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  1. Hi All, My next project is Tamiya's lovely Mosquito. Now I have built this kit a couple of times in my pre-BM days, but this is my first build in a few years. I know therefore that it is a lovely kit to build. Although much modelled, here is the box art: Here's the sprue shots: I've got a few extras for this build: I've just finished re-reading this in preparation for the build: If you get a chance to read it, it is an excellent account of the actions of the Banff Strike wing. I am still debating which aircraft to model - the mount of the Wing's C/O, Group Captain Max Aitken DSO DFC is currently the favoured option. There's a few photos of this aircraft: And this one in B/W with half invasion stripes: Other elements of note are the red spinners, the group captain's pennant and the bare metal auxiliary fuel tanks. Now although I know that the aircraft serial number is HR366, I confess that I do not currently know the squadron code for 235 Sqn ('KK'?) or the aircraft code - I'm sure someone will have this information! None of this stops me from getting on with the build, so off we jolly we trot! Thanks for looking, Roger
  2. Hi everyone. I think I need a change from what I usually do. This GB seems to be perfect as a return to things I haven't done in a few years. I found two models in my stash, which match the subject, both are in 1:35 scale. First is Dragon Sd.Kfz.10 Ausf.A (with PAK 38), second that's Zvezda BA-10. Dragon has "magic track" which scares me a bit (I don't think I can put it together correctly), so I chose Zvezda. It will be the second BA-10 in this GB (there is also Hobby Boss kit here). It's a kit, I bought a few years ago for a never finished kitbash project. I even glued few parts together before I abandoned it. The vast majority of parts are still in the sprues. I don't have a lot of experience with AFVs but it seems to me that it's not the best quality kit (at least compared to things I've done before). Some elements have decent detail: But many other parts are really weak. I have a lot of sanding to do. What surprised me the most was the barrel, which the designer placed in the frame of the sprue (part 10). I will have to drill the exit hole myself. The manual is black and white even in the part about painting schemes. And decals. The word ORLOVSKIE is divided into three parts for some reason (unknown for me at the moment). The kit was very cheap, so it's hard to expect more than what's in the box. Now it's time to see how this affects assembling. Cheers Wiesiek.
  3. Hi All, My latest completion is Airfix' lovely 1:72 Beaufort Mk.I. I originally started building this last year but binned it after a rather disastrous weathering incident. It niggled me to the extent that I purchased another kit and recently had another crack at the same scheme, albeit using masks cut on my new cutter, which has been a great learning experience. The aircraft I've chosen to model is L9866 of 217 Sqn, based at St Eval in Cornwall in Feb 1941. This aircraft was flown by Sgt John Rutherford (pilot), Sgt Thomas O'Byrne (navigator), Sgt William Browning (W/Op), and Sgt John Wood (AG). The crew were all lost in the 1st Feb attack on the German cruiser Admiral Hipper whilst she was moored in Brest Harbour - the aircraft was thought to have been shot down by a Bf109-E4 of II./JG77. Brave men indeed. I could not find any photos of L9866, but there are some nice colour photos of other 217 Sqn Beauforts (images for discussion only and will be removed on request): Some nice details in there, such as the absence of a chin turret, the EDSG spinners, and general wear on the airframe. Here's the WIP if anyone is interested: Anyway, here's the photos: Finally here's a couple of shots with my recently completed 'other' Bristol aircraft (different scale, obvs): Both beautiful kits and schemes! I've really enjoyed this build and am glad to have got it over the line. Thanks to all who have offered kind words and encouragement along the way - it has been much appreciated! Thanks for looking, Roger
  4. Hi All, My latest completion is Airfix' lovely Swordfish. Now I did build the superb Tamiya Mk.II last year, so was not sure what to expect with this kit. I'm happy to report that it's a lovely little kit, well-engineered and detailed (though not quite to Tamiya's standard)! Now those with a penchant for history may realise that today is the 82nd anniversary of the attack on the Italian fleet at Taranto by Swordfish from 815 and 819 Sqn FAA, flying from HMS Illustrious. @mark.au planted the seed for an informal group build with a nominal deadline of today's date, so we decided to humour him a few of us (namely @bigbadbadge, @AliGauld and @iang) decided to jump on board! The aircraft I have chosen to model is L4F of 815 Sqn FAA, crewed by Lt R Skelton and S Lt E A Perkins. This aircraft was part of the second wave of the attack, and after dropping flares over the fleet this aircraft successfully bombed the Taranto oil installations before returning safely to 'Lusty'. I do not know the correct serial number for this aircraft, and chose to omit it, with the reasoning that the hastily painted black distemper covered the serial number over. I'm also aware that I should have fitted the auxiliary fuel tank in the observer's position, but by the time I discovered this the RFI photos had been done - please forgive me these errors! The kit was built mostly OOB, with the addition of an Eduard mask set (not worth the bother) and the PE rigging set from SBS (from Red Roo, and definitely worth the bother). Here's the WIP if anyone is interested: Anyway, on to the pics: Here's a final couple with the aforementioned Mk.II: The sharp-eyed amongst you may note the 'Merchant Navy' above the aircraft serial. My grandfather served in the Merchant Navy throughout the war, so it's kind of appropriate to remember him on this most poignant of days - lest we forget, Thanks for looking, Roger
  5. Hi All, My latest completion is Airfix lovely 1:48 Blenheim. Now I did build the Mk.IF boxing of this kit a few years ago, so I did know what to expect, which is a superb, vice-free kit. The build was mostly OOB, albeit with the addition of an Eduard mask set and harnesses. I did scratch build a Wimperis bomb sight, which is a rather curious omission given the quality of the rest of the kit. The subject I chose to model is one of the box schemes, L6670 of 211 Sqn RAF, based at Menidi, Greece in 1941. This aircraft was flown by the squadron's CO, Sqn Ldr JR Gordon-Finlayson (known as 'The Bish'). This aircraft was involved in several raids on Italian forces deep into Albania. Here's quite a nice link to 211 Squadron's history, including a mention of L6670: http://www.211squadron.org/bristol_blenheim_i.html This aircraft is relatively well photographed - here's a selection (all copyright IWM - images for discussion only and will be removed on request: There is much speculation on the correct colour scheme - a pertinent link to the discussion here: For what it's worth I chose to go with Light Earth and Dark Earth over a considerably lightened Azure Bule, which I felt was the most likely combination. Here's a link to the WIP if anybody is interested: And so to the pictures. Here's a WIP shot showing that lovely cockpit detail: You can see the bomb sight on the floor - it should be located further forward but the fuselage was buttoned up before I discovered this! Here's the finished article: Here's a couple of shots along with a DAF Hurricane to show the variance from the later 'standard' Desert Scheme of Mid-Stone & Dark Earth over Azure Blue: You can see that I've simulated a fading effect by adding a couple of drops of light grey to the flat coat on the Blenheim - I'm not displeased with the overall effect. Finally here's a shot with a Bristol stablemate, from the other side of the Mediterranean (the mighty 'Slippery Ship II'): I think this shot shows just how far aircraft design evolved so quickly in the early years of the war. Thanks very much to all those who offered words of encouragement along the way - I'm quite pleased with the result, and it's nice to have this unusual scheme in the display cabinet! Thanks for looking, Roger
