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  1. Merkava IIID LIC Late 1:35 Meng Models The Merkava "chariot" is a main battle tank used by the Israel Defence Forces. The tank began development in 1973 and entered official service in 1978. Four main variants of the tank have been deployed. It was first used extensively in the 1982 Lebanon War. The name "Merkava" was derived from the IDF's initial development program name. Design criteria include rapid repair of battle damage, survivability, cost-effectiveness and off-road performance. Following the model of contemporary self-propelled howitzers, the turret assembly is located closer to the rear than in most main battle tanks. With the engine in front, this layout is intended to grant additional protection against a frontal attack, especially for the personnel in the main hull, such as the driver. It also creates more space in the rear of the tank that allows increased storage capacity and a rear entrance to the main crew compartment allowing easy access under enemy fire. This allows the tank to be used as a platform for medical disembarkation, a forward command and control station, and an infantry fighting vehicle. The rear entrance's clamshell-style doors provide overhead protection when off- and on-loading cargo and personnel. It was reportedly decided shortly before the beginning of the 2006 Lebanon War that the Merkava line would be discontinued within four years. However, on November 7, 2006, Haaretz reported that an Israeli General Staff assessment had ruled of the Merkava Mark IV that "if properly deployed, the tank can provide its crew with better protection than in the past," and deferred the decision on discontinuing the line. On August 16, 2013, Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Ya'alon announced the decision to resume production of the Merkava main battle tank for the IDF Armoured Corps. The Merkava IID LIC Late is a combination of the IIID, with BAZ systems fitted so includes the addition of the locally developed IMI 120mm gun. This gun and a larger 1,200 horsepower (890 kW) diesel engine increased the total weight of the tank to 65 tonnes (143,000 lb), but the larger engine increased the maximum cruising speed to 60 km/h (37 mph). The turret was re-engineered for movement independent of the tank chassis, allowing it to track a target regardless of the tank's movement. Many other changes were made, including:- External two-way telephone for secure communications between the tank crew and dismounted infantry, Upgraded ammunition storage containers to minimize ammunition cook-off, Addition of laser designators, Incorporation of the Kasag modular armour system, designed for rapid replacement and repair in the battlefield and for quick upgrading as new designs and sophisticated materials become available, Creation of the Mark IIIB, with unspecified armour upgrades. The BAZ modifications included further updates and additional systems including:- Upgraded fire-control system components, from Electro Optics Industries (EL-OP) and Elbit, provides the tank with the ability to engage moving targets while on the move (an automatic target tracker), NBC protection systems, Locally developed central air-conditioning system, Added improvements in ballistic protection, The Mark IIID has removable modular composite armour on the chassis and turret. The Merkava IIID LIC’s have been further updated for urban warfare. The LIC designation stands for "Low intensity conflict", underlining its emphasis on counter-insurgency, street-to-street inner-city asymmetrical type warfare of the 21st century. The Merkava is equipped with a turret 12.7 mm calibre coaxial machine gun, which enables the crew to lay down fairly heavy cover fire without using the main gun (which is relatively ineffective against individual enemy combatants). Like the new remote-operated weapon station, the coaxial machine-gun is fired from inside the tank without exposing the crew to small-arms fire and snipers. The most sensitive areas of a tank, its optics, exhaust ports and ventilators, are all protected by a newly developed high-strength metal mesh, to prevent the possibility of explosives charges being planted there. Rubber whip pole-markers with LED tips and a driver's rear-facing camera have been installed to improve navigation and manoeuvrability in an urban environment by day or by night. The Model This is another updated release, form the original IIID that was released back in 2012. This includes new parts that add all the updated equipment carried by the LIC variant. The kit comes in a very attractive and sturdy box, with an artists impression of the tank somewhere in the desert. Inside there are twelve sprues and six separate parts in a medium to dark grey styrene, 220 separate track links, a small sheet of etched brass, a length of string, a short length of brass wire, twenty poly caps, and the smallish decal sheet. As usual with Meng kits the mouldings are superb, with great detail and no sign of imperfections or flash. Having said that I have found a couple of the track links that have been short shot, but hopefully there will still be enough to make up the two lengths of track without needing to use them all. This release is sort of a special edition as it includes a nice little booklet on the Merkava with some great pictures of the tank in the field. This has been produce by Desert Eagle and will come in very handy for the build. Construction begins with the assembly of the road wheels, each of five parts, return rollers, idlers and sprockets. All, with the exception of the return rollers, wheels are fitted with the poly caps which allow a friction fit onto the suspension arms and axles. The gearbox covers, bump stops, mud scrapers, shocker absorbers and idler wheel axles are attached to the lower hull. The wheels are then attached, as are the suspension springs, which do look really good considering they have bee moulded from plastic. The large rear door is assembled from fourteen parts and can be posed open should you wish. This is then attached to the rear hull, along with the fuel tank hatches, fuel filler caps, and the two prominent stowage baskets. With the hull upside down, the belly armour can be attached, along with the eight parts that go to make up the support arms. The upper forward hull section is fitted out with the driver viewing ports and the exhaust louvre, before being turned the right side up and having further detail added in the form of the front mudguards, engine decking, headlights, viewing port covers and several hand rails, tie down points and other fixings. There are two styles of drivers hatch to choose from, which are then fitted with the opening system before being glued into position. The rear mounted telephone box, lights and mudguards are attached, followed by the side skirt support brackets. The tracks are then assembled, each from 106 links, and fitted, the upper hull can be attached to the lower, after which, the two side skirts are attached. The engine exhaust grille is now added, as are the various covers and guards that are affixed around the hull. The main gun is made up from twelve parts, with only the front and rear sections requiring any sanding to get rid of the seams. This assembly is then fitted to the lower turret section, along with the rear panel, which has been detailed with spare track links, and two aerial base, and their respective aerials. The ball and chains are moulded in styrene and actually look quite good, but for those who need extra realism, there are aftermarket sets of individual balls and lengths of chain. The three sections that make up the shot trap protection are fitted to the large basket that is fitted to the rear of the turret. The three armoured section of the upper turret are joined together and the whole assembly is fitted to the lower turret, along with the forward armoured section, more aerial bases and numerous other fittings. The commanders cupola and gunners hatches are assembled then fitted into position, followed by the multitude of sensor boxes and their covers, plus the smoke dischargers, forward mounted 50 cal heavy machine gun, panoramic sight, and the two MAG machine guns, on for the gunner and one for the commander. The turret is then mounted onto the hull with the two towing cables, completing the build. Decals The smallish, well printed decal sheet provides markings for two vehicles, both of which are in the standard overall sand grey used by the Israeli Army. Merkava 111D LIC, Tank “Gimel” ©, 2nd (Wolves) Company, 2nd Storm Battalion, 188 Lightning Brigade, Gaza, Operation Protective Edge, 2014 Merkava 111D LIC, Tank 11 “Gimel (11C), 2nd Storm Battalion, 188 Lightning Brigade, Israel-Lebanon Border, 2015 The decals are well printed, with good register, colour density and crisp demarcations, as we have come to expect when they are printed by Cartograf. Conclusion The Merkava has always been an interesting tank, and the continued upgrades keep it well in the front line. As usual Meng have produced a fabulous product which should build into a great looking model. It will certainly look good in any collection, particularly if you are building a series of the different Merkava types currently released. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  2. Meng is to release a new variant from its Hornisse (see also http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234928050-148-messerschmitt-me410b-2u4-a-1-hornisse-by-meng-released/ ), the 1/48th Messerschmitt Me 410 B-2/U2/R4 - ref. LS-004 Source: http://www.meng-model.com/new.php?id=511 V.P.
