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Found 15 results

  1. F-80C Shooting Star (A02043V) 1:72 Airfix "Vintage Classics" The Lockheed P-80 was the US's first operational Jet fighter aircraft. Designed and built in only 143 days with two pre-production aircraft seeing limited service in Italy before the end of WWII. The aircraft like its British contemporary the Meteor was a conventional straight wing design which would limit its speed and manoeuvrability compared to later swept wing types which would be developed from captured German research data. The F-80C following re-designation on the formation of the USAF were P-80A aircraft with a J-33-A-35 engine and and ejection seat, also fitted were wing tip fuel tanks. 128 P-80A aircraft were modified to the F-80C standard. These aircraft would see front line service in Korea where the aircraft were outclassed by the swept wing MiG-15. Despite this USAF F-80 pilots would account for 6 Migs. With the introduction of the F-86 Sabre the Shooting Star would be transferred to a ground attack role. The Kit This is a re-boxing of Airfix's original kit from 1973 and released under their Vintage Classics Series, as such its a tooling of the time. Construction starts in the cockpit. The pilot fits into his seat which in turn slots into a simplified cockpit tub, An instrument panel is fitted along with the pilots control column. Into the fuselage is fitted the completed tub, the single part nose wheel, and a roof for the nose wheel bay. The fuselage can then be closed up not forgetting the advised 5 grams nose weight. Next up we move to the wings, these are a conventional single part lower with left/right uppers. Holes must be drilled for the wing bomb pylons and the tip tanks. To the main fuselage the intakes and their splitter plates are added, followed by the main wing assembly. At the rear the tail planes and exhaust are added. The main landing gear is then built up and added along with its gear doors. The nose bay door and ventral speed brakes are also added to the underside. The bombs are assembled and added to their pylons which can be fitted under the wings, then the same is done for the tip tanks. The rounder and later Misawa tanks are provided in the kit. To finish off the pitot tube under the nose is added and finally the canopy is as well. Markings There are two options on the decal sheet; A. 9650 "Saggin Dragon", 16th FIS, 51st FIW, USAF, Suwon Air Base, South Korea 1951. (Box Art) B. 9873 36th Bomber Sqn, 8th FBW, USAF, South Korea 1951. Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion Recommended bearing in mind its a classic. Review sample courtesy of
  2. Westland Whirlwind HAS.22 (A02056V) 1:72 Airfix "Vintage Classics" The S-55 Was Sikorsky's model number for the H-19 Chickasaw. The design was financed privately by the company but soon taken up by the new US Air Force. Westlands already had a licence co-operation with Sikorsky dating back to 1948 and the S-51 Dragonfly. Westlands had a history with improving the Powerplant on offer with the Whirlwind with HAS 5 introducing the 850hp Alvi Leonides Major, and later fitting 1000hp Bristol Siddeley Gnome. The Gnome also featured an early computer controlled fuel system which reduced pilot workload. Even though this is listed as Westland aircraft the HAS.22 were in fact 15 S-55/HO4S-3 built by Sikorsky for the Royal Navy with a 700hp Wright R-1300-3 Engine. The Kit This is a re-boxing of Airfix's original kit from 1956 and released under their Vintage Classics Series, as such its a tooling of the time. The plastic parts are still pretty good, although the clear parts are a tad think and not too good. Construction starts in the cockpit. There are seats and figures for both the pilot and co-pilot. Both figures get a collective control but no cyclic. In front an instrument panel is provided. At the rear of the cockpit the transmission tunnel complete with sound insulation padding goes in. Once complete the cockpit section plus all the cabin windows can be added into the fuselage and this closed up. There are no details for the main cabin provided in the kit. It is recommended that 5 grams of weight is added into the nose. Next up the main rotor is completed with the three blades being sandwiched between an upper and lower part of the rotor head. Following this we can move back to the main fuselage and attach the four main wheels and their supporting legs. Above the cabin door the helicopters winch is fitted. At the nose the exhaust is added. To the rear aerials, the tail skid and tail rotor are added. The last items to go on are the front cabin glass and the main rotor. Markings There is only one decal options on the sheet. WV223 No.781 NAS, RNAS Lee-On-Solent, England 1961 as seen on the box art. Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion Recommended bearing in mind its a classic. Review sample courtesy of
