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  1. Ki-21-1a Sally (48196) 1:48 ICM via H G Hannants Ltd The Sally, as she was known by the Allies during WWII was a heavy bomber designed by Mitsubishi as a replacement for the Ki-20, in competition with Nakajima, who although they lost out on the design of the aircraft, were given the contract for the power plants, as their HA-5 engines were found to be superior to Mitsubishi’s offering that was originally installed in the winning design. A small number of airframes were also built by Nakajima, with a total of just over 2,000 built between them. It first flew in 1936 and was intended for long-range bombing missions against Soviet and Chinese opponents, first entering service in 1938 in operations against China. Initial experience showed that the design was lacking in some respects, extending to the crucial oxygen system that was initially found to be unreliable. The Ib was intended to address most of the issues, including the lack of armament and changes to the flying surfaces. It also had a remote tail gun installation, and could mount an additional fuel tank for extreme range missions. The type was pretty much obsolete by 1940, and mounting losses prompted the type’s withdrawal from front line service, and the sale of some of the superfluous airframes to nations that remained friendly to the Japanese Empire. Uses were still found for the type with the Japanese forces however, and the remaining aircraft were used until the end of the war as cargo transports, trainers, troop transports and communications hacks. The later variants had improved engine performance with new Mitsubishi units, some with alterations to the greenhouse behind the cockpit, which was changed to a turret on some, and removed entirely on transport variants. The Kit This is a reboxing of a brand-new tool from ICM, following on from its smaller 1:72 sibling kit that was relatively recently released by ICM. The kit arrives in a top-opening box that has a captive top flap on the bottom tray. Inside are seven sprues in grey styrene, a clear sprue in a separate bag, decal sheet and the instruction booklet, which is printed in colour with profiles for painting and decaling on the back pages. Detail is thoroughly modern, and extends to ribbing on the interior of most of the fuselage, restrained fabric depiction on the flying surfaces, full representation of the engines and a nice cockpit, plus a set of crystal-clear glazing parts. Construction begins with the fuselage halves, which have the unarmed early tail added to the rear on a keyed flange, a lozenge-shaped detail insert to make the wing root recess flush, and the side windows, ammo drums dotted around the interior, plus multiple well-detailed equipment boxes inserted in the cockpit area, O2 bottles in the wing area, and later a line of trunking that extends from the trailing edge of the wing to the tail. The mid-upper gunner’s compartment is built from a series of ribbed steps that are glued to a base with another step, which is then joined to a bulkhead at the front that forms the rear bulkhead of the bomb bay, and has ribbing along its lower portion, then the bomb bay roof is fitted out with eight bomb shackles before the sides and front bulkhead are installed, and it is then populated by four bombs that are each made from two halves, plus twin braces to each side of the stabilising fins at the rear. The bomb bay is joined to the underside of the cockpit floor, and in the recess that is part of the forward floor, detail is moulded into the top of the bomb bay, and it accepts one pilot’s rudder pedals that fit into pairs of holes in the deck. A seat with cushion is suspended over the recess, then another more substantial seat is attached to the floor at the port side with a lever to the side of it, adding a side console, throttle quadrant and two bow-tie control columns before the front bulkhead is fixed to the cockpit, plus a pair of two-part fuel tanks further back over the wing along the starboard wall, with a small equipment installation just forward. The cockpit assembly can then be inserted into the port fuselage half, adding the bomb-aimer’s position with a choice of two glazing parts, one with a cushion and vertical column, one bare, slotting into the cut-out under the nose. More ammo cans are dotted around the upper gunner’s stepped compartment, adding a clear porthole in the floor, and an internal ladder below the crew access door in the port side. The reason for the ammo cans includes side-firing and ventral machine guns, with a choice of weapons that have a plate magazine over the breech, or Type 89 machine guns, gluing the floor-mounted glazing panel into one side of the lower fuselage before it is closed. In the front, a rack of four O2 bottles are inserted in the roof of the nose, then the starboard fuselage is prepared in a similar manner as the port, fitting the wing root insert, adding glazing, instruments, machine gun ammo cans, a jump seat and the afore-mentioned trunk down the wall of the fuselage. The fuselage halves are closed around the instrument panel that has a pair of decals to depict the dials, a short pointed coaming, and centre throttle quadrant, plus the upper gunner’s seat that is suspended on four moulded-in struts that locate on corresponding depressions in the fuselage wall. You have a choice of posing the bomb bay open or closed, using a single part to depict it closed, or the four individual door parts that fold to the side in pairs with the help of a pair of retraction jacks at either end, which are all included on the sprues. The dorsal gunner’s fuselage insert is prepped by making the gun mount and dump bag that are both in two parts, and the twin guns mounted over it, which have a pair of half plate magazines fitted to the top of the breech, and a semi-circular pivot that flex-fits into recesses under the dorsal insert, after which you can glue the assembly into position in the top of the fuselage, taking care to align it minimise clean-up of seams. You have the same choice of two gun types for the nose gun that slides through a hole in the nose glazing, gluing into the nose while the canopy and dorsal glazing are fitted, being careful to paint the deck under the dorsal glazing before you add glue. The tail is begun by adding the elevator fins, which have separate flying surfaces and rudder panel, then the wings are prepared by inserting a two-part bay in each one before joining the upper and lower halves together, adding the ailerons into their slots and landing light lenses in the leading edges. They are then glued onto the wing root fairings on the fuselage, which have a lip to ensure proper location, and a slot for the short length of spar that extends from the wing to further improve joint strength. The wheels are installed under the wings before the engines and lower cowling are made up, starting with the tail-wheel slipped into its yoke, and then adding the two-part wheels to the H-frame main strut, which has a two-part support frame fitted to the front, and a long yoke with mudguard and additional V-strut that links the lower leg to the back of the bay. Four small parts are fixed to the wing inside the bays, and the lower cowlings are made up out of two halves trapping a round bulkhead, adding a pair of two-part intakes top and bottom, then sliding the lower nacelle over the completed wheels and mating the edges with the recessed lip of the lower wing surface. The engines are built-up on bulkheads with the cooling flaps moulded-in, a separate exhaust stack underneath, and a depiction of both cylinder banks, plus the front bell-housing with push-rods moulded-in, hiding the prop axle inside without glue so that the props can spin later, and fitting a wiring loom guide around the bell housing. The finished engines are covered by two cowling halves and a separate lip, gluing them to the front of the nacelles and finishing them off by adding the three-bladed prop and separate spinner. The model is completed by installing an antenna post and D/F loop over the canopy, and a curious-looking cranked pitot probe in the leading edge of the port wing that keeps the sensor out of the wing’s airflow. Markings There are five options on the decal sheet, with only two in light green-grey, one in wide camouflage stripes, another with a dense dark green squiggle camouflage scheme over green-grey, and the final choice with a fully green upper surface. From the box you can build one of the following: 60th Sentai, China, early 1939 – pre-production aircraft 60th Sentai, China, 1941 14th Sentai, probably China, 1941 105 Kyoiku Hiko Rentai, presumably 1942 64th Sentai, 1943 Decals are by ICM’s usual partner, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. As is common now with ICM kits, there is a page of the instruction booklet devoted to the masking of the canopy, using the printed shapes on the right of the page and the diagrams on the left to create your own masks if you wish. It goes up to 130 thanks to the extensive greenhouse glazing. Conclusion A nicely detailed and most welcome new tooling of this short-lived (in front line service at least) heavy bomber in its first variant, which should by now have seen the older vacform tooling from another manufacturer no-longer needed unless you like a challenge. Highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  2. Ki-21-1b Sally (48195) Japanese Heavy Bomber 1:48 ICM via H G Hannants Ltd The Sally, as she was known by the Allies during WWII was a heavy bomber designed by Mitsubishi as a replacement for the Ki-20, in competition with Nakajima, who although they lost out on the design of the aircraft, were given the contract for the power plants, as their HA-5 engines were found to be superior to Mitsubishi’s offering that was originally installed in the winning design. A small number of airframes were also built by Nakajima, with a total of just over 2,000 built between them. It first flew in 1936 and was intended for long-range bombing missions against Soviet and Chinese opponents, first entering service in 1938 in operations against China. Initial experience showed that the design was lacking in some respects, extending to the crucial oxygen system that was initially found to be unreliable. The Ib was intended to address most of the issues, including the lack of armament and changes to the flying surfaces. It also had a remote tail gun installation, and could mount an additional fuel tank for extreme range missions. The type was pretty much obsolete