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  1. The Special Hobby Caproni Ca.311 & Ca.311M kits are ready for release - ref. SH72307 & SH72311. Source: http://www.mpmkits.net/2014/08/sh72307-caproni-ca311-sh72311-caproni.html More here: http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234961737-172-caproni-ca311-311m-special-hobby-sh72307-309/ V.P.
  2. If anyone fancies either of the new Special Hobby 1/48 F-86K Sabre Dog kits, we'll do them for between 10-15% off UK RRP. Please let me know as we'll be ordering them tomorrow for next week. There's a chance that you could have them in time for Christmas! thanks Mike
  3. As Hannants with the 1/48th Blenheim Mk.I/IF (http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234965380-classic-airframes-blenheim-mk-11f-hannants/), Special Hobby is to re-release the old Classic Airframes 1/48th Supermarine Walrus Mk.I kit in several limited editions. Source: http://www.mpmkits.com/en/1/1-1-6/8/ - Ref.SH48161 - 1/48 Walrus Mk. I Early Warriors source: http://www.mpmkits.com/en/1/1-1-6/1-48-walrus-mk-i-early-wariors.html - Ref.SH48162 - 1/48 Walrus Mk. I Battleships Eyes source: http://www.mpmkits.com/en/1/1-1-6/1-48-walrus-mk-i-battleships-eyes.html - Ref.SH48163 - 1/48 Walrus Mk. I Air Sea Rescue source: http://www.mpmkits.com/en/1/1-1-6/1-48-walrus-mk-i-air-sea-rescue.html V.P.
  4. Bristol M.1c 1:32 Special Hobby History The Bristol M1C was a well designed and effective aircraft that was not given a real chance to show its true potential. The M1C had a maximum speed approximately 30-50 mph (50-80 km/h) faster than any of the contemporary German Fokker Eindecker monoplanes. The M.1A prototype was designed by Frank Barnwell in 1916 and built as a private venture by the Bristol Aeroplane Corporation. The War Office ordered four aircraft for evaluation - designated M.1B - which had a single 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers machine gun mounted on the port wing and a clear-view cut-out in the starboard wing to give the pilot more downward visibility. Despite its excellent performance, the Bullet was rejected by the Air Ministry for service on the Western Front. The reason given was because its landing speed was considered too high for small French airfields. It was more likely because of a widespread belief that monoplane aircraft were unsafe in combat. Nevertheless, a production order for 125 aircraft was placed on August 3, 1917. Designated M.1C, this version was fitted with a Le Rhône 9J, 110 horsepower (82 kilowatt) 9 cylinder air-cooled rotary engine. The aircraft was armed with a single Vickers 0.303 in (7.7 mm) machine gun, centrally-mounted in front of the pilot. The Model The kit comes in rather an attractive top opening box with an artists impression of the aircraft overflying the enemy somewhere in the Middle East. Inside there are four sprues of medium grey styrene, a sheet of photo etched parts, decal sheet, a couple of resin parts and a small acetate sheet for the windscreen. The parts are all cleanly moulded with no sign of flash or imperfections and very few moulding pips. Surface detail is well defined and fitting for a model in this scale. Although the model looks quite simple there is a lot of detail included, particularly in the cockpit area, which, considering the size of the cockpit opening will probably be lost once the fuselage is closed up, which is a shame. There are currently two versions of this aircraft released, this one being the “Wartime Colours”. The build naturally begins in the cockpit which as mentioned above is highly detailed. Firstly the sub assemblies for the two instrument panels, with each instrument face provided on the decal sheet, which will look great, having had a small drop of Crystal Glaze, Future or the like on them to simulate the instrument glass. The foot rest structure is fitted with the joystick and rudder bar on top and a dwarf bulkhead on the underside. The sub assemblies are then fitted to one side of the internal structure of the fuselage which are moulded as two cross braced panels, followed by further lateral cross bracing, dwarf bulkheads, front bulkhead and the front face of the fuel tank at the rear of the main structure. The beautifully moulded resin seat with ultra fine wickerwork backrest is fitted with the etched seat belts and lap straps, which are pre-painted and the styrene seat cushion. The completed seat is then fitted into position and the other braced panel is attached to the front bulkhead and rear tank assembly to form a rigid structure. If you really want to go to town there are a couple of nicely drawn diagrams showing how and where the bracing wires are fitted around the cockpit structure. The completed assembly is then fitted into one half of the fuselage, but before closing up there several more control levers to be added should you wish as they are shown as optional in the instructions, along with the non-optional tail skid. With the fuselage closed up it’s now onto the engine assembly. This consists of front and rear halves of the cylinders, individual cylinder heads, individual push roads and a single piece exhaust manifold. The engine is then slid onto the rear mounted shaft and fuselage attachment point. The engine is then mounted on the fuselage and covered with the three-quarter cowling. At the same point in the instructions the horizontal and vertical tailplanes are fitted, followed by the separate elevators and rudder. Each mainplane is moulded as a single piece with the exception of the separate ailerons and are mounted on to the location points at the shoulder of the fuselage. With these firmly set in place the undercarriage can be added, which consists of two struts and the aerofoil/axle fixed between them. The wheels have separate outer hubs and slide onto the axle on either side. With the build coming to completion, it’s on with the propeller, which is made up of the steering wheel looking backplate, single piece two bladed prop, bullet shaped spinner and two etched parts that are fitted around the propeller slots in the spinner. The single machine gun is then fitted into position, along with the streamlined belt covers, fuel tank filler cap, oil tank filler cap followed by the two twin braces fitted over the cockpit. The modeller has a choice of windscreens to fit. Either one with a simple single etched mounting or one with a more complex twin armed etched mounting. To complete the model there are clear diagrams showing the rigging, which, being a monoplane is mercifully quite easy. Decals The decal sheet, printed by AVIPRINT.CZ provides markings for two machines. They are well printed, in good register, which is vital with the size, particularly of the roundels. They are also remarkably thin, with little carrier film visible, but appear to be nicely opaque. The markings are for:- Bristol M.1c, C4907, of No.150 Squadron, RAF, Ambarkoy Airbase, Mesopotamia Autumn 1918. This machine is painted brown uppers over light blue undersides and spinner. Bristol M.1c, C4918, of No.72 Squadron, C flight, Mirjana Airbase, Mesopotamia Spring 1918. This machine is painted with brown fuselage and upper wings, natural linen colour on the undersides of each wing and wheel hubs and with a grey forward fuselage and spinner. Conclusion This is a lovely kit of a beautiful looking aircraft that will certainly make an an interesting addition to any collection, and will stand out in a collection of WW1 biplanes. The mouldings of both the styrene and resin parts are very well produced with the seat a masterpiece of resin moulding. With everything in the box the modeller could possibly need it should bring hours of fun without any extra outlay. Some parts could be tricky so probably not for the novice modeller but anyone with some experience shouldn’t have a problem. Highly recommended. Review samples courtesy of
  5. Another Supermarine, more precisely a Seafire FR.Mk.47 in progress by Special Hobby with catalogue number SH72099. Herebelow the box art and the proposed markings. Source: http://www.modelforu...hp?f=97&t=69259 V.P.
