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  1. Calling for all Bf 109 exerten in the community to help on a question about the Emil. I am building two braile scale 109Es and I want to leave the cowling panels removable to show the engine bay and machine gun details. I've seen mulitple photos of the MG17s on the Emil where the barrels go through a separate cowling of sorts. Here are some examples, Franz von Werra's famous E-4 and another Luftwaffe 109E(-4?). Franz von Werra E-4 However, I've also seen photos of Emils whose MG17 do not have cowl over the barrels.. So am I somewhat confused and I can't quite figure out how the main cowling panel was installed on top. Were these removed only for maintenance? Were they installed only on some subvariants or batches produced by a specific factory? And how do they interact with the main top cowling panel on the Emil, are they sort of inserts, does it cover them partially or completely?
  2. Bf.109E-3 ProfiPACK (7032) 1:72 Eduard With almost 34,000 examples manufactured over a 10-year period, the Messerschmitt Bf.109 is one of the most widely produced aircraft in history and it saw active service in every theatre in which German armed forces were engaged. Initially designed in the mid-1930s, the Bf.109 shared a similar general arrangement with the Spitfire, employing monocoque construction and a V12 engine, albeit an inverted V with fuel injection rather than the carburettor used in the Spit. Initially designed as a lightweight interceptor, like many German types during WWII, the Bf.109 evolved beyond its original brief into a bomber escort, fighter bomber, night fighter, ground-attack and reconnaissance platform. The E variant, or Emil as it was more affectionately known was the first major revision of the original design, including an uprated engine and the attendant strengthening of the airframe that was required. It first saw service in the Legion Condor fighting in the Spanish civil war on the side of Nationalist forces of Military Dictator Franco, and then in the Battle of Britain where it came up against its nemeses the Supermarine Spitfire and Hawker Hurricane during the critical fight for the survival of the RAF and Britain, which was key to halting Operation Seelöwe, the invasion of Britain by the Nazis. Like the Spitfire it fought against, it was improved incrementally through different marks, the Emil was similarly tweaked to keep pace, with later variants having additional long-range tankage, plus structural improvements and a simpler squared-off canopy with clear frontal armour, but apart from various field modifications and a few low-volume sub-variants, it had reached the end of its tenure, and was phased out in favour of the Friedrich and later the Gustav. The Kit This is a reboxing of a recent kit in collaboration with Special Hobby in your favourite wee scale. It arrives in a modest top-opening box that has the ProfiPACK themed gold banner, and inside are two sprues of grey styrene, a fret of pre-painted nickel-plated Photo-Etch (PE), a sheet of pre-cut kabuki-style masking tape, two decal sheets and the instruction booklet printed in colour on glossy paper, and with profiles for the decal options on the rear pages. Detail is excellent, especially for the scale, and includes a lot of engraved panel lines and rivets in differing thickness and depths, as well as all the other recessed and raised details, plus engine and gun bays that you can expose as we’ve come to expect from Eduard and Special Hobby. Construction begins with nipping the ends off two raised lines on the cockpit front bulkhead, which is then glued to the floor along with a choice of styrene or PE rudder pedals, the latter shown being folded to assist you with the process. The sloped rear bulkhead is attached to the rear, and a box is made up in front of the bulkhead from three parts with details moulded on the sides. The seat and PE belts are slotted into the rear of the cockpit, and the instrument panel is made from the styrene backing part, which receives two sections of laminated PE along with some toggles and levers to detail it. It is then glued to the nose gun bay floor, which is prepared with a few PE parts installed on the diagonal ammo feeders for the cannons once the bay is attached to the front of the cockpit on the boxed in area. You can use a pair of barrel stubs on a cross-bar for the closed bay, or the full guns with breeches if you intend to leave the bay open. The engine is built around two halves, adding the serial decal and removing a small block of styrene from the rear before you add the ancillaries, supercharger and bell housing with horseshoe oil tank at the front, plus the two mounts and their braces on the sides. Before closing the fuselage halves, the cockpit interior sides are detailed with PE and styrene extras, painting things up as you go along, then a pair of inserts are places in the cowling behind the exhausts, the exhausts are inserted through their openings, and the engine, cockpit and tail-wheel are all trapped between them. If you plan on closing up all the bays, the top and gun bay cowlings can be glued in place along with the filter for the supercharger. At the rear, the rudder, elevators and their support struts are all installed on tabs and pins into their respective holes to ensure they are oriented correctly. The lower wings are full span, and the gear bay wall cut-outs are skinned with PE details, as are the surfaces of the radiators and the chin intake, which also gets skinned on each side of the trough that fits inside the fairing. The upper wings are brought in and glued over the lowers, and the three-section flying surfaces are installed on each trailing edge, with radiator fairings that have optional PE cooling vents glued over the cores. The fuselage and wings are mated together, adding the leading-edge slats, which should be deployed under their own weight when parked, and a gun barrel projecting from each wing. The canopy can be posed open or closed, consisting of a fixed windscreen that has PE detailing added, and rear section that accepts the antenna, then the canopy opener is prepared by inserting the head armour and a small PE lever inside, and deciding whether to glue it closed or open to the starboard side, held in place by a retaining strap made of PE. A scrap diagram shows how it should look from the front. The prop blades are moulded as one, and are sandwiched between the spinner and back-plate and inserted on the axle at the front of the fuselage, then all that is left to create are the main gear legs. Each leg is a single strut, and you should first remove the strap running down most of its length, replacing it with a PE brake hose, adding the captive bay door, and of course the wheel onto the short cross-axle. Another scrap diagram shows the correct orientation of the assemblies once complete. Fitting a pair of horn balances on the ailerons, and an L-shaped pitot probe under the port wing completes the plastic wrangling. Markings There are a generous six decal options on the sheet, with a variety of early war schemes to choose from. From the box you can build one of the following: W.Nr.1079, Ofw. Erich Rudorffer, 2./JG2, Baumont-le-Roger, France, September 1940 Oblt. August-Wilhelm Schumann, 5./JG52, Mannheim-Sandofen, Germany, November-December 1939 W.Nr.1380, Obstlt. Carl-Alfred Schumacher, CO of JG1, Jever, Germany, early 1940 Obstlt. Max Ibel, CO of JG27, Guines, France, September-October 1940 W.Nr.1271, Oblt. Helmut Heinz, CO of 4./JG77, Kristiandsand-Kjevik, Norway, September 1940 W.Nr.5058, Fw. Arthur Haase, 6./JG51, Marquise-West, France, August 1940 The decals are printed by Eduard and are in good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The stencils are on a separate sheet, and are marked on a page of the booklet, separate from the rest of the markings to avoid confusion trying to read overly busy diagrams. Don’t forget that as of 2021, the carrier film from Eduard decals can be coaxed away from the printed part of the decal after they have been applied, effectively rendering them carrier-free, making the decals much thinner and more realistic, and obviating the need to apply successive coats of clear varnish to hide the edges of the film. It’s a great step further in realism from my point of view. Conclusion This is a highly detailed, comprehensive model of the early WWII variant of the Bf.109, complete with a good number of interesting schemes to choose from. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  3. Bf.109G-14/AS 3D Printed Upgrade Set (3DL48092) 1:48 Eduard SPACE We reviewed Eduard’s recent boxing of their excellent Bf.109G-14/AS high-altitude fighter here, and in its ProfiPACK guise it includes PE instrument panels. If you have another edition that doesn’t have those upgrades, this set should be of interest, adding modern printing technology and detail to the cockpit. The Eduard SPACE sets use new 3D printing techniques that lay down successive layers of different colour resin, creating highly realistic almost full complete panels that are supplied on a decal sheet. They can depict metallic shades, plus glossy, satin and matt colours too, which really ups the detail on everything they print. In addition, a small sheet of nickel-plated and pre-painted PE is included for the aspects of the set that lend themselves better to this medium, such as seatbelts and rudder pedals. After removing the engraved detail from the floor next to where the seat will sit, the flat surfaces have three 3D printed decals added to replace and augment those areas, and when the seat is installed, it is then detailed by adding the four-point seatbelts, which also have comfort pads under the buckles, with little brackets attaching to the rear shelf giving a realistic location where the shoulder harnesses are held in place. The instrument panel is a straight replacement that is applied to the blank instrument panel that is on the sprues, laminating two main layers and a smaller central layer to complete the task. The cockpit sidewalls are also updated with several instrument faces after removing the moulded-in detail, one of which is held at an angle by a PE bracket. The oxygen regulator is also given a new face, and the remaining PE parts are added, along with a T-shaped toggle that’s inserted into the instrument panel. Conclusion I’m a huge fan of 3D printed instrument panels and their ilk, and look out for them whenever I start a new project. This set should give the already excellent Eduard kit an additional boost in detail that is well worth the effort and asking price. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. Me.262A 3D Printed Upgrade Set (3DL48085 for Tamiya) 1:48 Eduard SPACE The Tamiya Me.262A is getting quite old now, but it’s still a good kit that would benefit from a new lease of life by adding some modern technology aftermarket to the cockpit. The Eduard SPACE sets use new 3D printing techniques that lay down successive layers of different colour resin, creating highly realistic almost full complete panels that are supplied on a decal sheet. They can depict metallic shades, plus glossy, satin and matt colours too, which really ups the detail on everything they print. In addition, a small sheet of nickel-plated and pre-painted PE is included for the aspects of the set that lend themselves better to this medium, such as seatbelts and rudder pedals. After removing the engraved detail from the kit instrument panel, the flat surfaces have four 3D printed decals added to replace and augment the part, with a choice of a different centre console with an alternative layout of instruments. The side consoles are similarly stripped of their moulded-in details, covered over with new decals, and with a lever on a backing plate on the starboard side, next to the kit fuse board, which has a cut-out in the decal to allow everything to sit well together. The pilot’s seat is then detailed by adding the four-point seatbelts, which also have comfort pads under the buckles, and you should remove the two small pips on the back of the seat before gluing the shoulder harnesses in place. Conclusion I’m a huge fan of 3D printed instrument panels and their ilk, and look out for them whenever I start a new project. This set should give the venerable Tamiya kit an additional boost in detail that is well worth the effort and asking price. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  5. 1/48 Avia S-199 (post war Bf 109) is planed for next two or three years. source: http://modelforum.cz/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=95280&start=4005#p1897662 downscale to 1/72 is planed too (like all Eduard projects) but more years in future.
  6. Wingsy Kits is working on a new tool 1/48th Messerschmitt Bf.109E-1/-3/-4/-7 family of kits. My only comment: I'm not the investor, it's the model kit market that will decide the well or not well-founded of this choice. Source: in the comments https://www.facebook.com/Wingsykits/photos/a.961746970607307/2446782888770367/?type=3&theater V.P.
  7. Bf.109G-14/AS ProfiPACK (82162) 1:48 Eduard The G variant of the Bf.109, colloquially known as the Gustav was one of the primary fighters available to the Luftwaffe during the closing years of WWII, and saw extensive active service, all the while being upgraded to combat the increasing Allied superiority in the air. Happily for the Allies, the supply of experienced pilots was fast running out, so as good as the upgrades were, they couldn't make an appreciable difference to the outcome. The G-14 was brought into service at a crucial time for the Axis forces, as the Allies pushed inland from the beachhead at Normandy, and it had an improved water injection system that gave the engine extra performance, plus the new clear-vision Erla-Haube canopy as standard. It was also an attempt to standardise the design to ease the job of construction, which had become decentralised due to the ferocity of the bombardment of the industrial areas by the Allied bombers at that stage of the war. As a result, few sub-variants were made of the G-14 even though over 5,000 were built, with command fighters and high-altitude variants the main exceptions, but the U4 had a powerful 30mm MK108 cannon fitted through the engine and firing through the centre of the prop. The AS sub-variant was the high-altitude interceptor that ran a DB 605ASM engine that was tuned for altitude, and used a methanol/water mixture dubbed ‘MW 50’ to provide an emergency combat boost for a limited period before it would cause issues. The Kit The 109G has been fairly comprehensively retooled by Eduard from their original, and while this is a new sub-variant some of the sprues date back to their later, more accurate edition. The five-digit product code is a clue to this do-over. The ProfiPACK offers additional decal options as well as other upgrades to the basic kit, and alongside the four sprues of grey styrene you will find one of clear, a sheet of nickel-plated and pre-painted Photo-Etch (PE), a sheet of pre-cut yellow kabuki tape masks (not pictured), two decal sheets and the usual Eduard colour instruction booklet printed on glossy paper. By now most of us are familiar with the fine surface detail and dainty riveting on the outer skin of Eduard’s many Gustav boxings, and the level of detail that has been crammed into this excellent tooling. There are also tons of aftermarket parts available from Eduard for those that want to add even more detail to their models, from engines, cockpits, to