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  1. We reviewed this puppy mid February, and as I'm a sucker for a late war jet, I dug in straight away to see what I could do with it. As I said in my review, it's not a shake-and-bake kit, so you'll definitely have to apply some of those fabled modelling skills to building it. If you're the type to get all uppity because some flying surfaces are too corrugated, walk away This isn't a Luft'46 subject in some ways, because a partially constructed example was captured at the end of the war, and there are pictures of it languishing outside some buildings, covered with US soldiers and staff posing in front of it. The Americans liked it so much that they took it back to the US and finished it, calling it the X-5. It's the grandfather of the swing-wing generation of fighters and bombers, so it has a place in history. This boxing is the Night Fighter option, and RS sent me the one I was most likely to be tempted by, and they were right. I was. I started off with the cockpit, which was nice, and fitted the fuselage nicely. I added some HGW seatbelts, and detailed the IP with Airscale instrument decals, basing my dabblings on a cut-down sub-set of the Me.262's panel, with the following result: Those HGW seatbelts really are the donkey's whiskers, aren't they? Absolutely worth the faff and fiddle of putting them together. I curse and I swear, but keep going back for another set, and will continue to do so The exhaust was pretty simple, although the outer tube had a big mould seam around it that needed removing. It's a tight fit too, and as I wanted to pop it in later, I replaced the styrene tube with a length of brass tubing of the correct diameter that I had lying about, reusing the centre dooh-dad, and repainting it in the same burnt metal shades. The intake is a simple tube, and again I had to do some fettling later in the build, so all that metal shading was lost under a load of Black 4.0 paint yesterday. This is modelling There's just a blank at the back end of the intake, so no detail was lost, and even with a bright light, I can't really see anything inside. It also works because the airframe is black. Happiness The wheels are moulded in halves, and they looked familiar, so rather than having to carefully sand the seams whilst trying to avoid the raised circumferential treads, I looked up late WWII German aircraft wheels, as I expected them to be reused from another design to save development costs. My first guess was Me.262, but they're way too fat and large. It turns out that they're scarily close to the wheels of a late war Bf.109, so that's what I went with, picking up an Eduard resin set. You can see just how close they are below: Very nice, although the kit wheels are decent, I just couldn't be bothered sanding the seams because I'm lazy The wings were pretty simple, consisting of two parts that glued together as you'd expect. I decided to cut out some wingtip lights and cut out areas that I thought would be the likely site, and glued in some clear acetate after drilling a depression in it that I painted red and green, hoping I'd get the right wing matched with its light The white line is a piece of styrene strip that I used to tidy up the edges so they'd fit better. They got covered up with liquid mask pretty much straight away, and haven't been seen since. Once I'd got the cockpit, intake, and gear bays in the fuselage, I joined the two halves, and set to work on the seams. They took some hiding TBH, partly because the styrene is quite soft, but I was also using soft sanding sticks. Once I'd stopped doing that, the seams disappeared, and I could put the parts together for a test-fit. After seam filling, I had some panel lines to reinstate, which turned into a complete rescribe, so all the panel lines looked the same. Then it got silly, and on a whim, I decided to rivet the entire airframe, which I've never done before. I used the Galaxy Model riveting tools that I've had lurking about for almost 4 years, and have barely used. I've certainly used them now! Over the course of an evening and the next morning, probably 4 hours in total, I marked out the rivets as I reckoned they might appear, again, using the Me.262 as my guide, as the wings were intended to be the outer wing panels off that aircraft at one point. It's probably not the best or most accurate riveting that a model has had in the world, but I'm quite pleased with it, and it has added some extra visual interest, as well as distracting from any mistakes I've made along the way. The top pic is just after I'd finished with some of the pencil still visible, the second shot is later on after a bit of tidying up, and re-filling a few lengths of the seam that had eased or cracked during handling. There was a much fettling and filling of the various mistakes too, tidying up lines that weren't quite square, and making good, plus drilling out four tiny holes in the nose cowling to help me locate the radar antennae later on. once I was done, I glued all the major parts together, and it turns out the tail fin tab was slightly wide, and it split the rear of the fuselage, which I had to make good. The whole thing received a unifying coat of primer and a good buffing to remove any rough patches, then I put it aside for a few days while I was busy with other stuff. I dipped the canopy in Klear and left it to dry, masking it up with narrow lines of tape, which I in-filled with scrap pieces once I'd finished. I glued it on after putting the gunsight on the coaming, which I'd also covered with a sheet of 0.25mm styrene to ensure the seam stayed hidden, replacing the moulded-in glass with two squares of acetate, making sure they didn't interfere with the sharply raked windscreen. The canopy got glued on with GS-Hypo cement, and was taped down and left to cure overnight. Last night I did some choosing of shade, having decided to depict the scariest decal option that's based on an all-over black airframe with little wiggly clouds of grey all over it. I might as well, as I like to make things difficult for myself Here's the base coat, which isn't black, it's a dark grey called Gunze Tire Black H77, which is very dark, almost black, but not quite. I'm going to lighten it with further coats, then noodle the camo grey over the top. That's the plan, at least I noticed in that pic that the paint is a bit thin on the fuselage centre section, so it's just as well I have the paint still in the 'brush. Hopefully, I'll be able to get some modulation on it this evening, and will post up some pics when I do. I'm determined to finish this one, as I have too many sitting close to the finish line that I'm thoroughly ashamed of. Wish me luck!