by 1940, and mounting losses prompted the type’s withdrawal from front line service, and the sale of some of the superfluous airframes to nations that remained friendly to the Japanese Empire. Uses were still found for the type with the Japanese forces however, and the remaining aircraft were used until the end of the war as cargo transports, trainers, troop transports and communications hacks. The later variants had improved engine performance with new Mitsubishi units, some with alterations to the greenhouse behind the cockpit, which was changed to a turret on some, and removed entirely on transport variants. The Kit This is a brand-new tool from ICM, who continue to produce new kits despite the difficult circumstances in their home country. We’ve been reviewing its smaller 1:72 sibling kit that was relatively recently released by ICM, and up until today I was quite jealous that this kit wasn’t available in my preferred scale. That’s now been rectified, and I couldn’t be happier unless I was given a big bag of free money. The kit arrives in a top-opening box that has a captive top flap on the bottom tray. Inside are seven sprues in grey styrene, a clear sprue in a separate bag, decal sheet and the instruction booklet, which is printed in colour with profiles for painting and decaling on the back pages. Detail is thoroughly modern, and extends to ribbing on the interior of most of the fuselage, restrained fabric depiction on the flying surfaces, full representation of the engines and a nice cockpit, plus a set of crystal-clear glazing parts. Construction begins with the fuselage halves, which have the armed tail added to the rear on a keyed flange, a lozenge-shaped detail insert to make the wing root recess flush, and the side windows, ammo drums dotted around the interior, plus multiple well-detailed equipment boxes inserted in the cockpit area, and later a line of trunking that extends from the trailing edge of the wing to the tail. The mid-upper gunner’s compartment is built from a series of steps that are glued to a base with another step, which is then glued to a bulkhead at the front that forms the rear bulkhead of the bomb bay, and has ribbing along its lower portion. Fire extinguishers are lined up in pairs on the port interior over the bomb bay, then the bomb bay roof is fitted out with eight bomb shackles before the sides and front bulkhead are installed, and it is then populated by four bombs that are each made from two halves, plus twin braces to each side of the stabilising fins at the rear. The bomb bay is joined to the underside of the cockpit floor, and in the recess that is part of the forward floor, detail is moulded into the top of the bomb bay, and it accepts one pilot’s rudder pedals that fit into pairs of holes in the deck. A seat with cushion is suspended over the recess, then another more substantial seat is attached to the floor at the port side with a lever to the side of it, adding a side console, throttle quadrant and two bow-tie control columns before the front bulkhead is fixed to the cockpit, plus a pair of two-part fuel tanks further back over the wing along the starboard wall, with a small equipment installation just forward. The cockpit assembly can then be inserted into the port fuselage half, adding the bomb-aimer’s position with a choice of two glazing parts, one with a cushion and vertical column, one bare, slotting into the cut-out under the nose. More ammo cans are dotted around the upper gunner’s stepped compartment, adding a clear porthole in the floor, and an internal ladder below the crew access door in the port side. The reason for the ammo cans includes side-firing and ventral machine guns, with a choice of weapons that have a plate magazine over the breech, or Type 89 machine guns, gluing the floor-mounted glazing panel into one side of the lower fuselage before it is closed. In the front, a rack of four O2 bottles are inserted in the roof of the nose, then the starboard fuselage is prepared in a similar manner as the port, fitting the wing root insert, adding glazing, instruments, machine gun ammo cans, a jump seat and the afore-mentioned trunk down the wall of the fuselage. The fuselage halves are closed around the instrument panel that has a pair of decals to depict the dials, a short coaming, and centre throttle quadrant, plus the upper gunner’s seat that is suspended on four moulded-in struts that locate on corresponding depressions in the fuselage wall. You have a choice of posing the bomb bay open or closed, using a single part to depict it closed, or the four individual door parts that fold to the side in pairs with the help of a pair of retraction jacks at either end, which are all included on the sprues. The dorsal gunner’s fuselage insert is prepped by making the gun mount from two parts, a dump bag that is also two parts, and the twin guns mounted over it, which have a pair of half plate magazines fitted to the top of the breech, and a semi-circular pivot that flex-fits into recesses under the dorsal insert, after which you can glue the insert into position in the top of the fuselage, taking care to align it carefully to minimise clean-up of seams. You have the same choice of two gun types for the nose gun that slides through a hole in the nose glazing, gluing into the nose while the canopy and dorsal glazing are fitted, being careful to paint the deck under the dorsal glazing before you add glue. The tail is started by adding the elevator fins, which have separate flying surfaces and rudder panel, then the wings are prepared by inserting a two-part bay in each one before joining the upper and lower halves together, adding the ailerons into their slots and landing light lenses in the leading edges. They are then glued onto the wing root fairings on the fuselage, which have a lip to ensure proper location, and a slot for the short length of spar that extends from the wing to further improve joint strength. The wheels are installed under the wings before the engines and lower cowling are made up, starting with the tail-wheel slipped into its yoke, and then adding the two-part wheels to the H-frame main strut, which has a two-part support frame fitted to the front, and a long yoke with mudguard and additional V-strut that links the lower leg to the back of the bay. Four small parts are fixed to the wing inside the bays, and the lower cowlings are made up out of two halves plus a round bulkhead, adding a pair of two-part intakes top and bottom, then sliding the lower nacelle over the completed wheels and mating the edges with the recessed lip of the lower wing surface. The engines are built-up on bulkheads with the cooling flaps moulded-in, a separate exhaust stack underneath, and a depiction of both cylinder banks, plus the front bell-housing with push-rods moulded-in, hiding the prop axle inside without glue so that the props can spin later, and fitting a wiring loom guide around the bell housing. The finished engines are covered by two cowling halves and a separate lip, gluing them to the front of the nacelles and finishing them off by adding the three-bladed prop and separate spinner. The model is completed by installing an antenna post and D/F loop over the canopy, and a curious-looking cranked pitot probe in the leading edge of the port wing. Markings There are four options on the decal sheet, all but one in light green-grey, differentiated by their unit markings, the final markings having a dense dark green squiggle camouflage scheme over the green-grey. From the box you can build one of the following: 60th Sentai, China, 1940 60th Sentai, 2nd Chutai, China, 1940 Hamamatsu Army Flying School, Japan, probably 1941 25 Hikodan Shireibu Hikohan, Japan, 1943 Decals are by ICM’s usual partner, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. As is common now with ICM kits, there is a page of the instruction booklet devoted to the masking of the canopy, using the printed shapes on the right of the page and the diagrams on the left to create your own masks if you wish. It goes up to 130 thanks to the extensive greenhouse glazing. Conclusion A nicely detailed and most welcome new tooling of this short-lived (in front line service at least) heavy bomber, which should put the older vacform tooling from another manufacturer out to pasture. Highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  3. A6M2 Zero Control Surface Correction Set (4464 for Academy) 1:48 CMK by Special Hobby Academy released their new tooling of the Japanese Zero in 2022 as a Battle of Midway 80th Anniversary boxing, but the model’s control surfaces suffer a little from an overly deep representation of the ribbing, and have fixed elevators and rudder panel that can’t be posed deflected. This set arrives in Special Hobby’s yellow themed blister pack, with a header card and the instructions forming the slot-in back to the package, and holding the resin in place within the blister. There are seven parts in grey resin, all of which have separate casting blocks that are joined to the parts at the pivot-point that will be less visible if any mistakes are made. The elevators are drop-in replacements, but the elevators and rudder will require removal of the moulded-in flying surfaces from the kit parts before the new resin parts can be added. The instructions advise sanding a V-shaped bevelled edge on the cut lines to allow the rounded leading-edges of the flying surfaces to nestle closely to the hinge-points, which shouldn’t be too difficult, as the surfaces are all moulded as separate halves. A worthwhile upgrade to the realism of the model, doing away with the deep recesses in the kit flying services, which is particularly noticeable on the moulded-in rudder. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. Oops I did'nt notice. A review in you favourite forum: http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234970145-mitsubishi-t-2-blue-impulse-172-platz/ Improvement set review in your favourite forum: http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234970149-mitsubishi-t-2-interior-set-172-platz/ --------------------------------------------------- After the F-1 (http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234946745-172-mitsubishi-f-1-by-platz-released/?hl=platz) Platz has released a 1/72nd Mitsubishi T-2 "Blue Impulse" kit - ref.AC-13 Sources: http://www.platz-hobby.com/products/4317.html http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10270998 http://www.aeroscale.co.uk/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=18236 V.P.
