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Found 176 results

  1. Over the past few months we've been stocking a few bargain 1/35 kits, including ones from Meng, Miniart and Hobby Boss. We've had both Meng and Hobby Boss King Tigers in stock previously for under £20 each! We've got a few kits in stock right now and we'll get future bargains in stock, if we think there's a good chance of selling them! A good example of a bargain is the new Meng Magach 6 with all the extra armour n bits! Most of the offers are 1/3 or more off the UK RRP, some over 1/3 by quite a bit! Here's a link to our homepage https://mjwmodels.co.uk/ . You'll find the bargains by scrolling down the page and more on the second page too! thanks Mike
  2. Magach 6B Gal Batash Israeli Main Battle Tank (TS-040) 1:35 Meng Model via Creative Models The Magach name has been used for a number of tanks over the years, based upon the numerous Patton tanks from the M48 to the M60, which is probably the cause of some confusion, although calling four tanks Patton confuses me already, so why not continue? The 6B was based upon the newer M60A1 chassis, with modernisation from the base model, the fitment of the Gal fire control system, and passive appliqué armour that gave it a rather Merkava-like profile. These were in response to combat performance issues during the major conflicts such as the Yom Kippur and Lebanon, where their resources were seriously depleted due to some design defects, such as the location of flammable liquids in high risk areas and insufficient armour. Initially the armour issue was remedied by Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA), but as this can be seriously lethal to accompanying troops, the Gal Batash switched to 4th generation composite armour to reduce the potential hazard when standing close by. The ongoing upgrades eventually led to the Magach 7, and these in turn were replaced in the early 2000s by Merkavas. The chassis of the Magach is still in use however as the new Pereh missile carrier, which uses the main hull, and is disguised to look very much like a tank, despite its non-functional barrel and the 12 missiles it carries within. The Kit This is another new tooling from Meng, who have a growing line of Israeli equipment in their catalogue partly due to their links with Desert Eagle Publishing. Inside the standard satin-effect Meng box are fifteen sprues, M2 machine gun breech, hull and turret parts in sand coloured styrene, a flexible sprue in the same colour, a clear sprue, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) parts, a tree of black poly-caps, a length of braided wire, decal sheet and the instruction booklet, plus a separate colour and marking guide. It's a Meng tooling, so the detail is excellent, and there is plenty of clever moulding to improve that further without upping the part count unnecessarily, such as the super-finely moulded muzzles for the crew served weapons such as the M2 Browning derivative. The surface of the armour is also textured where appropriate, either as cast, or anti-slip on the horizontal(ish) surfaces, and there are lots of crisp weld-lines depicted too, especially on the big hull part. It's also nice to see a complete package with PE and material for use as towing cables, so that the modeller doesn't have to lay out additional cash or go scrabbling through their spares bin to complete the model. The tracks are individual links with pins in sub-sprues to ease construction and a clear jig to hold them in place during the building process. Do not adjust your set: The sprue above really is that wobbly Construction begins with the road wheels, which are made in pairs with a poly-cap trapped between them and have separate tyres, which will please anyone wanting to avoid cutting paint lines between the parts. The return rollers are in pairs too, but these have their tyres moulded-in due to their size. Finally, the drive sprockets comprise three parts with a poly-cap inside, all of which will aid adding and removing them during painting and track construction. The lower hull has a set of S-shaped blocks fitted to the floor, which later receive the torsion bars for the suspension, while the side-skirt stand-offs and suspension detail are added around the outside, together with the final drive housings. There are even individual casting codes for the hulls supplied as PE plates that attach to the rear of the hull. The torsion bars are made up with their swing-arms and stub axles, then slid in through the hull to rest in their mounts that were previously fixed to the hull floor, and here you will need to be careful to put the right ones in the correct holes. Some additional damping is needed, and these are added along the way, then the wheels can be added for the first time, and the rear bulkhead (lower) decorated with towing hitches etc. Now for the top of the hull, which begins with the glacis plate and turret ring section, which are moulded as a single part with some nice texture. Some holes are drilled in the underside and a couple of bits are removed, then the driver's hatch and some lifting eyes are fitted long with the vision blocks and another casting number from PE. The angled rear deck is then joined with the front and they are both mated to the lower hull, then festooned with all the grilles that are found on the M60's engine deck, and that's quite a few, including the little exhaust insert grille on the right rear. At the front, the lower glacis plate is added with some substantial brackets, presumably for a mine plough or an entrenching tool, then the additional keel armour is placed "over the top" of the underside, and a few more shackles are added. The fender parts are next up, and they are decorated with stowage boxes and the air cleaners then added to the sides of the hulls, being held in place by slots and tabs, and some glue of course! The upper glacis gets a pack of appliqué armour blocks and the rear is finished off before the v-shaped styrene front towing cables are attached together and draped over the armour, then joined by the fender guards and the front light clusters. Tracks. They're always there on a tank, and everyone wants to know whether they're easy, hard or somewhere in between. As previously mentioned, the tracks are individual links, and are spread across four identical sprues along with the tiny track pins that are moulded in groups of six and are designed to be mated to the links still attached to their sprue rails. The links have four sprue gates each that are placed upon the curved sections where the links join, so clean-up doesn't have to be 100% perfect, just good enough not to interfere with the next link along. The click loosely together, and you put them on the jig in groups of eight, close the top part over them and then slide the grouped track pins into place, taking care to ensure you have the links in the jig the correct way. The sprue rail is then cut off, which is best done with a brand new #11 blade to ensure a tidy break on each pin. Each track run has 101 links, so you're in for a bit of work, but that's tracks for you! The runs are completed by adding a single pin to the final joint, which will have to be done manually, so prepare the tweezers and rest easy knowing there are spares in case the first few ping off into the ether. The side skirts are there to hide all your hard work on the tracks, and these too have armoured panels, the front two of which protect the fighting compartment, so are of the composite variety and thicker than the others. They attach to a rail that has hangers between it and the panels, and once both are complete, they glue to the sides of the hull, completing the lower half of the model. The turret is a shell (excuse pun) with no interior, and as such has no gun breech, but instead has a short tube that pivots as the gun would, slowed down by a pair of poly-caps to avoid droopy-barrel syndrome. The upper half is glued in place on top of the lower after drilling some 1mm holes to accept some of the additional armour and suchlike, but the inclusion of casting texture and the original turret shape suggests that this may later be seen as an M60 kit, but only time will tell. The mantlet, lifting eyes, mushroom vents plus hatches, radio antenna masts, and a flexible mantlet enclosure that's on the flexible sprue fits around the gaps, and keeps out the abrasive sand on the real thing. Either side of the mantlet are a pair of prominent smoke grenade launcher packs, which have the 10 grenades moulded in place, and have an outer box and mounting brackets added to fit at the correct angle. The armour package changes the look of the turret noticeably, with a more Merkava-like double sloped front that is built up from individual panels before being applied to the turret cheeks, and a modular pack that attaches to the top of the turret in clusters around the important hatches and vents. The commander's cupola has a movable hatch and a collection of vision blocks fitted, plus lifting eyes and a large hinge-pin before it is slotted into its hole in the deck, which remains mobile and secures in place with a bayonet fitting on the cupola ring. The front sighting box with covers and back-up optical sight are added to the turret top along with a large stowage box and spare ammo