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Found 20 results

  1. As reported elsewhere Round 2 has acquired the license to issue new and revised Star Wars kits including many of the MPC classic kits dating back to "a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...." Now it's been reported that one of the forthcoming updates will be the iconic Han Solo's Millennium Falcon with corrected sidewall parts based on the aftermarket upgrades available via Shapeways by "308 Bits" Instagram Link While no doubt this kit will never match, much less surpass, the FineMolds or Bandai Perfect Grade kits, this should be a welcome improvement to a classic kit at a much more affordable price point.
  2. This was a rather nice Christmas present from MrsT and the MiL. I've been building since Boxing Day, which, by my standards, makes it a very long build! It's the new-ish mpc 1/72 Scale kit, which first appeared in 2019. Far more complex than the previous mpc/Airfix kit (which is about 1/96 apparently), this one is 35cm long when completed (14 inches). It makes an interesting comparison with the 1/72 Millennium Falcon! Nothing particular to report on the build - it all fits together very nicely as you would expect for what was not a cheap kit ! 😁 FredT
  3. Well, after much chopping, filling sanding and other general mayhem, this combination of the RS Models P-322 1 and the MPC P-38F models have been beaten into a semblance of the very first Lightning, the XP-38. For those who might be interested in the hows and whys, the build thread is HERE. The pics: Thanks for looking in. Ed
  4. Having just finished my conversion of an MPC (nee Airfix) P-80, into the first-flight configuration XP-80 Shooting Star, here are the promised pictures of the completed build. For those interested, the build thread is HERE And for comparison's sake, vs the P-80B: Thanks for looking, Ed
  5. Hello again. After finishing up my recent build of the Sea Wolf, I was setting around contemplating what project to do next. I probably have more prospective projects left, than years in which to do them! Anyway, I was looking at my P-80, T-33 and F-84 derivatives collection, and realized that I was missing the grand daddy of them all, the original XP-80 prototype. I figured, "take anybody's P-80 kit, modify it a bit, and I'm home free". Wrong... First let me explain my way of "researching" future projects. In the old days (before PC, which for you youngsters out there, is how we used to look things up BEFORE the smart phone), I had amassed quite a collection of magazines, books, pictures from airshows, and whatever else could be found. Later after the PC came along, I began finding lots more information on-line, as well as more general knowledge, and most importantly -- more photos. I will say now that this much more available flow of information transformed my modeling as much as discovering modeling Squadron Putty, razor saws, the air brush, and "hot" liquid glues! The purpose of saying this is twofold: first, that our sources of useful information has blossomed way beyond what was available to past modelers, which means that we can now be more accurate, etc., etc. Secondarily however, sometimes we amass stuff and forget from whom, or where, it was obtained. More on that in a moment. For now, let me just say, that when I see pictures or data on future probable build, I grab it now, and add it to the computer "stash" But, let me show which kit I will use for the massacre. I was originally going to use a Sword P-80A kit, because it offered the nice choice of the earlier bucket seat, vs the later ejection seat. But I had to discard that idea, because of certain kit design elements. Not because they weren't good, but because modifying them would be harder than the kit I chose. Finally, I decided to eventually use the Sword kit for it's intended purpose, a P-80A, which sadly, will still have to be modified a bit for THAT usage. Oh, well, the problems of modern kit economy, trying to allow for a gazillion versions of the same aircraft from one set of plastic sprue. On the other hand, that's why we call it "modeling" rather than "assembling", lest you youngsters out there forget... Now, the kit chosen for this effort was the MPC version of, I think, the ancient Airfix offering of the P-80, which has a few issues of it own, but I'm going to chop it up anyway; it's cheap; plus, I already own one! Win...win...win! Now, the crediting materials disclaimer. Much of the information I'm going to use here was provided by other modelers or modeling enthusiasts, who have gone before. Chief among those in this case are some very useful materials from Tommy Thomason's Tailhook Topics blog. Tommy states that the P-80 falls under his Naval Aviation pervue, because the Navy considered, and tested, some P-80's and variants (like the twin-tailed T-33 I modeled earlier this year), but in the end, decided that as is, they were not suited for carrier use -- hence the later Seastar variant.. Anyway here are two useful links to some of Tommy's information that I used, and I highly recommend that you take a look at them, if you ever head down this road! Tommy's Blog :Link The First Tommy's Blog :Link The Second And, a nice serials of walk-around pics for the restored "Lulu Belle" XP-80 