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  1. This is my build of the Octopus/Pavla 1/72 Grumman F7F-3N Tigercat. I acquired this kit from @Creepy Pete(thanks again) 2 years ago and promised to build it last year. And a year late, here it is. This is my first Octopus build and I have to say I was not impressed and would rank them in the lower tier of injection moulded plastic kits. One step above Mach 2 which is in a class by itself. I have 2 other of their kits in my pile and I shudder to think about building them. The kit is mostly plastic with a few resin parts, vac canopies, a Pavla interior, and decals. The vac canopies were actually pretty good with good demarcation of where to cut and window framing. The Pavla interior, like all the other Pavla interiors I have used, almost, but not quite fit the fuselage halve and the same can be said for the rest of the kit. It also had and eclectic set of parts not included with instructions to scratch build them. This kit required filling the entire large nose with #10 shot to get it to stand on the nose. I was able to find one review of this kit on the net (https://model-scale.com/grumman-f7f-tigercat) and I agree with everything he says including "The Octopus decals were far too thin; brittle; unable to be moved over the surface of the model to their correct position, and simply did not react at all to setting solutions!" I tried giving them a coat of Microscale Micro Superfilm and this appeared to solve most of the problem. That is until they dried when there was massive silvering on an unprecedented scale and after using copious amounts of Micro Sol I was forced to remove them and cobble together most of the markings from my spares. Missing are the "VMF(N)-542" and the data block that goes under the tail. Starfighter made an F7F-3N decal sheet (72-120) but it is discontinued and impossible to find. It will have the pieces I am missing and if it is ever reissued I will grab one up and add them. So if I haven't tired you out complaining here are the pictures: Next up will be the Sword AD-4W which should be a much more pleasant build. Enjoy
  2. Boulton Paul Defiant Mk.I (A05128A) 1:48 Airfix The Defiant came about due to the Air Ministry’s obsession at the time with turreted fighters. The thinking was that the enemy bombers would come over unescorted in the mistaken belief that their defensive armament could fend off any attackers. It was decided that the fighters would intercept the bombers en masse, and approach them either from underneath or the side, using their turreted armament to pick them off, separating the workload of flying and shooting, and hopefully resulting in a better rate of attrition of the bomber stream. They were wrong of course, and the Defiant’s additional weight made the aircraft less manoeuvrable than its opponents, the Bf.109 and Bf.110, leading to unacceptable losses that resulted in it being moved to nightfighter duties where its talents were better utilised. Having no forward-firing armament was a drawback, but its lack of agility mattered less under the cover of darkness. It fought well as a nightfighter, but was eventually replaced by the more advanced Beaufighter and Mosquito, while the Defiant, nicknamed Daffy at the time was relegated to target tug and gunnery training duties until its services were no-longer required. The Kit This is a reboxing of the original 2016 release of the newly tooled kit, but with new decals to add a little variation to the proceedings. Although I’ve owned one of these kits for a number of years, we haven’t reviewed one yet but as all the previous boxings contained the same sprues you can take this as a review of them all save for their decals. The kit arrives in Airfix’s traditional red themed box and inside are four sprues of grey styrene, one of clear parts, a decal sheet and folded instruction booklet with colour profiles at the rear for painting and decaling. The detail is excellent, and typical of Airfix’s modern output with the clear parts separately bagged within the main bag for their safety. Construction begins with the cockpit, attaching the pilot’s seat to the bulkhead behind it, with a scrap diagram showing the correct angle from the side. Underneath are added the controls and mounts, then the assembly is fitted to the cockpit floor and foot-plates then the front-bulkhead is made up with the rudder pedal box and control column added along the way. In preparation for closing up the fuselage, the cockpit sidewalls moulded into the fuselage halves are ribbed horizontally, then upgraded with ribs and stringers plus additional cockpit instruments and detail painted before the cockpit assembly is trapped between the two halves. Also fitted at the same time is a single piece rear section for the turret and the pilot’s main instrument panel with a decal supplied to portray the instruments. Once the glue is all set up, the two connecting rails between the halves of the turret insert are cut away to leave a circular aperture for the turret later. The fuselage is then set aside for a while so that the wings can be made up. The lower centre section has the bay attaches from within, with a stiffener box added to the upper wing halves before they are joined to the lower centre section, then enclosed with an overlapping lower section for a strong joint. The fuselage is dropped into the waiting gap in between the wing fairings, after which the single-part ailerons can be glued at an angle that suits your requirements, with a total of 15o deflection possible. The radiator housing is fitted next, with two parts inside representing the radiators, and if you’re using an Airfix stand there is a choice of two pre-thinned holes that you can drill out to accommodate the locating pin. The elevator fins are fabricated from top and bottom parts plus separate elevators, which can be posed deflected 10o down or 22o up, with 25o in either direction for the rudder, which is also moulded from a single part with no visible sink marks. To complete the fuselage the top cowling is fitted to the assembly, covering where the Merlin engine would normally be. The tail-wheel is fixed and a single part, but you might benefit from adding it later, in case you knock it off during handling. You have an option to pose the aircraft wheels up, and that will be particularly useful if you are using the stand, which is sold separately in case you weren’t aware. Two inserts for the gear bay doors are supplied, with upstands that prevent them from slipping into the bays and should set them flush with the rest of the wing. If you’re using the landing gear however, the main strut is joined by the long retraction jack, oleo-scissor and the wheel, which is made from a single part tyre with another part for the hub, which slides through the tyre and should be glued in evenly with liquid cement. A scrap diagram shows the correct angle of the wheels to the ground. The main bay doors are captive to the leg, with a small socket moulded into the top section and a mating surface on the bottom. The angled inner doors are both attached either side of the centre-line by a small hinge that locks into a groove in the bay. The turret assembly is based on the turret ring, adding detail to the underside including support frame for the seat plus pedals for the gunner to rotate it. On the topside, the pivot point for the quad .303 guns is planted into the ring, then the pairs of guns on their mounts are fixed, as well as the twin firing handles between them. The front turret glazing slides over the guns and is glued in place, then the two sliding door panels are fixed to the rear, ready to insert into the fuselage. There is also a complete turret part that fits the same way if you plan on leaving the doors on it closed. Before the turret can be inserted however, the main cockpit is made up with a choice of open or closed glazing. The closed canopy uses the common windscreen part, with a single part for the rest of the glazing, and an insert that improves aerodynamics when the turret is stowed, or slides down to allow the guns to traverse and fire. With the canopy open, the opening section is placed over a different rear, which has the fairing moulded into it that should be painted before the canopy is glued over it. This restricts the movement of the turret to the sides and rear however, and if the movable insert to the rear is fitted in the raised position, the turret should be positioned pointed to the rear in the “travel” mode. It can also be posed toward the front with just the canopy insert dropped, but to my eyes that just looks awkward. Finally, with the canopy open, the turret can be positioned to the sides and rear as long as the rear insert is dropped. To drop the rear insert, the part is inserted without a spacer, setting it flush with the rest of the fuselage. We’re on the final straits now, with the prop next, made from a single blade part, front spinner, back-plate and axle, which passes through a collar that needs to remain glue-free if you want to leave the prop capable of spinning. The crew step in the wing root fairing can be posed up or down, and a choice of exhaust stubs with fish-tail or straight outlets is provided, although the exits aren’t hollow so you’ll have to either paint them black or figure out a way to ream them out if that bothers you. Clear lenses and reflectors for the wing-mounted landing and wingtip lights are the last parts from the clear sprue, then it’s a case of adding the pitot probe to the port wing and two antennae under the fuselage and it’s done. Markings This is the new part, and you get two decal options on the sheet, one a day fighter, the other an all-black night fighter. From the box you can build one of the following: L7021 No.264 Squ. RAF Hornchurch, Essex, England, 25th Aug 1940 N1801 No.264 Squ. RAF Duxford, Cambs, England April 1941 – flown by F.O. F.D. Hughes & Sgt. F Gash (gunner) The decals are printed by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion A welcome reboxing of the new(ish) Defiant that brings all the latest improvements that the reinvigorated Airfix have brought to their modern range of kits. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  3. Armstrong Whitworth Meteor NF.Mk.11 (SH72358) NATO Users 1:72 Special Hobby Yes that an Armstrong Whitworth Meteor, not a Gloster one. Gloster did design the Meteor, however by the time the cold was was upon us the RAF had Meteors in the day fighter role but were still using Mosquitos in the night fighter role. At the time Gloster were heavily into the design of the Javelin for the RAF so it was put to AW to design and build a Night Fighter version (they did build the majority of Fighter Meteors for the RAF as well). The NF Meteor would come about as an amalgamation of meteor parts already in use, the main body was that of the tow seat T.7 but with the later tail of the F.8. The four 20mm cannon were moved into the wing outer spans to accommodate the AI Mk 10 Radar in the nose. Like the T.7 the crew would not be afforded ejection seats. The first aircraft flew in May 1950. Later on the NF.12 would feature a US built APS-12 radar, the NF.13 being a tropicalised NF.11. The final version of this venerable night fighter would be the NF.14 featuring a more modern blown canopy, As well as being supplied to the RAF NF.11s were supplied to other NATO countries. Belgium received 24, Denmark 20 and France had 41. The Kit This is a recent new tool kit from Special Hobby now being released in a boxing for NATO users;. As a new tool the moulding are of good quality with good detail and nice recessed panel lines. The kit arrives on 4 main spures, a smaller sprue and a clear sprue. Construction first begins in the cockpit which builds up to a complete module that slots into the fuselage when built up. The centre bulkhead is added to the floor and then the left side is added. The centre radar console is then built up and installed along with both seats. The rear bulkhead goes on, and in the front cockpit the control column goes in. The right side can then be added. To the underside of this module the nose gear well is then added. This assembly can then go into the right fuselage. The pilots instrument panel then goes in as does the deck behind the radar operator. The fuselage can then be closed up. Construction now moves onto the wings. Firstly the engines and jet pipes need to be assembled. There is a basic representative Derwent which you will see the front face of through the intake. Behind this there is the jet pipe, and exhaust. These go into the one part upper wing. In front of the engines goes the fairing over the front wing spar which is seen through the intake. Single part intake inners are then fitted. The aperture for the fuselage at the leading edge of the wing will need to widened slightly. Moving on the the lower wing the main gear wells need to be built up. The two wing sections can then be joined. The intake leading edges, and exhaust trailing edges are then fitted. The fuselage can now be joined to the wings. At the rear the tail planes then go on. The main gear units are then assembled and added along with their retraction struts and the main gear doors. Like the real units these are complicated and care need to get them right. At the front the nose wheel and its doors are then added also. To finish off the wing and belly tanks are fitted followed by the canopy, gun muzzles and pitot tube. Markings The glossy decal sheet is printed in house and looks sharp and in register. There are marking for three aircraft EN5/KT-S No.11 Sqn Belgian Air Force NF11-32/346-QH French air Force 501 of 723 Sqn Royal Danish Air Force Conclusion It is good to see a new kits of the Meteor Night Fighter out there. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. Greetings! Recently completed build of the vintage Airfix Dornier 217J-1 night fighter from the 1978 kit. I purchased this kit from the Ahmad Jamal toy store in Riyadh in 1984 during my Saudi expat years, I think I paid 8 Riyals. Plenty of raised surface details and poorly fitting parts! Very much out of the box build with just a few small enhancements. 40 year old decals had to be drenched in direct sunlight, but went down very well. While not up to the current standards, I like the challenge of these old kits. Many thanks for having a look, questions and comments always welcome. Cheers, Bill
  5. Next to my Silver Spitfire I felt the urge to start another one as well and in this case is it a 111 squadron night fighter based at Debden in December 1941. I always liked that specialist edition from Airfix ( box A82015 )and bought two of these in the past as I liked both schemes very much! cheers, Jan
  6. Do.217N-1 Update Sets (For ICM) 1:48 Eduard ICM have been systematically going through the whole Flying pencil range over the past year or two, and from this 1:48 modeller’s point of view, I couldn’t be happier. Eduard's new range of sets are here to improve on the kit detail in the usual modular manner. Get what you want for the areas you want to be more of a focal point. As usual with Eduard's Photo-Etch (PE) and Mask sets, they arrive in a flat resealable package, with a white backing card protecting the contents and the instructions that are sandwiched between. Interior (491018) Two frets are included, one nickel plated and pre-painted, the other in bare brass. A complete set of new layered instrument panels, radio gear and other instrument consoles are the primary parts on the painted set, with new rudder pedals; flooring panels; additional boxes and canopy internal structure also supplied. Seatbelts STEEL (FE1019) In case you have been stuck behind a wardrobe for a while and don’t know, these belts are Photo-Etch (PE) steel, and because of their strength they can be etched from thinner material, which improves realism and flexibility in one sitting. Coupled with the new painting method that adds perceived extra depth to the buckles and other furniture by shading, they are more realistic looking and will drape better than regular brass PE. As well as the two sets of flight crew belts, you also get a set of lap belts for the poor rear crewman that would probably have ended up with a sore head in the event of a belly landing. Exterior (48998) This larger bare brass set contains some upgrades, such as delicate new pulleys and extra-fuel tank strapping inside the bomb bay; an interior roof and bulkhead skin for the bomb bay rear; cooling flaps for the radiators on the engine nacelles; towel rail aerial under the rear of the fuselage, and finally a comprehensive replacement for the kit’s radar antennae forest that involves using the original main mast but removing the over-thick dipoles and replacing them with scale-friendly new parts that slot into the masts that you cut with a razor saw. A small extension is saved for use after the dipoles are fitted, then added to the end and tipped with two stabilising brackets, probably as a result of vibrations picked up on the prototype. Radar Antennae (FE1020) If you don’t want the Exterior set for any reason, or have a different kit you’d like to apply the antennae included in the above set, this is a subset that includes only the antennae parts for your use. Construction is the same, as you’d expect. Review sample courtesy of
  7. My second build in the BF 109 Night Fighter series this one with Fug 217J radar on the underside of the plane. Not much detail on this a/c all that I've come up with is it was in 4./NJG 11 late war. Markings white 7 I have modified the engine cover to reflect the G10 finished off the cockpit. What do you think of the fuselage join is it smooth enough? comments welcome. @Corsairfoxfouruncle Dennis what are your thoughts?
  8. Like so many I've rekindled my hobby after a very very long time. After getting back into it a few months ago I had to buy an airbrush and try it. The guinea pig is a ME 262 B-1A. After some lengthy research I think I found the correct colour scheme for this particular a/c which is Red 12. So this Jo-Han kit is old its 1973 and its very basic with no cockpit detail. Now I confess this isn't much of a work in progress as I pretty much finished before discovering this forum. Save decals and weights its almost done. I will post more once completed. Box Art from the 70's Note the high production values in the instruction booklet Here is my first go at air brushing This kit didn't come with drop tanks which is another little anomaly with the kit, any way its an easy fix.
  9. Hi Chaps, I've been looking forward to the Night fighter Group build for a while. This kit was almost stated last year for the 1960 NATO GB and again it just missed the 1950 NATO GB in January. So 3rd attempt to start will commence when my 2 Hawks in the Training Group build are done. Not decided the scheme yet but I have plenty of choice. Colin W
  10. I have finally got around to uploading some photos of my Boulton Paul Defiant Mk.I. I thought I had posted it last weekend before we went away for the week, only to discover today that I hadn't. So anyway, ready for inspection is my 1:72 Airfix Boulton Paul Defiant Mk.I, the aircraft is built in the night fighter scheme of N3328 of No. 151 Squadron, flown by Sgt J.L. Coulter (pilot) RAAF. There is a wealth of information about this aircraft online and film footage of the excavation of its crash site available on YouTube. I would like to thank Andy for emailing me the crash cards from the real aircraft, I aim to sit the build ontop of them once printed. The build is an out of the box build, the kit went together really well Airfix have done a fantastic job, the only variations I have made is using Vallejo acrylics, and mixing up a very dark grey/black for the aircrafts top coat. I hope I have done both the pilot and aircraft proud. Thanks for looking.
  11. My next build is Airfix's 1:72 Boulton Paul Defiant Mk.I. I have had this kit in my stash for a while now, and am excited to finally begin building it. I plan to build this one as it comes out of the box, in the night fighter scheme of N3328 as flown by F/Sgt John Leslie Goulter RAAF. I have done a little research already and there is lots of information about this aircraft available online, including footage of The Lancaster Aircraft Investigation Team's dig, to recover parts of the aircraft from its final resting place, I will attach some more info later. So now to the kit itself..... The box contains 3 detailed grey sprues with little to no flash and a small clear sprue. There is a detailed instruction booklet and small decal sheet with the choice of two colour schemes. The kit looks like it is going to be good to build, and I'm pretty excited about this one as I think it is a pretty aircraft. I just hope I can do the aircraft and it's pilot justice.
