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  1. With the Jet provost done and the other activities out of the way, it’s time to get back in the saddle and do some more modelling. For a bit of a mojo boost, I watched Top Gun, Top Gun Maverick and The Final Countdown on DVD’s. So tonight, out came the Airfix F-14A Tomcat (blueprint box) and the Revell F-14D Super Tomcat from the stash - both 1/72. I’m going to try to build them both together stage by stage (rather than build one and then the other). The Revell is better in detail as it’s a much later kit, but the Airfix one still has a certain charm to it - even with the raised panel lines which I’ve decided to leave to see how it turns out. So, the first stage was to build the two cockpit tubs. The Airfix one is much longer then the Revell and both have raised detailing in the some consoles in roughly the same depth. The ejection seats are worlds apart in detail, so I might see if I can 3D print something a little more interesting for the Airfix kit. Otherwise the offices are fairly well detailed considering….. Both tubs were painted with Tamiya XF-19 Light Grey (as it’s what I had to hand) and are drying off. They will both receive other colours to highlight the consoles and IP’s. I’ve also bought an extra set of Airfix F-14A decals which offers two options - TopHatters and the Black Aces - to go with the Bounty Hunter and Grim Reaper options for the kits.
  2. I built this from the Revell F&F boxing 'Dom's Charger'. I must admit to only having seen the first film in the F&F series..... It's really not my thing 🙂 although, I do love some of the cars! The kit parts do not include a rear seat, luckily one was donated by a fellow modeller through FB. I did some detailing in the engine bay, spent quite a bit of time thinning the supercharger drive belt down to a more appropriate thickness. Wheels were swapped out for Pegasus T's in the big 'n' little style. If you look carefully, you can just make out the ignition key in the steering column! Paint is Mr Hobby GX Deep Clear Red over their gold base, followed by several coats of GX112 UV cut gloss clear. The front grille part had damaged chrome so I elected to strip the kit chrome and use Molotow through my airbrush.
  3. Having just started one build in the WWII Twins GB, why not start another one here? I'll be building a Luftwaffe-operated F-104G 23+92, construction number 683D-8102, in the colors of JaboG 34, out of this Revell kit (currently OOB, no extras.) According to 916-Starfighter.de this plane had its first flight on May 30, 1963 so it should be good to go. /Jari
  4. My wife bought this somewhat vintage injection moulded plastic Revell 1:225 scale HMS Victory kit for me at Christmas about ten years ago. Scalemates have the 1st iteration of this kit dated as 1958, but because the date the moulds were made is moulded into the poop deck, I recall it’s actually 1959! My kit was a Battle of Trafalgar Bicentennial 2006 boxing. The original scale is also apparently 1:146 and not the 1:225 stated on the Bicentennial box. It took some careful work with a blade to remove the manufacturers name and date from the deck before assembly. The present was only a last minute stocking filler really, which my wife expected would end up at the charity shop because as a lifelong landlubber who’s main interest is aviation I typically make aircraft models. What she didn’t know is my dear old mum, the other important woman in my life bought me the Airfix kit of Victory for Christmas back in around 1967 when I was - to use Royal Navy 18th Century vernacular - a “nipper” of 10 - 11 years old. From memory, mum’s present along with the dining table, ended up a glue and paint smeared hulk with no attempt made to reproduce the miles of rigging. So despite my better half’s assumption, I decided to keep the kit and try to make a better job of Victory in memory of my late mother. However the kit remained stashed for years until Covid hit, when I started building it for something to do during lock down. As a lad I can remember being awed by the shipwright’s models I saw at the National Maritime Museum in London and truthfully what I’ve tried to create is a facsimile of a shipwright’s model, rather than a scale model of the real thing. I started out trying to keep as close as possible to the original Trafalgar colour scheme recently identified at the start of her most recent refit. I recall that many of the sailing ship models in the NMM did not have sails fitted, so I’ve made no attempt to model these. I realised early on that the finished model would be damage prone and also a powerful dust magnet, so once the rigging was well underway I constructed a custom acrylic and oak display cabinet for her. This includes a 2 cm diameter lapel pin copy of the her modern day ship’s badge and six small silver plaques engraved with all of Victory’s battle honours mounted at the front edge of the cabinet’s oak plinth. The latter were engraved at my local Timpson’s store. After the photographs you’ll find a bit more info on the build and some links to my previous posts in Work in Progress - Maritime. I hope you like her, warts and all, and no, I will not be building a “proper” wooden ship model from scratch anytime soon because I couldn’t afford the inevitable divorce settlement. During this voyage of discovery I’ve learnt a lot about 17th-18th Century sailing ships that I didn’t know previously and quite a few new construction techniques, such as making the clear acrylic display case to protect the finished model from dust and recreating the many deck mounted hammock racks out of an old Sainsbury’s supermarket loose veg netting bag! In my first build thread posted in Work in Progress - Maritime you’ll see that the hull came together fairly quickly during 2020, but stalled after I first attempted the rigging. In the beginning I reproduced all of the shroud lines individually using black elastic thread and attached these between the masts and the moulded on dead-eyes using jewellers adhesive. The adhesive worked, but took several minutes to cure sufficiently to hold firmly in place. I lost count of the number of times that the shrouds kept pinging off and needed re-glueing due to my impatience. When I’d finally got them all in place, I then realised that recreating the ratlines on the elastic shrouds was going to be an even greater challenge because when thinner elastic cord ratlines were glued across the shrouds they distorted and the process was also really tedious, I gave up halfway up one side of the lower main mast shrouds and literally put the now rather sad looking model on a shelf, where it sat gathering dust until 2023. My daughter and son in law bought me the Revell 1:700 HMS Invincible kit for my birthday in 2023 and I completed her last September. This put me in a nautical frame of mind again, so I decided to try finishing Victory off as a winter 2023-24 project and started build thread part 2 over in Work in progress -Maritime. So if you want to find out exactly how I reworked the shrouds and ratlines, do take a look. I’d downloaded detailed rigging plans for the JoTika large scale wooden model of Victory from the Jotika website and used these as the basis for this smaller scale model, but I also got a lot of kind help and suggestions from several more experienced Britmodeller salty sea dogs. I’ve tried to recreate as much as possible of the fixed and running rigging, but getting the right diameter elastic line at this scale remained problematic and I wasn’t able to do all the rigging because I started too late on in the build for easy access to some parts of the model. The end result is therefore by no means a fully accurate scale representation of HMS Victory, although I’d claim it’s currently in better shape than the real McCoy which is undergoing a multimillion pound refit and currently sans masts. Where I attempted to model some of the wooden blocks, I used various cut sections of plastic rod and compressed paper earbud shafts. The shrouds and some of the stays are still too thick and most of the other lines are to thin, but this is because I elected to use elastic thread throughout to prevent distortion of the kit’s thinner plastic parts. Also, all rigging lines are depicted under tension, when I suspect many would have some slack in them. However, taught though she is, I hope I’ve captured the essence of what was in her time one of the most complex man made moving objects on the planet and she’s turned out to be a really interesting and historical display piece for our living room bay window.
  5. Hi, Here's my Revell F-84E with Aeromaster decals. That 86th FBW must have been quite a sight, I hope to reproduce a little of that magic. After years of looking for the F-84E and only seeing F-84G's, I finally found several last year at a modelling festival and from an estate sale. The one from the estate sale (a modeller named Jean-Claude of the Amay Models Club) had a bit of work done on it. He removed what looks like external reinforcement plates around the Main Landing Gear wells. I've circled the areas in red on the picture below. The shape of the ones in front of the wells reminded me a bit of the compressibility flaps on late P-38's and I noticed that there was a stencil with quite a bit of text on them. Stencils 40 and 41 on the Revell kit sheet. Fearing that the stencil might mean "stay away from this flap!" I looked at it with a magnifier. The stencil is about electrical plugs. I plan to use Jean-Claude's lower wings on this build as this will be the earliest F-84E that I'd want to build and thus the best one to do without external reinforcements. Cheers, Stefan.