  5. Ki-21-Ia RTAF Thailand’s Heavy Bomber (72206) 1:72 ICM via H G Hannants Ltd The Sally, as she was known by the Allies during WWII was a heavy bomber designed by Mitsubishi as a replacement for the Ki-20, in competition with Nakajima, who although they lost out on the design of the aircraft, were given the contract for the power plants, as their HA-5 engines were found to be superior to Mitsubishi’s offering originally installed. A small number of airframes were also built by Nakajima too, with a total of just over 2,000 built between them. It first flew in 1936 and was intended for long-range bombing missions against Soviet and Chinese opponents, first entering service in 1938 in operations against China. Initial experience showed that the design was lacking in some respects, extending to the crucial oxygen system that was found to be unreliable. The Ib was intended to address most of the issues, including the lack of armament and changes to the flying surfaces. It also had a remote tail gun installation, and could mount an additional fuel tank for extreme range missions. The type was pretty much obsolete by 1940, and mounting losses prompted the type’s withdrawal from front line service, and sale of some of the airframes to friendly nations. Uses were still found for the type with the Japanese forces however, and the remaining aircraft were used until the end of the war as cargo transports, trainers, troop transports and communications hacks. The later variants had improved engine performance with Mitsubishi units, some with alterations to the greenhouse behind the cockpit, which was changed to a turret on some, and removed entirely on transport variants. When the seemingly unconnected fall of France happened in Europe, Thailand approached the US to buy aircraft to assist them in reclaiming territory in French Indochina, but were rebuffed, as America felt that it could destabilise the area. Japan on the other hand was more than happy to oblige, sending several dozen aircraft of various types for their use, among which were nine Ki-21-Ia bombers that were used in action, and later reassigned to training and transport uses when their obsolescence was acknowledged. The Kit This is a reboxing of a brand-new tool from ICM, who continue to produce new kits despite the difficult circumstances in their home country. The kit arrives in a shallow top-opening box that has a captive top flap on the bottom tray. Inside are six sprues in grey styrene, a clear sprue in a separate bag, decal sheet and the instruction booklet, which is printed in colour with decal profiles on the back pages. Detail is well up to modern standards, and extends to ribbing on the interior of the fuselage, full representation of the engines and a nice cockpit, plus a set of crystal-clear glazing parts. Construction begins with the fuselage halves, which have the separate tail section added to the rear, a lozenge-shaped detail insert to make the wing root recess flush, and the side windows, plus an equipment insert in the cockpit area, and a line of trunking that extends from the trailing edge of the wing to the tail. The cockpit floor is a long part, with a recessed front end for the flight crew, detailed by adding the rudder pedals for the pilot, and the two seats, which both have separate seat cushions. The twin ‘bow tie’ yoked control columns are inserted into the floor in front of the seats, and near the rear of the floor are two large tanks that attach on pins. The assembly is inserted into the starboard side of the fuselage, and a bulkhead is fixed just in front of the crew steps under the mid-fuselage greenhouse. The front bulkhead has a small circular seat glued to the side of the fuselage and additional details with instrument decals, a clear chin insert with an instrument panel, gun mount and a rack of bottles added to it during installation, with a choice of two types of machine gun for the belly window that has two spare mags nearby. The port fuselage is prepared with tail fin, wing insert and windows, plus ammo cans and forward fuselage details, more racks of oxygen bottles and a side-mounted machine gun that requires cutting out the centre of one window insert. The fuselage can be closed around the cockpit after adding the main instrument panel, which has a centre throttle quadrant and dial decals added beforehand. The mid-upper gunner’s suspended seat is also inserted into holes, but can probably be inserted after gluing the fuselage halves together by flexing the support struts. His twin machine guns are added to a mount on a bracket, with a pair of magazines on top, after which it is fitted into the insert that is then glued into the opening in the fuselage behind the main canopy. The main canopy and upper gunner’s greenhouse canopy are fixed on top of the fuselage along with the nose glazing, which has a choice of two types of machine gun inserted from the inside. Completion of the tail begins by adding the elevator fins from the sprue, which have separate flying surfaces and rudder panel, then the wings are prepared by inserting a two-part bay in each one before joining the upper and lower halves together, adding the ailerons and landing lights in the leading edges. They are then glued onto the wing root fairings on the fuselage, which have a lip to improve fit and joint strength. The wheels are installed under the wings before the engines and lower cowling are made up, starting with the tail-wheel in its yoke, and then adding the two-part wheels to the H-frame main gear, which has a support frame fitted to the front, and a long yoke with mudguard that links the strut lower to the back of the bay. Four small parts are fixed to the wing inside the bays, and the lower cowlings are made up out of two halves plus a round bulkhead, and a pair of intakes top and bottom, then sliding the lower nacelle over the completed wheels and mating the edges with the recessed lip of the lower wing. The engines are built-up on bulkheads with the cooling gills moulded-in, a separate exhaust stack underneath, and a depiction of both cylinder banks, plus the front bell-housing with push-rods, hiding the prop axle inside without glue so that the props can spin later. The finished engines are covered by two cowling halves and a separate lip, gluing them to the front of the nacelles and finishing them off by adding the three-bladed prop and separate spinner. The model is completed by installing an antenna post and D/F loop over the canopy, and a curious-looking cranked pitot probe in the leading edge of the port wing. Markings There are four options on the decal sheet, all in various schemes, with some colourful unit markings. From the box you can build one of the following: Kong Bin Noi 6 (6th Wing), Spring 1941 Foong Bin Thing Rabut 62 (62nd Bomber Sqn.) three markings alternatives, probably 1942 and 1945 No.6, Don Muang Airfield, 1945 No.9, Don Muang Airfield, 1945 Decals are by ICM’s usual partner, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. As is common with ICM kits, there is a page of the instruction booklet devoted to the masking of the canopy, using the printed shapes on the right of the page and the diagrams on the left to create your own masks if you wish. It goes up to 130 thanks to the extensive greenhouse glazing. Conclusion A nicely detailed new boxing of this short-lived (in front line service at least) heavy bomber, which should put older toolings from other manufacturers out to pasture. Highly recommended Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  6. Sources: http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10183968 & http://www.platz-hobby.com/products/4026.html 1/72nd Mitsubishi F-1 by Platz (http://www.platz-hobby.com) - ref. AC-9 Review in your favourite forum: http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234951934-mitsubishi-f-1-172-platz/ V.P
  7. Ki-21-Ib Sally (72203) 1:72 ICM via H G Hannants Ltd The Sally, as she was known by the Allies during WWII was a heavy bomber designed by Mitsubishi as a replacement for the Ki-20, in competition with Nakajima, who although they lost out on the design of the aircraft, were given the contract for the power plants, as their HA-5 engines were found to be superior to Mitsubishi’s offering originally installed. A small number of airframes were also built by Nakajima too, with a total of just over 2,000 built between them. It first flew in 1936 and was intended for long-range bombing missions against Soviet and Chinese opponents, first entering service in 1938 in operations against China. Initial experience showed that the design was lacking in some respects, extending to the crucial oxygen system that was found to be unreliable. The Ib was intended to address most of the issues, including the lack of armament and changes to the flying surfaces. It also had a remote tail gun installation, and could mount an additional fuel tank for extreme range missions. The type was pretty much obsolete by 1940, and mounting losses prompted the type’s withdrawal from front line service, and sale of some of the airframes to friendly nations. Uses were still found for the type with the Japanese forces however, and the remaining aircraft were used until the end of the war as cargo transports, trainers, troop transports and communications hacks. The later variants had improved engine performance with Mitsubishi units, some with alterations to the greenhouse behind the cockpit, which was changed to a turret on some, and removed entirely on transport variants. The Kit This is a brand-new tool from ICM, who continue to produce new kits despite the difficult circumstances in their home country. The kit arrives in a shallow top-opening box that has a captive top flap on the bottom tray. Inside are six sprues in grey styrene, a clear sprue in a separate bag, decal sheet and the instruction booklet, which is printed in colour with colour profiles on the back pages. Detail is well up to modern standards, and extends to ribbing on the interior of the fuselage, full representation of the engines and a nice cockpit, plus a set of crystal clear glazing parts. Construction begins with the fuselage halves, which have the armed Ib tail added to the rear, a lozenge-shaped detail insert to make the wing root recess flush, and the side windows, plus an equipment insert in the cockpit area, and a line of trunking that extends from the trailing edge of the wing to the tail. The cockpit floor is a long part, with a recessed front end for the flight crew, detailed by adding the rudder pedals for the pilot, and the two seats, which