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  1. 17 years ago I emailed Flankerman and asked if he had any pictures of the 1988 Su-27M/Su-35 prototype that was later left at Monino. He very kindly got back to me with a goldmine. The reference photos he sent me were a game changer as he had discovered the disruptive scheme was mirrored underneath and had a bundle of photos to illustrate it. I loved the Ferris like camouflage but also the new Su-27M nose profile with the traditional cropped fins as later Su-27Ms had the squared tips. I did all the hard work expected of an Academy and Sol conversion way back then and put it away; it sat in the box (with the occasional peeks) until this year. I've made a real effort to finish unfinished projects and clear the stash a bit. I'm pleased to say it's the last 1/48 Academy for me (7 built)! I'm now looking forward to all the newer companies much improved kits. Colors were mostly AKAN mixes, Neomega cockpit, Eduard etched details, DANmodels intake covers, Armory wheels and one of Haneto's (Fairy-Hobby) beautiful corrected canopies. The decals were from Begemot except for the stars which were hand made. I s I spent the last few days repairing my Su-37 Terminator so I could take a photo similar to this one of 711 and 701 together. i And finish with a hat trick.
  2. I'm a fan for the old Monogram 1/48 kits, they had so much more detail than other kits at the time. This kit I first built as a child, brush painted with some red paint that took ages to dry.... I've wanted to retry it and have had the kit in my stash for a while. After reading Robert Coram's book 'Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War' did the trick and I was finally ready to dig out my 1979 Monogram F-16 kit and make what Boyd referred to as a pure fighter. The YF-16 at that point was more like his vision, not a multirole aircraft but light, fast and maneuverable. This project also got an F-18 prototype kit out too and was next on the bench, another Monogram kit from 1980. The F-16 kit is pretty close to the YF-16, it needs nose reshaping, cockpit/seat changes and some other little things but comparing my changes to profile photos it worked well. Vingtor decals were used. This shows how the nose got bigger with the radar on the production versions. And some minor differences from above And finally to my studio where the shelves are and I paint other things. If interested you can see my paintings here.
  3. Another oddity from warplanes of the First World War. Designed as a fighter pre synchronising gear the idea was that the observer could stand up to wield the single Lewis gun. I think it looks wonderfully quirky so fits the collection perfectly. The Sage. First order of business some working 1/48 scale drawings. As I’m committed to getting my KUTA builds and 109s done ( hopefully) this side of Christmas I think this will be a comparatively slow build, but as 2022 is looking like I’ll be building a lot of kits for GBs I thought I’d get at least one scratch build in to the bench.
  4. Focke Wulf Fw 189C/V6 "German Attack Plane" (SH72432) 1:72 Special Hobby The Fw 189 won the competition in to replace older reconnaissance type with the Luftwaffe beating the Ar 189 and Bv 141. The type went on to become the Luftwaffe's standard tactical recon platform. The aircraft features a central fuselage pod heavily glazed, with twin booms leading back to the tail, the front of which housed the engines. The Luftwaffe looked at expanding 189 production and called for a training version, attack version and a maritime version with floats. Only 2 prototype attack versions were built, and the single float version was never finished. Along with the prototype Fw 189B trainer two more B-0 aircraft were built, followed by 10 B-1 aircraft. As well as for training the aircraft were used in the Liaison role, though little is really known on this. The attack version featured a much smaller central pod which was armoured to protect the crew. Testing proved the view for the pilots was very bad, and the aircraft was underpowered. The Kit This is a rebox of the MPM kit with parts for the attack version and new decals. Construction starts with the small central pod. The basic seats for the pilot and gunner are added t the floor along withe control column and instrument panel. The floor is fitted into the rightside pod and the rear defensive machine gun added. The pod can then be closed up and the small cockpit glazing can now be added. Each of the twin booms can now be built up. There are front and rear bulkheads for the gear wells which support the gear well roof. At the front the engine face goes on, and to the left side resin intakes are added. Its now time to add the fuselage pod and the wings together. The lower wing is in three parts; a centre section and the two left/right wings. The upper wings are in left/right and attach to the fuselage pod, a hole will need cutting to accommodate the attack pod. A small clear resin gunsight is included which goes in front of the kit windscreen. The twin booms fit on to the underside with the centre section joining on one side and left/right sections on the other. The tail will also need putting in between the booms at the same time! This does look like it will need some time and patience to get everything aligned correctly. Once all of the main structure is assembled the landing gear needs making up and installing in each boom. The last things to do are to install the props and the tail wheel and s couple of small PE parts including an aerial. Markings The glossy decal sheet is printed in house and looks sharp and in register. There is only one decal option NA+WB. Conclusion It is good to see this released. The kit will take some fettling im pretty sure off, but once assembled it should look the part. Recommended. Review samples courtesy of