  3. Hello all, Here's my latest finished work. It's Meng's Kayaba Ku-4 parasite fighter carried by a Hasegawa Ki-49. Both kits were great builds, though the Mens decals and Hasegawa canopy fit were both less than ideal. The Kayaba Ku-4 was originally a glider prototype from 1940 that was resurrected to an experimental ramjet/rocket fighter airplane. It was to carry two 30 mm cannons with less than 100 rounds total. After making passes at B-29s, it was to glide back to an airstrip. Sort of an even more rudimentary Me-163. The Ku-4 is finished with Tamiya rattlecan, while the Ki-49 is a rattlecan base with Vallejo acrylics on top. Enjoy!
  4. Mk.A Whippet Meng 1/35 This is Meng's version of the Whippet, built last December. I finished it as Sphinx, a White Army Whippet from the Russian civil war. The markings for this one are included on the kits decal sheet, but not mentioned in the instructions. It's a nice kit, probably slightly better (and much cheaper) than the Takom alternative, although the tracks are much more fragile than Takom's. And a shot with its brother from Takom Thanks for looking Andy
  5. This is the little Meng Kids kit. It's a snap-together model in black and brown plastic. I chose to paint it using Tamiya acrylics, free-handing the camo. The decals are stickers, but of high quality. It's a great fun build in the same genre as the egg-planes.
  6. There are some great new plastic model kit releases available from Master Box and Meng Models. Master Box release the next kit in their World War One series; the Hand to Hand Fight German & British Infantrymen. Meng Models releases feature a new 1/72 F-106A Delta Dart, as well as two sets of resin detail parts sets. For full details, please see our newsletter.
  7. Modern IDF Individual Load Carrying Equipment (SPS-020) 1:35 Meng Models Released in conjunction with the IDF Infantry set reviewed here, this high-quality resin set contains a large quantity of pressure cast resin parts on small casting blocks that would be useful as stowage on a vehicle, or to add individuality to a figure that you might be using to portray modern IDF troops. The set arrives in a small black box, and inside are individually packaged resin parts, as follows (from left to right, top row first in the picture): 1 x daysack 2 x large daysack 1 x kit bag 1 x go-bag 3 x load-carrying harnesses 1 x cummerbund belt in C-shape 1 x helmet with cover 1 x "camelbak" drinking reservoir pouch 2 x cummerbund belt in laid out shape 2 x daysack straps All the items have MOLLE loops as you'd expect from modern combat gear, and are of the highest quality in terms of casting and sculpting. The harnesses are designed to mount on the back of a figure, allowing a daysack to be glued in place, mating with the large back-pad, and the triangular bottom strap location points. The helmet in its cover is suitable for gluing to the rear of one of the large daysacks (the one on the left in the picture), where the retention strap mates with the strap on the helmet part, and the bottom keys in with the top edge of bottom compartment. You can see the collapsed helmet pouch on the right-most sack under the main compartment. The separate harnesses mount to the smaller sack, allowing it to be posed lying flat on the ground or on a vehicle, but they could also be adapted to fit the drink pouch with a little alteration of the mating surfaces. A very useful set for either figures or stowage, which will need very little clean-up, and a wash in warm soapy water to remove any lingering mould-release agent. Review sample courtesy of
  8. IDF Infantry Set 2000- (HS-004) 1:35 Meng Models With the profusion of Israeli armour that we seem to have these days, it makes sense to have some figures to go with them, and Meng have now released another set to complement their original vehicle crew set that we reviewed here some time ago. This set contains four figures that would be ideally suited to a foot patrol accompanying armour, with modern equipment that places them in this millennium. They arrive in a standard figure-sized box in a satin finish, and inside you will find four sprues in a shiny mid-grey styrene. The instructions consist of a painting guide on the rear of the box, and each figure's parts are together on one sprue for ease of construction. Each figure has separate legs, arms torso and head, plus a helmet with an oversize cover that looks unusual, but I believe has something to do with cooling and shading the soldier's neck and shoulders. Weapons are all Tavor (TAR-21) based, with either red-dot or holo-sights, and one has a 40mm grenade launcher attached under the barrel. Ammo pouches are also separate and are shown attached in various arrangements to the figures' vests, with additional pouches and day-sacks in various configurations. The figures are very well moulded, although a little flash is present, which can be seen from the photos. It's all pretty easy to remove however, and a good wash in warm soapy water is advisable, as there seems to be quite a lot of mould-release agent on the plastic, probably due to the complex nature of the mouldings. Two of the figures are in a walking pose, one with his weapon across his chest, the other holding it down to his side. Of the remaining two, one is standing with his rifle in both hands in a relaxed but ready pose. The other is on one knee shouting (judging by the size of his cake-hole) into a field radio handset, with his rifle cradled in his free hand. Colour call-outs are given in Vallejo codes, but it's easy enough to convert these to any other brand, or you could pick up the IDF colour set from Lifecolor that is within my review here. Be sure to check out my review of the resin IDF load-carrying equipment set here. Review sample courtesy of
  9. After the Dagger (http://www.meng-model.com/index2ss.php?id=168), the Dart! Meng is to release a 1/72nd Convair F-106A Delta Dart kit - ref.DS-006 Source: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=878210852292240&id=195290177250981 V.P.
  10. 9A52-2 Smerch Russian Long Range Rocket Launcher 1:35 Meng Models Referred to as a BM-30 Smerch, or just Smerch-M if you're in a hurry. It is the modern incarnation of the old Katyusha rocket system, and came into service in the late 1980s with the Soviet Army. The full system consists of the rockets in their launch vehicle, loading crane with spare rockets, and a maintenance vehicle, but it is the launch vehicle that we're talking about here. It is an indirect fire weapon that benefits from a fast set-up and take-down time to avoid retaliatory fire, and it can send up to twelve rockets on their way to a target in a shade under 40 seconds. It can reload in 20 minutes with a number of rocket types that are tuned for attacks on armour, personnel or soft-skinned targets, with a range of between 20km and 50km under normal use, but with an incredible maximum range of 90km for one anti-personnel type. There are quite a number of these systems in use around the world, mostly with former Soviet countries, or their usual non-aligned customers such as India and some Arab states. It will eventually be replaced by a lighter-weight lower-cost system that should bring cost savings as well as new technology to the party, but with a smaller complement of six rockets. The Kit This is a new tooling from Meng, and given their reputation for releasing high quality products, expectations are raised. It is way too large for one of their standard boxes, so arrives in a pretty large one of the same height as their "standard" boxings. It's quite heavy too, so remember to lift from your knees when handling it. Inside the box is a feast of plastic, with a couple of dividers keeping everything neat and tidy, and individual bags on everything. It's easier to put it all in a list, so you get the following: 26 x sprues in sand-coloured styrene 1 x flexible styrene sprue in sand 1 x chassis part in sand-coloured styrene 12 x rocket tube parts, each one consisting of 6 sections 16 x suspension linkages of three types (8, 4, 4) 8 x rubberised tyres 2 x pre-cut self-adhesive mirror film for wing mirrors 1 x synthetic braided cord 8 x large poly-caps 18 x small poly-caps 2 x Photo-Etch (PE) brass sheets 1 x decal sheet The instruction booklet rounds off the package, in an A4 portrait format with the five outer leaves in glossy colour printing, the balance in black and white on matt paper. This is the second Smerch of late, and it appears that Meng have attempted to provide a more completely detailed kit that is doubtless reflected in the price. As well as a full engine, the crew compartments are also fully detailed, but overall the two kits are broadly similar. Construction begins with the huge pair of what can only be described as girders that run from stem to stern, linked by tubular "rungs" in substantial brackets. With that together, the drive mechanism is put in place, supplying motive power to each axle via short drive-shafts and transfer casings. The steering linkages for the front two axles are also added, as well as sundry equipment and additional chassis bracing parts. The main transmission box sits behind the engine, separated by a short shaft, and this is fully depicted, as is the engine itself, with highly detailed cylinder blocks, crank-case, plus all the ancillary equipment and hosing. A power take-off box at the front of the engine provides the two radiator fans with energy to cool the large slab radiator core that sits at the front of the chassis rails. The running gear is next, and