  6. Just realised I've failed to post my build from 2020 of the old Revell 1:32 He 111 P-1. There's no build doc unfortunately but thanks for looking. I've painted it in the kit given KG54 Totenkopf-Geschwader and imagined it having just landed from a bombing raid over England in 1940 and waiting for a reload and a refuel. Not much time for cleaning down so it's a tad mucky. I've used the Eduard interior and exterior PE kits and HGW seatbelts as well as the Profimodeller oxygen system (never again!) Many thanks for having a peek.
  7. Hi all, Here’s my entry for the GB, it’s the Revell 1/48 Beaufighter TF.X. It will be in the markings of 144 Squadron based at RAF Dallachy in 1945. This aircraft (NE831) was damaged in the disastrous Black Friday raid on the 9th February 1945 when 9 Beaus were lost to flak and fighters during a raid on Norway. She ended the day with a belly landing back at Dallachy and never flew again. Fortunately there are a lot of photos of this aircraft showing some interesting variations and weathering of the finish which should make for a satisfying modelling challenge! The markings will come from Aviaeology, in addition I have an Eduard etched set, the Aerocraft cowling correction plus a stack of bits taken from an old Tamiya kit that recently went to the scrapyard. So far I’ve cleaned the parts up and got rid of some of the flash. More updates to follow in due course! Chris
  8. It's that time of year again when I find all sorts of new projects making their way towards the workbench...! I know I have plenty on the go already, but most of these are awaiting paint which requires better weather - I spray outdoors and need warmer, drier conditions. As @Paulaero will understand, these other models are generally at least 95% built, which qualifies me to start on something new in the meantime! 😁 This build is partly a new challenge and a bit of repetition too. The new bit is refurbishing one of my older models and this will form the bulk of this thread. The repetition part is concurrently building two untouched Revell 767-300 kits, which I did here a couple of years ago and I don't see any point in documenting it here again! However, these kits will throw up a few challenges along the way (more on this when I get to those parts!), hence their inclusion into this thread. Let's start with the model to be refurbished. I would guess that I built it around 20 years ago, when my modelling skill set was rather more limited than it is now. It is the Revell 767-300, with RR engines and built to depict G-BNWA which I flew regularly at back in 2003. The model has been in the attic for years and I think it must have been dropped at some point too - luckily I still have most of the pieces: It's certainly been neglected and the attic did it no favours - it's covered in grime: The refurbishment will consist of the following tasks- 1. Open the fuselage up and fill the windows with Milliput 2. Removal of the damaged undercarriage and rebuild the model with the gear doors closed 3. Replacement of the missing windscreen (the only piece that I cannot find!) 4. Removal of the old paint and re-spraying with an accurate demarcation line and correct shade of blue 5. Production of custom decals to give the model a new identity To complete this introduction, the other two models in this build were purchased cheaply but with a few pieces missing. More importantly though, they both have the sprues for the RR engine option, so these will be built as BA aircraft. Here are the sprues: And another shot, showing the first task completed - Milliput is applied: It is well past its 'use by' date and quite dry and crumbly, but perfectly good enough for this job!
  9. My first KUTA 2023 subject, this is the 2009 issue Revell 1/8th scale Apollo : Astronaut on the Moon. This boxing of the original 1970 kit was to mark the 40th anniversary of the original moon landing, it was also released again 10 years later to mark 50 years. 20231108_221152 by Ghostbase, on Flickr I remember starting this kit just after I purchased it at a reduced price from Modelzone. I think I read somewhere that it was originally produced as a vacform kit; this would make sense becase there are very few parts however they are quite large and made of very thin plastic. The reason I stopped building it was because of the join of the parts. I had added filler then decided to paint over the sanded joins with enamel white. I then decided to add another coat of primer and this reacted with the enamel paint to give a 'frizzy' effect. 20231109_141507 by Ghostbase, on Flickr This has been on the shelf of shame for about 12 years, lets see if I can do a better job this time 🙂 Michael
  10. First serious bit of modelling I've attempted in about forty years – so guess that makes me a newbie! My first experience of photoetch, acrylics, airbrush... you name it. So I wanted to do a subject I felt a connection to, and something that would stretch me to the max. So it's Revell's 1/32 Schnellbomber which will assume the guise of 4D+DH 'Dora Heinrich' of 1.KG30.
 This Ju 88A-1 fell to the guns of 603 (City of Edinburgh) Squadron on 16/10/39 during a Luftwaffe raid on RN ships in the Firth of Forth. 'Dora' was the first enemy bomber downed by the RAF over the British mainland in WWII, and was on the receiving end of the first ever Spitfire victory.
 I was born by the Forth, and have lived half my life on its banks, my family have worked for generations on its waters and in its docks and I live just a few miles from where 'Dora' ditched almost eighty years ago. So I thought I'd make her the first half of a 1/32 'Dogfight Double'. Eventually I'll get around to tackling her nemesis – XT-A 'Stickleback' a MkI Spit of 603 Squadron. Over a year in, having too much fun, here's some (unfinished) pit shots. Apologise for quality – taken with an iPhone4 Cockpit side walls, still needs wiring/some piping added Eduard PE, Aims and homemade decals Floor and curtains printed on inkjet Pilot seat, control column and BZG2 Bombsight
  11. Hi all, I seem to be making good time with my main GB build (1/32 Arado Ar 234) so I am risking all and putting in a second build in true WWEMD style The box is a bit beaten up but packied with goodies! Thanks go to Britmodeller @BushBrit66 for the kit and accessories. As this is a Revell rebox (it's the Dragon kit) all the sprues are packed together in one big bag. The build also includes the very nice Verlinden cockpit and engine set. Although it doesn't include a full engine, the exposed detail is very nice. And obviously the cockpit is completely overhauled. There's also a cornucopia of reference material which should make this a cinch. I rarely build in this scale so it all feels rather fine and little, so this will be a nice side-build I can keep busy with while struggling with the resin MDC Ar 234! Thanks for looking, Alan
  12. Hello guys, as per the title, does anyone have any building tips for Revell's Ju 88A-1 in 1:32? Especially around the cockpit area. My first attempt at this model ended up with horrible gaps around the nose and cockpit area. With the second model, I learnt from my mistakes and managed to evade any issues with the cockpit. Sadly I had to trash the model after a shelf fell over it. Now, this will be my third attempt to build this plane, and I would like to receive some building tips. I plan on finishing this third model as my second one, B3+DR from KG54. Any building tips will be helpful, especially any tips regarding the fit of the cockpit and the sidewalls to the fuselage halves. I already have SAC's white metal landing gear to replace the plastic ones from the kit. Thank you very much, Francisco.
  13. The Northrop F-89 Scorpion is an all weather twin-engined interceptor designed and produced by the American aircraft manufacturer Northrop. It was the first jet powered aircraft to be designed for the Interceptor role from the outset to enter service,as well as the first combat aircraft to be armed with air-to-air nuclear weapons in the form of the unguided Genie rocket. First flew in 1948 and entered service in 1950. For this GB, I plan to build Revell’s 1/72 F-89D/J kit. I will be finishing it as the aircraft shown on the boxart, a F-89D from 61st Fighter Interceptor Squadron from Ernest Harmon AFB, New Foundland, 1957. Why this one? I like the look of the aircraft with the large wingtip rocket pods (containing a 104 ‘mighty mouse’ FFAR rockets) and more importantly it has a big smiley face on it.