  5. This was on deck right after my YF-16 and again using the vintage Monogram. The 1980 kit F-18 has the open LEX slots perfect for the first prototype but still needs some small changes, mainly adding dog tooth on the elevators and wings plus some changes in the cockpit instrument panel. I added seamless intakes and a vac canopy as the original was too small and not the more rounded omega shape. In both kits I used the original landing gear struts, they are of the day's molding capabilities but despite some chunky areas are well detailed and even have the brake lines included. Paint was a mix of Testors MM enamel blues and Testors gold, Caracal and Monogram decals. Caracal had matched their 'F-18 Hornet - The Early Years' with the original blue auto paint used in the rollout F-18 which saved me from repainting the Monogram decals the correct color.
  6. My build of the Airfix 1/144 BAC Aerospatiale Concorde (Air France) (SK700) This was an Airfix 1970s Air France boxing with decals that were shot so I printed my own. The white plastic of the old kit was a joy to work with. Three down now, only one more Concorde to come! Dave
  7. Following hot on the heels of my other three Concordes, here is my build of the Airfix 1/144 BAC Aerospatiale Concorde (A05170V) as the BAC Prototype G-BSST. Decals came from F-DCAL. Here it is along the other three I built for the same ATF Group Build. There won't be any more Concordes for a long while! Dave
  8. My build of the Airfix 1/144 BAC Aerospatiale Concorde (BOAC) (05170-3) This was a 1970s boxing with decals that were shot so I used a set from a 2021 Vintage Classic release. The white plastic of the old kit was a joy to work with. BTW, here it is alongside two more Concordes well on the road to completion. There is a 70s Air France boxing using home-made decals. The BAC prototype is the grey plastic Vintage Classics release with F-DCAL decals: Dave
  9. Here is a very strange type, an aircraft I hadn’t even heard of before, until I was asked to build it as my second pro build for a client. In fact I hadn’t even heard of Planet Models either. It’s 1/48 but still tiny, with vac-form canopies and some metal parts. A very strange looking contraption indeed! But it should be an interesting build, very different from my recent Tornado and Jaguar! Has anyone else built this kit before?
  10. OK, @stevej60, this one's for you! Don't worry, I had it in mind long before I saw your comment in chat, so no guilt necessary- in fact I took these photos about the time the Group Build started, and then got distracted. This morning I printed side and top views from @Tailspin Turtle just to see if this pathetic kit actually does "look like a Skyhawk" (film at eleven...) My desire is to represent the prototype, though that may be subject to revision. I'm envisioning this as "low impact" modeling- relatively little AMS and worry about perfection, and I figure this is the right sort of canvas! Oh yes, and low impact among the audience, too... Of course, I'll indulge at least a teensy bit of tweaking (no, not twerking- trust me, you don't want to see that) just for the fun of it. And I'm already thinking of ransacking my 1/72 USN modeller-chum's boneyard, though no guarantees. bob
  11. The latest AMW arrived today with next year’s Airfix catalogue. November 2019 is the classic box art of the BOAC Concorde. Does this mean a re-release of their early short-tail and heat-shield cockpit visor is on the cards? I assumed that the original moulds would have been doctored for the production type... Cheers Will
  12. Hi Chaps, As some of you know I have just moved from Thailand back to the UK and have about half my stuff with me. This half includes clothes, most of the stash, paint, children etc . What I don't have is my modelling bench and tools which I kept in Thailand during Covid 19 lock down. While emptying some box's today I rediscovered my Revell 1/48 Tornado as in the picture below. This was posted in July last year when the GB was approved and we were discussing kits choices. The overly huge original box was ditched the when I got the kit so had put it into an old T-33 box and then forgot where it was. I was very happy to find it today. While I wont be able to actually start for a few weeks until my tools arrive I might be able to tinker a bit. The plan is to build the first British Prototype in the red and white scheme not in wrap around as she is now at Cosford. This will complement my NA39 in the Buccaneer Group Build earlier in the year. If I can find enoght bombs I might go with the famous publicity shot of 8 x 1000lb bombs under the fuselage. This looked great but never appeared over Kuwait! Planned changes should be limited to the tailerons and base of the fin. The Red and white scheme should be OK to paint and I will have to print the markings. The problem area will be those Tri-National Roundals. Colin W