  3. Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR.1 (A18001V) 1:24 Airfix Vintage Classics The Harrier is an iconic (in the truest sense) example of what was possible when British Aviation was at its prime. It was a revolutionary design back in the 60s, and has seen many improvements and even a complete re-design in the shape of the Harrier II, which saw McDonnell Douglas get more heavily involved, giving the US Marines their much beloved AV-8B, and the British the Gr.5/7/9, all of which had new carbon-composite wings, massively upgraded avionics and improved versions of the doughty Pegasus engine, which was always at the heart of this legendary design. The Harrier is a difficult aircraft to fly due to the high pilot workload, and requires the best pilots to do it justice in the hovering flight mode particularly, where the pilot has to control the throttle, direction of the airflow, and also make minor adjustments to its attitude and altitude with the use of puffer jets, even before having to do anything trivial like avoid obstacles or land. The original Harrier to reach service at the very end of the 1960s was the GR.1, which still bore a substantial familial resemblance to the prototype and the earlier Kestrel, having a pointed nose and relatively confined canopy that hadn't yet been ‘blown’ to improve the pilot’s ability to move his head around to gain better situational awareness. The following GR.3 had a more powerful engine, the peculiar looking laser tracker in an extended nose fairing, as well as many sensor, avionics upgrades and Electronic Counter Measures (ECM). With the re-development of the aircraft into the Harrier II, the anteater nose was phased out and the new composite winged GR.5 with massively improved avionics, engine and other systems took over the mantle. For the most part, the general public don’t really see them as different machines, and the media’s persistent reference to them as “jump jet” makes the corners of eyes twitch for those that know. The Kit Airfix made headlines in the modelling press in the 1970s when it began its range of super-kits in 1:24 that included the Spitfire, Hurricane, Bf.109 and others, plus the GR.1 Harrier that we see again now after a rest period for the moulds. It is a product of 1974, when standards were less than they are today, which is why it has the V suffix to its product code, and the Vintage Classics scroll on the box, so that potential customers go in with their eyes open. That said, the surface detail on the fuselage and wings is pretty impressive for the day, having engraved panel lines and rivets all over it. Some of the ancillary parts would be considered simplified by today’s standards, such as the Mk.9 Martin Baker ejector seat, and the level of detail on the engine, but these can be considered as canvases on which to improve either by scratch-building, or availing yourself of the few aftermarket items that are still available, such as the Airscale instrument panel. The kit arrives in a large top-opening box, and all the space is needed to cater for the sprues and the massive fuselage halves that each have their own runners. There are a total of ten sprues in light grey styrene, a sprue of clear parts, a separate bag containing five black flexible tyres, a large decal sheet, instruction booklet and painting guide sheet printed on both sides in glossy colour. A word of caution regarding un-boxing your brand-new purchase, as although most of the sprues are enclosed with angular runners, there are a lot of flimsy gates connecting the parts to the sprues, and it’s likely that a few parts will have come loose by the time you get around to building your large Harrier, so watch for falling parts and double-check the bags for sprue-litter if you are disposing of them responsibly. Construction begins with the block of ancillaries on top of the Pegasus engine that is made up from a number of parts, and is prepared alongside the mechanism that makes all the exhaust nozzles rotate in unison later on. The actuators are placed in the lower half of the engine on a number of supports, then it is clamped in place by gluing the top of the engine in place and adding the ancillary block and a few other small parts. Each nozzle backing plate will affix to a rounded rectangular block at the end of the actuator axles, taking care not to get any glue on the edges. At the front the big fan and its mounting ring are added, which will be visible through the intakes once the model is finished. All through this process and the rest of the build the paint codes are called out in Humbrol codes in circles, the names of which you can find on the painting guide pages. A pilot figure is included in the box, as was the fashion in the 70s, and he is made up from a front and rear half, plus a pair of arms for you to pose around the controls. He’s surprisingly well sculpted for his day, and with some sympathetic painting should look the part and go some way toward hiding the slightly bland seat, which is next and has been provided with a pair of stencil decals for the sides of the headbox, and the instrument panel also has some decals for the dials, as well as a clear lens for the large central goldfish bowl. A HUD is affixed to the front centre of the panel, and it is slotted into the cockpit tub along with the rudder