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  1. A few weeks ago I started building a 1/700 resin & PE kit of Ark Royal 2, the pioneering First World War seaplane carrier. However, I think it’s fair to say that, as a committed 1/350 man when it comes to ships, I am finding the scale a real challenge. The kit is great, and I will continue to build it... but I find that 45 minutes in teeny-weeny über-delicate brass-land is enough - and when I do achieve things I find that it pays to let everything really cure and stabilise before moving on. Anyway, as those of you who’ve been kind enough to look into that build already know, I have been interspersing WW1 pioneers operating flimsy Shorts & Sopwith machines with experiments with the next Ark, the WW2 aircraft carrier. I have now decided that this deserves a separate thread, before it all gets too confusing. So here we are. This will be the 1/350 Merit kit, released 2 or 3 years ago to a fair amount of excitement from us RN fans, especially RN carrier fans. We understand that market forces mean that yet another Yamato or Bismarck will sell like hot cakes... but even so. I am sure I’m not the only person who finds it utterly weird that model companies will invest in the wherewithal to produce 1/350 kits of, say, Graf Zeppelin (never finished) and even Peter Strasser (barely even started, and never officially named), but not of Illustrious, whose aircraft changed the Mediterranean war in a couple of hours. Still... Nazis sell. So a mainstream kit of a British carrier is something to be celebrated! The Merit kit is... very good, certainly, though not completely without errors. Definitely the basis of a good model. The game changer for me, however, is the Tetra Modelworks detail up set, which takes us to a different league in detail. I have also obtained some other after-market RN detail goodies - notably from North Star: - HACS Mk.IV directors (the Merit ones are basic, to put it mildly, and have a radar which was never actually fitted before Ark’s demise); - winches (to populate the boat bays etc, which are devoid of anything much by way of detail); - RN anchors (one of the most obvious Merit mistakes is that the anchors are much too small); - RN bridge equipment (of which there is none); and - paravanes (US cruiser paravanes, but they’ll look close enough when stowed). This will depict Ark at a very specific moment, at about 1900 on 26 May 1941, as she turned into wind to launch 15 Swordfish of 810, 818 & 820 Naval Air Squadrons on a torpedo attack against Bismarck - the attack that jammed Bismarck’s rudder and sealed her fate. The Merit kit includes 5 Swordfish (plus 4 Skuas & 4 Fulmars, none of which will be used for this build), and I have ordered 2 boxes of Trumpeter Stringbags, which come in batches of 6 (and are by all accounts essentially identical to Merit’s, which is hardly a shock). Anyway. For some discussion of colour schemes and stuff, plus my early test runs with Tetra’s wing fold PE on a Fulmar, see the old thread. This evening, along with a very frustrating session of clumsiness in 1/700, I did manage to get the undercarriage on my test Swordfish (test because I’m playing with ideas for how to improve it... like maybe rigging it): here seen upside down.. ...and here resting on her own two feet: Even this is a right performance: Merit provide the u/c in two parts - a V-shaped part that fits into two holes in the fuselage, and a straight piece with the wheel. Getting them to line up is not simple - though eventually I landed on a technique that seems to work, namely gluing the V-strut first, and only then adding the straight oleo/wheel section. This design means that getting the aircraft level is a challenge - dry fitting completely impractical! The wheels are too thick, I think; I’d already reduced them before fitting, but once everything’s dry I’ll experiment with getting them a bit better yet. But basically it’s a pretty credible Swordfish (or will be with a second wing!), for which kudos to Merit. The next experimental Stringbag will be a folded one. Anyway. We’re off. In due course I’ll show you some more of what comes in the various boxes. More soon Crisp
  2. Hello I managed to finalize one of my biggest project. Enjoy. Cheers
  3. Greetings all, I've come back from a short holiday and a week back at day job and decided whilst listening to a new podcast that I want another new model. "Not another one" I hear you say. Yes, well, I can so I will. I would like opinions though at this very early stage because I need to make two key decisions almost immediately and all seem like attractive ideas. Why USS Yorktown? Generally I'm not that motivated to build models of US Navy ships. I've nothing against them but few appeal to me as modelling subjects. I've always been interested in the Yorktown though, probably because of the ship's prominent role in The Battle of Midway. The 1976 film "Midway" was one I enjoyed many times over and to be honest it still gets a watch now and again. More modern films depicting the same events which are more "accurate" make we want to imprison the entire film crew and every idiot who thinks its better than the old. I'm sorry but a computer model of the correct TBD-1 isn't better than real footage of the incorrect real aircraft when said TBD-1 3D model moves like a demented midge and there are smoke and flames trailing from bullet holes