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  1. Fiat G.50B Bicomando (SH32083) 1:32 Special Hobby The G.50 was Italy’s first all-metal monoplane with retractable undercarriage, and was in-service by 1938, performing well amongst its contemporaries. It was somewhat short-ranged, and had issues with its initial armament being a little light, originally consisting of two .50cal equivalent machine guns in the wing. The Hawker Hurricane could out-fly it however, as well as being faster by a good margin, and as time went by the shortcomings became more apparent. Several attempts to remedy its problems were made, including improvements to the engine, more fuel and armament changes, but even the installation of a Daimler Benz 601 didn’t give it enough of a boost. By this time the G.55 was designed and production was underway, taking full advantage of the DB engine at the start of its journey to obtain an excellent reputation as a good all-round fighter. Under 800 of the G.50 were made, with around 100 of the G.50B Bicomando two-seat trainers amongst them, and over half of the rest as the G.50 Bis, that took the airframe as far as was practical. The Kit The one-seater variant of this kit has been around for almost 10 years now, but this boxing is the two-seat trainer, so a rare beast indeed. It arrives in a standard top-opening box in the Special Hobby style, and inside are five sprues of grey styrene, a clear sprue, two identical sheets of Photo-Etch (PE), a big bag of resin parts, decal sheet and the instruction booklet, which is printed in colour with markings profiles on the rear pages. The major detail of this kit is to be found in the resin and PE parts, the styrene providing the structure on which to base your exploits. The resin especially is crisp, and is it just me, or do those cylinders look a little bit like stylised owls? Construction begins with the cockpit, building up the twin rudder pedals on a resin part that has the retention straps added from the PE sheet, one of each placed in the cockpit stations with a pair of flat foot pads under each pilot’s legs. Twin control columns and levers are also fixed to the deck, and the seats are built up from a styrene chair with two brackets at the back, then a set of seatbelts and harness with chain sections for the pilot, shown being made up in steps for your ease. The ‘pits are separated by a pair of C-shaped bulkheads, and each pilot has a two-section instrument panel made up into an almond shape, with decals applied to the surfaces to depict the dials. A resin trim adjustment wheel is inserted between a folded PE A-frame for later installation in the rear cockpit. The fuselage halves have detail moulded into their interiors, which is augmented by adding several panel sections on the port side with PE levers and styrene trunking, plus a side console on the starboard along with other dials, equipment and an oxygen cylinder. Two of the decal schemes need a small section of the aft cockpit opening removed to be replaced later by clear panels, the location for which is marked in red on the instructions along with the schemes that require this simple alteration. With that work complete as well as painting and weathering of the cockpit, the fuselage can be closed around the cockpit, remembering to install the trim wheel and the instrument panels at the front of each cockpit, and a rest at the back of the rear seat. The lower wings are full span and have the simple gear bays moulded into their surface, needing just a pair of resin filters inserting into the leading-edge intakes before gluing down the upper wings, then dropping the fuselage in between the gaps. The elevators have separate flying surfaces, and are all made from top and bottom layers, allowing you to deflect them as you see fit, and the rudder is fixed to the moulded-in fin to complete the empennage. There are a couple of adverts for their own resin sets at this juncture, including a handsome pair of wheels and a stylish Italian pilot figure. You can’t blame them for a little self-promotion! Speaking of resin, there’s a lot of it to be used in the next few steps, so make sure you have it all removed from its casting blocks and cleaned of any residual mould release agent before you begin. The engine is built up around the central core, adding each cylinder, its trunking and push-rods as you progress, noting that the push-rods should be made from 0.3mm diameter wire from your own stocks, each cut to 8mm long. There are sixteen cylinders in all, so be prepared for a bit of work. The completed engine has an adaptor plate fixed to the rear to facilitate mounting on the fuselage later, but first the two-part cowling and the horseshoe exhaust pipe should be glued around it, using the resin upper section for one decal scheme, and plastic parts for the rest. The main wheels are each built from two halves, and are trapped between two halves of a yoke at the end of the main gear legs, one side separate to ease installing the wheels. Each leg also has a captive door added to the outside, and as they are inserted into the bays, a retraction jack and PE ancillary bay door are included. The engine is mated to the front of the fuselage in the closing stages along with a resin intake trunk under the chin, installing the canopy over the front half of the cockpit, leaving the back open, but replacing the removed fuselage sections with the clear panels on the sprue. A pair of pitot probes are inserted into the leading edge of the wings, with four horn-balances top and bottom of the ailerons, a short pin on top of the fin, a clear light in the tip of the tail, plus the prop, which is built around a two-part central boss, into which the three blades are inserted, with a choice of leaving the axle stub visible, or putting a two-part spinner on the front. The last job is to install the two-part tail wheel into its yoke and insert it into a hole in the fuselage under the tail. Markings There are a choice of four disparate markings options on the decal sheet, under the auspices of various operators. From the box you can build one of the following: Black 136, MM6425, Advanced Flying School, Regia Aeronautica, Italy, 1941 No.3510, MM6477, 1 Sqn., 1 Group, Air Base, No.1, Croatian Air Force, Zagreb-Borongaj, Croatia, June 1942 B, MM unknown, Luftwaffe, Italian Social Republic, Mid 1943-early 44 Black 1, MM6843, 3ᵃ Squadriglia, 2° Gruppo Scuola Volo, Aeronautica Militaire, Brindisi, Italy, 1946 The decals appear to be printed by Eduard and are in good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. I mention Eduard because from 2021, 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 An unusual subject to hit 1:32 scale in one seat fighter, never mind two-seat trainer guises. There’s plenty of detail to be had, as long as you remember that you can’t just pour glue in, shake the box and out drops a model. Put some skill and effort into it and great replica will be the result. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  2. L-4 Cub – European Cubs in Post-War Service (SH48222) 1:48 Special Hobby The Piper Cub was a light aircraft developed before WWII with production continuing throughout WWII and into the late 40s. In military service as a communications, reconnaissance, or spotter aircraft, it was known as the L-4 Grasshopper, and 20,000 plus were built due to its success in various roles, including trainer and glider tug. It was powered by a flat-4 engine, and despite the limited power it was agile in the air, with docile handling characteristics and a very low stall speed, which made take-off and landing a simple process, and let the aircraft use strips that were far too short for other types. After the war, many of the former military aircraft were re-purposed for civilian use, or sold to other nations in similar roles. Due to the simple nature of the type, maintenance was straight-forward and cost-effective, leading to many airframes surviving to the present day in private hands. The Kit This is a reboxing of Special Hobby’s 2022 new tool that we somehow missed until now, so it’s our first look at the plastic, although we have reviewed the 3D printed engine upgrade set, which truly is a sight to behold. The kit arrives in a modest top-opening box, and inside are two full-size sprues in grey styrene, a clear sprue, a small fret of Photo-Etch (PE), a casting block with four parts, a tiny slip of over-printed clear acetate, the A5 instruction booklet in colour, and the decals in a separate resealable bag. Detail is good, although there are some ejector-pin marks here and there by necessity, and some of them might need dealing with during assembly and painting. Construction begins predictably with the cockpit, starting on a floor part that is detailed with rudder pedals, fire extinguisher and other small parts, plus the linked control columns, the four-part seat for the pilot, with a choice of two types of rear seat installed later. The Continental