wheels, bronze gear legs and flying surfaces. The world really is your oyster when it comes to how much you want to throw at your build, but for many the included PE will be more than adequate. It's all up to you! Predictably the build starts with the cockpit, which has a number of PE controls added to the floor, and a full set of PE instruments that are ready to add to the painted cockpit, as well as the fuel line part that is supplied on the clear sprue because it has a glass section as it runs through the cockpit to allow the pilot easy access for checking if there's fuel reaching the engine. A hump between the pilot’s knees caters for the breech of the cannon fitted to this sub-variant, and a full set of painted crew belts are supplied on the PE fret, plus rudder pedals for good measure. More PE is attached to the cockpit sidewalls, and with all that glued and painted you can close up the fuselage around it, not forgetting the fixed tail wheel for two options, with a spinner back-plate fitted to the front of the fuselage, and the exhaust stubs with their slide-moulded hollow tips inserted from inside into their slots, with or without a flare shield that was useful during night flying. The upper nose cannon insert and supercharger intake fit into their respective areas, and a set of optional flame deflectors made from PE are added over the exhaust stacks to prevent blinding the pilot in low light flying, while giving the modeller a more realistic thickness to them. The G-14 had a couple of options for the tail fin, with the increased use of non-strategic wood, so the fin base is moulded to the fuselage, while the tip is separate with a vertical hinge-line. The rudder is separate, and you have a choice of two, one of which needs a little material removed from the trailing edge, as indicated in red. The fin depicted in this step is the cranked hinge-line variant that isn’t used in this boxing, so just ignore the fact that the rudder wouldn’t fit the fin as shown. The fixed tail wheel with gaiter for three of the decal options is fitted to a recess under the tail at this point too. The lower wing halves are full span, and you need to open up two holes for a centre-line rack and insert a clear part in the port wing for the antenna’s electrical isolator. The wheel bay sides are in three segments and mate with the inner surface of the upper wings to give an excellent level of detail once finished, with a tunnel added that receives the strut. A small pair of rectangular panel lines are scribed into the fuselage just in front of the windscreen using a PE template that is provided on the sheet, and a pair of teardrop masks are supplied for the wingtip lights, which are moulded into the wing, but can easily be replaced by cutting out the area and fitting some clear acrylic sheet of a suitable thickness, then sanding it to shape and polishing it back to clarity. A depression depicting the bulb can be drilled in the clear part before gluing to further enhance the look if you feel so motivated. Separate leading-edge slats, ailerons and flaps are supplied, with the latter fitting around the radiator bays under the wing, which have PE grilles front and rear. A scrap diagram shows the correct orientation of the parts to ensure that both layers align correctly as per the real thing. The narrow-track landing gear consists of a single strut with moulded-in oleo scissor, a captive door that glues against it, and the one-piece tyre with separate hubs on each side. The legs fit into sockets in the wheel bays, and horn balances are fitted to the ailerons, a choice of styles of antenna under the wing is added, and a small PE access panel is glued under the fuselage behind the wing trailing edge. Before fitting the canopy, the clear gunsight must be partially painted and fitted to the top of the instrument panel, and a pair of PE grab handles are attached to the inside of the windscreen, which should be partially painted RLM66 inside or outside before the exterior colours. The Erla-style canopy opener also has PE parts added plus the pilot's head armour and a short aerial on the rear, with a PE retaining wire included for posing the canopy open. A manual starter handle is also present in case you wanted to show your G-14/AS in a more candid pose on the ground. The prop is a single part and is sandwiched by the back plate and spinner before being inserted into the hole in the front of the fuselage. Two styles of external fuel tank are supplied, one with a flat bottom edge for additional ground clearance, and the other with a smoother exterior. These fit on a rack that sits on the centreline for all markings options, a rudder trim actuator is fitted, and a small twig antenna is fitted to all options with a tiny circular base, both of which are made of PE. Markings The main markings are carried on the larger sheet, while the stencils are on the smaller one. Stencils are drawn on a separate page of the instructions to reduce repetition and clutter, and each marking option has a page all to itself to cut down on confusion and give the modeller good sized diagrams to follow. From the box you can build one of these five options: WNr.784938, III./JG6, Bissel, Germany, January 1945 WNr.783891, Fw. Heinz-Paul Müller, 9./JG300, Jüterbog-Damm, Germany, Autumn 1944 Lt. Walter Köhne, CO of 6./JG 11, Wunsdorf, Germany, October 1944 Wnr.785185, Lt. Heinz Schüler, 16./JG5, Stavanger-Forus, Norway, March 1945 WNr.785083, Sgt. Magg. Aroldo Burei, 1° Squadriglia, 1° Gruppo, Caccia ANR, Malpensa, Italy, April 1945 The masks (not pictured) cover the armoured glass in the pilot's head armour, the wheel hubs and of course the canopy, with the curved part having frame-hugging masks that need filling in the compound curved areas with scrap tape or liquid mask. These are a great time-saver and the fit of them is usually spot-on, and the only masks that are better would be if you picked up a set of Tface masks, also from Eduard that allow you to paint the canopy internally, as well as the usual exterior paint-job. I’m a big fan of those. The decals are printed by Eduard and are in good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The stencils are on a separate sheet, and are marked on a page of the booklet, separate from the rest of the markings to avoid confusion from trying to read overly busy diagrams. Don’t forget that as of 2021, the carrier film from Eduard decals can be coaxed away from the printed part of the decal after they have been applied, effectively rendering them carrier-free, making the decals much thinner and more realistic, and obviating the need to apply successive coats of clear varnish to hide the edges of the film. It’s a great step further in realism from my point of view. Conclusion These are superb kits from Eduard, and they are priced well, considering the detail and markings options included. They don't bother with novelties such as magnets to hold cowlings in place, but if you should perchance want to show off your engine, you can get a superbly detailed resin unit separately and those that don't want to show off their engines don't have to pay for parts they aren't going to use. The G is my personal favourite, so I'm more than happy to see another one from Eduard. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  8. Another day, another Luftwaffe build from me. This time it's the Hasegawa Bf 109F-4/Trop in 1:48 with markings for Marseille's last Bf 109F before moving to the ill-fated G-2/Trop. The kit decals are cracked and are beyond saving, so I'll use a mix from Xtradecals, Academy and Hobby Boss ones. Boxart: This is a special edition with resin wheels. Regular ones are also included. Original decals: Before starting the assembly I decided to paint the small parts on the sprues.
