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Found 299 results

  1. Hello all, Here is my recently completed 1/48 Hobbyboss Su-30MKK Flanker, marked as an MK2 of the Venezuelan Air Force. The build thread is here Extras used included Wolfpack Designs K-36 ejection seats, Caracal decals, Master pitot tube, Eduard Brassin OFAB-250 bombs and Quickboost intake covers (modified F-14 examples). Overall the Hobbyboss kit is decent, with some lovely details, but a few niggling points, but nothing major. With my Vietnamese and Indonesian examples (both Academy kits): Thanks for looking. Dave
  2. Hello all, Here is my entry for this GB: Hobbyboss 1/48 Su-30MKK, marked as an MK2 of the Venezuelan Air Force. Kit: Extras: Caracal decals, Master pitot tube, Eduard Brassin OFAB-250 bombs, Wolfpack K-36 ejection seats and Quickboost F-14 FOD covers (modified to fit). This is what i'm going for: https://imgur.com/lcPwxA9 Fully armed: http://www.planobrazil.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Su-30-venezuela-3.jpg http://i.imgur.com/x1jsE8j.jpg Going for, 2x ECM pods on wingtips, 2x R-73, 4x OFAB-250, 2x KH-31, 2x KH-29 and 2x R-77. (the above pictures show R-27s on the intake pylons but these are being replaced with the KH-29s. Looks a nice kit, hopefully it's a bit easier to assemble than the Academy offering. Dave
  3. Hello maritime builders. I’ve been slowly getting back into this hobby this year and this is my very first attempt at maritime modelling so I know there’ll be plenty of mistakes, but I wanted to do it to learn new skills and techniques. As described in the ‘Work in progress’ thread, this Hobbyboss kit is really excellent for its size and cost and is a very quick build. The kit has been built OOTB with the only exception being the VLF aerials. These were added because they’re a prominent feature on the full size craft, although finding a suitable scale size medium proved a bit troublesome. In the end my darling partner came to the rescue and donated some of her very fine hair which happened to be near enough scale in thickness. The hair was fixed in place with medium CA glue and the insulators were simply blobs of thick CA. The hair was painted in German Grey and the insulators in Red Brown. I’m fairly happy with the end result and I had intended to place the sub on a ‘North Sea’ diorama, but chickened out as making dioramas is a whole new skill that I need to learn at a later date. Anyway, modelling at this scale with Mr. Magoo eyes and sausage fingers has tested my patience somewhat (especially the PE and aerial wires), but it’s certainly kept me entertained! BTW, as ever, constructive criticism is more than welcome and I must say a big thank you to Tobby on this forum as it was his U-boat presentation that inspired me to have a go.
  4. Having been inspired by Tobby the Hun’s 1/350 U-Boat diorama I decided to have a go myself as I’ve always had a keen interest in Wolfpack subs. As the title suggests I’ve bought the Hobbyboss type IX (it cost less than a tenner!) and when it arrived on my building board I immediately realised that I should have bought a larger scale because a 1/350 sub is very small (less than 9” long!) for my ageing, arthritic, sausage fingers, but never mind, I like a challenge. Either that or I’m mad! The parts are extremely well detailed considering it’s diminutive size and I wonder why some of the larger AFV’s seem so crude by comparison. Cost I suppose? Anyway, I didn’t take any pictures of the sprues and PE as there really aren’t many parts to show so I’ve waited until the two main structures have been assembled and primed. The PE parts for the various hand rails were a real challenge to shape and adhere in place, but so far I think I’ve managed to do a half decent job. Next task is the basic colour scheme and marrying the conning tower to the sub. Small details like the guns, antennae and aerial wires will be assembled afterwards. To assist in handling during painting I’ve tack glued some scrap sprue to the two main parts as the PE is very fragile and vulnerable to being clobbered. BTW, this is my first sea going craft since I built the little Airfix Mayflower when I was a youngster back in the 60’s so it’s long overdue! To be continued.....
  5. Hobby Boss 2018-2019. Sources: https://www.facebook.com/TrumpeterModel/photos/a.220979711393963.1073741904.103526326472636/900262410132353/?type=3&theater https://www.facebook.com/TrumpeterModel/photos/a.220979711393963.1073741904.103526326472636/900284243463503/?type=3&theater Cover Targets also called bins with tracks... V.P.
  6. MAN LKW 5t MIL GL Truck Hobbyboss 1:35 In the 1960s the Bundeswher was looking to replace its fleet of vehicles which stemmed from the birth of the modern German Army. They wanted a fleet of 2, 3 & 4 axle vehicles in the 4 to 10 tonne payload range which had to be amphibious. As it was a large task it was suggested that bidding companies form a common development company for a unified project. This was set up under the leadership of MAN and included Klockner-Humboldt-Deutz, Bussins, Krup, and Henschel. The specification agreed was for a cross country capable, amphibious, all wheel drive, run flat tyres, steel cab, NBC protection, and a multifuel engine. In 1975 the German Army & MAN signed the contract to produce 4x4, 6x6 and 8x8 vehicles. The 4x4 or KAT I & KAT I A1 vehicle is the type 452 (and 462 with fitted winch). They are powered by a V8 Deutz diesel engine and are mainly flatbed or covered type trucks. The distinctive cab with the cut away corners stems from the need for the vehciles to be rail transported on standard flat cars. Earlier trucks had fixed cabs but later ones tilting ones which made engine maintainance much easier. All vehicles feature a mount for a MG3 machine gun (basically an MG42!). The Kit The kit arrives on 12 sprues plus the drivers cab and the tyres, a nice inclusion is masks for the windows. For a standard 4x4 truck the box is packed with parts. Construction starts with the gear box and differentials for the transmission. These are made up and the suspension components (air bags & springs) are added. The tuck chassis is then made up from a surprising number of components and the gear box, differentials and drive shafts are then added. These are highly detailed and made up from a number of components. Once the chassis is finished the wheels can be built up, the tyres added and then they are attached to the chassis. Work then moves to the cab. The dash board is built up with some of the drivers foot controls added underneath it. The base plate of the cab has the gear controls and a few other parts added then the dash is fitted. Once this is in the drivers seat and steering wheel are added along with the bench seat for the passengers. This is then the lower part of the cab complete. Moving onto the upper part the windows added along with a couple of internal parts and the main rear bulkhead. The upper cab can then be attached to the floor. The spare wheel and carrier are completed and attached to the cab, followed by the main doors being completed and added. The rightside equipment locker is also built up and added. On the outside of the cab the front bumper is added along with the roof hatch, mirrors, wipers and parts for the engine hatch. The completed cab can then be added ot the chassis. After this is done the exhaust system is built up and added. Along with some additional parts under the cab. Next up the truck bed needs to built up. The side stanchions are added to the flat bed and the drop down side panels can then be added. The fixed head board is added along with the steps to access up the cab. If the seating for the rear bed is to be used this then must be made up, and added. Weapons racks can then be made up and attached to the head board if using the seating. Moving on to the underside of the truck bed supports are added along with the mud flaps and racking for ancillary equipment. This includes fuel cans, wheel chocks and equipment lockers. Hoops and the frame for the tilt covering for the flat bed can then be added if needed. If the modeller wants the rear to be covered then they will need to make their own covering. To be honest any plastic moulded one will not probably look great so in a way its good they left this off. Once the load bed is complete it can be added to the chassis and the truck is then complete. Decals Theses are minimal as the vehicles did not carry many markings. Decals are supplied for a UN attached truck in overall white and a KFOR deployed vehicle. Conclusion It is great to see a modern support vehicle being made available, this gives many diorama possibilities as well as a great stand alone model. The kit is nicely complex and should build up to be a great looking kit. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  7. Hello all .... As I said in my Scooter RFI I built this Hobbyboss FJ-4b Fury along side it. Its not a bad kit but i do think at least in some ways its a clone of the Grand phoenix Fury. I built the Grand phoenix fury as my 3rd model when I came back in 2014. I will add a few photos of it at the tail end of this RFI. I’m a bit of a nut with Sabres, Furies, and Super Sabres. I will let the plane do most of the talking. I chose to represent a Fury flown by VA-55 in 1958 off the USS Bennington. I had a spare decal set for the codes. But i hand painted the Checkerboards & made a mask for the Trident. Thanks to @Tailspin Turtle for his assistance in finding photo’s. So here is my VA-55 Fury. I chose to arm this with Two Aim-9b’s, two drop tanks, & two rocket pods. The Grand Phoenix Fury is from VMA-212 and has two Aim-9b’s, Two gas bags, & a data-link pod and a Bullpup missle. Ok the Grand Phoenix Fury is in the back, with the red markings. Yes i know the codes are reversed i didn't catch it right away when i built it. Well I hope they meet with your approval. As usual Comments, Questions, or Jokes ? Someday i hope to do a whif of both the FJ-5 fury proposal that was to compete with the A-7 and the Super Fury that was to compete with the F-8 Crusader. But this will be for another time. Dennis