for the turret machine guns, and down the sides are cleats for more cables, plus a tread-plate steps that make getting on and off the turret easier for those with shorter legs. Additional fuel and stowage are attached to the bustle, with styrene rails and a PE mesh floor, plus a pair of very well moulded ID panels that fix to the rear and sides of the bustle, and have some very believable creases and folds that are different on each one for more realism. The final towing cable drapes round the rear of the turret, and is made up from the included braided wire and styrene eyes, resting in a set of hooks around the bustle, then hooking around the cleats at the sides. The main gun has a complex cooling jacket that doesn't lend itself to a metal barrel, so a two-part styrene barrel is provided that shouldn't take much in the way of clean-up, and has a separate hollow muzzle that has rifling moulded-in. The recoil bag is moulded in flexible styrene and has all the concertina ribs moulded into it, slipping over the rear of the barrel before it is fitted and the remainder of the visible mantlet is covered over by the platform that will receive the M2 machine gun remote station. This is built up next, and appears to have been moulded with an anachronism in the shape of the barrel-changing handle, which is also shown sitting up vertically on the barrel. This shouldn't generally be there as it was phased out after Vietnam, and would hang below the barrel as it rotates freely when in place. The breech isn't attached to any sprues, so take care not to lose it, and choose one of the alternative barrels that you will find on the small weapons sprue. Many Magachs also didn't have the conical flash-hider, but some did, so check your references. The gun has a small mount, twin spade-grips and a large dump bag on the right side to receive the spent brass, and an ammo box on the left. Staying with the crew-served weapons, there are also two FN MAG mounts for the commander and loader hatches, which is a derivation from the American M249 and British GPMG, and has a prominent carry handle that should flop down to the right when not in use. I'm reliably informed by a gent that has fired one, that if the handle is vertical, the barrel is likely to try to follow the first few rounds downrange! It's a simple matter to cut them off and reposition them, and unlike the M2, they have solid muzzles that you might want to try and drill out while you're messing round with them. Good luck, as it's not easy at that size. The commander's gun has a large searchlight and a big box mag attached, while the loader's is on a flexible pintle mount due to its position on the far left of the turret. With these parts in place, the turret and hull are joined with a bayonet fitting on the turret ring holding both parts together. Done! Markings In this box you get two markings options, both of which are Sinai Grey, an elusive shade of grey/sand that you can happily now get bottled, rather than having to mix your own. Meng's collaboration with AK Interactive and the new(ish) Gunze Acrysion codes are given in the instructions, but as everyone seems to have an Israeli paint set these days, it shouldn't be too hard to find the correct shades if you don't have those to hand. From the box you can build one of the following: Tank 10 Gimel, 2nd Battalion, 401st Brigade, IDF near the international border with the Gaza Strip Tank from 9th "Eshet" Battalion, 401st Brigade, IDF in the centre of the Samaria region, August 1998 The decal sheet is small and printed in China in black and white, with red used only for the Meng logo. Registration, sharpness and colour density are all up to scratch, and the carrier film is relatively thin and cut close to the printing, so should go down well with your choice of decal solutions. Conclusion A highly detailed tooling of one of Israel's Main Battle Tanks from not so long ago. There's lots of scope for weathering, and the level of detail out of the box will doubtless be enough for the majority of modellers, due to the quality of the tooling. That said, if you want a covered bustle stowage bin and smoke launchers, read on. Very highly recommended. Israel Main Battle Tank Magach 6B Gal Batash Fully Loaded Rear Basket & Closed Smoke Grenade Launchers 1:35 Meng Model via Creative Models This aftermarket set from Meng gives the modeller the option of depicting a bustle with a full complement of personal equipment, covered in a tarpaulin to keep out the desert sand that gets everywhere. It also provides the covers for the smoke grenade launchers at the front, which are often covered up for the same reasons. The set arrives in a small box, and inside are five resin parts on easily removed casting blocks, plus an instruction sheet. The bustle is shown fully covered up at the top and sides, with the main part a C-shaped back and sides, with the mesh floor depicted as another resin part that is shown upside-down on the instructions. You use some kit parts for the rails along the back and the cleats for the towing cables. The topside is the final part of the bustle, and all the parts apart from the bottom are covered with realistically draped creases and folds that suggest the contents. The smoke dischargers fit onto the kit back plates and stand-offs, with a nicely realised and tailored canvas cover over the top portion of each one. Superb detail throughout and a very realistic texture that will make your Magach look more lived in. It's not cheap, but it's definitely good. Review sample courtesy of
  3. Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) Armoured Vehicle Crew (HS-011) 1:35 Meng via Creative Models With more main stream Chinese kit manufactures appearing it was only going to be time until we had some modern PLA vehicles on the scene. Now from Meng comes a set of figures for them. This seems to be less of a combat or general set with the figures looking like those you would see on one of the massive Army parades the PLA stage. From the box you can build four figures, each having separate arms, legs head and torso, plus one driver for which only the shoulders and head are provided. There is one figure standing to attention, one manning an anti-aircraft gun, one sitting, and another standing holding onto a hatch rim. There is nothing else in the form of equipment or weapons in the set. Conclusion Mengs's figures are excellent, and this crew will make a difference to your Chinese vehicle. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. Rolls Royce Armoured Car 1914/1920 Pattern Meng's new RR armoured car, a kit that I've been looking forward to since it was first announced. I'm hoping to get the build underway later tonight but, in the meantime, I'll post some sprue shots so you can get an idea of what's in the (rather small) box. It's by no means a complex kit, with only four main sprues, two of which are duplicates, a small clear sprue for the light lenses and a couple of separate mouldings for the body and turret. You do get photo-etch but only for the wheel spokes on the 1914 pattern wheels. Everything looks clean and well detailed so I'm not foreseeing any major issues with the build. Sprue A Chassis parts, mudguards, exhaust etc. This is a non-interior kit, so no engine as such, but you get the bottom of the sump moulded onto the chassis along with a basic transmission. Sprue B Turret parts, including the armament. Also, the wooden tool boxes and decking for the back of the body, none of which feature any moulded grain texture, which is fine by me as I'd rather create my own if needed. Sprue C (x2) Wheels for the 1920 pattern and tyres for the 1914 pattern, along with various other bits and pieces. For some reason, Meng have moulded some of the 1914 tyres as a single piece and some in two halves. I can't see any other difference between them. The single piece tyres go on the back while the two-part ones are for the front and the spares. Sprue T Clear sprue for the lights Main body moulding Turret part 1920 pattern tyres and poly-caps. No sidewall detail on the tyres, but the tread looks to be well done, and only a very slight seam line to clean up. PE for the 1914 pattern spoked wheels. There's no plastic option for these, and they'll need to be dished slightly but you don't get any kind of jig for that. The decals are okay, but not spectacular. The edges of the roundels are a little ragged, but they'd probably look better sprayed anyway, so not a huge problem. The remaining codes and other lettering look fine. Which leads us on to the marking options. You get two schemes for each version which offer a nice range of finishes. The Admiralty Grey option for the 1914 pattern would make a good companion to the CSM Lanchester, but I think I'll be going with the Caunter on the 1920 pattern. So that's what's in the box. The build should get underway very soon. Andy
  5. Finally getting started on my first kit of 2019.Had this Meng Tiger II sitting around for a while and thought it was about time to get it done. Meng did a fantastic job with this kit and I'm really looking forward to seeing it complete. Also this is going to be my first time using Mig Ammo paints so we'll see how that goes... I have decided to go with the following camo scheme That's all for now but I will post a build update tomorrow.
