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  1. Hi folks, I have received a box in the post from @GrzeM at Arma Hobby containing an early example of their new Hurricane IIc kit, and I'm building it. The parts on the frames are exquisite, and known subject matter experts have their fingerprints on the kit so it should prove to be accurate. It's not until one tries to build it that we see how it really is though. If the parts all fit properly, then it's just my own skills that might let it down, but let's begin and we'll see how it goes... Attractive night fighter box art The box includes detail fit instructions and decals for 3 distinct schemes; a night fighter in Special Night (i.e. matt black), a Temperate Land scheme and a Day Fighter scheme option The wings come in a single top and bottom half with good use of under-gating to help the careful modeller minimise or eliminate damage to the exterior surfaces of the parts The kit features raised and recessed rivet detail The rivet detail is extremely fine, which should look superb with subtle highlighting effects over a lightly airbrushed finish. Fire-hose airbrush users, aerosol can users and brush painters will need to take care not to drown the subtle detailing. Internal detail is likewise very fine. The tail surfaces feature very subtle doped fabric waisting between the ribs, but the kit has not attempted to portray fabric texture which in my personal opinion is a very good thing as even the best I've seen has been grossly overscale. Another view of the interior parts and tail surfaces. The fuselage features more excellent surfacing to portray doped fabric shrunk over stringers, whilst metal panels feature beautifully fine raised rivets. Internal view of the fuselage parts. Ejector location is thoughtfully placed to avoid spoiling anything you're going to be able to see. The surface detail on the radiator parts is excellent. Clear parts are crystal clear. Instructions are given in Polish and English. There is one small sheet of corrections/additional notes which I shall cross reference. I've since this photograph gone through the instructions with a highlighter pen picking out the detail fit notes for the chosen scheme. Lastly, canopy masks are included in the kit. On to construction then... The gating isn't bad, but it's slow going as the surface detail is so nice I'm trying really hard not to cause the need for filling and sanding. Construction starts with the wheel wells. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the fit, but the joints circled in red will fall apart without glue so full dry fitting to check the wing closes up requires a couple of blobs of blutac or some other solution of your own devising. On my one here, it does all fit though. I did find that despite care, part A47 (landing light insert) on my example did not let the wing halves close up properly... There is a sheet with correction notes enclosed which says to remove this stiffener behind the landing light which I had already done. I tried part A47 (landing light insert) the instructions say goes in the starboard wing over in the port, and it fit perfectly. Likewise part A48 actually fits the starboard wing perfectly. I marked up the instruction sheet to remind me what I intend to do. I suspect there is a typo on the instructions or maybe something happened between the 3D modelling and the final parts layout and numbering, but swapping the lights over achieves a perfect fit on both sides. Here's that dry fit I wanted to check before painting... All good, I am happy to report. The leading edge at the wing root is nicely designed, leaving minimal seam clean-up along the leading edge. The wing faring joint is where the joint is on the real thing so no work needed there. So far, I am impressed. A base coat of aluminium (my C05 aluminium enamel) airbrushed... I think this may be a kit where excessive paint thickness on internal parts may give some issues, but so far the location of parts has been good but not tight, so perhaps no need to worry there? Still, it's good practise not to plaster the kit parts in thick paint. As you'd expect by this point with the wheel well assembly glued in to the top half of the wing, it closes up nicely and remediation work along the leading edge should be minimal. There are some areas of slight softness where sharp corners should be on the leading edge around the guns and landing lights. I believe this specific kit Grzegorz sent me may be pre-production, and perhaps this can be fixed for the main production. As it is, I can deal with it but in the interests of showing integrity having had a nice kit arrive at the door courtesy of Arma Hobby, I'll continue to mention anything I find so you don't all think I'm a shill So far, I really like this model kit. Thanks for reading!
  2. We've been asked a few times now so we have released a small range of colours particular to the Royal New Zealand Air Force. Our RNZAF national listing also references British and American paints commonly used by the RNZAF during WW2. Here though we've presented only the main specials which differed from those which we already make. As can be seen, these are the BALM S13-934 Blue Sea Grey in both fresh and faded forms, along with BALM S13-907 Sky Grey and BALM S13-909 Duck Egg Blue. Thanks for looking in
  3. I keep seeing posts suggesting that people are reluctant to build resin kits and/or keep wishing for kits to be available that actually are available - only in resin. As with injection moulded plastic kits, not all manufacturers are equal. Some plastic kits are absolute gems whilst others are abominations that are not worth the time and consumables to build. Likewise, not all resin kits are equal. Some negative common perceptions of resin kits include the following: - They're really expensive. They are more expensive than a plastic kit, but resin makes it financially viable to even consider some subjects like an S class destroyer. Perhaps more importantly, look at the contents. A basic plastic destroyer in 1/350 might cost around £30 (typical UK prices for 1/350 Tamiya destroyers like Yukikaze and Kagero are nearer to £60). If happy with what's in the box, I'm delighted for you. A sizable number though will then spend the same again on detailing to replace unrepresentative clunky plastic. With a kit like that featured in this thread, it's all included in the box. You don't need anything else to make a very nice model. - But nothing fits, right? Wrong. Not much else to say on that. As with plastic kits it depends who made the tooling and the casting technique. This thread will not omit any flaws in the kit's parts fit. You can see for yourself how it compares to most plastic kits. - Resin parts all need to be sawn off casting blocks. It's tedious, messy and I can't cut straight and it'll be ruined. Not an issue here. There are very small bits to remove, but in discrete places and can be done with a scalpel or modelling chisel. Less work that cleaning sprue gates from injection moulded plastic. - The dust from sanding is harmful to breathe in. Who in their right mind doesn't sand wet anyway? Dry sanding just clogs your abrasives regardless what you're working with and keeps all dust out of the air. It's just the correct way to sand. According to the time stamp on the photo, everything was as-new in its box at 18:18 this evening here's what's inside That's a set of instructions identifying and providing the correct name for all parts, diagramatic assembly instructions with notes, a full colour painting guide, pressure cast resin hull split at the waterline, bagged resin smaller parts and cast white metal small fittings. Here is the preparation needed to join the hull. There are some very small protrusions to clean off with a blade. The bigger one is a locating pin. That was 18:23. I hadn't done anything to change the condition of the kit contents from as-new yet. So, I trimmed those off and glued the hull together with medium CA. The fit is better than many injection moulded plastic hulls I've joined but not perfect. I will now point out the flaws and how much of a non-event it is to fix them. I wouldn't normally bother but to help the flaws and sanding stand out in photos for this thread, I gave it a quick blast with Halfords primer then had some food while it dried Off to the kitchen sink with an Infini Model sanding sponge I smoothed down the hull join. With a good abrasive like the Infini sponge and water, the whole lot took around 10 to 15 minutes. I got a bit careless and took some material off one of the strakes. Before remembering I was going to set this in water like Imperial, I fixed it with plasticard I then filled the waterline seam with putty. I keep getting educated by people who know better that I can't use normal modelling putties on resin because it doesn't stick, but none of the resin things I've ever worked with got that memo. The time stamp on that photo was 19:24 tonight. One hour and one minute including a dinner break to get to a joined, filled hull. And that's with me repairing self-inflicted damage (that will be hidden underwater anyway).
