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  1. Marder 1 on FCM36 Base (36470 for ICM) 1:35 Eduard ICM’s new kit of the ungainly-looking Marder I on French FCM36 chassis crossed the workbench recently here, and Eduard have now released a handy update set in Photo-Etch (PE) brass that takes advantage of the open cab to include pre-painted instruments inside the fighting compartment. 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. The set is supplied on two separate frets, one pre-painted over nickel plating, the other bare brass. The first items upgraded are the small inspection hatches that run down the side of each of the skirts, having their clumsy moulded-in latches remove to be replaced by more realistic PE parts with wingnut closures. The pioneer tools have their simplified tie-downs replaced as you’d expect; the twin exhausts are surrounded by curved PE shrouds, with more detailed handles on the inspection hatches on the aft deck nearby. Inside the crew area, the painted parts are used to build up radio gear with a number of parts, plus the framework that attaches it to the sidewall. Four ammunition brackets are made up to fit within the compartment too, with a sighting tool attached to the front edge of the splinter shield to aid in identifying targets. The gun’s support is fitted out with a C-shaped skin inside, then at the rear a pair of PE chains are added to the towing shackles. Review sample courtesy of
  2. Tempest Mk.II Upgrade Sets & Masks (for Eduard/Special Hobby) 1:48 Eduard & Eduard Brassin We’re so lucky to get so many brand new Tempest kits in 1:32 and now 1:48, with this latest Tempest Mk.II ProfiPACK a superb exercise in the current state of the art of styrene injection moulding. Eduard's new range of sets are here to improve on the kit detail even further 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), small Brassin sets 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. SPACE (3DL48030) 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. This set includes rudder pedals with adjustment wheels; a new set of four-point seatbelts for the pilot; levers for the instrument panels, while the 3D decals cover the instruments on the main panels; the side consoles; compass and adjustment wheel on the throttle quadrant. Exhaust Stacks(648654) This set contains just two parts on a single casting block, which replace the kit parts as drop-in replacements, offering a squared-off hollow lip to each of the eight exhaust stubs, and including detail around the stacks, and the curious angling outwards of the top pipe on each side. Seatbelts STEEL (FE1208) 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. It includes a set of crew belts that consist of a pair of lap belts and the shoulder belts with the section that passes down the rear of the seat to its anchor point on the bulkhead. Masks Tface (EX796) Supplied on a sheet of yellow kabuki tape, these pre-cut masks supply you with everything needed to mask 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 and give your model that extra bit of realism. The highly curved gaps are in-filled with either liquid mask or offcuts from the background tape. In addition you get a set of masks for the tiny tail-wheel hubs, allowing you to cut the demarcation perfectly with little effort. Review sample courtesy of
  3. MV-22 Osprey Updates (for Hobby Boss) 1:48 Eduard After the longest time waiting for a decent kit in 1:48 to replace the ageing Italeri kit, Hobby Boss have finally popped up with a worthy successor that has many of the lumps and bumps that have been added since it came into service. 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. Detail Set (491176) Two frets are included, one nickel plated and pre-painted, the other in bare brass. After a round of moulded-in detail being summarily turned into sanding dust, a complete set of new layered instrument panels with MFDs, overhead panel, and side consoles are the primary parts on the painted set, with a replacement open crew door for the left side, which will require a hole being cut in the fuselage and some sheet styrene to act as extra thickness between the layers; the vestibule between crew and passenger compartments is skinned with new details with the new door stowed in the floor. A set of steps are made up from a number of layers, with a pair of perforated treads and actuator mechanism, plus finely etched handrails; the main gear bays are skinned with new highly detailed panels that have captive cross-ribbing that you fold over, and finally piano-style hinges applied to the outer edge of the main bay doors. Zoom! Set (FE1176) This set contains a reduced subset of the interior, namely the pre-painted parts that are used to improve on the main aspects of the cockpit, as seen above. Whatever your motivations for wanting this set, it provides a welcome boost to detail, without being concerned with the structural elements. SPACE Cockpit Set (3DL48019) 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. This set includes two PE five-point seatbelt sets, rudder pedals and wing mirrors on the PE sheet, with beautifully printed main instrument panels with additional sections for the edge of the coaming, and side consoles all of which require the removing of the moulded-in raised details, as well as a little alteration of the additional kit parts that insert into the styrene panels. The short corridor between the front and rear of the cockpit is then fitted-out with a set of luxuriously quilted sheets that also have a few instruments printed onto them, another large panel in the crew compartment, and a roof panel in the corridor to finish off that area. Finally, the overhead console in the cockpit is stripped of the simplified detail, and covered with a large and detailed instrument panel that really brings it to life. Cargo Floor (481049) The cargo floor included in the kit is there, but it’s nothing more than a couple of raised stripes and some recessed circles, which won’t cut it for a lot of us, especially if we want to put the load ramp down at the rear. This set contains a big sheet of bare PE with skins that have much better detail for the long main bed, as well as the part of the rear door that drops down and acts as the load ramp. As well as the floor skins, there are also separate circular tie-down points that fit within the holes in the new bed. On the load ramp you get a rear side detail insert, and some additional brackets on the sides of the ramp near the attachment points for the retraction jacks. Seatbelts STEEL (FE1177) 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. There are two sets of four-point crew belts that are applied to the form-fitting modern seats which have ballistic protection built-in. Masks (EX773) Supplied on a sheet of yellow kabuki tape, these pre-cut masks supply you with a full set of masks for the canopy, with compound curved handled by using frame hugging masks, while the highly curved gaps are in-filled with either liquid mask or offcuts from the background tape. In addition, you get a set of hub/tyre masks for the wheels , allowing you to cut the demarcation perfectly with little effort. Masks Tface (EX774) Supplied on two sheets of yellow kabuki tape, these pre-cut masks supply you with everything above, but also give you another set of canopy masks tailored to fit the interior of the glazing so that you can paint the interior and give your model that extra bit of realism. Conclusion We've now got a complete set of detail for this large kit, and the detail is excellent. Those SPACE sets are really starting to look the business! Review sample courtesy of
  4. This is my Grumman GB year, so I'll build Attack Squadron's 1/48 F2F-1. The F2F was Grumman's second aircraft, after their FF-1. It first flew in 1933, serving in USN and USMC squadrons from 1935 through 1939, when they were replaced by the F3F. The F2F were then relegated to training; the last was stricken in 1943. The F2F inherited its manually cranked retractable landing gear from the FF-1; it was subsequently used in the F3F and F4F. Attack Squadron had outstanding resin kits.They became Arma Hobby and then went to the Injected Side. Some of their subjects, like their wonderful 1/48 RQ-7B and MQ-8B, are now produced by Brengun. And here are the starting pix. Resin, PE, and a vac canopy. Markings are included for USN squadrons VF-2, VF-3B, VF-5, VF-7, as well as USMC squadrons VF-4M and VMF-2. The cockpit looks nearly ready to prime I'm happy the MLG have metal reinforcement The upper wing will be aligned I hope I remember to properly orient the stick PE looks good.
