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  1. Cavalier Turbo Mustang III (11149) 1:48 Halberd Models Conversion for Eduard P-51D After WWII, the P-51 Mustang continued to serve with the US Air Force for a while as their standard fighter, although with every day it became more out-dated due to the headlong rush of aviation technology after the advent of jet propulsion and the race to break the sound barrier. By 1957 the last Mustang left US service, and North American sold the intellectual rights to the design that they then considered worthless to Trans Florida Aviation Inc., who intended to create a high-speed executive transport by taking surplus airframes and rebuilding them as an improved two-seat civilian aircraft. The initial Cavalier Mustangs were stripped and rebuilt without their military equipment, but apart from their livery and the taller rudder fin, they were visually almost indistinguishable from the old warhorse. They were well-appointed, with new avionics and luxury interiors, were powered by an improved Merlin engine, and were available with various-sized fuel capacities that gave a range from 750 up to 2,500 miles. Around 20 were made of the initial mark, then the Mark II was designed, with tip-tanks for extra range and various structural and avionics improvements. It was also outfitted with hard-points for weapons, and another boost to the power of the Merlin engine. Some of these were sold to Asian and South American countries, where some El Salvadoran airframes took part in the Soccer War. During this period Cavalier were actively courting the US Air Force trying to sell them the improved airframe as a Counter Insurgency (COIN) or Close Air Support (CAS) platform, but they weren’t biting, so sales were low to other customers. Soon after, they retired the trusty Merlin and replaced it with a Dart 510 turboprop, again from Rolls-Royce, although they had really wanted a Lycoming engine. It reduced the maintenance burden and was more gutsy and fuel efficient, but they still couldn’t get the US government interested. The design with the preferred Lycoming turboprop engine replacing the Dart was sold to Piper, and became the PA-48 Enforcer, but only four were made and shared so few parts with the original Mustang that there was little in the way of cost-savings from use of existing Mustang parts. Only two of the four survived the years in between, and are to be found in US museums. Many of the original Cavalier Mustangs were converted back to their original specification when Warbirds and heritage flights became popular. The Kit This is a new resin conversion kit for the Eduard P-51 Mustang in 1:48, and will convert it to the Rolls-Royce Dart equipped Turbo Mustang Mk.III that was unsuccessfully marketed to the US Airforce, and we’ve already reviewed the original Mk.I and Mk.II Cavalier conversions that carried piston engines here, which has the same preamble for obvious reasons (my laziness, and a shared story). It was an evolutionary dead-end, but looks pretty awesome, so I for one am extremely pleased to see this conversion kit, resigning the old set by the now defunct Heritage to the bin where it belongs. You can buy the set in a box with some Eduard Overtree sprues, or separately in a smaller white box if you already have a candidate kit in your possession. The conversion arrives in the aforementioned white box with a large sticker and a profile of the aircraft on the front, plus logos and a link to their eBay shop in red. Inside are 22 resin parts in Halberd’s signature green resin, surrounded by bubble-wrap and Ziploc bags, with the two large replacement fuselage parts taped together and encased in bubble-wrap to keep them safe and aligned during shipping and storage. In addition to the resin is a small set of decals on white backing paper, plus three pages of A4 instructions printed in colour on both sides. The parts are expertly cast, and the fuselage parts have all the detail of the Eduard parts, carried over flawlessly onto the new nose that extends from the front of the canopy. The new and old details are perfectly matched, which is very impressive, given the finesse of the originals – kudos indeed. This finesse is carried through to the large square-tipped prop blades, the oval side-mounted exhaust and the antennae that are attached to the new taller tail fin. As usual, take care with sanding resin, as the fine dust can be hazardous to your health if you breathe it deep into your lungs. Wearing a mask and wet-sanding will help keep you safe, and carrying out the task outdoors would be ideal. Construction begins with adapting the seat to remove the head armour, adding it and the new resin rear passenger seat to the cockpit along with the headrest as part of building the kit cockpit with whatever upgrades you may or may not wish to apply from other sources. The new fuselage needs little in the way of clean-up, but ensure it is done before you begin adding the kit parts, and remember to use CA to glue them, as resin cannot be bonded together or with styrene parts by our usual plastic glues. Not even the mighty Tamiya Extra Thin can do the job. Epoxy resin can be used for large parts if structural strength is needed, but it’s slippery stuff and takes 5 minutes for initial cure, so needs to be held in place with tape or clamps, whereas CA generally bonds almost instantly. It’s your choice of course. At the tail the fin has been adapted ready for the extended tip, and you should drill two 0.2mm holes in the sides for the antenna on each side. The fin fillet from the kit will fit in the gap at the leading edge of the tail, and the kit rudder will fit too once you have removed a short section from the top, using the new fin top as your guide. The kit canopies are used, but with the stiffening hoop omitted to avoid decapitating the passenger and a new resin part at the rear, while the windscreen loses its rear-view mirror. Going back to the fuselage, the front is finished with another fine resin part, with a top intake and a small gap between the cowling and the gearbox housing, with some fine stators visible at the back of the space. The prop boss has recesses for the four blades cut into its sides, and a peg that mates with the recess at the centre of the nose for easy installation. The prop blades however aren’t keyed, so you will need to set the angle yourself to ensure they are all correctly aligned and facing the right way. It may be an idea to create a small temporary jig to help with this. The large exhaust is fitted through an oval opening in the starboard side of the fuselage, and the inner end butts up against a recess inside the nose, so insert that before you get too far ahead of yourself and can no longer see the part’s destination. The kit wings are built up as normal, but have the front section under the nose removed back past the curved section of the root fairing, and the wingtips too, both as shown in red on the instructions. Take care here, because the centre section is shown being removed in steps in two separate diagrams, which could lead to some confusion. The tip tanks have their fairings and a shallow peg to mate to the open wingtips, and they are moulded with the nose separate to allow them to be cast as smooth as possible. I have cut one of the parts free on the previous set, and with careful fitting, the noses can be mated perfectly to the main tank section. Just take some time and care with sanding and test-fitting the joints. The pylons for the numerous weapons the Turbo Mustang could carry are attached to the underside of the wing on pins, and you should first measure and drill the holes, preferably before you have completed the wing, so take care there too. There are six pylons in total, two from the kit, and four resin parts from the conversion, all of which are set 13.5mm apart in a line. I’ve also marked these out on a kit wing and drilled them out, so it’s not so hard. The rest of the kit is put together in the same manner as the Eduard instructions suggest, but it will be key to your success to familiarise yourself with both sets of instructions to ensure you know exactly where all the parts go, and at which stage in the build you should insert them into the model. Markings There were only a few of these aircraft made, so there aren’t many options unless you’re going to go with a “what-if” scheme. From the box you can build the following: Cavalier Turbo Mustang III, Sarasota, Florida, 1968 The colour call-outs use FS numbers and colour names, and the few decals are shown in an enlarged form where necessary to save straining your eyeballs. The decals are well-printed with a thin carrier film, and a small arrow is printed next to the step-marks on the wing roots so that you fit them correctly. Stencils for the large prop blades are included, as are a selection of RR logos and fire warning stencils. My example had two decal sheets in the bag, but yours may not, so don’t assume. Conclusion The previous sets were excellent, but the sheer weirdness of the nose of this version makes me unreasonably happy, and the fact that it has been so well done almost brings a lump to my throat. You really need one for your stash, and to encourage Halberd to create more excellent oddities to fill our cabinets and stashes with interesting aircraft and their lesser-known derivatives. Extremely highly recommended. Halberd Models sell their products via eBay for their ease, and the link below will take you to their shop there. Review sample courtesy of