  8. Hi all T-28 from Hobbyboss, 1/35. OOB The model is made for the customer. Cheers Martin
  9. USS Alaska CB-1 Hobbyboss 1:350 USS Alaska (CB-1) was the lead ship of the Alaska class of large cruisers which served with the United States Navy during the end of World War II. She was the first of two ships of her class to be completed, followed only by Guam; four other ships were ordered but were not completed before the end of the war. Alaska was the third vessel of the US Navy to be named after what was then the territory of Alaska. She was laid down on 17 December 1941, ten days after the outbreak of war, was launched in August 1943 by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation, in Camden, New Jersey, and was commissioned in June 1944. She was armed with a main battery of nine 12 in (300 mm) guns in three triple turrets. She was 808 feet 6 inches (246.43 m) long overall and had a beam of 91 ft 1 in (27.76 m) and a draft of 31 ft 10 in (9.70 m). She displaced 29,779 long tons (30,257 t) as designed and up to 34,253 long tons (34,803 t) at full combat load. The ship was powered by four-shaft General Electric geared steam turbines and eight oil-fired Babcock & Wilcox boilers rated at 150,000 shaft horsepower (110,000 kW), generating a top speed of 33 knots (61 km/h; 38 mph). The ship had a cruising range of 12,000 nautical miles (22,000 km; 14,000 mi) at a speed of 15 kn (28 km/h; 17 mph). She carried four OS2U Kingfisher or SC Seahawk seaplanes, with a pair of steam catapults mounted amidships. Her shakedown cruise took her to Chesapeake Bay and Trinidad and was followed by a period of yard work. She set off for the Pacific in mid-November 1944, and reached the Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor on 13 January 1945. She crossed the Pacific to Ulithi with TG 12.2, and at the start of February 1945 she joined TG 58.5, which included the carriers USS Saratoga CV-3 and USS Enterprise CV-6), as part of the carrier screen. She took part in the final stages of the fighting on Iwo Jima, the invasion of Okinawa, and supported the fast carriers during their raids on the Japanese Home Islands and in the East China Sea. She was awarded three battle stars for her World War II service. On 10 February the Alaska sailed as part of TG 58.5. This was the first major carrier strike on the Japanese Home Islands, and was intended to provide cover for the invasion of Iwo Jima. Poor weather prevented the Japanese from attacking the US fleet. The ship was then moved to TG 58.4 to support the invasion of Iwo Jima. Her task force wasn't attacked during the nineteen days the Alaska was based off Iwo Jima. On 14 March the fleet left Ulithi to conduct another raid on the Japanese home islands, this time with the aim of destroying Japanese aircraft before the invasion of Okinawa. The Alaska was still with TG 58.4, which contained the carriers Yorktown (CV-10), Intrepid (CV-11), Independence (CVL-22) and Langley (CVL-27), and once again was part of their anti-aircraft screen. The carriers hit airfields at Usa, Oita and Saeki on 18 March. The Alaska finally got to fire her guns in anger on this day when Japanese aircraft attacked the fleet. Her first target was a Yokosuka P1Y 'Frances', which was targeting the carrier Intrepid, but that was destroyed by a direct hit from the Alaska. This marked the start of a day of kamikaze attacks, but most were shot down by the carrier's fighter aircraft or heavy AA gunfire. The Alaska claimed a second victory over a 'Judy'. On 19 March the carriers sent their aircraft against Japanese warships in the Inland Sea. Once again the US fleet came under air attack. The carriers Franklin (CV-13) and Wasp (CV-18) were both hit. The Alaska and her sister ship USS Guam (CB-2) were allocated to a new salvage unit, TU 58.2.9, which was formed to protect the Franklin. The unit contained the two Alaska class ships, the light cruiser Santa Fe (CL-60) and three destroyer divisions. The damaged carrier made for Guam, covered by TU 58.2.9. The other carriers from TG 58.2 provided more distant cover. On the afternoon of 19 March the small fleet was approached by two aircraft. One was identified as a friendly, but the other was a 'Judy', which was able to attack and escape unscathed. The Franklin was also undamaged, but the Alaska suffered her only combat casualty of the war when several men suffered flash burns. The Alaska escorted the Franklin until 22 March, when she was freed to rejoin TG 58.4. Late that day a Japanese submarine was detected close to the group, and it was rammed and sunk on the following morning. The Alaska returned to her position in the anti-aircraft screen while the carriers bombarded Okinawa. In late March the Alaska was ordered to bombard the island of Minami Daito Shima, 160 miles east of Okinawa, while on her way to refuel. She fired 45 12in shells and 352 rounds of 5in anti-aircraft shells at the island on the night of 27-28 March, without any response from the island. TG 58.4 refuelled and then returned to Okinawa to protect the invasion forces. The Alaska supported the invasion of 1 April, and also provided anti-aircraft cover. The Japanese navy attempted to send a suicide sortie of heavy ships to Okinawa, but they were repulsed by carrier aircraft on 7 April. Amongst their victims was the giant battleship Yamato. During April the Alaska covered the fast carriers as they operated against targets on Okinawa and on Kyushu. She claimed one assist and one victory on 11 April and three victories and three assists on 16 April, although on the same day the carrier Intrepid was hit. The Alaska returned to Ulithi to replenish on 14 May, after two months at sea. The 5th Fleet now became the 3rd Fleet, and the Alaska thus became part of TG 38.4. The group now included the carrier Ticonderoga (CV-14) and the battleship Iowa (BB-61). The fleet sailed in late May, and once again the Alaska formed part of the anti-aircraft screen. She also carried out another shore bombardment, this time hitting Okino Daito Shima, close to Minami Daito Shima, on 9 June, when her targets were Japanese radar bases. The Alaska spent the period between 13 June and 13 July resting at San Pedro Bay, Leyte. She was then allocated to the new Task Force 95, the first US surface fleet to enter the East China Sea since the attack on Pearl Harbor. The task force, which also included the Guam, encountered very little resistance during three sweeps into the East China Sea, operating from a base at Buckner Bay on Okinawa. After the Japanese surrender the Alaska formed part of the 7th Fleet's occupation forces. She visited the Yellow Sea and the Gulf of Chihli, before reaching Inchon in Korea on 8 September 1945 to support US troops that were occupying the southern part of Korea. She then moved to Tsingtao a former German possession on the Chinese coast taken by the Japanese early in the First World War. The US Marines occupied the port in October. The Alaska finally left the Far East in November as the start of a 'Magic Carpet' trip back to the United States. She reached Boston on 18 December 1945, where she prepared to be inactivated. She was placed in commission in the reserve on 13 August 1946 and out of commission on 17 February 1947. She was struck off on 1 June 1960 and sold for scrapping later in the year. The Model With so many maritime subjects being released over the last 5 years or so it’s great to see that there are still plenty of new and previously un-kitted subjects around. If you had asked me 10 years ago if I would see many of these subjects in any scale, let alone 1:350 then I would have