  5. AV-8A Update Sets (for Kinetic) 1:48 Eduard Kinetic have made a lot of 1:48 modellers very happy by releasing a slew of harrier kits of various versions, including the earliest Harrier to see service with the Americans, under the AV-8A designation. 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. Upgrade Set Early (491164) Two frets are included, one nickel plated and pre-painted, the other in bare brass, plus a small piece of clear acetate sheet. A complete set of new layered instrument panels and side consoles are the primary parts on the painted set, with HUD and acetate glazing; new rudder pedals; ejection seat details; coaming instrumentation and canopy internal structure also supplied. There are also pylon mating surface detail skins; wheel bay inserts; airbrake skins; blast deflector plates for the rear exhausts; extra panels and skins for the landing gear doors; new oleo scissor-links; raised panels over the engine “lid”, and a template to assist you with accurate placement of the raft of new vortex generators on the upper wing surfaces. Zoom! Set (FE1164) This set contains a reduced subset of the interior, namely the pre-painted parts that are used to improve on the main aspects of the cockpit, as seen above. Whatever your motivations for wanting this set, it provides a welcome boost to detail, without being concerned with the structural elements. Seatbelts STEEL Early (FE1166) 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 a set of crew belts for the initial Martin-Baker seat, you also get a set of the pull-handle between the pilot's knees that gets him out of there in case of an emergency. Upgrade Set Late (491165) Two frets are included almost identical for the early version, one nickel plated and pre-painted, the other in bare brass, plus a small piece of clear acetate sheet. A complete set of new and subtly different layered instrument panels and side consoles are the primary parts on the painted set, with HUD and acetate glazing; new rudder pedals; ejection seat details; coaming instrumentation and canopy internal structure also supplied. There are also pylon mating surface detail skins; wheel bay inserts; airbrake skins; blast deflector plates for the rear exhausts; extra panels and skins for the landing gear doors; new oleo scissor-links; raised panels over the engine “lid”, and a template to assist you with accurate placement of the raft of new vortex generators on the upper wing surfaces. Zoom! Set (FE1165) This set contains a reduced subset of the interior, namely the pre-painted parts that are used to improve on the main aspects of the cockpit, as seen above. Whatever your motivations for wanting this set, it provides a welcome boost to detail, without being concerned with the structural elements. Seatbelts STEEL Late (FE1167) 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 a set of more simplified crew belts for the later Stencel SEU-3/A seat, you also get a set of the pull-handle between the pilot's knees and over the headbox that gets him out of there in case of an emergency. Masks (EX765) Supplied on a sheet of yellow kabuki tape, these pre-cut masks supply you with a full set of masks for the canopy, with compound curved handled by using frame hugging masks, while the highly curved gaps are in-filled with either liquid mask or offcuts from the background tape. In addition, you get a set of hub/tyre masks for all the wheels (including the out-riggers), allowing you to cut the demarcation perfectly with little effort. Masks Tface (EX766) Supplied on a sheet of yellow kabuki tape, these pre-cut masks supply you with everything above, but also give you another set of canopy masks tailored to fit the interior of the glazing so that you can paint the interior and give your model that extra bit of realism. Review sample courtesy of
  6. Su-57 Felon Update Sets (For Zvezda) 1:48 Eduard After a long wait we now have a 1:48 Su-57 Felon in injection styrene thanks to Zvezda, which from my point of view is good news, and I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling that way. 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. Update Set (491152) Two frets are included, one nickel plated and pre-painted, the other in bare brass. A complete set of new super-detailed instrument panels and side consoles are the primary parts on the painted set, with new rudder pedals; substantial ejection seat details; coaming instrumentation and HUD glazing; sill panels; exterior appliqué panels, and canopy internal structure and external details also supplied. Moving outside, there are grilles, additional detail skins for the main gear bays; nose gear details including a new slatted mudguard and brake hosing; new oleo scissor-links and hoses for the main gear legs; gear bay door details and hinges, plus replacement steering baffles for the AA-12 Adder missiles to replace the thick styrene parts, and exhausts for the AA-11 Archer short-range missiles. The cockpit green may be a little bright for this modern jet, but I have managed to fix this before now by working in the correct colour with a fine brush. It doesn't have to be too tidy, as the underlying green blends well. Check your references and decide for yourself. Seatbelts STEEL (FE1153) 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 a set of complex crew belts with back pad, you also get a set of pull-handles between the pilot's knees that gets him out of there in case of an emergency. Masks (EX757) Supplied on a sheet of yellow kabuki tape, these pre-cut masks supply you with a full set of masks for the canopy, with compound curved handled by using frame hugging masks, while the highly curved gaps are in-filled with either liquid mask or offcuts from the background tape. In addition, you get a set of hub/tyre masks for all the wheels, allowing you to cut the demarcation perfectly with little effort. Masks Tface (EX758) Supplied on a larger sheet of yellow kabuki tape, these pre-cut masks supply you with everything above, but also give you another set of canopy masks tailored to fit the interior of the glazing so that you can paint the interior easily and give your model that extra bit of realism, which will be especially useful if you plan on posing the canopy raised. Review sample courtesy of
  7. Hurricane Update Sets (for Airfix) 1:48 Eduard This is a welcome release for anyone with an Airfix Mk.I Hurricane. Eduard's 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. Upgrade Set (491104) Two frets are included, one nickel plated and pre-painted, the other in bare brass, with a small slip of acetate for the gunsight glazing. A complete new layered instrument panel and compass are the primary parts on the painted set, with a new seat that utilises the kit adjustment mechanism; rudder pedals; control column details; sidewall equipment; gunsight with clear acetate lenses; radiator fronts; shell guide covers for the wing mounted machine guns; straps for a receiver in the gear bays, plus additional small skin components and hoses; replacement gun bay covers with inserts for the surrounds; cooling flap on the radiator; actuators for the rudder and trim flap; loop under the access stirrup, and two grab handles on the canopy, one inside and one outside of the glazing. Zoom! Set (FE1104) This set contains a reduced subset of the interior, namely the pre-painted sheet that are used to improve on the main aspects of the cockpit, as seen above. Whatever your motivations for wanting this set, it provides a welcome boost to detail, without being concerned with the structural elements. Seatbelts STEEL (FE1105) These sets 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. This set comprises four parts, a Y-shaped section draped over the seatback, shoulder restraints on a plate that attaches to the base of the head armour, and of course the two lap belts that affix to the sides. It should be noted here that Eduard have shown the Y-shaped part incorrectly placed, when the two upper ends should attach to the back of the shoulder buckles, and the lower end of the Y should disappear through the cut-out low down on the seat back. If you correct this error your belts will look more accurate. Review sample courtesy of
  8. Morning all. Decided for now this is as far as I go with this one until the I get round to the red cross front banner and rear flag....(one day ). From the outset, it was an experimental scratch build with mud.....an effect really not something I'd done in the past....so wanted to give it a go. Anyway, here it is. Hope you like. And please no problem if you want point anything out, I did do it as practice piece for future builds....so open to any critique. Cheers all
