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  1. F6F-5 Hellcat Late (8229) 1:48 Eduard ProfiPACK The Grumman Hellcat was a US Naval World War II carrier-based fighter aircraft designed to replace the earlier Grumman Wildcat. Although the two aircraft do look externally similar, the Hellcat was a completely new design that was fresh from the drawing board, and featured the Pratt & Whitney R-2800 as used by the Chance Vought Corsair and the Republic Thunderbolt, amongst others. It proved to be a well-designed fighter able to stand up to the rigors of carrier operations and the rough air fields used in the Pacific Theatre of operations. Grumman's initial design was so well-sorted that the Hellcat became the least revised aircraft of WWII. In total 12,200 Hellcats were built for the US Navy, The US Marine Corps and the Royal Navy, helping the Hellcat achieve more kills in WWII than any other allied fighter. The -5 was the second production type with a more powerful variant of the R-2800 that was further augmented by adding water injection, whilst improvements to the flying surfaces and the armoured windscreen enhanced performance and survivability, plus adding a centreline station for a drop-tank to extend range as the missions stretched further into enemy territory during the Island Hopping phase of the war. Most other variants were based on the -5, given a letter suffix depending on what equipment was fitted. Post war the Hellcat was phased out of day fighter service, but continued in US service as late as 1954 as a night fighter. One notable exception was in late 1952 when F6F-5K Drones carrying 2000lb bombs were used to attack bridges in Korea. Post war the aircraft were also used by the Aeronavale (French Navy), using them in Indochina; and the Uruguayan Navy who flew them until the 1960s. The Kit This marks a welcome re-release of Eduard's range of Hellcats from earlier this millennium, with a few tweaks and changes to the package. The tooling is still the same, and that's already a well-known quantity, with plenty of detail that's augmented by the extras that come with the ProfiPACK boxing. Inside the gold-themed box you will find five sprues in grey styrene, a clear sprue, two frets of Photo-Etch (PE) brass - one of which is nickel-plated and painted, a sheet of pre-cut masks (not pictured), two decal sheets, and the glossy instruction manual that has the colour profiles printed on the rear pages. Detail is good, although it's not quite leading-edge technology that we now expect from Eduard's brand-new releases, but it's a good kit that captures the look of the Hellcat and gives the modeller plenty of markings options. Construction begins in the cockpit, with the instrument panel upgraded with a lamination of PE parts that have glossy printed domes over each dial for ultimate realism. The side consoles have PE overlays, or decals to place over the moulded-in details, and if you don't fancy the PE instrument panel there are also decals included for that area too. The controls are added to the floor along with the seat with multi-part four-point PE belts, rear bulkhead, control column and rudders, and the fuselage is then closed around it after some interior painting plus the tail wheel and an insert under the cockpit. The slot that should be opened if you're portraying an aircraft that carried a drop-tank is indicated in red, just behind the lower insert. The elevators with separate flying surfaces are next, and the rudder is added to the tail fin, with the option of posing it deflected if you wish. Up front the two banks of pistons are fitted together and have a PE wiring loom added, with a diagram showing how it should be bent around the pistons, and the bell-housing at the front contains the shaft on which the prop will later spin if you're careful with the glue. This is fixed in place on a stub at the front of the fuselage, then enclosed in a three-part cowling with a PE grille installed in the bottom section during assembly. The exhaust stubs are glued into their troughs, and peek out from under the cowling once in place. The wings on this kit are attached in the same manner as the elevators, fitting into recesses in the sides of the fuselage, rather than the usual slot and tab or full-width lower that you often see. This is due in part to the barrel-like fuselage and the wing placement on the lower middle of the fuselage, rather than at the bottom. Each wing has two halves and these have the gear bay and gun inserts glued within before closure, and then accept the flying surfaces at the trailing edge before they are slotted into the afore-mentioned recesses on the fuselage sides. Small details in the gear bay and recognition lights are added to the underside along with the arrestor hook in the tail, then they are joined by the main gear, which are sturdy single struts with separate oleo-scissors, retraction jacks, captive bay doors on small links, and crisp resin wheels with a separate outer hub to show off the internal structure. The spoke