  4. Starling Models' Round Table class trawler HMT Sir Gareth in 1/350 scale. Eight Round Table class trawlers were built for the Royal Navy between the years 1941 and 1942, all by one of two shipyards in my home town of Aberdeen in the north east of Scotland. They were based on a 1936 trawler called Star of Orkney, and measured 125 feet long whilst they displaced just under 450 tons. They had a relatively large crew for a vessel this size of 35, and the vessels were all commissioned as minesweepers. They carried one 12 pounder anti-aircraft gun, 1 20mm Oerlikon and a pair of .303 machine guns. Hall, Russell & Co closed down in 1990. The shed has now gone but the slipway remains. The site is now used by Dales Marine Services, an offshore logistics company supporting the oil & gas industry. Goods come and go by road and are loaded onto supply vessels. His Majesty's Trawler Sir Gareth was launched 19th January 1942 and carried the pennant number T227. HMT Sir Gareth appears to be wearing a single colour scheme, which in 1942 could either be Admiralty Pattern 507A Home Fleet Grey, or possibly MS2. I don't like MS2 much, and in the bliss of ignorance otherwise, I will use Home Fleet Grey which I find a much more pleasing shade of grey. The kit is, I believe, CAD designed and used 3D printed masters which have been used for cast resin parts. The kit costs approximately £55 from Starling Models which may appear a lot for such a small model, however the quality is exceptional and the kit is very complete indeed. I have thoroughly enjoyed this model and highly recommend it to the moderate or experienced modellers. Everything fits as it should. No scratchbuilding or improvisation skills are necessary but obviously it's a small model and a lot of the parts are small accordingly. Thank you for looking.
  5. As a break from big warships with a great deal going on, I have started working on Starling Models' cute little Round Table class trawler HMT Sir Gareth. Eight Round Table class trawlers were built for the Royal Navy between the years 1941 and 1942, all by one of two shipyards in my home town of Aberdeen in the north east of Scotland. They were based on a 1936 trawler called Star of Orkney, and measured 125 feet long whilst they displaced just under 450 tons. They had a relatively large crew for a vessel this size of 35, and the vessels were all commissioned as minesweepers. They carried one 12 pounder anti-aircraft gun, 1 20mm Oerlikon and a pair of .303 machine guns. His Majesty's Trawler Sir Gareth was launched 19th January 1942 and carried the pennant number T227. HMT Sir Gareth appears to be wearing a single colour scheme, which in 1942 could either be Admiralty Pattern 507A Home Fleet Grey, or possibly MS2. I don't like MS2 much, and in the bliss of ignorance otherwise, I will use Home Fleet Grey which I find a much more pleasing shade of grey. The kit is, I believe, CAD designed and used 3D printed masters which have been used for cast resin parts. The kit costs approximately £55 from Starling Models which may appear a lot for such a small model, however the quality is exceptional and the kit is very complete indeed. In addition, it comes complete with a full colour instruction manual which also identifies all of the parts contained in the box. It's a full hull model, and the hull complete with numerous very fine deck fittings comes very cleanly cast in a single piece. I began by opening out some holes along the bulwarks. Next, a number of small photo etched parts needed to be fitted. The fit is perfect thus far. They literally drop into place. The following may appear critical, but in this small scale I wanted to ensure I got a good finish. I primed the hull with lacquer based Mr Surfacer 1000. In a single satin coat, there were a few areas which could benefit from a gentle flatting on my casting. Overall the impression is good: Closer up: I used a small piece cut from an 800 grit Infini Model sanding sponge wet which proved ideal for this. In no time at all the high spots were knocked down. After a quick reprime: I've added this winch to the foredeck. Duplicates are included of most small parts including this. I did drop it. Hopefully that's now out of the way, but I found it anyway and it dropped precisely into the hole in the hull casting. I think I'll paint it Home Fleet Grey next, then pick out the planking areas before proceeding with the deck houses which will obliterate my access in there.