  9. Su-27UB Updates (for Hobby Boss) 1:48 Eduard We've been blessed with a huge range of new modern soviet fighters of late in 1:48, with Hobby Boss's Su-27UB filling a hole with a newly tooled kit superseding the ageing Academy one. 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 (49922) Two frets are included, one nickel plated and pre-painted, the other in bare brass. A complete set of new layered instrument panels and side consoles are the primary parts on the painted set, with new rudder pedals; ejection seat details; coaming instrumentation; HUD with acetate glazing, and canopy internal structure also supplied. Zoom! Set (FE922) This set contains a reduced subset of the interior, namely the pre-painted parts that are used to improve on the main aspects of the cockpit, as seen above. Whatever your motivations for wanting this set, it provides a welcome boost to detail, without being concerned with the structural elements. Seatbelts STEEL (FE923) In case you don't already 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 crew belts, you also get a set of the pull-handles between the pilot's knees that gets him out of there in case of an emergency. Exterior (48964) This larger bare brass set contains some important upgrades, such as delicate new afterburner rings, with scrap diagrams showing how they should be arranged; an interior surface skin for the intake trunk, including the drop-down FOD guards; an interior skin to the air-brake; a substantial skinning and detailing of the main gear bays with additions to the nose gear mudguard grilles; static wicks on the wingtips and rudder, and various aerials and antennae around the airframe. Masks (EX613) Supplied on a sheet of yellow kabuki tape, these pre-cut masks supply you with a full set of masks for the canopy, with compound curved handled by using frame hugging masks, while the highly curved gaps are in-filled with either liquid mask or offcuts from the background tape. In addition you get a set of masks for some of the other clear lenses around the airframe, plus a masking sheet that smiles at you when you look at it. Masks Tface (EX614) Supplied on a sheet of yellow kabuki tape, these pre-cut masks supply you with everything above, but also give you another set of canopy masks tailored to fit the interior of the glazing so that you can paint the interior and give your model that extra bit of realism, which if used in conjunction with the canopy details from the interior set will ease painting substantially. Review sample courtesy of
  10. Some details of new PE set are installed on model. The set made of 0.05mm thick stainless steel and has many optional parts. ALM_3718 by Alexey Matvienko, on Flickr ALM_3717 by Alexey Matvienko, on Flickr ALM_3714 by Alexey Matvienko, on Flickr ALM_3715 by Alexey Matvienko, on Flickr ALM_3716 by Alexey Matvienko, on Flickr ALM_3720 by Alexey Matvienko, on Flickr ALM_3693 by Alexey Matvienko, on Flickr ALM_3694 by Alexey Matvienko, on Flickr ALM_3697 by Alexey Matvienko, on Flickr ALM_3699 by Alexey Matvienko, on Flickr ALM_3700 by Alexey Matvienko, on Flickr ALM_3705 by Alexey Matvienko, on Flickr ALM_3708 by Alexey Matvienko, on Flickr ALM_3710 by Alexey Matvienko, on Flickr ALM_3713 by Alexey Matvienko, on Flickr F-14_Tamiya_instruction_PG1 by Alexey Matvienko, on Flickr F-14_Tamiya_instruction_PG2 by Alexey Matvienko, on Flickr One more little set of stiffeners around the airframe is also 0.05mm steel. ALM_3719 by Alexey Matvienko, on Flickr PE4819.Instr by Alexey Matvienko, on Flickr
  11. Making photo etched parts at home Many years ago I was a young apprentice in a small electronics company, one of my tasks was making printed circuit boards (PCBs) for prototypes and one off’s. Making PE parts is a very similar process, so I gave it a go. When I made PCBs the boards were pre-coated and we used ferric chloride as an etchant, I’m going to show you how to make a double sided PE using dry film resist. You will need to invest in some bits and bobs to help you along, nearly everything is on good old ebay, the rest you can get in Tesco, ASDA etc, and don’t forget to pick up some wooden or plastic stirrers from Mc Donald’s and the like. I won’t write a long list now of things you need I’ll leave that to the end and get straight to the interesting bits, You may not get success first time but keep practising, I had many fails at various stages getting this right so i'll share what I know. but first this :- Making photo etched parts uses some hazardous chemicals and as such safety steps should be taken in the form of protective clothing, gloves, goggles etc. The chemicals are corrosive to skin as well as to brass so should be immediately washed off with plenty of water if contact with skin occurs, medical attention may be required as well. By continuing to read this article you must accept that YOU are responsible for your own safety and should read all labels and safety data sheets available. Nuff said, lets get on with it. Artwork The artwork was printed on over head projector (OHP) film for inkjets this film has a rough and a smooth side. The rough side is the printing side. We are going to use negative resist film so when you create your artwork white is where you want brass and black is where it is to be etched away. You will notice the ‘sprue gates’ are only on the rear art work this is so they get etched away from one side only and become half the thickness off the surrounding brass. Start off by creating your artwork without the gates so the parts are ‘floating’ with no attachment to the surrounding frame, save this file call it ‘front’ or something now make a copy of that file and call it ‘rear’. Open the rear file into your editing software and draw the ‘gates’ in. You now have 2 files front and rear. Print your files using your printers best settings, on mine I have selected Print quality high, Use black ink only, darkness max, contrast max, high resolution paper. If your software can print alignment/crop marks, use them! If not add some crosshairs to your art work but they must be the same on both files so check for this before you create the second file. The two artworks are shown here, top is the front with the floating parts bottom is the rear with the 'sprue gates' (to be printed mirror image) Fold lines should be on the inside of the fold and twice the thickness of the brass. Printing preference page manual ajustment pop up page Because I’m from up north and a bit tight, to save on OHP film print off one of your artworks on plain paper first, now you can cut out a bit of OHP film appropriate to the size of your artwork to include the alignment marks, tape this to the paper over where it is to print and put it back through the printer, same again with the other file. Print the rear one as a mirror image and let them dry for an hour or so. I’ve tried using laser printers for the artwork but the blacks aren't as deep, I find the inkjet better. We have 2 artworks, the rear one should be turned upside onto a white surface or light box if you have one. Cut the top art work out so it just includes the alignment marks but make sure it smaller than the bottom one. Now carefully align the two together on top of each other with printed sides on the outside, this is where your alignment mark come into use, use a magnifying glass if necessary. When you are satisfied that you cannot get aligned any better put a piece of tape across one edge to form a hinge and make sure it doesn't move as you do so. We now have our art work prepared, did you make that second check that is defiantly aligned? If it has moved peel off the tape and do it again, super accuracy is required here if your PE is going to be of any use. Cut out a piece of brass just bigger than the artwork with scissors and give it a clean with Acetone, IPA or other solvent. I'm going to use a 0.005" or 0.125mm gauge sheet Applying the resist The resist is a negative resist so the bits that get exposed to UV cure and harden while the unexposed bits stay weak, the resist should be stored in the dark and away from sunlight. It should also be kept away from sunlight and bright lights while your work with it until it has been developed. Switch the laminator on. Cut out two pieces of resist just larger than the brass, the resist is in between 2 protective sheets you need to remove one before applying to the brass. Take one piece and with two bits of tape on either side of one corner pull them apart, one of the protective sheets should come away, you might find it takes a couple of goes to get this. Put your brass on something flat that will be easy to turn around as you work, a hotel room key is ideal for this, make sure there is no dust or anything and put a big blob of water on it. Take your piece of resist, find the side without the protective layer (it’s the side that feels sticky if you touch it on the edge, don’t touch the bit that’s going on the brass) and gently offer this side to the brass, when it touches the water, the water will grab it, gently lower it on and let it settle. Check there are no air bubbles trapped, if there are just lift the resist a little and gently give the bubble a little persuasion to depart. You might need a little more water before lowering the resist down again. When you’re happy that there is nothing there except a thin layer of water give the centre of the sheet a small press just to tack it into place and stop it slipping, then with a tissue or soft