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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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!
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. rockpopandchips

    PE Slave one.

    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.
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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.
  14. Bernie Mac

    Canopies and PE

    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?
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. USS Texas Detail Sets 1:350 Eduard It hasn’t taken long for Eduard to release sets for the Trumpeter USS Texas, and whilst they can’t help with the fixing of the major hull errors in the kit, they will be able to add lots of extra that should pull the eyes of the visitor to your club stand or display case away from those areas. As is their way, Eduard have released separate sets that cover certain areas of the ship so that the modeller doesn’t have to buy what they don’t want to detail, which also helps keep models within budgets. Part 1, AA Guns - (53-154). This single sheet set does exactly what it says on the packet, provides lots of extra detail to the ships AA weaponry, Quad 40mm Bofors, single 20mm Oerlikons and the single 5” guns. The kits 40mm’s are completely replaced with etched brass, with the exception of the actual gun barrels. So, that’s a new mounting base, railings, gun mounting, turntable and splinter shield. The 20mm’s are provided with new shield, ammunition drum faces, front and rear, new sights and shoulder harness, along with a new hand wheel. The 5 inchers are also fitted with new sights, plus two gunners seats, the left hand of which incorporates the foot rests/firing pedals. There are enough parts for all the guns in the kit, so be prepareds for some long, fiddly modelling sessions, especially for the Oerlikons as there are forty two of them, along with 12 5” and 8 quad 40’s. Part 2, Railings and Ladders - (53-155). Another self explanatory set, the single sheet includes complete set of main deck railings and a selection of inclined ladders for around the ship. Now whilst these are very nicely done, the instructions are completely inadequate, in that they only show where one ladder is fitted. Ok, it’s easy enough to replace any kit ladders with eh etched ones, but it would have been nice it Eduard had confirmed this. A nice touch is the inclusion of two accommodation ladders, these are quite complex multi part assemblies, but will look great when fitted. Part 3, Superstructure – (53-156). The large single sheet, along with one very small sheet of etched brass contains all the parts required to detail the superstructure of the kit. The parts replace all the AA gun deck mounted splinter shields, both fighting tops and their support frames and hand rails as well as their top mounted radar arrays. Apart from the king posts aqnd their centrally mounted mechanisms, the cranes are completely replaced with brass and come with cable drums and hooks which can have wire added to give them a little more life. The bridge superstructure has additional wire spreaders fitted, as well as vertical ladders, mast platform and railings, whilst C turret is fitted with a replacement catapult, which is a model in its own right and looks fantastic, even in its flattened form. The funnel receives new ladders, hand and foot rails, funnel cap grille, and wire spreaders, and the ships boats are fitted with new gunwhales, rudders, propellers, thwarts, engine covers and cradles. Lastly, both of the ships aircraft are provided with new interior parts, such as the instrument panels, seating and bulkheads for the front cockpit, whilst eh rear cockpit gets, aq new decking, DF loop and machine gun, plus it’s mounting rail. The outside of the aircraft receives replacement struts for the outer floats, access ladder, access steps, bomb racks, engine wiring harness and main float wires and rudder. Part 4, Deck – (53-157). Whilst eh set above provides many of the new splinter shields required for the AA weaponry, this set adds to that with all those that are fitted to the main deck. The kit items will need to be carefully removed and the areas cleaned up, but the brass does give them a more scale thickness than plastic ever can. They will require some careful bending and rolling though, so if you haven’t got the tools required, now’s the time to acquire them. Each splinter shield is also fitted with a variable number of triangular supports, which will also need a steady hand to attach. All the