  2. P-51K Mustang ProfiPACK (82105) 1:48 Eduard The P-51D was developed by the North American Aviation company as a possible fighter for Great Britain, but due to the poor high-altitude performance of the engine initially fitted it wasn’t all that good. Luckily, it occurred to them to substitute a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine into the airframe and it brought out the best of its design, which included the energy efficient laminar flow wing that gave it the potential to escort Allied bombers all the way to Berlin with the addition of drop-tanks and a lean mixture when not in combat. It was flown in this guise as the Mustang III in British service, and as the P-51B/C in US service, then as the P-51D with the bubble canopy and cut-down aft fuselage, with an additional fin-fillet added later to improve stability that had been reduced by the new shape and fuel tank location. D models that were made in Dallas were given the K designation. This is the Mustang that most people think of when they hear the name, unless they’re more of a petrol head or a bit horsey. The Kit We were initially treated to the ProfiPACK, Royal Class and Weekend forms of this new tooling and now it’s everyone’s favourite Mustang in 1:48 (with good reason), with an increasing number of variants with filleted and unfilleted tails being the most obvious differences, but it goes a lot deeper and more subtle than that. We’re now in receipt of a handsome K specific variant, which includes a pair of nice decal sheets with 6 markings options, some from unusual locations. Inside the box are five sprues in blue/grey styrene, a clear sprue, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass with nickel-plating and much of it pre-printed both in colour and with domed clear instrument faces, kabuki tape masking sheet (not pictured), two decal sheets and a thick instruction booklet with the marking options printed in the rear in colour. Construction begins with the seat, which is built up first with PE belts, then the cockpit floor, tanks and radio gear are added in, with sidewall framework dotted with PE parts on both sides. It shapes up to be a well-detailed cockpit, and the PE parts are numerous and impressive. The tail-wheel bay is made up, the radiator pathway and a spinner backing-plate are all slipped into the fuselage along with a PE grille and exhaust backing panel before they are closed up. The wheel bays are built up next with some advice regarding colour added along the way, splitting the bay down the middle and bracketing it front and back with bay walls that have partial ribs added once in place, and here I can vouch for the fact that fit is exceptional, with the joints expertly hidden once complete, and incredible accuracy of tooling. This assembly is fitted to the full-width lower wing and joined by backing panels to the spent brass chutes, a central insert that shows through the bay, and a clear part for the identification lights. The wing uppers go on and the ailerons fit into tabs in their recesses, with some room for offsetting if you wish. On the leading edge is an insert for the guns, and you’ll need to fill a few panel lines under the nose and scribe one using the template supplied on the PE sheet. There are also a complement of holes that will need opening up if you’re fitting drop-tanks, so have a pin vice to hand. The wings are mated to the fuselage, and tiny clear wingtip lights are slotted in on long stalks, then the tail fins are begun. The filleted fin is a separate insert and elevator fins with two types of flying surfaces are inserted into slots horizontally, while the rudder can be fitted at any sensible angle. You may have noticed the lack of comments about the instrument panel during building of the cockpit, but we’re getting to it now. The finished coaming and rudder pedals drop into the fuselage, but are first decked out with a multi-layered instrument panel made from pre-painted PE, with those glossy instrument dials we've come to expect from Eduard, and a small deck behind the pilot. The two radiator doors under the tail are fitted at the same time as the tail wheel, with bay doors and PE closure mechanism added along the way, with a scrap diagram showing the correct orientation. Inside the main bay a pop-up landing light is slotted into its mounting point, a PE divider is added to the exhaust intake lip, and chin-scoop plus the correct panel under the nose (decal choices again), then it’s on to the main gear legs. The tyres are diamond tread, with wheels and hub caps added before they’re fitted to the struts, which have separate styrene scissor-links and door supports slotted into place. The flaps are each made up from two styrene layers with a tiny piece of PE added to the inner end of each one and a decal on the curved leading edge after painting. You’ll have to remember to add these yourself, as I won’t be any help! Those are all slotted in place on the underside along with the rest of the bay doors, and at that point you can sit her on her wheels and add the exhaust stacks. The prop is made from two paired blades that fit perpendicular to each other in a choice of two types of blades (cuffed & uncuffed) and spinner, canopy with interior structure, and a backup ring and bead sight. There’s also a choice of aerials and D/F loops on the spine behind the canopy, which of course depends on your decal choice. The weapons and drop tanks are last to be made, with a choice of three tank types that all share the same type of pylon, while one has additional supports to the sides. A few spares are left on the sprue, including a set of six rockets for under the wings, which have separate tails and moulded-in launch-rails that would be fitted three per side. All useful grist for the spares mill. Markings By now you should have your decal choice dialled in. You have a half dozen choices, and they’re quite colourful. The two sheets are separated between the individual markings and standard stencils. From the box you can build one of the following: P-51K-5, 44-11622, Maj. Leonard Carson, 362nd FS, 357th FG, 8th AF, Leiston, UK, August 1944 P-51K-5, 44-11661, Lt.Col. Jack J Oberhansly, 334trh FS, 4th FG, 8th AF, Debden, UK, February 1945 P-51K-5, 44-11631, Lt. Huie Lamb, 82nd FS, 78th FG, 8th AF, Duxford, UK, March 1945 P-51K-1, 44-11471, LKt. Carl H Colleps, 118th FRS, 23rd FG, 14th AF, Cheng Kung, China, 1945 P-51K-10, 44-12539, Lt. Everett Kelly, 6th FS, 1st Air Commando Group, 10th AF, Asansol, India, Summer 1945 P-51K-10, 44-12073, Lt.Col. William M Banks, Co of 348th FG, 5th AF, le Shima, July 1945 Decals are printed in-house with good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The stencils are dealt with on the back page in the instructions to prevent clutter and replication of effort, and also shows the various metallic and fabric covered sections for the "unpainted" decal options on another page. Conclusion We already know the quality of the basic kit, and this box has some interesting markings that will please a lot of people. You just have to narrow down the decal choices to one… or get some Overtrees again perhaps? Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  3. In the Czech Modelforum it's mentioned that after the 1/48th MiG-21, Spitfire and Bf.109 families, Eduard has as long term project the North American P-51 Mustang in the same scale. Wait and see. Source: http://www.modelforum.cz/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=68170&start=5865 V.P.
  4. Sabre F.4 Wheels (648673 for Airfix) 1:48 Eduard Brassin Kit wheels are generally in two halves, which means you have the resultant joins to deal with, possible mould-slip issues on single part wheels, and sometimes less than stellar detail due to the moulding limitations of styrene injection technology, especially in the tread department. That's where replacement resin wheels come in, with their lack of seamline and superior detail making a compelling argument. They are also usually available at a reasonable price, and can be an easy introduction to aftermarket and resin handling, as they are usually a drop-in replacement. This set arrives in the usual Brassin-themed flat pack, with a white backing card keeping the package square and the instructions wrapped around it inside. The wheels are each separate parts on their own casting blocks, while the two protruding inner hubs are to be found on another block together. The detail is excellent throughout, with tread, maker’s name and technical details on the sidewalls, plus a slight sag at the bottom where the casting block attaches. This makes for easy removal, as it is the part that won’t be seen, so if you’re a bit rough with it no-one will see anyway as long as it’s flat. The nose wheel has deep spoke detail moulded on both sides, with all wheels having a deep hole in the rear for attachment to the kit gear legs. In addition, a set of kabuki tape masking material (not pictured) that is pre-cut for your convenience is included, allowing you to cut the demarcation between tyre and hub cleanly and with little effort. Review sample courtesy of
  5. P-51K Mustang Upgrade Sets (for Eduard) 1:48 Eduard We’ve recently reviewed the new boxing of this appealing and capable WWII Allied fighter, and it’s just as good as the others we’ve seen since the initial release. 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), Brassin resin 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. SPACE Cockpit Set (3DL48037) The Eduard SPACE sets use new 3D printing techniques that lay down successive layers of different colour resin, creating highly realistic almost full complete panels that are supplied on a decal sheet. They can depict metallic shades, plus glossy, satin and matt colours too, which really ups the detail on everything they print. In addition, a small sheet of nickel-plated and pre-painted PE is included for the aspects of the set that lend themselves better to this medium, such as seatbelts and rudder pedals. The 3D decal sheet contains a main instrument panel with a number of additional shaped panels to be fitted around the cockpit, plus placards and dials aplenty. The PE sheet has the four-point seatbelts for the pilot, levers for the instrument panel, backup ring-and-bead gunsight, and other small parts. Seatbelts STEEL (FE1214) 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 in the 3D cockpit set above, the small fret contains the four-point belts with comfort pads and latch detail. Tface Masks (EX801) Supplied on a sheet of yellow kabuki tape, these pre-cut masks supply you with a full set of masks for the canopy both inside and out, with compound curved handled by using frame hugging masks, while the highly curved gaps are in-filled with either liquid mask or offcuts from the background tape. In addition, you get a set of hub/tyre masks for the wheels, allowing you to cut the demarcation perfectly with little effort. Review sample courtesy of