interstices are flashed over, so will need to be cut or sanded away from behind before fitting, and while this might appear a little fiddly, it is well worth the effort when you see the finished article. The main gear is fitted in place Along with a small forward-folding door, the correct location of which is shown in scrap diagrams to ensure you get it aligned correctly. A curved L-shaped pitot probe is attached under the starboard wing, painting the aft red, and the tip silver. Depending on your decal option you can fit bombs under the wings on stubby pylons with sway-braces, a centreline fuel tank with PE sway-braces fixed forward of the main attachment point, small bombs on pylons inboard of the gear bays that need holes drilling during wing assembly, or three rockets of HVAR or Tiny Tim types under each wing. The windscreen is glued to the front of the cockpit cut-out, and the canopy can be depicted open by swapping out the closed part (H1) for another slightly wider one (H2) from the clear sprue. A full set of canopy masks are supplied that are die-cut to match the frames, adding scrap tape to cover the convex top pane of the canopy where the tape masks couldn’t conform easily, or filling the area with liquid mask if you prefer. Toroidal masks are also included for the main wheel hubs, and small C-shaped masks are also provided for the tail-wheel, although they aren’t mentioned in the instructions. Finally, there are a pair of walkway masks for the wing roots that allow you to first paint the root black or dark grey, apply the masks and then lay the main colour down over it. Markings There are six decal options in this boxing, all of which are painted Naval Sea Blue all over, and differentiated by their unit markings and minor crew personalisations. From the box you can portray one of the following options: Lt. Eugene A Valencia, VF-9, USS Lexington (CV-16), February 1945 Lt Cornelius N Nopoy, VF-31, USS Belleau Wood (CVL-24), August 1945 BuNo.70597, Lt James L Pearce, VF-17, USS Hornet (CV-12), March 1945 BuNo.72663, Ens William A Sinnott, VF-24, USS Santee (CVE-29) July 1945 BuNo.72296, Lt Louis A Menard Jr., VBF-12, USS Randolph (CV-15), February 1945 Flottille 1F, PA Arromanche, French Indochina, 1951 The decals are printed by Eduard and are in good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The stencils are on a separate sheet, and are marked on a page of the booklet, separate from the rest of the markings to avoid confusion from trying to read overly busy diagrams. Don’t forget that as of 2021, the carrier film from Eduard decals can be coaxed away from the printed part of the decal after they have been applied, effectively rendering them carrier-free, making the decals much thinner and more realistic, and obviating the need to apply successive coats of clear varnish to hide the edges of the film. It’s a great step further in realism from my point of view. Conclusion A welcome re-release of this plucky, robust WWII naval fighter that saw extensive action in the Pacific, and a wide choice of decal options from various US carriers that served late in the Pacific theatre, plus a French airframe for good measure. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  2. B-26B Invader Pacific War Theater (48285) 1:48 ICM via Hannants The good old B-26 Marau… no, wait. The A-26 Invader? Hang on, erm... B-26 Invader. That's it, as long as it's after 1948 as that's when it was re-designated as the B-26 by the US Air Force to confuse us, and later on back to the A-26 just to complete my befuddlement. It was developed a little after the Marauder and despite using the same engines it was designed totally separately from its tubular colleague. It was designed to replace the A-20 Havoc, but it was initially less than popular in the Pacific theatre where its poor cockpit visibility due to the canopy and engine position rendered it unloved by the first users. It was more popular in the European theatre and was accepted as replacement for the Havoc fairly quickly. Two types were designed, The C with a glass bomber nose and the B with a full metal nose filled with either 6 or 8 .50cal machine guns, which coupled with the three in each wing gave it quite a punch, deserving of the Strafer title. It also had a pair of turrets on the fuselage mid-upper and dorsal positions, which were both operated by a single gunner using a complex remote mechanism that flipped between the upper and lower turrets depending on where the gunner was looking through his binocular sights. This trained the guns accordingly and also calculated the correct offset for parallax and lead, but was very complex and caused some delays to it entering service, and even more issues with maintenance in the field. After the war it served in Korea, early Vietnam engagements and other conflicts, ending its days in US service with the Air National Guard in the early 70s. It continued in civilian service as a fire bomber and in other roles, such as actor in the film Always with Richard Dreyfuss playing its