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  1. M1A2 SEP Abrams Tusk II US Main Battle Tank (72-003) Meng via Creative Models Ltd The Abrams Main Battle Tank is the direct replacement to the M60, when it was realised that the venerable design was ill-suited to further modification to cope with emerging threats that were entering the battlespace. The new design entered limited service in 1980 and went on to become the main heavy tank in the Army and Marines branches of the American armed forces. It saw extensive action in the two Gulf Wars, where it fared extremely well against older Soviet designs with minimal damage inflicted in a tank-on-tank fight due to its composite armour and accuracy at extended range. It was developed further with the AIM programme, which upgraded the battle management systems and returned the vehicles to factory fresh condition. The A2 was improved again, giving the commander his own sighting system as well as other system changes. The SEP received additional changes to its armour and systems, with a remote weapons station added later. With the involvement of the Abrams in urban combat during the Afghanistan campaign, it became clear that the tank was vulnerable in close-quarters combat, where the top of the tank was open to attack from small arms fire, and RPGs could be used with relative safety of the firing team, who could pop up and disappear in between shots, giving the tank crews little indication of where the shot originated. The problems of IEDs buried under roads or in buildings also disabled several tanks in action, all of which led to the TUSK and improved TUSK II upgrade packages, which stands for Tank Urban Survival Kit. To counter IEDs a shallow V-shaped keel was added to the underside to deflect blast away from the hull, reactive armour blocks were added to the side skirts and turret, and bullet-resistant glass and metal cages were mounted around the crew hatches on the turret to provide protection for the crew during urban operations, or if they were called upon to use their weapons in combat. A combat telephone was also installed on the rear of the tank to allow better communication between accompanying troops and the tanks, as well as slat armour at the rear to protect the exhaust grilles of the gas turbine engine, the blast from which was directed upwards by a deflector panel that could be attached to the grille to avoid cooking the troops behind. The TUSK II kit improved on the original TUSK with shaped charges incorporated into the ERA blocks on the sides of the tank, and additional shields for the crew when exposed. Both kits were field-installable, which reduced the cost and time the vehicles spent out of commission. The A3 variant is intended to incorporate many weight-saving changes, such as internal fibre-optic data transmission, lightness of armour and gun, amongst many other improvements. This is still distant and far from guaranteed, given the changes already seen in planning that have included a totally new platform, so it looks like the A2 will be around for some time yet, possibly until 2050 while the politicians make up their minds. The Kit This is a brand-new tooling from Meng from their new 1:72 scale AFV range, and it arrives in a sturdy end-opening box that should be as hard to crush as any top-opener. Attractive box art is found on top, while painting details are on the back of the box, and inside are six sprues of light grey styrene, a clear sprue, a small decal sheet, and a black and white instruction booklet in portrait A5, with a sprue diagram on the rear page. Detail is good, with link-and-length tracks, separate ERA blocks, raised weld-lines, and detailed road wheels that are moulded individually, rather than in a long run as with earlier kits from other manufacturers. In terms of detail, this could well become the de facto standard in this scale, based on what we have seen. Construction begins with sixteen paired road wheels and two drive sprockets, all of which are made from two halves, and are set to one side while the lower hull is made up from floor and two side panels that slot into the back of the suspension mounts moulded into the floor for a strong bond. The swing arms are moulded into the floor, save for the two forward wheel stations, which are linked together by a damper, and are formed from a separate part that is slotted into holes in the side walls along with two return rollers per side. The TUSK keel, front idler wheel and rear drive sprocket are then installed so that the tracks can be made up, built from two long runs top and bottom, two diagonal lengths under the ends, and a curved section of three links to fit around the ends of the road wheels. The Abrams doesn’t have much in the way of sag in the top track run, but these won’t be seen, so it’s a little accuracy hidden away, and it’s possible the top run could be omitted to save modelling time if you feel the urge. The upper hull has headlight clusters and the driver’s hatch fitted