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Found 173 results

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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!)
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. Mike

    German Leopard 2A4 1:35

    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
  9. 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.
  10. Creative Models Ltd

    New Meng Model Due In September

    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.
  11. 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
  12. Mike

    German A7V Tank (Krupp) 1:35

    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
  13. 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
  14. PzH2000 Update Set (for Meng) 1:35 ET Model Meng continue to give us great kits, and their PzH2000 (reviewed here) was welcomed with open arms, consigning many a Revell kit to the "for trade" bins. ET Models have now created an update set that should improve the kit further, adding parts in Photo-Etch (PE) that just can't be done as finely in injection moulded styrene. Arriving in ET's usual thick polythene flat pack, with a black card back and green folded instruction sheet, you get three sheets of PE brass, plus a length of soft copper braided wire for the towing cables. A significant quantity of parts are used up in upgrading and replacing the pioneer tools and their tie-downs, with some substantial work going on, such as adding a realistic blade to the bow-saw, blades to shovels, and complete replacement of an unknown tool that features prominently on the glacis plate. The attachments are superbly detailed, and will of course require a little care in putting them together. The front deck has a number of small parts shaved off to accommodate more detailed PE assemblies, and the single part rack full of snow cleats for the tracks is replaced by an empty rack made completely from PE. Something seems to have gone awry with the instructions on my review sample, as there is no diagram depicting the various assemblies being added to the rear bulkhead, but they are shown being built up, so a little guesswork will see you right if you are similarly affected. The grating step-plates on the rear are replaced with highly detailed PE parts that are part-cut to ease construction, the handles on the rear doors are replaced (this is actually pictured). The number plate holder and convoy light assembly is completely replaced by a complex PE unit, and two square unit markers are added, although it isn't clear where. The side-skirts have all their locking handles shaved off to be replaced by PE parts too. The turret has an open-fronted basket on the starboard front, which is replaced and has tie-down straps added, with a new grill placed over the louvers on the port side. The gun mantlet cover that is a single PE part in the kit is replaced by a more detailed assembly with hinge detail, with more tie-downs added to the sides of the turret. The gunner's hatch has a new cupola added, utilising the stand-off legs from the kit part, but replacing the C-shaped rail and fixtures. The commander's hatch gets the same treatment, and the machine gun is supplied with a highly detail ammo box (with ammo) and receptacle. At the rear of the turret a large mesh basket is built up and added to the brackets on the sides, next to which are a couple of brackets and grab-handles that replace some moulded in parts. Conclusion A great set, and I'm sure that the instruction faux pas will be sorted by the time you can get the set online. Very highly recommended. As ET Model don't currently have a UK distributor that we know of, you'll be best off looking for the set on eBay using the product code, or an overseas supplier. We'll update this review as and when a UK supplier breaks cover. Review Sample courtesy of
  15. Mike

    Leopard 1 A5 1:35

    Leopard 1 A5 1:35 Meng The Leopard Main Battle Tank (MBT) was designed as an answer to a requirement by the newly reformed German Army to replace the outmoded American cast-offs they had been using. It was based upon the premise that manoeuvrability and armament were more important than armour, as the rise of the HEAT round had rendered most standard rolled steel armour fairly useless due to its penetrating ability. Instead the Leopard was designed to withstand 20mm rounds for all directions, and given NBC capability to counter the Soviet hordes that it was expected to be facing. The initial A1 variant reached service in the mid-60s, with an important upgrade to the A1A1 standard forming the basis of the A5 in the 1980s, which with the benefit of retro-fitting, became the de facto standard Leopard 1 up until its replacement by the Leopard 2 in Bundeswehr service in the early "noughties". The Kit We reviewed the initial release of the A3/4 variant here toward the end of 2013, which shares a number of components including hull and running gear, but with the earlier cast turret of the A1 as a basis instead of the larger welded turret provided with the earlier kit. This stems from the decision to base this upgrade on the earlier 1A1, which was adapted to fit the extra kit and move the rounds into the turret and away from the driver. There are six new sprues and two different Photo-Etch (PE) frets, with a totally different approach to the creation of the tracks. Gone are the single piece links and rubber-band style options, to be replaced by three-part track links that should, with a prevailing wind and careful gluing, result in workable track links. Inside the standard Meng-style satin finished box are thirteen sprues in a mid-green styrene, one flexible sprue in the same colour, and three hull and turret parts. A clear sprue, two sheets of PE, a length of cord, a sprue of poly-caps, and a large sub-box containing 912 parts for the 192 track-links, although the instructions don't give a suggestion as to how many you will actually use, which is odd. Another black sprue with a "Supplier" logo in the top left corner is… erm… suppled? Containing twenty-four ice-cleats and a jig to construct the track. The logo is repeated in the instructions when the parts are mentioned, but I'm not entirely sure why. The last fun item in the box is a small sheet of greased paper on which two wing-mirror lens foils are attached. That is a rather nice touch to obtain realistic looking wing mirrors, which are quite prominent on the Leopard, as it happens. The instruction manual is also standard Meng fare, and is well laid out in four languages, with the painting and markings section in colour at the rear. Construction starts in the same way as the earlier kit with the lower hull, as you'd expect. The bump-stops and return rollers first, then the working torsion suspension arms, which go through to the opposite inner hull. Onto the swing-arms fit the fourteen sets road wheels, which are made up in pairs with a poly-cap between them. The idler wheels are of the same construction, and the drive sprockets have an additional flange in the middle. The upper hull part has three PE grilles added to the engine deck, and the rear bulkhead is built up with tools, stowage and additional track links before installation after the tracks are made up. The tracks in this model are different from the last Leopard, as already mentioned. They take on the form of individual workable links in styrene, each link of which consists of five parts. The central piece has track-pins moulded in, and two track pads are constructed from halves, linking the pin sections together one after another. A jig is included to help with this, and