brave but ill-fated pilot. The Kit This is a brand new tooling from ICM and a lot of folks have been waiting for, hoping for something to replace the old Revell Monogram kit of yore. Here it is! The main difference ion this boxing is the inclusion of underwing rockets and the 6 gun solid nose. . It arrives in the familiar top opening box with a captive inner lid on the lower tray, and inside are eight sprues in grey styrene, one in clear, a decal sheet and the instruction booklet. A quick look over the sprues reveals that panel lines are very crisp, narrow and restrained, the surface is matt and very neat-looking, with plenty of engraved and raised details on the parts, plus subtly indented flying surfaces mimicking their fabric covering. You might also notice that there are parts for an open or closed canopy, the open one having the flat top surface, while the closed canopy has the slightly blown roof that was used after 1944 to improve visibility. That might give you some latitude in case you can't wait to build a WWII aircraft. Construction begins with the cockpit, creating the pilot's seat, instrument panel (with instrument decals) with built-in door to the nose, centre console with throttle quadrant before adding those and the single control column to the floor. The aft compartment is built up around the front wing spar with a set of radio gear hanging from a pair of risers, then a pair of bombs on their racks, the reason for which will become clear in a moment. The port fuselage half is detailed with some side console and panel parts and then has the bomb racks, nose gear bay sides, forward spar with radio gear, rear spar in the centre of the bomb bay, sloped aft bulkhead and another frame behind that, followed by the cockpit floor, so you'll have to do some detail painting as you go. After this the starboard fuselage side is prepped, and here's where a little cautionary note about sink-marks on the exterior of my sample needs making. The right side of the cockpit and bomb bay with its detailed ribbing has caused the shallowest of sink-marks on the exterior, which would be best dealt with using a little filler before you get busy building. You could have dismissed it as oil-canning of the skin if it were consistent and on both sides, but as it isn't you'll need to decide whether you're going to fix it. Happily the majority of it is in areas that are open enough to allow easy sanding back of filler, so it shouldn't slow you down very much. I'll be using some Tamiya Basic on mine in due course and have no doubt it will be just fine. A 0.8mm hole is drilled in the section behind the canopy and the two remaining bomb racks are added inside along with an internal detail panel, nose gear bay side, and a hatch that does a credible impression of a toilet lid. With that and a quantity of detail painting you can then slide the starboard fuselage over the two spars, and it would be a good idea when fitting those spar parts to let them set up with the starboard fuselage taped in place to ensure they make the correct angle when they're set in place permanently. The instructions then have you building up the tail feathers, with the elevators having separate single-part flying surfaces, plus a two piece rudder to attach to the moulded-in tail fin. The gun-nose appropriate to the decal option being built needs to be selected and added.. The fixed lower and rear section of the nose are built up out of three parts, making space for the 40g of nose weight you are encouraged to fit before you add the single cowling panel that covers the gun bay, with a pair of four barrel gun-inserts added through the holes to depict the .50cals. You'll need to drill out the muzzles or take the lazy way out and get a set of Master barrels, such as the P-47 set until they get their own specific set. The nose section is a straight-forward butt joint to the fuselage, with a small half-moon cut-out that should help align it. The wings are next, and the lower parts have a smattering of flashed-over holes ready to drill out for bombs, gun-pods or drop tanks, plus three cartridge ejection chutes to be cut out for the wing mounted .50cals. The modeller will also need to open up the holes for mounting the rockets if using them. The faces of the in-line radiator baths are added to the lower wings and then it's already time to bring the halves together. You'll notice that there are fairings and a hump in the upper wing where the engine nacelles will be, and these are separate assemblies to be built up later. First, the separate two-section flaps (oddly with no deployed option), and the ailerons are prepared and added to the trailing edge of the wings, the latter being of one piece each and slotting into wing via two tabs. The tip lights and underwing landing lights are added from clear parts, and a small insert is glued into the wing that includes three more barrel stubs each and will again need drilling out. At this stage the instructions have you sliding the wings onto the spars and gluing them in