before the lower hull it given a rear bulkhead, which also has light clusters moulded into the rear in cylindrical projections, adding a field telephone box, towing hook and eye, plus the afore mentioned blast deflector for the hot exhaust. The two hull halves can then be mated, and the side-skirts installed, followed by the curved ERA panels over the top, locating them on four lugs in the surface of the skirts. The majority of the turret is moulded as a single part, with just the rear bulkhead a separate part with the crosswind sensor pole moulded-in, adding the gunner’s hatch, the binocular FLIR box on top with optional open doors to display the clear lenses, a spare ammo box for the pintle-mounted crew weapons, and the drum-shaped gunner’s primary sight to the roof. The gun is moulded as one part with the fume extractor hump and a separate muzzle with velocity sensor, after which it is plugged into the mantlet, with coax machine gun moulded-in, held in position by gluing the top and bottom turret halves together, taking care to keep the glue away from the pivots. Each side of the turret has a set of stowage boxes with IFF placards moulded-in, topped with a lid and separate ammo can, fitted in place with the smoke discharger packages at the front on their mounts. Armour plates and ERA blocks are applied over the front portions on both sides, leaving the IFF boards exposed, and installing the top of the mantlet on a tab, again being careful with the glue. The aircon unit is fixed to the floor of the stowage area at the rear of the turret, mounting the tubular frame, IED disruptor aerials, another tubular rack for more storage that includes a couple of jerry cans, and a separate IFF board hung on the rear. Crew protection is begun by installing a protective shroud around the left of the gunner’s hatch, creating the machine gun emplacement on a ring around which the heavily modified LMG is rotated, protected at the sides by two window panels that have clear panes in the centre, and for once the thickness of the glazing is suitable for the scale. A third glass panel is fitted to the right, with another without a window on the left, which usually faces the commander’s more complex cupola. An eight-block vision-block ring is inserted from under the cupola, which has a two-part hatch inserted into the centre, then the M2 .50cal with ammo box is slipped through the front splinter guard, which has two clear panes installed, adding a three-facet fixed set with individual windows on the right, and another two-part pair of windowed panels on the left, all of which fit into the top of the cupola on slots. As if there weren’t enough guns available, the remote .50cal mount over the mantlet is attached with an ammo box on a separate bracket. To finish the build, the turret is lowered onto the hull and twisted into position, locking on a pair of bayonet lugs moulded into the turret ring that correspond with notches in the hull ring. Markings There is only one decal option supplied in this boxing, the details of which are found on the rear of the box. It’s a desert vehicle from Iraq, painted a desert tan. From the box you can build the following: The decals are printed in China, and beyond that we don’t have any more information. Under magnification they are a little hazy, but once applied they should look fine to the Mk.1 eyeball, especially after a little weathering to the finished model. Don’t let it put you off, as everything looks worse under 3x magnification. Conclusion A well-detailed new tooling of the almost ubiquitous Abrams in smaller scale, which should put some of the older tools out to grass, and allow modellers to build a more detailed, modern US MBT out of the box, and at a pretty reasonable price in our inflation-soaked world. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  2. Hi Everyone, Thought I`d show you some pic`s of my latest effort: my attempt at a Vietnam era Kiowa from the 1/48 Heller kit Finished to represent an aircraft of the 17th Cavalry Regiment, based at Quan Loi, Vietnam, 1970 What you see is mostly what you get in the box, but with the cable cutters left off and I decided to make life a bit more difficult.... .....by displaying it with all the doors removed as seen in many photo`s taken at the time. The rear doors were easy enough but the front windows come with part of the windscreen frame and upper windows attached and took some careful cutting and filing. Then just added some door armour plates and some bits of wire around the cockpit and rear cabin. Decals from Print + Scale Set 48-060 Hope you enjoy, thanks for looking Cheers Russ
  3. Hi all, Here's my just finished 1/72 Diamond T Asphalt Truck. It's the IBG kit, which I got from the hobbyshop last week. Great little kit, with excellent detail and fit. The only slight dissapointment are the headlight guards, which are not clear. I used some MRP Olive Drab on it. Thanks for looking, I hope you like it. Pete