  2. Dornier Do.217J-1/2 (03814) 1:48 Carrera Revell The origin of the Do.217 was the Do.17 ‘Flying Pencil’ as it was colloquially known, in an effort to extract more power and therefore speed from the engines, extend its range and give it a better bomb load amongst other improvements. The resulting airframe was a capable and left the early war designs in its wake, becoming known as a heavy bomber in Luftwaffe service, something they were very short of throughout the war. It was also a versatile aircraft in a similar way to the Ju.88, and was adapted to many other roles like its predecessors, including the night fighter role, to which it was suited, although not initially. Various engine types were used through the endless rounds of improvements, with radial and inline engines fitted in a seemingly random pattern throughout the aircraft's life. The first night fighter was the J-1 with radial engines that had a crew of three in an enlarged cockpit and solid nose sporting four MG17 machine guns and another four 20mm cannons in the front of the gondola for concentrated forward fire. The crews disliked it due to the increased weight of the extra equipment however, and criticism led to an order to cease production of the night fighter variants, which Dornier either didn't receive or chose to ignore. The J-2 was little better, changing the 20mm FF/M cannons out for MG151s and removing the vestigial aft bomb bay, which was faired over with an appropriate drop in overall weight. Some of this weight was gained back with the installation of the FuG 202 Lichtenstein radar. This still wasn’t enough and the crews continued complaining, leading Dornier to produce the improved N series, which eventually entered service in small numbers as the N-1 and N-2 variants. The Kit This is a reboxing by Revell of minor tooling revision from ICM, based upon the sprues from the J series’ successor, the N series that was tooled first. The additional sprues cover parts for the backdating of the engines and nacelles to the earlier BMW 801 radials, as well as a new nose cone and cover for the radar equipped J-2 and earlier J-1 with its clean radar-free nose. Inside the large end-opening box are nine sprues in grey styrene, although the instructions show the two wings on separate sprues, but these are linked in our sample. A clear sprue, sheet of decals and the instruction booklet complete the package, most of which is held in a resealable clear bag, with the decals inserted within the pages of the instruction booklet. Construction begins with the well-detailed cockpit and fuselage, which is almost identical to the earlier N until you reach the nose cone, giving you a choice of the unadorned J-1 nose with cover for the tip where previous variants had searchlights, or the similar J-2 nose that has a pair of supports for the radar whiskers. The wings and tail are also identical to the N, although the new engines and nacelles are where things start to diverge properly. The radial BMW units are made up from two banks of pistons, the rear set having a bulkhead moulded in, then has the ancillaries and cooling fan added to the front. The cowlings are built in sections with exhaust stubs fitted to the insides, with three sections linked to complete the cylindrical cowling into which the engine slots before being locked in by the front cowling lip. This of course is done twice, as are the nacelles, which have ribbing detail moulded within and bulkheads to add detail and prevent see-through issues. The engine cowling slots onto the front of the nacelle and the retraction jacks are installed from above before it is fitted to the wing, as are the main oleos, mudguards and the two-piece wheels. You can also add in the gear bay doors at this point if you’re a masochist, or leave them off until main painting is over. The underside is completed by adding in the engine nacelles, completing the rear of the gondola under the nose with its glazing and inserting the closed bomb bay doors for the J-1, or by leaving the bay open, adding the extra fuel tank that was used to extend range, and installing the bifold doors in the open position. The retractable rear wheel also has its doors fitted with a small insert in front of the bay, finishing off the area. Flipping the model over shows the open cockpit, which needs the remaining parts adding before the glazing can be glued in place. Some small parts are added to the inside of the canopy before it is put in place, with the rear turret and defence machine gun added into the rear fairing. Additional appliqué armoured glass is present on the two front canopy panels, which can be “glued” with some clear varnish, making certain you haven’t trapped any bubbles between the parts before you set it to one side to dry. The next steps involve guns. Lots of them. All the barrels are slotted into the nose and your choice of nose cap is fitted, with the radar whiskers made up and cut to size for the J-2 decal options. The props are made up from a single part with all blades moulded in, then trapped between the front and rear parts of the spinner. The last parts are a set of cheek “pouches” that are fixed to either side of each nacelle with a set of curved grilles moulded in, and two exhaust deflectors on the top of the nacelles. Markings There are two decal options included on the sheet, both wearing a green/grey splinter over blue undersides, and differentiated by their markings and mottle patterns. From the box you can build one of the following: Do.217J-2, II./NJG101, Luftwaffe, Hungary, 1943 Do.217J-1, II./NJG1, Luftwaffe, 1944 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 The Flying Pencil and its variants don’t get as much love as the more popular Junkers or ‘einkels, but they played an important part in the Nazi war machine, so deserve the level of effort that has clearly gone into production of this kit. Highly recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  3. Boulton Paul Defiant Mk.I (A05128A) 1:48 Airfix The Defiant came about due to the Air Ministry’s obsession at the time with turreted fighters. The thinking was that the enemy bombers would come over unescorted in the mistaken belief that their defensive armament could fend off any attackers. It was decided that the fighters would intercept the bombers en masse, and approach them either from underneath or the side, using their turreted armament to pick them off, separating the workload of flying and shooting, and hopefully resulting in a better rate of attrition of the bomber stream. They were wrong of course, and the Defiant’s additional weight made the aircraft less manoeuvrable than its opponents, the Bf.109 and Bf.110, leading to unacceptable losses that resulted in it being moved to nightfighter duties where its talents were better utilised. Having no forward-firing armament was a drawback, but its lack of agility mattered less under the cover of darkness. It fought well as a nightfighter, but was eventually replaced by the more advanced Beaufighter and Mosquito, while the Defiant, nicknamed Daffy at the time was relegated to target tug and gunnery training duties until its services were no-longer required. The Kit This is a reboxing of the original 2016 release of the newly tooled kit, but with new decals to add a little variation to the proceedings. Although I’ve owned one of these kits for a number of years, we haven’t reviewed one yet but as all the previous boxings contained the same sprues you can take this as a review of them all save for their decals. The kit arrives in Airfix’s traditional red themed box and inside are four sprues of grey styrene, one of clear parts, a decal sheet