  6. Cavalier F-51D Mustang/Mustang II Complete Kit & Conversion Kit 1:48 Halberd Models After WWII, the P-51 Mustang continued to serve with the US Air Force for a while as their standard fighter, although with every day it became more out-dated due to the headlong rush of aviation technology after the advent of jet propulsion and the race to break the sound barrier. By 1957 the last Mustang left service, and North American sold the intellectual rights to the design to Trans Florida Aviation Inc., who intended to create a high-speed executive transport by taking surplus airframes and rebuilding them as an improved two-seat civilian aircraft. The initial Cavalier Mustangs were stripped and rebuilt without their military equipment, but apart from their livery and the taller rudder fin, they were visually almost indistinguishable from the old warhorse. They were well-appointed, with new avionics and luxury interiors, were powered by an improved Merlin engine, and were available with various-sized fuel capacities that gave a range from 750 up to 2,500 miles. Around 20 were made of the initial mark, then the Mark II was designed, with tip-tanks for extra range and various structural and avionics improvements. It was also outfitted with hard-points for weapons, and another boost to the power of the Merlin engine. Some of these were sold to Asian and South American countries, where some El Salvadoran airframes took part in the Soccer War. During this period Cavalier were actively courting the US Air Force trying to sell them the improved airframe as a Counter Insurgency (COIN) or Close Air Support (CAS) platform, but they weren’t biting, so sales were small to other customers. Soon after they chopped off the Merlin and replaced it with a Dart 510 turboprop, again from Rolls-Royce, although they had really wanted a Lycoming engine. It reduced the maintenance burden and was more gutsy and fuel efficient, but they still couldn’t get the US government interested. The design with the preferred Lycoming turboprop engine replacing the Dart was sold to Piper, and became the PA-48 Enforcer, but only four were made and shared so few parts with the original Mustang that there was little in the way of cost-savings by using existing parts. Only two of the four survived the years in between, and are to be found in US museums. Many of the original Cavalier Mustangs were converted back to their original specification when Warbirds and heritage flights became popular. The Kit Just like Halberd’s recent Bf.109W floatplane that we reviewed here, this model is available as a conversion kit only, or as a full kit in an Eduard Overtrees box so that you can either apply the conversion to a kit you already possess, or get the full package in one fell swoop. The difference in price between the two is about the same as the cost of the overtrees kit, so there’s nothing to stop you from choosing whichever one is most suitable for your needs. Within the box are twelve resin parts in Halberd’s signature green resin, plus a grey styrene sprue, and two new decal sheets. With the full kit (larger box), you also get the five Eduard grey/blue sprues and circular clear sprue in the box, which you can see below, culled from our reviews of this excellent kit. Resin & Styrene Conversion Parts Eduard Donor Kit (if applicable) You can also go through the details of the build of the base kit by following any of our Eduard P-51D reviews in this section. Suffice to say, this is our current favourite 1:48 Mustang since it came out. Highly detailed, crisp and with a growing range of options, as well as aftermarket upgrades. The Conversion We’ll assume that you’re now au fait with the contents of the Eduard box, so we’ll concentrate on the alterations made by the conversion kit. You get a full set of instructions printed in colour on both sides of two pages of A4, plus three pages of profiles for the four decal options, including the undersides on the back page. The Eduard instructions are available on their site by looking up kit numbered 82102 or clicking here. The conversion begins with cutting off the head armour and headrest from the seat, then where the radio gear would have been in the cockpit floor, the two lugs are removed and the rear seat is inserted from a part on the kit sprues, with a small resin headrest attached to the top. The tip of the rudder and fin get the chop, and are replaced by the new fin-tip, with a pair of large swept blade antennae inserted into holes in the fin on both sides. The lower wing will need a set of holes drilling if you are fitting the combination of kit and resin pylons for decal option 4. The innermost pair of holes are pre-thinned from the inside, but you will need to mark out the other four using the measurements provided on the instructions, spacing them 13.5mm apart from the inside. Again, for markings option 4, you will need to remove the original wingtips from the finished wings and use the resin tip-tanks, which have separate nose cones and a tiny resin vent on the top, with the kit tip lights slipped into a hole in the outer sides, which may need drilling out. The instructions then guide you through choosing the correct circular exhausts and the cuffed props, followed by the appropriate blown canopy and a tiny resin insert in the very rear frame of it. You also shouldn’t include the stiffening hoop inside the canopy, as you’ll slice off the passenger’s head when you open the canopy! As you’re not under threat of attack, the rear-view mirror can stay in the spares box too. The light grey sprue of styrene parts comes into play here, utilising just the two tanks to fit on the kit pylons for markings 1 and 2 only. Each one builds up from two halves and will need a little sanding to get rid of the join lines before you fit them. For markings option 4, the three pylons are inserted into the holes drilled earlier and it’s up to you what you load them with, if anything. Markings As already mentioned, there are four decal options, three of which are F-51D Mustangs, the last an F-51D Mustang 2 with the tip tanks, which happens to be my favourite option, other than the Enforcer. From the box you can build one of the following: Cavalier Mustang F-51D US Air Force Sarasota, Florida, 1968 Cavalier Mustang F-51D Bolivian Air Force, 1971 Cavalier Mustang F-51D Bolivian Air Force, 1972 Cavalier Mustang F-51D Mk.2, Fuerza Aérea Salvadoreña, El Salvador, 1969/70 The decals are printed anonymously with good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion I’ve been wishing for a good Cavalier Mustang for years now, and this set/kit ticks all of the boxes, and includes a generous four decal options into the bargain. Based upon the excellent Eduard kit, it doesn’t get much better. Very highly recommended. Halberd are currently marketing their products via eBay, so the links below lead to their site. Full Kit & Conversion Conversion Parts only Review sample courtesy of
  7. Hello Everyone... As my Condor Legion Ju.86 is nearing completion I will be gearing up for my next build. This will be Trumpeter’s 1/72 North American F-107A UltraSabre. This would have been built of course for the North American group build. I project a start sometime in the next week or so. Here are the sprue shots from a previously unopened kit. Ive done quite a bit of research with @72modeler and 99% sure will be going with the test scheme. Im not actually inspired by the test scheme and I still leave 1% open to a possible Whif scheme. I would need to find decals though for such a scheme. Most likely a former F-100 unit, or possibly F-105 unit from Europe circa early 1960’s. The theory being that these were competing with Republic for the same role, so F-105 units would also be good options. Maybe @RidgeRunner has some insights to this. I did reach out to him awhile ago via P/M but never got an answer. Questions, comments, and or thoughts please don't hesitate. Dennis
  8. Canadair Sabre F.4 (A08109) 1:48 Airfix The North American F-86 Sabre was a first-generation swept-wing jet that saw active service in Korea and beyond in US service, and was license-built by Canadair in a number of variants. Small numbers of the Mk.1, 2 and 3 were built before the Mk.4, which was destined for the RAF to fill a void in their inventory that couldn't yet be filled by indigenous types. The Mk.4 retained the GE engine, and were leased by the RAF from 1953 to 1956 as a supposed stop-gap while they waited for the Hawker Hunter, because the previous Meteors and Vampires were by that time outclassed by more advanced swept-wing jets being fielded by both our Allies and the Soviet aligned Air Forces. Curiously, some of the RAF Sabre squadrons, many of whom were in Germany at the time, eventually transitioned back to Meteors at the end of the lease. That must have been quite a come-down, akin to going from a Morris Minor to a Trabant. The airframes reverted back to Canadair, and eventually went out to other customers after being refurbished. The Kit This is a brand-new tooling of the Canadair built Sabre Mk.4 from Airfix, and there’s been a lot of excitement in the run-up to release. Since then there has been some chatter about various relatively minor issues, and as no kit is perfect that’s not surprising, but they’re pretty easy to fix once you’ve got your head round them. The Canadair Sabres have quite a following with Britmodellers due to their RAF service, so you can hardly blame them for the scrutiny. I’ve cheated and sought the advices of a Sabre aficionado, our own Sabrejet, or Duncan was we call him. Julien has chipped in a few comments as well, as he’s a bit of a Sabre fan too, with over 70 kits in his stash. Have a read of the review first, and I’ll link to the discussion thread near the end. Construction begins in an unusual place for a change, the intake trunking. It is split horizontally, and has alignment pegs on the outer edges, plus a square of four pegs on the topside to which the cockpit tub is fixed. The rear deck is moulded into the tub, and here is one of the first areas where a little work might be on the cards if it perturbs you. The details here are a little simplified, and if you’re detail focused there’s some minor changes to be made. The seat is put together from the L-shaped base, two side supports and the headbox cushion, which was usually brown, as were