  14. The rather interesting JU 52 from Revell shows the "passenger" door forward hinged. If you are going to be dropping meat bombs over Crete, I would imagine that a forward hinged door may be a tad inconvenient. Was the door removed for paratrooping or has Revell got it wrong? Maybe correct for civil versions but not military?
  15. My first builds for this GB. These are both based on the old 1967 tooling, updated in 1982 to cover the P-70 night fighter. As I wanted to build both, and they have 90% commonality, it makes sense to have just the one build thread. I bought both of these kits in 1996 a few weeks apart, probably in different cities. Combined cost: < 10 Irish Pounds (c. 12.70 Euro in today's money). The P-70 is in a Matchbox box, which in those days was just another way of selling any mold owned by Revell. Because I dislike painting black on black plastic, I have swapped around most of the parts. The basic tooling includes the drill-out holes for the P-70 ventral gun pack, and for the dipole aerials on the port wing. There is one missing main undercarriage door (easy to replace), and one missing tiny oval side window (Clearfix to the rescue). I have nothing fancy planned for either kit. The bomber kit has the option to build a USAAF A-20C, but the SAAF Boston III was always my first choice.
  16. Aston Martin DB5 007 Goldfinger (05653) Easy-Click System 1:24 Carrera Revell Aston Martin’s Grand Tourer, the DB5 rose to prominence above almost anything they had produced to that date or since, when it won a starring role in the James Bond film Goldfinger, driven by Sean Connery as the eponymous hero, fitted with guns, oil-slick dispensers, bullet-screen and an ejector seat to name but a few of the gadgets used. Like all of Jimmy’s cars, it ended up in a tangled heap, crashed into a building, and JB in the hands of the bad guys, which is a surprisingly common outcome for such a supposedly accomplished spy, although he always manages to escape. Developed from its predecessor the DB4, the DB5 was so named after the owner of the company David Brown. The engine was a light-weight aluminium straight-six block with three carburettors that propelled it to over 140mph thanks to its 280bhp output that was sent to the rear wheels via a 5-speed gearbox that was bought in from a third-party to solve previous problems that their home-grown box had encountered, although a four-speed box was used in early editions. It was also available with a 3-speed automatic box, but who’d want that unless they had leg issues? Like modern Astons, it was lavishly appointed, with leather trim, thick luxurious carpeting, and traditional chrome wire-wheels with knock-on/off nuts. The magnesium alloy body had two doors, and could seat two comfortably, with additional space for children or adults with no legs, and luggage in the boot. It was initially launched in 1963, and the production run included a small number of custom-built cabriolets, some of which had more powerful Vantage engines, and at the very end of production some were kitted out with the upcoming DB6’s engine. During its last year of production in 1965 they released the Vantage option with an extra 40+bhp of power squeezed out of the engine thanks to improved carburettors and more aggressively profiled camshafts, with only 65 being made before the DB6 replaced it in their line-up. The DB6 was an evolution of its forerunner, with improved aerodynamics and luxury, developing into a closer representation of the later DB series cars that we’re probably familiar with from our childhood and beyond. The Kit This is a new tool Easy-Click System kit from Revell, designed to be built by novices or experts alike, requiring no glue unless you feel the urge, and including a set of five thumb-pots of acrylic paint and a two-ended paint brush. You also receive a folded A3 poster of the box art without the trappings required for the packaging, which you can hang on the wall if you wish. Inside the end-opening box are four sprues in black styrene, three sprues and the bodyshell in muted silver, one in dark grey, two chromed sprues, a clear sprue, four flexible black tyres, decal sheet, sticker sheet, and instruction booklet that is printed in colour, and has the painting and markings guide on the rear pages. Though this is a snap-together kit and comes with both decals or stickers for the younger audience, detail is good for a kerbside model, and it includes some of the gadgets that Mr Connery used in the movie, such as the bullet-screen, ejection seat opening in the roof, and the extendible axles that tore the side out of the baddie’s car during a frenetic chase. Construction begins with the floor pan, which has a silver insert that depicts the underside of the engine and transmission using two parts, over which the suspension struts are added, pivoting the front axles with moulded-in brake disks and their connecting arm, then layering a sub-frame over it before moving on to the rear axle. The back axle is bulked out with an insert in the centre that creates the differential housing, fitting suspension struts and dampers into the rear of the floor pan. The twin down-pipes from the engine are placed side-by-side along the centre of the floor pan, then attention turns to the interior. The front seats are each made from an L-shaped part with pencil quilting that has a rear panel inserted, while the dashboard has the steering column and wheel inserted into the right side, adding eight decals or stickers to the dials, and another to the centre of the steering wheel and centre console. The interior floor is a grey part that receives the rest of the internal assemblies, starting with the gear stick, which has a choice of standard or 007 variants with the cap open displaying the red button. A choice of centre armrest with alternative open rest that has gadget buttons in it is made next, then the driver’s foot pedals are snapped into the right footwell, popping the front and rear seats in behind. The door cards are both fitted with inner handle, while the driver’s side has another secret pocket that can be fitted open to display more gadgets. They have a decal applied, and are clipped into the sides of the floor, held vertically by the dash that is installed at the same time. The completed interior is inserted into the bodyshell after adding a rear-view mirror above the windscreen, and if you’re going for realism, there are quite a few ejection-pin marks around the perimeter of the roof liner that you may wish to hide with filler. A black inner wheel well insert is added forward of the interior while the body is inverted, and at the rear, three clear lenses are clipped into the corners to create the light clusters, painting the lenses the appropriate clear colour. Naturally, there are alternate bottom lenses depicted flipped open to display the barrels of the rear machine guns. The front and rear number plate holders are built with a rotating prism held inside a frame, adding the bumper and boot handle at the rear, plus slide-out over-riders that are held in place by a pair of washers inside. The front bumper is installed after the bodyshell and floor pan are mated, fitting a front valance to the rear of the bumper, and adding the same kind of slide-out over-riders either side of the rotating number plate holder before fixing them under the front of the vehicle, and slotting the distinctive chromed Aston Martin grille into the centre. Side lights or machine guns are fitted into the front wings, and the headlight lenses are too, once the inner lens and chromed reflector are fixed into the recess. The wheel hubs are built from three layers, the rear of the hub in black, and the wire wheels in chrome, trapping a top-hat washer in the centre that friction-fits on the axles. The flexible tyres are slipped over the hubs and attached to the model, one per corner as you’d expect. The windscreen is carefully inserted from outside, helping it along by inserting your index finger (other fingers are available) through the ejection seat hatch to ensure it doesn’t fall inside. The rear screen can be inserted similarly, adding the side windows from the outside. It’s worth noting that the side windows are supplied as a single part, including both the door window and the quarter-light, and locating on a pair of tabs that clip into the sills of the bodyshell. External chromed door handles and the wing detail inserts are applied to the exterior side, and you have a choice of installing standard knock-off wheel nuts, or the 007 weaponised versions that project from the centre of the wheel on a tubular support, by using different chromed parts. More chromed parts follow, including the aerial base, a pair of windscreen wipers, and wing mirrors, not forgetting the hatch through which your unfortunate front seat passenger would be ejected should the need arise. You can pose it closed by using the part, or leave it off to show off the interior better. The last standard parts are the twin exhausts that have the back box moulded in, clipping to the end