  6. Bell AH-1G Cobra 'Marines' Special Hobby 1:72 The US Air Force started to use helicopters early in the Vietnam War as offensive platforms. Following a failed attempt to provide a dedicated attack helicopter in the guise of the Model 207 Sioux Scout in the early ‘60’s, Bell independently invested $1m into a new helicopter using some of the technology of the infamous UH-1 Iroquois, or more affectionately known ‘Huey’. This was in spite of the fact that the Army was more interested in a Lockheed venture with the AH-56 Cheyenne in response to Bells previous failure, however that didn’t come to fruition. Only 8 months later, the Model 209 made it’s first flight and subsequently won over its rivals in evaluation. The 209 was to become the infamous sister to the Iroquois, the Cobra. The airframe took the rotor, gearing and turbine engine from the Huey, but incorporated a new tandem seat cockpit arrangement with armoured panels to go some way to protect the crew from ground fire. Other key features were stub wings to carry a variety of suitable attack weapons and an under-nose turret housing a 20mm cannon and in some cases a grenade launcher. In 1967 The first of over 1100 Cobras entered US Army service and provided much needed fire support in the Vietnam War for ground forces amongst other specialised activities such as forward ‘Hunter Killer’ teams working along side OH-6A scout helicopters searching out ground forces. The AH-1G also initially entered service with the Marines, although they wanted the extra reliability of two engines, so service in the Marines was short lived until the twin engines ‘Super Cobras’ became available. Whilst the US Army retired the last of its single engine AH-1’s in 2001, nine overseas operators included Israel, Japan and Pakistan. Israel widely used the Cobra, in particular in the 1982 Lebanon War against Syrian forces, but they too retired their fleet in 2013. Pakistan still operate their Cobra’s and Japan still operate their licence built versions too. The kit This is the 5th boxing of the UH-1 from Special Hobby. It comes securely packed in a top opening box with 5 medium grey sprues and a separately packed clear sprue. First impressions indicate a very good quality kit. Very sharp moulding with finely recessed panel lines and intricate detail is apparent with a coloured A5 sized instruction booklet on glossy paper. Presence of flash is negligible and I couldn’t find any sink marks on any exterior surfaces. There are a lot of optional parts included that aren’t used for this version, so fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your preferences, the parts use is much less than initially thought. Whilst the instructions are colour with good diagrams, the images are quite small and some of the locations for small parts are a little vague, so some studying before steaming ahead with the glue may be necessary. The paint guide refers to Gunze colours. There are decal options provided for 4 machines. Parts breakdown is quite traditional with two fuselage halves and separate tail. Construction starts with the cockpit. I would say that the detail in the cockpit is adequate. Separate seats with additional side armour parts are provided with the forward cockpit getting collective and cyclic controls too. The rear bulkhead in the cockpit tub requires removal and an alternative part is provided to replace it that includes a padded surface effect The side panels on the cockpit tub are quite minimalistic, so the optional pre-painted PE set advertised in the instructions are an option you may want to consider. The instrument panels have recessed instruments and the instructions indicate a decal for both panels is included, but I can’t find them on either of the two decal sheets provided. With the tub assembled, it locates between the fuselage halves. Pleasingly, the halves have location pins unlike some of the early short run kits my SH/MPM kits making assembly a little easier. The surface detail in the fuselage exterior is a mixture of nicely recessed panel lines, raised panels and rivet detail. If one was to be critical, you could say the rivets are a little excessive in size, but under some paint, should look fine in my opinion. Two rotor mast base designs are provided, however there’s no explanation of which one would be fitted to which versions included. As I’m far from an expert on the Huey, I couldn’t help out on this. Personally, I’d go for the more detailed one! Two separate tails are provided to accommodate either the left or the right sided tail rotor, depending upon which option you intend to build. The tail parts simply but on to the end of the tail boom of the main fuselage. The stub wings are equally well moulded with good surface detail despite their small size. The instructions call out for the fitment of both the XM-158 and XM-200 rocket launchers (7 and 19 2.75” rockets respectively). However there are also two XM-18 minigun pods, two XM-157 rocket launchers and an XM-35 stub wing mounted minigun included on the sprues which may go to good use. Three of the four schemes included call for the combined minigun / grenade launcher turret to be installed, however one of the versions is a test aircraft using a blanking part. This is provided as an additional resin part. Not called for in the instructions, but provided is a minigun only turret too. The nose section calls out for a weight to be added. Take care here, I for one often forget this or don’t notice the instruction! A great addition is the parts included to add the ground handling pack. This includes 2 x two wheeled bogies that locate on the skids and a trailing tow bar. Unlike Cobras provided by other manufacturers, the canopy is provided as all separate parts. This does make assembly trickier, but gives much better opportunity for an open cockpit display. The parts are very clear with minimal distortion. There are also several tiny clear parts included on the sprue, but fortunately, you only need a few of them with this kit as they are very small and would probably end up feeding the carpet monster! Decals The two decal sheets included have good register. The text on the stencils is a little vague, not as sharp as some I’ve seen, but again, I’m being critical here. Schemes are provided for 4 rotorcraft: AH-1G 68-17108, VT-26 HMA-367 Scarface, USMC, Vietnam 1969-70 AH-1G 68-15194, US Navy Test Pilot School, NAS Jacksonville 1974 in midnight blue scheme AH-1G 68-15045, ex USMC HMA-773 assigned to US Navy Test Pilot School, NAS Patuxent River ‘75 AH-1G 68-17105, HMA-169 (VMO-2), USMC Camp Pendleton, California, ‘72 Conclusion This is a very nicely detailed kit, arguably, the best on the market currently with no less than 4 schemes to choose from. I matched the main parts up to drawings in the Squadron Publication for a ball park check of accuracy and there were no obvious errors to raise attention to. There are lots of additional options on the sprues to venture in to aftermarket schemes if you can get decals, and the spares box will also be treated to some new parts too. The small parts and none-single piece canopy make this a more challenging kit for young or beginner level modellers, but a joy for anyone with a few builds behind them who possess a good set of tweezers. Without too much effort, this could be built into a superb little diorama given the open canopy and ground handling pack included. Also included in the box is a 25% discount voucher for 'Cobra- The Attack Helicopter' hardback book by Mike Verier, RRP £25 adding even more value for Cobra fans Review sample courtesy of
  7. Hi, Next Spanish Civil War machine - small passanger imposed to military transport in Republican services: Lockheed 9D Orion ("TK-3"), from 1937. Model is almost OOB, minor additions only done including decals (TK-3) from drawer. Please enjoy it and comments welcomed Jerzy-Wojtek
  8. This is a 1/72 kit from Special Hobby of the Sack AS 6. The limited amount of information on this plane, but what is there is quite interesting. It was designed by a Bavarian farmer (Arthur Sack) who designs caught the eye of Ernest Udet. The Sack AS 1-5 versions were models and the AS 6 was the first, full size, powered design. It was an amalgamation of various existing parts. The cockpit, pilot seat and landing gear was salvaged from a BF 109B. The engine came from a BF 108. Brakes were donated by an old JU 88. From all that I have read, to say that this flew is generous. Its seems it made some nice hops up into the air that lasted a few seconds, with most of the hops ending in a collapse of one or both of the landing gear when the hop ended. The kit is injection molded with resin details (engine, cockpit side walls, instrument panel, exhausts) and one vacuform canopy. I started this kit a couple of years ago, but got fed up with the filling and sanding that needed to be done. That and whoever designed the injection mold parts of the kit never spoke to the resin designer so most of the resin really doesn’t fit the kit. Also, the instructions are at best suggestive of what goes where so most of the part location decisions are a hunch. One of my resolutions has been to clear out the shelf of doom and finish every kit I have started. This is one of them. I took some early progress pictures and then just stopped. So here are the progress pictures, followed by the finish kit. I need to add some more filler to some of the joints and that has been done. The next step is to try to get the cockpit built up. Both of the resin sidewalls are way too tall for the interior. So they will have to be reduced to fit the inside. Here is one side cut to fit with the other side awaiting trimming to show the difference between the two. The instrument panel is very basic After trimming the side walls they were installed along with the IP. I attempted to put in the seat, but it is way too wide for the cockpit. So after much sanding and trimming, I ended up with this crude situation. I thought about finding a smaller seat replacement or have an attempt at scratchbuilding. However, even though it has a vacuform canopy, not much will be seen through it once it is on. So the canopy was put on. (Why are vacuform canopies so terrifying? Each cut I make I feel I have just ruined it and then what? Hopefully I am getting better at cutting them out and making them fit.) That was the build up until the time I stopped. I got this kit out and finished the darn thing. Once it is built up, it doesn’t look too bad. If you compare the box art to the kit, the artist decided the wings were fabric covered while the kit designers portray them as planks of wood. Anyway, once I restarted the kit, it was fairly enjoyable. It is also a bit weird and I like that. Hope you like the German version of the Flying Pancake. As always, all comments are welcome.
