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  1. Vampire T.11 Trainer in RAF Service (48-A007) 1:48 Pilot Replicas The De Havilland DH.100 Vampire was built to fulfil a wartime requirement for a small, lightweight jet fighter for the Royal Air Force, but although the prototype aircraft flew almost two years before the end of the War, the production aircraft arrived too late to see service in the conflict. Despite this, well over 3,000 examples were produced overall, and the aircraft enjoyed a relatively long service life by the standards of the day. Powered by a single De Havilland Goblin turbojet that was regularly upgraded, the diminutive and low-slung Vampire was capable of almost 550mph and had a service ceiling of over 40,000 ft. In common with many other fighters of the day, it was armed with four 20mm cannon, as reliable missiles weren’t yet in production. The two-seat T.11 trainer was a private venture that was equipped with an improved Goblin 35 power-plant, and while it wasn’t initially built at request of the Ministry, over 500 airframes were produced, seeing extensive use with the RAF as a conversion trainer to assist pilots transitioning from prop to jet engine aircraft at this pivotal point in aviation history. It continued in service into the 60s, after which it was replaced in RAF service, although some airframes continued in foreign hands, the remainder going into private hands or to reside in museums around the world. The Kit Many modellers, particularly those of British or Anglophile aviation enthusiasts have been waiting for a newly tooled Vampire T.11 for a while, and on its announcement by Pilot Replicas, there was a great deal of happiness evident, particularly on our forums. Once photos of the early renders, and then photos of a test build began surfacing, there were concerns voiced on the accuracy of the model, but you must bear in mind that these have been from aviation enthusiasts, some of whom have exceptionally rigorous standards compared to most modellers. We will look at the issues raised after the main portion of the review for those that would like to know, and they can decide how they feel about those raised, and whether they would deal with them, or ignore them and build it anyway. It’s all a matter of perspective after all. The kit arrives in one of Pilot-Replicas’ shiny top-opening boxes with captive lid, with a painting of a Vampire on the runway, and the three decal option profiles on the side. Inside are five sprues of grey styrene, a clear sprue, a small Photo-Etch (PE) fret, two decal sheets, instruction booklet printed in colour, a separate painting and decaling guide in high-gloss coated paper, and an A5 sheet that gives extra information for decaling of the lower wings, and a clarification of the use case for the ejection seat pull handle between the pilot’s knees. Apparently, these were not fitted in-service and were a later adaptation, the pilots using the loop above their heads whilst in RAF service. Pilot Replicas have a reputation for finely crafted models, and this one is no exception, with plenty of detail moulded-in, and more to be had if you opt for the additional sets that Pilot Replicas themselves have designed and produced. Construction begins with the cockpit, where the pilots sit side-by-side in what is a very cramped space that wasn’t really intended to seat two. The floor has a hump where the nose gear bay intrudes, and the rear bulkhead has a pair of frames located on holes in the floor and rear, fixing a double rudder pedal box into the front of the cockpit. There are two ejector-pin marks in the centre pedals, but whether they will be seen is debatable, especially as the cockpit is so cramped and will be painted all black, so only fix them if you feel the urge. The instrument panel is a wide cruciform shape that receives a pair of gunsights, one per side, and as the completed panel is lowered into position in the floor, a lever and two control columns are also fitted, with plenty of detail painting throughout the process, with help provided in each step. This extends to the detail that is moulded into the inner sides of the fuselage pod, the aft deck behind the cockpit, and the coaming that is installed over the instrument panel during closing of the fuselage. The exhaust is made in anticipation of closing the fuselage, fitting a representation of the rear of the engine to the forward end of the tubular trunk, and this assembly is painted with various burned metallic shades. A PE trim wheel is fixed to one of the side walls, and the cockpit assembly is installed in the front of the two fuselage halves, fitting the exhaust assembly to the rear, and using at least 10g of weight into the nose to prevent a tail-sitter. The afore mentioned coaming and aft deck are added once the glue is dry, leaving the pod to one side after dealing with the seams while the wings are built. There are twin whip antennae on the outer wing panels, which require a pair of flashed-over holes to be opened from within the upper wing, so take care to carry this task out before gluing the wing halves together. Each wing is made from top and bottom halves, the lower wing having the main gear wells moulded-in, while the bay roof detail is moulded into the underside of the upper wing. The jet intakes are separate inserts at the wing root, with a cleverly moulded length of intake trunking moulded as three parts that minimise seamlines, built and painted aluminium before it is installed behind the intake. The wingtip lights are supplied as clear parts that fit into a notch in the leading edge with a bulb moulded-into the wing, which should be painted red or green, depending on which wing it is. The same process is completed for the other wing, and the two tail booms are made from two halves each, adding the elevator panel with separate flying surface between them as you plug them into the rear of the wings that have already been fitted to the fuselage, the fairings for which are moulded into their trailing edges. Each boom also has a short, rounded winglet stub on the outer end, fitting with the same slot-and-tab method as the main surfaces. The nose gear bay is moulded as a single part that is glued into an insert under the nose, which also has the two cannon trunks installed either side, giving the aircraft a centrally mounted quartet of 20mm cannons for concentrated firepower. The insert can then be offered up to the cut-out and glued carefully to reduce clean-up once the glue has cured. The nose gear leg is moulded as two halves that trap the two-part wheel between the yoke, adding a small triangular part to the front. This is plugged vertically into the bay, adding the front gear bay door and actuator forward, and a side-opening door with moulded-in lightening holes to the rear, locating on a pair of guides on the side of the bay. The main gear bay has an H-shaped actuator and the outer bay door fitted, adding the chunky strut with separate oleo-scissor links, a retractor jack to the side, and a captive bay door on the inner side. The two-part wheels have weighting moulded into the bottom of the tyres, and the instructions show that they should be 79mm apart when fitted, as shown in a scrap diagram nearby. A clear lens is inserted under the port wing while the model is inverted, painting the interior silver before installation. Some T.11s were fitted with ejection seats, while others were not, and Pilot Replicas have included both for your ease. The ejection seats are made from two halves plus an L-shaped seat-pad, an ejection handle in the headbox, and the optional later handle between the pilot’s knees to depict a post-service airframe should you wish. The simple “tin” seats are supplied with PE four-point belts, while the ejection seats have the belts moulded into the cushion parts. Your choice of seats can then be installed in the cockpit depending on which decal option you have chosen, folding up a PE open-topped box to fix to the aft deck before the canopy is installed. The windscreen is glued to the front of the cockpit, adding a PE wiper to the bottom edge, and gluing the rear section over the aft deck. The central opener can be fitted closed, or it can be posed hinged up for the crew to exit, gluing it to the interlocking hinge portion that is moulded into the relevant canopy frames. A scrap diagram shows the correct angle for the open canopy, which sees the lower frame of the opener vertical to the ground. The final tasks involve mounting a pair of mass-balances under the elevator panel, and fitting the twin aerials to each wingtip, using the holes drilled earlier in the upper wings. The thread for this kit in our Rumourmonger area has been active with Vampire aficionados noting some issues with the kit based upon photos and renders that have been seen before the kit was released, and you can decide for yourself whether they bother you. To assist our readers with making their own decision, we undertook a tape-up exercise to establish the shape of an actual production model, using a 50mm lens that resembles the equipment fitted to the human eyeball quite closely, so that distortion is minimised. The thickness of the wing leading edge - or rather its bluntness has been called into question, and while our photo has a tiny gap between the wing halves, it could be argued that this is true. To remedy this, sanding the leading edges to a more prototypical shape could be done with little effort, although repairing the damage to the riveted surface would be required. Lower Windscreen Frame – Members cited the