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  1. source: czech forum A.R. from Special Hobby confirmed Mosquito project publicly announced some time ago is in progress and people from AZ/KP know it. The next battle in the war.
  2. After the 2022 newsletters (link), here's the first one from SH for 2023. Newsletter January 2023 https://www.specialhobby.info/2023/01/news-from-special-hobby-012023.html V.P.
  3. T-2 Buckeye Anniversary Markings (SH48231) 1:48 Special Hobby Following WWII, the US Air Force embraced the jet engine wholeheartedly, with the Navy lagging behind a little due to the slow spool-up of the early jet engines that made wave-offs and go-arounds a cheek-clenching prospect. By the early 50s the T-28 Trojan was showing its age, so those in command began looking for a replacement. North American of P-51 Mustang fame won a contract in the mid-50s, and the T-2A flew by 1958, entering limited service a year later, with only one jet engine installed in the earliest variant, which was also called the T2J-1 at the time, although consolidation of naming in 1962 renamed it as the T-2A. By the time the T-2B entered service, the engine count had increased by one to give it more speed and similarity of operation to the aircraft that the trainees would eventually fly after graduation. Around 600 airframes were built in total, and the type had a long career that spanned around 40 years, with most pilots during that time having spent part of their training flying a Buckeye, the name given to it that relates to the location of the factory in Ohio that made them, which has a state tree by that name. The T-2C was the final variant in US service, with GE engines replacing the Pratt & Whitney units, presumably for efficiency and maintenance reasons, as they brought no extra power to the party. 50+ D and E variants were built for overseas operators in South America and more notably Greece, who took 40 and are still flying them at time of writing. In US service the Buckeye was retired in 2008 when it was replaced by the more modern T-45 Goshawk, which is a substantially re-engineered and Navalised version of the BAe Hawk, as used by the RAF and the famous Red Arrows. The Goshawk is faster and more agile than its predecessor, getting close to the sound barrier and with advanced avionics that mimics those of the current fighters better than the worn-out Buckeyes could manage. A few T-2s are still flying in private hands, and make appearances at air shows, as do the Greek airframes if you’re lucky. The Kit This is a welcome reboxing of the 2009 tooling that initially appeared under another manufacturer’s name, but with Special Hobby doing the tooling, while subsequent boxings were released under Special hobby’s own name, so if you missed out on those, now is the time. The kit arrives in a top-opening box that has a pair of profiles of the decal options laid over a merged US and Greek flag. Inside are five sprues of grey styrene, two small clear sprues, one for the canopy parts, a small bag with thirty-nine resin parts, two decal sheets, a fret of pre-painted Photo-Etch (PE) parts, and finally an instruction booklet printed in colour on glossy white paper, with painting and decaling profiles on the rear pages, followed by some adverts for some of Special Hobby’s other products. Detail is good, and improved further by the resin that’s included, especially a pair of ejection seats and four side consoles that are very well done, as is the rear-seater’s coaming, especially the wiring on the rear. Engraved panel lines, accompanied by raised and recessed features where you’d expect them go to make a good-looking model that has a reputation for being one of those models that you need to keep your wits about you when building, as there are fit issues that will need fettling. It’s certainly not unbuildable as some wavers-of-hands would bemoan, as it has been made by many a modeller in the years since it first appeared, with results varying according to level of skill and patience applied during building and painting, as with most things. Please note that the swirls visible on some of the parts above are from the moulding process and will disappear under paint. Construction begins with the cockpit, diving straight into the instrument panel, which has a lamination of two pre-painted instrument panels layers placed over the flat front under the coaming, with a styrene part with raised and recessed details on the surface for those who don’t like PE wrangling, a job that is repeated to make the rear instrument panel, which is a different shape, with the deeply recessed rear of the panel depicting the backs of the instruments and their wiring. The four resin side consoles are detailed with additional parts, including the rudder pedals from the sides, all of which has colour call outs using letters that correspond with a table of Gunze Sangyo paint codes, which carries on throughout the build. The next step is bringing together the various sub-assemblies on the cockpit floor, adding bulkheads behind each pilot, control columns, two more small parts on the tutor’s coaming and one on the student’s, and a rounded enclosure on a shelf behind him. There is a lamination of two PE parts for the mini-coaming around the instrument box on the top of the tutor’s coaming, which represents the instruments deep within. Finally, a small bulkhead is fitted to the front of the cockpit assembly. The rest of the internals need to be built and painted before closing the fuselage, starting with the long intake trunks, which are each made of two halves, attaching to a bulkhead that has the first compressor faces moulded-in, which should be painted metallic before installation. The same part-count and a similar bulkhead is used to create the exhausts, although the painting will be more of a burnt metallic shade for the whole assembly, thanks to the high temperatures there. The nose gear bay is in two halves, so mating them neatly will reduce any clean-up work before you can apply the paint. Adding 10 grams of nose weight during closure, along with the cockpit, intakes, nose gear bay, and exhausts, after which you can deal with the fuselage seams in your preferred manner. The rest of the flying surfaces are made up for a break from detail work, including the ailerons, elevator panels and separate flying surfaces, flaps and the two rudder panels, each one put together from two halves. The main planes are separated by the fuselage and are