  9. Special Hobby is to release a 1/32nd Bristol M1C Monoplane Scout kit - ref. SH32057 Source: http://www.modelforum.cz/viewtopic.php?f=97&p=1580692#p1580692 V.P.
  10. Airspeed Oxford MI/MkII 1:48 Special Hobby History Known to hundreds of R.A.F. aircrew as the "Ox-box", the Oxford first appeared in 1937 as a military development of the 1934 Envoy feeder-liner, and was the first twin-engined monoplane trainer in the Royal Air Force. the first Oxfords joined the Central Flying School in November 1937, and by the time of the outbreak of World War 2 nearly 400 were in service. Production was subsequently stepped up, Airspeed building nearly four and a half thousand Oxfords, and with sub-contracts placed with de Havilland, Percival and Standard Motors the total number of Oxfords completed came to 8751. Although used most widely in its intended role as aircrew trainer, the Oxford gave valuable service on communications and anti-aircraft co-operation duties, and was also used in some numbers as an ambulance, particularly in the Middle East. As a trainer, it served in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Southern Rhodesia as well as in the United Kingdom. Outwardly there was little difference in appearance between the various mark numbers, the principal variations being in power-plant and internal equipment. The Oxford I was a bombing and gunnery trainer, and featured a dorsal Armstrong-Whitworth turret - the only Oxford to do so. The Mk.II was similarly powered, and was equipped as a navigation and radio trainer. This was likewise the function of the Mk.V, powered by two 455 h.p. Pratt & Whitney Wasp Juniors and was chiefly used in Rhodesia and Canada. The only Oxfords used in Canada were the Mk.I, Mk.II and Mk.V. During the war period a number of Oxfords were also in service with the Fleet Air Arm as naval crew trainers, particularly for radio operators, but also with sonar buoy operators after the war. The Model The two boxings reviewed here are essentially the same kit, with only different markings provided. Both top opening boxes have an attractive artists impression of the aircraft on the front. One boxing is titled Royal Navy, (SH 48 152), whilst the other is Oxfords in Foreign Service, (SH 48 159). Inside, the modeller will find four sprues of medium grey styrene, a pack of resin parts, a sheet of etched brass and the decal sheet, or in the case of the Foreign Service kit, two decal sheets. Each kit has a very nicely printed A5 instruction booklet, which, with its small drawings and copious number of positioning lines makes it not the easiest to read, so care will be need when building. The styrene parts are very nicely moulded with finely engraved lines where required and the fabric areas do not appear to be too exaggerated. The styrene seems quite hard and glossy, so a light rub down may be required for the paint to key properly, that, or use a good primer. The resin parts are also well moulded and shouldn’t require too much cleaning up after removal from their moulding blocks. There are some fine resin parts for which care will be need when handling. There is one resin part, the machine gun that is not used on either kit. There is certainly plenty of detail for the interior provided. For the interior to be seen would require really clear styrene parts, and for the large canopy this is true, although there is some distortion on the curved area above the pilot/co-pilot. The side windows are also a little distorted and could do with some micromesh and Aqua Gloss or Klear to improve their clarity. A very handy addition is the inclusion of a set of masks, which will be very useful, particularly for the large canopy. Construction begins with the interior and the assembly of the pilots and co-pilots seats, the bases of which are quite complex PE parts which need to be folded to shape before the styrene seats are attached. The seats are also equipped with PE seatbelts and adjustment handles. The two control yokes are then assembled from the three parts before they and the seats are fitted to the cockpit floor. The throttle box is a resin item, to which PE levers and trim wheel are added. There are also four rudder pedals to assemble, each made up of resin main part fitted with PE toe straps. The throttle quadrant and rudder pedals are now fixed into position. The cockpit bulkhead is attached to the floor, followed by the cabin floor which forms the cover for the wing spar. To the cabin floor another seat, complete with lap straps, is attached facing aft. Half way down the cabin floor three, “bottles” are fitted whilst at the end of the floor the rear bulkhead is attached. Underneath the cockpit section of the floor another PE assembly is added, this depicts the rudder arms, and since they will be seen through the glazed lower nose, the modeller could detail these with the respective cabling. Before the fuselage halves are joined there is a lot of equipment to be fitted, mainly to the starboard side, with a selection of resin and PE details such as the instrument panel, separate compass, main radio sets, support brackets, shelving, other equipment boxes and the insides of the wing fixings. The clear side windows are also fitted from the inside. With all the interior parts fitted the fuselage can be closed up and the top panel, where the turret would be fitted on some Mk.1s, is attached. Depending on which markings the modeller is going to use, there is a clear teardrop style astrodome fitted so ensure you remember to remove the thinned excess styrene on top of the fuselage before adding any detail parts. The horizontal tailplane halves are glued together and attached to the tail of the fuselage. The mainplane consists of a single piece lower section and two upper sections. Sandwiched between these parts are the five parts that go towards making each undercarriage bay. The completed wing assembly is then attached to the fuselage. With the aircraft structure all but complete the canopy and lower nose glazing can be fitted, followed by the two engines. Each engine is quite a simple affair, with the single bank of cylinders moulded as one piece, to which the crankcase housing is attached followed by the two bladed propeller. The engines are then cowled with upper and lower halves, before being fitted to the nacelles. The twin landing lights fitted to the leading edge of the port wing are then attached, before being covered with the clear leading edge section. Each main undercarriage unit is made up of the two piece wheels, a single piece representing the twin oleo yoke, PE cross strut, rear support struts, and retraction actuator. Once the main undercarriage units are fitted the bay doors can be attached followed by the engine exhausts and, for some marking options a tube intake fitted under the engine cowling. The final parts to be fitted are the tailwheel, made up of a single piece wheel and separate strut, oil cooler intakes on the mainplane leading edge outside of the nacelles, mass balances, pitot probe and aileron control links. Decals The decals are all by Aviprint, with each sheet very well printed. All the markings appear to be in good register, nicely opaque with little sign of carrier film. The only areas that might cause a little problem is the fact that the red circles of the RN kit roundels are separate so ensure you’ve got them centred before they dry and are varnished. The RN boxing contains markings for the following:- Oxford Mk.1 – PH185, of No.778 Squadron, Fleet Air Arm, based at HMS Peregrine, (RNAS Ford), West Sussex, 1946-47. Oxford Mk.II – PH258 of No.729 Squadron, Fleet Air Arm, based at Tambaram, India 1945. Oxford Mk.II – NM537 of No.780 Squadron, Fleet Air Arm, based at HMS Blackcap, (not Blackcup as per instructions), RNAS Stretton, Cheshire. 1949-50. Oxford Mk.1, NM758 of No.758 Squadron 1945. The Foreign Service Boxing contains markings for the following:- Oxford Mk.I -0-18 of the Ecole de Pilotage, Avance/Voortgazette, Vilegopleidingsschool, Belgian Air Force, 1947 – 1957. Oxford Mk.I, DF399, Commander Squadron of 94th Combat Bomber Wing, Eighth Air Force, Station 110 Polebrook, Northamptonshire, 1944. Oxford Mk.II, PH511, of the Aviation Transport Group Czechoslovakian Army Air Force, September 1945 Oxford Mk.II, PH511, of 1st Squadron, Aviation Regiment 24, Czechoslovakian Army Air Force, Spring 1946. Oxford Mk.II, PH511/KP-2, of 1st Squadron, Aviation Regiment 24, Czechoslovakian Army Air Force, Autumn 1946. Oxford Mk.II, 18-2, of No.330 Squadron, Netherlands Naval Air Arm 1950. Conclusion This is a great looking kit and no matter which boxing you choose, it will make an interesting addition to any collection. The mouldings of both the styrene and resin parts are very well produced and although the resin will need a little more cleaning up, it’s nothing more severe than a few swipes of a sanding stick. With everything in the box the modeller could possibly need it should bring many hours of fun without any extra outlay. Some parts could be tricky, particularly the etched parts, so probably not for the novice modeller but certainly anyone with some experience should be able to make this attractive aircraft. Highly recommended. Review samples courtesy of
  11. Special Hobby is to release a 1/72nd IAR.37 kit - SH72290 - as well as a IAR.38 - SH72293. Source: http://www.modelforum.cz/viewtopic.php?f=97&t=77712&p=1581729#p1581729 Source: http://www.mpmkits.net/2014/07/pripravujeme-v-dobe-zacnemedistribuovat.html V.P.