the armrests. As it is inserted into the cockpit tub, the instructions show it briefly with seatbelts, but there aren’t any on the sprues or on the decal sheet, so just ignore that. A pair of decals are supplied for the side consoles, and another is there for the instrument panel that slots into the front of the tub. The decals have a clear background, so you’ll be able to paint the panel in the correct colours, which incidentally should be black, rather than the Gull Grey (140) mentioned in the instructions. A very dark grey with some lighter highlights, followed by a black wash should achieve the desired effect. The control column has a gaiter at the bottom that has a separate section added to give it the appropriate width. The cockpit trunking assembly has a set of stator blades fitted to the rear along with a two-part intake bullet, and at the front you have a choice of either the hollow intake lip, or the same part with a FOD guard inserted into the trunk first, blocking off the intake for a grounded bird. Airfix have helpfully provided a pilot figure in their traditional “hands on lap” pose, and apart from the slightly passive posture, the moulding and detail is good. Flipping over the trunking, there are some ribs and equipment moulded into the underside for the nose-bay roof, which is boxed-in by a two-part wall, and should be painted interior green, while the doors should be silver. The fuselage has a couple of holes in the forward end to accept inserts, including the gun bay doors that can be closed up, or left open to show off the gun bays. The bays are a single curved box, into which the breeches of the guns fit at an angle, with the help of scrap diagrams showing the correct orientation as each one is glued into position. The magazines are inserted into the lower section of the bay, and have their ammo feeds glued to the top, leading to the gun breeches. The same process is carried out in mirror image on the other side of the fuselage, then the bays are glued in place from the inside, correctly marked as painted in silver. The airbrakes on the rear fuselage sides can also be posed open or closed by inserting a closed bay door with supporting ledges that should allow you to glue them flush to the outer skin (possibly after some fettling, so test fitting is essential), or the open bay with the bay doors fitted in the open position later, with the back of the panel painted interior green. In order to close up the fuselage you need to make up the exhaust trunk, which has the rear engine face inserted in the flared forward end, and an optional circular FOD cover over the hot end. There are two supports for the forward end that fix into sockets on the inside of the port fuselage, and a moulded-in lip near the aft end slots into a corresponding slot inside the rear, ensuring correct positioning. You are advised to put 10g of nose weight in the gap between the cockpit and intake lip, but a little more probably wouldn’t hurt, as there’s plenty of space. The cockpit & intake are also inserted into the left fuselage with the aid of sockets to hold them secure, then a long insert is placed in the area between the tail and the exhaust trunk, which also makes up the lower side of the tail fairing. If you are modelling your Sabre in-flight, you need to put in the single nose bay door insert in now, and this too has ledges to help with fitting, then you can close up the fuselage and set it aside to cure while you make up the wings. Airfix have moulded the lower wing as a full-width part, and many think they missed a trick by not adding a slatted-wing to the moulding, but we might yet see that later – who knows? Again, if you’re going for wheels-up, the single main gear bay insert should be fitted now, and this too has ledges around the edge to help with alignment. A pair of pylon holes should be drilled in each wing if you are fitting them (see my note later about positioning), and the bay walls are made up from narrow parts around the rear edge, plus a more substantial front wall that will need a pair of blocks removing if you are depicting your Sabre with the inner doors extended, as these are only used when the doors are closed, again to stop them from dropping inside the bay during fitting. There’s another nubbin under each door on the front bulkhead, so treat that the same if you’re dropping all the doors. The bay roof has two depressions moulded-in to accommodate the wheels, and this assembly is fitted into the lower wing, with additional parts installed in the outboard section, and don’t forget to give the upper wing interior a quick squirt of the same interior green, as there is roof detail moulded-in there too. If you took the decision to open up the gun bays, the very tips of the wing roots should be cut off the wing leading edge uppers along the panel line, as that section is integral to the bay door and is supplied as part of the open door parts. A scrap diagram holds your hand through this, then you can join the wing halves and fit the hard-edge leading edge lower panels with their chopped off tips if appropriate. Another hole may be needed for the drop-tanks too. The short, stocky wing fence is a little broad in the beam thanks to the limitations of injection moulding, which can easily be corrected by thinning it down, or chopping it off and replacing it with thin styrene or brass sheet planted in a razor-saw cut in the correct place. Before you can join the wings to the fuselage, there are two intakes under the fuselage that are moulded as holes in the lower wing. The inserts are installed from the inside, so fitting them later would be horrible. With that, the insert in front of the tail fin is fitted into the upper fuselage, and the wings are attached beneath, adding the L-shaped wingtip and aileron insert to the trailing edge of the outer wing as you go. The elevators are both single parts and attach with the usual slot and tab method, while the rudder is separate and can be glued deflected as you wish, but don’t forget to offset the control column to save yourself from the purists. They’ll get you! There are inserts to be added above the wing root trailing edge, then it’s gear and bay doors. If you have elected to pose your model gear up, you can skip this part, but even with the gear down you still have choices. The main bay inner doors can be posed up by using one part, or down by joining two different parts in a very sharp inverted V-shape, remembering that the short section of bay wall should be interior green, but the door should be silver. They’re supported by a short jack in the front of the bay, then the main gear leg and its captive door can be joined and inserted. Here you’ll need to remove the tiny link that has been included in error because Airfix scanned a museum airframe that either didn’t have any pressure in the strut, or was being supported to prevent sag. Some careful trimming and sanding will have it looking correct in no time, and you can carry on with putting the main wheels on, which will line up the flat-spot with the ground automatically thanks to the axles and hubs having a keyed fitting. Moving to the nose gear, there are a pair of flip-down landing lights just in front of the bay, and you can depict these in the flush position by using a clear part and masking off the circular lights, painting the rear silver before you install it, or you can use the styrene part and fit the deployed clear lights later in the build. The nose gear leg is a single part, and fits into a keyed slot in the front of the bay, and has a smaller two-part wheel slipped onto another keyed axle. A retraction jack fixes to the back of the strut, and the folded front door clips in place either side of the wheel, with a scrap diagram showing the correct location and where it links to the strut. The rear door can be posed closed or dropped sideways with a strut holding it at an angle, with that and the open lower gun bay doors shown in place on a frontal diagram for your reference, but the upper gun bay panels aren’t mentioned again, so you’ll either have to severely thin the unused closed-up inserts, or tell everyone some erk wandered off with them. The open air-brakes glue into the fuselage with their stays holding them to the correct angle, and slightly further forward next to the intakes under the fuselage you are given two small parts to locate on tiny depressions between fairing panels. These are jacking points, and were only fitted during maintenance, so unless you are planning a diorama that involves jacks, leave them in the box and if you can see the depressions, pop a tiny amount of filler in there to make them disappear. Under the tail there is a small blade to fit into another small depression, which is best left off until after main painting. There are two types of drop-tanks supplied on the sprue, a smaller pair with no fins, and a larger pair with a choice of simple fins or larger fins with a perpendicular stabiliser. I’m told that the RAF tended to use the smaller tanks, but check your references and see which style your decal choice used. They fit to the lower wing on quite stout pins, so when the instructions tell you to make 2.3mm holes, don’t skimp on the size. The big tanks have stabilising struts fitted between the body and the smaller 0.8mm hole in the leading underside panel, regardless of the style of fins. We understand that the positioning of the tanks is slightly adrift, and should actually be 52.33mm from the centre line, so if you want to get the look dead-on, you’d better get out your callipers. The model is finished off by adding the kinked pitot at the tip of the starboard wing, the optional popped-out lights under the nose, a clear gunsight, and the canopy. The windscreen is separate from the sliding canopy, and there is an insert that fits inside with a clear “lamp” at the midpoint, which is actually the radio compass loop antenna. This is a simplification of what is there, and could have been a little better, but it would have required more parts, and those details cost time and money. As it is, you have a reasonable approximation of the parts in the area, but if you have gone to the trouble of detailing the deck behind the pilot, you’ll probably want to do something similar here, detailing the support cross-member and the cockpit pressure regulator in the very rear. Once you are satisfied, the canopy can be posed open or closed to suit you. Markings There are two decal options on the sheet, and surprise, surprise! they’re RAF airframes. They are period correct schemes for the squadrons depicted, with a green/grey topside and a PRU blue underside, although the colours are printed slightly differently from each other on my instructions. Each aircraft is shown in four views, and empty space around the profiles is taken up with research notes and drawings of the drop tanks and their stencil locations. A separate sheet shows the locations of the many stencils around the airframe to avoid repetition and cluttering the pages with too many lines. From the box you can build one of the following: XB984 No.3 Sqn. RAF Germany, Geilenkirchen, 1954 XB854 No.4 Sqn. RAF Germany, Jever, 1954 Note that on the paper profiles in the kit, the fuselage codes are presented as T.B from the port side. Decals are 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 It’s a welcome new tool with a few accuracy notes mentioned in the text that shouldn't stress you to fix, a couple of colour changes needed during detail painting, but it’s a Canadair Sabre F.4, something that’s been wanted by aficionados for quite some time. You can find the initial thread on the kit here. Whilst writing, thanks to Duncan (Sabrejet) for the additional information that helped enormously in writing this. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  9. Hello everyone... This will be my 2nd entry into the build. Im going with the rather new 1/72 Sword FJ-3 Fury. I will be building this in my favorite set of markings for the Fury, VF-73 “Jesters.” For this I will be using a combination of Caracal decals and a custom set of decals Ive had commissioned. These are part of the custom decals, Jesters squadron logo’s in 1/72 & 1/48 and various sizing blue chequers for future builds. Here are the obligatory sprue shots. Im not exactly thrilled with multipart drop-tanks or the butt joint on the tailplanes. I will need to figure out a pin set up for them. Please feel free to ask questions, post comments, or add thoughts ? Dennis
  10. F-6D/K Mustang (82103) 1:48 Eduard ProfiPACK The P-51D was developed by the North American Aviation company as a fighter for Great Britain, but due to the poor performance of the engine initially fitted, it wasn’t all that good. Fortuitously they slotted a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine into the airframe and it brought out the best of its design, which included the energy efficient laminar flow wing that gave it the potential to escort Allied bombers all the way to Berlin with the addition of drop-tanks and a lean mixture when not in combat. It was flown in this guise as the Mustang III in British service, and as the P-51B/C in US service, then as the P-51D with the bubble canopy and cut-down aft fuselage, with an additional fin-fillet added later to improve stability that had been reduced by the new shape and fuel tank location. The same "D" variant that was made at the Dallas factory with hollow AeroProducts props was designated P-51K to differentiate, and when they repurposed a number for photo-recon purposes they kept the identifications after changing the name to F-6, so there were F-6Ds and F-6Ks in about equal numbers. There were two cameras mounted in the fuselage, with one camera mounted obliquely in the side of the rear fuselage, firing to the left, with the other was mounted underneath, just aft of the radiator flap. Apart from some other minor changes the aircraft was fully combat capable, so didn’t need an escort to carry out its assigned task, and some of its pilots became Aces flying recon. The Kit We were treated to the initial release in ProfiPACK form of this new tooling and it’s now almost everyone’s favourite Mustang in 1:48, with a number of variants with filleted and unfilleted tails to differentiate them. This new boxing has some different sprues, most notably in the fuselage department to accommodate the camera openings. In total there are six sprues in grey styrene, a clear sprue, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass with nickel-plating and much of it pre-printed both in colour and with clear, domed and glossy instrument faces, a set of canopy masks (not pictured), large decal sheet and instruction booklet with the markings options printed in the rear in colour. The prop blades above fell off the sprue during transit. Construction begins with the cockpit, beginning with the seat that is built up first with PE belts, then the cockpit floor, tanks and radio gear are added in, with sidewall framework dotted with PE parts on both sides. It shapes up to be an extremely well-detailed cockpit, and the PE parts are numerous and impressive. The tail-wheel bay is made up, the radiator pathway and a spinner backing-plate are all slipped into the fuselage along with a PE grille and exhaust backing panel before they are closed up. There are some minor changes required around the fuselage, beginning with an antenna hole that needs opening up, a small intake to be removed from the lower port engine cowling, and if you are doing decal option B, a small upstand and lens hole under the camera aperture will need removing and filling respectively. The wheel bays are built up next with some advice regarding colour added along the way, splitting the bay down the middle and bracketing it front and back with bay walls that have a healthy number of partial ribs added once in place. This assembly is fitted to the full-width lower wing and joined by backing panels to the spent brass chutes, a central insert that shows through the bay, and a clear part for the three identification lights, plus a couple of holes will need opening up for drop tanks if you’re using them. The wing tops go on and the ailerons fit into tabs in their recesses, with some room for offsetting if you wish, then the leading edge receives inserts for the guns. There is also a small oval inspection panel on the starboard that will need filling, a square hole in the leading edge of the wing needs opening for some decal options, and some panel line surgery will be required under the nose for other decal options, a PE template being provided to assist with this. The wings are mated to the fuselage, and tiny clear wingtip lights are slotted in on long stalks, then the tail fins are begun. The filleted fin is a separate insert and the elevator fins with their flying surfaces are inserted into slots horizontally, while the rudder can be fitted at any suitable angle. You may have noticed the lack of comments about the instrument panel during building of the cockpit, but we’re getting to it now. The finished coaming and rudder pedals drop into the fuselage, but are first decked out with a multi-layered instrument panel made from pre-painted PE. The camera lenses are inserted into their positions, and a small deck at the rear of the cockpit is installed, then the model is flipped and two radiator doors under the tail are fitted at the same time as the tail strut with separate wheel, with bay doors and closure mechanism added along the way. Inside the main bay a pop-up landing light is slotted into its mounting point, a PE divider is added to the radiator intake lip, and chin-scoop plus the correct panel under the nose (yes, decal choices again), then you must remove some tiny raised bumps forward of the flaps, then it’s on to the main gear legs. The two-part diamond treaded tyres have the hub caps added before they’re fitted to the struts, which have separate styrene scissor-links and door attachments slotted into place. The flaps are each made up from two styrene parts with a tiny piece of PE added to the inner end of each one and a coat of silver paint on the curved leading edge before installation. Those are all slotted in place on the underside along with the rest of the bay doors and some antennae, and at that point you can put her down on her wheels. The prop is made from two paired blades that fit perpendicular to each other in a choice of two types of spinner, with a couple of parts options for the different decal options, and even a choice of three canopies depending on your decal choices. The canopy has a couple of interior parts added before it is fitted, then the windscreen and PE backup-sight on the coaming, a choice of tubular exhausts or the more prominent angled style. There’s also another optional aerial on the spine for one of the decal choices and a d/f loop for three others, plus an optional PE aerial with base and the traditional mast behind the canopy. The final building decision is whether to fit drop tanks, and if so which type? There are two pairs of tank types that fit either fit flush to the shallow pylon, or with one of two types of flat supports either side of the pylon, hiding some nice anti-sway braces that are glued into the pylons earlier. Markings By now you should have your decal choices long decided upon. You have six choices, and they’re all based on a bare metal airframe with silver lacquered wings. From the box you can build one of the following: F-6D-15, 44-14874, flown by Lt. John E. Jacoby, 82nd TRS, 71st TRG, 5th AF, Johnson Field, Japan, September 1945 F-6D-10, 44-14699, flown by Lt. Clifford S. Slonneger, 109th TRS, 67th TRG, 9th AF, Gosselies, Belgium, 1945 F-6K-10, 44-12223, 118th TRS, 23rd FG, 14th AF, Chengkung, China, 1945 F-6K-15, 75th FS, 23rd FG, 14th AF, Luliang Airfield, China, 1945 F-6D-15, 44-15417, flown by Lt. Edwin H. Pearle, 2nd FS, 2nd ACG, Cox ́s Bazar, India, Spring 1945 F-6D-10, 44-14659, 111th TRS, 68th TRG, 12th AF, Fürth, Germany, July 1945 Decals are printed in-house with good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The stencils and locations where silver lacquer is used are dealt with over a couple of pages in the instructions to prevent clutter and replication of effort, which is fair enough. Conclusion We already know the quality of the basic kit, and this box continues that theme with PE, masks and a nice decal sheet adding to the package. You just have to choose your decal choice at outset to prevent any mis-steps. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  11. X-15A-2 “White Ablative Coating” (SH32081) 1:32 Special Hobby After Chuck Yaeger broke the sound barrier (officially) in the X-1, the series of experimental high-speed aircraft continued in the shape of the North American built X-15, which began in 1954, with the programme continuing until 1968, and extending to just short of 200 flights of this manned missile throughout many flight-envelopes, collecting data and experience that would be used to great effect in the following Mercury and Apollo programmes, which shared some crew, as well as furthering the understanding of atmospheric flight at high speed. It was carried aloft by a modified B-52 Stratofortress known as a 'mothership', then released, and when applicable it would ignite its rocket engine that would burn for an amazingly short time of around 80 seconds, propelling the aircraft up to a toe-curling 4,500mph. Initially it utilised two Reaction Motors rocket motors, but these were replaced by their immensely more powerful single XLR99 engine, which was powered by anhydrous ammonia and liquid oxygen, and perming solution (hydrogen peroxide – probably quite a bit more concentrated than that used to turn your hair curly) to drive the pump that fed the engine, which could be throttled up and down thanks to advances in technology after WWII. There were three aircraft built, and one was lost in a mid-air breakup that sadly killed the pilot. X-15A-2 also crash-landed, ending the day upside down and leaking fluids all over the lake bed they were using as a runway, but it was recovered and rebuilt. It was lengthened by a couple of feet and given massive additional fuel tanks to extend the run-time of the rocket engine. It was also coated in a white ablative paint that helped to ameliorate the excess heat that was generated by such fast transit through even the most nebulous of atmospheres. In the end A-2 flew a total of 55 missions in its different guises before the programme came to an end in 1968, when the delay of the 200th flight by continuing bad weather led to its permanent cancellation in favour of the Mercury programme. The Kit This is a reboxing of the improved tooling of the original 2007 X-15 kit from Special Hobby that was later upgraded to be able to depict the later launches that used the big fuel tanks under the belly. This boxing also includes a stand for the finished model, allowing a wheel/skids up pose that was the aircraft’s natural environment, way, way up in the sky beyond the majority of the atmosphere. It arrives in a reasonably sized top-opening box, and inside are seven sprues in grey styrene, a staggering 165 resin parts (many tiny ones), a clear canopy part, a sheet of Photo-Etch (PE), a small slip of clear acetate with black printing for the instruments, a length of wire and a glossy instruction booklet with spot colour throughout. I forgot to photograph the wire, sorry! This isn’t a simple scale-up of their flawed 1:48 kit, and most of the issues present in the smaller kit aren’t present in this larger model. According to my Secret Advisor, there are one or two items such as the hemispherical nose tip being a little small, and the low-slung supplementary fuel tanks may be a few millimetres short, but that would only be visible from a side-on view if you knew where to look. Overall it seems to be a good replica of this amazingly fast space-plane, depending on where your idea of space begins of course! Construction begins with the combined cockpit and nose gear bay, starting with the rudder pedal box, which is faced with a laminated PE and acetate instrument panel. This is placed on the cockpit floor, and has side consoles, and rear bulkhead with stepped rear plus shaped top inserts, then at the front a bulkhead with the three-part nose bay is attached to the front. The additional joysticks are applied to the side consoles, followed by the building of the ejection seat, which has a large number of plastic and resin parts plus PE belts for the pilot, the completed assembly sliding onto the launch rail that is glued to the rear bulkhead of the cockpit. The main instrument panel is made from three sections and each has PE detail for the instruments, while the centre also has a piece of printed acetate behind it for the dials. More PE instruments fit to the front of the side consoles, and have small PE levers fixed in place to depict the controls. The fuselage is quite long at this scale, so the top and bottom halves are each made up from two panels, tapering to the nose at the front, and very blunt toward the exhaust of the XLR99 engine. Small parts are added around the cockpit and at the rear of its fairing, then the cockpit is glued to the upper fuselage so that the two halves can be joined together and have a small hemispherical Q-ball nose added. The wings aren’t particularly large, and are portrayed with two parts each that fit into the fuselage on lengthy tabs, as are the elevators with the addition of a swash-plate at the pivot point. A scrap diagram shows the correct anhedral of the elevators, plus the blocky tail fins, which are next. Due to the weird aerodynamic requirements of such a fast aircraft, the fins are blunt and don’t work all that well at slow speeds. They are made up from various parts, and there is an optional set of parts to depict the dive-brakes at the rear in the open position. The fuselage is detailed underneath next, and has a suite of probes and hollow-tipped exit pipes in the front section, then has the simple twin-wheel nose gear strut built and fitted with the bay door on a stand-off bracket behind the leg, which has a small flap in the lower section, presumably to help deal with dust kicked up on landing. Under the rear a small vertical “tail” assembly hides away more dive brakes, which can also be posed open by adding jacks to the mechanism to project the aft edge of the two surfaces away from the centreline. A pair of strakes fit on either side of this fairing, after which the exhaust for the rocket motor is put together around the outer lip, and having various sensors and vents arranged around it, plus a deep tapering trunk that gives the depth to the exhaust. When finished it slots into the rear of the fuselage. The canopy has small elliptical windows in the front, which are moulded into the clear canopy, and has a stiffener brace attached to the inside at the rear, that can be posed open or closed. An optional resin piece can be installed over the port window depending on the mission you are planning on depicting, but no information is given as to when this was used until you look at the two decal options, both of which have the panel. The two additional fuel tanks are made up from two large halves split vertically, with small inserts added to holes in the top sides. They seem simple, but on the upper surface they have a mass of hoses and equipment, plus the big attachment points where all those pipes enter the underside of the fuselage. PE brackets, wire, resin and plastic parts go into the detailing of the tanks, and you are provided with plenty of overhead and scrap diagrams to assist you in getting it right. Take your time and pay careful attention while performing this part of the build and you shouldn’t go far wrong. Ground handling of the airframe employed the nose wheel and a two-wheeled dolly arrangement that attaches to the rear of the fuselage astride the rear dive brake fairing. This is a complex assembly, and is mostly resin with a little wire and PE parts added for good measure, then painted hi-viz yellow and fitted with two wooden blocks that were inserted under the stanchions when parked. There is a whole page of diagrams showing the correct arrangement of parts, and how the wooden blocks were utilised, so again take your time to get it all together in the correct manner. On the last page the large tanks are fitted, then joined by the rear gear trolley or an optional dummy ramjet that was carried by decal option A after loading onto the mothership to test the effects of its aerodynamics on the airframe. It wasn’t good, and caused a substantial amount of damage thanks to the speed the air moved around it, causing the tail to lift and the skin around it to burn and melt. The pilot luckily managed to nurse his aircraft back to base unhurt, but the damage was never repaired due to the end of the programme. Markings The repaired A-2 flew with the white ablative coating applied, so the overall look of the aircraft changed markedly. Many flights were made, and small differences appeared and disappeared as the aircraft evolved. The decal sheet covers one flight of this airframe before and after it was mated with the B-52, with a separate page covering the complex scheme that was applied to the fuel tanks. From the box you can build one of the following: X-15A-2 56-6671, Pilot William ‘Pete’ Knight, flight 2-53-97, 3rd October 1967. Already lifted from the trailer and hung on the B-52 mothership, ready for the first stage of hypersonic flight. When the X-15 had been fitted to the B-52, the Ramjet dummy was then fitted to the ventral fin. X-15A-2, 56-6671, Pilot William ‘Pete’ Knight, flight 2-53-97, 3rd October 1967. The aircraft configured as it appeared before its very last record-breaking flight. The machine is positioned on the servicing and transportation trailer just before being towed to the B-52 mothership. Decals are well-printed and consist mainly of stencils and warnings in red, black and some are on a silver background, so the majority of the spot colour around the airframe will need to be painted, with the stripes posing the most technical aspect of that task. Conclusion If you haven’t got one already and are interested in early hypersonic research, this will be a highly interesting topic for you, and it builds up into quite a long model at slight over 50cm for the fuselage, plus a few cm for the pipes at the rear. There is a lot of documentation out there for those wishing to portray their X-15 as realistically as possible, and the addition of a stand should come in handy for those with limited shelf-space. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  12. F-86K's at The Norwegian Armed Forces Aircraft Collection (though it now seems the one outside has been moved), pics thanks to Mikemx.