  6. So, a King Tiger appeared down the chimney for Christmas It has been suggested that I should keep it for the Tiger Tank STGB in May. However, as this is currently my only kit, I couldn't wait that long, so here it comes (maybe I'll just get another Tiger for May ) I've read and watched loads about potential suspension problems, so it was with some trepidation that I cracked open the box yesterday. First impressions: the dark red plastic is slightly strange to start with. However, detail is very good. There's a nice little bit of PE for engine grills, and they've helped out with the tracks by including some 'ready-build' straight sections. No metal barrel for me However, really looking forward to it. Also, coming straight from a Panzer IV build, this feels huge Here goes... Straight into the chassis and wheels. The wheels come with poly-bushes which enable them to be taken on and off the chassis, which is really useful. Just sprue-attachment cleanup really. Despite the horror stories, the suspension sat really well, and the wheels are nice and flat on the surface. Maybe I just got a 'good kit'??? So I'm always learning. If you want to learn about the different Tiger II variants, then I can recommend this excellent video from the Tanks Museum: That's all for now... I'm not a quick worker, but will keep you all posted
  7. USS Missouri Cartoon Model Meng The USS Missouri is an Iowa Class battleship, and the last of her type to be built for the US Navy. She was commissioned just in time to serve in the closing stages of the Second World War, and famously hosted the signing of the Japanese surrendered by Mamoru Shigemitsu. She went on to serve in the Korean War before spending the next three decades as a tourist attraction. She was reactivated in the 1980s under Reagan's programme of naval expansion and was fitted with Harpoon and Tomahawk missiles, as well as Phalanx defensive weapon systems and a multitude of other upgrades. She served in the first Gulf War prior to being retired for a second time in 1992. She is berthed at Pearl Harbour, overlooking the USS Arizona memorial. Cartoon-style kits seem to be in vogue these days, with an increasing number of manufacturers jumping on the bandwagon started by Hasegawa with their egg planes. Meng have quite a few under their belt now, and this is the fourth ship kit to be produced in this style. The kit has been moulded from styrene in three different colours, each appropriate to the parts represented (save for the rather bright blue decks). The lower hull is moulded from dark red plastic, the aforementioned decks and turret roofs are moulded in blue plastic and the rest of the kit is moulded from grey plastic. The kit is well packed into a sturdy box. All of the plastic parts are nicely moulded, and in line with their other similar kits, the parts snap-fit together and stickers are included instead of decals. Construction of the kit is fairly conventional, notwithstanding the fact that the parts snap together rather than requiring glue. Bearing this in mind, I would advise against test fitting the parts prior to final construction, as snap fit parts rarely snap apart again. Construction begins with the lower hull, to which the propellers and shafts click into place. The upper hull is formed from the joining together of the hull and the deck, with a part sitting below the deck that pushes through and includes parts for the turret bases and other details. some small details such as AA guns and deck cranes can be added at this point. Assembly of the superstructure is pretty straightforward, with blue deck parts sandwiched between grey structural parts in a layered fashion. All of the features you would expect to find, such as funnels and fire control systems are present and correct, except in cartoon form. Both the primary and secondary turrets are made up from three parts each (except No.2 turret, which features additional AA armament on top). The guns do not appear to be designed to be moveable once fixed in place. A colour painting guide is included within the instructions. AK paints are recommended by Meng, in what appears to be a commercial arrangement (their logo is emblazoned on the side of the box). The aforementioned stickers are used to add detail. There are no decal alternatives. Conclusion I shan't comment on the cartoon style of the model - not least because this sort of thing will either appeal to you or it won't - but I will state that this appears to be a well-executed kit, with nice moulding and detail. If you like this style of kit then this will be an excellent addition to your collection. Review sample courtesy of
  8. beefy66

    Toon Sub

    A present from my daughter for Crimbo the Meng Toon so just for a bit of fun around the holidays this is it it says push fit but I glued as some of the joints looked a little to gappy but it gave me a laugh for an hour today So this little bit of fun is now off to the paint shop beefy
  9. Hallo everyone, This is actually my second WWI build. The tank is tiny, I fall in love with this cute little thing in Paris. Kit is excellent and a joy to build!