bollards, windlasses are fitted with new top plates, and there are new hawse pipe gratings and hatch covers provided. The main gun turrets are not only fitted with new railings, ladders and the like, but Eduard has even included a tampion for each gun muzzle. The main turret barbettes, particularly B and D are fitted with hand and foot rails, again requiring careful rolling to shape. Conclusion Eduard are very good at getting the most detail into a model ship and these sets will really help set the completed USS Texas off. Whilst I can recommend them to any modeller who has had some experience with etched brass, they certainly are not for the novice, so it might be best to start with something simpler to gain experience before buying these sets. Whether the kit is worth detailing to this extent is entirely up to the modeller but I will probably give it a try someday. Review sample courtesy of
  18. OS2U Kingfisher detail Sets Eduard 1:32 The Kittyhawk Kingfisher, reviewed HERE is a a lovely kit, without any additional aftermarket stuff, but, with Eduard, there’s always room for improvement in any model kit. As such, they have now released three individual sets to adorn the kit with extra and improved detail, along with a set of masks to help with the painting of the greenhouse canopy. As with most sets of this type some of the kit details will need to be removed before the etch can be added. Interior Set (32861) Contained on two sheets of relief etched brass, on half the size again as the other, one is unpainted whilst one comes pre-painted. The unpainted sheet contains items such as replacement equipment trays, and boxes, with the trays having vibration mounts made up of four separate discs. The front cockpit hoop is given a new front face, which comes complete with grab handles and the cockpit decking is also given the etch treatment once the kit details have been removed. The rear mounted machine gun is fitted with new expended shell catcher, cooling jacket, sights, ammunition tank and armoured plates, whilst the gun ring is provided with a new internal rail. The pre-painted sheet provides the modeller with a variety of coloured knobs and levers, new auxiliary instrument panels, trim wheels, plus replacement dials for the side panels for the front cockpit. The main instrument panel is also pre-painted complete with the instrument faces on the backplate. A little dab of aqua clear will give them the appearance of glass fronts. There is also a new document/map case radio faces, equipment fittings, and various straps. External Set (32386) The single long, yet quite narrow sheet contains what appear to be mostly parts to detail the engine, with new wiring harness, fittings for the cylinder heads and new cowling support ring. Yet there are numerous smaller parts on the sheet, some of which will need to be shaped, either by rolling a marble/ball bearing over them to make a dome, of running a ball point pen to enhance look of the strengthening ribs. The domed access panels to the main and auxiliary floats are fitted with individual wing-nuts, the main float also having a replacement rudder provided. The bomb crutches are completely replaced with etched pts and once assembled will really look the business, but care will need to be taken to get them right. The bombs themselves are fitted with replacement box tails, and additional tail fuse detail, along with front and rear arming vanes. The identification lights and landing lights are given new surrounds which have very fine screw detail etched into them. Seatbelts (32862) This small fret of brass comes pre-painted for the most part, but with unpainted clasps, buckles etc. Although the belts are broader than normal it looks like they will still be fiddly to make, yet it will give the cockpits a real boost, so if you buy only one set this should be it. Masks (JX189) 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, especially with the canopy style that the Kingfisher has. Conclusion These sets may not be as comprehensive as some Eduard have produce, perhaps because Kittyhawk go most of the detail on the kit from the beginning. What is provided will certainly enhance the kit, but if you’re money conscious you may want to just go for one or two. Highly recommended Review sample courtesy of
  19. The Zero was my first "fine structure" kit by imcth of Tokyo. These are extraordinary kits, with the aircraft structure in photo-etched stainless steel and engine, undercarriage, weapons, etc in cast white metal. They are VERY different, present interesting challenges and build into superb works of art. I wrote a blog of my build on Tumblr. You can see it here: I am now building imtch's P-51 Mustang and blogging the build here: Blog links removed