probably said no. But we are living in a golden age of modelling, and no subject can be written off. Thus, we have the USS Alaska, designated as a heavy cruiser, she is more of a battle cruiser with her 12” guns surpassing those of the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau which were designated battle cruisers. The kit comes in quite a large box, appropriate, since the hull is just over 700mm long. The artwork depicts the ship at sea, with her light AA guns blazing away. Inside the box there are fourteen sprues, the single piece hull, two deck sections and four separate parts all in grey styrene, two small sprues of clear styrene, four quite large sheets of etched brass and a small decal sheet. The moulding is superb, particularly the hull, (I’d love to see the moulds this parts come out of), which has the smallest of detail on the lower bow, A number of sprues have been given extra protection with foam wrapping, as well as the standard poly bags in which the sprues are contained. There is no sign of flash, warping or other imperfections, with perhaps the exception of one bilge keel which looks slightly strained on its sprue gates. There are quite a few moulding pips though which will increase the time to clean up the parts. Despite its size, it doesn’t look a particularly difficult build, but you will need some experience with using PE as there are some parts that are made entirely of brass. Construction begins with drilling out of certain holes in the two deck sections, before attaching them to the hull. Turning the hull upside down the two bilge keels are attached, followed by the four propeller shafts, A frames, propellers and three piece rudder. With the hull right side up the decks are fitted out with the numerous bitts and cleats, ventilators, windlasses, four piece cable reels and three piece winches. The pair of three piece intake towers are the fitted amidships, whilst a three piece deckhouse is fitted aft, just forward of the stern 40mm gun tubs. There is a similar deck house fitted just aft of the anchor cables, for which there is a length of chain provided, followed by the two, three piece bow anchors, the main breakwater and a pair of 20mm gun tubs abaft the bridge. There are two, two piece catapult towers fitted amidships, while further aft there are more 20mm and 40mm gun tubs attached. Eight carley floats, stacked three high are then glued into position, followed by four AA controller towers and their respective controllers, while on the fo’c’sle another AA controller tub is attached to a small deckhouse, which, in turn is glued between the hawse pipes, and the Jack staff glued in place. Eight sub-assemblies are then built up using a combination of plastic and PE, with the exception of the bow mounted 40mm tub, the rest are ventilators. There are twelve two piece 20mm Oerlikons fitted from bow to abaft the bridge, and there are three float baskets fitted just forward of the breakwater. Aft of the catapult towers, twenty more 20mm Oerlikons and twelve more float baskets are fitted. The bridge structure, which includes B barbette on the lowest level, which is fitted with two more decks and the base of the foremast, with separate ships bell, as well as four triple stacks of carley floats, and two PE boxes fitted one per side of deck 02. Deck 02 is also fitted with a pair of 40mm gun tubs and for ventilators, while deck 03 is fitted with deck 04, which in turn is fitted with the armoured bridge and a deckhouse, followed by deck 05. Two searchlight platforms, with searchlights are fitted, one per side of the lower foremast, while the myriad of observation and controller sights are fitted around the decks and in additional cylindrical towers. All around the superstructure there are PE vertical ladders and some of the smaller railings to be added. On 02 deck the railing include the netting that goes around the two 400 mm tubs on that deck. More sub-assemblies are made up, again using PE and plastic, these being the main radar array, main battery controllers and secondary battery controller stations. The foremast is then assembled with several platforms separated by additional blocks and topped off with a large yardarm, more observation equipment, forward main battery rangefinder and radar array and the main radar platform main search radar array. This section of the tower is then fitted to the base fitted to the bridge earlier, along with a secondary battery controller. The funnel is made up form two halves, with additional parts fitted internally as well as externally, including searchlight platforms, claxon horns, walkway, multi-piece PE funnel cap and railings for the different platforms. It is finished off with the attachment of a large PE mast fore and aft, the foreward one with a navigation radar array, and the aft with a large yardarm. The aft superstructure is made up of two decks and fitted out with more ventilator intakes, PE gas bottles, vertical ladders, deckhouses and two tall controller towers. It is also fitted with the small AA controllers, and four 20mm Oerlikons. The funnel assembly is the glued to the foreward end of the superstructure, while a main battery rangefinder and radar assembly is fitted to eh tallest of the two towers, while the shorte one mounts a secondary battery controller. The bridge assembly and aft superstructure assembly are then glued to their respective positions on the deck and the four PE inclined ladders are folded and glued into place. Near the aft end of the aft superstructure there are two deckhouses, each fitted with two 400mm gun tubs, each fitted with more PE gas bottles, vent intakes and support columns. Just forward of these is a separate deckhouse which will mount the ships cranes.. Each quad 40mm Bofors mount is made from five parts, and there are fourteen of them to be assembled. Each one is then glued into one their gun tub. The two catapults the ship carried are made almost entirely of PE. Each catapult consists of eleven parts. When assembled they are fitted to their towers amidships. The two cranes are also mostly PE and consist of fourteen parts. These are fitted to their respective positions just aft of the catapults. The crane mounts and separate 40mm gun tubs are fitted with netting, rather than railings. The secondary armament consists of six twin 5” turrets. Each turret is made from ten parts, and once assembled fitted into their positions. The main turrets of three 12” guns are each made from eighteen plastic and twe3lve PE parts. Again, once assembled their are fitted into their respective mounts. Lastly the two Seahawk aircraft are assembled from seven clear parts and, once painted, glued to the catapults. The finishing touch is to add the ships main deck railings, and the build is complete. Just mount the model on the stand and add the name plate, which is also provided. Decals The small decal sheet provides the ships number for the bow, national markings for the aircraft and a pair of Jacks and Ensigns, in two different styles. They are well printed and look to have pretty good opacity. Conclusion I’ve always liked the Alsakas and never thought I would see one released in my favourite scale. But Hobbyboss have done it again and released something we never thought we’d see. From the limited resources I actually have, or more to the point, could find in my library, the kit looks to be pretty accurate, although I’m not sure about the bow, which does have a very odd step in the stem that I can’t see in any diagrams or pictures. If it is wrong then it is easily rectified with some filler. Other than that it really does look like a great kit. Review sample courtesy of
  10. Looking through the stash for my Revell reboot of the Matchbox Gladiator for the Matchbox GB I came across this. Its packed a little different with each sprue in a separate plastic bag and foam wrapped around the fragil integrally moulded parts. It is exquisitely moulded with restrained but crisp detail. Simple instructions to follow. Two versions and i and I will build the Malta defender but I think the paint job is a bit more detailed with a shadow scheme on the lower wing and black and white underneath the lower wings
  11. ...and done !! Built this because I hadn't done a 'What If' for a while and really wanted to reinvigorate my atrophied 'mottling skills' such as they are. In the end I'm quite happy with it, built really easily with no big issues, nice detail straight from the box including a perfect wee etch fret. If you're in to Luft '46 and 1:48 (or even if you aren't), go out and get one of these Hobbyboss Ta152's, they're cheap, easily available and look really nice when they're done. Not sure what's next for 'What If'ing', maybe the new 1:72 Revell Gripen or another Rafale... Stay tuned, thanks for taking the time to look and or comment, please feel free to say anything at all. AFN Ian.