apparently square bottom frame with no curve visible on photos. Looking carefully at the windscreen part, there is a curve moulded into the lower rail that is perhaps not as pronounced as it could be, but is there, but might be lost if the modeller is too liberal with filler. Nose Shape – It is said to be not bulbous enough, which could be partly to do with the ‘missing’ windscreen curve on the test build, although it could well be off to an extent. Aft Wing Root Fairing – this is incorrect, as there is a slight change of angle between the wing and the fairing on the real aircraft. This means that the fairing is too long, ending too close to the exhaust. This could be rectified by careful cutting and sanding of the fairing to reduce its length and change the angle subtly. It may be wise of pack the interior of this area with non-solvent filler (epoxy putty for example) before attempting this in case you go through the styrene here. Wingtips – These are a little too curved, and should be sanded to a more accurate profile from above, blending the tip to create the correct shape. There are bound to be other minor issues here and there, but no kit is perfect, and neither is any modeller. Whether the issues mentioned bother you, or you feel you can either live with them or fix them yourself is your decision. We do regularly ignore canopies that are over 48mm thick if they were moulded in-scale, and many other aspects of our hobby too, but where to draw the line? We ask that the members that wish to discuss this kit continue to use the Rumourmonger thread, quoting photos or text there, rather than muddle this review thread. That way, anyone interested in investigating further can do so without subjecting everyone to their ruminations. Markings There are three decal options included on the extensive sheets, and all three choices have a base of aluminium (not bare metal) for the metal areas of the airframe, and silver dope for the wooden forward section of the fuselage pod. All but one have bright trainer yellow or dayglo red striping at points over the airframe, and large codes under the wings and on the fuselage. From the box you can build one of the following: WZ589 56 Sqn., RAF Waterbeach, 1955-58 XD429 RAF College, Cranwell, 1957-59 XD588 141 Sqn., RAF Coltishall, 1955-56 Decals are printed anonymously, but are of high quality, with good registration, sharpness and colour density, plus a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The additional sheet provides alternate underwing serials for all the decal options, pre-cut around the main gear bay doors to simplify installation. They appear (under magnification) to be of a slightly lower resolution to the main sheet however, so it might be preferable to persevere with the main sheet decals and cut them yourself after they have dried. Conclusion There are caveats with every model, and because of the interest in the Vampire Trainer amongst our members, it has been examined with a fine-toothed comb. Putting those issues aside for a moment, the detail, ease of build and having three interesting decal options appeals, and it should sell well to those that aren’t put off. Recommended after reading this review. Review sample courtesy of
  2. DH.94 Moth Minor (RRK48006) 1:48 Red Roo Models In 1929, the de Havilland aircraft company identified a potential market for a simple and relatively inexpensive aircraft that would cater for the growing interest in amateur flying. This resulted in the DH.81 that was to be named Swallow Moth, and by the August of 1931 the sole example of this type was flown. However, demand for the subsequent DH.82 exceeded expectations despite its significantly higher price and complexity, and this resulted in the DH.81 project being shelved to free up production capacity. Five years later, the project was resurrected in the form of the DH.94. Taking advantage of some structural techniques used in the Comet and Albatross, the first prototype, now known as the Moth Minor, was completed at the dedicated production facility at Hatfield and flown for the first time in June of 1937 by Geoffrey de Havilland. The Moth Minor featured an open two-seat tandem cockpit configuration and was usually flown from the front seat. Power was provided by a 90hp Gypsy Minor engine, giving a maximum speed of over 100 mph. Range with the standard fuel tank mounted beneath the front pilot’s seat was a respectable 300 miles however this could be increased by a further 300 miles if the optional wing mounted extra tankage was fitted. Built entirely of spruce and ply, the overall length of the fuselage including the propeller and the fabric covered rudder was 24’5”. The wings were built around a two-spar layout with ply covering back to the rear spar. The ailerons were fabric covered as were the large upward folding wing sections. The latter being necessary to allow the main planes to be folded rearwards and secured to the tailplane for stowage in a much smaller space. Additional fuel tanks or luggage lockers could be installed in the wing as required. The fabric covered areas were secured to the underlying structure by means of spruce cap strips which although recessed, stood slightly proud of the surrounding area. A large combined flap and air-brake was fitted below the fixed portion of the wing and fuselage to give greater glide slope control during landing. The large perforations in the air-brake surface reduced the natural nose-down trim change when deployed, allowing for better speed management. In keeping with the overall simple design and manufacturing philosophy, the undercarriage was also uncomplicated, utilising a fixed single strut main leg with a light alloy streamlined fairing. Shock absorbing rubber blocks were used to provide some cushioning, and a steerable tail wheel was fitted to the rear fuselage. By the outbreak of World War II some 71 production examples had been completed, including nine of the optional enclosed cockpit variant, known as the Moth Minor Coupé, an option that featured a raised rear fuselage and hinged cockpit covers. Early in 1940, production capacity at Hatfield was urgently required for aircraft more vital to the war effort and so all Moth Minor drawings, jigs, components, part completed, and finished but undelivered airframes were delivered to de Havilland Aircraft Pty Ltd at Bankstown, Australia where more than 40 were supplied to the Royal Australian Air Force. They were found wanting as an ab initio trainer due to the lack of flap and brake controls in the rear cockpit, so many were instead tasked with communications and hack duties, only a few making it through WWII before being written off, crashed or dismantled. The Kit This is a brand-new tooling from Red Roo, and is a multi-media resin kit for the experienced modeller, including Photo-Etch (PE), wire, white metal, and clear resin parts that require some experience and modelling skills to put together. It arrives in a flat white box with a sticker covering most of the lid, giving product details and scale, plus a couple of side profiles. Inside the box are twenty-six grey resin parts, two clear resin windscreens, three white metal gear legs, four 3D printed parts, a small PE sheet, two punched 4mm discs of styrene sheet, two lengths of copper wire of different gauges, a decal sheet, all of which are packaged in heat-sealed sections of two main bags, keeping the parts from shifting in transit. The instruction booklet rounds out the package, consisting of nine printed pages of A4, plus a separate sheet concerning small details on the model. The booklet is unusual because it has extensive notes about the aircraft’s development, colour notes and photographs, plus acknowledgements of the books and sites used in research of the kit. Decal application is also discussed at length, and each of the seven decal options have a full side devoted to four-view profiles, followed by a parts diagram after which the building of the model is shown over four sides at the rear of the booklet. Construction begins with removal of the casting blocks from the resin parts, which should be relatively straight forward due to the clean casting, and sensible location of the blocks. Care should be taken with the two fuselage halves, as they are necessarily thin between the two cockpit openings, and a ham-fisted modeller could easily over-stress them if they are not careful. Once you are happy with your prep work, the build can begin in earnest, starting with the two instrument panels, both of which have resin compasses fitted on PE brackets at the bottom of the panel. The front panel has a spacer slotted into a groove along the bottom, and both panels have decals depicting the dials that can be applied once painted to add extra detail. The cockpit floor is a single part with a raised area down the centre, which receives the seat supports and seats, plus control columns for both crew, and bulkheads front and rear. Two PE quadrants are folded up and applied to the sides of the front seat, noting the location tabs on the front face of the support. Painting of the insides of the fuselage and the cockpit will intervene before the cockpit can be installed, adding a pair of 3D printed voice-tubes to the starboard side, as radio wasn’t yet all that common in aircraft then. Note that there are two print bases of these parts, as they are very fine and prone to damage, as can be seen from the photos. There are two/three intact tubes between them, saving wastage of partial prints. The port side has throttle quadrants fitted, then the fuselage can be closed