both have separate seat cushions. The twin ‘bow tie’ control columns are inserted into the floor in front of the seats, and near the rear of the floor are two large tanks that attach on pins. The assembly is inserted into the starboard side of the fuselage, and has a bulkhead fixed just in front of the crew steps under the mid-fuselage greenhouse. The front bulkhead has a small circular seat glued to the side of the fuselage and additional details with instrument decals, a choice of two clear chin inserts with an instrument panel, gun mount and a rack of bottles added to it during installation, with a choice of two types of machine gun for the belly window that has two spare mags nearby. The port fuselage is prepared with tail, wing insert and windows, plus ammo cans and forward fuselage details, more racks of oxygen bottles and a side-mounted machine gun. The fuselage can be closed around the cockpit after adding the main instrument panel, which has a centre throttle quadrant and dial decals added beforehand. The mid-upper gunner’s suspended seat is also inserted into holes, but can probably be inserted after gluing the fuselage halves together by flexing the support struts. His twin machine guns are added to a mount on a bracket, with a pair of magazines on top, after which it is fitted into the insert that is then glued into the opening in the fuselage behind the main canopy. The main canopy and greenhouse gunner’s canopy are fixed on top of the fuselage along with the nose glazing, which has a choice of two types of machine gun inserted from the inside. The tail begins by adding the elevator fins, which have separate flying surfaces and rudder panel, then the wings are prepared by inserting a two-part bay in each one before joining the upper and lower halves together, adding the ailerons and landing lights in the leading edges. They are then glued onto the wing root fairings on the fuselage, which have a lip to improve fit and joint strength. The wheels are installed under the wings before the engines and lower cowling are made up, starting with the tail-wheel in its yoke, and then adding the two-part wheels to the H-frame main gear, which has a support frame fitted to the front, and a long yoke with mudguard that links the strut lower to the back of the bay. Four small parts are fixed to the wing inside the bays, and the lower cowlings are made up out of two halves plus a round bulkhead, and a pair of intakes top and bottom, then sliding the lower nacelle over the completed wheels and mating the edges with the recessed lip of the lower wing. The engines are built-up on bulkheads with the cooling flaps moulded-in, a separate exhaust stack underneath, and a depiction of both cylinder banks, plus the front bell-housing with push-rods, hiding the prop axle inside without glue so that the props can spin later. The finished engines are covered by two cowling halves and a separate lip, gluing them to the front of the nacelles and finishing them off by adding the three-bladed prop and separate spinner. The model is completed by installing an antenna post and D/F loop over the canopy, and a curious-looking cranked pitot probe in the leading edge of the port wing. Markings There are four options on the decal sheet, all in light green-grey, differentiated by their unit markings. From the box you can build one of the following: 60th Sentai, China, Summer 1940 60th Sentai, 3rd Chutai, China, Late 1940 58th Sentai, Harbin, December 1940 105 Kyoiku Hiko Sentai, Hamamatsu, Presumably 1942 Decals are by ICM’s usual partner, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. As is common now with ICM kits, there is a page of the instruction booklet devoted to the masking of the canopy, using the printed shapes on the right of the page and the diagrams on the left to create your own masks if you wish. It goes up to 130 thanks to the extensive greenhouse glazing. Conclusion A nicely detailed new tooling of this short-lived (in front line service at least) heavy bomber, which should put older toolings from other manufacturers out to pasture. Highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  8. A6M3 Zero Tail Wheel PRINT (648787) 1:48 Eduard Brassin We’ve reviewed the recent minor retool of the new Eduard Zero, which is the A6M3 Type 32 in ProfiPACK guise, which you can see here if you haven’t yet. It’s a gorgeous kit, and these new sets have been created in parallel to give the modeller who is in search of even more detail than is possible with injection moulded styrene, even with today’s advanced techniques. There were originally eight sets in the review pile, so to avoid burn-out of your scrolling finger, we snipped them up into bite-sized chunks. This last set covers the tail of the beast, and takes that area to a new level of detail. Eduard As is now usual with Eduard's smaller resin sets, they arrive in the new shallow Brassin cardboard box, with the resin parts safely cocooned in bags, and the instructions folded around acting as padding. This set consists of four 3D printed parts, all of which are attached to printing bases by thin tendrils of resin that are easy to remove. The first task is to remove the rearmost section of the fuselage under the rudder, as well as the bottom pin from the rudder itself, and a portion of the internal structure aft of the arrestor hook, all of which is marked out in red on the instructions. The fuselage closure included the new bulkhead, which is covered with detail, and has the mounting points for the gear leg printed into it. The leg has the small tail wheel integrated, and has a small sheet of C-shaped kabuki tape masks (not pictured) to help with painting, after which it can be glued to the bulkhead with super glue, adding the wishbone structure that supports the rudder pivot, and four short lengths of wire from your own stock that are colour-coded to help with arranging them. With the internals complete, the 3D printed tail fairing is painted on the inside with Aotake primer, picking out the delicate ribbing that is printed on the inside in addition to the riveted outer skin, which has a hollow pair of fairings at the root of the elevators. The kit tail-light is reused to complete the tail, and as well as making your model just that bit more detailed, the set would be of great use to anyone depicting a maintenance diorama where the fairing has been removed during the process. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  9. A6M3 Zero Upgrades (For Eduard) 1:48 Eduard We’ve reviewed the recent minor retool of the new Eduard Zero, which is the A6M3 Type 32 in ProfiPACK guise, which you can see here if you haven’t yet. It’s a gorgeous kit, and these new sets have been created in parallel to give the modeller who is in search of even more detail than is possible with injection moulded styrene, even with today’s advanced techniques. There were originally eight sets in the review pile, so to avoid burn-out of your scrolling finger, we snipped them up into bite-sized chunks. This third chunk covers more sets that are intended as relatively quick, effective updates to the detail of the kit, and in the case of the mask set to make the task much easier and the result more impressive. As usual with Eduard's Photo-Etch (PE), smaller Brassin and Mask sets, they arrive in a flat resealable package, with a white backing card protecting the contents and the instructions that are sandwiched between. Wheels (648799) Kit wheels are generally in two halves, which means you have the resultant joins to deal with, possible mould-slip issues on single part wheels, and sometimes less than stellar detail due to the moulding limitations of styrene injection technology, especially in the tread department. That's where replacement resin wheels come in, with their lack of seamline and superior detail making a compelling argument. They are also usually available at a reasonable price, and can be an easy introduction to aftermarket and resin handling, as they are usually a drop-in replacement. This set includes three resin parts, two main wheels in grey resin with the attachment to the casting block on the slight weighting flat-spot at the bottom of the tyre. The tail-wheel is cast in tougher white resin, and includes the tiny cylindrical wheel and the strut that attaches into the bay within the fuselage. There is also a set of pre-cut Kabuki-style masks (not pictured) for the wheels to cut the demarcation between hubs and tyres neatly. The tail-wheel even has a pair of C-shaped masks to assist with painting it. SPACE 3D Printed Cockpit Decals (3DL48088) 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. The decals provide all the instrument panel and various boxes around the cockpit, printed in interior green and with fantastic glossy instrument dials that have colourful faces where appropriate. The PE is pre-painted and includes additional parts for the cockpit, a small quantity of which duplicates the PE that is included in the ProfiPACK, but also includes a set of four seatbelts that are arranged in the Japanese “off-the-shoulder” style, much like a modern car seatbelt but with buckles rather than a clip, and there are three diagrams showing how they should be correctly arranged on the seat. Masks Tface (EX899) Supplied on a large sheet of yellow kabuki tape, these pre-cut masks supply you with everything for the exterior of the canopy, but also give you another set of masks tailored to fit the interior of the glazing so that you can paint the interior of it and give your model that extra bit of realism. Having now used them on one of my own projects, I intend to use them whenever I can from now. Review sample courtesy of
