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  1. F2H-2 / F2H-2P Banshee 1:48 Kittyhawk The McDonnell F2H Banshee was a single seat carrier capable Jet Fighter developed by McDonell from their FH Phantom aircraft. The new aircraft was to use the newly developed Westinghouse J34 turbojet. The J34 would have 3000lbf thrust compared to the J30’s 1600lbf. It was originally the idea that the Banshee would use much of the Phantom design, however due to changes in required fuel and armament loads this was not to be the case. At this time the US Navy recognised they would have to move away from the WWII .50 Cal Machine gun round to the heavier 20mm Cannon round (Something that took the USAF longer to realise). Even though the Banshee was not to use the Phantom structure there were enough similarities that a prototype of the Banshee was available in August 1948, a staggering 3 months after Phantom production finished. The Banshee would be produced in three versions, The Nightfighter (F2H-2N), Photo-recon (F2H-2P), and the day fighter (F2H-2B, later F2H-3). The nightfighter had a 2’10” nose extension to house an AN/APS-19 radar units, and the Phot-recon version had a 2’5” nose extension to house 6 cameras. The Day fighter version would also feature eight underwing/stub pylons allowing for 1580Lbs of bombs/rockets to be carried. The aircraft also had a specially strengthened inner port pylon to allow carriage of either a MK 7 or Mk 8 nuclear store. In total upto 1953 895 aircraft would be delivered. The main users were the US Navy & Marine Corps. Overseas use would be only the Royal Canadian Navy. The Banshee being the only Jet Aircraft operated by them. The Banshee would see extensive use in the Korean War by the US. I was realised that straight winged aircraft we no match to North Korean MiG-15’s and the aircraft operated primarily in ground attack and interdiction roles. No Banshees were lost to enemy aircraft in the Korean War due to this decision. The photo-recon aircraft with the ability to operate at 48000 ft generally stayed out of the range of AAA fire. The aircraft were in high demand for their pictures often being escorted by USAF fighters. Again there were no Air 2 Air losses with only 2 being lost to radar laid AAA fire. The last use of the Banshee would be in 1955 and again for the photo birds with secret overflights of Chinese positions for a suspected invasion of Taiwan taking place. The Kit This new tool kit from Kittyhawk arrives on three large sprues of grey plastic, a clear sprue, a small sheet of photo-etch and a decal sheet. The parts are finely moulded with fine engraved panel line and rivet details. The kit can be built as the fighter or photo-recon Banshee, with the option of having the wings folded if needed. Construction starts conventionally in the cockpit. The ejection seat is built up from 6 parts with PE belts being provided. The seat is then installed into the cockpit floor with the sides and rear bulkhead being added. Decals are provided for the side instrument panels. The rear decking behind the cockpit is then added to the rear of the bulkhead. The next step is construction of the front gear well, and leg. The leg is a less than straightforward affair with 6 parts and the one piece nose wheel . The front gear well is 6 parts and is built up around the gear leg. Once the cockpit and front gear well are complete they can be added into the main fuselage. Also added in at this time is the rear mounted arrestor hook and its recess. Once all these parts are in the main fuselage is closed up. The modeller now has to decide which nose is going on the aircraft. If the fighter nose is chosen then a full complement of cannons are provided along with their ammunition boxes and feed chutes. These are built up and the nose parts closed up around them. Two panels are provide (one each side) which can be modelled open to show off the gun bay. Once the complete gun nose is attached to the main fuselage the nose cap can be put in place. If the modeller is going with the recon nose then a full camera fit is provided along with the mounting brackets and screens between cameras. Unfortunately they are no open panels to display the cameras but you will be able to see some of the detail through the camera windows. Now that the main fuselage and nose assembly is completed construction moves to the main body/wing area. First up two complete engines are made up along with their intakes and exhausts. These are then installed into the low main wing centre section along with other structural parts and then end plates for the main inner wing. The top two sections can then be added to the lower wing. Flaps are then added to the lower section. The main centre section of the wing can then be joined to the fuselage. Also at this stage the instrument coaming and instrument panel are added, with a decal being provided for the instruments. The canopy and tail planes are then added. The other wing sections are now built up. These can be attached either down or folded up as the modeller wishes. Each out wing has an upper and lower part and once together the wing tip tanks can be assembled and added. Flaps are added to each outboard section and dive brakes can also be added in the open position if needed. If the wings are to be attached straight then they can just be added on at this stage. If the modeller wishes to make them in the folded position then the folding mechanism and hinges need to be added. There are six small parts each side for this. The instructions then have you make up the main wheel units and undercarriage legs and add them after the wings, though I suspect most will do this before if adding the wings in the folded position. Lastly the gear doors are added and if needed the weapons load can be added. There are two pylons on each outer wing and four under the centre section, with bombs and rockets supplied. The holes for these are in the parts which means if you are doing the photo-recon Banshee you will have to sand these. It seems odd these were not flashed over and the modeller left to open them if needed? Decals Decals are provided for 4 examples; F2H-2P - Bu No. 125687 USMC VMJ-1 (Overall Gloss Sea Blue). F2H-2P - Bu No. 128870 USMC VMJ-1 (Grey over white). F2H-2 - Bu No. 124978 USMC El Toro. (Grey over white + large red areas). F2H-2 - Bu No. 125068 USN VF-11 - Korean War (Overall Gloss Sea Blue). Conclusion This is a welcome new tool of an important Korean War era aircraft for the 1:48th scale modeller. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of and available soon from major hobby shops.
  2. Sukhoi Su-17 M3/M4 Fitter-K 1:48 Kittyhawk The Su-17, with its NATO reporting name Fitter was derived from the earlier Su-7 as a project to improve its low speed handling, particularly during take-off and landing. It was Sukhoi's first attempt at variable geometry wings, and when it reached service was the Soviet Union's first swing-wing aircraft in service. To keep the project costs down, the centre section of the wing remained fixed, with the outer able to swing back for high-speed flight, and forward for slow. A pronounced spine was also added to the rear of the cockpit to carry additional fuel and avionics that were necessary with the advances in aviation. The first airframes reached service in the early 70s, and were soon replaced by more advanced models with the designation M3 and M4, designated Fitter-H and –K respectively by the Allies. The M3 was based on a larger fuselage and had additional weapons options, while the M4 was further developed and was considered to be the pinnacle of the Fitter line with a heavily upgraded avionics suite including improved targeting, navigation, and yet more weapons options, as well as improved engines. A downgraded version of the M4 was marketed as the Su-22M4, and was in production until 1990! Although the Su-17 was withdrawn from Soviet service in the late 1990s, it remained in service much longer in its export guise, where it was used by both Iran and Iraq, Libya and Angola to name but a few, where it had variable success, which likely had as much to do with pilot skill and training as the merits of the airframe. The Kit A new Su-17 model has been needed for a few years now in 1:48, and this is a new tooling from Kittyhawk that dropped onto our radar relatively recently. The previous best kit was getting a bit long in the tooth, and needed plenty of TLC to coax a good model out of it. The box is fairly