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  1. While working on Vc from Malta, I pulled out "Spitfire Mk.V" by Revell - the well known 1996 boxing featuring some nice looking details and some massive blunders. I actually thought it is mk.Vc so I started it planning to build it with Xtradecal decals I used for the other Spitfire. But as you may be aware, it is in fact mk.Vb. Oh well. At this point I decided to build it as LF version as I do not have clipped Spitfire in my collection. Kit has decals for it - AEoE, EP120 (boxart plane). So I built model with clipped wings. And then I learned Revell idea of "Sky" as used on code letters and band is too dark. I looked through my spares box but haven't found any decals for LF version of mk.Vb. I do have some nice ones for full span wings. Sigh. Now I am not sure how I will paint it. Either I will stay with AEoE and ignore that letters are too dark. Or I will make undocumented plane from 303 Squadron that operated some LF Mk.Vb from late 1943 to June 1944 using RFoD codes from well known Zumbach's plane from the period when 303 first operated ordinary Mk.Vb (Oct'41-June'43). Cockpit is one of the weakest parts of this model that would require complete rebuilding. On the other hand, transparencies are so terrible, you will not see much of this. So, as I started this model with attitude "I have it so I will build it" I decided to paint what little there is and hide it under the glass. The other major problem is obviously lack of gull wing. I decided to check if I can do something about it. Using rotary tool and sandpaper and copious amounts of putty and surfacer plus actual forcibly bending the plastic parts I managed to get some promising results. During this process I learned changed shapes interfere with cockpit floor. This plus the fact that this "flat" part has no panel lines (despite model having very nice panel detail overall) got me thinking and I believe this may be actual reason why they flattened this piece - they could have discovered that there is a problem when building test shots and at this point the only way to make body buildable was to carve into mould to flatten it. At some point (I have this model for a long time so box was opened numerous times) I managed to lose kit spinner so I fitted Rotol prop from Airfix. Is it acceptable? If the shape is bad I may print new one as I got the files when building Malta Spitfire.
  2. Dassault Mirage 2000C (03813) 1:48 Carrera Revell The Mirage family of fighter aircraft began in the late 1950s as a brainchild of Marcel Dassault, using the delta wing format and having no horizontal tail surfaces. The Mirage 2000 is the final mainstream (ignoring the Mirage 4000, which did not see service) 4th generation development of the general concept before adoption of the Rafale by the French Air Force in 2000. The C in the title for the fighter stands for Chasseur or Hunter. As well as two internal 30mm DEFA cannon the aircraft is armed in the air-to-air role with Matra R550 Magic, Matra Super 530D, and MBDA MICRA Missiles. In addition to the Mirage C there is a two-seat B model trainer, N model that has Nuclear Strike capability, and D model Ground attack version, all of which saw service with the French Air Force. Mirage 2000 aircraft have also been sold to Egypt, India, Peru, The UEA, Greece, Tiawan, Brazil, and Qatar, many of which are still in use, although at time of writing, Greece retired theirs a couple of years ago. The Kit This is a reboxing by Carrera Revell of a Monogram kit that was first issued in 1982, and was later upgraded with some weapons, most notably the Exocet missiles, and a one-piece lower wing. The kit arrives in a shallow end-opening box with a painting of the subject on the front, and inside there are four sprues in grey styrene that don’t have the modern runners around the edges to protect the parts from damage or accidental removal during handling. There is also a small clear sprue, a wide decal sheet and the instruction booklet that is printed in colour on matt paper, with painting and decaling instructions on the rear pages. Detail is reasonable for the era, although the panel lines on the underside of the wings are engraved because of their later tooling date, while the rest are raised, which might make a little extra work for the modeller if the urge takes them it rescribe the rest. There is a little flash here and there, but much of it is on the sprues, although a little is also present on the parts, but flash is easily removed, and is preferable to short-shot parts on any day of the week. The clear parts are in good shape, although my sample had a little light scuffing on the canopy that could be sanded and polished away with little effort. Construction begins with the cockpit tub, adding the instrument panel in the front, building the Martin-Baker Mk.10 seat from three parts, and adding decal seatbelts before installing it in the sloped rear of the cockpit along with the control column. There is also a crew figure that is moulded mostly in one part, with a separate right arm for the control column that should allow it to be positioned