  10. A6M3 Zero 3D Printed Cockpit (648800) 1:48 Eduard Brassin We’ve reviewed the recent minor retool of the new Eduard Zero, which is the A6M3 Type 32 in ProfiPACK guise, which you can see here if you haven’t yet. It’s a gorgeous kit, and these new sets have been created in parallel to give the modeller who is in search of even more detail than is possible with injection moulded styrene, even with today’s advanced techniques. There are eight sets in the review pile right now, so to avoid burn-out of your scrolling finger, we’re snipping them up into bite-sized chunks. This set deserves its own review, as it’s absolutely gorgeous and a credit to the designers, which is actually pretty normal for these new Eduard sets. As is now usual with Eduard's larger resin sets, they arrive in a deep Brassin branded cardboard box, with the resin parts safely cocooned in bags, and the instructions folded around acting as padding. Inside the box are thirty-one 3D printed resin parts, a small fret of Photo-Etch (PE) STEEL that is also pre-printed, and a small decal sheet. The parts will need to be removed from their printing bases by detaching the tendril-like mounting rods, and on some of them a small raised spot will need to be sanded off from the liberated part. The process is quite straight forward, if a little messy due to the brittleness and number of tendrils, but the results are well worth it. Construction begins with the seat and its attendant four belts, with three diagrams showing the correct placement of them over the seat. The next sub assembly is the instrument panel, beginning with the panel support with an equipment box in the centre, a small twin dial just above it with a double-layer PE surround, and at the top the gunsight with twin film layers inserted at angles into the top. The main cockpit part is so well-detailed that you could be forgiven for thinking it was complete already, but there’s still plenty of work to do, starting with using the kit window in the floor, and adding a tiny lever to one of the upstands sprouting from the starboard side of the floor. The rudder pedals are moulded into the floor, but have PE straps fixed over them, plus an adjustment star in the centre. There is also a seat adjustment lever that attaches to the rear frame of the cockpit, two equipment boxes mounted on a ledge on the starboard side, both of which have decals on their faces, the mounting rail for the seat, which the seat assembly then hooks onto, the top lugs fixing into recesses in the rear bulkhead. The control column and a lever insert into the floor, with some detail painting going on through this and every other step, after which the instrument panel is slotted into the front of the curved ribs that sprout from the front of the floor, and a rod slides through the rear of the cockpit, just in front of the three bottles at the very rear. The starboard side console is detail painted and has decals added to it along with a couple of levers, resting between the front and rear ribs of the cockpit, then the complex shaped ammo boxes and feeder pathway for the twin nose guns is dropped into holes in the front of the cockpit floor, ready for the twin machine guns that have brass cocking levers. A pair of light-like cups are installed to the back of each side console, after which the fuselage half is detailed with a lot of extra instruments with decals and PE parts included, while the rear of the lower wing is upgraded with more detailed equipment boxes and another cylinder to replace the kit parts. The port fuselage sidewall is also upgraded with similarly high levels of detail, and at last the cockpit assembly can be enclosed by the fuselage halves, with one last piece of equipment added to the port side during closure. The last stage shows the cockpit being finished off by the addition of the kit’s front deck and the rear canopy, as well as adding the lower wings, all of which are kit parts. Conclusion The detail of these new 3D printed cockpits is beyond stunning, and the way they fit together is incredible from an engineering point of view as well as detail. The finished item is at the pinnacle of modelling detail as it stands. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  11. A6M3 Zero Type 32 ProfiPACK (82213) 1:48 Eduard The Zero was the direct successor to the diminutive A5M Claud from the same company, Mitsubishi, and came into service with the Japanese Navy in 1940, where it was extremely well received. It was a fast, highly manoeuvrable aircraft with powerful armament for the time, and it had good fuel economy due to the light-weight construction that would contribute to its downfall later in the war. The engineers used an extremely light duralumin variant, and lightened everything they could to shave weight from the airframe, including perforating the pilot’s seat, with no armour or self-sealing fuel tanks to protect the pilot or aircraft from incoming fire. While the Zero was the fastest kid on the block this wasn’t such an issue, but as the Allies improved their aircraft, they began to fall into their sights more frequently with the inevitable outcome that a great many experienced Japanese aviators were shot down and killed, leaving inexperienced novices to fall prey to the by-then experienced Allied flyers. One such battle was referred to the Marianas Turkey Shoot due to the horrible losses suffered by the Japanese at the hands of the American aviators. The Type 32 ran an improved version of the Sakai engine that used a 2-stage compressor to increase power, but its increased weight required the shortening of the fuselage, the complete redesign of the cowling and forward fuselage, and shortening of the wings, which took on a squarer profile. The speed was increased, but the more thirsty engine reduced the range, which gave them a short career in carrier-borne operations, after which they were withdrawn to provide point-defence for airfields or other strategically important areas. Toward the end of the war there were further improvements made to the type, but many were converted to fly as Kamikaze aircraft, to hurl themselves in an act of futility against the advancing US forces in an attempt to sink their carriers and battleships. Its most infamous use was as the fighters and fleet patrol aircraft during the Pearl Harbour raid that drew America into WWII on 7th December 1941, with a fleet of Type 21s that are otherwise known as the A6M2b taking off first from their carriers due to their relatively short take-off requirements. The rest as they say, is history. The Kit This is a partial re-tooling of the stunning new issue from Eduard, and it has been given the same duty of care that they lavished on the previous boxing of the Pearl Harbour era Zero, their earlier Bf.109G, the Spitfire and Mustang kits, making a highly-detailed, totally modern model kit that has blown many of the ageing competition out of the water in this scale. It arrives in a well-stocked top-opening box with a Zero engaging with a P-38 Lightning on the cover, and some profiles of the decal options on the side. Inside are four sprues in two resealable bags, a clear sprue in a Ziploc bag, a pre-painted Photo-Etch (PE) sheet in another Ziploc bag, a sheet of kabuki tape masks for the external glazing (not pictured) in yet another bag, three decal sheets and a rather thick instruction booklet with five pages of profiles for the marking options and one for the stencils. If you’ve been following this kit you’ll know that it has exceptional detail on the sprues, and it goes together like their recent Wildcat kit, and is a joy to build – I really will have to get around to finishing my earlier Tora Tora boxing. The full exterior skin is riveted and has engraved panel lines, including some lapped panels where appropriate, all done with incredible fidelity and finesse. The decals are also similarly well done, and the instructions are up to Eduard’s usual level of quality, showing where the various PE enhancements of the ProfiPACK edition should go, as well as calling out detail painting in their preferred Gunze Sangyo codes. Construction begins with the revised fuselage, which is painted and detailed internally with PE and styrene parts within the cockpit area to bolster the already excellent ribbing detail that is moulded-in. Some of the styrene parts are upgraded with PE fronts to further improve the look. The cockpit interior is then started with the styrene rudder pedals clipped off the part and replaced by new PE pedals. The pilot’s ventilated seat is laced with four pre-painted belts with scrap diagrams helping with arrangement, and attached to the fuselage frame by a pair of brackets that is joined by an adjuster with an optional curved PE bracket, the styrene version of which is first removed from the original part. The cockpit floor is well-detailed with rivets and is a shallow V-shape, with a small insert filling a gap in the underside, an instrument box detailed with PE toggle-switches, then the pilot’s control column and linkages are all installed on the topside along with the rudders. The sides of the cockpit contain various equipment boxes, which are all stripped of styrene detail to be replaced by PE parts, and they are then brought together with the rear frame, seat, floor and sides to create the cockpit assembly, which is then further detailed with more PE and optional decals, has the layered PE instrument panel built up and inserted into the front of the assembly, which then has the two nose-mounted machine guns added to a shaped part that slots into holes at the front of the cockpit. All of these sub-assemblies fit beautifully together, making for a strong assembly once everything is glued together. Behind the pilot a trio of tanks that are glued vertically to the back of the frame, then the completed assembly is put to the side briefly while the fuselage is glued together, adding the rudder, an insert under the tail, and a section of the top fuselage in front of the nose as you go. Once the glue has dried, the cockpit can be inserted into the fuselage from below, using the gap in the fuselage where the wings will later sit. Like many WWII fighters, the new lower wing half with its squared off tips is a single part, which is stiffened by a short spar that stretches between the ends of the wheel bays and also forms the back and end walls, and the rest of the wheel bay walls are added before the two upper wing panels are laid over the top with bay roof inserts below them and everything is glued in place. A pair of clear wingtip lights and styrene ailerons are added, and a scrap diagram shows the detail added to the centre trailing wing root’s interior should look once completed, and a small insert with circular PE grille is placed inside the belled housing at the front. The elevator fins are separate from their flying surfaces, and while the fins are two parts each, the thin trailing surfaces are single parts with lots of rib detail moulded-in. These and the wings are added to the fuselage along with some tiny fairings for the ailerons, a tapered head cushion for the pilot, which is scalloped to improve the view aft. The model is looking like a Zero now, minus the nose, which is next to be made up. Both banks of pistons of the Nakajima Sakae 21 radial engine are present, plus a fan of rods front and rear, with a two-part reduction gear bell-housing at the front, plus the wiring harness ring around it. This fits on a stepped ring that glues to the tapered front of