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  1. Not been doing much on Britmodeller for a long time, but it's nice to be back after a long overdue break. I decided to have a crack at this as I have fond memories of the Airfix 1/32nd plastic one which I used to push around with my soldiers when I was about 8. It's also a classic tank and considered in some quarters to be the finest MBT ever produced - and its British. I've got the RAAC Mk5/2 and the Amusing Hobby ARVE Cent to do at some point but god knows when. The Mk5, which is this kit rolled off the production lines in about 1955. The Mk 5/1 quickly followed and by 1959, we had the MK5/2 which had the first L7 gun. I'm modelling a MK5/2. I've not seen many of these modelled, which is surprising given its been out for a little while. I guess it's been superseded by the arrival of the new AFV Club Cents. On the subject of that AFV Club Cent, the Amusing Hobby Cent is a complete rip off of the AFV Club kit. The only difference is the fenders which have the tool boxes moulded in. I've gone for a bit of after market, so there is quite a bit of work to do on this build Bit of Eduard etch, and A set of skirts from InAccurate Armour and a set of resin wheels from Sovereign Models as the kit wheels and PanzerArt wheels are incorrect, without the reenforced rims.
  2. Here is my contribution to the GB, the ARL 44 heavy tank in 1/35 scale by Amusing Hobby. The ARL 44 has quite an interesting developmental history, the origins of it design started in 1943 as a tracked snow blower for the German Kriegsmarinem. French engineers secretly designed the parts with the duel intention of them also being using in a future tank design though. In late 1944 most of France had been liberated & work started in earnest on the ARL 44 with the hopes that it would be ready in time to take part in the invasion of Germany (Allied HQ at the time were expecting the Germans to put up more of a fight & that the war would take longer then it actually did). The first prototype was ready in 1946 & was fitted with the 76mm gun from the Sherman tank. It was quickly decided that this weapon was to small for use in modern combat so production was put on hold while & a new larger turret with a 90mm gun was designed. The new weapon took several years to develop but was finally completed in 1949, production continued with 60 tanks built in total. They didn't live very long though, in 1954 they were removed from service & replaced by the M47 Patton, most were scraped & some where used on target ranges. The kit comes with only four sprues, two of which are copies. The rest of the kits contains a single large upper hull, metal barrel, bag of individual workable tracks & a set of decals (there is some string to use as a tow rope too but I'm not using that). Close up of the upper hull, which is quite detailed & surprisingly sturdy. To add some colour to the kit I got AK's new modern French paint set. This is their new 3rd Gen paint that they have been advertising a lot recently, I'm curious to see if it's any better then their "old" paint. The part count of the kit is low & a dont see anything that will cause any issues, so looks like it will be a relatively quick build (famous last words ). It's become obligatory for me to add some 3D printed parts to every model I make though, which will add some time. For this one I'm thinking of printing the alternative ACL 1 turret used on the first prototype, I'll build the model first though & then see how much time is left & If I still feel like it
  3. Well after near a straight 12 months building the floaty things it's time for a brief return to AFVs. This Caught my eye. Who dosen't like Centurions! A classic tank. I've built an AFV Club Shot Kal on a previous site I have several Israeli machines in the stash but this Englsh oddity is attractive with it's first Gulf War era ERA and Stub 165mm Demolition gun. It was referred to s the "Antiques Roadshow" by troops in the Gulf war due to it's age. Apparently 12 served, 2 were lost to accidental explosive mishaps and non saw front line action. Amusing Hobby have based their kit on this vehicle There is a very fine series of Reference Walkaround pics on this site The kit has been reviewed elsewhere and of note is the absence of the fascine carrier that not all of the Gulf war machines carried. In keeping with the AFV Club offerings, no attempt is made to model the cloth gun mantlett. I'll see whether the AFV Club aftermarket ones fit and if not we'll have a go with some putty moulding. Notably stracks are suppplied as single link removed off the sprue which sounds pleasing. I've taken some Skirt handles Scorpion models and some enamel taillights for a Shot kal that are always very pleasing to use I'll need to grab some tow lines and luggage bin tie down handles from Accurate armour Intructions are conventional line printed on non gloss paper The parts breakdown seems almost identical to the AFV Club models, logical really. The springs supplied in the bogies are a nice touch and fit together nicely The only real issue at present is sourcing some Gulf Light Stone paint. I'd like to use Sovereign Colourcoats version but they are sold out at present so I'll be waiting patiently. Having used their naval range I'm now a fully paid up fan. More soon and nice to be back building some armour! Thanks for looking Rob
  4. #15/2021 My dad isn´t usually a friend of whiffers and Luft 46 subjects. But the Amusing Hobby kit of the Triebflügel is rather simple, hasn´t many parts, so he decided to give it a try. Painted it in prototype style, some metal some primer some paint, parts delivered from different manufacturers. build thread here https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235093032-luft-´46148-focke-wulf-triebflügel-vtol-fighter/ DSC_0001 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0002 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0003 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0004 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0005 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0006 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0007 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0008 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0009 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0010 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0011 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0012 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr
  5. Usually my dad is no What If fan but this kit looks nice, good molding and not that many parts. DSC_0006 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr
  6. T-72M2 Moderna Slovakian MBT (35A039) 1:35 Amusing Hobby via Albion Alloys The T-72 was the successor to the T-64, having a larger 125mm main gun and a more reliable auto-loader that gave it an advantage over its predecessor. It was improved further by fixing some niggling problems that were initially present, and was given the name T-72. Unfortunately, problems with production led to delays that required substantial investments in the factory before full volume could be reached, continuing with modifications until the break-up of the Soviet Union in the early 90s. Export sales were robust, and overseas sales were designated with the suffix M. Initially the M was fitted with inferior armour and gun, but with the M1 those aspects were redressed to T-72A standards, and had smoke grenade dischargers added to the turret. Some of this type were also made in Czechoslovakia (now Czechia & Slovakia), and Poland, who were part of the Warsaw Pact at the time. The T-72M was produced under licence in the former Czechoslovakia. Units were split between both countries when they split. T-72M2 Moderna is a Slovakian modernization of the tank. It adds DYNAS reactive armour, an improved 2A46MS 125mm smoothbore cannon, modified S21U engine; and the most visual difference is the addition of two 30mm 2A42 cannon replacing the NSV-T machine gun. The upgraded MBT though received no orders and only a few units were built for evaluation Slovakia not being able to afford them. The Kit This is a new release following the completely new tooling T-72 from Amusing Hobby, and is one of their first ventures into real-world armour, their previous offerings tending to be more esoteric project tanks or of the “paper panzer” variety, which has been a boon to those that enjoy strange and unusual armour, even so this leans more to this being a non only a prototype. Unlike to the inital T-72 this is not a full interior kit. The detail is excellent, with judicious use of slide-moulding across the sprues. The tracks are also impressive, having individual links and separate track pins that can leave you with a very fancy workable track run that you don’t need to glue, thanks to its friction-fit nature. The lower hull is separate from the sprues, and has detail moulded into both sides, so there are necessarily some ejector-pin marks on the interior face, which might possibly need filling, but check the instructions to ensure you’re not wasting your time filling things that will be covered by equipment later – I suspect most if not all of them will. Like anyone else, I hate wasting precious modelling time. Construction begins with the lower hull, to which you add various suspension parts, bearings and return-rollers, plus idler-wheel axles and a three-part drive-sprocket that is held in place on the final drive housing by a long thick pin. Under the front glacis is an appliqué armour panel with fittings for the self-entrenching tool or mine-plough, four of which you need to remove with a sharp blade or sanding stick, then make good your handiwork. These are overlaid with hinge-points and rams in a scrap diagram, with the main drawing showing them already in-place, then it’s time to deal with the rear bulkhead. This begins as a flat panel, and has four curved brackets, some spare track-links and an unditching log, before it is attached by two lugs on the moulded-in aft bulkhead. The road wheels are made up from pairs of wheels with a central hub, as are the idlers, with twelve of the former and two of the latter. At this point two additional fuel tanks are built from a slide-moulded tube that has the strapping moulded-in with separate end-caps. These are set to the side until the wheels are dealt with, beginning with the long torsion-bar suspension units with swing-arms and axles at the tip slid into the hull slots, plus a couple of smaller dampers toward the front, following which the idlers and road wheels are glued to the stub axles. There is a scrap diagram showing the correct orientation of the damper arms in relation to the main swing-arms, which