  13. The Northrop McDonnell-Douglas YF-23 was the losing contender to the Lockheed Martin YF-22 in the 1990s Advanced Tactical Fighter competition. These are two very different kits, one nearly 20yrs old and one a recent offering, both requiring a lot of work. The 2002 Collect-Aire is the more accurate and much of the dual build was to get the HB model to look more like the C-A. Some photos of the build can be seen here. F-15, F-18 parts where used for the landing gear just like the real aircraft, lots of modifications to both aircraft's cockpit although the C-A was the more accurate but lacking details, both canopies needed scratchbuilding interiors. The C-A had the dropped flaps and the weapons bay. There's no photos I've seen of it ever carrying weapons but the PAV 1 (gunship gray) aircraft had operating doors. It had some decent details and I only added riveting in the bay but left the Collect-Aire's offering of a weapons mount intact, I may add the door mounted sidewinders later but for now I wanted to show the essence of the company's endeavors on putting out such a remarkable kit especially considering the resources and published photos at the time. Probably not a dogfighter but they still haven't published it's top speed.
  14. Hooray - I can open the kit at last! I bought the kit in 2006 when it came out. It looks really nice. Good panel lines, lovely gull wing profile and the wings look great with very good detail in the wheel wells. But as you may be able to see, the canopy hasn't aged very well - bright yellow! So I invested in the Falcon Spitfire canopy set (No. 41) which has a prototype canopy - but only one, so I'd better be careful cutting it out! The kit decals weren't quite in register, so I got the Xtradecal set 075 which covers the prototype... which also aren't in perfect register . OK, better get started!
  15. Well, I was going to wait to the eleventh, but as so many of you have put up what you are doing, I might as well jump in. My contribution to this group build is the 1/72nd resin Spitfire prototype from CMR and a conversion using the Airfix Spitfire Ia and a conversion kit for the PRIF from Airkit. This is a resin conversion kit designed for the 1979 Airfix MKIa, but they look as if they will fit with some fettling The CMR kit represents the Spitfire prototype after it had been painted and the first set of changes made to the rudder and possibly the wings. It comes in a sturdy cardboard with the contents well packed and padded against breakage and loss. The resin parts appear to be well cast with only the odd air bubble. The parts, as can be seen from the photo are on moulding blocks that look to be straightforward to remove with care. Decals for the first prototype are printed on two sheets to give enough serials and are in register, I suspect they will be very thin and require careful handling. There is good detail on the resin parts with very neat surface detailing and a good interior that is enhanced by the inclusion of some coloured PE by Eduard for the seat belts, instrument panel and a couple of other parts. A choice of vacformed canopies is given with the later still of canopy seen on early MKIs fitted with the flat top canopy. Spares are given and the canopies look very clear. Separate rudder and elevators are provided. The kit looks like a good package and I look forward to starting on it, the one piece wing might make life a bit easier. I have a an old bottle of Compucolour Supermarine Grey that will form the basis of a match in acrylics for the airframe colour as there is still debate as to the actual colour, it does have a nice 30’s look to it. The Airkit conversion dates to the 1990’s and produced by a P Lucas. I wonder if that is the same Paul Lucas who writes in SAM? It consists of resin parts for the new deeper oil tank in the nose, a fuel tank behind the pilots seat, a pair of large underwing blisters and smaller ones for the top and a new part for the under fuselage where the cameras are. Not sure I will use that piece as cutting the bit of the undersides on the wing-rear fuselage fairing looks more trouble than it is worth. A quite thin vacformed canopy with side blisters is also supplied and will need careful handling. One of the big differences between the earlier and latest Airfix Ia’s is the way the canopies fit on to the fuselage. No decals are provided but I have an old Almarks and a Model Alliance sheet that have suitable markings. Clear instructions are given on a type written photocopied A4 sheet in the manner of pre home computer cottage industry days. Provided the replacement oil tank and canopy fit, should be an interesting build.
