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Found 192 results

  1. WWII German Super Tank "Maus" 1:35 ET Model Dragon's Maus kit has been lurking for some years now, being one of Dragon's earlier kits that is quite well regarded, and has stood up to the tests of time and not been superseded. This is a simple set that contains three frets of Photo-Etch (PE) brass to enhance the detail of this behemoth. The kit itself is large and slab-sided, with minimal exterior detail that could benefit from a huge set, but the set will improve the kit subtly and adds a new crew-ladder, which was the only way to get aboard under normal circumstances. This will give a sense of scale to the tank, which is around the size of a house brick even at 1:35 scale. The ladder is built up from a single piece for the main frame and steps, with a grab hoop at the top added from two additional parts. A stiffener bar fits across the bottom of the ladder to keep it stable, and if you're planning on handling it, you're probably better off soldering the parts together. No information is given on where it is placed for mounting, although I seem to recall it was on the forward fender area away from the massive turret. The vision blocks receive folded up replacements with a more detailed finish, and a stiffener sits under the main barrel and coaxially mounted 75mm gun, presumably to stop the coax from diverging from true during transport or firing. Pure speculation there, but it sounds plausible! The plateau-like top deck is covered in large louvers to vent heat from the undoubtedly hard-pressed drive-train that had to drag along its immense 100 tonne bulk with only just over 1,000hp to do so. These were backed up by smaller mesh grilles that were curiously placed within the main louvered, contrary to other German engine grilles. I've not been able to verify this either way, as the example at the Kubinka museum in Russia is a re-construction from available parts, and doesn't seem to be photographed from above too often. Make your own decision, but ET's designers must have been motivated to place them underneath for a reason. There are six mesh panels in total, two in mirrored pairs on each side of the deck, and two individuals at front and back of the deck. At the very front of the deck are a pair of C-shaped rails that are to be removed and replaced by PE parts, as are the two shorter ones on the glacis plate. The driver gets a new periscope and armoured cowl that sits just in front of his hatch, while the headlamp is provided with a more realistic bracket that requires removal of the kit's moulded in detail. Two track-links can be mounted on the front of the fenders by drilling four holes to accept short lengths of 0.5mm rod onto which the links are applied, and locked in place by the brass retaining bolts. This helps to break up the rather austere front of the tank, which has seemingly acres of thick, flat 200mm thick armour without a single thing to break it up. Powered by a variant of the Daimler Benz DB603 aero engine, or a diesel fuelled MB 517 marine engine, the Maus was always going to have a prodigious thirst, which was fed by a huge internal tank, plus an external tank holding a further 1,500 litres. This was lashed to the rear of the tank, and the chunky kit brackets are replaced and the straps moulded into the tank are removed to be replaced by much more detailed and scaled PE parts that attach more realistically to the hull, rather than simply wrap all the way around the tank. The fuel hoses aren't addressed, but that shouldn't be too tricky if you can lay your hands on some pictures of the rear of the real thing. As a little aside, there's a small stencil on the ladder sheet in the shape of a sickle, which you can use to indicate kills or overspray the German crosses with the Russian sickle to depict a captured vehicle. Conclusion A good set that although it has a fairly large area of brass, is relatively simple and quick to add to the kit. The improvement to detail is there, but I'm still scratching my head about those grilles, and whether they should be under or over Highly recommended. Available from White Ensign Models in the UK Review Sample courtesy of
  2. Hi folks, As part of the Obsolete kits GB, I plan to build an Italeri Ju188, possibly as a D-2 version. This was apparently a photo-recce version (although the D-2 had Hohentweil search radar). None of my references is particularly forthcoming about the D variant and a quick Google hasn't turned up anything reference. So . . . I'm guessing that it's difficult to be generic, but: 1) Were D-2s solely maritime reconnaissance (Hohentweil) or did they also have cameras fitted? 2) If so, where? Bomb bay, I'm guessing, although the D-version apparently also had overload tanks there. Any help gratefully received. regards, Martin