and the seams dealt with in your preferred manner. The closed fuselage is completed with the nose fairing, which has an insert behind it to depict the front of the engine that will be dimly seen through the narrow intake opening – another nice touch. The empennage, or tail feathers consist of a single width elevator, which is glued into a recess in the fuselage, fitting the rudder into position via two locating pins and holes, then adding 3D printed supports under the elevators to complete the assembly. The windscreens are cast in clear resin, and although they are a little hazy in my example, some careful polishing and a dip in Klear/Future or your equivalent should see them looking appropriate for the task of keeping oil and bugs out of the crew’s faces. The wing is a single part that has a pair of raised location tabs moulded into the centre that fit snugly into recesses in the inner fuselage sides, so should make for a good join, slotting the PE perforated flap/air brake into the rectangular recess under the centre panel of the wing. The main wheels are resin, while the struts are white metal, so epoxy or CA (super glue) will be needed to glue the parts into their recesses, taking a moment to ensure they are correctly aligned with the airframe and each other. The tail wheel slots into a hole under the fuselage, and can be posed at an angle if you wish, as it was steerable. The last part is the two-blade prop, which is supported along its entire length by fingers rising from the casting block, so take care when separating it to avoid snapping the thin trailing edges. The separate instruction sheet refers to the two mass balances under the ailerons, which they suggest be made from a few lengths of 0.15mm wire that is provided, using the drawings and colour photo to determine shape and length. There is also a short discussion of the throttle quadrants that are linked between cockpits, although the wire can be disconnected and hooked under the front quadrant to exclude the rear pilot from adjusting the power. The plastic discs in the bag and more wire can be used to complete this, which is probably an “experienced modeller” task unless you like a challenge. Markings There are a generous seven decal options included on the sheet, each of which has their own page in the instructions, and a wide variation of schemes. There is also a little block of text on each page giving a potted history of each one, including its ultimate destination. From the box you can build one of the following: A21-7 23 Sqn. RAAF A21-8 83 Sqn. Hack A21-9 25 Sqn. 1943 then 35 Sqn. 1944 A21-18 2 Sqn. Then 7 Service FTS 1941 A21-12 25 Sqn. 1941 then 9 FTS 1944 A21-36 Lost status card A21-5 22 Sqn. Then 2 Communications Unit The decals appear to be printed using a digital process and have good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut loosely around the printed areas. This should mean that the carrier film on the decals can be coaxed away from the printed part of the decal after they have been applied, effectively rendering them carrier film free, making the completed decals much thinner and more realistic, and obviating the need to apply successive coats of clear varnish to hide the edges of the carrier film. It’s a great step further in realism from my point of view, and saves a good quantity of precious modelling time into the bargain. Conclusion It’s a glorious multi-media kit of this endearing little trainer, and once the resin parts are cleaned up, it should build very much like an injection moulded kit, except for the glue you’ll need to use, and the sense of satisfaction you’ll get from completing it. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  3. Sorry I’m late, but various things in life have reduced my modelling time, well that and trying to finish a couple of long-term builds. Here we go, for this GB I’ll be doing an Airfix Mosquito B.XVI. Here is the box (with the PR.XVI kit in the Recce GB) And here are the main parts (drying in the sunshine as I took the precaution of giving everything a good wash after my experience with the PR.XVI) And here are some of the parts from both kits with some RAF interior green applied Finally, a bit of construction underway, the B is on the right in the lighter grey plastic (thank goodness that Airfix moulded in different colours or disaster would have been inevitable 😄) That’s it for now, hopefully back soon with some more progress.
  4. DH.100 Vampire FB.6 ‘Pinocchio Nose’ (SH72391) 1:72 Special Hobby The De Havilland DH.100 Vampire was built to fulfil a wartime requirement for a small, lightweight jet fighter for the Royal Air Force. Although the prototype aircraft flew almost two years before the end of the war, the production aircraft arrived too late to see service during the conflict. Despite this, well over 3,000 examples were produced overall and the aircraft enjoyed a relatively long service life by the standards of the day. Powered by a single De Havilland Goblin turbojet that was regularly upgraded, the diminutive and low-slung Vampire was capable of almost 550mph and had a service ceiling of over 40,000 ft. In common with many other fighters of the day, it was armed with four 20mm cannon, as reliable guided missiles weren’t yet in production. The prototypes for the F.3 were converted from F.1s, and around 300 brand-new airframes were constructed for the RAF as a single seat fighter, with a substantial number of those exported to Canada and Norway. It ran a Goblin Mk.II engine, which was replaced with a Mk.III. when the time came to upgrade the type to the FB.5 and the tropicalised variant the FB.9, both of which were based upon the FB.3 with improvements. The French Air Force took almost 100 FB.5s on charge at the end of the forties, which went straight into operational use. The FB.6 was powered by the Goblin III, and almost 600 airframes were built for the RAF, Switzerland who license built some of their own, and Sweden, where it was referred to as the J 28B. The Swiss airframes, some of which were later fitted with an extended nose cone that garnered the nickname ‘Pinocchio Nose’ were taken into service in 1949 and remained until the late 60s and early 70s. Some aircraft carried on as target drones or trainers until the 90s, but they were phased out of the fighter role rapidly due to the speed of development in aviation at the time, initially replaced by Hawker Hunters that also remained in service until the 1990s, when cracks were found in their wings, leading to a temporary lack of air to ground capability for the ever-so bellicose Swiss. The Kit This tooling originated in 2014, and is a reboxing with new parts and decals to depict the Swiss aircraft more accurately. The kit arrives in a small end-opening box with a painting of the most colourful decal option on the front, and profiles for all the decal options on the back. Inside the box are three sprues of grey styrene, a small fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a bag of grey resin parts, the decal sheet and instructions that are printed in colour on glossy paper in an A5 portrait form. Detail is excellent, with crisp engraved panel lines, raised and recessed features, and cleverly engineered intakes for the Goblin engine that double as spars. Construction begins with the cockpit, starting with the floor and adding the rear bulkhead and head armour, with a choice of a simple WWII style seat or the Martin Baker ejection seat that was fitted from 1960 onwards. There are decals for the traditional seat that could be reused for the ejection seat, although whether they’re accurate or not, you’ll need to check. The control column is planted in the floor in front of the pilot, and the instrument panel with gunsight and dial decal is inserted into two slots at the front. The floor is then glued into the lower fuselage nacelle along with the engine front that is crisply moulded into the bulkhead, with the engine rear dropped into the front of the exhaust trunking that is moulded into the fuselage. The upper fuselage is painted and has a pair of equipment boxes inserted into the cockpit area, then the fuselage halves are closed, adding either the shorter nose, or the longer Pinocchio nose that was fitted in 1980 to many airframes still in service. You are also advised to insert additional weight into the nose, although a number isn’t given. The elevator panel is prepared with a pair of balance horns, while the wing halves are glued together after painting the intake trunking area silver before they are installed on the sides of the fuselage nacelle, using the curved trunking section as a short spar, and filling the remaining gap with the intake inserts, which have vertical splitters moulded into them, and wingtips slotted into the open ends of the wings. The booms are both made from two halves split vertically, and they are inserted into the holes in the trailing edges of the wings with the elevator panel trapped between the two fins. Some decal options have a resin antenna under the port boom, while others do not. The main gear legs are single parts with a captive bay door and two-part wheel with hub, adding the outer doors on their hinges, then retraction jacks linking them to the inside of the bay. The nose gear leg is similarly a single part with two-part wheel that is trapped in place by fitting the starboard half of the yoke to the leg. The highly visible nose bay door at the front differs between nose variants, while the sideways opening rear door is common, both attaching to the sides of the bay on their hinges. Sitting the model