  16. The Snark am experimental triplane using the ill fated ABC Dragonfly engine. Three machines were built this is the third prototype. Side by side with my scratch built Pfalz Dr1, imagine if these two had seen service. With my scratchbuilt Pup, surprisingly big for a triplane. The WIP thread.
  17. Here are is Anigrand Craftwork's 1:144 Focke-Wulf Fw 191 V1 which I built back in 2013. This came in a set of four resin kits covering the four proposals for the ill-fated Bomber-B programme and represents the first prototype in early 1942. Apart from adding some details in the cockpit I thinned the gun barrels and added missing ones for the nose from stretched sprue as well as the wing pitot tube and the radio mast, also from stretched sprue. The rear end of the underside gondola was moulded solid and is clear so I cut away the section and added a part made from a clear piece in my spares box (Airfix Do 17 I believe!). The u/c doors were thinned as usual. Internet references were needed to place them properly. The kit was fully painted with brush except for the final coats of satin varnish which were airbrushed. I ignored the colour call outs of the (minimal) instructions and painted the kit RLM02 overall with the propellers in RLM70 Schwarzgrün and placed the wing crosses in a more correct position. Due to the little use of the prototype I didn't apply any weathering and only highlighted the panel lines of moving surfaces. Thank you for looking and, as usual, all comments are welcome. Miguel
  18. I've been hammering along on my Tamiya Meteor build and took a few progress pics yesterday. My first attempt at scratch-building a seat belt/harness was awful. I recalled a tutorial on Philip Flory's website that showed his technique for simple belts and buckles but alas, it's now in the paid subscriber section, which I am not unfortunately. But I did find a YouTube video in which a gentleman uses the exact same method and that really refreshed my memory about the technique. Well, I still have a long way to go in getting them to look just like I want. They are too much out of scale. But, they are an improvement and they were cheap. Made from masking tape and fuse wire, I'm hoping they'll be passable under a closed canopy. I still need to do a bit of tweaking on the buckles and adjusters, trimming, shaping and squeezing a little more. The two lap belts: Shoulder harness: The seat is merely sitting in place in these pics. Once the lap belts are on, it will be glued into the cockpit tub and the shoulder straps glued to the seat back. The rear of the bulkhead will get a small cover plate to conceal the back of the shoulder harness. I cut a slot through said bulkhead and glued a tiny bit of fuse wire across it. My plan was the thread the shoulder belts over and through that wire, draping them down the seat front. That proved too ambitious; the wire broke away as I fiddled with the ends of the straps and finally they were pulled down and taped in place against the rear of the bulkhead. Speaking of "fiddly"; dicking around with those tiny wire buckles and strips of tape was damned fiddly even working beneath the magnifier light! I know they're "out of scale" but they are just about at the limit of my eyesight and hand dexterity. The landing gear is finished and ready. Gear doors are done as well: One wheel is separate from each tire and the other side requires careful painting. I used masks from a Maketar wheel masking set for the first time and they seemed to work well. I have used a circle template when the rim was raised enough from the tire and I've also used very thin paint to fill the edge between wheel and tire, running the paint around the wheel and then filling in with multiple coats, with thicker paint. But this time I tried something new and it actually worked. The wheels are painted Testor's flat steel (little 1/4 oz. square bottle) mixed with silver and the tires are Humbrol dark grey 32. It's the closest "out of the bottle" color for tires that I've found. Tamiya provides a ballast weight for the Meteor that neatly fits into a space on the fuselage belly. I've read that that was barely enough weight to prevent tail sitting so I looked for space for additional weight. I found it beneath the cockpit "cowling". I mixed lead shotgun pellets into two-part epoxy and spread that paste under the cowl part. In the pic, there's a gap between that cowl and the fuselage. Well, with just a tiny press, that cowl almost snaps in place flush as can be. An impressive bit of Tamya engineering: The fuselage, together and awaiting priming and final seam filling: I'm hoping I'll have time to finish the cockpit today and get it installed. Then, I'll be ready to assemble the wings and get them attached. At this point, there's still a lot of work left to do but progress has been made at last! Thanks for looking in, having a peek, and yes, comments are welcomed!