standard Kittyhawk (KH) fare, with a pair of Su-17s in formation on the lid, and inside, plenty of plastic in their familiar pale grey styrene. The sprues are large, and it appears that their annoying habit of folding sprues over while still warm is dying out slowly, with detail and crispness on the increase. Gone also are the large ejector-pin turrets in every intake, although a few are still there in the engine parts, but won't be seen. The fuselage is split fore-aft, which hopefully means we'll be treated to a two-seat UM in due course, but as always don't hold your breath, just cross your fingers. The usual generosity in terms of weapons and stores is still present, with almost a third of the sprues devoted to things to hang off your finished model, which is always nice to see. Inside the box are nine sprues in light grey styrene, one in clear, a small sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, and two decal sheets, one of which is substantially larger than the other. The instruction booklet completes the package, and first impressions are good – it might even get a build review if I can find the time! Construction begins with the ejection seat, which is nicely detailed with PE belts included, which show a lot more detail than previous efforts from KH, which is good to see. The cockpit is built from a series of parts, including the control column, rudder pedals, side consoles and the instrument panel, the last two of which have decals provided for the instrument details. The coaming and HUD are added to the front of the cockpit, with a clear part forming the HUD glazing. Following this the engine is constructed from quite a number of parts, with only the aft end visible if you left off the aft fuselage section, which is possible although not considered in the instructions. The exhaust nozzle is built from sections and surrounded by a ring, showing the actuators around its circumference, which when painted should give a good impression of the original. The engine and exhaust are then sandwiched between the forward part of the aft fuselage, and the aft part of the aft fuselage (confused yet?) is built up with air-brake bays and added around the exhaust. Jumping around somewhat confusingly, the tail with separate rudder is then made up, followed by the nose gear bay, which is again made from individual panels for extra detail. The gear leg is fitted at this stage, but with some care could be left off until later if you feel it would be safer to do that. The cockpit, nose bay and the intake shock-cone (including clear panel) and then trapped between the forward fuselage halves, and this is mated to the aft section, at which point the avionics spine is added in sections, which overlap the fuselage joints for strength. Detailing the fuselage with a host of small, delicate parts seems a little optimistic to this ham-fisted modeller, but if you fancy your chances, go ahead. There are a number of scabbed-on chaff and flare dispensers down the fuselage sides, which are provided with PE attachment brackets that will require a little bending to put in position, so steel yourself if you're not a big fan of PE. The twin prongs on the nose are also added, the pitot probe having all the usual vanes added from styrene parts that are VERY small, so take care not to lose them. The windscreen fits to the sill around the coaming, and the canopy is designed to be posed open, with a styrene fitment to the rear that mates with the notch behind the cockpit. At this stage of the build your Fitter looks little more than a fancy tube with a wheel at one end and a fin at the other. The wings are built as assemblies next, although I'd be tempted to leave off the gear again for fear of breakage, but the instruction advise otherwise. The main gear legs are single parts with three small ancillary struts, one of which stabilises the large captive bay door that hangs down outboard of the leg. The gear bay roof detail is moulded into the underside of the upper wing, while the walls are added separately, as are the optionally open gun bays in the leading edge of the inner wing section. The outer wings are made up from a single centre section with separate flaps and slats, which then attach to a pin in the outer edge of the inner wing section, held in place after the addition of the lower half. A small bay door, actuator jack for the gear and the aforementioned gun bay doors are added underneath, and above the two large strakes fit into their respective slots. Repeat in a mirror for the other wing, and you're done. The wing roots fit into their slots in the fuselage, where you will also find an inner main bay wall, so remember to paint that when you're doing the rest of the bay, or you'll end up cursing. The elevators are both single parts that fit on a pivoting pin, and with the addition of the inner wing flap sections that's the main build done. As already mentioned, there are a substantial quantity of weapons for the many pylons on the inner wings and belly. The decision to place all the weapons on the static parts of the airframe saved money and weight developing rotating pylon mounts such as those seen on the Panavia Tornado. In the box you get the following: 2 x BETAB-500 iron bombs 2 x OFAB-250-SZN iron bombs 4 x FAB-250-M54 iron bombs 4 x FAB-250-M62 iron bombs 4 x SAB-100 flare 2 x RBK-500-250 cluster bomb 2 x FAB-500-M54 iron bombs 2 x Fuel Tanks 1 x SPS-141 ECM Pod 2 x B-13 122mm rocket pod 4 x F2B-250-TS iron bomb 2 x KH-23 Kerry missile with APU-68 adaptor rail 1 x SPPU-22 23mm gun pod 2 x UBK-23 gun pods 2 x B-8M rocket pods 2 x S-25L rocket 2 x UB-32 rocket pods BATAB-500-ZD bunker buster bomb 2 x S-24 rocket 2 x R-73 Archer A2A missile 2 x R-60 Aphid short-range A2A missile 1 x KKR-1T Recce pod Quite a list! The parts are all well-detailed, with separate fins and nosecones where applicable, exhausts and other parts including further adapter rails all supplied. The decal sheet contains stencils for them all, with a double page giving a complete stencilling and painting guide. Markings There are a generous seven decal options with the kit, all of which is detailed in the centre pages of the instruction booklet, folding out to double size, which although it disrupts the flow of the construction a tad is an improvement on their early kits, as you at least get a full set of profiles from the major angles, and it is all of a reasonable size. These pages are in colour, and you can pull them out of the booklet if you feel the need, which I did a moment ago. From the box you can build one of the following: Su-17M3R 313 ORAP based at Vizavi Bagram, May 1988 – green/earth camouflage over blue undersides wearing red 01. Su-17M4 43rd OMShAE, Black Sea Fleet, Gvardeiskoe Field, Crimea, Jan 1998 - green/earth camouflage over blue undersides, wearing yellow 40. Su-17M4 274th APIB, Afghanistan 1988 - green/earth camouflage over blue undersides, wearing blue 23. Su-17M3 Russian Air Force, red 95 – all over natural metal. Su-17M4R 886th ORAP, 15th VA Afghanistan war - green/earth camouflage over blue undersides, wearing blue 07. Su-17M3 red 50 – green upper over blue undersides. Su-17M4 Ukrainian Air Force – green/earth camouflage over blue undersides, wearing Yellow 50. Previously, Kittyhawk's decals have been of variable quality, but there is an improvement in this sheet, although there is a small mis-registration of the white or red that affects a couple of the decals with borders, but it shouldn't notice too much. Otherwise the other colours are in good register, sharpness is better, as is colour density. The smaller sheet contains the instrument panels and some emblems that required a different printing process. Conclusion A modern tooling of this aircraft, with its aggressive look and wide use, was long overdue and this scale and now it's here. Detail is good from the box, the weapons provided are unbelievably generous in scope and quantity, and improvements to the engineering and finish of the kit appear to have been made. I haven't been over the kit with a fine toothed-comb checking each rivet yet, but I'm sure any inconsistencies will come out in the wash, as no kit made by imperfect beings such as us can be absolutely perfect. The discussion has started already in the Rumourmonger forum for those that are interested here. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of and available soon from major hobby shops.
  3. FloydWerner

    Neville Dukes' AK578- P-40B or P-40E?