and folded instruction booklet with colour profiles at the rear for painting and decaling. The detail is excellent, and typical of Airfix’s modern output with the clear parts separately bagged within the main bag for their safety. Construction begins with the cockpit, attaching the pilot’s seat to the bulkhead behind it, with a scrap diagram showing the correct angle from the side. Underneath are added the controls and mounts, then the assembly is fitted to the cockpit floor and foot-plates then the front-bulkhead is made up with the rudder pedal box and control column added along the way. In preparation for closing up the fuselage, the cockpit sidewalls moulded into the fuselage halves are ribbed horizontally, then upgraded with ribs and stringers plus additional cockpit instruments and detail painted before the cockpit assembly is trapped between the two halves. Also fitted at the same time is a single piece rear section for the turret and the pilot’s main instrument panel with a decal supplied to portray the instruments. Once the glue is all set up, the two connecting rails between the halves of the turret insert are cut away to leave a circular aperture for the turret later. The fuselage is then set aside for a while so that the wings can be made up. The lower centre section has the bay attaches from within, with a stiffener box added to the upper wing halves before they are joined to the lower centre section, then enclosed with an overlapping lower section for a strong joint. The fuselage is dropped into the waiting gap in between the wing fairings, after which the single-part ailerons can be glued at an angle that suits your requirements, with a total of 15o deflection possible. The radiator housing is fitted next, with two parts inside representing the radiators, and if you’re using an Airfix stand there is a choice of two pre-thinned holes that you can drill out to accommodate the locating pin. The elevator fins are fabricated from top and bottom parts plus separate elevators, which can be posed deflected 10o down or 22o up, with 25o in either direction for the rudder, which is also moulded from a single part with no visible sink marks. To complete the fuselage the top cowling is fitted to the assembly, covering where the Merlin engine would normally be. The tail-wheel is fixed and a single part, but you might benefit from adding it later, in case you knock it off during handling. You have an option to pose the aircraft wheels up, and that will be particularly useful if you are using the stand, which is sold separately in case you weren’t aware. Two inserts for the gear bay doors are supplied, with upstands that prevent them from slipping into the bays and should set them flush with the rest of the wing. If you’re using the landing gear however, the main strut is joined by the long retraction jack, oleo-scissor and the wheel, which is made from a single part tyre with another part for the hub, which slides through the tyre and should be glued in evenly with liquid cement. A scrap diagram shows the correct angle of the wheels to the ground. The main bay doors are captive to the leg, with a small socket moulded into the top section and a mating surface on the bottom. The angled inner doors are both attached either side of the centre-line by a small hinge that locks into a groove in the bay. The turret assembly is based on the turret ring, adding detail to the underside including support frame for the seat plus pedals for the gunner to rotate it. On the topside, the pivot point for the quad .303 guns is planted into the ring, then the pairs of guns on their mounts are fixed, as well as the twin firing handles between them. The front turret glazing slides over the guns and is glued in place, then the two sliding door panels are fixed to the rear, ready to insert into the fuselage. There is also a complete turret part that fits the same way if you plan on leaving the doors on it closed. Before the turret can be inserted however, the main cockpit is made up with a choice of open or closed glazing. The closed canopy uses the common windscreen part, with a single part for the rest of the glazing, and an insert that improves aerodynamics when the turret is stowed, or slides down to allow the guns to traverse and fire. With the canopy open, the opening section is placed over a different rear, which has the fairing moulded into it that should be painted before the canopy is glued over it. This restricts the movement of the turret to the sides and rear however, and if the movable insert to the rear is fitted in the raised position, the turret should be positioned pointed to the rear in the “travel” mode. It can also be posed toward the front with just the canopy insert dropped, but to my eyes that just looks awkward. Finally, with the canopy open, the turret can be positioned to the sides and rear as long as the rear insert is dropped. To drop the rear insert, the part is inserted without a spacer, setting it flush with the rest of the fuselage. We’re on the final straits now, with the prop next, made from a single blade part, front spinner, back-plate and axle, which passes through a collar that needs to remain glue-free if you want to leave the prop capable of spinning. The crew step in the wing root fairing can be posed up or down, and a choice of exhaust stubs with fish-tail or straight outlets is provided, although the exits aren’t hollow so you’ll have to either paint them black or figure out a way to ream them out if that bothers you. Clear lenses and reflectors for the wing-mounted landing and wingtip lights are the last parts from the clear sprue, then it’s a case of adding the pitot probe to the port wing and two antennae under the fuselage and it’s done. Markings This is the new part, and you get two decal options on the sheet, one a day fighter, the other an all-black night fighter. From the box you can build one of the following: L7021 No.264 Squ. RAF Hornchurch, Essex, England, 25th Aug 1940 N1801 No.264 Squ. RAF Duxford, Cambs, England April 1941 – flown by F.O. F.D. Hughes & Sgt. F Gash (gunner) The decals are printed by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion A welcome reboxing of the new(ish) Defiant that brings all the latest improvements that the reinvigorated Airfix have brought to their modern range of kits. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. Ok the idea for this build is a bit of a mash up of a couple of builds I have wanted to do, but didn’t the time or the motivation for at the time. One has been running around in one form or another in my mind for quite a while now. I have come close a couple of times to starting it, (a Ho-229 was to be the base for one) and I sort of did with the Turbo-Prop Arado, but it still wasn’t quite what I had in mind. I have two similar projects on the go but they're on the back burner for a bit. The second was that I have a Planet Models Ju-388J nightfighter (Jumo 213 version) sitting in the stash that I have been dying to build and have never had the excuse to. So after seeing the Ju-88 STGB I finally had the idea of how to killer two birds with one stone and bring these two ideas together! So the plan is…… If the war had stretched into 1946 we would have seen some interesting aircraft and technologies in service, especially so with radar technology advancing as quick as is was. By the end of the war we were already seeing the next generation of radar systems which operated in the Centimetre band, like the RAF’s H2S and US H2X radars and the German FuG-240 (Berlin) & FuG-244 (Bremen) units. A few of the Ju-88’s were fitted with the FuG-240 and it was found they recovered their