  12. Finished the Corsairs, so let's move on to a couple of Martlets, using these Hobbyboss quickbuilds. Hopefully, shouldn't be too big a challenge as these kits go together really well. A little unrefined but something I can live with. They are fun to build so it should be good, and not too taxing which will be ok as I am a bit busy the next few weeks. Mor later.
  13. Hi everyone. Here's my attempt to dignify my long awaiting french beauty.
  14. So, this was a quick paint job by my standards, considering I painted the base coat this time last week, but it's certainly one I'm proud of. I feel like the weakest aspect of the weathering are the wheels, however the paint did not want to stick to them, making me loathe to try too much.
  15. HobbyBoss is to release 1/48th Sukhoi Su-17M-4 & Su-17UM-3 "Fitter-K & G" kits - ref. 81758 & 81759 - in 2016-2017 Source: https://www.facebook.com/TrumpeterModel/photos/a.103538733138062.8169.103526326472636/537476479744283/?type=3&theater V.P.
  16. Well seeing as my wee F-15E made it to the finish line, I felt adventurous: A nice 1/72 Hasegawa eagle dressed in Aggressor Camo to complement my F-5E from last year. I got the HB as a freebie from a friend whose AMS it had offended and the Hase was a HLJ bargain at under £10 delivered so no big bucks here. A quick peruse of the decal sheet and instructions had me howling with laughter, I was not going through micro modelling again. So plan B, a quick build of the Hokeyboss. So on to the sprues, simple and crude as ever... A little light aftermarket as per my F-5E build should liven things up in the front room: Great camo but not sure about the garish colours, I'll be mixing up my patented Mr El Cheapo paints for this: It should be a nice therapeutic second build, need to make some FOD covers as Hokeybozz simply blank off the intakes and thoughtfully don't provide a the blanking plate for the avionics bay behind the pilot. That said , I'm looking forward to my Blue Eagle! A
  17. Marder III Ausf M Late HobbyBoss 1:35 History The Marder III was produced in two variants – Ausf H and Ausf M. They were based on the Panzerkampfwagen 38(t) Ausf H and Ausf M light tank chassis, respectively. They were designated as 7.5cm PaK40/3 auf PzKpfw 38(t) Ausf H, and Panzerjäger 38(t) mit 7.5cm PaK40/3 Ausf M. Both were armed with the 75mm PaK 40/3 L/46 anti-tank gun and operated by four-man crews. The Ausf H (Heckmotor-rear engine) had the fighting compartment in a central forward location, while the fighting compartment of the Ausf M (Mitte-mid engine) was at the rear. The fighting compartment of the Ausf H was open at the top and rear, while that of Ausf M was open only at the top. The Ausf H carried 38 rounds of ammunition, while Ausf M had only 27 rounds. The main armament could be traversed 30 degrees to the left and right in the Ausf H and 21 degrees to the left and right in the Ausf M. Both vehicles also had additional armament – the Ausf H had a 7.92mm MG 37(t) mounted in the front hull and the Ausf M carried a 7.92mm MG 34 or MG 42 inside the fighting compartment. Armour protection for the Ausf H ranged from 8 to 50mm, while armour for the Ausf M ranged from 8 to 20mm. Ausf M was the final variant of the Marder series and was a significant improvement over previous models, with its lower silhouette, sloped armour and much more functional fighting compartment. From November 1942 to April 1943, BMM made 243 Ausf H models, and an additional 175 vehicles were converted in 1943. From April 1943 to May 1944, BMM produced 975 Ausf M models. Ausf M was modified during production, and early and late models can be identified by their unique features. The Ausf H was first issued to Panzerjäger Abteilungen in late 1942. They also served with Waffen SS (e.g. Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler in Russia, 1942) and Luftwaffe (e.g. Herman Göring Division in Tunisia and Italy, 1943) units. In April 1944, 18 Ausf H were also exported to Slovakia. Ausf M was first issued to Panzerjäger Abteilungen in May 1943. It fought on all fronts, and there were still 350 in service as of February 1st 1945. The Marder III Ausf H and Ausf M were also used to produce self-propelled guns armed with 150mm sIG heavy infantry guns and designated as Grille/Bison Ausf H and Ausf M. There was also a proposed project to mount a Panzerjäger 38(t) Ausf M with a 75mm PaK L/60 anti-tank gun, but it was never produced. In 1945, a number of Marder III Ausf H and Ausf M models ended up in use by the Czechoslovak Army as ST-II (Stihac Tanku II). The Model Depicting a Marder III Ausf M - Late, this is yet another reboxing of an old Tristar kit, and like the others reviewed here it has exactly the same layout box top as the original, with just the Hobbyboss title replacing the old Tristar label. The colourful boxart shows an artists impression of the vehicle pared up in a street. Inside there are seven sprues and one separate part in sandy yellow styrene, three of dark grey styrene, a very small sheet of etched brass, a metal barrel and a mid-sized decal sheet. Hobbyboss are proving to be pretty consistent with their moulding, in that the parts are all beautifully moulded, with no signs of flash or other imperfections other than a fair few moulding pips which will add to the cleaning up of parts. From what I can gather, the Tristar kit was pretty accurate and rated as a kit, and since Hobbyboss haven’t done anything to the sprues it can be said of this kit as well. Construction begins with the lower hull being fitted with two pairs of torsion beams each side, along with a single two piece return roller per side. The spring suspension units are then added, as are the bump stops and two piece rear bulkhead to which the separate gun cradle can be attached if not in use. The axles are then glued to the torsion beams and fitted with end caps, while the drive covers are fitted to the front of the hull and the idler axles fitted to the rear. Each road wheel is fitted with the separate outer rim before being attached to the axles, each wheel is then fitted with an inner and outer central hub. The two piece drive sprockets and two piece idler wheels are then attached to their respective axles, and the front bulkhead of the fighting compartment is fitted inside the hull, followed by the compartment decking. The front deck and glacis plate are moulded as a single unit, to which the drivers five piece hatch, complete with vision ports is glued into position. The gun cradle brackets are also attached, along with a seat in the fighting compartment. The assembly is then glued to the lower hull. The tracks are up next, with each side requiring 95 individual links. Since there doesn’t appear to be any pins moulded onto the links, you will have to glue them together, then try and get the sag over the single return roller looking right, or go and buy a metal set of tracks, (my personal preference). The two front sections of the track guards are then fitted with the various storage boxes and pioneer tools, including the ubiquitous jack, spade and pick axe, before being attached to the hull. The rear sections are then fitted with seats, fire extinguisher, shell rack and a back rest, as these are going to be within the shield of the fighting compartment. A long length of track, (12 links), is then fitted to the glacis plate and held down by a long bracket. Two, three piece shell racks are then assembled and fitted out with the separate shells before beign glued into place, as is the curved lower mantle section. The main gun slide is made up from eight parts, whilst the gun itself is made up from eight parts. Now the modeller has an option with the barrel, either the single piece styrene barrel, which is very nice, or the metal barrel provided. They are as good as each other and the spare may come in handy for another build. The guns cradle is assembled using eleven parts and once completed is fitted with the slide and gun assemblies. The gun shield is then fitted out with various components before also being glued to the cradle. The gun assembly is then attached to the hull via the large pin moulded to the cradle and the side shields, fitted with the radio set and exhaust pipe, glued into place around the fighting compartment. The three piece exhaust system is then glued to the rear bulkhead. The front sections of the shield are glued into place, as are the rear aerial mounts, shield cross bar, two track guard supports right forward, gun cleaning rods, three piece shrouded headlight, and another length of track links on the lower glacis plate, completing the build. Decals The decal sheet contains markings for numerous vehicles, seeing as most of the sheet is made up of individual numbers in two different colours, along with four German crosses. They are well printed, in register and nicely opaque, also being fairly glossy with very little noticeable carrier. The only differences in the vehicles is the paint scheme, there being a choice of either panzer grey overall, or three coloured camouflage of sand, red brown and green. Conclusion From the box this looks like a lovely kit, there’s nothing to taxing for most modellers, although the track links might get a bit tiresome to get looking right. The rest of the kit si well detailed, well moulded and should be a joy to put together. Review sample courtesy of