  20. HMS Queen Elizabeth Eduard 1:350 The Trumpeter 1:350 HMS Queen Elizabeth has been out for a little while now, and Eduard have only just released some etch for it. Well, I say some, in fact it’s four sets, covering the whole ship. Set one, (53-145), is a single sheet set, which contains a ships worth of railings, some inclined ladders and four accommodation ladders, with the foreward pair being “double” depth, and really quite complicated so will require great care in folding them to shape. Be careful when fitting the railings, as there only appears to be just enough for the kit, with no spare lengths of stock railings if you make a mistake. Sheet two, (53-146) is a slightly larger sheet and contains parts to super detail all of the tertiary anti-aircraft weapons. The 20mm Oerlikons, of which there are seventeen, receive a new gun shield and support, traversing wheel, front and rear sights and the shoulder arms. The twin 20mm mount require a bit of surgery before the etch can be added, by the removal of the gunners seating position which is completely replaced with a carefully folded etched part. The gunner also receives a new seat and gun sight, whilst the two guns are fitted with ammunition cans. For the octuple Pom Pom, the ammunition tanks are removed from the kit part as are a couple of parts from the mount base, which will be used on the new etched base. The gun block is fitted to the etched mounting, which is complete with the gun sights and fitted with the new ammunition tanks, the mount is then glued to the base, along with the railings, mount electrical boxes and other fittings. Sheet three, (53-147), is more of a general purpose set and includes lots of smaller items, such as the watertight doors, vertical ladders, funnel cap grilles, various platforms and walkways, platforms supports, Type 284 radar arrays and mountings, Type 282 radar arrays and mountings, plus Type 281 radar arrays for both the foremast and the mainmast. The set also includes the bridge canvas awning, flag locker, mast yardarms, a new star platform and its associated supports and a new DF aerial and its platform. There are quite a few of the kit parts that need to be modified or removed before any of this etch can be added, so best read the instructions and do the removing first. Sheet four, (53-148), contains the parts for the ships boats and cranes. Each of the cutters receive new gratings, decks, thwarts, seats, oars, rudders and either a tiller or wheel. There are replacement cradles provided for all boats, including the special ones which fit into the larger cutters for small boats to be stacked on them. The motor boats also receive new internal gratings, decks, and varying sizes of cabins and windscreens. The larger of the motor boats also have additional railings and masts and are fitted with either single or twin propeller shafts and rudders. As with the cutters, each boat is sat upon up to three cradles. Both the ships aircraft/boat cranes are completely replaced with etched brass, including the crane mounting structure, winding gear the booms, secondary jibs and hooks. When assembled these cranes will look so much better than the kit parts, even with the etched booms that are included n the kit. Conclusion The Queen Elizabeth is a very nice kit in its own right, even though the hull has some major errors, but these can be alleviated by building the model as a waterline in a seascape. The addition of these etched sets will be the icing on the cake and, with care, can make a good model into a great one. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  21. Hello A new problem: I now need to connect styrene to a moderately waxy plastic (probably PE polyethylene or possibly PP polypropylene - I'm not 100% sure). All my experiments with plastic friendly epoxy glues & CA so far all say "won't work with PP or PE" ! One option would be to insert a couple of metal pins. But even then, aside of going for a good tight push fit, so far I cant find anything to actually bond to PE or PP. Any suggestions? Many thanks P.S. What about this: Starloc's "The 100% UNIVERSAL BONDING PACK" Which claims to bond: "TEFLON, PTFE, DELRIN, PVC, POLYETHYLENE, POLYPROPYLENE, SILICONE" http://www.shop4glue.com/universal-glue-bond-adhesive-repair-pack-metal-all-plastics-ptfe-polyethylene-polypropylene-silicone-81-p.asp The whole site looks extremely dodgy (!) and could well be a scam. But anyone here tried any of their stuff?