Restored pics But, be aware that even the museum restoration has some errors, notably the canopy fit and the overall color, some discussion of which is contained in Tommy's various blogs. There may also be others, so Tommy, if you tune into this, please provide any missing links that I have overlooked! Which brings me two the following drawings, which I downloaded from whence I can't remember. If anyone knows the proper link to the original drawings, please feel free to add it to this discussion, and let me again apologize for not knowing where I stumbled across them. I actually searched on-line for several hours, trying to find out, with no luck. Anyway, apologies made, here they are: The one above was made by a 1/48th modeler for a conversion he did. I have taken the liberty of changing the shown dimensions here to reflect the ones needed for 1/72 scale. In addition, I have out-lined in red all the necessary cuts that need to be made to the fuselage halves, including some changes in the cockpit area. The original drawing showed the entire cockpit being displaced rearward, but only the front coaming needs to move back. In the real P-80's, the rear cockpit panel bulkhead was never moved to accommodate adding an ejection seat. The cockpit was lengthened forward to add the needed space to the cockpit AND the canopy. So, to make the original XP-80, that added space has to be removed. This is what I mean, each passing day lends more information to the modeler, so that we can now be more accurate than before. This is in no way meant to slight modelers who have heretofore done this conversion, as they, like all of this, worked with what they had. We do indeed, stand on the shoulders of giants! The next drawing is primarily to show the needed mods to the various appendages, shape-wise. None of these drawings are necessarily to exact scale, but for your reference convenience only' PLEASE NOTE, THE ABOVE DRAWING HAS BEEN SUBSTITUTED FOR THE ORIGINAL THAT i POSTED, THAT HAD INCORRECTLY SUGGESTED SLIDING THE LOWER FUSELAGE REARWARD, RATHER THAN FORWARD. SOME OF THE FOLLOWING PICTURES MAY REFLECT THIS EARLIER, INCORRECT PROCEDURE. I AM POSTING THIS CORRECTION, TO HEAD OFF THIS ERROR FOR ANYONE ATTEMPTING THIS BUILD. PLEASE READ THE BUILD THREAD ENTIRELY, BEFORE TRYING THIS! Again, I wish I could attribute these drawing to their rightful owners/providers, so please help out here if you can. All this being said, let me post a FINAL WARNING. IF YOU CANNOT STAND THE SIGHT OF PLASTIC BEING TOTURED, EVEN BUTCHERED, PLEASE TURN AWAY NOW! YOU CONTINUE AT YOUR OWN RISK! Ed
  6. Round 2 revealed the aquisition of a Star Wars licence a while back, and the first release in that line is now listed. As most people assumed, it's one of the old MPC kits - the 1/100 AT-AT. Can't say I'm all that excited by the announcement. There are newer and better kits from Bandai and Revell so, apart from a nostalgia point of view, I can't imagine people queuing up for it. It would need to be sold fairly cheaply too, which isn't always the case with Round 2. Andy
  7. Greetings! Inspired by NERVA powered vehicles from the Apollo Applications Program of the 1960’s, I used parts from two MPC Pilgrim Observer kits along various other bits in this conceptual manned spacecraft build. Modifications to the kit include clear observations domes, interior with crew figures, expanded forward and rear body sections, styrene girder support for the NERVA engine, a scratch built dish antenna (based on the XD-1 in 2001), LED lighting, various spare decals, and other scratch built details. A threaded brass tube supports all of the major spacecraft sections which are detachable to facilitate transport and repairs if needed. Batteries, resistor and switch for the lighting are contained in a external case with wiring running through a brass support stand mounted in a custom built display base. Photographs were taken with a black felt background in low light with polished geode spheres to represent planets. Many thanks for having a look, questions and comments always welcome. Cheers, Bill
  8. Back in the 80's I purchased, as a job lot, the MPC Snap versions of the X-Wing, A-Wing, TIE Interceptor and the B-Wing, the subject of this little revisit. (They may have been in a 4 ship box set thinking back) Image below for reference I recall I assembled the B-Wing on the train home from Oxford. Once home I painted it... not very well. It had a stand, long since lost to time, marriage, children and house moves. I still have two of it's stable mates more or less intact and shall turn my attention to them in the future. The finish on the B-Wing didn't look any better. So I disassembled it (sorry, didn't think to take a piccie before I had done this and started work). Filled and sanded some significant holes including the original stand location on the engine housing on the right Thinned the intake walls to produce an impression of scale thickness Fixed the seam on the cockpit section including removing some serious misalignments in the detail around the circumference and cleaned up the hole at the back to a more consistent profile. Spent a cosy evening yesterday recreating the intake at the front of the main engine nacelle from plasticard so it wouldn't look so much like it was made from thick sliced bread Really rather pleased with that I also drilled out the guns but no piccie for that yet. That's as far as it goes for now. Thanks for looking in Phil