the winter ice-cleats are shown with seven links between them in case you wish to use them. The track-pin part has four attachment points to the sprue, while the pads have only one each, with a double pin/hole combination differentiating between the inner and outer portions. You will need to be very careful indeed with the glue, because there are very small contact patches between the pad halves, so take your time, and make full use of the jig, as well as taking plenty of coffee breaks to allow things time to set up. As also mentioned earlier, the number of links needed per run isn't made clear, so test them for length as you get nearer to the 96 link figure, which is half of the parts. Better to be too short and add more links, than too long and have to force the assembly apart. With the tracks completed, the upper hull and rear bulkhead are added to the lower hull, and a set of pioneer tools are added to the sides, as are the prominent side skirts. Towing shackles and a rack of ice-cleats are installed on the glacis, but if you've already put these on the tracks, you'll need to investigate the best way of separating the redundant moulded in cleats from the rack, as the empty racks can be clearly seen on the glacis of the parked up winter camo Leopards (Note the Gepards on the right) in the Wikimedia image below: The hull is further festooned with additional tools, vision ports, driver's hatch and grilles on the sides, plus the twin towing cables that are made up from styrene eyes and 130mm lengths of the supplied synthetic cord. Attention then turns to the turret, which is substantially different than the A3/4, despite mounting the same license built British L7 105mm main gun. The mantlet is built up first, with lifting lugs and mounting points for the stand-off shroud that covers it, which has its own lifting lug in the centre over the barrel. The barrel is supplied split vertically, and as it is jacketed for cooling, it would perhaps be difficult to replicate in metal, so a degree of seam-sanding will be needed here. The muzzle is a separate part that fits on a peg at the end of the barrel, giving the impression of a hollow tip. An optional clip fits around the aft area of the barrel, which acts as the mount for the (also optional) grenade launcher, which has a heat/debris shield projecting forward to protect the barrel's jacket from damage during launch of smoke canisters. It mates with the mantlet via another peg and socket, and this in turn is glued to the upper turret. Yes… glued. You have two options for the elevation of the gun unless you fancy some scratch-building, namely straight ahead, or fully elevated, with nowhere in between, and no mechanism to leave the barrel poseable. Two canvas shrouds are included to cover the top area, one for each position that are suitably wrinkled for their position. An odd approach by Meng, but as a lot of folks will glue a barrel in position anyway, I can see their logic. A circular clear part is added to the inside of the commander's cupola, the lenses of which transparent blue and masked off until main painting is finished. Additional blocks and a periscope are added to the upper surface along with PE shrouds, with a pair of aerial bases in the rear "corners". The sides are dotted with circular stand-off parts, the reason for which will become apparent later, when the Lexan appliqué armour is added. The gun-sight sits atop the turret in front of the commander's cupola, and is glazed with another clear part that will need transparent blue lenses and masking, or an optional door for the closed position. If you are leaving it open, use the two additional parts supplied with the closed doors. Gun rings and mounts for the two top hatches are added, and the shell ejection port on the left side of the turret is added, which has a small circular handle on the inside, but posing it open would only expose the lack of detail inside the turret. The hatches for loader and commander are constructed from a number of parts, with the loader having a different hinge system that involves optional open and closed parts, presumably to give him a clear field of fire for his MG3 machine gun mounted on the aforementioned gun ring on his hatch. The bustle at the rear of the turret is a large stowage area with a central box to stow the searchlight, which has open racks on either side, supported by two L-shaped brackets each. A number of fine parts are included to form the rails, and unusually you are instructed to keep the additional sprue parts that link the rail sections together in place until they are installed in the basket. Once the glue is set, you are to cut these links off and make good the sprue gates. This is to simplify the task of installing a reasonable number of fine rods in difficult positions, with only small contact patches between the sides and the rear. How easy that is going to be remains to be seen. Knowing Meng however, it's likely to work unless you are impatient or use too little glue. Now the stand-off Lexan armour panels can be added, as they extend aft to cover the baskets. Each side has a flexible styrene panel that hugs the sides of the turret, with a handsome texture moulded in that is also present on the inner face where it can be seen through the baskets. There are also panels for the rear of the baskets, but there will be some visible ejector pin marks if you look hard through the bars, and as sanding flexible styrene is difficult (I've tried), you'd be well advised to fill those stowage baskets with kit. Two flat panels toward the rear of the turret sides are the mounting points for additional grenade launchers, which are individually added to a little platform before installation. The final parts are a trio of grab-handles and stowage rails on the side of the turret, after which it can be dropped in place and twisted to lock it down using a bayonet fitting. Markings Three options are supplied on the small decal sheet, all sharing the same basic three colour NATO pattern in green/brown/black. The only differences are the vehicle markings, number plates and insignia on the turrets. From the box you can build one of the followings: Armour School, German Federal Armed Forces. 2nd Company, 183rd Panzer Battalion, German Federal Armed Forces, Boostedt, 1990s. 5th Company, 74th Panzer Battalion, German Federal Armed Forces, Altengrabow, 1990s. The decals are printed by Cartograf, and quality is excellent, as you'd expect from them. I would have liked to have seen at least one winter camo as per the WikiPiccy above though, just for a little variation and justification for the inclusion of the ice-cleats. Conclusion Another great kit from Meng that has some rather fun parts such as the tracks, that will need a little care in assembling, and a good dose of patience. If you're indie-link phobic, you can always have my spare rubber-band tracks from the A3/4, or use your own if you have the other kit, and use the single-piece individual links included in that kit. The immovable gun might put a few people off the kit, but as has been proven many times before, you can't please everyone. These oddities aside, it's a good-looking comprehensive kit, and with the addition of a few crew figures to hide the lack of interior, it can be posed with open hatches quite easily. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  16. Just seen this on the Meng website. http://www.meng-model.com/new.php?id=469 Nice
  17. Mike

    US Cougar 6x6 MRAP 1:35