on its own three wheels allows you to glue the windscreen in place at the front of the cockpit, and the sliding canopy behind, which you can leave open should you wish. There is an optional decal that runs down the side that was fitted from 1960 onwards, so check the profiles for details. There is a choice of things to hang under the wings that includes a pair of resin tanks that have a small rear section added, plus two resin supports, and a diagram that shows their correct location just outboard of the wheel bays. The other option is two pairs of unguided rockets that are fitted to the inner wing panels either side of the fuselage, and have four PE stabilising fins each that fit into recesses at the rear of the rockets. Markings Whilst there are only four decal options on the sheet, there are alternative colours provided for the candy-striped aircraft, as the orange was later repainted to red. From the box you can build one of the following: FB.6 J-1082, Zielfliegerkorps 5 (Aerial Target Corps) at Sion, Flugwaffe (Swiss Air Force), 1980s FB.6 J-1156, local build airframe with a British built engine, Emmen, Flugwaffe (Swiss Air Force), 1984 FB.6 J-1154, 2 Sqn., Dubendorf, Flugwaffe (Swiss Air Force), 1980s FB.6 J-1010, 2 Sqn., Dubendorf, Flugwaffe (Swiss Air Force), 1964 The decals appear to be printed using the same digital processes as Eduard are now using, and have good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut loosely around the printed areas. I mention Eduard because from 2021, the carrier film on their decals can be coaxed away from the printed part of the decal after they have been applied, effectively rendering them carrier film free, making the completed decals much thinner and more realistic, and obviating the need to apply successive coats of clear varnish to hide the edges of the carrier film. It’s a great step further in realism from my point of view, and saves a good quantity of precious modelling time into the bargain. Conclusion Having not seen one of Special Hobby’s 1:72 Vampires before, the level of detail is impressive, and the Pinocchio nose takes it away from the norm, as do the Swiss decal options, especially the colourful striped airframe. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  5. After last year's zero builds, I've already got to the heady heights of three completed models so far this year and I'm determined to keep up the impetus, despite the other pressures and the almost constant need to sleep After doing a review for a number of aftermarket sets from Eduard for this kit, it tempted me to start another build. The seat especially was hugely tempting, as the detail on that is mind-blowing You can see the full review and more pics here for the seat, and a full review of the kit itself, here. I started nipping bits off the sprues Sunday (I think?) night while my mate @stringbag was over to talk about models, and I gradually built up a mass of sub-assemblies that are all going to be painted silver, as well as the cockpit, which will be "black". I've given them all a coat of black primer, which will be a shadow coat for the silver and dark grey later, and I also used it to check the seams on the tail booms, which have a long visible seam running top and bottom, so they need to be just right and invisible as possible. I've also glued together the wing tanks, which are three parts each, and I'll leave them to set up for at least 48 hours before I begin working on the seams. To be fair to the designers, they fit pretty well considering they're in three pieces, so well done Airfix The aftermarket I'll be using are the sets I've recently reviewed, like the seat above, the SPACE instrument panel, seatbelts, and I've also got the PE set on the way from Hannants, as I'm not happy with the oleo-scissor links on the gear legs, which is a minor weak-point of the kit. They're moulded as overlapping triangular blocks, and let down an otherwise good-looking kit. Sure, they won't be seen much once the stubby little thing is sitting on its legs and the bay doors are on, but I just couldn't leave them as-is. Here are a couple of pics of the various sub-assemblies I've made so far, covered in black primer: I'll be squirting some more MRP metallics on the majority of the parts shortly, after having some success with it on my Claude last month. Now, does anyone know where I've put my lead shot for the noseweight?
  6. DH Mosquito NF/F/PR.II Intruder (MKM144123) 1:144 Mark I Models The Mosquito was one of the most ground-breaking private projects of WWII, and it contributed a significant effort toward victory against Nazi Germany from its introduction in 1941 to the end of the war and beyond. Initially conceived by Geoffrey de Havilland as a fast bomber, it was not intended to carry armament, simply relying on speed to take it out of harm's way. Numerous versions were considered, but a twin-engine design with a wooden monocoque fuselage was eventually used, with space for four 20mm cannons in the forward section of the bomb bay. It was initially met with a very lukewarm reception from the Air Ministry, as they still clung to their obsession of turreted aircraft, the designs for which became heavy and complex, reducing speed both in the air and through the production line. After some shenanigans that included a mock-up of a turret behind the main canopy, DH were issued with a requirement for a 400mph capable light bomber/reconnaissance aircraft, which solidified as DH.98, and was named Mosquito. Despite having been ordered to stop development work after Dunkirk, DH carried on due to the vagueness of the request, and the prototype flew at the end of 1940. After lengthening the engine nacelles and splitting the flaps to cure poor handling at certain speeds, she flew for the ministry and managed to outpace a Spitfire, pulling away with a speed advantage of 20mph. Later developments of the Merlin engines that powered the Mossie included two-stage superchargers that gave the engine a substantial boost, with a commensurate increase in performance. Many 7X series Merlin variants were fitted to the Wooden Wonder, which included the B.XVI that also had a pressurised cabin for the crew’s comfort at higher altitude, and it could comfortably cruise at 350mph at 30,000 feet. Without the gun pack in the belly, the XVI could carry the 4,000lb Cookie bomb, allowing it to punch well above its weight in terms of ordnance carriage as well. The Mosquito production lines were split between bomber and recon variants with glass noses and fighter variants with the four cannons in the belly and four .303 machine guns in the nose. It really was the master of all things, as it demonstrated when it became a night-fighter, torpedo bomber, and even in its dotage it was well-used as a target tug until the early 60s. During the war, the Mossie was even converted to carry two bouncing bombs called Highballs, and always gave a good account of itself, striking fear as well as jealousy into the hearts of the opposition. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, which was evidenced by the German Focke-Wulf Ta.154 Moskito, which attempted to recreate the success of the wooden Mossie, but failed due largely to inferior construction and use of an acidic glue, causing delamination of the wings in the air. The Mosquito did suffer some wood and glue issues in hot and humid theatres, but those were cured by new techniques and frequent maintenance. The Mosquito was mainly constructed by woodworkers and cabinet-makers that might otherwise have been left idle during the austerity of the war, and it was their skill and ingenuity that contributed to the success of the aircraft, and made it economical to build using little in the way of strategic materials, although the American manufactures couldn’t see it when the plans were first offered to them for license production. Time is unkind to wood however, and very few Mosquitos have survived in airworthy condition, the last one in Britain being lost in 1998 in a fatal crash. One day soon we may get to see one or possibly even two in the skies of the UK again, and there are already a few in the air elsewhere in the world, most rebuilt by a company called AVSPEC in New Zealand. The Kit This is a new boxing of the original kit from 2018, adding more fighter-bomber parts to the box to portray this mark more accurately. The kit arrives in a small end-opening box with one of the profiles of the decal options on the front, and all of them on the rear. Inside are two full-size sprues plus a pair of spinners and two fuselage halves in grey styrene, a clear sprue, decal sheet and the instruction sheet in folded A4, printed in colour. Detail is good, and they seem to have captured the shape of the Mosquito well, with the possible exception of the tail fin, which on referring to photographs appears a little too curved along the leading edge. At this scale that’s the work of moments to correct, using the afore-mentioned references as your guide. Construction begins with the stepped cockpit floor, adding the radio box on the rear shelf, the co-pilot’s seat moulded-in, and the pilot’s seat on a block behind the control column, which is a yoke-style in this boxing. The instrument panel is inserted at the front with a decal providing the dials once the assembly has been painted. Of course, at this scale you can’t expect a totally accurate cockpit, but you could add the co-pilot's raised seat back from a slip of styrene as a simple improvement. The completed cockpit is trapped between the fuselage halves, remembering to paint the