  9. Keeping with my trend of big scale Luftwaffe planes, I purchased this one today. Decals had some sort of rust colour on the sheet but none on the decals themselves. I tested the Dragon logo on hot water and was able to slide it onto the surface of a paint mule without breaking it. The model is huge, almost the same size as my Ju 88 from Revell in 1:32. The kit includes a small decal sheet (that doesn't come with the stenciling), a small PE fret, a metal wire, and over 400 parts molded in light grey plastic. However, this one won't be my next build. My next one will be the Revell 32nd scale Me 262A-1a. I'm just preparing the mood for this future build . Here's the boxart:
  10. Messerschmitt Bf 109E-1 "JG.77" (AZ7805) 1:72 AZ Model Kits The BF 109 has inherited quite a legendary status and when you look into its service career, it's certainly obvious why. Viewing the design in retrospect, it looks just like a typical fighter of the WWII era, but it was more than that, it was the very platform that the single seat fighter format was born from. Powerful engine, monocoque airframe, all metal construction, enclosed cockpit and retractable gear this was unheard of before hand, it was radical, not typical in the 1930's. Its birth wasn't perfect however, to achieve its performance, some sacrifices were made, particularly in the landing gear arrangement and high wing loading having a negative effect on landing speeds compared to the competition at the time. This inherent design issue was never fully cured and it's estimated that at least 10% of all 109's were lost in take off accidents. Early models (A-D) were powered by the Junkers jumo engine with outputs of around 700hp. The aircraft was first used in combat during the Spanish Civil War where many lessons were learned and these would be later put to good use in battles over France and Britain. The E or Emil model broke the mould in 109 development by changing to the more powerful Daimler Benz DB 601 engine of around 1080hp, a significant step in performance and also in armament due to the introduction of 20mm cannon. By 1939, all earlier variants had been replaced in frontline service. As the variants progressed, so did the level of armour protection for the pilot. Another critical element to improve survivability was the use of twin radiators with cut off valves meaning that if one radiator was damaged, the other could be used to keep it airborne. The Emil was the primary Luftwaffe fighter until 1941 when the F model became widely available with more powerful engine although a few managed to see combat in the Battle of Britain. For an aircraft that broke the mould with fighter technology and performance in the mid 30's, it's evolution meant that whilst it's design had exhausted improvement capability towards the end of the war, it stayed in operational use until 1965 in Europe in the guise of the Spanish licence built HA 1112 using the Merlin power plant. During its 30 year career, more than 33,000 were built, a record that will probably never be beaten. The Kit This is a new decal issues, for their brand new tool kits from 2020 from. The quality is first class with crisp moulding and fine engraved panel lines. Given the small size of the real aircraft, in 1/72 the model is quite diminutive, but seems well detailed. There are many parts on the sprue including a full set of wings, different wheels, and different spinners so no doubt other marks can be built from the box, and either way the modeller will have lots of spare parts. Construction starts with the cockpit. The floor and rear bulkhead are moulded as one. The seat is added alongside the control column with belts being provided as decals. The front bulkhead with the instrument panel goes in, here the instruments are provided as decal. The prop is constructed next with different spinners for the E and E-1. The cockpit then goes into the right fuselage. Up front there is no engine but a lower plate for the radiator and a pair of exhausts. Once these are in the fuselage can be closed up. Now we move to the wings with the radiators being fitted in before the wings are assembled. There is a single lower wing with split left and right uppers. Once assembled this can added to the fuselage. The main landing gear is ten assembled and added, followed by the tail wheel. Moving back to the top of the aircraft the front engine cover/gun area can be added along with the pilots head armour. The prop can be fitted along with the engine intake and the canopy. On the underside a carrier for a bomb, or different carrier for a fuel tank can be added as needed. The last items to be added are the tail planes along with their supporting struts. Markings The glossy decal sheet is printed in house and looks sharp and in register. There are three decal options available from the decal sheet, all from JG.77 (no surprise there) Conclusion It is good to see a new tool out of this most famous aircraft. I am no 109 expert but it looks to be a well detailed and engineered kit. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  11. Me.262A-1a & P-51B Combat Set (03711) 1:72 Revell Believe it or not (most of you will), the technologically advanced Messerschmitt Me.262 and the P-51 Mustang did actually square off against each other in the skies over Germany. Not many P-51Bs would have still been in service, but even though there was a huge difference in top speed, the doughty Mustang shot down a number of these shark-like fighters, especially at the weaker points of their flight envelope during take-off and landing, where the low spool-up of the jet engines made them an easier target. This kit from Revell is in their Combat Set range, and puts together these old foes in the one box, both of them being a product of the late 90s. The 262 came out in 1997, while the Mustang was released a year later, although having been moulded in silver styrene this time around, it looks older on initial inspection. Let’s handle them separate in case there’s a (dog) fight. Me.262A-1a The shark-like profile of the Messerschmitt Me.262 Schwalbe and its almost matchless abilities at the time have given it a high profile despite its lack of practical effect on the outcome of WWII. If Der Fuhrer had been a little less prone to meddling however, the effect of its presence may have been felt more by the bomber streams than it was – thankfully! That's if they could have solved the metallurgy of the engines to obtain sufficient time before they burned themselves to destruction – 100 hours for most engines if the aircraft it hung off lasted that long. That's a lot of ifs, but if we concentrate on the actual performance of it, it's still an impressive aircraft that was superior to the British Meteor in most respects, using axial flow jet engines and swept outer wing panels together with a slippery aerodynamic shape. It first flew with a prop in the nose and dummy engines, dragging its tail along the ground until airborne, but this was changed once the engines were live, as the heat and thrust from both engines would have played havoc with their landing strips. The delays were caused partly by Hitler's insistence that the airframe should be able to carry bombs, which it eventually could under its nose, but as usual their efforts were spread too thin by trying to make the Schwalbe a jack of all trades, all of which took valuable engineers and strategic materials away from the fighters that were desperately needed in the Defence of the Reich. The huge speed differential between the Schwalbe and its bomber stream targets meant that zoom attacks were necessary, giving precious little time for the pilot to take aim due to the high rate of closure and subsequent overshoot. The aircraft were also vulnerable during take-off and landing due to the slow spooling-up of early jet engines, which the Allies took full advantage of to reduce the fleet further, with intensive maintenance whittling away at the available airframes even further. It was a case of too little too late in terms of numbers, and even with their speed advantage a few were shot down in flight by piston-engined Allied aircraft due in part to the extensive experience that the Allied crews had gained during the invasion and the comparative lack of experienced German pilots by that stage of the war. As the Allies rolled through Germany, they captured airbases and research establishments with many variants that didn't see combat found and hoovered up by US Operation Paperclip and similar operations by the other Allied governments. The kit is on four sprues of pale greenish grey styrene, with a clear sprue in a separate bag, and shared instructions and decals. Construction of the 262 begins with the two fuselage halves, which should have a few holes drilled out and another on the spine that straddles both parts. The cockpit tub is next, and this one really is a tub. The front bulkhead is partly moulded-in but has another laminated to it, while the aft one is glued in place along with seat, instrument panel and control column. The detail is pretty good for the scale, and there is also some wheel bay detail on the opposite face to the tub, as well as the inside of the fuselage halves. The tub also has a couple of ejector pin marks that will need filling if you are cutting out the bays (see later) and think the centreline bay divider won’t hide them. The fuselage can then be closed up with some nose-weight added because this is a potential tail-sitter thanks to the nose wheel. The nose has