of the down-pipes under the body. The 007 specific gear is finalised by sliding the bullet screen behind the rear window, which slots into the rear bodywork, and can be fitted with a decal or sticker that portrays some bullet damage for a little movie frivolity. Next to the exhausts, a black tube is inserted into a hole in the valance, and if memory serves, this is the oil dispenser. It’s a while since I’ve seen Goldfinger. Markings This is a special edition, so there is only one option on the decal sheet, although there are alternative number plate options for those rotating plate holders. From the box you can build the following: Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. It’s not clear who printed the stickers, but they seem well-done and fit for purpose. Conclusion Sean Connery played a colder and cooler Bond (controversial!) than his replacement, and the DB5 cemented its place in motoring and movie history by appearing in Goldfinger. It’s a good-looking model of the car, and should provide some fun for the novice and expert alike, choosing which of the gadgets to deploy on your model. Highly recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  17. I'd like to offer my latest completed kit for inspection: the Hawker Hurricane Mk1 flown by P/O Paul Ritchie, No 1 Squadron. First, the man and his aircraft: It was reading his book "Fighter Pilot" that inspired this build.... in 1969.....!! His aircraft, Hurricane L1697 was one of the first production batch, built by Hawkers at either Kingston upon Thames or at Brooklands in 1939 and was the 150th Hurricane built. As with all the first order, she was built with a 2 blade Watts propeller and fabric wings: the first 430 Hurricanes were so assembled. She, along with many other fabric winged aircraft were later fitted with metal wings at RAF MUs, before being assigned to a squadron: photographic evidence is equivocal, at least one photo shows gun rearming panels that look like those on a metal wing. She was allocated to No 1 Squadron at Tangmere Airfield and was marked with Squadron Codes JX and the individual letter G. Pilot Officer Richey was posted, in March 1939, to No.1 Squadron based at Tangmere, flying Hawker Hurricanes and G was assigned to him. Richey’s wonderfully written book, Fighter Pilot was written during the war, I am lucky enough to have an original “Censored” edition, where all the pilots names are replaced by either nicknames or Christian names. Compared with the last edition, published just after his death in 1989, there is also a lot of detail that has been censored. When the Revell kit appeared in 1969 I decided to build a model of Richey’s aircraft! On Friday 8th September, 5 days after the declaration of war, No1 were ordered to France as part of the air component of the BEF, where they flew patrols from their base at Vassincourt for the duration of what became known as the Phoney War. The squadron codes were over painted, leaving only the aircraft letter and “French” style rudder markings applied. It is unclear if the serial number was over painted, on some photographs of No 1 Squadron Aircraft there is no sign of the serial number but painted in black on dark green fabric it would not have stood out anyway. The A/C is believed to have had black/white/Aluminium under surfaces, but again the evidence is not firm. During this period, Richey experienced combat for the first time, and scored his first victory, downing an Me109 on the 29th March 1940. In early April 1940 the 2-blade propeller disintegrated at 25,000, Richey made an uneventful landing back at base. Later in the month Richey landed at the French Air Force base at Charleville-Mézières to refuel after combat. Avoiding bomb craters, he damaged a wing tip and had to leave his faithful G with its Red Spinner to be repaired. Three days later whilst the RAF repair team were at the airfield an attack by the Luftwaffe destroyed all the aircraft on the field, including “G” That was the end of L1697. I started building this model in 1969, just after it was released… the roundels are hand painted, only the A/C letter, serials and stencil markings are modern transfers. I have applied some weathering as during 1939/40 the airfields in France were rough, grass strips and both mud and then dust were problems. The photograph above of Paul suggests I may have not applied enough mud.... Early Merlin engines were not that oil tight, so some oil marks and of course some exhaust staining. The Revell kit has/had some issues, most noticeably around the cockpit glazing, which works out at about 6” thick, the propeller spinner, which is way overscale and the lower nose, which lacks that gentle curve-and-dip look to the underside of the nose. Because I didn’t know what I know now I fitted the 2 bladed Watts propeller which solved the spinner issue, and white metal U/C legs as the originals were very brittle. I couldn't come up with anything straightforward to deal with the nose so otherwise the kit is as it was, back 45 years or so ago. I recently replaced the canopy; like the original was, it is thin and flexible! So, we have a model of an aeroplane that most probably should have fabric wings, which is a bit unfortunate. Why did the build take so long? I was still at school when the kit was released but had already begun to be distracted by girls. University followed in 1970, with more girls, then cars followed by work, family and life in general pushed modelling into a corner. I made a few kits and added to the stash, but a number were started nut not finished. Now retired I’m a “Seenager”, able to do what I want, when I want. So, it is back to working at my model bench listening to music. I’m pleased with the model, yes it could be better but I think it captures the look of the time. This is the link to the Work in Progress Thread... And these are the photos of the result.. let me know what you think! So there we are, started in 1969, finished in 2020... is this a record?
  18. Leopard 2A6M+ (03342) 1:35 Carrera Revell The Leopard 2 is the successor to the earlier Leopard Main Battle Tank (MBT), and was developed in the 70s, entering service just before the turn of the decade. The initial design had a vertical faced turret front, while later editions had improved angled armour applied to the turret front that gives the tank a more aggressive look and provides much better protection from an increased likelihood of deflecting incoming rounds away. It has all the technical features of a modern MBT, including stabilised main gun for firing on the move, thermal imaging, and advanced composite armour, making it a world-class contender as one of the best tanks on the market. The original Leopard 2 variant entered service in 1979, but has been through several upgrades through its service life and the current production variant is the highly advanced 2A7+, with the 2A8 waiting in the wings. The 2A6 is still a powerful battlefield resource however, and likely to be so for some considerable time. It sports the Rheinmetall 120mm smoothbore gun with the barrel extended over the A5, which results in a higher muzzle velocity that improves its penetration power over its predecessor, allowing it to reach targets at a greater range and hit harder. It also has an armoured ammunition storage space in the turret that is engineered to blow outward in the event of a detonation of munitions, which again improves the crew survivability further. For close-in defence they are fitted with an MG3 machine gun, and the armour is installed to give it an arrow-head front profile to the turret, as well as several more subtle upgrades that follow on from the 2A5. Sales of the Leopard 2 have been good overseas because of its reputation, and Canada, Turkey, Spain and many Nordic countries use it as well as many other smaller operators. The 2A6M is a mine-protected variant for use in asymmetric combat and in the likelihood that IEDs or mines have been planted to destroy the heavy armour before it can roll over their lightly protected positions. These were upgraded in the mid-2010s to the 2A7 standard, but due to monetary constraints only fifty vehicles were converted, only using the + designation until the completion of the programme in 2017. The upgrades involved new comms systems that include a field telephone on the rear bulkhead, replacement of the potentially dangerous Halon fire extinguishing system with a more environmentally friendly chemical system, as well as new sights for the commander and gunner, bringing them up to modern standards. The Kit This is a new boxing of Revell's 2012 tooling of this type, as evidenced by the raised copyright lettering on the inside of the floor pan. It arrives in an end-opening box, with a painting of the Leopard wearing European camouflage while another big cat, the Eurocopter Tiger flies behind it. Inside are eight sprues in grey styrene, in a welcome move away from the green Revell used to use in their AFV kits. There are also four sprues of flexible black plastic, plus four runs of track in the same material, and