    I'm trying to do Neville Duke's airplane AK578 as depicted on the Xtradecal sheet, Early P-40-Part 2. The problem comes in when I did some research that apparently AK578 is a Kittyhawk and not a Tomahawk. Is Xtradecals wrong? There is conflicting information on the 112 page. One place has it as a Tomahawk with the picture of only the front end. The picture is difficult to make out if it is a Dark Earth/Middlestone/Azure or TLS scheme. Then in the serial number portion of the page it describes AK578 as a Kittyhawk Mk.I. Another of my trusted sources, Roy Sutherland at Barracudacals, has GA D as a Kittyhawk as well. I'm so confused. Can any of you shed light on this subject aircraft? Is it a TLS "D" or a DE/MS/AZ GA D? I want to do this right. Or do I need to pick another aircraft. I really want to do a sharkmouthed desert scheme 112 aircraft. I'm trying to use the Xtracals as I never have and they were given to me for this build. Thanks Floyd
  4. 22 June 1995 marked the dissolution of EC 3/12 Cornouailles. Here's Kittyhawk's Mirage F1 CR/CT kit dressed up with Eduard etch, Scale Resin Wheels, Master Pitot and finished off with Berna Decals : and here it is on its display base : Thanks for looking. mike
  5. Mike

    Etendard IVP/IVM 1:48

    Etendard IVP/IVM 1:48 Kittyhawk The Étendard was the final iteration of a number of similar designs that were initially intended as a light fighter for France, with possible customers in other NATO countries, which when beefed-up was considered for naval aviation, with ruggedised prototypes constructed soon after. Named the Étendard IV, the French navy ordered IVM fighters, and a smaller number of IVP reconnaissance variantsf or operation from their carrier fleet beginning in the early 60s. They were well-liked by their pilots, as they excelled in manoeuvrability and were a joy to fly. A quick look on YouTube will find you plenty of footage of pilots enjoying themselves at the controls. Originally scheduled to be replaced by the Jaguar M, this plan was sabotaged by Dassault lobbying, who just happened to have the Super Étendard waiting in the wings. The SuE replaced the Étendard on the carriers at the beginning of the 80s, with the last airframe withdrawn from service toward the end of the decade. As France was the sole operator, there were no Étendards left flying at that point, with a few finding their way to museums around the world. The SuE has now been replaced by the Rafale M in turn after a long career, with the last flight in 2016. The Kit Having already kitted the Super Étendard, so it was only natural for Kittyhawk (KH) to kit her older sibling due to parts commonality, and here she is, fairly soon after the SuE, which you can read about here. This new kit shares many of the sprues with the SuE due to their common heritage, but this kit has been moulded in a slightly different grey. The box is standard Kittyhawk fare, and inside are five sprues, two of which are still joined together after being folded over - a bit of a pet-hate of mine, even though it is easily resolved with a pair of sprue cutters. The clear sprue is separately bagged, and the two sheets of decals are supplied in a ziplok bag that also contains the Photo-Etch (PE) sheet. The instruction booklet has a glossy cover, and in the centrefold is a 4xA4 fold-out painting and decaling guide that can be pulled off the staples for easier reference if you like. Construction begins with the seat and cockpit tub, which builds up from individual surfaces for improved detail, and a set of crew belts are added to the well-detailed seat from PE. Decals are supplied for the main instrument panel and side consoles, which have a black background for your ease. The nose gear bay is also built from individual walls, and the nose leg is added now, although it can be left off if you wish. The nose wheel is fixed between the two-part yoke, which attaches to the end of the main leg, and is braced in the bay by two more struts. The nose section of the fuselage can then be closed up, and here you have a choice of either the recce nose for the IVP with the fixed fuel probe and camera ports, or the pointed nose of the IVM with the retractable fuel probe and the blade-like ECM antenna. The main gear bay boxes and the shallower air-brake bays are then installed in the man fuselage lower surface from the inside, with the former made up from individual panels for added detail. The removable aft fuselage halves are then joined around a diagonally placed rib and the arrestor hook and fairing are glued to the underside in preparation for final fuselage assembly. Before that however, the complete basic engine is built up from two halves, front and rear faces, plus stator blades at the rear in PE, which is mated to the exhaust trunk and tail-pipe. This assembly is held inside the fuselage by a bulkhead at the front and a pair of large pins at the front of the exhaust section, allowing the exhaust to project from the fuselage. While joining the fuselage halves, a spine insert is included, as well as a lower tray at the front of the underside, which meshes with the nose section, blending the two together. With the glue dry, the remainder of the spine and both intakes are fitted along with their splitter plates, and the aft fuselage section that was built up earlier, which although it isn't mentioned in the instructions could be left off to expose the engine in a maintenance diorama, or just for the hell of it. The large tail has an insert with a large probe added to the leading edge, and has a separate rudder that is added after the two halves are mated. The elevators are both single parts, and have a PE swash-plate between them and the tail, as well as a pair of large blade antennae and their base-plates in PE too. The tail fits via a standard tongue-and-slot fixture, and a couple of little clear lights are added to the sides of the rear fairing and to the spine in front. At this point the canopy is scheduled for installation, with small pegs on the windscreen part to help with registration on the lip, and a separate canopy that can be set in the open or closed position. Now for the wings. The wings are built from the upper and lower halves, with leading-edge slats as separate parts, the folding tips, flaps and ailerons too, with a PE spoiler on the upper surface. Clear parts are added to the wingtips, and they are fitted to the root slots in the fuselage along with an additional section of the root that isn't moulded in. The main gear legs are simple struts with separate oleo-links, and a separate brake detail that fits outboard of the two part wheels. These wheels are a bit "wooden" looking, with sparse detail that might benefit from some aftermarket when it becomes available, but once on and hidden under the wings you may decide not to bother. These are fitted into the newly installed wings and then surrounded by the bay doors, which each have hinge and operating struts included, as do those for the nose. The underside is festooned with little antennae, ports and intakes/outlets, as well as a pair of optional camera bulges that run along the centreline. The airbrakes are incorrectly identified by the instructions as left and right canopies, but as it's obvious what they are, it's not a hindrance. They are made up from a styrene outer, with PE inners that have detail etched in to them for better scale effect. As a useful addition, a nifty little crew-ladder is included in the box to help you out. The weapons sprues are no strangers, and have been seen on the SuE, Jaguar and probably other kits that I can't remember too. From the box you get the following: 2 x 68mm Rocket pods 1 x PHIMAT pod 2 x Magic.2 missiles 1 x Barracuda pod 2 x twin 250kg bomb carrier (4 bombs in total) 2 x BL755 bombs 2 x Fuel tanks 2 x AS.30 missiles A full set of pylons are supplied for the weapons, with a different style for the fuel tanks, and separate adaptor rails for the Magics, plus moulded-in rails for the two types of pod. A diagram shows which pylons could take each type, but do check your references to establish a likely load if you are going for accuracy. Markings Another kit from Kittyhawk with a generous decal option count, with five available from the box. Four are in the centre pages of the instruction booklet, with the final option on the back cover, which folds out to accommodate the double-page profiles. From these options you can build one of the following: IVM White 117 of Retirement Flotille 16F – gray/grey blue over light grey blue. IVM White 118 of Retirement Flotille 16F - gray/grey blue over light grey blue. IVM White 118 of Retirement Flotille 16F, 2000 - gray/grey blue over light grey blue, with a white streamer painted down the fuselage sides and a red arrow head on the nose. IVM White 9 of Retirement Escadrille 59S, 1981 – Blue over white. IVM Retirement Escadrille 59S – NAS Hyeres – Blue over white with a red/white/blue stripe down the tail and fuselage 1961-1991. Two special schemes and three in-service airframes is a good mix, and as mentioned in the Su-17 thread, the decals are improving. The decals are sharp, in register with good colour density, but the black section of the ribbon that starts in the tail has some fine crazing if you look under magnification, which will in all probability cause no problems with application, but is worth noting. The smaller sheet contains the instrument decals and some decorative shield, and here the printing of the carrier film has drifted out of register so that the top of the instrument panels have been exposed, and great care will be needed to ensure that the delicate printing doesn't break up on application. Hopefully this is a one-off, and doesn't affect the whole batch. Conclusion Another welcome modern tooling of an important French Naval marque that will please many modellers French or otherwise. Detail is good, construction is sensibly arranged, and with five decal options and a sheet of PE completes the package. If you're PE phobic, the only folding needed is in the air-brakes, so you could always leave those closed and avoid any folding. Who will know? Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of and available soon from major hobby shops
  6. Hi everyone, What a great amount of participation this group build has drawn! Because of that, I decided to do another build myself. I'm still busy with the Maryland, but will start with this one in a couple of weeks. And this is what I will be building. Coincidently I have two decals sheets for this subject, and will see which one looks the best. And sprue shots Decals Instructions I'm planning to do it 100% OOB, and not any detail in order for it to be a quicker build than the Maryland. Like I said, I'll start in a few weeks, probably when I'm at the main painting stage of the Maryland which will leave some spare time for this. Cheers Jimmy