motor is started by gluing the top and bottom halves together, with optional heat shielding over the piston banks, and a central air intake system underneath. This is slipped through the piston slots in the starboard fuselage half, which has the cowling details adjusted for one of the decal options on both sides. The firewall with moulded-in tank separates the engine from the cockpit, and after gluing the floor into the bottom, a sloped rear bulkhead is placed on ledges. A choice of two additional intake parts is inserted under the motor, created by removing the tip for one decal option. Whilst closing the fuselage, two rods are inserted low on the firewall, linked diagonally to the sidewalls, then your choice of rear seats, one option that is similar to the pilot’s seat but with a single mounting frame, the other a single cushion with PE belts and no back. For three of the decal schemes there is an additional grating inserted and glued to the front bulkhead, and a tonneau cover is spread over the rear cockpit area. The instrument panel is created by adding a curved insert across the front of the opening, to which a choice of printed acetate film or a decal is applied, adding a PE surround over the top. At the front of the tonneau, one option has a PE belt strung across from one sidewall to the other. The Cub’s extensive glazing is next, with a choice of closed or open starboard side panels, which is accomplished by using one of two parts supplied on the clear sprue. The port side is always closed, and is first to be placed in position, linked to the opposite side by an asymmetrical framework over the heads of the crew that holds the tops of the windows at the correct width. There are details moulded into the insides of the glazing parts, so masking inside and painting them will increase the realism appreciably. Special Hobby have a set of masks to help in this regard. The clear roof is applied over the top, and in front of that the lengthy spar and an inverted V-frame is added that is covered by the crystal-clear curved windscreen. Once the glue and paint are dry on the canopy, the wing halves are joined over the spars, taking care to smooth down the ejector-pin marks that are present on the centre surface of each part, just in case they clash. A few seconds with a motor tool or coarse sanding stick should see them gone, as you don’t need to be too careful. The single-thickness elevators are slotted into the tail, then it’s a case of adding all the detail, starting with the landing gear struts under the fuselage. The engine is also detailed with resin exhausts and intake filter, plus a small “pot” on the top of the cowling. The wings are supported by a V-shaped strut between the fuselage and outer wing, with an additional stay around half-way, and some tiny PE actuators fitted to the ailerons. You will need to find some 0.3mm wire or thread to replicate the aileron control wires that run down the front support and pop out again to mate with the PE actuators added earlier. This is replicated on both wings of course. The tail wheel is fixed to the moulded-in strut under the tail, and there are twin control wires added to the elevators, with the control wires replicated top and bottom, and two more to control the tail-wheel itself for ground-handling. More short wires are added on the topside of the ailerons, and the two-part balloon-like tyres are slipped over the axles on the gear legs. If you have elected for an open cockpit, the open window is fixed almost flush with the lower wing and held in place by a PE stay, while the lower trapezoid cockpit door is folded down with a PE handle and retaining clip glued to the bottom edge. It isn’t mentioned, but we assume that if you close the window you should glue the door in the closed position earlier in the build. There is a short antenna inserted into a hole in the roof, which has a wire strung between it and the top of the fin, then the two-bladed prop is slipped over the shaft at the front of the engine, with a shallow spinner included for one of the decal options. Markings There are a healthy four decal options included on the sheet, and if you’ve been staring at grey jets a lot recently, you might want your sunglasses, as some of them are a bit colourful. From the box you can build one of the following: L-4J Grasshopper OK-YFJ c/n:12830 ex-USAAF 44-80534, owned by J Zítka, Rtyně v Podkrkonoši, Czechoslovakia, 1947 L-4H Grasshopper HB-OUD c/n:11854 ex-USAAF 44-79558, private owner in Bern, Switzerland, 2004 L-4H Grasshopper G-AIIH c/n:11945 ex-USAAF 44-79649 private owner, Great Britain, 1993 L-4H Grasshopper SP-AML ex-USAAF 44-79884, Warsaw Aero Club, Poland, 1949 The decals appear to be printed by Eduard and are in good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. I mention Eduard because from 2021, 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 I wasn’t all that interested in this aircraft until I saw the 3D printed engine set that we reviewed recently, and now I’m all over it. It’s an acknowledged fact that I’m fickle, but it’s a really nice kit of a surprisingly common and persistent aircraft that will appeal to civilian aircraft modellers as well as some of the many pilots that earned their wings flying in one. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  3. Siebel 204E (SH48212) 1:48 Special Hobby The Siebel Si 204 was based on the earlier Siebel Fh 104 Hallore, and was originally designed as a light transport and trainer aircraft. It was initially ordered by the Luftwaffe with its canopy altered to the stepless type, possibly to replicate that of the He.111 that pilots might later progress to. The last variant, the 204E was intended to be a light bomber and trainer, although it was perilously close to the end of the war, so not many were made. As a footnote to its German service a 204 had the dubious honour of possibly being the last aircraft to be shot down by the Allies in WWII on the 8th May 1945. After WWII, Czech company Aero produced almost 200 airframes in training (C-3A), bombardier training (C-3B), transport (D-44) and civilian (C-103) flavours, which carried on in service until the end of the 40s and beyond, while a few airframes soldiered on a little longer in Hungarian service. The Kit This is a reboxing of a 2019 tooling from Special Hobby with some additional parts to depict this variant, and although I’d never heard of it until the original sample arrived, it has an ungainly appeal with its strangely shaped fuselage, blunt glazed nose and long narrow wings. It arrives in a standard blue/white themed Special Hobby box, and inside are a surprising nine grey sprues, one clear sprue and a new nose glazing in a ziplok bag, plus four resin exhausts on two casting block, the decal sheet and instruction booklet. The wingspan hits you immediately, as it has surprisingly long wings, and the boxy fuselage isn’t exactly tiny either. The external surfaces are engraved with SH’s usual fine panel lines, and the part count for the detailed internals is also pretty high, although some parts aren’t used, particularly on sprue F and the main clear sprue, which has only about half the parts used. Construction begins with the cockpit, which is assembled on a wide floor part with side consoles, centre console, detailed seat on large framed base with curved head armour, instrument panel and control column, backed by a bulkhead with doorway into the rear of the aircraft. Unlike many aircraft models, the floor doesn’t end behind that bulkhead, but extends all the way to the rear, with a well-detailed radio rack, navigation table, additional seat, a section of the main spar and two upstands that bracket the bomb bay front and rear. The two bomb racks hold four bombs each, which have separate perpendicular fins and a small locating hole on the backside. The two completed racks are then inserted into notches in the bay aperture, and braced against the fuselage roof by a three-part triangular frame. Another bulkhead with open door and stowage rack is added half way to the tail, then another shorter bulkhead terminates the interior in front of the tail. If you want to pose the rear fuselage door open, the instructions show where to cut the fuselage as well as the two halves of the bomb bay doors in the underside of the fuselage. The resulting interior is finished at the front with the rudder pedal assembly, plus the instrument panel, control column with decals, and an overhead insert. Before closing up the fuselage, the windows and the wing root covers that prevent you from seeing the attachment points are glued in, and the interior is painted. With the interior glued into the starboard side, a vertical beam is inserted between the wing spar and roof, then the two halves are joined. The canopy is applied to the stepped front, consisting of the domed nose part and a separate C-shaped canopy, the former having a few small details added inside before it is fixed in position. The