pedals, control column, ejection seat, pilot, plus front and rear bulkheads. The side consoles are well-detailed for the time too, and if well painted the cockpit should look pretty reasonable to a non-Harrier expert, with perhaps some ribs added to the sidewalls. The nose gear bay is situated behind the cockpit in the space between the intake trunks, and this is made up next, to be inserted into the starboard fuselage half, securing on raised ridges for security. The starboard bay door hooks into the edges of the bay and if left unglued, can open or close once the fuselage is closed up, remembering to insert the door for the other side. The aforementioned intake trunking is then made up from an outer section and a slightly longer inner sleeve, which slips inside the fuselage half and clips around the bay inside. The rear gear bay wall is attached to the centre of the fuselage to be completed later, and a stiffener plate is inserted into a groove inside the fuselage lower. There’s a short interlude next to make up some of the sub-assemblies that you will need later. The Harrier has four vectoring nozzles, two each of hot and cold (it’s all relative), although I can never remember 100% which is which, but usually assume the rear pair are the hot ones because of the plates behind them. They are all made from two halves with two baffles inserted into the body on pegs, avoiding any hideous join-lines in the middle of the nozzles that would be very difficult to fill and sand. The nose gear strut is made from two halves that trap the yoke between them plus three small parts including a landing light, and accepts a single wheel with two-part hub and black flexible tyres, which are firm but still slightly flexible. The rear strut is a single part that has the twin wheels added, each of which is made from two hub halves, the flexible tyre, and a separate collar in the centre that is inserted without glue to allow the wheels to rotate freely - hopefully. A pair of decals are applied to the outer surface of the wheels to give the impression of the holes that are present in the hub fronts, but you could always use them as templates to actually drill them out. Another section of the rear bay is made up from four parts that link together with slots and tabs, and that too is inserted into the fuselage with the doors slipped into place before closing up the fuselage. The elevators are slender, but the centre section is dual layer to avoid sink marks, and has the swash plate added to the root on a tab, with a short peg to slide through the fuselage later. The tail fin is in two halves that are joined around the rudder, leaving it to swing freely if you wish. Moving parts for playing were a big thing in the 70s. The ventral air-brake is made up from three parts, two making the hinge, while the shovel-shaped brake has detail moulded into the inside face, and a similar hinge is made up for the short rear door for the nose gear bay. If you are using the centreline pylon the two halves are joined together and added later, like the rest of these parts, which includes the two 30mm Aden cannon pods that are ostensibly complete save for the barrel tips that are separate and locate on a pair of shallow pins. The starboard fuselage half has the engine inserted along with the air-brake bay and a collar that holds the elevator in place and allows it to rotate if that floats your boat. A pair of protective plates are fixed to the fuselage sides on two pegs each, and if you plan on mounting the centre pylon, there are two slots to open up, after which you can close up the fuselage, remembering to add the air-brake, cannon pods or replacement strakes, and a couple of small bay doors under the fuselage. The four nozzles are all fitted onto their circular plates, the rudder is slotted into the top of the tail, with a cap added to finish off the stinger, plus a couple of aerials under the fuselage and the two gear legs. There is a forest of small parts festooned around the nose, and the cockpit itself has a separate coaming placed over the panel before the windscreen glazing is glued in place, and yet more sub-assemblies are prepared for completion of the wings. The flying surfaces are first, each made of two sides, then the out-rigger wheels that were in the wingtips on the original design, each one made from a two-part leg that traps the wheel in between the yoke, then this is itself trapped between two halves of the upper section to allow it to rise up and down as necessary, with the final part the retraction jack. The wheel is then spatted by a two-part fairing and put to one side while the four pylons are made up from their halves. The mounting pegs are angled to suit the anhedral of the wings, so take care to mark their intended position so they hang vertically once installed. Just like the real thing the wing is a separate assembly that drops over the fuselage, the lower surface being full-width. The upper skin is in three sections plus separate tips, and when it is glued in place it also traps the flying surfaces and the outriggers in place, which get another fairing added to the