a big empty slot underneath, which is filled by an insert with the nose-gear bay slotted inside, which has some internal ribbing within. The rear of the cockpit cut-out is covered with a ‘hump’, which makes it ready for its wings. The lower wing is a full-width, and inexplicably has a pair of main gear bay roof panels moulded-in, despite it already having the correct hollow bay details already there. If it makes your mind boggle as much as mine, just cut out the inner section and make good. Sounds easy if you say it fast, doesn’t it? The lower is glued to the fuselage and joined by the two upper wing panels, then the two engines and their nacelles are made up from two side cowlings, nose cone, and rear bullet that is attached to the inside on the two horizontal stator vanes, but take care to ensure the bullet is in the centre of the exhaust before you leave the glue to dry. When you’ve dealt with the seams they should insert neatly into the underside of the wing, filling out the notches in the leading-edge with their fairings. The elevators slot into the tail in the usual tab & slot manner, then it’s on to the landing gear. You can quickly pose the gear retracted by fitting the single nose gear bay door and the two main bay doors after removing the pegs for the landed option. The bay doors are all separated for the gear-down option, then the nose wheel with separate tyre goes into the bay with the two door parts, while each main wheel strut has a separate retraction jack, two captive bay doors and separate wheel, which is rather well appointed with detail. The trapezoid inner doors are both positioned on the centreline between the bays, and if you’ve cut that bit off to see the correctly shaped interior, you need to get the styrene rod and glue out! A pitot probe is fitted to the port wingtip, with two antennae under the wing and fuselage, then a finely-moulded D/F loop behind the cockpit, and a single part canopy part is glued over the aperture, although you’re going to have to work to find some of the canopy framing lines. Again, it’s not the kit’s finest part, and it’s somewhat of a let-down compared to the rest of the kit. The aftermarket seems bereft of replacements, although I’ve been wrong before. To use those bomb-mounts that slowed the 262’s gestation too much, a pair of two-part auxiliary fuel tanks are provided that sit on short pylons under the nose. Silly Adolf. North American P-51B Mustang Originally developed to fulfil a British requirement for a new fighter aircraft, the unmistakeable North American P-51 Mustang famously went from drawing board to first flight in just 178 days. It went on to become one of the most famous and successful aircraft of the Second World War. The original Allinson engine was hopeless above 12,000ft, and was transformed by being replaced by Rolls Royce’s legendary Merlin engine. With its Achilles heel sent packing, the Mustang went from strength to strength and was eventually developed into several successively better variants. The P-51D introduced a number of improvements in response to combat experience, including a cut-down rear fuselage and bubble canopy, plus an increase in the number of 0.5 inch machine guns from four to six. Over 8,000 P-51Ds were produced, more than any other Mustang variant. As already mentioned, this is a re-release of one of Revell’s earlier kits from the late 90s. there are three sprues of silver-coloured plastic, a one-piece canopy on its own sprue (wrapped separately for protection), with the instruction and decal sheet shared between the kits. As may be expected of an older kit, the quality of mouldings is not quite up there with Revell’s latest releases. There is an amount of flash present and some fairly prominent ejector-pin marks on the upper wing and some more inside, so some cleaning up will be required, which is best done before commencing the build. Surface detail is comprised of fine engraved lines and rivets plus some raised details where appropriate, so care will have to be taken when sanding seams to avoid destroying this detail. The cockpit is made up on a floor panel, with heavy moulded-in wood effect, the rear radio gear on a pedestal and a front bulkhead, which is improved with the addition of an instrument panel with moulded-in rudder pedals, control column and seat with moulded-in belts. The sidewalls of the fuselage also have some basic internal detail moulded in, and after painting the fuselage can be closed up and left to cure, followed by some seam filling. The lower wing has a couple of holes reamed out for the drop-tanks, then it is attached to the underside of the fuselage and joined by the upper wings, with the two elevators slotted into the tail, at right-angles to the tail fin. The exhaust stacks slot into the sides of the nose, then with the airframe flipped on its back, the chin scoop lip, belly intake lip, and two cooling flaps at the rear are installed, capable of being posed open or closed if you wish. You have the option to model this Mustang with wheels up or down. With wheels up, there are just three parts and you’re done. For the wheels down option, there’s a single tail-wheel part and you chop the tail bay door piece in half then pose them splayed open. The main bay doors are cut into two sections, with the tapered part attached to the main strut along with the wheel, and the rest of the door attached to the centre divider between the bay halves under the fuselage. The prop has four separate blades on a rear boss, which are then hidden away after adding a retaining ring by the spinner cap. A clear leading-edge landing light is fitted into the cut-out in the port wing, then the other clear part, the one-piece canopy is glued into the cockpit. This part is not the best, and is a funny shape (IMHO) as well as being far from clear. It’s a shame, really as beneath the old-skool silver moulding, it’s not a bad kit, so I’d be looking for a replacement part for the Malcolm hood, and a quick search on Hannants shows one for another brand, but whether it’ll fit, I don’t know. The last parts are the two optional compressed paper fuel tanks that each mount on a short pylon with anti-sway braces on each side, fore and aft. Markings Each kit has just the one decal option as per the boxtop, and those are on the same sheet, although you’ll need some Swastikas for the tail of the 262 if you’re going to depict them. From the box you can build one of each of the following: Messerschmitt 262A-1a W.Nr. 110836* P-51B Mustang Captain Willard Millikan, 336th Fighter Squ., 4th Fighter Group, May 1945 * A misprint has slipped past the proof-reader on the instructions, with the heading over the 262 reading “Messerschmitt Bf.109G-10, Normandie, D-Day”. Even with my limited knowledge of aviation, I can tell you that’s a mistake. There’s no prop, for a start. We all make mistakes though, so let’s not go on about it. To err is human… If you don’t make mistakes, you’re either lying to yourself and everyone else, or a deity. Anyway, moving on, 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 This is a re-release of two nice little kits that have disappointing canopies. The Mustang has the most work to prep the parts, and the 262 has that weird and extraneous main gear bay. They’re by no means perfect kits, but as they say forewarned is forearmed. Recommended, just read the whole review. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  12. Messerschmitt Me.163B Komet 1:32 Meng Models The Komet was a diminutive rocket-propelled point defence fighter that was designed to power up into the bomber stream and cut the incoming heavies to pieces with cannon fire. In reality its short duration, volatile fuel and high speed differential between it and the lumbering bombers made that a little optimistic, and although it was an incredibly advanced little aircraft, it wasnt the wonder-weapon that Hitler was so fond of, and did little to turn the tide of devastation that the bombers left behind. It began as a glider, evolved through prop propulsion and went on to use a rocket engine designed by the Walther company. It was given the number 163 to hide its true identity and after a short while its development was continued at the top-secret Peenemünde establishment where various speed records were secretly broken by the little aircraft. To conserve resources, a lot of the skin was made of wood, which also helped to save weight, and along with the absence of landing gear in favour of a retractable skid, resulted in a high power to weight ratio. Take-off was accomplished by using a jettisonable two-wheeled dolly, which caused some damage to test aircraft due its wicked rebound characteristics that caused it to hit the aircraft under some circumstances. The rocket motor had a short burn time before it ran out of fuel, which meant that the Komet couldnt linger in the bomber formation, and that landing was always without power. It was very manoeuvrable both under power and whilst gliding, but the Allied pilots soon came to understand that it would run out of fuel and would either pounce when the fuel ran out, as it landed, or just after, which necessitated the setting up of flak perimeters around their bases to discourage this technique. Removing the soft suspension cured the damage caused by bouncing dolly, but the pilot could still give his back a nasty jar on landing if the skid malfunctioned, which was done without power, so a go-around wasnt an option. The A was more-or-less a working prototype, and as it wasnt