should help a lot. Inserts are added at the sides of the turret ring. It’s tracks time! Each run has 95 links, and the individual links are moulded in a tree of eight links, with tree sprue gates on each one. They’re easy to nip off and clean up as they are situated on the curved edges of the link, and were very easy to remove thanks to the slightly soft plastic. The jig that you can find on each of the pin sprues has a pair of tabs that allow you to build a much longer jig from it if you like, or you can build them up in runs of eight. With the flat side up, you drop the links into the jig with the guide-horns sliding through the holes, then you cut a set of four track-pins still fixed to their sprue (imagine a four-pronged pitchfork), and push them into the pin holes in the sides of the links. These push home snugly and you can see some of the receivers discolouring with stress-marks as this happens. After they are inserted, you simply cut them off neatly, and that’s your lot. I made up a test-run of sixteen links in a few minutes using just a pair of side-cutters, a thin sanding stick and some patience, and was very impressed with how easy it was to do. It makes sense to leave the sprue on the pins long to give you some room for handling them without pinging them off into the gaping maw of the carpet monster. It’s going to take a little time, but they’re among the best, most robust, flexible and easiest styrene tracks I’ve built. The glacis has a two-layer lamination, with added armour, then it’s a case of adding the light clusters with clear lenses and two-part cages. The two front mudguards are being attached to the front of the fenders with styrene springs added along the way, then a pair of triangular webs are fitted between the guards and the front lip of the glacis and a series of stiffeners in styrene and PE are fixed along the length of the fenders in preparation for the additional fuel tanks and stowage this is laid over it. The rear ends are finished off with more detail parts to close them over. The upper hull is formed from the forward section with the turret ring moulded in, to which equipment and vision blocks are added inside along with the driver’s hatch, then it is dropped into the hull along with two engine deck panels, which are first fitted out with mesh from the PE sheet and optional top covers. This completes the deck so that the flexible spring with wire run through the centre can be cut and glued into position to depict the hosing for the fuel tanks as per the accompanying diagram and a black & white photo from the engine deck. A tow cable is made up from 8.5cm of cord and two more towing eyes to drape over the rear, again as per the scrap diagram. The side skirts are then added. Lastly we move to the turret. The top insert is added to the upper casting with periscopes and hatches being added. The turret is covered in blocks of ERA with scrap diagrams showing where the more difficult ones go. Smoke discharger are fitted to the sides. Mounting points are added for the side 30mm guns. These can then be built up and added. A large ammunition locker is then added at the rear of the turret for these guns. To finish thing off the main gun is assembled and added. The turret can then go on the MBT. Markings There is very little in the way of marking except two small Slovakian flag for the sides of the turret. Strangely there are no clues as to the colour scheme used on the tank at all included with the kit even though MiG AMMO is mentioned on the box along with some colour views? this might though be because we received an early sample. Conclusion While this is a produced tank, although in very limited numbers it still fits neatly into the kind of thing we expect from Amusing Hobby. Very highly recommended. Available in the UK in most good model shops. Review sample courtesy of
  7. T-72M1 Russian Army Tank (35A038) 1:35 Amusing Hobby via Albion Alloys The T-72 was the successor to the T-64, having a larger 125mm main gun and a more reliable auto-loader that gave it an advantage over its predecessor. It was improved further by fixing some niggling problems that were initially present, and was given the name T-72. Unfortunately, problems with production led to delays that required substantial investments in the factory before full volume could be reached, continuing with modifications until the break-up of the Soviet Union in the early 90s. Export sales were robust, and overseas sales were designated with the suffix M. Initially the M was fitted with inferior armour and gun, but with the M1 those aspects were redressed to T-72A standards, and had smoke grenade dischargers added to the turret. Some of this type were also made in Czechoslovakia (now Czechia & Slovakia), and Poland, who were part of the Warsaw Pact at the time. The subvariant M1K was a command tank, and the M1V had appliqué Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA) fitted to improve survivability, and the later M1M that replaced the M1 was upgraded to T-72B standards with Arena Active Protection system protecting it from above by launching a rocket towards incoming threats to obliterate the incoming round or missile. The successor M1MS further benefited from much improved electronics that improved survivability further and raised situational awareness. As well as cast-offs from former Soviet inventory, many T-72Ms of various types are currently in service with Soviet and later Russian aligned nations, while the T-72 is also still in service in Russia either in later guises or as upgraded machines. The Kit This is a new release of a completely new tooling from Amusing Hobby, and is one of their first ventures into real-world in-service armour, their previous offerings tending to be more esoteric project tanks or of the “paper panzer” variety, which has been a boon to those that enjoy strange and unusual armour. The kit is of the full-interior variety, so the box is packed with plastic, grey for the interior, green for the exterior, which is fun – if you were a beginner and wanted to build your kit without paint, you could do so, especially as the tracks are moulded in brown styrene. The box is a top-opener with a nice painting of the kit on the front, and inside are eighteen sprues in grey, green and brown, twenty-eight ladders of track links in brown, a clear sprue, lower hull and turret in green, plus a sheet of Photo-Etch (PE), decal sheet, a length of wire, a long coiled spring that looks like a tube from a distance, a two-part resin figure, instruction booklet and separate colour painting guide that has been penned by the artists at AMMO. The final inclusion is possibly only intended for the initial pressing, and it’s a nice print of the box artwork on thick A3 stock. The detail is excellent, especially the interior sprues, which have some lovely textures and shapes moulded-in, like the anti-spall lining in the turret roof, a small impeller inside the hull amongst many others, with judicious use of slide-moulding across the sprues. The tracks are also impressive, having individual links and separate track pins that can leave you with a very fancy workable track run that you don’t need to glue, thanks to its friction-fit nature. The lower hull is separate from the sprues, and has detail moulded into both sides, so there are necessarily some ejector-pin marks on the interior face, which might possibly need filling, but check the instructions to ensure you’re not wasting your time filling things that will be covered by equipment later – I suspect most if not all of them will. Like anyone else, I hate wasting precious modelling time. Construction begins with the lower hull, to which you add various suspension parts, bearings and return-rollers, plus idler-wheel axles and a three-part drive-sprocket that is held in place on the final drive housing by a long thick pin. Under the front glacis is an appliqué armour panel with fittings for the self-entrenching tool or mine-plough, four of which you need to remove with a sharp blade or sanding stick, then make good your handiwork. These are overlaid with hinge-points and rams in a scrap diagram, with the main drawing showing them already in-place, then it’s time to deal with the rear bulkhead. This begins as a flat panel, and has four curved brackets, some spare track-links and an unditching log, before it is attached by two lugs on the moulded-in aft bulkhead. The road wheels are made up from pairs of wheels with a central hub, as are the idlers, with twelve of the former and two of the latter. At this point two additional fuel tanks are built from a slide-moulded tube that has the strapping moulded-in with separate end-caps. These are set to the side until the wheels are dealt with, beginning with the long torsion-bar suspension units with swing-arms and axles at the tip slid into the hull slots, plus a couple of smaller dampers toward the front, following which the idlers and road wheels are glued to the stub axles. There is a scrap diagram showing the correct orientation of the damper arms in relation to the main swing-arms, which should help a lot. Inserts are added at the sides of the turret ring, and also the first interior parts at the front of the lower glacis plate, which includes the initial driver controls handling the gear shifter in a quadrant with two PE gates. The next step sees the foot pedals and a detailed chair for the driver’s comfort. We’re deep into the interior now, with more controls, what looks like a drinks cooler (it isn’t) just behind and to the left of the driver’s station, then the hull sides are made up by decking out the two panels with a host of detail parts, including an instrument panel that has some decals on the sheet, and a few small PE parts, plus some ready-rounds for the big auto-feeder that’s coming soon. More ready-rounds are fitted along with some other equipment boxes, then the crew compartment skin is dropped into the lower hull along with a firewall and another group of rounds stored nose-down. A two-part fence for the auto-loader is slotted into the floor, then it’s time to create the auto-loader from a circular base with upstands that have castor-like wheels on every third upstand. Then you make up the shell slots, which are cylindrical, and give you a choice of HE-Frag and HEAT shells. Six of each are made up to be placed within the 22 locations around the base, including 10 empty slots, and a few more ready-rounds. The completed carousel is inserted into the space made for it, and if you’re wondering at this stage when the assistance with painting is going to make an appearance, just flick to the rear of the booklet where you will find a set of colour 3D CGI renders with a legend to help out. There