  12. The Special Hobby 1/48th Airspeed Oxford Mk.I/II is on approach. There's already two boxing announced - see herebelow Source: http://modelweb.modelforum.cz/wp-content/g...ews-11-09-6.jpg Ref. SH48122 - Oxford Mk.I/.II - RAF Service Ref. SH48104 - Oxford Mk.I/.II - Commonwealth Service V.P.
  13. Douglas Boston IIIa 'Over D-Day Beaches' 1:72 Special Hobby The Boston / Havoc was relatively fast, manoeuvrable and rugged. That coupled with the fact that it had no real handling vices, it was well liked by aircrew. The aircraft was born from a USAAC specification for an attack aircraft in 1937. Douglas designed the Model 7a powered by two 1100hp P&W Twin Wasp engines in competition with North American, Stearman and Martin. Despite its manoeuvrability and speed, there were no orders made initially from the US, but there was interest from France. Overlooking the ‘Neutrality Act of 1935’ development continued with support from France and an initial order was made by them of 270 aircraft. With the collapse of France in 1940, the aircraft that had been delivered were shipped to North Africa, but fell under the control of the Vichy government although never got much use against the Allies. The remainder of the order was sent to the UK. The Boston I was underpowered at 1050hp using P&W Wasps and lacked the range needed for daylight operations in to Germany. The Boston II brought further power from the Wasp engine delivering 1200hp, but the Boston III was a major improvement and was brought in to service with the RAF in the summer of 1941. Using Wright Cyclone engines of 1600hp, it had much larger fuel tanks important for the ‘Light Bomber’ missions the RAF needed from it and better armour protection. Amongst its first combat missions, 99 & 226 Squadrons took part in an attack against the German warships Scharnhorst, Prinz Eugen and Gneisenau which were returning to German ports from Brest in Feb 1942 in what has become known as the ‘Channel Dash’. In 1943, 342 Sqn (Free French) became the fourth squadron to operate the type. Under the control of the 137th Wing of the 2nd Tactical Air Force along with 88 & 107 squadrons, they focussed on bombing targets in Northern France including coastal defences, communications and German Airfields. Bostons were also used in the night intruder role across Europe and in Northern Africa contributing to the fall of German occupied Tunisia in May 1943. In all, 13 RAF squadrons operated the Boston with a further two SAAF squadrons supporting the North African front. The kit The A-20 series of aircraft from MPM have been around since 2007 following the first release of the A-20G with its solid nose. The first ‘glass nosed’ British / French kit came in the guise of the later Mk.IV/V. Having built this kit, it was very impressed with the quality of both detail and general fitment and it builds up in to a beautiful rendition of the Boston. There were a few minor issues I had to deal with and I’ll pick them up later. This new Boston III under the ‘Special Hobby’ brand differs most notably from the later version by having a rear gun opening rather than the Martin turret as well as a panelled nose glazing. On opening the kit, you’re presented with 5 medium grey sprues, one clear sprue and a resin one containing the smoke laying tubes used on some aircraft. Detailing on the parts is extremely well done. The fine smaller parts are exactly that, very fine and well detailed. Surface finish is superb, finely recessed panel lines leave you in no doubt as to the quality of the kit. I can’t see any signs of sink marks and flash is minimal. The instruction booklet is A5 in size printed on good quality gloss paper with colour throughout. The steps are clearly drawn and easy to follow. Assembly starts with the cockpit and rear gun station interiors. Detail here is more than adequate for the most part. Separate side wall detail is supplied to enhance the detail in the cockpit. The only thing that is lacking is the dingy that resides behind the pilot which if you decide to leave the canopy open will be an obvious omission. I made one out of rolled up tissue paper for the mk.IV I built soaked in Kleer before painting which gave a good representation when complete. Assembly of the engine rear nacelles comes next. Again, more than enough detail is presented both internally and externally. With the interior complete, they are simply fitted in to the fuselage halves before sealing them up. Be aware at this point, the kit is a tail sitter (guess how I know? !!). An instruction included for a 10g weight at the front but there isn’t much room. My suggestion would be to include more weight located below the dingy stowage which is a little further backwards but much more room to house it. There will be a little space in the nose section below the floor later in the build, but better to have too much than too little! As mentioned previously, surface detail on the fuselage is very refined with finely recessed panel lines and the fabric effect on the rudder subtly represented. The carburettor intakes above the wings come as separate parts and fitment is good. Quality of surface detail on the wings mirrors that of the fuselage in terms of quality. Assembly of the engines and cowlings comes next. Be careful here on which version you want to build as two variants have the type with exhausts protruding through the cowling covers, whist the other two have the exhausts backed together in a ring behind the cowling. For the former, the small exhausts protruding from the cowlings are individually fitted which is a little time consuming and fiddly to place accurately as per the instructions, but look good once in place. Both banks of cylinders are provided with good representation of the cooling gills on each cylinder block and a separate gearbox. Assembly of the gear is again a little fiddly due to the framework that has to be assembled for the main legs to sit on. My recommendation here is to dry fit the nacelle around the assembly before the glue dries to make sure that it doesn’t foul correct fitment of the nacelle once everything has hardened. I found fitting the clear parts to be a little problematic on my previous build. Having heard of others who had the same issue, be prepared in case this arises in your build albeit a different version but the same configuration. The windscreen on mine didn’t quite align to the contours of the fuselage and I ended up snapping it on the Mk.IV trying to bend it under hot water. The nose part was also a little difficult to align to the main fuselage, so I’d recommend plenty of dry fitting before you insert the floor part in to the glass section to see how it all lines up. The issues I had could well of been self- induced on the glass nose, but looking at it on the shelf now, everything looks well. The floor section within the nose includes the side panel details and an additional bomb sight and seat is supplied too. The rear gun station instructions are leaving me a little confused. The drawings show the guns to be positioned protruding rearwards over the top of the fuselage, but the clear part is supplied in the ‘closed’ position. I can’t see how this will work unless you cut away the clear section that opens up on the real aircraft. The rest of the detail pretty much ‘bolts’ on to the built aircraft including gun side blisters, aerials, props, wheels and gear doors. The interior of the gear doors and opening canopy section are nicely detailed too. If you decide to do the version with the smoke generators, the resin parts are fitted to the lower fuselage bomb bay doors. The decals Four schemes are provided in the kit, all from the D-Day period as you would expect from the title! They are printed by Aviprint. Register is good as is colour richness. I don’t remember any issues affixing them on my earlier build. The schemes are: 1. BZ264 / RH-B – 88 Sqn RAF operating from RAF Hartford Bridge, Hampshire 1944 2. BZ389 / RH-E – As above but with smoke generators (Operation Starkey) – operated as decoy to D-Day plans 3. BZ208 / OA-G – 342 ‘Lorraine’ Sqn sporting French roundels – RAF Hartford Bridge July 1944 4. Unknown serial / OA-A – 342 ‘Lorraine’ Sqn sporting British roundels – RAF Hartford Bridge July 1944 Conclusion Having built the Mk.IV version a couple of years ago, I can thoroughly recommend this kit if you’re wanting to build a Boston. The detail and generally assembly is good but watch for the few issues I mentioned with the clear parts. MPM also do a coloured etch set to accompany this if you prefer a little more detail, but the basic kit looks good without. Review sample courtesy of