front. A pair of small inserts shim out the leading-edge root, and a pair of trailing tubes (possibly fuel dumps) fix between the aileron and flaps, with a large aerial and position light on the hump between the wings. You are told to add the pylons at this stage, but the instructions advise you to apply the decals to the underside before doing so to avoid having to cut them into sections. The last step building the airframe involves gluing the wings in place, adding the lift-off panel over the engine compartment, and fitting the canopy onto its rails to slide back and forth as per the scrap diagram nearby. The rest of the parts are weapons. There is a generous supply of munitions included in the box, including a pair of AIM-9G Sidewinders, which have separate forward and rear sections with paired fins that slide through grooves in the bodywork, sitting on an adapter rail. There are also three 1,000lb iron bombs, which also have separate cross-fins, a separate tapering rear section and a front spinner for arming the weapon. There are two dual-rail adapters to mount a pair of rocket pods each, which have separate nose cones and rears that fit on a two-part body, a pair of two-part drop-tanks, and a pair of 500lb Mk.83 iron bombs with separate tail and nose cones. There is a page on the rear of the instructions with load-out suggestions for RAF and US Marine Corps. aircraft, but if you’re going for accuracy, check your references or ask the knowledgeable members of the forum for real-world suggestions. Markings There are two decal options included on the A4+ sheet, and each one has a full page of colour profiles on the folded A3 sheet, one each for the RAF and USMC. From the box you can build one of the following: Harrier GR.1, No.1(F) Sqn., RAF Wittering, England, 1973 AV-8A Harrier, VMA-513 ‘Flying Nightmares’, USMC Beaufort (Merritt Field), South Carolina, United States, 1973 Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. our example received a little damage to one corner during transit, but it shouldn't affect the general usefulness of the sheet. Conclusion Bear in mind that this is a 1970s vintage tooling, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the level of detail on many of the parts, and if any areas appear a little bland to your 21st century eyes, there’s plenty of scope for improvement using a little modelling skill or by opening your wallet. At the end of the day you’re going to be building a large scale early Harrier though, you lucky devil! Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. Aichi D3A1 "Val" 1:72 Airfix "Vintage Classics" A02014V The Val was designed in the 1930s by Aichi to replace the D1A1 biplane for the Japanese Navy. Following acceptance into the Navy the aircraft undertook its first combat missions in China in 1940. Later 126 would take part in the attack on Pearl Harbour where it proved highly accurate in it dive bombing role. In this attack many of the aircraft were sent to target the several American airfields on the Island of Oahu, using precision strikes to ensure as many US aircraft were destroyed before they could take to the air, thus minimising potential losses to the aircraft assigned to main attack. Although the aircraft went on to other success after this it went on to suffer heavy losses as allied Anti Aircraft fire improved , and superior fight cover was made available. The Kit this is Airfix's own tool dating back to 1965 which has enjoyed many re-releases over the years. As its an old tool you get the two fuselage halves, two wings, two smaller sprues of parts and a clear sprue. Moulding is typical of the time period and the tool seems to have held up. On starting the build there is no real cockpit to speak of. The two standard Airfix pilots fit into seats and these fit directly into the fuselage, At the rear an arrestor hook is fitted then the fuselage can be closed up. The wings are made up and the wheels with their spats are added. To the fuselage ar now added the wings, the tail planes; and at the front the engine and propeller. Two small exhaust stubs are added to the engine, and then under the fuselage a centreline bomb and its swing cradle. To finish the canopies are added, as are the dive brakes to the wings, and at the rear the small tail wheel. Markings A small decal sheet from Cartograf provides markings for only one aircraft based on the carrier Akagi during the attack on Pearl Harbour 1941. Conclusion Airfix seem to be releasing their back catalog now as "Vintage Classics", this gives some indication you are getting an told tool kit not a new one. Recommended if you want a bit of nostalgia modelling. Review sample courtesy of
  5. Here it is in all its glory. The moulds have obviously fared very well - it looks like a lovely little kit. Hoping to try out some Tamiya lacquers on this one, and have enlisted the help of a dehydrator to speed up the drying process of the paint. It'll be a Great Escape option this time around, hopefully start early Saturday morning to get some paint on the body shell asap. Rubbing my hands in anticipation of another great Blitzbuild GB.