    US Cougar 6x6 MRAP 1:35 Meng The Cougar is built by Force Protection Inc. and is based loosely upon the previous South African MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected), but integrates a number of innovations and lessons learned from previous experiences. It has a V-shaped hull with the wheels outboard of the hull, and the engine in a separate compartment at the front. The V-shape directs the blast away from the crew compartment, improving survivability, which has been proven many times since it entered service. This variant is the six-wheeled chasis, but there is also a 4x4 version in service. The British Army have a number of the 6x6 version as the Mastiff Protected Patrol Vehicle (PPV). The Mastiff 2 is fitted with the CREWS II remote weapons station, while earlier versions have been fitted with a manned turret surrounded by protective armoured screens. The Kit This new tooling from Meng will be a welcome addition to any MRAP collection, and as it's from Meng, you know it will be a lovely kit to build. It arrives in a standard Meng shaped box, with that quality satin look to the lid, and inside are a wealth of sprues for you to pore over. There are sixteen sprues in a sand coloured styrene, two in a flexible black styrene, four sprues in clear styrene, two in turquoise tinted clear styrene, eight flexible styrene wheels, poly-caps, plus a large upper hull part and slide-moulded machine gun breech in sand styrene. The decal sheet is separately bagged, as is the small sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, and the instruction booklet is Meng's usual affair, in four languages, and colour pages at the rear for the painting and decaling instructions. First impressions are excellent as usual with Meng's offerings, and the part count is high, with some nicely tooled detail evident. Inclusions such as PE, flexible styrene and optional tinted windows to simulate the bullet-resistant glass are the icing on the cake of what is a great looking model. From the box you can build either the Cougar 6x6, or the Cougar 6x6 HEV, which is the USMC Hardened Engineer Vehicle and has a different stowage and aerial fit, plus a pair of spare tyres mounted on the side. This isn't massively obvious on first inspection of the instructions, but will dictate your choices throughout the build, where you should choose A or B options respectively. Construction begins with the V-shaped lower hull, which needs a few holes drilling in it, after which the leaf-suspension can be installed, plus a rear towing bracket and two-step crew access with PE mesh treads. The three main axles are built up in broadly the same manner, with the steerable front wheels having additional parts, including track-link rod and bearings. Each one is fitted to the lower hull, with an armoured transfer box between the front and rear axles out of which the transmission shafts project. A pair of fuel tanks with PE thread-plate tops are built up next, and you have a choice of two types to install under the hull of your Cougar, which is nice. You are also given a choice of two types of front bumper/fender, one of which looks less like a girder than the other. The Cougar rolls along on six tyres, although in the event of an IED blast, has been known to limp home on only three. The HEV also carries two spares in the event that they are needed, just aft of the drivers' doors. The tyres are flexible styrene, with sand coloured hubs, space for a poly-cap in the middle, and a thick rear to the hub that traps the poly-cap in place. Only the six installed wheels are built up like this – the other two have a single piece hub, and are optionally added to the brackets at the end of the build. At this point the model is flipped over and work begins on the crew cab in the shape of the floor, which is stepped up at the sides to form a base of the seats and further protect the crew from blasts. The drivers' seats are first to be built up, with insulating bases that contain the usual complement of adjustments under a tough protective gaiter. The seats are made up from two parts, consisting of the main seat, plus a rear with the headrest built in, which once joined are placed on the base, and a pair of the flexible styrene belts are added to each one. The driver's pedal box is installed into the short front bulkhead stub, and a mesh panel is placed behind each seat on a bracket that raises it up to head-height. The dash is a full-width part, and the instrument panel has a number of decals supplied to detail its surface after painting, plus a couple of stencils on the co-driver's side. A small raised table/jump seat sits in the space between the rows of seats, which are single parts, which have another pair of flexible styrene belts added before they are glued in place. A total of eight passenger seats are fitted, with an equipment rack at the rear on the starboard side, and a recess with equipment box fixed to one wall on the opposite side. The upper hull is a complex moulding with some great detail on the outer skin, which again needs a few holes drilling in it in preparation for construction. Inside you will find a few fine mould lines, ejector pins and the occasional sink mark under the side windows, but how much of this will be seen is questionable. If you think it will, and it bothers you, break out the sanding sticks and a smear of filler. Clean up shouldn't take very long at all really. A radiator grille, some small interior parts, and the multi-part turret ring for the top-mounted gun position, which is trapped in place by another ring on the inside of the crew compartment. Internal lights are added, half of each painted transparent red for night-lighting, and then the large boxed-in side windows and windscreen panels are added, made up from a styrene frame, with clear centres. You can choose the usual clear parts or the more realistic tinted blue/green alternatives that better represent the thick bullet-resistant glazing used in modern MRAPs. The rear bulkhead has a choice of aerial bar that is placed above the door, and a quartet of grab-handles added, before it is joined to the hull, and the upper and lower halves are brought together. The short front fenders and long rear fenders are built up following this, with the various light clusters added front and rear, plus a choice of two air-intake filters on the starboard fender, and the exhaust that comes out of the side of the engine bay. The exhaust then goes up over the door frame on a stand-off bracket to roof-height, terminating at a back box toward the very rear of the vehicle, held in place by a U-bolt. There is a PE heat-shield for the section over the door, which has a little jig provided to obtain the correct curve to fit around the exhaust. The PE part is held between the two parts of the jig, with pressure applied, and out comes the part correctly formed. The next phase involves fitting all the additional parts that adorn the exterior of a modern AFV, such as the IED jamming booms in raised or lowered position, a roof mounted searchlight in protective clear dome, two or four additional stowage boxes on each side of the vehicle, jacks, and the panel jammers that attach to the front bumper. The drivers' doors and two rear crew doors are built up with boxed out glazing panels, grab-handles and side-view mirrors, plus the top access for the gunner's ring, and an escape hatch toward the rear of the roof. These can all be posed open or closed, with the latter having a pair of hydraulic rams holding it open. The gunner's position is protected by armoured screens, the sides of which are supplied flat, but with a bend-point built into the rear side, so that you can create the angled front sections without additional