designed for mass production, was always going to have a short lifespan. It was replaced by the B model that incorporated changes from lessons learned with the A, and simplifications that made construction both cheaper and quicker. This is the model that were all familiar with, and the subject of this kit. With under ten minutes of powered flight, numerous problems, dangers of flying the Komet, and fuel shortages, it wasnt able to be mass-produced quickly enough to stem the influx of heavy bombers, and the 163S two-seater trainer had only progressed to prototype by wars end, while the C and D models remained paper projects. In May 1945, JG400, the sole operational users of the 163 disbanded and its pilots went to other units. A few surviving airframes were captured by the Allied at the end of the war, and famous test pilot Captain Eric Brown flew a B model under power with the aid of some captive German ground crew. He described it as like flying a runaway train, but was pleasantly surprised by its handling. The Kit This one popped up on Mengs list of future releases with no forewarning, and a few months later the review sample has arrived and it is available from the Far East, and soon to be with us in the UK with any luck. My review copy arrived in an attractive white sleeve that has a cut-out matching the aircraft on the front. Under the sleeve is a standard Meng satin-finished box that is a bit narrower and appears longer than their usual. The box art is to their usual high standard, and shows an unpowered aircraft swooping danger-close to the front of a B-17. Paintings of the decal options are reproduced on the sides of the box, with the captured British option showing the rear fuselage removed to expose the rocket motor. Inside the box are five sprues in dark grey styrene, one in black, a clear sprue, a bag of flexible wheels and polycaps, two frets of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a decal sheet and a landscape oriented instruction booklet with integral painting guide. Meng have quickly garnered a reputation for quality products, and they are also no strangers to unusual subjects, which I find endearing, and its clear by their success that others do too. Simple things like an additional low-tack wrap to prevent scratches to the clear parts, individual bagging of sprues, and nicely done printing of box and instructions all make our task of building their kits more pleasant, while PE in the box and the likes of instrument dials all add value. The kit? Oh yes it looks great on first impression. Lots of detail, including a pretty much full interior to the fuselage, sensible use of slide-moulds to provide detail where it wouldn't normally be possible, which of course includes hollow barrels to the weapons. Surface detail is exemplary, with delicate panel lines and rivet detail where appropriate and smooth styrene where it should be, especially the wing surfaces, which were mostly wooden. Something tells me that the old Hasegawa kit is going to be dumped in the deep stash as a consequence. The Komet has a rather visible cockpit due to the large side opening canopy and side windows, and this is where the construction begins. The rather utilitarian seat is built up from two parts, with the back and sides of the backrest riveted for additional detail. A set of seatbelts are included on the larger PE fret, and the assembly fits onto the aft bulkhead with a headrest and two clear panels for rear vision to each side of the seat. The cockpit tub is moulded as a single part with the large T-stoff tanks showing their strengthening straps and some basic instrumentation on the starboard tank. The sidewalls curve in sharply to the sill, and these parts attach to the tops of the side "consoles" and have additional details such as the oxygen controls and trim wheels added before they are added. The instrument panel has a choice of either a single piece of styrene with raised instrument dials, or a styrene backing part with four PE panels, and a set of individual instrument decals for each dial. Which will give the best result will probably depend on your painting skills, but the PE wins by a head due to having a flat dial area rather than raised details. The cockpit is then finished off by bringing the tub, sidewalls, rear bulkhead (with seat) and instrument panel together, secured by slots and tabs to ensure a good alignment. The kit depicts a HWK109-509A rocket motor, which gave the pilot the ability to throttle the engine back to extend powered flight times, but the added complexity gave rise to reliability problems. No such concerns in a 1:32 reproduction though, and everything is represented in the strange looking "crate" where the hypergolic fuels were mixed in the turbopump and spontaneously ignite to produce a jet of superheated carbon dioxide, steam and nitrogen. The part count in the turbopump area is high, and detail is good as a result. The rear of the crate is a large mounting plate with a six-fingered web of strengtheners to hold the exhaust tube in place, and this is also similarly well detailed. The exhaust itself is split vertically with a circular part to give a hollow lip. A circular ring sits around the engine, attaching to the back of the rear support structure, also mounting the strut that leads back from the exhaust to prevent thrust induced oscillation of the exhaust. The C-stoff tank sits on a floor panel and a pair of bulkheads just in front of the rocket motor, which is glued to the rear bulkhead on four stand-off mounts. Showing its glider roots, the large skid on the Komet sits on the underside covering a large portion of the fuselage. It comes complete with a rendition of the jettisonable launch dolly with two large wheels mounted transverse to the skid. The hubs are in two halves with a polycap trapped between them, onto which the flexible tyre is shoehorned. A couple of stencil decals are applied to the hub, and the wheels can be pressed onto the two-part axle. The retraction/suspension assembly that holds the skid in place is built up as another section, with the three attachment points to the skid mounted in a three part bay with a cylinder in the perforated roof panel. All of the skid parts are in black styrene, probably for differentiation from the rest of the kit maybe? In order to depict the skid in the retracted position, simply omit the suspension bay and glue the skid directly to the fuselage. The fuselage halves are split between forward and aft for access to the rocket motor, and the forward half has large cut-outs at the wing root, which makes for a flexible part when nipped off the sprues. This won't last long however, as a pair of inserts fit to the inside and provide the inner wall to the cannon bays, plus a pair of wing attachment points to give a good joint that replicates the real thing, and will be seen if you leave open the cannon bay access panels. It encloses the cockpit/C-stoff tank/rocket motor assembly, which have the ammo boxes and feeders for the wing root cannons straddling the tanks. A couple of small sections of the fuselage are added to the open sections, and at this point it starts to look a little bit more like an aircraft. Adding the nose cone with its little comedy prop that actually powers the auxiliary electrical system gives you a choice of two types of spinner with a small axle that allows it to remain mobile if you are careful with the glue. In preparation for the addition of the cockpit, the thick bullet-proof panel on the coaming is built up from a frame and two clear surfaces along with gunsight and two stabilising struts. A scrap diagram shows how the parts should look from the side. The canopy is made from a clear part with a grey styrene frame and a small PE latch on the inside. It can be posed open or closed although I suspect that a retaining wire should limit the opening angle, but that's an easy fix if so. A pair of panels on the top of the fuselage cover the ammo boxes for the cannon and the rocket motor's turbopump assembly, with separate latches in PE so that they can be folded for either open or closed positions. The rear fuselage is separate from the front, as mentioned earlier, and it holds the retractable tail wheel, with four possible layouts. There are two basic types with and without fairings, but they can both be depicted down or retracted by using different leg parts. The wheel is the common aspect, and consists of a single piece hub with detail on both sides, around which a tiny flexible tyre is pulled on with some very nice circumferential tread detail, marred only by two mould lines running perpendicular on opposing faces. A bit of scrubbing with a sanding stick should see those off however. Your chosen tail wheel is trapped within the two halves of the rear fuselage, and because it is potentially open to viewing, it has some nice ribbing detail moulded in, and cleverly Meng have added a pair of insert panels in the top and bottom that hide the top and bottom seams, and hide their own by butting them up against the ribbing. The rudder is also trapped between the fuselage halves, having some nice fabric sag moulded in between the ribs, and if you're careful with the glue again, it can be left operable. A pair of linking parts sit between the forward and aft fuselages, occupying the trailing edge wing-root and allowing you to leave the fuselage loose to remove at will, using a friction fit to do so. If you choose to leave them apart in your display cabinet, a trestle is included to