interior with light grey/green, and sparing an amount for the tail-wheel bay, which has a tiny circular bulkhead added, to fix the tail wheel to during closure. The wings are made from upper and lower halves, adding landing lights to the underside, which is a surprise at this scale, as are the clear wingtips that give you the ability to have clear lenses at this small scale. The wings butt-join into a socket on the sides of the fuselage, while the elevators have a pair of pins to secure them, all of which should be perpendicular to the tail fin that is moulded into the fuselage. The engine nacelles are handed, and each have a bulkhead inserted into the front and rear of the gear bay, gluing onto the wings from below, and installing the twin-strut gear legs, retraction H-frame, mudguard, the intakes under the nacelles, and flexing the legs around the two-part wheels to allow her to stand on her own tyres. Needle-bladed props are included on the sprues, both covered by aerodynamic spinners that are in a separate bag, and night-operations flare hiders over the location of the exhausts, plus an aerial mast on the spine behind the cockpit, then it’s time to apply the canopy over the cockpit cut-out, install the four nose guns and add optional night fighter antenna at the tip of the nose cone. Markings There are a generous four decal options included on the sheet, which for the scale is relatively large. The schemes are substantially different to please the widest range of modellers, with two camouflaged options, a black night fighter, and a blue/grey Photo-recon bird. From the box you can build one of the following: After a quick test that confirmed my suspicions, the decals appear to be printed by Eduard and are in good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut loosely around the printed areas. I mention Eduard because from 2021, the carrier film on their decals can be coaxed away from the printed part of the decal after they have been applied, effectively rendering them carrier film free, making the completed decals much thinner and more realistic, and obviating the need to apply successive coats of clear varnish to hide the edges of the carrier film. It’s a great step further in realism from my point of view, especially at this scale, and saves a good quantity of precious modelling time into the bargain. Conclusion A handsome model of an aggressive mosquito that really does it justice at this scale, including some unused parts in the shape of bombs, un-shrouded exhausts and two sizes of ‘slipper’ fuel tanks if you wanted to go off-piste to depict another gun-nosed variant. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  7. Mosquito B.Mk.IV Löök (644188 for Tamiya) 1:48 Eduard This set contains a combination of pre-printed resin and PE parts to detail up the cockpit of your Tamiya Mosquito quickly and efficiently. It’s a classic kit that is still just as crisply moulded as it was when first released, but aftermarket technology has proceeded apace in the years since it arrived on our shores. As usual with Eduard's Photo-Etch (PE), Löök and Mask sets, they arrive in a flat resealable package, with a white backing card protecting the contents and the instructions that are sandwiched between. The resin parts are protected by a crystal-clear plastic clamshell box with a sticky pad in the bottom to prevent the parts from rattling around within, while the PE is glued to the cardboard backing. There is one resin part to replace the kit instrument panel in front of the pilot, and two more replacing the transmitter and receiver radio boxes in the rear of the cockpit, all with glossy faced dials, switches and knobs already painted for you on black resin. Additionally, the PE sheet contains four-point belts for the pilot and navigator, and a pair of grab-handles for the R.1155 Radio Receiver. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  8. More DHC-6 Twin Otters Decals (72021) 1:72 Iliad Designs Developed by De Havilland Canada, the Twin Otter was produced in the mid to late 60s by the original DHC, and again in the early 2000s when Viking Air took over the type and restarted production, also taking the name of DHC in 2022. The new production has turbo-prop engines and modern avionics that has broadened its appeal further, thanks to its economy, cargo capacity and excellent rate of climb. It was always a well-regarded aircraft, and its modern variant even more so thanks to the improvements in safety that were included with the other upgrades. This new decal set from Iliad in Canada depicts a variety of airframes in the service of different operators on an A5 sheet of decal paper. There are six decal options included on the sheet with side and top profiles printed on the instructions along with captions and arrowed areas that give additional details to help you make your model more accurate. They are intended to be used with the Revell kit, which is a rebox of the Matchbox kit of yesteryear. The instructions include a substantial quantity of extra information, complete with accompanying photos and diagrams that show the antenna fit, window and door layout that can be found on various editions of this aircraft, which is often adapted to fit its operator at purchase. The underwing decals are shown as ghost images on the overhead profiles and vice versa, which both saves space and paper, which is always a good thing. From the sheet you can decal any of the following: RCAF Aircraft 13808 in UN Service, India Pakistan War, 1971 Twin Otter 77-0465, USAF Parachute Team at Air Force Academy DHC-6 Twin Otter Ethiopian Army, November 1976 DHC-6 Twin Otter Panamanian Naval Air Service Chilean Air Force Twin Otter, SAR Duties Easter Island Peruvian Air Force Transport Transportes Aéreos Naciaonales de Selva (TANS) The decals are printed on a pale blue paper in good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. There are some large areas of carrier film between the lettering by necessity, but due to the extremely thin nature of the film it should disappear, especially if you ensure a highly glossy surface before application. There are also some instructions relating to the decals, particularly the TANS cheatlines, which extend almost the full length of the fuselage and are supplied as three interlocking parts that require careful alignment, thanks to the human eye’s ability to detect things when they're out of whack. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  9. DH.82A Tiger Moth with Bombs (32038) 1:32 ICM via Hannants Ltd The de Havilland Tiger Moth was one of the most important and most widely produced trainer aircraft to have seen service with the RAF. It was designed by Geoffrey de Havilland himself in the 1930s and was based on the Gypsy Moth, suitably redesigned to meet Air Ministry Specification 13/31. In comparison to its predecessor, the Tiger Moth's wings were swept and repositioned, and the cockpits were redesigned to make escape easier. The airframe was also strengthened and the engine exhaust system was redesigned. The Tiger Moth entered service with the RAF in 1932 and remained in service until well after the war. Over 8,000 examples were completed and the type also served with the Royal Australian Air Force, the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Royal New Zealand Air Force as well as a great many other military and civilian operators. In service it proved itself to be ideally suited to its role; easy enough to fly, but challenging enough to weed out the weaker students. It was also cheap and easy to maintain. Further variants would be the DH.82C fitted with an enclosed hood for cold weather operations in Canada; and the Queen Bee which was an unmanned radio-controlled target drone that resulted in a thinning of the herd of surviving airframes. Always popular with civilian users, many Tiger Moths found their way into private ownership after the War, with many maintained in flying condition to this day. The Kit This is a reboxing of the recent tool from ICM that was first released in 2020, so it’s a thoroughly modern model. It includes additional parts that permitted the Tiger Moth to carry bombs, usually as a training device, but if there was nothing airborne and aggressive above the enemy, it’s possible to drop bombs on them from this frail little aircraft, hoping they don’t get the bright idea of shooting back before you have scarpered. The detail is excellent as we’ve come to expect from ICM, and providing you aren’t phobic about rigging, should make a straight-forward build. Construction begins with drilling holes in the two fuselage halves, using holes that are pre-thinned from the inside to ease the way. The fuselage halves are then detailed with throttle quadrants, instrument panels with dial decals, and the bulkheads between the two seating areas. At this time there are a couple more 0.3mm holes drilled in the top cowling in front of the cockpit to insert more rigging wires, which you’ll need to supply yourself, along with more threaded through the holes in the fuselage sides that you drilled earlier. Helpfully, the instructions tell you the length of wire that you should plan for, although I’d be tempted to use the numbers as a minimum value, just in case. You can always cut some off, but adding some on is much more of a skill. With that the fuselage is closed up, a firewall is inserted into the front, and an elevator inserted onto a rectangular peg in the rear of the fuselage, with a choice of narrow insert in the top of the tail area, or the wider strakes that are fitted to two of the decal