  10. Russian 9K37M1 BUK Air Defence Missile System (SS-014) 1:35 Meng via Creative Models Designed as a successor in the Air Defence role to the venerable SA-6 system, development of the type began in the early 70s, resulting in the original Buk-1 Gadfly system, which was soon upgraded to the M1 in the early 80s. The upgrades made the system more capable, with an improved reliability and resistance to jamming, which led to a greater kill-rate than the original. It was soon superseded again by the Buk-M1-2, which had a new, more agile missile that could intercept cruise missiles and other fast-moving targets, with a new NATO name of Grizzly. There have since been other improvements on the system, with the latest M3 variant reaching service a few years ago. The system carries four missiles with a maximum range of 22 miles each and the ability to climb up to 72,000ft, and can transport, erect and launch with its own integrated radar (TELAR), or act as part of a battalion or battery, the latter having a radar-less vehicle that is slaved to the more capable vehicles. The tracked chassis is designated GM-569, developed by the Minsk tractor works, who have factories in Belarus as well as the expected Minsk. It is capable of working extremes of temperature, and has a multifuel engine that usually runs on diesel, producing 7-800hp. The Kit Another new tool from Meng, who appear to be releasing new products as fast as ever of late. It arrives in their standard box, but the artwork is printed in the portrait format, which makes not a jot of difference to anything other than taking the photo for the review! Inside are eleven sprues and three hull parts in sand coloured styrene, a sprue of clear parts, a sprue of flexible black styrene parts, a ladder of poly-caps, a sheet of Photo-Etched (PE) brass, decal sheet, the instruction booklet and separate colour and markings guide. Quite the comprehensive package, as we've come to expect from Meng. First impressions are usually good from Meng, and this one's no different. Crisp moulding, lots of detail, sensible use of slide-moulding, and their usual first-rate instructions. Construction begins with the tracked hull, and the wheels are first up, built up in pairs with a poly-cap between halves to ease on/off during the build and painting phases. The idlers and drive sprockets are built the same way, and everything is mounted on the lower hull with the return rollers, torsion bar suspension with swing-arms at the ends. The road wheels slip onto the axles, and the lower hull is finished off with small details, after which the upper hull is prepared for joining by adding some panel inserts around the engine deck. With the hull joined, many of the remaining apertures are filled by adding doors for the side-mounted stowage bins, and the engine deck access panels, with PE grilles over the top of some. Crew hatches are also added along with the usual light clusters at the front, plus a navigational turret over the front starboard fender. Wing mirror and pioneer tools are installed, as are the downward facing air intakes, plus even more stowage bins at the rear with the light clusters either end. Short side-skirts, travel lock and styrene towing cable are affixed, finishing off the lower hull apart from the tracks. Tracks can be a pain to build, or not. These ones are actually quite good, and I built up a run of seven links in a few minutes. Each track link is attached by two sprue gates, and sliding moulds have been used to produce pin pathways where they are on the real thing. You fit the links into the clear jig seven at a time, close the separate lid, and then insert a spruelet of pins without glue into the holes on one side. The other side is held together by a small pip that locks into a corresponding depression in the next link along. After withdrawing the assembly from the jig, you cut off the pins flush with the side of the track, and you're left with a very flexible, realistic-looking run of tracks for minimal effort, which you can see in one of the pictures below. The sprue gates are placed in the hinge area, so won't be seen much, and as there is a lip either side, a downward stroke from a sharp #11 blade should sever the connection without collateral damage. A brief buff with a narrow sander, and that's it. There are 113 links on either run however, so you're still going to be working on them for a while, but with minimal clean-up and no ejector pin marks, that's a lot less time that will be consumed. Top marks! With the tracks out of the way, the "turret" is next in line, being supplied as a large part to which many doors and access panels are added after you have inserted the turret floor. At the shallow end a hydraulic ram is assembled before the missile platform is added, with a few other parts needed such as a rest for the missiles in travel mode. The large radome is built up and affixed to the front of the turret, the optics are assembled and fitted to the roof, then the large launch rack is built up with the flexible hoses permitting movement of the assembly after completion. Each launcher holds two missiles, so the process is carried out twice, after which they're linked with a box-section that has the ram fixed to the centre, and they are pivoted around the rear using a poly-cap on each one to allow them to move. The flexible hoses are then connected to the turret using the scrap diagrams to place each hose into its appropriate connector. Two small platforms are attached to the rear of the turret, plus a substantial pivoting antenna on a large base, a set of railings that prevent crew from falling off the turret roof, and cross-braces that strengthen the antenna bracket. The four missiles are identical, and are comprised two body halves, exhaust unit, body insert and additional stabilisers, plus the steering vanes at the rear. A separate diagram shows their position on the launcher in relation to the turret, which is then twisted and locked into place on the hull, with the option to attach the travel lock at the front to the rear of the turret if you are posing your model in transport mode. Markings There are three markings options in the box with different camo options for each one, and from the box you can build one of the following: No.203 unknown unit, 6th Air Forces & Air Defence Army, Russian Air Force, Pushkin City, Russia 2007 No.905 unknown unit, Ukrainian Army, Military Parade on 25th Independence Day, Ukraine 2016 No.Ps443-24, Anti-Aircraft Missile Regiment, Finnish Army, Southern Suburbs of Helsinki, Finland 2004 Decals are printed in China, with good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt/gloss (it really is a bit of both) carrier film cut close to the printed areas. On my sample there is a small amount of black outline missing from the leftmost cross from decal option B, but once applied to the green hull, it probably won't notice. The missiles are shown in four views on a separate page, so that you can place the decals correctly, but they are shown as green with white nose cones, while option B has totally white missiles, so take note of that before you get carried away with the paint. Conclusion This is a big tracked vehicle, and when in transit mode, the rear of the missile launcher projects past the front of the hull. In launch mode it will make for an impressive display. Detail is excellent, the tracks are about as good as they can be, and there are a variety of decal options, including a Finnish one if you're not keen on the Russian options. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  11. Sd.Kfz.174 Bergpanther Ausf.A (SS-015) 1:35 Meng Model via Creative Models The Panther was Nazi Germany's answer to the surprise appearance of the Russian T-34 after they finally reacted to the invasion that was Operation Barbarosa. Although the project had been in gestation some time before, they took some design cues from the T-34 in the shape of the sloped armour, resulting in the Panther that was intended to fill the gap between the Panzer.IV and the (then) new Panzer VI Tiger. It was eventually supposed to replace both the Pz.IV and the earlier Pz.III that was really showing its age, but in reality it often fought alongside the Panzer IV. It was planned as a lighter, more manoeuvrable tank than the Tiger, and was fitted with a high velocity gun from the outset. The Germans came to the realisation that they needed a form of armoured recovery vehicle as even the larger halftracks could not recover a Panther or Tiger tank. In fact so many tanks themselves became lost to recovery efforts that order were given not to try recovery with another tank. MAN were tasked to develop the vehicle and used the Panther chassis which was fitted with a central 40 tonne winch in place of the turret and a large rear spade to dig the vehicle in. Over the winch would be placed a wooden work platform and a light crane (1500 kgs capacity). The added benefit of the vehicle was that crew protection was improved and it could work under fire. As well as the standard machine gun a 2cm KwK-30 cannon was mounted on the front, though the use of this fell off in the latter stages of the war, The Kit After the initial release of the Ausf.A by Meng, and then theD, we now get the Bergpanether which as you will guess shares a number of the Battle tank sprues., with a number of new ones. There are eleven sprues in sand styrene, one run of poly-caps, a clear sprue, two sheets of Photo-Etch (PE), braided cabling, a small length of chain, a very small decal sheet, colour painting and markings guide, plus the instruction booklet, which is printed in greyscale on standard paper. Construction starts with the wheels. Two drive sprockets, two idler wheels and 16 road wheels are made up. Each are two part with a poly cap going in between. The torsion bar suspension components are then added into the lower hull plate. The lower hullsides are then added with the two internal bulkheads and the rear one. At the front the driver and radio operators compartment is