  4. 155mm Howitzer Carriage Model 1918 – Schneider (DW35023) 1:35 Das Werk When America joined the fighting in WWI during 1917, it used French-made Schneider artillery pieces to speed their entry into meaningful combat rather than develop new equipment of their own, as they weren’t confident about the home-grown artillery pieces they’d been using up until that point. They bought guns and the rights to manufacture their own based upon the blueprints provided by Schneider, which cost them a substantial sum but worked to their advantage, as after the Armistice the weapon remained in service through a the early days of WWII, and longer with other operators. The 1918 variant was changed from the original to use a flat splinter shield and pneumatic tyres to improve the carriage’s suspension over the previous unforgiving steel rims. The guns were used through the 1920s as stand-ins for a proposed 105mm medium howitzer, the project for which stalled due to apathy and a lack of funding during the interval between wars. The M1 sub-variant used air-brakes to allow it to be towed at higher road speeds without overtaking its tractor during hard braking. They saw service at the beginning of America’s part of WWII until they were superseded by the new 155 mm howitzer M1 that was substantially different from its predecessor. The 1918M1 lingered on the battlefield during the early part of the war until the production problems and shortages plaguing the replacement M1 were resolved, after which it fell out of use in US service. Great Britain used 100 of the type during the beginning of WWII, although they too were retired before too long. The longest serving guns were in use until the 1980s with Finnish forces, who have a habit of making good use of allegedly old hardware. The Kit This is an additive re-tool of Das Werk’s earlier French 155mm C17S howitzer that was released in 2021, commonly known as last year at time of writing. The older sprues have the code 35022, while the three new ones have the code for this boxing. The kit arrives in a small top-opening box with an attractive painting of the subject matter on the lid, and inside are seven sprues in grey styrene, plus two vaguely Y-shaped parts in the same colour. A small fret of Photo-Etch (PE) is found in a small Ziploc bag, a small decal sheet and the A5 portrait instruction booklet with glossy pages with coffee stains and general wear-and-tear printed-on to give it some visual interest. Detail is excellent throughout, with the tyres especially crisp and detailed, although the brand “Firestoner” might not be all that familiar… dude. It’s probably a Copyright or Trademark issue, but a careful slice and a little sanding will render it more accurate. Construction begins with the tyres, which are made up from a central hoop to which two tread hoops and two more sidewall parts are added to replicate the detailed tread of the real thing, and don’t forget to remove the R from the branding on the side before you get too far. The completed tyre is finished by adding a hub at the front, and a circular rear to the hub from the other side, and don’t forget you need two. Some ammo crates are included in the box, each one containing two rounds, and you can leave the lids of the crates off, although you might want to fill the ejector-pin marks before you build them if that’s the case. The gun barrel is made from two halves split vertically, to which a six-part breech-block is fitted to the rear later, then it is glued to a PE slide that has the edges folded up and is joined by a styrene part. The rear of the breech is made from a further three parts, and two more parts of the recoil mechanism are fitted under the barrel, with the breech block able to be fixed in open or close position, locked in place by a single pin. The elevation arc is a curved assembly with toothed edges that is built-up like a ladder with three cross-members linking the two sides together, which is attached to the underside of the cradle, which has a pair of recoil tubes added, plus a number of supports and guide rods, and a scrap diagram shows that some small parts would be opened up to service the weapon in case you are planning a diorama. The completed barrel and sled are joined to the cradle, and a PE recuperator instruction panel is folded up and glued in place on the side, with a scrap diagram showing how it should look when in place. The elevation axle has a gear on each end, and this is pressed against the teeth in the arc when it is trapped between the two sides of the trail, with the axle surround forward of a cross-member. The spade mount forms an H-shape and joins to the spade with two additional small parts, to be trapped under the trail by the frame’s floor, which also has another cross-brace inserted into the front after drilling two 0.7mm holes where indicated. The horizontal part of the spade glues to the underside of the trail, then the top section of the frame closes in another cross-brace, with two short curved parts toward the front of the frame, with the instructions