cloth work the water out from the centre don’t press hard just yet, if you do it will tack that bit onto the brass making it harder to remove should you find an air bubble. Once you are happy that you have ALL the water out with NO air or water bubbles trapped smooth the resist down with a bit of pressure. Take a piece of paper and fold it in half, gently lift the brass off using a scalpel blade to break the adhesion and place it in your folded paper. The paper acts as a carrier to go through the laminator if you put the brass through naked it will get bent and damaged, also as its small it might get lost in there, with all the electrical hazards you might expect with a loose bit of metal rattling inside an electrical appliance. Once though the laminator, open up the paper, the resist will be stuck to the brass except where there is air or water trapped, you did get it all out didn’t you? The overlap will also be stuck to the paper so take your scalpel and cut the brass sheet free. Do the same for the other side. Exposure You need a UV light source, ebay has some ladies gel nail curing lights for £10-15, they come with four bulbs two above and one on each side, you only want the light going straight down through the artwork onto the brass so leave the side bulbs out and put them some ware safe, these are now your spares. You need two sheets of glass, I found two cheap 4”x6” photo frames the ones that are just glass and wooden back in Tesco for 50p each kept the glass a threw the rest away. Make sure they are clean, now slip your brass between the two artworks making sure you are happy with the positioning then sandwich this between the sheets of glass and clip together with bulldog clips. A quick check that the brass is still in the right place, no foreign objects obscuring things and the handles of the clips are not in the way. -Optional- You get a slightly sharper image if you remove the protective sheets at this stage however you run the risk of the resist getting stuck to the artwork if this happens you will need to strip the resist off the brass and start again. This is why the artwork has been prepared printed side out. If you get the resist on the artwork IPA or acetone may get it off (only clean the non-printed side) but you could end up having to print a new artwork. Expose this to UV light, I have a bit of cardboard clipped to the side not being exposed, this is just to stop light spilling round to the rear so you can remain in control of how much exposure takes place. Once exposed turn over, swap the card to the other side and expose the other side. Timing, getting the timing tight is critical, too short and your resist is not suitably hardened, to long and you start to expose the bits you shouldn't, remember the artwork is actually translucent the black bits don’t block the light completely they just attenuate it. I have found 45 seconds per side seems to be the optimum timing, this will all depend on how dark your black is, how strong the light is, how close the bulb is, how old the bulb is. 45 second is for my setup yours may differ, some experimenting maybe required. Once done your brass should have the image on it with the exposed bits turning darker blue. Edit - You can use sunlight to expose but be careful as this is an unknown and variable quantity so you could end up over exposing it. Developing As I said earlier exposure to UV light hardens the resist leaving the unexposed areas soft and dissolvable in the ‘developing’ fluid. The fluid we are going to use is a sodium hydroxide solution. Sodium hydroxide is caustic soda sold as household drain cleaner. We need to make a 5% solution of this. I’m going to make 50ml of the stuff. 1ml of water weighs 1 gram so 5% of 50g is 2.5g. you need to make enough to submerge the brass in your container, find out how much you need either in volume (ml) or measure the weight of the water (g) and multiply this figure by 0.05 e.g. 50g x 0.05 = 2.5g. This is how much caustic soda you need to weigh out. Dissolve this in your measured amount of warm water. You’ve now made your developing fluid. Be careful, this is corrosive and will cause chemical burns. I warm the fluid up by leaving the it in the airing cupboard where it is 38°c, Remove the protective layers from your brass with tape on the corner, once the protection is removed avoid putting the brass flat down on any surface, if you do the unexposed bits may well stick to it and you will be back to stripping and starting again. Dunk you brass in the fluid for 2-3 min to dissolve the unexposed resist, you will see it dissolving and turning opaque or milky. Then wash the resist away under a running tap, you can assist this by gently brushing it off with an old paintbrush under the tap. Have a really good look to see if you got all the resist off look carefully as it can be difficult to see. If there is any left put it back in the solution for another minute and wash off again. Don’t leave it in for too long however as it may start to dissolve the exposed stuff too. Once your satisfied you have got it all off put it back under the UV to see if you missed anything, if you did, strip the brass with acetone (see stripping at the end) and start again. Pain in the neck I know, but you haven’t yet etched it so you can reuse the brass. Better to find out now rather than once you've etched it in my opinion. Etching To etch we are going to use an acid to erode away the brass. Sodium persulphate is an etchant used in making PCBs, other etchants are available including ferric chloride, ammonium persulphate & potassium persulphate. For sodium persuphate a 20% solution is needed so multiply your weight/volume of water require by 0.2, so for 50ml of etchant weigh out 10g of sodium persulphate. I haven’t tried other etchants yet, so other ones may need different concentrations. This is also highly corrosive and will cause chemical burns. Find a suitable non metallic container and stirrer and dissolve the etchant in the appropriate amount of water in the same way as you made the developer, and warm it up for use, for me that’s put it back in the airing cupboard again. (It may take a few minutes of stirring to fully dissolve.) Submerge the brass in the etchant, as the etchant tends to become more concentrated at the bottom give it a stir every 10 mins or so until fully etched. The pic shows pin holes starting to appear after 28mins and after 50mins it was fully etched. Keep an eye on it. I nearly over etched this one as I was writing this article at the time. Don’t forget the areas that are going to be etched from one side only will carry on being etched until it is washed off and also the etchant will start to undercut from the sides. So as soon as you are satisfied that it is fully done. Remove it from etchant and fully rinse it under a tap. The etching time will increase as the etchant becomes exhausted the more times you use it, the same will happen with your developer. Stripping Soak the PE in acetone for a few minutes to remove the resist, it should start to peel of but might need a little help. The acetone will become purple in colour and becomes a fantastic dye so watch you don’t spill it, I have a bottle I keep the used acetone in just for cleaning PE. The photo actually shows it in water and is just for illustration! If all is well you've just made your first PE, go have a beer or three to celebrate. Things you need Brass http://www.ebay.co.u...=item5d304537b0 Dry film http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_odkw=dry+film&_osacat=0&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.Xdry+film+photoresist&_nkw=dry+film+photoresist&_sacat=0&_from=R40 OHP film http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_sacat=0&_from=R40&_nkw=inkjet+ohp+film&_sop=15 UV Light http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_trksid=p2050601.m570.l1311.R1.TR10.TRC0.A0.Xuv+na&_nkw=uv+nail+lamp&_sacat=0&_from=R40 Sodium hydroxide, caustic soda cleaning product section of ASDA Tesco etc Glass sheets - cheap photo frame Spatula http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_sacat=0&_nkw=laboratory+spatula&_frs=1 Etchant Different types are available - Sodium persulphate, ferric chloride, ammonium persulphate & potassium persulphate. Couldnt find the Sodium persulphate I used doesnt seem to be listed, http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_odkw=pcb+etchant&_osacat=0&_from=R40&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.Xetchant&_nkw=etchant&_sacat=0 Edit 28/8/13 Looks like the Sodium persulphate is listed on ebay again http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_trksid=p2047675.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.Xsodium+persulphate&_nkw=sodium+persulphate&_sacat=0&_from=R40 Containers, I used lab beakers, do a search on Borosilicate beaker Scales, search pocket scales or micro weighing scales Stirrers grab a hand full at McDonald’s Timings & quantity's Exposure 45sec per side 1ml of water weighs 1gram Developer 5% strength 2-3mins at 38°C Etchant 20%strength 45min to 1:30 at 38°C (Sodium persulphate) Single side etch To make a single side etch, still apply resist to both sides of the brass and expose the rear completely. etching time will be double as the etchant can only eat through the brass from one side so has twice as much go through to meet the other side. I'll make updates to this as I find new things but in the meantime good luck! Mark