built up along with the vehicle transmission. In the central area the drive shaft and PTO for the winch is built up, The winch can then be built up, care must be taken when applying the wire to wind it on correctly. We then move to the upper hull. The sides are added along with a few parts such as the drivers hatch which fix from the inside. The rear engine grills are added along with the engine hatch. The upper hull can then be fitted to the lower. The fender lowers are added along with various tool boxes they have. At the rear the large attachment for the spade is added along with the exhausts. The transmission covers are added along with a whole host of brackets. The suspension arms are also added, followed by the wheels. Once they are on the tracks can follow. There are 87 links per side, the links are one part, but with 5 sprue attachment points and two track horns per link this will test the modellers time and patience. Once the hull is done its time for the engineering bits which make this model. At the rear the large spade is made up and attached. On the rear decking tow bars are added and spare track links attached to the sides. Many and various different tools, blocks, connectors, cables etc are all attached. Next up the large working platform on top is made up. This has storage compartment sin which can be open or closed. The front and rear sections can also be open or closed. There is a rain cover for the front compartment which can be open or stowed as well. A wooden beam is also made up for the side of the compartment. If the crane is to be made in the stowed condition it is also added at this time. The completed compartment is then added to the top of the vehicle, We then move back to the hull with mounting brackets being added for the side plate, followed by the PE plates themselves. The front fenders are then added. If the crane is going to be made in the deployed state it needs to be built up and added. The AA machine gun can then be built up and added. If you are adding the 2cm cannon then this needs to be made up and added. A photo etch gun shield is provided. Markings There is a tiny decal sheet with national markings only. Two schemes of Dunklegelb and cammo are offered. Unknown Unit Eastern front - 1944 Unknown Unit France - 1944 Conclusion Another excellent kit from Meng and one this reviewer has been waiting for. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  12. Type VII U-Boat Meng Model Warship Builder Cartoon Ship Normally we review highly detailed models of famous ships and submarines but in this instance, give your pedantry about colours and accuracy a rest and feast your eyes on this cartoon Type VII U-Boat. The Model The model comes in a small but quite deep box with an artists impression of the submarine cruising underwater scaring the local fish. Inside there are four sprues of dark and light grey styrene, a black styrene stand and a small decal sheet. Whilst it is a cartoon model the parts are nicely moulded with no sign of flash, which is a good thing as it appears to be more of a snap together kit rather than a glue it together one, although you might want to glue it together just in case it decides to fall apart. Construction, as you’d be right to guess, is very simple, the two inner hull parts are joined together followed by the two upper hull sections. One of the lower hull sections is then fitted with two pegs, the two sections are then fitted to the previous assembly with the separate keel sandwiched between them. The anchor, forward dive planes, propeller shafts and propellers are next to be attached. Strangely, even though it’s a cartoon, no aft diveplanes are included. The three deck sections are then fitted into position along with the wire cutter at the bow and the two railings, one on either side of the tower, which is the next part to be attached. The two, two piece periscopes are fitted, as are the tower mounted 20mm cannon and the two piece deck gun. The completed model can then be displayed ont eh provided stand. Decals The single sheet of decals provides items for four different emblems. The decals are nicely produced with good register and slightly matt. The nameplate that goes on the stand is of the self adhesive type sticker. Conclusion Well, what can I say about this kit? It will certainly be something different in your display cabinet and will be quite a fun build that should take all of 10 minutes to build and a bit longer to paint. It will be good for a bit of fun after a day on a bigger build and would be great for a child to start modelling with. I think it’s a little pricey, but you should be able to get it cheaper if you look around. Review sample courtesy of
  13. North American P-51D Mustang "Yellow Nose" (LS-009) 1:48 Meng Model via Creative Models Originally developed to fulfil a British requirement for new fighter aircraft, the unmistakable North American P-51 Mustang famously went from drawing board to first flight in just 178 days. It went on to become one of the most famous and successful aircraft of the Second World War. Transformed by the addition of Rolls Royce’s legendary Merlin engine, the Mustang went from strength to strength and was eventually developed into several variants. The P-51D introduced a number of improvements in response to combat experience, including a cut-down rear fuselage and bubble canopy and an increase in the number of 0.5 inch machine guns from four to six. Over 8000 P-51Ds were produced, more than any other Mustang variant. The Kit This new tooled P-51D from Meng is designed as a "snap together" kit and Meng trumpet it can be put together without glue. As such the kit is designed in a different way than your standard kit. There are more tabs and inserts and construction varies from a standard kit. Having spoken to a couple of modellers who have built the kit it certainly does go together without glue, however the modeller it would seem would be wise to glue it as they go. The kit arrives on five sprues of dark grey plastic and a clear sprue. Construction starts its seems in the conventional way with the cockpit. The front fire wall and instrument coaming are assembled with the rudder pedals clipping it. The radio area behind the pilot is installed onto the cockpit floor. The control column is added and the seat made up, then fitted. Moving on to the fuselage sides, side panels are added, then the tail wheel well & wheel are made up and attached. A couple of insert parts are attached and then the fuselage can be closed up. The propeller is then made up fro two sets of two bladed added to hub. The top engine cowl part is added along with the exhausts (2 different types being provided). Construction then moves onto the wings. The landing gear complete with wheels are added into the gear bay, this is then inserted into the rear wing. The flaps (down position only) are then added into the lower wing, and the whole thing is trapped by the addition of the upper wing. Inserts are provided on the leading edge for the guns. The cowling under the main engine is then added to the fuselage. The main ventral radiator assembly is then made up, the wing installed and then the radiator installed. Next the gear doors are installed (either up or down) and the rear scoop for the radiator added. Underwing stores are made up and installed. There is a choice for 100lb bombs, 75 Gal & 108 Gal drop tanks. Lastly the frame is added inside the canopy and its installed, followed by a top fuselage insert, the tailplanes and the rudder. Markings Two options are provided on a sheet made in house by Meng. 308 FS, 31 FG 44-15459 (Capt. John Voll) 356 FS, 354 FG, 9 AF 44-15622 (Capt. Richard Turner) Conclusion Recommended if you want something a bit different, or you would like a project that snaps together, however I wont be replacing any of my other Mustang kits with this one. Review sample courtesy of
  14. As the title says, we have some Meng 1/48 P-51D kits in for less than half price! only £15.60! https://mjwmodels.co.uk/mmls-009-148-north-american-p-51d-mustang-yellow-nose-6570-p.asp thanks Mike
  15. Bismarck Photo Etched Upgrades for Meng Kit 1:700 Eduard Meng Model have taken a somewhat curious approach to their fledgling range of 1:700 scale warships. The kits are well made and nicely detailed, but are moulded in multi-coloured plastic and designed as snap-fit models. While that makes them seem somewhat toy-like, Eduard have clearly taken the view that enough 'serious' modellers will acquire and build the kits to justify the release of upgrade sets for them. These sets cover the recent Bismarck kit. Bismarck Photo Etched Set (53220) As with any small-scale ship, there are an awful lot of fine details that cannot be replicated satisfactorily in injection moulded plastic. That's where Eduard's set will prove to be useful. The first set includes a range of small detail parts including the FuMO 23 radar, details for the optical rangefinders, small platforms, windlasses, the anchor chains and various other deck furniture. Also on this fret are a range of ladders and stairways, details for the aircraft hangar and catapault, the mast and the main and secondary armament. Splinter shields for the smaller guns are also provided, alongside details for the ship's boats. Bismarck Railings Photo Etched Set (53221) This fret includes a full set of railings and stairways. The railings feature a constant lower rail rather than individual stanchions, which will make them easier to fix to the model. Conclusion Nothing finishes a model warship off better than a set of fine photo etched parts. With this pair of frets, Eduard have included almost everything you could want to complete the Meng kit to a high standard. If I were to choose just one of these sets then it would be the railings, but both will make a positive difference to the kit. Review sample courtesy of
  16. Great news if you're a fan of modern British AFV's, I certainly didn't expect to see these from mainstream manufacturers: and this too: Just take my money now.