each one although looking similar to its neighbour is different, so you'll need to either build them up one-by-one, or mark the assemblies after completion and before installation. Get these mixed up and you may well end up crying. Each of the eight sets consists of a stub-axle with a steerable head that requires careful gluing, a short drive-shaft to the rear, and a pair of linkages to each side, which vary in length depending on which axle you are building. Each one is labelled with a letter for installation on the chassis sides, after which a number of protective panels are added to the sides and underneath the chassis, and a brake cylinder housing on each side. Suspension struts and steering linkages complete the underside, but there is another power take-off on the chassis top-side, yet more linkages here and there, plus a big pair of exhausts to be added. Brackets are installed to hold the mudguards, fuel tank, oil tank with sump-guard, and various stowage boxes are added along the side of the chassis, some of which are quite complex and detailed. The front bumper and engine protection is then put in place, with attention turning to the superstructure at this point. The launch tube base is able to rotate almost fully round, as well as elevate according to need, so the assembly is parts intensive, including structural parts, wiring and of course the elevation piston, which has an inner section that slides in and out of the outer sleeve to increase or decrease its length. The "flatbed" it sits on isn't all that flat, having very nicely moulded detail, and this is augmented by more parts before being flipped over to add the "turret", which is carefully glued in place using a cap on the end of its peg, so that it remains mobile. This is then covered up with a lower plate, and brackets are added to the sides for later attachment of walkways etc. It fixes to the chassis on three mounts, and is joined by a pair of complex stabilising jacks that deploy to hold the vehicle steady for firing. Although the feet don't slide in and out, there are two lengths supplied for use, and these are left unglued to facilitate change of configuration, although you may wish to glue them in place. Two massive battery packs sit either side of the front of the flatbed, providing the power for the complex electronics once the engine is off, and these are covered in individual clasps that give them a very busy look. The Smerch has eight road wheels with massive balloon tyres to cope with off-road transport. These are supplied as single-part flexible styrene in a black colour, which have separate two-part hubs with a poly-cap trapped inside. These are just pushed onto the axles for each of painting and handling of the model. Meng themselves have produced a set of resin replacements for these, which improve on detail at the expense of not being able to use the poly-cap method of installation. I'll be reviewing these shortly. A scrap diagram shows that the tyres have a moulded-in direction of rotation marker arrow, so make sure you get them set up right, or those with sharp eyes and wit will tell you. With the wheels done, all the mudguards and fenders are made up along with pioneer tools and light-clusters, plus a crew access ladder on the starboard side. Up front the drivers' cab is begun with the oil-cooler and battery pack for the engine taking up the space within the starboard side over the front wheels, while the right side contains the crew cab. This is built up doors first, with inner and outer skins plus a clear window that can be posed closed or open by flipping it down on its hinge. You'll have to paint the door beforehand if you plan on doing this however. The right wall of the cab is then built and covered with equipment, with decals provided for all the important dials, data-cards and stencils, with the floor holding the two crew seats, pedal box and rather upright steering wheel. This is slotted into the left side of the cab, and again, the windows in the rest of the cab are installed from the outside, and some can be posed open. Installation of the right side closes up the cab, and then the doors are added in the open or closed position. There is a rather oddly shaped cage for a searchlight on the roof, and this is supplied as a flat spider of PE, which is bent to shape using a three-part disposable jig that gets the correct shape with minimal effort. Additional panels and antennae are then added to finish it off, after which it is glued to the chassis along with the radiator grille, which has a styrene layer with mounts, plus an outer PE layer that has louvers etched in that are twisted to give the correct angle as per a scrap diagram. The launch control cab is fully detailed with equipment and seating, but is made of individual sides that have double-skins for detail, with the majority of the interior parts added to the floor, and the roof panel finishing off the box, after which lots of additional part for stowage, tools and racking are added along with the doors. This sits behind the cab, again on three mounts, and then the engine is covered with access panels, air-filter, toolbox and a small grille, leaving lots of possibilities to display the contents if you desire. A ladder lashed to the radiator, optional winter radiator covers, towing cable with styrene eyes, and a pair of headlights finish that area off. The missile tubes have an unusual spiral strengthening rib that winds along their length, which must give the kit designers headaches if not nightmares. Meng have chosen to mould-in the rib and section the tubes both in half and into four lengths, leaving some fairly minimal (under the circumstances) seams to deal with. The front section is painted inside and has a missile nose hidden within and a fuse-setting "lump" underneath the muzzle, plus an optional protective cap for the end. The centre section is a simple two-part tube, as is the longer rear section. The tail assembly is in two parts, but also has the command wires and a missile back-side or protective cover at the very end. There are three types of tail-end, and of course you have to make up sufficient assemblies for all twelve missiles. That's going to take some time, so it might be worthwhile starting at the beginning of the build to ease the tedium of the process and prevent burn-out. With them all finished, the rack is built up, starting with the base and the rear panel to which you fit the tube-tails. The longer aft sections are then added and held in place with a perforated bulkhead, and the process is repeated with the mid-section. The muzzles are then clipped into the other side of the bulkhead, taking care to line everything up along the way. It is added to the base using a long pin with an end-cap that friction-fits without glue, and then it's just a case of installing the sighting system on its curved mount, and adding the sighting platform and its folding ladder. Markings There are six markings and camouflage options depicted on the decal sheet, with two offering the chance to model a parade-ground finished vehicle, while the rest will give some scope for weathering. From the box you can build one of the following: Victory Day Parade, Russian, 2009 – Green/beige/black camouflage. International Defence Exhibition of Land Forces, Moscow 2008 – Olive brown/beige/black camouflage. 336th Rocket Artillery Brigade, Belarusian Army, The Republic of Belarus – Russian green with winter white camouflage. 79th Guards Rocket Artillery Brigade, Western Military District, Russian Army, Tver 2014 – all over Russian Green with red star on launch cab and white 542 on sides. "A certain unit" North Caucasus Military District, Russian Army, 2009 – all over olive green with white parade trim to hubs and fender edges. Artillery Unit, Kuwaiti Army – all over sand. I still don't have a clue about the "certain unit", but it's a varied choice of decal options that should suit most people's needs. The decals are printed by Cartograf, and as usual they are superb, with good register, colour density and sharpness, and a thin, matt finished carrier film that is cut close to the printed decals. Around half of the sheet is used for dials, stencils and data-plates, all of which are crisp and legible without strain. Conclusion Another superb kit from Meng that is highly detailed and broken down to be built in a modular fashion to reduce the likelihood of burnout. The missile tubes will be the most tricky to get a good finish on, but at least it's just sanding seams, which by now we should all have experience of. Test-fitting and careful alignment will be your friend there to minimise clean-up after. It's not cheap, but it's a lot of highly detailed plastic for your money. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  11. Hi all, this is my last work. I would like to share it with you. The basic of the building kit from the Meng company. Thanks for your comments and advices.
  12. From their Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/195290177250981/photos/a.200850930028239.42784.195290177250981/910396289073696/?type=3&theater
  13. Hello all! Here is my latest completion, the Mansyū Ki-98 prototype from Meng. A very nice kit that goes together well, though the decals were rather fraile. Model was painted with Tamiya rattle can. The Ki-98 was an experimental ground attack fighter that sadly never flew and was subsequently destroyed by the war's end. This was quite a big plane too - dry it tipped the scales slightly north of 3,500 kg! Comments always welcome.