Si.204 has long wings mounted low on the fuselage, so each one is made up from two parts that incorporates the rear nacelle fairings to which the cowling, exhausts and intake trunking are added, then each one is slotted into the appropriate wing root and is joined by the H-shaped tail, which fits on two smaller tabs at the rear. A pair of clear wingtip lights are supplied, as are two new bomb bay doors and their actuators. The landing gear can be left off until after painting, and consists of a sloped leg with integral brace to which two more are added on the sides. The oleo then attaches to this assembly and is bracketed by a pair of gear bay doors and a two-part wheel with smooth tread. There is a wheel under each nacelle as you’d expect plus a small tail wheel with split yoke. Horn balances are fitted to the top and bottom of each elevator, a pair of stump antennae at the rear of the cockpit with wires leading to the rudders, then the turret is made up. It starts with the two-part circular base, with the underside brace and seat made up first while it is inverted, then once it is flipped over, the gun and its concertina fed dump-bag are inserted and surrounded by additional parts. Beneath the bag another C-shaped brace is added, which is probably a foot rest for the gunner. A pair of flared gun muzzle stubs are inserted into the underside of the nose, a couple of external bomb racks with anti-sway braces are fixed just in front of the small bomb bay, with a D/F loop and an aerial being fixed behind it. a pair of two-bladed props with serrated spinner caps are made up from four parts each, then if you have opened up the hatch on the side, the replacement door is fitted along with a ladder. The circular turret opening has a number of tubular rails glued on around the perimeter, then the turret is dropped into position and covered over with a shallow clear dome. Two grab-handles are fixed on the sides of the fuselage next to a pair of aerodynamic fairings, probably for access or egress of the gunner. Markings There are three decal options included on the sheet with four-view drawings in colour at the rear of the instruction booklet, all of which share the same RLM70/71 splinter pattern over RLM65, with a yellow tail band. From the box you can build one of the following: Siebel Si.204E-0 1K+BA Stab./NSGr.4, Balice Airfield, occupied Poland, Autumn 1944 Siebel Si.204E-0 1K+AL Stab./NSGr.4, Balice Airfield, occupied Poland, Autumn 1944 Siebel Si.204E-0 V-22, Red D, possibly prototype bomber version from an Si.204D The decals are printed in-house with good register, sharpness and colour density, and include a number of instrument decals for the interior. Conclusion A welcome reboxing of the type as the last variant of the Si.204 in German service, with new parts to make an interesting and detailed model. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. Here is my build of Wolfpack's North American T-2C Buckeye. The Buckeye was the US Navy's primary jet trainers from 1959 until 2008 when it was replaced by the Boeing T-45. The T-2C version was introduced in 1968. This is my first full kit by Wolfpack. I have previously used their wing upgrades, that I found to be excellent. This kit had generally good fit, but there were some issues, primarily with the fit of the intakes. Included with the kit was a decal sheet printed by Cartograf, that worked excellently and a canopy mask that fit perfectly. I also purchased their "update" (should be upgrade) interior kit that included very nice seats and some photo-etch. Finally I bought a 2 Bobs decal sheet printed by Microscale that was very good. The white was painted with Tamiya Fine Surface primer in a jar and airbrushed. The red was Humbrol 19 and the orange was Humbrol 18. All in all a pleasant build. Next up will the a TH-1H using the Hasegawa UH-1H kit Enjoy
  5. This is the Italleri 1/72 Bell OH-58A kit built as a US Army Bell TH-67A Creek training helicopter. No major issues and just one minor one. The minor issue deals with the spine on top of the tail boom. This covers the drive shaft for the tail rotor. The Italeri kit does not have the cover, but leaves the drive shaft exposed. In stead of using that I used a couple of styrene strips that I glued onto the boom and shaped to the right shape. The candy stripes on the tail were a pain to do, and took a couple of iterations to mostly get right. The decals are home printed on my HP 1505 laser printer using Sunnyscopa laser decal paper and work fine with no silvering. I did not need to overcoat them with decal film. On the whole it was a pleasant quick build. Next up is the Constanza T-3A Firefly Enjoy.
  6. This is HobbyBoss' 1/48 Hawk. Overall this was a very enjoyable kit to build and well engineered. This fit was good throughout and though I am definitely no Hawk expert, it looks right to me! I built the kit OOB and having seen the rather unusal ETPS scheme I was instantly made-up on what markings my hawk would be in! Painted with a mix of Tamiya Acrylics and Humbrol enamels, I weathered the model using oils and washes. Thanks for looking! Angelo
  7. Curtiss-Wright AT-9 Jeep (DW48043) 1:48 Dora Wings Curtiss-Wright designed the AT-9 as an advanced two-engined trainer for new pilots to learn how to fly the new high-performance twin-engined bombers and fighters that were coming into service, such as the B-25 Mitchell and P-38 Lightning. As such it was aerodynamically unstable to mimic their characteristics, and was ideal for teaching candidates that were previously only trained on single-engined airframes. Its prototype was made from a tubular framework covered with fabric on the fuselage and wings, but for the production machines, a metal stressed skin was substituted, giving it a sleek look. The Lycoming R-680-9 engines were mounted low on the low wings, which gave the pilot a good view from the cockpit, although the thick frames on the side doors reduced that a little, but they were relatively underpowered, so the aircraft couldn’t break 200mph even at full throttle, which gave plenty of time to get out of the way. Around 500 of the AT-9 were made, and they gained the nickname Jeep in preference to the official name ‘Fledgling’, and a further 300 of the improved AT-9A were made with more powerful Lycoming R-680-11 engines, and new hydraulics that were improved over the original. Production ceased in 1943, and once the airframes were out of service, they weren’t offered to the general public as they were considered a little too twitchy for inexperienced civilians. As a consequence, there is only one complete example in existence in the US, which was rebuilt by using the parts from two incomplete aircraft, with another partial airframe at Pima that they are hoping to restore at some point. The Kit This is a brand-new tooling from our friends at Dora Wings, who continue to create unusual, interesting subjects in the major scales. This one is 1:48 of course, and arrives in a small top-opening box that contains seven greenish-grey sprues of styrene, a clear sprue in a Ziploc bag, two Photo-Etch (PE) sheets, printed clear acetate sheet, vinyl masks (not pictured), all in another bag with a card stiffener. The instruction booklet is A5 portrait format, printed in colour, with colour profiles on the rear pages to assist with painting and decaling. I built their P-63 Kingcobra when they were a fledgling (unintentional pun!) company, and this tooling is a very crisp-looking model, with plenty of detail and extras that improve the detail still further. It’s great to see their progress over just a few years. Construction begins with the cockpit, starting with highly detailed pedestal and lower centre consoles, plus PE and styrene detail parts, all of which is installed on the cockpit floor along with the twin control columns and seats, adding PE lap belts to each one. The instrument panel can either be made from a styrene backing with PE lamination and acetate instruments, or a styrene panel with moulded-in dials that you’ll need to make your own dials for – I know which on I’ll be using! The panel is fitted out with rudder pedals and a coaming, which is suspended from the front bulkhead that fixes to front of the cockpit floor, and has a rear bulkhead with fire extinguisher added to the rear. There’s no other detail on the rear bulkhead, so if you’re going for open doors you might want to add something there. I’ve done some searching briefly, but haven’t come up with anything useful yet. The fuselage halves make an appearance, as they are skinned inside with detail inserts, and the fuselage is thinned out where the inserts go so it doesn’t increase the thickness too much. The canopy is also fitted with the overhead console, which locates on two depressions in the clear part, after which you can close up the fuselage halves, add the nose cone, the canopy and the two side doors open or closed, P-39 Cobra style. The flying surfaces are made in quick succession, the