provided as top and bottom surfaces, adding two gear bay wall sections before closure, painting them and the detail moulded into the upper wing interior as you go. The wings, elevators and their panels, plus the two rudder halves are all installed, leaving the flaps until after completion of the lower fuselage. The open lower fuselage is filled with an insert with a small resin insert in the insert to be inserted (yikes!) to add detail where it would otherwise have been impossible with a two-part fuselage design, then a quartet of small intakes are fitted on marked locations on the lower sides of the fuselage where the engines are found. The exhaust trunks are finished with their pen-nib fairings, and the intakes are extended with a two-part fairing and fine lip to complete the assembly that is plugged into the fuselage sides under the rear cockpit. Finally, the arrestor hook is glued under the tail with a PE support near the hinge-point, the whole length of it painted in black and white stripes. The flaps can be attached tucked away for flight, or deployed for take-off and landing by adding three brackets per side to the leading edges before installing them in their wells. A clear light is inserted into a socket under the belly, and another flat light with a PE bezel is fixed under the nose, just behind a probe. The main gear legs have a sturdy upper section that needs the pegs cutting from the pivots, and these are joined to the lower on a stepped join for strength, adding PE tie-down lugs, separate scissor-links and a retractor jack that needs a 2mm piece of 1.5mm diameter rod fitting on one side. The leg has a two-part captive bay door applied to the outer surface, while the inner bay door hangs down, and is retracted by a delicate resin H-frame. The wheels are two parts, and slip over the stub axle at the bottom of the yoke, facing inboard. The nose gear is a single strut with an additional cylinder added to the front, and two scissor-links at the rear, installing another two-part wheel that is different from the main gear wheels. The bay doors are simple side-opening parts that hinge along the bay sides. Flipping the model over, the two-part tip-tanks with clear light added to the centre outboard and with a clear tip insert, are fitted to the wings, with three more lights on the tail fin plus a pitot probe, and two strakes on the fuselage sides under the tail fillet. A conformal landing light lens is inserted into a cut-out in the port wing leading edge, fitting the two resin ejection seats into the cockpit, which were painted and decaled while the cockpit was being made, adding a stripey black/yellow actuation handle to the headbox from the resin parts. The windscreen is glued into the front of the cockpit over the forward coaming, fitting the canopy in either open or closed positions. Before it is installed, a bulkhead is fixed under the rear of the canopy, with a resin bracing strut in the centre and a pair of rear-view mirrors in the front frame. To pose the canopy closed, a short ram is fixed under the cross-brace, with a longer one used to lift the canopy up for crew access. Markings There are two decal options on one sheet, with the second sheet containing stencils for around the airframe. From the box you can build one of the following: T-2C Buckeye, Bu.no.155241, No.309, VT-23 ‘The Professionals’, NAS Kingsville, Texas, 1976, marking the US Bicentennial. T-2E Buckeye, Bu.no.160084, No.84, 363 Air Training School (MEA) ‘Danaos’, 120 Air Training Wing (PEA), Kalamata, Hellenic Air Force, celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the 363 MEA. The decals are printed using a digital process and have good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut loosely around the printed areas. This means that the carrier film on their decals can be coaxed away from the printed part of the decal after they have been applied, effectively rendering them carrier film free, making the completed decals much thinner and more realistic, and obviating the need to apply successive coats of clear varnish to hide the edges of the carrier film. It’s a great step further in realism from my point of view, and saves a good quantity of precious modelling time into the bargain. Conclusion It’s good to see this kit back on the shelves in my preferred scale, and with marking for US and Greek aircraft included to widen the appeal. The resin does a good job of increasing the detail of the model, especially those ejection seats and other cockpit details. Incidentally, if you have one of the early boxings and don’t like the vacformed canopies that come with those, Special Hobby have released just the canopy sprue for purchase separately, which you can find here. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. Big, you say? Well okay. It's almost the biggest model in my stash, the Special Hobby Westland Whirlwind Mk.I. It's big: And it's been unstarted for too long: Did I mention that it's big? While waiting in the stash it has accumulated quite a bit of aftermarket; a set of seatbelts: Some resin wheels and cannons - I'm not that comfortable with the idea of the resin cannons which I think would be more vulnerable to breakage than the kit's plastic ones, but if they look much better I would probably go with them: ... and finally, canopy and camouflage masks. What can I say? I'm lazy and I'm prepared to pay any company that offers to indulge my laziness So I'm set. See you at the start line gents Cheers, Stew P.S. It's big
  5. Special Hobby is not only working on a 1/72nd Dassault Super Mystère SMB2 kit (link) but also on a 1/48th one! Yesss. The subsidiary question is when as the SH kits development delays are often really slow. Source: http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235011761-we-need-it-in-148th-the-smb2/&do=findComment&comment=2570698 V.P.
  6. I've paused on the Sea Fury for a bit, most likely I won't finish it in time for the end of the GB. I was planning to get back to the VF-1 Wolfpack Tomcat and get that finished. Then I saw this kit sticking out of the pile. I built one previously as an RCAF Sliver Star so had some familiarity with the kit. Anyways, I always wanted to do one in the Mako One paint scheme. For the longest time, I could only find decals in smaller scales. Then I found Above and Below did them in 1/32. So after opening the kit up to play with sorting the intakes- in my opinion, the most challenging part of the kit I ended up getting a bit carried away.