  14. IA-58A Pucara "Falklands War" - Special Edition Special Hobby 1:72 The FMA IA 58 Pucará is an Argentinian manufactured (by Fábrica Militar de Aviones) Counterinsurgency (COIN) and ground attack aircraft. It is of a low wing monoplane design with twin turboprops and features a conventional twin seat configuration. The aircraft is able to operate from forward locations featuring unprepared airfields where needed. The Pucará was developed in the mid 1960s from an Argentinean Air Force requirement for a COIN aircraft. The aircraft was originally called the FMA IA Delfin, however this was later changed to The Pucará. The engine chose to power the aircraft was the Garrett TPE331/U-303. From a requirement in 1966 progression was swift. An unpowered glider first flew very late in 1967 with a test flight if the powered aircraft in late 1970. Development then took a further couple of years with the Garrett engine being replaced with the Turbomeca Astazou. The first production aircraft took to the skies in late 1974 with deliveries beginning in early 1976. The Pucará was delivered to the Argentinean Air Force, with others users being Uruguay, Colombia, Sri Lanka and the Royal Air Force via the A&AEE at Boscombe Down. Operationally the Argentinean Air Force first used the aircraft in its intended COIN role against communist ERP guerrillas in late 1976. Arguably though the Pucará is most well know for its role in the Falklands War of 1982. Following the Argentinian invasion of the Falklands in early 1982 the Pucará was one of the few aircraft suited to operating from the smaller airfields in the Falklands. The aircraft operated from Port Stanley, Goose Green, and Pebble Island. The Pucarás were armed with their internal four 7.62mm machine guns, 2.75 inch rocket pods and unguided bombs. Two Pucarás were to claim the only Argentine Air to Air victory when they shot down a Royal Marine Scout Helicopter during the Battle for Goose Green. The Pucará proved to be a tough aircraft and at least one was seen to absorb multiple 30mm cannon rounds before being brought down. One Pucará was bought down by a Sea Harrier, One by a Stinger Missile and one by Ground Fire. Nine further aircraft were destroyed on the ground via a combination of bombing attacks and special forces raids. Following the end of the war 11 aircraft were captured with six being returned to the UK. These were evaluated for a time at Boscombe Down before going to museums and collections were they remain. The only other use of the Pucará in anger has been during the civil war in Sri Lanka. The aircraft were used between 1993 and 1999. During this period three aircraft were destroyed during combat missions. The Pucará remains in service with Argentina and Uruguay. Since 2009 the Argentinean Air Force have extensively overhauled the aircraft. Avionics and airframe modifications have taken place, along with new engines. With these modifications it is expected the Pucará will serve until 2045, but only if the Argentinean Air Force can overcome Economic and bureaucratic issues which are delaying the modifications. The Kit The kit arrives in a standard open-ended box from Special Hobby. The must be trying to economise as the box is plain white with a cover glued on so you can only open one end. The kit comes as three sprues of grey plastic, once clear sprue, one bag of resin parts, one photo etched fret and one plastic film (for the instrument panels). The plastic feels a bit gritty to the touch and the engraved panel lines are light, there are some large ejector towers on some parts, which will need to be removed (all typical of Special Hobbys earlier moulds). Construction of the airframe is a fairly standard layout. You have two main fuselage halves, but at the front there is also a lower fuselage part, which attached to the cockpit floor and provides the attachment point for the wings. Construction begins shockingly with the cockpit! A pair of resin ejection seats is provided and these are dressed up with PE belts and buckles. The instrument panels are complete by sandwiching a plastic film between a plastic part and the PE panel. Additional PE panels are provided for the side consoles. PE parts are also added to the coamings for the front and rear cockpits. Once the bottom cockpit floor is added to the front underside fuselage part the side consoles and instrument panels can be added. Once this is complete the read bulkhead is added. The left and right fuselage parts are glued together and the front underside piece added. The next step is the completion of the wings and engines. The wings are traditional construction of upper and lower parts, with the wheel wells being placed inside the engine nacelles before they are closed up. The upper parts longer than the top as the lower centre fuselage section contains part of the wing. The wings and tail planes are then added. There are no locating pins for these, and the tail planes are a straight butt joint so care will be needed. Next the engine nacelles are completed. There is a resin part for the front face, and another for the exhaust. To finish off the landing gear can then be assembled and added to the model, along with the gear doors. The underwing pylons are assembled and added. The propellers are then made up. Care will be needed here with alignment as each has three separate blades and there is only a butt joint to attach them to the hub. Once the props are added the comings and ejection seats are added to the cockpit and the canopy secured. Canopy Only a one-part canopy is supplied to be used in the closed position. The canopy is clear and has no distortion. Photo-etch A small Photetched fret is provided. Most parts on this are for the cockpit in one way or another. Parts are provided for the main instrument panels and the side consoles. Full belts are provided for the ejections seats. Additional parts are provided for the landing gear and some tail aerials, static wicks and the canopy windscreen wiper. There are two parts despite reading the instructions for what seems like hours I just plain cannot identify! Decals Decals are provided for four aircraft. A-511 IA 58A Brigada Aera III / Groupo 3 de Ataque Based in the Falklands 1982. Flown by Major C Tomba and shot down by Lt CDR Ward 21/5/82 with the pilot ejecting and becoming a POW. Aircraft in the Light Brown/Light Green/Light Blue camo with Yellow recognition bands. A-549 IA 58A Brigada Aera III / Groupo 3 de Ataque