main planes having a full-width lower and two upper halves plus ailerons, while the elevators have separate fins with each one fitted to the fuselage on two pegs, along with a two-part rudder, offering lots of potential for offset to give your model some extra visual interest. The main wheels are each made of two halves, and their struts have the main leg, separate oleo-scissors, and three-part top sections where they join the bays. The bays are each made from two curved sides and a narrow roof, with triangular PE webs added to the sides, and the struts inserted into holes in the roof. They are put to the side while the twin Lycoming engines are made up, with the nine pistons depicted with push-rods, exhaust collector and a PE baffle layer for each one. The main gear bays are inserted into the engine nacelles from underneath, then closed around by the tapered cowling parts, and each nacelle is fitted with a circular firewall that has four holes pre-drilled for the engine mounts. The engines have their M-shaped mounts and exhausts added, then they are glued to the firewalls to be closed in by the top and bottom cylindrical cowling sections and the front cowling ring, plus a small insert under the engine that forms the intake. The two-bladed props have four additional parts added to detail them, then the small parts such as aileron guides, clear landing lights in the lower wings, tail wheel and pitot probe are all glued to the airframe. Markings There are four options included on the decal sheet, with some interesting variations in colours that should appeal to many without resorting to any aftermarket decals. From the box you can build one of the following: 41-12043, 556th School Squadron, crashed May 27, 1942 41-12059, Lubbock AAF, 1942-3 42-56947, Randolph AAF, 1942-3 41-11978, 338th Fighter Squadron, 55th Fighter Group, 1944 Decals are by DecoGraph, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion I’d not heard of this cute little trainer before, and now I have, I like it. It has just the right combination of strange and sleek to hit the spot for me, and the detail is nicely rendered. It’s the Olive Drab over grey option that I fancy. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  8. Hello there, Henrik here again. A week ago, I finished my second (painted) scale model, a Revell Hawk T.1 used by the RAF. Got it from my first visit to a model kit store one or two months ago with a epic 40% discount, so it was definitely worth it. More detailed explanation below (text wall warning lol) Fully out of box, second painted scale model, took exactly one month to build. (16/10 to 16/11) Base made from styrofoam and card paper painted with craft acrylic. Model itself primed with Gunze Mr Primer Surfacer 1000 lacquer spray can, main color brush painted with Vallejo Model Colour Acrylic Black paint and glossed with MIG Lucky Varnish acrylic gloss. Finally I gave it a quick panel line wash with Medium Grey Panel Line wash from MIG followed with final gloss varnish coats. All other parts were painted with Vallejo with craft paint in really minor areas for detail. *Entirely brush painted except the primer of course* Enjoy the pics~ ^base made with help from a Model Minutes tutorial ^one mistake I made which you can see here is I accidentally filled up some panel lines and stuff on the right wing while spray priming. Learnt not to get too happy with the spray can next time ^landing gear gave me so much pain as expected and refused to stay straight or not collapse when I set the whole model on the gear itself ^Tried my best at the cockpit, the seats already have p nice detail out of box but I added seatbelts made out of masking tape below the headrest which were missing. You can also clearly see a decal I screwed up here ^another decal I screwed up was the major tail decals which you can see missing when compared to the box art. Learnt to more carefully handle these decals (especially the thin Cartograf ones) and not break them easily. Build was good in general, parts fit quite well and good detail in many places such as the cockpit and other small parts. Decent amount of armament is provided but i chose to left then off as I forgot to drill holes for the pylons and when I realized that it was too late lol. I made lots of mistakes and messed up some stuff like the aforementioned tail decals which were ruined too badly, but still it was a fun build and a good challenge and I look forward to building more models in my newbie modeling journey What's next? For my third scale model, I bought an Academy 1/72 F/A-18+. Should be a good build after hearing good things about it. Also, I just recently bought my first airbrush kit and the Academy kit will be my first airbrushed scale model. Looking forward to starting on it once the airbrush arrives and I get paint and supplies. What do you guys think? Comments and critique greatly appreciated. Feel free to share them here. Thank you for reading!
  9. Curtiss-Wright SNC-1 Falcon II (DW48041) 1:48 Dora Wings via Albion Alloys The SNC-1 began its gestation at Curtiss-Wright as the CW-22, and was developed as a light trainer and reconnaissance aircraft, flying as early as 1940, then entering service in 1942. It was a small aircraft with two seats and large canopy that afforded the pilots an excellent view of proceedings. A number were exported to various operators including the Dutch, although because of the state of the war, they were delivered to them elsewhere. The US forces ordered a number to fill gaps in their inventory, with successive increases in the orders resulting in just over 300 airframes entering service in total. A small number also found their way into Japanese service after being captured during their advances across Asia. The Falcon name was conferred to the type by the US Navy, which was otherwise known as the CW-22N. The RAF even had a few that they inherited from the Burma Volunteer Air Force. The Kit This is a brand-new tool from Dora Wings of this unusual little aircraft, and the first mainstream kit in this scale, although there have been a few others over the years from niche producers in resin and other materials. It arrives in their standard top-opening box, and inside are seven sprues in mid grey styrene, a clear sprue, a sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, vinyl masks (not pictured), decal sheet and instruction booklet that is roughly A5 in a portrait format. Perusing the sprues reveals a nicely detailed kit that shows continued improvement from their initial releases, and it is a comprehensive package with a crystal clear single-part canopy. Construction begins with the cockpit, with the two instrument panels attached to their bulkhead hoops and detailed with a decal for each one. The cockpit floor is outfitted with controls, fire extinguisher and a number of other frames, including a pair of PE rudder pedals on an inverted U-shaped former. The two seats are on a separate sprue, and each has a PE four-point harness fitted before they are installed in the cockpit, with a forward and aft bulkhead bracketing the assembly. The fuselage halves are prepared internally with an insert that covers up the wing root, throttle quadrants, levers and instrument boxes, with a little painting to finish off. The engine has to be made up before the fuselage can be closed up, and this is depicted by a two-part cylinder bank, a PE wiring loom and a front bell-housing that is then surrounded by the exhaust collector, after removing a 2mm length from the aggregation outlet, which exposes the hollow interior that runs all the way around the ring. A flattened intake and some small parts are fitted to the front and sides of the engine, then at the rear the input tubing spider is fixed over a donut-shaped spacer and has a simplified depiction of the ancillaries and an exterior ring added before it is glued to the front of the cockpit on a pair of Z-shaped mounts. The fuselage can then be closed up around the assembly, and the landing gear is made up. The wheels are inventive, having two outer halves and a central boss between the halves that gives a completely see-thru look if aligned correctly. The struts are single parts with a perpendicular axle, with separate oleo-scissor link and retraction jacks at the base of each leg. The lower wings are full-width with some nice detail moulded into the central section, and as expected the upper wings are separated with a gap for the fuselage to fill. The ailerons are separate, and a two-part U-shaped fairing is added to the main gear bays for later completion, then the tail feathers are installed, all with separate flying surfaces and fine trailing edges. The airframe is flipped on its back to add small PE cross-members within the main bays, and the lower engine cowling around the exhaust, then the gear legs are fitted on triangular hinge-points, with a bay door on each side, plus a fairing around the exhaust. Actuators within the bays join