  3. Radio Set 1:35 Legend Productions This WWII radio set was commonly found in the back of a Willy's Jeep for comms with other units or HQ, and is often overlooked when building a Jeep. This set will provide parts for you to build two such radio sets, but remember to check your references, as there are a few types out there. The set arrives in Legend's usual small card box, and inside is a bag of sixteen resin parts on seven casting blocks. Another bag contains a small Photo-Etch (PE) sheet, a bundle of copper wire, two lengths of brass wire and a rubberised tube. A small two-sided instruction sheet shows how to build the radios up, which starts with the assembly of the PE mounting bracket. The radio is a highly detailed single casting to which protective cages are added at the front to keep the knobs and dials safe from clumsy handling. A PE hook for the headset, which has a PE strap and resin ear "cans" is supplied, and the copper wire is wound round a thicker wire to portray the coiled wire that links the headset to the box. A pair of handheld Walkie-Talkies (a silly name if you think about it) are also included, and an aerial mount with PE base is supplied for attachment to the vehicle. Another pair of radio boxes in suitcase-type enclosures are supplied on the same blocks as the radios, but I'm not entirely sure of their function. I do know a comms guru however, and will update the review if he can shed anymore light on the subject. The final items are a pair of flat rectangular parts that are covered in two rows of eight raised dots. I can find no mention of them in the instructions, but I suspect that they are there to represent knobs, bolts or rivets that are seen on the PE mounting bracket, the cans on the headsets and possibly more that I haven't spotted. You'll need to cut them off the blocks with extreme care, but there are plenty provided, so you can afford to lose a few. Conclusion A little light on explanation of what the sets are/were used for in the real world, but a highly detailed replica with all the parts needed to complete the job supplied, even down to the wire to connect the various parts to a source of power. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. Whilst I`m between builds and new I thought I`d show you something I completed earlier this year: Special Hobby/MPM. 1/48 Fulmar Built from the nightfighter boxing, to represent an a/c from around the time of the Battle for Ceylon Decals were from the stash hope you enjoy looking at Cheers Russ
  5. New: RNZAF Catalinas - 3 more schemes to complete the set (to go with 6 Sqn 44-45 (PYB-5 and PB2B-1) set previously announced): 6 Sqn early schemes in Pacific in 1943-44 (PYB-5) 5 Sqn and 3 OTU in Pacific in 1945 (PB2B-1) 5 Sqn post war (PB2B-1) Available in 1/48, 1/72 and 1/144 As always available from my website www.oldmodelsdecals.com
  6. Does anyone know if Lt. Robert Hanson, I believe the highest scoring F4U pilot, fly a birdcage F4U-1 in combat? If so, do you have any info about it (pics, side numbers, paint scheme/markings, etc.)? Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Michael
  7. Kit: 1/72 Eduard "Profi Pack" White 07, 566th SHAP, Leningard 1944 Paints: Gunze/Mr.Hobby Decals: Kits own Thanks for your interest! Cheers from Vienna, Austria Roman Schilhart
  8. hmmm after a generic base that I can use to pose finished kits for photography. Looked at the review of the Mini Art country road BUT think for smaller vehicles (my Pz1A for example) they would be lost on such a big base... Have looked at SB Models "Street Corner" but that has the opposite effect - perhaps too small for larger vehicles (not that I have anything larger than a StuG III or PzIV at the moment. any suggestions I could look at (making my own is not an option just yet)... after something for 1/35 WWII that can be used for France, Germany, Russia (as I said generic)... preferably rural but all suggestions considered thanks all
  9. Finished just before christmas, this is my 1/72 MPM Boston IV in Free French Service. According to the kit instructions this plane belonged to 342. Squadron, 137 Wing, 1944/1945. Modifications: - seatbelts added - aiming pin on nose added - brake lines added - air intakes on engines cut open - all exhausts drilled open - replacement main wheels from Aires - gun barrels from Quickboost The fit of the nose glazing is poor; i also had some troubles adding enough weight to prevent tail-sitting since there is no space in the front section. I glued finshing weights under the cockpit floor, in the engines and the front wheel well. The model was painted with colours from the Gunze/Mr.Hobby range. Ugly, but necessary: lead shots in forward wheel bay to prevent tail-sitting: pg French tricolore painted instead using the kit decals: Thanks for looking Roman
  10. The last kit to present this year from me - it's AZ Model's 1/72 Spitfire XVIe in their new "HQ Tool" boxings (red label). This means AZ Model are now producing their kits using metal molds which greatly improves sharpness of detail, fineness of panel lines and general assembly fit. In my humble opinion, the best Spitfire ever from AZ Model. Welcome to the Champions League! The model represents a plane from RAF 421 Sqn, Reinsehlen, May 1945 - decals come from a Sword kit (I've received a sample of this kit from AZ Model via IMPS Austria, including only 'foreign' options: Greek, Belgium, French, South African but wanted to build a RAF machine). Colours used are from the Gunze/Mr.Hobby range. Weathering with artists oils and pastel chalks. Thanks for looking, have a great start into 2013 and looking forward to all those model kits you will be builiding within the coming year! Cheers from Vienna Austria Roman
  11. This is a "what if" project converting a vinyl M.a.K walker into a Wermacht Gun Carrier. The bits and pieces were all from the spares box and the main cost was the primer paint. .