panels. Each section has armoured vision blocks added to the outside, and a solid rear panel, plus a rear-view mirror on each side. The .50cal M2 derivative is built up from a number of parts, the most impressive of which is the slide-moulded receiver and cooling jacket, to which the breech top-cover and barrel are added, plus a two-part carrier that fits to the pintle-mount. A three part ammo receiver is built up, with the ammo can added inside, and this can has some quite impressive ammunition moulded into the top and extending beyond the lip to mate with the breech. The gun, turret control joystick, front shield with vision blocks, and the protective shields are all added to slots and holes in the turret ring, with the front shield sitting in front of the angled "glacis". The final task is installing an array of aerials, which differs depending on your choices earlier on. If you have chosen the short side stowage boxed HEV, you can fit the spare tyres mentioned earlier, with six traditional whip-style antennae and a short X-shaped antenna at the rear. If you elect for the four-box side stowage "vanilla" version there is no place for the spare tyres, and you fit only four traditional antennae, plus two cylindrical "cell-tower" type antennae, which sit in the centre positions on the rear aerial mount. Markings Modern AFVs aren't particularly well marked on the outside, so the decal sheet isn't massive. What is there is good quality though, having been printed by Meng's usual choice of Cartograf. There are only two markings options included, both in the modern sand camo, with one for each variant, as follows: Cougar 6x6 United States Marine Corps. Cougar 6x6 HEV United States Marine Corps. The decals not already used on the instrument panel are mostly tie-down stencils, plus various other sundry stencils around the vehicle, and a maker's logo on the larger air filter of the 6x6 variant. Register, colour density and sharpness are all top notch, as you'd expect. Conclusion Another good kit from the Meng stable that will appeal to a great many modern AFV modellers. Detail is excellent, and the subject matter is very "now", lending itself nicely to dioramas. Lots of small parts that should keep you busy for many an hour, although sprue B part 1 was so fine that it had broken on the sprue due to flexing of the sprue in transit. The clear parts are all separately wrapped in slightly sticky clear plastic to keep them from being scratched within the bag, and the inclusion of the tinted parts is a great boost to realism. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  18. Israeli Achzarit, for Meng 1:35 Eduard Well it’s another month and Eduard have released another load of etched detail sets. This one is for the Meng Achzarit armoured personnel carrier. The single sheet of relief etched brass contains numerous parts to super detail the hull. As with most Eduard sets, some of the kit details will need to be removed before the etched parts are added. These include the front plate of the side skirts, all the brackets, locker handles, hand holds and tie downs on the upper hull, along with the mounting bracket for the fire extinguisher and fixtures around the main machine gun mounting. Whilst most of the parts require simple folding but there are a few parts that will need careful rolling to shape, particularly the curved mudguards on the rear underside of the track guards. The set also included the ID panels fitted around the vehicle; these require the modeller to run a ball point pen around the edges to give further relief detail. The machine guns receive new ammunition belts, ammunition boxes and their respective mounts; new rear sights are also included. The commander machine gun mount with the same parts, but also has the option of being fitted with a chain gun style feed belt from inside the vehicle, along with the various fittings and fixtures required. Conclusion The Meng Achzarit is already a beautifully detailed kit, but the moulded details can sometimes appear a bit clunky. With this set, these details are replaced with fine details that only etched brass can replicate. So if you want to go the whole hog and make a super detailed kit of the Achzarit then this set will suit you down to the ground. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  19. 2A24M 125mm Barrel for Meng T-90 OrangeHobby 1:35 Whilst we have been fortunate enough to have seen and reviewed several maritime kits from OrangeHobby, this is our first opportunity to review one of their Red Series 1:35 armour upgrades. The barrel arrives in a poly sleeve with a card header, with the parts held in separate poly bags taped to a black card insert. Surprisingly there are quite a lot of parts that make up the complete barrel. Firstly you have the two turned alluminium and one turned brass part of the barrel, then you also have two small sheets of etched brass, one sheet of what looks like etched nickel, but could just be tinned brass. To complete the pack there are two resin parts and five small tie wraps. The instructions are very clear and easy to read, but since there are some quite complex folds and rolling of the parts, great care will need to be exercised. The tie wraps are only included to help fit the nickel parts around the barrel whilst the glue sets. Conclusion This is a super product and a must for those who'd love a super detailed barrel to replace the kits styrene parts. The construction is quite involved, but the results will look great on the completed model. Review sample courtesy of Orange Hobby.com
  20. Renault FT-17 Riveted Turret Meng 1/35 Hi Guys This was built back in August last year, finished in about a week as it was such a fun build. Although it doesn't include the full interior of the previous cast turret release, the addition of a full vignette base more than makes up for it, especially as it retails for nearly half the price of the first release. I thought the multi-part nature of the hull and turret would make the fit iffy but it went together really well although the eagle-eyed among you might notice that the rear hatch on the turret is on the rear right instead of the rear left were it should be which is very much down to me not paying attention, not the kit. The base sand was airbrushed but I hand painted the green and brown camo as I couldn't face the masking job required. Wish I'd changed the coil springs for ones a bit thicker but I couldn't find anything suitable at the time. Hope you enjoy the shots A couple of the finished build before being based And the finished vignette Thanks for looking Andy
  21. Latest news from Meng is their kit TS-016 German Main Battle Tank Leopard 2 A4