  6. Hi All, My next project will be Airfix' lovely Bristol Blenheim Mk.I. Now I have actually built another version of this kit a couple of years back - here's the RFI: That was right at the start of my BM career, but I remember that it is a lovely kit. This time around I'm tackling the 'other' boxing (i.e. not the fighter version). Here's the box art: Here's the lovely sprue shots: Decals are of the usual high standard we expect of Auntie: This will be mostly OOB, albeit with the addition of an Eduard mask set and seatbelts. The subject I have chosen to model is one of the box schemes, L6670 of 211 Sqn RAF, based at Menidi, Greece in 1941 (see what I did there?). This aircraft was flown by the squadron's CO, Sqn Ldr JR Gordon-Finlayson (known as 'The Bish'). This aircraft was involved in several raids on Italian forces deep into Albania. Here's quite a nice link to 211 Squadron's history, including a mention of L6670: http://www.211squadron.org/bristol_blenheim_i.html There are a few lovely photos of this airframe (all copyright IWM - images are for discussion only and will be removed on request): Some lovely detail in those bottom two photos, such as the bare aluminium filter housings, and the undercarriage colour. Here's the scheme as presented by Airfix: There is some debate around the accuracy of this scheme, as shown in the below link: So it is likely that the camouflage is probably a combination of Dark and Light Earth, over a lightened version of Azure Blue - an opportunity for some fading and weathering too, methinks. To my eye the codes are probably red (they are a good match for the roundel centres), so I'll stick with the kit decals. Rather bizarrely for such a well-engineered kit Airfix do not provide a bomb sight, so I shall look at a bit of scratch building for that. Other than that, I'm hoping that this should be a relatively trouble free build, and not the Greek Tragedy of the title! Thanks for looking, Roger
  7. Hi All, My first Group Build - how very exciting! Also, the chance to build a kit I've been itching to get my hands on, ever since it was released - Tamiya's mighty P38F/G! Here's the box art: Now I normally only build RAF/RAAF/RCAF/FAA subjects, and I have to admit that I wasn't aware that the P38 had limited service in both the RAF and RAAF. So when @mark.au mentioned this group build at the start of the year, I was like a rat up a drainpipe ordering this kit (that man is trouble - he has just made me build a Spitfire FR Mk.XIVe, and also a Taranto Stringbag!). I knew that both Mark and our esteemed GB leader @trickyrich both intended to model RAAF subjects, so I couldn't resist a go at another Aussie subject. A little research revealed that Red Roo Models offer a conversion kit which allows conversion of the Academy P38F to F-4-1 standard. Here's the conversion kit: A little digging revealed that the Tamiya kit would be a suitable donor. The research contained within the conversion kit states that the first airframes operated by 1 PRU in 1942 are often mistakenly referred to as F-4s, whereas they were actually standard P38Es converted by the RAAF to approximate F4-A standard. I'm taking a punt on the fact that the F-4-1 nose can be adapted to the Tamiya kit (I shall measure twice and cut once, believe me ). Here's the resin as presented: The conversion kit allows for the modelling of 4 subjects - 1 in NMF, and 3 in a hybrid camouflage scheme. I'm planning to model either A55-2 or A55-3, both of which are shown below: It is a common misconception that these airframes were painted in a combination of RAAF Earth Brown and Foliage Green over Sky. Red Roo's research indicates that the camouflage used the existing Olive Drab uppers oversprayed with Foliage Green. The Neutral Grey undersides were oversprayed with RAAF Sky Blue to cover up the 'US ARMY' underside insignia. Here's a couple of photos of A55-3 (copyrighted RAAF and AWM - for discussion only and will be removed on request): I know that @trickyrich beautifully modelled A55-3 a while back, so I may do -2 just to be different! Here's the decals: I'm very much looking forward to this build, and taking part with some like minds - let the fork-tailed games begin! Thanks for looking, Roger
  8. Hi All, My latest completion is Tamiya's superb P38F/G, finished as an F-4-1 aircraft of No.1 PRU RAAF in 1943. A limited number of P38s were supplied to the RAAF for this capability, and they were converted by the RAAF to approximate F4 standard. This is my entry to the 'Forked-Tailed Devil: P38 Lightning STGB', which can be found here: https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/forum/773-the-fork-tailed-devil-p-38-lightning-stgb/ Here's the WIP if anybody is interested: The kit itself is superb - state of the art in terms of fit and engineering. I used a Red Roo set for the conversion - this set is intended for the Academy kit, so there were a few fitment issues to be overcome. Despite this the conversion kit can be made to work (although you may judge differently for yourself!). The aircraft I have modelled is A55-2. Although I cannot find any photos of -2, here are a few photos of A55-3, a sister aircraft (copyright Australian War Memorial and RAAF - photos for discussion only and will be removed on request): These aircraft had their Neutral Grey undersides oversprayed with RAAF Sky Blue to remove the 'US ARMY' markings. A disruptive pattern of Foliage Green was then applied over the existing Olive Drab. I have chosen to colour the spinners black, as I felt there was sufficient contrast with the Foliage Green to warrant this. The interior was completed in Interior Grey Green, as there is evidence to suggest that earlier P38s used this shade in common with the Hudson, the only other contemporary military aircraft Lockheed was supplying to the RAF and RAAF. Anyway, on with the pictures! Finally, here's a couple of shots with some RAAF contemporaries showing the variation in camouflage schemes apparent at the time: Thanks to all that have offered kind words and encouragement along the way - it has been sincerely appreciated! I've also enjoyed my first GB, and it surely will not be the last! Thanks for looking, Roger
  9. Yak-9T Upgrade Sets (for ICM) 1:32 Eduard We reviewed the new large-scale ICM Yak-9T in July of this year, which you can see here. It’s a lovely piece of plastic engineering and has a good-looking instrument panel, but you can always improve on unpainted styrene. 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 3D printed SPACE 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. SPACE 3D Printed Cockpit Decals (3DL32008) The Eduard SPACE sets use new 3D printing techniques that lay down successive layers of different colour resin, creating highly realistic almost full complete panels that are supplied on a decal sheet. They can depict metallic shades, plus glossy, satin and matt colours too, which really ups the detail on everything they print. In addition, a small sheet of nickel-plated and pre-painted PE is included for the aspects of the set that lend themselves better to this medium, such as seatbelts and rudder pedals. This is the first set of this kind I’ve seen in 1:32, and it looks GOOD. The Photo-Etch (PE) sheet contains a full set of pre-painted seatbelts and a mass of levers and toggles that are applied to the instrument panel and side consoles. The decal sheet doesn’t have a high part count, but it’s a single seat fighter, so that’s not surprising. The most impressive decal is the instrument panel, which has relief all over its surface, and a handful of crisp dials with glossy surfaces imitating the glass lenses. A peculiar little gaggle of instruments are glued on a raised portion in the top left of the panel, and I want to say it’s the oxygen system due to the blue dial. Some of the levers and toggles are applied to the panel, and you will of course have to remove the kit’s moulded-in detail before applying the decals. The narrow side consoles are also relieved of their details before applying the replacement decal that will conform to the shape of the panel, and once the glue has set, both sides are festooned with levers, a couple of regulators get tops and toggle switches are inserted into the decals. The kit’s trim-wheel is retained and projects through a slot in the console. In addition, a pair of raised panels are attached to the vertical surfaces, then at the rear on the “parcel shelf” an instrument box (looks like the radio) is given a nicely painted surface with horrible yellow and grey shades – ick! The final two parts are a pair of replacement fuel gauges that are recessed into the wing in view of the pilot, with a lovely glossy surface. P.S. I’ve just noticed that the 3D printed decal sheet has 1:72 printed on it as the scale. The joys of copy & paste in our digital age, eh? I can assure you however, than the instrument panel decal is almost as large as a wing in 1:72, so there’s no doubt this is 1:32, just ignore the typo. Masks (JX293) 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. In addition, you get a set of hub/tyre masks for the wheels, allowing you to cut the demarcation perfectly with little effort, plus a couple of masks for the wing-mounted fuel gauges. Masks Tface (JX294) Supplied on a larger 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. Conclusion With the cockpit glazing beautifully clear thanks to the masks, the rest of the cockpit really cries out for some super-realistic decals for the instruments and so forth. It would be churlish not to Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  10. Hi All, My latest completion is Airfix relatively new Spitfire FR Mk.XIVe. It's a lovely kit, which was completed as part of an informal group build with @mark.au, @bigbadbadge, @AdrianMF, @Winded Penguin and @Biggles87. I chose to complete as SM888 of 28 Sqn RAF, which was part of SEAC in India in July 1945. I used Xtradecals scheme, although as depicted the aircraft was based at RAF Kuala Lumpur in 1946. I had a photo of the aircraft in India in 1945: There are a couple of interesting elements to this photo - the non-standard camouflage pattern, and the white spinner (the scheme shows a red spinner). Here's the WIP if anyone is interested: The kit is lovely, but a few niggling errors spoilt my enjoyment of the finish. Anyway, on to the photos: Finally, here's a shot with a few other recent Spit builds (a Mk.I from the opening of the war, and a brace of Malta Mk.Vbs). Thanks for all those who offered kind words and encouragement along the way - it is much appreciated! Thanks for looking, Roger