  7. Morris CS9 British Light Armoured Car ‘Battle of France’ (MV132) 1:72 Planet Models by Special Hobby In the years before WWII, British military spending was dangerously low on the agenda of the government, who were hoping that another expensive war could be avoided, before the realisation dawned that Adolf Hitler and the Nazis weren’t going to be stopped by appeasement, but could only be routed by military action. During the mid-30s, a light armoured car was designed by Morris Motors’ commercial arm, based upon their C9 truck, but with the chassis instead covered by an armoured hull, and an open turret that accommodated two crew members that could either operate a single Vickers Machine gun, or a Boys Anti-Tank Rifle and a Bren gun. That may seem like a light armament by WWII standards, but pre-war, tanks were lightly armed and armoured to a level that the Boys rifle could penetrate. Whilst combat with other armoured vehicles wasn’t high on their to-do list, they had to be able to defend against the likelihood, as scouting and reconnaissance could result in an unexpected encounter with armour by its very nature. After two years of development, the type went into service with the British Army in small numbers, serving in the Battle of France once war broke out, where all of them were either destroyed or abandoned, and if time permitted, scuttled so that they were of no use to the enemy. They also served in the North African campaign, where they were found to be good over sand and soft ground once fitted with appropriate tyres. They were quickly outpaced in terms of armour and armament, so were withdrawn during the African campaign, with only around a hundred built. Their poor design and lack of success was typical of pre-war British armour, which was generally short-sighted and penny-pinching to the sometimes fatal detriment of the British soldiers that were using them. This is a state that wasn’t entirely resolved until the last year of WWII in terms of indigenous production, wartime fighting forces relying heavily on Lend/Lease equipment from the US. The Kit This is a brand-new tooling in resin of this little armoured car, and it is well-detailed to say the least. The kit arrives in a small cardboard box with a captive lid, and inside are a Ziploc bag full of grey resin parts, a smaller bag with orange 3D printed parts, and an even smaller bag that contains the decals and a Photo-Etch (PE) fret. The instruction sheet is folded over the parts to reduce movement during transport, and this is printed in colour, with painting and decaling instructions to the rear. Detail is excellent, with a high part count of thirty-four resin, twelve 3D printed, and thirteen PE parts in the box. Construction begins with the floor pan, which has four seats, two stowage boxes, radio equipment, gear lever and hand-brake added, the latter in PE. The dash is mounted on the bulkhead, which has the foot pedals moulded into it, and receives the steering wheel with integrated column slipped into place under the dash. The hull is moulded almost structurally complete, just adding the radiator and two 3D printed leaf-springs to the front, a pair of Lee Enfield rifles and a Lewis machine gun strapped to the insides over the rear axle. A resin bumper is fitted below the grille, and at the rear, six ammo boxes in racks of three are mounted on the rear deck, with a hatch inserted between them, and a PE number plate on the bottom right valance. A PE footstep is joined to the rear opposite the number plate, and the interior is mated under the hull, flipping the model onto its back to mount both axles and wheels, drive-shaft between the rear axle and the underside of the engine that is moulded into the floor, and adding a piece of wire from your own stock to replicate the steering linkage behind the front axle, and another 3D actuator part mounted in front of the left wheel. A PE number plate is fixed to the front along with width indicator stalks, rear-view mirrors, and a placard for unit markings. Two headlights are fixed next to the 3D printed front arches, and on the top deck a curved bullet-splash guard is bent from a flat piece of PE around the turret opening. The open-topped turret is placed over the circular cut-out, fitting three ammo boxes on ledges around the sides, then mounting the 3D printed Boys rifle in the front offset slot, a Bren gun on the rear side, and a small 3D printed part inserted through the central slot at the front, adding a PE flap at the front in the open position. Markings There are two decal options provided on the sheet, although as usual with AFVs, the number of decals is fairly small. From the box you can build one of the following: 12th Royal Lancers Regiment, A ‘Arravale’ Sqn., Avesnes, France, Autumn, 1939 12th Royal Lancers Regiment, C ‘Cores’ Sqn., France, Autumn, 1939 The decals are printed using a digital process and have good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut loosely around the printed areas. This means that the carrier film on their decals can be coaxed away from the printed part of the decal after they have been applied, effectively rendering them carrier film free, making the completed decals much thinner and more realistic, and obviating the need to apply successive coats of clear varnish to hide the edges of the carrier film. It’s a great step further in realism from my point of view, and saves a good quantity of precious modelling time into the bargain. Conclusion This is the only kit of the type, which wasn’t used in large numbers or for very long due to its failures, so it’s a boon that it’s a well-detailed kit that should be relatively simple to build once the parts are removed from their casting blocks. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  8. Special Hobby is to release in 2018 a family of Armstrong Whitworth Meteor nightfighters kits incl. NF.11/12/13 & 14 - ref. SH72358, 72360, 72363 & 72364 Source: http://www.specialhobby.net/2017/12/sh72358360363364-aw-meteory-nf.html Canopies mould V.P.
  9. In (June?) 2022 Special Hobby is to release a 1/72nd Aero Ab-11 - L-BUCD "Blue bird" on a long flight over Europe, Africa and Asia - kit - ref. SH72471 Source: https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/SH72471 V.P.
  10. Bactrian Camels x 2 (F72399) 1:72 CMK by Special Hobby The camel, known colloquially as the ‘ship of the desert’, is a large mammal that is as cantankerous as it is capable, having a huge fatty water storage hump on its back that allows it to travel for up to 40 days without a proper drink, its long legs and large padded feet making it a capable of travelling vast distances without taking one step forward and two back on sand dunes. They’re still used everywhere there’s a desert, although 4x4 transport is taking over where the need arises. We have already reviewed a few more camels than we ever thought we would, and still they keep coming. This set from CMK is something like the 7th now, if we count both 1:48 and 1:72, and it’s highly likely that we’ll be updating this review with additional pictures to show the 1:48 Bactrian camel set, as they have a habit of arriving in pairs, much like the humps of this shaggier camel variant. Unlike the Dromedary, the Bactrian is also capable of enduring extreme cold and high altitudes, which along with their stamina and tolerance for meagre rations, were probably prime reasons for their use travelling the Silk Road in days of yore. The set is 3D printed in 1:72 for your next desert diorama, or one already built that simply needs more camels in it to achieve perfection, whether it’s in the background or playing a more central role. The set is supplied in the usual clamshell box with card header, with the small instruction sheet trapped in front of the header, all secured by a single staple. The instructions are simple, consisting of a line-drawn visual of the model with markings examples. There are two camels in different poses in the box, and they each still have supports attached to the underside, which are easy to clip off and sand the remaining pips back flush. One camel is sitting with its legs folded, while the other is in an ambiguous standing pose that could be walking or stopped to admire the view, and both have shaggier fur that is concentrated around the tops of their humps, necks and in a fringe around the top of their heads. Conclusion They’re camels, miserable spitty things that are lucky they’re good beasts of burden, or they wouldn’t be so numerous. CMK's designers have done a good job of replicating their look and the texture of their fur, then it's up to you to paint them as well as you can. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  11. In Autumn 2022, Special Hobby is to release a 1/48th Potez 631 kit - ref. SH48221 Surprisingly announced as new tool in the Hannants eshop and not just a rebox from the AZUR kit. To be confirmed. Source: https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/SH48221 V.P.