  6. I've made a start on a new model which will be something I never really do - a diorama of sorts but really it's two model aircraft. I've had to depart from my preferred 1/48 scale for this for various reasons but let's simplify it down to kit availability. The ultimate aim is to try to recreate a scene like this: I expect the readership is well familiar with the USAF's Combat Search And Rescue (CSAR) efforts which really came to maturity during the Vietnam war. The Sikorsky S-61R model in USAF service as the CH-3 was modified with long range tanks, refuelling probe, pilots' seat arm, winch and some defensive guns and became the HH-3E, nicknamed the Jolly Green Giant. They didn't and couldn't work alone though. They were still relative sitting ducks to ground fire, expected to fly into a hover in an area where a fast jet had been shot down. They flew in pairs, a high ship providing cover and a low ship which went in to pick up the downed airman/airmen. They usually had an escort of around 4 Douglas Skyraiders which flew under the nickname of "Sandy" which would provide heavy suppressive fire support for the helicopters. The whole operation was initiated, supported and coordinated by the crew of the Combat King however - the HC-130P would patrol and listen on the US military's radio frequencies monitoring ongoing air operations. As soon as they heard communications that suggested a friendly aircraft was in trouble the CSAR machine was warmed up. The Combat King crew would direct the rescue aircraft to the scene but also provided refuelling services to the fairly short-ranged Jolly Green Giants. The models then - I'm using a Whirlybird kit of the HH-3E which is almost entirely resin with a fret of photoetched brass. Unlike their earlier S-61N conversion which used a Revell donor kit, the HH-3E is a complete kit. Good then. The HC-130P is going to be provided by Italeri, with HC-130P conversion parts from David J Parkins' Flightpath, with photo etched details (mainly to get the flaps which, as can be seen above, were normally extended to allow the big Herc to fly slow enough for the helicopter to keep pace and take on fuel) and the correct Alison T56-A-15 engine nacelles from same. I still need the air to air refuelling pods from Flightpath and they're not available right now but David, if you're reading, I'll be keeping an eye on your website for them coming back into stock. It'll be a while before they hold up proceedings though. Never one to be content however, I have decided to attempt to make this much more difficult. I've never been impressed by clear plastic discs with blurry blades and the like, so to try to get a good impression of movement, I've decided to electrify this little ensemble. That's going to be easier said than done... Apart from any thing else, when you've actually seen things like the helicopter (or at least are familiar with its family members) things like relative RPMs begin to matter, within fairly broad reason. When photographed, the relative blur achieved by an camera will be more telling than just looking and since most people will see this through the results of a camera, I wanted to make a reasonable effort during the parts procurement process to try to get it close-ish. I've known 3 Hercules pilots, and have no way of contacting any of them so I've had to guess at what is probably a sensible propeller RPM for a C-130 flying straight and level with flaps down - and my guess is that 1200 RPM isn't going to look out of place. I ordered 4 of these for the Herc: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/DC3V-1200RPM-Micro-Mini-6mm-Planetary-Gear-Reducer-Motor-Precision-DIY-Robot-car/254151008187?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2648 These are approximately 17mm long and 6mm in diameter. The solid resin engine nacelles are, I believe, a benefit here since I can drill the nacelles in my pillar drill and get all the motors and thus all 4 propellers on the same axis. It would look dreadful if they all had different up/down/side thrust. Everything needs to be straight and aligned properly. On to the helicopter for now though. I needed to measure up what I had to work with, and that meant cleaning up the fuselage halves: The fit is pretty good, but there is a mismatch on the top of the fuselage to deal with later - but it doesn't affect what I need to know now: I have a bit of space to work with for the main rotor, but still the smaller the better - I don't really want a huge silver monstrosity gleaming through the cabin windows: The tailrotor however is a real issue: I have better data here (I think) about what speeds I want, but in truth that probably makes me less satisfied with whatever I get in the end! I have my father available who was licensed on the Sikorsky S-61N and has all of his Sikorsky course notes. I'd love to show some of the amazing reference material inside, but Sikorsky never miss an opportunity to sue people and the course notes have prohibitions on unauthorised disclosure all over them, so you'll have to take my word for the rest. Not knowing any S-61R drivers, but believing the powertrain to be very similar to the S-61N, my dad's course notes state that 100% on the mainrotor is 203 RPM. The same drawing shows that the power take-off for the tail rotor runs at 3030 RPM at 100% and that the 45deg gearbox at the bottom of the pylon is a 1:1 gear ratio. The final drive gearbox to the tail rotor itself has a ratio of 2.4375:1, making the tailrotor run at 1243 RPM at 100%. The best I could find that would fit in the fuselage for the mainrotor was this 242 RPM geared motor, measuring 16.5mm long by 6mm diameter: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/253771137237 That's at 3v so I've also ordered some little potentiometers to, hopefully, tweak that down a touch. Compromise is the key here. I considered asking someone to design and 3D print me tiny bevel gears and sit a motor in the pylon coaxial with where the transmission shaft would be on the real thing, but then I found these: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/DC3V-3-7V-4-2V-Ultra-mini-Coreless-Motor-3-2mm-12-2mm-Vibration-Vibrating-Motor/283101330780?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&var=583506556671&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649 They are tiny little things 3.2mm x 12.2mm overall including the shaft which has a vibrating counterweight attached, so I've ordered 2 of them incase I ruin one. This should just fit in there. I expect it spins far too fast for what I want, but I will mock it up first with a potentiometer and see how low I can get it - but really I think I'll just need to take what I get as this really seems to be the absolute bottom end of what's readily available on the market just now. Since I had the stuff out, I made a move on the sponsons. Whirlybird provides sponsons with separate end plates; one with floats for the HH-3F "Pelican" used by the Coast Guard, one plain as used on some of the CH-3C utility versions and one with the pylon for extended range fuel tanks. The fit isn't great unfortunately. I spent a while trying to make sure the pylons were aligned and looked like they would be at the same angle of incidence as each other - I don't want one fairly long, spindly fuel tank pointing up and one down! I've had this stuff for a while but have never used it, so thought I'd give it a go It's like Milliput but seems a bit softer and easier to knead/mix than my packets of Milliput. That said, my Milliput has always been quite old whenever I've used it - mixing epoxy putties always seems a real faff so I'll use solvent types normally. For resin here though this is probably more suitable. Thanks for looking in. This won't be fast paced - and indeed I need to wait for motors to arrive, but I will work away at it along with my other projects. I'm not always in the mood for shaping / painting / photo etch / sanding / scribing so I like having different models at different stages of build and pick up whichever I'm in the mood for. I'm not a linear person.