  7. Dassault-Bréguet Super Étendard 1:48 Kittyhawk Model Developed from the Étendard IVM, the Super Étendard (SuE) was engineered to replace the nascent navalised Jaguar M that was cancelled due to political pressures as much as anything. It benefitted from the political clout of Marcel Dassault, as well as a more powerful engines, redesigned wing and of course updated avionics, and eventually gained an order from the French Navy that started at 100 airframes and was whittled down so that only 71 were built in the end. With the first squadron taking delivery at the end of the 70s, and the Argentinians ordered a squadron-worth that would be used infamously during the Falklands War. Iraq also loaned five airframes in the 80s, and used them in the Iran-Iraq war along with their stash of Exocet missiles, returning all but one to Dassault a few years later, which placed serious doubt on Iran's claim to have shot down the majority of them. During the 90s new avionics were installed in a proportion of the fleet, which also received a new radar and a more modern HOTAS cockpit to reduce the pilot workload. More upgrades were done over time, but like all airframes (except the B-52) it reached its limit and was officially retired in the summer of 2016 after 42 years of service, which is quite a feat in the rapidly evolving world of aviation. The Kit This is a new tooling from Kittyhawk, hot (more like warm, actually) on the heels of another new tooling from a competitor. From the box you can build either the original SuE, or the Super Étendard Modernisé as the upgraded version was known, and decal options are included for both. The box as always with KittyHawk is a top opener, and inside are eight sprues in a blue/grey styrene, four of which are for the airframe, the balance for the weapons, which will be somewhat familiar if you have a stash of KH models. Additionally, there is a clear sprue, a sheet of brass Photo-Etch (PE) parts, and three decal sheets of varying sized, rounded out by a combined instruction booklet with painting guide distributed amongst the pages. First impressions are good with reference to the airframe, although there were six parts loose in the bags, some of which were truly tiny. This has to be a record for any kit I have debagged before, so perhaps take care when removing your sprues from the bag. In fairness, there are a number of small parts that are slide-moulded on the edge of one box-sized sprue, plus a couple of parts that stand clear of the main plane of the other large sprue, but a little foam around those parts would have prevented this. There are also some aspects of the build that are considered by some as gimmicky, such as the opening of the fuselage to expose the engine, and the positioning of the flaps in the down-only position, with the refuelling probe only able to modelled deployed without alteration. Others will have no problem with this however, or will put in the effort to ameliorate these things, but it is better to be aware of them from the outset to make an informed decision. Construction begins with the ejection seat, which is well-detailed and has a set of slightly simplified crew belts in PE. The cockpit tub is build up from individual panels on the floor plate, with separate rudder pedals and control column, detailed side consoles and instrument panel, which benefit from some undocumented decals to detail them further, and these are to be found on the mid-sized decal sheet in between a pair of scary tigers (seriously). The coaming and HUD are added at this early stage too, with two clear parts finishing off the glazing of the latter. Which will look good with some transparent green to the edges of the clear parts to give them a little extra realism. Although the nose gear bay is near to the cockpit, it isn't connected, so is built up separately from panels for extra detail, and although the nose gear leg is shown built up and installed at this point, it can just as easily be left off until later. As with many KH kits, the nose is then closed up around the cockpit, nose gear bay and the shallow refuelling probe bay on the nose. The ATAR engine is built up next, with front bullet, stator vanes and initial compressor face moulded as a single part at the front of the two part engine housing, and the final turbine blades with PE afterburner ring bringing up the rear. A two part exhaust trunk is then added, after which the fuselage front is begun, having a main gear bay and air-brake bay on each half. The two halves are split vertically, and brought together round a bulkhead, through which the front of the Atar engine is slotted, the rear being held in place by pegs that interface with the fuselage sides. A spine insert is added to the top, and the rear fuselage is assembled separately with an angled bulkhead at the leading edge, and the arrestor hook bay at the rear on the underside. These parts can be left loose to display the engine, or glued together for a more operational look to the finished model. The nose is then added to the blunt front of the fuselage along with two U-shaped fairings that form the basis of the intake trunking, which the splitter plates and outer trunking sections are added to. There are a number of ejector pins on the interior of many of these parts, from the engine to the intake/exhaust, so set aside some time to establish which will be seen so that you don't waste time filling/sanding back any unnecessarily. The nose cone is also added as a single part, which gives its nose that distinctive look and hides the Agave radar on the real thing. Don't forget the nose weight, as some is bound to be needed, although it isn't mentioned in the instructions. Another spine insert is dropped in behind the cockpit with a selection of blade antennae that will be better left of until later if they're to survive handling. A choice of parts for the later version is included here, so choose wisely pilgrim. The two-part canopy is added later, and can be posed open or closed at your whim with no extra effort, but check the correct angle before you do. The fuselage is tail-less at this point, which is remedied by building up the main fin with its separate rudder, choice of rear fairing for early or late version, and the low-T elevators and their swash plates from PE, as well as the large horizontal blade antenna on the sides of the fin. It fits into a slot in the rear of the fuselage, and you'll have to be careful of the long probe that sits on the leading edge. The main landing gear are built up with separate oleo-scissor links, brake details and two-part wheels, and are fitted after the wings are added, along with their bay doors and the air-brakes, which have PE inserts for the perforated sections. The wings have separate leading edges, wing-tips, two-part ailerons and flaps, plus a set of PE spoilers that can be set flush with the wing, or up if you wish. If you are fitting pylons and weapons, you'll also need to drill a number of holes on the underside to save you looking silly later. Clear tip lights and a separate leading edge strake give the wings good detail, but as the flap actuator fairings are set to pose them deployed, you will need to cut and reposition them if flaps down don't suit your plans. The wings slot into the fuselage via the usual slot and tab mechanism, with an additional section of fairing added as an insert before they are mated. The usual profusion of antennae, aerials, lumps and bumps are added hither and thither, and an optional recce pack gondola can be attached limpet-like behind the nose gear, after which only a handy crew-ladder and a profusion of weapons are still to be added. The weapons sprues have been seen on a number of kits so far, with varying appropriateness, depending on which kit we're talking about. They are well detailed for styrene parts, and there certainly is a wide choice for the SuE, but as always check your references for plausible loads and their locations, or go crazy and add a whole bunch of munitions if the mood takes you. From the box you get the following: 2 x 68mm rocket pods 1 x PHIMAT pod 2 x Magic 2 missiles and adapter rails 2 x GBU12 on a dual adapter rail 1 x AM-39 Exocet Missile 2 x AS-30 Bunker Busting Missile 1 x Buddy refuelling pod with choice of baskets 1 x ATLIS targeting pod 1 x Barracuda ECM pod 2 x Fuel tanks 2 x chaff & flare pods Two of the sprues are marked as from the Mirage F.1, while the other two are Jaguar sprues. The more Étendard specific gear will be found on one of the main sprues Markings This is where it gets confusing due to the distribution of the schemes throughout the booklet. One scheme is at the front, two to the rear, and another five in the centre, which are a lot easier to look at if you remove the centre pages by lifting the staples temporarily. So that's eight scheme. I think. From the box you can build one of the following: SuE Modernise Flotile 11F, 80 Years Anniversary, Sept 2002 – grey-on-grey camo, with a stylised French flag on the tail and spine SuE Iraqi Air Force – dark grey over light. SuE Flotile 11F RIAT Jul 1997 - grey-on-grey tiger-stripe camo with a tiger on the tail. SuE Modernise Flotile 11F Orland Tiger Meet, Sept 2007 – light grey all over with black tiger stripes and a tiger on the tail and rear fuselage. SuE Modernise Flotile 17F ISAF, 2007 – All over mid grey. SuE 0753, 3-A-203 of 2 Escuadrilla de Caza y Ataque – dark grey over light grey and Argentinian colours on the tail. SuE Flotile 11F, Cambrai Tiger Meet, 1986 – Dark grey over light, with tiger-striped Marine and 7 stencils. SuE Flotile 17F, No.49 - grey-on-grey camo. The rear page is devoted to the painting and decaling of the weapons and pods, although no stencils are supplied for the pylons, which is a shame. The decals are of good quality, although there are a few artefacts on the main sheet where the blue on the French flag appears a little pale and has bled in one or two places. The grey serials have also been fudged by using a dithered black ink, which although it fools the eye from the distance, it can be seen under magnification. The middle-sized sheet has subtle shading on the tiger motifs, and although the large tigers look odd flat on the sheet, this effect should disappear when wrapped around the SuE's fuselage. Conclusion Crisp moulding and the option to leave the rear fuselage off for maintenance diorama commends this kit, as does the choice of decal options. Plenty of weapons and gas tanks are also present, and as always with KittyHawk plastic, test fitting and fettling is the best way to get good results. Review sample courtesy of and available soon from major hobby shops
  8. So, after Kinetic (http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234981269-148-amd-ba-super-etendard-sue-super-etendard-modernise-sem-by-kinetic-released) and AMK (http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234952903-amk-super-etendard-148), Kitty Hawk (aka Kitty Wok) has just announced another new tool 1/48th AMD-BA Super Etendard kit - ref. KH80138 Yes but... Why not an Etendard IVM or a Etendard IVP? Source: http://www.kittyhawkmodel.com/#!kh80138/o5uzg Box art For the producers, if you're going French, be aware there's no modern 1/48th kits from: - MD.450 Ouragan - MD.454 Mystère IV - AMD-BA Super Mystère B2 (SMB2) - SO.4050 Vautour IIA/B/N - Dassault Mirage IV - Br.1050 Alizé - Dassault Mystère/Falcon 20 - MS.760 Paris - Nord 2501 Noratlas - NH-90 TTH/NFH Caiman - SA.316 Alouette III - SA.330 (Super) Puma, AS.532 Cougar, EC.725 Caracal - SA.341/342 Gazelle - SA.321 Super Frelon etc. V.P.