the doors together; the landing lights are inserted into depressions under the wings; actuators for the ailerons are added to the wingtips; a D/F loop is glued under the fuselage, and the tail-wheel fits into a small hole in the rear of the fuselage. The twin-blade prop is a single part with a boss and axle added front and rear, which is fitted at the end of the build. From the box the cockpit aperture is oversized, and this is corrected by an insert in each side, each of which has a pair of levers installed before they are joined together, then glued into the cockpit with a roll-over cage between the two pilots. The canopy is a single part, which is a shame for this model, as the cockpit is open and well-detailed out of the box. It is very clear however, so your hard work will still be seen, so don’t fret. An antenna mast is glued into a hole in the surround to the port side front, a pitot probe is mounted in the leading edge of the port wing, and the prop is inserted into the hole in the front of the bell-housing. Done. Now for paint and decals. Markings There are three decal options in the box, one for each of three operators, with a disparate set of schemes into the bargain. From the box you can build one of the following: SNC-1 NAS Corpus Christi, April 1942 SNC-1 Ecuador, 1943 SNC-1 15 Escuadrilla de Observación Terrestre, Peru, 1942-45 Decals are by DecoGraph, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas, and as mentioned there are decals for the instrument panels in the cockpit. Conclusion The Falcon II is a niche subject, and it’s kind of cute and an interesting shape. The detail is good, and the model should build up into a good replica of a left-of-field subject, which is Dora Wings’ stock-in-trade. Highly recommended. Available in the UK from all good model shops. Review sample courtesy of
  10. Meteor T.Mk7 (FR0045) 1:72 Azur FRROM The Gloster Meteor was the first British jet fighter and the Allies' first operational jet aircraft during the Second World War. The Meteor's development was heavily reliant on its ground-breaking turbojet engines, pioneered by Sir Frank Whittle and his company, Power Jets Ltd. Development of the aircraft itself began in 1940, although work on the engines had been underway since 1936. The Meteor first flew in 1943 and commenced operations on 27 July 1944 with No. 616 Squadron RAF. Nicknamed the "Meatbox", the Meteor was not a sophisticated aircraft in terms of its aerodynamics, but proved to be a successful combat fighter. Several major variants of the Meteor incorporated technological advances during the 1940s and 1950s. Thousands of Meteors were built to fly with the RAF and other air forces and remained in use for several decades. The Meteor saw limited action in the Second World War. Meteors of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) provided a significant contribution in the Korean War. Several other operators such as Argentina, Egypt and Israel flew Meteors in later regional conflicts. Specialised variants of the Meteor were developed for use in photo-reconnaissance and as night fighters. The T.7 twin seat trainer was developed from the Mark 4. 640were produced for the Royal Air Force, 43 for the Royal Navy; and 72 for export. 20 Belgian F.4s were modified locally into T.7s. Many nations would operate the T.7 with a pair of T.7s being the first jet aircraft to land in Israel. These were locally converted to carry belly mounted camera. The Kit This is a re-release by Azur Frrom of the MPM kit. This now includes masks (not shown) for the heavily framed canopy. The masks look to be the same as the new tape masks from Special Hobby. Construction first begins in the cockpit which builds up to a complete module that slots into the fuselage when built up. The centre bulkhead is added to the floor and then side consoles are added. The centre instrument console is then built up and installed along with both seats. The rear bulkhead goes on, and both control columns. To the underside of this module the nose gear well is then added. This assembly can then go into the right fuselage. The pilots instrument panel then goes in as do the remainder of the side consoles. The fuselage can then be closed up with the nose gear now being fitted. Construction now moves onto the wings. Firstly the engines and jet pipes need to be assembled. There is a basic representative of the Derwent which you will see the front face of through the intake. Behind this there is the jet pipe, and exhaust. These go into the one part lower wing. In front of the engines goes the fairing over the front wing spar which is seen through the intake. Single part intake inners are then fitted. Moving on the the upper wing the main gear wells need to go in. The two wing sections can then be joined. The intake leading edges, and exhaust trailing edges are then fitted. The fuselage can now be joined to the wings. At the rear the tail planes then go on. The main gear units are then assembled and added along with their retraction struts and the main gear doors. Like the real units these are complicated and care need to get them right. Take note to assemble the wheels correctly and not as per the instructions. The wheels are not handed like most aircraft. Luckily here the wheels are separate from the mud guards so they can be put in the correct way around. The modeller will need to make their own stay from the rear of the mudguard. To finish off the wing and belly tanks are fitted followed by the canopy, aerial and pitot tube. Markings The glossy decal sheet is printed in house and looks sharp and in register. There are markings for four aircraft Nr 9, coded 30-MY, Escadrille 2/30 "Camargue", Tours 1956 ED-42, Ecale de Chasse de Coxyde, Belgium, 1958 Black 15 with Suez / Operation Kadesh stripes, Israel 1957 Conclusion It is good to see the T7 back out there. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  11. I think I'm pretty lucky. I earned by glider and power pilot wings through the most excellent Royal Canadian Air Cadet program. Went on to get my commercial, multi-engine and instructors rating all before 20 years of age. I had two airline jobs lined up in 1981 but due to a recession at that time they never came to be. No worries, I ended up having a great career at Honda Canada, where I had multiple jobs that took me coast to coast and even to Japan. I have a terricfic wife and two grown successful sons. I retired at a not too old age some years ago and in 2018 I couldn't resist the "Flying Bug" anymore, renewed my license and joined a small flying museum 15 minutes from the house. Edenvale Classic Aircraft Foundation (www.classicaircraft.ca and on FaceBook) has a small group of volunteers and we look after a number of RCAF artifacts and four flying aircraft. We have a 1943 DH82a RAF Tiger Moth and a 1943 Fleet PT-26 Cornell both of which we use for public rides. We also have a 1947 (1963 rebuilt) Fleet Canuck and a 1947 Auster A.O.P. VII ex RCAF and these are used for pilot training. I am lucky enough to have flown them all and will be doing my check out on the Tiger Moth this summer. Lucky guy for sure! Any way this brings me to this subject, the 1/48 Planet Models Fairchild PT-26 Cornell. This is the only option (I believe) for a kit of our Cornell. I have decided to model it after our own since I have all the reference I need and I really want to have one on the shelf. I have a Silver Wings 1/32 Tiger Moth to do after that check out. The kit is resin and requires some skills to bring together. Typically the parts have a few issues such as slightly warped fuselage halves, some parts are a bit crude and details that do not match our aircraft. In addition to building with superglue I will be correcting some details and (gasp) scratchbuilding the two cockpit interiors. I have not done very much scratch work and this will push my comfort level. It will also give me practice for another Tiger Moth, this one a Matchbox, that I am building for one of our members who restored our museum Tiger. First off her is our handsome pilot and model builder with our Fleet PT-26 (Fleet built PT-26s under license in Fort Erie Ontario). She was RCAF FV720 built in late 1943, delivered to RCAF in Sept 1944 to No. 1 Air Traning Command in Brandon Manitoba, she was actually kept in Reserve and sold in 1946. More history is available if anyone wants to know. The kit in its flimsy box Which provided all of the parts safely EXCEPT for the one-piece wing which is no longer "at one with itself". Oh well it will be fixed. Here is a typical part, the right wing tip. Some flash but very few pinholes or short molds. Overall the quality of casting, outline and detail is very good. THE NOTCH in the wing tip is supposed to be there but it is a hand-hold and so I will need to add the outer portion, essentially a bar that continues the wing outline. Like this... Well time to start dry-fitting and see how it is going to come together. Thanks for looking.