original speed which had been lost with the earlier radar units and their large antennas/antlers! It would have been only to be a matter of time before the use of the FuG-240 (and later versions) would have been more widespread, with it being fitted to newer aircraft models as they became available. With the venerable Ju-88 reaching it’s peak in the Ju-388 family this aircraft would have been a prime candidate for the new radar system. Well that’s the plan, chop the nose off a 388 and fit a new nose, simple really, but……….. I want it to be as believable as possible and not too whiffy which will make it a bit harder. So this will be the base, Planet Models Ju-388J-3 with Jumo 213 engines, of cause I reserve the right to add lots of other stuff as I go along, it wouldn’t a normal build if I didn’t throw in heaps of extras! The 388 is actually quite a nice model the only thing that may give me issues is the wings, they are very slightly warped and getting the dihedral right will be fun! The nose is just a resin cast of the long radome version, it looks a bit better in my opinion than the shorter version. Well best to start by cutting off the nose, luckily there is a very convenient panel line to follow for this. Strangely enough this happens to be almost perfectly round which will make life much easier as we go to fit the nose. Ok first fit, it doesn’t look all the great, I’ll need to move it forward a bit. That’s looking a bit better, so I’m going to have to add a bit to get the profiles right, I have a plan for that! First I’ll make a ring using plastic card, working with plastic will make this part so much easier! Next to fill the gap I’m going to use plastic strip like so. I just keep adding rings till I get the right diameter. Then add a disk at the back the size I require and the first part is done, only a small amount of filler required for shaping. Ignoring the joint gap for the moment I now have to decide how I want the new nose to sit, sort of inline with the horizontal axis or a bit dropped down? I like the inline one as it looks good, but I have to remember the flying attitude of the 388 (and 88 for that matter) was slightly nose up, they didn’t fly truly level! So I may need to have it slightly drooped down so the antenna face would be lined up to the vertical axis. Have a look at how the antennas were mounted on 88’s and you’ll see what I mean. Well I’ve made a start, there’s only a couple of hours work (I needed a brake from the Ta-152 as I was getting annoyed with it!) and the project is a goer. I’ve actually done the filling of the nose now as well and it’s looking good! This won’t be a full time project, just something to work on when my other builds frustrate me and I need a break from them. I can’t promise I’ll be finished by Xmas either as I’m bound to do other mods on this as I go along. This should be an interesting build!
  5. Sopwith Camel Comic Lewis Guns (648726 for Eduard) 1:48 Eduard Brassin We’ve just reviewed the night fighter variant of the Camel - the Comic, and we may have mentioned that there was a separate resin set to upgrade the details of the twin Lewis Guns on the top wing that were characteristic of the type, in an effort to reduce the glare in the pilots’ eyes when firing their weapons. 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 includes sixteen resin parts and a small fret of Photo-Etch (PE). There are two options available to the modeller, one with both guns facing forward, and the other with one gun facing forward and the other inclined to near diagonal to use when attacking aircraft above and in front of the aircraft. The first step of the instructions illustrates this choice, and the other sheet has one option detailed per side. The twin forward-firing option has a matching pair of J-shaped brackets onto which the gun, its plate-style magazine, PE grab-handle and forward sights are added. The left-most gun has an extended pistol grip, but is otherwise identical, and both mounts are supported by a C-shaped brace that has two small brackets added outside the mount joint. A PE ring-and-bead sight is inserted into the kit deck in front of the pilot, then the guns are dropped into their sockets in the wing and glued to the brace, adding a pair of small circular resin alternative mounts on the trailing edge of the wing to the side of the guns, as illustrated in the accompanying diagram. The other option has you making up the guns in the same manner, again having the longer pistol grip on the left, but initially only the left-most gun is fitted on its mount, the other mount is fitted minus gun, but with a pair of empty circular brackets that would otherwise be holding the gun in place. The missing gun is then mounted on the circular resin parts that are installed on the C-shaped brace and the trailing edge of the wing to the side of the forward mount, as per the other option. Although the colours are called out in the kit instructions anyway, there are the usual colour call-outs in Gunze Aqueous and lacquer (C & H codes) to assist you with your build. Detail is exceptional, having been 3D printed directly with no intermediate casting stage, so all the parts are retained on their print-bases by narrow fingers that are easily nipped away and cleaned with a fine sanding stick. To protect the long delicate parts in the box, those printing bases have raised sections to the sides, as does the separate magazine to save the delicate top detail from harm. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  6. Sopwith Camel Comic ProfiPACK (82175) 1:48 Eduard The Camel was a development of the earlier Sopwith Pup that entered service late in WWI and was an excellent fighter, although in typical form during warfare, it soon became outclassed and was relegated to ground attack duties where possible. It first flew at the very end of 1916, and was introduced into service in the summer of 1917 where it quickly became the Allies’ premiere fighter of the time, and was responsible for the most kills of any type during the conflict. It gained its unofficial name thanks to the cowlings around the twin Vickers machine guns that were intended to prevent them from freezing up at altitude. In flight it could be a tricky ride for the novice, thanks to the close proximity of the weighty elements of the airframe toward the very front of the fuselage, which was one of the aspects that made it a nimble aircraft in a turn, which is crucial in a dogfight. Its reputation became quite a problem, so a two-seat trainer was created to help overcome the problem, and went on to see wide service both with the RFC, RAF, nascent USAS and with the RNAS. Its climb-rate and top speed led to its withdrawal as a fighter, to be replaced by the Snipe, which was capable of coping with the new German fighters that were coming on-stream, such as the Fokker D.VII. Its ground attack role involved strafing enemy trenches and dropping 25lb Cooper bombs, but attrition levels were high due to their proximity to their targets and a total lack of protection for the pilot and engine. The last Camels were withdrawn in 1920, long after the end of WWI, having seen a good deal of foreign service in the meantime. The Comic variant was a night fighter that had the weapons moved from the cowling over the engine to the top of the wing, in order to reduce the flash from the gun’s effect on the pilot’s night vision. A pilot with temporary blindness caused by firing his guns would be both vulnerable to attack and likely to blunder into other aircraft or even the ground if his luck expired. The Kit This is a minor re-tool of Eduard’s recent new tooling of this famous WWI