  14. British heavy Tank Mark V Male 1:35 Meng Models The British use of Tanks in WWI was very much a work-in-progress, starting from scratch, with numerous hold-ups due to the immature technology that resulted in the Mark.IV tank being a bit of a compromise and built on the Mark.III instead of being its own design. The Mark.V was originally a totally new design of tank that suffered from similar technical delays, so the Mark.IV was modified to accept the new more powerful 150bhp engine and renamed as the Mark.V, while the original project was dropped in order not to delay production too much. As well as the new engine, steering had been developed sufficiently to reduce it to a one-man job, freeing up crew-members to man the guns, with one machine gun added to the rear. A rear cupola was designed with hinged sides to give the crew protection when releasing the unditching beam or fascine bundle without having to leave the tank or expose themselves too much. The V arrived mid 1918, but in sufficient numbers to be used in several battles where it performed well. After the war a few were sent to Russia, some were given to France, and they found themselves dotted all around, which explains why there are so many still to be found in museums. The Kit Meng don't do things by half, and this Mark.V comes with a full interior, and as such it needs a deeper box to accommodate all the extra parts over and above their usual size. The box is simply deeper, so still stacks well if that matters to you! Inside the box are nineteen sprues and one separate part in a sand styrene, four in black for the track links, a sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a length of chain pre-finished in black, four poly-caps and a decal sheet. The instruction booklet at 36 pages resembles more of a modelling magazine, and has a triple glossy outer to cater for the colour profiles, with the inner being black and white. The Tank Museum logo is present on the booklet as well as the box, because they have been closely involved with the production of this kit, which is very good news and excellent PR for their site at Bovington. Having been there recently, it’s a superb museum that's well worth a visit if you're in the area, or even if you're not. If you've not been following the development of the kit too closely, you may not know that the kit includes a full interior, which is incredibly well detailed and will keep you busy building far longer than a traditional AFV kit, which is often just a shell of the vehicle. Meng have made it so a great number of hatches and panels can be left open to view all your hard work inside too, so it's worth putting in the effort. Construction of course begins inside with the engine bearings and the platform around it. The 150bhp engine is built up from large number of parts over the next several steps, and includes the linkages used by the crew to control the vehicle's power plant. With careful painting you should end up with a highly realistic power pack. With the addition of the starter and belts the finished engine is enclosed in a protective compartment before attention shifts to the man at the end of the linkages. The driver. The twin seats are attached to a transverse girder with their hand and foot controls, all of which is placed to the front of the engine compartment, while at the back, the manual cranking handle (just like the one you can turn in the mock-up in Bovington) is added along with a number of other small parts. The completed assembly is then glued to the hull floor and the water tank, radiator and fuel tanks are built up, latter having an optional open hatch on the top of the armoured box, as well as the rear machine gun hatch open. This attaches to the rear of the floor and forms the lower section of the rear of the tank. Transmission and ammo storage are built up next, and the many many road wheels are assembled, comprising two idler wheels, thirty of one type of wheel and twenty four of another type. In order to add them to the sponsons the inner faces have to be added along with the transmission gear and the upper track skids. The drive-sprockets are assembled around the last cog in the transmission assembly, and then installed in the sponson end to be accompanied by a mixture of the two wheel types and interleaved with PE panels on the lower track run. The upper track run scrapes along the ski plates, assisted in the rear by a solo wheel on the transition from sloped to straight as it climbs up the rear of the tank. The outer face of the sponson has a radiator grille and track tensioning device added before being glued to the inner assembly. The whole thing is repeated in mirror-image for the other side, and both sponsons are added to the floor along with the lower glacis plate. The commander's cab is made up from individual sides, and has a pair of openers at the front and rear, plus a number of pistol ports dotted around, with one even found on the roof. It can be built up in either opened or buttoned-down poses, as can the driver's cab. A pair of aft hatches can be posed open or closed too, in order to show off your handiwork inside, or prevent the crew from choking on carbon monoxide fumes. The exhaust and two cabs are added to the roof panel, plus a semaphore pole that has a pair of handles on the bottom and two flags on the top for inter-tank communications. How you'd get a colleagues attention during the height of battle though, I have no idea. Once the hull is closed up, the fascine rails are added, and the mechanism for holding the unditching beam is added to the inner edges. The Male Mark.V tank was equipped with a pair of six-pounder guns, and these are built up next, complete with breech and sighting mechanisms, a single-part curved gun shield and inner elevation "mantlet". They mount on an armoured box that also houses a number of shells, the percussion caps for which are moulded into one side. This fits to the floor of the gun sponson, and is surrounded by the other faceted panels, one of which mounts another machine-gun. The gun is installed from inside before adding the roof and crew door, which can also be posed opened or closed by removing one or other of the attachment pegs on the hinges. Again, the opposite sponson is a mirror-image, and they are both added to the large rectangular holes in the hull sides. The radiator grilles are given PE covers to shed mud, or a pair of crossed beams if you prefer. Finally we get to the tracks! They are individual links, and each one has three sprue gates to remove, which is pretty easy, actually. There's a raised ejector pin mark on the inside face, but as the inside won't be seen unless you are doing a maintenance or knocked-out diorama, you don't need to worry about that. Did I mention they are also click-fit? Well they are, but they're a little sloppy, so won't stay in one piece during rough handling, or driving round your workbench going "Brummmmmm!". My suggestion would be handle them carefully while installing them on the tank, then flood the joints with a little liquid cement to freeze them in place. No WWI tank would be complete without an unditching beam, but with this uber-complete kit, you also get a crib, which is a lightweight fascine bundle replacement made up from wooden beams and small metal joint-stiffeners on a hexagonal frame. The unditching beam is made up from two parts and has a short length of chain pegged to the shackles, the ends of which are wrapped around brackets attached to the rail. The Crib has four hexagonal frames made up from two parts each, which are joined in each corner by a beam. The finished assembly is perched atop the driver's cab on the rails, and two lengths of chain are passed through the bottom, one end linked at the front of the glacis, the other behind the crew cab. Markings There are three decal options included in the box, and all have the white and red stripes on the sponson fronts. From the box you can build one of the following: The 9th Battalion Tank Corps, British Army, France, 1918 – all over brown sand. The Tank Museum, Bovington UK – all over brown sand with additional red and white striping on the tops and rear f the two cabs. "Devil" the 4th Battalion, Royal Tank Corps, british Army, Bovington Camp, 1925 – all over dark green with additional red and white striping on the roof and rear of the commander's cab. The decals are by Cartograf, and although most are plain white, the coloured parts are in good register, with colour density and sharpness to match. The satin-finished carrier film is closely cropped around each decal to minimise the chances of silvering, but some of the spaces between letters could be cut to reduce it further. Conclusion Everything about this kit is good, and you get so much in the box that there's little need for anything aftermarket. You could perhaps consider wrapping a single layer of glue-impregnated tissue around the exhaust to replicate the asbestos lagging that was sometimes applied, but everything else seems to have been thought of. Extremely highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  15. Meng Kits for Kids 1:?? Meng Models The Kit(s) It seems that more model companies these days are producing kits which will appeal to younger modellers, and this has to be applauded. There is also no doubt that these kits will also appeal to the larger "child" in all of us modellers! So far Meng have brought us mainstream kits in the form of a Lancaster Bomber, and a B-17. There are also two lesser well known aircraft in the form of the He 177, and the Tu-2. Shown are the sprues for the B-17, all are generally similar. The kits generally have a black sprue for the detail parts, coloured parts for the top and bottom sides and a clear sprure. The exception at the moment to this is the He 177 as this is a "special edition" and moulded in white. Markings for each kit are provided in the form of stickers. All of these kits are snap/push together and need no glue to assemble. ] ] ] ] Conclusion These are great little kits to get younger modellers interested in the hobby. There is also scope for older modeller to have some fun! The only caveat is the stickers do have some limitations. B-17 Lancaster He 177 Tu-2 Review sample courtesy of
  16. Following my review of these kits: http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234992932-meng-kids-aircraft-kits-meng-model/ I thought I would give everyone an idea of what these look like, and purely in the interests of Model research you understand I put this one together straight from the box. The kit fit is pretty good overall and well within the means of little fingers (with some help). The stickers are not to good especially around the wing tips and fin where they go over curves. Still the are more suited I think to children than decals. Overall they look good and will hopefully generate further interest in the hobby. Oh and they are pretty fun as well Julien (getting back to serious modelling now!)