place. Whether you'd rather wait until you've added the engine nacelles though is entirely up to you though. There are of course two engine nacelles and these build up pretty much identically apart from their outer skins, which are handed to fit their respective fairings as you'd expect. They are split vertically, and each half has internal structure moulded-in, with bulkheads added fore and aft of the gear bays, coupled with bay lip inserts that bulk out the edges and also hold captive their bay door. This may require some clever masking and a little care during handling, but it shouldn't hold you back too much, as the hinge-points are relatively robust. The two halves are joined together, the prominent intake on the top of the nacelle is made up from two parts, then is added to the nacelle front which is in turn glued to the rest of the nacelle, with the completed assemblies attached to the wings from the underside, as yet without their engine cowlings or props. The engines are added later in the build, and the Twin Wasps are depicted in their entirety with both banks of pistons, push-rods, ancillaries and reduction housing at the front, plus the collector ring and exhausts at the rear, the latter made up from eight parts each. So that they are fitted correctly and mesh properly with the nacelles, they are attached using a jig that is discarded later, so remember not to glue it in! Again the engines are identical and interchangeable with each other, and they fit to the nacelles with a teardrop-shaped tab, after which the engine cowling is slotted over them. The cooling flaps are last to be added in four sets around the rear of the cowling. The top of the fuselage is still open at this point, as it has an insert with the top turret to fit in place, with another for the dorsal turret fitted later on. The remote turrets are both made up together with the ability for the twin .50cals to be left movable if you wish. The top turret has its mechanism and ring made up first, with the two halves brought together on either side of the insert before being glued into the fuselage closing up that area. Then the gunner's compartment with simple seat and periscope is made up and installed under the glazing that sits behind the top turret. Flipping the model over, the lower turret is added to the insert and glued in place too. Another clear light is added to the very rear of the fuselage, and attention turns to the landing gear, which is of the tricycle variety as became the fashion in late war. Each of the three tyres are made from two halves with separate hubs applied from either side, then hung on their respective legs, which have retraction jacks and scissor links added along the way. Happily these can be fitted late in the build, so the open bays can be masked quicker than if they were present. Speaking of bays, you can depict the bomb bay open or close by using either a one piece door for closed, or two separate doors with internal detail for open. This is nice to see, as it's always a little tricky to join two doors and get them aligned with the fuselage so there's minimal join-lines. The main airframe is ostensibly complete save for some antennae and the props, and if you've been sparing with the glue when assembling the engines, the latter should still spin once complete. Your final choice is bombs, tanks or gun-packs hung under the wings. The bombs are made up from two halves each with a spinner insert in the rear and their attachment points moulded into the port side, the gun-packs have a handed three part pod that fits around the central gun-tray, and the drop tanks are simple two-part assemblies with their attachment points moulded into the port side again. They are all mounted on pegs, and fit into their holes that you remembered to drill in the wings before you closed them up, didn't you? Markings In this initial boxing there are three options included on the decal sheet, one in bare metal, the other two in olive drab, one of which has a bare metal leading-edge panel to the tail and an all-over olive drab finish. From the box you can build one of the following: B-26B-50-DL, 437th BS, 319th BG, Machinato, Okinawa, July 1945 (Overall NMF, with blue tail) B-26B-50-DL, 344th BS, 319th BG, Machinato, Okinawa, July 1945 (Overall NMF) B-26B-51-DL 89th BS, 3rd GB, Okinawa August 1945 (OB/Gray) The decals are printed anonymously. They have good registration, colour density and sharpness, and include a number of stencils that are legible with the right eyeware. If you forgot to ream out those cartridge chutes in the wing before you closed them up, some kind soul has added two decals with three black rectangles to help you out. Conclusion This model should make a fair few people happy, and consign a lot of old Monogram kits to deep stash or eBay as a result. Detail is excellent and made so much nicer by the matt surface, and there's a fair proportion of the interior included for what is bound to be a popular kit. Smear a little filler into those light sink-marks before you get