  12. Hello everyone, Thought I`d show you some picks of my latest completion, 1/48th P-51A that I built for my brother in-law Accurate Minatures 1/48 scale kit with Eduard seat belts and kit decals used Done as `Jackie` flown by Capt JJ England, 311 FBG in India Open canopy portion came from Tamiya P-51B kit Which was a straight forward fit and thinned the prop blades a bit Off to its new home, hope you enjoy looking at.. Happy modelling Cheers Russ
  13. A39 Tortoise Heavy Tank 1:35 Meng Models The Tortoise was designed in 1943, in the middle of WWII, and was designed to be a heavy assault tank with massive frontal and side armour that rendered it safe from the withering fire of the dreaded German '88. It was one of a string of proposals from the Nuffield Organisation, which became larger and heavier as the series continued. The Tortoise started life as proposal 16, which got the go-ahead to proceed to production without a prototype having been built - instead production was ordered from the drawings and a mock-up of the completed vehicle, and 25 were specified for the first batch. As it happened, the war was over before the Tortoise saw service, and production was cancelled after only 6 examples were built. They were taken to Germany for trials following the war, and the reports that returned were favourable, with good reliability and handling. Sadly, all but one were scrapped, with the remaining A39 kept in running condition at Bovington tank museum. Weighing in at 78 tons, the Tortoise is a monster of a tank, with broad tracks to help it spread its massive weight over the ground to prevent bogging down. The superstructure is fixed in the same style as the Hezter and Stug, although there is a small machinegun turret on the top that has full rotation, sporting two BESA machine guns and a six-barrelled smoke dispenser cluster, plus a further two on the front corners at each side of the gun. A further BESA is mounted on the front of the hull in a ball mount, which brings us neatly to the 32-pounder gun that dominated the front of the vehicle. The huge mantlet bulges forward, and frontal armour is an eye-popping 228mm, with 155mm on the side skirts, which made it impervious to almost anything the Germans could launch at it. Although powered by a rear mounted Rolls-Royce Meteor, a development of the Merlin engine, the transmission at the front could only pull this monster along at a paltry 12mph, with a range of only 140 miles. The speed dropped to 4mph off-road, and because it was so wide at almost 4m, it would have been near impossible to transport it by rail, and road transport wasn't much easier requiring a special trailer and two trucks daisy-chained together, resulting in a long and unwieldy wagon train, as seen below: Whether the Tortoise was partly designed as a counter to the super-heavy Maus tank that was being developed in Germany is moot, but there would have been some spectacular stand-offs if the two had ever met. The Kit This release from the innovative and unusual Meng Models was quite a shocker when it was dropped into the schedule some months ago, but it's what we have come to expect from Meng. The kit arrives in a rather attractive dark green/grey box, with a large painting of the behemoth on the front, and various other views on the sides of the box. Inside is a lot of plastic, comprising of the two part hull, six sprues in olive green styrene bagged in pairs, plus a further three in a medium brown colour for the tracks. There are no decals with this release, and a length of nylon string is slipped in between the sprues to make up the towing cable, although my piece almost ended up in the bin because I didn't notice it in the bag. The final item in the box is a glossy covered instruction manual with a picture of the real thing and some descriptive text in English, Chinese, and probably Japanese… I don't read Kanji, so there's no way to tell. Detail on the upper hull is excellent, with rather nicely done rough casting texture on the armoured citadel where the seven crew members resided. Despite the size of the tank, it still must have been quite a squeeze getting them all in and out. Having shown the texture to a number of friends, they were all of the same opinion, and the addition of some casting marks already moulded in shows excellent attention to detail. The hull also has numerous weld seams moulded in, which again improves the detail out of the box, as well as saving work for you the modeller. The underside of the hull is comparatively simple, having only a nice cast surface added to the front where the final drive bulges are, and a very fine rolled steel look to the fenders, finished off with some small access panels and associated bolts on the bottom. There are a lot of ejector pin marks on this part, but Meng have carefully sited them to ensure that they are hidden by the upper hull once built, thereby avoiding any clean-up. Construction of course starts with the running gear that must carry the prodigious weight of the beast, so is necessarily bulky and numerous. The large idler wheels are first, and because of the wide track they are doubled up, and have a dual-spring suspension arm and tensioner trailing behind their axle. They mount upon some substantial looking brackets that are added to corresponding recesses on the hull, and the offset suspended axle is then attached to the hull via a short peg/hole arrangement. The dual-wheel drive sprocket affixes simply to the other end of the hull, into a very beefy 7mm diameter socket, to ensure it stays put. The road-wheels are then built up in pairs of inboard and outboard on offset suspension arms, two of which then attach to the sponson that is glued to the triangular mounting points on the lower hull. These build up into two types, A and B, that are interleaved with eachother along the hull, in four assemblies. In all there are 16 wheels along each side of the hull in groups of four, which should test your tyre painting skills! After the wheels and their diminutive return rollers are attached to the hull, the tracks can be assembled. Tracks are provided as individual links on three sprues of brown styrene, with 48 links per sprue. Each link has five sprue gates to ensure there are no short-shot parts, but they are all devoid