  17. Whilst patrolling in the South China Sea the USS Lexington encounters a new Japanese terror weapon - the Kamikaze Duck! This was a fun project and made a change to my normal subjects. Mick
  18. EddieLT

    F-35A AF-01 Reference needed

    Good day gents, I was thinking on getting back to the “dark side” (modelling). So for the first model I’ve picked up Meng F-35A. I would like to build AF-01 the very first one Lightning delivered to unit. However I’m a bit struggling finding the 1:48 decals. Any suggestions? Also maybe anyone of You knows the best way to replicate those rectangular test markings along weapon pylons and fuselage? Or maybe someone of You knows a good walkaround? Any suggestions regarding finishing colours? Any information would be a great help! I’m looking forward to hear from You guys! Kind regards, Edgar
  19. I have been away from the hobby for a while for the usual reasons of family etc. Also, in the time I have been away, I have moved to Australia, but I have recently picked up the MENG kit of the Whippet medium tank. Construction has started, and I will try and keep this thread up to date with my progress. You can also follow the build on my website. Ross
  20. Hi folks, Here is my completed Meng Whippet Tank. Please let me know what you think of the weathering. I think I may have gone overboard a bit, but somebody else thought it was understated. Constructive criticisms are very welcomed. IMG_3434 by Mark Wakelin, on Flickr IMG_3441 by Mark Wakelin, on Flickr IMG_3440 by Mark Wakelin, on Flickr IMG_3439 by Mark Wakelin, on Flickr IMG_3438 by Mark Wakelin, on Flickr IMG_3437 by Mark Wakelin, on Flickr IMG_3436 by Mark Wakelin, on Flickr IMG_3435 by Mark Wakelin, on Flickr IMG_3432 by Mark Wakelin, on Flickr
  21. I built these soon after Meng released them. Two-in-a-box, they were easy to build and fun to paint, especially since there were no accuracy concerns... I added a bit of cockpit detail but that's about all.
  22. Paul A H

    KM Bismark - 1:700 Meng

    KM Bismarck 1:700 Meng Laid down in July 1936 by Blohm and Voss of Hamburg, the Bismarck was one of the largest and most powerful battleships to see action during the Second World War. She, along with her sister ship Tirpitz, represented the epitome of German warship technology. Weighing in at 50,900 tons deep load, the Bismarck’s design prioritised stability and protection over firepower; her broad beam of 118ft making her a very stable gun platform even in heavy seas. On 21 May 1941, Bismarck left the Kjorsfjord in Norway to embark on her first raiding sortie, accompanied by the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen and three destroyers. Three days later she sighted and engaged the Royal Navy warships HMS Hood and HMS Prince of Wales, sinking the Hood and damaging the Prince of Wales. Having suffered damage herself in the engagement, Bismarck disengaged and attempted to make for St Nazaire. Eventually spotted by a Catalina flying boat, her rudder was then jammed by torpedoes launched from the Swordfish of HMS Ark Royal. Left unable to manoeuvre, she was battered by HMS Rodney and HMS King George V and was soon reduced to a burning hulk by their heavy guns. She was finally sunk by torpedoes from HMS Dorsetshire before she could be scuttled. Pretty much every major manufacturer of warship kits has produced a Bismarck at some point. Aoshima, Revell and Trumpeter have all produced kits of the famous warship in this scale, but none have been as colourful as Meng's new kit. The kit has been moulded from styrene in four different tones, each appropriate to the parts represented. The lower hull is moulded from dark red plastic, the deck is moulded in teak-coloured plastic and the rest of the kit, save for a few parts moulded in black, is moulded from battleship grey plastic. The kit is well packed into a sturdy box adorned with evocative artwork. All of the plastic parts are nicely moulded, but the big difference between this and other kits of the Bismarck is the fact that the parts are all snap-fit. In line with this simplified approach to construction, stickers are included instead of decals. Construction of the kit is fairly conventional, notwithstanding the fact that the parts snap together rather than requiring glue. Bearing this in mind, I would advise against test fitting the parts prior to final construction, as snap together rarely means snap apart again - at least not in the same shape! The build begins with the lower hull and fitting the propeller shafts, propellers and rudders. The hull itself is made up of three parts, although you can omit the lower section if you wish to finish the kit in waterline configuration. Once the hull is complete, construction moves on to the deck. The, er, deck coloured parts fit onto a grey part which contains a number of structural parts such as the bases for the turrets. This means you don't need to worry about painting a lot of fiddly deck features, even if you intend to pain the parts anyway. The decks themselves are nicely detailed, with chains and planking moulded in place. The rest of the build is completely conventional, save for the fact that you don't need to use glue (although I suppose you can if you want to make sure the parts are properly welded together). The superstructures, funnels, masts and rangefinders all look just as good as any other conventional kit of the Bismarck. Perhaps the only compromise is the small calibre weapons, which are pretty basic compared to what you get in a Trumpeter kit. Even the ships boats are good enough to pass muster in this scale. Construction of the main turrets is fairly straightforward. While the eight 15 inch guns are not independently posable,they do at least have blast bags moulded in place. Finishing details include the secondary armament, masts and anchors. The display stand will be handy if you wish to finish your model in full hull configuration, although my personal preference would be for the waterline option. The colour scheme is printed in black and white and shows the ship as she appeared at the time of her engagement in the North Atlantic. AK paints are recommended by Meng, in what appears to be a commercial arrangement (their logo is emblazoned on the side of the box). The aforementioned stickers can be used if desired, but I can't imagine many enthusiast modelles will chose to use them. Conclusion While the level of detail is pretty good and the multi-coloured plastic is appealing, I can't say this is the best kit of the Bismark in this scale. It isn't the cheapest either, which is curious given the snap together nature of the kit. There's no doubt that snap together kits have their place, but they don't normally cost north of £30. It's not that the kit is a bad option for those wanted to build a Bismarck, but I'm struggling to see why it would be a better option than the Trumpeter or Revell kits. Nevertheless it is a nice thing and I'm glad to have had the opportunity to review it. Review sample courtesy of
  23. 8V-92TA-90 Diesel Engine & CLBT-150 Transmission (SPS-055) 1:35 Meng Model If you've been reading my review of the new Meng M911 C-HET with M747 Semi-Trailer, (and if not, why not?) you'll know that the kit supplies just the lower portion of the engine and transmission, which is all that's visible with the hood/bonnet down. That'll do just fine for a lot of folks, but if you want to throw open the covers and show off the engine, this resin set will be of great interest. Arriving in a small and unassuming card box with a line-drawn diagram of the engine and its catchy title on a sticker affixed to the top, you'll find three bubble-wrap bags inside. Within those are the parts that go to make up a complete (apart from wiring) engine to replace the kit parts, with detail that you couldn't hope to achieve in styrene. There are fifteen parts in dark grey resin, and each part is cast on a separate block, with sensibly petite attachment gates that help to minimise clean-up. There aren't any instructions in the box however, but the isometric drawing on the lid should give you plenty of clues on how it builds up, but you can see a couple of 3D renders that should end any doubts here, or just by scrolling down. Still, it would have been nice to have instructions, and those pics took a little tracking down. As to painting of the engine, you'll have to do some research and track down suitable pictures, which will also help with the weathering, showing where dirt, oil and grime accumulate on these big units. Clean-up should be a doddle, but wash the parts either in an ultrasonic cleaner with a suitable cleaning solution, or warm soapy water, remembering that too much heat will render the resin flexible again and could ruin your engine parts. Washing the parts in warm water will also improve the adhesion of paint by removing any remaining moulding release agent on the parts. Use CA to attach the parts together, and as usual with resin, take the precaution of wearing a mask when cutting or sanding resin, as the tiny particles are harmful to your health if breathed in. Conclusion Detail is fabulous, the casting is of the highest quality, and sensible moulding blocks make the task of creating this power-pack a relative pleasure. The lack of instructions is a minor pain, but if you follow the 3D renders, there should be little room for error. Very highly recommended. Currently sold out, but check back for a restock. Review sample courtesy of
