a large gap is, unfortunately, a significant issue but erasing and replacing a section of framing improves the look as well as the accuracy. You could go the other way and do a chopped roof hotrod. In fact, people did hotrod this car and the coupe could be described as a Gaellic '36 Ford. I believe this is also the only Matchbox car with alternate parts for those who can't, erm, face the windscreen the Cabriolet version can be done. Lots of photos as I believe you should photo cars at "eye" level as well as from above. Bonnet fade for @cmatthewbacon😉
  19. Well this is embarrassing. Despite aeroplanes being my chief interest, I've been absent from these lofty halls ALL year, since the Stranraer was completed at Christmas. I know I tend to build less over the summer, but an enforced downtime (double hernia op) at the end of June, was squandered on an unfulfilling Heller 2CV build. Now I'm confined to barracks yet again with COVID after a work colleague returned from the US with a persistent cough ... There really is no excuse for not starting another build now. I've tried to narrow it down. Automotive is definitely out, for the time being. The old Airfix Hawker Fury (1/48), the big Airfix Walrus, a 1/48 Hurricane, all sit on the shelf still. The kits that tickled my fancy are here ... What to build next? by Mike, on Flickr You won't be surprised to hear I'm also reading a lot of Great War pilots accounts at the moment. Another distraction from the workbench. (Currently WInged Victory by Yeates) Starting from the top, the Baby is from the early 90s I think. The injection plastic parts look basic, with little detail and lots of flash. There a a big sheet of PE though, a white metal engine too. I don't think I'm ready to jump into a kit that may need a little work to make it shine. Next up the Special Hobby Tabloid and Schneider. The detail in the moldings of these kits is much better than the Baby. My plan is to build the Tabloid Scout as the prewar Schneider Race winner, and use the Schneider kit as a guide. I think, despite the lack of floats, the Tabloid is a closer airframe match. Then the Albatros DIII ProfiPACK. Bought on my last trip to the LMS in Havant, seemed like a bargain for £18. A joy to unbox, detailed plastic, PE, masks, and a colourful choice of five different schemes. The Dornier was picked up cheap while the Matchbox group build was still going on. I fancy making the airliner version, I also fancy an unchallenging build and this could be perfect ... The Dornier and He115 popped up as potential stable mates while the Stranraer was on the bench. And finally the Tamiya Mossie. Wow, lots of 'plane in there! A bit daunting for me if I'm honest ... So, just typing this gubbins out is helping. It's between the Albatros and Dornier I think. Now, if anyone can help with a dose of motivation I'd really appreciate it!
  20. Since @Enzo Matrix has opened the forum way early and as I will be your co host for the GB ( I’m actually nervous ) I thought I’d start the ball rolling with my build thread. Not sure which variant I’ll build ( NF11/12 or 13) or what colour scheme but I’m looking forward to the build. It’s a meteor and a matchbox kit couldn’t get much better
  21. Ding ding, round 4....... I can't resist another build to this infectious GB Unfortunately i don't have any of the missing subjects but will balance up the Spitfire Hurricane ratio with this nice little kit. I anticipate progress will be swift as i am also taking part in the M3/4 STGB which has just started. So a couple of pics to get the ball rolling, thanks for looking Cheers Greg BTW I am doing the box top version as @CanadaMoe is doing the night intruder option.
  22. Hi all I have been working on this one on and off since January as part of the Matchbox Group Build, I failed miserably at the GB but have finally finished. The model is quite basic and I have followed Johnny's (A.K.A @The Spadgent),wonderful build of this kit a couple of years ago. Thanks Johnny. I did not go as far as he did with opening the engine panels, detailing the engine and dropping the flaps, but have added lots to the cockpit such as AMS Ejector seats, gauges using Airscale decals, the gubbins behind the cockpit internals the rear canopy part , some extras to the UC bays, catapult hooks and windscreen wiper was made. The kitvwheels were Modified. The Pitot mount broke off so a new one was made from some scrap parts from the parts box. The model was brush painted using Humbrol Enamels , the decals were very kindly supplied by Dave A.K.A @Rabbit Leader, Thanks Dave very kind, as mine were not great. Weathering is light and limited to some staining underneath, oil panel line wash, faded panels and a dot filtering with oils in warm colours over the rear fuselage and cold colours over the wings etc. I would like to thank everyone who has assisted and offered kind support and encouragement during this long build, sorry it took do long, also @Rabbit Leader and @JOCKNEY for hosting the original GB and sorry I did not make the deadline I preferred the red Sharkmouth as was going to use the Matchbox 490 codes however they were unusable and I had already stuck on the red one so decided to stick with it. WIP here Rear undercarriage legs shortened to allow stance to be right , so it doesn't look like it's Twerking!!! Wing tip tank lights made by drilling out the tips and painting the clear green and red and the glass was Lazer glaze UV glue. Windscreen wiper made AMS resin seats Scratched additions behind the cabin Modified kit wheels, and extras added to uc doors , catapult points made and added Modified kit intakes Thanks for looking in Chris