accurately on the control column. The pilot’s back is hollow to help reduce the likelihood of sink-marks on the figure, and to assist in a close fit to the seat or waving to someone if you prefer. The fuselage halves have sidewall detail moulded into their inner surfaces, and these should be painted before the cockpit tub is glued to the starboard side, and the walls of the nose gear bay beneath are inserted underneath and into the port side, so that the fuselage can be closed and the seamlines dealt with in your preferred manner. The clear windscreen and HUD glass parts are fitted to the front of the cockpit opening, then the assembly is put to one side while the wings are built. The lower wing is moulded as a single full-span part that also has portions of the lower fuselage moulded-in, gluing the upper wings over the top, and then unusually moving on to the making of the main landing gear before it is joined to the fuselage. Each gear leg comprises a single strut with retraction jack added, and two-part wheels glued to the stub axle at the lower end, fitting the captive bay doors next to the strut on the outer edge of the bay. It’s probably wise to skip ahead and join the fuselage to the wings before doing this, but the instructions blunder on with the weaponry next, making a large three-part finned fuel tank for under the centreline, a couple of Exocet missiles on custom pylons, and a pair of Magic A2A missile on their own pylons on the outer stations. This is where the two assemblies are joined in the instructions, and good luck dealing with any seamlines without knocking any of the weapons or gear legs off if you followed the instructions! The single SNECMA M53-P2 engine is not depicted, but the afterburner ring is trapped between a tapering length of trunking and exhaust petals, which slides into the rear of the fuselage under the tail once completed, and to avoid any possibility of see-through effect, the four holes in the trunking ‘plant pot’ would be best filled with styrene sheet or something similar. At the intake end, the blanked off fronts of the nacelles either side of the cockpit have a two-part intake with shock-cone on the inner face, and a strake added at an angle to the horizontal on the outer surface, with a scrap diagram helping you get the angle right. If you followed the instructions, your Mirage is lying nose down on the table at this stage, which is about to be rectified by the addition of nose gear, which is moulded as a single strut and retraction jack, which has a pair of trapezoidal landing lights added, one on each side of the strut, and two single part wheels, one on each side of the short cross-axle. This plugs into sockets in the shallow bay, then it’s a case of adding the various probes and sensors around the model, one on each side of the fin, two at an angle in front of the windscreen, plus another in the centre, and the pitot probe at the very tip of the nose cone. The final act is to decide whether you want to pose the canopy open or closed by gluing the tab at the rear of the part into a slot behind the cockpit at an angle or otherwise. Markings There are two decal options on the wide sheet, both wearing the same basic scheme, but one with special markings to set it apart from its in-service colleague. From the box you can build one of the following: Mirage 2000C/RDM EC 1/2 ‘Cigognes’ Dijon, France, 1994 Mirage 2000C/RD EC 5/330 ‘Côte D’Argent’, Centre D’Experimentations Aeriennes Militaires EM AA Monte-de-Marsan, Tigermeet 1996, Beja, Portugal Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion It’s not the newest kit in the world, and you might want to consider rescribing the raised panel lines if you’re so inclined, but there are some good decal options to make this old kit more appealing. Recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  3. Here's a bit more nostalgia from me. I was a primary (elementary) schoolboy in Sydney in 1985 who raced home on a cloudy afternoon, desperate to see the incoming Concorde. February 14 1985 was the first time, as far as I know, that Concorde had arrived in Sydney since the prototype toured in the early 1970s. Luckily I got home in time - Concorde was late! My house was under the flightpath to Kingsford Smith, and before too long I saw the beautiful aircraft come roaring along, nose angled down for landing. As it passed I raced up the hill from my house, with my mother in tow, to keep the aircraft in sight and make the moment last. That's always been a vivid childhood memory for me so I figured I should commit it to plastic! I've wrestled with this old Revell kit for a year. I don't know if this is victory or abandonment but I'm calling it done. I found it hard to photograph - if anyone has pro-tips for photographing big white models let me know. There is a subtle wash through the panels which doesn't really show up here. I've used Bra.Z resin (intakes and windscreen) with the F-DCAL Negus and Negus livery sheet. I painted the vertical stabiliser using masks made with a stencil cutter - a first for me. Hopefully the spirit of the build comes across. I'm not trying this one again.