of any ejector pin marks, which can be the bane of anyone constructing individual track links. The attachment points are small and sensibly placed, while detail on the outer face is excellent, replicating these large slabs of steel very well. The inner face of the track links are fairly smooth, with only a single guide horn in the middle of the part, which is very chunky compared to any of its contemporaries. Each track run takes 62 links according to the instructions, and they recommend gluing them all quickly then draping them around the running gear, which also happens to be my preferred method. Make sure you have plenty of tape and bits of sponge or cotton buds to keep the track in place until the glue cures. Because of the large sponsons and side-skirts it is entirely possible to build up only sufficient track to wrap around the idler wheels and drive sprockets, leaving the top run of track off, which will enable you to paint the track separately and install it later if you wish. Once the running gear is complete, the glacis plate is installed on the lower hull, and this too has the lovely casting detail present on the turret area. Various lifting eyes are attached to the plate, and the removable (on the real thing) cover that gives access to the final drive mechanism for maintenance. Building the upper hull is quite simple, requiring the modeller to first install five clear vision blocks in the starboard front access hatch, which should all be painted a clear blue to simulate the glass found in the real thing. The huge gun is built up from a solid barrel, with a large circular plate that slides down to the aft end of the barrel to protect the mantlet opening, and a two-part flash-hider that attaches to the business end. The mantlet itself is a single donut shaped part that attaches to the upper via two locating pegs, and has a ball mounted behind it to which the barrel is glued. This whole assembly is then locked in place by a large cylindrical block that attaches to the inside of the turret area behind the mantlet. Careful gluing will result in a gun that can elevate as well as traverse the limited amount that it was able. After installing, don't be tempted to skip forward to mounting the upper hull on the lower, as you will need access to the underside for some of the following tasks. There are four holes on the roof of the beast, with the rear starboard one being the mount for the machine-gun turret. The rear port is for the commander's cupola, which has a set of nine clear vision blocks set into the ring, which are protected by an upper ring, which is broken by the hinge for the hatch. Detail is excellent here, and the hatch has the same casting texture as the hull, and again, with careful gluing can be mounted so that it opens and closes. The cupola attaches through the hull onto a lower ring, which allows it to swivel if you are again, careful with the glue. A pair of stereoscopic vision ports for the bow-mounted BESA machine-gun are also built to be movable, although whether this is practical depends partly on luck if you are using liquid glue. The bow-mounted machine-gun itself builds up on a studded ring, with a ball behind it, which should again allow it to traverse once finished. The usual caveats apply regarding glue of course! The gun itself doesn't have a hollow barrel, so either a brass replacement from RB Models or a steady hand with the pin-vice will be needed. The rear of the turret area, with a very nicely cast data plate is added during assembly of the gun, but it could almost be overlooked as it just looks like a flat panel in the diagram. It is because of its raised detail and casting texture that it is a separate part, rather than further complicating the already impressive mould that was responsible for the main upper hull part. With the movable accessories on the hull added, the hull can finally be closed, and the rear bulkhead installed to close up the hull forever. The detail on the rear bulkhead is again very nicely done, with a cast textured rear escape hatch moulded into the part, and some rather large towing hitches and lifting lugs added to substantial slots in the bulkhead to give some extra detail. A few sundry parts are attached to the rear of the turret area, as well as some spare track-links on the sides of the hull. Here I would have preferred the slots into which the links fit to have been flashed over, in case the modeller wished to leave them off for whatever reason. A little filler and some careful sculpting would be the order of the day if you decide to follow that path. The side skirts are each made from a single part, and the outer surface is festooned with bolts that attach them to the suspension assemblies. The lower are has hinges moulded in, which would have made inspection and cleaning of the tracks somewhat easier, but of course these are fixed for the model's purposes. Inside the skirts are festooned with ejector pin marks, but none of these will ever see the light of day, so you can ignore them. The large exhaust that attaches to the rear bulkhead, an impressive looking towing hook, and the front-mounted travel lock for the gun are built up from a large number of parts to be added during the following steps, that sees the detail added to the outer hull. A crew telephone is also attached to the rear bulkhead, which is a feature the British pioneered with their Main Battle Tanks to allow easy communication with the troops that they were in support of. There are a number of cables added to the outer hull during the following steps, which are all supplied as very delicate styrene parts on sprue D. Great care will be needed to remove them from the sprues and clean them up, or you could use them as patterns for replacements made from wire. The two remaining hatches on the top of the tank are added, with the starboard one having the ability to remain mobile after the build. If you are planning on installing a crew however, the port forward hatch will need to be glued open at this stage. Another pair of huge towing hooks are added to the front, and the travel-lock, the driving lights and various other small parts are added to finish off the main hull. As mentioned earlier, some nylon string is included with the kit to replicate the towing cables