advising you to test-fit them before resorting to glue. At the rear two additional parts form the basic towing hitch for the gun. The elevation gear is built from six styrene parts and one PE lever, plus a pair of long levers, and another on the opposite side with PE adjustment wheel, both assemblies having a scrap diagram to assist you with assembly. You can choose to depict your model in travel mode or ready for action by using different aft pivots for the cradle, adding a cover to the recess in the top of the trail, and four spade rotation parts, which if glued in place will stop the spade from rotating. An oval PE manufacturer’s plate is glued just forward of the spade, then the cleaning and operating tools are dotted around the sides of the trail with the T-shaped hand-spike laid flat at the rear. A three-part channel clips over the cover on top of the trail, and the aiming mechanism is finished by adding a combination of styrene and PE parts, the two PE adjustment wheels having styrene handles. An air receiver is made up from two halves and fixed to the front of the gun under the shield, which has a seven-part frame, a separate vision port cover and two individual manual brake levers on the front surface, then the axle halves are added on each side, followed by fitting the shield and the brake mechanisms so that the wheels can be slipped over the ends of the axle. Lastly, the simple towing hitch is cut off and a more detailed hitch is glued over its location. Markings The overall colour of the gun is olive drab, but three different shield colours can add a little variation to your model, one of which is plain olive drab, the other two are camouflaged. From the box you can build one of the following: The decals are printed anonymously and are suitable for this or the earlier boxing, with most of the decals plain white. The one multi-colour decal is in good register, and all decals have good colour density and sharpness. Conclusion It’s a well-detailed kit of a chunky little 155mm howitzer that saw some action in early WWII after missing most of the action in WWI. Highly recommended. Available in the UK in all good model shops. Review sample courtesy of
  5. Dear fellow Britmodellers, here's my 1/72 Dragon Willys Jeep with Armored Cab. Built from the box, with the addition of Black Dog stowage items. Painted with Gunze/Mr.Hobby acrylics, pictures by Wolfgang Rabel. The Dragon kit contains two complete models with various optional weapons. The armor shield and radiator protection are photo-etch parts. I added ammo boxes and stowage from Black Dog. Greetings from Vienna! Roman
  6. Dear fellow Britmodellers, here's my 1/72 Italeri M8 Greyhound, built with the addition of Brengun photo etch. Painted with Gunze/Mr. Hobby acrylics, weathered with artist oils and Tamiya pigments. The model represents a vehicle operating in France, 1944. Photographs by Wolfgang Rabel. The Italeri kit was originally released in 2004 and is still the only 72 scale injection-moulded model on the market. I upgraded the plastic parts with the Hauler/Brengun set (HLH72098), which contains both photo-etch and resin pieces. The kit decals seem to be slightly oversized, so I replaced the US star on the front with an aftermarket item from Peddinghaus. The antennas are from stretched sprue, the stowage items were included in the kit. Thank you for your interest.
  7. TopDrawings #88 – M16 Half-Track (ISBN: 9788366148758) Kagero Publishing via Casemate UK The M16 Half Track Multiple Gun Motor Carriage was usually known by the easier and shorter name M16 Half-Track, derived from the M3 Half-track and fitted with a quartet of heavy-barreled M2 Browning .50cal machine guns, the same type that were fitted to Allied fighters and bombers of the day. The quad mount was nicknamed the meat-chopper for obvious reasons later in its career as it became used as ground support rather than Anti-Aircraft when the German Luftwaffe ran out of aircraft, then after when the speed of jet-powered aircraft made accurate targeting a very chancy business. They served in WWII in substantial numbers as mobile air-defence units with over 3,000 new build and conversions seeing the battlefield, and after WWII they soldiered on to the early days of Vietnam as ground support. We have kits in scales from 1:72 through 1:35 from Tamiya and Dragon, all the way up to the 1:16 giant from Trumpeter, which explains the different scales used in the plans throughout the book. The TopDrawings series majors on scale plans, which is the main thrust, but also includes a little background information, some pertinent profiles, and often a bonus of decals or masks targeted at the subject matter in hand. With this edition, you get two double-sided A2 sheets of large folded loose-leaf plans in 1:16 and 1:35, plus another double-sided A3 sheet of drawings of the major parts. The book is written in English on the left of the page, with Czech on the right, which translates to top and bottom for the captions to the