  11. I reviewed this model and as I didn't even finish a single complete kit last year, I wanted to get at least a couple done this year, which I've now managed It's the Dora Wings Vultee Vengeance Mk.II in 1:48, and it was painted up with Gunze Mr Color of the Aqueous and the other ones (I forget the name - they start with C, rather than H). It's pretty much OOB apart from a few bits that I lost and had to replace by scratch-building them. I'm going to have to have a word with that wormhole on my workbench soon Anyway - it's picture time! Note: the tail-wheel went for a lie down just before I took this pic. ...and that me old dears is it. I hope you enjoyed looking at the pics as much as I did building the kit, and if it encourages you to pick one up, just go for it. The fit is good, the finish is excellent, and it's a doozy of a kit of a weird and ugly looking aircraft, which is probably why it appealed to me You can look back over the build here if you're curious about any aspect of it Next up is the painting of the Special 1:48 Hobby V-1 Reichenberg and the delayed completion of the Eduard 1:48 Zero from the tail-end of last year. if you can bear to watch along, I'd be glad to see y'all
  12. Hi All, Whilst commencing my 1:72 Stringbag build, I also felt like a bit of 1:48 indulgence. Seeing as @mark.au and @bigbadbadge have just started similar Spit builds, I thought 'well why not? I am a grown man, and nobody can tell me not to' (with the obvious exceptions ). It was lurking right near the top of the stash, so I've just about got time to finish it prior to the start of the impending P38 GB (which I'm also rather excited about as it will be my first GB). So here's the box art: Here's the sprues: They look lovely! I've got myself a few extras for this one: Although the box schemes are both quite attractive I've had a hankering for a SEAC Spit for a little while, so I also invested in the lovely Xtradecals set: Here's what's on offer: This allows for some lovely schemes for both highback and bubbletop versions. I nearly plumped for the DG/LSG 208 Sqn scheme, but I've chosen to model SM888, which is an aircraft of 28 Sqn RAF, based at Kuala Lumpur in 1946. Now although this falls outside my normal self-imposed WW2 restriction, a quick bit of research informed me that SM888 was first delivered to theatre in June 1945, so technically I'm home & hosed. Here's a photo of the aircraft: There's a few interesting things to note from the photo. Firstly, the scheme shows a red spinner, but the photo looks to be much lighter (Sky?) - conceivably the photo is from 28 Sqn's time in India, so I may go with the photo? Secondly, the camouflage pattern is non-standard on the fuselage as noted in the scheme. Thirdly, it looks as if the aircraft is fitted with a slipper tank, although it could just be the larger radiators fitted for the mighty Griffon - perhaps @Troy Smith might know? Anyway, the kit looks superb, so it will be a pleasant contrast seeing this develop alongside the Stringbag (as well as the concurrent Spit builds of Chris and Mark), Thanks for looking, Roger
  13. Waffen SS Spring Einchenlaubmuster Camouflage Figure Set (A.MIG-7043) AMMO of Mig Jiménez As WWII progressed, both sides experimented with hiding their troops from enemy eyes by applying camouflage colours to their uniforms, helmets and overcoats in various patterns and styles. Even a slight increase in the time needed for the enemy to see and identify upcoming soldiers gives the camouflaged troops precious seconds to get into position, increasing the possibility of success in their endeavours. Germany used camo extensively in later war, and true to form they used complicated patterns to hide their troops. They created the well-known pea-dot camo, as well as other variants and styles, using different shades based upon the conditions and seasons in effect, although that meant providing more uniforms per soldier, but some were reversible to cut down on the bulk of their baggage, as they seldom carried wardrobes with them whilst out on the field and engaged in combat. Imagine that? This six-paint set arrives in a cardboard box with a stand-up header, inner tray and some usage suggestions printed on the rear. Inside the box are six bottles that are appropriate to the camo type. Every bottle contains 17ml of paint that is dispensed by a dropper that is found under the white screw-top cap. Inside each bottle is a little stirring ball that rattles when agitated. AMMO paints separate quite readily, so having a ball in the bottle makes mixing them a lot easier, especially when giving them a good shake or using a mechanical shaker. We’re all familiar with the quality of AMMO paints by now, and they have a pretty good reputation amongst us modellers, and dry a little slower than some of the competition, which could be a useful benefit when you’re talking about painting figures. The paints are as follows: AMMO.F-532 Red Brown AMMO.F-533 Dark Brown AMMO.F-534 Olive Green AMMO.F-555 Lime Green AMMO.F556 Dark Green AMMO.F-558 Beige Pink The shades should be very useful for creating a good range of tones to depict your figure’s uniform, that were used by Waffen SS units from 1941 (Oak Leaf A) and 1943 (Oak Leaf until the end of World War II. Most of the garments were reversible as previously mentioned, with spring camouflage on one side and autumn camouflage on the other. If you use a wet palette, you should be able to get a myriad of shades between each one to help your figure look more realistic. They cover well and the colours are strong, with the base shades offering a backdrop to begin building up your scheme, and the darker shades adding extra depth where needed. Conclusion If you’re painting WWII German troops and you don’t have the right colours, you could certainly save yourself some time and head-scratching by picking up one of these sets, just needing a little bit of patience and talent to make good on your plans. Review sample courtesy of
  14. Austin K2/Y Ambulance (A1375) 1:35 Airfix A militarised version of the Austin K30 30-cwt truck chassis was the basis for this ambulance, known as the K2 chassis to which they fixed a boxy body made by coach-builders Mann Egerton. The load area had been developed by the Royal Army Medical Corps and was capable of carrying up to ten seated casualties or four stretcher-cases, loaded from the double doors at the rear, but with access from the crew cab, which had simplified canvas flaps instead of doors that must have made from a draughty ride during the winter. It was powered by a 6-cylinder 3.5L Austin engine with a non-synchromesh ‘crash’ four-speed gearbox that had to be practiced and fully understood in order to be mastered. Lots of crunching gears were the symptoms of someone unfamiliar with the box, which complained loudly if you didn’t get the revs and clutch timing just right. Double-declutching was a common technique to smooth out gear changes, and with a trailing wind it could reach a maximum speed of around 50mph. The type was very well-liked by its operators, and was a literal life-saver to its passengers. During HM Queen Elizabeth’s Auxiliary Territorial Service training, she learned to drive a K2 ambulance and probably still has memories of that gearbox. Many hundreds were made during WWII, and a few even found their way into American service, with the type seeing the end of WWII and some of the Korean War before it was phased out. My father was an RAF Ambulance driver in the 50s serving in Germany, and remembers the type, but he drove a German made Ford during his period driving his “blood wagon” as he calls it. The Kit This is a new tooling from Airfix’s recent 1:35 scale AFV line, many of which have been reboxings from Korean company Academy. There has been talk of this kit being tooled for them by Academy, and