present on the Tortoise, which are cut into two 108mm lengths and then attached to the towing eyes by drilling 0.8mm holes in the part. The eyes have corresponding attachment points on the starboard fender, with pins and brackets holding them in place. If you prefer to replace them with some real braided wire from your stash, you now know diameters and lengths to choose. The small machine-gun turret is the last part of the model to be constructed, and of course it also benefits from the excellent cast texture that covers a lot of the rest of the hull. A complex viewing periscope is built into the top hatch and a large sprung hinge to the hatch is also depicted. The two BESA MGs sit in a protective mount that allows them to elevate, while the turret's motion provided the traverse. To the port side of the turret are a sextet of smoke discharging tubes, which are replicated on the front corners of the turret, with the activating wires provided in styrene. The turret is a twist-lock fit, and if left unglued, can rotate once installed. Painting of the A39 is simple if you are following the six instances that actually existed. Any shade you like as long as it is olive drab. The tracks and exhaust will of course be in various stages of rusting, and dirt is of course likely to make an appearance. If you decide to go down the What-If route, you can do whatever you wish with the beast. Be aware that on some pictures, including the front of the box, there is a pale grey/green colour painted under the barrel, with a wavy demarcation between the top colour. Check your references before committing to that diversion from the painting instructions, and also ask those in the know whether Olive Drab is indeed the correct colour for British AFVs of this immediate post-war period. Conclusion Since seeing this monster of a tank a couple of years ago during a wander round the internet, and then finding out that there was one at Bovington Tank Museum, which was being restored to running condition, I have been curiously drawn to it. When Meng first announced that they would be kitting it in 1:35, I was very excited but wondered if they would actually bring it to market, as it is (supposedly) a very niche product. However, now that I have actually held the kit in my hands and perused the detail, I am very happy that it has made to market, and if the AFV model market can support THREE editions of the similarly short-lived German NeubauFahrzeug, I'm pretty certain that the Meng A39 will sell very well, and it deserves to. If I was to have a moan, it would be that there aren't any decals, but that really is about all I can find to moan about, and even then, the sheet would probably have to be filled up with speculative markings of tanks that saw service in an alternative timeline. This is a great kit from a great company, and I really do have a lot of respect and admiration for them, not only for kitting this unusual vehicle, but for doing it very well. Meng will be a force to be reckoned with if they carry on doing what they've been doing so far. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  14. Heinkel He 219A-7 "Uhu" 1:32 Revell The He219 had a troubled beginning, due to the internal wranglings of the various chiefs of departments within the Nazi hierarchy. Its gestation was long and significant changes were made with constant rejection for being too complex a common feature. Eventually, the prototype of the project that became the 219 was funded privately, and was rejected initially by the RLM in favour of other existing designs, but was eventually commissioned by the then commander of Night Fighter operations, Josef Kammhuber. Erhard Milch was so angry at his decision that he ousted him from his position and tried to sabotage the aircraft on numerous occasions. Despite the bitter internal wranglings within the RLM that were typical of the time, the 219 flew, and any problems were soon ironed out. Much was planned for the aircraft, including better engines, larger wings and a re-designed fuselage, but due to late war shortages and bomb damage, the only airframes that reached actual production were the A series. The A-2 had extended engine nacelles compared to the initial A-0, which housed additional fuel, while the A-5 only reached prototype stage, and was proposed as a 3-seater night-fighter variant. The A-7 was the most produced, totalling over 200 by the time records became a bit sketchy. It was powered by the later DB603E engines that produced more power, which coupled with weight-saving measures could breach 400mph, enabling them to catch the previously immune Mosquito, and several unsubstantiated claims were made by the crews flying the bomber streams at night. Of the other proposals, a few D models with Jumo 213 engines were delivered for evaluation, while the B and C models were held up by the elusive and troublesome Jumo 222 engines that dogged a large number of RLM projects toward the end of WWII. At the end of the war, several examples were taken for evaluation by the British and Americans, as the technology integrated such as the ejector seats, tricycle landing gear and the advanced radar were deemed to be rather interesting to the victors. Very few airframes survive to this day, with one in the US, and another recently salvaged off the shores of Denmark, details of which you can find here. The Kit I love the sleek purposeful look of this aircraft, so when it was announced I was very keen to lay my hands on one. I call big kits of my favourite aircraft "scale-breakers", as I usually stick to 1:48 for aircraft. Revell have a habit of producing scale-breakers in 1:32 for me, such as their excellent Ju.88, and their competent He.111. I was interested to see whether this kit would be closer in style and quality to the 88, or the 111, and I'm happy to say that it is more akin to the 88 in terms of detail. Inside the large top-opening box are a host of sprues on Revell's usual mid grey styrene. There are twelve sprues of parts, plus two more in clear styrene, giving options of three canopy types. The standard "hyper-busy" Revell instructions, and a set of decals on a large rectangular sheet. First impressions are good. Surface detail is very nicely rendered, and subtle panel lines with accompanying rivets are