a clear sheet of acetate (not pictured – it’s invisible) that is marked as "window sheet" on the instructions. A short length of wire (not pictured) is taped to the instruction booklet, and the ends are quite sharp, so avoid stabbing yourself like I once did some years back. The decal sheet is hidden away in the centre of the booklet, and is protected by a sheet of thin greaseproof paper, as is the clear acetate. The kit is clearly a modern heritage, and has some nice detail on the outer hull, including patches of anti-slip coating on the main surfaces. The large circular cooling fans on the rear decking are particularly nicely done as separate parts, and should look well once painted. The odd splitting of the track could cause some issues however, as each track is made up from two halves that must be glued together before they can be fitted to the tank, but won’t react to normal styrene glue, so would be best done with super glue or epoxy glue, which would require the joint to remain relatively straight, so positioning them in the middle of the top and bottom track runs would be beneficial. Construction begins with the hull, which is built up from separate sides, held in alignment by two perforated bulkheads that sit in slots in the floor plan. An insert is added to the right rear side, completing the lower hull by fixing the rear bulkhead in place. The upper hull is mated with the lower, fitting a hatch on the right side, and one of the two circular cooling vents on the engine deck. Suspension details such as bump-stops, swing-arms with stub axles detail the hull sides, after which seven road wheel pairs are slipped over the axles on each side, and four return rollers per side. The idler wheels are smaller than the road wheels, and the drive sprockets are built from two separate toothed parts each. An appliqué armour panel is added to the underside of the tank, which improves its mine resistance, although unusually it doesn’t have an angled keel to deflect the blast like most other anti-mine packages. As mentioned earlier, the tracks are of the rubber-band type with nice detail, and if you can live with the curving of the links around the drive sprockets and idler wheels they should suffice. Each length is made from two sections, which have a generous four-link overlap and two pins on each link to strengthen the join. You are instructed to glue them with ordinary plastic adhesive, and you are recommended to clamp them together and wait until they are properly cured before handling them, but you’ll be in for a long wait, as I tested liquid glue and it had no melting effect. The pins are flush to the track pads on the outer face, so filling or hiding them under the fenders and against the ground would be advisable once you have attached them to the vehicle. The rear bulkhead of the vehicle has a large radiator grille running along the full width, which is a little shallow, but with some black paint in the recesses, should suffice for most modellers. A couple of turnbuckles are glued to the lower edge, and under the ends hang the two flexible mudguards that are made from the same plastic as the tracks, and the field telephone box with handle in the centre. Two other panels are fixed to either side, one with a bracket that receives the convoy light shield, applying a decal or painting the white cross by hand if you prefer. Three towing shackles and the rear light clusters finish the rear of the vehicle for now, installing the flexible towing cables with styrene eyes later. A set of pioneer tools are added to the rear deck, gluing barrel cleaning rods to the front deck, and the afore-mentioned towing ropes are fitted. If you're not happy with a mould-line running down your tow-ropes, now would be the time to replace it with some braided wire or cord, using the kit parts as a length template. Moving to the glacis plate, spare track links on a palette with the front hazard lights are installed, along with the usual shackles and headlights, followed by the driver’s hatch, which has detail inserts fixed front and rear. The fenders are integral to the top hull, and only the side-skirts need to be added. These are made from two basic parts on each side with tapering forward sections, and overlaying thicker appliqué armour over the front two road wheel stations and idler, plus the rear sections that locate on a long guiding tab moulded into the back of the parts. The turret is a complex shape, and the base is made up from three parts, onto which the main gun is built up with a block in place of the breech. The barrel is supplied in two halves, split vertically lengthwise, and it has some nice moulded-in detail, so take care aligning the parts and again when cleaning up the seam. The barrel is tipped with a hollow muzzle, but this is a little shallow, so might be better drilled out once the glue is dry. The mantlet section that raises with the gun is built up around the base of the barrel in three parts, and this is then added to the lower turret, being locked in place by a pair of trunnions that permit the barrel to raise and lower. The top of the turret is a large part with only one two-layer panel in the rear right added along with the sighting system's lenses that are installed from inside. This is mated to the bottom of the turret, after which the side panels and bustle are added to complete the main part of the turret's construction. The angled panels that bolster the armour of the turret's arrow-head front are installed next, and here there are were some quite significant sink-marks in previous boxings that seem to have been almost totally eradicated in this boxing. A bustle stowage box is created from a four-sided part with separate roof, glued to the rear of the turret, then the roof of the turret is festooned with various small parts, including antenna bases, armoured surrounds over the vision blocks, the new sight in front of the commander’s cupola, which utilises two parts cut from the clear sheet for its lenses front and rear. Another sighting turret is installed behind and to the left of the commander’s cupola, and the TV sensor box at the front is outfitted with its doors, which you can pose open by cutting the part in half and gluing it to the outer edges of the box. Lifting eyes and two crew access hatches are made and installed in open or closed positions, fixing the gunner's MG3 to the edge of his hatch. Triangular mesh baskets are made from four parts each and installed on the angled rear corners of the bustle, and these styrene parts would be prime candidates for replacement by aftermarket mesh to give a more realistic appearance. The smoke grenade launchers are fitted to each side of the turret just forward of the baskets, and these are made up from individual barrels attached to a rail with supports moulded in. To create the aerials, the instructions tell you to cut and heat up one end of two 75mm lengths of wire before plunging them into the aerial mounts that were added earlier in the build. Whether super-glue would be a less hazardous option is up to you. Just be careful you don't stab or burn yourself at any stage. It hurts. The turret can then be added to the hull by twisting it into place to lock the bayonet lugs under the turret-ring flange. A pair of rear-view mirrors are added to the front of the tank, and the last part of the build is to decide whether to lock the barrel to the rear for transport, or leave it free with the transport-lock stowed between the two large fan grilles, one of which has been left off until this point, possibly to ensure that the base of the travel-lock that is moulded into the grille is correctly lined up. Markings There are two decal options included on the sheet, both of which are painted in NATO green, brown and black camouflage. You can build one of the following from the box: PzBtl 104, Pfreimd, 2018 PzBtl 414, Bergen-Lohheide, 2019 Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion The Leopard 2 is an impressive and capable tank, and this kit should build up into a good rendition of it with a little care and attention to detail. Whether you want to replace the tracks or not depends on your priorities and budget, but the flexible tracks included are well-detailed for their type. Highly recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  19. After my last build took 2 years on and off, the heavily modified Airfix Wallace and Grommit motorbike and sidecar. I decided I needed to detox by building a kit in a day... The Airfix Mary Rose, which I did indeed finish in one day. After riding the high of actually finishing a complete kit in such little time, I felt my mojo has been somewhat restored for now and have embarked on my second kit in as many weeks. This was a gift from my wife on my latest birthday, she bought me this because I wouldn't let her have a real one to learn in, so have been tasked to build it to her specification. Hopefully this will take less than 2 years to build, so I am not going mad with the details to help with a fairly speedy completion. Cheers, Andy.