  12. Bristol Beaufighter – Airframe Album 14 A Detailed Guide to Bristol's Hard-Hitting Twin Valiant Wings Publishing Based upon the Beaufort bomber, the whittled-down heavy fighter became an excellent nightfighter, ground-attack and maritime strike in European and South Pacific theatres, with many variants and improvements along the way. Entering service in time for the Battle of Britain, it quickly fell into the nightfighter role, with its ability to carry heavy armament and equipment without unduly affecting its performance endearing it to the pilots and strategists alike. After being re-engined early on with Hercules radial engines to gain the extra power needed, it became a common sight behind German bombers at night, raking them with four 20mm cannon and wings full of six additional machine guns. The Fleet Air Arm (FAA) were also fond of the type, as it was able to carry enough munitions in either free-fall or rocket-propelled forms to deal a substantial blow to any enemy shipping it happened upon. The Mosquito coming on-stream took some of the limelight away from the Beau, and it was eventually replaced by it in many roles, most notably the night fighting arena. The Book The fourteenth volume of the popular and interesting Airframe Album series by Richard A Franks details this pugnacious heavy fighter, its versions, trials and tribulations. It spans 178 pages and is perfect bound in an A4(ish) portrait format. If you are familiar with the series you will know what to expect, with the book broken down into sections, as follows: i. Introduction A brief narrative history of the development and operation use of the Beaufighter by Fighter & Coastal Commands and the FAA, as well as those by the USAAF and supplied to other nations. 1. Technical Description Detailed coverage of construction and equipment 2. Evolution – Prototype, Production and Projected Variants 3D isometrics illustrating differences between variants 3. Camouflage and Markings Colour side profiles, notes and photographs 4. Models A build of the 1:72nd scale TF.Mk.X from Airfix by Libor Jekl and the all-new 1:48th scale TF.X from Revell by Steve A Evans. Appendices I Beaufighter Kit List II Beaufighter Accessory, Mask & Decal List III Bibliography As usual with Valiant's books, the pictures are both high quality and unusual, with lots of "behind the scenes" shots of production, testing and their ultimate capture by the Allies, plus plenty more pictures of museum examples for those needing reference pictures. I always find the 3D Isometrics very interesting to discern the differences between variants, especially as I have the memory of a goldfish. I particularly enjoyed the teaching installations that consisted of the front end of a Beaufighter, inner wings and nacelles, and behind the wing a scabbed on shed (yes – a garden variety shed) that was used as a classroom. What a brilliant diorama that would make! Conclusion Valiant Wings publish a good book about interesting subjects, and this is another one that tweaked mine right away. If you're a modeller, aviation buff or even just interested in engineering, this will make an interesting read, which you'll come back to again when you need it for references. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  13. A typical Fujimi model: not many parts, scarce interior details, very simple build and gentle panel lines. Build process went okay, some effort and several styrene strips are needed for the alignment of rear upper fuselage and the upper wing/fuselage joint. MLG interior could use some details, due to its size. Gunze colours were used over Alclad aluminium base. Upper colour is Gunze Nakajima IJN Green, lower surfaces Gunze IJN Gray. National insignia and yellow ID stripes airbrushed. AK weathering oils were used and chipping was done with various colored pencils.
  14. I just purchased this kit and thought I would get in to it while finishing off a few others as well as starting an A-20 in RAAF colours. The kit is nicely cast with minimal flash on the parts. The interior is going to be RLM 02 and the exterior is black, this will be done with various grays at this stage with minimal actual black paint involved. There are some ejector post marks that need cleaning up more than I initially thought, especially in the cockpit area and bomb bay The easy part of gluing in the cockpit parts prior to painting it RLM 02 and then detailing the dials etc. The bulkheads are going in ok and have not caused any problems as yet when test fitted with a closed fuselage. There has been a little more flash than I first thought, nothing extreme, but a little bit. It is a little bigger than I thought it would be. The join behind the cockpit is going to be a problem and will need to be filled with filler or plastic card as I can't quite get it to fit properly. This poor fitting may just change when the fuselage i s actually glued together.
  15. Ok the idea for this build is a bit of a mash up of a couple of builds I have wanted to do, but didn’t the time or the motivation for at the time. One has been running around in one form or another in my mind for quite a while now. I have come close a couple of times to starting it, (a Ho-229 was to be the base for one) and I sort of did with the Turbo-Prop Arado, but it still wasn’t quite what I had in mind. I have two similar projects on the go but they're on the back burner for a bit. The second was that I have a Planet Models Ju-388J nightfighter (Jumo 213 version) sitting in the stash that I have been dying to build and have never had the excuse to. So after seeing the Ju-88 STGB I finally had the idea of how to killer two birds with one stone and bring these two ideas together! So the plan is…… If the war had stretched into 1946 we would have seen some interesting aircraft and technologies in service, especially so with radar technology advancing as quick as is was. By the end of the war we were already seeing the next generation of radar systems which operated in the Centimetre band, like the RAF’s H2S and US H2X radars and the German FuG-240 (Berlin) & FuG-244 (Bremen) units. A few of the Ju-88’s were fitted with the FuG-240 and it was found they recovered their original speed which had been lost with the earlier radar units and their large antennas/antlers! It would have been only to be a matter of time before the use of the FuG-240 (and later versions) would have been more widespread, with it being fitted to newer aircraft models as they became available. With the venerable Ju-88 reaching it’s peak in the Ju-388 family this aircraft would have been a prime candidate for the new radar system. Well that’s the plan, chop the nose off a 388 and fit a new nose, simple really, but……….. I want it to be as believable as possible and not too whiffy which will make it a bit harder. So this will be the base, Planet Models Ju-388J-3 with Jumo 213 engines, of cause I reserve the right to add lots of other stuff as I go along, it wouldn’t a normal build if I didn’t throw in heaps of extras! The 388 is actually quite a nice model the only thing that may give me issues is the wings, they are very slightly warped and getting the dihedral right will be fun! The nose is just a resin cast of the long radome version, it looks a bit better in my opinion than the shorter version. Well best to start by cutting off the nose, luckily there is a very convenient panel line to follow for this. Strangely enough this happens to be almost perfectly round which will make life much easier as we go to fit the nose. Ok first fit, it doesn’t look all the great, I’ll need to move it forward a bit. That’s looking a bit better, so I’m going to have to add a bit to get the profiles right, I have a plan for that! First I’ll make a ring using plastic card, working with plastic will make this part so much easier! Next to fill the gap I’m going to use plastic strip like so. I just keep adding rings till I get the right diameter. Then add a disk at the back the size I require and the first part is done, only a small amount of filler required for shaping. Ignoring the joint gap for the moment I now have to decide how I want the new nose to sit, sort of inline with the horizontal axis or a bit dropped down? I like the inline one as it looks good, but I have to remember the flying attitude of the 388 (and 88 for that matter) was slightly nose up, they didn’t fly truly level! So I may need to have it slightly drooped down so the antenna face would be lined up to the vertical axis. Have a look at how the antennas were mounted on 88’s and you’ll see what I mean. Well I’ve made a start, there’s only a couple of hours work (I needed a brake from the Ta-152 as I was getting annoyed with it!) and the project is a goer. I’ve actually done the filling of the nose now as well and it’s looking good! This won’t be a full time project, just something to work on when my other builds frustrate me and I need a break from them. I can’t promise I’ll be finished by Xmas either as I’m bound to do other mods on this as I go along. This should be an interesting build!