present on the outer surfaces, while cockpit and bay detail is well up to standard. Glazing is thin and clear, and the choice of three variants out of the box is very welcome, even down to the planned three-seater, although documentation of the various differences isn't particularly well explained during construction. In an effort to assist, I've rustled up some generalisations for you. Always check your references though! The A-2 had Schragemuzik upward firing cannon installed plus 2 wing root and 2 outer vental cannons installed. Radar antennae on the nose were FuG 220, often canted to 45o to reduce interference. The A-5 was to be either a two or a three-seater, with the /R4 subtype having a rear gunner sitting in an aft extension to the cockpit behind the two existing seats. Sadly, the /R4 is not covered in this kit. Radar antennae on the nose were FuG 220, often canted to 45o to reduce interference. The A-7 had Schragemuzik upward firing cannon installed plus 2 wing root and 4 ventral cannons installed. It also had the rearward Radar Warning Neptun R1 aerials and vertical forward facing FuG 218 antennae. The Naxos Radar Warning Receiver (RWR) was also sometimes installed in a blister on top of the canopy, but as it proved rather fragile in use, it wasn't always installed. To be sure of the various installations, you will need to check your references, and at the very least get some clues from the painting guides as to which items were installed on the particular machine that you are planning to build. The build of this interesting beast starts with the cockpit naturally enough, and Revell have managed to squeeze a substantial amount of detail into this cramped area. The side consoles are moulded into the cockpit tub, and detail there is crisp. A pair of large side braces that include some structural detail that forms the sidewalls of the nose gear bay. There is also some nicely done panel and rivet detail on the underside of the cockpit tub, which doubles as the roof for the nose gear bay. The two crew seats are installed next, with the pilot's seat having a large rail for his ejector seat. The rear crew seat doesn't appear to have the trappings associated with an ejector seat, so I guess the radar operator wasn't considered to be as indispensable as the pilot. A set of rudder pedals are provided, but they are a little chunky, inviting replacement with some suitable Photo-Etch (PE) parts, while the seats themselves are neatly rendered from a number of parts, making for good detail. The pilot's instrument panel is a single part, but has a host of dial detail on the surface, which can be painted up and then further detailed with the supplied instrument panel decals that can be found on the decal sheet. Rather than go for full coverage in once decal, each instrument face is supplied separately, which will ease the task no end. Simple add a drop of gloss varnish to the face of each instrument once installed, and the panel will look pretty good. A few additional decals are supplied for the side consoles, which shows a good attention to detail. A single-piece foot well for the pilot caps the front of the cockpit, and the coaming with its hinged armoured panel to protect the pilot in head-on attacks is installed along with the permanent glass panel that sits behind it. The radio and radar gear are supplied as a combination of all of the boxes in one part, with another part making up the blank rear of the assembly. For three of the colour schemes the topmost box on the left is removed as it is not required for those airframes. Here it gets a little confusing though, as construction phase 12 shows a flat part that isn't given a number. Looking around the sprues there doesn't seem to be a corresponding part or decal (the decal icon is present) so this reviewer is nonplussed. I'm sure someone will enlighten me though, and if so I'll update this section of the review, although I suspect it just means that the box that is removed isn't replaced. The control box for the Naxos is added to the top of the rear instrument panel much later in the build for some reason – probably due to the Naxos antenna being installed in the canopy around that time. Before the cockpit can be sandwiched between the fuselage halves, a small section of the upper tail needs removing if you are going either of the A-7 machines, to accommodate the mounting lug for the Neptun antenna. The fuselage halves are complete apart from the holes provided for the cockpit and nose gear bay, but they have a flat upper surface that runs for over half the length, and a shorter length on the underside that roughly lines up with the positioning of the wings. These sections are covered by inserts that hint at other versions down the line… or not. Look how long we had to wait for the two seat Eurofighter in 1:48! A pair of T-shaped parts sit in the fuselage, with spars extending an inch or more from the fuselage sides to give the wings some additional strength when installed. The upper fuselage insert has two square holes in the top around half way along, which can either be filled by a blanking piece, or a part that has holes in for the Schräge Musik upward-firing cannon that the German Nachtjäger used to full effect, flying under the bomber stream picking them off where the defences were usually not present. The underside insert has a separate "nose", which contains troughs for the (potential) four ventral cannons. The cannon barrels are supplied on a frame that allows the two outside barrels to be removed and used in isolation from the frame, while the barrel plugs are supplied on a similar frame that allows the outer plugs to be removed, leaving the two central ones correctly spaces for installation. Careful installation here is key to get the plugs correctly aligned with the surrounding part. This is then installed along with the rest of the ventral insert, which has plenty of cartridge chute slots cut out, with lots of nice detail engraved into the surface. The nose cone is similarly well detailed, and covers up the foot well of the pilot, which is surprisingly close the front of the aircraft. The tail cone is finished off with a bumper bulge, and the very tip, which is on the clear sprue, and has a clear red cover, so will need a little paint and