  13. P-51D Mustang Royal Class Boxing (R0020) 1:48 Eduard The P-51D was developed by the North American Aviation company as a possible fighter for Great Britain, but due to the poor performance of the engine initially fitted it wasn’t all that good. Luckily they strapped a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine into the airframe and it brought out the best of its design, which included the energy efficient laminar flow wing that gave it the potential to escort Allied bombers all the way to Berlin with the addition of drop-tanks and a lean mixture when not in combat. It was flown in this guise as the Mustang III in British service, and as the P-51B/C in US service, then as the P-51D with the bubble canopy and cut-down aft fuselage, with an additional fin-fillet added later to improve stability that had been reduced by the new shape and fuel tank location. This is the Mustang that most people think of when they hear the name, unless they’re more of a petrol head or a bit horsey. The Kit We were treated to the initial release in ProfiPACK form of this new tooling and it’s now everyone’s favourite Mustang in 1:48, with (so far) two variants with filleted and unfilleted tails to differentiate them. We’re now able to get our hands on this stylish blue Royal Class boxing, which includes a huge decal sheet with 15 markings options, plus sprues for two kits and the option of an unfilleted fuselage. In total there are 12 sprues in grey styrene plus a base of Perforated Steel Planking (PSP), which is rendered in styrene of the same colour. There are two clear sprues, two bags of resin wheels, one bag containing two sets of exhausts, four frets of Photo-Etch (PE) brass with nickel-plating and much of it pre-printed both in colour and with clear instrument faces, three decal sheets and a thick instruction booklet with all the markings options printed in the rear in colour. Construction begins with some choices of which decal options you are going to build, remembering that only one of the unfilleted options will be possible, although you can build both as filleted tailed versions. This results in you following one or other build steps using one set of PE or the other to complete the cockpit, which although broadly similar, have subtle differences between the earlier and later filleted airframes. The seat is built up first with PE belts, then the cockpit floor, tanks and radio gear are added in, with sidewall framework dotted with PE parts on both sides. It shapes up to be a well-detailed cockpit, and the PE parts are numerous and impressive. The tail-wheel bay is made up, the radiator pathway and a spinner backing-plate are all slipped into the fuselage along with a PE grille and exhaust backing panel before they are closed up. Take care with the small changes between the two fuselages, which are marked out in red, but as they are quite small they’re possible to miss. This is also the case with some of the smaller parts in the styrene cockpit where PE details are to replace them. The wheel bays are built up next with some advice regarding colour added along the way, splitting the bay down the middle and bracketing it front and back with bay walls that have partial ribs added once in place. This assembly is fitted to the full-width lower wing and joined by backing panels to the spent brass chutes, a central insert that shows through the bay, and a clear part for the identification lights. The wing tops go on and the ailerons fit into tabs in their recesses, with some room for offsetting if you wish. On the leading edge is an insert for the guns, and for a number of the decal options you’ll need to use the supplied template to scribe an extra panel line under the nose, and for others a small hole is drilled nearby. There is also a small section of the leading edge with a hole in it that will need opening up into a square hole for two of the decal options, so have a sharp blade to hand. The wings are mated to the fuselage, and tiny clear wingtip lights are slotted in on long stalks, then the tail fins are begun. The filleted fin is a separate insert and the elevator fins with their metal flying service are inserted into slots horizontally, while the fabric covered rudder can be fitted at any sensible angle. The filletless tail has fabric flying surfaces all-round and of course no fillet. You may have noticed the lack of comments about the instrument panel during building of the cockpit, but we’re getting to it now. The finished coaming and rudder pedals drop into the fuselage, but are first decked out with a multi-layered instrument panel made from pre-painted PE, and differing – you guessed it – depending on which decal option you’re building. There’s another panel to scribe with the help of a supplied template near the tail, but again… only for a couple of options. You’ve really got to keep your wits about you with all these options! The two radiator doors under the tail are fitted at the same time as the tail strut with its fancy resin wheel, with bay doors and closure mechanism added along the way. Inside the main bay a pop-up landing light is slotted into its mounting point, a PE divider is added to the exhaust intake lip, and chin-scoop plus the correct panel under the nose (yes, decal choices again), then it’s on to the main gear legs. You have a choice of rectangular and diamond tread wheels with hub caps added before they’re fitted to the struts, which have separate styrene scissor-links and door struts slotted into place. The flaps are each made up from two styrene parts with a tiny piece of PE added to the inner end of each one and a decal on the curved leading edge after painting. You’ll have to remember to add these yourself, as I’m no use! Those are all slotted in place on the underside along with the rest of the bay doors and some antennae, and at that point you can sit ‘er on her wheels. The prop is made from two paired blades that fit perpendicular to each other in a choice of two types of spinner, some more antennae around the tail (decal choices again), and even a choice of three canopies depending on your decal choices. Someone really spent time on the research for this boxing. The canopy has a couple of interior parts added, and some options have a back-up ring and bead sight added to the coaming, while a few other options have a round rear-view mirror on the canopy top. There’s only one windscreen thankfully, then you’re back choosing whether to fit a small PE bead in front of the windscreen, and whether you want wee tiny tubular exhausts or the more prominent style. There’s also another optional aerial on the spine for four of the decal choices. My head is spinning from the choices right now, but we’ve got more ahead of us, but just the weapons and drop tanks. There are four pairs of tank types that all share the same type of pylon, although two types have flat supports either side of the pylon, hiding some nice anti-sway braces that are glued into the pylons earlier. For one solitary marking option you fit a set of six rockets under the wings, which you’ll have drilled out the flashed-over holes before you closed up the wings, or take an educated guess at based on the flood swirls that are visible on the surface until you prime or paint them. The rockets have separate tails and moulded-in launch-rails and fit three per side. Markings By now you should have your decal choices locked in. You have a lot of choices, and a lot of them are really colourful. The three sheets are separated between the individual markings, standard stencils and national markings, plus an addendum sheet for a set of blue lines from option N, the originals being a little too curved. From the box you can build two of the following with the caveat that you can only build one filletless bird: P-51D-5, 44-13317, flown by Capt. Donald R. Emerson, 336th FS, 4th FG, 8th AF, Debden, United Kingdom, September 1944 P-51D-5, 44-13500, flown by Capt. Robert J. Goebel, 308th FS, 31st FG, 15th AF, San Severo, Italy, 1944 P-51D-5, 44-13561, flown by Maj. Richard E. Turner, 356th FS, 354th FG, 9th AF, Orconte, France, September 1944 P-51D-5, 44-13693, flown by 2nd Lt. Bruce W. Carr, 353rd FS, 354th FG, 9th AF, Orconte, France, October 1944 P-51D-5, 44-13837, flown by Lt. Richard Ozinga, 343rd FS, 55th FG, 8th AF, Wormingford, United Kingdom, September 1944 P-51D-10, 44-14798, flown by Maj. Joseph Broadhead, 357th FG, 8th AF, Leiston, United Kingdom, January 1945 P-51D-10, 44-14467, flown by Lt. Gordon H. McDaniel, 318th FS, 325th FG, 15th AF, Rimini, Italy, March 1945 P-51D-15, 44-15080, flown by Capt. Amos H. Bomberger, 361st FS, 356th FG, 8th AF, Martlesham Heath, United Kingdom, December 1944 P-51D-15, flown by Lt. Charles White, 301st FS, 332nd FG, 15th AF, Ramitelli, Italy, January 1945 P-51D-20, 44-64124, flown by Capt. Leroy V. Grosshuesch, 39th FS, 35th FG, 5th AF, Okinawa, August 1945 P-51D-25, 44-72628, flown by Lt. Ralph R. Coltman/ Lt. James E. Coleman, 458th FS, 506th FG, 20th AF, Iwo Jima, July 1945 P-51D-25, 44-72671, 457th FS, 506th FG, 20th AF, Iwo Jima, June 1945 Mustang Mk.IVA, KH774, flown by Fl/Lt. Ellis F. Blanchford, No. 112 Squadron RAF, No. 239 Wing RAF, Italy, April 1945 Mustang Mk.IVA, KH729, flown by S/Ldr Mitchell Johnston, No. 442 „Caribou“ Squadron RCAF, RAF station Digby, United Kingdom, June 1945 Decals are printed in-house with good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The stencils are dealt with over a couple of pages in the instructions to prevent clutter and replication of effort. Seems reasonable! Conclusion We already know the quality of the basic kit, and this box includes two of them, some resin, PE, a huge decal sheet and base to put one of your finished models on that makes it a lot more fun. You just have to narrow down the decal choices to two… or get some Overtrees maybe? Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  14. Evening everybody... Id like to present my 1/72 Trumpeter F-107 Ultrasabre. I built in the “They also serve group build”. I built mine as 55120 which did indeed serve with NACA/NASA from 1957-59. I however was not inspired by the factory test scheme of silver lacquer with red panels. While researching NASA test aircraft looking for photo’s I came across two of Convair’s Aircraft. The Delta Dagger and Dart in a striking ADC Grey and Gloss Sea Blue scheme. Thats when the gears started to slowly grind through the rust that is my brain. I decided to build the 107 as a Whif in this scheme. Theorizing that NASA kept it for longer and decided to repaint it in a different guise at some point to match the Convair types. So I present you my F-107 circa 1971 in the later Scheme. Please feel free to ask questions, post comments, and or add thoughts. Dennis
  15. As part of an Easter Blitz build run by my club I dug this one out of the stash for a quick build. It goes together quite quickly with little fuss after painting cockpit parts the interior green. The canopy is now on and has to be masked. Almost paint shop time.