the style of the sprues plus the Korean language on the back of the decal sheet backs that up. The kit arrives in a sturdy top-opening red-themed box, and inside are three sand-coloured sprues plus a separate single bonnet/hood that has been slide-moulded for detail. A clear sprue and a small Photo-Etch (PE) sheet completes the build fodder, and the instruction booklet rounds out the package, with colour profiles on the rear pages. Detail is good throughout, although there is no engine within the bay, and the square vents on the roof means that the kit depicts the later variant, the earlier roof having circular rotary vents. Construction begins with the ladder chassis, making it up from two rails with four cross-braces and a H-shaped front section that is moulded as one piece. The middle brace, part D13 has a square raised section on the top surface that should be used as an alignment cue, as identified in the diagram. A depiction of the underside of the Austin motor and gearbox drops in from above, and the rear leaf-springs are added to mounts on the sides at the back of the chassis. This supports the bulbous two-part back axle, which fits onto two rectangular plates, and is joined to the back of the gearbox by a long drive-shaft. The front leaf-springs attach to the sides at the front that supports the axle beam, and has a two-part exhaust slipped under that exits near the back axle on the left. A steering arm links the two front wheels together, which are different from the rear wheels, although they both have three parts each, just different hubcap details. The front wheels are covered over by a single-piece wrap-around wheel arch, and the twin fuel tanks are made up from four-parts each before they are attached to slots in the sides of the chassis rail, taking care to use the correct one for each side, as they are handed. The floor of the load area is moulded as a complex single part that incorporates the cab as well as the load area. It has the driver’s foot pedals fixed in the planked front, and two stretchers are laid on the raised seating area, which has an outrigger glued to the edge to take the wider stretcher’s feet in grooves. The bulkhead between the two areas is installed with the separate door able to be posed open or closed, and an upstand for the spare wheel is laid on the floor in front of it, with an extra angled section to support the tyre. The door also has a clear pane in the top, and what appears to be a fold-down jump seat glued to the centre section in the load area side. The interior side walls of the body are separate from the exterior, and have another bench about half way up with cushions on the base, and another stretcher that fits into slots like the lower one. The end-caps glue into slots in the wall, and the walls are then fitted to grooves in the floor. The crew cab receives the two-part spare tyre that is fixed in place by a bracket so it doesn’t roll away during cornering or braking, with a shallow hump in the outer wall to accommodate its bulk. The driver’s seat drops into place on two L-shaped lugs, and here there’s a shallow sink-mark in the centre of the seat part, which should be filled if you think it will be seen. The dashboard is a wide, straight part that lives up to its name, and has decals for the instruments, plus a steering wheel on long column that fits under the dash, then is mounted on the raised centre console, which has two levers located in front of it. A simple padded box seat is added for the co-driver, who also has a small rectangular pad fitted to the wall behind him, the lucky thing. At this point the outer walls are glued into position on the body, taking care to paint the sections that will be visible through the larger internal windows, as well as an empty rack for a pair of rifles next to the driver’s seat, and another pad that is located on the co-driver’s side. The rear frame starts closing in the back of the body with added hinges at the top and bottom of each side, then the windscreen with two clear panels is attached to the cab, covered over with a two-layer sloped roof to keep the drivers dry. At the rear the main roof is also two layers, adding extra detail to the interior, and helped by adding rectangular PE flanges to the edges of the two roof vents, after which you can put in the two back doors in either the open or closed position. The body is then flipped over onto its back to fit a pair of boxes just behind the cab, and another two at the very rear, the latter made from five parts each. The body and chassis are joined together, and while the model is still inverted, the rear wheels are bracketed by a large pair of angled mudguards, the forward two having brackets holding them in position. Flipping her back over onto her wheels again, you can choose whether to have the back steps deployed or folded in, and build up the engine cowling. Oddly, there’s a radiator core inside the cowling that won’t really be seen, as the radiator cowling is a plastic part with a mesh texture moulded into the panels, albeit very nice texture. The top cowling is on its own sprue fragment, as it has been slide-moulded to achieve crisp detail on all three sides, including a nicely done set of louvers on the sides. This drops over the engine bay, sealing it off from view. The canvas side-doors are depicted rolled up at the front of the openings, and a wing-mirror is mounted above it on each side of the windscreen frame, then the side-lights and headlights with a choice of clear lens or hooded shroud are fixed on the wings and bonnet sides, with the front bumper bar mounted in front of the radiator on two brackets. A circular PE placard is mounted to the right wing on a PE bracket, finishing the build. Markings There are four decal options on the sheet, and you’d think they’d all be boring green, but they’re not. The different schemes are not only disparate, but one of them is also quite fun, with plenty of masking required in order to do it justice. From the box you can build one of the following: 30 Corps, Motor Ambulance Convoy, Royal Army Service Corps, North West Europe, 1944 British Army, North Africa, 1940 British Army, Alexandria, Egypt, 1942 (Not the one from Ice Cold in Alex) Auxiliary Territorial Service, England, 1944 Driven by Princess Elizabeth Decals appear to be printed by a Korean company in good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin high gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion It’s a really nice modern tooling of the almost ubiquitous British WWII ambulance, and may well feature in a few Ice Cold in Alex dioramas soon. It’s a shame there’s no engine, but how many would have been exposed anyway? There is resin for that if you’re so minded. At time of writing, it’s available at a discount with a FREE Airfix branded pint glass. What are you waiting for? Highly recommended. Tea-Total Option Beer Drinker’s Option Review sample courtesy of
  15. Hi All, My next completion is ICM's lovely 1:32 Gladiator Mk.II. I couldn't resist the move to larger scale for this kit, which I had seen built to great effect on these pages. I decided to model as KW-T, an aircraft of 615 (County of Surrey) Sqn RAF, based at St Inglevert, France in April 1940. Here's the scheme as presented: I could not find any photos of the aircraft, but here is a photo of several 615 aircraft, presumably in France (copyright IWM): You can see that the aircraft is finished in the rather complex 4 colour camo which was standard on the Gladiator at this time: Dark Earth and Dark Green, 'shadowed' by Light Earth and Light Green, over black/white undersides. The scheme also sports some rather natty red & white wheel hubs, along with a red repair patch over the port roundel. I added a Yahu instrument panel and HGW harness, as well as a set of Montex masks - otherwise the build was OOB. Here's the WIP if anybody is interested: Here's a couple of shots of the lovely interior: Finally, here is the finished article: I have to say that I've thoroughly enjoyed this build - the ICM kit is superb, and I fully intend to build the Sea Gladiator at some future date. Thanks to all who have offered help and encouragement along the way - it has been sincerely appreciated! Thanks for looking, Roger