  12. Su-17/22UM-3K Fitter Update Sets (For Kitty Hawk) 1:48 Eduard After a long time with no new toolings of the glorious Fitter, like London buses they all came at once. Kitty Hawk's range of variants has been expanding rapidly, and this set is designed for the UM-3K, which is shown in Polish Tiger-Stripe colours on the kit boxtop. 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 (49888) Two frets are included, one nickel plated and pre-painted, the other in bare brass. A complete set of new layered instrument panels, side consoles, side walls and floor skins are the primary parts on the painted set, with ejection seat details; coaming instrumentation, HUD and canopy internal structure also supplied. Zoom! Set (FE888) This set contains a reduced subset of the interior, namely the pre-painted parts that are used to improve on the main aspects of the cockpit, as seen above. Whatever your motivations for wanting this set, it provides a welcome boost to detail, without being concerned with the structural elements. Seatbelts STEEL (FE889) In case you don't already 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 crew belts, you also get a set of the pull-handles between the pilot's knees that gets him out of there in case of an emergency. Exterior (48951) This larger bare brass set contains some important upgrades, such as delicate new afterburner rings, with instructions for shortening the trunking for accuracy; new pitot vanes; filler caps for the fuel tanks; the recessed box for the sensor in the shock-cone; antennae on the nose, tail and the rest of the airframe; wing-root plates with the correct rivet pattern; weapons rail attachment surface skins; new strakes on the fixed inner wing as well as other details around the hinge point. The gun trough is replaced by a new detailed box, with breech details added to the gun, and a new door with ejection chute is provided to finish it off. Air Brakes (48952) The Fitter has four air brakes on the aft fuselage, and to detail the bays they must be squared off by removing the sections marked in red on the instructions, after which the new bays are folded up, internal detail is added, and they are glued in place instead of the kit parts. The kit brakes are then thinned, and a new detailed skin is glued to the inside face, while the kit actuator is used. Repeat until you have four and that's it. Masks (EX585) Supplied on a sheet of yellow kabuki tape, these pre-cut masks supply you with a full set of masks for the canopy, with compound curved handled by using frame hugging masks, while the highly curved gaps are in-filled with either liquid mask or offcuts from the background tape. In addition you get a set of hub/tyre masks for all the wheels, allowing you to cut the demarcation perfectly with little effort. Masks Tface (EX586) Supplied on a sheet of yellow kabuki tape, these pre-cut masks supply you with everything above, but also give you another set of canopy masks tailored to fit the interior of the glazing so that you can paint the interior and give your model that extra bit of realism. Review sample courtesy of
  13. Tomahawk Mk.II Update Sets (For Airfix A05133) 1:48 Eduard It's a reboxing of the 2016 P-40B kit with British decals and name, but the same plastic in the box. Eduard's new range of sets are here to improve on the kit detail in the usual modular manner, much of which will be identical to their previous P-40B sets. 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. Detail Set (49875) Two frets are included, one nickel plated and pre-painted, the other in bare brass. A complete set of new layered instrument panels that fit over the existing panel and sidewall details, are the primary parts on the painted set, with new seat in scale-representative PE; radio hatch interior detail; six mesh inserts for the intakes in the nose; cooling doors to the aft of the chin scoop; gear bay inserts; gear bay covers and brake hose parts as well as tie-down points for main and tail; access panels; ring & bead sights on the nose, and rudder actuator are also supplied. Zoom! Set (FE875) This set contains a reduced subset of the interior, namely the pre-painted parts that are used to improve on the main aspects of the cockpit, as seen above. Whatever your motivations for wanting this set, it provides a welcome boost to detail, without being concerned with the structural elements. Seatbelts STEEL (FE874) In case you don't already 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. landing flaps (48941) Eduard landing flaps use an ingenious technique to achieve excellent true-to-scale flaps using few parts, and requiring the modeller to simply remove the retracted flaps from the lower wing, plus scrape the upper wings to accommodate the thickness of the completed bays. The two flap sections (bay and flap itself) are constructed in the same manner, by twisting and folding over the attached ribs to create a 3D shape, with extra parts added along the way. The bays glue to the inside of the upper wing with the flap attached to the rear wall of the new bay via a fold. Repeat this for the other side, and you're almost done. The bays have a rod running along the bay, which is 0.5mm thick and isn't included in the set, so you'll need to make sure you have some in stock, and a set of jacks are fitted later to obtain the correct angle once deployed. A small cover panel fits toward the middle, which is folded gently twice to match the profile of the bay ribs before it is installed. I've built a set of these for the previous P-40B boxing, and you can see how they look below. Masks (EX570) Supplied on a sheet of yellow kabuki tape, these pre-cut masks supply you with a full set of masks for the canopy, with compound curved handled by using frame hugging masks, while the highly curved gaps are in-filled with either liquid mask or offcuts from the background tape. In addition you get a set of hub/tyre masks for the tail wheel, allowing you to cut the demarcation perfectly with little effort. Review sample courtesy of
  14. Sea Hurricane Mk.IIb Upgrades (for Airfix A05134) 1:48 Eduard Airfix's Sea Hurricane is a minor re-tool of their popular and still fairly recent Hurricane kit, which was well received on launch some while back. Eduard's new range of sets are here to improve on the kit detail in the usual modular manner, and many of the parts will be familiar if you have the sets for the kit it is based upon. 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. Detail Set (49873) Two frets are included, one nickel plated and pre-painted, the other in bare brass. A complete set of new layered instrument panels and side consoles are the primary parts on the painted set, with new rudder pedals; a brand new metal seat with details; sidewall instrumentation; radiator surface panels and rear vent-flaps; ammo feeder details; gear bay parts; rudder actuator and trim actuator rods, edging and access panels to the gun bays, and canopy handles are also supplied. Zoom! Set (FE873) This set contains a reduced subset of the interior, namely the pre-painted parts that are used to improve on the main aspects of the cockpit, as seen above. Whatever your motivations for wanting this set, it provides a welcome boost to detail, without being concerned with the structural elements. Seatbelts STEEL (FE876) In case you don't already 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. landing flaps (48940) Eduard landing flaps use an ingenious technique to achieve excellent true-to-scale flaps using few parts, and requiring the modeller to simply remove the retracted flaps from the lower wing, plus scrape the upper wings to accommodate the thickness of the completed bays. Each half of the two flap sections (bay and flap itself) is constructed, the flap by twisting and folding over the attached ribs to create a 3D shape, with extra parts added along the way. The bays fold up simply and glue to the inside of the upper wing and the flap attaches to the rear wall of the new bay. Repeat this for the other side, and you're almost done. You'll around 120mm of 1mm rod cut into four sections to act as the hinge-point of each of the flap sections, so make sure you have some on-hand. Masks (EX571) Supplied on a sheet of yellow kabuki tape, these pre-cut masks supply you with a full set of masks for the canopy, one for each pane of the canopy and windscreen. In addition you get a set of hub masks for all the wheels, allowing you to cut the demarcation perfectly with little effort. Review sample courtesy of
  15. This is my first post although not my first kit, it's also a bit of a test drive on how to post photos and any receive any criticism my skin is thick so don't hold back!