fighter, depicting the nightfighter with twin Lewis guns on the upper wing. Inside the top-opening box there are three sprues in blue/grey styrene, one in clear, a nickel-plated Photo-Etch (PE) fret with colour printing on much of it, and a set of kabuki tape masking (not pictured), pre-cut for your convenience. There is also a long narrow decal sheet, plus the instruction booklet with spot colour throughout and colour profiles in the rear: Construction begins with the pilot’s seat, which was wholly inappropriately made from wicker for minimum bullet resistance, mostly thanks to the weight constraints of the way. The back is either made from PE curved around the base, which has a perforated PE insert and has a horseshoe shaped styrene lip to the rear. There’s also a simpler alternative made from two styrene parts if you don’t feel up to wrangling PE. The aft section of the cockpit floor is a very sparse set of slats across a pair of stringers, which the seat is glued along with some pre-painted PE lap belts. The instrument panel is made, with two options made from a lamination of pre-painted PE parts with wood-grain printed on the front layer and the instruments on the rear. They are glued to a styrene back-plate, or you can choose the more simplistic styrene alternative that has decals for the instrument dials. The forward floor is made up and fitted to the fuselage lower insert as are the rudder pedals, then the cockpit side frames are inserted in the fuselage and painted before the aft floor is glued perpendicular sides with the panel also trapped in position, along with the rear tail-skid, with instructions in red letters telling you NOT to glue the two cockpit sub-assemblies in place. The front floor is inserted from below once closed up, then the front bulkhead with tank is inserted into the front of the fuselage. There is a choice of Clerget or Le Rhône engine for your Comic, the former made from three layers, the latter from just two, but both are full of detail and have detailed painting guides and a scrap diagram to the side to assist you with completion of your motor. With the engine in place, the cowling and cockpit surround assemblies are installed next, with optional ring-and-bead sights from PE added after drilling minute 0.3mm holes in the deck. More 0.5mm holes are drilled into the side for one markings option to add a pair of small parts, and further back down the fuselage the raised details are removed by sanding for one of the options. A windscreen with a circular PE sight set on an angled frame is added for some decal options, with the tapering upstand behind the pilot’s head also fitted. The tail is first of the flying surfaces to be made up, starting with the horizontal fin and the elevators, which have their styrene guide-horns removed and replaced by PE parts that are mounted in 0.3mm holes you’ll need to drill out. The rudder and its fin are inserted vertically, and the horns are removed and replaced in a similar manner too. The lower wings are single-thickness parts with superb detail of the ribs and tape, and have their ailerons separate with the PE horns replacing the styrene lumps, plus a small clear window over the pulley within the leading edge of the wing. Both lower wings slot into twin holes in the fuselage on long rectangular pins, and the upper wing in a single span is fitted with ailerons and their PE horns, plus more of the clear inspection windows for the control wires. There’s bound to be some rigging going on before you finally join the wings together, but the interplane struts and the cabane struts are inserted into the lower wing and lined up with the top wing, with either a pair of Lewis guns on a curved mount, or just one with an empty mount beside it, again depending on which decal option you will use. The empty mount is filled with another Lewis gun at an angle, possibly in a pre-cursor to the WWII German Schrage muzik that was used to fire at targets from below and behind. Eduard have sensibly created an aftermarket set of 3D printed resin Lewis guns and their mounts, which are worth a look if you're detail-hungry. The bicycle-wheel landing gear has a choice of two types of wheel and supports, with a common aerodynamic axle fairing. A scrap diagram shows the correct angle of the parts from the front, as well as an optional mount for a fuel pressurisation prop on the vertical strut. The two-bladed prop has moulded-in front detail and glues onto the axle protruding from the front of the engine. Rigging This might put some modellers off, but there’s not a huge amount of it, so gird up your loins and crack on. There are two pages of drawings, with the lines marked in blue on greyscale drawings, and there is a central aerodynamic bullet suspended by four wires over the engine cowling. Good luck to you, and remember to keep it scale, and don’t use cotton as it’ll go fuzzy. Markings The kabuki tape masking will allow you to cut the demarcation between the tyres and their hubs neatly, mask off the windscreen, and also those inspection windows on the wings. From the box you can build one of the following: B9287 No.78(HD) Sqn., Sutton’s Farm, UK, Spring 1918 B2402, B Flight, No.44(HD) Sqn., Hainault Farm, UK, Jan 1918 C Flight, No.44(HD) Sqn., Hainault Farm, UK, Oct 1918 E5165, No.8 (Training) Sqn. AFC, Leighterton, UK, Sep 1918 E5165, Lt. L C Sheffield, No.151 Sqn., Vignacourt, France, Sep 1918 B4614, B Flight, No.44(HD) Sqn., Hainault Farm, UK, Feb 1918 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. 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 The kit as it stands is excellent, but some of you want to add more to any kit you buy, so keep your eye out for the resin set with super-detailed Lewis guns. Lots of detail, lots of choices, and lots of colourful schemes to choose from. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  7. This is my build of the Octopus/Pavla 1/72 Grumman F7F-3N Tigercat. I acquired this kit from @Creepy Pete(thanks again) 2 years ago and promised to build it last year. And a year late, here it is. This is my first Octopus build and I have to say I was not impressed and would rank them in the lower tier of injection moulded plastic kits. One step above Mach 2 which is in a class by itself. I have 2 other of their kits in my pile and I shudder to think about building them. The kit is mostly plastic with a few resin parts, vac canopies, a Pavla interior, and decals. The vac canopies were actually pretty good with good demarcation of where to cut and window framing. The Pavla interior, like all the other Pavla interiors I have used, almost, but not quite fit the fuselage halve and the same can be said for the rest of the kit. It also had and eclectic set of parts not included with instructions to scratch build them. This kit required filling the entire large nose with #10 shot to get it to stand on the nose. I was able to find one review of this kit on the net (https://model-scale.com/grumman-f7f-tigercat) and I agree with everything he says including "The Octopus decals were far too thin; brittle; unable to be moved over the surface of the model to their correct position, and simply did not react at all to setting solutions!" I tried giving them a coat of Microscale Micro Superfilm and this appeared to solve most of the problem. That is until they dried when there was massive silvering on an unprecedented scale and after using copious amounts of Micro Sol I was forced to remove them and cobble together most of the markings from my spares. Missing are the "VMF(N)-542" and the data block that goes under the tail. Starfighter made an F7F-3N decal sheet (72-120) but it is discontinued and impossible to find. It will have the pieces I am missing and if it is ever reissued I will grab one up and add them. Well thanks to the generosity of @philp I was able to get the Starfighter sheet and I have updated the model: So if I haven't tired you out complaining here are the pictures: Next up will be the Sword AD-4W which should be a much more pleasant build. Enjoy