  7. Greetings all, I've come back from a short holiday and a week back at day job and decided whilst listening to a new podcast that I want another new model. "Not another one" I hear you say. Yes, well, I can so I will. I would like opinions though at this very early stage because I need to make two key decisions almost immediately and all seem like attractive ideas. Why USS Yorktown? Generally I'm not that motivated to build models of US Navy ships. I've nothing against them but few appeal to me as modelling subjects. I've always been interested in the Yorktown though, probably because of the ship's prominent role in The Battle of Midway. The 1976 film "Midway" was one I enjoyed many times over and to be honest it still gets a watch now and again. More modern films depicting the same events which are more "accurate" make we want to imprison the entire film crew and every idiot who thinks its better than the old. I'm sorry but a computer model of the correct TBD-1 isn't better than real footage of the incorrect real aircraft when said TBD-1 3D model moves like a demented midge and there are smoke and flames trailing from bullet holes through the fabric on the rudder. That's not better, that's a very expensive cartoon for people who know nothing about water, air, ships, aircraft, firearms or physics in general. Anyway then, as a little company on the side of real life, we grew too big in terms of time commitment and we reached a point where my wife and I had a talk and agreed that constantly packing up orders, particularly for third party products, wasn't why we started this venture. Furthermore, third party stuff is really bad for cash flow as essentially you're spending thousands at a time to hold on to stuff for when someone here is ready to buy it, only it's difficult to perform systematic tax fraud as a UK based business long term (unless you're this guy https://www.walesonline.co.uk/whats-on/food-drink-news/award-winning-crispy-cod-owner-21348260). The upshot is that you have thousands sat on the shelf and you can only ask for minimal margins back in return because most in the market for these products price check you against Chinese vendors on eBay and figure they can probably dodge the import taxes and therefore you're charging "rip off" prices. The stuff will sell here, of course, but only if you don't really have a margin worth the hassle. It was hurting our paint investments, so third party stuff was divested of last Christmas. I kept the quite expensive Merit International USS Yorktown kit and the beautiful (but admittedly very expensive) Infini Model Detail Up sets for myself. There's actually a few things left including a Pontos set or two but we'll probably flog those off cheap at a show eventually - they're not going back on the website - that's for certain, because then everyone starts asking you to order in everything else and/or broker spare frets to replace parts they pinged off or mangled and their eBay vendor laughed at them. So: Plus: Equals a project. The kit is passable accuracy-wise. At least, any shape-errors are far less pungent than the utterly grotesque Trumpeter USS Hornet CV-8 abomination. One of the main criticisms it received was Trumpeter's grossly overdone implementation of the hull plating, something which apparently the kit's sponsors absolutely didn't intend but by the time they'd seen what the factory had done the single most expensive set of dies for the whole had been machined and funding couldn't accommodate a redesign. I've seen a few threads start online which begin with someone plastering the hull in putty then the threads go dark. Unlike my usual self, I've decided to just let it go. I've softened it down with sanding sponges and will try to be judicious with paint to not highlight how exaggerated it is. You may notice the portholes are typical cheaply-moulded Trumpeter affairs - i.e. elliptical, since they make hull dies as cheaply as possible and extract the sides horizontally, so portholes cannot be in-plane with the hull plating since that would need more clever ejection of the parts. To improve on this I drilled them out in-plane with the plating. There is a more or less complete hangar deck in the kit: But one of the first things I have to do with the detail set is start adding PE in and about the hull. Not unsurprising... This is fine, but it does force my decision around about now I think. I have the Warship Pictorial book on Yorktown which contains many useful diagrams and photographs. The timeframe of the model is going to be within a week of the Battle of Midway, which was the beginning of June 1942. I have diagrams of the damage received at Coral Sea, photographs of Yorktown in drydock and lots of photographs of her listing and eventually sinking after the battle. Decision 1 is Full Hull or Waterline. I'm a technical person by nature, and I've always liked the near-battlecruiser hull form of the Yorktown class. This ship isn't a big fat tub, it has a long slender bow and interesting bilge keels. There is also good weathering opportunities for the underwater hull and boot topping. On the other hand, I'd quite like the ship to look like its in a natural environment. Whilst there are good photos of the ship in drydock, I don't particularly fancy a model of a drydock. Decision 2 is Undamaged or Damaged. Most of the Coral Sea damage was dented plating and sprung rivets. The flight deck was repaired and photographs of the flight deck following Midway don't show any obvious areas where repair has taken place. I could however model the ship with a list on and the mangled gallery below the flightdeck to port, which was ripped up by a water column from a torpedo hit. There are a couple of planes stranded on deck behind the island and some smoke damage and debris around the AA guns ahead of the island. That could be an interesting modelling exercise, but is it tasteless? I've got a little smoothing over of holes that needed filled in the forecastle deck and I'm going to start painting the hangar deck whilst hopefully a few of you offer your thoughts on how I can best display this ship
  8. Well I’ve started another L Class Destroyer “HMS Lance” by Flyhawk while I’m in Hospital attending a PTSD clinic here in Sydney. The is glued together and awaiting to be primed.
  9. Glued the hull and waterline together ready for priming while I’m staying in Hospital for PTSD in Sydney as we Zero Clinics in Darwin and also you would notice I have another L Class Destroyer in the background just to keep me busy. But wait I have a big surprise coming up on another ship build, but more on that later.
  10. We've been getting some useful feedback that whilst customers generally know what the schemes they're planning to use look like, the vast majority (the silent majority?) don't know what the correct terminology is and usually don't know the proper names of the paint colours used. As such, our written format names are missing the mark for most potential customers. As a result, we're investing some time (we have no budget to pay people to do this) drawing illustrations and designing more graphic labelling for our sets. Hopefully these are a little bit more visually appealing and crucially help customers both at model shows and online simply identify the scheme they want to model and have confidence they're getting the right colours to do it. It's when you start an exercise like this that you realise how many drawings are actually required! Gulp! We hope you like them
  11. I've quite liked the cute little IBG Models 1/700 Hunt II destroyers for a while and fancied building one or two, so I bought a couple. I desperately want something easy and relaxing rather than another deeply-involved chew that never gets finished. I appreciate that different people like different things and that being in a different place in life may mean there are more or less numerous competitors for time and energy but I'm almost maxed out on time at the moment. I say that because whilst cute, the IBG kits do look clunky in some areas; particularly the mast which looks rubbish and the weapons. Splinter shields are perhaps a bit thick but one has to draw the line somewhere. Trading money to save time, I've bought Micromaster and FineMoulds NanoDread replacement weapons as well as replacement brass masts and yardarms by Master supplied by Micromaster directly, MJW Models and Starling Models respectively. That's all that's happening to these kits - I do not plan to disappear down rabbit holes trying to improve anything else! This doesn't look quite so bad on the sprues but on the finished models these look like a great big Christian crucifix carried amidships And some more direct comparisons: I've also got quad Vickers 0.5in machine guns available: ... As well as single 20mm Oerlikons So, choice of subjects. Back when @dickrd gave me the National Archives file number for the Confidential Admiralty Fleet Orders and I learned about CAFO679/42 I've always compared destroyer and small ship schemes to the published standardised camouflage designs. One of the first I happened across which looked to be