  9. Having watched every episode of the Dukes of Hazard many, many moons ago, I always fancied building the General Lee so recently I bought MPCs version of the famous Dodge Charger in 1/25 scale. Now I’m guessing that the mouldings are very old (possibly late 60’s?) so the fit and finish of parts leaves heck of a lot to be desired, but I guess in the day they were pretty much par for course. Anyway, I’ve wrestled and sweated with this kit for the last two months, but have eventually beaten it into submission.....sort of. The surface finish of the rock hard plastic is horrible, and the parts only fit where they accidentally touch, it really is that bad, so lots of filler, sanding and swearing is required to rectify the built in errors. I’ve scratch built the interior rear view mirror, CB aerial and door mirror as none were supplied in the kit, and I’ve cut and repositioned the front axels as the wheels are designed to be fixed ahead which looks a bit of a stiff pose to my mind. Also, I’ve drilled the bodywork to recess the filler cap, added lead wire HT leads to the engine, a radiator top hose and I had to scratch built the bull bars on the front of the car as the kit version was completely inaccurate. The steering wheel spokes and exhaust pipes have been drilled and slotted, and I added a more accurate roll over hoop inside the car. Other than that the car is built straight OOTB! 🤪 The paint is Zero Paints ‘General Lee’ Hemi Orange, and most of the chrome is a combination of a Molotow chrome pen and Bare Metal Foil. The base is simply made from balsa wood scraps, and the dirt road is simulated with PVA glue and table salt. The whole base is airbrushed with various Tamiya acrylics and then detailed with artists oils and some Humbrol washes. It’s not a build I’m particularly proud of, but I am pleased I found the will to persevere and that I didn’t give up. So, without further ado here is the General for your critique....... The basic (grotesque) kit of parts. The radiator fan blades aren’t even moulded 90° apart and the decals are thick, very thick! Pre-weathered state. Post weathering with Revell powders.
  10. Far back in the mists of time an impressionable 14 year old was taken to the premier of a new movie that was to take the world by storm. From the opening scene where a gigantic ship looms menacingly over our heads chasing down the smaller blockade runner to the final triumphant victory ceremony this boy was hooked. Not for me the Kenner toys. I wanted accurate models. What I got in 1979 was something that looked fabulous in the box and, after assembly, I had something that at least looked the part. Later I obtained the book 'The Art Of Star Wars' and found, within, my very first accurate reference. This was for Red 3. I proceeded to paint the visible panels and attempted to replicate the weathering. I also made some early scratch building efforts on the R2 unit to make it look more like the real ArToo giving it a rotating dome and better legs. I also created a rudimentary cockpit canopy hinge from wire. Having looked critically at it for a few years and ,after the success with the Snowspeeder, I feel it is time to breath new life into this old friend. I'm fairly certain copyright prevents me from reproducing the original reference pic here but this was the result of my early efforts that has sat on various shelves and survived, mostly unscathed, a number of house moves. The canopy has been removed, polished and dipped in Klear already. It is drying under cover out of shot. Gaps abound and the guns refuse to all point in the same direction Some missing parts should be easy to replicate R2 not looking too bad but needs a little refining and repainting. The pilot, on the other hand... well... never mind not looking like Biggs it doesn't look even remotely human. Seams filled with liquid plastic (plasticard melted in Tamiya Extra Thin), clamped and braces applied forcing parts to meet where they never met before. I recall that at some point the blaster barrels had departed the wings and had been braced internally with wire. As this left gaps the barrels were re-aligned and more liquid plastic applied. All four now point in generally the right direction. And the port side fuselage seam. There was a 1mm gap here but as there were blobs of old tube glue in it I was unable to bed it down so filled with more L.P. And finally today the seam around the nose cone was filled. Just need to let that all set properly and it'll be ready for sanding, more filling, more sanding........ Thanks for looking in. I'll introduce you all to Mr Canopy later. Phil
