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Found 4 results

  1. Sherman Firefly VC Starter Set 1:72 Airfix A55003 The Sherman was one of the most widely used Allied tanks during WWII, named after an American Civil War general when it entered service in the early part of the war. It was the mainstay of Allied armour, and was a reliable and rugged vehicle, but initially suffered from weak points and thin side armour that allowed a carefully placed shot to penetrate it an set the tank afire. Once identified appliqué armour was added to the vulnerable spots to improve survivability. It became one of the most produced tanks of WWII, with over 50,000 produced, 17,000+ of which were destined for British service. Originally fitted with a 75mm gun, the arrival of the Panther and Tiger tanks in the European Theatre led to tests for improving firepower to penetrate the thicker armour of these new foes. The American tests weren't as successful as the British forays into heavy armament, and it was the redesign and installation of the Ordnance QF 17-pounder gun in a standard turret that resulted in the Firefly, lead by W.G.K. Kilbourn, a Vickers engineer, that succeeded in adding the gun to the Sherman. It was capable of knocking out a Panther and Tiger at combat ranges from then on. Although the Firefly concept was initially rejected, it was pushed ahead and the improved Shermans started reaching the front just in time for the work-up before D-Day where it accredited itself well. To hide the extra firepower the length of the barrel was sometimes disguised by adding a wavy camouflage to the underside in the hope the enemy would confuse it with the weaker 75mm gun and be less cautious. By war's end around 2,000 Fireflys had been produced, and had been used effectively as part of the larger Sherman force, evolving new tactics to protect the valuable Fireflies while making good use of their heavy hitting power. Tanks with 17-pounder guns were usually known as "1C", "1C Hybrid", or "VC", depending on the basic mark of the vehicle. The "C" indicated fitment of the 17 Pounder Gun. The Firefly nickname is said to be a response to the bright flash of the gun firing. The Kit This is a new tool from Airfix and is 1.72 unlike some other small scale armour kits which were 1/76 scale. As you can expect from a new tool the moulding are crisp and clean, the plastic also seems to be a bit harder than some of the modern aircraft kits. In a departure from previous kits the rubber band tracks have gone. In the initial boxing both link and length tracks and single part tracks moulded with the wheels/bogies were included, this is now a "Simplified" version of this kit with only the single part tracks/wheels included. A good thin for the younger modeller. As well as paints, glue and a brush the instructions have also been re-worked to show where all the parts are on the sprues, and a small guide to tools is included in the kit. The main lower hull is the first step in construction. the two sides attach to the base and the front and rear parts go on. In addition at the rear the exhaust shroud goes on. The tracks can now go on. We then move onto the upper hull. Some holes first need to be made and then the rear bulkhead with mud guards attached is added . Next up its the turret containing that all important 17 pounder gun. The mantlet is first added to the turret followed by the single part barrel. With careful gluing of the parts the gun will elevate. Only one half of the muzzle brake is moulded onto the barrel, with the other half needing to be added. The base is then added to the turret, and on top the large hatch and aerial mount is added. A side hatch complete the turret and it can be added to the vehicle. Decals The small sheet from Cartograf (no no issues there) provides markings for a single tank from 1st Sqn, 2nd Armoured Regiment, 10th Armoured Cavalry Brigade, Polish 1st Armoured Division. Conclusion As well as Airfix's drive into 1/35 scale armour it is good to see them sticking with their roots and producing new kits for the small scale armour modeller. The kit looks really good in the box and their should be an appeal to the younger modeller with the simplified track details, or even a market for war gamers? Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  2. I've recently been building the A Model Hawker Hector and as something of an easier distraction completed this starter kit in time for VE Day last week. It wasn't without its issues - the starboard wing was/is somewhat warped though hopefully not too noticeable now. The main problem though was the canopy, the kit came with that for a Spitfire Mk.22. Airfix are going to replace this once their spares start up again. Thankfully I have five others liberated from Home Bargains. So canopy number two came from the stash, was duly masked up and went through the paint process along with the rest of the model. Unfortunately when the masks came off something had got between the canopy and the doghouse. As I'd only used PVA to glue it on I tried to prize it off only for it to suddenly give and then split in two. So what you see in the photos is canopy number three which was painted by hand with the aid of a cocktail stick for cleaning up. Paint is mostly MRP. The Dark Earth seems a bit too dark to me. Metallics are Alclad and the chipping was achieved with Ammo by Mig Scratch effects. Not entirely happy with this as it's a lot more chipped than I was intending on, though having covered some of it up I discovered that some Hurricanes during the Battle of Britain were quite heavily chipped. The remaining weathering is a mix of Flory Models wash and oil paints. Exhaust stain is Mr Hobby Tyre Black followed by a mix of mid grey and light brown. Cheers Andy
  3. On a wet summer day Alex (8yrs my favourite Grandson!!) chose a Harrier from the Starter Kits to put together. How fortuitous because the kit was based on a Harrier from RAF Wildenrath 1974. As a RAF Cadet (School) I had spent a wonderful week at this base in 1974 with other UK School based RAF Cadets. My daughters kitchen table was going to be the construction site! Other things bought, a tray, some nail cutters, cocktail sticks, a set of make up brushes, nail files, silver and gloss Humbrol acrylic range and cheapest Asda superglue. My aim was to build the kit quickly enough so that Alex's attention span didn't flag, something that we could both enjoy and didnt turn into a trial... Organisation In the tray, glues away from the kit pieces, seperate food trays for parts to be glued and those glued, washing hands, washing brushes and crossing off on the instruction sheet all helped to keep some asemblance of organisation. Putting together We followed the instruction sheet closely and used my experience as to when to paint, when to glue and when to leave. It also allowed me to practice some skills - dry brushing and use of water colour pencils. Alex cut the parts from the runners using scissors and he\we nipped the lugs off with straight and curved nail clippers. Gluing we used the kit glue and cocktail sticks. I usually gave most joins a run of superglue to speed the process up. What Alex could do and what I had to do, evolved during the build until Alex was cutting the parts out, nipping the lugs off and then sanding these parts. The fuselage join needed a phased gluing with "plastic' and 'super glue' with clothes pegs. This was done while we were putting together the under carriage fuel tanks and rocket pods. Painting We used the kit paints and the kit brushes. We used 4 straight strips of masking tape. Painting I drew the out lines and Alex blocked in the colours. He was surprised beyond belief - when I asked for his mum's hair dryer! The paint dried so quickly esp. with the hairdryer that we could paint almost continuously and the paints at this level were excellent one coat covered mistakes. Breaks for sandwiches water tea were generally governed by Alex. Stickers!!/Transfers Alex thought the transfers were stickers, so he found it very frustrating, to have to place them in water and then put them on the model, this took more time that he could give... We discussed whether to put the wheels on or not, I persuaded him to keep them off because they would break far too easily doing touch and goes and attacking his Lego. I did some touching up and practised some of my skills when he was a sleep. Mistakes not many but gluing one of the fuel tanks the wrong way round was mine! Two days and the job was done it will be interesting to see whether Alex wants to make another, when Grandad comes to look after him during the School hols?
  4. I built this Airfix Starter set 109 for our club's build a model in a day. This was a couple of years ago, we haven't done it for a while. Start at 9am on a Sunday and finish by 430. The first year a couple of guys adjourned to the local hostelry at lunchtime but no one repeated that mistake subsequently. Anyway this was built and painted with the suplied paints within the time limit, though didnt place in the results. You may be able to spot the tail strut that's stretched sprue as the Village Hall Wooden Floor Monster stole the original. Cheers Will
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