  17. British Medium Tank Mk.A Whippet 1:35 Meng Models The Whippet was designed to be a light and fast tank for incursion into enemy territory in support of the heavier, slower heavy tanks that were being developed at the same time. While the heavies eschewed the caterpillar tracks of prototype tank Little Willie in favour of rhomboid tanks, the Whippet kept them and powered each one with a petrol engine that caused some steering problems, as they had to be locked in tandem to go in a straight line, while one or other had to be throttled back to turn. A difficult job, but they managed to make it a one-man task, freeing cabin space for the gunners, who stood in the angular cabin behind the long cowling for the two engines. Originally supposed to mount a 360o rotating turret that would have given it a shot at being the first true modern tank, this was dropped on cost grounds, so four machine guns were mounted in the static compartment. Whippets were involved in some high-profile events during their service in WWI's closing years, but as soon as the war ended they were dropped like the proverbial hot potato, with only a few left in the world now. The Kit Continuing the theme of WWI armour, Meng have released this new tooling as a companion for their Mark V that we reviewed here. It isn't the full-interior offering of its larger sibling, but the detail on the outside hasn't been sacrificed. It arrives in a smaller box with seven sprues in sand coloured styrene plus a hull part, as well as three in black styrene containing the track links that it shares with the Mark.V. A length of braided synthetic cord and a decal sheet round out the package along with a well-presented instruction and painting guide. Again, the Tank Museum at Bovington is cited on the box and instruction booklet, where they are thanked for their help in creating these models. Construction begins with the suggestion that you choose one of the two decal options first, as this will influence whether an additional viewing slot part is used during the build. The large upper hull moulding is first into the fray, with some additional parts added to and around the rear bulkhead. Straight away the fighting compartment is begun, adding gun-rings to the panels, which are then flexed along weakened lines to fold them into the correct angles needed to depict the sides. This is an innovative but simple concept, but of course you will need to avoid over-flexing the seams as styrene doesn't have the best fatigue life. The other panels are added to form the complex angled compartment, which slopes toward the front to fair into the long "bonnet" where the engines are found. After fitting the fighting compartment the underside of the hull is then glued in place, and the front-mounted fuel tank is constructed from two end-caps spaced by a pair of hollow cylinders, with two more panels flexed to fit the shape, doing the job of four parts with only two. The four machine-guns are then offered up to the openings in the cabin, and secured in place with their outer rings. Three sets of louvers are glued to each side of the engine cowling along with the exhaust and muffler, plus a number of grab-handles for the access panels moulded into the hull. The caterpillar sponsons are started by preparing the numerous road wheels, of which there are two types numbering 19 and 14, plus a further 10 return rollers. These are installed in the inner sponson wall on long axles in the order specified on the scrap diagram. The drive sprocket and idler wheels are fitted at the ends of the track runs, while the return-rollers and the mud-shedding chutes are inserted into the outer sponson wall before the two halves are brought together with a top plate, the track adjustment mechanism and a number of hangers for the towing cables. This task is repeated for the other side, after which the two sponsons are installed on the hull sides, locating on large tabs that fit into slots in the sides of the hull. A number of track grousers are stowed around the hulls, which are added to the tracks in difficult or muddy terrain, and in the event the tank gets totally stuck, two towing cables are made up from the cord with styrene eyes at each end. The track parts are identical to the Mark.V kit, and click together in the same way, so take care during assembly and handling, as they come undone if you are too rough. Drape them around the wheels and when you are happy with the look, some glue flooded into the hinge-points should improve the join. Sixty eight links per side are needed, and each link has three sprue gates to clean up, but as this takes a matter of seconds due to where they are positioned, it shouldn't be a mammoth task. Markings As already mentioned, there are two markings options included in the kit box, and both are of vehicles preserved in Belgium and Bovington. Both are in green, and wear the red and white identification stripes on the front of their sponsons. From the box you can build one of the following: A347 B Company, 6th Battalion, Tank Corps, British Army, May 1918 – red IX on the rear of the sponsons, red and white stripes and the name Firefly in yellow on the fuel tank. A259 3rd (Light) Tank Corps, British Army, August 1918 – Number nine on the cabin, red and white stripes and the name Caesar II in white on the fuel tank. As always, Meng have used Cartograf to print their decals, and as well as the two options documented in the instructions, there appear to be other schemes undocumented in the instructions because the sheet includes both German crosses and Russian red stars. The names The Musical Box and Clara are also included on the sheet as well as something in Cyrillic. Register, colour density and sharpness are good, with a thin satin carrier film cut close to the printing. Conclusion It is a good time to be a WWI armour modeller, and speaking as one, I could only be happier if the kit list kept on growing to incorporate some of the other esoteric projects from this innovative and experimental time at the birth of armoured fighting vehicles. This is a nice kit that shouldn't take you long to build, but as always with Meng, the detail is excellent, with a price tag that is surprisingly pocket friendly. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  18. Meng Model 1:35 - British Medium Tank Mk.A Whippet Now In Stock SRP £24.99 Click on the image to go straight to our website Thanks to its streamline shape, the beautiful Whippet originated in England can run at a high speed which is hard for common dogs to achieve. So it’s easy to see what British designers expected when they named a tank Whippet. In 1916, many problems were exposed in the first combat of British Mk.I tank. The dissatisfied British Army started to develop a new tank to complement the slower Mk.I tank. William Tritton (1875-1946), one of the creators of tank, was in charge of this project. The War Office called this project the Tritton Chaser, and Tritton called it Whippet. In October 1917, the first Mk.A Whippet medium tank rolled off the production line. It was 6.1m long, 2.6m wide and 14t heavy. It had a crew of 3. Two 45hp Tylor gasoline engines were placed at the front. Because of its small fuel tank, some fuel containers were hung on the hull. Four Hotchkiss machine guns of the polygonal turret at the rear of the vehicle pointed at four different directions. Compared to Mk.I tank, Mk.A was lighter, faster and cheaper. After its service in 1918, the British Army was greatly encouraged. As an famous example, a single Whippet destroyed an artillery battery, an Observation balloon, the camp of an infantry battalion and a transport column, inflicting heavy casualties. Almost a century later, there are only 5 Mk.A tanks preserved in UK, Belgium, Canada, USA and South Africa. After studying a lot of reference materials, MENGs team now presents the replica of this unique Whippet.This MENG 1/35 British Medium Tank Mk.A Whippet plastic model kit has the following features: the exteriors are perfectly represented; all rivets are replicated; armor plates of the turret can be bent easily; four finely reproduced Hotchkiss machine guns are movable; the track links are cement free; three paint schemes are provided. This MENG model kit perfectly represents the unique WWI Whippet tank. Come on and feel it yourself.