  16. Piranha Photo Etch Tool 13.5cm, 19.5cm & 30cm RP Toolz via Modelling Tools Photo-Etch (PE) at first appears to be a bit of a dark art to the novice modeller, but it can be a useful way of obtaining more realism in your work, but you need to have a few tools to hand if you're going to use it properly. Modern PE sets have a degree of cut-out-and-fit parts that anyone can use without spending money on tools other than a sharp knife and some tweezers. When you get more adept you're going to be folding PE, which requires a steady hand and at the very least some flat bladed pliers, which at best are a bit of a blunt instrument for many of the finer tasks, and lack length. A PE Bending Tool is the ultimate in PE tools, and consists of a flat plate with a clamp that has a number of different shaped and sized "fingers" projecting from the top plate. This one from RP Toolz has many, many fingers on the 195mm edition that I'm reviewing, but also has a few more on the longer 300mm monster, and a few less but more tightly spaced on the entry-level 135mm unit. The top plate is secured by spring-loaded knurled knobs that screw down onto bolts set into the lower plate, with a brass insert ensuring long life. The short plate has two knobs, the medium three, and the longest has four, all to obtain equal pressure along the entire jaw, and prevent PE slipping when being worked. All lengths have two tight-fitting pegs projecting through the top plate for perfect alignment at all times, and to remove the top you have to pull it off perfectly squarely or it will jam due to the fine tolerances. The base plate has a shiny surface and is made from hard metal, which I tried unsuccessfully to marr with a blade, although it does pick up fingerprints quite easily. The underside is covered with a black flock material to reduce slippage and protect your desktop from damage. The top plate is black, and has a PE Piranha logo attached in the centre, with the exception of the 195mm tool, which has it offset due to the central knob. A one-sided razor blade is included in the box in a card sleeve, which is used to "pick up" the edge of the PE part to be bent, and allow you to start the bend. You can pick up more blades cheaply on eBay or at any good hobby store if you dull or lose your original. To keep your device safe and usable, don't use it to hold anything it wasn't designed for, keep the tension on the screws to an appropriate level, and do your best never to drop it, as all those things might result in distortion of the plates, which will reduce its effectiveness. Conclusion I've had a PE tool for years now, and it was starting to show its age due to its aluminium construction. This one has none of the weakness of aluminium, and in use has both a wide variety of finger widths and shapes, as well as the option to spin the top plate 180o to use the straight rear edge for particularly long parts. When you come up against a part with a long folded edge that's about 3mm wide, using anything other than one of these tools is likely to result in disaster. I find the more even tension on the plate to be of great use, giving you confidence to work with all the fingers, not just the central ones. Initially I thought that the lack of groove in the base plate that was present on my old tool would be an issue, but having used it now I find that it makes no difference to the process, and the additional weight of the thing is reassuring. Very highly recommended. 135mm Tool 195mm Tool 300mm Tool Review sample supplied by
  17. STEEL Photo-Etched Seatbelts 1:48 Eduard Eduard's new STEEL seatbelt range combines the simplicity of pre-painted Photo-Etch (PE) belts with the thin, flexible steel that they now use, resulting in seatbelts that look more in-scale, and are easier to bend to drape more naturally over the ejection seat or crew seat as the case may be. The paint used also seems more flexible, and better able to cope with the rigors of fitting the belts into position without cracking and peeling off, which was sometimes a danger with the previous nickel-plated brass types. As well as coming pre-painted, they are also shaded to imply further depth to the buckles and overlaps, with the clasps, slides and attachment points showing bright in conjunction with the painted portions. 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. This recent batch is quite numerous, so let's get on with it! Early RAF Seatbelts (FE811) Containing two full sets of early-type harnesses for fighters, including the two-part shoulder section and the lap straps, with instructions for correct assembly included. Luftwaffe WWII Fighters Seatbelts (FE812) This set includes two sets of belts each for Fw.190 and Bf.109, with separate shoulder and lap-belts, and the large cushioning pads under the buckles as separate parts. Seatbelts France WWI (49108) Five types of belts are depicted in this set, three of which seeing service from 1914-1916, the other two throughout the whole of WWI. Three of each type are included, some of which are really quite bright, and several types need a small section of wire to act as the attachment point for the belts if ultimate realism is to be achieved. You are helped in this by two scrap diagrams showing the correct shape of the two types of attachment. Seatbelts IJAAF WWII (49109) Three types of belt are included in this set, all of the lap-type, split between Nakajima in leather or cloth, and Kawasaki, all of which have a separate pad under the buckle. Seven of each type are included in the set, along with two sizes of belt pads. Mig-21 Seatbelts (49110) One complete set of seatbelts, plus the very important (to the pilot at least) ejection handle for between his knees are included in this set. F-4 Seatbelts Green (49111) Two sets of identical crew belts are included, which is handy, given that the Phantom is a two-seater! Made up of eleven separate parts including the leg restraints, it should add sufficient detail to a stock seat to distract the viewer from any simplification of the kit plastic. F-4 Seatbelts Grey (49112) Yep – same as above, but in grey not green. Review samples courtesy of
  18. So I picked this up for a couple of English ponds from a chines website just to have a go at one, for the price its got some great detail and was great fun to build. The instruction are not the best and is my first time with anything PE and thats my excuse for a poorly finished kit and a few broken parts but I will definitely be ordering a few more. Im tempted to put a grey wash over it to bring out some of the details. one for size in my hand.