masking fluid to keep it safe during main painting. Moving on to the wings, the ailerons and flaps can be set at an angle to give some variation, and are consequently supplied as separate parts. In order to show the flaps deployed however, you need to remove a little of the rear of the wing in between the hinges on the underside, in order to accommodate the drooped flaps. A set of detail parts are installed in the upper half of the wing to give some detail to the flap hinge area and provide the hinge points in the middle of the outer section. The top is added sealing a small intake in place, and the engine nacelle is built up around the moulded in top. Two bulkheads are installed first, with the forward part going through the underside of the wing skin to rest on the inside of the upper wing part. A roof skin is then inserted between them and part of the retraction mechanism is added, with the nacelles shrouding them and another ribbed rear bulkhead closing the rear of the nacelle off from view. A pair of auxiliary intakes are added to the wing leading edge on either side of the nacelles, and for good measure, a landing light on the port side, which has a plastic reflector and bulb moulded into a small slab, and a clear cover which is glued into the wing edge. Some careful painting and gluing will really pay dividends here, but don't forget to mask off the framing. The wings are then installed onto the sides of the fuselage, slipping over the stub spars that should prevent them from gull-winging later. The inner flap is slotted into two holes in the wing and engine nacelle, and it would seem to be sensible to add this with the wing, rather than after it as the instructions advise. The outer flaps and ailerons are made up from two halves that are assembled around the T-shaped hinges that would theoretically allow them to remain mobile. Whether you want to or not is a question for you to answer, but to get the correct flap angle, it would probably be best to succumb to the glue. The same is true of the elevators on the tail, which has a slight dihedral before terminating in the two rudder/stabilisers. The rudders can be left mobile too, and trim-tab actuators are added during construction, before they are added to the tabs at the end of the elevators. The engine nacelles are finished off with the cowlings, and it is interesting to note that no engine parts are provided, as the cowling contains the annular radiator blocks, which prevent any sign of the engine from showing. The cowling parts have moulded in central section that is held in place by stator vanes, and the ten radiator panels are installed in pairs within this part. A central prop shaft is then inserted from behind and the assembly affixes to the fluted stub attached to the blank front of the nacelle. A dry fit would be advisable to see what is visible from the outside before spending the time painting everything. The exhaust stubs fix into the slots on each side of the nacelle, and have a foreshortened stub to the rear, which fits into the tubular flare suppressors that these aircraft were fitted with. The tubes are made up from two halves, with a perforated front part that allows the air to blow in and usher the exhaust gases out of the rear. A scrap diagram shows the correct positioning of the tubes and their front pieces, which will need careful alignment during fitting. The instructions are given for just one side, with the parts mirrored on the other, as they were the same units, not handed as was the case with some twin engined aircraft to counter torque from the engines. Work moves on to the canopy here, and again you have a choice of three opening sections, depending on which decal option you have chosen. The bubble-topped section is suitable for the Naxos equipped example, while the other two have different sized slide-back panels on the port side. Happily, there are several parts installed to the inside of the canopy, which is good news from a detailer's point of view. Take care with which parts you install though, as some are optional for different aircraft. The short windscreen attaches to the nose, with the rear section also fixed closed, while the central section can be posed open or closed at your whim, hinging on the starboard side. A small "mouse-hole" gap in the rear canopy is filled with a styrene part and the canopy is complete. If you're careful with masking and painting, you should have a lovely crystal clear canopy when finished, with minimal distortion. The landing gear comprises of the two main struts and the long, sharply rakes nose gear strut, which was a first in its class, and of great interest to the allies post-war. The wheel rotated 90o to lie flat against the roof, which made it a great space-saver in this crowded area of the aircraft. It is built up from two halves, with a separate oleo scissor, so careful clean-up of the seam will be needed. The retraction legs and jacks brace it against the bay roof, giving it that prototypical forward slant. The bay cover is supplied as one part to be used in the closed option after removing the hinges, and is cut into two for the open option, with a retraction jack installed for the larger part. A crew access ladder is also hidden in the nose, and fits into a slot to the side of the nose gear bay. If displayed deployed, the ladder part attaches to the forward hinged door, but if closed, the door is glued flush with the surrounding fuselage. The main gear legs are more complex, having two tyres side-by-side on a Y-shaped leg that has two sub-axles attached to the central one, holding each tyre separately. The inner hubs are built up separately from the wheels and outer hubs, and attach to the square axles, one each side. The retraction equipment is made up from a number of parts, and should result in some rather well detailed legs. The gear bay covers are supplied as one part, with the hinges cut off for an in-flight pose, or cut into two equal parts to pose the gear down. The closing stages of construction deal with the props, which are moulded as a single three-blade unit, with boss and back-plate separate parts. The earlier A-2 then fixes to the nacelles, while the later A-5 and A-7 props had a spacer between them and the cowling, probably to assist with cooling. Common