prop up the exhaust, and a box-trestle is include for the rear fuselage, making for an attractive display. The gun bays are built into the wings, and you have an option of installing two MK108 30mm cannons for the production aircraft, or the earlier MG151/20 20mm units that were present on the 30 B-0 variant airframes, one of which is the bright red mount of Wolfgang Spate. As mentioned earlier, the barrels for both choices are hollow, and the detail of the breeches and barrels is good enough for all but the most pedantic. The apertures in the leading edge of the root are inserts that are shaped for each type of armament, with decal option call-outs to assist you in choosing, which is also the case for the pitot probe. When the wing halves are closed around the appropriate choice of cannon, the leading edge slats are added, the cannon bay doors added (or not), and you can choose whether to pose the air brakes open or closed. Leaving them closed just requires you to glue the PE brakes flat in the recess on the lower wing, while the open option includes a pair of actuators that fix to the inner face of the brake panels in recessed spots. The finished brake is then inserted into the slot in the shallow bay, which should hopefully set the correct angle when deployed. The wings are a straight butt-fit with the fuselage, with a very large contact area between them that should result in a good joint. Meng are pretty consistent with good fit, but if you worry about the tidiness of the joint between the wing and fuselage, you would do well to check pictures of the real thing, the joints of which are appalling! Markings Meng routinely use Cartograf for their decals, so they are of peerless quality, and some popular choices have been included in the box, although I'm sure someone won't like them! From the sheet you can build one of the following: 2./JG400 Brandis, early 1945 RLM82/83 green over RLM76 Me.163B V-41 piloted by Major Wolfgang Spate, 13th May 1944 all over red with coding PK+QL RAF Me.163B VF241 piloted by Eric Brown, 7th July 1945 RLM81 wings and tail fin, RLM76 upper fuselage and rudder with RLM82 mottle over a trainer yellow underside Many folks have expressed a desire to model the famous red Komet, and because of his legendary status in British aviation, Winkle Brown's mount for that dangerous powered flight is an obvious and doubtless popular choice. The other choice seems mundane by comparison, but it is an in-service machine without the pomp and circumstance of the other options, and is a nice counter-point. I understand that there wasn't much in the way of hard-and-fast rules for painting these rocket powered aircraft, and there is a lot of scope for post-war captured machines that were tested by many countries, and there will probably be a flurry of activity before too long in that direction. Of course the decals are in good register with excellent colour density and sharpness, while the carrier film has a soft satin sheen. Some of the roundels and codes are broken down to accommodate the air brakes, and the swastika is present in paired halves to avoid breaching the rules around such an evocative symbol. Conclusion It's a testament to the golden age of modelling that we are undoubtedly in that such quality kits are coming through the door so regularly, and this is especially true of Meng's releases. It is an excellent kit, with detail everywhere, and should appeal to anyone that would like a large scale Komet on their shelves. Having built the old Hasegawa kit, this is light years ahead in terms of detail, and really does relegate it to the back of the stash. I'll be building this one in Mr Brown's scheme with all the doors and bays open to see, I think. Extremely highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  13. Brengun is to release a 1/144th Messerschmitt Me-309 V-1/V-2 kit - ref. BRP144015 Source: https://www.facebook.com/HaulerBrengun/posts/1705025429656098 Box art V.P.
  14. Hello guys, Here are the photos of my most recently completed model, the Me P.1099 from Revell Germany in 1:72.
  15. After finishing my Spitfire, I decided to build this little kit that I found at Hobbies Moròn for a good price. Only three sprues inside the medium sized box, two in dark green and one clear sprue. Instructions are of the pre-2017 Revell style, I.E a photocopy with very clear construction steps. Decals were printed in 1996, making this kit as old as I am. I tested a small decal on my paint mule, and it didn't break, so I'm relieved I won't be having to look for 1:72 German insignia (I mainly build 1:48 akd 32). Boxart: Sprues: Decals and instructions: My main attack plan will be to paint all the small parts while they're on the sprues, and then assemble them.
  16. An Me 262 in Argentinian colours. I debated myself whether to use the Tamiya Me 262 for this what if, or go the realistic route and paint the plane as Adolf Galland's machine. The what if won. Also, coming up is my birthday! So I have to choose between two (or three) planes. Decisions decisions.
  17. Hello guys, Welcome to what may be my third build of 2022. Looking on Google, I stumbled upon some profiles of the Me 262 in Argentinian service. I then remembered Argentina had received several Gloster Meteor Mk.4s from Britain after WW2, so I decided to make a what if Me 262 in Argentinian markings, based on the Meteors. Colour scheme will be of Gloster Meteor Mk.4 C-027 with yellow and blue wing bands and empennage. Decals will come from some spares I have from Condor Decals (numerals) and roundels (Dukel Hobbies). The victim: The profiles: The aircraft I'll attempt doing: The painting instructions from HKM's 1:32 Meteor: The decals for the numerals (other insignia aren't shown): I'm eager on starting this project once I get the model (I already paid for it). Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
  18. Welcome to my newest project, the Revell/Hasegawa 1:32 Bf 109K-4. I'll be receiving the kit in November (hopefully of this year), and I'll be making a start accordingly. I've searched for photos (why can't I do like when I was younger in just following the painting instructions, I don't know) of the three schemes offered in the kit: Red 7, Adolf Borcher's K-4 and Black 15. I've found photos of those three, but I'm also tempted in painting my aircraft as my previous build, but with a different number. If I wish to go with the latter option, I'll have to buy a new, finer brush than what I have available. Anyways, I'm sure inspiration will hit me once I actually get the kit. For now, some photos I came across of the kit's colour schemes and other random K-4s. Kit schemes: Red 7 (or Blue 7): Black 15: Adolf Borcher's K-4: Random, unmarked 109K-4 photos I found while looking for the kit schemes: 148: The mystery aircraft, no numbers (nor wings), just a fuselage with the Crosses and Swastikas (probably): 199: And finally, the boxart of the kit: I hope this long introduction convince you guys of following the build. If you have more unmarked photos of a Bf 109K-4 (except of the Red Tulip one), make sure to link them! Bye for now.
  19. Me.163B Löök Cockpit Set (644117) 1:48 Eduard This set for the new GasPatch Models kit contains a combination of pre-printed resin and PE parts to quickly and efficiently detail up your cockpit. There are two resin parts that make up the instrument panel in front of the pilot, the second part a dramatic emergency release pull-handle and a PE skid lever below it, with glossy faced dials already painted for you on black resin. Additionally, the PE set of four-point belts for the pilot, complete with brown comfort pads that protect the pilot from the buckles. Review sample courtesy of
  20. Here it is guys, my first Bf 109K-4 in 1:48. The kit is from Hasegawa. 332700 was found by the Allies at Wunstorf, Germany, at the end of the war. It sported only two "700s" plus the crosses. I bought this Hasegawa kit second hand (no bags except for the clear parts). Other than that, the kit was complete. Decals took a long time to move from the paper, and I used two Xtradecals crosses to replace two I had to remove.
  21. Story time! I went today to get my second dose of the COVID vaccine, only to be informed I had the appointment booked for the 1st of August. I then went to a cafe, and while looking at my Facebook group, I found that a hobby shop near me was selling second hand Hasegawa 1:48 kits. They also offered a 10% discount if the model was paid in cash. I promptly asked the seller to reserve me the Bf 109K-4. The kit came without the main sprue bags, but all the pieces were there. The clear parts were bagged, and the decals, though a bit yellowed, were in top shape. Once I arrived home with my new model, I checked the marking options. There're two provided, Yellow 4 of Feldwebel Strebel, and Yellow 1 of JG27 (with the green RVD band). I first selected the JG27 scheme because it had an RLM 81/82/76 camouflage, but after looking for photos for it (none showed up), I stumbled upon a Bf 109K-4 numbered 332700. This 109 is mostly anonymous, no special markings nor numbers, only a black "700" hastily painted on both fuselage halves. After practising a bit with a fine brush and some black paint, I decided to go ahead with "700," because it has plenty of RLM 81 areas. Here're the photos: Here's a photo of "332700," no wings though, so there'll be plenty of guessing with this aircraft. Maybe I'll just paint the undersides in RLM 76, because my 84 is too thin and needs several coats.