  4. With the Jet provost done and the other activities out of the way, it’s time to get back in the saddle and do some more modelling. For a bit of a mojo boost, I watched Top Gun, Top Gun Maverick and The Final Countdown on DVD’s. So tonight, out came the Airfix F-14A Tomcat (blueprint box) and the Revell F-14D Super Tomcat from the stash - both 1/72. I’m going to try to build them both together stage by stage (rather than build one and then the other). The Revell is better in detail as it’s a much later kit, but the Airfix one still has a certain charm to it - even with the raised panel lines which I’ve decided to leave to see how it turns out. So, the first stage was to build the two cockpit tubs. The Airfix one is much longer then the Revell and both have raised detailing in the some consoles in roughly the same depth. The ejection seats are worlds apart in detail, so I might see if I can 3D print something a little more interesting for the Airfix kit. Otherwise the offices are fairly well detailed considering….. Both tubs were painted with Tamiya XF-19 Light Grey (as it’s what I had to hand) and are drying off. They will both receive other colours to highlight the consoles and IP’s. I’ve also bought an extra set of Airfix F-14A decals which offers two options - TopHatters and the Black Aces - to go with the Bounty Hunter and Grim Reaper options for the kits.
  5. As part of my effort to clear my backlog of started kits I have dug out my Matchbox Spitfire. I started this literaly decades ago, but didn’t get far. I have looked at it occasionally, but no action. Then I bought some Xtradecal decals for it, SAC MkIX undercarriage legs, MasterCasters interior, Master gun barrels. Finally I found out about the Grey Matter correction set for the nose, which of course I immediately ordered on a wim. Having now spent about ten times what the original kit cost, guilt has led me to this, my first WIP. It will not be a tutorial, I am not that good, it will not be a guide to the ultimate accurate Matchbox Spitfire, but posting about it will serve to prod me to get it built. With a little luck, at about the halfway point, somebody will announce a new accurate Mk 22/24 for you guys waiting for one. We will start with the nose, the Grey Matter nose is one seriously large accurate lump of resin. I may scratchbuild the u/c legs out of brass because even the SAC legs might fold under the weight! It also might be the first Spitfire build to need weight in the tail to prevent it becoming a nose sitter. You can see the difference with the kit item. The panel lines look much more to scale than the Matchbox lines-lol.
  6. Greetings all, An Easter holidays completion from me - Revell's 1/32nd scale Hawker Hunter FGA.9 more or less OOB, other than some aftermarket decals from AeroMaster and some home-made FOD guards. This kit is really under-rated in my humble opinion - it has lots of detail OOB and beautiful surface detailing from a time when Revell were at the top of their game. I had no issues whatsoever with the build - it's about as close as you can get to building Lego - and it went together in a few days. Paints were Xtracolur enamels with a splash of Humbrol Matt Cote to finish it off. Some light weathering was done with Mig pastels. All in all a very enjoyable build - and it only cost me a tenner under the table at a show! All the best, Tom Hawker Hunter FGA.9, XG207, 58 Squadron, RAF Wittering, mid-1970s.
  7. Brussels Airlines introduced around half a dozen special liveries on their A320 fleet,all representing Belgium arts. In this case the Smurfs. I assume everybody remembers the cartoons with those blue dwarfs and their enemy Gargamel... PAS decals offers almost all of those liveries,but I guess some of them are just too difficult to reproduce in decal and kit form. The smurf design has its fair share of difficulties as well but it can be done. The decals are very nicely printed and of excellent quality. The most tricky part is the paint and masking job. Lots of photo reference was needed and I also made a copy of the decals that went over the windows to line out the demarcation between the blue and white. For the blue I used Revell blue 52 which I found a good match. The fading black to blue on the fin was achieved with a piece of paper holding in front of the blue.A few trials were needed to get it right. Its a funny livery and a real eye catcher in my cabinet. Thanks for looking Alex
  8. Hi all, I seem to be making good time with my main GB build (1/32 Arado Ar 234) so I am risking all and putting in a second build in true WWEMD style The box is a bit beaten up but packied with goodies! Thanks go to Britmodeller @BushBrit66 for the kit and accessories. As this is a Revell rebox (it's the Dragon kit) all the sprues are packed together in one big bag. The build also includes the very nice Verlinden cockpit and engine set. Although it doesn't include a full engine, the exposed detail is very nice. And obviously the cockpit is completely overhauled. There's also a cornucopia of reference material which should make this a cinch. I rarely build in this scale so it all feels rather fine and little, so this will be a nice side-build I can keep busy with while struggling with the resin MDC Ar 234! Thanks for looking, Alan
  9. My first 262 was the original Airfix one released in 1960. I never thought it looked quite right but it has taken them until 2017 to replace it. After that I built the Frog kit released in the early 1970's, perhaps a scaled down version of the Hasegawa 1/32 kit Frog imported back then. Now I will have a shot at the 1997 Revell version- Looks like it comes with rocket tubes! Pete
  10. DHC-6 Twin Otter, 440 Transport Squadron of CAF