Based in the Falklands 1982. Aircraft captured and returned to the UK. Now at the Imperial War Museum Duxford. Aircraft in the Light Brown/Light Green/Light Blue camo with Yellow recognition bands. A-520 IA 58A Brigada Aera III / Groupo 3 de Ataque Based in the Falklands 1982. Destroyed on the ground by special forces 15/5/82. Aircraft overall aluminium. A-568 IA 58A Brigada Aera IV / Groupo 4 de Caza Based in Santa Cruz, Argentina 1982. Aircraft was deployed over the South Atlantic. Aircraft overall aluminium. Conclusion Despite it being an earlier tooling from Special Hobby this kit is still a good one. The inclusion of resin and photoetched parts means its not for the beginner; however for the more experienced modeller who has never used these mediums it could be a good introduction to these media. Overall recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  15. DL-1 Vega "Antipodes Vega" - Limited Edition Special Hobby 1:72 The Lockheed Vega was a six seater passenger aircraft designed by John Northrop and Gerard Vultee while they were working for Lockheed. Both of these gentlemen would go on to found their own successful aircraft companies. The design was intended to serve Lockheeds own airline routes with an aircraft which was rugged and fast. The Vega certainly delivered on the promise of speed. However the four passenger layout was considered too small for airline use. The aircraft was built using a wooden monocoque fuselage. Plywood sheets were laminated over a large concrete mould with a single half being built at a time. The two halves were then joined over a previously made rib framework. Due to the way the fuselage was constructed the wing spar was a single cantilever mounted at the top. The landing gear was often covered by spats to increase the streamlining. The Vega was powered by a 225hp Wright Whirlwind. In 1929 Lockheed improved the Vega, with the introduction of the Vega 5. 6 seats were originally proposed but these were found to be too small and 5 was the general configuration. This also had a 410 HP Wasp A engine. Further development lead to the DL-1 or Vega 5C with a light alloy fuselage. This was to feature 7 seats and was built by The Detroit Aircraft Corporation. The US Army would use two metal Vegas, a C-12 and a C-17. Due to its speed the Vega would set a number of speed records over the years. 1928 Transcontinental Speed record Los Angeles/New York in 18 hours 58 mins. 1928 Non Stop East to West record 24 hours & 51 mins. In the 1928 National Air Races the Vega had a clean sweep of all the speed awards. Vega DL-1A G-ABGK / VH-UVK was a one off special Vega built using the metal DL-1 as a base aircraft by the Detroit Aircraft Corporation and exported to the UK for Lt Cmdr Glen Kidston. This Vega was used to set a world record time for a Flight from the UK to South Africa in 1931 of 6 ½ days. Kidston would sadly die in an aircraft accident the following year. The aircraft was then sold to Australian Airline owner Horrie Miller. The aircraft suffered a landing accident while participating in the MacRobertson Air Race. Following this the DL-1 was shipped to Australia and repaired. Here it was re-registered as VH-UVK. The Royal Australian Air Force impressed the aircraft into service in 1941. At the end of the war they broke it up for spares! The Kit The kit arrives in Special Hobbys standard end opening box. In a master class on recycling they are using the old DL-1 Metallic Fuselage box with a new cover part glued on for the special edition featuring VH-UVK. There are three sprues of light grey plastic which are shiny, so much so you might want a light sanding on the wings especially to key the paint in! There is one small clear sprue which is thoughtfully bagged on its own. The aircraft of the day were not bristling with details and this is reflected in the kit with only 41 parts being present some of which are not for use. It can be seen immediately that both the Wooden and Metallic fuselages are present on the sprues for someone wanting to make a different kit than it is boxed for. Construction starts with the interior. The pilots cockpit is a separate entity at the front as was vogue in aircraft of this date. A basic (but adequate) seat is installed along with a control column. Once the cockpit is installed you then add the seats to the rear cabin area. A rear bulkhead and pilot instrument panel finish of the interior. The fuselage can then be closed up (make sure you use the right one!) and the windows added. The windows seem designed to fit the openings exactly with no extra to positive fit like a lot of kits. I can see these being a nightmare to fit and not get covered in glue. It might be better to use an alternative, but then this might not be as clear. Once the fuselage is closed up the engine and cowling can be fitted to the front. The engine again is basic but acceptable, however if you want to add wiring etc there is scope. Following addition of the engine the Main wing, tail planes and vertical tail are added. The main wing joins tot eh top of the fuselage, however the tail planes and vertical tail are butt joints which the modeller may want to pin for extra strength. Once the main wing is on the pilot canopy is placed on. It was said of the real aircraft that Even in level flight the windscreen offered a better view of the sky than anything else! Once you have all the major structure in place its time to add all of the other parts. Landing gear is added and you can choose wheel spats or not. VH-UVK flew with both at different times. Once the gear is assembled and on the only thing left to do is add the propeller. Canopy The canopy and windows are small, and have no issues. The parts are crisp and clear. The only issue with the side windows is as mentioned above in that they seem to have no positive side locators. Decals A small decal sheet is provided which mainly covers the large serial numbers carried on the main wing. There is some ambiguity as to whether the side stripes were red or black, so both are provided for the modeller to make their own choice. The decals are printed by Aviprint and are in register with what looks like good colour density. Conclusion This is a good looking kit of an unusual aircraft. With its simple lines and even simpler colour scheme it should stand out. Recomended. Review sample courtesy of
  16. A while ago I asked for some help with building the Special Hobby Heinkel He 115 as I was having a problem with the fit of the cockpit. Unfortunately nobody could help but someone suggested that I post the build. I have had a break from the kit and have now started on it again. Here are some pictures of my progress so far. I had problems with the cockpit floor and bulkheads. As can be seen in the last picture if you align the front bulkhead to the correct place on the fuselage side there is a gap between the cockpit side insert and the rear bulkhead. Also the instructions show the pilot's cockpit floor as flush with the rest of the floor however if it is inserted flush it sticks out too far in front. The seat assembly is supposed to sit on the cockpit floor but then it sits too low. Therefore I have located the floor and seat as seen in pictures two and three. I don't know if is entirely correct but it looks better than if you follow the instructions. I will post more as I progress.
  17. Special Hobby is to rerelease its 1/48th Supermarine Seafire Mk.III kit with French Aéronavale markings - ref.48138 Source: http://www.modelforum.cz/viewtopic.php?f=97&t=77712&start=60 V.P.