  22. The last of my three Luft ‘46 completions, and the only reason they all got completed at the same time was because they used the same paint colours and it was easy to just line them up in assembly line fashion, is the Trumpeter Messerschmitt Me 509. This is a very easy build, but it requires a lot of nose weight and there aren’t many places to put it ahead of the cockpit. As a result, the model is quite heavy. Also, Trumpeter don’t provide a positive location method for the retractable radiator if you want to install it in anything but the fully retracted configuration. I glued a piece of square plastic tube across the fuselage resting on the exhaust locators to give me something to glue the radiator to in a partially deployed configuration. I masked and painted the spinner spiral rather than using the included decal.
  23. When we received the new Border 1:35 Bf.109G-6 we got it reviewed PDQ so that people could have a look at this sort-of new scale venture, from a relatively young company, and you can see it here. We're used to 1:35 AFVs, and a few helicopters that have been scaled to go into AFV dioramas, but this is one of the first mainstream kits of traditional winged aircraft, and that's worth a look. Could this be the new de facto larger scale that attracts the AFV modellers so they can have everything in their cabinet in the same scale? I know that's an attractive proposition, as I seriously considered 1:48 armour when I first got interested in the genre thanks to @Dads203. I went with the de facto 1:35 for my AFVs on his advice, and stuck with 1:48 for my aircraft. 1:72 scale modellers have had that for a while now, although there's not a huge range (that I've seen) of new kits coming out in wee scale. Anyway, I'm wittering. It's my first 1:35 aircraft, and my first Border Model kit, so I was interested to see how things went. It's well-detailed, has plenty of parts, a complete engine with optional clear cowlings, some weapons, and a few goofs, which I've already outlined in the review. I'm not one to throw up my hands and scream "unbuildable", as we're all human and therefore fallible, so I just shrug my shoulders and carry on. If a thing bothers me enough, I'll see if it's fixable, or I'll leave it if it's too hard or I'm not feeling particularly adventurous. Here we go! The first item up was the engine, which goes together quite well. I've left it in a few sub-assemblies to make it easier to paint, and be aware that there are a few pins that are slightly larger than their sockets, so keep a pin-vice with a drill bit handy, and test fit everything, which is a good idea whatever you're building, be it shake-the-box or short run. The details on the top of the ancillary "block" can be put on at the wrong angle, so check the instructions carefully before you apply the glue. F23 needs to point slightly upwards, which won't happen if you put them on upside down, and D62/63 need to be set square, as there's no key on the pin. Get that right, and you'll be smiling. The little tanks on the sides of the engine block have tight pins, so adjust those accordingly (they're not in the picture). Also, the centreline gun can be put in at any orientation, but check the humps and bumps then compare them with the instructions before you glue them in. Here's a pic of the majority of the engine, surrounded by supercharger, engine mounts, cowling, pilot and so forth, all ready for priming. You might notice that there are some seams on the exhaust stacks, which I added from stretched sprue, because the perfectly servicable moulding seams that are on them at outset have to be sanded away to remove one of the sprue gates on the elbow. it didn't take long to do the job, and I know it's a bit over-scale, but I quite like the look of them. Be sure to set all the exhausts to the same angle to the engine, or you might have some issues with slotting them into the cowling later on. If you let them sag, it'll bite you in the bottom. I've also knocked up the insides of the cockpit walls after filling the ejector pin marks, only two of which are visible, as I suspect the ones at the front will be shrouded in darkness. There's a bit of filler behind some of those detail parts, so learn from my wasted effort Detail is nice in there too, so I'm looking forward to painting that little lot up. The figure is especially nice, as you could probably tell from the pics in the review, but the pic above came out a bit soft because I've focused on the IP and engine, so focus was drifting off a bit. You can see the IP coaming on the left of the pic, with the basic nose gun bay visible with a few un-filled ejector pins. Frankly, I'm ok with that, as I'm going to leave the Beule closed up and opaque. I'm not yet decided on the clear cowlings, whether to use them or not. I might. I might prop one cowling open or leave one cowling clear. Who knows? Not me. It's nice to have options though I also knocked together the wing inserts that hold the wing guns' ammo chutes, which are drawn back-to-front on the instructions with the slots for the ammo chutes in the front, and as I found the design odd and intriguing, I first nipped off those parts from the sprues while I was writing the review. It took a wee while for me to figure out what was up, but once I did it was a simple enough fix. The artist got it backwards, and also drew the cylinders in slightly the wrong place. No harm done if you read the review or this build thread before you start gluing. If you're interested, I've been giving feedback to Border on the kit via Albion to assist them with future projects, all being well. Go me! You can see how they should go together in the pic below. Since then I've been filling the ejector pin marks on the inside of the flaps and the head armour, and I've also been making up the landing gear. The main gear having movable oleos is cool, but in reality it also leaves a little bit too much "slop" in the strut, allowing the axle to twist round a few degrees each way, so I set them to minimum and flooded it with glue, which also made fitting the scissor-links easier, as there was one less moving part in the equation. Check the width between the receivers on the strut before you start gluing the oleo parts in, as I had to adjust mine with a swipe of a skinny sanding tool - one of those cool stick-on Galaxy Tools ones. We likes The wheels build up really well, and they look great once done, and I'm just waiting for the glue to fully cure before I sand off the bead of plastic I squeezed out, with a similar technique used for the drop-tank. The last sub-assembly made up so far is the prop. I got the metal blades in my goody bag, but I opted to use the styrene ones anyway, as I'm lazy. There's a bit of prep-work on the metal blades, so I left them in favour of the plastic ones. Both plastic and metal blades fit into the two halves of the boss very well, with the pins ensuring they're all at the same angle and the correct way round. I clamped them closed while the glue set, and have another tiny bead of melted plastic to remove tomorrow. I foresee some primer in my near future Don't forget to smash that like button & subcribe, as it really helps me out. No wait, that's not me. Ignore that part.
  24. Here are the final photos of my 109G-6 from Revell in 32nd scale. Pretty good kit, with lots of parts. Now I'm eyeing the Erla Bubi Hartmann version.
  25. While I wait for the decals for my Ju 88C-6b from ICM to arrive (I haven't even cut plastic), I've decided to buy and build this kit. I've been looking up and down for it, and finally got it at a good price. I'll be painting it as Franz Dörr's Bf 109G-6 Late. This aircraft was stationed at Gossen in Norway until the end of WW2 in Europe in May 1945. As it's a common thing with Revell Germany models, the kit doesn't come with Swastikas, so I may have to source them from somewhere else (if I decide to put them when the decalling starts). Speaking of decals, they're printed "in Italy for Revell," so I assume that's Cartograf. I'll begin the kit tomorrow after coming back home from my Covid vaccination trip.
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