  9. This kit was certainly not the easiest build I've ever done but in the end I'm pretty happy with the result. It's unfortunate that the kit has enough short comings that you really need a Airifx Jaguar as a donor kit so you can get a much better representation of the aircraft. Apart the incorrect weapons pylons my other big annoyance was the deals were all out of register. I only used Danger triangles and only because the ones on the Airfix sheet were worse. I've gone for the Cold war is about go hot look hence the aircraft is all tooled up. I know the over-wing launchers weren't often seen on the Tactical Camouflaged aircraft but there are enough photos out there of Gr-1's in this scheme with the over-wing launchers fitted that I has happy to put them on my build (IMHO the aircraft looks cool with them fitted). Anyway, enough of my ramblings onto the detail. The Kit 1/48 Kittyhawk GR-1/3 Jaguar Bits from the 1/48 Airfix GR-3 Kit Underwing Weapons Pylons including adaptor for Philmat Chaff Pod Drop Tank Many Stencil decals Aftermarket Wingman BL755 Cluster Bombs Eduard AIM-9L Sidewnders Flight Path ALQ-100 ECM pod Royale Resin Wheels Fantasy Printshop RAF RBF Tags Eduard RBF tags Scratch Built Ladder Intake Blanks Painted with Mr Color Lacquers (Main RAF Dark Green , Dark Sea Grey, Light blue RWR Fin) Mr Hobby Aqueous Acrylics (RAF Green) Tamiya (Black) Tamiya X22 Clear for the gloss coat Testors Dullcoate for the flat coat Vallejo Acrylics for details Some Photos - more at My Blog
  10. Hasegawa Curtiss Kittyhawk Mk IV (P-40N), Sqd Leader Geoffrey Atherton, RAAF. The kit is Hasegawa's P-40N, finished with Academy decals. The kit's a bit basic but not bad, it's OOB except for the seatbelts and ariel Wire. Painted with Lifecolor RAAF colours. It might seem crazy to use Academy decals (not much good in this case either!) but I love the RAAF aircraft with the white tails and leading wing edges and it means I can do the Academy kit as a P-40M. thanks Mike
  11. M_Sinclair

    P-40M Kittyhawk NZ3119

    I was able to get my butt down to the EAA Airventure airshow in Oshkosh, Wisconsin this year. My first ever Airventure. My first airshow in many many years. And my first airshow since getting into photography. While there were numerous aircraft that caught my attention, this one I knew I had to get as many photos as I could. I should have shot more but there's just so much to see you can't really afford to linger in any one spot for too long. So why is this aircraft so interesting? Well, as I was walking past I couldn't help but notice that she looked like she was fresh from a factory in 1943. The owner noticed me and said that's actually a pretty accurate statement! The restoration had been completed only two weeks prior. And this restoration was as complete as humanly possible. This is exactly how the aircraft looked in 1943 when she was reassembled and made ready for operations in the PTO. As the owner said to me, Rosie the riveter was good, but we had the time to make her perfect. And boy is she ever perfect. The gun sight is fully functional. There's a gun camera complete with film! Enough talk. Here are a few photos with far more up on my flickr page. Thanks for looking. 20160731-MJS_8741 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr Another point of interest. This isn't just any P-40M that happened to be painted in these colours. This really is NZ3119! These are the same colours she wore way back in 1943. While this aircraft is not known to have scored any kills, the pilot of this aircraft did get a kill in his previous aircraft. 20160731-MJS_8520 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr 20160731-MJS_8530 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr 20160731-MJS_8559 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr 20160731-MJS_8561 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr Although he did not fly this particular P-40M, this aircraft was signed by the highest scoring ace in the RNZAF, Geoffrey B Fisken. 20160731-MJS_8548 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr The level of detail is jawdropping on this bird. Everything on this aircraft is as it was when it was new in 1943. The individual markings were not just copied in appearance. But they were applied was using the original technique. 20160731-MJS_8566 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr 20160731-MJS_8569 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr 20160731-MJS_8575 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr 20160731-MJS_8579 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr I had no idea P-40's had a cloth liner in the wheel wells. Wonder how long they actually lasted? 20160731-MJS_8581 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr I learned that along with keeping out FOD, there was a second purpose to taping the guns. It indicated to the pilot the guns were armed and ready to go. 20160731-MJS_8594 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr 20160731-MJS_8599 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr Nice chocks! 20160731-MJS_8617 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr If I ever get the chance, I will happily shoot far more detail shots of this magnificent warbird. If you would like to see more just click the link to get the whole album. https://www.flickr.com/photos/92554273@N07/albums/72157672652776801/with/29616383635/ Cheers! -matt
  12. More Sword 1/72 kits are no longer available but still have some left but we can't restock! We still have the F-94 Starfire, Seafire XV (late) and Kittyhawk MK II/III dual kit left in stock, if anyone wants them! We also still have the P-40K Warhawk dual kit in stock, not many of them left at the big H now! http://www.mjwmodels.co.uk/sword-172--kits-142-c.asp thanks Mike
  13. Hi, here comes my latest model that I finished yesterday. It's my first P-40 and I went for the obvious option: a shark mouth of 112 Sqn. The kit is the 1/72 from Legato/AZ and it is finished basically out of the box. The break lines on the landing gear are the only addition. The paints are Tamiya and I have used oil paints for panel wash, oil/fuel spills and general weathering. Special attention was paid to the decals and tires which shouldn't look too pristine on a desert a/c. It is a nice kit despite being short-run and needing some filler. I like the fine panel lines while many smaller parts are a bit softly moulded and ill-defined. The decals supplied with the kit were used and they worked without problems. These Kittyhawks were delivered in in the Temperate Land Scheme (US paints used, of course) and the Dark Green was later overpainted with Middle Stone. Therefore DG is still visible around the serial. The photo of the original also shows that the edge of the fuselage roundel was carelessly sprayed over with Middle Stone. There seems to be some discussion on the correct colour for the underside whether it is Azure Blue or perhaps Light Mediterranean Blue. On the original photo it sure looks very dark but this might be due to the stark shadow. I went for a mix that looks right to me. The original photo can be found here: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205208930 The a/c carried the small inscription "London Pride" barely visible over the "Y" on the port side. In these days one could write the letters G, A and Y as well as the word "pride" on an aircraft and nobody would consider it odd. The base is a bit small for the Kittyhawk but it is just recycled. Originally it served quite a different vehicle: http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234964208-sdkfz-263-172/ Thanks for looking. All comments welcome. Ole
  14. Hi, I have almost finished my 1/72 Legato/AZ P-40 Kittyhawk. When I demasked the canopy I realized that the Interior Green visible behind the latertal rear part (or aft windows) of the canopy just does not look right. I think I read somewhere that this part should be camouflaged like the rest of the aircraft. With some luck I actually succeeded in removing the clear parts without breaking anything but now I am wondering how to repaint this recessed area behind the cockpit (how do you call this trade mark-sign of the P-40 anyway?). The aircraft I am building is (not a very original choice!) a 112 Sqn Kittyhawk I finished in Middle Stone and Dark Earth. The aircraft was obviously delivered in the TLS because you can still see the serial on a Dark Green (or at least dark) patch that was spared out when the DG was overpainted with Middle Stone. Now what is the colour behind these lateral aft windows? Still Dark Green (and Dark Earth) or did somebody bother to remove the aft windows to repaint this part in Middle Stone? All pictures I have looked at are unclear in this aspect. Sometimes this area looks darker than the rest of the fuselage sides and sometimes not. What is your opinion (or proven knowledge) on this matter? Thanks in advance, Ole