the fuselage plus a collector ring for the exhausts, then the cowling is built up from two halves with an insert that creates the gun troughs, and is completed by the intake lip that is fitted to the lip at the front. The intake trunk is applied to the inside of the top of the cowling, and that also contains the gun troughs that project from the sloped front of the cowling. The finished cowling can then be slid over the engine and secured in place with more glue. The Zero’s wide-track gear made for easy deck-handling, and each of the main legs is made from a single strut with a captive bay door and a three-part wheel/hub combo with no sag engineered in. If you want weighted tyres, you can either sand off the bottom of the kit tyres, or get the Brassin resin wheels that we’ll be reviewing shortly, which have additional detail to sweeten the deal, and include a new tail-wheel strut into the bargain. The struts have their styrene scissor-links removed and replaced by PE parts, then the legs are inserted into the wells, and joined by the inner doors along the centreline, the tail-wheel with two-part perforated strut and tiny wheel, plus a choice of deployed or stowed arrestor hook. There are also a pair of tiny decals for the inside of the main gear bays, which adds a little extra visual interest. Finally, there is a tiny additional bay door at the base of each gear leg, with a scrap diagram showing the correct angle to fit it. With the model still on its back, the fuel tank is built-up from three parts and is glued to the underside, with a crew-step under the port edge of the wing-root fairing. The three-bladed prop is moulded as a single part, with a front and rear spinner half, which slides onto the axle at the front of the engine. On the topside, the gun-sight installs on the coaming, with a two-layer PE Direction-Finding (D/F) loop behind the pilot’s head, installed before you address the canopy. The windscreen is fitted first, and you have a choice of closed canopy that is made of two parts and an aerial, or in the open option that has the fixed rear, a slightly larger sliding canopy that fits over the rear, and the same aerial. Inside the sliding portion are a pair of small PE detail parts, and if you spring for additional Tface masks, it may be best to apply the masks before the PE parts. A clear light is added to the very rear of the fuselage, four little upstanding lights are fitted into sockets in the mid-wing, the gun muzzles are inserted into the leading edge with a pitot probe on the port side, plus two tiny PE gear-down indicators over their respective bays. Markings 5 markings options are included on the decal sheet as usual with ProfiPACK boxings, with a bit of variation to please a wider audience. From the box you can build one of the following: Ldg. Sea. Kenji Yanagiya, Kōkūtai 204, Rabaul Base, New Britain, April 1943 C/n 3018, Tainan Kōkūtai, Buna Airfield, New Guinea, August 1942 PO1c Kyoshi Itō, 3. Kōkūtai, Koepang Airfield, Timor Island, September 1942 Zuikaku Fighter Sqn., Aircraft Carrier Kuikaku, October 1942 CPO Takeo Tanimizu, Tainan Kōkūtai (II), Tainan Airbase, Taiwan, September 1944 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. You also get a sheet of kabuki-style masking tape that has been pre-cut to fit the individual panes of the canopy, plus masks for the three wheels and the wingtip lights. 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 great kit for anyone interested in WWII Japanese naval aviation, and brings Eduard’s renowned level of skill and detail to this slightly later variant, providing close to maximum detail out of the box. Watch out for some additional aftermarket sets from Eduard for those that aren’t satisfied with excellent detail and want incredible detail. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  12. I'll be building this once I get around to starting it, trying to up the number of 80/90s Japanese saloon cars in the GB! I've previously built the rally version but will be doing this in homage to a car I once owned (unfortunately mine was the GTI version which had all the 4WD/4WS bits but not the turbo or bonnet vents). I'm not sure if I'll sand out the bonnet vents, since I won't be able to find exact replicas for wheels etc. I might just do it in the colour my car was (a dark red I think they described as Bordeaux) - though the actual VR4s from around 89/90 I've only ever seen photos of in white or black.
  13. A6M2 Zero Model 21 Folding Wingtips PRINT (648731) 1:48 Eduard In case it has escaped your notice, Eduard have released a brand-new tooling of the Mitsubishi Zero in 1:48, and it’s a complete peach of a kit. You can see our review here, and my (presently stalled) build here. We’ve reviews a bunch of update sets already here, some of which I've used on my build, but now we have another from their new PRINT range, which is directly 3D printed and highly detailed. As usual with Eduard's smaller sets, they arrive in a flat resealable package, with a white backing card protecting the contents and the instructions that are sandwiched between. The parts are further protected in a crystal-clear plastic box that should be capable of resisting all but the most punishing of impacts. The set includes a pair of new 3D printed wingtips with moulded-in internal ribbing visible from the break-point, plus another pair of 3D printed rib-ends for the inner-wing that have a large tab to hold them in position. You also have the choice of a simpler join that utilises the ribs from the supplied Photo-Etch (PE) sheet, which has a different cut-point, with both of them shown in scrap diagrams that have the sections to be removed marked in red so there's no confusion. You reuse the clear wingtip lights from the kit of course, and there is a painting guide for the interior parts to ensure you get things right. You can see very fine layer marks on the smooth sections of the wingtip skin, but in my experience those disappear after a layer or two of paint, with any stubborn marks responding to a light sanding by vanishing diligently. Most impressive. If this new range of PRINT sets keeps going in this manner, we should see a lot more of them, and they should sell like hot cakes. Now I'm hungry. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  14. Hello model universe, This is part one of my Mitsubishi A6M3 Zero. In this first part I created the cockpit section. I decided to make a nice video build thread, so everyone can see how I attack things. In my opinion better than pictures. I hope it's allowed on this forum. So grab a cup of tee and let's start! https://youtu.be/g3MFMRjaRgE Thanks for joining!
  15. After reviewing this puppy here the other day, I thought I’d give it a go at actually completing a model for once. It’s a nice-looking kit and I like the Zero, and I also like Eduard’s kits, especially their recent ones. I started following the instructions (I know, weird eh?), and prepped the fuselage halves with the instruments and boxes, stripping off the moulded-in detail that’s replaced by the PE parts from the sheet to give it a bit more finesse. A lot of the PE is pre-painted so can’t be put on just yet, so I moved onto the rudder pedals, and here I made my first mistake. If you glance at the instructions, you might think that you just have to remove the pedals by nipping them off. That’s not the case, as I found out when I offered up the new PE pedals. I’ll fix the damaged part later, but pinched another set of pedals from the other set of sprues, nipping off the front of the pedal then sanding and scraping the arms back and attaching the new pedals. I’m also using the 3D Printed Brassin seat, which you can see here along with the resin wheels and the bronze gear legs. That was work of a few seconds, and I attached the brackets to the frame, offering up the seat to ensure they were in the correct place. The adjuster has the semi-circular track nipped off and replaced by PE, with the front face curved to match the sides. After annealing it in a flame, I found it fitted one of my rolling “pins” perfectly and once that was done I secured it with a tiny amount of CA applied by blade. The cockpit floor has an equipment box moulded into it, which has some of the detail removed and replaced by four T-shaped controls later. They’re pre-painted too, so I drilled some 0.3mm locating holes in the top and left them off for now. The clear panel in the floor fits well, and even includes two pieces of kabuki tape for each side. GS-Hypo cement secured that in place, then I added the detail bits to the floor in the suggested order. The same removal of the front detail was needed on the cockpit sides, and again on the instrument panel, then the guns were mounted onto that weird-shaped replica of the ammo feeds. You can quite easily get those the wrong way round if you’re a nitwit, so take care. They fit well one way, and while they’re setting up, align them so they’re both pointing in the same direction. The fuselage halves have a little bay for the arrestor hook, which fits really well and can be glued into one half of the fuselage for painting before you close it up. The same can be done with the landing gear bays, and these fit really nicely into the lower wing with a bit of care. The inserts with the blisters fits incredibly well, with a bit of flash, and I mean a tiny fraction of a millimetre around the edge of the hole making the fit absolutely perfect. I also made up the elevators with a very slight droop in the flying surfaces, then made up the two banks of pistons of the Sakae engine as separate sub-assemblies for painting, and possibly adding some wiring if I have time. I was really looking forward to making up the cowling on that jig, and I wasn’t disappointed. Each part was test-fitted just to be sure, but there was very little prep-work needed, just a bit of care with the application of the glue. The finished cowling is superb, to say the least I put all the resin/bronze components of the landing gear set through the sanding/chopping up process, and made up the drop-tank, which also fits together really neatly, but has a seam running through the filler cap depression. I reamed that out a bit and punched out a 1.9mm circle of 0.1mm styrene sheet, putting it in with some CA so it didn’t melt, and using a pointy bit of Blutak to hold it steady during gluing. It's all waiting to be primed now, which is the next task after cleaning my airbrush Couldn’t resist doing a tape-up after all that fun with knives and glue: I’ve got a bit of research to do on colours, but some of you chaps have already got a thread going on the subject, so I’ll ask any questions there rather than muddy this thread