  23. I've actually forgotten when started building this kit, whether is was before I after university, so lets say almost 30 years in the making. I started as a Revell owned Matchbox release so all grey plastic. Thanks to an excellent conversion article in Airfix magazine Vol1/#6 Feb 1989 and subsequently a super walkaround in (IIRC) Aviation News I made a start on the conversion as well as adding a lot of small detail and improvements. Here's a run down of the work done: * Removed and rescribed the raised panel lines. * Crash-moulded air-scoops, hatch handles/hinges from stretched sprue * Grab handles from wire * Modified pipework on underside to match the HAR2 more closely * Fuselage windows squared off and replaced with crash mould glazing. * Front windscreen re-glazed and framed. * Side windows replaced with crash-moulded examples to pose open. * Airwaves PE used for grills and cockpit detail * Added extra detail to the rotor hub * Winch detail - I could have improve the housing as it's very simplified * floatation gas bottles * Spot lights * Aerials, so many aerials! Over the years I added the 4+ book which has some lovely scale drawings and more recently the Haynes book which helped me redo the rotor head detail. The excellent ModelDecal sheet #95 which provides a number of Rescue Wessexes and HC2/HU5s. I can't recommend this sheet enough as it provides full stencils with variants so I could pick those that matched my references. Big thanks to MarkyM607 for providing a spare rotor blade that I snapped when trying to add some droop. The lack of droop is the only thing that detracts from the finished model. So here is XR507 of 22 Sqn St Mawgan, circa 1990
  24. First Diorama - Sd.Kfz.124 "Wespe" (03334) 1:76 Carrera Revell The Sd.Kfz. 124 Wespe or more catchily titled "Leichte Feldhaubitze 18/2 auf Fahrgestell Panzerkampfwagen II (Sf.)" was a German light field Howitzer mounted to a modified Panzer II chassis. It became apparent early on during the war in France that the Panzer II was lacking as a tank and the Germans looked to re-purpose them. Thue was born such vehicles as the Wespe and Marder II. With the Wespe the Panzer IIs engine was moved forwards and the chassis lengthened to accommodate the 10.5cm gun. These would first see service in Russia in 1943 The gun proved to be both reliable and highly manoeuvrable, it had a comparatively smaller silhouette than other guns of its type but a downside to this was the abilty to hold less ammunition. 676 units were produced with another 159 chassis being converted to ammunition carriers. The Kit Even though this says "New" on the Revell box the kit is certainly not new, but the matchbox kit from 1974, though traces of Lesley, and "Made in England" have been removed from the moulds the kit number PK77 can still be seen on the Sprues Revell now seem to be marketing this as a "First Diorama" kit as the base complete with palm tree is still with the kit. Even though the kit dates rom 1974 the moulds have held up very well with only a little flash on the plastic parts. The rubber tracks though are not so good with more flash. As a "first diorama" kit it comes complete with contacta glue and two pots of paint, green for the palm and black for the tyres, though any other colours you will need to find; though I suspect its not to be painted for the dessert option for the market Revell are pitching this at. Construction begins with te lower hull. The two side are added to the base and then the running gear can be added. There are 5 road wheels, an idler, a drive sprocket, and 3 return rollers to add to each side. Once these are on the tracks can be fitted. To finish of the inside the crew area at the rear is added in along with some ready use shells. Work now moves to the upper hull. First off the gun and its carride are made up, this fits into the gun shield and the two are placed in the upper hull with a plate going on the underside to hold everything in place. Side vent plates are then added to each side. The upper shielding plate on both side and the rear then go on, with radios being fitted inside the left hand side plate. The upper hull can now be joined to the lower one. Exterior jerrycans stowage, lights, and a spare road wheel are then added to finish the model. If the modeller wants to use the supplied base then the palm tree is made up and added, tow figures are supplied for use on the base if wanted. Markings There are markings for two vehicles on the small decal sheet. 21st Panzer Division, Afrikakorps, North Africa 1943 17th Panzer Division, Battle of Kursk, Russia 1943. Conclusion Recommended for the small scale vehicle builder and maybe those looking for a bit of nostalgia. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  25. The forty years old Matchbox kit and the first biplane I’ve attempted. Pretty much oob apart from some wires for rigging, and a little instrument panel and wire bracing in the cockpit which you can barely see. Because of its size I hand painted this one, just Tamiya silver mostly with Tamiya olive green nose and gunmetal engine. The decals broke up a bit so had to be very carefully slid off, with some needing a bit of coaxing back together. I’m fairly pleased with the overall result for my first inter-war biplane anyway. All comments and advice welcome as always.
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