  8. Armstrong Whitworth Meteor NF.Mk.11 (SH72358) NATO Users 1:72 Special Hobby Yes that an Armstrong Whitworth Meteor, not a Gloster one. Gloster did design the Meteor, however by the time the cold was was upon us the RAF had Meteors in the day fighter role but were still using Mosquitos in the night fighter role. At the time Gloster were heavily into the design of the Javelin for the RAF so it was put to AW to design and build a Night Fighter version (they did build the majority of Fighter Meteors for the RAF as well). The NF Meteor would come about as an amalgamation of meteor parts already in use, the main body was that of the tow seat T.7 but with the later tail of the F.8. The four 20mm cannon were moved into the wing outer spans to accommodate the AI Mk 10 Radar in the nose. Like the T.7 the crew would not be afforded ejection seats. The first aircraft flew in May 1950. Later on the NF.12 would feature a US built APS-12 radar, the NF.13 being a tropicalised NF.11. The final version of this venerable night fighter would be the NF.14 featuring a more modern blown canopy, As well as being supplied to the RAF NF.11s were supplied to other NATO countries. Belgium received 24, Denmark 20 and France had 41. The Kit This is a recent new tool kit from Special Hobby now being released in a boxing for NATO users;. As a new tool the moulding are of good quality with good detail and nice recessed panel lines. The kit arrives on 4 main spures, a smaller sprue and a clear sprue. Construction first begins in the cockpit which builds up to a complete module that slots into the fuselage when built up. The centre bulkhead is added to the floor and then the left side is added. The centre radar console is then built up and installed along with both seats. The rear bulkhead goes on, and in the front cockpit the control column goes in. The right side can then be added. To the underside of this module the nose gear well is then added. This assembly can then go into the right fuselage. The pilots instrument panel then goes in as does the deck behind the radar operator. The fuselage can then be closed up. Construction now moves onto the wings. Firstly the engines and jet pipes need to be assembled. There is a basic representative Derwent which you will see the front face of through the intake. Behind this there is the jet pipe, and exhaust. These go into the one part upper wing. In front of the engines goes the fairing over the front wing spar which is seen through the intake. Single part intake inners are then fitted. The aperture for the fuselage at the leading edge of the wing will need to widened slightly. Moving on the the lower wing the main gear wells need to be built up. The two wing sections can then be joined. The intake leading edges, and exhaust trailing edges are then fitted. The fuselage can now be joined to the wings. At the rear the tail planes then go on. The main gear units are then assembled and added along with their retraction struts and the main gear doors. Like the real units these are complicated and care need to get them right. At the front the nose wheel and its doors are then added also. To finish off the wing and belly tanks are fitted followed by the canopy, gun muzzles and pitot tube. Markings The glossy decal sheet is printed in house and looks sharp and in register. There are marking for three aircraft EN5/KT-S No.11 Sqn Belgian Air Force NF11-32/346-QH French air Force 501 of 723 Sqn Royal Danish Air Force Conclusion It is good to see a new kits of the Meteor Night Fighter out there. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  9. Greetings! Recently completed build of the vintage Airfix Dornier 217J-1 night fighter from the 1978 kit. I purchased this kit from the Ahmad Jamal toy store in Riyadh in 1984 during my Saudi expat years, I think I paid 8 Riyals. Plenty of raised surface details and poorly fitting parts! Very much out of the box build with just a few small enhancements. 40 year old decals had to be drenched in direct sunlight, but went down very well. While not up to the current standards, I like the challenge of these old kits. Many thanks for having a look, questions and comments always welcome. Cheers, Bill
  10. Next to my Silver Spitfire I felt the urge to start another one as well and in this case is it a 111 squadron night fighter based at Debden in December 1941. I always liked that specialist edition from Airfix ( box A82015 )and bought two of these in the past as I liked both schemes very much! cheers, Jan
  11. Do.217N-1 Update Sets (For ICM) 1:48 Eduard ICM have been systematically going through the whole Flying pencil range over the past year or two, and from this 1:48 modeller’s point of view, I couldn’t be happier. Eduard's new range of sets are here to improve on the kit detail in the usual modular manner. Get what you want for the areas you want to be more of a focal point. As usual with Eduard's Photo-Etch (PE) 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. Interior (491018) Two frets are included, one nickel plated and pre-painted, the other in bare brass. A complete set of new layered instrument panels, radio gear and other instrument consoles are the primary parts on the painted set, with new rudder pedals; flooring panels; additional boxes and canopy internal structure also supplied. Seatbelts STEEL (FE1019) In case you have been stuck behind a wardrobe for a while and don’t know, 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 perceived extra depth to the buckles and other furniture by shading, they are more realistic looking and will drape better than regular brass PE. As well as the two sets of flight crew belts, you also get a set of lap belts for the poor rear crewman that would probably have ended up with a sore head in the event of a belly landing. Exterior (48998) This larger bare brass set contains some upgrades, such as delicate new pulleys and extra-fuel tank strapping inside the bomb bay; an interior roof and bulkhead skin for the bomb bay rear; cooling flaps for the radiators on the engine nacelles; towel rail aerial under the rear of the fuselage, and finally a comprehensive replacement for the kit’s radar antennae forest that involves using the original main mast but removing the over-thick dipoles and replacing them with scale-friendly new parts that slot into the masts that you cut with a razor saw. A small extension is saved for use after the dipoles are fitted, then added to the end and tipped with two stabilising brackets, probably as a result of vibrations picked up on the prototype. Radar Antennae (FE1020) If you don’t want the Exterior set for any reason, or have a different kit you’d like to apply the antennae included in the above set, this is a subset that includes only the antennae parts for your use. Construction is the same, as you’d expect. Review sample courtesy of
  12. My second build in the BF 109 Night Fighter series this one with Fug 217J radar on the underside of the plane. Not much detail on this a/c all that I've come up with is it was in 4./NJG 11 late war. Markings white 7 I have modified the engine cover to reflect the G10 finished off the cockpit. What do you think of the fuselage join is it smooth enough? comments welcome. @Corsairfoxfouruncle Dennis what are your thoughts?