options, followed by the standard rudder fin, which has the tail skid moulded into the bottom. There is a good representation of the four-cylinder Gypsy Major engine that outputs less power than my perfectly normal family car, which makes one stop and think for a second. The block is in two halves that trap the conical drive-shaft inside, exhaust manifold, mounts and other ancillaries, with a baffle on one side, after which it can be glued into the firewall at the front of the fuselage, and have the cowling parts installed along with the open or closed access doors for the crew, small intake on the starboard cowling, and bumper-strips on the forward edge of each cockpit aperture. A blind-flying hood is supplied in two parts in the retracted position for one decal option, but it is shown on all three, so ignore that. The lucky crew have a three-faceted windscreen placed in recesses in front of them to keep the bugs out of their teeth, then we move onto the wings. The wings are full-width parts, and the lower wing is made first, drilling rigging holes in the top surface, and leaving off the underside of this and the topside of the upper wing until after the rigging is complete. Whilst that might work for some, I’d be a little wary of gluing big parts such as the wings together after painting, although that’s just my opinion. You may have noticed there were no more cockpit details made up earlier, which is because the rest of the cockpit is built on the lower wing centre, as that’s where you will find the cockpit floor. A narrow control assembly is made first with rudder bars and control columns in duplicate, fitting into the cockpit floor on eight small rectangular slots, then joined by the aft seat, and the weird front seat that is moulded as a deep depression into the bulkhead between the two. The lower wing (upper only) is then mated with the fuselage, completing the cockpit at the same time. The interplane struts are individual parts in the outer wings, with two Z-shaped cabane struts fixed high on the fuselage sides just in front of the cockpit. More rigging holes are drilled into the lower half of the upper wing before joining it to the struts and adding the ribbed fuel tank to the centre of the upper wing. The next two diagrams shows the location of the rigging using red lines, dotting them where they pass out of sight, and numbering them in a dot-to-dot fashion. After completion of rigging, the upper-upper and lower-lower wing halves are glued in place, hiding any messy rigging knots that you might have left. It does make for a clean job of the rigging, but I’m no expert at rigging. The upper wing has a pair of slats added to the leading edge, and ailerons to the lower trailing edge, then it’s time to make the landing gear. The wheels of the Tiger Moth are moulded in two halves, and slide over the axle-ends of a single complex W-shaped (ish) strut, which once it is in place is buttressed by four support struts that prevent the gear collapsing on landing. A little L-shaped tube glues to the underside of the fuselage while it’s upside down, and actuators are added under the ailerons, plus a couple of support struts are fitted between the elevators and fuselage, which also have triangular actuators added to small slots that are mirrored on the rudder, with more rigging added there later on. The prop is a single part that snugs into the tapered drive-shaft, and then it’s bomb-time! The Tiger moth could carry eight bombs on two palettes suspended from the underside of the fuselage, which are made up from the flat palette, plus four upstands with two anti-sway braces each. The bombs have one side and the full core of the tail moulded as one part, to which the other side and two-part cylindrical tail are fitted, gluing four into each palette, then attaching them to the underside according to the diagram. After completion of the final rigging to the tail, a further diagram has a set of shapes printed that you can use to pattern your own masks for the two canopies if you don’t want to spend extra money on a masking set. I like these, but haven’t used them yet, and would suggest reducing the tape’s stickiness by applying it to a clean surface first, to avoid tearing the paper when you remove it. Markings There are three decal options on the sheet, with two in typical British camouflage with yellow undersides, although they have different demarcations, plus an all-silver aircraft that was posted overseas. From the box you can build one of the following: No.1 Elementary Flying Training School (1, EFTS), RAF, 1940 Malayan Volunteer Air Force, Singapore, winter of 1942 (probably) No.1 Elementary Flying Training School (1, EFTS), RAF, 1943 Decals are by ICM’s usual partner, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The inclusion of instrument dials is good news, as they’re just dials in isolation from the panel, so you can paint the panel yourself, rather than having to put up with sometimes unrealistic panel background that are often included in panel decals. Conclusion Another grand reboxing of this kit that has probably already made more than a few 1:32 modellers happy since 2020, as well as anyone that has flown in one when they were cutting their pilot’s teeth. Highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  10. Hi all, I'm in the process of painting the cockpit of my Airfix Vampire here, and am banging my head against a brick wall about the bottle that's to the side of the seat on the cockpit rear bulkhead. Is it a fire extinguisher as I originally thought, or an O2 bottle for Mr Pilot? Irresepectigardless, what colour would it be? I've been hunting the various walkarounds including our own, and haven't seen a pic anywhere Anyone help?
  11. Vampire F.3 Seat PRINT (648753 for Airfix) 1:48 Eduard Brassin PRINT The new Airfix De Havilland Vampire F.3 has been available since late 2021, and you can see our original review here. A number of Photo-Etch (PE) and 3D printed decal sets have been released already now, and that range is still growing. This new set provides a directly 3D Printed ejection seat for the Vampire in incredible detail. The set arrives in a flat Brassin pack with card insert keeping it and the instructions straight, and the parts themselves are safely protected inside a small clear plastic box to prevent crush damage and jostling. Inside the clear foil bag is the box containing the ejection seat, which has a small sticky label within to reduce the likelihood of excessive movement of the part. The detail is truly stunning, and there is more to come from the included Photo-Etch (PE) sheet of seatbelts, which attach to the rear cockpit bulkhead after opening up a small hole in the seat armour above the new seatback. The seat has a rolled quilted back cushion, and the adjustment mechanism is baked-in during the printing process. You will need to supply a piece of 0.6mm rod or wire to stretch behind the seat as part of the mounting/adjustment equipment, and once you have it installed in place of the kit seat, you can apply the nickel-plated pre-painted belts, complete with comfort pads under the buckles. You could argue that little will be seen within the gloomy black cockpit of a post-war British fighter jet, but if one thing will be visible, it’s the seat, and this one will be sure to impress. The photo above shows the two kit seats on the left and centre, with and without belts. There are no other parts for attachment to the kit seat, so no adjustment mechanism will be seen. The PRINT seat on the right is exactly as it comes off the printing block, after sanding back the underside where the block attached. The belts are added later, and if you were to fit the rather strangely-shaped pilot, you'd be hiding all that detail. The photo shows up some light layering, although that will disappear under a coat of paint or primer. The difference in detail is stunning, and the shape is much more authentic. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  12. Vampire F.3 Wheels (648741 for Airfix) 1:48 Eduard Brassin Kit wheels are generally in two halves, which means you have the resultant joins to deal with, possible mould-slip issues on single part wheels, and sometimes less than stellar detail due to the moulding limitations of styrene injection technology, especially in the tread department. That's where replacement resin wheels come in, with their lack of seamline and superior detail making a compelling argument. They are also usually available at a reasonable price, and can be an easy introduction to aftermarket and resin handling, as they are usually a drop-in replacement. This set contains three resin wheels and a sheet of kabuki-tape masks. The main wheels are cut from their casting blocks at the bottom, where the slight weighting can be seen, while the tail-wheel has an anti-shimmy groove around the middle, and is trapped between the two halves of the kit yoke. Each wheel is a drop-in replacement for the kit parts, and as mentioned are supplied with pre-cut masks from the Kabuki-tape sheet (not pictured) inside the package to make the job even easier. The detail is exceptional as we’ve come to expect from Eduard’s wheels, and it has to be seen to be believed. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  13. Mosquito Wheels (648746 for Tamiya) 1:48 Eduard Brassin Kit wheels are generally in two halves, which means you have the resultant joins to deal with, possible mould-slip issues on single part wheels, and sometimes less than stellar detail due to the moulding limitations of styrene injection technology, especially in the tread department. That's where replacement resin wheels come in, with their lack of seamline and superior detail making a compelling argument. They are also usually available at a reasonable price, and can be an easy introduction to aftermarket and resin handling, as they are usually a drop-in replacement. This set contains three resin wheels, four outer hubs to give you a choice of two styles for the mains, a replacement tail-wheel strut in tougher white resin, and a sheet of kabuki-tape masks. The square-tread main wheels are cut from their casting blocks at the bottom, where the slight weighting can be seen, with the tail-wheel similarly prepared and slotted between the two legs of the new resin yoke. Each wheel is a drop-in replacement for the kit parts, and as mentioned are supplied with pre-cut masks from the Kabuki-tape sheet (not pictured) inside the package to make the job even easier. The detail is exceptional as we’ve come to expect from Eduard’s wheels, especially around the tread and maker’s details, and it has to be seen to be believed. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  14. Chipmunk T.10 Wheels (648699 for Airfix) 1:48 Eduard Brassin Kit wheels are generally in two halves, which means you have the resultant joins to deal with, possible mould-slip issues on single part wheels, and sometimes less than stellar detail due to the moulding limitations of styrene injection technology, especially in the tread department. That's where replacement resin wheels come in, with their lack of seamline and superior detail making a compelling argument. They are also usually available at a reasonable price, and can be an easy introduction to aftermarket and resin handling, as they are usually a drop-in replacement. As usual with Eduard's Photo-Etch (PE), small Brassin, and Mask sets, they arrive in a flat resealable package, with a white backing card protecting the contents and the instructions that are sandwiched between. There are two wheels included in the package, each one on its own casting block, and there is also a small sheet of pre-cut kabuki tape masks, allowing you to cut the demarcation between tyres and hubs with little effort. Detail is excellent, and includes the raised Good Year name with winged boot and tyre stats on the sidewalls, a circumferential tread on the contact patch, and hub detail in the centre. The tyres have a very slight sag to simulate the weight of the aircraft on them, and they are joined to the casting block there, so clean-up is simple and you don’t risk damaging the detail. Once liberated from their block, they are a straight-forward drop-in replacement. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  15. DH Chipmunk T.10 Main Wheels (Q48397 for Airfix) 1:48 CMK by Special Hobby Kit wheels are generally in two halves, which means you have the resultant joins to deal with, possible mould-slip issues on single part wheels, and sometimes less than stellar detail due to the moulding limitations of styrene injection technology, especially in the tread department. That's where replacement resin wheels come in, with their lack of seamline and superior detail making a compelling argument. They are also usually available at a reasonable price, and can be an easy introduction to aftermarket and resin handling, as they are usually a drop-in replacement. This set from CMK’s Quick & Easy line is exactly that, and arrives in a flat-pack plastic bag with header card and instructions stapled to it, holding the two replacement resin wheels on one casting block. Detail is exceptional, and includes the raised manufacturer name and tyre stats on the sidewalls, a circumferential tread on the contact patch, and hub detail in the centre, including brakes on the inner side. The tyres have a slight sag to imply the weight of the aircraft on them, and they are joined to the casting block there, so clean-up is simple and you don’t risk damaging the detail. Once liberated from their block, they are a drop-in replacement. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  16. Hello there! I would like to present you freshly finished kit - DH.80 Puss Moth from the Czech manufacturer Avimodels. The build took about three weeks and the whole progress is documented here: Everything was said in this thread, but I would like to just add a few things. I hope that some decal manufacturers will produce extra decal sheet with record breaking machines. If so, you have to beware of the differences on each of the aircraft (and there were loads of differences!). If you want to build an aircraft with the larger wheel diameter, you have to scratch it, or use a spare pair. Also the engine is not provided and the doors are not scribed. But all the way round the kit is well constructed and the clear parts fits together really well (for a short-run kit!). It was a pleasure to build this kit and I hope it will be in stock in the UK soon. The price is quite high, but the type is a must have! Thank you for looking. And now the details: And in flight
  17. de Havilland Sea Vixen FAW.2 1/72 Revell (03866) The DeHavilland Sea Vixen was a twin boomed fight designed for use by the Fleet Air Arm in the 1960’s. It was the first British twin seat aircraft that could achieve supersonic speed, although not in level flight. While it was a great improvement over the previous FAA aircraft, it could be difficult to handle and many were lost in crashes during its operational history. The Royal Navy Historic Flight current has the only flight worthy example, although this too had an accident not long ago where its hydraulic system failed and it had to be landed on its belly at RNAS Yeovilton. This caused considerable damage to the underside of the fuselage, and it is now highly unlikely to fly again. The Kit Here Revell have reboxed the Cyberhobby kit from 2013, which was a re-issue of their FAW.1 kit with new parts for the FAW.2. This is released under their "British Legends" box art. the kit arrives on three major spures, two smaller sprues, and two clear sprues. the parts are very well moulded with fine recessed panel lines, the slide moulded single part tailplanes looking very good indeed. There is the option to fold the wings included in the kit. Underwing stores include a pair of Red Top missiles, 2" Rocket pods and fuel tanks. Both styles of canopy for the radar operators station are included in the kit. Construction starts with the cockpit. There are single part seats for the the pilot and the radar operator. Consoles and side consoles are added along with the instrument panels. Details here are provided as decals. Once the cockpit is complete the sub-assemblies for the intakes and exhausts are made up. Now we turn to the large main body mouldings. Holes must be drilled for the wing pylons, once this is done the wheel wells and additional intake parts are added. The intakes and exhaust, and cockpit can then be added in. The radar operators side window is then placed in the upper moulding before the two are joined. At the rear of the top body there is a housing for the emergency RAT which can be modelled deployed, or this area can be closed up as the modeller wants. At the front the nose cone goes on, and at the rear the exhaust nib follows. The modeller must now decide whether they want to fold the wings or not as different parts are used for this on the main body. To the rear the tail and its supporting booms are made up and added on. The wings can then be assembled as needed. Here separate flaps are provided as single parts for the open wing, or two part for the folded wing. There is detail in the wells but no option on the instructions to show them extended. If building the wing down the outers can now be added in place. Following this the tail booms go on with the enlarged fuel tank parts going on over the wings. Moving to the underside of the aircraft the large central air brake is added, this can be either in the open or closed position. If modelling the aircraft in flight all the gear doors can be closed up (though its worth mentioning no pilots are provided in the kit). If modelling the gear down then the gear legs and wheels can be built up and added. Moving to the rear the large arrestor hook assembly is built up and added, again this can be raised or lowered. The canopies are added at this stage along with the wing mounted re-fueling probe and pitot tube. The prominent wing feces are also added at this stage. Underwing pylons ad armaments can be added as required. If you were modelling your aircraft with folded wings the outers can now be added with the stays to hold them up. Decals Decals are printed in Italy by Zanetti and should pose no problems. 2 options are included; XJ609 - 890 Sqn Fleet Air Arm, RNAS Yeovilton 1971 XJ578 - 899 Sqn Fleet Air Arm, HMS Eagle, 1970 Conclusion This is a well thought out and executed kit of the Sea Vixen FAW.2. Its great to see it re-released by Revell as its now readily available with a good quality decal sheet, though with fewer options than the original. Highly recommended. Currently, Revell are unable to ship to the UK from their online shop due to recent changes in import regulations. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  18. AZ model is to release a new tool family of 1/72nd de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito. Among others the NF.30 variant. Source: http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235010228-kpaz-central-discussion-questions-answers/&do=findComment&comment=2686107 First announcement was made with a NF.19 picture V.P.