  20. Leopard 1 A1A1-A1A4 (05656) 1:35 Carrera Revell The Leopard Main Battle Tank (MBT) was designed in the mid-50s as an answer to a requirement by the newly reformed German Army to replace the outmoded American cast-off M47 and M48 tanks they had been using up until that point. It was based upon the premise that manoeuvrability and armament were more important than armour, as the rise of the HEAT round had rendered most standard rolled steel armour ineffective due to its massively increased penetrating capability. To make for a more agile target, the Leopard was designed to withstand 20mm rounds from all directions, weighing in at 30 tonnes, and with Nuclear, Biological, Chemical (NBC) protection to counter the Soviet hordes that they expected to be flooding across the border. Three design teams competed for the Tank contract from Porsche, Rheinmetall and Borgward. The Porsche prototype was eventually selected as the winner. Production was set up with Krauss-Maffei in Munich and deliveries began in late 1965. Provision was also made for bolt on Lexan armour, and it could carry the 120mm gun of the Leopard 2, even though this was never used. Export sales followed, and the Leopard 1 would go on to serve with the Armies of Belgium, Holland, Norway, Italy, Denmark, Australia, Canada, and Turkey. The A5 with Germany, Holland and Chile. The initial A1 variant reached service in the mid-60s carrying a NATO standard 105mm gun, then in the 1980s research was begun with a view to upgrading the tank, improving the turret to store more ammunition, and a more advanced fire control system was fitted to increase accuracy. An important upgrade to the A1A1 standard formed the basis of the A5 in the 80s, which with the benefit of retro-fitting, became the de facto standard Leopard 1 up until its replacement by the Leopard 2 in Bundeswehr service early in the new millennium. The Kit This is a new boxing of the 2015 tooling from Revell, as evidenced by the raised copyright details on the underside of the engine deck. It is a multi-version boxing, and arrives in a substantially oversized box as a gift-set, with enough room for another kit inside despite the extras, which seems a little wasteful of shipping space in our modern cost-conscious age. Inside the large top-opening box are ten sprues in grey styrene, a sprue and two track lengths in black flexible plastic, a 15cm length of metal wire (not pictured) taped to the colour instruction booklet, decal sheet, and profiles on the rear of the instructions for the four decal options that are included in this issue. The afore mentioned extras include six thumb pots of acrylic paint, a #2 paint brush, a 12.5ml bottle of Revell Contacta Professional cement with a needle applicator, and an A3 poster of the box art without all the frippery necessary for the packaging. It’s hard to photograph well, and there’s a thumbnail of it on the box top in case you can’t picture it. Detail is good, and it shows up better in grey styrene rather than the older green styrene Revell used to use, which was not only difficult to photograph well, but made it difficult to see too, as well as appearing a little old-fashioned. It’s an exterior kit, and offers the option to build the major variants, with traditional ‘rubber-band’ tracks that might deter some, and attract others. The cast texture on the mantlet and other parts is good, as is the Lexan armour that is applied to the turret sides, which has a fine waffle texture moulded-in, plus attachment bolts in recesses. Construction begins predictably with the lower hull, starting with the floor and adding the sidewalls that are supported by a bulkhead that slots into two grooves at around mid-way. The rear bulkhead is next, pointing out the detail painting of the moulded-in rear light clusters using letter codes that correspond to a table at the front of the booklet in Revell colour codes. Suspension details are added on both sides of the hull, including bump-stops, shock absorbers for the rear axles, and swing arms for all stations, locking in place on a keyed peg. The road wheels are made in pairs, fourteen road wheel assemblies, two idlers, plus four return-rollers on mounts higher on the hull sides. The road wheel pairs are slid onto the axles in groups of seven per side, plus the idler wheels at the front of the hull, then the drive sprockets are made from three layers ready to be fitted onto the hull with the tracks. Being of the rubber-band type, their ends are joined by threading the turrets at one end of the run through corresponding holes in the other end, then melting them flat into rivet-shapes with a hot screwdriver or similar item, turning them in a continuous band. One end of the loop is wrapped around the idler wheel, inserting the drive sprocket in the opposite end, and pushing the lengths over the road wheels, and gluing the sprocket into position at the rear. The upper hull is prepared by drilling out flashed-over holes in the front, three on the glacis plate, and two on each side ‘cheeks’ over the fender. While the part is inverted, the vision blocks for the driver are painted and pushed into their recesses in the forward deck, detail painting sensors over the fenders, and some filler caps on the engine deck. Detail inserts are applied to the sides of the hull once the two halves are mated, drilling a hole in each one before applying glue. Another small insert is fitted on the left side around the turret ring, then you have a choice of three styles of cooling grilles on the rear hull sides depending on which variant you are building, and for the A1A1 or A1A2 there is a tie-down at the rear that should be removed for some vehicles. The side skirts are fixed to the hull sides on small pegs, adding mudguards at the rear before the installation of detail parts begins, fitting lifting eyes, stowage boxes and pioneer tools on almost every surface. The rear bulkhead is adorned with towing eyes, shackles and a convoy shield light with cross decal, plus spare track links, and an equipment box on the top left. The towing cables are moulded in the same flexible black styrene as the tracks, and whether you use them is up to you, as you have separate styrene eyes for each end, so replacing them with cord or braided wire would be a simple task. The instructions show where they should be fitted, and their location as they snake toward the front of the vehicle, with arrows showing where the various tie-downs should be. More parts are added to the glacis, including light clusters, triangular blocks between the fenders and glacis, and a rack of cold-weather track grousers in three rows that mount on three pins. The driver’s hatch can be fitted opened or closed, although a figure would be needed to hide the empty interior, the location of the open hatch shown in a scrap diagram nearby. The turret upper begins as a hollow part, adding three vision blocks to the roof, then building the gun pivot from a hollow rectangle with pegs at each end, held in place by two trunnions in the lower turret. The vision blocks around the commander’s cupola are painted in, then the two halves of the turret are mated, adding detail parts and sensors on either side of the main gun on cylindrical projections, with open or closed covers possible using the same parts. The commander’s cupola and the gunner/loader’s hatches have top rails fitted, and a periscope is installed in front of the commander’s hatch. The gun barrel is provided in two vertically split halves, and has the cooling jacket and its straps moulded-in, inserting the keyed rear into the mantlet after drilling out several holes from within depending on which variant you are portraying. The completed assembly is glued to the box-shaped pivot to complete the basic structure, then additional details are layered over it in the next several steps, starting with a bustle stowage box with cylindrical tubes to each side, which is fitted to the rear of the turret, and covered with a back panel and tubular framed basket on each side, taking care to locate the ends to align the assemblies correctly. The crew hatches are both circular and made from two spaced layers, adding a central boss inside, both of which can be posed open or closed in their respective hatches, as per the accompanying diagrams on the following page. A canvas mantlet cover is fitted to the space at the front of the turret, adding lifting eyes to the top surface, then two racks of smoke grenade launchers on curved rails are made, glued to the turret sides, and surrounded by Lexan armour panels that cover the majority of the sides, adding two more panels to the bustle baskets, and a piece of appliqué armour to the mantlet with its own lifting eye. Various rails are added over the armour on the sides, and the gunner’s MG3 machine gun is fitted to a two-part pintle-mount, inserting the peg into the ring around his hatch, and aerial bases into a sockets near the rear of the turret roof. An TV camera is made from three parts and attached to the top of the mantlet for the A1A2 and A1A4 variants, mounting a three-part cage with a protective door to the front, while all variants have an Infrared night vision system in a box with the hatch posed open or closed, the open option involving cutting the hatch down the centre. It is mounted on the left side of the mantlet with a short frame supporting the front, and a thick cable leading back and into the turret at the corner. The completed turret is then lowered into the hull and twisted into position on a pair of bayonet lugs. The build isn’t