  18. M35 Mittlere Panzerwagen Hobbyboss 1:35 History In 1934, the Austrian Army (Bundesheer) needed a new heavy armored car for police duties, under the designation “M35 Mittlere Panzerwagen”. Steyr had already developed a vehicle tailored for urban operations, with sloped armor and symmetric body helping the vehicle to maneuver quickly and retreat without having to turn around. The prototype was successfully tested and accepted into service in 1935. Production spanned until 1937 with 27 vehicles being given to the army and the police. All were captured by the Germans and pressed into service after the Anschluss. In “ADGZ”, AD stands for “Austro-Daimler”, the official designation was “M35 Mittlere Panzerwagen”. The ADGZ was a massive, twelve-wheeled armored car, the two external axles with their independent leaf spring suspension, and the central twin axle, with double wheels (eight in all), mated on a common suspension. It was intended for maneuvering off-road, but also for urban usage. The sloped armored body, uniformly 6 mm (0.23 in) thick (except the top and bottom) was welded and almost entirely symmetrical, with the engine at the rear, and two drivers whom could operate the vehicle from each side, switching almost immediately thanks to the dual transmission. There was a central circular turret with a double hatch on top, which could be fully opened to dominate the crowd, housing a 20 mm (0.79 in) KwK 35 L/45 autocannon. Four half-doors punctuated the sides, with the upper and lower parts opening independently. The drivers each had a small sight opening on their side, with an armored hatch and on the other side a ball mount, from which they could operate a single MG 34 machine-gun. So each end presented a driver and machine-gunner. Four headlights were also fitted, two on each end of the vehicle, mounted on the body-integrated mudguards. 27 (28 from other sources) Steyr ADGZs were delivered and 12 used by the Austrian Army in March 1938 in the fast division; 14 were part of the Gendarmerie. The prototype was the 27th. After the Anschluss in 1938, all these vehicles were distributed among SS units and military police. In 1939, a detachment took part in the operations in Danzig, Poland, at the opening of the war. Three SS Heimwehr Danzig armored cars were engaged and one lost in action while taking the post office. In 1941, 25 additional vehicles were ordered by the SS and used in various units in the Balkans, for police operation and fighting partisans (like the “Prinz Eugen” division). An unconfirmed source stated that tests were performed with Russian T-26 turrets after capturing many in 1941. The Model Having released several Russian heavy armoured cars Hobbyboss have now released a second version of the M35 German heavies. The kit comes in a top opening box with an artistic impression of the vehicle driving along a dirt track. Inside there are five sprues and two separate parts in beige styrene, one small sprue of clear styrene, one smallish sheet of etched brass, twelve rubber/vinyl tyres and a small decal sheet. As usual for a Hobbyboss kit the parts moulding is really well done, with some nicely reproduced surface details, no sign of flash or other imperfections and not too many moulding pips making for an easy clean up job. This will turn into quite a large model, well, for an armoured car, but there aren’t too many parts, so not as complicated as their Russian vehicles. Construction begins with drilling some holes out in the lower hull, followed by the centrally mounted drive shaft and gearbox cover, plus the front and rear axle mounts, each of three parts, and their single piece covers. The five piece front and rear axles are then attached followed by their respective steering gear and linkages. The centrally mounted pairs of axles are contained within a four piece suspension unit, one for each side. With these fitted the four triangular panels, two each side are glued into place, as are the front and rear glacis plates, onto which two towing eyes are attached. The two protective axle grounding plates are made of PE and need to be bent to shape before being glued in place, followed by four square boxes, one in each corner of the lower hull. The front and rear pairs of wheels are each made from the main wheel, rear rim, poly cap and rubber tyre, while the centre four are made from two wheels, two rims, poly caps and a large central hub and the rubber tyres. With the wheels assembled they can now be fitted to their respective axles. Attention then turns to the upper hull and the fitting of four triangular hatches on the sides, each with separate handles; three pistol ports drivers and co-drivers vision ports. The prominent louvre panels on the front upper hull can be posed open or closed. Unfortunately, since there is no interior to this kit, having the panels open will mean you can see straight into the hull, so will have to be closed, yet, when operational, these panels look like they were mainly open. A bit of a quandary for sure. The rear engine deck is made up from three parts and glued into place, as is the three piece exhaust and three, five piece jerry cans fitted into a two piece storage tray. The pioneer tools are then attached; these include and pick axe, shovel, and five piece jack. There is an array of three headlights on a support bracket that is fitted to the centre of the upper hull, between the drivers and machine gunners position. Two MG34 machine guns are assembled from three parts and slide into their respective ball sockets from the inside. Two, two piece standard headlights are fitted front and rear along with the single shrouded lights. The standard lights can be fitted with covers with a slot in them if required. The upper and lower hulls are then joined together. Another MG34 and a 20mm cannon are fitted with their two piece ball mounts before being fitted to the respective external mounts within the turret. The three piece roof and turret ring are glued on afterward. The completed turret is then attached to the hull opening completing the build. Decals The small decal sheet is sparse to say the least. What there are, are nicely printed and if previous experience has taught me, quite thin. There are just a selection of German crosses, one of which is split for fitting to the louvre panels and there is only one scheme, Panzer Grey, no vehicle identification markings are included. Conclusion There is something about large armoured cars from any country. They have an enigmatic air about them, as well as being slightly bonkers, as most of the early war armoured cars seem to be. It’s nice to see these vehicles released though as they will add something a bit different to a modellers collection. Review sample courtesy of
  19. French Battleship Strasbourg HobbyBoss 1:350 The battleship Strasbourg was ordered on 16 July 1934 in response to the Italian Littorio-class battleships. The ship was laid down on the N°1 slipway of the civilian Penhoët Shipbuilding Yards, at Saint-Nazaire, which had been built to accommodate the 313-meter long keel of the liner SS Normandie. She was launched in December 1936. Once fitting out was completed, she left Saint-Nazaire for Brest on March 15, 1938 for her acceptance trials. The Strasbourg was commissioned in April 1939, joining the French Atlantic Fleet, and forming, with Dunkerque, the 1ère Division de Ligne (1st D.L.). White bands were painted on the funnel, in March 1939, a single one on Dunkerque as Division flagship, two on Strasbourg. After an official visit to Lisbon (Portugal), for the commemoration of the discovery of Brazil by Alvares Cabral, both battleships, accompanied by three modern light cruisers of the 4th Cruiser division, visited various ports and Royal Navy bases, such as Liverpool, Oban, Staffa, Loch Ewe, Scapa Flow, and Rosyth, returning to Brest after a four-day call at Le Havre. In the first days of September 1939, the Force de Raid, under Vice Amiral d'Escadre (Squadron Vice Admiral) Gensoul on Dunkerque, including the 4th Cruiser division, plus eight large destroyers were based in Brest. Reports came