various drawings within. The book itself is bound in a card cover and has 24 pages, with the rear cover devoted to profiles of an M16 in Olive Drab, although it seems a little light, verging on yellow. The first page gives a written introduction, then launches straight into the plans that show the vehicle from each corner from the outside, with drawings of equipment and small parts taking up any white space. After this the interior compartments are drawn from various angles with the quad gun mount missing. The quad mount is then detailed over three pages along with the .50cals and the ammo boxes. Then the bodywork is stripped away and many aspects of the chassis, the White power pack, axles, track unit and gearbox are laid bare for us to see. The last four pages show many views of the vehicle with and without bodywork in 1:72 and 1:48 from all angles. Throughout the book, there are numerous smaller diagrams that show pioneer tools, stowage, equipment, wheels, driver controls, and the White 160AX 6-cylinder engine. Conclusion These books are essential for the modeller that enjoys comparing their models against scale plans, and wants them to be as accurate as possible, with the additional large sheets perfect for poring over on the dining room table or hanging on the wall. Highly recommended. At time of writing this book is available at a discounted price, making an even more tempting target! Review sample courtesy of
  8. I've been needing an excuse to do this one. This is by TAKOM and represents a Prototype vehicle to superceed the M26 Pershing to combat the Russian IS-3 during late WW2. The war ended before this was completed and other options took over. Let's see what comes of this one after 24 hours (2x12'ish).
  9. Dear fellow Britmodellers, here's my 1/72 M24 Chaffee from Bulgarian company OKB Grigorov. This was my first build from that manufacturer, and I was pleasantly surprised. The kit has great detail, including metal parts, but it's not easy to assemble. I painted the model with Gunze/Mr.Hobby acrylics. All photographs by Wolfgang Rabel. Thanks for your interest, best greetings from Vienna!
  10. US Army Vehicle Markings 1944 (9781612007373) Casemate UK There are certain vehicle markings everyone is familiar with, the White US Star for one. However there are may more markings on military vehicles which the casual observer knows nothing about at all, from unit code letters, to tactical markings, through to bridge weight, and even during this time period debarkation codes for the invasion of Europe. Using a combination of historical photographs, and colour diagrams this publication looks at all the markings seen on US vehicles o the period. The book also looks at the camouflage used on these vehicles. The Book is split into the following areas; 1. Arsenal of Democracy - Looking at the US diverse production of all vehicles for the military. 2. The Communications Zone - That area away from the front line in operations, including re-supply and support units. 3. Organization of the US Army - Looking at the specific equipment allocated to units of the US Army. 4. Common Markings - From registrations, to National ID markings and usage markings. 5. Unit Markings - Army regulation AR-850-5 defined the markings for units. Also looks at USAAF vehicles, and tactical markings. 6. Camouflage - This looks at different camouflage patterns suggested. The book is hardback 254mm x 203 mm and 160 pages long. Iti s full of black & white photographs, a few colour ones and may colour diagrams of vehicle markings. The printing is first class. Conclusion This will be an invaluable resource for the modeller of US Army vehicles during this time frame. Very Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  11. Hi again all, Inspired by the recent UH-1C RFI I've scanned a few Hueys for your delectation. They are taken at various locations, as marked. I hope you like them. UH-1C/M at Camp Robinson AAF, Arkansas, May 1982 UH-1H at Jefferson City, Missouri, May 1982 UH-1M at Camp Robinson AAF, Arkansas, May 1982 UH-1Hs and UH-1Vs at Dannelly Field, Alabama, October 1980 UH-1V at Forbes Field, Kansas, May 1982 Martin
  12. Modern U.S. ARMY (1950/2016) Acrylic paint set. AMMO of Mig Jiménez AMMO continue issuing new paint sets at a rate of knots, and are garnering some fans with the quality of the paint. The set arrives in the standard long cardboard box with a header to facilitate hanging on one of those merry-go-round display stands in shops. Inside is a clear tray that holds six dropper style paint pots neatly in the box, avoiding all the paints spilling out at once in a Donkey-Kong style. The bottles contain 17ml of paint, plus a stainless steel ball bearing for easy mixing of the paint by shaking. The yellow caps are indicative of the new BB equipped sets, which seem to be the norm these days from AMMO. The colours in the box are as follows: A.MIG-046 Matt Black, A.MIG-085 NATO Brown, A.MIG-025 FS33446 (modern desert colour), A.MIG-081 US Olive Drab, A.MIG-082 Interior Light Green, A.MIG-084 NATO Green. These sets should be a welcome addition for the Modern AFV modeller, and an addition to anyone's range of colours. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  13. Hi everyone, just put the finishing touches on my attempt at Hobbycrafts 1/48 Beaver, which I hope you don`t mind me sharing Finished to represent a RU-6A Beaver of the 146th Radio Research Company, Army Security Agency, US Army, Vietnam Which were used to monitor North Vietnamese Radio Traffic and Intelligence Gathering I had to do on of these to compliment my RU-1A Otter I did a little while back that you may remember Apart from the obvious aerials and dipoles, made a few improvements the the base kit, including: brake pipes, steps on the undercarriage legs, embellished the kit steps on the fuselage........ ...made a new exhaust and wiring harness on the engine Markings came: some from the decal stash and some handpainting Finally a shot of it with its bigger RU-1A Otter brother... Hope you enjoy, Thanks for looking Cheers Russ PS I`ve done some new shots of the Otter now I`ve added the missing centre pillar on the windscreen and thanks to Larry for providing the kit
  14. After recently finishing a P-47 in 1/48, and currently planning to join a group Spitfire build starting in a few weeks on the IPMS Ireland website, I thought I'd try and be a latecomer to this GB as I'm keen to build my Monogram AH-1 dating from the late 80s. I started it around 2 weeks ago, and I might get it finished in time for the June deadline! The kit I think has been around since the early 80s and it's pretty simple with a low parts count and raised panel lines. I added some aftermarket in the form of an Eduard mask, a Master 3 barrel gun and some aftermarket decals (which in the end I've decided not to use as I very generously got a sheet of decals from a later Revell boxing of the kit of a Cobra used by the US Army in the first Gulf War. The real "Sand Shark" as seen below is what I'm going to try and recreate: Parts ready for primer: Cockpit completed: Fuselage interior with turbine installed: Fuselage halves joined and skids added, (I used 15g of weight up front to make sure it wasn't a tail sitter): Currently I'm painting the main and tail rotors and then the next job is trying to get the seams sorted out prior to paint (which is going to be hard I think!)
  15. Hi Everyone, Just put the finishing touches on my `Easy Build` Hobbyboss 1/48 Huey Which I painted up in early US Army camouflage, inspired by a photo of a `B` model Huey of the 117th Aviation Company, based at Ban Me Thuot in the early 1960`s..... ...I found in Squadrons `US Army Aviation in Vietnam book. It really was an easy build but some people may not like the lack of some details, for me, I just added: seat belts, cyclic stick, a bit of cabin roof detail , sanded the ends of the skids into shape....... ....added footpedals and some hydraulic lines. I did manage to make life a bit difficult by not adding any nose weight and had to cut the nose off and add some. Decals were some from the stash and some from the kit. Hope you enjoy, thanks for looking Cheers Russ
  16. US Army WWII Figure 1:48 Special Hobby There seems to be fair amount of 1:48 kits around and not not much in the way of extras out there, This figure from Special Hobby under their CMK label is a walking figure carrying a rifle. As much as figures in the scale are welcome, its good that we get one in a non combat pose as well. The figure is well sculpted with separate arms and head. This figure excellent and just what is needed to bring your 1:48 model to life. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  17. Hi Everyone, Hope you don`t mind seeing my attempt at making a Army Security Agency, RU-1A Otter that I managed to finish this week. Cobbled together from Hobbycrafts 1/48 kit, filler, bits of wire and plastic sheet. Inspired by a photo in the Squadron Signal book U.S. Army Aviation in Vietnam and some help from some nice chaps on Hyperscale Finished to represent an aircraft of the 146th Radio Research Company, U.S. Army, Vietnam in the early 1970`s Operating under names like `Laffing Otter` and `Cafe Joe` ( though I don`t know what configuration this one relates to ) Decals, what there are of them, were cobbled together from the stash and the serial is bogus but as close as I could get. I think it took me longer to get the warped wings straight(ish) than it did to build the kit. Finally a shot of it with it`s smaller RU-6A Beaver brother Hope you enjoy, thanks for looking. Cheers Russ
  18. Hello and thanks for your interest. Here's my 1/72 Dragon Sherman M4A3, with stowage items from Blackdog, Quickboost and my spares box. Painted with Gunze/Mr.Hobby acrylics, weathered with artists oils and pastel chalks. Photographed by Wolfgang Rabel, IGM Cras & Bikes. I forgot to add the antenna .... *DOH* At least you know where it's supposed to be! # Thanks for your interest. Cheers from Vienna!