is a bulkhead with a fire extinguisher strapped to it inside the engine bay, plus ancillary equipment and some very nicely detailed final drive/brake cylinders that are made up from three parts for detail, plus the end-caps that slide inside an outer casing, with one each side of course. A large circular fan and tinwork is made up around the rear bulkhead along with more ancillaries and small parts in preparation to accept the power-pack. The engine is a V-46 V12-cylinder diesel that pumps out a lot of motive power to the drivetrain. The cylinder banks are each made up from four sides and the rocker cover plus a couple of small PE lifting eyes and exhaust manifold attached to each one in mirror-image. The engine block is built next with a gaggle of ancillaries at one end, then the cylinder banks are fitted into the top and joined in the central valley by the intake manifold with more ancillaries at the busy end, then a new detail insert for the blank end of the engine is constructed and joined with the main assembly. The rectangular air box has PE intake grilles around the three-part box, and the sub-assembly is joined to the engine via its thick input trunk, and two longer hoses that run down the side of the engine and attach to new components at the front of the engine. A scrap diagram of the engine shows how it looks from the side, for you to ensure that yours is set up correctly. The next box is a gearbox with drive-shaft that plugs into some pegs in the floor, then the engine is inserted into the bay, with a stiffening bar across the top, a couple of pots for fluids attached, and more gear added too. It’s tracks time! Each run has 95 links, and the individual links are moulded in a tree of eight links, with tree sprue gates on each one. They’re easy to nip off and clean up as they are situated on the curved edges of the link, and were very easy to remove thanks to the slightly soft plastic. The jig that you can find on each of the pin sprues has a pair of tabs that allow you to build a much longer jig from it if you like, or you can build them up in runs of eight. With the flat side up, you drop the links into the jig with the guide-horns sliding through the holes, then you cut a set of four track-pins still fixed to their sprue (imagine a four-pronged pitchfork), and push them into the pin holes in the sides of the links. These push home snugly and you can see some of the receivers discolouring with stress-marks as this happens. After they are inserted, you simply cut them off neatly, and that’s your lot. I made up a test-run of sixteen links in a few minutes using just a pair of side-cutters, a thin sanding stick and some patience, and was very impressed with how easy it was to do. It makes sense to leave the sprue on the pins long to give you some room for handling them without pinging them off into the gaping maw of the carpet monster. It’s going to take a little time, but they’re among the best, most robust, flexible and easiest styrene tracks I’ve built. You can build either a T-72M or T-72M1 from the box, and the upper glacis plate is subtly different between the two sub-types, so you have to make a choice now, as it isn’t possible to build the two side-by-side and choose later. The M has a two-layer lamination, while the M1 adds a third layer over the outer surface, which entails cutting off the four ribs in the top centre, and overlaying the additional layer that has just two raised ribs. That’s the main difference between them, then it’s a case of adding the light clusters with clear lenses and two-part cages, as well as the V-shaped bow-wash deflector. A tow cable is created from a section of the thread 8.5cm long and two styrene eyes, which is clipped to the deck on the glacis plate while the two front mudguards are being attached to the front of the fenders with styrene springs added along the way, then a pair of triangular webs are fitted between the guards and the front lip of the glacis and a series of stiffeners in styrene and PE are fixed along the length of the fenders in preparation for the additional fuel tanks and stowage this is laid over it. The rear ends are finished off with more detail parts to close them over. The upper hull is formed from the forward section with the turret ring moulded in, to which equipment and vision blocks are added inside along with the driver’s hatch, then it is dropped into the hull along with two engine deck panels, which are first fitted out with mesh from the PE sheet and optional top covers. This completes the deck so that the flexible spring with wire run through the centre can be cut and glued into position to depict the hosing for the fuel tanks as per the accompanying diagram and a black & white photo from the engine deck. Another tow cable is made up from 8.5cm of cord and two more towing eyes to drape over the rear, again as per the scrap diagram. The side skirts on a T-72 are made in part from thick flexible material, which is depicted in the kit by undulations moulded into the lower sections, with one part per side, and a tiny piece of PE at the front. Now we’re getting there, and can finally make up the 2A46(D-81) 125mm smooth bore cannon, the breech of which is shown assembled in the first drawing as reference. It is made up from breech halves split vertically, block parts that are split horizontally, and a two-part sliding portion of the block, plus a myriad of smaller parts on the breech as well as the breech safety frame and coax machine gun on a mount with ammo can that fits to the right side. The gunner’s station is then constructed with optical binocular sight in front of the gunner’s framework seat. This attaches to the underside of the turret rim with a large T-shaped support, and a number of equipment boxes and mechanisms dotted around the rim. Another seat is assembled and glued to the rim, then the turret upper is started. As with most turrets, the inside is substantially smaller than the exterior because of the thickness of the armour, so the interior skin has quite a confined feel to its quilted interior, which is the comfy, insulating side of the anti-spall liner. More equipment boxes are plastered to the walls on flat-spots, and a part of the auto-loader mechanism runs up the back wall where a curved insert is used to enclosed the wall fully. A periscope is attached to the outer roof, then the grey inner lining is inserted into the green turret along with the sizeable and detailed breech assembly. It’s a cabriolet turret at this stage, which will be rectified soon, but more detail is festooned around the outside of the turret, including the rear stowage bustle boxes, smoke grenade tubes, spare ammo cans, search light, and the outer part of the periscope. An overhead view of the turret is given to show the correct orientation of the grenade launchers, with four on the right, and six on the left. The two roof panels are mated next and detailed accordingly, including the round commander’s cupola and the D-shaped gunner’s hatch, both of which have handles, vision blocks and even another searchlight on the commander’s more luxurious hatch. He also gets a DShK (colloquially pronounced “Dooshka”) 12.7mm machine gun mount, which is a huge piece of equipment that is made up from a substantial number of parts, and mounts on the rear of the cupola with an ammo box, and the folding hatch. There is an intermediate stage to the auto-loader that has a stepped circular platform that prevents the turret crew from getting mashed legs, and is filled with a large number of parts that on first inspection resembles a jumble of cylinders and boxes, plus a few ready-rounds strapped to the top – a total trip hazard! The turret is slotted into the hull after dropping the platform on top of the lower feed mechanism of the loader, and the completed roof panel is also glued in place at this time. You may wonder where the barrel is, but it’s deliberate and remedied now, with the gun tube made from two halves split horizontally, and a separate muzzle section to give it a hollow tip, with a circular bolted PE part fitted between the shroud and the barrel. A turned metal barrel would have been almost impossible due to the cooling jacket that is strapped around the gun tube, so take the time to align the halves well to minimise clean-up once the glue has set. The Figure If you’re reading this next year, there might not be a figure in your boxing, as I suspect it’s a limited thing, but those of us buying the first boxing get a nice resin figure, a representation of whom can be seen on the far left of the box art. A Soviet Military Policeman (MP). It is cast in light grey resin in two parts. The largest part is the body, which has everything moulded-in but the figure’s hands and baton behind his back. The hands are on a separate pouring block, and should fit well into the gap between his cuffs. He looks quite tall on his casting block, but when measured with callipers he scales out to be around 6’1”, which is fairly tall, but not unreasonably so – this might be an optical effect due to the long casting blocks under his boots. Casting, sculpting and detail are all excellent, as you can see below, and you can take your colour cues from the box top or check your references. Markings As well as the interior 3D renders on the last two pages of the instructions, there is a separate tri-folded A4 glossy colour painting guide with six tanks under the ownership of various states, as follows: T-72M DDR (Deutsche Demokratische Republik – East Germany) T-72M Finnish T-72M Hungarian T-72M Syrian T-72M Armenian T-72M Czech Army The decals are printed in China and are in good register with enough sharpness to get the job done, although you can see some very slight dithering of the Finnish blue roundels under 2.5x magnification. It’s all but invisible to the naked eye however. The profiles have been penned by AMMO and use their codes for the paint shades, with the names next to the swatches, and below each profile there is a suggestion list of AMMO weathering products to add a little depth and realism to the finished model if you wish. Conclusion This is the first interior AFV kit I have seen from Amusing Hobby, and I’m impressed. It offers a substantial level of detail in a sensible, straight-forward build that should keep you busy modelling for many an hour. The inclusion of a resin figure is a nice bonus, and the 3D renders of the interior will help with painting immensely, as will the 5-vew profiles of the decal options. Very highly recommended. Available in the UK in most good model shops. Review sample courtesy of
  8. Amusing Hobby is to release a 1/48th Junkers Ju-187 Super Stuka kit - ref. 48A004 Source: https://tieba.baidu.com/p/7178046448 V.P.