  19. Good morning! The postman dropped off the photo-etch pieces this morning so I thought I might as well start So, the base kit will be the old Airfix 1:72 Avro Vulcan, with aftermarket bits including: -Freightdog Resin 201 Series Tailpipes -White Ensign Models (WEM) Vulcan Interior -WEM Vulcan Exterior -WEM Vulcan Bomb Bay This build will be significant for two reasons; first of all, with AS exams starting in two weeks and proceeding over the next couple of months, it will be something to keep me sane! Secondly, it will be the first build where I've already had a go at doing some build-enhancing techniques before and needless to say I shall attempt to use these on this build, these include: using filler to get rid of those nasty gaps, using a scribing tool (Tamiya) to replace the notorious raised panel lines, working with resin aftermarket pieces and finally working with photoetch (I might have thrown myself into the deep end with this one!) XL360 is my second nearest Vulcan, the closest being Cosford, I have chosen this one because it's preserved (and has served) as a 617 "Dambusters" aircraft, I have also had the pleasure of sitting in the rear cockpit of the aircraft- I therefore have quite a bit of reference material to hand and finally because, unlike the shiny Cosford example, the Coventry Vulcan allows me to have a shot at weathering. Pre-build photos: Well, more updates shall follow in due course, don't expect them to be too frequent, unfortunately revision must take precedence over the next few weeks. Kind regards, Sam
  20. USS Kitty Hawk Detail Sets Eduard 1:350 The Merit International/Trumpeter USS Kitty Hawk kit came out last year, yet Eduard have finally released their etched sets for it. As useful as they are, they don’t address one of the primary problems of the kit, the lack of hanger details. That said the rest of the model is provided with plenty. The five sets reviewed here cover pretty much every external part of the model, there are three, two sheet sets contained in large zip-lock bags and two single sheet sets, contained in the standard sized poly sleeve. Set one, (53-170, Island), is a two sheet set containing over 188 parts. These include replacement platforms, platform supports, all the railings required, numerous other fittings and their structures, replacement numbers, in the blocked light style for each side, replacement vertical ladders, and a replacement bridge window section. There is also a full complement of light bars, watertight doors, cable reels, SATCOM aerials, ECM arrays, SPS-49 array, SPS-64 array, mast fittings, yardarm railings, wind indicators, and navigation radar. The funnel receives new caps and walkway, whilst the AN/SPS 48 radar not only gets a whole new array, but a completely new mast as well, complete with all the platforms, railings and doors for the control room at the base. Sheet two, (53-171) is another two sheet set and contains parts to superdetail the hull and deck. Naturally most of the sheets are taken up with new railings, along with the numerous cable reels, and watertight doors, but there are a selection of replacement platforms, their supports and both vertical and inclined ladders. Also included are additional deck houses, replacement parts for the RIBs, additional access platforms, saluting guns, sponson supports, crane fittings, bridle catcher supports and deck edge aerial platforms. The instructions also show how to modify one of eh deck edge mounted radomes to the correct shape. Sheet three, (53-172), is another two sheet set, and whilst there are lot of parts, they are mostly used to replace the kits deck and elevator mounted safety nets. There are also even more railings, along with emergency weapon dumping slides, a new ensign staff and Jack staff with the associated railings used only when in port. The flight deck is fitted with an all new set of edging that goes the whole way round the deck and several new platforms, and, of course, more inclined ladders. Sheet four, (53-173), is a smaller single sheet set, containing parts for the carrier air wing. Each aircraft has different parts replaced, such as the Hornets receiving new pylons, wheels, undercarriage doors, catapult bar and tailhook. The Intruders get, new wheels, undercarriage doors, tailhook, aerials, and, if you’re a complete masochist, an open aft equipment bay. The Seahawks are also given new wheels, and a choice of extended or folded rotor blades, tail rotor, and the instructions show where to cut if you wish to fold the tail. The Hawkeyes, receive new rotor dome pylon supports, wheels, tailhook and undercarriage doors. The set is not confined to the aircraft, all the ground equipment is provided with more detailed parts, such as tow bars, forklift cage and forks, tow truck front and rear panels, fire hoses, steering wheels and the APU extension for some of them. The big crash crane is fitted with a new operators cabin, ladders, cable wheels, support beams, and cross members. Sheet four, (53-174), is also a single sheet set and contains new cradles for the ships boats, along with ninety triple racks for the life raft containers that are sited around the flight deck, along with their supports. Whilst not particularly difficult to fold, they may become a little tedious, so probably best to do them all at once. Conclusion The USS Kitty Hawk kit is a fabulous piece of moulding and design, even without the hanger details, these sets at least makes the external details stand out and with care should make the finished model look amazing. Maybe Eduard could do something for the interior now, although I know a couple of other companies and individuals who have taken up this particular challenge. Review sample courtesy of
  21. IJN Mikuma Eduard 1:350 The Tamiya IJN Mikuma kit has been out some time and is a very nice kit in its own right, even though Tamiya missed a few details out. Now I’m sure Eduard have released these sets before, but cannot find the date of first issue, although the kit itself was last re-issued in 2010. The two sets arrived in zip lock bags with the new style yellow card inserts. Ships railings, (53166). If you think the title says it all, you’d be wrong, whilst there is a full ships set of railing on the single large sheet of relief etched brass, there is so much more. There are the ships anchor chains and stops, bollard tops, crane hooks for the smaller cranes, cable reels, for which the inner drum needs to be made from styrene rod, jack staff combined with a crane jib, some awning stanchions, watertight doors, new deck hatches which can be posed open or closed, and a selection of liferings. The ships boats are provided with new fittings, such as cradles, propeller shafts, propellers, rudders, thwarts, oars, railings, steering positions, wheels, liferings and ensign staffs. The mid section of the ships structure need to have some details removed before the etch can be added, and this includes the splinter shields around the secondary armament, access hatches on the aircraft handling deck and the boat cradles. The splinter shields around the bridge structure are also replaced. The set also includes new accommodation ladders, complete with the handling chains which are fitted to the kits cranes. The aircraft cradles, both for moving around the deck and on the catapults are fitted with new details and the midships section of the hull is fitted with new platform gratings and the torpedo handling cranes. There are more hatches and watertight doors fitted to the stern area along with additional cable reels and the ensign staff. Superstructure, (53167). This is another single sheet set contained within the same style packaging. The large sheet is full to the edges with replacement and new parts. Along with more replacement watertight doors, the sheet contains new intake grilles, searchlight towers, bases and railings, walkways, ladders, foot and hand rails for the funnels, along with new funnel caps and platforms. The aircraft/boat handling cranes is provided with a new jib, platforms, vertical ladders and braces, whilst the AA directors are fitted with new vision doors and the main mast with new platforms, ladders, armoured doors and yardarm walkropes. All around the superstructure there are additional liferings, inclined ladders, and yet more intake grilles. The aft mounted AA platforms are fitted out with new decks, supports, ready use lockers, inclined and vertical ladders, as well as having the kit splinter shields removed and replaced with brass. There is a completely new walkway between the forward and aft superstructure elements, whilst both of the catapults are completely replaced with brass parts. The rest of the sheet contains parts of the various weapons, with the most complex parts being used for the twin 25mm mounts for which only the kit barrels are used, the rest replaced. All the main turrets are fitted out with new ladders, railings, armoured doors, blast bag fittings and handrails. B and X turrets also have the prominent radio aerial masts attached to their roofs, something which the kit is missing. Conclusion The Tamiya kit is very nice out of the box, but with these two sets you could dramatically improve the finished model. There are so many parts that you will need quite a bit of patience and care to fit them all, as with any etch set, but the results will be worth it. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  22. The new set to upgrade "old" 1/48 A-10 models to modern standards and improve overall accuracy of them. The set is shown here on Hobby Boss model. Pics have high level of magnification.