through the fabric on the rudder. That's not better, that's a very expensive cartoon for people who know nothing about water, air, ships, aircraft, firearms or physics in general. Anyway then, as a little company on the side of real life, we grew too big in terms of time commitment and we reached a point where my wife and I had a talk and agreed that constantly packing up orders, particularly for third party products, wasn't why we started this venture. Furthermore, third party stuff is really bad for cash flow as essentially you're spending thousands at a time to hold on to stuff for when someone here is ready to buy it, only it's difficult to perform systematic tax fraud as a UK based business long term (unless you're this guy https://www.walesonline.co.uk/whats-on/food-drink-news/award-winning-crispy-cod-owner-21348260). The upshot is that you have thousands sat on the shelf and you can only ask for minimal margins back in return because most in the market for these products price check you against Chinese vendors on eBay and figure they can probably dodge the import taxes and therefore you're charging "rip off" prices. The stuff will sell here, of course, but only if you don't really have a margin worth the hassle. It was hurting our paint investments, so third party stuff was divested of last Christmas. I kept the quite expensive Merit International USS Yorktown kit and the beautiful (but admittedly very expensive) Infini Model Detail Up sets for myself. There's actually a few things left including a Pontos set or two but we'll probably flog those off cheap at a show eventually - they're not going back on the website - that's for certain, because then everyone starts asking you to order in everything else and/or broker spare frets to replace parts they pinged off or mangled and their eBay vendor laughed at them. So: Plus: Equals a project. The kit is passable accuracy-wise. At least, any shape-errors are far less pungent than the utterly grotesque Trumpeter USS Hornet CV-8 abomination. One of the main criticisms it received was Trumpeter's grossly overdone implementation of the hull plating, something which apparently the kit's sponsors absolutely didn't intend but by the time they'd seen what the factory had done the single most expensive set of dies for the whole had been machined and funding couldn't accommodate a redesign. I've seen a few threads start online which begin with someone plastering the hull in putty then the threads go dark. Unlike my usual self, I've decided to just let it go. I've softened it down with sanding sponges and will try to be judicious with paint to not highlight how exaggerated it is. You may notice the portholes are typical cheaply-moulded Trumpeter affairs - i.e. elliptical, since they make hull dies as cheaply as possible and extract the sides horizontally, so portholes cannot be in-plane with the hull plating since that would need more clever ejection of the parts. To improve on this I drilled them out in-plane with the plating. There is a more or less complete hangar deck in the kit: But one of the first things I have to do with the detail set is start adding PE in and about the hull. Not unsurprising... This is fine, but it does force my decision around about now I think. I have the Warship Pictorial book on Yorktown which contains many useful diagrams and photographs. The timeframe of the model is going to be within a week of the Battle of Midway, which was the beginning of June 1942. I have diagrams of the damage received at Coral Sea, photographs of Yorktown in drydock and lots of photographs of her listing and eventually sinking after the battle. Decision 1 is Full Hull or Waterline. I'm a technical person by nature, and I've always liked the near-battlecruiser hull form of the Yorktown class. This ship isn't a big fat tub, it has a long slender bow and interesting bilge keels. There is also good weathering opportunities for the underwater hull and boot topping. On the other hand, I'd quite like the ship to look like its in a natural environment. Whilst there are good photos of the ship in drydock, I don't particularly fancy a model of a drydock. Decision 2 is Undamaged or Damaged. Most of the Coral Sea damage was dented plating and sprung rivets. The flight deck was repaired and photographs of the flight deck following Midway don't show any obvious areas where repair has taken place. I could however model the ship with a list on and the mangled gallery below the flightdeck to port, which was ripped up by a water column from a torpedo hit. There are a couple of planes stranded on deck behind the island and some smoke damage and debris around the AA guns ahead of the island. That could be an interesting modelling exercise, but is it tasteless? I've got a little smoothing over of holes that needed filled in the forecastle deck and I'm going to start painting the hangar deck whilst hopefully a few of you offer your thoughts on how I can best display this ship
  4. As announced ( http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234973406-merit-cataloguefolder-2015-2016/?hl=merit), Merit is to release 1/48th Gloster Gladiator kits. - ref. 64803 - Gloster Gladiator Mk.I - ref. 64804 - Gloster Gladiator Mk.II First boxing is expected for 3rd Quarter 2015 Source: https://www.facebook.com/MeritIntlLtd/photos/a.117819558309628.25722.117797744978476/881471455277764/?type=1&theater Box art V.P.