  11. When MPC first released their 1/32nd scale Empire Strikes Back Snowspeeder I snapped it up and built it carefully following the painting instructions and box artwork. This was one of those models where I attempted some early corrections to known issues, added weathering and a somewhat ham-fisted attempt at modifying a 1/35 scale figure to replace the hideously deformed supplied crew. I was relatively pleased with this at the time and the completed model has followed me through marriage, children and 3 house moves with relatively little damage. Fast forward 30 years or so and, having built and painted the exquisite little BanDai 1/144th scale Snowspeeder and with a good few satisfyingly finished builds under my belt, I turned my attentions to this vintage and now less than satisfactory build. This picture also shows the general appearance of the model before I had made any real inroads other than cutting off the inaccurate little supports from under the laser cannons. the underside and the rear (note the drilled out pipes around the engines done using a jeweller's screwdriver as I didn't have fine drills back then) I also reshaped the inaccurate grill on the front just below the canopy Some parts required removal, cleanup and refitting as they were not fully located. Also note the canopy glazing is now masked. After a bit of seam cleanup a primer coat was applied, in this case Tamiya Fine Surface primer followed by my own mix of Tamiya Grey, White and a little Buff. Masked and painted some of the panels in different shades of the base colour and also tried my hand at using chipping fluid (same as hairspray technique) on the orange markings. Masked off some additional panels to receive a darker shade of the base grey Masking off and starting to chip over all with darker base colour Starting to add some clay washes (Flory Grime and Dark Dirt) Soot for blast damage and streaks using Tamiya Weathering Master er...soot And with a matt clear coat with canopy masks removed. I also made the harpoon and cable That was the outside done. Now to deal with the pilot (in this case I wanted him to look like Zev Senesca) and the cockpit. But that will be in the next post. Thanks for looking in Phil
  12. A quick fun weekend build from John & Helen - first appearing on the big screens 40 years ago, here's the J&H Death Star. £30 from Ebay, its not a bad kit - Helen loved getting busy with the Tamiya masking tapes, and then the tweezers and scalpel to remove the masking, having left me to use Black, grey and white Halfords primer rattle cans to bring this very old kit back to life. I will add, this was Helen's first venture in model building - she seemed to enjoy it and was keen to keep working on the kit across the weekend - it was built her way without my influence and I would say she's done quite good for a beginner with minimal Death Star knowledge. As Vader pointed out to us 40 years ago " The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant to the power of the force"
  13. So my pre-order from the US Finally arrived last week and I was pleasantly surprised that I didn't get stung for an idiotic ransom demand from HMRC, but a relatively modest charge! This meant it cost a LOT less than the UK retails are asking for AND it arrived early. So here is the box as it arrived, with Cthulhu showing the excitement that I was feeling! I'm not doing a sprue shot as there are loads of them, you can see them at the bottom of this page http://catacombs.space1999.net/main/merc/vmmer2.html So to start off with the spine needs to be put together. Each side frame comes in two halves which need gluing. These need to be kept flat while drying and sadly have quite a few ejector marks on the inner side. Here you can see them with filler in the ejector marks ready for sanding. Next are the upper frames of the front and rear cages with the brackets that attach to the spine. The brackets have a little bit of flash on the sides. One thing you have to be very careful with on this kit is the sprue gates are quite large, so separating the parts form the sprue needs care to avoid damage. Next comes the command module or "beak". This is well moulded in two halves which goes together without much fuss. There are transparencies for the upper and lower windows, but only the upper ones were actually transparent, hence the masking tape. There isn't a detailed cockpit but there are two pilots in space suits and a detailed rear bulkhead for the cockpit. There are an abundance of reference photos for the cockpit such as this one of the studio set So I've started painting the bulkhead I haven't completely decided how I'm going to light the cockpit - or even if I will bother at all. It shouldn't be too difficult as there is plenty of space either in the beak or in the front body. Speaking of which here they are with one of the 4 "shoulder" pods What is great to see is the very careful recreation of the kitbash parts added to the basic boxes, like those superb lunar lander halves from the Airfix Saturn V kit and what you see here on the sides: There are also the side shelves plus landing leg supports which take some care to assemble to fit properly. Finally, the engine bells have been assembled and I have to say I am very impressed with the care taking in designing these. Rather than use the simple (for the manufacturer) alternative of splitting them in half down the axis, they are split halfway down the "bell" so the joint virtually disappears. These are all being prepared for suitable treatment with Alcad. I'm not prepared to pay MORE that the kit itself for the accessory set which includes real aluminium engine bells! Not when I know how to use Alcad paints!! So in summary, this is a very exciting kit for us fans, but its not an easy kit to build! More to come...