  19. The New Meng Models Armoured Monster is Now in stock. The New Meng TS-020 retails at £59.99 with Free UK Mainland 1st Class Post. Kit Information This kit includes precisely reproduced driver’s cabin, engine and other interiors. Traditional cement-free workable tracks are easy to assemble. “Crib” trench crossing device is provided to show its unique history. We believe that this Mk.V will bring a brand new building experience for rhomboid tank fans. 465 parts in light Beige plastic 192 individual track links in Black plastic 50 brass Photo-etch parts 1 length of fine metal chain 4 vinyl poly caps 1 Decal sheet 36 page colour instruction booklet Tank Information In 1916, British and French troops launched the Somme Offensive against German army astride the River Somme in northern France. This battle, one of the bloodiest in human history, has also been remembered because of a new weapon that shocked the German army, the British Mk.I heavy tank. Tank, one of the greatest inventions in the war history of the twentieth century, marked the beginning of a new era of army mechanization. Mark series heavy tanks went through several improvements. The only thing unchanged was their unique rhomboid shape which remained in many people’s memory as the main feature of WWI tanks. In 1917, the British found a new transmission and engine, and then they started to improve Mk.IV tanks. Thanks to the epicyclic gearbox, only one driver was needed to drive the new tank. The tank was powered by a 150hp Ricardo 6 cylinder in-line petrol engine and could drive for 10 hours on a rugged terrain. This new tank was finally designated Mk.V. Mk.V tanks were first used in the Battle of Hamel in 1918, when they contributed to a successful assault by Australian units on the German lines. During the development of Mk.V heavy tank model kit, MENG received great supports from The Tank Museum in Bovington, UK. As one of the most famous tank museums in the world, it keeps more than 300 vehicles, including the Mk.V heavy tank (male). MENG’s designers measured the real vehicle and studied a lot of reference materials in order to accurately represent this classic tank. Click on the link to order yours today. http://www.creativemodels.co.uk/meng_model_135_british_heavy_tank_mk_v_male_-p-39761.html Or visit the website for all new releases. www.creativemodels.co.uk
  20. Leopard 2A4 1:35 Meng Germany's first indigenous Main Battle Tank, the Leopard 1 was originally to be replaced by a joint venture with the US, but when Germany pulled out of the project they decided to go it alone. After an aborted attempt to re-create the "super tank" project, they reverted to a more evolutionary design, which gained approval in 1977 when a large order for newly built Leopard 2s was placed. The design was improved over the initial batch, and the A4 was one of the most widely produced, along with the A5, which gained sloped appliqué armour that makes it easy to tell apart. The A4 includes some important changes over the earlier models, which includes improved armour that incorporates titanium and tungsten. Targeting systems were also improved, as were the crew protection systems that were automated to extinguish fires and prevent explosions. With over 2,000 on strength at the height of the Cold War, Germany later sold off a number of this variant to other NATO countries, which makes it one of the most successfully exported modern MBTs. Time marches on, and the 2A5 replaced the A4 with the aforementioned armour, then the 2A6 that changed out the original Rheinmetall 120mm gun found in the M1 Abrams for the later L55 variant. The Kit Meng have been on a bit of a Modern German armour thing for a while now, so it's hardly surprising to see the Leopard 2A4 making an appearance. It's up to their usual standards, and you get a very comprehensive package inside the snazzy satin-finished box, as follows. There are eight sprues, two hull parts and one turret part in mid-grey styrene, four track sprues in a darker grey styrene, a clear sprue, two sprues of poly-caps and flexible parts, a sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) brass parts, a length of braided synthetic cord, two self-adhesive mirror stickers, decal sheet and a glossy instruction booklet with painting guide on the rear pages. Everything is individually wrapped, and the clear sprue is also wrapped in a sheet of "self-cling" soft clear film to further protect it from damage. The PE is bagged with a white protective card, and the mirror decals are also bagged to save them from harm. After reading up about the 2A4 in one of the four languages in the initial pages, the build begins with construction of the running gear, which comprises of fourteen pairs of road wheels, two drive-sprockets, and two idler wheels, the latter of which are made from two parts, while the road wheels have a poly cap trapped between the halves, and a separate end-cap on the bore hole. A gaggle of suspension parts and return rollers are added to the sides of the lower hull, and the final drive housing is built up from two parts plus a poly-cap before being attached to the hull at a specific angle, as described in a scrap diagram. The torsion-beam suspension is replicated by slotting the beams into the hull and locating them in slots in the opposite side of the hull, leaving the swing-arms and their detailed cover parts projecting from the side of the hull. The rear bulkhead is attached to the back of the lower hull and detailed with lights, mud-guards and towing hooks, as well as either a set of three stiffening rods or rods and an additional armoured panel under the rear of the vehicle to protect the engine compartment. The tracks are individual links that are each made up from three parts on a jig that holds six while you work on them. Lay the track pads in the recesses, add a spruelet of six track-pin parts on top without glue, then push the inner pad with the guide horn into position. That's it – no glue, just a click-fit track that takes very little time to create. There are two sprue gates on each track pad half, plus another two on the pins, one of which you clean up before installation, the other you cut off after. The last one is placed on the side of the pin, so can be cut off without damaging any detail, but take care not to apply too much force for fear of bending the tracks. Because the centre of the inner track pad is narrow, this is also a weak-point, so again take care when cleaning up the sprue gates. The final word of warning is to ensure that you always apply the track pins from the same side, as the inner edge is curved, while the outer is flat. Get this wrong, and the eagle-eyed point-scorers will have something to laugh at you for! With those caveats in mind, it won't take you long at all before you have a track run done, totalling 84 links each side. The run is joined once fitted by pressing the last pad into place, and if my rough-handling of the short length I made up for this review is anything to go by, you won't have any parts popping off unless you seriously abuse the tracks in some way. The upper deck is next, and this has a couple of inserts to make the basic part version specific. In this case the engine deck can have one of two types of circular vents on the top in a rectangular housing, with a tapered panel that fills the rest of the void. Then it's a case of adding towing hooks, mirrors using those funky self-adhesive stickers, light clusters, the driver's hatch, bullet-splash guards, and a bunch of spare track links on the glacis and front fenders. On the rear deck there are a set of pioneer tools, a pair of towing cables made from the cord with styrene end parts, raised air intakes with PE mesh wrapped around the sides, and travel lock. The large circular vents on the deck are covered with a two-part PE lamination of mesh and supporting structure, which is visible through the top mesh layer. Most modern tanks have side-skirts to protect the road wheels as much as is practical, because no matter how good your armour, if a tank becomes immobilised, it is a sitting duck. There are two styles of skirt included, but both have ERA blocks at the front, which attach via separate mounting brackets, while the rear skirts are rectangular with large raised bolt-heads, or have undulating lower edges and raised stiffening. The turret is made up from one large moulding that has a few facets missing from the side to ease moulding and provide the optional rear panel with snorkel attachment. These are added as separate panels, along with a few skin panels and vision blocks in clear styrene for the commander, the hatch ring, the base for the commander's periscope and some other small parts. This is mated to the lower turret part trapping the gun assembly in place. The barrel is split vertically, with a single or two-part part muzzle brake, and the mantlet fits to the rear with a collar between it and the barrel. The barrel elevated via a stub with poly-caps that act as brakes on the spindle, and these glue to the floor of the turret during assembly. There is no breech, but this is fairly usual with AFV kits. The PERI R17 and EMES 15 sighting devices are added to the roof of the turret and recess to the side of the mantlet respectively, and the latter's protective doors are added around the assembly. The commander has an MG3 machine-gun, which is based heavily on the WWII MG42, with the option of omitting the butt-stock by exchanging the gun with another part. The mount and ammo box are added, and then the relatively simple hatches are dropped into position, whilst adding ring around the loader's hatch so that it sits at the same level as the commander's. Unusually, the smoke dischargers fit at the rear of the turret on brackets, facing at various angles forward, and if you wish to, you can fit a palette on top of the mantlet that holds a number of canisters that are used on exercise to simulate gunfire. A couple of mantlet plugs on PE chains, optional convoy flashing light and two aerial bases are also added to the top, along with some rather hefty looking lifting eyes for what must be a very heavy turret. To add the turret to the hull, just slide it in and rotate toward the front to lock it on the bayonet fitting. Markings There are four markings options included in the kit, but they all share the same three colour green/brown/black NATO camouflage, so it's up to the decal sheet to differentiate between them unless you go off-piste and make up your own scheme. From the box you can build one of the following: Armoured Corps School, German Federal Armed Forces, Munster, 1992 – turret number 605 and "A-Team" on the front left fender. 