a direct match for a standard design was HMS Chiddingfold. Let's take a look... The original CAFO679/42 designs were printed in colour thus: We re-drew them like this: Whilst IWM FL8070 portrays HMS Chiddingfold like this: Sometimes these designs can almost be found on real ships but it's clear that it's been modified or colours substituted out somewhere. Might the dark panel forward be MS1 instead of 507A? Perhaps. The pixels are darker than the dark panel amidships, but it would not be the first time changing contours on a hull has misled the perceiver of black and white photographs. One of the kits is sold as HMS Middleton, and this one is another curiosity which piqued my interest: The artist who painted the box art has painted the ship blue and very pale grey. IBG have backed Hataka and Lifecolor, both of whom copied Snyder & Short's chips. They say: ...507A and MS3, for anyone who's neck doesn't bend 90 degrees. Now what's quite interesting about this is that I believe both the box artist and IBG's paint guide person are partially correct but I suspect neither knows why. Plate 38 of CAFO679/42 gives a Hunt Destroyer "Dark Admiralty Type" design with 2 colours in the same basic shapes as HMS Middleton, but it used MS1 (near black, as opposed to dark grey 507A) and MS3. Now let's compare to actual photographs of HMS Middleton: Now any fool can immediately spot two key problems with it as far as matching to Plate 38. Firstly, the stern isn't dark like the plate design. Secondly, whatever the darker paint on it is certainly isn't near black, so it can't possibly be MS1. Does that mean IBG is correct then? No, it doesn't. It means they haven't looked closely enough. Let's zoom in on that aft end: There's a demarcation there. It's subtle, but once seen cannot be unseen. It's apparent in this photo too, so it's not a feature of one particular image: This is a three-colour camouflage design, not a two-colour design. Now what do we do? Well, as it happens in October 1942 CAFO2146/42 was promulgated, and something happened which drew my atttention to it again a while ago. It said: It gave no diagrams, just tabulated conversions like this: ...which is fine but a little difficult to visualise so I decided to recycle all the illustrations from CAFO679/42 and make all the substitutions to produce a graphic representation to accompany CAFO2146/42. I found it has helped me a lot - but sticking with HMS Middleton for a moment, take a look at what happens to CAFO679/42's Plate 38 when converted to a "Dark Medium Tone" type design in accordance with CAFO2146/42's directions: and for direct and easy comparison here's HMS Middleton again. I think this is pretty convincing, personally. The apparently lighter front faces of each of the 4.7" twin mount shields is interesting though, and not something covered by the camouflage documents. There is then the matter of dates. The bum steer on IBG's instructions might possible be attributed to Iron Shipwrights' kit instructions which appear on the internet saying this. The dates are interesting and indeed one of the above photographs is captioned as having been taken during Op Neptune, which would be a remarkable lifespan for MS&B paints hinting that the design may have been carried forward to the G&B series, for which the equivalent tones would be B15, G20 and B30. B15 was a practical replacement for B5. G20 was a practical replacement for MS3. MS4 had the same tone as B6 and both were replaced by B30 which was more like B6 than MS4, so if the dates are correct then she may have looked more like this: The earliest photo I'm currently aware of showing HMS Middleton in this scheme is 4th August 1943, a few months after the promulgation of the new paints, however, sometimes the dates on the developed prints are known (again thanks to Richard) to be up to a couple of months after the date they were actually taken, and may be explained by who they were taken for and what purpose (e.g. for recognition purposes with our allies) and the time it may take for the recipient to get the films and annotate them. The annotated dates may refer to the date they were received rather than the dates taken, basically. I think there's still a reasonably good chance that those photographs claiming to show HMS Middleton at the beginning of August 1943 may depict the ship exactly as per CAFO 2146/42 in the last of the MS & B paints which were superseded that spring. Finally, a word of caution about the Imperial War Museum's photo library, and in particular their captions. Often the captions are wrong, and dates in particular are quite untrustworthy. Here is a great example. Someone has typed in 12 October 1943, whilst the photographs themselves have had 4.8.43 handwritten onto the film. It's quite unlikely someone back-dated the films on as a practical joke during the war, so it stands as a warning to at least question the captions rather than swallow them hook, line and sinker!
  12. I'm in an experimentation / development sort of mood at the moment rather than an "out-perform-myself" sort of mood. So, following on from my recent F-86D Sabre Dog completion which was to try to figure out a way to get a natural metal finish I liked (I'm not done with that yet, btw) I thought I would try something that relates directly to our own paint and what can be done with it (and what cannot). I have read about "hairspray chipping" numerous times but had never tried it nor understood how to do it. A casual attempt without knowing anything else was a total failure. I kept reading that it could only be done with acrylic paints but this included everything from water based vinyl types to acrylic lacquers, so I knew that this apparent requirement had to be based on nothing more than the popular position of acrylic=good, enamel=bad despite acrylic meaning anything under the sun really. Thus, I decided that this old piece of Corsair which featured on the F-86D thread could lend its services again: You find with stuff like hairspray chipping that "everyone" just knows how to do it, but nobody has written down how to do it. Eventually I learned that what is required is water for the scratching-off phase at the end. Armed with this little nugget, I sprayed some hairspray straight from the aerosol can (that part is to be refined in the forthcoming) onto the piece shown above - 4 coats, actually, and whilst that dried I thinned down some Colourcoats enamel - which happened to be a matt dark olive shade I had on the bench next to the airbrush - but it could have been hot pink for all I cared here. Anyway, it works. Hairspray chipping works with a Colourcoats topcoat (the chipping coat) at least over an Alclad base. In the forthcoming I shall establish how (not if) to chip between layers of enamel. Also, there's the more subtle task of actually getting good at it! The test there is, admittedly, a mess, however it served a valuable purpose. Under water, I was able to remove Colourcoats enamel with a cut-down paint brush (but it had some paint dried in it - that's where the scratches came from), and I also tried a kitchen scouring pad which was responsible for most of the exposed silver there. Using a kit from the stash that doesn't need much effort, is quite cheap and as common as dirt (so I don't care if I mess this up), I now aim to incorporate this into a model and, specifically, use the hairspray chipping method exposing bare metal and yellow zinc chromate primer in different areas. If anyone wishes to follow, comment, criticise, suggest better ways, educate, point, laugh, whatever, please join in The victim - a nice enough kit. I have always struggled to get the wing join such that I'm happy with it but overall if it goes well I will enjoy having it and if it's a disaster then no real harm done! I'm not investing much in this, but probably will stretch to seatbelts just incase it ends up looking ok in the end. I'm not spending money on them though - instead I'll use these ones from an Eduard SBD Dauntless fret. I don't like the pre-painted ones Eduard make now - the paint self-strips when the belts are bent to suit, and I don't like the superfabric ones either. I need to find a new source of belts or at least belt buckles - but that's another matter I started by spraying most of the parts with Alclad Duralumin whilst still on the runners. After assembly the wing leading edges etc will probably need another blow over
  13. Hi folks, Sorry for another one. Some may have saw that I just bought this: ... partly because I like Russian helicopters but also because I'd seen Quinta Studio's new 3D-printed-on-to-decal-paper cockpit parts and wanted a relatively low-risk project to try them on. It arrived yesterday, and today I made a start. To use the Quinta Studio set there are a few of small consoles the instructions say you have to scratchbuild in order to attach the printed parts to, so I started with that. I've then gone about prepainting most of the interior and fiddly bits. I'd planned to just chuck this together but have ended up painting all the interior parts including the engines. Tomorrow I can begin assembly.