  11. This is the Piper PA-48 Enforcer I'm planning to build for the GB. Although not a true Mustang, this has been approved by Patrice @TEMPESTMK5 and will be the Halberd Models resin conversion for the Revell P-51D-15-NA kit in 1/32. Here's the raw materials... The very nice Revell 1/32 kit. This is the later edition with the fin fillet to complement the earlier -5-NA. It's not as finely cast as the more expensive versions, but it goes together really well. Great parts breakdown, especially in the cockpit. Enables much finer detail than the traditional moulded sidewalls. Lots of armament options as well, with two drop tank variants, 500lb bombs, and 5in rockets. Three canopy options, including the required blown Dallas canopy for this aircraft. This is the ludicrously good Halberd Models conversion set for the kit. As @trickyrich will tell you, the quality and fit are superb for a resin/3D conversion, especially considering the size of the parts. As you can see this is a very extensive set - two replacement fuselage halves being the most substantial parts, plus the tip tanks, prop and spinner, cockpit floor, ejection seat and lots of pylons! On with the show... Cheers, Alan
  12. Hi, Here's my Revell F-84E with Aeromaster decals. That 86th FBW must have been quite a sight, I hope to reproduce a little of that magic. After years of looking for the F-84E and only seeing F-84G's, I finally found several last year at a modelling festival and from an estate sale. The one from the estate sale (a modeller named Jean-Claude of the Amay Models Club) had a bit of work done on it. He removed what looks like external reinforcement plates around the Main Landing Gear wells. I've circled the areas in red on the picture below. The shape of the ones in front of the wells reminded me a bit of the compressibility flaps on late P-38's and I noticed that there was a stencil with quite a bit of text on them. Stencils 40 and 41 on the Revell kit sheet. Fearing that the stencil might mean "stay away from this flap!" I looked at it with a magnifier. The stencil is about electrical plugs. I plan to use Jean-Claude's lower wings on this build as this will be the earliest F-84E that I'd want to build and thus the best one to do without external reinforcements. Cheers, Stefan.
  13. Golden Age of Transport is an interesting subject for a GB, certainly something that is on my mind every now and then - but I haven't actually built any kits for. So I searched for a kit that would suit this GB and came across a Dornier Do X. The biggest and heaviest of it's kind that made world records that lasted past WW2 - and made a transatlantic test flight that lasted almost two years! It's almost as much as a boat as it's a plane. Pilot controlled two 'throttles' - left and right. But they were not really throttles, they simply signalled the engineers inside the wing - and they made the adjustments to the twelve engines, much like in ships. All in all, certainly a worthy subject of this GB!
  14. Hi all, with my second build about to be wrapped up and a few weeks before the Baby Boomers GB starts I thought why not fit another kit in here whilst I'm on a hot streak. So I picked up the Revell rebox of Hasegawa's Hs 129 in 1/48. The main pull for me was the kit features decals for a Panzerknacker based in Libya and I'm yet to do a North African campaign luftwaffe build. Specifically this Henschel captured at Castel Benito airfield. Looking forward to it, thanks for looking in!
  15. Dear Friends This is the Revell Ju 88A-1 which has the short squared off wings compared to the A-4. The best part of the Revell kit is the beautiful cockpit. I felt some of the fuselage panel lines where a tad deep so sanded the whole fuselage right down, particularly near the cockpit. Here I added the Eduard PE cockpit and Eduard MG-15 machine guns. The decals are from the Xtrakit BoB set. This aircraft went out to bomb Woodley airfield in October 1940 near Reading under clouds, couldn't find it so went to alternate target of Hatfield and hit the de Havilland factory (with Mosquito prototypes damaged). The airfield defences weren't asleep and the hit the Ju 88 which crash landed shortly afterwards. Hope you like it? Andrew
  16. Normally I am not such a great fan of presenting somewhat botched models, but here we go in the name of complete honesty (after all, not all kits come out perfect, don't they?): As mentioned in a previous post, I am in quite a spare with my race car models since some years. Suddently it 2eemed, as if I could do nothing right anymore. Consequently, I had like 5 unfinished kits sitting around, where I got stuck because of some flaw or the other. And a stack of about 30 kits which I didn't even dared to start. Recently I decided to just go ahead again ... I went with the "easier" Revell 1/24 kits before trying my hand again at my stack of 1/20 F1 cars. So, after completing one of the unfinished cars, I wanted to do this little kit as a "weekend edition" out of box (I even left the engine completly out). It went pretty well in the beginning, until I decided to use the kit provided decals for the yellow parts of the livery. The decals either would really bend in all the right directions or, with the help of softener, dissolve nearly instantly. As a result, some of the not dissolved pieces dry on wrongly and partly scaled of afterwards, while the dissolved sections looked like anything but the original. To add to the insult, I also had massive problems with the fitting of the rear wing. Which, honesty - remember - started with me glueing the wings to the endplates forward side backwards. It didn't get better after that .... I tried to correct some parts with paint but then just went ahead and finished the build without too much care for covering all mishaps or any more details (as one result, there are no exhaust pipes within the "chimneys"). I tried the pictures from the best angles and actually the car sitting in my shelf on a not too prominent spot, it is - let's say - OK. (here you can spot some of the damage, especially around the front suspension and near the "E" / "elf" on the engine cover) Thanks for looking and coments welcome as always. Cheers
  17. Happy Easter folks! Here is my attempt at Revell's new(ish) big Hurricane. Decent enough kit for the price, although some quite clever design in places is let down by the soft plastic as the pieces aren't as sharply moulded as they might otherwise be. Nothing a bit of effort can't overcome though. Thanks for looking, J.A.
