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  1. Special Ops Skyraiders (48019a) 1:48 Iliad Designs The Skyraider was an enormous, single-engined ground-attack aircraft that was under development during WWII as a carrier-borne torpedo/dive bomber, but eventually became a highly proficient ground-attack and close-air-support (CAS) platform, that outlived at least one of its intended replacements. It was fitted with a powerful Wright-Cyclone engine that gave it immense load-carrying capacity, long loiter-time, and once unloaded, it was described as “climbing like a homesick angel” to get its pilot out of harm’s way and back home for another sortie. Its flexibility saw it used extensively in Vietnam, both for its original CAS and Ground Attack missions, but also in support of Special Operations, for which specialised squadrons were established as Special Operations Squadron (SOS) of Special Operations Group (SOG). This decal sheet contains markings for six such “sneaky beaky” aircraft, some of which are painted in non-standard Vietnam tri-colour greens and brown, which jars the eye a little on first viewing. They are quite a mixed bag of schemes, as you’d probably expect from such operators, and although the camouflage is there, it is often negated by a bright yellow symbol on the cowling, or in one case a red/white/blue tail or a snarling shark’s mouth. The decal sheet is exceptionally well-printed with good registration, sharpness and colour density, plus a thin glossy carrier film cut close to the printed surfaces. The set doesn’t include stencils of course, as these are usually included on the kit sheet. As well as side profiles, the opposite side of the instruction sheet shows overhead views and opposite side views of the aircraft without any decals, so that you can map out the camouflage on all three surfaces, which is rather helpful. Additional scrap diagrams show painting of the prop-tips, main gear spat codes, opposite sides of the cowling of one airframe that shows a different sized font, as well as arrowed call-outs of spot colours, interesting information and unseen decals in addition to the caption to the sides of all of the subject aircraft to assist you further. Conclusion Iliad always produce interesting subjects that are well-researched, have concise instructions, with excellent quality decals rounding out the package. Highly recommended. Iliad Decals are available from all good model shops. Review sample courtesy of
  2. These are the nice Fujimi Skyhawks, recently reboxed by Hobby2000. I added a bit of sidewall detail to the pretty good cockpit interiors, spare PE seatbelts in the A-4E and a couple of Pavla resin seats in the TA-4F. The aft canopy bulkhead of the TA-4F was scratched, as were the straight IFR probes. Armament consists of Verlinden Mk.82 bombs and a couple of Eduard Zuni's: although the rocket heads on Fujimi's Zuni's are actually quite nicely molded, dimensions and detail of the launchers are way off, so I used resin types instead. Paints are Gunze/Tamiya acrylics mainly. Weathering consists of a bit of pre- and postshading as well as oil washes. As reference pictures from Chu Lai AB showed particularly weary aircraft, I went a bit heavier on the A-4E. Decals are from two very old Microscale sheets, with the red/yellow bands on fuselage and tail fins painted on. The A-4E portrays an aircraft operating at Chu Lai AB: in 1965, the USMC constructed a SATS (Short Airfield for Tactical Support) on the shores of the Quang Nam Province, South Vietnam. Both the runway and flightline were built from interlocking metal AM-2 matting, with revetments constructed from oil drums. Interestingly, this runway was equipped with catapult and carrier deck type arresting gear. A-4's also used JATO (Jet-Assisted Takeoff) rockets, providing a short extra thrust on takeoff thus shortening the takeoff distance. As of 1966, a paved runway was constructed, followed by hardened shelters and related buildings. When looking for reference material on Chu Lai AB, I came across a blog by fellow Britmodeller Gary @Oldsarge : https://oldsargesaircraft.blogspot.com/search/label/Chu Lai RVN A lot of interesting pictures on this subject/era can be found here (but also on other aircraft-related topics) and Gary was kind enough to grant me permission to use one of his pictures. The aircraft shown in this photo are A-4C type Skyhawks, but it's a good example of the typical Chu Lai flightline layout. Thanks again mate!! Credits background picture: designed by Freepik, photo by jannoon028: https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/clouds-sunset-mountains_986559.htm The second build shows a TA-4F operating from Da Nang AB in a Forward Air Controller (FAC) role, using rocket pods to mark targets for incoming strike aircraft. I had as much fun building up the accessories as I did constructing both aircraft: revetment consists of Brengun oil drums and putty sandbags. Access ladder, loose PSP plates and nitrogen cart are also Brengun items. The bomb lorry, fire extinghuisher and generator set are from Hasegawa, with some spare PE added. I also used some Valuegear blobs and the tie-down chains are from Infini models. For the fun of it, here is a final pic with Hasegawa's 1/48 A-4E that I built a few years ago. Hope you enjoy the pictures, thanks for looking!! Patrick