  15. F-86K Photo-etch and Masks - Kittyhawk Kit 1:32 Eduard The Kittyhawk kit was released last year and we reviewed it here, while a great kit there is always room for some photo-etched upgrades. Interior This set comprises of one colour self adhesive fret, and one small brass fret. The colour fret contains colour self adhesive parts for the instrument panel, side consoles other cockpit placards. Raised area on the panels are made up from smaller parts and the throttle parts complete the set. A couple of small parts of plastic rod will need to be supplied by the modeller. The smaller plain fret contains parts for the canopy rails, and canopy rear view mirror. There is one part for the rear decking area. Exterior As its name would suggest this fret contains many parts for the exterior. The front & main landing gear bays have some replacement parts for access holes, as well as new parts to enhance these areas. Parts are also provided for the landing gear doors. . A complete set of vortex generators for the wings and tail are provided, along with plates to ensure they are placed in the correct positions. Replacement parts for the scissors on the main landing gear legs replace the moulded plastic ones. New access plates are provided for the leading edge slat area. A new vent is provided for the main vent on the left fuselage. New interiors are provided for the inside of the airbrakes. Lastly new filler caps are provided for the external fuels tanks, and rear fin areas are provided for the kit sidewinders. Ejection Seat This set contain parts to address the kit ejection seat. The main plastic parts are retained but most of the other parts are replaced. New complete side parts are supplied, along with the foot rests. A lot of smaller detail is supplied which is not on the kit parts due to the limitations of injection moulding. A complete set of colour seat belts & buckles are provided, along with coloured "Remove Before Flight" tags. Masks The mask set provides masks for the canopy and wheels. Conclusion These frets should enhance an already good kit. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  16. Bell P-39Q/N exhaust set Eduard 1:32 (632-081) - The Kittyhawk P-39/N, reviewed HERE has already had quite a lot of etch and resin released for it from Eduard. They have released another set, containing a pair of very nice exhausts for it. The resin moulding is well up to the standard we have come to expect from Brassin and includes the connecting flanges and bolt heads which attach each exhaust stub to the manifold. Each stub is more indented than hollowed out, but with some dark paint it will give a better impression of depth than the kit parts, You could always open them out a bit more if you wish. Fitment is easy, just removed for the pouring stub, sand flat and glue to the model. Conclusion A nice simple addition that will add that little extra to your finished model. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  17. Kittyhawks amazing scale 48 Gripen It has been written a lot about Kittyhawks Gripen kit. Unfortunately, also of a lot of negative by which a wrong picture originates from this, actually, nice kit. One finds a really good one and one of the best Reviews I could explore, here: http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234941002-jas-39ac-gripen-148-kitty-hawk/?hl=%2Bsaab+%2Bgripen+%2Bkittyhawk It is a kit of the new generation, with the quite normal positive and negative points like all other new kits also. In the construction report I will mention the really relevant small mistakes I discovered. I have used the following books as references: Saab Gripen, Author: Gerard Keijsper JAS-39 Gripen Swedish Multirole Fighter, Author: Slavomir Goldemund Saab JAS 39 Gripen colours & markings, Author: Michal Ovčáčík, Karel Susa How with most kits for different versions are intended, should one not work strictly after constructriction manual. As by the construction of Ju 88 of Dragon, or by the construction of the Mosquito wings with separate wingtips of Tamiya, one must deviate from the construction manual to avoid unnecessary repairs. Also with the Gripen one should stick together the fuselage halves separately. As one can see, I have already cut out behind the cockpit the cover of the pressuration/air-conditioning unit. I can recommend the cockpit of Aires very much. The details are not only fine but also perfectly faithful. The seat belts are added as photoetched parts. On heating up the photoetched parts, the seatbelts can be brought very well in form. The avionic bays of Aires which should be accommodated later behind the fuselage nose. I like the bright colours with those the modern airplanes nowadays are painted. Please, do not surprise. . . .but I never work really strictly after construction manuals. Mostly I build complete sub-groups sometime occasionally. According to mood. . . as well as with the weapons. The Maverick missiles are from Eduard. Actually, already a model in the model. Two elegant and slender Iris-T missiles from the kit, got a 1mm light lens (AK-Interactive) in the nose built-in. And here is the first however small mistake which I found in the kit. There is only one anti-ship missile RB15S in the kit (but rather one, than none). Before fuselage halves are clued together, must be still built the inflight refueling pipe,the undercarriage and airbrake bays. In the meantime, fuselage halves have been glued, and the pressuration/air-conditioning unit have been built up from plastic sheet. One finds high-class photos in the second book of my abovementioned book list.
  18. With RAF Tangmere just down the road from me and my local model club displaying on the Museums 'Bader Down Day' this August I thought that this model would certainly fit in as Neville Duke has such a history with RAF Tangmere when he broke the sound barrier in his Hawker Hunter. The Hasegawa kit is sublime, fitting extremely well with good detail for such a kit. Adding Eduards interior PE set rises the game to a new level. The only other extra that I did was to drill out the exhaust stacks and guns to add some depth. The build went smoothly and having lots of photos of the AF Air-wing in 1942 it was obvious that these P40s were heavily used and in by no means a pristine condition, so I set out to add a level of weathering through pre and post shading, Tamiya powders and a wash to get the right effect. As the build went on it became obvious that this bird needed to be shown its proper environment; the desert, so I found a resin RAF desert pilot and using a set of plastic from my local hobby store and other bits and pieces that I had lying around I built up a small diorama presenting Neville Duke with his aircraft. Painting was done using Vallejo Air paints, which I love to use, the pattern was free hand as the middle stone was added in theater and was not neat (Dukes aircraft had clear over-spray on the side fuselage roundels). Photographing this build was difficult for some reason. I don't have the best set up and usually use my phone camera as its as good as I have.
  19. Curtiss P-40 Warhawk / Tomahawk / Kittyhawk. Even though shown in the markings for The Flying Tigers at Pensecola this P-40B was an RAF Machine which was then supplied to the Russians. Pics thanks to Bootneck Mike.
  20. Bell P-39Q/N detail Sets Eduard 1:32 The Kittyhawk P-39/N, reviewed HERE is a great kit in its own right, but there is always room for improvement, and Eduard always seems to find that room. They have now released no less than seven individual sets to adorn the kit with extra and improved detail. As with most sets of this type some of the kit details will need to be removed before the etch can be added. Interior Set (32853) Contained on two sheets of relief etched brass, on half the size again as the other, one is unpainted whilst one comes pre-painted. The unpainted sheet contains items such as the a complete replacement seat, with additional side plate detail, new door cards and fittings, new box fittings, new and replacement fittings for the cockpit floor, foot pedals and additional fittings not included in the kit. The two upper cowling mounted machine guns also benefit from this sheet with the inclusion of the breech area sides, top and bottom. The pre-painted sheet provides the modeller with a variety of coloured knobs and levers, new auxiliary instrument panels, plus replacement dials for the side panels. The main instrument panels are also pre-painted complete with the instrument faces on the backplate. A little dab of aqua clear will give them the appearance of glass fronts. External Set (32381) This single sheet set contains a lot of the smaller and more unusual details, some of which are not found on the kit. These include new rudder post and elevator internal strips, fastener strips for around the engine bay opening, engine bay details, gun bay panels, fastener strips, machine gun details and for the under wing ammunition bay there is a replacement ammunition box cover, again new fastener rails, and replacement panel. The radiator and oil cooler exhaust ducts are provided with new surrounds, details and replacement doors. The doors will need some very careful bending to shape, but at least the side panels are provided to help with getting the shape right. Each of the engine bay panels are also replaced with etched parts allowing them to be posed removed Seatbelts (32852) This small fret of brass comes pre-painted for the most part, but with unpainted clasps, buckles etc. Whilst fiddly to make, it will give the cockpit a real boost as there aren’t even moulded belts on the kit seat, so if you buy only one set this should be it. Fabric Seatbelts (32854) As an alternative to the above etched seatbelts Eduard have also released a set of laser cut fabric seatbelts. Included in the set is a small sheet of etched buckles and clasps, which as above look mightly fiddly, but well worth it as I think the fabric belts, once crumpled a bit look more realistic in the cockpit. Landing Gear Set (32382) Another single sheet set, this one contains, naturally, new and replacement parts for each of the three undercarriage bays. The nose wheel bay is fitted with a new rear bulkhead roof straps, electrical boxes and panels. The main wheel bays a fitted out with new roof and side linings, new braces and inspections panels. The bay doors are also fitted with new internal panels, whilst the oleos receive replacement scissor links and the wheels new hub details. Flap Set (32383) This two sheet sets is to be used to completely replace the kits flaps and add further detail into the flap bays. You will need to carry out a fair bit of surgery in the kits flap bay area to remove all the detail and thin the skin down. The bays include the roof and forward bulkheads, all the ribs, and flanges as well as the multiple flap tracks. The flaps themselves are also detailed with ribs which need to be carefully folded into position, along with the out skin panel. The end plates are then attached and the flaps fitted into position. Masks (JX186) Naturally a set of detail updates wouldn’t be complete without Eduard adding some masks. Made of Kibuki style tape they are easy to use and can help make painting less of a chore. Conclusion This is certainly a comprehensive array of detail sets for what is already a well detailed kit. With plenty of care and patience they will make a great kit into a masterpiece and possibly a show winner if all are used. The advantage of have separate sets is that the modeller can pick and choose how much, or how little detail they wish to add. Of course the more you add the more expensive it gets and this is becoming more noticeable with Eduards products lately. If you like your etch then I can happily recommend the above, but they really aren’t for the novice, particularly the flap set. Review sample courtesy of