  18. I have always admired the look and lines on German Uboats and thought how cool it would be to have one on display. I purchased a several of the Revell 1:72 kits and put them aside. I decided to research a little learn a little about the Uboat before construction of my kits. Sooo, I bought a few books on the the Uboats and have been reading some of the history which they were involved in as well as other sub books too. Das boot 04/21, Blind mans bluff 05/21, Twenty million tons under the sea 05/21, Iron coffins 05/21, The luck of the draw 05/21, Operation Drumbeat 06/21, Torpedo junction 06/21, Gunther Prien and the U-47 (reading now). So after dragging my feet for a bit I started the kit last Thursday on July 1st.
  19. I thought I would also build another classic Baby Boomer - the Hawker Hunter. I built the original Airfix Mk 6 released in 1960 in black plastic to represent one of the "Black Arrows" display team from 111 Squadron, and then one of the remoulded FGA 9 kits Airfix released in 1983, and still have at least one of the later 1994 boxings in my stash which I was thinking of converting to an earlier mark, but more recently I picked up a Revell kit cheaply and so I thought I would try that. I was never entirely happy with the Airfix remoulding - something did not look quite right but I have no idea why. I will now have a chance to see if the Revell kit looks better. It was first released as a Mk 6 in 2005, reissued as a Mk 9 in 2008 and this is a 2018 reboxing. Pete
  20. Following my comment on @John Masters's thread, I realised that I had not shared that build that I completed at the end of 2020. If my memory is any good, this aircraft is an F.6 that received the rear part of an FGA.9 with the parachute housing and not an FGA.9 as Revell state on the box. Final pictures: The build: Moulding: This picture is typical of what was in my box: Flash, heavy sink marks and soft surface details caused by the moulding issues. Nothing major but frustrating nonetheless when it comes to a kit that is not supposed to be short run... Having said that, a fired of mine who had acquired several boxes right after the kit was released did not have the same issues. Cockpit: The cockpit tub is very nice OOB and the seat was improved using my usual process (lead wire, Tamiya masking tape strips, plasticard, aluminium foil, Magic Sculp and stretched sprue): The cockpit sides were detailed using plasticard and a punch-and-die: The backplate was the area that needed more improvements: I also added a collimator before gluing the windshield: Once painted, it looks really nice. I did not use the decals but painted everything by hand using a sharpened toothpick and Vallejo acrylics: Air inlets: It is advisable to add a shim of plasticard where the wings meet the fuselage around the air inlets. Otherwise you will be left wth a nasty gap at the top and bottom junctions: The air inlet cone is missing and the resulting empty space is quite noticeable. I made some off 0,2mm plasticard sheet: Painted white at the front and going black at the back to give an impression of depth: Parachute housing: It had a very nasty sink mark and the panel lines had nearly disappeared. It took quite a bit of time and effort to bring it back to a decent condition: I had to rescribe and add missing rivets to quite a few hatches / covers, mostly on the wings. Overall fit: In spite of the moudling issues, the overall fit was good and little filler was needed: Painting and weathering: The model was painted using Mr Hobby Aqueous over an Ammo One Shot black primer: Grey: I sprayed a highly thinned H331 DSG in a mottling fashion, building up slowly the coverage and letting the black show through around the panel lines. Then, I made some highlights using H337, insisiting on raised details and the centre of the panels. I finished with some post-shading using Panzegrau. Green: I used H73 DG follosing the same process and made highlights by adding H313 sand to the dark green. I toned down the effect with several light mists of H73. Red: I primed the area in white, then applied a coat of yellow and finally the red base coat (H13). I applied some shadows using a highly thinned dark brown. I then applied the decals, though most roundels , the code and fin flash were painted using masks cut with my Silohouette: I like to get the landing gear and weapons out of the way as quickly as possible, as I consider them as a chore: Then, I applied the washes: I used True Earth Neutral brown on the underside, Black on the camouflage and Dark Brown on the red. The weathering was done using mostly felt tip pens and aluminium and dust weathering pencils: Finally I applied a light coat of VMS matt varnish. In hindsight, I probably should have been more restrained on the weathering. But at the time, I wanted to give it a worn out look. On some pictures, they are in a worse condition than shown here with large patches of white showing underneath the red on the wings, for instance.