  12. Harrier T.12 Conversion Kit (4373 for Hasegawa) 1:48 CMK by Special Hobby The Hawker Harrier, later under BAe’s auspices has had a two-seat trainer in both its original metal-winged version and the newer composite winged upgrade. Kinetic’s newish kit covers the T.2. T.2A, T.4, T.4N and T.8 variants, but there were another two, the last of which was the T.12, a series of nine T.10s that were upgraded to GR.9 standards, the last of the British Harriers in service with the RAF. There were also T.12As with more powerful engines, with T.10s onwards being combat capable should the need arise. If you want to model a T.12, this new set coupled with the rear-end of a Hasegawa Harrier is now your eariest option. The set arrives in a good-sized sturdy cardboard box, and the reason for this becomes clear when you open the top flap. There are two large single-piece vacform canopies pulled from a single sheet, a fuselage front half as a single moulding with 20 more parts in grey resin, a small sheet of decals, two slips of clear acetate sheet with the HUD glass shapes printed on them in black, and two small Photo-Etch (PE) frets and a folded up instruction booklet that acts as protection for the parts during transport, as do the two ziplok bags that the parts (except the fuselage) arrive in. First impressions are excellent, and live up to the “The best for the detail hungry” motto on the rear of the box. The canopies are crystal clear and very crisply formed, and a spare is always welcome in case you slip-up during cutting out. After the parts diagram, the first step shows the parts of the kit that need adjusting, including removing the slime lights on the LERX, removal of the tail stinger, and tabs on each side of the nose parts that are no-longer needed. It’s all pretty straightforward, then it’s a case of removing the casting blocks from the resin parts and cleaning up the cuts. They’re sensibly placed so that it shouldn’t take too much effort, and their contact patch cross-section has been minimised to assist in this. Construction revolves around the forward fuselage, with the rudders and control sticks added first, then the aft spine with bulkhead, central coaming with detail insert, and front coaming fitted, including two instrument inserts glued into the two main panels. The adjusted kit nose fits onto the front, then the twin seats and HUDs are made up from PE and acetate parts before the canopy is glued over the whole, having a separate windscreen part. If you wish to cut the canopy to open them up, there is the aforementioned spare, then you add two intakes either side of the spine and join the assembly to the rest of the fuselage, remembering to paint the short intake trunking at the rear of the cockpit. At the rear, a totally new larger tail fin replaces the kit part, and the removed stinger is replaced by the longer resin part, with the blade antenna facing downwards. Resin usually comes still attached to its pour block, which is where the resin is poured into the mould and acts as an overflow and bubble-catcher for more rustic manufacturers that don’t have access to pressure casting methods. These will have to be removed before you can assemble or paint the parts, so there will be a little extra time needed to prepare the model for construction. With resin, you should take the precaution of wearing a mask when cutting or sanding it, as all tiny particles are harmful to your health if breathed in. Washing the parts in warm water will also improve the adhesion of paint, as there may still be some mould release agent on the parts when you receive them. Take care not to use water that is too hot, as this may cause deformation to more delicate parts, but this factor can conversely be used to fix warped parts, using cold water to “freeze” the changes in the parts. My sample had no such issues of course. Markings The instructions advise that the colour of the twin-seater cockpit is identical to the single seat variant that can be found in the kit instructions, and includes additional decals for two airframes, so you can build one of the following: Harrier T.12, 105/ZH657, 800 NAS, FAA, 2010 Harrier T.12, 108/ZH660, No.20(R) Sqn, RAF, 2010 The decals are printed for Special Hobby by Eduard, and are in good register, sharpness and colour density. The diagrams show the kit decals required in purple, and a pair of det-cord canopy breaker decals are included for your use. Conclusion An excellent set that is full of detail and should be relatively easy to build even if you have never used a resin conversion kit before. As long as you have a motor tool or razor saw to cut away the casting blocks, you should be fine. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  13. MiG-25RU Soviet Training Aircraft (72176) 1:72 ICM In the early part of the Cold War, the strategic bomber was seen as the obvious means by which to deliver a nuclear payload. The interceptor - large, heavy and fast - was seen as the equally obvious countermeasure. The MiG-25 Foxbat was, in many ways, the ultimate embodiment of this technology. It wasn't particularly groundbreaking and nor was it particularly sophisticated, but it was capable of incredible speed and could carry four large missiles to high altitudes very quickly indeed. The MiG-25's shortcomings as a combat aircraft were largely addressed through the MiG-31 Foxhound, but the type continued as an effective mission platform in a variety of guises. The RU version being the twin seat trainer for the reconnaissance version of the Foxbat. The Kit This kit is now the fifth iteration of ICM's new 1/72 MiG-25 family, following on from the other variants. The model is pretty much a scaled down version of their 1:48 kit, which is a jolly good thing indeed. Inside the robust top-opening box are seven frames of light grey plastic and one of clear plastic. The kit is almost identical to the previous iterations, but includes revised parts for the nose. The airframe is covered in crisp, recessed panel lines which look very good indeed, and the mouldings are crisp and clean. The instructions are an A4 stapled booklet which has been printed in colour and the decal sheet is clear and well printed. The overall impression is of a well-executed, modern kit which looks like it should be thoroughly enjoyable to build. Construction begins with the rear cockpit and nose gear bay. Some detail is moulded in place on the sidewalls of the cockpit, with extra parts provided to represent additional details. Before the main structure of the cockpit can be completed, however, you have to add the bulkhead that forms the front wall of the cockpit and the rear wall of the nose gear bay. The instructions have you installing the nose gear leg at this stage, but I can't see any logical reason as to why this can't be done at the end. This would, of course, save you from breaking the leg part way through the build. The cockpit itself is nicely detailed, with the ejector seat alone made up of no fewer than five parts. An instrument panel and control column completes this section. Once the forward fuselage halves have been joined together, the whole sub-assembly fits onto a spar that also holds the huge engine air intakes. I've noticed that kit manufacturers are moving increasingly toward this style of construction, where certain parts are provided for purely structural purposes instead of the older slot and tab style of construction. I guess the main advantage, other than strength, is that everything can be positioned at exactly the right angle - a helpful feature for kits that feature quit a complex breakdown of parts such as this one. Each engine intake is full-length, with engine compressor faces provided. What results is a complete forward section of the aircraft up to the wing roots, with the internal structure of the air intakes protruding from the rear. The lower face of the main fuselage can be joined to this structure once the main landing gear bays have been added. ICM suggest that you add the main landing gear legs at this stage. Again, I can't see any reason why they couldn't be fettled into place after the main construction has been completed. Once the lower face of the main fuselage is in place, another structural bulkhead can be added, after which the slab-sides of the fuselage, including the outer faces of the air intakes, can be added. The dustbin-like jet exhausts are added at this stage, and very nicely detailed they are too. Once in place, the upper face of the fuselage can be added. Some modellers have noticed that the central spine has a flattened profile instead of a rounded shape. This is true, but I imagine most modellers will choose to live with this flaw. All that remains now is to add the nosecone, flying surfaces and finishing details. Each vertical tail is split vertically, with a seperate rudder. The outer face is moulded with part of the rear fuselage in place, so presumably it will be impossible to fit these parts at the wrong angle. Somewhat surprisingly, the upper wings are not moulded in one part with the upper fuselage. Instead, they are split into separate port and starboard halves, with two separate flaperons and upper wing fences and fittings. The nosecone is simply split vertically and houses the front cockpit. This is made up and added in along with its rear bulkhead, Once closed up the completed nose section can be joined with the rest of the fuselage. The canopies are nice and clear and can be finished in either open or closed position. Even though the wing tip missile rails are present no armament was used, and plugs are provided for the underwing pylon spaces as well. Other than that, and a few aerials, lumps and bumps, the huge aircraft is now finished. Decals Two options are provided for on the decal sheet: MiG-25RU, 47th HRAP, Russian Air Force 2001 MiG-25RU, No. 102 Sqn Indian Air Force, 1990 The decals look nicely printed and a full set of stencils is included. Conclusion We've waited a while for a new, more more modern kit of the Foxbat in this scale, but the wait has been worth it. ICM's effort is excellent, with high quality mouldings and plenty of detail. Overall this is a well executed and carefully designed kit, while the trainer configuration is very appealing indeed. Highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  14. Hi all. Currently I´m working on my second Special Hobby Viggen in 1:72 scale. In the meantime I want to show you the first one. It´s the SK 37 trainer from the "AJ 37/SK 37 - Duo Pack". Only aftermarket item I added was a pilot from PJ Production. The Viggen is painted with different shades of aluminium from AlcladII. The base was drawn in Affinity Photo and printed on rigid foam board. Daniel
  15. Ready for inspection is my Revell 1:72 Nieuport 28 C-1. I built the kit straight as it came from the box, using Vallejo acrylics. I brought the kit at a model show a few years ago, and it is fair to say it was old and battered. That said, apart from removing excess flash, and an ill fitting top wing, it went together nicely. The colour scheme was a treat to airbrush, lots of masking for the red and white striped fuselage which really makes the aircraft stand out. Thanks for looking.