  22. M3A3 Bradley w/BUSK III & Interior 1:35 Meng You can see the potted history of the Bradley at the top of our review of Meng's M2A3 variant here, as they share their heritage and most of their components with the M3, which is a reconnaissance vehicle that carries more ammo than its troop carrying sibling. The M3 has followed the update path of the M2, while retaining its own peculiar internal layout to accommodate the TOW and Bushmaster ammo, plus its smaller complement of passengers. The M3A3 is enhanced with all the latest equipment in the form of ERA applique armour, battlefield awareness and networking equipment, and once it got to the field, the crew and ammo stowage were changed to improve survivability. The addition of the BUSK III kit allows the recon Bradley to engage in urban fighting with all the risks that entails from RPGs to IEDs, vastly improving their chances of coming back in one piece. The Kit(s) If you've seen the initial M2A3 Bradley release, you've seen a large portion of the sprues already. Following on from suggestions (and probably moans) regarding the interior, the M3 has a separate interior that you can either buy to finish off the kit inside and out, or leave to build a Bradley with limited internals that would suit a closed up vehicle. The choice is now yours whether you want to pay for the extras, as they're in a separate box, and I have it on good authority with pictorial evidence that it also fits the old Tamiya kit's hull, which should help with sales! The main kit (SS-006) contains: 12x sprues plus two hull halves in a sand coloured styrene. 2x clear sprues for vision blocks etc. 1x Black polycaps. 1x flexible styrene ammo feeder part. 1x flexible styrene mantlet top cover. 8x metal suspension tubes. 188x track parts. 2x Photo-Etch (PE) brass sheets. 1x Decal sheet. 1x Instruction booklet. The Interior Kit (SPS-017) contains: 4x sprues in pale green styrene. 2x sprues in grey styrene. 2x flexible styrene crew harnesses. 1x PE brass sheet. 1x Decal sheet. 1x Instruction booklet. Construction of the kit is only slightly different from the original if you have plumped for the interior, but if not, it should both speed your build and reduce the part count quite significantly. If you are building the kit with the interior, you should perhaps consider making notes before you start on where the interior parts sit within the build, and having access to the M2A3 will help interleave the build steps immensely. If you haven't got the original kit, 1999.co.jp have it online here for comparison purposes. Either way you'll be flitting back and forth between the two instruction booklets during the build, so clear a little space on your bench for them both. In an ideal world, there would be an amalgam of the two booklets available for download, which as of time of writing, doesn't exist. Having been through the instructions, there are subtle differences present throughout the build, which can be summarised as below: 2 Fuel cans are included in the interior set but not shown in place. The interior includes bench seats on port side for observers. An extensive TOW missile rack takes the place of the additional passenger seating on the starboard side. There is a reduced complement of vision blocks due to the lower crew count, with three sideways-looking blocks removed during the build. The passenger compartment roof hatch armour is different, and four aft-looking vision blocks are present. The much needed air conditioning units absent from the rear bulkhead – clearly recce patrols don't feel the heat! The side skirt assembly lacks the lower row of ERA blocks that protect the tracks and road wheels, with PE step/handles present on the visible skirting. The commander's protection system shields are lower and afford less cover. The rest of the build is identical to the earlier kit, but if you are opting out of the interior there is much less work, and the hull is closed up by step 7. The large driver's hatch is still detailed enough to withstand scrutiny, but a figure would be needed to hide the blank interior, which would also be visible through any open doors at the rear. The click-fit tracks are present again, and as mentioned in my previous review, they're a joy to use, and streets ahead of the flexible styrene variety. A PE template is included again to help with the painting of the Big-Foot trackpads, allowing you to paint five links at a time with a suitable rubber shade, without worrying about your hands wobbling. Just remember to add some masks to the ends of the PE stencil to avoid overspray, and cover up the hole that you can use as a stencil to paint the roadwheel hubs. Markings Vallejo colour call-outs are given throughout, and the main scheme continues the theme. Both decal options are sand coloured and differ only in their unit markings as appropriate. From the box you can build one of the following: 6th Suqadron, 9th cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, US Army, Fort Hood, 2014 4th Infantry Division, US Army, Fort Carson, 2013 The interior kit has a full range of decals for the data screens inside the vehicle, as well as various stencils and weapons markings for the TOW missiles stowed inside. Decals are printed by Cartograf, so detail, registration, sharpness and colour density is good, with lots of detail visible and legible on the interior kit's stencils, all of which add realism to the finished article. Conclusion Following in the footsteps of the M2A3, Meng have listened to the comments about the interior and are now offering it separately, although this has made the instructions somewhat confusing unless you prepare well. Detail is superb, the parts cleverly moulded, and yet again there are other variants just waiting to emerge from the moulds. Be aware that this represents a late M3A3 due to the repositioned observer seats, and check your references if you plan on going "off reservation" for your markings options. Very highly recommended. Available from Creative Models in the UK. M3A3 Bradley w/BUSK III M3A3 Bradley w/BUSK III Interior Review sample courtesy of
  23. Russian Terminator Fire Support Combat Vehicle BMPT 1:35 Meng The Terminator had a long and faltering gestation, which involved many changes to its design, including a complete change of the base hull on which the offensive equipment is mounted. Initially started under the auspices of the Soviet Union, it was shelved and resurrected on more than one occasion. It even became a private venture during an official fallow period in its development, after significant losses in street fighting in the Chechen war triggered the manufacturers into action. Officialdom soon put a stop to that, but it began again in earnest in the late 1990s, by which time the original T-72 chassis replaced by the more modern and better protected T-90 hull. Although based on the T-90, there are significant differences on the upper surfaces, with a built up deck, and a low-rise turret. On top of this are two 30mm cannons that each have 850 rounds at their disposal, with four 130mm Ataka-T anti-tank missiles, two slung on each side of the cannons. On the front sponsons are grenade launchers, which have an amazing 600 30mm rounds able to be fed to them, and are remotely operated. If that isn't enough, there is also a single 7.62mm machine gun coaxially mounted with the main cannons for close support with 2,000 rounds on a single belt to keep it going. The Terminator is used in pairs as support for, and as advanced suppression for main battle tanks in urban areas, and uses its anti-tank missiles to defeat enemy tanks, and the 30mm cannons to soften up the opposing troops and soft-skinned vehicles, ably assisted by the grenade launchers. In open ground, one terminator backs up two tanks using the same techniques. Protection is both active in the shape of explosive reactive armour (ERA), and the composite armour of the T-90 on which it is based. Slat armour is also added around the rear, which improves protection against Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPG) over and above its progenitor. All modern Russian tanks can be outfitted with the KMT-8 mine clearance system, which the Terminator retains, and can make good use of to clear the passage for the accompanying tanks. It is able to be raised and lowered from inside the vehicle, so doesn't expose the crew unnecessarily, and as well as clearing mines manually, it can also pre-detonate magnetic mines using equipment to mimic the electro-magnetic signature of a tank projected forward of