  14. I dug out my long abandoned MPC AT-AT build. I started on this back in 2006. It got packed away and has finally seen the light of day again. I resumed work to get it to this state. The plan is to do the famous tow cable scene from the movie. Compared to today's Bandai kits and even the Revell kits, this model leaves a lot to be desired. The fit is less than stellar. I started applying paint and washes to each part of the kit separately. I felt it was easier to finish each minor assembly separately rather than the complete model. More to come...
  15. I finished up this project about a month ago for a contest. The model I used was not a production MPC kit, but rather one of the 12 first run test shots done last September (Jamie Hood made a brief mention in the special SF&FM Eagle issue that one went to a Jerseyfest contest winner, that was me). I documented the early part of the build for this on Youtube, but kind of lost interest when the production kits came out. Still, I knew I had to finish it so I got done what needed to be done before the Wonderfest convention. Technically there are still some things I want to do to it as I need to add some stripes to the spine and a little more weathering. But overall it is done. Since we don't have access to the Eagle color of choice here in the states, I went with a mixture of Testors Camouflage gray and 30% white to match the production plastic coloring (which was apparently matched to the original studio model paint). The pod however was done in Tamiya AS-20 U.S. Navy Insigia White and it is a DEAD ON match to the plastic color. The red stripes were done in Floquil caboose red. The main Eagle paint and decal work represents the #1 44" model as it appeared from about "The Last Sunset" to just before "Space Brain". The pod is painted up to represent the rescue pod in "Collision Course" and features red stripes that don't go all the way to the bottom or into the window frames. I believe this was the last time a 44" model was painted with a rescue pod as future appearances that weren't stock footage used the 22" model. For this project, I also made use of the rather expensive aluminium engine bells from Round 2 and the thruster bells. They look great, although next time I do one I'll go the Alclad route on plastic. I've also got 4.6 mm standoffs inside each gear pod to get the model to sit level at the proper height mainly because I didn't have access to the springs used on the production kit. Even with the springs, standoffs are a VERY good idea to keep the model sitting level because the engine bells do make the model a bit tail heavy otherwise. I also installed a battery powered lighting system in the nose to illuminate the cockpit interior and the astronauts. Everything (CR-123A battery, two LEDs, power switch) is self contained in the nose and the nose itself is held on with magnets so I can detach it when I wish to.
  16. Forbidden Planet has a pre-order price (for later in May 2016) of £109.99 plus (I think) £7.50 P&P. Does anyone know of a better offer in the UK? (Hannants are out of stock at £129.99)
  17. The massive 22" Long Space: 1999 Eagle Transporter from MPC is now in stock and available to order! This impressive model kit is the latest addition to MPC's range of Space: 1999 models, complementing their popular Eagle 1 Transporter, Eagle Transporter with Laboratory Module and Moonbase Alpha models.