quite over however, as there is a two-part travel lock applied to the rear bulkhead, which can be posed lowered for action or vertically to clasp the barrel while the turret is reversed for travel. The final two styrene parts are used to make the driver’s wing mirror that is mounted on the right fender at an angle, using a long or short support. You’ve probably forgotten about the piece of wire taped to the front of the instructions, but it has a use. Aerials of two lengths are cut depending on the variant, their ends warmed in a flame until they’re hot enough to melt plastic. Then they are inserted into the aerial bases, although I’d rather use super glue in case the plastic melts too freely. I have used wire and carbon rod for AFV aerials in the past, and would entreat you to be very careful when looking closely at your model, as the end is very sharp. If you’re clumsy like me, perhaps a dot of super glue forming a ball on the end could save your eyesight. Markings There are four decal options on the small sheet, but there are additional digits for number plates that permit you to build your own vehicle registrations. From the box you can build one of the following: Leopard 1 A1A1 (4. Baulos) PzBtl 24, Braunschweig 1977 Leopard 1 A1A2 (3. Baulos) JgBtl 511, Flensburg, 1988 Leopard 1 A1A3 (2. Baulos) PzBtl 354, Hammelburg, 1987 Leopard 1 A1A4 (2. Baulos) PzBtl 324, Hammelburg, 1987 Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion It’s a well-detailed exterior model of this important Cold War warrior, and while the flexible tracks may put off a few, it’s swings and roundabouts. There are plenty of variant options, and tons of number plate choices that should allow you to build a good replica of the first Leopard. Highly recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  21. Hi guys, my first kit finished this year, and my first post here on Britmodeller. This is a Revell kit with some scratches to make it look more like the real thing. I will explain each of these changes better in the photos below. For the paint, I found a lot of paint schemes for these shelters, so I took one from reference and make only a few changes. The Kit: Revell 1/72 Shelter and ground plate I thought the dome was not very stable so as a first step I reinforced it. There were many ejection marks as well to cover. The shape of the kit is very far from the real thing, so I superimposed a photo of the piece in photoshop with the photo of the real shelter, printed it out and used it as a template to make a new facade with a 5mm sheet of styrene. The dome of the shelter is warped so it was necessary to hold it in shape with tape. I tried soaking it in hot water to get the right shape, but I wasn't successful. The solution I found was to put some nails in the base to hold the dome in the right shape. The kit is very poor in details, so I wanted to do some to make it more interesting. Scribbed some panel lines scratch those boxes added some wires and some interior stuff for the front lowering I used zipaline and kombifiller for the painting I made a mixture of paints to try to match the tone of the reference photos
  22. Most recently released by Revell Germany, this small scale Yamato was originally produced the Italian company Casadio as one of their pre-assembled "Miniships" way back in the early 1970s. Over the years It has been reissued many times as an unassembled kit by Revell UK and Almark in England, Revell/West Germany, ESCI in Italy, Sablon in France, and by both Model Power and MPC in the United States. The same plastic has also been marketed as the Musashi. Apparently the only differences among the various releases have been in the instructions and box art. This toy/model from the early 1970s is a very simplified, snap-together affair designed for quick building. When I built it as a kid back then I was among those for whom the kit was apparently designed: wargamers and young modelers (even though it was snap-together, the instructions recommended kid-friendly NOTOX plastic glue... I can still remember the weird lemon scent of that stuff!) At the time I liked the snap together design, but the poor fit of the parts was annoying. And the model is very basic: while the one piece hull is recognizably a Yamato, the shape is vague and toylike. The complex main guns and funnel are reduced to single parts, and the prominent mainmast is missing entirely. Aircraft are only generalized single float monoplane representations, in any case wrong; if they are meant to be Aichi E13A "Jakes", they should have twin floats, if Mitsubishi F1M "Petes" they should be biplanes. The 127mm type 89 guns are only vaguely correct, and the numerous 25mm triples are molded directly to the decks and turrets. Still, the kit has its good points. First of all, at a mere 27 parts the ship goes together quickly, and although basic, I remember that the completed model does resemble the Yamato. The bridge windows are neatly represented as recessed squares, and two alternate main turrets are provided so you can depict the ship at an earlier point in her career before she got the extra antiaircraft guns on the turret tops, or perhaps as the Musashi. Examining the parts this time around, I was struck by the crudeness of the molding with its chunky shapes, flash, goofy pits and bumps... but oh, well. At least the simplified kit wouldn’t tempt me to go nuts superdetailing it! Refering to the overall general arrangement drawing from Janusz Skulski’s Anatomy of the Ship - The Battleship Yamato, the model rides a little high, so I sanded about 2mm from the hull bottom. The hull shape is mostly ok otherwise ...except the bow. After gluing the deck down I added a plastic shim and sanded things into a little better shape. There is adequate representation of planking on the main deck, but the second deck was also shown planked – this particular deck was actually steel, so I sanded the area smooth. A bigger problem was the configuration of the antiaircraft guns. The model is pretty accurate for Yamato (or Musashi) in October, 1944 (Battle of Leyte Gulf) with all those 25mm singles on the main deck. Unfortunately, it also has the six additional 25mm triples along the deck edge amidships which were added to Yamato only later when the single mounts were removed, so the model as is wouldn’t be accurate for either time frame. The simplest fix would have been to remove the center six 25mm triple mounts and go for a Leyte Gulf Yamato, but I liked the powerful look of those triples all lined up on the deck edge. Keeping these meant going for a Yamato in her final 1945 configuration. The 1945 Yamato would require eight more 25mm triple mounts, so I bought a second kit to raid for parts. After trimming off all those 25mm singles (24 of them!), I added the eight 25mm triples from the spare kit in the appropriate places to make an April, 1945 Yamato. ] It was a lot more alteration than I had originally intended, but the mini battlewagon’s air defense is now more accurate for 1945! The main 18 inch guns, though reasonable, were too long compared with my references. Cutting the ends down was the obvious solution, but then the steps in the barrels would have ended up too far forward. Doh! To solve this I removed the barrels, drilled holes in the turret faces and reinstalled the rifles with much of their length pushed inside the turrets. This left guns of the correct exterior length with the steps where they should be. After that I drilled out the tips of the 18 inch barrels with my X-acto and added Milliput blast bags. Also, I improved the aft fire control station (part #12) by combining it with the forward fire control optic array (part #13 with the radars removed) from the spare kit. One of the strengths of this little snap-together kit is the combat bridge windows which are clearly defined, even see-through from the sides in places. I left the kit tower pretty much as is except for a simple wind baffle over the combat bridge using a part from a wrecked 1/350 Tamiya Musashi as a guide. I also replaced the solid kit radars with simple photoetch parts. These were re-purposed floater net baskets from a Gold Medal Models 1/700 scale WW2 USN Cruiser/Destroyer Fittings set. I wanted to avoid scratchbuilding for this quick battleship project, but a shortcoming of this kit is the absence of any representation of the Yamato’s distinctive mainmast. That mast was just too prominent a feature to ignore, so I went ahead and built one up using Detail Associates (part 2505) .015 inch diameter brass wire. This makes for a scale mast about 1½ scale feet thick in 1/1200. Since the complex-looking mast assembly measures a mere ¾ of an inch in height, I made only a simplified representation of it. This model is certainly no masterpiece of the kit maker's art, but it was superior to comparable Pyro and Lindberg offerings of the time, and it is still way less expensive than the various pre-assembled wargaming and collector models out there. I spent less than ten bucks for it, so taken for what it is, this little Yamato isn’t a bad kit at all.
  23. Hi all, with my second build about to be wrapped up and a few weeks before the Baby Boomers GB starts I thought why not fit another kit in here whilst I'm on a hot streak. So I picked up the Revell rebox of Hasegawa's Hs 129 in 1/48. The main pull for me was the kit features decals for a Panzerknacker based in Libya and I'm yet to do a North African campaign luftwaffe build. Specifically this Henschel captured at Castel Benito airfield. Looking forward to it, thanks for looking in!