in, (that later proved incorrect), that German Pocket-Battleships had been sighted, and the force left Brest immediately to stop them from passing into the Atlantic. Soon after this, it was decided to split the Force de Raid into hunting groups against the German surface raiders, which also incorporated Royal Navy warships. In October–November 1939, Force X, under Vice Admiral Duplat, on the French heavy cruiser Algérie, along with Strasbourg, the French heavy cruiser Dupleix and the aircraft carrier HMS Hermes, was based at Dakar and vainly undertook sweeps trying to find Admiral Graf Spee. When Strasbourg returned to Brest, 800 of her powder charges remained in storage at Dakar. During the battle of Dakar, this powder was used by Richelieu and was (wrongly) implicated in the explosion of Richelieu's upper turret 380 mm gun barrels. The Force de Raid was despatched, on April 2, 1940, to the Mediterranean to counter uncertain Italian intentions during the spring of 1940, but, some days later, was ordered to return to Brest to provide cover for an eventual Allies' reaction to the German landings in Norway, on April 9, 1940. Finally the Force de Raid was ordered to Mers-el Kebir on April 24, 1940. The only test in battle for Dunkerque and Strasbourg came in the attack on Mers-el-Kébir, after the fall of France, the battleships, HMS Hood, HMS Resolution, and HMS Valiant from Force H. The French battleships had not been designed to confront these heavily armed battleships. They were also complete taken by surprise when the attack took place on July 3rd 1940. The tightly packed vessels of the French fleet still having their turrets trained fore and aft. The old super-dreadnought, Bretagne, was badly hit, and her magazines exploded, causing the ship to blow up, capsize and sink, taking nearly 1,000 seamen with her. Strasbourg, commanded by Captain Louis Edmond Collinet, had managed to cast off and make head-way. A 15-inch (381 mm) salvo just missed he and at 18.00, another 15-inch salvo fell where her stern had been one minute previously. Escorted by five destroyers, she headed to the entrance, and then steered northeast. Strasbourg increased speed from 15 knots to 28 knots but was hampered by damage to an air intake on the funnel, which had been blocked by a piece of flying masonry from the jetty. However she escaped the pursuit by Hood and Fairey Swordfish torpedo bombers of Ark Royal until about 21.30. At this moment, all thirty boiler room 2 personnel were found lying unconscious, overcome by the heat and the toxic fumes, and three petty officers and two seamen had died. Passing alongside the western coast of Sardinia, Strasbourg reached Toulon, in the evening of the following day. With Bretagne lost, Dunkerque and Provence severely damaged, Lorraine interned at Alexandria, Courbet and Paris seized in Great Britain, only four heavy cruisers of seven and three light cruisers of twelve remained under Vichy control in Mediterranean waters, and with the Atlantic harbours under German occupation, a reorganisation of the Vichy French naval forces had to be carried out. The 1st (fast battleships) and 2nd (slow battleships) Divisions de ligne and the Atlantic Fleet were dissolved, in August 1940 and new Forces de Haute Mer (High Sea Forces) were created, with Admiral de Laborde appointed as C. in-C., on September 25, 1940, and raising his flag on Strasbourg, which had had the lower bridge tower modified to better accommodate an admiral and his staff. Although the Strasbourg was the flagship of the so-called High Seas Forces, she rarely went to sea, due mainly to the lack of fuel, but did escort the Provence which was returning to Toulon in November 1940. She received three more single 13.2 mm Browning CAS machine guns in 1941, and in 1942, a so-called détecteur électro-magnétique, the French equivalent of an air and sea search radar was fitted. Four small rectangular antennas were fitted atop the main yards. Early tests indicated a range against aircraft of 50 km. Strasbourg was still at her moorings of the Milhaud piers at Toulon when the Germans invaded the so-called "Zone libre", in retaliation of the Allies' landings in French North Africa. On November 27th 1942, when the Germans attempted to seize the French warships remaining under Vichy control, she was scuttled by her crew as part of a pre-planned effort to keep the ships from being turned over to the Italian Navy. She was refloated July 17th 1943 by the Italians, but the armistice between Italy and the Allies in September 1943 halted these activities and the ship was taken over by the Germans. On April 1, 1944 they handed her back to the Vichy French authorities. Her wreck was then towed to the Bay of Lazaret, where she was heavily bombed by the US aircraft, and sunk, three days after the August 1944 landings, as part of the preparations for liberation of Toulon. She was raised for the second time on 1st October 1944 but found to be beyond repair. She was then used as a test hull for underwater explosions until condemned and renamed Q45 on 22 March 1955, to be sold for scrap on 27 May that year The Model Hobbyboss are continuing to release plenty of new and exciting maritime subjects. They have now released the sister ship to the Dunkerque, and while there are many similarities between the two kits there are enough differences between the two ships to keep them interesting. The kit comes in quite a large, longish box, with an artist’s impression of the ship at speed on the ocean. Inside there is the single piece hull, which, according to my research and the Seaforth book on French battleships, by John Jordan and Robert Dumas, is actually pretty accurate. Although, as with the earlier release, the two lower strakes down the side of the ship need to be sanded back a bit as they shouldn’t reach the bow. The rest of the parts, nine separate pieces, twelve sprues of grey styrene, and two sprues of clear styrene are all beautifully moulded, with no flash or other imperfections but quite a few moulding pips. The kit also comes with six sheets of relief etched brass, a length of chain and a small decal sheet. Construction begins with the drilling of several holes in the foredeck and main deck. The three deck sections are then glued to the hull. Unusually there are no bulkhead parts to strengthen the hull, so check first as you may need to add thwart ships beams for added rigidity. With the decks in place the foredeck is fitted out with three capstans, three lengths of chain, suitably painted, and the three, two piece bow anchors. At the stern there is a single capstan, chain and another two piece anchor. Several sub assemblies are the built up, six two piece searchlights, eight double carley float assemblies, four three piece twin 37mm cannon mounts and eight quad 13.2mm cannon mounts. The hull is turned upside down and fitted with the two bilge keels and four propeller shafts, A frames and propellers, along with the single rudder and two stern mounted boat booms, which should probably be left till nearer the end of the build. The PE and styrene catapult is also assembled at this point and put to one side to dry along with the two quadruple main turrets, each made up from thirteen parts. The twelve ships boats, each with separate decks and PE cradles are also assembled at this point, along with the eleven piece main mast and rear mounted armoured control station. The upper and middle rangefinder turrets are also assembled, from nine and eleven parts respectively. Moving to the foredeck again, the area is fitted out with the various cleats, bollards, deck houses, ventilators, the jackstaff and the large breakwater, along with a couple of paravanes. The main deck is given the same treatment, and four of the ships boats. The quarterdeck is also fitted with cleats and bollards. Six more of the ships boats are glued into position, along with the various boat booms, carley float assemblies, accommodation ladders ensign staff and inclined ladders. The secondary turrets are assembled, the two twin turrets from four parts and the three quadruple turrets from seven parts. The ships cranes are built up from four styrene parts are three etched parts. The assembly of the superstructure begins with the assembly of the ten piece funnel searchlight platform onto which four searchlight assemblies are fitted. The lower bridge is then assembled, and the rest of the ships boats are on fitted onto the boat deck section, along with the two boat cranes and four inclined ladders. The searchlight platform assembly is fitted to the fore end of the aft superstructure, along with eight carley floats and two small rangefinders. Amidships there is longitudinal bulkhead with deckhouses either side