  16. Hello guys, with my Mig 3 finished, I decided to start my fourth Mustang in 48 scale. I'll be using Barracuda decals for the P-51D CY-G. The description on the history section indicate the pilot flew two aircraft with the same registration but with different builder numbers. What differentiated both aircraft was that one had D-Day stripes and the other not. I'll be building the aircraft that didn't have the stripes (because I'm lazy). Still, since I don't trust the nose checkerboards to conform the nose profile, I'll be masking and painting the nose checkerboards. This will be a fun painting project.
  17. I'm looking for photos of the cockpit of the F-51H in ANG service. Were these repainted in black as the F-51D cockpits were? Secondly, are there any photos floating around on the internet that show the Texas ANG option of the Modelsvit 1/48 kit? Cheers, Erik.
  18. P-51D Upgrades (for Eduard) 1:48 Eduard Brassin We’ve got Eduard’s new P-51D Mustang at the top of the heap in 1:48, and they’re filling all those remaining holes for the super-detailers with additional sets of Photo-Etch and masks, plus resin sets, which I’ll detail in a separate review. P-51D Upgrade Set (481000) This fret of bare brass contains detail parts to upgrade the kit in the cockpit and around the airframe. Starting with the aft compartment with skins for the boxes, additional parts for the sidewalls, rudder pedal skins, a new brass seat to optionally replace the tubular framed kit one, or to upgrade the bracing struts at the sides and top. In the gear bays there are additional hoses and clips to retain the bay doors when closed, with more hoses and oleo-scissors on the legs themselves. In the radiator bay there are new skins for the radiator cores and an additional internal structure with oval grille, with a new cooling flap at the rear. In the nose there is an insert that fits into the two options for the grilles under the nose, either mesh or perforated. Seatbelts STEEL (FE1021) STEEL seatbelts are 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. Tface Masks (EX663) Supplied on a sheet of yellow kabuki tape, these pre-cut masks supply you with a full set of masks for the canopy both inside and out, with compound curved handled by using frame hugging masks, while the highly curved gaps are in-filled with either liquid mask or offcuts from the background tape. In addition you get a set of hub/tyre masks for the wheels and formation lights, allowing you to cut the demarcation perfectly with little effort. Decals (D48033) If you need some extra National Markings for your US P-51D then Eduard supply these as a separate decal sheet. These are printed in house by Eduard and should pose no issues. Review sample courtesy of
  19. Hi all, I started this battle a few months ago with one of the Anigrand's resins I accumulated over the years. Thankfully I stopped purchasing them some time ago: as much as they can be tempting subjects for my tastes, the building experience is always somewhat painful! So let's start with the raw materials: Not much in the way of references: the program was terminated before any metal was cut so there is only a mockup (with two iterations) as reference and much imagination. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_XF-108_Rapier Most of the material available is in this feature article and a similar one in Le Fana de l'Aviation n°527.
  20. North American T-2C Buckeye. Pics thanks to Dennis taken at The Illinois Aviation Museum.
  21. Started on my Yale, and after some time spent scraping the inside of the wing trailing edges to get a sharp result I moved on tp look at the instructions for the cockpit. It says that all interiors are Zinc Chromate. To me, that means bright greenish yellow., so my first reaction was strongly negative. Thinking a little, I suspect this means the tinted zinc chromate normally referred to as Interior Green, although the actual shade seems to have varied from one US company to another. I further suspect that the colour used by North American on its Mustangs, and possibly also its T-6s, has been mentioned on this forum before. Possibly even the Dull Dark Green available from Colourcoats (ACUS24) or their Green Zinc Chromate (ACUS22). But was either colour used on the earlier NA64 Yale, built in late 1939/early 1940? Can anyone help here?
  22. North American F-86A Sabre (code FU-178/8178) For modelling notes this aircraft has had the leading edge slats wired shut and wing fence added. Both for flight safety reasons which the original A model did not feature. Pics thanks to Martin.
  23. Ready for inspection the Airfix 1:72 North American P-51D Mustang. Is a straight forward out of the box build, and my first experience of painting using Humbrol silver. I'm fairly pleased with the overall effect (I'm brush painting not airbrushing). In future I won't be painting the silver first as masking it was a nightmare (bits peeling off with the tape). I've gone for minimal weathering as I like the shiny metal finish of these planes. All in all a nice little kit.
  24. Hi! My little 'stang! Kit manufacture: Airfix Scale: 1/72 Type: North American P-51D Mustang Extras used: Scratch seat belts from tape . Paints and colours used: AK Xtreme Metals Aluminium, AK Dark Aluminium, AK Black Base Primer, Tamiya XF-7 flat red, XF-3 flat yellow, XF-85 Rubber black, XF-62 Olive Drab, Vallejo 71.010 Interior Green, various Vallejo colours for hand painting, AK Gauzy Agent, Flory Dark Dirt. So this is another kit I've been working on for another group build/SIG on another forums. It was all about metal finishes, and as I've never really attempted a true NMF, I thought I'd give the new excellent AK Xtreme Metals a go. The kit is a fantastic mojo-buster. Fit is generally excellent, detail is good, engraved panel lines are lovely. The only problems I had were a warped landing gear strut, so the wheel had to be superglued to the undercarriage door, and the antenna was so full of flash it was unusable and had to be scratched from plasticard. I'm fairly pleased with the result of the AK Xtreme Metal and I loved the AK Gauzy agent; self levels a treat and doesn't diminish the metal finish. I did have a problem at times with the AK stuff pealing away with the masking tape despite de-tacking and leaving the paint to dry for a week at a time. However it goes on a treat and looks beautiful. Comments, tips and feedback as always greatly appreciated. And here are my two latest completions hanging out with each other! There we go! Thanks for stopping by. Have a fantastic Christmas everyone, I hope Santa fills your stockings with plenty of kits! Val
  25. After its T-6, Kitty Hawk is to release a 1/32nd North American OV-10D Bronco kit - ref.KH32003 See CAD drawings herebelow Sources: http://www.themodellingnews.com/2014/01/yee-har-kittyhawk-to-let-loose-large.html https://fr-fr.facebook.com/Kagero.SM https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=ms.639006636156204.639006599489541.639006522822882.639006542822880.639006722822862.bps.a.639006416156226.1073741960.224979750892230&type=1 V.P.
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