  19. Alright gents, So I'm going to go ahead and throw my hat into it (or try at least). I am only ever able to put a model together when the stars have aligned just right, and I guess the galaxy has done me a favor for once. I finally finished putting my office/ hobby room together the other day and aside from some necessary equipment for my airbrush, I'm going to build me a model dangit. Anyway I had a choice of either a -T, -J, -W, -F, or even a -G( Cobra Company kit), and alas I am going to try my hand at the -F. Although now that I think about it the -G probably would have been a lot easier as all it is is the resin conversion kit and OOB basically. On to the build! I'm using the Monogram kit for starters plus: - Werner's Wing's decals, TOW's, Cobra update set, M-260 Seven Shot Rocket Pods, and IPS & Debris Deflector - Fireball Modelworks ALQ-144 IR jammer - Master Model M197 20mm barrels - Wingman Models "Tzefa" update set (Not building a Tzefa, just want some of the parts off it) - Trying my hand at some scratch building as well, especially in the cockpit area Here we are with a little overview. I have not done much except for some sanding and cutting out the plastic mesh, etc. No construction or painting as of yet. Next are just some close up of the minor minor work I have done One thing I have noticed for sure is that with the newer reboxing of this venerable old kit she is definitely starting to show her age in the molding. There are a lot of parts that have just poor corners and flash everywhere. Good thing you can still pick up original boxings of it for pretty cheap prices. And alas here is an example of what the final product should look like, not this exact one, but the same Squadron.
  20. Hi Everyone, Just finished the missing Mohawk from my collection, so I thought I`d share some pic`s Rodens 1/48 OV-1B Mohawk with the SLAR Completed in the markings of the 131st Aviation Company, U.S. Army, Phu Bai, Vietnam, 1967 Built almost completely OOB With just seat belts, aerial wires added and a few bits of wire here and there. Decals are the kits and I still had a bit of silvering to paint round Hope you enjoy, thanks for looking Cheers Russ
  21. The next project, Need a break from green and black so I have decided to finish this project. I started it last year and for some reason put it to one side. Now I'm going to finish it. I was this morning going to start on the AFV Club Scimitar but having a few part started kits knocking around slowly getting damaged I thought it best to try and get some finished. A lot of work involved as the Tamiya kit is dated, It still builds into a great little tank if you put your mind too it. Dan
  22. North American/Fiat QF-91C In 1961 the US DoD authorised the loan of two Luftwaffe Fiat G.91s for trials by the US Army. These were flown alongside Douglas A4D-2 Skyhawks and a Northrop N-156 (F-5 prototype). One was an Italian built G.91R-1, c/n 0052 that served with the Luftwaffe (BD+102) whilst the other was a German built G.91R-3 (c/n 0065) Luftwaffe EC+105. Although all three types were highly regarded none were deemed suitable for the role of Close Air Support or Forward Air Controller. Rumours abound that this decision was based on political grounds as the US Army could not be seen to fly foreign, (G91), Navy (A4D) or High performance USAF types (F-5) .... In 1965, however, with the US deeply embroiled in the Vietnam war the lack of a dedicated CAS aircraft to replace the venerable A-1 became far too visible. With the USAF reluctant to give up it's F-100s, even though they themselves needed replacement, the US Army dusted off it's reports and looked again at the G91, albeit now in the new Y variant, much favoured with it's twin engines and greater performance. New trials once again proved the validity of the dedign and with minor changes the type was authorised for production under license by North American Aviation. By 1970 the type had virtually replaced to A-1 and had also been adopted by the Airforce as a F-100 replacement. It went on to have an excellent service