  12. In 2024, Special Hobby is to reissue its 1/48th Fiat Br.20 Cicogna kit - Bomber over Two Continents - ref. SH48229 Source: https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=623277613141146&set=pb.100063767391074.-2207520000 V.P.
  13. B-25D Late/G/H/J Mitchell Pilot Seats (P48007 for HK, Acc. Miniatures & Revell) 1:48 Special Hobby For a long time the Accurate Miniatures’ B-25 Mitchell has been the dominant kit in 1:48, but the status quo has been upset recently by the arrival of the Hong Kong Models (HK) kit in this scale, which brings modern tooling and 3D CAD design to the process, and results in a more detailed model. You can always improve on “more” however, which is where Special Hobby come in. This set arrives in Special Hobby’s orange themed blister pack, with a header card and the instructions forming the slot-in back to the package, and holding the resin in place within the blister, using a sheet of clear acetate to separate the Photo-Etch (PE) parts to the rear. The printed resin parts are supplied in orange resin on a single printing base, and comprises three seats, one taller pilot’s seat with headrest, and a choice of two low-back seats for the other crew member, one with a wood framework, the other metal. It also includes a sheet of PE that is nickel-plated and pre-painted in colour to depict the seatbelts, with enough parts for lap belts for your chosen seats, and having fine unpainted areas at the outer ends that are folded up into position to represent the clasps that link the two parts of the belt together. Detail on the seats is stunning, as we’ve come to expect from 3D printed sets from Special Hobby, with a large back cushion for the pilot that has organic, natural looking creases and indents that will look great with sympathetic painting, while the base cushions are flattened out by the weight of crew, with a slight crushed look to them. The seat frames and panels are extremely well-detailed, and all the seats are attached to the base from underneath, so clean-up should be simple, especially as this orange resin is strong and flexible, so quite forgiving whilst removing parts. A simple upgrade that increases the detail in your Mitchell’s cockpit without too much effort or expenditure. Incidentally, the Accurate Miniatures kit has been in several other manufacturer’s boxes over the years, including Academy, so the set should be appropriate for almost any Mitchell kit in 1:48. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  14. Hi all I have been enjoying this absolutely wonderful kit from Special Hobby, they have really excelled themselves with this one, it was a joy to put together apart from a moment when the glazing came apart on me, but that was more likely my fault🙄 The kit is very well engineered and is very detailed, I only added Throttle levers inside and the springs either side of the tailwheel, but that was all that was needed ontop of the kit parts. The model is of an sircraft allocated to the 196th Field Artillery Battalion one of 4 aircraft that landed near the Victory Arch in recently liberated Paris. The crew stayed in Paris for a few days with the aircraft parked in front of the Marinelli Hotel in Avenue de laGrande Armee. The scheme called for overprinted ID stripes and Special Hobby have done a great job with the decals to represent this. the Stripes that remain are neat but the photo I have seen of this aircraftcat the side of the road in Paris shows they are very neat. The model was brushpainted using Humbrol enamels and I really enjoyed fading the surfaces and representing the overpainted Stripes anyway enough waffle from me, if you like a Piper Cub , I certainly recommend this kit. Thanks to those who have followed the build and offered support and encouragement, it is very much appreciated. Thanks for looking in Chris
  15. Pre-Cut Canopy Masks for Various Kits & Scales 1:72 & 1:48 Special Mask by Special Hobby Some modellers are a little bit phobic about masking the canopies of our models to keep them crystal clear during the building and painting process, as they can be tricky if you’re inexperienced or a bit ham fisted. Special Hobby have created their own Special Mask line to help with that, and we’ve got a bundle of them in the review queue in various scales. Supplied on a sheet of yellow kabuki tape, these pre-cut masks give you a full set of masks for the canopy, with compound curved handled by using frame hugging masks, while the highly curved gaps are in-filled with either liquid mask or offcuts from the background tape. In addition, you usually get a set of hub/tyre masks for the wheels, allowing you to cut the demarcation perfectly with little effort. They each arrive in a resealable clear foil bag with a card header behind and a sheet of instructions sandwiched between them. F-84F Thunderstreak Canopy & Wheel Mask (M72049 for Special Hobby) A-20G/K Havoc/Boston Canopy & Wheel Mask (M72021 for Special Hobby) Super Mystère B2 Canopy & Wheel Mask (M48021 for Azur Frrom/Special Hobby) Seafire Mk.XV Canopy & Wheels Mask (M48019 for Special Hobby) T-2 Buckeye Inside/Outside Canopy & Wheel Mask (M48018 for Special Hobby) Conclusion Pre-cut mask sets save a lot of precious modelling time and don’t cost a ton of money, so they’re always worth picking up, even if you’re not averse to masking. Add in the new Inside/Outside masks to the mix, and they’re a great boost to realism in my estimation. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  16. My build for this GB will be the 1/32 Special Hobby Tempest II. This is the Hi-Tech boxing with lots of resin and other goodies. There are lots of things to show in the box, so I will do it in stages.