  5. In the Merit folder 2015 there's a new tool 1/48th Grumman J2F-5 Duck kit - ref.64805 Source: https://www.facebook.com/ScaleModels.ru/photos/a.632237406802735.1073741827.129310540428760/1008965479129924/?type=1&theater V.P.
  6. Hi all not sure if this topic is in the correct area (admins, please move if required) but looking at Merit's website yesterday and I noticed that they're no longer listing any of their own brand kits. Does anyone know if they're still producing their own, or have they stopped? Russ
  7. This is my completed Diorama 'Delivering Monty's Tank. It is the Merit M19 Diamond T Tank Transporter and the Tamiya M£ Grant tank. The Driver and camel are M&B figures. I Hope yo like it!
  8. I've decided to press pause on the mojo-sapping F9F-8 (it'll be finished by the end of the GB, just need to build up the willpower to do it!) and make a start on a Christmas present - the Merit 1/48 J2F-5 Duck. It looks like a pretty simple kit - only 80 parts. Everything looks nicely moulded - the surface detail is very nice - although the interior detail is fairly basic. This is going to be a simple, straight from the box, hopefully quick build. I'll be using the kit decals, I think for an Argentine machine in silver with yellow upper wings. The obligatory box shot: I've started prepping some parts and I've primed the interior bits ready for some interior green. Not a lot to see so far then, but here's a shot of the two fuselage halves. Fine panel line and rivet detail on the outside, very basic detail on the inside. More tomorrow Z
  9. Very large - 1/18th ! - McDD AV-8B Harrier II kits are announced by Merit International in 2014-2015 - ref.61804 - McDD AV-8B Harrier II Source: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=587326264692286&set=pb.117797744978476.-2207520000.1391410224.&type=3&permPage=1 - ref.60027 - McDDAV-8B Harrier II USMC Source: https://www.facebook.com/MeritIntlLtd?hc_location=timeline#!/photo.php?fbid=589304917827754&set=a.589304677827778.1073741854.117797744978476&type=1&theater V.P.
  10. Hello everyone, Apologies for not being around the past few months. I just moved across the country and have only recently had time to model and remembered my Britmodeller login information! This is my latest and first build since moving to New York City. I built an original release of the 1956 Connaught Type B Grand Prix car. It was a fun little kit and provided opportunities to spruce it up a it. I added mesh intake covers, fairings over the carburetors and exhaust manifold, drilled out the exhaust cover, added chassis tubing, a radiator, and weld seams for the exhaust. The tartan seat was painted by brush with the help of Tamiya tape for curves. The metal finish in the interior is cut from a Coke can. Finally my addiction pays off! Thanks for looking, Jake Better shot of the interior panelling.