  19. Hi gents! While waiting for the primer to try on the endless sanding repetitions on my YF-105A Thunderchief conversion, I a going to do something I rarely do, start a second project at the same time. Well actually, I do it all the time, but I just never publish it at the same time! Nevertheless, I'll begin first with the backstory. Several years ago, I ran across an interesting conversion by a modeler named Bill Dye. I never met Bill, but I he apparently loved to kitbash and convert, like I do. What I first found was his YF-96A conversion YF-96A Build I decided I'd have to build one of those, one day, but as is my norm, other things intervened. Sometime later, I ran across this pic: : The bottom aircraft is actually the second YF-84F, modified with a solid nose and wing intakes. I decided I'd like to build on of those, because I had never even seen a picture of one before. While researching THIS aircraft, I ran across another build started by Bill Dye of the same aircraft. Sadly, he never posted finished photos of the build, and I do not know where he is, or how he is doing. In any event, he (unknowingly) encouraged me to do this project. Here is a link to his version: Bill Dye's YF-84F While my research pointed me in a slightly different manner of conversion than Bill's, I will still use his technique of chopping out the needed cockpit cutout as a whole panel, and transferring it from the Heller F-84G kit to the Testors/Italieri RF-84F kit. Which is exactly how I'll begin, sawing two cuts 58mm apart across the Heller fuselage, and then laying out tape the long way to mark those cuts. The front saw cuts were 12mm wide, centered on the fuse join line, and the rear saw cut was 14mm wide, also centered on the fuse join. Almost all my panel line cuts are made the same way. First a tape line is laid out if needed. Then, a sharp #11 X-Acto blade is run along the guide, followed by a couple of passes with my Trumpeter scriber, and then finally, the saw: This usually leaves me a nice, clean cut-out, reducing sanding later. Next, the same procedure is repeated on the T/I RF-84F fuse, using the same measurements: Of special satisfaction to me is the fact that this is the same RF-84F kit that I had previously swiped the turtledeck from to build the YF-105A, the other work still in progress, which is why the little triangle of plastic is missing from above. Saves a kit! There are a couple of reasons why I decided to modify the RF-84F vs the Heller kit as Bill did, and I'll explain these later. Also at this time, I glued all the camera windows in place of the RF-84F for added strength. (Turns out only the single window further back really mattered!). Then, I sawed off the camera nose, just a hair ahead of the nose gear well: Next all the protrusions on the RF-84F kit had to be removed from both fuselage halves, in the area between the lines marked. This included the front wing supports only: For the cockpit I'll use a resin copy of, IIRC the CMK Academy F-84G cockpit set. I made several resin copies of the tub years ago, against future need. They are not all exactly the same as the "G" model, but they provide a good jumping off point, faster than scratch-building a cockpit. I also used a cut down and modified version of the Monogram F-105D as the instrument panel, also as a starting point: When the bare cockpit tun and IP are painted, they are glued into the cutout cockpit section from the Heller F-84G kit, after a little knife work to fit the rear tray of the cockpit into the fuse section. The rear was reinforced underneath with a bit of scrap plastic card, and everything was glued together with clear Loctite Go2 glue, which is sort of a thick, flexible CA glue with no bad fumes. While no good for areas requiring sanding, it's the bee's knees for nose weights and stuff like this, as it sticks to most everything and is water resistant (future sanding). Well, that's it for this time. Hopefully, I'll be back soon with either this or the YF-105A or something... Ed
  20. Tamiya Mk I moded with Brigade resin Spinner, prop, exhausts and skid with Falcon canopy. the paint was Gold with a daube of green.