started, and no-one will know they're there. Keep 'em coming ICM! Very highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  3. Hi Here is my recently completed Tamiya M4A3 with improvised armour. It was painted with Tamiya and Life Color acrylics and weathered with oils and pigments. Scratch items: Timber armour - popsicle sticks Steel plate armour - .5mm styrene sheet, styrene rod (weld seams) and nuts/bolts from spares box. Tarp - lead foil from wine bottle Nails welded to hatches - stretched sprue (cut to scale at 4mm lengths) Cast steel texture - Tamiya putty mixed with extra thin cement Thanks for looking - Cheers, Greg History taken from <https://tanks-encyclopedia.com/ww2-usa-improvised-armor-on-m4-shermans-in-the-pto> "In the Island hopping campaigns of the War in the Pacific, the major threat to tanks of the United States Marine Corps (USMC) was Japanese infantry. The stubborn island defenders had various grenades and mines at their disposal. These were often used in suicidal point blank ‘Kamikaze’ style attacks with infantry charging the American tanks armed only with an explosive device. The attackers would also climb aboard the tanks and claw open hatches so they could throw grenades and explosives inside. By the Okinawa campaign of 1945, the tactics of the Japanese had been identified. Come May of that year, it was determined that at least 64 tanks had been knocked out by infantry & mine attacks. Men of the United States Army’s 193rd Tank Battalion recorded the attack method as such: “Japanese squads of three-to-nine men attacked individual tanks. Each man in the squad filled a role. One man threw smoke grenades to blind a targeted tank. The next man threw fragmentation grenades to force the tank’s crew to close their hatches. Another man placed a mine on the tank’s track to immobilize it. A final man placed a mine or explosive charge directly on the tank to attempt to destroy the tank.” These direct, ferocious and desperate assaults led to a number of unique improvisations in appliqué armor by the USMC. The US Army would also employ these improvisations as more troops and tanks from this branch were deployed to the Pacific."
  4. Hello everyone Here is my first post in the RFI gallery on this forum. It's Academy PBY-5A Catalina in 1/72 scale. A fine model, not too accurate though . Still, It's my favorite of the flying boats, and I always wanted one on the shelf. Now i find that one is not enough The colors are my mix, using the Mk 1. eyeball to determine the right shade from the available pictures, taking into account the scorching pacific sun. It represents one of the early airframes, so I wanted to give the impression that she was in theatre a long time. Thanks for looking
  5. This is an old Revell model. I'm very pleased with how it turned out in the end. They said only aftermarket. Here's the picture.
  6. Newbie here (to the forum that is). Signed up on the forum last year with the intentions of trying to spark the building again........but my lack of motivation over the past year or so has done me in. Modeling and Photography have been no existent. Woodworking has been a little here and there. Been playing a little World of Warships here and there and decided to get a kit, well actually a couple, and see if I can get motivated a bit. So I am going to be building this kit........guess it's a 1942 version. The kit instructions call out Mr Hobby Aqueous and Mr Color. They call out Mr Color 14 for Navy Blue and Mr Color 365 for Deck Blue. Looks like 365 is Gloss Sea Blue (USN Fighter)..........which seems odd to me, but then again I build planes. I primarily use Tamiya or Mr Color. No longer have a local hobby shop so I'll have to order all my paints. Anyone have any Tamiya Formulas for those two colors...........or any other suggestions? Not worried about accuracy kit wise, but would like to get colors close. Might try to do an in-progress build along just to motivate a little. Thanks! Hope you don't mind a Yank hanging out and asking questions! 🤣
  7. Hi everyone! My next build will be my favorite aircraft, the 1/48 Cat from Revell, the camouflage will be the early WW2 U.S. Navy used until May 1943 Credits: Wingspalette I will also this aftermarket parts: True Details Cockpit True Details Wheels Eduard PE Set (n.48182) Quickboost Engines Eduard Mask Hope that someone is interested on this build