  11. My particular field of interest in racing cars is predominately vintage and classic. Unfortunately there are very few reasonably priced kits available in my favourite scale. Many of you will be aware of the old Merit Grand Prix car kits. They had quite a range including the D type Jaguar (one of my all time favourites) Maserati 250F, Talbot Lago and Alfa Romeo 158, to name just a few. The kits are really quite ancient now and I believe they were first manufactured at the dawn of the plastic kit era. That having been said, they are fair representations of the original subjects and with a bit of re-work and a few additions, can be made into reasonable looking models. I've managed to acquire a number of these kits over the years as prices for unbuilt examples in good condition can get quite interesting. My most recent irresistible find was in a local charity shop. There were four kits with a sticker price of £2.25 each. I handed over £20 for them as that was all I had in my wallet, it felt like the right thing to do. Haul was, Ferrari D50, Vanwall, BRM P25 and Cooper 500. So, I am slowly working my way through them. All were built examples but definitely not 'glue bombs'. I have completed the Vanwall and have been slowly working on the BRM P25. This years model club Christmas competition is themed, an annual event, this years theme is 'Lincolnshire' i.e. anything built or used in Lincolnshire. The BRM, being built in Bourne, fits the bill nicely (I'm also doing a 1/32 Red Arrow) so I have to crack on with this. The pics that follow show the basic kit, a built out of the box example (these pics are from the net) followed by my progress pics of the build so far. Also, you need to know that the Merit kit was of the early P25 prototype. This was before Colin Chapman suggested a re-think on the suspension and the transverse leaf spring was dropped. So there will be no pretty red springs peeping out above the rear wheels. Work starts with the body. Removing the moulded in radiator grilles and rescribing the panel lines, these are raised on all Merit car kits. The tyres and wheels are from South Eastern Finecast. They sell kit parts separately and these come from their BRM P57 white metal kit. The castings have been improved by drilling through and adding the smaller holes. The rims have also been smoothed slightly. A new floor has been added together with transmission tunnel. Reference for the cockpit has come from my own pics taken at vintage race meets. They are all of the later P25 but I am hoping not too much changed in this respect. I could find no detail pics of the early car. The pinky white blob at the rear of the cockpit is the front of the fuel tank, this was un covered right behind the drivers seat! This was made with body filler applied over the top of the flat kit part. The real fuel tank was, of course, rounded in profile. It was common for cars of this era to have tubular chassis covered with a metal skin. The tube chassis could be seen running down the sides of the cockpit so this has to be represented. I make some measurements and draw a jig. The two sides of the frame are joined together under the instrument panel, this also makes it easier to handle and attach as a single piece on final assembly. A quick mock up of how it looks. Instrument panel will have details added and I need to scratch a gear lever up. Finally, couldn't resist a quick mock up of the car. Now thinking about how to scratch up an exhaust system, probably with 2mm solder. Thanks for looking. As usual, I am open to suggestions or improvements, etc. Cheers, Steve.
  12. Merit is to release a 1/24th SPAD S.XIII kit - ref.62401 Source: http://www.ipmsdeutschland.de/Ausstellungen/Nuernberg2016/Nuernberg_2016.html V.P.
  13. Merit is to release 1/24th Sopwith Camel kits. - ref.62404 - Sopwith Camel F.1 - ref.62405 - Sopwith Camel 2.F.1 Source: http://www.ipmsdeutschland.de/Ausstellungen/Nuernberg2016/Nuernberg_2016.html V.P.
  14. Merit is to release a 1/24th Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5a kit - ref.62402 Sources: http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234973406-merit-cataloguefolder-2015-2016/ http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10347144 box art V.P.
  15. RAF S.E.5.a 1:24 Merit International One of the most famous of all British fighters of the Great War, the S.E.5a entered service in 1917, and stayed on the front line until the end of the war in November 1918. It was a much easier aircraft to fly than the tricky Sopwith Camel, and given that many pilots were arriving with as little as 20 hours flying training, a much more suitable mount for the inexperienced. Designed by H P Folland, it's characteristics can be readily seen in the post war Gloster Grebe and Gamecock which Folland also designed. Other of his notable works were the Gloster Gauntlet and Gladiator, and he went on to found the Folland aircraft company. The earlier aircraft were powered by the 200 hp Hispano-Suiza 8b geared engine, and later on the 200 hp Wolsely Viper direct drive engine was introduced. In simple terms, the drive shaft of the Hispano Suiza drove a gear wheel, which then drove another gearwheel above, attached to the back of the prop, which rotated clockwise when viewed from the font. Visually this raised the prop higher in the nose, and often these machines had 4 bladed propellers. The Wolsely Viper was a licence built version of the Hispano-Suiza, and dispensed with the gear mechanism. The prop was bolted directly to the drive shaft, so that visually it sat in the mid position of the nose, and rotated anti-clockwise. This is a quick way to spot the difference between a geared Hispano Suiza, and a direct drive engine, probably a Wolsely Viper, although to complicate things, Hispano Suiza started