the hull. The Kit Having recently tooled a T-90A there was hope that the Terminator would be the logical next step, and sure enough here it is a year later. It's another classy box full of styrene, with seventeen sprues of dark green styrene, plus two hull parts, turret and a clear jig for use with the suspension. The tracks are on another 8 sprues in black styrene, 8 more in a slightly flexible styrene, with more jigs on a separate sprue to assist with the construction of the tracks. A fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass parts and a brass wheel painting template are included, plus poly-caps, a flexible sprue of small parts, a length of string for the tow-rope, a clear sprue, and a sheet containing two self-adhesive mirrored stickers to simulate the prominent wing-mirrors. The instruction booklet is standard Meng fare, with a glossy outer cover, four language introduction, and painting instructions on the rear glossy pages. A well-rounded packages indeed! First impression. Do you really need to ask? Superb. Fine moulding, attention to detail, multiple media used to accomplish the job of building a very well detailed model out of the box that other manufacturers don't seem able to follow consistently. With the exception of a couple of turned barrels for the cannons, there's not much your average modeller would want in addition. Meng's use of other companies' expertise is also a wise investment, as it puts years of research at their fingertips from people with a real interest in the subject. In this instance, it is Gur Khan Books who are bloggers as well as publishers that specialise in Soviet and Russian hardware. Are you ready? Let's build some wheels! Yes – it's time to unleash the poly-caps, as you build up two two-piece idler wheels, two three-part drive sprockets, and twelve pairs of roadwheels, all of which have a poly-cap sandwiched between them to help keep you sane during general painting and construction of the tracks. The underside of the hull is busy, as with many modern Russian tanks, and is worth a look just for the amount of detail that is moulded into it in the shape of suspension bumps, escape hatches and so forth, as well as the holes for the axles of the torsion bar suspension. The lower glacis plate is detailed with a separate panel, and the self-entrenching blade is added to that along with its four actuating rams. The return rollers and idler wheel stations are added first, with six torsion bars with moulded-in swing-arms slid into each side, some of which are damped with additional arms keeping their movement in check. The large T-shaped jig in clear styrene is then draped over the side of the hull and lined up with the axles to arrange all of the swing-arms to the same angle before they are glued into their bearing cuffs. At the rear is a plate to detail up the rear bulkhead, onto which spare track links and the first of the pioneer tools are added. The roadwheels can then be pressed home onto the axles after installing the final drive housing and axle for the drive sprocket at each side of the rear hull. Tracks are the next logical step, and you're in for a treat in terms of detail, as well as for some detailed work, but don't despair just yet, as Meng's designers have supplied two more jigs to help you build them. The tracks have separate guide-horns, track-pads and end-caps, the latter being moulded in semi-flexible styrene, presumably to help the track flex around the ends of its runs and to grab the styrene track pins. The horns are moulded in pairs, and the instructions advise you to leave these paired until you have interleaved them with the track parts, as they are small and may fall foul of gravity (or even defy it as they fly through the air) if handled singly. When you have six links prepared in this way, you cut off the sprues, leaving two sets of 6 track links to place in the jig one after another. A jig-lid is supplied to keep the parts from coming loose, and the end-caps have been moulded at exactly the same distance apart as they will be when added to the tracks. These are then placed in another jig and cut from their sprue gates, leaving them in the jig for now. The jig is offered up to the open sides of the tracks, and the two holes accept the pins from adjoining links, effectively attaching them together. So far there has been no glue used either!!! The only glue used in this part of the build attaches the individual track-pads to the outer surface of the track links, but these are optional and can be left off if you feel the urge. Each run is 81 links in length, and an individual slot for an end-cap has been provided to assist you in joining that tricky last link to both sides of each run. On the upper hull, a block of reactive armour is built up with the front light clusters and added to the glacis plate, along with the access hatch rings for the grenade launcher operators, and with a stowage box in between them behind the driver's hatch, which has its own clear periscope. The front fenders are made up and each has a return spring that keeps them down in action, as well as installing a substantial lifting lug at the rear. On the engine deck the PE grilles are added, as is the exhaust stub with heat-dissipating shroud on the left fender. The fenders on Russian tanks are often used for stowage, and this one is no exception, having some substantial superstructure added, the forward areas of which contain the grenade launchers and their muzzles. These are added once complete, and are further augmented by more sub-assemblies at the rear left, which I think contains the APU that runs the tanks systems when stationary, so that the huge power of the main power unit isn't idling unnecessarily, using up precious fuel. The engine deck is protected from ingress of shot by a series of barriers, and slat armour, all of which complete the circle of the splash guard, whilst being demountable for maintenance of the turret. The side-skirts are single lengths with an additional part added to the inner face in order to get the correct angle with the hull when installed. There is also an additional panel that fits between the top of the sponsons and skirts, plus a large moulded in grille on the left side for the exhaust gases to exit. At the rear the towing cables are made up from two 100mm lengths of string, using the printed rules to cut them properly. They have two-part towing eyes that cement to the end, locking them in and stopping any fraying. These are arranged around the rear of the tank, held in place by shackles and cable guides around the towing eyes. A two-part slat-armour panel is installed on the four mounts, and there is no sign of the slats being oversized due to moulding constraints – it looks right to my eyes. With the lower hull completed for the most part, a pair of drop-in mini-turrets are assembled for the two grenadiers, which sit either side of the driver. Each one has a raised ring onto which the top is glued, with an old-fashioned vision block and a newer high-tech one at the front, which is protected by a shroud that doubles as the hinge-point for the wedge-shaped hatch, with internal liner and closure system depicted nicely. On top of each of these are fitted what looks like a miniature heli-deck, consisting of a circle of tread-plate on stand-off mounts, which hinges up as the hatch is opened. Additional tread-plate is added around the turret ring, which must be used when maintaining the weapons overhead. The turret is more of a blister than a true turret, but has NBC liners moulded in, plus two hatches to which a number of vision blocks are