fitted in the centre of the deck. Either side, a twin 37mm and quad 13.2 mount are glued into position, whilst just behind the base of the aft rangefinder tower there is a large tubular mount for another quad 13.2mm mount. The hanger door is then attached while on the hanger roof, two paravanes, a ventilator and eight carley floats are glued in place. Along each side of the superstructure there are numerous armoured hatches, vertical ladders and cable reels attached. The lower bridge deck is built up from three sub-structures, six support beams, and eleven PE supports before being fitted with the lower bridge assembly, a medium rangefinder, two small rangefinders, lower tower block and a quad AA mount. The next level platform is fitted with four lookout stations and two searchlights. Onto this platform the upper tower block is attached, followed by another platform. The larger of the three rangefinders fitted to the tower is assembled and the two smaller units fitted to each others roof. The topmost rangefinder is fitted with an elaborate PE aerial array. The upper tower is also fitted with three large aerial spreader bars before being attached to the lower tower and the whole assembly being glued to the front of the boat deck, followed by the fifteen part funnel assembly. The completed structure is then glued to the main deck, followed by the aft superstructure, main and secondary turrets, catapult and nine piece aircraft handling crane. The model can be displayed onto the four piece stand included. The kit comes with two of the Loire 130 seaplanes the ship carried, each is produce in clear styrene, which, I must admit I’m not a fan of, but it can help with the clear sections I guess. The fuselage is in two halves, which, once glued together are fitted with the tailplanes and wings, each of which has separate floats. The engine and separate two bladed propeller is the attached to the top of the fuselage. Decals The small decal sheet provides the French national flags in straight and wavy forms; ships name plates, national stripes for B turret and the aftermost 130mm turret, plus the roundels and fin flashes for the aircraft. They are nicely printed with good opacity and in register. The ship is painted in Dark Sea Grey overall, with black boot topping and red antifouling. Conclusion This is another very welcome release, giving the modeller the option of making either/or both of a very attractive ships. Since they got the Dunkerque right, it’s natural that this kit is also pretty accurate. Unfortunately Hobbyboss still haven’t provided enough railing for the whole ship, meaning the modeller will have to provide the main deck, quarterdeck and foredeck railings themselves. That said, it’s still a great looking kit. Review sample courtesy of
  20. French Pre-Dreadnought Condorcet Hobbyboss 1:350 Although the Danton-class battleships were a significant improvement from the preceding Liberté class, especially with the 3,000-ton displacement increase, they were outclassed by the advent of HMS Dreadnought well before they were completed. This, combined with other poor traits, including the great weight in coal they had to carry, made them rather unsuccessful ships, though their numerous rapid-firing guns were of some use in the Mediterranean. Construction of Condorcet was begun on 26 December 1906 by Ateliers et Chantiers de la Loire in Saint-Nazaire and the ship was laid down on 23 August 1907. She was launched on 20 April 1909 and was completed on 25 July 1911. Condorcet was initially assigned to the 1st Division of the 1st Squadron (escadre) of the Mediterranean Fleet when she was commissioned. The ship participated in combined fleet manoeuvres between Provence and Tunisia in May–June 1913and the subsequent naval review conducted by the President of France, Raymond Poincaré on 7 June 1913. Afterwards, Condorcet joined her squadron in its tour of the Eastern Mediterranean in October–December 1913 and participated in the grand fleet exercise in the Mediterranean in May 1914. Condorcet was 146.6 meters (481 ft 0 in) long overall and had a beam of 25.8 m (84 ft 8 in) and a full-load draft of 9.2 m (30 ft 2 in). She displaced 19,736 metric tons (19,424 long tons) at deep load and had a crew of 681 officers and enlisted men. The ship was powered by four Parsons steam turbines using steam generated by twenty-six Niclausse boilers. The turbines were rated at 22,500 shaft horsepower (16,800 kW) and provided a top speed of around 19 knots (35 km/h; 22 mph). Condorcet reached a top speed of 19.7 knots (36.5 km/h; 22.7 mph) on her sea trials. She carried a maximum of 2,027 tonnes (1,995 long tons) of coal which allowed her to steam for 3,370 miles (2,930 nm) at a speed of 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). The ships main battery consisted of four 305mm/45 Model 1906 guns mounted in two twin gun turrets, one forward and one aft. The secondary battery consisted of twelve 240mm/50 Model 1902 guns in twin turrets, three on each side of the ship. A number of smaller guns were carried for defence against torpedo boats. These included sixteen 75 mm (3.0 in) L/65 guns and ten 47mm(1.9 in) Hotchkiss guns. The ship was also armed with two submerged 450 mm (17.7 in) torpedo tubes. The ship's main belt was 270 mm (10.6 in) thick and the main battery was protected by up to 300 mm (11.8 in) of armour. The bridge tower also had 300 mm thick sides. During the war 75 mm anti-aircraft guns were installed on the roofs of the ship's two forward 240 mm gun turrets. During 1918, the mainmast was shortened to allow the ship to fly a captive kite balloon and the elevation of the 240 mm guns was increased which extended their range to 18,000 meters (20,000 yd). At the beginning of the war, the ship, together with her sister Vergniaud and the dreadnought Courbet, unsuccessfully searched for the German battlecruiser Goeben and the light cruiser Breslau in the Balearic Islands. On 9 August, Condorcet cruised the Strait of Sicily in an attempt to prevent the German ships from breaking out to the West. On 16 August 1914 the combined Anglo-French Fleet under Admiral Auguste Boué de Lapeyrère, including Condorcet, made a sweep of the Adriatic Sea. The Allied ships encountered the Austro-Hungarian cruiser SMS Zenta, escorted by the destroyer SMS Ulan, blockading the coast of Montenegro. There were too many ships for Zenta to escape, so she remained behind to allow Ulan to get away and was sunk by gunfire during the Battle of Antivari off the coast of Bar, Montenegro. Condorcet subsequently participated in a number of raids into the Adriatic later in the year and patrolled the Ionian Islands. From December 1914 to 1916, the ship participated in the distant blockade of the Straits of Otranto while based in Corfu. On 1 December 1916, Condorcet was in Athens and contributed troops to the Allied attempt to ensure Greek acquiescence to Allied operations in Macedonia. Shortly afterwards, she was transferred to Mudros to prevent Goeben from breaking out into the Mediterranean and remained there until September 1917. The ship was transferred to the 2nd Division of the 1st Squadron in May 1918 and returned to Mudros where she remained for the rest of the war. From 6 December 1918 to 2 March 1919, Condorcet represented France in the Allied squadron in Fiume that supervised the settlement of the Yugoslav question. Afterwards, the ship was assigned to the Channel Division of the French Navy. She was modernized in 1923–24 to improve her underwater protection and her four aft 75 mm guns were removed. Together with her sisters Diderot and Voltaire, she was assigned to the Training Division at Toulon. Condorcet housed the torpedo and electrical schools and had a torpedo tube fitted on the port side of her quarterdeck. She was partially disarmed in 1931 and converted into an accommodation hulk; by 1939 her propellers had been removed. The famous underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau began diving while stationed aboard the ship in 1936. In April 1941, the ship was towed to sea to evaluate the propellant used by the battleship Richelieu during the Battle of Dakar on 24 September 1940. One 38-centimetre (15 in) gun had an explosion in the breech and the propellant for the shell was thought to be the cause. A number of shots were successfully fired from Condorcet's aft turret by remote control that exonerated the propellant. The following July, the ship was modified to house the signal, radio and electrician's schools. Berthing areas were installed in the bases of four funnels, which had been removed previously, and the latest radio equipment was installed for the students to train on. Later that year, she was accidentally rammed by the