  6. HMS Devonshire – D02 (A03202V) 1:600 Airfix Vintage Classics The Devonshire was the first of the County Class Destroyers to be completed in 1960 at Cammell Laird in Birkenhead, not a million miles away from Britmodeller HQ. It was commissioned by the Royal Navy in ’62, taking most of the rest of the year to work-up to operational readiness before returning to her home port of Portsmouth in the south of England. The ship had been designed around the unproven Sea Slug anti-aircraft missile system from the outset, which was intended to take down enemy aircraft before they could release stand-off anti-ship missiles aimed at the fleet they were protecting. Sadly, the only time the missile was used in anger during the Falklands war, the results were less than impressive. She also carried a supply of Sea Cat missiles, and fielded two twin 4.5” main guns in boxy turrets in front of the superstructure, anti-aircraft guns, and two racks of three torpedoes. She could also carry a Wessex helicopter on a small pad on the aft deck. I suspect I may have seen her during one of my summer holidays with my folks in the 70s, as we were sometimes visiting Portsmouth and other ports during Royal outings – totally coincidentally, of course. Our theory was she used to follow us round the country. HMS Devonshire served in the Navy until she became a victim of defence cuts in 1978, after which she was decommissioned and in the harbour where she languished for six more years that included a failed sale to Egypt before an ignominious end. It was decided somewhere high up that she could perform one last duty for her country as a target for missile tests for the then-new Sea Eagle anti-shipping missile, the British equivalent of the Exocet missile. After the trials she was finally sunk by British submarine HMS Splendid, in their own test of the new Mark 24-Mod-2 Tigerfish torpedo, which at the time had a poor reputation for reliability. An 80% detonation rate was good enough to see the Devonshire to the bottom of the North Atlantic however. The Kit This is one of Airfix’s Vintage Classic line, which is a clear indicator that it is an old tooling that dates back to 1963, just one year after she went into service with the Navy. You shouldn’t expect great things of these vintage kits, as technology has changed immeasurably since they were tooled and released. Time takes a toll on toolings of even the toughest metals, and quantities of flash are inevitable eventually, and there is some evident on this kit as you can see in the photos. The kit arrives in a slim red-themed box, and inside are two sprues and the deck in grey styrene that don’t have the outer runners that we are now used to these days. Saying that, none of the parts had fallen off the review sample’s runners. The box is completed by the instruction booklet with colour profiles inside, and a small decal sheet. Construction begins with the hull, which is split into two halves that have the demarcations between the underside anti-fouling, boot-topping and the upper colour marked out for you by fine raised lines, which should speed up masking immensely. The deck is a long section with a step up behind the front turret, which has planking engraved into the forward section, plus the anchor chains, bulwark and the turret bases moulded into it. The stepped-down rear deck is a separate part that also has another part to create the step itself, then the basic superstructure is fitted. The forward section is made from two halves plus the upper deck, and it locates on the main deck by a large rectangular upstand moulded into the deck. The rear superstructure is a single moulding that locates on a C-shaped raised mark and a square mark at the rear. A pair of W-shaped anchors fit into the hawse-pipe outlets on the sides of the bow, then the hull is flipped over and the twin propellers are installed on long shafts that have support struts roughly half way along their length, plus a separate twin-boomed strut further aft. Behind the blades are two rudders that fit into holes in the hull, which need drilling out for a better fit. There are a couple of ejector-pin marks in the neighbourhood too, so two jobs can be carried out at once. Righting the hull, the superstructure is then fitted out with twin funnels; flying bridges; twin masts with arms and antennae; four life boats and ship’s tender on davits; weapons turrets including the Sea Slug turret at the rear and other small parts. The pair of gun turrets each have separate barrels slipped into elevation slots in the front of the boxy structure, and these are slotted into holes in the bases, held in place by friction or glue at your whim. Abaft the superstructure the basic shape of a Westland Wessex with separate main and tail-rotors can be glued to the deck after putting the white location markings on the surface, then a pair of staffs for the jack and ensign are glued into holes in the bow and stern deck. A pair of simple stands are included on the sprues for you to use if you wish, one at each end of the completed model. Markings The Devonshire wore grey throughout her career, but the markings option that is provided in the kit depicts her as she was in 1968, with its Wessex in blue/yellow livery with decals to finish the job. From the box you can build this: Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin satin carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion 1:600 isn’t a massively popular maritime scale, but if you want a small-scale HMS Devonshire this is still pretty-much the only game in town, but if you wanted to put more detail into it, Atlantic Models do a Photo-Etch (PE) upgrade set. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  7. HMS Fearless (A03205V) 1:600 Airfix Vintage Classics HMS Fearless (L10) was an amphibious assault ship of the Royal Navy that acted as a base and provided Headquarters facilities for the Royal Marines that were aboard, before and during their assault missions. She was constructed in the Harland and Wolff shipyards in Northern Ireland in the early 60s, reaching service in 1965 at the beginning of a career that was to be longer than many ships of her era, which also made her the last steam-driven ship in the Royal Navy, with her career coming to an end in 2002. She spent another five to six years laid-up before being sent to be dismantled in an environmentally responsible manner by a Belgian shipyard, recycling the majority of its metals during the process. She was one of two ships of the class, her sister Intrepid was L11, and served alongside her until she was withdrawn into deep storage where she provided spares for Fearless, which is a little sad from her point of view, but kept fearless sailing for longer. Intrepid was dismantled around the same time as Fearless, but in a UK location. During service Fearless was capable of transporting 400 troops plus armour, or 700 troops if the armour wasn’t required, and those troops were Royal Marines, who formed the 4th Assault Squadron while they were aboard. They would be put ashore using the four LCVP landing craft, or one of up to five Wessex helicopters that could land on the expansive deck that covered the majority of the dock where the landing craft were embarked. Both Fearless class ships took part in Operation Corporate to retake the Falkland Isles in 1982, where they performed admirably, and after they returned only Fearless underwent a two-year refit to extend its working life, as Intrepid wasn’t in good condition by then. The type’s replacements were ordered at the beginning of the 90s in anticipation of the end of the Fearless’s career, although there was a brief period where there were no Assault Ships in service while they waited for HMS Albion to replace the retired Fearless a year later, to be joined by Bulkwark in 2005. The Kit This is a very welcome trip down memory lane for me, as I built this kit as a boy and really enjoyed playing with the included landing craft and helicopters that are in the kit. That should give you an idea of how old the kit is, and the fact that it’s in the Vintage Classics range should give you another clue. The kit was originally tooled in 1968, just three years after the real thing ‘joined the Navy’, so you’ll probably know what to expect from the sprues within the box. Speaking of the box, it arrives in an old-skool Airfix box, and inside are four sprues and five separate parts in grey styrene, the sprues being the original style with no protective runners around the edges like we’ve come to expect from modern kits. The instruction booklet is very vintage too, but the decal sheet is from Cartograf, which means it’s good to go. Looking over the sprues while trying not to knock any parts off, the detail is what we would expect from a kit of that era, and although the moulds are showing some signs of age, time has been relatively kind and the model should be buildable, although a little flash and some sink marks will need to be dealt with if they bother you. This is currently the only choice in this scale, and there’s sadly no 1:350 kit around. Construction begins with the hull, which is made from two halves, a six-part dock inside the stern, the deck that has raised tie-downs moulded into the aft area, and a pair of anchors in the bow. The two simple display stands are also shown in this first diagram, for you to use or dispose of as you see fit. The hull has fine raised lines around its sides for the anti-fouling and boot-topping, but there appears to be a scratch in the mould of the starboard side near the bow, but as it is raised, it shouldn’t be a problem to dispose of. Age is a cruel mistress. Under the stern, two prop shafts are fixed into shallow depressions along with a fairing where the shaft exits the hull, a two-legged strut, separate rudders and four-bladed screws at the tips. The superstructure is made up from ten parts, the sides of which have some raised portholes and other surface shapes moulded into them. The superstructure is then detailed with davits; lifeboats; four smaller utility landing craft; defensive weapons of the era; the twin funnels on either side of the hangar; two masts of different heights with various horizontals and antennae. Around the dock are a number of small parts and a three-part crane on one side, plus a smaller one on the opposite side. Another crane is fixed to a circular base outside the hangar for the ship’s boat, the jackstaffs fore and aft, and four lengths of stairs are fixed to holes in the sides of the hull below stubs that are moulded into the deck. Over the page the accessories are built up from a few parts each. You have two of the four LCVP landing craft, which have a separate ramp to the front and raised pilot house at the rear, while the two Wessex helicopters that are included have separate blades and tail rotors, although the depiction of their wheels is a simple cylinder across the underside of the fuselage. Markings Fearless was grey throughout her career, with plenty of rusty streaking seen in most photographs from any period. The instructions depict her as she was in 1968 when the kit was originally tooled. From the box you can build her thusly: Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin satin carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion It’s an old kit, but it certainly has a lot of fond memories for me. She was a great ship with a long career, and unless you fancy scratch-building something larger, it’s the only choice apart from expensive resin in a smaller scale. Her motto says it all - Explicit Nomen ‘The name says it all’. Recommended, but more-so because it’s the Fearless. Review sample courtesy of