to produce direct drive engines as well. The kit. Merit international have now released a 1:24 scale S.E.5a to accompany their recent Fokker DR.1. Packed in a sturdy cardboard box with a lovely painting of a lone S.E.5a on top, the kit consists of 5 large sprue frames, a small clear one, a nickel plated sheet of etched brass, and an A5 sized decal sheet, every one of which is sealed in its own plastic bag. The instructions are in the form of a 16 page A5 booklet with line drawings showing construction over 24 stages. Assembly starts with the interior, and like the DR.1 kit has full length fuselage frames. Cockpit floor, rudder pedals, control column, seat, and instrument panel (with decals) are all provided. It would have been nice to have a pair of pilots lap belts on the etched sheet, as these are prominent items in this scale, but there are none. The modeller will have to fabricate their own or look to the aftermarket for a set. Sprue A holds most of the interior items, plus that big clockwise rotating 4 bladed prop. All is sharply moulded with nicely defined detail, no flash or sink marks being apparent. Sprue B has the fuselage halves, forward coaming, wheels, fin and rudder. Again the moulding is neatly done. The coaming unit has fairly prominent rivet detail that will benefit from a little rubbing down. Also there is a small window just in front of the cockpit opening that has been moulded solid. Some may wish to drill & open it out, and glaze with clear plasticard or similar. The cowling panels are all moulded shut, as no engine is included. Sprues C and D have the wings, which are in upper and lower halves. Rib detail is prominent, and depending upon personal preference, some may prefer to reduce it with a little sanding. Also present are the triangular inspection panels on the top of the lower wing and underside of the upper. In reality these were clear celluloid triangles that gave a view of an aileron control cable as it made a 90 degree turn around a guide pulley. On my 1/48 Roden S.E.5's I represented these by painting them on, and laying a few coats of Tamiya X19 'Smoke' over the triangular panel. The effect was quite good and should work well here. Sprue E supplies tailplanes, elevators, struts, exhaust pipes, and undercarriage. The undercarriage legs are the early steel tube type, which were replaced on later machines by an altogether more substantial pair of made of wood. Etch. The rigging is all provided as individual etched brass wires, of which the cross brace 'X' s between the struts are fitted before the top wing goes on. Once the wing is on the rest of the rigging can be popped into its little locating slots. It should make this task a lot easier for those who don't like using fishing line or elastic line for this task. Even the control wires for the rudder, elevators, and ailerons are supplied as etched items. The final elements to go on are the propeller and the overwing Lewis gun on its Foster mount. Curiously the Lewis is provided with a twin side by side ammo drum fitting, which I have not seen or heard of before, and am wary of it's accuracy. A typical fitment would have been a single 47 round drum. Double versions containing 94 rounds were available but were made as 'stacked' units rather than side by side. Decals. These are on a single A5 sized sheet, with good sharp edged printing and colours and minimal carrier film. The national markings are all provided, with alternate rudder stripes and individual markings for your chosen option. The instrument decals are very fine, and can be read with a magnifying glass. Options. Two options are provided, but no information is given about what they are. A quick bit of googling reveals that we have ; A. F-943 92 Squadron, probably post war. B. A2-13 (Formerly D8476 in RAF). One of 35 supplied post war to the Royal Australian Air Force. Conclusion. This is a nice sized model that should be fairly simple to build, and may well make a good first biplane project, especially with the pre-made etched brass rigging. Much of the detail is basic but adequate. The novice should not have too much trouble building it, while the purist will want to add to, and enhance the detail provided. Whichever, it will make an excellent partner to Merit's recent Fokker DR.1 to the same scale. The model best represents an early war S.E.5a, with a geared Hispano-Suiza driving a four bladed propeller, and steel tube undercarriage. Photos of the original A2-13 and F-934 can be found on the internet, and both certainly appear to have a 2 bladed propeller in the lower position, with the heavier wooden undercarriage appropriate for a later S.E.5a. This will not be a problem for the previously mentioned novice, but again others may want to seek out alternative unit markings Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
  16. This is a restoration of a kit purchased from a charity shop. The Merit kits are very long in the tooth now but definately worth updating with some thoughtful addition. WIP is here http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234944561-brm-p25-in-124-updating-the-old-merit-kit/ Paint is from Zero purchased through Hiroboy. The decals are Pattos, the race number for Mike Hawthorns car should actually be 23 but this was as close as I could get. I've since found some general race numbers sold in individual packs (damn it!) Very enjoyable resto with almost all the added detail scratchbuilt or parts box bits. The wheels and tyres came from SEF, just a shame the tread on the tyres is not better but I feel it adds to the period charm of this model. I am gradually working my way through a collection of these little beauties. The Connaught B type campaigned by Rob Walker is next. So, here she is in all her splendour. Thanks for looking, Steve.