  21. I have always thought the three T-34 precursors (A-20, armed with 45mm cannon, 4 main wheels in the tracks instead of 5, and BT-7 tracks, A-32, armed with short barrel L-10 76mm cannon, 400mm thick tracks, and 5 wheels for each side tracks, and A-34, which had 550mm wide tracks, a longer L-11 76mm gun, and 5 wheeled tracks. The A-34's only difference to the T-34 Model 1940 was that it had a huge headlight on top of the barrel, and 37mm frontal armour plating instead of 45mm). I have decided to replicate the A-32. The first step was finding the 1/100 T-34 model 1940 in my "stash". (Which is really only 15 kits - I'm only 15 myself, but I'm sure some people on here will envy the tiny stash of mine ) After I found out I had already started it, and had attempted to remove the paint with sandpaper at some point, unsuccessfully, I finally came to terms that the model will have a slightly thicker coat of paint than I would like. The second thing I added were some neodymium magnets to the hull of the tank and inside the turret, so I can move the turret instead of gluing it in place. The third thing I did was take some sprue cutters and cut the L-11 gun to the size of a L-10. I eyeballed this. The A-32 also had these little pieces of metal in the middle of the turret that poked out. I'm guess this was where they welded the two sides of the turret and added a small piece of metal on the welded edges to strengthen the bond. This was not on any of the T-34's, they were all single piece turrets if I recall correctly. To make these, I took a piece of cardboard and cut the corrugation off and then cut each one to about 3mm in width, and superglued it to the appropriate place. The A-32 also had two periscope instead of one as the T-34 had, the second periscope was in the rear of the turret, the first in the front. I simply cut a piece of wire and glued it in place with pliers. The A-32 had one large headlight above a coaxial machine gun. Since the zvezda kit does not model the machine gun, I took a dremel and drilled a hole and stuck a small thin piece of stretched sprue to replicate a MG. For the headlight, I found a searchlight that was from a 1/350 scale resin subchaser, it was the perfect size and looked like the A-32's headlight. The tracks on the A-32 were 400mm thick instead of 550mm as on the T-34, but I found Zvezda's kit tracks were too thin anyways, so no change was done there. Anyways this is my progress to create a diverse tiny scale 1/100 Soviet arsenal. Enjoy so far! RJ
  22. Here's another one that was started years ago and put back in the box due to a big move. It's an awesome kit, only one of this scale and not without challenges. It is all OOB as the kit contains all you need; one piece fiberglass fuselage, resin parts, full intakes, metal reinforced landing gear, photo etch, vac formed canopy and a great decal sheet with all the stencils. The build had a quite a few disasters in the final stages, I had to replace the canopy (luckily HpH provide 2) and it's a little rough up close but it looks ok from a distance. Now I'll have to wait for a mainstream kit so I can do a production version with that all flaps, engines drooped gangster look.
  23. Pz.Kpfw.VI Tiger (P) "Truppenübungsfahrzeug" (35A023) 1:35 Amusing Hobby After encountering the T-34 during the invasion of Russia, it was realised that new tanks were needed to combat them, one of which was the Panther, while the other was already in development and eventually became the Tiger. There were two designs proffered for the contract, one by Porsche, the other by Henschel, and it was eventually the Henschel design that found favour with Hitler, after the Porsche design famously failed in a cloud of smoke whilst being demonstrated in front of him at Rastenburg. There were other reasons, such as the complexity of the design and the fact that its petrol-electric drivetrain required too much in the way of the strategically valuable copper. The Tiger (P) ran with a very similar turret as the Henschel design, with the name Tiger coined by Ferdinand Porsche himself. Where it differed was the forward positioning of the turret, which made for a long overhang of the main gun that was deemed a problem for descending hills or crossing large ditches. In the rear were two petrol engines that provided power to an electric generator that ran the two drive motors at the very rear of the tank. Although a mechanical gearbox wasn't necessary, the extra weight of the additional engine, generator and electric motors made for a very heavy vehicle and much added complexity. The road wheels were paired, and not interleaved like the Henschel design, which gave a higher ground pressure, but simplified maintenance at least in that area. It was not enough, so the design lost out and the name was transferred to the Henschel offering. Much of the chassis was reused however in the Ferdinand/Elefant Tank Destroyer, which shared the same track layout and lower hull, 100 of which had already been built at the Porsche factories. Only one Tiger (P) was ever built to completion, and it was pressed into service as a command tank late in the war. The Kit This is a complete new tool from Amusing Hobby, although there have been a