added, with protective shrouds. Stowage boxes and traditional smoke grenade launchers are also present, as are the sort of modern optics found on most tanks these days. These are all well detailed and made up from a number of parts, with clear parts for the front of the turret-shaped unit that sits atop the right hatch. The 30mm cannons are assembled in their blast jackets, which have realistic drape and folds moulded in, with two holes into which the single part slide-moulded barrels are installed with additional collars from PE. This attaches the breech box, with maintenance panels moulded in, which have separate grab handles for additional detail, and the central coaxially mounted 7.62mm machine gun above the barrels in the centre. On each side of the breech assembly is a long pin onto which the mount for the ATAK-T missile launchers are added after construction, and here the poly-caps come in handy again, allowing you to push the assemblies on with friction fit keeping them in whatever pose you select. A central panel links the two mounts together, which is further strengthened by the addition of a bullet splash guard under the cannons, which is encrusted with equipment. At the rear left of the turret, another turret-shaped sight assembly for use by the commander is assembled, then added, again with a clear part for the lens. The ATAK-T missiles are depicted in their launch tubes, with frangible covers front and rear. The tubes are split vertically with the covers moulded as separate parts, so you will need to do a little scraping of the seams to tidy up here. Times four, for all the tubes. Each missile is attached to a rail with shackles for the tube, and are then paired up on a flat panel with wiring before being attached to the sides of their mounts. A long aerial is mounted to the rear of the turret along with other antennae, and a chute is attached to the rear of the breech to direct the spent shell casings away from the turret ring to prevent jams. The turret can then be added to the hull by a twist-to-lock bayonet system. If that's as far as you want to go, you just add a pair of triangular fillets to the edges of the front fenders, and start with the painting. If you're going to build the mine clearance plough, you have a little more work ahead of you. The mine plough is actually two separate blades, split left and right, and clears a path somewhat wider than the tanks tracks in the real world. Each ram is built up from a number of parts, and the blade attached at the business end, with a mirror image done for the other side. Inboard of the ploughs are a pair of arms that hold the Electronic Countermine system, covered by a cylindrical fairing, which is raised and lowered with the ploughs as required. These are attached under the front glacis plate, with some smaller parts added to the rear, the function of which I've not been able to fathom. If you don't fit the plough, there's a simple cover-panel for the mounting points at the rear, so don't switch off at step 36 if you're not using the plough. Markings This is a fairly new vehicle that will only reach proper series production in 2015, so it hasn't been blessed with many colour schemes thus far in its career, meaning Meng having to depict it as seen at three different arms expos, as follows: Russian Expo Arms 2009 – sand/green/dark green/black hard-edged camo. Russian Expo Arms 2011 – sand/green/brown hard-edged camo. Russian Expo Arms 2013 – sand/brown/dark brown digital splinter camo. There are no decals, as the Terminators wore no insignia at the exhibitions, but you do get the silver mirror stickers to make up for that. Conclusion Another superb edition from Meng, which should be popular with modellers, regardless of whether they "do" Russian hardware. It is unusual looking, and has plenty of menace, resembling a ground-based Hunter Killer "tank" from the film series Terminator, which is likely where its nickname came from. Even if I'm wrong, it's still a good nickname. Although this isn't a model of a prototype, it is possible that the equipment fit may differ between now and entering service with the Russian army (and others), but the kit does a fine job of depicting this urban assault vehicle as it looks now. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  24. A new release has just been annouced from Meng, which is a variant of their successful T-90A that we reviewed last year here. As the title suggests, this kit adds the aggressive looking dozer that gives the tank the ability to move obstacles without the need to call in the engineers. Lots of pics have been forthcoming of the CGI files, as you can see below: Dozer Blade Detail Turret Appliqué Armour Detail Track Construction Jig Rear Detail
  25. Panzerhaubitz PzH2000 Self Propelled Howitzer 1:35 Meng The PzH2000 is Germany's self-propelled howitzer, and has some impressive stats at its disposal, especially the rate of fire, which in burst mode can fire up to three rounds in 9 seconds. Don't you just love the name "burst mode"? It is also accurate out beyond 40km, and has plenty of advanced features that allow it to land multiple rounds on a target at the same time by altering the trajectory of each subsequent round to shorten the flight time. The main gun is a 155mm unit designed and made by Rheinmetall, and is highly advanced with separate charge and shell ammunition allowing for tuning of the round in the barrel, all of which is done automatically by machinery. More esoteric rounds are in testing that could extend the effective range of the gun even further in excess of 60km, which will doubtless increase its appeal to potential users. The crew are well protected from counter-attack, even though the vehicles by their nature are usually some way behind friendly lines due to their long reach. In conflicts such as Afghanistan, where it first saw action with the Dutch, the boundaries of engagement aren't fixed, so additional armour has been added to the roof of the turret to protect it from mortar rounds. A few issues have been reported based on its use in Afghanistan, which will no doubt be dealt with in minor upgrades, such as heat and cold problems affecting the gun's operation at extremes of temperature. Almost 400 systems have been ordered so far, with most delivered and in operation, although a number have been mothballed due to budget constraints. The Kit For years all we've had in 1:35 is the ageing Revell offering, so when Meng announced that they were tooling a new kit of this beast, it sparked some interest amongst armour modellers. Meng are a firm favourite of mine, as they have high standards and produce good models, with this being no exception. The box is large, and it's not just to accommodate the barrel on the painting that adorns the top. Inside is packed with goodies, the weight of which is pleasant in the hand. Opening the box reveals another smaller carton taking up one corner and is full of track link parts, which should be fun to put together! A two-part hull and turret are separately bagged and moulded in mid-green styrene, and the nine main sprues are also moulded in that same colour. A strip of poly-caps are hidden away in the hull, plus another two larger ones for the gun's elevation mechanism, a small sprue of clear parts, two frets of Photo-Etch (PE) brass parts, a length of fuzz-free rope/string, a gigantic turned aluminium barrel in its own box, and a set of decals, plus of course the instruction booklet finishes off the package. Now you can see why the box is quite weighty. First impressions of Meng kits are usually good, and I'm not going to break