  17. Army Zetor Tractor Driver and Mechanic (F72390) 1:72 CMK by Special Hobby If you’ve seen the 1:72 Military Zetor Tractor (reviewed here) that was used heavily around Soviet era air fields to tow smaller aircraft around the base, you might be interested in this figure set. As usual with CMK's resin sets, it arrives in the familiar clear vacformed box, with the resin parts safely inside, and the instructions sandwiched between the header card at the rear. There are two resin figures in the box, each attached to a casting block by their feet, although the seated driver is also connected by the chair that is moulded into his behind. The driver and standing figure are both wearing the overalls of Soviet era mechanics and forage caps of the kind that fold flat. Both are looking to their right, presumably in the direction that they are intending to travel, perhaps the dispersal bay of the MiG-15 they are towing in the drawing, which isn’t included just in case it hadn’t dawned on you. They are well-moulded and sculpting is good, with realistic poses and fabric drape on their overalls. The moulded seat of the driver will allow you to glue him directly in position without worrying about locating him on the seat, as the original seat is left off the tractor. He has one hand on the wheel and the other on his lap, so locating him on the kit wheel should be easier after removing the supporting flash that has been used to improve moulding success, and can be scraped away quickly and easily. Adding human scale to any model is a great way to improve it, especially well-detailed figures like these, and transporting a shut-down MiG around the airfield was a common task during the Cold War and beyond. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  18. Special Hobby is to reissue soon its 1/72nd Heinkel He.59B kit (link) under ref. SH72428 Source: https://www.specialhobby.net/2023/11/sh48428-heinkel-he-59b-nahled-obtisku.html Box art & decals V.P.
  19. Concrete Hedgehog WWII Anti-Tank Barrier (8066 & 2062) 1:48 & 1:72 CMK by Special Hobby Tank barriers are important aspects of any defensive line of the 20th century onwards, and they are intended to stop tanks in their tracks to prevent their advance, and therefore leave any infantry without their mobile heavy weapons support, or render them immobile and vulnerable to artillery fire. Various designs have been used over the years, and we’re looking at the concrete type fielded during WWII, which was nicknamed Hedgehog for fairly obvious reasons, as it’s a prickly customer. Made from cast concrete with metal reinforcement within, forming a similar shape to a jack from the game of the same name, the lower ends dig into the ground under their own weight, and if a tank rubs up against it, there is a good chance it will become snagged on the obstacle, stopping it from advancing any further. The rebar projects from the ends of the arms in a pig-tail curl to accommodate barbed wire entanglements, which would make the chances of stopping the enemy even greater. Similar style obstacles are still in use today. Both sets arrive in clear-fronted vacformed boxes, with the header card and instructions at the rear, whilst the resin parts inside are safely stored inside a cocoon of dark grey foam. There are four Hedgehogs in the smaller 1:72 set, while the larger 1:48 set has two Hedgehogs due to the extra size, and they are all cast on individual blocks with narrow attachment supports reducing the amount of clean-up on the underside. You’ll need to find some wire to create the pig-tail curls at the ends of the arms, and there are pictures on the instructions that will help you in this regard. Concrete Hedgehog x 2 (8066) Concrete Hedgehog x 4 (2062) Conclusion These sets are great for the diorama modeller, and their level of detail is excellent, down to the fine concrete texture and the tiny holes to accept the wire tails. Minimal clean-up of the parts further sweetens the package. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  20. A-20A/B/C/DB-7C Havoc/Boston "Early Gunships" 1:72 Special Hobby The A-20/DB-7 Havoc, known in Royal Air Force circles as the as the Boston, was a light bomber developed by the California-based Douglas Aircraft Company. Designed to a US Air Force specification issued in 1937, the aircraft’s first customer was actually the French Air Force, representatives of which had been impressed by its performance whilst visiting the USA as part of a pre-war purchasing commission. Those aircraft not delivered to France by the time the armistice had been signed in 1940 were taken up by the RAF instead. The Soviet Union was a major user of the type, with the Soviet Air Force and Soviet Naval Aviation acquiring nearly 3000 Bostons before the end of the war. The Kit It Was back in 2009 first iteration of this kit was released under the MPM Production label. The kit has been re-released about 20 times since then, including a re-box of the Boston Mk.V by big boys Revell. This time around the kit includes extra parts in resin, plastic and photo etched brass for earl;y gunship versions featuring extra guns in the nose. Inside the box are the usual five sprues of grey plastic and two sprues of clear plastic (the original sprue plus a new sprue for the turret transparencies. Together they hold over 160 parts, which is very respectable for a kit of this size. The mouldings look crisp and clean and there are no flaws in the plastic as far as I can tell. Surface details are comprised of fine, engraved panel lines and convincing textures on the rudder and horizontal tail. Although Special Hobby have had their money's worth out of these moulds, they seem to be holding up well and the overall impression is pretty good. The cockpit is rather well-appointed for a kit in this scale. It is made up of a floor, seat, rudder pedals, two-part control column, instrument panel, sidewalls and bulkheads. Details on parts such as the instrument panel are picked out with fine, raised details. The bomb aimer/observer position is just as good and includes a very nice bomb sight. The rear gunner's position is just as good, with nice extra details such as spare magazines for the lower defensive machine gun. The engine nacelles are made up at this point also and put aside for later. Once the fuselage halves have been joined together, the wings and horizontal stabilisers can be assembled and fixed to the fuselage. Unlike some limited run kits, the parts have location tabs and slots to help ensure a positive fit. The prominent nacelles, which house the large Double-Cyclone engines, are each made up of seven parts, while the engines themselves are made up of three parts – two rows of seven cylinders and the reduction gearing. They are nicely detailed and should look good once assembled. New resin cowlings are included for some of the decal options. The undercarriage looks well detailed, but frighteningly complex. Each of the main gear legs is made up of no fewer than six parts, plus the wheels themselves. I would recommend taking great care over these stages in the instructions as you don't want to end up with a wonky