  13. Like so many I've rekindled my hobby after a very very long time. After getting back into it a few months ago I had to buy an airbrush and try it. The guinea pig is a ME 262 B-1A. After some lengthy research I think I found the correct colour scheme for this particular a/c which is Red 12. So this Jo-Han kit is old its 1973 and its very basic with no cockpit detail. Now I confess this isn't much of a work in progress as I pretty much finished before discovering this forum. Save decals and weights its almost done. I will post more once completed. Box Art from the 70's Note the high production values in the instruction booklet Here is my first go at air brushing This kit didn't come with drop tanks which is another little anomaly with the kit, any way its an easy fix.
  14. Hi Chaps, I've been looking forward to the Night fighter Group build for a while. This kit was almost stated last year for the 1960 NATO GB and again it just missed the 1950 NATO GB in January. So 3rd attempt to start will commence when my 2 Hawks in the Training Group build are done. Not decided the scheme yet but I have plenty of choice. Colin W
  15. I have finally got around to uploading some photos of my Boulton Paul Defiant Mk.I. I thought I had posted it last weekend before we went away for the week, only to discover today that I hadn't. So anyway, ready for inspection is my 1:72 Airfix Boulton Paul Defiant Mk.I, the aircraft is built in the night fighter scheme of N3328 of No. 151 Squadron, flown by Sgt J.L. Coulter (pilot) RAAF. There is a wealth of information about this aircraft online and film footage of the excavation of its crash site available on YouTube. I would like to thank Andy for emailing me the crash cards from the real aircraft, I aim to sit the build ontop of them once printed. The build is an out of the box build, the kit went together really well Airfix have done a fantastic job, the only variations I have made is using Vallejo acrylics, and mixing up a very dark grey/black for the aircrafts top coat. I hope I have done both the pilot and aircraft proud. Thanks for looking.
  16. My next build is Airfix's 1:72 Boulton Paul Defiant Mk.I. I have had this kit in my stash for a while now, and am excited to finally begin building it. I plan to build this one as it comes out of the box, in the night fighter scheme of N3328 as flown by F/Sgt John Leslie Goulter RAAF. I have done a little research already and there is lots of information about this aircraft available online, including footage of The Lancaster Aircraft Investigation Team's dig, to recover parts of the aircraft from its final resting place, I will attach some more info later. So now to the kit itself..... The box contains 3 detailed grey sprues with little to no flash and a small clear sprue. There is a detailed instruction booklet and small decal sheet with the choice of two colour schemes. The kit looks like it is going to be good to build, and I'm pretty excited about this one as I think it is a pretty aircraft. I just hope I can do the aircraft and it's pilot justice.
  17. Bristol Beaufighter – Airframe Album 14 A Detailed Guide to Bristol's Hard-Hitting Twin Valiant Wings Publishing Based upon the Beaufort bomber, the whittled-down heavy fighter became an excellent nightfighter, ground-attack and maritime strike in European and South Pacific theatres, with many variants and improvements along the way. Entering service in time for the Battle of Britain, it quickly fell into the nightfighter role, with its ability to carry heavy armament and equipment without unduly affecting its performance endearing it to the pilots and strategists alike. After being re-engined early on with Hercules radial engines to gain the extra power needed, it became a common sight behind German bombers at night, raking them with four 20mm cannon and wings full of six additional machine guns. The Fleet Air Arm (FAA) were also fond of the type, as it was able to carry enough munitions in either free-fall or rocket-propelled forms to deal a substantial blow to any enemy shipping it happened upon. The Mosquito coming on-stream took some of the limelight away from the Beau, and it was eventually replaced by it in many roles, most notably the night fighting arena. The Book The fourteenth volume of the popular and interesting Airframe Album series by Richard A Franks details this pugnacious heavy fighter, its versions, trials and tribulations. It spans 178 pages and is perfect bound in an A4(ish) portrait format. If you are familiar with the series you will know what to expect, with the book broken down into sections, as follows: i. Introduction A brief narrative history of the development and operation use of the Beaufighter by Fighter & Coastal Commands and the FAA, as well as those by the USAAF and supplied to other nations. 1. Technical Description Detailed coverage of construction and equipment 2. Evolution – Prototype, Production and Projected Variants 3D isometrics illustrating differences between variants 3. Camouflage and Markings Colour side profiles, notes and photographs 4. Models A build of the 1:72nd scale TF.Mk.X from Airfix by Libor Jekl and the all-new 1:48th scale TF.X from Revell by Steve A Evans. Appendices I Beaufighter Kit List II Beaufighter Accessory, Mask & Decal List III Bibliography As usual with Valiant's books, the pictures are both high quality and unusual, with lots of "behind the scenes" shots of production, testing and their ultimate capture by the Allies, plus plenty more pictures of museum examples for those needing reference pictures. I always find the 3D Isometrics very interesting to discern the differences between variants, especially as I have the memory of a goldfish. I particularly enjoyed the teaching installations that consisted of the front end of a Beaufighter, inner wings and nacelles, and behind the wing a scabbed on shed (yes – a garden variety shed) that was used as a classroom. What a brilliant diorama that would make! Conclusion Valiant Wings publish a good book about interesting subjects, and this is another one that tweaked mine right away. If you're a modeller, aviation buff or even just interested in engineering, this will make an interesting read, which you'll come back to again when you need it for references. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  18. A typical Fujimi model: not many parts, scarce interior details, very simple build and gentle panel lines. Build process went okay, some effort and several styrene strips are needed for the alignment of rear upper fuselage and the upper wing/fuselage joint. MLG interior could use some details, due to its size. Gunze colours were used over Alclad aluminium base. Upper colour is Gunze Nakajima IJN Green, lower surfaces Gunze IJN Gray. National insignia and yellow ID stripes airbrushed. AK weathering oils were used and chipping was done with various colored pencils.