  16. Question for the Hurricane experten out there - would Karl Kuttelwascher's Hurricane II JX*E (the grey/green over black scheme) have the yellow outboard leading edge I.D. marking, and would the wheelwells, inside surface of the doors, struts, and wheel hubs remain aluminum (silver) or be painted black? I'm about to start Hasegawa's Mk II, I have Eaglestrike's set 48126, which seems to indicate NO leading edge yellow, but does not address the gear color ... Any help would be appreciated, Thanks, Colin
  17. Good Evening one and all, Just thought I'd share a few pics of this build hot off the bench this afternoon. Airfix new 1/72 Defiant built straight out of the box, my only deviation being a set of Eduard Masks for that pesky greenhouse turret and canopy (there was no way I was doing that myself!). This was an on/off build for me but could easily be done in a couple of days. I chose the night fighter scheme as I like black aircraft and the shark mouth was a bonus. Painted Tamiya NATO black and certain panels picked out in slightly different shades to break up the plain finish. Panel wash was a mix of light and dark grey Flory washes, panel edges and chips done with a graphite pencil, and some pastels for exhaust streaksand underside dirt/grime. Anyway I hope you like her, need to get back to some jets next, enjoy the pic's and feel free to comment/critique as you wish. Thanks for looking, Eng
  18. I'm interested to find out more about the use and provenance of the grey over black post-war scheme. Does anyone know of the scheme as applied to NF Mossies? The example in the link below looks as if it's come from a Squadron Signal book, so one would hope it's based on something concrete, but you never know... http://img.wp.scn.ru/camms/ar/77/pics/9_36.jpg Doubts (aside from being unable to find a photo) are twofold: - The Sharp/Bowyer tome suggests that Mosquito night fighters wore the Dark Geen/MSG scheme to the end of their service. - Thirsk's Illustrated History (Vol. 2) has a photo of 139 Sqn B.35s in the scheme, and it's described as the RAF Night Bomber sheme. All the NF.36s in this book appear to be in DG/MSG. The scheme also appears on Beaufighters & Brigands (Malaya?) which presumably were not classed as bombers, so there's some evidence in favour of the scheme on fighters. So what were the circumstances which would dictate the application of this scheme rather than DG/MSG? I've also just remembered the Lucas volume on post war schemes, but checking that will have to wait until this evening. TIA, Jason
  19. I don't know if this has been announced here previously but three 1:144 versions of the Beaufighter are due to be issued in June by Mark 1 Models. These should be a welcome addition for WW2 British aircraft modellers. Mike
  20. Well, I have finally completed this beasty for the Bf110 GB. It is the last BF110 flown by Heinz Schnaufer’s , who was the wars most successful night fighter pilot with 121 confirmed kills. Though with this aircraft, his final, he didn’t record any kills. There is not too many details on this particular and the only parts to survive the war are the rudders which are now on display (one each) in the Imperial War Museum and the Australian War Museum. I could have chosen a simpler build than Eduard’s 1/48 Bf110G and a simpler scheme then Schnaufer’s last aircraft!!! Eduard’s Bf110 is not a simple model to build, plus add extra bits and she becomes a bit of a challenge. On top of this a colour scheme for the most successful night fighter of all times last aircraft...for which there is little to no real info or photos for and you have the makings of an interesting build (I have other words to describe it but there may be children reading!!!). A big thanks to Max (“galgos”) for invaluable help on some of the details. It was a hard build plus for those who know my work routine one that had serious time constraints! But she’s finally finish, there are quite a few things I could have done better but in the end she’s a great addition to my night fighter collection (at least she’s finished). Lastly this model is dedicated to my Dad who passed away late last year......thanks for getting me into models and having the aircraft bug. Please enjoy, build thread: build link
  21. Well I almost completely forgot about/missed this one. Like the majority probably will, I’m going for an Eduard model as well, though mine will be the 1/48 ProfiPACK G4. And being a Bf100 it was only even going to be a nightfighter for me and not just any, supposedly the last aircraft ever flown by Major Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer, the greatest Night Fighter pilot of all time (there’s a lot of debate whether it was C3+BA). Along with all the lovely gear Eduard supplies I’m adding their details set and Master models beautiful FuG 218 antenna set. As the model doesn’t support ( ) the FuG218 I had to steal the mast for my Dragon Ho229B. For decals I’ll be using Peddinghaus’s beautiful decal set, plus I got a feeling I may have ordered some resin wheels as well!! I’m really looking forward to building this one but am already super stressed over time! I know it’s 3 months but I’m about to go back to 3w/1w roster so will be away from home most of the time. It works out I have 15 full days at home until the February finish and no I can’t spend all that time locked away building...would be trouble if I did. So there will be a mad rush over the first few days of the build to get all the basics done, no step by step build this time!! :frantic: :frantic: Roll on start time!!!!
  22. Brush painted in Revell acrylics with a top coat of Tamiya satin varnish, pastels were used for the weathering. Markings are fictional for a night fighter but I wasn't about to spend £10 for decals on a £3 kit.
  23. P-61B Black Widow 1:32 Hobby Boss From the outset, the XP-61 was designed as a night-fighter, and engineered to incorporate the early radar sets that were being developed even before the war in the UK and US. The various design requirements led to a large aircraft with twin engines and fairly bristling with offensive armament. The name Black Widow was coined to reflect its sheer power and the fact that a lot of them would be painted black in their night fighting role. Its less-than-conventional twin-boom design gave it an imposing look, and in competition with the XA-26 from Douglas (later to become the Invader) it won the day. It had a long gestation period due to its innovative design, and finally reached service in 1944, too late to take a huge role in the conflict. Where it did feature, it was highly effective, and its high speed, capability at altitude, long loiter time and fire power helped greatly. The three-man crew also reduced the workload on the individual members, leaving the gunner to concentrate on the current targets while the radar operator searched for more, as well as keeping a look-out for night intruders that would seek to knock them down. The concentration of four 20mm cannon and a further four .50cal Brownings in the top turret gave it an awesome stopping power, which was enhanced by gyroscopic stabilisation of the guns, with control being selectable by either the gunner, or radar operator as needed. The twin 2800 Double-Wasp engines gave it a significant speed advantage over the bombers it was designed to combat, which it used to its advantage, downing many of the larger German and Japanese types, and plenty of fighters into the bargain. Although it served in the Pacific theatre, its use in the European theatre is possibly less well known, where it acquitted itself well, taking part in the Battle of the Bulge, and flying from airfields in France and Belgium. In the Pacific, it was used widely, replacing the Ageing Bostons and taking part in some of the notable actions and missions in that area. Some squadrons weren't so fortunate with their kill-tally, finishing the war with no credited kills. During the last months of the war the addition of drop-tanks carried under the wings gave extra loiter time, which was solely lacking in the widely spread Pacific Island campaign. After the war the Widow continued on in service, although with the rapid advances being made in jet aircraft technology, its days were already numbered. The last in service aircraft were withdrawn just before the start of the Korean War, to be replaced initially by the Twin Mustang, and then the Northrop F-89 Scorpion, which was on the drawing board even as the last shots of WWII were being fired. The Kit There has been a resurgence of P-61 based activity and interest of late, with the GWH Widow making its debut in 1:48 last year in a couple of versions, and now we have this monster of a kit from Hobby Boss. It arrives in one of HB's large top-opener boxes with a fine painting by Kostas Kavvathias, who is a member of this site. The box is large and heavy, and that is because it is pretty full of "stuff". Inside the box are twenty two sprues of mid-grey styrene, four of clear styrene (plus two clear engine cowlings), a small sprue of flexible black styrene, a set of tyres in the same black flexible styrene, five white metal nose weight pieces, two frets of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, three white metal landing gear struts, two decal sheets, instruction booklet and full colour painting and decaling guide. The first impression, once you get over the stacked box, is that there is detail everywhere. Some kits that cross my desk do so without enticing me to pore through the contents again, and don't induce a satisfied smile while doing so. This kit is one of those kits that makes a modeller grin, and 1:32 isn't my thing normally, so it's clearly doing something right. The kit has been cleverly engineered so that none of the parts are too large, with the inherent problems of possible warping and increase in tooling costs. In fact, every sprue fitted in my photo tent, which as well as being rather convenient of me makes handling the sprues easier during construction. A small thing, but I find large sprues a bit of a pain, as you have a tendency to clear your desk of things while wielding them. Construction starts conventionally with the cockpit, with the floor running the whole length of the fuselage pod. A bulkhead separates the front from the rear, behind which the turret gear will sit. The pilot's control column, foot pedals and instrument panel (which is clear) are added along with a gunsight for the under fuselage cannons, while the gunners seat and turret controls are installed just in front of the bulkhead. Each chair is made up from a large number of parts, with plenty of detail captured, as well as a full set of PE seatbelts. The bulkhead is detailed with some add-on parts such as the crew operated fire extinguisher, and from the flexible sprue, a long hose is made up from two parts and attached to a box at the top of the bulkhead, although the correct location of the other end isn't immediately clear. A large corrugated tube runs from the bulkhead (from an L-shaped cylindrical assembly) to the front of the cockpit, and is cut to length to terminate at the end of the pilot's footwell. A pair of nicely detailed sidewall parts are decorated with equipment and side consoles for the pilot, but are relatively simple toward the gunner's station, with only rib work present. Decals are supplied for all of the pilot's instruments both on the main panel and on the side consoles, although more detailed dial