  16. My next build is Revell's 1:72 Nieuport 28 C-1. This is a vintage kit I picked up at Abingdon airshow a couple of years ago. This kit was the choice of my son who has recently been paying War Thunder on his xbox, flying various biplanes. Its been a while since I have built a biplane, and I had forgotten how small and minimal they are. The box is a little battered, and has pictures of the various schemes available to build. There are minimal instructions, a small decal sheet that shows its age, and 2 small brown sprues. These have varying amounts of flash on them, as you may expect from an older kit. I plan to build it straight from the box, using Vallejo acrylics in place of the suggested Revell. I am going to finish the build in the colour scheme of the 213th Aero Squadron training aircraft. There are not any decals for the red stripes doen the fuselage (thankfully), so I aim to mask and airbrush them on. The kit has has a wash, and I have given some parts a blast of primer, ready to get started!
  17. Mojo restoration in the form of two basic Airfix kits without much in the way of frippery from me The starter set Jet Provost in the box scheme. Inititally started in the blitzenbuild GB when I got over confident and tried to fo 2 kits in a day. Needless to say this is the one that didn’t get finished in time. And a DH Chipmunk finished as the AEF plane that I had my first flight in. Made from an elderly Airfix kit with minor mods of a shifted exhaust, added anti spin strakes and a blade aerial.
  18. This exquisite little gem from the works of a one-man-in-a-room enterprise in Argentina is a refreshing and beautiful piece of the local aviation history. With a super-clean cast, delicately mastered parts, and fine detail, it is up there with the best in resin releases, and no doubt a product at the very top of cottage industry. If you compare this resin kit with most of what you see in the market (and I have built -and still have in the stash- many), you may feel the urge to trash some of the ones lurking in your stash, which compare extremely unfavorably with this one. The kit portrays a small training plane built in quite large numbers -that is for a country with an aviation industry that had its ups and downs-, that went into the civil and military market, being provided to the local aeroclubs as a way to encourage aviation by the government. It started as a pre-war endeavor, but had to wait until the 50's to be built in series. It still flies today, in some remarkable numbers, which says something about the design and construction, especially given the constrictions many times suffered by South American countries. This is not a kit for the beginner, and it's better if you have built a couple of simpler resins before, but it's a very noble kit, that requires of course care, a delicate touch, and some skill (as the kit box itself states). This release offers alternate parts and decals for four different machines. The decals are home-made and can be used, but Arctic Decals has printed a more professional set. I found no defects, whatsoever, in any part. Some of the detail parts are tiny and require mindful handling. The engineering is very sound and the approach intelligent. It took only a few days to build it, even in parallel with several other projects, but it's a build that you don't want to rush, given the delicate detail and small parts. It made for a short and pleasurable build, as you can see in the WiP: I wish other cottage industry manufacturers will take the hint and up their game. This kit demonstrates what skill, care and love for the hobby can do, even in less than ideal conditions for the maker. So next time you get one of those resin blobs, with pinholes, bent parts and dubious (if any) detail, here is a bar to compare against. Waiting now for the next kits that are soon to be released by this able, dedicated and meticulous manufacturer. Fantastically done, 72Topia!
  19. DHC-1 Chipmunk Warpaint No.123 Guideline Publications Designed at the end of WWII by De Havilland Canada, it became the intial pilot training aircraft for the Canadian Air Force, the RAF and a number of others, with many airframes being made in the UK (some close to where I live in Hawarden) and in Portugal. It stayed in service training many pilots for many years, leaving RAF service in the 90s after the introduction of the Bulldog from Scottish Aviation. Because of its mild handling characteristics, it was much loved by the novice pilots, and when it was withdrawn many were purchased by the private sector and a lot remain in service some 70 years later. The early aircraft had a framed canopy with bulged rear panels so the instructor could see his student's efforts better, but later Canadian produced airframes had the somewhat incongruous-looking bubble canopy that afforded a better view all round, as well as looking a bit out of place on the old bird. This book by author Adrian M Balch covers the birth and development of the airframe in detail, as well as providing tons of excellent pictures of many airframes of many nations both in military and civilian service, most of which are in colour due to their being contemporary shots, plus 1:48 plans in the centre, penned by Jan Polc and colour profiles spread throughout. There are even scrap drawings showing the bubble-canopy version. There are also pictures of some of the conversions including the re-engineered Thai Chandthra with Lycoming engine, new cockpit and tail area, a single seat crop-dusting variant, and other Lycoming engine airframes. The book is in the usual Warpaint format of portrait A4(ish) with a soft card cover and 44 pages plus content printed on the four glossy pages of the covers. A short introduction details the birth of the type and its subsequent upgrades. Design and Development Production Colour Profiles In Canadian Service Canadian Colours and Markings In Royal Air Force Service RAF Colours & Markings Unit Markings Overhead Profiles Aerobatic Display Teams In Army Air Corps Service The “Grey Owls” Team 1975-97 In Royal Navy Service 1:48 Plans In Worldwide Service With Belgium Burma Ceylon/Sri Lanka Colombia Denmark Egypt Eire/Ireland Ghana India Iraq Israel Jordan Kenya Lebanon Malaysia Portugal Saudi Arabia Syria Colour Profiles Uruguay Zambia In Civilian Use Conversions Chipmunk In Detail Colour Profiles The pages include a lot of useful pictures with informative captions of aircraft on the apron, on the field and even after crashes, with appropriate photos and drawings dotted around. In the short "In Detail" section there are many close-up photos with some items numbered that will be a boon to modellers as well as people that like to know what everything does. Conclusion The Warpaint series always gets a thumbs-up due to their inability to produce a bad one. This is an excellent book that will see plenty of use by anyone interest in, or building on of these early fighters. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  20. Hawker Hunter T.7 Conversion (for Airfix) 1:48 AeroCraft Models There was little doubt that once the new Airfix Hunter was released that someone would do a conversion for the T.7 Family model. First of the mark was Ali from Aerocraft in time for 2019 Telford. They were used for training by the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force as well as overseas (With different designations). In the box are 27 resin parts including a full cockpit and ejection seats. A beautifully cast resin canopy (in two parts), additional clear parts; a small PE fret, a length of plastic rod and the decal sheet. Instructions are available to download from Aerocraft models thus saving costs on printing them and posting them. There are two versions available with the same high quality resin parts but with different decals for you choice of RN & RAF. RN Version This comes with decals for 4 aircraft from Yeovilton, Lossiemouth and Brawdy Royal Navy RAF Version This comes with decals for 5 aircraft from Valley, Guttesloh, Leuchars, and Coltishall. Royal Air Force Review sample courtesy of
  21. My entry will be a Kiwi Resin Models CT-4A from 1 FTS, RAAF Point Cook, Victoria. They were knick-named 'Plastic Parrots' in service due to the yellow/green delivery scheme. Later they were painted in an orange/white 'Fanta Can' scheme (one the kit box). This will be the scheme I will be building. It is a full resin kit with a Falcon vacform canopy. I will be doing one of the aircraft I flew in as a Navigator trainee back in November 1990. I managed a whole 7.6 hours in 4 flights, the last log entry includes a landing (for lunch) at the halfway point (Horsham, Victoria). I also have a Flying High Decals sheet that will allow me to do any of 3 from my logbook, now which one? A19-043, the first I flew in (with some stick time), or perhaps A19-056 with the longest flight time? I suppose I will decide at decalling time. To my surprise, I found a second (more basic) kit in the same very small box. This kit lacks a lot of interiors parts and a nose wheel and strut The kit supplied in the box is more detailed with cockpit detailing parts and separate flaps. It is missing one of the main gear legs and some plastic tube for the exhaust pipes which I could use from the other kit or make up from card and my spare tube stocks for the exhausts. Again I will decide when the time comes. The instructions a very basic, they include a list of parts and a note to use epoxy or superglue. No assembly sequence included. A painting guide for both schemes is included with some painting notes for the prop and gear legs Comparing the 2 you can see the dimensions of the 'bagged' CT-4A are off, too long and too skinny, the tailplane of oversized as well. The wings are correct though.