  16. Luftwaffe Rudder Pedals PRINT (672292) 1:72 Eduard Brassin Although this set arrives in a flat package, the directly 3D printed parts are safe inside a clear plastic clamshell box inside the package, which also has a sticky pad inside to prevent the parts from rattling about. This set has six printed resin parts on two print platforms, with the parts attached to the base via thin tendril-like fingers that are easy to cut off and sand the little upstands away, leaving the parts ready for action. It contains six rudder pedals on a single printing base, so three pairs with excellent detail, far beyond what you could achieve in either injection moulded styrene or standard resin. The only real competitor would be Photo-Etch (PE) brass, but folding and gluing brass isn’t for everyone, especially at this scale. They’re drop-in replacements for any kit parts, and come with the actuators behind them, so should be pretty easy to put in place in your cockpit once you’ve cleaned away the tiny attachment points of the fingers, especially those with a glass nose like the He.111. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  17. Battle of France, Spring 1940 (DS3515) 1:35 ICM via Hannants Ltd After WWII began following the invasion of Poland in 1939, there was a lull from a British point of view, that was sometimes referred to as the Phoney War. Suddenly in Spring 1940, the Nazi behemoth awoke and rolled through Belgium, the Netherlands and into France, using the Blitzkrieg tactic to plough through static defences that were more suited to WWI, leaving trailing units to mop-up, while they pushed on toward Paris. They also steamrolled the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) along with the brave French soldiers, who held off the Germans while the flotilla of Little Ships helped to rescue over 300,000 troops from Dunkirk, turning defeat into a victory of sorts that gave Britain another chance to stave off the Nazis during the crucial Battle of Britain that followed. The Boxed Set This set from ICM sees the amalgamation of three individual AFV kits, plus three separate figure sets, giving you six kits in one box. The kits are squeezed into a compact box, each one in its own resealable bag, while the instruction booklets are collected within a card folder for your ease, with the decals slipped inside the three larger booklets. There are two Sd.Kfz.251 Ausf.A half-tracks with almost identical sprues, differing by one tasked with general troop carriage as an APC (/1), the other having radio gear and a bedstead antennae on the roof (/6). The third vehicle is an le.gl.Einheits-Pkw (Kfz.2), which also has a set of radio gear in the rear. The figure sets include a set of German Infantry, Drivers, and Command Crew, all of which we have seen before either separately, or included in other boxings from ICM. The Hanomag Sd.Kfz.251/1 was the mainstay of the German armoured Personnel Carrier fleet, but was flexible enough to also take up many other tasks within the Nazi War Machine, from Anti-Aircraft duties to Howitzer carriage and back again to armoured reconnaissance, which led to a lot of variants. With two steering wheels at the front, the rear was carried on tracks, giving it good clearance and rough ground capabilities that a truck simply could not manage once the going got tough. It was armoured sufficiently to deflect non-armour piercing rounds from small arms fire, but with an open top it was susceptible to both grenades and aerial bombardment, where the armour would concentrate the blast and reduce the interior to a tangled mess. The Ausf.A was used at the beginning of WWII alongside the Ausf.B, and was generally fitted with an MG.34 on the front cab wall, operated from inside. There were more than 20 official variants and more unofficial field modifications, but despite their seemingly ubiquitous nature in German service, not many were preserved after the war, and they are highly sought after now, with many examples being based upon post-war builds from Czech factories that have been made to look as convincing as possible by their restorers. While the purist may notice the differences in films, they're still a huge improvement on repainted American half-tracks from an authenticity point of view. Sd.Kfz.251/1 Ausf.A (35101) This kit consists of five sprues of light grey styrene, a clear sprue, and two spruelets of flexible "rubbery" parts. A small decal sheet is found slipped inside the glossy colour printed instruction booklet, completing the package. This is a full interior kit, and has the engine, crew compartment and a substantial number of interior parts, including weapons, stowage and personal belongings, so the build should result in a highly detailed model. First impressions are good, and after the initial pages detailing with sprue diagrams, the instructions jump straight into the build with the underfloor pan, which has its ladder chassis added and is then added to the interior floor, and has stowage bins added on the sponsons. The angular hull sides are held in the correct angle by butting up against the sides of the bins, and the rear bulkhead with door cut-out completes alignment. The engine compartment is fabricated from various panels including an armoured sump-guard, and work commences on the engine and compartment fittings. Suspension, steering gear and the block are assembled and fitted in turn, with colour call-outs to help you get the painting right. The firewall is fitted out with the driver's controls and inserted into a ledge within the hull, after which some engine ancillaries fit to the other side of the bulkhead. The driver's seat, bench seats and a range of tools, weapons and spare ammunition are installed with the upper hull plates off, while a hollow former marks the space between the cab and crew compartment, which will be hidden under the upper hull part when it is installed. A number of vision hatches and their hinges are supplied as separate parts, as are the engine compartment doors, plus some small flush forward stowage bins. Spare rifles and machine gun barrels are fitted to the underside of the upper hull on racks, with radio gear, drum mags for the machine guns, after which it is glued to the lower hull, trapping the two hinge frames between its halves. The angled doors are then fitted to those hinges, allowing them to operate if you have been careful with the glue. It's unusual to get this far into an AFV model without building up the wheels, but it's at this stage that it's done here. The sing-arms and stub axles slot into holes in the sides of the ladder rail, with bump-stops fitted where applicable, and the interleaved wheels are then slid onto the axles with the drive sprocket at the front. The two steering wheels are made up from two-part hubs, and have rubberised tyres fitted to them before slotting them onto the front axles, and with the three layers of road wheels installed, the tracks can be wound round the lengths, and glued with normal glue. The build is finished off with a shielded machine gun mount at the front, a tripod mount, pioneer tools, fire extinguisher, number plate, rear machine gun mount, rear view mirrors, headlamps, width indicators and aerial. Markings With this being an early mark, it's any colour as long as it's Panzer Grey, with only the number plates and the style of Balkenkreuz to differentiate between vehicles. From the box you can build one of the following: WH 726465 1.Pz.D., France, May 1940 WH 179074 1.Pz.D., Russia, July 1941 WH 95709 1.Pz.D., Russia, July 1941 WH 179074 1.Pz.D., Russia, Nov 1941 Decals are printed on a bright blue paper, have good register, colour density and sharpness, with decals for the driver's binnacle included on the sheet. Sd.Kfz.151/6 Ausf.A (35102) This kit is essentially the same as that above, but with the addition of another sprue that contains parts for the bed-frame antenna that surrounds the open crew area and the radio gear that it carries. Markings 2 markings are supplied in any colour you want as long as its Panzer Grey. From the sheet you can build one of the following: WH 179467 Command Vehicle of General H Guderian, Poland, 1939 WH 609084 1941 Le.gl.Einheits-Pkw (Kfz.2) After 1933, Germany began to build a modern army. The light off-road passenger car was built by the BMW-Werk Eisenach under the designation BMW 325, as well as Hanomag (Type 20 and Stoewer. The vehicles were used as troop carriers (Kfz. 1), by repair-and-maintenance squads (Kfz. 2/40), by artillery reconnaissance sonic measurement squads (Kfz. 3) and by troop-level aerial defence (Kfz. 4). Almost 13,000 units were built. Between 1940 and 1943, only Stoewer continued to build the R 200 Spezial without the four-wheel steering (Typ 40). The cars weighed 1,775 kg empty (1,700 kg without the four-wheel steering). 