  14. Since I’m at the stage of my other two builds atm, where I’m now down at dirty end of small detail painting, assembling/ fitting and glueing PE and small parts such as guns, masts, small boats etc. I’ve started this wee build while I’m waiting for paint to set or glued parts to set etc. This build will be a slow one as main rate of effort will be on the J Class and HMS Ariadne, but it will also depends on the weather and I’m going fishing and hunting trip for most April. Today’s wee job of adding the black waterline and which will be followed by the rest of the hull.
  15. I'm almost out of Colourcoats thinner, and given Sovereign Hobbies are warning about delayed delivery, I'm wondering what the best alternative is. I was going to give Mr Color Levelling Thinner a try until I read Jamie's recent disaster! So what do you think? plain old white spirit or something Naptha based (like Zippo lighter fluid), Thanks for any advice Colin
  16. Hi, everyone. I’ve just tried to use some Colourcoats Light Aircraft Grey on the underside of a Matchbox Jaguar, and I’m having some issues with it. Some areas have come out almost flat, and some are glossy. The glossy areas are also a bit sticky. Also, I’m having problems with the paint leveling—it basically isn’t. I should point out that I’m brush painting with it. I thought I stirred it and shook it enough, but maybe I need to do it more? Or does it need a little bit of thinner? I realize each paint is different, and I’m trying to figure this one out.
  17. Well this is my rendition of KGV depicting the ship in British Pacific Fleet pattern 1945 I started on this a long time ago as my start to 1/350 scale PE but soon found that I need more practice with smaller kits so it has been on the shelf for a while. I have another kit in the stash which I will attempt to build another in the class from in the future after I have a bit more practice so this time on my hands should help with that. WIP here https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234983828-hms-king-george-v/ beefy
  18. A bit late in the day, but I've *almost* built my first model of 2020. I started this on New Year's day and hoped to have it all finished before returning to work. Sadly however my dad's little sister had visited the hospital just before Christmas feeling unwell, was diagnosed with cancer and went off the cliff rapidly and died on the 3rd January. Naturally that took priority over toy boats, but I've got the model well on now. It's not in RFI because I haven't finished the complete display yet. Like most submarines the kit was pretty simple yet very complete. It is very nicely cast in light grey resin, and comes complete with a small sheet of photo etched brass, a turned brass 4" gun barrel courtesy of Master (I think?), and two generous lengths of brass rod. Mine had a little shrinkage on the bottom of the keel, easily fixed with some filler, and a little shrinkage on one of the two optional 4" gun tubs which was easily fixed using viscous glue. I needed a simple shim from plasticard to level the bottom of the conning tower (is it still a "sail" on a WW2 boat?) but it may be my own carelessness in removing it from the casting block. There are colour photographs of P311 on the IWM collection which removes some colour uncertainty. The instructions show two schemes for HMS Tabard P342, one of which is PB10 which is possibly correct as Tabard was built late in the war with PB10 being introduced in 1944, and the other shows black with "MS4A" grey with white pennant number - this one smells a lot like a certain author known for a spectacular lack of understanding of RN colours. For various reasons, I believe that black and Home Fleet Grey should be considered the standard Home Fleet submarine scheme in the mid-war years, and that's what I decided to do. P311 was one of the first 2 Group III T-class boats and did not have a 20mm Oerlikon cannon, so its platform had to go. The hull was a dawdle to assemble. The planes fitted nicely, as did the propellers. The propeller shafts are made from lengths of the brass rod provided. All of the photo etched brass gratings, hatches etc dropped perfectly in to position. They were all glued using my usual method of applying medium CA from a little pool in a medicine pill container with the tip of an acupuncture needle. I used a brass pin to locate the conning tower on the hull. At this stage I remembered the model was resin and I had to wash it. I started with a bath of white spirit and a paint brush, then moved on to a bath of warm water with dishwashing soap. For the black I used Colourcoats ACRN17 Night Bomber Black and applied this straight onto the model (i.e. no primer). When dry, I masked with Tamiya tape and sprayed the upper part of the boat with NARN20 507A/B Home Fleet Grey (the 13% RF version). At this point we came off the rails a bit unfortunately. The supplied decals didn't like the Microset/Microsol combination. I'm not sure what setting solutions they do need. The former though encouraged them to adhere-ish but in no way attempt to conform to the surface, whereas the latter encouraged them to peel away from the surface and curl up. In the end, it took a whole day of careful supervision to get them on and even then there's some silvering so not a success overall. They looked like this after around 3 hours of work 😬 Once I got the decals as good as I could, I brush painted the deck using our NARN29 MS2 heavily thinned. I don't think this was the actual colour, but it's a little darker than our 13% RF HFG at its correct 9~10% and neutral in hue which looked like the IWM photos. It was also to hand and after the decals I felt a little less precious about things. I further thinned the MS2 and brushed some streaky weathering on the portion of the boat which sits above the waterline on the surface, and sponged on more underneath to try to break up the uniformity of the black a bit. The IWM photos show flash rusting all over the deck of P311 also, which I attempted to mimic using brown, orange and ochre chalk pastels. Rigging was applied using Infini Model 40denier (0.068mm diameter) black lycra monofilement rigging line. I said at the beginning this wasn't finished, so people might wonder what's next. I'm at a point in my maritime modelling whereby I want to portray vessels in their natural environment to properly look the part. Still though, I am an Engineer by education, by family tradition and work in an engineering industry. I like hull forms. A submarine in particular is a model whereby you either display all of it, or you sand away or hide 80% of it and that's bad value for money to a Scotsman. Inspired by the awesome works of the young Korean man Won-Hui Lee, I want to try my first clear resin casting such that the boat can be seen from above the waterline in its natural state but the viewer can see through a cross section of the sea to view the rest also. Bubbles are not a real problem provided they're not large, but resin cures with an exothermic reaction and too large a mass cast at once tends to cause excessive heat and melt things, so I shall cast in 2, 3 or 4 layers. A block of wood has been marked out, masked, smeered with PVA and sprinkled with modelling sand and rocks. These were then sealed in place with watered down PVA squirted on from a scooshie bottle. 4 sides of clear plastic sheet have been sawn out to form the mould for the resin. These will be sealed from the outside before actual use. I need to order enough casting resin now! If this works, I can use the method for some other ships and boats, which would allow me to have my proverbial cake and eat it. Thanks for looking in. Jamie