  17. Fokker DR.1Triplane 1:24 Merit International Instantly recognisable as one of the most distinctive aircraft of The Great War, the Fokker Triplane's fame far exceeds its actual contribution to the war effort. It's service life barely stretched to 6 months, and the number built was tiny (320) in relation to other contemporary fighter aircraft such as the Albatros D.V /Va (around 2,500 built). Undoubtedly it was the association with Manfred Von Richthofen 'The Red Baron' that made it such a famous aircraft. Even members of the public with no interest in aviation will surely be aware of the man and his blood red Triplane. It was not particularly fast, but Its greatest assets were its rate of climb and exceptional manoeuvrability, which made it a deadly opponent in a dog fight. Coupled to the fact that most were only issued to elite units and flown by the most skilled pilots, it is perhaps easier to appreciate why it built up such a formidable reputation in a short space of time. Roughly speaking, it was in service with the Jastas from the end of 1917,and gone from them by the middle of 1918. Very few aircraft of any type have ever had such a short lifespan. There have been many plastic kits available, almost from the start of the hobby. There cannot be many of us who did not build an Airfix or Revell Triplane in our early years of modelling. It has been well covered in all the main scales, with noteworthy examples from Eduard (1:72 and 1:48), Roden (1:32) , and even a 1:28 version from Revell which has been around for many decades. This new kit from Merit is however the first version that I am aware of in 1:24 scale, and seems to herald the beginning of a new range of Great War aircraft, as their website lists an SE.5a to join it soon. The kit. Until recently I was not aware of the 'Merit International' brand, but they are apparently an off-shoot of the well known Trumpeter company. They specialise in large scale kits such as the 1:18 scale F-86 Sabre, Bf 109, Me 262 and AV-8B Harrier amongst others. The DR.1 kit comes in a sturdy cardboard box with a separate base and lid, which is well filled with five individually wrapped sprue trees, an etched brass fret, two sheets of decals, colour profiles for the finishing option, and an A4 sized instruction booklet. First impressions are of a well packed and presented product. Sprue A. This holds the two fuselage halves and many of the interior components. Everything is cleanly moulded with good detail and virtually no flash. The under fuselage stitching along the centre seam is moulded on, rather than being as a separate strip as Eduard do it. It should work well, but will require care when gluing the fuselage halves together. Sprues B and C. Each of the three wings are split into upper and lower halves. The fabric effect is really well done, with the underlying structure and ribs being subtly portrayed. The fabric itself looks nice and tightly 'doped on' without the excessive sag that many manufacturers mould on. I'm impressed with how Merit have done it, and it should look very good under a coat of paint. Sprue D. The welded steel tube fuselage interior is fully supplied in the form of two side pieces with separate upper and lower cross members. The instructions suggest building it all around the interior components such as floor, seat, ammo tank, etc. Personally I would be tempted to see if I could build up most of the tubular skeleton and then fit in all these parts afterwards. It would make painting of all these parts easier, but might be risky! A bit of dry fitting should give some idea of how feasible this might be. Also on this sprue are all the cylinder heads and pushrods for the engine, and the cabane and interplane struts for the wings. The moulding is all very neat with no flash and the tiniest of seams to scrape once off the sprue. Sprue E. Engine halves, firewall, cowling, axle wing, wheels, rudder, tailplane and propeller are all here. Again the moulding is neat and almost flash free. None of the sprues show any sign of sink marks and are competently produced. The Axial propeller is moulded with nice thin trailing edges and blade cross sections. It is however a little bit 'pinched looking' at the rear of the blades near the roots. It is nothing too serious, but I will build mine up a little with Milliput and blend it in. The wheels are nicely defined as single piece mouldings with sharp hub to tyre definition, which will make painting a simple easy task. The engine has nicely defined detail, with separate spark plugs. Many of us will want to add some very fine copper wire for the plug leads. I do this on all my Wingnut Wings and Eduard kits, because once you have done it you feel obliged to do it to all your builds! Etch. The etched brass sheet supplies a pair of cooling