  8. Flying Kiwis over the Pacific 1:72 Rising Decals The contribution of some commonwealth countries to the overall Effort in WWII can often be over looked, as was generally the British effort in the Pacific. The contribution in modelling circles has also been somewhat lacking. This new sheet from Rising Decals brings us decals for 7 different aircraft used by the Royal New Zealand forces. These are split between 2 Corsairs, 2 P-40s and 3 Dauntless. The printing looks great everything is in register, there is virtually no carrier film and the white looks dense enough that there should be no colour bleed through. The kill markings and nose art have the decals split between white backings and the markings to obtain the best results. The white stripes on the P-40s will need to be painted, or the modeller can use their own white decal strips. Aircraft provided on the sheet are; SBD-4 Dauntless, NZ5034, No.25 Sqn, Palikulo Bay, Espiritu Santo Island, March 1944 SBD-5 Dauntless, NZ5058, No.25 Sqn, Solomon Islands, March 1944 SBD-5 Dauntless, NZ5064, No.25 Sqn, Solomon Islands, March 1944 Curtiss P-40M, NZ3072, No.14 Sqn, Kukum Field, Guadalcanal, July 1943, F/O Geoff Fisken Curtiss P-40N, NZ3220, No.4 Servicing Unit, No.18 Sqn, Torokina, Bougainville, June 1944 F4U-1D Corsair, NZ5416, No.3 Servicing Unit, Jacquinot Bay, New Britain, May 1945 F4U-1D Corsair, NZ5424, No.3 Servicing Unit, Jacquinot Bay, New Britain, May 1945 Conclusion This is a great sheet for New Zealand aircraft operated in the Pacific. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  9. Hi all First post here, I've been building armor for the last 10 years but after having my eyes opened to the turn around from airfix in recent years I have bought a whole load of planes that I forgot I loved and with that have found a new fondness for the application of decals, in some cases I've spent two days applying decals to a 1/72 plane! (a nice change from 3 crosses and two turret numbers!) I've also found that I can get models finished in good time and don't seem to get bogged down with the inaccuracies of a kit (due to lack of knowledge). Not to mention kits are £5 each not £50! Anyway hope you like one of my first planes in 20 years.
  10. Picture the scene: A sunny morning on a small pacific island. The groundcrew are preparing the F4U-1 Corsairs for the days operations. A couple of officers are discussing the plans before taking off. Could I use these figures in this setting?: https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/IT5618 I know it's the PT-109 crew, but wouldn't the uniforms be the same? Cheers Hans J
  11. To-day I shall be strong, No more shall yield to wrong, Shall squander life no more; Days lost, I know not how, I shall retrieve them now; Now I shall keep the vow I never kept before. -- A E Housman, A Shropshire Lad, XVI Both the victor and the vanquished are but drops of dew, but bolts of lightning - thus should we view the world. -- Death Haiku of Ōuchi Yoshitaka King am I, whatsoever be their cry; And one last act of kinghood shalt thou see Yet, ere I pass.’ And uttering this the King Made at the man: then Modred smote his liege Hard on that helm which many a heathen sword Had beaten thin; while Arthur at one blow, Striking the last stroke with Excalibur, Slew him, and all but slain himself, he fell. -- Lord Alfred, First Baron Tennyson, The Idylls of the King, "XII. The Passing of Arthur" I'm going to be doing a joint build with fellow forumite -Neu-, a man who has achieved everything in life that I once dreamed of doing myself, from postgraduate work to living in a Commonwealth country. When I first joined Britmodeller, I recall I saw a Spitfire XIV he'd built, and I thought to myself "I hope I can build to that standard some day". And so it was a great privilege for me to have him ask if I'd be interested in doing a build thread with him. I don't want to steal his thunder, so I'll let him describe his part of the build. For my own part, I'm build two AZ Spitfire VIIIs, both in anticipation of the new Eduard kit -- I need to be able to straight-facedly tell Mrs. P that I haven't any Spitfires "like that", and she doesn't know about retractable tailwheels or additional fuel tankage -- and because I felt they made a natural follow-up to my Spitfire Vcs that I've just finished. The Spitfire Vs were stopgap Spitfires, the tropical variants arguably the least lovely and the least competitive with their potential foes out of all of the marks to see combat in the Second World War. The two-stage Merlin fighters -- VII, VIII, IX, and XVI -- represent to me the swing of the pendulum to the Allies' favour, like the magic sword that hero receives at the end of the second act. "Its name is Excalibur, which is as much to say as 'cut-steel'." I've built the AZ VIII once before, and their IX -- which is a subtly different animal -- thrice. The kit's wings are a bit thick, and the prop needs some work for the spinner to close properly. Here's one I did earlier, with some friends:
  12. For some time now I've been thinking of doing this rather mad project - combining my love for flight simulators with kit building. My first sim was Hellcats over the Pacific, which I played on my dad's Apple Mac LCIII. It was released in the early 90s and at the time it was one of the most advanced and realistic sims available. Today, it definitely looks like a 90s game, but it still plays brilliantly. The game modelled just a single plane which was, unsurprisingly, the F6F Hellcat. It had a limited set of missions all set in 1943 in the Solomons. A year later, an expansion set was released called Missions at Leyte Gulf, which added more missions, weapons and enemies and was set during the Phillipines campaign. So what's the big idea here? I simply want to build every plane in the game, in 1/72. I have built quite a few of them already, but the twist is that this time I want to build the planes with paint jobs appropriate to the Guadalcanal or Leyte settings of the game. I though it would be quite easy to find the right decal sets and versions, but this turns out to be slightly more difficult than I thought in some cases! I've managed to put the following list together with planes I want to build, the kit I'm going to build and the decal set I can use. Where it's marked up in red is where I'd love some help - choosing a kit or a decal set, or finding out which version of the plane was used in these campaigns. This will be a project that will last some years - in return for your help I promise to keep the topic going for as long as it takes and to post my progress! Hellcats over the Pacific - Plane list Grumman F6F-3 Hellcat Kit: Eduard Version: I believe only the F6F-3 was used in the Solomons campaign. In the game, the plane is armed with 500lb bombs, I’m not sure if this was actually the case. Decals: I have a couple of boxings of Eduard’s Hellcat, including the F6F-3. It has decals for a plane based on Ondonga which I believe is in the Solomons, as well as some carrier-based aircraft which have in all likelihood seen service in the campaign as well in 1943 (VF-16, VF-33). I know there are a couple of Superscale sheets that do -3s and also -3s and -5s, which might be a good deal too. Vought F4U-1 Corsair Version: In the game, the Corsair takes off from a carrier (it’s the Intrepid I believe, which may or may not be historically accurate), which limits the choice to pretty much only VF-17 I think? No idea what stores these plane carried, if any. Kit: Tamiya’s F4U-1A Decals: This set looks perfectly appropriate. http://modelingmadness.com/scott/decals/super/ss72740.htm Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress Version: My limited research shows some B-17Es were active in the Solomons campaign. The plane has an olive drab over grey paint scheme. Kit: I have Revell’s B-17G, which probably isn’t suitable. I believe Academy did an –E years ago. Decals: I haven’t been able to find a decal set appropriate for the Solomons. Mitsubishi A6M Zero Version: The game’s Zeroes are always in the traditional 'ame-iro' schemes with black cowlings. Timing-wise, I suppose it could have been either an A6M2 or an A6M3. Kit: Tamiya A6M3 Decals: Tamiya’s kit includes decals for an ame-iro plane that took part in the Solomons campaign. I also have a DP Casper set that has some decals for 2s and 2s but these are not ame-iro. Mitsubishi G4M Betty Version: I think the G4M1 was the prevailing version used in 1943. Kit: Hasegawa old mould Betty is a G4M1. Ironically, I have the newer mould G4M2 which wasn’t used in the Solomons – or am I wrong? In any case, I need the G4M2 for the Leyte campaign. Decals: The DP Casper set includes decals for a G4M1. Missions at Leyte Gulf - Plane list Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat Version: For the Leyte Gulf missions I want to build an F6F-5. In the game, it can be armed with rockets and either 500lb bombs or torpedoes! I think the latter is not very historically correct, so I will build this one with both rockets and bombs. Kit: Eduard Decals: See above, there are plenty of options available and I think Eduard do a weekend edition as well with Phillipines decals. Lockheed P-38 Lightning Version: This is a difficult one. I know there were P-38Ls active in the Phillipines, but since I only have a P-38J kit available, I’d prefer to use that. The game’s Lightning is in Olive drab over grey. Kit: Academy if I can use the P-38J variant, otherwise it will have to be an L, any suggestions for this? Decals: I’ve found P-38L decals that can be used, but I would love to know if there are P-38J in Olive drab decals available somewhere. I know Academy do a Pacific boxing of this kit but not if that is applicable to Leyte. Nakajima Ki-84 Frank Version: I have both the early Ki-84 boxing from Sword as well as the older kit but later model Hasegawa variants. Kit: Sword or Hasegawa Decals: I believe both kits have suitable decals. Mitsubishi A6M Zero Version: The game still uses ame-iro camouflaged Zeroes in the Leyte Gulf campaign, which I’m sure is not historically accurate, but I’d love to stand corrected. By this time I think most Zeroes would have been A6M5s? Kit: Tamiya / Hasegawa A6M5 Decals: I haven’t checked the kit options, but is anybody aware of a Leyte Gulf Zero decal set? Mitsubishi G4M Betty Version: For Leyte Gulf I will be building the G4M2. Kit: Hasegawa Decals: I don’t have any decals for Phillipines Betties and I’m not aware of any third party set, would love to hear suggestions. That's the list! Quite a lot of building ahead of me, especially at my speed of completing kids. I may add some vehicles to the mix as well but I haven't quite made my mind up there.