  22. I have been procrastinating for months now and have spent more time writing on the forum than doing any modelling and work and family have taken up much of the spare time. It has been easier to veg in front of the computer than the work bench. I vacillated between the many kits. Enough said. I have now received the Aires resin cockpit. I started on the kit cockpit. While the model detail is good, the cockpit seems unfinished compared to the Hasegawa kit. I will be posting photos regularly and look forward to comments, help and criticism
  23. The P51 Mustang is my second "fine structure" kit by imcth of Tokyo, my first being their Mitsubishi Zero. These are extraordinary kits, with the aircraft structure in photo-etched stainless steel and engine, undercarriage, weapons, etc in cast white metal. They are VERY different, present interesting challenges and build into superb works of art. I am writing a blog of my build on Tumblr. You can see it here: blog link removed
  24. HMS Nelson detail Set Mk1 Design 1:200 The release of the big 1:200 HMS Nelson by Trumpeter was a bit of a shock, but a very pleasant one. While the kit is superb out of the box, both in size and detail, but there was bound to be at least one company to take up the challenge of producing a details for it. Just such a company is KA Models within their Mk1 Design brand. The set comes on a large flip top opening box with a sleeve on which a listing of the contents on the front and a picture of the built, but unpainted model, showing off all the brass. Talking of which, there is a LOT of brass. The statistics speak for themselves, twenty sheets of relief etched brass, one of which is pre-painted, seventy turned brass parts, eighteen turned aluminium parts, five wooden deck sections, ten resin parts and seventy centimeters of chain. This set is not to be taken lightly, there is some serious amount of work, and so all those of a nervous disposition should look away now. The Nelson kit is amazing, but with this set youre not going to just take it to the next level, but into the next solar system. Youll be looking at months worth of work, but the effort and amount of detail youll be adding will be so worth it. Being the DX set the instructions might appear to be slightly amusing, along with the duplication of etched sheet idents, but this is due to the fact that it is what Mk1 Design call the basic set, with all the other supplementary sets included. You will need to be careful identifying the correct part from the correct sheet. As with other Mk1 Design instructions it is really a series of photographs showing the location for where each part is fitted, along with more exploded views on each of the sub-assemblies are built up. They are very clear, but it would still be good practice to annotate on the kit instructions where the styrene parts are replaced with etch. That way you dont build something, then discovering it is mostly replaced with brass. There is so much in this set that it is difficult to know where to start describing what you get. So I will just go through the instructions and try to explain whats what. Firstly the masts are assembled. The main mast uses the kit parts to make up the lower tripod and lower platforms, although with new supports. This section is detailed with the addition of three, four part cable wheels for the boat crane boom, which is made up of a turned brass boom, five etched parts for the lower cradle, along with another turned brass part for the locating pin. The boom is finished off with the addition of the cable wheel and hook. The starfish platform is completely made up of PE including the twelve under platform supports, and upper platform railings. The Type 272 radar lantern is assembled from fifteen parts and will need some careful rolling to get to shape. Before the starfish is fitted to the mast, a large turned brass part needs to be attached to the top of the lower mast along with the lower yardarm and its three mast fixings. With the platform and lantern in place the ensign gaff and upper mast are fitted. The upper mast has three yardarms attached up its length and topped out with and another smaller gaff and the Type 279 radar array. The foremast is quite a bit simpler, consisting of the kit lower section onto which the turned brass mid and upper sections with a PE bracket connection the mid and lower sections and a platform separating the mid and upper sections. The platform is fitted with an ensign gaff, whilst both mid and upper sections are fitted with a yardarm. The mast head is topped off with a Type 281 array. The main gun directors are only given a small amount of etch treatment, in the form of new access hatches, ladders, and visor screen. The secondary armament directors receive the same amount to extra detail, whereas the High Angle Control System mounts are fitted with a completely new Type 285 array, with its five dipoles and the PomPom directors receive the Type 282 with their two dipoles. The Type 284 gunnery director is fitted with a more