  9. Some highlights from the Amusing Hobby (http://www.amusinghobby.com/ & https://www.facebook.com/Amusing-Hobby-1775421772678252/) catalog 2020-2021 are here: https://tieba.baidu.com/p/7178046448 Amusing Hobby "Luft 46" kits have dedicated threads: - ref. 48A001 - Focke Wulf Triebflügel - link - ref. 48A002 - Weserflug P.1003/I - link - ref. 48A003 - Messerschmit Me.262 HGIII - link - ref. 48A004 - Junkers Ju-187 Super Stuka - link - ref. 48A005 - Messerschmitt Me.329 - link V.P.
  10. Time for next ugly tank - Neubaufahrzeug. Little bit done. As usually... lots of wheels.
  11. Amusing Hobby is to release a 1/48th Messerschmit Me.262 HGIII kit - ref. 48A003 Source: https://tieba.baidu.com/p/7178046448 Box art V.P.
  12. Amusing Hobby is to release a 1/48th Messerschmitt Me.329 Heavy Fighter Bomber kit - ref. 48A005 Source: https://tieba.baidu.com/p/7178046448 V.P.
  13. Hey all, Here's my rendition of the new Conqueror kit from Amusing Hobby. I picked this up from a recent pre-covid to the Tank Museum, Bovington after I kinda fell in the love with the real thing... What a beast! The kit is OOB except from the Aber gun barrel, because the original was a bit naff and basic. I also scratchbuilt a canvas mantlet cover out of milliput. I painted her using Tamiya Acrylics, namely XF-58 Olive Green, which may have looked a bit light but after a bit of weathering it created a good scale representiation. Weathering was with oil paints either thinned and used as washes or used as a dot filter. The tracks were plastic and click together, which were nice, but the joins weren't too strong as the tips of the plastic pins that were meant to snap into place snapped off instead. So fitting them to the model were fun... They were weathered with a burnt sienna & raw umber wash mixed 1:1 together. I then crushed up a pencil lead and rubbed it over the high points to create a metallic effect. Thanks for looking, and apologies for the lighting but i'm just settling in with a new photobox and I've yet to adjust the lights in my new setup Sam
  14. Centurion Mk.V Main Battle Tank (35A028) 1:35 Amusing Hobby Pre WWII it can be kind to say Britain lagged behind in tank development and even at the end of WWII we have many US types still in service. The A41 was designated as Heavy Cruiser tank back as far as 1943 , this was further developed into the Centurion. The five wheel Comet chassis was developed by adding a sixth wheel with the spacing between the second and third wheels increased. The original Christie suspension was replaced by the Horstmann suspension. The hull had welded sloped armour and the turret was partially cast. The original main gun was the proven 17 pounder with a 20mm supporting weapon. The mark II quickly replaced the initial Mk I tanks and had thicker armour and a fully cast turret. The 20mm gun was also deleted in favour of a normal machine gun. The mark III brought about the introduction of the 20 pounder gun. The Mark V brought about the delegation of the rear turret hatch, fitment of browning machine guns a re-designed turret roof; and the addition of guide rollers in the track runs. first combat or the new tank was in the Korean War where they were praised with their ability to operate in the mountainous terrain. The last combat for British tanks were for AVRE vehicles which deployed to the Gulf War in 1991. The tank was an export success being supplied to Canada, Sweden, South Africa, Israel, Jordan, Switzerland, Denmark, India, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, New Zealand, Austria, Singapore,The Netherlands and Australia. The South Africans further developed the tank into the Olifant, the Jordanians into the Temsah APC, and the Israelis into Nagmachon APCs, Nakpadon ARVs or Puma CEVs many of which still serve to this day. The Kit This is a new tool from Amusing Hobby, who have a thing for British “almost” projects of late, and are filling in some gaps between the in-service tanks that will no doubt please the what-if modellers as well as those that enjoy building cancelled projects or just downright unusual vehicles. Inside the box are ten sprues of varying sizes in sand-coloured styrene, plus a single lower hull part in the same colour. There is also a bag of brown track-links, a bag of brass springs, a length of braided cable, a small fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a diminutive decal sheet and the instruction booklet with a colour cover that has profiles on the rear. Detail is good throughout, the cast elements such as the final drive housing that has a light casting texture moulded-in. Construction begins with the assembly of the bogies that are built around the springs to give the suspension arms some real travel, providing you keep the glue away from the pivot points. There are three of these each side of the large hull tub, and each one carries four wheels in pairs on two axles each, held onto the axles with a central hub part. The tracks are wide, so the return rollers sit on projecting bases, and long stand-off brackets are added to support the side skirts later in the build. The huge final drive housing is layered up and topped with a toothed drive sprocket and a small roller that is probably there to prevent track shedding during turns. At the front is the idler wheel on an axle that pivots to give good track tension once you have made them up and wrapped them around the road wheels. The tracks are supplied free of any sprues and quite free of clean-up, especially if you are planning on dirtying them up later, so you can just start making them up there and then. Each side uses 102 links, and as they snap together they shouldn’t take too long to put together, which is nice. 12 links went together in a few minutes, and they do remain workable, although they aren’t as mobile as they could be. You might get the occasional one coming adrift, but in general they should be fairly easy to fit, and if you want to freeze them in place once you have them installed, a dab of glue to each link will do the trick, leaving you free to handle them more roughly during the painting process. Both runs of links are applied to the vehicles with the traction bar to the rear, so ensure you test-fit them properly before you put them in for the final time. The rear of the hull is constructed and added along with the engine deck. At the front the glacis plate is made up incorporating the front fenders. At the sides the track guards go on along with the lockers tools and exhaust. A thread tow cable is provided which is probably best dispensed with for a metal alternative. The last part of the vehicle to be constructed is the turret. The two sides go around the base with the gun mantlet at the front, The bins for the turret sides are made up and added along with the smoke dischargers. On the top the aerial mounts go on along with the commander hatch. The gun barrel is added to the mantle and on top a 30 cal machine gun is added. Spare track links can be added to the turret is wanted. Markings A small decal sheet provides markings for 10 Troop, C Sqn, 4th Royal Tank Regiment based in West Berlin in 1962. Conclusion A good looking model of one of the first true Main Battle Tanks. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  15. FV 4005 Stage 2 Self-Propelled Gun (35A029) 1:35 Amusing Hobby Everyone with an interest in British armour probably knows the Centurion tank at least on sight, and that it was the UK’s earliest Main Battle Tank, and most well-regarded amongst its peers, having a long service life and more variants than many. One of its many variants includes the lesser-known Self-Propelled Gun (SPG) prototypes that are lesser known for the reason that they never proceeded past prototype. The initial SPG variants began with big ambitions, but were abandoned in favour of other more appealing projects, one of which was the FV433 Abbot. The huge 183mm gun that was to be mounted in the FV4005 was developed from a 7.2” howitzer, and was enclosed in a fairly lightly armoured turret on a Centurion chassis. It fared no better, and was dismantled before the end of the 50s. A similar fate befell the FV 4004, named the Conway that was developed as a fill-in until the big Conqueror came on-stream, based upon a Mk.3 Centurion chassis and a 120mm gun in an oversized turret. Happily, the FV4005 now resides at Bovington Tank Museum, and if you’ve ever seen it in the grounds there, you’ll realise what a huge turret it had. The Kit This is a new tool from Amusing Hobby, who have a thing for British “almost” projects of late, and are filling in some gaps between the in-service tanks that will no doubt please the what-if modellers as well as those that enjoy building cancelled projects or just downright unusual vehicles. The kit arrives in a by-now familiar box with a rather severe-looking painting of the SPG in an urban environment with what looks vaguely like a burned out T-34 in the background. Inside the box are ten sprues of varying sizes in sand-coloured styrene, plus a single lower hull part in the same colour. There is also a bag of brown track-links, a bag of brass springs, a length of braided cable, a small fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a diminutive decal sheet and the instruction booklet with a colour cover that has profiles on the rear. Detail is good throughout, with large slab-sided panels everywhere, differentiating from the cast elements such as the final drive housing that has a light casting texture moulded-in. If you want a more realistic finish to the rolled steel