90% of all military branches rejected the vehicle as "unfit for wartime service" in a 1942 enquiry, while the much simpler, lighter and cheaper Volkswagen Kübelwagen proved to be far superior in basically every respect. The bag contains four sprues in grey styrene plus a single clear sprue and decal sheet, not forgetting the instructions with integral painting guide at the rear. The chassis is first to be built up with dual springs supporting independent suspension and a driveshaft linking the two transfer boxes, plus the steering linkage front and rear. Fuel tank and stowage are placed to either side of the chassis rails and an exhaust pipe is thread through to the engine compartment, which is filled with a full rendering of its 4-cylinder 2 litre Stoewer power plant over the front axle. The floor of the cab is built up and added to the chassis, then the three-part styrene wheels with moulded-in tread are fitted to each corner along with the radiator at the front. The firewall and rear passenger bulkhead are installed next with the former having instruments and transmission tunnel moulded in and pedals attached to the floor. The cab sides, boot/trunk cover, engine cowling and gear shifter are all put in place before the seats are built up from base, cushion and curved back at the front, with a bench seat at the rear of a similar construction that has just enough room down the sides for two Kar98 rifles to be stowed in shackles. Two more rifle points are attached to the front bulkhead, bumpers/fenders and doors are all added, with steering wheel and windscreen also made up. The rear light cluster is fitted to racks for additional fuel on the rear quarters with a spare wheel in between them, and the folded canvas roof above. Front lights, jerry cans and pioneer tools are attached to the fenders, and windscreen wipers are fitted into the depressions on the frame, with wiper-motor boxes moulded into the frame for completeness. The lights and windscreen all have clear parts so the passengers don't get bugs in their teeth. The additional sprue contains the radio gear that fixes onto the covered rear of the vehicle and palettes, with an aerial strapped to the side of the body. Markings The small decal sheet contains registration numbers for four vehicles, along with unit ID insignia. Three of the four vehicles are painted in the overall tank grey with field grey roof canvas, while the fourth is painted for desert operations. From the box you can build one of the following: Le.gl.Einheits-Pkw (Kfz-2), 29th Artillery Regiment, France 1940 Le.gl.Einheits-Pkw (Kfz-2), 3./JG51, Smolensk, Russia August 1941 Le.gl.Einheits-Pkw (Kfz-2), 6 P.D, Russia, September 1941 Le.gl.Einheits-Pkw (Kfz-2), Ramcke Brigade, Libya 1942 German Drivers 1939-45 (35642) This small set from ICM gives you four figures to fill those empty seats. The bag contains a single sprue of figures in grey styrene with some accessories surrounding the parts - the pic below is sand coloured, but don't let that distract you. It's safe to say that these figures are all posed in the seated position, and two are dressed in standard Wehrmacht uniforms with a forage and patrol cap on their heads. One other figure has a smock coat over his uniform with a lace-up neck, and the final one is an officer with a rather relaxed hand draped over the top of his steering wheel. Two of the drivers forage cap and smock guy are looking to their left, while patrol cap guy seems to be looking at his steering wheel, perhaps at a map? Each figure comes broken down as torso, individual legs and arms, head and hat, with a couple of ammo pouches for the belt around the smock bedecked gentleman. The instructions are on a single sheet of glossy paper, with part numbers and colour call outs that reference a chart on the rear that shows Revell and Tamiya colour codes, plus the name of the colour in English and Ukrainian (that's a guess). Sculpting and moulding is excellent as we have come to expect from ICM, and the figures will doubtless fit a lot of applications without any adjustment, although that isn't guaranteed, so prepare yourself for a little sanding and such to adapt them. German Command Vehicle Crew 1939-42 (35644) This set is also a single sprue of mid-grey styrene and a short instruction sheet. On the sprue are four figures, including a driver figure and two radio operators, one adjusting his set whilst listening in on headphones, the other with his headphones round his neck writing on a pad that is resting on his left knee. The officer of course is wearing his rank appropriate cap, binoculars and riding breeches, and is resting his right arm on the lip of the vehicle's walls and his corresponding foot propped up on a box within the vehicle. His other hand is looped through his belt/over his holster and he is leaning forward as if he is interested in what's going on. The accessories are fairly sparse due to the duties of the crew, and consist of bands for headphones, binoculars, pistol holster and notepad, while the figures themselves are broken down into separate legs, arms, torso, head with moulded in caps, or separate cap for the officer. The driver figure has his arms split at the elbow to obtain a more realistic position while maintaining detail on the hands etc., and to give a little adjustment when fitting his hands onto the steering wheel. German Infantry 1939-42 (35639) This set consists of two main sprues, one containing four infantry figures that are walking or standing around, the other that supplies a lot of accessories, bags, pouches and weapons to complete the figures. As usual all the figures are extremely well sculpted, have sensible mould-lines and parts breakdown, with separate heads, torsos, legs and arms, plus hats for those not wearing forage caps. An officer is standing with binoculars ready looking at a map (not with the binoculars, silly!), another rank is pointing into the distance with an MP40 in his other hand, while the third and fourth characters are carrying an MG34 machine gun and copious ammo in the form of a belt of link round the gunner’s neck, and a pair of ammo boxes in the hands of the assistant. The accessory sprue is covered in the standard gear seen by German soldiers of this era, plus the aforementioned weapons and a Kar98 for the shoulder of the ammo carrier. A tiny sprue also carries two lengths of ammo for the hungry breech of the MG34. Conclusion These sets from ICM are great for everyone. The modeller gets a lot of quality plastic for their money in a very condensed form to keep the stash volume expansion to a minimum, while ICM are reusing recent toolings to generate income coupled with great value. Very highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  18. Hawker Tempest Mk.V (A02109) 1:72 Airfix The Hawker Tempest was a development of the Typhoon, originally called the Typhoon II, it was envisioned to solve all of the issues that bothered its designer Sidney Camm. The main difference was a much thinner wing which reduced drag and improved aerodynamics of the laminar airflow. The wings could accommodate 20mm Hispano cannons that packed an enormous punch, and lent itself to the low-level attack role that it was designed for. The engines intended to power the aircraft were the Centaurus, Griffon and Sabre IV, and initially the Rolls-Royce Vulture, which was terminated early in the design phase, leaving the three options going forward and necessitating substantially different cowlings to accommodate their differing shapes. The Mark V was split into two series, with the Series 1 having the Sabre II that had a similar chin intake to the Typhoon and many Typhoon parts, while the later Series 2 used fewer Typhoon parts and had their cannon barrels shortened so they fitted flush with the leading edge on the wings. A few of the early Mk.Vs were used as test beds, while other marks were developed alongside it, such as the Mk.IIs with Centaurus engines and a cylindrical cowl; Mk.VIs which had a very short production run; the Mk.III and Mk.IV that used two types of Griffon engine and didn't see service, and later the TT.Mk.5, which is where a lot of Mk.Vs ended their days towing targets. The Kit This is a new tooling from Airfix in what I jokingly call “the one poo scale” to irritate my fellow Moderator, Julien who calls it “the one true scale”. In reality I have no issues with any scale, but prefer my models in 1:48 for aircraft. Truthishly, I’ve been more impressed with each passing release and the detail being squeezed into this scale, so you can be assured of my equanimity during this review. The kit arrives in a standard red-themed top-opening box, and inside are four sprues in Airfix’s usual light grey styrene, a small sprue of clear parts, decal sheet and a folded instruction booklet with spot colour printing. The sprues are filled with well-detailed parts and some clever engineering, which should please anyone in the market for a 1:72 Tempest V or anyone that appreciates a nicely crafted kit. Construction begins with the seat, which has a slightly soft quilted rear cushion and is attached to the head armour, with lateral tubular mouldings, which sets the tone for the cockpit being made in sub-assemblies. In order to close up the fuselage however, there are a number of other sections that need completing first. The simple two-part L-shaped tail-wheel bay is first; The instrument panel with clear gunsight/compass and instrument decal; then the three-part intake grille is made up with its circular centre. Two 0.6mm holes are made in the fuselage halves before all four assemblies are added to