  8. FIAT G.50 (A01046V) 1:72 Airfix Vintage Classics 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. A number of attempts to remedy them 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 a number of two-seat trainers amongst them, and over half as the G.50 Bis, that took the airframe as far as was practical. The Kit This is a re-release from Airfix’s back catalogue, with the original tooling dating back to 1967, when raised panel lines were standard and cockpits were two pegs with a seat resting on them, topped with a pilot figure if you were lucky. The kit arrives in a small red-themed end-opening box, with a classic Cross painting of the type on the front, and a set of colour profiles on the back. Inside are two open sprues in grey styrene, plus fuselage halves and wings on their own sprues in the same colour. A separate bag contains four windscreen parts, all of which are the same, and a small decal sheet is slipped inside the two-page instruction booklet. Bear in mind that this is a vintage design, so don’t expect miracles of detail from the sprues, and do expect a few ejector-pin marks and small amounts of flash on some of the parts, although most of it is on the sprues. Construction begins with gluing the pilot onto his simple seat, and then fixing that assembly onto the pegs in the fuselage sides, closing the fuselage around them during the process. A pair of cannon barrel stubs fit into their fairings on the top of the nose, and you can pick whichever windscreen part you think is best and glue it in front of the pilot. The cowling is a single part with the cooling flaps moulded-in, and there appear to be a few score-marks on my example, which should respond well to a little filler before you slide in the two banks of pistons that make up the radial engine from behind. A C-Shaped exhaust is inserted into grooves in the lower edge of the cowling, and you could drill these out if you feel the urge. Once the glue is dry, the prop and its spinner are inserted into the hole in the centre of the engine, and a washer is glued to the back of the spindle to hold it in place, and if you’re lucky should leave it spinning once the glue is dry. The lower wing is full-width, and has two gear bays near the centre, with small ledges moulded-in to support the in-flight retracted doors and skinny half-wheels that allow them to fit into the bay. The fuselage drops into the slot between the upper wing halves, the elevators are glued in using the usual slot and tab method, and the cowling is glued into place on the ledge at the front of the fuselage. Both wingtips have pitot probes near the ends, and a small fairing is slotted into the groove in the underside of the cowling, then it’s a choice of wheels up or down. For wheels up the bay doors and half-width wheels are placed in the bays with the fixed tail wheel in the rear, while for wheels down, the bay doors are fitted perpendicular to the wing, and joined to the strut toward the bottom, with a full-thickness wheel flex-fitted into place in each one. The retraction jack joins the inner bay and the upper portion of the gear leg, and that’s your lot. Markings There’s only one decal option on the sheet, and it’s a traditional brown-yellow base with medium green camo over a light grey underside. From the box you can build the following: 352a Squadriglia 20o Gruppo, North Africa, 1941 Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin satin carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion Of course, this kit is a product of its time, and you should approach it as such. It can be built out of the box or detailed to more modern standards, just remember to have fun with it. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  9. Reporting for duty is one of Airfix's recent re-releases. Built this one from a blister pack back in the day - the plastic says 1974 so I imagine that's when it would have been as new releases from Airfix were snapped up asap back then. OOB for this one, can't do a fat lot on Saturday as we are out, and so I'll be plumping for the Great Escape option. Also a nod to the Turning Japanese GB, as ongoing builds in the Matchbox GB preclude me from entering . The plastic looks lovely, and the tracks look quite delicate.
  10. The 2022 Airfix Vintage Classics list had a couple of welcome choices but ignored a lot of kits that have not been re-issued in a very long time and that I would really like to see again. Here’s what I’d like to see for future Airfix Vintage Classics: 1/72 BAC TSR.2 Boeing B-29 Cessna O-1 Bird Dog Cessna O-2A Skymaster Curtiss SB2C Helldiver Dassault Super Mystere Douglas A-26B/C Invader Douglas F4D-1 Skyray Grumman TBM-3 Avenger Heinkel He 177A-5 Henschel Hs 129B Kaman SH-2F Seasprite Lockheed F-117A Lockheed S-3A Viking McDonnell F2H Banshee Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet North American F-86D Sabre Dog North American RA-5C Vigilante Rockwell B-1B Lancer Saab J-35 Drakken Supermarine S.6b Westland Puma 1/32 Bond Bug Morris Marina Austin Maxi Porsche Carrera Six 1/48 Grumman EA-6B Prowler BAC TSR.2 1/600 MV Free Enterprise II
  11. Here's my offering - a kit I first knocked up in a Saturday afternoon 50 years ago, I would guess. This is one of Airfix's Vintage Classics - the plastic is a lighter green and a little softer than the original I think. The moulds look to have stood the test of time quite well - a touch of flash here and there. Not too bothered about how accurate this little fella is, hopefully it will fit together ok. If it goes ok I might have a bash at getting some glazing in.