parts, check the available photos online and consult the various techniques for producing the texture on such armour. Construction begins with the assembly of the bogies that are built around the springs to give the suspension arms some real travel, providing you keep the glue away from the pivot points. There are three of these each side of the large hull tub, and each one carries four wheels in pairs on two axles each, held onto the axles with a central hub part. The tracks are wide, so the return rollers sit on projecting bases, and long stand-off brackets are added to support the side skirts later in the build. The huge final drive housing is layered up and topped with a toothed drive sprocket and a small roller that is probably there to prevent track shedding during turns. At the front is the idler wheel on an axle that pivots to give good track tension once you have made them up and wrapped them around the road wheels. The tracks are supplied free of any sprues and quite free of clean-up, especially if you are planning on dirtying them up later, so you can just start making them up there and then. Each side uses 102 links, and as they snap together they shouldn’t take too long to put together, which is nice. I put together 12 links in a few minutes, and they do remain workable, although they aren’t as mobile as they could be. You might get the occasional one coming adrift, but in general they should be fairly easy to fit, and if you want to freeze them in place once you have them installed, a dab of glue to each link will do the trick, leaving you free to handle them more roughly during the painting process. Both runs of links are applied to the vehicles with the traction bar to the rear, so ensure you test-fit them properly before you put them in for the final time. Due to the size of the gun and hefty recoil, the rear bulkhead has a self-entrenching tool fitted on two swing-arms along with the armoured cooling vents and the ubiquitous communications telephone box on the rear. The engine deck is attached to the turret ring, then fitted to the hull, with the area under the mantlet having a large clamshell hatch with vision blocks in each half. The glacis plate has the front fenders moulded-in, and the rear portion of the engine-deck is closed off with a set of access panels with a raised edge, then the big fenders are fitted to a groove in the side of the hull, with detail parts added all down the side of the stowage boxes. The exhaust and its silencer sit on the aft sections of the fenders with a flared tip at the rear and a heat shield, then it is joined by a number of pioneer tools and the rear mudguards on both sides. PE stiffener plates are attached to the front fenders, along with the towing eyes and shackles front and rear, plus the side skirts that will hide away a lot of the tracks, so you could perhaps skimp with track building there if you wanted too. The turret is provided as an open-ended shell to which you add the rear panel with moulded-in access hatch, then detail with the stiffening ribs that are prominent on the sides. Small hatches are fitted to the roof, and the .303 coax machinegun is visible through the front of the box that sits on the left of the mantlet, while underneath the turret is fitted a stepped floor with the turret ring on the lower area, and the perforated floor in the rear. The tall mantlet has a pivot mechanism glued to the rear before it is inserted into the front of the turret, with a slot for the gun barrel, which is made up from three cylindrical sections, each having hollow tips, one for the muzzle, and one for the attachment to the pivot. The turret is then flipped over and slotted into the hull, with two double-tow cables made up from plastic eyes and the braided material that is provided. These are draped on the deck around the rear of the turret, with a location point on the rear hull and on the tops of the fenders. The last part of the vehicle to be constructed is the gun travel-lock, which can be made up on stowed or travel positions and using the same set of parts for each. For the stowed option the two front braces are folded to the sides of the glacis and the main A-frame is laid flat down the slope, while the travelling set-up has the A-frame standing at an angle with the clamp around the barrel and the front braces standing vertically. Markings This tank, nicknamed a less family-friendly version of the “poopbarn” never saw service, so the postage stamp sized decal sheet is adequate. It consists of a black maple-leaf and a white/red/white banner that is reminiscent of the WWI colours worn by the early British tanks. In addition, an April Fool decal and serial number in white. Only one vehicle is shown on the instructions, so you’re left wondering where the black leaf goes. If you check out the side of the box however, you’ll see another chassis in a NATO-esque four colour scheme with the emblem on the turret, but this isn’t documented elsewhere, so you’ll have to make up the camo demarcations that can’t be seen. Conclusion An interesting tank that sits somewhere between What-If and reality, having one extant chassis that I’ve seen with my own eyes outside Bovvy. It’s an exterior kit with good detail, nice tracks and an impressive turret that will doubtless generate some questions as to what it is wherever you display it. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  16. FV217 Badger Heavy Tank Destroyer (35A034) 1:35 Amusing Hobby Still clinging onto the "bigger is better" ethos that Hitler forced upon the Allies during the last years of WWII, post war British doctrine continued to specify and design huge and lumbering tanks for a while, such as the Tortoise, and to a great extent the Conqueror, carrying a 120mm gun that was intended to take out opposition armour at longer range than the smaller Centurion, whilst working in cooperation together. Design began while the war was still raging, and continued with subsequent changes to specification due to rapidly evolving needs for a further 10 years before it morphed into the Conqueror. This chassis was to be used as the basis for the Badger or FV217 which was to be armed with the same 120mm gun as the Conqueror. The project never made it off the drawing board though, so it is essentially a what if. The specs that can be found look impressive, however with the development of what would become the Main Battle Tank the days of the Tank Destroyer were numbered. The Kit This is a reboxing of the original Conqueror II kit with the addition of an extra sprue of parts, and a new casting for the main hull. This seems to be one of the vehicle designs revisited by World Of Tanks which amusing hobby seem to be using for inspiration. Construction begins with the hull, and the suspension bogies that contain the Horstmann suspension units, which is where the real springs come in. These are contained between two end-caps, which affix to a back-plate, and if you're careful with the glue when you attach the perforated front part, you should end up with working suspension. Two pairs of road wheels and a single pair of return rollers are fixed to the axles, and held in place by hub caps that fit using friction alone, so the wheels should turn too if you don't overdo the paint. This is repeated over the eight bogies, a multi-part drive sprocket with final drive housing is installed at the rear and the adjustable idler wheels are added to the lower glacis, with an element of adjustment possible before you apply glue, which should allow you to take up any additional slack in the tracks before you finish construction. The upper hull is essentially one complete part to which are added the front hatches and the main gun. There are a multitude of small fittings to add along side lockers and storage bins. There is a hatch to makeup nd add to the rear bulkhead of the top casemate. At the rear tools and the exhaust system are added with smoke dischargers being added to the side. The gun itself is made up from 5 parts with the gun broken down into sections which are single part moulds so there will be no massive seam to remove. For the top o the casemate a machine gun/command copula is also constructed at this time. The tracks are very nicely moulded, and are of the click-fit workable variety, which works very well indeed in this instance. The parts are moulded in pairs with a small injection manifold between them, and they are attached by only two sprue gates, with no ejector pins to deal with. Clean-up is super-simple due to the location of the gates, and the click action is quite robust, leaving you with a run of tracks in fairly short order, which is just as well as you need 98 links per side. Having seen a few rather poorly engineered track joining methods from other major manufacturers lately, it's refreshing to see a genuinely good track-making method from Amusing Hobby. With the tracks installed, the hull halves can be joined, the top copula installed; and the side skirts added. Markings It's an AFV kit, so the decal sheet is the size of an over-ambitious stamp. As the real thing never existed there are standard British Armour markigs with two suggested schemes of the standard Green & Black, and the Berlin camo scheme. Conclusion There's something about the bulk of this tank destroyer which is quite impressive, even if it was never built. Amusing Hobby have captured that aspect of it very well. We just wonder what they are dreaming up kitting next! Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of Available soon from good model shops.