  24. US M911 C-HET (8x6) & M747 Heavy Equipment Semi-Trailer (SS013) 1:35 Meng Model Any army requires transporters for their heavy equipment, and in the US this is abbreviated to HET, which stands for Heavy Equipment Transport, so you hear the use of the phrase applied to a number of heavy-haulers. Tank transport is particularly heavy, with your average M1 Abrams weighing in around 60 tons. The M911 tractor unit was a product of the 70s and was initially paired with a trailer that had previously been used with the M746 that the M911 replaced. During the Gulf War the M911 saw extensive use pulling Abrams tanks from battle to battle, which exposed weaknesses in the tractor's mechanicals that led to its replacement by the M1070, from the same Oshkosh stable. The easiest way of telling them apart is the more streamlined grille of the M1070, versus the square shape of the M911. The Kit This is a completely new tooling from Meng, and given their reputation for detail this is a god thing. It arrives in a large box that possibly could have stood a slightly thicker cardboard stock, and once you open it up, you're greeted by a pretty comprehensive package: 15 sprues in sand coloured styrene 1 sprue in clear styrene 2 frets of Photo-Etch (PE) brass 2 sprues of poly-caps 13 flexible styrene tractor tyres (large) 17 flexible styrene semi-trailer tyres (small) 6 flexible styrene pneumatic shock-absorbers 1 sheet of reflective foil for mirrors 1 sheet of pre-cut masks 4 metal axles (long) 2 metal axles (short) 1 red insulated wire 1 blue insulated wire 2 braided cable There's still a little room in the box for stashing any aftermarket you might buy, but it's a well-rounded complement. The detail is of course excellent throughout, and there are lots of clever techniques used in the build, as well as the moulding of the kit. Construction starts with the ladder chassis of the tractor, which consists of two outer rails/i-beams onto which the cross-members and transmission equipment are added, along with a number of tanks for the pneumatic systems. Once the frame becomes a ladder, you can use the jig that is built into the runners of sprue C (see below), but go easy with the glue if you're not taking off the parts first, as you might accidentally drip and mar the surface of them. A chunky-looking transmission box and short drive-shaft are fitted at about the half-way point, with the seriously large leaf-springs and their twin axles added next, linked by more drive-shafts, as every wheel on the tractor is driven. The front springs are only slightly less beefy, and these are also joined by their axle and drive-shaft in due course. In between the front axle and the twin rear axles is a pneumatically-operated fourth axle that can be raised or lowered to spread the weight further. This is referred to as the Pusher Axle, and uses the included flexible shock-absorbers during construction. At this point you choose whether to have this up or down, as the construction process is different for each option. Steering gear for the front axle plus a host of ancillaries throughout the other axles are added, followed by the lower part of the V8 92TA-90 diesel powered engine, and its transmission. If the lower half isn't good enough for you because you wanted to open up the hood/bonnet, then Meng also have you covered with their resin upgrade set SPS-055 (reviewed here), which unsurprisingly gives you the full engine and CLBT-150 transmission. In common with almost everything about this kit, the fuel tanks are massive, with one large one on one side, and a smaller one on the other – a description that can also be applied to the stowage boxes that hang off the ladder chassis. Now for some wheels! Each hub is constructed from the main hub, separate flange, and a poly-cap hidden behind a central boss, that is then (once dry and possibly painted) fitted to the flexible styrene tyre, which should be of the large variety, as the smaller tyres are for the trailer wheels. The rear axles have double tyres, which are constructed differently, with two poly-caps hidden between the two inner faces of the hub. The pusher and the front axles are single tyres, and all wheels can be removed at will thanks to the inclusion of the poly-caps, which makes painting and weathering much easier. The winch station is built up next on a trapezoid base that installs over the front-most of the twin rear axles, and has a pair of cable drums that have the braided cable wound around them during assembly. A plastic eyelet is added to the end of the cable, and the twin motors and control wires are fitted pointing aft. The hydraulics box sits forward of the cable drums, which doubles as a spare tyre bracket, and has a small drive-shaft to take off power from the transmission, as well as pipes and corrugates hoses to transfer the fluid. The winch control box fits between these two assemblies with lots of old-fashioned levers sat atop the box, with a PE front panel, and some decals for stencils near the controls. Turning briefly to the engine again, the large front-mounted radiator and side-mounted air intake and filter are fitted first, and then left while the 5th wheel/9th wheel and its guide plates are fitted to the rear. A pair of pneumatic hoses are wound round a narrow rod to give the impression of the flexible connectors that are typically fitted for quick-disconnect of trailers, with a scrap diagram showing where they should be routed. The large branded mudguards are glued to the ends of the i-beams, and on the side the spare wheel is sited on the bracket on the hydraulic tank. The cab is next, and operations begin with the front bulkhead/firewall, which has the windscreen aperture moulded-in, to which you fit the clear part. There are two quarter-lights that also have glazing panels, and inside you fit the dashboard with decals for the dials and sun visors on each side. The driver gets a separate seat, while the other two crew have to share a similarly upholstered bench seat, which fits into the rear part of the cab, with moulded-in anti-slip ribbing to the floor, which angles up at the front to accept the pedal box, the steering column and other drive controls, which a few nice decals for stencils here and there. At the rear there are three small rear glazing panels added, then the front bulkhead is mated to the rear to form the major part of the cab, to which the support structure is added under the floor. The doors are made up of inner and outer skins that sandwich the clear part between them, and inside a couple of stencils can be added plus the handles and window winders. The right door also has a glazed "cat flap" in the bottom, presumably for judging kerbs etc. The big cowling at the front of the cab is a single part if you ignore the badge at the front of the top, and to the very front you have the radiator grille, which is PE, and needs to be folded. Fret not however, as Meng have thoughtfully provided a two-part jig that will do all the heavy-lifting for you. You position the flat PE