  18. Space:1999 Eagle 1 Transporter MPC by Round2 The Eagle was the spacecraft star of this live-action Gerry Anderson trippy space opera, and was the crew's main mode of transport to and from Moonbase Alpha, as well as defence from incoming threats that had an uncanny knack of appearing out of nowhere each week. The sleek nose and crew cab is straight out of Thunderbirds, while the geometric framework body sends a nod to both the film 2001:Space Odyssey (as does the colon in the title), and real space designs that were coming through at the time. After writing that last part, I found that it was even built by the same model-maker, Brian Johnston. The ships were modular, and being made on the Moonbase, they were easily replaced, which was a good job really, as they were always breaking the things! The central pod could be swapped for other equipment in the same manner as Thunderbird 2, which is fair enough – why waste a good idea? Powered by pyrotechnics nuclear fusion rockets (just ignore the science), they were capable of 15% the speed of light, and had an endurance of 2 days with extra fuel. A booster pack was also able to be fitted when the need arose. They were armed with lasers and rockets on occasion, and even had a retractable laser fitted to a palette on the backbone, and could fire all around it. After the second series, the show was cancelled due to falling ratings, and went on to become somewhat of a legend with fans that weren't even born when it was first aired. The Kit Very few British lads of the right generation won't have heard of the Eagle Transporters, and if you were a modeller in the 70s and 80s, you probably built this kit, as that's how old it is. I built one as a teenage with a bad hangover one weekend, and I still think I did quite a good job of it, despite my banging head and griping stomach. The kit has been marketed by Airfix, MPC from memory, and possibly another that I can't remember at time of writing. It is a product of the time, and not quite as accurate as it needs to be for serious fans, but for the causal modeller, it should tick all the boxes and lead to a fun replica of this interesting and believable Sci-Fi spacecraft. The box is still a rather odd shape, which hasn't changed over the years, but this is a special edition with Alan Carter on the boxtop, and a collectible card on the inside with a montage of the actor Nick Tate playing the part of its chief pilot overlaid on a combined shot of Nick in his suit, next to an Eagle flying over Moonbase Alpha. The styrene seems identical to the original, being a white colour, with the slightest hint of translucency on thinner parts. There are seven small sprues, plus four separate parts already clipped from their sprues at the factory, the largest being the tubular ladder that forms the backbone of the ship. It has just occurred to me that this must have been made using a multi-part mould, which was a big deal back then, but it's a shame that this technique couldn't have been used to create the lattice framework that surrounds the front and rear pods, which instead have been moulded in relief with no internal detail visible. The decal sheet it quite large, and adds extra detail by using shading to imply depth to areas that are flat. I don't recall any of that in the original kit. The instruction booklet has changed format from the original Airfix issue that I built, but the diagrams are all familiar, and it appears they've been re-used. Construction starts with the rear pod, which is a four-part assembly onto which the four engines and their spherical fuel tanks are added to pegs on the rear wall. These are split vertically between front and aft, and the cruciform bracing framework fits to the rea, and the exhaust bells glue onto them to complete the assembly. The vertical landing nozzles are single parts that fit onto pegs on the bottom of the pod, with two on the rear pod and another two on the front pod, which builds up in the same way, but with the two-part cockpit section attaching to the front. The backbone part will need plenty of clean-up to remove the various seams, after which it is used to connect the front and rear sections of the ship together by locating a pair of lugs in a depression in the top of each pod. The landing gear sponsons are next, made up from two parts, plus a reaction jet on the outer side, and a single part gear leg on the box-shaped bottom section. Repeat three more times and you're ready to build the crew module, which is made up from two upper halves, a flat bottom part with more lattice-work moulded in, and a snap-on clip that allows you to attach and remove the pod at will – presumably to play with! That's the build completed, but of course there will be lots of painting and decaling going on during the process, so it sounds a lot quicker than it will be in actuality. Markings There is only really one scheme for the Eagle, and that's mostly white, with the spaces between the relief lattice-work painted black or dark grey, some red stripes on the crew pod, and more red on the engines and fuel tanks if you believe the box art. The engine bells and reaction jets are silver, and the rest is made up of decals, which are quit comprehensive. You get decals for the black surrounds to the pilot windows, as well as a tiny decal that actually has the crews' heads in their orange helmets on it! That's a super touch that made me smile when I noticed it. There is no decal placement guide in the box, but some of the pseudo-relief decals are pointed out during construction, as are the blast panels around the small puffer-jets on the landing gear sponsons. Black panels are provided for the windows in the crew compartment, for the landing gear leg "blocks", but when I said there wasn't a decal placement guide, I wasn't being entirely truthful. The guide is actually printed ON the box, around the sides of the lower tray, based on pictures of a completed model. This is also helpful as a painting guide, and shows a few optional colour schemes for the various pods that share the same outer structure, such as the VIP and rescue pods. Conclusion You can't be too harsh on a kit that has such long teeth as this one, especially as it's the only affordable mainstream injection moulded option out there. Sure there are other kits in different scales, but they have price-tags that could buy a whole fleet of these kits. As to the scale? It's about 12" long, which some folks believe scales out to around the 1:100 scale, and who am I to agrue? I like the addition of the relief decals to give the impression of more detail, but this kit could well be improved upon either by scratch-building, or adding the delightful Paragrafix PE set the review for which can be found here. Recommended for a bit of nostalgia. Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