  16. Stencil Decals for A6M2 Zero (D48098) 1:48 Eduard Decals Eduard’s stencil range has been growing steadily recently, providing sharp, detailed stencilling for numerous types, some of which are lacking from the originating manufacturer’s box. The latter can come in handy for your average modeller, as sometimes the kit doesn’t include a complete set of stencils for expediency or whatever reason. Some folks, myself included, think that the inclusion of a full suite of stencils adds extra realism to a model, although there is of course the time element and the extra carrier film edges to hide. Eduard have been busy of late and have released this comprehensive set we have to review to coincide with their release of a fantastic new-tool Zero in this scale, which you can see our review of here. It arrives in a clear foil re-sealable envelope with a card stiffener, a cover page with instructions printed on both sides, plus the decals with new “cheap toilet paper” protecting the delicate printed surface. This set arrives on one rectangular sheet, although it is stated as being patterned exclusively for the Eduard kit, you would be able to use most if not all of the decals on another brand of kit just as well, and over the course of four profiles and some scrap diagrams, the locations of all the stencils are shown clearly on shaded line drawings. There’s another reason to grab a set of these stencils too now, as Eduard’s printers have been using a new type of carrier film from earlier this year (2021) that can be peeled away a few hours after application to leave you with carrier-film free stencils that won’t need any hiding with coats of gloss varnish then careful sanding back and repeating as necessary. I’ve not used them myself yet, so do a bit of searching for yourself to see how it's done. There’s a thread on Britmodeller somewhere, IIRC. The decals are printed in-house by Eduard and have good register, sharpness and colour density, with a glossy carrier film printed reasonably close to the edges of the printed areas. As you can remove it later anyway, that last part really doesn’t matter anymore! Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  17. A6M2 Zero Upgrade Sets (For Eduard) 1:48 Eduard We’ve just reviewed Eduard’s brand-new kit of this iconic Japanese fighter here, and the first batch of resin updates here. The range has been further widened to improve on the kit detail in the usual modular manner, and now with a choice of medium for the cockpit panels. Get what you want for the areas you want to be more of a focal point. As usual with Eduard's Photo-Etch (PE), SPACE, Löök and Mask sets, they arrive in a flat resealable package that has type specific branding, with a white backing card protecting the contents and the instructions that are sandwiched between. SPACE 3D Printed Cockpit Decals (3DL48050) 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. The decals provide all the instrument panel and various boxes in interior green and with fantastic glossy instrument dials that have colourful faces where appropriate. The PE is pre-painted and includes additional parts for the cockpit, some of which duplicates the ProfiPACK PE, but also includes a set of four seatbelts that are arranged in their unusual “off-the-shoulder” style, much like a modern car seatbelt but with buckles rather than a clip. Löök Pre-Painted Resin Set (644128) This set 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 and side console next to the pilot, with glossy faced dials already painted for you on interior green coated black resin. Two other literal black boxes are included for the sidewalls too, and these are also pre-painted for your ease. Additionally, the PE sheet contains a set of four-piece three-point belts for the pilot, and a double-bezel pair of instruments to fit in the top-centre of the instrument panel. Seatbelts STEEL (FE1238) These belts are Photo-Etch (PE) steel, and because of their strength they can be etched from thinner material, which improves realism and flexibility in one sitting. Coupled with the new painting method that adds additional perceived depth to the buckles and other furniture by using shading, they are more realistic looking and will drape better than regular brass PE. The four parts fit together to provide a set of three-point belts in a style akin to a modern car belt, but with buckles. Masks Tface (EX821) Supplied on a larger sheet of yellow kabuki tape, these pre-cut masks supply you with everything to cover the exterior of the canopy, but also give you another set of masks tailored to fit the interior of the glazing so that you can paint the canopy interior with confidence and give your model that extra bit of realism. You also get a set of wheel masks to cut the demarcation between tyre and hub with ease. Review sample courtesy of
  18. Tora Tora Tora! (11155) A6M2 Zero Type 21 Dual Combo 1:48 Eduard The Zero was the direct successor to the diminutive A5M from the same company, Mitsubishi, and came into service with the Japanese Navy in 1940, where it was extremely well received. It was a fast, highly manoeuvrable aircraft with powerful armament for the time, and it had good fuel economy due to the light-weight construction that would contribute to its downfall later in the war. The engineers used an extremely light duralumin variant, and lightened everything they could to shave weight from the airframe, including perforating the pilot’s seat, with no armour or self-sealing fuel tanks to protect the pilot or aircraft from incoming fire. While the Zero was the fastest kid on the block this wasn’t such an issue, but as the Allies improved their aircraft, they began to fall into their sights more frequently with the inevitable outcome that a great many experienced Japanese aviators were shot down and killed, leaving inexperienced novices to fall prey to the by-then experienced Allied flyers. One such battle was referred to the Marianas Turkey Shoot due to the horrible losses suffered by the Japanese. Toward the end of the war there were improvements made to the type, but many were converted to fly as Kamikaze aircraft, to hurl themselves in an act of futility against the advancing US forces in an attempt to sink their carriers and battleships. Its most infamous use was as the fighters and fleet patrol aircraft during the Pearl Harbour raid that drew America into WWII on 7th December 1941, with a fleet of Type 21s that are otherwise known as the A6M2b taking off first from their carriers due to their relatively short take-off requirements. The rest as they say, is history. The Kit This is a brand-new tooling from Eduard, and it has been given the same duty of care that they lavished on the Bf.109G, the Spitfire and Mustang, making a highly-detailed, totally modern model kit that will doubtless blow many of the ageing competition out of the water in this scale. This is the initial release that uses the attack codename Tora Tora Tora! as the strapline, which incidentally means Tiger Tiger Tiger. I learned something today, but I probably learned it before, as I’m starting to remember. It arrives in a well-stocked top-opening box with a pair of Zeroes on the cover, and some profiles of the decal options on the side. Inside are double sprues in resealable bags, with a total of eight sprues (four per kit), two clear sprues, two pre-painted Photo-Etch (PE) sheets, a sheet of kabuki tape masks for the external glazing (not pictured), three decal sheets and a rather thick instruction booklet with twelve pages of profiles for the marking options. If you’ve been watching the pre-launch of this kit you’ll know that it has exceptional detail on the sprues, and if it goes together like their recent P-51 kit, it will be a joy to build. The full exterior skin is riveted and has engraved panel lines, including some lapped panels where appropriate, all done with incredible fidelity and finesse. The decals are also similarly well done, and the instructions are up to Eduard’s usual level of quality, showing where the various PE enhancements should go, as well as calling out detail painting in their preferred Gunze Sangyo codes. Construction begins with the fuselage, which is painted and detailed internally with PE and styrene parts within the cockpit area to bolster the already excellent ribbing detail that is moulded-in. Some of the styrene parts are upgraded with PE fronts to further improve the look. The cockpit interior is then started with the styrene rudder pedals clipped off the part and replaced by new PE pedals. The pilot’s ventilated seat is laced with four pre-painted belts and attached to the fuselage frame by a pair of brackets and is joined by an adjuster with a curved PE bracket, the styrene version of which is first removed from the original part. The cockpit floor is well-detailed with rivets and is a shallow V-shape, with a small insert filling a gap in the underside, an instrument box detailed with PE toggle-switches, then the pilot’s control column and linkages are all installed on the topside along with the rudders. The sides of the cockpit contain various equipment boxes, which are all stripped of styrene detail to be replaced by PE parts, and they are then brought together with the rear frame, seat, floor and sides to create the cockpit assembly, which is then further detailed with more PE and optional decals, has the layered PE instrument panel built up and inserted into the front of the assembly, which then has the two nose-mounted machineguns added to a shaped part that slots into holes at the front of the cockpit. Behind the pilot a trio of tanks that are glued vertically to the back of the frame, then the completed assembly is put to the side briefly while the fuselage is glued together, adding the rudder, an insert under the tail, and a section of the cowling in front of the nose as you go. Once the glue has dried, the cockpit can be inserted into the fuselage from below, using the gap in the fuselage where the wings will later sit. Like many WWII fighters, the lower wing half is a single part, which is stiffened by a short spar that stretches between the ends of the wheel bays and also forms the back walls. Two holes in the centres of the wings are filled with inserts to obtain the correct blister layout, and the rest of the wheel bay walls are added before the two upper wing panels are laid over the top with bay roof inserts and glued in place. On the inside of the wings there are engraved lines where the