aeroplane when you come to rest it on its boots. The main gear legs actually fit directly to the wings, and it is possible to fit the rear engine nacelles over these parts afterwards. This should make things a little less frustrating as you will be able to place the parts precisely rather than having to stuff them inside a cramped undercarriage bay, but it will obviously make the task of painting the model a little more laborious. The remainder of the build is concerned with the addition of the transparent parts and some fine details such as the the radio antenna and propellers. The transparent parts are thin and clear and shouldn’t present any problems, although I have not been able to check to see how well they fit at this point in time. Different parts for the different nose gun options need to be fitted into the nose the decal option being modelled. Side blisters with additional guns are also added where needed. Decals Markings for five aircraft are provided on the decal sheet. A-20 13357/14 "Dirty Gertie" 47th Bomb Group, Tunisia 1944 A-20A 0166/13 "Little Hellion" 89th Bomb Sqn, 3rd Bomb Group, Port Moresby, 1942. This aircraft crashed and was repaired, later it was renamed "The Steak and Egg Special" As above but sporting the "Steak and Egg Special" Officially a non existent airframe re built from 2 crashed aircraft (and bits of others including Japanese ones) by mechanics. Again as above but stripped of its camo., and polished, the name was shortened to "Steak & Eggs" This aircraft then crashed of Low Wood Island Australia, where the wreckage remains to this day. Boston III, RAAF A28-9 "She's Apples" The decals are nicely printed and look quite thin and glossy. Conclusion This is the only modern tooling of the Boston in 1:72 scale, so it’s fairly easy to recommend it to modellers interested in adding the type to their collection. It looks good on the sprue, although opinion seems to be divided as to how easy it is to build. Some people have reported fit issues whilst others have stated that the kit practically falls together. Nevertheless, it is still the best Boston out there and with the interesting twist of the new gunship marking options, it can be firmly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  21. Dromedary Camels x 2 (F72397 & F48398) 1:72 & 1:48 CMK by Special Hobby The camel, known colloquially as the ‘ship of the desert’, is a large mammal that is as cantankerous as it is capable, having a huge fat storage hump on its back that allows it to travel for up to 40 days without a proper drink, its long legs and large padded feet making it a capable of travelling vast distances without taking one step forward and two back on sand dunes. They’re still used everywhere there’s a desert, although 4x4 transport is taking over where the need arises. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when these sets arrived, as I’ve already reviewed a few more camels than I ever thought I would. I think the total is up to six now, and there are more coming. I’m not quite serious, but I seem to remember making a comment in the first review that I’d never reviewed a camel before, and likely never would again. I guess I was wrong… again. These two sets are 3D printed in two scales to go with your 1:72 or 1:48 desert diorama, whether it’s in the background or playing a more central role. Both sets are supplied in the usual clamshell box with card header, the colours and branding different by scale for reasons that aren’t immediately apparent. The instructions are simple, and are hidden between the resin part and the backing, consisting of a simple visual of the model with painting examples. There are two camels in different poses in each box, and they each still have supports attached to the underside, which are easy to clip off and sand the remaining pips back flush. 1:72 Dromedary (F72397) 1:48 Dromedary (F48398) With only a little work to do to remove the attachment pips on the underside, they should be ready for paint pretty quickly, and the detail is superb, even down to the recreation of the changing texture of the animal’s pelt, where it changes to a coarser consistency around the hump. One camel is sitting down with its legs folded underneath, as is their way, while the other is standing up with its legs in a pose that implies movement, but could also be used in a standing pose, as it isn’t a particularly dynamic stance – probably for that very reason. Markings There are no decals, although I suspect I didn’t really need to mention that, however a quick Google of camel pictures will come back with plenty of examples of their colouring to aid you with painting them. It might also see you put on some kind of esoteric register of camel fanciers, but it also might not. Conclusion Detail is fabulous, with every aspect of the camel carefully replicated, including the shaggy texture of the animal’s fur and its goofy face, however it looks a little too cheerful based on the camels I’ve met before. Camels are always ill-tempered and often spitty. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  22. Tachikawa Ki-54Hei/Hickory (SH72270) 1:72 Special Hobby The design that was to become the Ki-54 was requested as a response to the need for a twin-engined trainer aircraft to teach novice pilots that had already learned to fly single-engined aircraft to specifics of flying a multi-engined aircraft. Tachikawa was a major aircraft manufacturer between the wars, and it was their design that won the contract and first flew in the summer of 1940, successfully entering service during 1941 before the Japanese Empire attacked Pearl Harbour and brought the USA into WWII. It was one of those aircraft that most multi-engined pilots spent time earning their wings on at the time, before they moved on to fly the Ki-21 bomber, which had similar flight characteristics to the Ki-54, so was ideal for the task. The initial Ki-54a variant was designed for pilot and navigator training, and given the suffix Koh, followed by Ki-54b, a Gunnery and Wireless trainer variant called Otsu, and finally the Ki-54c Hei, which was a transport and liaison variant that was also used in civilian service. A few airframes were converted to Ki-54d standards as anti-submarine bombers that were named Tei, with a total of just over 1,300 aircraft produced spanning all types. Named ‘Hickory; by the Allies for ease of identification, the aircraft survived the end of the war, with numerous airframes used by the Allies for sundry roles, and more finding their way to different parts of the world in civilian hands. It is perhaps for this reason that two still exist in China and Australia. The Kit This is a 2021 tooling of this lesser-known type, and arrives in a small top-opening box with a painting of the subject matter flying over a coast that is covered in thick jungle. Inside the box is a resealable clear foil bag that contains four sprues in grey styrene, the wing sprue in a different hue in my example, a small clear sprue and decal sheet in their own separate bags, plus the A5 portrait instruction booklet that is printed in colour on satin paper, with painting