  17. Hi all, I've been a member for a little while but this is my first attempt at posting any of my work. This is the Amusing Hobby 1/35 Conqueror MkI. I actually built it last year but have just got around to photographing some of my models. The build was pretty straight forward apart from the inner skirts which were warped in my kit. These were replaced with plastic card. It was painted with MRP paints and weathered with MIG pigments.
  18. ARL44 French Heavy Tank (35A025) 1:35 Amusing Hobby The ARL 44 is a French Heavy Tank which does look unusual. At first glance it would appear that it resulted from an affair between a Char B1 and a King Tiger. The main reason for the resemblance to the Char B1 is that the tank was developed in Secret during WWII under co-ordination from CDM (Camouflage du Matériel), a secret Vichy army organisation trying to produce materiel forbidden by the armistice conditions. Thus the designers relied on what they knew and did not have access to outside tank developments. The tank was to be armed with a 90mm DCA Naval AA gun, this was so large that for transportation the gun retracted into the turret and part exiting through a rear hatch which was also used to load ammunition. The turret itself was a make shift affair as the French at the time were unable to do large castings. The turret was actually made from armour plate salvaged from the wreck of the battleship Dunkerque. Only the turret front was cast. It was decided after WWII to build this to maintain continuity in French design, and to boost home moral, even though the Tank would be inferior to even the Sherman which was available in large numbers. The tank was unreliable and not well liked, with the brakes, gear box and suspension to light for the weight and resulting in several serious accident. The tank would be replaced in French service by the American M47 Patton. The Kit This is a great kit from Amusing Hobby that many thought would never get kitted. On first look in the box the most noticeable part is the large hull casting which looks like it should be in a Warhammer box! There are an additional 4 sprues of plastic, a bag of track links and a small sheet of PE. Although not mentioned in the instructions at all, or the parts diagram there is a one piece turned metal barrel in the box. Construction starts with the multitude of small road wheels for each side of the tank. There are 18 pairs for these down each side and these are sandwiched between the outside housings with a large idler wheel at the front. There are also two pairs of small return rollers added to the top of the main hull track return areas, Additional front plates are also attached to the main hull to allow the track roller assemblies to be attached, The rear drive sprockets can then be fitted along with the tanks rear bulkhead and the floor. The top side covers for the track are then fitted to the hull. The complicated cooling system for the tanks petro-electrical transmission is then built up ad added to the hull, along with the crew hatches and many hull fittings. The PE grills are added to the engine deck as well at this stage. Work now moves to the turret. The gun mantlet is built up and this added to the turret after the base has been added to the main casting. The large rear hatch is added along with the hatches and additional track links. The muzzle brake is added to the main gun barrel and this is added to the turret. The tracks are very nicely moulded, and are of the click-fit workable variety, which works very well indeed in this instance. The parts are moulded individually with an ejector mark on the underside which wont be seen. There is no clean up and assembly is super simple, they just click together. leaving you with a run of tracks in fairly short order, which is just as well as you need 80 links per side. Having seen a few rather poorly engineered track joining methods from other major manufacturers lately, it's refreshing to see a genuinely good track-making method from Amusing Hobby, this is just about the easiest track I have ever used. With the tracks installed, the turret can be twisted into place and the model is finished. Markings A mall decal sheet provides markings for two tanks, one in French Blue, and one in Green / Sand. Colour call outs are given in MiG Ammo colours only. Conclusion I'm quite fan of the strange and wonderful and think this tank fits into that category. While it was not successful it filled one of its main briefs of keeping the French designers & manufactures busy while better designs were forthcoming, eventually which lead to the AMX-30. It will be an interesting model to display and may leave more than a few people scratching their heads. Very Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  19. There is something about the brutish looks of the conqueror that has made me want one in the collection for some time. I'm not an expert enough to say if it is 100% correct but it looks the part to me :-) By my standards this was a quick build. There were no issues with the way it went together. The only oddity is that there are no clear lenses for the headlights included, just normal plastic ones. I'll add clear lenses one day. As its so prominent I replace the barrel with one from Aber. I think its designed for the Dragon kit, but it was not hard to make it fit. Painting as done with a very old tin of Humbrol paint from their old Authentic range. One of the marking options from the kit was used, as I found a photo of that tank online. Enough waffle, on to the photos. Tim
  20. Hi Guys This is a brass cast undercarriage set for the new Amusing Hobby kit These parts are the same as the superb kit parts but they are far more robust, for parts that always seem to get broken, when handling models. Note a small brass rod is supplied to make an axle for the main centre wheel. Special thanks to Mike Williams of Britmodeller (the BOSS) for suggesting these to me and for lending me his kit parts in advance to get this set out as soon as possible. Mike also added some detail to the main wheel, this is 'subjective' however there is no clear or 100% detail for this aircraft SO he just did it!!! The castor wheel yokes are exceptionally fragile so this should sort that problem with ease and they are superbly cast. Dash over to get your set now https://aerocraftmodels.bigcartel.com/product/focke-wulf-triebflugel-brass-undercarriage
  21. Hi Guys This is a brass cast undercarriage set for the new Amusing Hobby kit These parts are the same as the superb kit parts but they are far more robust, for parts that always seem to get broken, when handling models. Note a small brass rod is supplied to make an axle for the main centre wheel. Special thanks to Mike Williams of Britmodeller (the BOSS) for suggesting these to me and for lending me his kit parts in advance to get this set out as soon as possible. Mike also added some detail to the main wheel, this is 'subjective' however there is no clear or 100% detail for this aircraft SO he just did it!!! The castor wheel yokes are exceptionally fragile so this should sort that problem with ease and they are superbly cast. Dash over to get your set now https://aerocraftmodels.bigcartel.com/product/focke-wulf-triebflugel-brass-undercarriage
  22. Amusing Hobby is working on a 1/48th Focke Wulf Triebflügel kit - ref. 48A001 Source: http://www.ipmsdeutschland.de/Ausstellungen/Nuernberg2018/Bilder_AT/MBK_Distribution_06.htm V.P.