  3. Hi all, Yes, starting another build...(shouldn't you be finishing those other GB subjects ) This time the recently released ICM HueyCobra in 1/32 scale, which is not the usual for this kind of subject...most modern helicopter releases are in 1/35. @Julien already did a very nice in-box review of this kit here so I'm not going to repeat his efforts: All I'll say is, very nice kit and a major upgrade of the fifty-year old Revell kit which was all we've had in this scale up to now. Very nice options, loads of armament, and both types of tail enable pretty much any AH-1G model to be built from the kit. I'll also be adding the Quinta cockpit decoration set, my first experience of these much-vaunted accessories. Looks very good so far. Includes instrument panels, crew harnesses and other cockpit accessories. Hope it lives up to the hype! I'll be building this alongside the MRC/Academy Whiskey Cobra for the GB, by way of a comparison of the development of this excellent and innovative airframe. All the best, Alan
  4. Hello all As announced yesterday, I present my new project today. This time it goes from North Africa directly to Southeast Asia My scene is set at the end of the Vietnam War and shows the PAVN invasion of Saigon. The main role is not played by Jackie Chan, even if the title of the post might suggest it, but by Takom's T54 B As one of my favorite tanks, building it is an absolute must for me-the kit is also highly recommended. The older Russian technology has a special charm and just because represented in almost all conflicts, an endless topic for modelers. The beginning make some pictures of the construction of the model, whereby I must say that this is already some time ago. But to really show everything from A-Z, I do not want to withhold these steps Have fun! MD the plastic strips help to align the rollers correctly you can even see the ball bearings-who needs a protective cap? the plastic tracks are very good with a little bit of sanding you don't always need complex PE fenders. A few simple aluminum strips suggest dented sheet metal also here with a dremel tool new holding clamps for the DSchK from a plastic sprue better with russki in love ok, it probably won't work completely without PE and wire some tools and a machete is a must in the jungle protective tubes for the rear light wiring also here new protective tube for the searchlight cabling the characteristic extra fuel tanks here I used another kind of wire mesh See you!
  5. Hello everybody! A little deviation from my USAF jets series: two Skyraiders, all in Vietnam war style. The first one is the A-1E Skyraider, RVHP conversion kit. Of course, not a cheap built as you need to buy the superb A-1H/J from Hasegawa to recover most of the parts except the fuselage and canopy. But this is unfortunately the only option to get a decent "fat face" as the Revel kit is completely wrong. RVHP gives a fuselage, a very nice vacform canopy, some parts to create the "tub", a little decal sheet and that's it. So a good documentation is needed if you want a nice result from this investment and to master all the differences between a "E/ fat face" from its cousin, the H/J...and their are many! The surgery of the fuselage to the Hasegawa wings was done without any hassles, the fit is quite OK. What I did, to make it short: The full cockpit has been scratch built. The trickiest part was to make the unique ejection seats which are quite complicated to scratch built (However these seats were not present in all fat faces, a photo check is necessary). Thanks God, the rest of the "tub" has not that much amount of equipment, as in the real aircraft the seats and extra boxes were removed to save weight. Opening the nice canopy needs extra extra caution because you have only one. The engine: I selected a resin one (forgot the brand) and added wires; the typical front doors were removed; the undercarriage: Again the A-1E has some unique feature in this area such as an asymmetric front U/C doors with one including a landing light but not the other. Also, the wheel wells are different in shape from the H/J and the doors were removed; On the fuselage all the plates (cowling, antiglare) were made from aluminium can, much thinner. All the armament com from the surplus box, of cours not provided by RVHP. Camouflage: typical SEA, tired with some weathering. I chose an aircraft sporting a little shamrock on the left side seen in page 155 of the excellent "A-1 Skyraider in Vietnam, the last Spad war" which provides a good collection of pictures "in action". All decals are coming from the surplus box. So the pix: The real Spad: Mine: ...and the little dio: That's it for the Fat Face, hope you will enjoy it!