  21. Here's my latest, the Kittyhawk 1/48 UH-1Y Venom, coming soon to a SAMI near you!
  22. Lost interest in the Revell Super hornet as the instructions about glueing the small wheel bits together were unclear and made me frustrated. However, the Viper came in the mail a lot earlier than expected, so I've decided to start it! I couldn't resist; it's the newest tooled kit I've ever done, and it's filled with really good detail. I hope it'll go together well! The kit comes with a small fret of photoetch for various mesh grills and seatbelts. Also included is a small weight ball and 2 sheets of decals. They aren't really glossy but more of a matte type which I don't know if it's unusual because I've only ever dealt with glossy decals. Instructions come with a small booklet with glossy covers. Overall, it seems like a well thought out kit with no compromise to detail. The clear parts are almost glass like! I was surprised to see only a grand total of 4 sprues, although one of them is quite large. A close up of the exquisite surface detail: ( the droplets of water are from washing it with warm soapy water, something I learnt a while ago that supposedly helps to remove grease and enables acrylic paint to stick better ) Really excited to see how this turns out
  23. Vought OS2-U Kingfisher KittyHawk 1:32 The Vought OS2-U Kingfisher was an American catapult-launched observation floatplane. It was a compact mid-wing monoplane, with a large central float and small stabilizing floats. Performance was modest, because of its light engine. The OS2U could also operate on fixed, wheeled, tail dragger landing gear. The OS2U was the main shipboard observation aircraft used by the United States Navy during World War II, and 1,519 of the aircraft were built. It served on battleships and cruisers of the US Navy, with the United States Marine Corps in Marine Scouting Squadron Three (VMS-3), with the United States Coast Guard at coastal air stations, at sea with the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy, and with the Soviet Navy. The Royal Australian Air Force also operated a few Kingfishers from shore bases. The Naval Aircraft Factory OS2N was the designation of the OS2U-3 aircraft built by the Naval Aircraft Factory in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The OS2U first flew on 1 March 1938. In the late 1930s, Vought engineer Rex B. Beisel was tasked with designing an observation monoplane aircraft for the U.S. Navy suitable for a multitude of tasks including directing battleship fire. In replacing the standard biplane observation aircraft with a more modern monoplane design, Beisel incorporated innovations becoming the first production type to be assembled with spot welding, a process Vought and the Naval Aircraft Factory jointly developed to create a smooth fuselage that resisted buckling and generated less drag. Beisel also introduced high-lift devices, spoilers and in a unique arrangement, deflector plate flaps and drooping ailerons located on the trailing edge of the wing were deployed to increase the camber of the wing and thus create additional lift. One of the more famous pilots flying the Kingfisher was one Douglas Fairbanks Jnr, when he was posted to the USS Washington. For combat missions, the pilot had a .30-caliber machine gun while the radio operator/gunner manned another .30-caliber machine gun (or a pair) on a flexible ring mount. The aircraft could also carry two 100 lb bombs or two 325 lb depth charges. Additionally, the "Kingfisher", as it was designated, served as a trainer in both its seaplane and landplane configurations. Beisel’s first prototype flew in 1938, powered by an air-cooled 450 hp Pratt & Whitney R-985-4 Wasp Junior radial engine. The Model It was with great joy hearing that Kittyhawk were going to release a big Kingfisher. Whilst not the most glamorous of aircraft, it did carry out an important job throughout WWII and was certainly one of the better looking floatplanes in the Allies arsenal. The kit comes in a colourful top opening box, with an artists impression of the aircraft sitting on its cradle atop a battleships catapult. Unfortunately the backdrop seems to show the aircraft at the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor. On opening, the modellers eye is drawn to a small brown box, which contains the clear parts. There are also five large sprues of light grey styrene two decal sheets, one very large and one small, and a small sheet of etched brass. All the parts are very well moulded, with few signs of imperfections other than some flow marks on the fuselage and on the wings. There is a small amount of flash and quite a few moulding pips throughout the sprues. Whilst the clear parts are very clear, there is a very slight distortion on the curved top panels of the canopies. Whilst there is quite a lot of detail, it doesn’t look to be overly complicated, which for this reviewer a good thing, particularly if you are trying to break out of a period of modellers block. Construction begins with the engine and the assembly of the rear mounted ancillary drive casing, which comes in three parts, and to which the alternators and air intake pipes are fitted. The two pieces of the cylinder block are glued together and fitted with the push rod ring, panel mounting ring, rear drive assembly and the exhaust manifolds. The nose section of the cowling is then attached, along with what looks like a magneto coil. The three piece engine bearer is then attached. The fire wall also comes in two parts, which once joined together are fitted out with the with the forward firing 30 cal machine gun, its support and ammunitions tank on the rear side, whilst on the front, the oil tanks and what I presume is a fuel tank, and the machine gun barrel extension tube. On top of the firewall the instrument panel and coaming are fitted, with the IP having had several levers attached. The engine assembly can then be attached to the firewall assembly and put aside to set properly. Each of the two pilots lap straps are made entirely of etched brass and consist of the main straps, slipped through the clasps and attachment ring, before the main seat fittings are glued on top and the loose strap section glued to the upper section. The seat is then fitted with its support frame, the two straps and the seats front edging strip before being fitted to the seat bulkhead. The assembly of the rear cockpit begins with the construction of the rear mounted 30cal machine gun, which, if you include the mount consists of twelve parts. The gunners seat is attached to the seat frame, which includes the backrest and two more lap straps made up in the same way as the pilots straps. The gun mount track is made up of five parts and once assembled glued to the seat frame, followed by the fitting of the gun assembly. The shoulder level cockpit frame is fitted out with a radio set, a DF loop, electrical box, spare ammunition canisters and shelf, spent ammunition tubes and multipart end framework. A separate shelf is fitted with more radio boxes and selector box before begin glued to the underside of the cockpit frame. The gunner’s seat assembly is then fitted along with the rear bulkhead. Before going any further the modeller needs to decide which version they are going to build, the floatplane, or land plane. Depending on version, the respective holes need to be opened up in the fuselage and underside of the wings. Each of the two fuselage halves can then be fitted with the various ribs, footboards, oxygen bottles, electrical boxes and the pilots side consoles, side mounted controls, rudder pedals and joystick. The engine and cockpit assemblies are then fitted to one halve of the fuselage, after which the fuselage can be closed up. If making the landplane version, don’t forget to fit the two piece tailwheel. The canopy sections and windscreen are then attached, along with the tubular telescopic gunsight and engine cooling gills. The access steps are then fitted, along with the upper and lower cowlings, side cowlings, venturi tube, seven piece propeller, aerial mast and small side mounted aerial beneath the rear cockpit. The wings each come in upper and lower halves, with the fixing tang separate. The tang block needs to be glued to the lower wing before the unpper wing section can be attached. Each of the ailerons and flaps are separate and each made from two halves. On both upper and lower surfaces of the wings, several identification lights are fitted, as are the tip mounted navigation lights and the pitot probe, fitted to the port wing. The horizontal tailplanes, elevators and rudder are again assembled from two halves before being fitted to their respective positions. The kit is supplied with two 100lb bombs, which are assembled from two halves and fitted with the bomb crutches and a mounting beam. If the landplane version is beign built then the main wheel assemblies are built up from the main oleo, two support struts, separate scissor link, tie down ring and the two piece wheels. The undercarriage assemblies are then fitted to the fuselage, with the rear struts glued to a separate two piece bullet fairing that is fitted to the centreline of the fuselage. The two bomb assemblies are then glued into place. If building the floatplane version then the wingtip floats are built up, with each float provided as two halves, to which the N shaped strut is attached and the floats glued into position and supported by two separate inboard struts. The main float is also in two halves and the mouldings include the main struts and even the central cross