  21. It's that time of year again when I find all sorts of new projects making their way towards the workbench...! I know I have plenty on the go already, but most of these are awaiting paint which requires better weather - I spray outdoors and need warmer, drier conditions. As @Paulaero will understand, these other models are generally at least 95% built, which qualifies me to start on something new in the meantime! 😁 This build is partly a new challenge and a bit of repetition too. The new bit is refurbishing one of my older models and this will form the bulk of this thread. The repetition part is concurrently building two untouched Revell 767-300 kits, which I did here a couple of years ago and I don't see any point in documenting it here again! However, these kits will throw up a few challenges along the way (more on this when I get to those parts!), hence their inclusion into this thread. Let's start with the model to be refurbished. I would guess that I built it around 20 years ago, when my modelling skill set was rather more limited than it is now. It is the Revell 767-300, with RR engines and built to depict G-BNWA which I flew regularly at back in 2003. The model has been in the attic for years and I think it must have been dropped at some point too - luckily I still have most of the pieces: It's certainly been neglected and the attic did it no favours - it's covered in grime: The refurbishment will consist of the following tasks- 1. Open the fuselage up and fill the windows with Milliput 2. Removal of the damaged undercarriage and rebuild the model with the gear doors closed 3. Replacement of the missing windscreen (the only piece that I cannot find!) 4. Removal of the old paint and re-spraying with an accurate demarcation line and correct shade of blue 5. Production of custom decals to give the model a new identity To complete this introduction, the other two models in this build were purchased cheaply but with a few pieces missing. More importantly though, they both have the sprues for the RR engine option, so these will be built as BA aircraft. Here are the sprues: And another shot, showing the first task completed - Milliput is applied: It is well past its 'use by' date and quite dry and crumbly, but perfectly good enough for this job!
  22. Leopard 2A6M+ (03342) 1:35 Carrera Revell The Leopard 2 is the successor to the earlier Leopard Main Battle Tank (MBT), and was developed in the 70s, entering service just before the turn of the decade. The initial design had a vertical faced turret front, while later editions had improved angled armour applied to the turret front that gives the tank a more aggressive look and provides much better protection from an increased likelihood of deflecting incoming rounds away. It has all the technical features of a modern MBT, including stabilised main gun for firing on the move, thermal imaging, and advanced composite armour, making it a world-class contender as one of the best tanks on the market. The original Leopard 2 variant entered service in 1979, but has been through several upgrades through its service life and the current production variant is the highly advanced 2A7+, with the 2A8 waiting in the wings. The 2A6 is still a powerful battlefield resource however, and likely to be so for some considerable time. It sports the Rheinmetall 120mm smoothbore gun with the barrel extended over the A5, which results in a higher muzzle velocity that improves its penetration power over its predecessor, allowing it to reach targets at a greater range and hit harder. It also has an armoured ammunition storage space in the turret that is engineered to blow outward in the event of a detonation of munitions, which again improves the crew survivability further. For close-in defence they are fitted with an MG3 machine gun, and the armour is installed to give it an arrow-head front profile to the turret, as well as several more subtle upgrades that follow on from the 2A5. Sales of the Leopard 2 have been good overseas because of its reputation, and Canada, Turkey, Spain and many Nordic countries use it as well as many other smaller operators. The 2A6M is a mine-protected variant for use in asymmetric combat and in the likelihood that IEDs or mines have been planted to destroy the heavy armour before it can roll over their lightly protected positions. These were upgraded in the mid-2010s to the 2A7 standard, but due to monetary constraints only fifty vehicles were converted, only using the + designation until the completion of the programme in 2017. The upgrades involved new comms systems that include a field telephone on the rear bulkhead, replacement of the potentially dangerous Halon fire extinguishing system with a more environmentally friendly chemical system, as well as new sights for the commander and gunner, bringing them up to modern standards. The Kit This is a new boxing of Revell's 2012 tooling of this type, as evidenced by the raised copyright lettering on the inside of the floor pan. It arrives in an end-opening box, with a painting of the Leopard wearing European camouflage while another big cat, the Eurocopter Tiger flies behind it. Inside are eight sprues in grey styrene, in a welcome move away from the green Revell used to use in their AFV kits. There are also four sprues of flexible black plastic, plus four runs of track in the same material, and a clear sheet of acetate (not pictured – it’s invisible) that is marked as "window sheet" on the instructions. A short length of wire (not pictured) is taped to the instruction booklet, and the ends are quite sharp, so avoid stabbing yourself like I once did some years back. The decal sheet is hidden away in the centre of the booklet, and is protected by a sheet of thin greaseproof paper, as is the clear acetate. The kit is clearly a modern heritage, and has some nice detail on the outer hull, including patches of anti-slip coating on the main surfaces. The large circular cooling fans on the rear decking are particularly nicely done as separate parts, and should look well once painted. The odd splitting of the track could cause some issues however, as each track is made up from two halves that must be glued together before they can be fitted to the tank, but won’t react to normal styrene glue, so would be best done with super glue or epoxy glue, which would require the joint to remain relatively straight, so positioning them in the middle of the top and bottom track runs would be beneficial. Construction begins with the hull, which is built up from separate sides, held in alignment by two perforated bulkheads that sit in slots in the floor plan. An insert is added to the right rear side, completing the lower hull by fixing the rear bulkhead in place. The upper hull is mated with the lower, fitting a hatch on the right side, and one of the two circular cooling vents on the engine deck. Suspension details such as bump-stops, swing-arms with stub axles detail the hull sides, after which seven road wheel pairs are slipped over the axles on each side, and four return rollers per side. The idler wheels are smaller than the road wheels, and the drive sprockets are built from two separate toothed parts each. An appliqué armour panel is added to the underside of the tank, which improves its mine resistance, although unusually it doesn’t have an angled keel to deflect the blast like most other anti-mine packages. As mentioned earlier, the tracks are of the rubber-band type with nice detail, and if you can live with the curving of the links around the drive sprockets and idler wheels they should suffice. Each length is made from two sections, which have a generous four-link overlap and two pins on each link to strengthen the join. You are instructed to glue them with ordinary plastic adhesive, and you are recommended to clamp them together and wait until they are properly cured before handling them, but you’ll be in for a long wait, as I tested liquid glue and it had no melting effect. The pins are flush to the track pads on the outer face, so filling or hiding them under the fenders and against the ground would be advisable once you have attached them to the vehicle. The rear bulkhead of the vehicle has a large radiator grille running along the full width, which is a little shallow, but with some black paint in the recesses, should suffice for most modellers. A couple of turnbuckles are glued to the lower edge, and under the ends hang the two flexible mudguards that are made from the same plastic as the tracks, and the field telephone box with handle in the centre. Two other panels are fixed to either side, one with a bracket that receives the convoy light shield, applying a decal or painting the white cross by hand if you prefer. Three towing shackles and the rear light clusters finish the rear of the vehicle for now, installing the flexible towing cables with styrene eyes later. A set of pioneer tools are added to the rear deck, gluing barrel cleaning rods to the front deck, and the afore-mentioned towing ropes are fitted. If you're not happy with a mould-line running down your tow-ropes, now would be the time to replace it with some braided wire or cord, using the kit parts as a length template. Moving to the glacis plate, spare track links on a palette with the front hazard lights are installed, along with the usual shackles and headlights, followed by the driver’s hatch, which has detail inserts fixed front and rear. The fenders are integral to the top hull, and only the side-skirts need to be added. These are made from two basic parts on each side with tapering forward sections, and overlaying thicker appliqué armour over the front two road wheel stations and idler, plus the rear sections that locate on a long guiding tab moulded into the back of the parts. The turret is a complex shape, and the base is made up from three parts, onto which the main gun is built up with a block in place of the breech. The barrel is supplied in two halves, split vertically lengthwise, and it has some nice moulded-in detail, so take care aligning the parts and again when cleaning up the seam. The barrel is tipped with a hollow muzzle, but this is a little shallow, so might be better drilled out once the glue is dry. The mantlet section that raises with the gun is built up around the base of the barrel in three parts, and this is then added to the lower turret, being locked in place by a pair of trunnions that permit the barrel to raise and lower. The top of the turret is a large part with only one two-layer panel in the rear right added along with the sighting system's lenses that are installed from inside. This is mated to the bottom of the turret, after which the side panels and bustle are added to complete the main part of the turret's construction. The angled panels that bolster the armour of the turret's