folding tips can be cut loose, but for this boxing they are ignored. A pair of clear wingtip lights and styrene ailerons are added, and a scrap diagram shows how the trailing wing root should look once glued, to ensure you don’t make a rod for your back down the line. The “tail” of the wing assembly is ribbed inside, and is fitted out with some small parts, although it’s a mystery to me at this stage where it can be seen from without the aid of an endoscope. The elevator fins are separate from their flying surfaces, and while the fins are two parts each, the thin trailing surfaces are single parts with lots of rib detail moulded-in. These and the wings are added to the fuselage along with some tiny fairings for the aileron actuators, a head cushion for the pilot (isn’t he lucky?), and an intake grille under the nose. The model is looking like a Zero now, but has no nose (I won’t do the joke), which is next to be made up. Both banks of pistons of the Nakajima Sakae radial engine are present, plus a fan of rods front and back, with a two-part reduction gear bell-housing at the front, which has a tiny decal added to it once painted. This fits on a stepped ring that glues to the tapered front of the fuselage, then a bit of fancy styrene engineering takes place. The cowling is built up around a cylindrical jig that you should remain unglued unless you enjoy swearing. The intake lip is fitted to the narrow end of the jig, then two almost semi-cylindrical cowling halves are added, locating in slots in the aft lip of the jig, and gluing to the lip at the front. The intake trunk is inserted into the gap in the underside, and this too has its own groove in the lip, and when the glue is dry, the assembly can be slipped off the jig, and the final section that contains the gun troughs can be added along with another pair of small inserts at the bottom-rear where the exhaust stacks are glued. The finished cowling can then be slid over the engine and secured in place with more glue. The Zero’s wide-track gear made for easy deck-handling, and each of the main legs is made from a single strut with a captive bay door and a three-part wheel/hub combo with no sag engineered in. If you want weighted tyres, you can either sand off the bottom of the kit tyres, or get the Brassin resin wheels that we’ll be reviewing shortly, which have additional detail to sweeten the deal, and include a new tail-wheel strut into the bargain. The struts have their styrene scissor-links removed and replaced by PE parts, then the legs are inserted into the wells, and joined by the inner doors along the centreline, the tail-wheel with two-part strut and tiny wheel, plus a choice of deployed or stowed arrestor hook. There are also a pair of tiny decals for the inside of the main gear bays, which adds a little extra visual interest. Finally, there is a tiny additional bay door at the base of each gear leg, with a scrap diagram showing the correct angle to fit it. With the model still on its back, the fuel tank is built-up from three parts and is glued to the underside, with horn balances added to the ailerons, and a crew-step under the port edge of the wing-root fairing. Another scrap diagram shows the correct orientation of the horn balances. The three-bladed prop is moulded as a single part, with a front and rear spinner half, which slides onto the axle at the front of the engine. On the topside, the gun-sight installs on the coaming, with a PE Direction-Finding (D/F) loop behind the pilot’s head, installed before you address the canopy. The windscreen is fitted first, and you have a choice of closed canopy that is made of two parts and an aerial, or in the open option that has the fixed rear, a slightly larger sliding canopy that fits over the rear, and the same aerial. Inside the sliding portion are a pair of small PE detail parts, and if you spring for additional Tface masks, it may be best to apply the masks before the PE parts. A clear light is added to the very rear of the fuselage, four little upstands are fitted into sockets in the mid-wing, the gun muzzles are inserted into the leading edge with a pitot probe on the port side, plus two tiny PE gear-down indicators over their respective bays. Markings 12 markings options is excellent, even though you’ve got two models to cover, all of which took part in the raid as either fighter or patrol aircraft, and all wearing the same basic scheme. From the box you can build two of the following: Lt.Cdr. Shigeru Itaya, Akagi Fighter Squadron, first attack wave c/n probably 2236, PO2c Akira Yamamoto, Kaga Fighter Squadron, first attack wave Lt. Masaji Suganami, Sōryū Fighter Squadron, first attack wave PO1c Kazuo Muranaka, Hiryú Fighter Squadron, first attack wave Lt. Tadashi Kaneko, Shōkaku Fighter Squadron, first attack wave Lt. Masao Satō, Zuikaku Fighter Squadron, first attack wave PO1c Tetsuzō Iwamoto, Zuikako Fighter Squadron, patrol during the first attack wave Lt. Saburō Shindō, Akagi Fighter Squadron, second attack wave PO1c Yoshikazu Nagahama, Kaga Fighter Squadron, second attack wave c/n 3277, Lt. Fusata Iida, Sōryū Fighter Squadron, second attack wave c/n 2266, PO1c Shigenori Nishikaichi, Hiryū Fighter Squadron, second attack wave PO1c Yukuo Hanzawa, Shōkaku Fighter Squadron, patrol during the second attack wave Decals are by Eduard, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. There is a separate page dedicated to the stencil locations that are shown on a set of grey profiles to avoid cluttering the colour profiles. Upgrade Sets Conclusion This is a great piece of news for anyone interested in WWII Japanese naval aviation, and brings Eduard’s renowned level of skill and detail to the subject, kicking it up to the maximum. Watch out for some additional aftermarket sets from Eduard for those that aren’t satisfied with excellent detail and want incredible detail. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  19. Third build of the year - trying to maintain an average of one per month, so far so good This is a kit from the 60s I believe, so lots of rivets and other raised detail. I was looking for a quick build as part of my project to build all planes from one of my favorite games, Hellcats over the Pacific. About halfway through now. Even though it is an older kit it is still typical Hasegawa: Sparse interior detail, excellent fit. I didn't use much filler. Masking the windows drove me almost crazy, I tried using Eduard's G4M2 masking set but it doesn't fit this kit. Took me two days to do the masking and a good two hours to remove it all. Reasonably happy with the weathering. Might be overdone a bit but it helps to mask the lost raised detail on the spine and bottom of the fuselage and other areas where you just can't get around obliterating it when dealing with the seams. Also, it adds character. I used Tamiya primer, Humbrol Polished Aluminium, black preshading, then Tamiya IJN Grey and Green. Then weathered the lot with a sharpened match and some 1500 grit. I wanted to build a Guadalcanal-related plane, as per the game's setting. Decals came from DP Casper's set Forgotten Operations: I-gó Sakusen. I love these campaign-based sets. Now I need to start incorporating the whole Hellcats collection into a diorama... thinking of playing the game and making some screenshots, then creating a backdrop out of that. It also struck me how big the Betty is: Here next to a B-25 I'm building with my son. Much bigger aircraft.
  20. Hi, After Mitsubishi Ki-21 Sally and Nakajima Ki-49 Helen, which I posted some week ago, I would like to show two other heavy Japaneese bombers, both are Mitsubishi: G4M1 in allies code "Betty" and Ki-67 Hiryu ("Peggy"). First is from old Hasegawa mould and second from LS. Both are very archive, Betty I made just after returning to hobby in 1992 and Peggy I made still in the schooldays, about 1977. This LS kit has movable flaps and even you may rectract the u/c... Markings of Betty are from 705 Kokutai, JNAF - New Guinea July 1943 (Rabaul) and Peggy is 3 Kokutai, 14 Sentai JAAF, 1945. Betty: And Ki-67 - "Peggy": Comments welcome Regards Jerzy-Wojtek
  21. So alongside the predictable Draken build I'm doing, I'm also going to be building this in the GB... The 1991 Rally Sweden winner, as well as being the winning car, it had a Swedish crew - Kenneth Eriksson and Staffan Parmander. It's a fairly simple kit, with a limited part count, no engine, etc. It does come with some material to make seatbelts from, some rubbery plastic sheet to make the mudflaps, a metal rod for the antenna and a small PE fret. I've also bought some aftermarket PE set that also comes with some seat belt material too. The decals look pretty good, though that's to be hoped for as other than the decals the exterior of the car is mostly white, other than the blue rear corners/boot which has to be painted onto the body - hopefully the line of the decal covers it, I hope the blue/white crossover doesn't show through the decals! The instructions look clear (well there aren't many parts), the English information panel is full of translation mistakes and misprints (though I kind of enjoy that). The only niggles are the clear parts aren't great, the tyres have a seam and the bonnet has a 2 nasty imprints that will need sanding out - I imagine that's because they based the shell on the road car version/other versions which have 2 large air-intakes louvers there - hopefully that'll sand out nicely.
  22. This will be my entry. Hope I can finishing this on time. This is a full resin kit. I've done some before so I think I can rule with this without major problems....
  23. Here is my LS 1:144 Mitsubishi F-1 30-8269, of the 8th Hikotai “Panther Pack”, JASDF, at Misawa, Japan, in the 1980s, which I completed in 2000. Built mostly OOB, I just added some cockpit details. It was completely painted by brush and only the varnish was airbrushed. Thanks for looking Miguel
  24. Thanks Meissner - https://www.72news.eu/2018/10/rising-models-ki-18-experimental-fighter.html Rising Models (link) is to release limited edition 1/72nd : - ref. RM03 - Mitsubishi Ki-18 Japanese Army Experimental Fighter Including A5M1 AviModels plastic kit (link) with resin convertion parts Source: http://www.rising.risingdecals.com/index.php/1-72-plastic-kits/210-rm-03-ki-18-prototype - ref. RM04 - Mitsubishi Ki-33 Japanese Army Experimental Fighter Including A5M1 AviModels plastic kit (link) with resin convertion parts Source: http://www.rising.risingdecals.com/index.php/1-72-plastic-kits/211-rm-04-ki-33-second-prototype-a5m1 V.P.
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