submarine Le Glorieux as she was leaving dry-dock. The impact punctured the ship's hull and flooded one compartment which required Condorcet to be docked for repairs. The ship was captured intact by the Germans when they occupied Vichy France on 27 November 1942. Unlike the bulk of the French Fleet in Toulon, Condorcet was not scuttled because she had trainees aboard. Used by the Germans as a barracks ship, she was badly damaged by Allied aircraft in August 1944 and scuttled that same month by the Germans. The ship was salvaged in September 1945 and listed for sale on 14 December. By 1949 the dismantling of the ship had been completed The Model This really has been the year of the pre-dreadnought, and long may the releases continue. Packaged in the standard style of box Hobbyboss use for their ship kits, it is somewhat smaller than most. Inside there are thirteen sprues of light grey styrene, and one separate deck section. There is also a small black stand, three sheets of etched brass, a length of chain and a smallish decal sheet. All the parts are very nicely moulded with some very fine details, particularly on the deck and superstructure. The parts are all cleanly moulded, with no sign of flash or other imperfections, but there are quite a few moulding pips, mainly on the small parts. The instructions are well printed and very clearly mark the positioning of parts and sub-assemblies along with a nicely printed painting guide. Construction begins with the fitting of the two hull halves between which are two bulkheads and the rudder. There are two, two gun casements fore and aft and two four gun casements, one on each beam, these sub- assemblies are then fitted into their appropriate positions in the hull. The main deck section and the quarterdeck section are glued into position once a couple of holes have been drilled out in the main deck. The hull is then turned upside down, so that the bilge keels, four propeller shafts, A frame supports and propellers can be attached. Before continuing the main build, several sub-assemblies need to be built up; these are the main capstans, and the folding of the inclined ladders. The capstans, bitts, chocks and roller chocks are fitted to the foredeck and quarterdeck, whilst the inclined ladders are fitted in their appropriate positions as are the PE casement doors which can be posed in either the open or closed positions. The anchors, anchor chains, ensign staff, jack staff, midships mounted winches, several deckhouses and four searchlights, each fitted at the end of a PE walkway/track, fitted amidships, while two more searchlights and associated PE walkway/track are fitted at the aft end of the main deck, whilst along each side there are more PE doors, vertical ladders and plastic boat booms are glued into position. The bridge structure is assembled next with the base being fitted with the bridge deck which includes the bridge wings. Under the wings and bridge front there are fifteen PE supports to attach. The after superstructure is also assembled with the deck mounted on sixteen supports, and fitted with a small deck house. The main bridge is then fitted with the armoured hood and another deck house, followed by another deck and four light guns, two rangefinders, four vertical items, which I cannot identify, the binnacle and the navigation lights. The bridge, aft structure and upper deck structure aft of the bridge are attached to the main deck. The aft structure is then fitted with four light guns, binnacle and four upright items. The turrets are then built up, two main turrets and six secondary turrets, each made up form a turret base, two guns on a single trunnion, two trunnion mounts, turret top, and sighting top. The two masts are also assembled at this time each with separate yardarms, platforms and their associated railings. The masts are then glued into position, along with nine ventilators and several deck houses, plus three chimneys. The most obvious identification for this ship is the five funnels; each is made up from two halves, then fitted with two piece funnel tops and PE grille, along with PE vertical ladders and railings. The two boat cranes are built up from seven plastic and seven PE parts. The completed funnel and crane assemblies are then glued into position. The two PE boat cradles are folded to shape and attached to the main deck, followed by a set of railings and a selection of PE inclined ladders. There are ten rowing boats and two steam launches to assemble. The rowing boats have thwarts fitted and the steam launches a funnel, they could do with some etched oars, rudders and propellers, but other than that they look ok. Once assembled, the ships boats are then fitted to their respective cradles. The kit does come with a full ships complement of railings which are now attached, followed by the turret sub-assemblies, PE accommodation ladders, boat davits and boats, side anchors and small cranes, completing the build. Decals The small decal sheet provides the French national flags in straight and wavy forms; and the ships name. They are nicely printed with good opacity and in register. The ship is painted in Dark Sea Grey overall, with black boot topping and the option of having green or red antifouling. Conclusion There are to be at least three of this class to be released, Danton, Condorcet and Voltaire, each is slightly different so you could, in effect build your own French battleship squadron. They are all pretty accurate and although already well detailed, I’m sure aftermarket companies will bring further detail out for them. I’m now looking forward to seeing more pre-dreadnoughts being released as they have a peculiar attraction to a lot of modellers. Review sample courtesy of
  21. We have Very Fire Model's latest detail-up set available on pre-order now: USS Alaska CB-1 in 1/350 scale for £185 https://www.sovereignhobbies.co.uk/collections/1-350/products/vf350006-very-fire-model-1-350-uss-alaska-cb-1
  22. Hey Guys, Here's my rendition of the rather nice HobbyBoss Kursk. Nice being used only to describe the detail - construction was horrible! The silos straddling each side of the conning tower were positioned on the basis of a semi-hemispherical notch and that's it. Sounds relatively easy on paper, but in real life it was painful... hence the closed bays! Apart from that the fit of the hull together in two parts was nice and the conning tower was also a nice fit. I found however the instruments such as the ESM, periscope radar etc. were a fiddle as the lack of locating holes problematic in getting the masts to sit straight. So it was a little by eye to be fair, and from this i can only conclude i need an eye test... Painting her in Humbrol 67 'Tank Grey' which in effect was a match for the Mr. Hobby 'Tyre Black' Hobbyboss were calling for. The underside was Sovereign Hobby's Colourcoat's RM08 'Rosso' which in layman's terms is White Ensign's model enamels equivalent to hull red I believe. The conning tower called for it to be all black but contemporary photos of Kursk showed it having the bad-weather deck windows framed in white giving the, what looks like to me, soviet subs a rather creepy look. Also I painted some stems silver and the big dome yellow as per a reference photo I found and lost. So lets call that one artistic licence! Decalling was interesting as the carrier film the decals came on was excessively large and trying to get decals such as the emergency buoy over the dome for it was eating into my decal softener stash something rotten. Weathering however consisted mainly of Tamiya Smoke on the underside, Tamiya German Grey on top lightening patches and loads of streaking with oil paintings. Finishing off with Xtracolour's Enamel Matte Varnish I began work on the base which was literally Tamiya Gold leaf with the recessed areas sprayed black. And so it is I have finished my first ship model and so far I've gotten hold of Bronco's HMS Vanguard and Micro-Mir's Alfa to folllow the build up! As to be honest I did enjoy the build quite a lot I probably could of dusted her off but I didn't quite expect to find so much after just 2 days of finishing... Maybe time to clean the modelling room out! Thanks for looking guys Sam
  23. Finally, 13 months after I started its done. The markings are from the Eduard Profipack and paint is the exquisite Mr Color. WIP here. New stuff was ultrafine Uschi rigging thread for the aerial, ludicrous even trying to pick up but looks more scale the EZ line (see last pic). With Airfix new tool that I built four years ago: Note thickness of new Uschi superfine for the aerial. Great little kits to practise on, strongly recommend them to fix mojo loss/ams. A
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