faces are available from the Airscale range, which is certainly worth investigating. The rear seat, which also faces forward is reserved for the radar operator, who has the same design chair as the gunner (he also has access to the gun controls, so that makes sense), and a stack of black boxes and radar screens to peer into. His workstation covers over a page of the instruction booklet and uses almost 50 parts, excluding the seat, which takes up another 20. The sidewall detail for his station is moulded into the fuselage halves, and augmented by a number of boxes and flexible tubes before the fuselage is closed up. Turning the cockpit over, and element of the gun bay is moulded into the underside. This causes some very shallow sink marks on the mid-section of the topside, which you can either fill for a dead-flat floor, or rely on painting to disguise the fact, knowing that nothing will be seen once the glazing and turret are installed. The nose gear bay is a separate part that has its own roof skin, so sink marks aren't a problem in the very visible front cockpit. It is boxed in by shallow side walls, and the deeper wheel well and crew access section is boxed in. The gap between the bay roof and the cockpit floor is filled with a custom shaped lump of white metal that is more dense and has a finer surface than the metal found in short-run kits. Wiring looms are added from separate parts, and the gear lock is added just aft of the gear leg's pivot point. The wheel well is covered by a hinged bath-shaped panel, to which a crew ladder is attached at the rear. This is shown deployed in the instructions, but closing it up shouldn't tax the modeller much. The gear leg is shown in the instructions as fully styrene, but can be replaced by a hybrid that has a white metal core that is enclosed in a styrene outer above the wheel yoke. The cannon bay is moulded to the underside of the cockpit, as mentioned earlier, to which a number of boxes are added, as well as a small bulkhead that prevents the see-thru look at the rear of the cockpit floor. The four 20mm Hispano M2 cannons are mounted with barrel braces to the bay roof, and each cannon has a nicely done hollow barrel, courtesy of slide-moulding, and a flexible length of shells that run back to the feeder holes in the roof/floor. These should be secure once installed, with little concern about them coming loose during the process of sealing the fuselage. The fuselage halves have large wing-root shaped depressions in their side, which are covered over by two identically shaped inserts that continue the internal detail mentioned above in the rear. Another large shaped white-metal weight is installed forward of the main instrument panel before the fuselage is closed up, ensuring that your pride and joy sits on its wheels rather that its tail. Cleverly, the radar assembly in the nose also hides two more weights, which masquerade as the cylindrical drums (capacitors/accumulators?) that sit behind the dish on a floor part. This is then attached to the forward bulkhead and further braced by two y-shaped legs for strength. The clear radome part is frosted, as even when left unpainted, these domes weren't totally clear. The top of the fuselage between the two main canopies is also supplied as a frosted clear part, as is the turret itself, which although slightly thought provoking as to why, shouldn't be an issue, as they hold paint as well as any styrene. It does open up the possibility of being able to "ghost" the fuselage top, but as there is little in that section other than the turret, there seems little point. The pointed rear glazing is installed along with a pair of side-windows, and a couple of small inspection panels and intakes are added to the sides of the fuselage. The top turret is next, and this is supplied as a complete unit that drops into the hole in the frosted fuselage top. It is built up from a pair of semi-cylindrical halves, into which flat internal bulkheads are added with the pivot point for the gun platform at their top. You have a choice of smooth or perforated jackets for the M2 machine guns, and all four of each have slide moulded hollow muzzled. They attach to the two part breeches, and these fit into a stepped base, with pivot points at each side that fit into the receptors on the turret body. A pair of flexible black styrene ammo feeds are supplied, which are bent once installed to enter the turret body outboard of the hinges. Front and rear access panels are added, and a ribbed turret ring is installed by sliding it over the barrels, and positioning it around the top of the turret body. It slips into the fuselage and glues in place by its tapered base. The frosted clear turret cowling is installed in the same way as the turret ring, and I'm still struggling as to why this is a clear part. The main canopy glazing has optional emergency exits for crew access, but these are only shown installed in the closed position, so some research will be needed if you plan on leaving them open. Clarity and gloss on these parts is first rate, and there will be plenty of detail visible in the cockpit even if you leave everything closed. Underneath the fuselage are the gun bays and the rear crew access, as well as the large nose gear bay doors. The barrels of the cannon pack are covered over with nicely shaped covers (or not - your choice!), and the door is just a chunk of the rear underside fuselage that hinges down with a single part ladder on the concave internal surface. At this stage of the build, the fuselage is pretty much complete, but it still needs wings, tail booms, motive power and of course the main gear legs. HB have gone to town on the engines, which are both supplied as very detailed units with their mounting frames holding them firmly in place against the firewall. Both rows of pistons, head-gear, exhaust and wiring are depicted, as well as the magnetos and reduction gear in front, which has a prop-shaft installed to hold the large four-bladed propellers in place. I can't imagine a resin engine improving much on this detail at this scale, and a pair of transparent cowlings are included to allow you to show off your handiwork if you wish. If you're not interested in that aspect of modelling, and some aren't, you simply paint the inside a suitable primer colour and paint the outer skin at the same time as the rest of the fuselage. I'd be tempted to leave a little "window" on one of the engines unpainted to allow the viewer to see the engines from one side at least. In order to close up the booms, the main landing gear bays are made up, and detail here is very nice. There are very close ribbing details in the upper roof of the bay, and some odds-and-sods added to a partial bulkhead, with the landing gear leg added at the same time as the bay walls. As seems to be the vogue with Chinese kits of late, the gear legs have to be enclosed at this point, unless you're planning on doing some adjustments to allow them to be added later. I'm actually coming round to this way of building, as long as the legs and their attachment parts are strong, which in this case they definitely will be. The legs are supplied as either completely styrene in the instructions, but there are white-metal alternatives for the main strut, in case you are worried about their strength. The parts will need a little fettling to remove the seam lines in either case, but the metal legs also have some prominent ejector pin marks on them, which will need cleaning up and/or filling. The bonus of extra strength should be well worth the effort, and if you're phobic of metal parts, you can still use the styrene alternatives. It's odd that the metal parts aren't mentioned in the instructions though. The hubs and auxiliary struts are all styrene, with the hub provided as front and rear sides that trap those rubbery styrene tyres in place. Love them or loathe them, they're your only choice out of the box, and as they are hollow (just like the real thing), I wonder if they would sag more and more over time. With these assemblies built and painted, the engine nacelle/tail-booms can be closed up, with the engines added to the bulkhead at this point. The booms are then set aside while the wings are built up. The Widow was fitted with full-width flaps, and used Zap-flaps, named after their designer, to replace the ailerons. These flipped out of the upper surface of the wing, slowing airflow and reducing lift, causing that wing to drop. These are depicted deployed on the kit, with no option of stowing them. That's a shame for such an expensive kit, but I suspect an easy scratch-build fix. Interestingly, the wings are built from four outer skin parts, split outboard of the boom location point, and joined strongly by an internal spar part that is ribbed lengthways for extra strength, and forms the attachment tab at its inboard end once installed. Before closing the wings up however, you must build up the intakes on the leading edge that are found either side of the engine nacelle. These are made up from top and bottom halves, and have full length trunking, plus PE parts for the splitter vanes, and a separate outer lip that traps the PE parts in place. A very nicely detailed part of the wing that could easily have been overlooked. A scrap diagram shows how the PE vanes are folded up into box-like shapes, and all of the joints are pre-weakened with etched fold-lines. Once closed up, two clear leading edge light covers are added, and a wing-tip light inserted in a hole at the end of the wing. The flaps are all then added, and could be depicted deployed if you wish, although they are shown stowed in the instructions. The Zap-Flaps are curved, and the PE parts must be rolled to match the profile of the supports, so a rolling tool might be useful if you want to get the correct shape to them. There are two perforated spoilers on each wing, the shorter one having two supports and the outboard long one having three. Again, there are no parts documented to show them retracted, which might be the only option if you're PE averse, or manage to make a mess of rolling the PE by some chance. Some reference material and styrene strip could be the way to go here if you don't want to have them hanging out. The wings and booms are brought together next, and have a good sized mating surface for a strong joint. There should be minimal seam filling if you take care with the joint too, as the seams are all on panel line breaks. The large rounded rudders are added at the rear on the hinge tabs, so could be offset if you wish, but remember to point them both in the same direction! Underneath the nacelle, a large PE grille is installed in a recess, a vent is added to a rectangular hole behind it, and the gear bay doors are added to each side. Interior detail on the doors is well done, but I'd leave them off until after painting to ease masking, handling and painting. The cowling for the engine is clear, as mentioned earlier, but the cowling flaps are separate styrene parts, with open and closed parts included for a little variety. Simply slip your choice of parts over the engine and glue in place, following that with the clear (or previously painted) cowling parts. Hobby Boss would also have you install the props here, but these are also best left off until the end. The rear of the boss accepts the blades, which are all keyed, and the front of the boss is then put in place to hold everything together in-line. The kit includes two