  19. In the mid 1990s, Colourcoats was established as the first model paint brand offering shades specifically for modellers of Royal Navy subjects, based upon the most comprehensive information available at the time. In recent years, the delving of some individual enthusiasts into primary source documents in various National Archives made it clear that there were conflicts, anomalies and some straight contradictions between the widely held wisdom on the matter and what was actually written down in black and white and communicated to the fleet through the official channels at the time. For the past two years we have been working with these individuals by bringing us all together to pool our resources; each having discovered separate, isolated pieces of the larger jigsaw puzzle. Combining this with industry expertise sought and willingly given by several recognised experts on paint chemistry, we have been able to determine which anomalies are the result of incorrect assumptions and which were in fact correct identification of the correct paint, but that the old oil paint samples have significantly colour-shifted in the many decades since they were first made. Regular customers of Colourcoats' Royal Navy products may have already noted the migration in our webstore now started. The entire RNxx range is now discontinued and will not be remanufactured, however they will remain available until existing inventories are depleted. An entirely new range coded NARNxx is to replace our Royal Navy offering. Initially this will accommodate the 1936-1950ish era, but spacing has been left in the numbering to migrate the earlier shades in due course. Colours which are simply being renumbered without a shade change are: RN28 becomes NARN20 RN01 becomes NARN23 RN02 becomes NARN24 RN18 becomes NARN25 RN04 becomes NARN28 RN07 becomes NARN33 RN09 becomes NARN39 RN19 becomes NARN42 RN24 becomes NARN44 RN27 becomes NARN45 RN26 becomes NARN46 All other NARNxx colours are new products, whether altered slightly or significantly from the similarly labelled product from the out-going RNxx range. Our new range is as follows, organised vertically by appropriate time period and horizontally by camouflage tone. This organisation should assist the consumer (along with our research papers) to quickly spot and exercise caution over colour scheme references which demonstrate a fundamental lack of understanding by "cross breeding" paint ranges. Products NARN20 and NARN21 are offered in parallel as alternatives to each other, NARN20 being a 13%RF version of Home Fleet Grey with NARN21 offering a 10%RF version. Similarly, as the greens used in the 1943 "B" series were specified in quantity but not in type, we offer NARN33 as B.5 or B15, and an alternative NARN35 as B15 with a greener caste. It can be seen from the above that G10 replaced bother M.S.2 and 507A, whilst B30 replaced both M.S.4 and B.6 and B55 replaced both Western Approaches Blue and Western Approaches Green. Lastly, B20 replaced G20 from mid 1944 (with a brief overlap). These are in manufacture at time of writing, and will be on sale within 4 to 6 weeks. The Flotta Green and Brown will be a little later, but not too much, and we may add PB.10 also now that more kits of Royal Navy submarines are beginning to appear on the market.
  20. FAO @Stew Dapple here are the photos discussed earlier. I'm not very interested in making models of German stuff. I've nothing against Germans - I'm just not a rabid fan of anything with a black cross painted on like some, but I wanted to make one Fw190 to go with my Black Friday theme. In particular I wanted Rudi Linz's blue 4. Unfortunately due to my general disinterest in the basic subject matter and lack of attentiveness, I bought the wrong version of Fw190A and had started before realising it was useless. Ultimately, it sat in a mostly-assembled state on the Shelf of Doom for perhaps 2 years. This kit had so many fans that I was rather surprised to discover how poor a kit it truthfully is, and it seems that Eduard knew it was poor as well since they retooled what was not a very old tooling. I had, sadly, already bought the correct A-8 version in Weekend Edition form before getting too far in to this and I have to say I'm not looking forward to building it. The cockpit went together ok. I didn't use all of the Profipack photoetch because a) I'm not interested in Focke Wulfs and didn't want to add effort and b) much of it adds little value once it's all built up. The side consoles in particular are very nicely printed, but are flat slabs and a reasonably well painted plastic cockpit looks far superior, so that's what I did. The seat belts and instrument panels are all that's really needed IMHO. (note I followed the instructions above, but did realise they were back-to-front with the radio hatch and removed it to put the hinge at the back after this photo) Next confession - I really don't care for models showing everything open, and unfortunately that's the only way this kit is suitable to be built. I'd been forewarned, but the cannon bay hatches were a truely awful piece of model kit engineering. A lot of careful work was required to close them, and various braces and shims were added to prevent it all buckling out of shape when the wing complete-with glued in hatches was offered up to the fuselage later. The braces proved entirely necessary and were the results of many test fits. We Scots pride ourselves on having the best vocabulary of swear words and insults on Earth, and I needed to invent new ones for this kit... I cut away various bits of the kit to aide getting the wing and fuselage together. The wheel wells likewise were a swine to get together and let the wing halves close up. There was nothing fundamentally wrong with the design here, but the mould halves were slightly misaligned so all of the riblets inside the wheel wells were moulded askew and too deep without fettling. Not difficult, but again, for a subject that holds little interest it became tedious fairly quickly. Coming back to this photo, another part of the kit I absolutely hated was all this clutter inside the nose. As the supporting structure and ammunition chutes for the MG17 machine guns and engine mounts are all integrated and entirely designed to be displayed with all its guts hanging out, it was an utter pig to get it all to close up to look like an aircraft. Again, the moulding quality of the parts didn't match Eduard's ambitions for the kit. I ended up hacking away lots of that gun junk to allow the cover to fit. Unforunately that would still bite me later as the machine guns don't fit under the cover - so I would later have to saw the barrels off short. Anyway, I prevailed over the damn thing until it was assembled, fitted, filled, and ready to paint - then I put it in its box and forgot about it for 2 years. We've had a tidy up over the Christmas holiday, and I wanted to clear off some of this half-built stuff, so this thing was chosen to clear space for something that interests me better. 2 Days ago I sprayed it gloss black using our prototype solvent-thinned acrylic, then masked off for the white stripes on the cowlings. I didn't fancy decals for this. Colourcoats white enamel was sprayed on, then unmasked. Same for the yellow bit, then we went out for lunch. Using the black base I then sprayed the RLM 75 using Colourcoats ACLW14, then masked using Blutac and Tamiya tape, then the RLM 74 (ACLW13), then masked the wing fillets with Tamiya tape and sprayed the RLM 76 (ACLW15) otherwise freehand. I went back with the RLM 75 for mottling, freehand of course. This got me to the end of the first afternoon since retrieval from the SoD. Yesterday morning we had to go out, but at lunchtime I sprayed it clear gloss enamel then applied the kit decals. The decals were good and settled well with Microset and Microsol. Last night around 7ish I sprayed a clear matt enamel to seal them in. This morning I gave the matt clear coat a gentle polish with Infini Model's 2500 grit and 4000 grit polishing sponges to bring the matt back to a gentle satin, then stuck on the wheels, guns etc. The antenna is Infini Model lycra rigging line (40 denier / 0.068mm) in black. Exhaust stains are Tamiya weathering powders make-up sets. It's a bit of a half-baked effort, but as mentioned several times it's a subject I couldn't care less about frankly, and it's good enough to go on the shelf. And it's finished, and that's important.