4th Company, 33rd Panzer Battalion, German Federal Armed Forces, Luttmersen, 1988 - Turret number 396. 2nd Company, 393rd Battalion, German Federal Armed Forces, Bad Salzungen, 2003 – PFOR in yellow on turret. 3rd Company Training Unit, Combat Training Centre, German Federal Armed Forces, 2005 – Hinze on turret front, and charging knight motif on turret bustle. The decal sheet even though small has been printed by Cartograf with good register, colour density and sharpness, while the carrier film is matt and cropped closely to the printed edges of the decals. Conclusion This kit is in a league of its own when it comes to detail, and leaves any previous Leopard 2A4 kits in its dust. The optional parts give you greater personalisation, although they could have been better explained for the novice. If you wanted to depict your 2A4 with the front skirts raised, as is often seen, you will need to do a little surgery, as the kit parts aren't set-up with that in mind. There is so little to gripe about that it really isn't worth finding something more than a slightly skinny fume extractor to mention. Very highly recommended. Discounted by 35% at time of writing! Review sample courtesy of
  21. The Armoured Monster Due into stock in August PRE-ORDER AVAILABLE In 1916, British and French troops launched the Somme Offensive against German army astride the River Somme in northern France. This battle, one of the bloodiest in human history, has also been remembered because of a new weapon that shocked the German army, the British Mk.I heavy tank. Tank, one of the greatest inventions in the war history of the twentieth century, marked the beginning of a new era of army mechanization. Mark series heavy tanks went through several improvements. The only thing unchanged was their unique rhomboid shape which remained in many people’s memory as the main feature of WWI tanks. In 1917, the British found a new transmission and engine, and then they started to improve Mk.IV tanks. Thanks to the epicyclic gearbox, only one driver was needed to drive the new tank. The tank was powered by a 150hp Ricardo 6 cylinder in-line petrol engine and could drive for 10 hours on a rugged terrain. This new tank was finally designated Mk.V. Mk.V tanks were first used in the Battle of Hamel in 1918, when they contributed to a successful assault by Australian units on the German lines. During the development of Mk.V heavy tank model kit, MENG received great supports from The Tank Museum in Bovington, UK. As one of the most famous tank museums in the world, it keeps more than 300 vehicles, including the Mk.V heavy tank (male). MENG’s designers measured the real vehicle and studied a lot of reference materials in order to accurately represent this classic tank. This kit includes precisely reproduced driver’s cabin, engine and other interiors. Traditional cement-free workable tracks are easy to assemble. “Crib” trench crossing device is provided to show its unique history. We believe that this Mk.V will bring a brand new building experience for rhomboid tank fans. Pre Order Information Pre-order now by clicking on the link below then go through to the check out and select payment by cheque once the item is in stock we will phone you for payment. http://www.creativemodels.co.uk/meng_model_135_british_heavy_tank_mk_v_male_-p-39761.html For UK Mainland customers postage is free over £30 and is Royal Mail 1st Class Post.
  22. The New Meng Models Whippet. Due in September 2015 Thanks to its streamline shape, the beautiful Whippet originated in England can run at a high speed which is hard for common dogs to achieve. So it’s easy to see what British designers expected when they named a tank Whippet. In 1916, many problems were exposed in the first combat of British Mk.I tank. The dissatisfied British Army started to develop a new tank to complement the slower Mk.I tank. William Tritton (1875-1946), one of the creators of tank, was in charge of this project. The War Office called this project the Tritton Chaser, and Tritton called it Whippet. In October 1917, the first Mk.A Whippet medium tank rolled off the production line. It was 6.1m long, 2.6m wide and 14t heavy. It had a crew of 3. Two 45hp Tylor gasoline engines were placed at the front. Because of its small fuel tank, some fuel containers were hung on the hull. Four Hotchkiss machine guns of the polygonal turret at the rear of the vehicle pointed at four different directions. Compared to Mk.I tank, Mk.A was lighter, faster and cheaper. After its service in 1918, the British Army was greatly encouraged. As an famous example, a single Whippet destroyed an artillery battery, an Observation balloon, the camp of an infantry battalion and a transport column, inflicting heavy casualties. Almost a century later, there are only 5 Mk.A tanks preserved in UK, Belgium, Canada, USA and South Africa. After studying a lot of reference materials, MENG's team now presents the replica of this unique Whippet. This MENG 1/35 British Medium Tank Mk.A Whippet plastic model kit has the following features: the exteriors are perfectly represented; all rivets are replicated; armour plates of the turret can be bent easily; four finely reproduced Hotchkiss machine guns are movable; the track links are cement free; three paint schemes are provided. This MENG model kit perfectly represents the unique WWI Whippet tank. Please can you give us your opinion's to what you think about this kit.
  23. New Lancaster and B-17G kits from Meng released: price and photo of completed model found here: http://www.hobbyeasy.com/en/data/woh0shsaylv2vhefje7e.html
  24. German A7V Tank (Krupp) 1:35 Meng After the British Mark IV tanks crashed (clanked and sputtered) onto the battlefield in 1916 at the height of WWI, the German army went into overdrive in an effort to bring their own landship to the front, but in the meantime pinched and re-purposed as many of the British tanks as they could as Beutepanzers in the meantime. Their design was intended to include a re-useable chassis that could sport an offensive armament, or a cargo body, with only a pitiful 20 out of 100 in the initial order. They weighed in at around 30 tonnes with only mild steel for armour plate, which although it was 30mm at the front and 20mm at the sides was still ineffective compared to a hardened alternative. The running gear was based on a Holt Tractor that was borrowed from the Austrians, and the blockhouse body housed a single 57mm cannon in a cylindrical casemate, which allowed limited traverse as well as elevation. There were also six 7.92mm machine gun emplacements, and under the top-mounted driver's position were two Daimler petrol engines that could propel the vehicle at up to 3mph on uneven ground. It entered service in 1918 in time to engage in the first tank-on-tank battle, where a three tank patrol met three British Mk.IVs, the Females being damaged by armour piercing machine gun rounds and forced to withdraw. The Male Mk.IV brought its guns to bear on the lead A7V and knocked it out with three shots, after which the two remaining German tanks withdrew. It proved to be about as reliable as the British tanks, and no more were ordered, although some other designs were in progress when the war ended. The only survivor of the twenty, numbered 506 and named Mephisto was abandoned by the Germans at Villiers-Bretonneux, and recovered by the Allies a few months later. It was taken by the Australians as a war prize, where it remains today. The Kit We appear to be in the middle of a renaissance of WWI armour, and that pleases me immensely as someone that's quite fond of the ugly old clankers. We have been treated to a number of kits of British Mk.IVs from Takom and Tamiya, with a Mk.V and Whippet light tank on the way from Takom, so this new issue from Meng fills an important gap, and sits well beside their two Renault FT-17 tanks that were used byt the French in the Great War. Previously we had only the Tauro kit in this scale, and that wasn't very good, having a totally fictitious interior and clunky tracks, as well as being hard to get hold of in recent years. This new tooling by Meng offers a fairly comprehensive interior that has a much firmer grounding in reality, and it can all be shown off by leaving some or all of the access hatches open. The box is standard sized Meng fare, and inside is a plethora of plastic that fills all the available space, requiring careful re-packing. There are nineteen sprues in sand coloured styrene, four in black, two pairs of black poly-caps, a small Photo-Etch (PE) brass fret, a length of synthetic braided cord, and a decal sheet of moderate proportions. The instruction booklet is bound in a colour cover, with extensive text on the genesis of the A7V in four languages at the front, and painting diagrams at the rear. As always with Meng, the first impression is of a quality product, right from the satin finish on the box to the instruction booklet. The sprues are very well detailed, and use of slide-moulding is evident on a number of parts to ease our job of putting it together. Construction starts with the many road wheels, of which there are two types with and without flanges on the edges. Two of each type are sandwiched in a bogie of which there are six in three pairs. The idler wheels are built up on their track tensioning device, while the drive sprockets have a stub axle for later fitting to the hull. Each pair of bogies are added to their sub-frame, which is very well detailed indeed, and these are further detailed with additional linkages and dampers on the tops, and are later installed on the underside of the chassis in between the return roller racks that are built up and added to the underside of the chassis. The lower frame of the chassis has a floor panel to which the final drive is added, which houses a pair of poly-caps, and