  24. USS New Jersey, Platinum Edition 1:350 Revell The USS New Jersey, a 45,000-ton Iowa class battleship, was built at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania. Commissioned in May 1943, she spent the rest of that year in the western Atlantic and Caribbean area. New Jersey went to the Pacific in early 1944 and conducted her first combat operations in support of the Marshalls invasion. She was Fifth Fleet flagship during the mid-February raid on the Japanese base at Truk, where she used her guns to sink one enemy ship and join in sinking another. Through the rest of 1944, she took part in raids on Japanese-held islands, the Marianas invasion and Battle of Philippine Sea, the Battle of Leyte Gulf and operations against the Philippines. From August 1944, she was flagship of Admiral William F. Halsey's Third Fleet. The New Jersey continued her Pacific combat operations into 1945, supporting the invasions of Iwo Jima and the Ryukyus. Following overhaul, she again became Fifth Fleet flagship during the final days of World War II and remained in the Far East until early 1946. She then went to the Atlantic in 1947 and made one midshipmen's training cruise to Europe before decommissioning in June 1948. The Korean War brought the New Jersey back into commission in November 1950. Two Korean combat tours in 1951 and 1953 were punctuated by a European cruise in the Summer of 1952. After returning home from the western Pacific in late 1953, New Jersey operated in the Atlantic. She deployed to Mediterranean and European waters twice in 1955-56 and was placed out of commission in August 1957. During the Vietnam war USS New Jersey was the only battleship recalled to duty. She recommissioned in April 1968 and arrived off Southeast Asia in September. From then until April 1969, she conducted frequent bombardments along the South Vietnamese coast. But, whilst preparing for a second Vietnam tour, she was ordered inactivated and decommissioned in December 1969. The early 1980s defence build-up produced a fourth active period for the New Jersey, beginning with her recommissioning after an extensive refit, which saw the mounting of cruise missile boxes, harpoon launchers and Vulcan Phalanx CIWS in December 1982. She again fired her big guns in combat during the Lebanon crisis of 1983-84 and deployed to the western Pacific in 1986 and 1989-90, with the latter cruise extending to the Persian Gulf area. Decommissioned again in February 1991, USS New Jersey was towed from the Pacific to the Atlantic in 1999. She is since become a museum at Camden, New Jersey. The Model Originally released by Revell in 2000 and re-released in 2002 this kit appears older than it really is with quite a lot of flash and extraneous moulding stubs. The original kit looks like it was meant to have been motorised at some point as all the mountings are still extant. When released it wasnt exactly the best produced model of the New Jersey, that accolade went to the Tamiya kit, but it was pretty accurate. In this Platinum release Revell have included lots of goodies to try and bring the kit up to date including wooden decks, etched metal parts plus turned brass barrels and masts. Once cleaned up and the areas which fall short of todays standards removed, the additional parts really bring the model up to a good standard with lots of fine details and accurate shapes. The completed kit on shop at Scale Model World in Telford showed how good it could look. With the appropriate care, patience and time the model could meet almost museum standards. The major hurdle in building the kit is the way the instructions are presented. The original kit instructions have not been altered in any way. Instead the assembly and fitting of the etched and turned parts are provided on three A3 double sided sheets, so a lot of toing and froing will be required to ensure the correct assemblies and parts are fitted to their respective positions, which could get quite frustrating. It might be an idea to go through all the instructions first and mark on the main booklet where the additional parts need to go, so that none are missed or you find that something needs to be removed and youve got to the point where it will be awkward to do so. The standard build starts with the some areas on the single piece hull being removed. Dont forget to add the strengthening beams that were a feature of this commission, along the hull sides before painting. This is followed by the assembly of the three main gun turrets which consist of the mounting, upper turret, the three barrels, rangefinder housings and hatches. With the addition of the etched parts and brass barrels these turrets are transformed. The three barrels are now meant to be fitted to the main deck with locking piece fitted from the underside so that they turn. This is a toy like feature which I feel is unnecessary and will cause problems later in the build, so leave them off until the painting and wooden deck are fitted. What you can do is fit the main deck to the hull and once the propellers, their shafts and the rudders are fitted I would paint the hull and deck furniture, fit the wooden deck, and then put the assembly to one side whilst the rest of the parts are constructed. Attention is now focused on the main single piece superstructure section onto which the superstructure sides are attached. Now there is quite a bit of flash on these parts so a good clean up is called for before fitting. Dont forget to check with the etch instruction sheets as quite a few splinter shields and the like need to be removed, to be replaced by the etched brass parts. This goes for the whole superstructure, bridge and foremast, including the aerials, radars, funnels and main gun directors. In fact there is an awful lot of work to be done when building all these assemblies, but it will be worth it. The whole of the top of the foremast is in fact replaced with brass, the highlight being the super complex SPS-49 and AN/SPS 10 radar arrays. The kit funnels come with solid tops, so these need to be drilled out and carefully cut away and filed before the new caps can be fitted. The instructions have very clear diagrams showing how to do this. With the main fore and aft superstructure assembled and spruced up its on to the other weapon systems where again extensive use of the PE improves the look of the Harpoon and Cruise missile systems. The only downside is that the Vulcan Phalanx systems do not get any treatment and really could do with replacing with more accurate aftermarket parts. With this build you might as well go the whole hog and make the best model you can. The five inch gun turrets are improved with the addition of the turned barrels, etched ladders and doors. There is so much additional detail included in this kit that its difficult to explain it all, suffice to say that everything from the ships boats crutches, ensign and jack staffs are replaced. I particularly like the treatment the Refuelling At Sea boom gets, with replacement fixtures and the addition of the fuel hoses dangling down. The boats davits are also given an overhaul with the addition of the downhauls, access ladders and blocks. Even the Seahawk helicopters are given the etch treatment, with new undercarriage, rotors, both folded and spread, swash plates and pitch controls. Once the wooden decks are laid there are numerous deck hatches, windlasses and other fittings to add. Finally a full set of railings for the whole ship are included, including the flightdeck netting and blackned chain for the anchors. Decals The single decal sheet contains the ships name plaques, identification numbers, awards, and the whole of the faintail flightdeck with the correct markings. The helicopters also get national markings and Navy titling. There are several decals for certain sensors, but I think these would better painted. They seem pretty well printed, with good density and with minimal carrier film, but the larger items will probably need some softener or setting solution to settle them down nicely. There is also a paper sheet with code/signal flags should you wish to add them. Conclusion From a pretty ropey looking kit, certainly on initial inspection I think Revell have really turned this one around with the addition of the etched parts, turned brass and the wooden deck. It has the potential to build into an outstanding model given the appropriate care and attention. Yes it will take some work, and definitely one for a seasoned modeller not a beginner. Very highly recommended Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  25. My entry for the group build will be Revell's 1/48 F-84E, and as the title suggests, the markings I decided on are the colorful markings for Col. Robert Scott's thunderjet he flew when he took command of the 36th Fighter Bomber Wing in Furstenfeldbruck, Germany in 1951. Scott gained fame as the highest scoring ace of the CBI theater in WWII with 10 kills. As the commander of the brand new 23rd FG, he flew hand-me-down AVG P-40s adorned with leftover Flying Tiger decals, so when he was assigned F-84E-10-RE 49-2299 as his personal aircraft with the 36th FBW, he figured it appropriate to pay homage to his WWII days and applied several Flying Tiger motifs to the aircraft. Decals are from an excellent Cutting Edge sheet, although the national insignia and stenciling will need to come from elsewhere, likely a newer boxing of a Revell F-84G in the stash since the decals in the E box have started to yellow. The only AM I plan to add at the moment is a resin seat from Quickboost.
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