jackets for the twin Spandau machine guns, and control horns for the elevators and ailerons. Decals. The smaller of the two sheets contains all the national markings and subjects for the two individual finishing options, along with some instrument faces and propeller logos etc. A larger sheet offers a representation of the Fokker 'Streaky' camouflage for the upper wing surfaces and fuselage. If you are not familiar with this, the Fokker factory applied a streaky effect to many of their aircraft types. It was hand painted by wide brush using a green/olive colour, and deliberately streaked in one direction. If you are not confident in doing this on the model, then the decals will do all the hard work for you. I have worked out a way to do this with oil paints described here, as I personally prefer to be able to vary the tone and shade of the streaking over what most decals provide. Well done to Merit for giving the modeller the choice though. Options. Both are well known, but it is pleasing to note that Manfred Von Richthofen's overall red DR.1 has been avoided. Instead we have one of his earlier DR.1s 152/17, which in my opinion is far more attractive in its streaky green with red sections. The second option is Jasta 2's Fritz Kempf 'Kennscht mi noch?' which translates as either 'Remember me?' or 'Do you know me?'. It was something of a taunt to allied pilots, and to make sure, Kempf had his name painted in large letters on the top wing. Although not mentioned in the instructions, it would be possible to create several other DR.1s using just the basic 'Iron Crosses'. Many had simple designs painted on the fuselage which covered most, if not all, of the serial number. Guns. The LMG 08/15 machine guns are supplied with etched brass jackets, but further comment is needed here. The kit supplies solid mouldings for the guns and the builder is instructed to wrap the etched jackets around the solid barrel. While this will work, I don't see the point in it, as the advantage of the etched 'slot' openings will be all but lost. I therefore modified mine to how easy it would be to improve them. Firstly I cut off the solid barrel, leaving a lip at each end for the etched jacket to glue on to. Then I drilled a hole in each end for the new barrel. The barrels on the Spandaus were only thin tubes, the purpose of the slotted jacket was to act as a heat sink and cool it down. A new barrel was cut from 1mm brass wire, and put in place. The etched jacket can then be slid over. Finally, there is a trigger/cocking mechanism on the right side of the gun, which is not represented at all. I built this up from rod and strip to give a reasonable representation of what I can see from photographs. A simple and effective improvement that took all of 10 minutes to do. I also drilled out the solid sight on top of the muzzle, and cyano'd on a cross hair from fine copper wire. The cross hairs were 1 cm long, trimmed off when set. I feel that these modifications/additions are essential in this scale, as the guns supplied ok in shape but lacking in detail. The other item that will need dealing with is the lack of seat belts. In this scale they are essential as they are such a prominent detail in the open cockpit. I was a little surprised that none were included on the etched fret. However, it is not too difficult to fabricate a set. A simple remedy might be to photocopy and enlarge some from a 1/48th set, and use the copy to cut some from tape or wine bottle foil. Alternatively the aftermarket may offer such items. Conclusion. An interesting model in the large 1:24 scale, which won't take up too much space. It will perhaps make a good companion to those similarly scaled 109's from Airfix and Trumpeter, showing the evolution of the German air force over the space of 25-odd years. Don't be put off by omission of seat belts or need to enhance the guns, this is a very nicely moulded kit and a good first entry into Great War modelling by Merit. The DR.1 has none of the complications of biplanes as the mid and lower wings fit directly to the fuselage, and the top wing fits easily onto the 4 struts. Rigging is simple, just 2 wires between the cabane struts and 2 more on the undercarriage. The unpainted but built up example in 'The Rumourmonger' shows a very accurate looking model. The proportions all look right and captures the look and feel of the DR.1 very well. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
  18. As announced (http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234973406-merit-cataloguefolder-2015-2016/?hl=merit), Merit is to release 1/24th Fokker Dr.1 kit - ref. 62403 Release is expected for 3rd Quarter 2015 Source: https://www.facebook.com/MeritIntlLtd/photos/a.117819558309628.25722.117797744978476/881469738611269/?type=1&theater Box art V.P.