and decaling profiles on the rearmost pages. The wing sprue gives the impression that it is from a slightly earlier period, partly due to the colour of the styrene, but also because the fabric control surfaces are a little softer than those of the tail surfaces. Detail is good overall, and includes a seating area in the main fuselage behind the cockpit, gear bay details and a representation of the Hitachi radial engines that will be seen through the front of the cowlings. Construction begins with joining the two halves of the centre console together, then building the two crew seats from four parts each, with decal lap-belts on the sheet. Both crew members also have a two-part handed control column made, and the instrument panel has a decal applied to depict the dials, and a small V-shaped coaming to the front, after which the assemblies can be brought together on the small floor, starting with the centre console that also acts as the base for the instrument panel. The seats and control columns are mounted behind on raised location points, then the passenger seats are built with two short C-shaped legs under each cushion, adding the seat back to the rear, making six of them in total. They mount on the floor after it has the two spar sections glued across it, locating the seats on short rails moulded into the floor, and fitting raised sides that represent the inner root of the wings. A scrap diagram shows the location of the three bulkheads in red, which are fitted next along with what looks like overhead lockers along the insides of the fuselage above the side windows, cutting an extra window for one decal option that is marked by a depression from inside, all of which are glazed after the fuselage is closed, although for the sake of losing one or more inside, it might be wise to glue them into position beforehand. The cockpit bulkhead door has a small window added, fitting the cockpit in front, and the tail-wheel bay in the rear, then closing the fuselage, dealing with the seams in your preferred manner, and gluing the canopy over the cockpit cut-out. If you’re wondering why the passenger floor hasn’t been mentioned in closing the fuselage, it’s because it can be installed from beneath, locating on tabs moulded into the bottom of the bulkheads, taking care that the seats are facing forward. As you may have already surmised, the lower wings are moulded as a single full-span part, and once the seams with the upper halves are dealt with, you should paint the underside of the wing where the gear bay will be a suitable green shade before adding the three struts that begin the landing gear assembly. The nacelles are built in a slightly unusual manner, as the upper wing has the cowling moulded-in, requiring just the lower halves of the nacelles to be glued under the wing after inserting a bulkhead that is previously mated to the main gear legs and separate oleo scissor-links. A scrap diagram helps you with this, and two additional small parts are added while the lower nacelles are brought up to complete the shape. Another jack is fitted after the nacelles are complete, and a line drawing of the completed gear mechanism is shown to help with alignment of the parts. The two engine cowlings are each split horizontally, and are assembled in preparation for the engines over the page, first joining the wings to the fuselage and fitting the two elevators, one either side of the tail fin, their tabs slotting into holes beneath the fin with moulded-in rudder. The engines are each moulded as single parts that have a bulkhead moulded into their rears, mounting on the nacelles by way of a keyed peg that slots into a hole in the rear, covering them over with the nacelles, then adding an auxiliary intake and exhaust to the outer nacelle sides. The model is flipped over onto its back to complete the landing gear, adding two-part wheels to the axle on each strut along with a narrow captive gear bay on the forward side, inserting the tail-wheel with moulded-in strut into the tail, and the crew step under the port trailing-edge of the wing. Righting the model, the two-bladed props and separate spinner are slipped into the bell-housings on the front of the engines, clear landing lights and wingtip lights are inserted into the leading-edges of the wings, plus a pitot probe in the starboard side. Another clear light is inserted in the end of the fuselage, an antenna mast over the cockpit, and the side access door is fitted with a small window before it is fixed to the fuselage in open or closed position. If you plan on closing the door, it might be best to glue it in before the fuselage is closed, as this will give you the best chance of getting it nice and level with the surrounding fuselage skin. Incidentally, a scrap diagram shows that the landing light parts have a circular depression moulded into them for you to fill with paint to depict the reflector around the bulb if you wanted to add a little extra detail. Markings There are four decal options on the sheet, three of them have a green squiggle camouflage over the entire upper surface. Happily for the squiggle averse, one option is painted the basic grey/green shade worn by many/most Japanese aircraft of the day wore. From the box you can build one of the following: C/n 5541, 38th Sentai, Noshiro Base, Japan, 1943 Recovered from Towada lake and on display in Misawa Museum 28th Dokuritsu Hikotai, Chofu Base, Japan, 1945 10th Dokuritsu Hikodan Shireibu, Borneo, 1945 10th Dokuritsu Hikodan Shireibu, Borneo, late 1945 operated by the Japanese Capitulation Delegation. Currently intact in Australia The decals are printed using a digital process and have good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut loosely around the printed areas. This means that the carrier film on their decals can be coaxed away from the printed part of the decal after they have been applied, effectively rendering them carrier film free, making the completed decals much thinner and more realistic, and obviating the need to apply successive coats of clear varnish to hide the edges of the carrier film. It’s a great step further in realism from my point of view, and saves a good quantity of precious modelling time into the bargain. Conclusion A well-detailed kit of this minor type from the Allies point of view, but an important one for the Japanese pilots that trained in them. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  23. Dornier Do.17Z Wing Fuel Tank Panels & Filler Caps (4465 for ICM) 1:48 CMK by Special Hobby A few years ago, ICM created a range of 1:48 kits of the German Bomber that began with the Dornier Do.17, and evolved during the war into several variants that were sometimes only recognisable by their similar design cues and skinny fuselage, which earned it the nickname “The Flying Pencil”. The kits are modern, well-detailed and readily available, but as I always say, you can always improve the detail. This set goes beyond adding detail to the visible areas of the kit, and delves into the equipment hidden beneath the aircraft’s skin, specifically the wings. The inner wing areas of the Do.17Z were filled with fuel tanks that fed the BMW Bramo Fafnir radial engines that were mounted in nacelles under the wings outboard of the tanks. As usual with CMK's resin sets, they arrive in the familiar clear vacformed box, with the resin parts safely inside, and the instructions sandwiched between the header card at the rear. Decals and Photo-Etch (PE) is separated from the resin parts by a clear piece of acetate to prevent scratching and damage during transit. The box includes fifteen grey resin parts, plus a fret of PE that provides the bay surrounds where the individual panels were secured to the airframe. The lower wing is where most of the preparation is made, cutting out the panels on either side of the wing that are marked in grey on the instructions, while on the upper wing the three filler caps are drilled out to the correct size, one on each wing, one in the centre. After preparation, two circular resin parts that portray the filler cap and surround are glued together and inserted into each of the holes from below, and the flat cover panels are left free as they would be on removal by the maintainers. The lower wing has the rectangular bay areas inserted from within, filling the bays with the resin fuel tanks, which should allow the ribbing detail on the sides of the bays to remain visible from outside. The PE surrounds with fastening holes etched into them are glued to the perimeter of the bays, slightly below the level of the wing’s skin. The replacement resin panels will have been removed by the mechanics and either laid on the ground, propped against the aircraft or placed somewhere else convenient for later reinstallation. The extra detail will look good on your model and bring additional interest to the wing area, although they will be more obvious from above in a diorama situation with mechanics and other crew in the vicinity. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  24. Hi All, After recent forays into unusual Americana (B17C, B18) I decided it was time for the pendulum to swing back towards Blighty. I haven't built a biplane for a while, and this kept winking at me from the stash: Opening up the box, here's the sprue shots: Some nice PE, and a beautifully detailed resin engine: Here's the decals - nicely printed and in register: The decals allow for 4 schemes - two in aluminium, and two Singapore-based machines camouflaged thus: Although I was nearly tempted by this option with the torpedo at such a jaunty angle, I couldn't get excited by the scheme. Now the sharp-eyed amongst you may note that the kit is a Vickers Vildebeest, which is the torpedo bomber version of this aircraft, whereas the Vincent was a general purpose aircraft. A quick search revealed it should be a pretty simple conversion: - Remove the torpedo equipment - Remove the wheel spats (the kit allows for this option) - Add an auxiliary fuel tank (possibly by converting the torpedo??) - The Vincent also had message pickup and pyrotechnic signalling gear added - any information gladly received on these. A bit more searching came up with a scheme I rather fancied (Copyright IWM - Photo is for discussion only and will be removed on request) : The IWM archives state that Vincent K4681 was part of the Aden Communications Flight, and the photo shows the aircraft under guard at Mukeiras landing ground whilst delivering supplies to the RAF rest camp at that location. Now, given that the aircraft has C Type roundels, I suspect that this would have been taken in 1942, and I suspect that the scheme would be Dark Earth/Mid-Stone over Azure, although it could also be LE/DE over Sky Blue (I suspect the former, but happy to hear otherwise). Given that the aircraft was not assigned to a squadron it may well not have worn codes, so just the serial - simples! Also of note are the leading edge strakes, which are not provided in the kit - a simple enough job to fabricate. Lovely photo of the guard too - probably keeping the pesky local population at bay. Anyway, it looks to be a nice little kit so let's see what it turns up! Thanks for looking, Roger
  25. Elektrischer Generator 8KW für Flak Sw-36 mit Sd.Ah.51 (MV131) 1:72 Planet Models by Special Hobby Searchlights were the only way of finding enemy aircraft from the ground before the invention of radar and reliable infrared detection of targets, and all nations had their own systems to use in the run up to WWII. Germany’s system started with a 60cm reflector that output a staggering 137,550,000 candles of light in a tightly focused beam, which is the equivalent of 1.729004e9 lumens, if you can wrap your head round that number. Imagine 5,763,345 of your average 5w LED bulbs crowded into that space, and you’ll be getting there. These devices required a prodigious power supply, and could not rely on the domestic electricity supply, as it was unreliable due to the bombing, and the location of the searchlight stations wouldn’t necessarily be within range of a suitable connection. Instead, they were powered by generators that produced 8KW of DC current, using 6-cylinder BMW engines that had been used in pre-war cars, fed with petrol/gas by the attending crew. Like the searchlight, they had to be portable to go where they needed, so they were carried around on the same carriage that the searchlight used, the Sd.Ah.51. The Kit The kit arrives in a small white cardboard box with a sticker of the subject matter covering one side, and inside is one bag of parts, the instruction sheet and several packing foam pieces to protect it during transit. If you’ve already read our review of the Searchlight kit (MV130), you’ll recognise the carriage, which is made from the chassis and two wheels that slot into the axles under the arches. The print-bases with the frames cut away The generator can be left mounted on the carriage on the two tracks that accept the six wheels under the body, or it can be shown rolled off and sitting on its own wheels. The body of the generator is a single part, with the flat access door for the control panel a separate slim part that has a support moulded into it, so take care when removing it from the print-base. It can be fitted hinged up from the top to the horizontal in the open position, or by cutting off the support it can be glued over the instruments for transport or inclement weather conditions. Markings Like the Searchlight, the choice of colour is Panzer Grey for early war years, or Dunkelgelb for later operations. The cable reels should have their contents painted a black grey to represent the insulation around the cables, and the dials and switches in the control panel can be picked out using your preferred method. The carriage has just the wheels in rubbery grey, the rest is painted the same colour as the generator. Conclusion Coupled with the Searchlight kit, this makes an interesting diorama subject, or could be built alone for inclusion with a towing vehicle. Detail is excellent, and construction simple. Take your time cutting the parts free from the supports, and you’ll have a great model. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
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