boxy style of radar array to go with the new hatches and access ladders. With the radars and masts assembled, and with most of the hull already painted by this point, the wooden decks are laid. There is no best method for these, its pretty much what suits the modeller, but I would rub down the deck details so that the replacement deck looks to be fitted more naturally. With the wooden focsle, main and quarter deck laid you can start fitting the many new details. From the focsle aft these are the anchor cable deck plates, large deck hatch, main breakwater, (each breakwater is supplied with all their angled supports separately), complete with large deckhouses, boat boom storage, second breakwater, with associated lockers, cable reels, (with resin centres), windlasses, and windlass controls. Alongside A turret there are more boat booms and their cradles, whilst around B turret barbette there is another breakwater, two deck hatches, four new cable reels, new ventilator grilles and two winches. Between B and C turret there are another pair of winches, five deck lockers and four more hatches. All the kit deck lockers and ready use lockers are provided with new doors, some of which can be posed open should you desire as are all the watertight and armoured doors. The set also provides a full complement of inclined and vertical ladders which festoon the superstructure and masts. The funnel is given a lovely interior that only goes down a third of the way from the top, but gives the impression that the ladders and platforms go all the way to the bottom. Outside the funnel is fitted with new vertical ladders, hand and foot rails, new platforms, foghorns and a large slab or armour plate on either side. The ships crane that comes with the kit is completely replaced with an all etched brass item which will look great once it has been fitted with cables which the modeller has to provide. The paravanes are also completely new units, with a turned brass body with etched fittings, cradles, fins and cable cutter. With 01 deck has been fitted with the wooden deck, etched ships cradles and their bases can be fitted. The main bridge structure is fitted with new platforms, aerial supports and the aerials themselves. Each of the ships boats are all detailed with etched brass, and for this some of the kit details need to be removed. The motor boats receive new cabin structures, railings, jack and ensign staffs, and propellers. The cutters and whalers all receive new gratings, thwarts, rudders and oars. Some of the smaller boats are stored on top of larger ones and the cradles for these are provided as well. The davits in which some are kept are given extra detail that included the turned brass boom, etched straps and scramble nets. The various sizes of Carley floats are all given replacement gratings before being fitted into position and fitted with the supporting straps and paddles. The largest selection of both etched and turned brass parts is naturally dedicated to the ships armament. The three main gun turrets are each witted with new etched trunnion mounts, turned alluminium trunnions and turned aluminium barrels. The main openings for each of the guns need to be opened up further, so Mk1 Design have included and brass template to help with this. They all have the various gun hatches, rangefinder hatches, walkways, rear mounted ventilation hatches roof panels and access ladders. The roof of each turret differs depending on what light AA weapons are mounted, so pay careful attention in fitting the right roof to the right turret. The secondary 6 turrets are only lightly detailed, with ladders to the turrets roof, rear mounted hatches and the turned barrels. The high angle 4.7" turrets get quite a bit more, as on top of the turned barrel, each mount is fitted with new trunnion mounts, along with several fittings on each one, elevation cog, electrical boxes, motor faces, ladder rungs of teach side, and sighting hatches, in either open or closed condition. The light AA weapons are well represented in the set and will probably cause most of the swearing and cursing throughout the build. The quad 40mm mounts arent too bad, with the styrene guns replaced with folded etched brass breech units, loading bins and trunnion mounts for each pair of guns. The mountings do actually use the kit parts, but with most of the detail removed. To each mounting the modeller fits, the trunnion bases, rear rails, main splinter shield, elevation guide, two three piece ring sights and, finally, the two pairs of guns. The octuple PomPoms are a different matter, in that almost the whole mounting is made up of etched brass parts, with the exception of the eight turned barrels and modified kit mounting base. In total, each of the six mounts comprises of seventy three individual parts. That should keep you busy for a while, although when finished, if they look anything like the pictures in the instructions, they will be amazing. Oh, and if the PomPoms didnt break you then the single 20mm Oerlikons may. Theyll certainly