the starboard fuselage half after painting the cockpit walls, so the fuselage can be closed up. The cockpit sill insert is inserted into the oversize aperture later on. The lower wings are full-span, and are stiffened by adding the spar/wheel bay walls and the cannon barrels, plus the closed-up main bay doors if you’re going for a gear-up model. Clear landing lights slot into the holes, and another is added into the belly, and a few more holes are drilled. Surprisingly, the upper wings are full-span too, and have the cockpit floor moulded in with the foot trays ready for the rudder pedals and control column to be added once the wings are closed up. Rudder pedals at 1:72 is good to see, although only until you close up the fuselage and consign them to darkness, most likely. The completed wing assembly is then joined to the fuselage by inserting the leading edge into the back of the chin bulge, and dropping the trailing edge into place, gluing it all closed once done. The elevators are each single parts with P & S on their tabs, but you get a separate rudder to add to the tail fin, which you can offset for a more candid look. Beneath the tail you can close up the tail-wheel bay for in-flight, or pop a two-part tail wheel into the bay with a pair of doors installed at an angle on either side. The main gear is a single strut with retraction mechanism and captive door, and a short ancillary door that is fixed to the outer edge of the bay before inserting the main legs. A retraction jack and triangular inner bay door is then inserted into the two inner edges and the 5-spoke wheels are placed on the axles, with another 4-spoke set left on the sprues. Both sets have some sag engineered into the bottom of the tyres to give the impression of weight. Behind the chin take is an outlet ramp with a cooling flap that is added while the underside is completed by fitting L-shaped pitot; crew step and aerial, the latter having scrap diagrams to show their correct orientation. The six exhaust stubs are each made from two parts that interlink to create the stacks for each side, so they can be slotted into the sides of the engine cowling, then the single-part prop is given a choice of different shaped two-part spinners, before it is placed against a tubular insert that has the axle pushed through to join the prop carefully with as little glue as necessary. Once the glue is dry the tubular insert is pushed into the front of the fuselage and cemented in place, leaving you with a spinning prop if you’re careful. There’s a pilot figure included on the sprues, with a detailed painting guide if you wish to use him, and you also have a choice of open or closed canopies, fixing the windscreen first, and either butting the canopy up to the screen or leaving it open as far back as the head armour. An aerial is fixed to the fuselage spine at an angle, and another pair of scrap diagrams help with orientation. There are a pair of clear fuel tanks included on the clear sprue, but they aren’t needed for this boxing, and there are no stencils for the clear pylons. Markings There are two decal options on the sheet, as is common with Airfix kits, and you have a choice of one in D-Day stripes and one without. From the box you can build one of the following: Wing Commander Roland Prosper “Bee” beamont, No.150 Wing, Newchurch, Kent, England, June 1944 No.486 Sqn., Royal New Zealand Air Force, RAF Castle Camps, Cambs., England, April 1944 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 This is an excellent new tool from Airfix with plenty of detail baked-in. There’s no doubt that there will be more boxings, as indicated by the unused drop-tanks and wheels, so keep a look out to expand your squadron. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  19. This kit has been lying in my stash for quite some time, after a really horrible start to 2022, I decided to do a quick OOB build. The Fly kit is a reasonable easy build, I was a little sceptical about the "Wellenmuster" finish so decided to search the net for an alternative finish. I eventually found photos of other camouflaged Grunau Baby 11b's which appeared to have been camouflaged with paintbrushes!! I am not sure of the colours used for camouflage and decided on RLM 62. For the main finish I used Vallejo Aged White. The result was as follows :- Cheers, Andy
  20. Lots of issues to improve upon on: brush strokes, canopy painting, raised paint lines between schemes, filling and sanding etc. And I got images to work!
  21. Used Easter to finish the second diorama from the Pacific (after Kawasaki Hien). Here are some photos: And some un-photoshopped ones As always, thanks for viewing. Comments welcome
  22. USAAF Pilots 1944-45 Paint Set (3012) ICM via Hannants Ltd ICM have long been a plastic model company that is well-known to most of us, but until recently they haven’t had their own paint range, which has now changed. There are 77 acrylic colours in the initial collection, plus three varnishes in matt, satin and gloss, all in the same 12ml plastic bottles. A conversion chart is available that will give you equivalents in AK, Tamiya, Humbrol, Gunze, Testors, RLM, RAL, FS, Revell, AK Real Color, and even Citadel paints, although there aren’t many direct cross-overs in that last one. The paint is undiluted, so will need thinning by between 40-60% with water or acrylic thinner for use with an airbrush, and they naturally have a semi-gloss finish that can be adjusted later by the use of varnishes, and are waterproof when dry like most acrylics. During my testing I used Ultimate Thinners, my go-to thinners for any acrylic paint, which helps keep the number of large bottles in my spray booth to a minimum. The paint comes out of the bottle quite thick and viscous, so it’s possible you’ll have to dilute for serious brush painting use although I used it neat during testing, so a small bottle will go a long way in either case. It sprays well when diluted, and like a lot of acrylics a light coat is best initially, then followed quickly after by heavier coats until you have the coverage you require. It dries quite quickly, and is touch-dry in 5-10 minutes in those long-gone summery 20-23oc temperatures, unless you’re in the antipodes as I write this. I have used them to create a number of spray-out cards and spoons for other sets in the range, and they both spray and brush very well, with little issue other than my inexpert application by brush. We recently reviewed a 1:32 figure set from ICM called “A Photo to Remember”, which depicted three pilots posing for a portrait in front of their aircraft, which you can read here. This set is intended to complement these figures, and it includes the following colours, but it would be useful to add white if you don’t already have it for lightening the colours to create many other shades: 1002 Black 1008 Deep Brown 1052 Hull Red 1068 Olive Green 1044 Basic Skin Tone 1059 Green Ochre On the rear of the box are drawings of the figures that are identical to the set mentioned above, with colour call-outs in their own codes, and suggests that they may also be useful for additional ICM kits, such as 1:48 USAF Pilots & Groundcrew 48088, 1:32 A Photo to Remember 32116 and 1:32 USAF Pilots 1941-45 32104. That’s just a few ICM models, but I doubt they’d complain if you used them in conjunction with other manufacturers’ kits. Highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  23. Panzerjäger (ISBN: 9788412372717) Weapons & Organisation of Wehrmacht’s Anti-Tank Units (1935-45) Abteilung 502 via AK Interactive Even before WWII the Nazis realised that towed artillery could be difficult to move around, and that self-propelled artillery was both easier to deploy and faster between locations, with none of the fuss and hassle of folding the trails and stashing the ammo and equipment back in the towing vehicle. Initially these were smaller calibre guns mounted on captured chassis of obsolete tanks such as the French R35 and the Czech T38, which were often ridiculous-looking vehicles due to the size of their casemates. Later models used obsolete German tanks such as the Panzer I, II and III, eventually using the Panzer IV, which was still relatively modern. Their final attempts to create the ultimate Panzerjäger met with mixed success, such as the StuG and Hetzer types that were well-regarded, the Jagdpanther and Jagdpanther, whilst impressive and terrifying, were not efficient use of their dwindling resources both in terms of men and materials. The Jagdpanther was over-complicated, and the Jagdpanzer was simply too heavy for its drive-train, leaving many of them stranded on the battlefield, abandoned by their crews. The Book This book by Ricardo Recio Cardona and illustrated by Carlos de Diego Vaquerizo catalogues the history of the type from its genus in the mid-30s to the end of WWII. It is not a picture-book, but there are many