  23. Focke-Wulf Triebflügel (48A001) 1:48 Amusing Hobby Toward the end of WWII the Nazis were desperately casting around for wunderwaffe, or Wonder Weapons that would turn the ever-increasing tide against their attempt to take over Europe and probably the world. This resulted in some possibly more left-field designs being considered, when under normal circumstances they would more likely have been dismissed out of hand. One such project that has since gained traction in the minds of the Luft'46 community and beyond is the concept of the Triebflügel from Focke-Wulf, which was little more than a rocket body with a rotating set of arms with ramjet engines at their tips providing the motive power. This arrangement was to enable it to take off vertically, which was of greater interest as the front lines got closer, as was the use of the simple ramjet that was propelled up to speed by rockets, all of which used little in the way of strategic materials or complex technology. It went nowhere of course, and had some critical issues that would have needed to be addressed if it had gone further, such as the counter-rotation required to offset the torque of the motors was supposed to be supplied by the cruciform tail pressing against the air, it would have to land vertically with the pilot facing forward and the rear view obscured by the still rotating engines to name but two. Post war the Convair Pogo was to attempt a broadly similar flight profile with similar issues raising their heads and helping ensure its demise. If you've been following the Marvel Avengers film franchise (MCU), you'll have seen Red Skull absconding in a very Triebflügel-esque aircraft at one point, which although undoubtedly CGI could actually be attempted now with our computers and other technologies. Can we convince Elon Musk to give it a go? The Kit This is the first winged project from Amusing Hobby, and it's great to see them applying their sense of the unusual and what might have been to their choice of aviation subjects too. Because the Triebflügel only got as far as a general arrangement design, there is also little in the way of "you got that wrong" that can be said about the subject unless you enjoy being ridiculed for being a know-to-all with a crystal ball. Arriving in a slightly smaller box than their usual AFV kits, there is a dramatic CGI render of a Triebflügel in action on the lid, and inside there are eight sprues in sand coloured styrene, one small clear sprue, a sheet of decals, instruction booklet and two separate painting guides that fold out to provide quite a few options. There's a relatively small part count due to the speculative nature of the design, but what is there is nicely moulded and has fine panel lines and rivets throughout. The sprue diagrams show the centre ring (part 1) attached to the end of the main sprue, but it had been nipped from the runners before dispatch, probably to prevent damage during transit. Construction begins with the cockpit, which is built onto an L-shaped floor and rear bulkhead, with side consoles, rudder pedals, control column and instrument panel, all of which has good raised detail, and once the seat is dropped in, other small details such as the gun sight finish it off, with the nose area closing up around it. The two-part canopy can be posed open or closed, and the rotor base is added at the back of the nose from a cylindrical arrangement of three parts that can be left to rotate so you can show off those rotors. The tapering rear fuselage is made of two halves that close around the large tail-wheel, which sits inside on a platform and is allowed to rotate. The fuselage is completed with a DF loop and aerial, then put aside while the rotors and tail assembly are build up. The three rotors, which I keep wanting to call wings because they are, are all identical and are made from two halves, tipped with the ramjet cowlings that have the simple mechanism inside, most of which I'd paint black or rusty. Each cowling has two halves and an intake lip, and one of the drawings incorrectly has an intake fan drawn inside in step 8, and there is a fan on the sprues, so maybe they were considering making it jet propelled? These are glued into the holes on the centre fuselage section, or left loose for storage or posing later. The tail has four cruciform fins that are made of two halves with a slot down the centre for the landing gear castor, which has a separate yoke and wheel, replicated four times over. If you are posing your model landed, the clamshell aerodynamic covers are glued in place split, while in-flight they are posed closed over the four castors and the big central wheel. That's it! You're done, but part of the fun with this type of hypothetical is the painting. Markings The decal profiles have been drawn in conjunction with AMMO using their paint codes, and there are four choices with absolutely no facts involved, as it's pure fantasy. The world really is your oyster, and with the addition of some home-made hydra decals you could even paint it as the Red Skull's personal ride from Marvel's The First Avenger. There is no backstory to the options provided, so the profiles will have to speak for themselves. The decals have only the Amusing Hobby name on them, but have good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas, with lots of different types of crosses, a few unit badges but no swastikas, so if you're stickler for your Hakenkreuz, you'll need some of your own. Conclusion Awesome! Lunatic, with a touch of bonkers, and a hint of desperation. I've had a hankering for one of these for a while, but as this is the first injection moulded kit in my preferred scale, it's been an idle quest until now. I just need to find the time to build it now. Why are you still here? You need to track down and buy one of these at your earliest convenience! Excruciatingly highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  24. British Tank Destroyer FV215B(183) (35A008) 1:35 Amusing Hobby Post WWII, everything armoured was still suffering from a hangover from Hitler's "bigger is better" mantra, and Heavy Tanks were all the rage. The FV214 Conqueror was one such vehicle, and was intended to be the big-brother of the Centurion, wiping out enemy tanks and clearing the way. It saw service in limited quantities in West Germany in the late 50s to early 60s, and was phased out in favour of the Main Battle Tank. The FV215B was a proposal for a Self-Propelled Gun based on the same chassis, but with the turret housing a 183mm gun fitted to the aft part of the hull to reduce overhang of its limited traverse turret. It never progressed beyond a mock-up, so was essentially a paper project, and ended its days consigned to the waste paper basket when the project was cancelled. The Kit This is a great paper project from Amusing Hobby, with some sprues borrowed from their Conqueror kits as you might expect. There's no harm in getting the most out of the sprues, and we get an interesting developmental dead-end of the Conqueror line into the bargain. FV222 Conqueror ARV next maybe? The kit arrives in a traditional top opening box, and inside are nine sprues and two hull halves in sand-coloured styrene, 226 track links in brown styrene two-per-sprue (113 of them in my kit), eight real-live springs, a length of braided copper wire, a small sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a decal sheet, and instruction booklet with colour profiles and markings guide on the rear pages. It doesn't share as many of the parts as you'd think with its progenitor, with only the running gear, lower hull, wheels, tracks and side-skirts from the original, all the rest being newly tooled. Detail is the same quality as the Conqueror, although some texturing of the turret armour would have been an improvement, but it's not massively difficult to do yourself with a stipple of Mr Surfacer and a few knocks with a spinning Dremel tool. It's an exterior kit, so other than a few periscopes and small parts near hatches, there is nothing inside. If you're opening hatches, grab some Post WWII tank crew to go with it and you're set. Construction begins with the hull, and the suspension bogies that contain the Horstmann suspension units, which is where the real springs come in. These are contained between two end-caps, which affix to a back-plate, and if you're careful with the glue when you attach the perforated front part, you should end up with working suspension. Two pairs of road wheels and a single pair of return rollers are fixed to the axles, and held in place by hub caps that fit using friction alone, so the wheels should turn too if you don't overdo the paint. This is repeated over the eight bogies, a multi-part drive sprocket with final drive housing is installed at the rear and the adjustable idler wheels are added to the lower glacis, with an element of adjustment possible before you apply glue, which should allow you to take up any additional slack in the tracks before you finish construction. A set of small inner skirts are glued along the length of the road wheel area, with tie-downs/grab-handles at either end, although it may be better to leave these off until after the tracks are fitted, and possibly until after painting. The rear bulkhead fits to the opening in the back of the hull after being decked-out with towing hooks and various small parts, after which the new upper hull is built. Blanking plates are affixed to the lower edges of the sponsons before it is flipped over and the glacis plate is added to the blank front of the upper hull. Light clusters, travel-lock for the barrel and lifting eyes are added, then around the front of the turret ring a group of PE grilles are glued in place with super glue and the engine access hatch is detailed with grab-handles and lifting lugs. A semi-circular hatch is supplied for the driver, with periscope and levers inside, stowage boxes and exhausts are added to the fenders, plus air cleaners and fire extinguishers, then short outer skirts that hang from the edges of the fenders on small lugs. The upper turret is a single moulding to which the internal periscope and latching parts are fitted, while cable bobbin, stowage, shell-ejection hatch and twin smoke grenade launchers are fitted to the slab-like sides. On the roof are the three hatches, sighting gear and a single coaxial(ish) machine gun projecting from a wedge-shaped appendage in front of the commander's cupola, which has a flip-forward hatch and a mushroom vent in the centre of the roof. Either side of the commander's hatch are spare ammo cans for the belt-fed aft-facing machine gun that is fixed to the rear on a Y-shaped mount. The massive 183mm main gun is made from two interlocking tubular parts with hollow centres, which have their join hidden by the fume extractor that fits around them in two parts. The completed barrel then slides through the angular mantlet and locates in the pivoting part, which latches inside the mantlet with a firm push, having moulded-in splines to keep it from drooping, although if you play with it too much it will end up saggy. The completed mantlet and single