  13. New: RNZAF Catalinas - 3 more schemes to complete the set (to go with 6 Sqn 44-45 (PYB-5 and PB2B-1) set previously announced): 6 Sqn early schemes in Pacific in 1943-44 (PYB-5) 5 Sqn and 3 OTU in Pacific in 1945 (PB2B-1) 5 Sqn post war (PB2B-1) Available in 1/48, 1/72 and 1/144 As always available from my website www.oldmodelsdecals.com
  14. American Indian Artwork & Emblems / P-47's over the Pacific: 19th FS on Saipan (Reference book) Landscape Publications No.1 If you're a fan of reference and profile books, then you may well be interested in this. The first of what I hope will be many more to follow, this book focuses on two themes. The first being aircraft that wore artwork and emblems featuring American Indians and the second looking at the P-47's of the 19th Fighter Squadron based on Saipan. Presented in an A4 soft back landscape format you get 64 pages containing a mixture of beautiful aircraft profiles, artwork images, photographs and text giving useful information about the paintwork and markings on the individual aircraft. The pages are printed on high quality semi-gloss paper. The book was written and illustrated by Thierry Dekker (Crazyflytox here on Britmodeller) with Neil Page who did the translation to English from Thierry's native language French. Let's look at little bit closer. American Indian Artwork and Emblems The first chapter features an eclectic collection of aircraft between WWI and WWII that feature artwork of American Indians. Stunning and accurately detailed profiles include those of the P-51D, FW190, Spad XIII, Curtiss H-75's, P-40's, Hurricanes, Typhoon, Hellcats, Spitfires and P-47's with expanded images of the Indian artwork. Particular text reference is made to the pilots that flew them and distinguishing features not only of the artwork and markings displayed on the machines, but also the weathering and in field repaint effects which are very useful for us modellers. The large profiles are supported by period photographs. P-47's Over the Pacific: The 19th FS on Saipan Great research into the specific detail of the paintwork and markings on the P-47's that flew from Saipan with the 19th Fighter Squadron has been carried out. From this, 21 individual aircraft side profiles (as well as a top down and bottom up profile) have been stunningly illustrated backed up by 34 photographs and enlarged illustrations of the artwork worn amongst other details. Taking the same format as the previous subject, reference to the paintwork, pilots and unique characteristics of the individual machines is written making this a very interesting read as well as a great modelling reference. In summary, what you get in this book is: 64 colour pages in A4 landscape format printed on semi-gloss high quality paper 64 photographs - 2 colour 55 high quality colour profiles of 10 aircraft types, many with additional artwork images Supporting text referring to paint variations, markings, emblem origins and specific details to the individual aircraft illustrated To add greater value to the series, Thierry is looking to partner with a decal manufacturer so that they can release decal sheets focussing on the subjects contained in his books. If anyone is interested in this venture, please contact him through his website linked in the logo at the bottom or PM him (crazyflytox) through Britmodeller. He's also looking for distributors for the USA, Australia and Japan. I can assure you that after reading the book, you will be inspired to build some of these aircraft, so I like the idea of a potential partnership ! Conclusion The specific detail in the book is not only useful, but an inspiration to build the aircraft illustrated. The stunning quality and accuracy of the artwork really adds value as a reference tool and the written information is an interesting read. I really like the unique subject theme for the American Indian artwork and the Jug fans will be left drooling ! Having now got this review sample in my collection, I'm certainly looking forwards to the series developing ! Review sample courtesy of
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