deep girders are then added all around, after which the aforementioned return roller racks are installed, of which there are two types. Small bogies containing two return rollers each are attached to the racks, and at this point the idler and drive sprocket wheels plus the exhaust muffler are also added. The three main road wheel bogies are installed on the underside of the chassis, and that's the end of that – the chassis is then turned over for the addition of the tracks. The tracks are individual links, and can be found on the black styrene sprues, of which there are four. You will need to make forty eight for each side, and each link is made up from the track plate, and separate linkage part, but fret not – there are only two very dainty sprue gates on each part, and the moulding is very nice indeed with large domed rivets, slide-moulded lightening holes and click-fit track pins. A little glue to mate the two parts is all that is needed, and once dry you can clip each run together with the minimum of fuss, resulting in a set of very well detailed workable tracks that just need a lick of paint and some weathering. The interior is the next job, and that begins with the addition of the floor panels, which have tread-plate detail moulded into them. The floor is broken into front and aft parts, in between which would be the two engines, with a pair of narrow walk-ways outboard. The engines aren't included, which might seem a shame on initial inspection, but when you look at the finished item, the area is so deep within the bowels of the machine that it wouldn't be seen under normal (non-endoscopic) circumstances through any open hatches. Some enterprising soul is bound to bring out a resin set to fill this area if you have eyes that can see round corners though. The driver's area is raised above the main floor, on a pair of T-shaped brackets that are moulded into the chassis sides, and the raised floor fits on top, with a pair of crew seats, hand controls and foot pedals for both the driver and co-driver for redundancy. The radiators sit at the front and rear of the raised area, against two bulkheads with large circular cut-outs in which the cooling fans would have been placed. The radiator cores sit outside the bulkheads, and have a PE mesh added to the front, and three protective bars running horizontally across the front. More bracing struts are added to each corner, and a number of additional controls are applied to the portions of the bulkheads that project up above the raised floor. The main gun has a slide-moulded barrel, to which the recuperators and cradle are added, plus the aiming devices, the sights and the vertically curved portion of the splinter shield. The gun then slots into the main shield from the open back, and a PE top is added to the cylindrical shield. The gun is supported on a tapered octagonal base, which the gun fits atop after installing a sector gear and spacing device that clips round the shaft. An ammunition box and six seats for the machine gunners are built up next, with the ammo placed behind the main gun, which is installed on an octagonal depression on the front floor. The machine gunners' positions are able to swivel on a single point outside the seat-pan, presumably to facilitate access to the gun for re-loading and fast exit in the case of bail-out. Two are placed in the front compartment, with the remaining four at the rear. The guns are built up from a one-piece breech and barrel, with separate hand-grips and mounting parts. The guns mount to brackets attached to the side of the hull, and each one has a nicely moulded belt of ammo that can be flexed to fit its position. As a bit of extra detail, a rack of four rifles can be made up in the rear compartment, with additional "potato-masher" hand grenades, two extra rifles with bayonets attached, and a pair of Bergmann MP18 sub machine guns with separate side-mounted snail-drum magazines, although these were only used in the closing months of the war. Each of the machine guns are added to the insides of the hull plates before they are installed on the hull, so you'll be doing some internal painting at this stage unless you're leaving all the doors closed up. They are attached to the walls via plates on the mounts that mate with corresponding depressions in the walls. Each gun slot has a pair of triangular panels protecting the cylindrical mount (plus the gunner's face), two of which can be posed closed if you aren't fitting the rear guns. After this, the sides, front and rear are joined to the hull and your A7V starts to take shape with the addition of the lower glacis and valance front and rear. The four large towing shackles (two each front and rear) are covered by wedge-shaped armour panels, which can be posed raised for towing, or down for normal use by cutting off one or other of the two mounting lugs, which are roughly 90o opposed from each other. The crew doors are built up with separate pistol-port covers, handles, and a fold-down jump-seat that is stowed vertically to open the doors. They also have an appliqué weather bar riveted to their bottom edge, which is a further separate part, and a decal for the inside surface stating the tank's number in case the crew forget which one they're in! As well as the crew doors, there are double doors on each unused machine-gun slot, and four inspection/maintenance hatches along the track runs on each side, with a further two low down on the front of the glacis plate. One of the smaller panels in the middle each of the sides are propped open by the exhaust pipe, which snakes up the side and away from the gun ports, with a bracket separating the solid pipe from the hollow tip. At this stage the tank lacks a roof, as well as a protective cab, which is next on the agenda. The front and rear walls of the cab have a bifold door that covers the opening on the inside, and a pair of sliding doors for the outside, the latter having PE guides added to each side. The instructions show three positions in scrap diagrams in the open, closed and half-open position to assist you in working out how they should look. The side walls have only one hatch each, the doors for which operate in the same manner as the others, while the roof panel has a circular hatch in the centre, a hinges vented panel over one driver, and a clam-shell door over the other. The main roof is moulded as a single part, and has a large central cut-out for the driver's cab, and numerous parallel ventilation slots cut in the roof, which are covered by armoured grilles. Inside hang a number of toggles for the crew to steady themselves on, and a strip of PE covers the front edge of the main gun's "window". This and the driver's cab are then placed onto the hull and the inside is closed up. The length of string/cord is cut into two lengths of 148mm and a scrap diagram shows how it should be folded over and attached to three sleeves in 1:1 scale, with 3mm between each sleeve. These are then arranged on the top deck and tied-down by shackles, which is probably best done after main painting has been finished. That's it! Markings Only one scheme is provided in the box, that of Schnuck, No. 504 of Abt.2, German Army, in Northern France in Autumn 1918. It has a three colour scheme of sand, red brown and green, with five views showing how the areas flow across the hull, leaving you in no doubt where to put which colour. The decals are larger than most AFV sheets due to the size of the few decals on the sheet, and include eight old-school crosses, plus two further in a ghosted "shade" with a red I in the centre. The other decals are two white "Schnuck" markings, and the 504s for the interior doors. They're printed by Cartograf as usual with Meng, so quality, colour density, sharpness and register are spot on. Conclusion This new one from Meng makes me supremely happy, as I'd got a Tauro Models kit in my stash that had been thrown back in there when I realised the size of the job I'd got to render the interior anything like the real thing. Meng have done their usual fine job of rendering the lumpen riveted surface of the hull, and the inclusion of most of the relevant interior is just gravy. The kit deserves to do well, and will look great next to its adversaries that seem to be popping up like London buses at the moment. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  25. BMPT Terminator 1:35 Eduard The release of the Meng Terminator was a great surprise and was received with much delight amongst modern armour modellers. Now Eduard have released this set to add the extra sparkle that some modellers like to add to their creations. Contained in Eduards now infamous sleeve packs, the two medium sized sheets of relief etched brass Sheet one contains a myriad of smaller items, some of which require the kit parts to be modified or removed before the etched parts can be added. These include the handles along the side plating, storage boxes, and rear decking, plus a host of new brackets and angle plates in various positions throughout the main surfaces of the tank. New grilles are provided for the engine intakes and air conditioning unit and new straps for the fuel tanks. The is a section of plating with dimple marks on the front face and these need to be improved with the use of a ball point pen on the rear face. The second sheet comprises mostly of strakes and fittings for the anti RPG bar armour fitted to the rear and sides of the vehicle. Each section is made up of the outer frame and the individual bars. Patience and great care is the order of the day for making these up to ensure everything is aligned. There are six short sections which need to be joined together vertically by the use of modeller provided styrene/brass rod. The long section is a standalone item. The lights, missile tubes and smoke launchers are also given several new or replacement items to improve their look. Conclusion As good as the Meng Terminator kit is, and this pretty much goes for any modern kit, Eduard always seems to find a way of enhancing them. This set is no different, although at least the bar armour is a better scale thickness than can be achieved with injection moulding Highly recommended Review sample courtesy of
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