grille on the bottom part of the jig, with a lug in each corner locating in corresponding grille holes, then you apply the top part and press down firmly and evenly. This slides down on four turrets so that it doesn't go out of line, and the edges apply pressure to the grille, resulting in nicely curved corners. You mate the finished part to the cowling with some super glue and then add the doors (open or closed) and the roof, remembering to paint it before you do. Another jig is supplied to roll the exhaust's perforated heat-shield, which is then glued on around the styrene muffler, with its feeder pipe leading into the engine cowling past the cab door. With a couple of vents and lights for the roof you can glue the cab onto the chassis, then add the protected bull-bars that also incorporate the front light clusters. The wing mirrors are attached to a frame that goes over the roof, with braces against the cab sides, another pair that are separate, and most interestingly, a set of self-adhesive mirror stickers that you can apply after completion to give a realistic reflection to the viewer. Air horns, rear lamps, towing shackles and another mirror on the front of the engine cowling with its own foil sticker finish off the tractor unit. The semi-trailer is begun by putting together the frame that sits at the rear between the main I-beams of the trailer's chassis, supporting the rear axles. A number of cross-beams are fitted before the undersurface of the trailer can be installed, which has the goose-neck and fifth-wheel attachment point moulded-in, which is strengthened by a sub-assembly of beams, while fillets are added along the length of the chassis to provide additional width to the flat-bed. A stowage are is fabricated on the top of the A-frame by adding a number of panels, with pioneer tools fitted to the exterior, and at the rear, the aft bulkhead is made up, with a large pulley attached inside, and a pair of outrigger beams back at the front of the bed. The flat-bed is fitted with stiffeners along its edges before attachment, and an additional section is then fitted to the goose-neck and A-frame, then the assembly is flipped over to install a number of distinctly Toblerone-like parts under the bed. More parts are fitted to the edges, and a set of large air tanks are made up and fitted into the forward underside of the trailer, with a scrap diagram showing their correct location and orientation. Bump-stops and flexible pneumatic shock absorbers are installed under the bed in anticipation of the rear axle pair, which is made up from straight axles with brakes and massive supports, dropping onto the shock-absorbers to give it some flex. The second pair of axles are fitted to a single-point rocker and clipped around short beams that were glued in place earlier, and have hubs attached to each end, with all axles then getting a pair of wheels apiece, using the same pair of poly-caps trapped between the hubs. The flexible wheels slip over the hubs, and before long you have 16 (more) wheels on your wagon. The trailer's front steadies are able to be fitted extended or retracted by varying the point at which you clip them into the frame parts, which are all PE, so may not stand up to constant changing of stance. It would be wise to pick up or down and stick with it to avoid disappointment when they break from fatigue. Fitting the skids to the pivot point finishes those off, and then attention turns back to the rear for the assembly and fitting of the big loading ramps. Each one is a mirror image, so uses some different parts, so take care to keep track of which is left and right, although it should become obvious when it comes to fitting them, as they'll only fit one way. They are secured in transit by chains, which are styrene in this case, and the diagram shows the correct hooking point for these delicate parts, and some may wish to replace the plastic with real micro-chain which is available in suitable sizes online. The spare wheel and various "greeblies" are fitted to the A-frame along with some hand-holds, with load handling equipment such as stoppers, jack pads, spacers and even a jack fitted into the spaces between the frames. Linking the trailer to the fifth-wheel socket and connecting up the two curly "pneumatic" wires completes the build phase. Markings Despite this being a big model, it has a teeny-tiny decal sheet, mainly because AFVs and softskins seldom have many markings other than number plate, unit and theatre markings, plus the occasional stencil. You get two options from the box, one in generic NATO tricolour green/brown/black camo, the other in desert sand with markings for Operation Desert Storm in Iraq, January 1991. Colour call-outs are in AK Interactive colours, and the schemes are shown in five-view colour profiles printed on glossy paper, separately from the main instructions. Conclusion Awesome! It's not a pocket-money kit by any stretch of the imagination, but the effort, attention to detail and care that has gone into the design makes it a worthy addition to your stash. Even if you don't do the obvious this and plonk an Abrams on top, you've still got a very impressive model. It's a shame Meng haven't yet done an early Abrams that would be suitable for this period, but their M1A2 SEP with TUSK I/II is still worth drooling over as an aside. Just perfect for that long narrow space in your cabinet. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  25. Meng's F-102 kits are very nicely moulded, and I thought they should prove quick to build given the Delta Dagger's simple shape. With this in mind, and having both the Case-X and Case-XX kits, it made sense to build both at the same time as many details would have the same finish. A portion of this logic fell away when I decided to finish the Case-XX in SEA camo. Appearances can be deceiving, and despite the clean moulding, I had a mountain of cleaning up to do. This was largely due to the numerous sprue gates that didn't just join at the parts edge, but overlapped one surface of the part where they attached. The result was that each attachment paint (and there were hundreds!) had to be filed and sanded to restore the part's face not just its edge. There were also the usual very fine and barely visible mould seam-lines to scrape off. Having spent a couple of lengthy sessions cleaning up parts I decided one machine would have its missiles extended and the other would have its weapons bay closed. This was both for contrast and to save a considerable amount of work as the missiles and their racks took a lot of cleaning up. It made sense to take a production-line approach and pre-paint as many detail parts, interior areas and pieces that would be added after main airframe completion. I also thought this would help check a negative tendency I suffer from - I find when I build and paint the main airframe early before all the bits and pieces that get added at the end, that if it does not turn out a swell as I hoped I loose interest in the project, and rush finishing all the bits and bobs. After all, the model has already fallen short of my vision for it, so get it finished, hide it at the back of the display cabinet and start something new! So this is a first for me, other than the canopies I have finished all the boring bits before doing anything else. The only problem I struck was with the wheels. These were moulded with only very slight and almost vague defining edges between the rims and tyres. This resulted in three attempts at masking and painting them (two full strips back to bare plastic). The only addition I made to the kits was to make representative, as opposed to replica, seat harnesses from lead foil, and some intake blanks from plastic sheet to prevent any see-through effect. Aside from detail painting, I also painted areas that would be tricky to mask on the assembled airframe. These included behind the air-intakes, around the wheel-well and weapons bay surrounds, and the metal-finished areas on the overall light-grey Case-X like the exhaust surround, intake splitter plates, fin leading edge and lower edge of the air-brake. The following photos show where I'm at just prior to commencing airframe assembly:
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