  19. I bought this kit few days ago and after a short viewing I decided to start immediately. There are lots of imperfections in this kit at first sight such as missing doors, no instrument dials at all, air intake is sealed and both types of tires are wrong for the markings included in the kit. That's why I want this kit to be over before it grounds forever in my stash. I started with wings (they are quite nicely featured) and then with other major parts. Next step will be interior enhancements and creating the first engine cylider into the air intake. I am not sure about the marking yet, but the Czechoslovak Baťa company is my favorite so far (but it needs a pair of new wheels). At first I wanted to build the famous G-ABXY "The Hearts Content" but after a short realisation I declined it. There were just too many differences on this record machine that will put this build to another level but all I want now is just a calm pleasant build only with necessary enhances. So there we go, first images: Windows:
  20. Trumpeter is to release in 2017-2018 a new tool 1/48th de Havilland DH.110 Sea Vixen FAW.2 - ref. 05808 Source: https://www.facebook.com/TrumpeterModel/photos/pcb.718760784949184/718760511615878/?type=3&theater V.P.
  21. DH.82 Tiger Moth Resin Updates (for Airfix) 1:48 CMK by Special Hobby Airfix’s new kit of the Tiger Moth in 1:48 has proved very popular, selling out at Airfix soon after release, but still available from their distributers. Aftermarket was inevitable, and here is a large handful from CMK, Special Hobby’s resin division. As usual with CMK's resin sets, they arrive in the familiar clear vacformed box that has a hanger cut-out, with the resin parts safely inside, and the instructions sandwiched between the header card at the rear. Decals and Photo-Etch (PE) when included are separated from the resin parts by a clear piece of acetate to prevent scratching and damage during transit. Cockpit Correction Set (4407) This comprehensive set requires no adaptation of the kit and contains 32 resin parts, plus a set of PE parts and decals for the instrument panel. A colour diagram shows the correct painting and decaling of the instrument panels, then the resin cockpit floor is detailed with resin and PE parts, plus a central raised section and rudder pedals, plus crew seats with belts. The sidewalls are similarly detailed with more parts, and wire from your own stock is added according to instructions, after which the new cockpit can be put into the fuselage and finished off with the protective leather bumpers at the front of the instructor and student’s coamings. Painting guidance is shown in colour throughout the instructions using colour names rather than numbers from a specific brand. Control Surfaces (4408) This set of fifteen resin parts includes all the flying surfaces, requiring only the ailerons to be removed from the wings with a razor saw, to be replaced by the resin parts and the small resin actuators. The tail is a drop-in replacement with separate fins, elevators and ridder parts, plus tiny triangular attachment arms for the actuators on each surface. Luggage Box (4409) Requiring a cut-out of the door on the fuselage, this three-part set includes a bay that extends the full width of the fuselage, a soft bag, and a replacement door for the area cut away. You will need to check your references for the correct colour for the bay, as there are no call-outs in the instructions. Exterior Set (4410) This four-part set includes a new highly detailed top cowling, plus a ribbed fuel tank with some exquisite detail, filler cap and vent, all of which is a straight forward drop-in replacement improvement to realism. Main Wheels & Tail Skid (4411) The kit wheels are each single parts, but have a mould seam to clean up, which is where these resin wheels come in, as well as offering a choice of two styles of hub on the inner face, and three on the outer. They’re a drop-in replacements, as is the rear skid that is moulded in a tougher black resin to resist breakage or bending over time. Main Wheels & Tail Wheel (4413) The kit wheels are each single parts, but have a mould seam to clean up, which is where these resin wheels come in, as well as offering a choice of two styles of hub on the inner face, and three on the outer. They’re a drop-in replacement, as is the tiny rear wheel that is moulded in a tougher black resin to resist breakage or bending over time. Cockpit Entry Hatches (4412) These are replacement parts for the kit hatches, which although they are reasonably thin for styrene moulding, they appear quite clumsy and thick by comparison to these wafer-thin resin ones. There are four hatches in total, all attached tenuously to their pour blocks, facilitating easy removal with a sharp blade. They’re drop-in replacements, so once removed and cleaned up, there’s nothing more to it. Conclusion You can pick and choose the areas of interest that you want to detail to suit your needs, budget and skillset. As you can see, the detail is sublime. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  22. After doing two consecutive builds ti finish on time before a competition where both models were rushed to the finish line I've had enough of deadlines for a while. From now on, or rather until august atleast I will not bother with time schedules but just doing things whenever I feel like it, in any order and on any kit. But, in order to reduce the stash a little I will off course start another kit, instead of carry on with another one at full focus. Not to worry, the Sea vixen WILL get a little more love before soon. Anyway, what do we have here then? Well, a Tamiya Mossie from the 90:s is not the most difficult of kits, so I need to complicate things a little bit more. Hence, a light load of aftermarket candy: Turned gun barrels, some resin for the cockpit (more about that later) and some rather tasty decals from Aviaeology. Only thing missing is off course some quickboost exhausts, but that will come in due time. 333Sqn seems to have been a rather busy bunch, venturing up and down the Norwegian coast looking for prey for the rest of the Banff Strike Wing to obliterate. I have not yet decided which one to do, but I have in my mind a dirty, beaten up old warhorse in Extra Dark Sea grey over Sky, with suitable amount of repaint here and there. It's oh so clear in my mind, i just need to make that happen in the meatspace... The Tamiya plastic sure is fine though! Ok, where to start then? Digging for references might be a good idea, and then prepare the cockpit for the resin pieces I guess. But for now, I need to head off to the office instead and do work. Too bad 🙂
  23. Another day, another lockdown completion! Not quite; I’d started this model some months ago, but only painted parts on sprue and partly assembled the cockpit. I picked it up again as the time filler between paint coats on the Tsu-Chang (see other RFI). Its an interesting contrast to the Taiwanese jet given both were designed 50 years apart for effectively the same job! As you can see it’s the civilian boxing, though the strakes show that G-ACDC is ex-wartime RAF (though built as a civilian and later called to the colours). Painted in Tamiya acrylics, probably the red should have a tinge more maroon. I went with red DH “hubcaps”, though Airfix instructions say silver – I think silver are the bare wheels in some photos of Delta Charlie. Just to show how small it is: It’s a nice kit that generally goes together okay. The fit of the extra strakes could have been done better (by me) so that less filler was required. Rigging was metallic embroidery thread (a suggestion somewhere on the net), which is probably overscale but gives a good effect. The only real issue is keeping everything tightened correctly, pulling a line taut can result in another distant one slackening off (the same issue would be true for fishing line or invisible thread options). In the two mornings since it was rigged its appeared different lines are tight so maybe picking up some atmospherics? To my eyes there’s possibly a slightly greater stagger on one side than the other, whether it started crooked or was induced by the rigging is a bit late to worry about now. This is a hairy Tiger Moth: Unfortunately robust clean up of such a delicate and mostly painted model is difficult; added to which the silver colour highlights any flaws so there are some defects where the wires were trimmed and made good. Nevertheless it was a good primer in small scale biplane construction, there’s plenty more in the stash…unfortunately most are RAF or USN interwar types so there’s a lot of rigging vs silver paint rectification in my future. Cheers Will
  24. LEMkits is studying the idea of a 1/32nd de Havilland Vampire FB.Mk.5 resin kit. To be followed Source: https://www.facebook.com/andriy.lemkitscom/posts/2231758820417172 V.P.
  25. I am looking at buying a model of a de Havilland Comet & would very much appreciate some advice as to which one to choose. From what I can make out, the options in 1:144 are the old Airfix 4B, Amodel 4B or 4C, and the F-RSIN Comet 1, whereas in 1:72, there is Mach 2's 4B. I have read individual reviews of each, and all clearly have their good (& not so good) features - e.g. Airfix has raised panel lines but seems to fit ok (at least for its age!), whereas Amodel has engraved lines but reviews suggest fit isn't great. However, I have not been able to find any direct comparison reviews between the 1:144 ones or build reviews of the Mach 2. I do not mind whether it is a Comet 1, or a Comet 4 - what I am after is a decent representation of a Comet, and one that is not going to take (too) much work to build, to display. With that in mind, which would be the best one to go for?
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