types of prop, and in this instance you are instructed to use the needle-ended type, but there are broader paddle-type blades included on another sprue, so check whether your intended subject was ever fitted with the alternative blades, just in case. Final assembly sees both wings mounted on the fuselage using the large tab/spars sandwiched between the wings, and the large horizontal stabiliser is added across the full length between the two booms, with the elevator a separate posable part build up from two halves, as is the stabiliser. Four large drop-tanks are included in the kit, but if you are building any early B models, the first 62 had no hard points installed for extra tanks, and the following 38 had only the inboard tank points fitted. From the B-10 onwards, all B models had the four hard points. The two main gun-pack doors are added, and some small antennae attached to the nose and forward fuselage, finishing off the build. Markings The decal sheet is fairly restricted in content, extending to the national markings, serials, walk-ways and some squadron badges, plus instrument panel decals. The separate sheet has only four decals on it, two of each of the nose art paintings, depicting a scantily clad woman on her knees leaning back, and a topless woman sitting on a crescent moon. The decals are well printed, with thin carrier film, and even a hole in the underwing stars-and-bars for the landing light, which is nice. From the box you can model one of the following two options: P-61B 6th NFS, Capt. Ernest Thomas, March 1945 - all over black "Sleepy Time Gal" Sn. 239414 P-61B 547th NFS Lingayen, Philippines Lt. Arthur Bourque - all over black "Lady in the Dark" Sn. 239713 If I'm reading the serials correct however, Sleepy Time Gal is a P-61B-2, and as such wouldn't have a turret, and only the two inner fuel tanks. Lady in the Dark is a P-61B-15, so should have the turret with four guns and all the drop-tanks. It's entirely possible that I've got it wrong (it happens), but even so, if you look on sprue RA, part 2 is the cover for the missing turret, so you can still model it accurately if you fill the outer drop-tank points. The turret wasn't reinstated on the B until the B-11, which leaves around 150 early airframes without turrets, and over 60 Bs without drop-tanks. Please though, just check for yourself that I'm not talking drivel. Conclusion This is a monster of a kit, and will scale out to be only a little smaller than the excellent HK Model B-25J released last year. It is a well-stocked box though, and will keep most modellers entertained for a good many hours. Detail is excellent on the parts, and marks a step-change from the recent F-117 in the same scale. Some don't like the rubber tyres, and I have misgivings, and a few more parts could have improved the fit options immensely by providing closed doors for the open bays or retracted Zap-flaps, but these aren't massive problems that can be surmounted with the application of a little modelling skill. Why should you have to? Because every kit is built to a budget in the end, and the extra parts would have resulted in a higher price tag, and probably accusations of over-engineering. Apart from the tyres, the only part of the build that would cause me a little trepidation is the final joining of the wings to the fuselage and tail. It's difficult to tell whether that will be a snug fit or not, and that will be key to easing the job, as a loose wing joint would result in a rather wobbly airframe while the glue set up. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  24. Bf.110 Nachtjager (Weekend Edition) 1:48 Eduard The Bf.110 was the winner of the contest to provide a heavy fighter, or Zerstorer to the German War Machine, and first flew in 1936. Although it served throughout the war, often alongside its intended replacements, it suffered from heavy losses once the initial phase of the war was over, due to its lack of manoeuvrability compared to the newer single-engined types. It was therefore re-tasked to jobs where this was less of an issue (where possible), and this F-model Nachtjager (Night-Fighter) was just such a task. It was the first dedicated night-fighter model, and was re-designed with a three-man crew to include a radar operator in the central seat. Night-friendly exhaust dampers were installed, as were FuG 220 radar "antlers" on the nose as well as the improved DB605F engines and armour fitted to all F-models. The armament of the 110 was heavy which made it ideal for Night-Fighter duties, consisting of four MG17s in the upper nose, and a further two MG151/20 20mm cannons under the nose. An MG15 or MG81 was mounted in the aft of the cockpit on a e flexible mount for the gunner, able to fire to the sides and rear defensively or offensively as the need arose. As well as being operated by the Luftwaffe, they were also operated in small numbers by Hungary, Romania and Croatia, with a few being operated by Russia after capture. The Kit Eduard's Weekend Editions are aimed at the more budget conscious or novice modeller and have none of the resin or Photo-Etch (PE) parts that are included in their Profipack editions. They also usually have only one choice of decals, and the painting guide is in black and white, rather than the lavish colour in the more expensive boxes. The plastic is exactly that of the Profipack editions though, so what you get is of the highest quality. When initially released the newly tooled 110 was welcomed with open arms, and this feeling still lingers, although some early builders had issues with the fit of the nose and engine nacelles. This aspect has been addressed in numerous build articles online and in print though, and it is simply a matter of careful dry-fitting and fettling before proceeding to gluing the parts together. Inside the simple white, yellow and blue box are nine sprues of olive styrene bagged in pairs in Eduard's typical re-sealable bags. There are two sprues of clear parts in their own ziplok bags, and after mentioning the lack of PE, there is a small PE fret for the radar antennae, which was quite a surprise, but must make practical sense when building the antlers. A medium sized decal sheet is also included and of course the black and white instruction booklet mentioned above. If you have read one of our Eduard 110 reviews the following build process will be broadly familiar, but if not read on. The first steps detail the building of the cockpit, with the gunner and radar operator's seats back-to-back in the middle. The detail is excellent, and a PE mesh seat is supplied for the gunner, while the radar man's is supplied in plastic with a wicker-effect moulded in. The radar operator's position can't have been a comfortable one, as he's sat with the forward firing 20mm cannon ammunition cans under his feet, with his instruments sandwiched together on a panel against the back of the pilot's seat. This is nicely rendered with individual boxes that slot into the bulkhead that also includes some lightening holes for good measure. The rest of the cockpit consists of some nicely done instrument panels for the pilot, which have corresponding decals on the sheet, plus lots of additional ammo cans for the cannons and flexible mounted MG on the rear. A pair of sidewall inserts complete the "bathtub", which is then locked in place between the two fuselage halves, with a cross-brace and extra instruments added behind the pilot's seat. The nose is then built up from a central tray onto which the four MGs and their mounting rests are placed, and ammo feeds from the unseen underside are added. A small bulkhead below the front of the tray containing various pressurised bottles, is added to the tray, and the whole lot is dropped into the lower part of the nose. The upper half is built up from the cowling itself, a long box-section that runs from front to back, and two ribs that run transversely. This is of course all hidden if you elect to close up the nose, which would be sensible if you want to show off the FuG antennae to their best. The wings are supplied in halves and to these are added the engine nacelles, which are also supplied in halves, split top to bottom. Two bulkheads decorate the gear leg bays, while a basic oil-cooler unit installs inside the lower nacelle before they are installed on the wing by sliding them on from the front. Once in place the bay sidewalls are added, with some deep ribbing detail moulded in, although this means that the final painting of the gear bay is a little complicated unless you do a dry fit first to see where everything goes. Moving outboard, the wide-flat radiator housings fit into their recesses, with styrene radiator faces added before doing so. This is of course mirrored on the opposing wing, and both wings are attached to the fuselage by long thick tabs that slide into corresponding slots in the fuselage. The H-tail is supplied in single-thickness halves, with the elevators moulded in, as are the rudders at each end. The ailerons are both moulded separately however, so can be pitched at a jaunty angle to give a more candid appearance, but don't forget aileron differential and to offset the stick to the correct side, or the purists will have you! Happily the landing gear can be fixed in the nacelles later, as can the tail-wheel (of which there are two choices). They are simple, and fix to the raised V-shaped part that you install before you close up the nacelles. A separate oleo-scissor and retraction jack are installed to keep everything in place, with plenty of scrap diagrams to ensure that you get all the parts in the correct places. The wheels have a radial tread, and are supplied in halves with their hubs moulded in. Detail is good, so as long as you can hide the circumferential seam line well, they should look the part. The bay doors have nice rivet and rib detail moulded in, and have three hinge-points each, which should help when gluing them in place, and the interlinking struts should make sure you put them at the right angle. The fiddly bits are left until the end, which is a sure sign that the instructions have been designed by a modeller. Aerials, horn-balances on the ailerons, the complex exhaust flame dampers and the pitot probe are all installed in the last stages, along with the props and the cockpit glazing. I'm more a fan of installing the glazing before painting, so it looks more integrated with the fuselage, but that's just my preference, but either way you're in for a fair bit of masking. The canopy is necessarily complex to admit the three crew and permit the gunner to operate once airborne. The rear section folds up and the top panel slides back (forward as the aircraft flies) over the outside of the canopy, and this is replicated on the rear of the canopy. Some careful gluing (I'd suggest GS-Hypo Cement) will be needed to retain the clarity of the parts, and even more careful masking of the parts. The mid-section of the canopy is split into a top section that folds up and back, while the two side panels fold down, and the front windscreen has an additional armoured panel to protect the pilot in frontal attacks, which would probably be best applied using Klear to reduce the chances of bubbles between the panels and remove fogging from the equation. The final fiddly bit are the four antennae that sit in front of the nose cone. A central styrene part attaches to the nose via a small peg, and the two C-shaped bars project forwards. Each "prong" needs the