  19. Hello at all... and welcome to my new big project - and my first project here at britmodeller.com! I will do the USS Hornet (CV-8) in 1/200 scale by Merit International. Additionally I will use the big detail set by Tetra Model Works, consisting of lot of photo etched parts, brass parts for the guns and masts, chain and a hose. Furthermore the woode deck from Nautilus Models will be used as well. For the beginning I started with the display for the ship. I drilled two holes in the fuselage for screws which go into the aluminium pipes. The pipes are screwed on a wooden plate which will get some dark wooden color, glossy clear coat as next steps. The two screws in the fuselage of the ship get glued in position and will be used to hold the ship already during the working on it.... The first steps are made..... let's move on with the painting of the display plate ... The first steps on the hull were the portholes. I have opened each one with the small hand drill.... what an ugly work.... but it is done... and much better then before. After the painting I will give each porthole a "glass" made of Mirco Crystal Clear. The display is also painted already.... clear coat still missing on it. Next step... sanding.... sanding .... sanding .... then next parts on the hull .... BR Micha Now lot of photoetched eyebowes on each porthole... funny job... very funny job ... One side done, one side left to go ... ... and the Hornet in it's fully size... my desk is too small ... now the biggest parts on the hull were mounted, the floor of the hangar, the parts for the elevators - all the bigger parts of the hull. Then I have closed some gaps with putty (see the pictures), then later I will sand everything before adding the first photo etched parts to the hull... After the sanding of everything I have started with the first PE parts of the Tetra Model Works Detail-Set. The parts are highest quality, top fitting and an ingredible look. I love the parts already now and makes lot of fun working with it. Good work by Tetra! The PE parts from the Tetra Model set are fantastic. 100% fitting, great details, absolutly wonderful. At the front I have added mostly of the parts now, the missing ones follow after the painting. On the rope drums I have added some rope which will receive painting later. The railing and some other PE parts follow after the painting of the hull. At the rear the 2nd floor received a new brass floor, and also some rope drums as at the front. The next steps are the side walls of the hangar. The biggest part received some new catwalk, ladder and doors... The front part (left side) received new plattforms with rails, doors, and later one long catwalk on the top and several stairways. The upper catwalk and the stairway will be painted separately and mounted later when the big side walls were mounted on the hull. All the hangar gates will stay open so that you could see the inside of the hangar later. That's it for now .... Micha
  20. Merit catalog 2015-2016 Source: https://www.facebook.com/ScaleModels.ru/photos/a.632237406802735.1073741827.129310540428760/1008965479129924/?type=1&theater NEW 1/24th ref. 62401 - Spad S.VII ref. 62402 - RAF SE.5a ref. 62403 - Fokker Dr.1 1/18th ref. 61802 - Focke Wulf Fw.190A-5 http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234954750-118-focke-wulf-fw190a-5-a-8-by-merit-international-test-shot-release-in-2014-2015/ ref. 61803 - Focke Wulf Fw.190A-8 http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234954750-118-focke-wulf-fw190a-5-a-8-by-merit-international-test-shot-release-in-2014-2015/ ref. 61804 - McDD AV-8B Harrier II http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234954751-118-mcdd-av-8b-harrier-ii-by-merit-international-test-shot-release-february-2015/ 1/48th ref. 64803 - Gloster Gladiator Mk.I ref. 64804 - Gloster Gladiator Mk.II ref. 64805 - Grumman J2F-5 Duck http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234973497-148-grumman-j2f-5-duck-by-merit/ V.P.
  21. Very large - 1/18th ! - Bell UH-1B Huey gunship kits are announced by Merit International in 2014-2015 - ref.60028 - Huey UH-1B Gunship v.1 Source: https://www.facebook.com/MeritIntlLtd?hc_location=timeline#!/photo.php?fbid=589305344494378&set=a.589304677827778.1073741854.117797744978476&type=1&theater - ref.60029 - Huey UH-1B Gunship v.2 Source: https://www.facebook.com/MeritIntlLtd?hc_location=timeline#!/photo.php?fbid=589305727827673&set=a.589304677827778.1073741854.117797744978476&type=1&theater V.P.
  22. A very large - 1/18th ! - Focke-Wulf Fw.190A-5 kit is announced by Merit International in 2014-2015 - ref. 61802 Source: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=587325854692327&set=pb.117797744978476.-2207520000.1391410224.&type=3&theater In the same way a - 1/18th ! - Focke-Wulf Fw.190A-8 kit is announced by Merit International in 2014-2015 - ref. 61803 Source: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=587324268025819&set=pb.117797744978476.-2207520000.1391410224.&type=3&permPage=1 V.P.
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