test yet more of your patience, as each of the sixty three mounts comprises ten parts, which include a turned brass barrel and pedestal, etched splinter shield, gun breech, pedestal ring, pedestal wheel, shoulder bars, sight, ammunition drum and shield/gun frame. The odds and sundries included in this set, and there are perhaps too many to mention, but Ill try, include items like the fabulous looking accommodation ladders, numerous life rings, boat boom Jacobs ladders, searchlight mounts, shields and elevation wheels. You even get five 6 shell and a couple of etched shell barrows, each made up of nine etched parts. Perhaps some of the nicest looking etched parts are those for the flag lockers whose front faces are pre-painted, showing all the signal flags nicely folded in their individual compartments. Of course no set is complete with the ships railings and this set has a full set for all decks, main turrets and platforms. Lastly and by no means least the set provides the ships name in individual letters for each quarter, and also a lovely representation of the ships bell. Conclusion Ive bought Mk1 Design DX sets before, but this one has got to be the best to date. The sheer amount of extra detail and the levels which the detail is taken is just amazing. Yes it is expensive, more than the original kit, but for the amount of work, and therefore modelling pleasure you will get, makes it a pretty good pound/hour rate. You will definitely need a lot of patience and plenty of previous experience with working with etch, resin and turned metals if youre thinking of buying it. Very highly recommended Review sample courtesy of
  25. USS Yorktown Eduard 1:350 It was great to see Merit International release the USS Yorktown earlier this year, but, no matter how great a kit is, Eduard always seem to find something to improve upon. The first two sets for the Yorktown have now been released. The first is for the ships boats and cranes, whilst the second is for the AA weaponry. Both sets are up to the usual standard set by Eduard and as such are full of very small parts, where a good pick-up pencil wouldn’t go amiss. Some of the kit parts need to be modified by the modeller before the etched parts can be fitted. Ships Boats and Cranes, (53140). This two sheet set contains parts for all the ships boats, the two large cranes either side of the aft hanger plus the jib for the main deck mounted crane. Each of the enclosed motor boats is provided with new centre cockpits, complete with the boats wheel, as well as a new prop, rudder, front and rear cabin doors, plus a full boat load of handrails and railings. The open motor cutters are fitted with new thwarts/gunwhales, deck planking, cockpit, engine housing, propeller, rudder, flag staff, bow mounted windlass and rear mounted railings. The larger of the motor cutters also has a fo’c’sle mounted anchor. Each of the carley floats is given a new grating, for which the centre of the floats will need to be carefully removed, and selection of straps and fixings tying them to the ship. The large cranes mounted either side of the rear hanger are completely replaced with new brass ones. Once folded to shape they are each fitted with the two hooks and their cable wheels, rotating base, through which a small piece of styrene rod is mounted. The large platforms atop each crane are provided as they are missing on the kit cranes. The deck mounted crane jib is a complex affair, comprising a three sided box section into which seven ribs are fitted before the missing side of the jib is attached. The jib is then fitted with the two hooks, their cable wheels and finished off with the handrail that is fitted to the top. Whilst the trunk of the crane isn’t replaced, it is detailed with the prominent vertical ladder, top platform, complete with railings, mid section walkway and the associated platform supports. AA Guns, (53141). As the title suggest, this single sheet set is to provide detail for the various AA weaponry found around the ship. The 5” single mounts are fitted with new sights and railings, whilst their mountings receive new three part bases and two ready use lockers for each of the eight guns. The quad 1.1” mounts also receive new sights, sight mount, shields and their supports and gun top plate. Their mountings also receive new bases, but these are single piece items. The twenty four 20mm Oerlikons are each fitted with new shields, shield supports; sights, shoulder harness and ammunition drum face. Conclusion You either love or hate brass etched detail sets, but for me they are almost vital, if you wish to produce as detailed a model as possible. Eduard are pretty much the kings of mainstream maritime etch at the moment and their release schedule seems inexhaustible. These sets will certainly go toward building that museum quality model that we all strive for at one point or another. Who knows how many more sets they will produce for the Yorktown, but I know for sure these won’t be the last. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of