last few millimetres removing (shown in a scrap diagram), and the fine PE H-aerials are bent into shape and then glued flat to the end of the prongs. Those last few millimetres are then added back in front of the PE part to depict the continuation of the pole. Do this four times and the build is complete – you'll need your steadiest hands, so no drinking the night before! The decals depict a single aircraft in the service of the Romanian Air Force, which is painted light grey with a darker grey mottle (RLM 76/75), a yellow fuselage stripe, spinner tops and wingtips (which are hard to see in black & white drawings). A separate page is printed containing all of the stencil markings to save cluttering up the main decal placement page, which is a good feature of most Eduard kits these days, and one to be lauded. The decals are printed in the Czech Republic, and are up to Eduard's usual standards. Colour density is good, registration is spot on and the carrier film is thin. My example had a slightly streaky yellow in the Romanian crosses, but if placed so that it is vertical anyone that spots it will probably think it is part of the weathering. The Nazi Swastika is supplied both as halves and complete for the tail if you want to go for complete realism and your local laws permit. The aircraft in question is as follows: Bf.110F-4 W.Nr. 5084 flown by Lt Ion Simion/Constantin Octavian, Escadrila 51 Vanatoare (12.NJG 6), Otopeni Airfield, June 1944. Conclusion Eduard's Bf.110 raised the bar in 1:48 when it reached the market a couple of years ago, and the plastic is still just as fresh as it was then. The modular design of the sprues will leave you with a lot of spare parts, including a pair of fuselage halves, and always check you have the right ones because there are a number of very similar looking parts on the various sprues that could lead you up a blind alley if you aren't diligent. I have a thing for German night-fighters, so this kit is right up my alley, and the choice of a less usual Romanian bird is a good one, and gives the aircraft a little individualism. Eduard have clearly taken steps to assist with the previously mentioned issues that early builders encountered, and this should make it easier to build for even the relative novice, although the PE FuG 220 aerials will need to be approached with care, and super-glue will be needed to attach the parts. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  25. Heinkel He 219A-7 "Uhu" 1:32 Revell The He219 had a troubled beginning, due to the internal wranglings of the various chiefs of departments within the Nazi hierarchy. Its gestation was long and significant changes were made with constant rejection for being too complex a common feature. Eventually, the prototype of the project that became the 219 was funded privately, and was rejected initially by the RLM in favour of other existing designs, but was eventually commissioned by the then commander of Night Fighter operations, Josef Kammhuber. Erhard Milch was so angry at his decision that he ousted him from his position and tried to sabotage the aircraft on numerous occasions. Despite the bitter internal wranglings within the RLM that were typical of the time, the 219 flew, and any problems were soon ironed out. Much was planned for the aircraft, including better engines, larger wings and a re-designed fuselage, but due to late war shortages and bomb damage, the only airframes that reached actual production were the A series. The A-2 had extended engine nacelles compared to the initial A-0, which housed additional fuel, while the A-5 only reached prototype stage, and was proposed as a 3-seater night-fighter variant. The A-7 was the most produced, totalling over 200 by the time records became a bit sketchy. It was powered by the later DB603E engines that produced more power, which coupled with weight-saving measures could breach 400mph, enabling them to catch the previously immune Mosquito, and several unsubstantiated claims were made by the crews flying the bomber streams at night. Of the other proposals, a few D models with Jumo 213 engines were delivered for evaluation, while the B and C models were held up by the elusive and troublesome Jumo 222 engines that dogged a large number of RLM projects toward the end of WWII. At the end of the war, several examples were taken for evaluation by the British and Americans, as the technology integrated such as the ejector seats, tricycle landing gear and the advanced radar were deemed to be rather interesting to the victors. Very few airframes survive to this day, with one in the US, and another recently salvaged off the shores of Denmark, details of which you can find here. The Kit I love the sleek purposeful look of this aircraft, so when it was announced I was very keen to lay my hands on one. I call big kits of my favourite aircraft "scale-breakers", as I usually stick to 1:48 for aircraft. Revell have a habit of producing scale-breakers in 1:32 for me, such as their excellent Ju.88, and their competent He.111. I was interested to see whether this kit would be closer in style and quality to the 88, or the 111, and I'm happy to say that it is more akin to the 88 in terms of detail. Inside the large top-opening box are a host of sprues on Revell's usual mid grey styrene. There are twelve sprues of parts, plus two more in clear styrene, giving options of three canopy types. The standard "hyper-busy" Revell instructions, and a set of decals on a large rectangular sheet. First impressions are good. Surface detail is very nicely rendered, and subtle panel lines with accompanying rivets are present on the outer surfaces, while cockpit and bay detail is well up to standard. Glazing is thin and clear, and the choice of three variants out of the box is very welcome, even down to the planned three-seater, although documentation of the various differences isn't particularly well explained during construction. In an effort to assist, I've rustled up some generalisations for you. Always check your references though! The A-2 had Schragemuzik upward firing cannon installed plus 2 wing root and 2 outer vental cannons installed. Radar antennae on the nose were FuG 220, often canted to 45o to reduce interference. The A-5 was to be either a two or a three-seater, with the /R4 subtype having a rear gunner sitting in an aft extension to the cockpit behind the two existing seats. Sadly, the /R4 is not covered in this kit. Radar antennae on the nose were FuG 220, often canted to 45o to reduce interference. The A-7 had Schragemuzik upward firing cannon installed plus 2 wing root and 4 ventral cannons installed. It also had the rearward Radar Warning Neptun R1 aerials and vertical forward facing FuG 218 antennae. The Naxos Radar Warning Receiver (RWR) was also sometimes installed in a blister on top of the canopy, but as it proved rather fragile in use, it wasn't always installed. To be sure of the various installations, you will need to check your references, and at the very least get some clues from the painting guides as to which items were installed on the particular machine that you are planning to build. The build of this interesting beast starts with the cockpit naturally enough, and Revell have managed to squeeze a substantial amount of detail into this cramped area. The side consoles are moulded into the cockpit tub, and detail there is crisp. A pair of large side braces that include some structural detail that forms the sidewalls of the nose gear bay. There is also some nicely done panel and rivet detail on the underside of the cockpit tub, which doubles as the roof for the nose gear bay. The two crew seats are installed next, with the pilot's seat having a large rail for his ejector seat. The rear crew seat doesn't appear to have the trappings associated with an ejector seat, so I guess the radar operator wasn't considered to be as indispensable as the pilot. A set of rudder pedals are provided, but they are a little chunky, inviting replacement with some suitable Photo-Etch (PE) parts, while the seats themselves are neatly rendered from a number of parts, making for good detail. The pilot's instrument panel is a single part, but has a host of dial detail on the surface, which can be painted up and then further detailed with the supplied instrument panel decals that can be found on the decal sheet. Rather than go for full coverage in once decal, each instrument face is supplied separately, which will ease the task no end. Simple add a drop of gloss varnish to the face of each instrument once installed, and the panel will look pretty good. A few additional decals are supplied for the side consoles, which shows a good attention to detail. A single-piece foot well for the pilot caps the front of the cockpit, and the coaming with its hinged armoured panel to protect the pilot in head-on attacks is installed along with the permanent glass panel that sits behind it. The radio and radar gear are supplied as a combination of all of the boxes in one part, with another part making up the blank rear of the assembly. For three of the colour schemes the topmost box on the left is removed as it is not required for those airframes. Here it gets a little confusing though, as construction phase 12 shows a flat part that isn't given a number. Looking around the sprues there doesn't seem to be a corresponding part or decal (the decal icon is present) so this reviewer is nonplussed. I'm sure someone will enlighten me though, and if so I'll update this section of the review, although I suspect it just means that the box that is removed isn't replaced. The control box for the Naxos is added to the top of the rear instrument panel much later in the build for some reason – probably due to the Naxos antenna being installed in the canopy around that time. Before the cockpit can be sandwiched between the fuselage halves, a small section of the upper tail needs removing if you are going either of the A-7 machines, to accommodate the mounting lug for the Neptun antenna. The fuselage halves are complete apart from the holes provided for the cockpit and nose gear bay, but they have a flat upper surface that runs for over half the length, and a shorter length on the underside that roughly lines up with the positioning of the wings. These sections are covered by inserts that hint at other versions down the line… or not. Look how long we had to wait for the two seat Eurofighter in 1:48! A pair of T-shaped parts sit in the fuselage, with spars extending an inch or more from the fuselage sides to give the wings some additional strength when installed. The upper fuselage insert has two square holes in the top around half way along, which can either be filled by a blanking piece, or a part that has holes in for the Schräge Musik upward-firing cannon that the German Nachtjäger used to full effect, flying under the bomber stream picking them off where the defences were usually not present. The underside insert has a separate "nose", which contains troughs for the (potential) four ventral cannons. The cannon barrels are supplied on a frame that allows the two outside barrels to be removed and used in isolation from the frame, while the barrel plugs are supplied on a similar frame that allows the outer plugs to be removed, leaving the two central ones correctly spaces for installation. Careful installation here is key to get the plugs correctly aligned with the surrounding part. This is then installed along with the rest