number of kits of the type in 1:35. It arrives in a pretty standard looking top-opening box with a picture of Ferdinand Porsche next to his creation, a resin figure of whom is included in the box as a bit of bonus. The rest of the content consists of six sprues and a lower hull half in sand coloured styrene, eight sprues of track links in brown styrene, a pair of "rubber-band" tracks, a decal sheet, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a small bag of springs, a roll of braided copper wire, the instruction booklet and the aforementioned figure. Detail is good throughout, and the inclusion of two styles of tracks should appeal to most, while the figure will look good next to the model, although you will need to warm his arms up to get them to fit properly in his pockets judging by my brief efforts. Construction begins with the paired road wheels that are built up, affixed in twos to three suspension units on each side of the tank, and then offered up to the hull with end-caps holding them in position, allowing them an element of movement to accommodate the ground, assisted by the custom springs that are inserted during assembly. The wheels themselves are also held on by end-caps, which allows them to rotate, and the same feature is visited on the idler and drive sprockets using an internal collar that is glued to the axle. Without further ado, the tracks are introduced, where you have a choice of using the supplied flexible tracks (which aren't mentioned in the instructions), or the individual links that consist of two parts per link. Each of the eight sprues contains a jig, which you can use to build the runs of 109 links per side, and as the jigs can be glued together, you can construct a long run at one sitting, up to 40 links if my maths is correct (it usually isn't). The links have two sprue gates per part, and clean-up is straight forward, so shouldn't take too long with a sharp knife. The contact ridge on each link is separate, and you glue these to the main part of the link to trap the pins inside their recesses. Using liquid glue may cause some issues with glue wicking into the joints and leaving you with unworkable track links, so for my test I used Super Glue (CA), which I dabbed on the contact points with a needle in small quantities. This worked, but CA is a little brittle for the task, so I would suggest getting some tube glue such as Revell Contacta with the precision applicator that will weld the parts together and give more strength. As already alluded, take care with applying too much, as the pins are very close to the contact points by necessity. When completed, the tracks have a great deal of movement available, so wrapping them around the road wheels should pose no issue. With the tracks on, the hull sides are added, with an insert on the diagonal panel next to the glacis added on each side. Taking care with alignment will benefit you here, as the hull top drops onto the side panels, so taping this loosely in place while the glue cures will ensure a good fit. The hull top is detailed with jack blocks, the front glacis with machine gun ball mount and driver's armoured vision port, and at the rear, two louvered panels to cool the engines, with each one having separate slats added before they are joined. The fenders are prepared with stiffeners and bumpers that take the wear from accidental track hits on the angled parts, with long tabs helping to make a good joint with the hull. Pioneer tools, PE engine grills, lights and additional spare track in a bracket along the rear of the hull are all added, and the towing cables are created from the braided copper wire with styrene eyes finishing off the ends, with a scrap diagram showing their arrangement. Now for the turret. The main part provides the turret ring and curved side-walls, into which you place the panel with the gun's pivot point engineered in, which is held in place by external pins. The vision ports, top hatch and commander's cupola are all fixed in place, and at the rear a special bracket allows the rear storage bin to fit over another two short lengths of spare track links. The bin has a separate lid so could be posed open if you wish. The barrel is made up from two tubular sections, with a three-part flash suppressor, the core of which is hollow. The rear of the barrel is inserted into the keyed hole in the mantlet, which is backed by another part for attachment to the interior, and a coaxial machine gun is threaded through the hole. All that is left to do now is to twist the turret into position where it is locked by a bayonet style fitting. The figures is cast in resin, and has already been removed from its pouring blocks, except for a pair of platform shoes that you will need to flatten off. The hat and arms are separate parts that fix to the body with square pegs for security. My sample had some issues with locating his hands properly in his pockets, so a little heat will be needed to coax them into position. I tend to use hot water and then plunge the parts into cold water to fix the shape, so it's just something to be aware of before you try to assemble and paint. As usual with resin, take the precaution of wearing a mask when cutting or sanding resin, as