arrow-head front are installed next, and here there are were some quite significant sink-marks in previous boxings that seem to have been almost totally eradicated in this boxing. A bustle stowage box is created from a four-sided part with separate roof, glued to the rear of the turret, then the roof of the turret is festooned with various small parts, including antenna bases, armoured surrounds over the vision blocks, the new sight in front of the commander’s cupola, which utilises two parts cut from the clear sheet for its lenses front and rear. Another sighting turret is installed behind and to the left of the commander’s cupola, and the TV sensor box at the front is outfitted with its doors, which you can pose open by cutting the part in half and gluing it to the outer edges of the box. Lifting eyes and two crew access hatches are made and installed in open or closed positions, fixing the gunner's MG3 to the edge of his hatch. Triangular mesh baskets are made from four parts each and installed on the angled rear corners of the bustle, and these styrene parts would be prime candidates for replacement by aftermarket mesh to give a more realistic appearance. The smoke grenade launchers are fitted to each side of the turret just forward of the baskets, and these are made up from individual barrels attached to a rail with supports moulded in. To create the aerials, the instructions tell you to cut and heat up one end of two 75mm lengths of wire before plunging them into the aerial mounts that were added earlier in the build. Whether super-glue would be a less hazardous option is up to you. Just be careful you don't stab or burn yourself at any stage. It hurts. The turret can then be added to the hull by twisting it into place to lock the bayonet lugs under the turret-ring flange. A pair of rear-view mirrors are added to the front of the tank, and the last part of the build is to decide whether to lock the barrel to the rear for transport, or leave it free with the transport-lock stowed between the two large fan grilles, one of which has been left off until this point, possibly to ensure that the base of the travel-lock that is moulded into the grille is correctly lined up. Markings There are two decal options included on the sheet, both of which are painted in NATO green, brown and black camouflage. You can build one of the following from the box: PzBtl 104, Pfreimd, 2018 PzBtl 414, Bergen-Lohheide, 2019 Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion The Leopard 2 is an impressive and capable tank, and this kit should build up into a good rendition of it with a little care and attention to detail. Whether you want to replace the tracks or not depends on your priorities and budget, but the flexible tracks included are well-detailed for their type. Highly recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  23. The Northrop F-89 Scorpion is an all weather twin-engined interceptor designed and produced by the American aircraft manufacturer Northrop. It was the first jet powered aircraft to be designed for the Interceptor role from the outset to enter service,as well as the first combat aircraft to be armed with air-to-air nuclear weapons in the form of the unguided Genie rocket. First flew in 1948 and entered service in 1950. For this GB, I plan to build Revell’s 1/72 F-89D/J kit. I will be finishing it as the aircraft shown on the boxart, a F-89D from 61st Fighter Interceptor Squadron from Ernest Harmon AFB, New Foundland, 1957. Why this one? I like the look of the aircraft with the large wingtip rocket pods (containing a 104 ‘mighty mouse’ FFAR rockets) and more importantly it has a big smiley face on it.
  24. Hi all, Here’s my entry for the GB, it’s the Revell 1/48 Beaufighter TF.X. It will be in the markings of 144 Squadron based at RAF Dallachy in 1945. This aircraft (NE831) was damaged in the disastrous Black Friday raid on the 9th February 1945 when 9 Beaus were lost to flak and fighters during a raid on Norway. She ended the day with a belly landing back at Dallachy and never flew again. Fortunately there are a lot of photos of this aircraft showing some interesting variations and weathering of the finish which should make for a satisfying modelling challenge! The markings will come from Aviaeology, in addition I have an Eduard etched set, the Aerocraft cowling correction plus a stack of bits taken from an old Tamiya kit that recently went to the scrapyard. So far I’ve cleaned the parts up and got rid of some of the flash. More updates to follow in due course! Chris
  25. Afternoon all, Latest completion from me - Revell’s 1/144th scale Boeing 747-400 with DrawDecal’s British Airways decals. It’s been built out of the box, other than my usual mod to these kits in adding some height on the cockpit crown area with some Milliput to correct the profile. Although it’s getting a little long in the tooth now, the kit still builds reasonably well once excess flash is removed! I was really sad when BA retired the 747 - not only is it one of my favourite commercial aircraft but I’d flown on them more than any other type and thought I’d do my own little tribute to ‘The Queen of the Skies’. The real thing was my last 747 flight when she brought me back from Australia once… the ‘Kangaroo Route’ is now 777 or 787 and it’s not quite the same. Long live the Queen! All the best, Tom
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