  12. Handley Page Jetstream 1:72 Airfix (A03012V) Handley Page developed the Jetstream to fill a niche in the market for a small twin turbo prop airliner for the US market. In order t improve sales in the US the original Turboméca engines were to be replaced by Garrett engines, and this aircraft was ordered by the UASF as the C-10A. It was to feature a rear cargo door with seating for 12 passengers or 6 stretchers. The USAF would eventually cancel these orders due to late delivery. Following the demise of Handley Page the design was picked up by a group of investors headed by Scottish Aviation, and the Company Jetstream Aviation was created. 26 Jetstream T.1s were ordered by the RAF, 14 of these would be modified to T.2s for use by the Royal Navy. When Scottish Aviation became part of BAe they would continue to develop the design into the Jetstream 31. The Kit Airfix's kit has been around since 1969 and feature the aircraft with the Garett engines for the USAF examples. The tooling is the old school multi part sprues however the tooling is still good, nice and sharp with no flash. Construction is fairly standard. The cockpit is fairly basic with two seated pilots who are identical, The completed cockpit fits into the right fuselage half . For the main fuselage a full stretcher fit is included. Once this is all in thee fuselage can be completed and the wings added, these are a single lower wing with left & right uppers, The tailplanes and rudder can then go onto the fuselage, and the engines can be built up and fitted to the wings. The landing gears and doors can be added along with the main rear airstairs door. Decals The small decal sheet with USAF Markings only is by cartograf so there is no issues there. Conclusion Whilst I would love to see Airfix release a brand new tool of this aircraft, the tooling on this one is still good, all though it is only really good for the version the USAF never actually bought in the end. Review sample courtesy of
  13. Hi all, Nice, simple and above all, quick build to start me off. Airfix's Panzer IV which I would have built aged about 9 - It was completed with a coat of light brown Humbrol paint and I managed to paint the tyres black despite not having any small paintbrushes! I built that one as the short gunned option so this time am going to do the long barrelled one - Aren't options great? Appear to have been moulded in the same colour plastic as I remembered. Anyways - 2 1/2 hours later while listening to a streamed Jesse Malin show we are now at this stage.... I seem to recall that I was at a similar construction stage, time wise, when I built Tamiya's 1/35th scale PzIV. More when it happens. IanJ
  14. Astronauts (A00741V) 1:76 Airfix Vintage Classics In the 60s and 70s there was a huge interest in going to the Moon, and consequently there were a lot of space-themed toys. These figures stand out in my memory because I used to own a set, and loved the little gadgets you could put together and play with. I have no idea where they went in the long-term, but when I opened the little box from Airfix the other day, I was beaming from ear to ear (not the Star Trek kind) almost immediately. Arriving in a small end-opening rectangular box, you get four sprues of pure white vinyl, unlike the old ones with were a cheesy yellow colour, even from new. Funnily enough, the illustration of the contents on the back of the box show them to be yellowish, but white is the colour, and a proper colour it is too. The copyright message tags them as from 1971, and time hasn't been too unkind to them. They hail from the era of angular sprues with no external runners to protect the parts, but vinyl isn't as prone to breakage as styrene, so everything is still attached to the sprues. There's a little bit of flash here and there, but most of it is on the sprues, so won't be an issue, and there are a few ejector pin marks too, most notably on the rear of the tyres and the astronauts' backs, although the latter will be covered by their backpacks anyway, so don't matter. Some of the design work is fanciful, including two types of lander that could allegedly be used for getting around faster than the moon rover that is also supplied. The vehicles are a little simplified for obvious reasons, but they still have that cool factor that makes me smile. In the box you get 59 parts to make up the following: 1 x Astronaut with a flag 2 x Astronaut with a probe/golf club 2 x Astronaut carrying a pair of containers 2 x Astronaut walking with his hands stretched out to his sides 2 x Astronaut with a video camera 2 x Astronaut with a personal one-man rocket-propelled travel platform 2 x Astronaut in a moonbuggy 2 x Astronaut on 1 x larger 2-seat lander-style travel platform A brief clean-up was done for this photo of some of the parts, but most of the figures were much as they came off the sprue. The round platform took the most clean-up. Preparation involves nipping the parts off the sprue and cutting the gate flush to allow them to sit straight on the moon's regolith, and then using an incredibly sharp blade to remove any small blemishes or flash that might be found. Be careful of cutting the pins too short on the various parts that slot together, as they're a bit hard to see amongst the white of the sprues. This can bite you in the bottom later on when you realise your rocketman won't stay on his platform, which is incidentally where the most flash is to be found in between the verticals. They're vinyl of course, so flexible and not likely to take standard paints if you get the modelling urge, but I believe that there are some flexible paints out there, or some that can be made flexible with the addition of something akin to PVA… my memory is hazy on this though, so have a Google if some bright spark doesn't help us out below. Conclusion I think they're awesome, but then I'm biased. They're still very cool IMHO, and surprisingly affordable if you're feeling nostalgic. Lots of play value for the 8 and older child, self included. What glues vinyl well? Nostalgically highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  15. #Airfix have released several more model kits from their range of #Vintage #Classic kits, bringing back old favourites from their impressive & extensive back catalogue of plastic #modelkits, available to buy online and in store now. https://www.wonderlandmodels.com/blog/article/airfix-vintage-classics-ships-tanks/
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