interesting pictures throughout with informative captions accompanying them. The text in between the photos and illustrations concerns the creation of the battalions and units that would form the backbone of the German Self-Propelled Gun force. It also details the different vehicles that they used, including the captured vehicles that were stripped of their upper structure and had casemates of varying sizes installed instead to house whatever artillery piece was flavour of the month. The book is hard bound with a matt black cover that is covered with profiles on the front and photos on the rear with 112 pages of thick satin-finished paper within, plus two blank card leaves separating the pages from the cover. The quality of the contemporary photos is excellent for the most part, although some have a little grain and pixelation due to their source material being less than we expect from modern hi-def digital sources. The illustrations are excellent and highly realistic, with their captions usually detailing the sources that gave the artist inspiration. Many of the photographs are candid in nature, showing the troops and crews at rest or hard at work maintaining, or even operating their vehicles. Other photos depict the vehicles after the war in either an abandoned or destroyed state, and all of these are perfect inspiration for dioramas for any modeller. The text is informative, although as it has been translated from another language, occasionally an unusual choice of words pops up that jars ever-so-slightly to a native speaker. It’s easy enough to understand though, so isn’t an issue, just worth mentioning. It's amazing how many different types the Germans fielded during the war, and it’s hardly surprising that they found it difficult to support them with spares and repairs. Conclusion This is a very interesting book that will keep your mind entertained as well as your eyeballs. Tons of pictures in between the text, and a great deal of information throughout the pages. It’s a little poignant and sad seeing the happy smiling faces of the crews, many of whom wouldn’t have made it through the war, and it’s scary how young they all were. In our increasingly online world, you’ll be interested to hear that you can buy these books digitally by using the AK Interactive app on either iTunes of Google Play. There's a link from the site. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  24. Hawker Typhoon (inc. Tornado) 3rd Edition ISBN: 9781912932245 Valiant Wings Publishing Although the Hawker Typhoon was originally intended to be a direct replacement for the ageing Hurricane from their own stable, it never quite got around to fulfilling the role of medium altitude interceptor, but it did find its own niche before being replaced by the Tempest at the tail end of the piston-engined domination of the fighter era. It was tough, with a thick wing that could carry plenty of fuel and weapons, originally intended to fit 12 brownings, but ending up with two 20mm cannons in each wing, and thanks to its powerful Napier Sabre engine it could catch and keep up with the recently developed Fw.190 that had caused the Supermarine engineers to go scurrying back to their drawing boards to improve the Spitfire’s performance again. Its thick wing and other issues were to blame for its comparatively short tenure, to be replaced by the Tempest that bore a familial resemblance unless you were looking at the radial cowling variants that lacked the prominent chin intake. The Book This is the third edition of this particular book that we've reviewed, the second coinciding roughly with both the 1:72 and 1:24 offerings from Airfix, which weren't included in the original back in 2011, as well as the new car-door variant that was released in 2016. In the last few years we have had the Eduard reboxings of the Hasegawa kit too, and now after a seemly pause, the 3rd Edition of this useful and interesting book appears. Updates and expansions have been applied of course, although perhaps fewer than the differences between editions 1 and 2. It is perfect-bound and extends to 176 pages on glossy paper, with tons of photographs, diagrams and profiles, the modern pictures being in colour, while the contemporary content is black and white due to that being the predominant film format of the day. It is of course written by Richard A Franks, with profiles by Richard J Caruana, isometric drawings by Jacek Jackiewicz, plus smaller scale models by Libor Jekl and Steve A Evans, and two 1:24 Airfix kits by Dani Zamarbide and John Wilkes. If you're familiar with the series, you'll know that the content is broken down into the Airframe section that deals with the 1:1 real thing, and the miniature section that covers the scale models and has a number of builds, plus a host of photographic detail that will be of great help to the modeller. There is also information to be had on the Tornado (no, not that one), which was the progenitor of the Typhoon and looked somewhere between it and the Hurricane it was intended to replace – if you squint. The headings remain the same, laid out as below: Airframe Chapters Evolution - Tornado Evolution - Typhoon Typhoon Production Variants Drawing-Board Projects Camouflage & Markings Survivor Colour Profiles Miniature Chapters Hawker Typhoon Kits Building a Selection Building a Collection In Detail: The Hawker Typhoon Appendices i Tornado & Typhoon Kit List ii Tornado & Typhoon Accessory List iii Typhoon Decal List iv Tornado & Typhoon Production v Bibliography A set of fold-out plans in 1:48 are still there at the very rear of the book, and everything is up to Valiant's usual standards of research and print quality, the plans penned by Jacek Jackiewicz, and as you can see at the top, they have reused the cover illustration of a pair of Typhoons besting a German flying boat over the briny. Conclusion If you missed out on either of the original editions, are looking forward to building one or more of the newer kits, or just have an interest in the Typhoon in general, this book should be of great interest. As usual, my favourite section is the isometric drawings showing the variants and the projects that didn’t reach service for one reason or another. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  25. Soviet Officers at Field Briefing (35365) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd The success of any military operation depends largely on its briefings before any significant battle, allocating tasks to the various combat units to ensure that the plans go according to the commander’s wishes as far as possible. When a building wasn’t available, literal fields would sometimes take the place of a table as the location for these get-togethers. This set depicts just such a briefing with the various branches of the WWII Soviet army taking part, from infantry to artillery and tankers, each with their own variation on the uniform. The set arrives in a shrink-wrapped end-opening figure box, and contains four sprues in grey styrene and a small sheet with the sprue diagrams and a number of maps for you to cut out and add to your finished model. There are five figures on the sprues, all standing for the briefing and sporting different styles of uniform with the common theme of knee-high boots. Three of the figures are tankers, one in overalls, one in fairly standard Soviet era uniform and the third in a leather jacket holding his padded helmet in one hand. The other two are either infantry or artillery and have standard uniforms, with their caps differentiating them. The comrade in the flat-topped cap is either bored or synchronising his watch, while the gentleman in the cloth cap is poring over a large map, which is supplied as a styrene part to which you can glue a map from the sheet, with others folded and used around their meeting. There are plenty of small-arms on the two smaller sprues, with map cases, field glasses and a case, plus a tiny magazine for the Tokarev TT-33 pistol, a Nagant M1895 revolver, two flare guns, one of which is broken open waiting for a spare flare that is quite well-disguised as a sprue-spur in the vicinity of the two smaller pistol holsters. The larger holster is for the flare-gun, but during my research I could only find later post-war holsters of this pattern, so check your references before using it to ensure it is appropriate. There are two weapons sprues, so everything is doubled up. At the bottom of the rear of the box is a table with colour swatches plus codes for Vallejo, Mr.Color, AK Real Color, Mission Models, AMMO, Tamiya and colour names to assist you with choosing your shades from whatever brand you use. Conclusion Another great set of figures from MiniArt, with excellent sculpting, realistic poses, drape of material and sensible breakdown of parts. Highly recommended Review sample courtesy of
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