  21. Hi guys and gals, Can you believe this is my first Messerschmitt 109? I've been modelling for years and never got round to making one of these seminal aircraft! Well, I've now broken my duck so here's the very nice Revell G-6 Late kit in a dramatic nightfighter scheme (Red 2, 1. NJG) from an AIMS decal sheet. There are seven more versions on the sheet so it was great value. The aircraft was painted in Colourcoats enamels (still the best model paint I've ever used, and shall continue to do so!) I used RLM 74/75/76 and RLM 02 with an overspray of Night Black. I thought this was a really cool looking scheme and makes the clean lines of the aircraft look even more menacing! I don't know much about these aircraft or modelling them, so there are probably a few howlers - I just enjoyed it for the easy-to-build kit and cool paintjob! All the best, Alan
  22. I have taken this Eduard weekend edition kit as far as I wish. The purpose of the build was to try an idea I had to emulate the uneven surfaces seen on stressed skin aircraft, and chose this particular aircraft as I'd already built an Eduard Hellcat and knew how it went together, but this overall Glossy Sea Blue aircraft would particularly benefit from something to add visual appeal to an otherwise featureless finish. If interested in the experiment itself, here is the Work in Progress thread: The kit is close to being Out-Of-the-Box, but did receive Airscale cockpit instrument decals to improve the panel, and substantial improvements to the cockpit purely from adding an Ultracast resin seat with seatbelts, new wheels and Ultracast's much improved Hamilton Standard propeller. In addition, Master brass barrels were added. All paints are Colourcoats enamels, and the antenna is Infini Model 40 denier (0.068mm) lycra rigging line. The base is Eduard's injection moulded Essex class aircraft carrier deck section, although strictly speaking the aircraft was from USS Enterprise CV-6, a Yorktown class. If anyone made it this far and is remotely curious to see how ACUS34 - ANA623 Glossy Sea Blue compares to our parallel paints ACUS07 - ANA606 Semi-Gloss Sea Blue and ACUS33 - ANA607 Non-Specular Sea Blue, often all claiming to be matched simultaneously and/or referenced to FSx5042 which matches none of them, here's the GSB Hellcat and my earlier "by the book" tricolor F6F-3 together: Thanks for looking in!
  23. Our 2019 brochure update is available now: Free download here: https://www.sovereignhobbies.co.uk/pages/colour-list
  24. Hello all. Last Christmas my son gave me this kit as a very nice present, and, wonder of wonders, I actually finished it within the calendar year. I normally end up putting new kits into the stash only to be discovered years later! I wanted to do something different with this model. I could not afford the photo-etch set for this one this time, so I built it entirely OOB. I did take a bit of a liberty and painted it in the 1944 scheme illustrated on the side of the box, but I am fully aware that the configuration had changed between then and 1945 which was how the model was fitted out. It's my model and I built how I want to, built how I want to, you would do to if it happened to you! You could make a song out of that methinks... Anyway, I really wanted to give Colourcoats paint a really good tryout. I had built a Short Stirling and used their Dark Green and Night Black and got on well with them, so now it was the ideal canvas to try a disruptive pattern on this, largish model. I only brush-paint (unless I use white when I upgrade to a rattle can!). I promptly went to the Soveriegn Hobbies website and downloaded their colour notes for KGV, and decided to do the disruptive option despite the fit differences. I had already completed my set of Colourcoats RN paints (two days before @Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies announced his new NARN series of updated RN Colours), so I knew I probably had the right ones. I tried to follow the guide on the box for colour demarcations, but used Jamie's notes for the actual colours. I thinned the paints with Colourcoats own thinners, and they worked a treat, but oddly I found that the lightest colours covered more completely than the darker ones! I strongly suspect that was me causing that, but after a couple of coats for the light gray and light blue, and three for the dark gray and dark blue, I was well and truly happy with the results from this brand of paint. Top marks Jamie! The kit itself was great, not much flash and quite nicely detailed for me, but I have to admit that in the end I wished I had been able to get the etch to raise the bar a bit. It looked 'wrong' without any railings, and as for the cranes, well... Anyway, here is what I ended up with, one quite colourful ship, and a large one to boot! I did have to take some (more) liberties with the camouflage scheme as I could not quite figure out how the colours wrapped around athwartships (if that means side-to-side) for the for and aft superstructure colours. These models were ones that my brother and I used to drool over when we were gazing through the catalogues back in the day, and I am very glad my son treated me to this one. Thanks for looking, Ray PS - Looking at these pictures, I have realised I still need to paint the anchor 'chains'! Doh!
  25. Hello Britmodellers! This is the first model I've stuck in RFI for a long time, and continues my on-and-off fascination with helicopters. I think they offer a challenging crossover between aircraft and vehicles to help a jaded modeller rediscover the old magic again. This one certainly did that! It's very cheap for what you get in the box and probably the best fitting 1/32 Revell kit I've made since the Hunter. It also has some of the best kit clear parts I've seen on any kit, so well done Revell! The decals were also very impressive, my only gripe being the colours seemed to fade out once applied so the effect of the black cat paintwork isn't as impressive as it looks in real life 🙄 Built from the box except for the addition of the Eduard Zoom cockpit set and exterior details. I used Colourcoats enamel paint which is still the best model paint I've ever used. The pics are from IPMS Farnborough website, all credits and (c) to Andrew Prentis. Not sure about the loadout and other details but it's a hobby, after all! Cheers Alan
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