of the ventral insert, which has plenty of cartridge chute slots cut out, with lots of nice detail engraved into the surface. The nose cone is similarly well detailed, and covers up the foot well of the pilot, which is surprisingly close the front of the aircraft. The tail cone is finished off with a bumper bulge, and the very tip, which is on the clear sprue, and has a clear red cover, so will need a little paint and masking fluid to keep it safe during main painting. Moving on to the wings, the ailerons and flaps can be set at an angle to give some variation, and are consequently supplied as separate parts. In order to show the flaps deployed however, you need to remove a little of the rear of the wing in between the hinges on the underside, in order to accommodate the drooped flaps. A set of detail parts are installed in the upper half of the wing to give some detail to the flap hinge area and provide the hinge points in the middle of the outer section. The top is added sealing a small intake in place, and the engine nacelle is built up around the moulded in top. Two bulkheads are installed first, with the forward part going through the underside of the wing skin to rest on the inside of the upper wing part. A roof skin is then inserted between them and part of the retraction mechanism is added, with the nacelles shrouding them and another ribbed rear bulkhead closing the rear of the nacelle off from view. A pair of auxiliary intakes are added to the wing leading edge on either side of the nacelles, and for good measure, a landing light on the port side, which has a plastic reflector and bulb moulded into a small slab, and a clear cover which is glued into the wing edge. Some careful painting and gluing will really pay dividends here, but don't forget to mask off the framing. The wings are then installed onto the sides of the fuselage, slipping over the stub spars that should prevent them from gull-winging later. The inner flap is slotted into two holes in the wing and engine nacelle, and it would seem to be sensible to add this with the wing, rather than after it as the instructions advise. The outer flaps and ailerons are made up from two halves that are assembled around the T-shaped hinges that would theoretically allow them to remain mobile. Whether you want to or not is a question for you to answer, but to get the correct flap angle, it would probably be best to succumb to the glue. The same is true of the elevators on the tail, which has a slight dihedral before terminating in the two rudder/stabilisers. The rudders can be left mobile too, and trim-tab actuators are added during construction, before they are added to the tabs at the end of the elevators. The engine nacelles are finished off with the cowlings, and it is interesting to note that no engine parts are provided, as the cowling contains the annular radiator blocks, which prevent any sign of the engine from showing. The cowling parts have moulded in central section that is held in place by stator vanes, and the ten radiator panels are installed in pairs within this part. A central prop shaft is then inserted from behind and the assembly affixes to the fluted stub attached to the blank front of the nacelle. A dry fit would be advisable to see what is visible from the outside before spending the time painting everything. The exhaust stubs fix into the slots on each side of the nacelle, and have a foreshortened stub to the rear, which fits into the tubular flare suppressors that these aircraft were fitted with. The tubes are made up from two halves, with a perforated front part that allows the air to blow in and usher the exhaust gases out of the rear. A scrap diagram shows the correct positioning of the tubes and their front pieces, which will need careful alignment during fitting. The instructions are given for just one side, with the parts mirrored on the other, as they were the same units, not handed as was the case with some twin engined aircraft to counter torque from the engines. Work moves on to the canopy here, and again you have a choice of three opening sections, depending on which decal option you have chosen. The bubble-topped section is suitable for the Naxos equipped example, while the other two have different sized slide-back panels on the port side. Happily, there are several parts installed to the inside of the canopy, which is good news from a detailer's point of view. Take care with which parts you install though, as some are optional for different aircraft. The short windscreen attaches to the nose, with the rear section also fixed closed, while the central section can be posed open or closed at your whim, hinging on the starboard side. A small "mouse-hole" gap in the rear canopy is filled with a styrene part and the canopy is complete. If you're careful with masking and painting, you should have a lovely crystal clear canopy when finished, with minimal distortion. The landing gear comprises of the two main struts and the long, sharply rakes nose gear strut, which was a first in its class, and of great interest to the allies post-war. The wheel rotated 90o to lie flat against the roof, which made it a great space-saver in this crowded area of the aircraft. It is built up from two halves, with a separate oleo scissor, so careful clean-up of the seam will be needed. The retraction legs and jacks brace it against the bay roof, giving it that prototypical forward slant. The bay cover is supplied as one part to be used in the closed option after removing the hinges, and is cut into two for the open option, with a retraction jack installed for the larger part. A crew access ladder is also hidden in the nose, and fits into a slot to the side of the nose gear bay. If displayed deployed, the ladder part attaches to the forward hinged door, but if closed, the door is glued flush with the surrounding fuselage. The main gear legs are more complex, having two tyres side-by-side on a Y-shaped leg that has two sub-axles attached to the central one, holding each tyre separately. The inner hubs are built up separately from the wheels and outer hubs, and attach to the square axles, one each side. The retraction equipment is made up from a number of parts, and should result in some rather well detailed legs. The gear bay covers are supplied as one part, with the hinges cut off for an in-flight pose, or cut into two equal parts to pose the gear down. The closing stages of construction deal with the props, which are moulded as a single three-blade unit, with boss and back-plate separate parts. The earlier A-2 then fixes to the nacelles, while the later A-5 and A-7 props had a spacer between them and the cowling, probably to assist with cooling. Common sense will have all the fiddly aerials and antennae added last, and for this kit that fairly bristles with them, it is an absolute must. Sure enough, this is the case, and the three options without the Neptun set have their prominent nose "whiskers" set at a 45o to the vertical, to cut down on interference. The Neptun and Naxos equipped aircraft has different antennae that are set vertical, and are supplied as complete units with the base moulded in. The two Neptun equipped A-7s even have different rear antennae from eachother, but share a common base, which attaches to the slot in the rear of the fuselage that should have been opened up earlier in the build. Two whip-antennae and a long blade antenna are installed on the underside of the fuselage, and downward turned antenna protrudes from the absolute rear of the fuselage. The upper side has a large antenna mast attached to the rear of the canopy, to with a pair of lines go to the tail booms, as well as the optional Schräge Musik autocannon barrels, as well as a pair of sensors on top of each engine cowling. The circular Peilgerät 6 IFF transponder aperture has the sensor installed in the recess, and is then covered by a clear part, which is in turn covered by a decal once painting is complete, which gives the silver "sunburst" pattern as well as framing details and a warning in German not to tread on the panel. Under the wings there are the usual dipole aerials for radar detention, plus the pitot probe on the port wingtip, and the aileron mass-balances, which are the last parts to be installed. The decals are printed in Italy, and are in perfect register on my review sample, with good colour depth and clarity. Two of the decals have silver as their primary colour, which is again well printed. The details on the instrument panels are excellent, and all of the stencils are legible, but unintelligible to this non-German speaker. From the box you can model one of the following aircraft, all of which have the same upper surface colours of mid-grey mottle over a pale grey, but differ on the underside colours where noted: A-7 W.-no. 310189 of 3./NJG 3 at Grove, Denmark, April 1945 – white spiral spinners. Alternative markings for W.-no. 310200 fuselage codes also provided. A-2 W.-no. 290123 of 1./NJG 1 Westerland/Sylt, Germany, April 1945 – Black undersides and lower fuselage sides. Black spinners with white spirals. A-7 W.-no. 310213 of 1./NJG 1 Westerland/Sylt, Germany, April 1945 – Black spinners with white spirals. A-5 W.-no. 420331 of Stab I./NJG 1 Münster-Handorf, January 1945 – white spiral spinners. Alternative markings for W.-No. 310215 with no squadron codes and black spinners with white spirals. A total of six in all, including alternative Werk Numers. All aircraft have low vis balkenkreuz on their upper sides, and are portrayed without swastikas on their tails, probably due to their deprecated status in Germany, the home of Revell. Check your references to see whether they would be appropriate and apply spares or aftermarket crosses if the mood takes you, and the local laws permit. A separate scrap diagram shows the layout of the walkway markings that were often seen on the upper surfaces of the 219, although not always. Check your references before application to be sure. Conclusion This is a major new release from Revell, and a Godsend for 1:32 scale modellers that are interested in this period. Thankfully, Revell have got the balance right (IMHO), and detail has been provided throughout the major points of interest. Construction appears to be straight-forward, and while some of the diagrams had me scratching my head a bit, sharper minds should have no trouble. The model builds up into an impressive replica of this innovative late war night fighter, with an impressive 52.4cm wingspan and length of 57.8cm, with a good couple of centimetres courtesy of all those aerials. I'm going to be hard pushed not to build this immediately, as it's just so nice. I will probably force myself to wait until Eduard or some other obliging aftermarket provider comes up with additional detail sets, as I believe that this kit deserves plenty of attention lavished on it. I think I already mentioned my fondness of this aircraft, didn't I? If you're looking for some inspiration, have a look at the video below, which although without commentary, shows some rare footage of the 219 captured and tested by the Americans after WWII. Notice that they flew it without the nose mounted antennae, which caused so much drag that the aircraft's top speed was reduced by as much as 30mph. Some photos of the completed model below show what is possible: Very highly recommended. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit
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