piece turret floor complete the assembly, leaving just the tracks and final assembly to do. The tracks are very nicely moulded, and are of the click-fit workable variety, which works very well indeed in this instance. The parts are moulded in pairs with a small injection manifold between them, and they are attached by only two sprue gates, with no ejector pins to deal with. Clean-up is super-simple due to the location of the gates, and the click action is quite robust, leaving you with a run of tracks in fairly short order, which is just as well as you need 98 links per side. Having seen a few rather poorly engineered track joining methods from other major manufacturers lately, it's refreshing to see a genuinely good track-making method from Amusing Hobby. With the tracks installed, the hull halves can be joined, the turret twisted into place, and a pair of aft mudguards fitted to the fenders to complete the job. Markings It's a what-if, paper-project or hypothetical AFV if you like, so the schemes have been made up with the assistance of Mig Jiménez's company AMMO, so it's not a surprise to see that the colours are using their codes. Both options have camouflage patterns, which should be easy enough to apply because you have five views so there's no guesswork involved. If you're planning on using an airbrush you can either freehand them with nice tight demarcations, or get some of that clever putty, roll out some snakes and get on with masking it up, leaving it to settle a little into the corners to prevent "the fuzzies". The decal sheet is small and contains a number of which alphanumeric codes to create your own number plates using the black rectangles as a backdrop, some well-known British tank regiment badges, a couple of yellow donuts and circles, and even a British flag with a tiny first aid roundel nearby. Registration, colour density and sharpness are up to the job, and you have plenty of scope to create your own vehicle with a little made-up history if you like. Conclusion I'm quite fond of this era of gigantic tanks when they were still figuring out the best way of doing things in the world of Armoured Fighting Vehicles, so this appeals to me both from a subject point of view as well as a nice kit that will look imposing on the shelf, unless you plonk it down next to a Conqueror or a IS-3, or maybe even an American T-28, or your own 1:35 scratch-build P1000 Ratte! Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  25. Pz.Kpfw.VI Tiger (P) "Truppenübungsfahrzeug" (35A023) 1:35 Amusing Hobby After encountering the T-34 during the invasion of Russia, it was realised that new tanks were needed to combat them, one of which was the Panther, while the other was already in development and eventually became the Tiger. There were two designs proffered for the contract, one by Porsche, the other by Henschel, and it was eventually the Henschel design that found favour with Hitler, after the Porsche design famously failed in a cloud of smoke whilst being demonstrated in front of him at Rastenburg. There were other reasons, such as the complexity of the design and the fact that its petrol-electric drivetrain required too much in the way of the strategically valuable copper. The Tiger (P) ran with a very similar turret as the Henschel design, with the name Tiger coined by Ferdinand Porsche himself. Where it differed was the forward positioning of the turret, which made for a long overhang of the main gun that was deemed a problem for descending hills or crossing large ditches. In the rear were two petrol engines that provided power to an electric generator that ran the two drive motors at the very rear of the tank. Although a mechanical gearbox wasn't necessary, the extra weight of the additional engine, generator and electric motors made for a very heavy vehicle and much added complexity. The road wheels were paired, and not interleaved like the Henschel design, which gave a higher ground pressure, but simplified maintenance at least in that area. It was not enough, so the design lost out and the name was transferred to the Henschel offering. Much of the chassis was reused however in the Ferdinand/Elefant Tank Destroyer, which shared the same track layout and lower hull, 100 of which had already been built at the Porsche factories. Only one Tiger (P) was ever built to completion, and it was pressed into service as a command tank late in the war. The Kit This is a complete new tool from Amusing Hobby, although there have been a number of kits of the type in 1:35. It arrives in a pretty standard looking top-opening box with a picture of Ferdinand Porsche next to his creation, a resin figure of whom is included in the box as a bit of bonus. The rest of the content consists of six sprues and a lower hull half in sand coloured styrene, eight sprues of track links in brown styrene, a pair of "rubber-band" tracks, a decal sheet, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a small bag of springs, a roll of braided copper wire, the instruction booklet and the aforementioned figure. Detail is good throughout, and the inclusion of two styles of tracks should appeal to most, while the figure will look good next to the model, although you will need to warm his arms up to get them to fit properly in his pockets judging by my brief efforts. Construction begins with the paired road wheels that are built up, affixed in twos to three suspension units on each side of the tank, and then offered up to the hull with end-caps holding them in position, allowing them an element of movement to accommodate the ground, assisted by the custom springs that are inserted during assembly. The wheels themselves are also held on by end-caps, which allows them to rotate, and the same feature is visited on the idler and drive sprockets using an internal collar that is glued to the axle. Without further ado, the tracks are introduced, where you have a choice of using the supplied flexible tracks (which aren't mentioned in the instructions), or the individual links that consist of two parts per link. Each of the eight sprues contains a jig, which you can use to build the runs of 109 links per side, and as the jigs can be glued together, you can construct a long run at one sitting, up to 40 links if my maths is correct (it usually isn't). The links have two sprue gates per part, and clean-up is straight forward, so shouldn't take too long with a sharp knife. The contact ridge on each link is separate, and you glue these to the main part of the link to trap the pins inside their recesses. Using liquid glue may cause some issues with glue wicking into the joints and leaving you with unworkable track links, so for my test I used Super Glue (CA), which I dabbed on the contact points with a needle in small quantities. This worked, but CA is a little brittle for the task, so I would suggest getting some tube glue such as Revell Contacta with the precision applicator that will weld the parts together and give more strength. As already alluded, take care with applying too much, as the pins are very close to the contact points by necessity. When completed, the tracks have a great deal of movement available, so wrapping them around the road wheels should pose no issue. With the tracks on, the hull sides are added, with an insert on the diagonal panel next to the glacis added on each side. Taking care with alignment will benefit you here, as the hull top drops onto the side panels, so taping this loosely in place while the glue cures will ensure a good fit. The hull top is detailed with jack blocks, the front glacis with machine gun ball mount and driver's armoured vision port, and at the rear, two louvered panels to cool the engines, with each one having separate slats added before they are joined. The fenders are prepared with stiffeners and bumpers that take the wear from accidental track hits on the angled parts, with long tabs helping to make a good joint with the hull. Pioneer tools, PE engine grills, lights and additional spare track in a bracket along the rear of the hull are all added, and the towing cables are created from the braided copper wire with styrene eyes finishing off the ends, with a scrap diagram showing their arrangement. Now for the turret. The main part provides the turret ring and curved side-walls, into which you place the panel with the gun's pivot point engineered in, which is held in place by external pins. The vision ports, top hatch and commander's cupola are all fixed in place, and at the rear a special bracket allows the rear storage bin to fit over another two short lengths of spare track links. The bin has a separate lid so could be posed open if you wish. The barrel is made up from two tubular sections, with a three-part flash suppressor, the core of which is hollow. The rear of the barrel is inserted into the keyed hole in the mantlet, which is backed by another part for attachment to the interior, and a coaxial machine gun is threaded through the hole. All that is left to do now is to twist the turret into position where it is locked by a bayonet style fitting. The figures is cast in resin, and has already been removed from its pouring blocks, except for a pair of platform shoes that you will need to flatten off. The hat and arms are separate parts that fix to the body with square pegs for security. My sample had some issues with locating his hands properly in his pockets, so a little heat will be needed to coax them into position. I tend to use hot water and then plunge the parts into cold water to fix the shape, so it's just something to be aware of before you try to assemble and paint. As usual with resin, take the precaution of wearing a mask when cutting or sanding resin, as the tiny particles are harmful to your health if breathed in. Washing the parts in warm water will also improve the adhesion of paint, as there may still be some moulding release agent on the parts when you receive them. Markings Only two schemes are provided from the box, one being the initial prototype livery of Panzer Grey, the latter being a Dunkegelb, green and red brown camouflage. The paint call-outs are given in the AMMO range, which you can always convert using one of the many charts available if you don't use them. The decals are a generic sheet of white outlined red turret numbers, plus a choice of two styles of crosses in case you fancy doing a speculative colour scheme for a change. The decals are sharp and with good colour density, although the white is very slightly offset, but as many of these markings were hand-painted by inexperienced mechanics or crew, they're hardly likely to be pin-perfect anyway. Conclusion It's nice to see a new kit of the fairly well forgotten Tiger (P), and the inclusion of a choice of track styles will please those phobic about individual track links, with Mr Porsche in resin a bonus that if not used in this model can be pressed into service as a civilian at some point. A complete package too, with only glue and paint required. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of Available from all good model shops soon
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