  23. So I have heard and remember the terrible side effects of using superglue with canopies and clear parts. With this in mind can anybody recommend a better way of glueing PE to canopies...I have heard whispers of using gloss varnish and I am sure if the part is light enough it should go fine but wonder has anybody else got a different method?
  24. HMS Devonshire Destroyer Atlantic Models 1:600 Originally released in the 1960’s the last outing for the Airfix HMS Devonshire kit was as part of the Falklands War set, released in 2004. Whilst it is still quite a nice kit, it is certainly showing its age. Lacking in the finesse and sharpness we are used to in this golden age of maritime modelling. Well, Peter Hall, and his Atlantic Models has once again come to the rescue, in the form of a single sheet of etched brass. The set arrives in the standard Atlantic Models envelope with the etched sheet sellotaped to a piece of card for protection. The single sheet measures 147mm x 108mm and contains nearly one hundred and ten parts to add that much needed fine detail to the kit. Aside from a full complement of ships railings, each shaped and sized to fit their specific positions, although some will need to be bent to fit, there are also a full set of flightdeck netting which can be positioned folded or upright. The massive Seaslug missile launcher is one of the most complicated parts of the set, and like its larger 1:350 cousin found in the Atlantic Models kit, this one contains no less than nineteen parts, plus a length of polystyrene rod from the modellers supplies. The Type 965 radar lives up to its nickname of Bedstead and also mimics the 1:350 scale version, with twelve parts required to create that inimitable shape. Some scratchbuilding is still required to bring the kit up to the correct standard of weapons fit and this is particularly shown with the need to build the Corvus chaff launcher enclosures. The set includes a base and two templates for which to shape the 20thou plastic card needed to build the enclosure up. Almost as intensive is the replacement of the kits Seacat launchers which is clearly explained in the instructions and which are further detailed with the four etched Seacat missiles and the launchers guide frames. The two 20mm Oerlikons are also provided along with the Corvus launchers. The foremast is fully detailed, with a complete array of yardarms, platforms, platform railings, Type 277 height finding radar array and aerials, whilst the fore-funnel is also fitted out with a pair of yardarms. The set also includes the davits for the ships boats, quarterdeck mounted paravane crane, a full complement of vertical and inclined ladders, and the skins for the large vents forward of the aft funnel, the bodies of which need to be made up from 1.5mm thick plasticard. The main mast is also given the full treatment with a complete array of yardarms, platforms, and is topped off with the large Type 965 radar assembly. The two Seacat loading cranes will need a pair of crane poles to be scratch built, but the folding hanger door is included, although the kits moulded door will need to be removed first, along with a folding telemetry mast for the hanger roof. The Wessex Mk1 is provided with new main and tail rotors and tail wheel. A nice touch is that Peter has included a set of folded main rotor blades, should you wish to pose the cab in that condition. Conclusion This is yet another winner from Atlantic Models. I know there are many examples of this kit hiding in the stashes of the maritime modeller, mine included. As with the other older kits that Peter Hall is catering for, now is the time to drag them out and get building. Yes, the parts are quite a bit fiddlier than in the larger scale, but it’ll be worth it. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of Peter Hall of
  25. Dassault Mirage III detail Sets Eduard 1:32 Sometimes we receive items for certain kits for which we have no kit to base our thoughts on. This is the case with these sets from Eduard for the Italeri 1/32 Mirage III. From what I can tell from reading reviews, is that it is a very nice kit, but with some soft details in the cockpit and oddball shapes, particularly the brake assemblies on the main wheels. Well the following sets certainly seem to cover at least some of the problem areas, as you will see. Interior Set (32859) Contained on two relatively small sheets of relief etched brass, one is unpainted whilst one comes pre-painted. The unpainted sheet contains lots of new and replacement parts for the seat, including side and front panels, head box panels, linkages, and fittings. The sheet also contains replacement rudder pedals and their links, new lower side panelos for the cockpit tub, and vents for the rear bulkhead. The pre-painted sheet provides the modeller with a variety of coloured knobs and levers, new side console panels, plus replacement dials for the side panels. The main instrument panels are also pre-painted complete with the instrument faces on the backplate. A little dab of aqua clear or similar will give them the appearance of glass fronts. This sheet also has additional details for the seat, with two styles of upper and lower ejection handles, headbox top with flap detail on the parachute cover. The windscreen surround is fitted with two part compass, whilst the side panales have new canopy locks and emergency release handles attached. Exterior Set (32385) The single sheet in this set is quite a bit larger than the previous one, and contains replacement panels that appear to be mostly for the undercarriage bays. Quite a bit of the kits moulded detail needs to be removed before the etched parts can be fitted. All the kit wiring in the main bays has to be removed, before the individual panels are attached and, with the addition of two plastic rods, which the modeller needs to provide the etched wiring loom can be added. The roof of each main undercarriage bay is also given the new panel treatment, both large and small, along with strengthening angle and other fittings. The set also includes new panels of the bay doors, along with new actuator fittings and hinges. Finally there are a number of reinforcing hoops that are fitted into the gun troughs. Seatbelts (32852) This small fret of brass comes pre-painted for the most part, but with unpainted clasps, buckles etc. Whilst very fiddly to make, it will give the cockpit a real visual boost. Rather unusually for Eduard, the instructions for these are rather good and show clearly in which order the various belts need to be fitted, and there are quite a few of them. The set comes complete with leg restraints and a very nicely etched quick release unit for the belts to be attached to. Landing Gear Set (632 076) Rather than being etched brass, this set is actually from the Brassin range, so, naturally it’s all resin. Each of the two main wheels and the nose wheels are only lightly attached to their respective moulding blocks, and the most noticeable attachment is on the underside of the bulged area, so will be easy to clean up and hide. The main wheels have the option of different styles of inner hub to be fitted, each with a different brake assembly. The details are nice a crips with one assembly having quite prominent hose attachments to which to fit your own brake lines. The hubs aren’t the easiest to remove fromt eh moulding block, but you should be ok using a fine saw , before sanding the backs down to thickness before adding them to the wheels. The set also includes a sheet of masks to help with the painting. Masks (JX188) Naturally a set of detail updates wouldn’t be complete without Eduard adding some masks. Made of Kibuki style tape they are easy to use and can help make painting less of a chore. Conclusion Once again Eduard have produced some very nice sets for the big Mirage, yet none of them appear to be that difficult to use, as it’s all pretty basic stuff, with very little folding required and the resin parts are also direct replacements, with only a bit of sanding required. That said I think the seatbelt set is probably the most useful, but the modeller has enough of a choice to add as little or as much as they want. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
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