sense will have all the fiddly aerials and antennae added last, and for this kit that fairly bristles with them, it is an absolute must. Sure enough, this is the case, and the three options without the Neptun set have their prominent nose "whiskers" set at a 45o to the vertical, to cut down on interference. The Neptun and Naxos equipped aircraft has different antennae that are set vertical, and are supplied as complete units with the base moulded in. The two Neptun equipped A-7s even have different rear antennae from eachother, but share a common base, which attaches to the slot in the rear of the fuselage that should have been opened up earlier in the build. Two whip-antennae and a long blade antenna are installed on the underside of the fuselage, and downward turned antenna protrudes from the absolute rear of the fuselage. The upper side has a large antenna mast attached to the rear of the canopy, to with a pair of lines go to the tail booms, as well as the optional Schräge Musik autocannon barrels, as well as a pair of sensors on top of each engine cowling. The circular Peilgerät 6 IFF transponder aperture has the sensor installed in the recess, and is then covered by a clear part, which is in turn covered by a decal once painting is complete, which gives the silver "sunburst" pattern as well as framing details and a warning in German not to tread on the panel. Under the wings there are the usual dipole aerials for radar detention, plus the pitot probe on the port wingtip, and the aileron mass-balances, which are the last parts to be installed. The decals are printed in Italy, and are in perfect register on my review sample, with good colour depth and clarity. Two of the decals have silver as their primary colour, which is again well printed. The details on the instrument panels are excellent, and all of the stencils are legible, but unintelligible to this non-German speaker. From the box you can model one of the following aircraft, all of which have the same upper surface colours of mid-grey mottle over a pale grey, but differ on the underside colours where noted: A-7 W.-no. 310189 of 3./NJG 3 at Grove, Denmark, April 1945 – white spiral spinners. Alternative markings for W.-no. 310200 fuselage codes also provided. A-2 W.-no. 290123 of 1./NJG 1 Westerland/Sylt, Germany, April 1945 – Black undersides and lower fuselage sides. Black spinners with white spirals. A-7 W.-no. 310213 of 1./NJG 1 Westerland/Sylt, Germany, April 1945 – Black spinners with white spirals. A-5 W.-no. 420331 of Stab I./NJG 1 Münster-Handorf, January 1945 – white spiral spinners. Alternative markings for W.-No. 310215 with no squadron codes and black spinners with white spirals. A total of six in all, including alternative Werk Numers. All aircraft have low vis balkenkreuz on their upper sides, and are portrayed without swastikas on their tails, probably due to their deprecated status in Germany, the home of Revell. Check your references to see whether they would be appropriate and apply spares or aftermarket crosses if the mood takes you, and the local laws permit. A separate scrap diagram shows the layout of the walkway markings that were often seen on the upper surfaces of the 219, although not always. Check your references before application to be sure. Conclusion This is a major new release from Revell, and a Godsend for 1:32 scale modellers that are interested in this period. Thankfully, Revell have got the balance right (IMHO), and detail has been provided throughout the major points of interest. Construction appears to be straight-forward, and while some of the diagrams had me scratching my head a bit, sharper minds should have no trouble. The model builds up into an impressive replica of this innovative late war night fighter, with an impressive 52.4cm wingspan and length of 57.8cm, with a good couple of centimetres courtesy of all those aerials. I'm going to be hard pushed not to build this immediately, as it's just so nice. I will probably force myself to wait until Eduard or some other obliging aftermarket provider comes up with additional detail sets, as I believe that this kit deserves plenty of attention lavished on it. I think I already mentioned my fondness of this aircraft, didn't I? If you're looking for some inspiration, have a look at the video below, which although without commentary, shows some rare footage of the 219 captured and tested by the Americans after WWII. Notice that they flew it without the nose mounted antennae, which caused so much drag that the aircraft's top speed was reduced by as much as 30mph. Some photos of the completed model below show what is possible: Very highly recommended. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit
  15. Hi all, I thought I`d show you my recently completed Hellcat II, done from the Eduard weekend edition F6f-5 Done as a Royal Navy aircraft of 800 NAS, Trincomalee, Ceylon, 1945 Decals were from Xtradecals `Yanks in roundels` set Mostly OOB with a few bits of wire here and there but I did fit a shim to widen the main wheels a bit as they looked a bit skinny Hope you enjoy Cheers Russ
  16. New from Northstar Models for September is a Resin & Photo Etch Aerial Torpedo F5W. This was one of the main aerial torpedoes used by German and Italian aircraft during WWII. In their own way these were very influential weapons. German torpedo and bomber attacks caused the main losses to Allied convoys. The Italian Air Force in fact sank more shipping than the Italian Navy. The Torpedoes come in 1:48 and 1:72 scales, they feature resin bodies with brass Photo-Etch (PE) parts for the fins. They come with, or without the aerodynamic tail used by some aircraft to slow down entry to the water. These will do a great job of finishing off your model with the appropriate armament. For more details please visit Northstar Models If you decide to buy some of these then please be sure to tell them you saw them at Britmodeller.
  17. Here`s some pic`s of my AZ Models 1/48 scale Vengeance in the markings of an aircraft of 45sqn, RAF, India, 1942 Mostly OOB with just a few bits of wire here or there and some home made seat straps sanded a couple of millimetres of the canopy to reduce the height a bit hope you enjoy looking at
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