with that tradition here, as we have a complete package that includes plenty of items that would be considered aftermarket by some manufacturers, all in the one box. Add top quality detail, plus an oversized A4 instruction booklet, and you're in business! If you're phobic about individual track links, you should perhaps consider therapy for that in advance, as these tracks aren't simple, but Meng have included a jig that will help you build them, as well as some ice-cleat parts, which my source tells me are placed on the outer edges of the tracks at intervals, to give your PzH traction in the winter, all of which are on a separate sprue in dark grey to match the hue of the main track sprues. Construction starts conventionally with the roadwheels, of which there are fourteen in pairs, with a poly-cap between them. The idler wheels are smaller versions of the roadwheels, and both they and the drive sprockets also have poly-caps between their paired wheels. It might seem an incidental thing to include them, but poly-caps are a godsend when building armour, as you can take wheels off at whim, which gives you leeway when assembling and fitting the tracks, as well as when painting them. The lower hull receives a gaggle of suspension mounts, bump stops and then the torsion beam units with moulded in swing-arms are slotted in through the holes into cups with the opposite sides of the hull. As usual, don't be too rough in testing the suspension, as styrene doesn't have a good fatigue life. The wheels and return rollers can be added at this point, but you'll have to cement the rollers in place, as they're too small for poly-caps. The lower hull is largely complete, save for the addition of the towing eyes on the lower glacis plate, and the rear bulkhead, which is separate from the main part. A further bulkhead is added at around half-way forward, which prevents excessive flex of the lower hull and stiffens up the build. Small parts are added to the rear bulkhead, and then a plethora of pioneer tools are strewn about the upper deck, plus a couple of PE mesh grilles on the top deck near the fire extinguisher. The driver's hatch is supplied with two clear periscopes, and is allowed to hinge freely if you're careful with the glue, as can the travel lock for the barrel, which is assembled and sited nearby. Light clusters and their protective cages are added at the front of the fenders, with a few variations possible for the remaining pioneer tools, such as the barrel cleaning rods, which may be shown absent or stowed. The tracks are individual link type in non-flexible styrene, and require a steady hand, as well as restraint with the glue, or you'll mess them up. Three parts make up each link, with an inner face and outer face locking together around the double track pins. There is a gluing surface between the two outer faces, plus two pins that fit very snugly together with a firm friction fit. A modicum of liquid glue, firm pressure and the handy little jig that Meng have thoughtfully provided should see you through most of it, although you will need to remove some of the flash from around the ejector pin marks hidden inside the two link faces, in order to make a firm join. Sprue gates are very fine and sensibly placed, and the whole system is similar to the set available from Bronco for the now redundant Revell kit that I have to find now before I can dispose of it. There are 98 links to each side, and as you can see from the picture, that means a lot of parts to remove from the sprues almost 600! Assuming you survive the track making process, the hull halves are fitted together, and the side skirts are added, as are the rear parts of the sponsons and their light clusters. You'll need either 125mm or 140mm of the string (not pictured) to build the towing cable, which is supplied with a pair of towing eyes for each end in styrene. These drape around the left side of the hull in one of two ways, depending on which decal option you are planning on using. Now for the barrel. It's a big piece at 23cm long, and has a narrow section in its mid-section to accommodate the styrene blast-bag, with the section behind fitting within the breech parts, leaving 10cm on display, to which you can either add a single part muzzle brake (a super bit of moulding), or a protective bag that has realistic looking fabric drape to protect the barrel from debris when not in use. You'll have tro scrape the seams on both parts, but that's not too tricky, as they have been placed top and bottom where shape isn't quite so critical. The mantlet also holds the smoke grenade dispensers, with four either side of the barrel on straight brackets. A poly-cap is secured in the roof, and two clear-vision panels are added to the sides of the turret before the mantlet is secured in place, and the gun's breech, replete with those big poly-caps I mentioned earlier, which lets the barrel elevate and remain in position, rather than requiring gluing to hold it in place. Additional armour is added to the "eaves" of the roof, with a louvered door and two solid doors glued to the front of the turret, plus a few other small parts here and there. The two crew hatches are built from two parts and then installed with a combined handgrip/hinge part that should allow them to open and close. A pair of aerial mounts and clear hazard lamp are added to the rear of the turret, although one decal option calls for the addition of a bracket to the right, and two alternative aerial bases are included too. The turret is then finished off by the addition of a stowage rack and mesh grille on the front, the commander's machine gun on a ring mount, and here you have a choice on FN MAG or MG3, the latter showing a family resemblance to the MG43 of WWII. A PE cover is fixed to the top of the curved barrel root along with a pair of substantial lifting-eyes, and a small sensor turret with protective bar finish off the upper, and the simple one-piece lower is added. Why it's left so late is a mystery, and I'd add it a soon as the barrel is in place to avoid damaging any of the small parts on the turret. The completed turret can then be put in place and twisted to lock it in place on the bayonet fitting moulded into the ring. Construction is complete! Markings Five decal options are included with the kit, although four of them sport identical three colour green/brown/black NATO camouflage patterning, which is handled at the outset of the four glossy colour pages at the back of the instruction booklet. The fifth option is a four colour Greek camouflage that adds sand to the mix and has different patterns for all the colours. From the box you can build one of the following: 131st Artillery Battalion German Federal Armed Forces 115th Panzer Artillery Battalion, German Federal Armed Forces School of Artillery, German Federal Armed Forces 14th Field Artillery Division, Royal Netherlands Army Hellenic Army, Greek National Day Parade, 2005 The decals are small but as they are printed by Cartograf and as you'd expect the quality is up to their usual standards of registration colour density and sharpness. Conclusion Another great kit from Meng, which includes lots of goodies on top of the excellent moulded in detail to make the kit a bit of a stunner, as they say in the tabloids. Individual links, metal barrel and two sheets of PE would cost you a few bob/euros/dollars in aftermarket, so it looks like great value at the relatively modest asking price it has been pegged at. Available soon in the UK from Creative Models Review sample courtesy of Thanks guys!
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