bracing. The other bracing wires need to be provided by the modeller, but the kit does provide the attachment points for them, as well as the separate rudder and its control wire fixings. To allow the floatplane version to stand upright the kit supplies to dollies, with two piece wheels, one for each side of the main float, and a tailwheel mounted on the left hand at the end of the float. The completed float is then attached to the fuselage. The build is completed with the fitting of a crew access ladder. Decals There are two decal sheet included in the kit, one large and one small. The larger of the two contains all the national insignias for the six colour schemes included on the paint charts, along with the id markings for each option and the stencils for one aircraft. They are beautifully printed, they are really vivid, opaque and in register. The smaller decal sheet contains the instrument panel and side console decals, plus the Donald Duck logo for one of the options. The options provided are:- OS2U-3 Kingfisher, Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas, 1942 in Light Blue over Gloss White, with Yellow upper wings. OS2U Kingfisher of VO-1 aboard USS Arizona 1941 in overall silver with yellow upper wings, red tail and red stripes on the nose and amidships OS2U-3 Kingfisher serving in the Soviet Union, based on the ex-Italian light cruiser Milwaukee, 1944 in grey over gloss white. OS2U Kingfisher, FN768 No 765 Squadron, Fleet Air Arm, based at Sandbanks, Dorset 1943 in dark green and medium sea grey topsides with sky undersides, (although the instructions call it hemp?). OS2U-3 Kingfisher US Navy 1941 in dark blue over white and with the Donald Duck emblem on the tail fin. Conclusion For some strange reason I’ve always liked the old Kingfisher, although not so much as a landplane, as it just looks wrong, so it was with quite a bit of excitement that I heard Kittyhawk were going to release one in 1:32. As I said above, it is a very nice, well detailed kit, one that can easily be built straight from the box, and yet has the potential, particularly when the aftermarket guys get into gear, to be built into a super detailed masterpiece. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of and available soon from major hobby shops
  24. Sean_M

    TomahawkIIB - P40D and P40E

    I am a bit stuck as there seems to be a pattern used on the P-40's that went to China and those sent to North Africa. Although I always thought a batch meant for China landed up with 112 sqn. Lastly there seems to be a variation from the P-40E (Kittyhawk). I would be grateful for any help and accurate 3 view drawings.
  25. XF5U-1 Flying Flapjack 1:48 KittyHawk At a time when engineers were struggling to squeeze every ounce of speed from the piston engines that had almost reached their limit in terms of power, there were some radical solutions proposed, and one such aircraft was the Vought XF5U, which began gestation during WWII as a carrier fighter with high top-speed, but good slow handling characteristics for deck operations. By mounting the two props at the edges of the disc-shaped blended fuselage/wing and giving them opposite directions of rotation, the prop-wash cancelled the energy sapping vortices, giving the aircraft a higher top-speed and allowing it to use a smaller lifting body to achieve its performance. That benefited carrier stowage as well as saving materials, so a great deal of effort went into developing the concept. Based on a smaller prototype, the test aircraft was constructed and began ground trials that ended up with some small hops, but never fully-fledged flight if you'll excuse the pun. Vibration issues remained by the time the project was cancelled in 1947, by which time it was over-budget and being closed upon rapidly by the jet-age. It was doubtless an interesting proposition that struggled to find its feet due to the radically different technologies needed to make it function reliably, but it was ultimately to be the more promising jet engines that sealed its fate. The Kit An unusual choice by KittyHawk, but an interesting one nonetheless, from an age where anything was considered to steal a march on the opposition. The kit has been tooled to represent the development airframe, however the box art shows a what-if scene of a Flapjack scything through the sky having just destroyed a Japanese fighter that was attacking an Allied bomber stream, firing cannons at the next target "off-screen". Very nice artwork it is too. Inside the box are four sprues of mid-grey styrene, which are irritatingly (from a reviewer's point of view at least) still linked in pairs, having been folded at their centres at the factory. Clear parts are individually bagged, and a separate ziplok bag contains a tiny sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, and three decal sheets of varying sizes. The instruction booklet is portrait A4(ish) with a glossy colour cover with fold-out inners that contain the colour guides. The rear cover has had its fold-out pasted closed at the factory however, and another page in thinner stock inserted in the centre of the booklet, possibly due to a mistake in the profiles, or more likely due to the large Animé/Manga style decal that has been removed from one of the decal sheets for wider release. The sprues are square, so there's a reasonable amount of room in the box, because the Flapjack was a small aircraft. The part count is also fairly low due to the blended nature of the design, with two large top and bottom fuselage/wing surfaces taking up the majority of two of the sprues. Construction is therefore straightforward and consists of creating the small cockpit from a floor panel, seat with PE belts, side and rear panels, plus the instrument panel, which has a decal for it and the side consoles. Rudder and control column finish off the area, and little more is needed due to the small opening in the fuselage. The two main gear bays are also built up from panels, and have the five-part gear legs and two-part twin wheels added before they are installed. Spacer ribs help to hold them firmly within the fuselage once installed too, which is good design. The small tail wheel uses the same construction method, although the twin wheels are single parts due to their size. Two exhaust tubes are made up and installed in the lower wing, at which point the four assemblies can be added and the airframe closed up. A turtle-deck behind the pilot is added, and twin main-bay doors are inserted on separate hinges, as are the tail wheel bay doors. Cockpit glazing is in two parts, and is thin with very little in the way of distortion, allowing the canopy to be posed open or closed. A gunsight is added before gluing the windscreen in place, after which the various airframe details are brought together, such as the twin intakes in the leading edge; twin tails and elevators; two inserts in the top and bottom engine humps; the two part elevons with separate mass-balances and formation lights in clear; the crane-like arrestor-hook, which deploys from the upper fuselage; and of course the twin props. The blades are separate from the spinner, which is made up from two parts each for the cylindrical extension and the spinner itself. Happily the blades are keyed, so will be easy to get set up to the correct angle. If you're doing the prototype, all you need do is bring these final assemblies together and add the clear nose dome, but KH have thoughtfully supplied a pair of bombs and pylons if you wanted to go a bit whiffy. There aren't parts for guns however, so you'd be expected to add those yourself from tubing. Markings There appears to be a decal for a Japanese manga style character missing from the three sheets, as evidenced by the half-moon edge of one of them. A small picture on the box contents page gives that fact away as do the stuck-together pages in the instruction manual, and a blanked off image on the box, so I guess that one of these little aircraft featured in animé somewhere along the line, but KH probably thought that the average Gaijin wouldn't be interested. From this boxing you can build one of three airframes, as follows: US Navy – Midnight Blue with red prop blades & substantial walkways on upper surfaces. US Army – Uncle Sam Wants You – Midnight Blue with large Uncle Sam decal and stars on the upper surfaces, red/white rudders & red prop blades. US Navy – All over silver with red prop blades, and red/white rudders. The decals are spread across three sheets, with the national insignia, walkways and striped rudder panels taking up the majority of one sheet, while the tiny sheet contains just two images of Bugs Bunny on a flying carpet. The sheet with Uncle Sam on also contains the instrument decals, but the words "I want you" has the I replaced with a bullet, and O an oozing bullet-wound, which I've not seen before and find a teensy bit disturbing. The figure image seems to have been culled from one easily found on Google, so I hope they don't run into any copyright issues! Quality of the decals is good, with sharpness, register and colour density up to standard, and the thin carrier film tightly cropped. Conclusion A nice model of an interesting technological dead-end during the last days of WWII that should provide a quick easy build due to its simplicity, although detail hasn't be sacrificed at all. If you read our reviews regularly, you'll see I like the esoteric so you can imagine that this one is right up my street. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of and available soon from major hobby shops