the tiny particles are harmful to your health if breathed in. Washing the parts in warm water will also improve the adhesion of paint, as there may still be some moulding release agent on the parts when you receive them. Markings Only two schemes are provided from the box, one being the initial prototype livery of Panzer Grey, the latter being a Dunkegelb, green and red brown camouflage. The paint call-outs are given in the AMMO range, which you can always convert using one of the many charts available if you don't use them. The decals are a generic sheet of white outlined red turret numbers, plus a choice of two styles of crosses in case you fancy doing a speculative colour scheme for a change. The decals are sharp and with good colour density, although the white is very slightly offset, but as many of these markings were hand-painted by inexperienced mechanics or crew, they're hardly likely to be pin-perfect anyway. Conclusion It's nice to see a new kit of the fairly well forgotten Tiger (P), and the inclusion of a choice of track styles will please those phobic about individual track links, with Mr Porsche in resin a bonus that if not used in this model can be pressed into service as a civilian at some point. A complete package too, with only glue and paint required. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of Available from all good model shops soon
  24. A deep conversion from 5 years ago, backdating the kit to the first machine. A Staggering Endeavor The Prolific and unusual family of Beech Staggerwing aircraft evolved through several incarnations. Its elegant and unorthodox lines have the unmistakable appeal of the Golden Age of aviation. Less known, though, are the first pre-production machines, which differed from the production design and ulterior developments quite a lot. The Kit: Good news: we have a kit of the Staggerwing released in two boxings by two manufacturers, even with a floaty version. Not so good news: it is not the version I want to model. Even less good news: being a fairly decent kit with many pros, it is not the best technology around (short run, meaning some butt-joins, somewhat thick parts, you know already, you have built some of those). The two things that gave me a lot of headaches and produced a lot of frustration were the two-part windshield and the struts. The struts as molded have tiny locating protrusions which you are at risk to confuse with the leftovers of the gates, a couple millimeters apart. If you have managed to spot that with a “phew!”, you are not yet off the hook. The curve of the upper part of the strut will not match that of the upper wing which it supports, nor will the little pip align with the faint hole in the said wing. Good luck with that. I did not have any. The early Staggs –just to start with- had more span and less length, so you will have to slice and splice one set of wings. The upper –longer- wing panels in your kit number one will do now as lower wing panels for your prototype model. The lower wing panels of both kits will have to be hacked and re-hashed as the upper wings. Afraid of loosing detail? Don’t be, for two reasons: the upper wing in the early machines had no ailerons (fill the engraved aileron line and the seam where you attached the extension since you are at it) and the prototype used a slimmer airfoil, so some little sanding-down won’t hurt. Now your “new” lower wing (former upper wing of your kit) will need its aileron line continued to the edge (root) fill and scribe accordingly. Confused? And we are just getting started. Get the right engine from another kit or as an after market item; you need a Wright Whirlwind instead of the P&W R985 in your kits. To help you sorting out, here some pointers about the prototype 17R compared to your kit (which is a D-17): Had larger span Had two doors Bump underneath aileron hinge No upper wing ailerons Different engine The rudder split open and acted as an airbrake Had fixed LG (will have to glue all retractable gear parts closed, smooth out the area, scratchbuild the wheel pants) The fuselage was shorter and the aft shape concurrently varied The tail feathers were different (larger horizontal stab and differently-contoured vertical stab) The baggage door was on the other side (right) It had landing lights Tail wheel wasn’t retractable Had slightly more dihedral –even more on lower panel- Different nose and surface details AND of course some other details. Elated already? So am I. With another stagg in pants, soon to be posted as a separate RFI:
  25. Having got back again into my modelling building groove, I thought I would try something a little more challenging. I picked the Pegasus 1/72 Spitfire Prototype up from a recent model expo for A$2. It looked a bit rough to start with! Lots of flash, and the decals were unusable (out of register and also seriously cracked). It wasn't too bad in the end, and I think the final result was worth it. Finished with brush painted Italeri Acrylics (the main colour being RLM 76) and replacement decals from Xtradecal sheet X72075. Build thread can be found here. Thanks for looking. Looks good on the shelf with my other 1/72 Spitfires
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