  19. Hi All, Just thought I would create a thread for my first ever model in progress. It's a 1989 MPC Darth Vader TIE Fighter (the one that needs loads of sanding and filling ) Apologies for the slightly poor quality pictures, they were taken on my phone. Regardless, I hope you all enjoy the updates. Steps completed over the last few days. Primed Yesterday I primed all the main parts of the fuselage Lighting test I also tested my first ever LED lighting circuit. Obviously, the fuselage is not stuck together here I just wanted to get a feel for what it might look like. Cheers, Rob
  20. USS New York LPD 21 Revell 1:350 The U.S.S. New York is a US Navy amphibious transport ship. It is one of the San Antonio Class designed according to the principles of stealth technology. The ships of this class are used for amphibious warfare and to transport US Marines, their vehicles and equipment. The ship therefore has three decks with about 2,300 m² of space for combat vehicles. In addition to the basic crew of 360 men there is room for further 700-800 marines. The landing craft, equipment and soldiers can be landed through the floodable well deck aft. In addition the ship has a large landing deck with hangar. However helicopters are not permanently carried, but can be temporarily stationed on board for individual missions. The special feature of the ship however is its name. After the terrorist attacks of 11th September 2001, the then governor of New York asked the then Secretary of the Navy to name a warship in the war against terror after the city of New York. This request was met; the U.S.S. New York was launched on 19th December 2007 and went into service on 7th November 2009. There were even 6.8 tonnes of steel from the ruins of the World Trade Center incorporated in the forepart. The Model Arriving at BM Towers this large kit comes in its own cardboard box. The kits box has a representation of the ship at sea with the various landing craft and aircraft around the ship, on the flightdeck and flying. Much like the USS Wasp and USS Iwo Jima this kit is released by Revell, MPC/Gallery and I believe Trumpeter for different markets around the world. As with the other ships, this was a pleasant surprise being somewhat a left field choice of ship model. That said it is very well done with beautifully crisp mouldings, particularly the large single piece hull, (well it is if you discount the separate bulbous bow), and main deck/superstructure parts. Other than the separate hull and deck section, there are 11 sprues of light grey styrene for the ship, six for the LCACs and LCU’s, and two for the AAVP-7s. Then there are twelve clear sprues for the air complement, a large display stand in black styrene, three sheets for PE and a length of brass coloured chain. In total there are 767 parts and the completed model measures out to 594mm in length. Including the builds for the helicopters, landing craft, Ospreys and AAVP-7s, there 125 steps in the instructions to complete the model. Unlike most ship builds, this one doesn’t start with the hull, but with the interior well/dock and vehicle decks. The well deck is built up of the bottom and two side pieces, which have very nice detail moulding of the wooden dock faces that some careful painting and weathering will really bring out. To the dock sides two marshalling platforms are added either side of the loading ramp. The vehicle deck and ramp assembly, which also includes the hanger deck, begins with the deck, three transverse bulkheads and two walkways being fitted together, followed by the rear bulkhead with walkway and vehicle ramp roof. This assembly is then attached to the rear of the well deck. Since not much of this detail will be visible through the small opening in the stern, it is crying out for some lighting to be added to the build, either fibre optic or LEDs, so some thought to this will be needed before putting glue to plastic. At this point the instructions call for the modeller to build several sub assemblies. These include the main crane for the ships centre section deck. The crane is built up of a five piece operators cabin, main boom arm, hook, and the five piece Low Observable housing, including three PE parts, into which the crane folds when not in use. The starboard side boat housing, consisting of a two part RIB, (two boats are required to be built), deck and internal box structure. Two RAM launchers are then assembled, with the missile box having two PE end pieces fitted, followed by the support arms and pedestals. With these done it’s back to the main build, with three internal strengthening bulkheads, and hawsepipe fitted to the forward hull, transom to the rear and the completed vehicle/dock assembly in-between. The RIB housing and another open deck port are then fitted to the inside of the starboard side of the main deck structure. Turning the main deck over, the after bulkhead of the forward superstructure is fitted with a PE grille and glued into position, as is the hanger bulkhead with its hanger door, (which has optional parts for open or closed doors), and the stores/ammunition lift door, after which the