  22. Harrier T.4/T.8 BigEd Set (BIG49192) 1:48 Eduard BigEd In case you're unaware, Eduard's Big ED sets are a great way to purchase all the sets you want for your model whilst availing yourself of a bulk purchase discount that can be quite tempting. The set arrives in a large cardboard envelope with the Big ED branding and a sticker in the top left that details what's inside. Within the envelope the sets are all still individually packaged to protect the frets from shuffling past each other and getting damaged until you're ready to use them. This set contains four previously release sets, which you can buy at a discounted value in this format. Exterior (48945) This larger bare brass set contains some important upgrades, such as new heat-shields for the aft nozzles, with scrap diagrams showing how they should be fluted with a biro and arranged; an interior surface skin for the air-brake bay; an upgrade to the detail in the bicycle landing gear and the wingtip out-rigger wheels, along with some bay enhancements and replacement bay doors, while others are detailed rather than replaced. New in-scale vortex generators are supplied for the upper wing surface, along with a set of templates that ensure accurate placement, but keep that glue on the frugal side, or you'll have a permanent jig! Lastly, there are pylon mating surface skins for if you're not arming your Harrier. Interior (49882) Two frets are included, one nickel plated and pre-painted, the other in bare brass. A complete set of new layered instrument panels and side consoles are the primary parts on the painted set, with new rudder pedals; ejection seat details; sidewall details; coaming instrumentation and some canopy internal structure are also supplied. Masks Tface (EX576) Supplied on a sheet of yellow kabuki tape, these pre-cut masks supply you with everything above, but also give you another set of canopy masks tailored to fit the interior of the glazing so that you can paint the interior and give your model that extra bit of realism. There are two centre panes to the windscreen on both sides of the pane, due to there being a choice of parts between variants in the kit. I guess Tface stands for Two Face or something similar? Seatbelts STEEL (FE883) In case you don't already know, these belts are Photo-Etch (PE) steel, and because of their strength they can be etched from thinner material, which improves realism and flexibility in one sitting. Coupled with the new painting method that adds perceived extra depth to the buckles and other furniture by shading, they are more realistic looking and will drape better than regular brass PE. As well as the two sets of crew belts, you also get a set of the pull-handles over the pilot and co-pilot's heads that gets them out of there in case of an emergency. Review sample courtesy of
  23. Harrier T.2/T.4/T.8 Upgrades (for Kinetic) 1:48 Eduard Before Kinetic's relatively new kit of the much missed two-set Harrier trainer, we had a couple of resin conversion sets of varying quality in this scale, so I'm pretty sure the kit has sold very well since release last year (2017). Eduard's new range of sets are here to improve on the kit detail in the usual modular manner. Get what you want for the areas you want to be more of a focal point. As usual with Eduard's Photo-Etch (PE) and Mask sets, they arrive in a flat resealable package, with a white backing card protecting the contents and the instructions that are sandwiched between. Interior (49882) Two frets are included, one nickel plated and pre-painted, the other in bare brass. A complete set of new layered instrument panels and side consoles are the primary parts on the painted set, with new rudder pedals; ejection seat details; sidewall details; coaming instrumentation and some canopy internal structure are also supplied. Zoom! Set (FE882) This set contains a reduced subset of the interior, namely the pre-painted parts that are used to improve on the main aspects of the cockpit, as seen above. Whatever your motivations for wanting this set, it provides a welcome boost to detail, without being concerned with the structural elements. Seatbelts STEEL (FE883) In case you don't already know, these belts are Photo-Etch (PE) steel, and because of their strength they can be etched from thinner material, which improves realism and flexibility in one sitting. Coupled with the new painting method that adds perceived extra depth to the buckles and other furniture by shading, they are more realistic looking and will drape better than regular brass PE. As well as the two sets of crew belts, you also get a set of the pull-handles over the pilot and co-pilot's heads that gets them out of there in case of an emergency. Exterior (48945) This larger bare brass set contains some important upgrades, such as new heat-shields for the aft nozzles, with scrap diagrams showing how they should be fluted with a biro and arranged; an interior surface skin for the air-brake bay; an upgrade to the detail in the bicycle landing gear and the wingtip out-rigger wheels, along with some bay enhancements and replacement bay doors, while others are detailed rather than replaced. New in-scale vortex generators are supplied for the upper wing surface, along with a set of templates that ensure accurate placement, but keep that glue on the frugal side, or you'll have a permanent jig! Lastly, there are pylon mating surface skins for if you're not arming your Harrier. Masks (EX577) Supplied on a sheet of yellow kabuki tape, these pre-cut masks supply you with 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. There are two centre panes to the windscreen, due to there being a choice of parts between variants in the kit. In addition you get a set of hub/tyre masks for the out-riggers, allowing you to cut the demarcation perfectly with little effort. Masks Tface (EX576) Supplied on a sheet of yellow kabuki tape, these pre-cut masks supply you with everything above, but also give you another set of canopy masks tailored to fit the interior of the glazing so that you can paint the interior and give your model that extra bit of realism. There are two centre panes to the windscreen on both sides of the pane, due to there being a choice of parts between variants in the kit. I guess Tface stands for Two Face or something similar? Review sample courtesy of
  24. My second, or first, build will be a Percival Provost T. Mk.1 [box and frame photos to follow asap] Photos; I'll be doing the RAF version, the top option The decals are rough and have foxing. The roundels will need replacing as they are printed out of register. I hope I can use the badges. I have spare day-glo decal incase its needed
  25. I've now finished my AZ Spitfire trainer type. It's been built OOB and painted with Tamiya acrylics. I've really enjoyed building It though some of the short run nature of the kit was challenging. I bought it earlier this year from a model shop in the Czech Republic that had the last two for sale in the world or at least on the web. The only alternative would have been the CMR resin version, which is way more expensive and maybe even harder to build! My kit was the Dutch boxing which I chose as I loved the look of how SM250 was restored and converted to look like H99 until Boultbee took it down to Goodwood and put it in wartime markings. Needless to say AZ recently reissued the kit with the same Dutch markings as well as Irish Air Corps and a civilian target option. The kit could also be built as the Tr.8 as the parts are in the kit, though you would need to find the right decals (AZ did do a boxing with three of the Tr.8's civilian colour schemes if you can find it). Anyway here's some views of the completed aircraft. It was built alongside an Airfix PR19. Here's the RFI thread I have AZ's Russian 2-seater to build as well, and a plan to kitbash a Grace type too. For some reason l find the unusual Spitfires like clippies and bubbles more attractive. Cheers Will
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