record both in combat and peacetime up until it's withdrawal in the late 1980s. It was not the end though and many airframes had a 2nd life awaiting for them. Post Vietnam cutbacks meant the conversion of F-102,106 and F-4s to the unmanned drone role was under threat. North American jumped in and utilised the experience acquired from the successful QF-86 and QF-100 programs to offer a lower cost solution. Slowly the ranks of F-91Cs sunning in the desert shrank as the majority of airframe not allocated to museums or the spares pile, were returned to flying condition with the ubiquitous bright red markings associated with their new lease of life. Some were mostly grey, others mostly green, a few had 2 or 3 colour camouflage, and a rare couple had special schemes. One thing was agreed upon by all - even the anonymous birds looked spectacular in their new feathers.
  23. Been off the scene for a while sorting things out following my Redundancy (a good thing actually!) So, here we go with a new build using the recent HobbyBoss release of the GMC 750 Gallon Tanker. Over the last few days I have been putting together this really good kit This is a busy kit! And has plenty of parts but, there are NO rubber tyres (I know some of you hate those) There is quite a detailed engine which is an integral part of this build and you can't get past this. The chassis has 17 parts + the engine which in itself comprises 20 parts This construct is very stable and sits very flat giving a good base to ensure that all the wheel seat correctly. Note: the location of the exhaust as shown in the instructions below shows a much shorter tubing either side of the silencer box and it is, on checking, incorrect for this version. When assembling the exhaust, (unlike the instructions) the supplied kit parts are correct. Incidentally, the large vehicle fuel tank seen at the start of Step 4 is shown as part M12 however, it comprises parts M1 &M2 (the ends) and M12, the centre section along with M10, the filler cap. To also note here is how the exhaust should be for the 750 gallon Fuel Tanker. Believe me, I checked several times and changed the exhaust a couple of times. Here are the main elements assembled (not glued) This kit really does assemble very well Yesterday I completed the engine bay construction which can be seen below Now then! The Tanker kit has 14 Jerry Cans to assemble but, you can save yourself all the bother AS THEY'RE SO WRONG! Below you can see the HobbyBoss can (Yellow) and the Italeri one (Grey) The dimensions and based on the conversion of the dimensions of a real WWII pattern US 5 gallon Fuel/Water can from inches into millimeters and then converted into 1/35th scale. The real can is (width 13.75"x depth 6.75"x height 18.75") which equates to 9.98 x 4.90 x 13.60 The yellow can (HobbyBoss) at 11.00 x 4.49 x 14.71 The grey can (Italeri) at 10.04 x 4.49 x 13.25 This then means that the HobbyBoss can is at least 10% larger than the Italeri one, and although it isn't completely accurate, it is noticeably closer to the correct dimensions. Make of that what you will! I now have the model at the painting stage and further postings will follow that stage
  24. Was minding my own business, watching the dull WHU/MU game, when the house started shaking with chopper action - the US Army was flying downwind into Flag airport right over my house! Needless to say, I didn't have my camera to hand, but ran over to the airport to get a few shots though the fence. A total of 5 X AH-64, including a Longbow Apache, 3 X CH-47 and 3 X UH-60. I couldn't see the '60s at the airport, and the others were not positioned conducive to good photography (away on the ramp, behind hangars, a 10ft fence and sun directly against...). Still, a few shots of record: Note the name painted on one of the Apaches, and the severe weathering on one of the Chinooks. No idea where they were coming from or going to - the gc were too busy for me to want to interrupt them - but the left after refueling about an hour later.
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