  19. I just purchased this kit and thought I would get in to it while finishing off a few others as well as starting an A-20 in RAAF colours. The kit is nicely cast with minimal flash on the parts. The interior is going to be RLM 02 and the exterior is black, this will be done with various grays at this stage with minimal actual black paint involved. There are some ejector post marks that need cleaning up more than I initially thought, especially in the cockpit area and bomb bay The easy part of gluing in the cockpit parts prior to painting it RLM 02 and then detailing the dials etc. The bulkheads are going in ok and have not caused any problems as yet when test fitted with a closed fuselage. There has been a little more flash than I first thought, nothing extreme, but a little bit. It is a little bigger than I thought it would be. The join behind the cockpit is going to be a problem and will need to be filled with filler or plastic card as I can't quite get it to fit properly. This poor fitting may just change when the fuselage i s actually glued together.
  20. Question for the Hurricane experten out there - would Karl Kuttelwascher's Hurricane II JX*E (the grey/green over black scheme) have the yellow outboard leading edge I.D. marking, and would the wheelwells, inside surface of the doors, struts, and wheel hubs remain aluminum (silver) or be painted black? I'm about to start Hasegawa's Mk II, I have Eaglestrike's set 48126, which seems to indicate NO leading edge yellow, but does not address the gear color ... Any help would be appreciated, Thanks, Colin
  21. Good Evening one and all, Just thought I'd share a few pics of this build hot off the bench this afternoon. Airfix new 1/72 Defiant built straight out of the box, my only deviation being a set of Eduard Masks for that pesky greenhouse turret and canopy (there was no way I was doing that myself!). This was an on/off build for me but could easily be done in a couple of days. I chose the night fighter scheme as I like black aircraft and the shark mouth was a bonus. Painted Tamiya NATO black and certain panels picked out in slightly different shades to break up the plain finish. Panel wash was a mix of light and dark grey Flory washes, panel edges and chips done with a graphite pencil, and some pastels for exhaust streaksand underside dirt/grime. Anyway I hope you like her, need to get back to some jets next, enjoy the pic's and feel free to comment/critique as you wish. Thanks for looking, Eng
  22. I'm interested to find out more about the use and provenance of the grey over black post-war scheme. Does anyone know of the scheme as applied to NF Mossies? The example in the link below looks as if it's come from a Squadron Signal book, so one would hope it's based on something concrete, but you never know... http://img.wp.scn.ru/camms/ar/77/pics/9_36.jpg Doubts (aside from being unable to find a photo) are twofold: - The Sharp/Bowyer tome suggests that Mosquito night fighters wore the Dark Geen/MSG scheme to the end of their service. - Thirsk's Illustrated History (Vol. 2) has a photo of 139 Sqn B.35s in the scheme, and it's described as the RAF Night Bomber sheme. All the NF.36s in this book appear to be in DG/MSG. The scheme also appears on Beaufighters & Brigands (Malaya?) which presumably were not classed as bombers, so there's some evidence in favour of the scheme on fighters. So what were the circumstances which would dictate the application of this scheme rather than DG/MSG? I've also just remembered the Lucas volume on post war schemes, but checking that will have to wait until this evening. TIA, Jason
  23. I don't know if this has been announced here previously but three 1:144 versions of the Beaufighter are due to be issued in June by Mark 1 Models. These should be a welcome addition for WW2 British aircraft modellers. Mike
  24. Well, I have finally completed this beasty for the Bf110 GB. It is the last BF110 flown by Heinz Schnaufer’s , who was the wars most successful night fighter pilot with 121 confirmed kills. Though with this aircraft, his final, he didn’t record any kills. There is not too many details on this particular and the only parts to survive the war are the rudders which are now on display (one each) in the Imperial War Museum and the Australian War Museum. I could have chosen a simpler build than Eduard’s 1/48 Bf110G and a simpler scheme then Schnaufer’s last aircraft!!! Eduard’s Bf110 is not a simple model to build, plus add extra bits and she becomes a bit of a challenge. On top of this a colour scheme for the most successful night fighter of all times last aircraft...for which there is little to no real info or photos for and you have the makings of an interesting build (I have other words to describe it but there may be children reading!!!). A big thanks to Max (“galgos”) for invaluable help on some of the details. It was a hard build plus for those who know my work routine one that had serious time constraints! But she’s finally finish, there are quite a few things I could have done better but in the end she’s a great addition to my night fighter collection (at least she’s finished). Lastly this model is dedicated to my Dad who passed away late last year......thanks for getting me into models and having the aircraft bug. Please enjoy, build thread: build link
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