main deck can be attached to the hull section along with the foredeck. The upper dock door is then attached to the transom, along with a lower hull extension piece and the two piece lower door with its associated actuator arms. Although it might be an idea to leave these off until later in the build as there will be a tendency to knock them off. Turning the hull over the two bilge keels can be fitted as can the rudders prop shafts, A frame supports and propellers, depending on how the completed model is to be displayed, particularly in a diorama, these items can be left off unlike the two part bulb which is fitted to the bow. With the now completed hull upright the rest of the build continues with the superstructure and sundry fittings. The instructions have the modeller start at the aft end and moves forward. This means that there will be quite a few fragile pieces to knock off whilst carrying out with the build, whereas it may be better to start at the bow and work toward the stern. If keep with the instructions the catwalks around the flightdeck are fitted along with their PE railings, inclined ladders and styrene aerials, in either upright or folded options, plus several styrene catwalk fittings. To complete the flightdeck, the PE side netting is fitted. Several sub assemblies can also be built, including the two part large RIB and trolley, mid section deckhouse, grilles, mainmast bases and the mainmasts, with their top aerial arrays, railings, and other fittings. The side and front of the rear superstructure are then glued into place, as are several deck fittings, a RAM launcher, rear gun turret and deckhouse,. The small RIB built earlier is now attached to its trolley and fitted to the ships mid deck section with the large RIB/trolley, PE inclined ladders and further fittings. More sub assemblies to be built are four five piece decoy launchers and two, two piece launchers, the port side transverse bulkhead/side of the mid deck section with its additional supports roof part and door. Once completed, this assembly can also be fitted to the mid deck as can the crane built earlier. The two mainmast assemblies can now be glued into place on the upper decks, as are the multiple decoy launchers, PE railings, liferafts and their PE supports, funnel assemblies, satnav dome assemblies, deck houses, navigation radar, and bridge. On the sides of the bridge pair of platforms and ECM aerials are fitted. The deckhouse structure is then built up on the foredeck, directly in front of the bridge. To this, a RAM launcher is fitted along with a further deckhouse, front gun housing and gun turret. Finally the foredeck fittings, such as capstains, bitts, footplates, and capstain control shields are glued into place as are the anchors and anchor chains. With the ship completed, it’s on to the various helicopters and landing craft. Each of these is a little kit in themselves, with the following included:- 2 x AH-1W Cobras 2 x UH-1N Hueys 2 x MV-22 Ospreys 2 x CH-46E Sea Knights 2 x CH-53E Sea Stallions 2 x LCACs 2 x AAVP-7s 1 x LCU Each helicopter comes in multiple parts, with separate skids, wheels, folded or extended main rotor blades, tail rotors, and stabilisers. Whilst the Ospreys have a single piece fuselage, wing fairing, wing, horizontal tailplane, vertical stabilisers, engine nacelles, and props either folded or extended. It is doubtful that all these aircraft would be in use at the same time on this type of ship, but any surplus could be used on either the USS Wasp or USS Iwo Jima kits that Revell have also released. The LCU is built up of lower hull, shrouded props, tank deck, deck surround, loading ramp, five piece bridge structure, exhausts and several aerials. The two LCACs consist of a two part lower hull/skirt, tank deck, fore and aft loading ramps, port and starboard bridge structures, radar aerials, and exhausts. The shrouded fans fitted to the rear of the LCACs are made up with the fans, protective grilles, drive shafts, and twin deflectors/rudders. The AAVP-7s consist of an upper and lower hull, turret, and wheel/tracks. Decals There are three decal sheets included in the kit. One large one covering the ship, including the complex flightdeck markings, which come as separate strips and circles, so will need careful placement to get them all in the correct positions. The sheet also includes decals for the ships pennant number, fore and aft, danger circles for the RAM launchers, and guns, capstain tops, depth markers and ships name for the upper dock door. There is another large sheet providing all the decals required for the various helicopters, Osprey and landing craft, plus very large national flags, both in flat and wavy form. The smallest of the three sheets, only has five decals on it, which look like some form of crest and whilst the placement sheet shows where these go, it is as unclear as to be next to useless. Research shows that these are the Never Forget crests that were painted on the anchor plates and in front of the bulbous bow markings. They should only be used if the ship is to be modelled as she was at her commissioning ceremony. Conclusion Revell have done it again with their collaboration with MRC/Gallery and produced a very well designed model of an interesting class of ship. Whilst some purists may say the latest ships of the worlds navies are quite boring due to their “stealthy†characteristics, this is the way things are going and I think its great that model manufacturers are providing us with newer classes as well as older ones. With all the parts, etch, aircraft, and landing craft this will build into a great model and whilst it is full hull the open dock with full interior will give loads of scope to super detail and use in a diorama with the dock flooded. Not for the faint hearted for sure, but it has the potential to build into an award winning model. Highly recommended. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit
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