  18. Fairey Firefly Mk.4/5 Korea 1:48 Special Hobby The Firefly was designed as a replacement to the uninspiring Fulmar, and was originally conceived as a two-seat heavy fighter, although it progressed to being much more than that after WWII. The Mark.I reached service in 1944 using the powerful Griffon engine to give it a respectable 316mph top speed and the ability to carry a rack of unguided rockets under each wing for maritime and ground attack duties. After the war the Mark.IV progressed further with the aid of a more powerful variant of the Griffon that gave almost 600hp more power to drive a four-bladed prop, and the chin-mounted radiator moved to the leading edges of the wing roots to improve aerodynamic performance. The Mark.5 added improved avionics and power-operated folding wings, and some Mark.4s were also fitted with this useful device that sped up deployment and stowing on a busy deck. The Mk.5 could be quickly converted between roles to provide support as a fighter, reconnaissance, night fighter or anti-submarine, so became a workhorse of the carrier fleet of Britain and other countries following some export success. It remained in service in later guises until the 50s when it was replaced in fleet service by another Fairey aircraft, the Gannet, which took over the anti-submarine and reconnaissance roles, leaving the dedicated jet fighters to handle the rest. The Kit This edition covers the Mark.4 and 5 as it appeared during the Korean War, where it saw extensive service performing anti-shipping and ground attack duties. The box is standard Special Hobby with a blue/white background and an attractive painting of a heavily-armed Firefly over dense jungle. Inside is a re-sealable bag with seven sprues of various sizes in grey styrene, a bag of resin parts, another of clear parts, and lastly a bag containing decals and a small fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass. The instructions consist of three and a half sheets of A4 folded into a booklet, and includes a greyscale painting guide that uses Gunze Sangyo paint codes as the key. A QR Code on the painting guide leads to a web page where you can view a colour version of the instructions, including the painting guide, which is a nice addition if you have QR reading software installed on your PC/Tablet/Mobile. The styrene in the box is typical of Special Hobby, and has a very shiny surface and fine engraved panel lines that are together reminiscent of Classic Airframes models, if you remember those. Whilst not a short run kit, it is also not a state of the art moulding, but somewhere in between, although the detail is very good overall. There is no flash evident on the parts, although some clean-up will be necessary to remove occasional minor imperfections in the surfaces of the parts. As with all models, test fitting and adjusting parts will yield better results than just gluing the parts together, so bear it in mind especially when dealing with large assemblies such as the wings and fuselage. There are no part numbers given on the sprues, so you will need to refer back to the sprue diagrams on the inside cover of the instruction manual when it's not immediately obvious where the part can be found. Construction begins with the pilot and navigator's stations, which are separate within the fuselage. The pilot's floor has fore and aft bulkheads added, plus a seat with cushioned back attached to the rear bulkhead along with some additional controls, while the rudder pedals and control column fix to holes in the floor. The navigator's cockpit is built up the same way, but with a deck around his position that has equipment boxes moulded in, and a gap for the addition of a compass on the port side, plus a head-rest behind his seat. The sidewalls of the two cockpits are moulded into the insides of the fuselage, but are augmented by a relatively large number of small parts that are added before the cockpits are added. The pilot's instrument panel has raised detail moulded in, plus a separate compass and gunsight, with a decal provided for the instrument faces on a separate postage stamp-sized sheet. The panel attaches directly to the fuselage, and the two cockpits are added along with the resin exhaust stacks and the tail gear bay, after which the fuselage can be closed up. The smooth chin has a small intake just under the prop, which is built up from an intake and backing piece to avoid being able to see through into the cockpit area, and in the belly of the fuselage, another insert is added with an arrestor hook recess engraved in. You'll need to test-fit and fettle both these parts to obtain the best fit and finish, to avoid having to use any/much filler to make good the seams. With the fuselage closed up, the attention turns to the wings, which have a full-width lower that receives a large slab of resin in the shape of the gear bays, with rib and ancillary equipment moulded in. You will need to trim down some ejector pin turrets that are present inside the wing parts, but the part should then fit snugly within the lower wing, held in the correct location by raised bars around the bay. The wing mounted radiator faces are added to the front of the wing, with separate splitter vanes, and the whole is enclosed by adding the two upper wing parts, after which the radiator fairings are added in front. The wing is quite thick, so shouldn't have any issues with accommodating the resin gear bays, but do check this before you apply glue, as the bay roof is incredibly thin, so can't be ground down. The completed wing is then offered up the underside of the fuselage, and will hopefully be a good fit if you have taken care with construction. The rudder is moulded into the fuselage with the fin, but the elevators are each made of two separate parts that fit into slots in the sides of the fuselage. None of the flying surfaces are separate from the wings or tail, so if you plane on showing them offset, you have some work ahead of you. The landing gear consists of a main strut with two retraction braces at 90o to eachother, and has a separate two-piece oleo-scissor link that is added between the two leg casings. Each main wheel is built up from two halves with nice hub detail, and you will need to take a little material off the contact patch to give the impression of weight if you like that sort of thing. The bay doors are captive to the gear legs, and have small brackets added to their top before being glued to the legs, while a larger outer door attaches to the outer edge of the bay, resting against the leg. The tail wheel is retractable, and operates through closed doors, which are added earlier in the build. The yoke and wheel snap together relying on the flexibility of the styrene, and fit through the hole in the doors into the bay roof inside, as evidenced by the scrap diagram in the instructions. Completion of the airframe is near at hand, requiring only the cannon fairings, some probes on the underside, a clear cover to the wing mounted landing light, and the clear parts, which are thin and clear, with well-defined framework, which isn't too heavy. Each canopy is moulded as a single part, so you will need to do some careful cutting if you plan to pose either of them open, which is a shame given the detail in the cockpits. The large four-bladed prop is made up from keyed blades that fit onto the back plate, with a retaining pin through the centre and the spinner added to the front. Careful gluing could leave you with a spinning prop if that's a thing for you. The Firefly could carry both slipper-type semi-conformal drop tanks on the outer wings, with a stack of four rockets mounted on plates inboard. Their mounting points are noted on the diagram, but take care when gluing them as there is plenty of room for error here. The fuel tanks build up from two halves, while the rockets are moulded in pairs that are attached to a PE base-plate side-by-side. The instructions do give measurements for the rocket plate from the centreline of the wing and inboard of the leading edge of the wing, so it might be as well to mark their position before painting to make the job of attaching them less error-prone later on. An old-school aerial mast is positioned just forward of the navigator's canopy, and will need to first drill out the marked hole, which the instructions show at a slight angle, then run some invisible mending thread to depict the aerial itself, plus the fly-lead into the cockpit that runs down from the top of the mast. The other end secures on the leading edge of the tail level with the top of the hinge indent of the rudder. Markings The Firefly didn't wear too much in the way of varied markings, but it does look striking in Extra Dark Sea Grey over sky, which all four decal options wear. All four also wear wing and fuselage black and white "invasion stripes" as theatre markings, with only one having them straddling the wing roundel, the other three wearing them just inboard. From the box you can model one of the following: Fr.Mk.5 WT488 R-205 Pilot Lt. JFK "Sean" McGrail, 821 Sq., HMS Glory, Korean Peninsula coastal waters, March 1953. FR.MK.5 WB351/K-202 RAN 817 Sq., HMAS Sydney, Korean Peninsula coastal waters, March 1951. Fr.Mk.5 WB416 T-235 810 Sq., HMS Theseus, Korean Peninsula coastal waters, 1951. Fr.Mk.5 WB382 R-206 812 Sq., HMS Glory, Korean Peninsula coastal waters, July 1951. The decals are printed by AVIprint in the Czech Republic, and are in good register, but the smaller black stencils appear a little fuzzy under magnification, although they are still legible. The roundels have separate red centres to ensure that if they're offset, it's your fault, and all the underwing codes have been separated to accommodate the gear bay doors, so you'll need to scratch your head to apply them correctly to the doors if you are posing the landing gear down. There are no decals for the theatre striping, which is just as well, as they can be difficult to get to fit correctly, so a little extra masking will be in your future. Conclusion A very nice package that should build up into a creditable replica of the much-loved, but somewhat neglected Firefly in this scale. Parts clean-up will be important, as is test-fitting and adjustment, but you could say that about almost any kit, even these days. The schemes are samey, but equally striking and are reminiscent of the scheme worn by the flying example that graced the airshows here in the UK until her sad loss in an accident. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  19. Hi mates! This one took a bit longer than expected, but it's finally finished. This is the not-so-often praised kit of the not-so-often praised Blackburn Skua, as seen in the autumn of 1939 aboard HMS Ark Royal. This is an out-of-the-box build, somewhat unusual for me, the only bits I added that didn't come with the kit were the antenna wires and the ordnance. Project: Blackburn Skua Mk.II Kit: Special Hobby Blackburn Skua Mk.II "Silver Wing" (kit number 72217) Scale: 1:72 (the only scale that matters) Decals: From the kit, representing flight leader 803 Squadron, L2887/A7F aboard HMS Ark Royal in the autumn of 1939 Photoetch: From the kit Resin: From the kit Paint: Alclad 103 Dark Aluminum, 117 Dull Aluminum, 115 Stainless Steel, 107 Chrome; Gunze H90 Clear Red, H94 Clear Green, H93 Clear Blue, H5 Blue, MC219 Brass, Navy Bird Custom Gunze Blend for British Interior Green; Tamiya XF-69 NATO Black; Testors 1149 Flat Black, 1168 Flat White; Floquil 110015 Flat Weathering: Panel line wash, pastel shading on control surfaces, pastel shading on collector ring Improvements/Corrections Added port and starboard air outlets (top of fuselage forward of windscreen), parts made from leftover resin pour stubs. Added 500 lb. SAP (Semi Armor Piercing) bomb. Added clear plastic piece to represent windscreen armor plate. Added antenna with 0.005" diameter Nitinol wire. Build thread: Link This was a nice little kit. I found that it went together without any fuss, with very little filler required. The photoetch stays for the engine were a bit fiddly, but they really add some nice detail. Skuas from this time period were painted with an aluminum lacquer, which I represented by Alclad Dark Aluminum with an overcoat of Floquil Flat. This gives a nice even aluminum finish (without any of the grain one sometimes get with silver paint) and a semi-gloss, eggshell finish. Alclad Dull Aluminum was used for the control surfaces to differentiate them from the fuselage. I did a lot of research while building this model, and now have a much better appreciation for the Skua. Tony O'Toole helped a lot with my incessant quests for information, and Peter Smith's book of the Skua provided a great historical backdrop. Pictures! The Skua, of course, is the personal favorite of none other than the Dude himself. Abide! Cheers, Bill
  20. Hi mates, I've decided to take a bit of a breather from my PB4Y-1 project. I've been working on that for three months or so, and I need to refresh my modelling mojo with a smaller project. Something to clear my mind so to speak. So I figured I would take up this nice little 1:72 scale kit of the Blackburn Skua by Special Hobby. The rules say I need to have an obligatory shot of all the stuff: Not much to it, as you can see, so this shouldn't be a long project. The kit includes a small PE fret with goodies for the cockpit, engine, landing gear, machine gun, rudder pedals, and bomb (or is it torpedo?) rack. In addition, nicely moulded resin parts are provided for the engine, tyres, and exhaust collectors. Panel line detail is recessed, but maybe a bit on the light side. Hopefully it doesn't disappear. As you can see, the marking schemes are for silver birds from 1939, both 803 and 800 Squadron from the Ark Royal. I'll do the 803 Squadron leader's mount, L2887/A7F, as it's a bit more colourful than the others. Did this plane participate in the downing of the Do 18 flying boat in September 1939? First is the cockpit, and as is typical with these short run kits it wasn't immediately obvious from the instructions how everything fits together. There are very few pegs and holes in this kit, so butt joints are common, even with the cockpit floor panels. But do the bulkheads mount on top of the floor panel, or to the end? It's shown one way in one illustration, and the other way elsewhere. However it goes together, the bulkheads need to be positioned where the small cutouts in the horizontal ribbing are: What looks like a huge ejector pin (which it probably is) will help locate the cockpit floor, but will be hidden by the fuel tanks. I decided to start by gluing the forward bulkhead in place (there are raised bosses to align it against) and then work my way aft, gluing each piece to the sidewall, one at a time, rather than trying to assemble the entire cockpit at once and then attaching it. This method seemed to work, as the bulkheads lined up to the small cutouts and it became obvious how they attached to the floor. Next up is a nice coat of British cockpit grey-green, or whatever it's called. I grabbed my handy jar of Model Master RAF Interior Green and found it had turned into, well, rubber by the looks of it. And no amount of Testors thinner would reduce it back into a liquid. No problem, stop by the LHS on the way home from work and pick up another bottle. Nope, sorry, there's been a run on that colour as it seems like everyone is building a Skua this week (which is really quite odd over here in Rochester New York). I decided to mix my own home brew, matching the Model Master paint. I used Gunze paints and the final mix consisted of H41 Pale Green, H48 Field Grey 1, H312 Green FS34227, and H322 Phthalo Cyanine Blue. Testing this against an old Revell Hurricane cockpit that was painted with the Model Master colour showed a really good match. The cockpit was then sprayed: With the vagaries of PC monitors, digital cameras, and the lighting in my photo booth, the photos are not an accurate rendition of the colour, which has more grey to it in real life. But it's gloss (the Gunze paints used to create it are all gloss) so this will take a wash without having to apply a separate shiny coat on top. Being generally lazy, I like being able to delete a step! Well, that's the start. Dry fitting things together shows no really problems (unlike some short run kits) so I'm pleased so far. The canopy even sits down over the pilot's roll-over frame/headrest, and I've read on-line that some folks had trouble with that. I'll keep my fingers crossed for the rest of the build! A Skua! Woo hoo! Cheers, Bill PS. To deepen the insanity, there's a Roc and Defiant lurking near the top of the stash! Yikes!
  21. Special Hobby's 1/48th scale Seafire from the box. A good kit needing some fitting and a bit of filler around the usual 'Spitfire' wing roots. My only real concern about the kit is that I think the U/C legs look a bit long. Paint is Humbrol uppers shaded lighter on the top-most surfaces, and Tamiya XF-21 under-surface. Decals represent 13-9/T (serial number unknown) of 806 squadron, Fleet Air Arm based at Trincomalee in 1945,
  22. We've just added some of the newest Special Hobby and Trumpeter kits to our website. We're not going to be stocking these at the moment but they have been added in case anyone wants to order them. For Special Hobby we've added both Miles Magister/Hawk kits, both Buckeye kits, an Airspeed Oxford and the new boxing of the He115. For Trumpeter we've added the Attacker FB.2 and the T-38 Talon. http://www.mjwmodels.co.uk/ For the prices, click on the link above and go to the relevant section. If anyone wants any of these kits, please let me know on here or using our email address, found on our website. thanks Mike
  23. Finally our Hannants order has arrived! We're now stocking the Xtrakit 1/72 Vampire FB 5 (only £8.50! We've also got the re-released Special Hobby Whirlwinds and Pucara back in stock. We'll try to get other new kits like the Azur Vampire in as soon as we can too! thanks Mike PS, we've only got a couple of Vampires, so if anyone wants them, when they go, speak up and we'll order more in asap.
  24. Not quoted in most of the Nuremberg Toy Fair 2012 reports is a 1/32nd North American T-2 Buckeye kit in development by Special Hobby. Future ref n° SH32037 Source Aeroscale: http://aeroscale.kitmaker.net/modules.php?...4302&page=4 Image link: http://aeroscale.kitmaker.net/photos/featu...02/39_mpm25.jpg V.P.
  25. We've just got in a few new kits from Special Hobby and AZ Models. Remember, they are all at discounted prices! First of all in 1/48, there's 2 new Special Hobby Firefly Mk I's, the first is the Royal Navy one, with 4 marking options from HMS Triumph, as used in the early part of the Korean War. The other has markings for foreign users - Netherlands, Ethiopia, Thailand and Canada. Also from Special Hobby in 1/72, we have the Royal Navy version of the Vought Vindicator - the Chesapeake, we also have a Post War PV-2D Harpoon and a captured Junkers W 34, used by the RAF as a hack aircraft. We've also now got the AZ Models 1/72 Messerschmitt Bf109G's in stock now. We've got the G-5, G6/R6, G-8 and G-14 in stock now. http://www.mjwmodels.co.uk/ thanks Mike
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