  6. Hello fellow modellers It's not exagerating to say that it's a pure joy to publish this topic, since it's my first finished model since last century !!! ( in fact my previously finished kit was a 1/48 Heller Rafale A completed in 1998 or so ... before this kit was even released ) . The famous 2001 Hasegawa kit is splendid in some areas , and bizarre , really inaccurate or approximate in others . To me , it's the exact link between vintage and modern kits . Anyway I fell in love with this kit , not to mention the aircraft itself and I plan to build at least ten more ... No aftermarket parts were used or hurt during the building , I tried to upgrade the model the old way , the modifications are as follows : - Model entirely rescribed - Cockpit / Canopy upgaded with PC , metal sheet , copper wire , tamiya tape etc .... - Seat almost totally rebuilt with head knocker , reshaped head rest , harness etc ... - Landing gear and doors modified and wired , front wheel visually detached from gear . - Scratch built landing lights well in left leading edge . - Slat wells reshaped to be flush with the extrados. - Canons drilled. - Armament pylons rescribed , modified with scratchbuilt sway bars and connections - Fuel tank rescribed and " welded " , drain added . - Shrike missiles and Mk82 bombs detailled with scratched parts . - RBF and pins . The WIP is located in the Skyhawk STGB here : https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235091381-a-4f-va-55-uss-hancock-nam-1972-hasegawa-148/ And now , here are the pics : Hope you like it . for passing by § Cheers !
  7. Hello fellow modellers, (where have I heard that phrase before?) For this GB I'm going to build last year's Tamiya F-4B Phantom II as used by the United States Navy to make many a large hole in South East Asia back in the day.
  8. A radical departure for me on this one. Well, reasonably radical let’s say…. A helicopter and Vietnam - there’s nothing more synonymous with Vietnam than a Huey, is there? This project has come about through one of the biggest satisfactions I derive from my website, that being form time to time I come into contact with family members of the pilots or units I feature who usually express gratitude their loved ones’ stories are being told, and sometimes offer further information and materials to further enhance the site. In this case, the connection was a little more indirect but it came to pass that I began a correspondence with the son of an Australian soldier in Vietnam wounded in action and desperately needing medivac. His unit was under fire, and quite surrounded; the medivac choppers couldn’t get in to the LZ. Then, an Aussie gunship in full “Bushranger”mode arrived on the scene and laid down a storm of suppression fire sufficiently effective that the medivac could land and get the wounded trooper out. I am building this model of an Aussie Bushranger for the son to give to his father. In using the Italeri kit I have a few modifications and scratch building challenges, but I’m reasonably confident I can manage it. I have also included some Reskit enhancements, which added up with the cost of the kit still has the total come under the price of the Kittyhawk kit, which is rarer than hen’s teeth in Australia anyway. And last night I made a start, beginning with the little kit within a kit of the armoured seats. Made from PE and resin, they are fiddly as all get out but look good when assembled. I still have all the belts and fittings to add but so far so good. As this is a subject I know little about, and scratch building the some of the Bushranger weaponry will be a challenge, all suggestions and corrections are gratefully received! Below are a couple of pics of both the "Ned Kelly" configuration which was essentially the proof of concept and then on the right, the "Bushranger" configuration eventually adopted as standard. Cheers!
  9. B-26K with USAF Pilots & Ground Personnel (48280) 1:48 ICM via Hannants Ltd The A-26 was built by Douglas during WWII as the successor to the A-20 Havoc. Two types were designed, The C with a glass bomber nose and the B with a full metal nose filled with either 6 or 8 .50cal machine guns, which coupled with the three in each wing gave it quite a punch, deserving of the Strafer title. It also had a pair of turrets on the fuselage mid-upper and dorsal positions, which were both operated by a single gunner using a complex remote mechanism that flipped between the upper and lower turrets depending on where the gunner was looking through his binocular sights. This trained the guns accordingly and also calculated the correct offset for parallax and lead, but was very complex and caused some delays to it entering service, and even more issues with maintenance in the field. In 1948 it was re-designated as the B-26 by the US Air Force to confuse us, and later on back to the A-26 just to complete the process of befuddlement. It was developed a little after the Marauder and despite using the same engines it was conceived totally separately from its more rotund colleague. It was initially less than popular in the Pacific theatre where its poor cockpit view due to the canopy and engine position rendered it unloved by the first users. It was more popular in the European theatre and was accepted as a replacement for the Havoc fairly quickly. After the war it served in Korea, early Vietnam engagements and other conflicts, ending its days in US service with the Air National Guard in the early 70s. In the mid-1950s some Aircraft were converted to the Drone controller role with the DC prefix to launch Ryan Firebee drones in support of combat training. In a late twist the B-26 would be brought back in the 60s for the Vietnam War because it could still hold its own in combat. The aircraft externally still looked very much like the WWII aircraft, but the turrets were removed in favour of fixed forward firing guns and four hard points were fitted to each wing, allowing the carrying of 8,000lbs of ordnance. The wings of these aircraft were rebuilt and strengthened, the rudder was enlarged and permanent tip tanks (65 US Gal) were added to the main wings. Anti-icing was added to the airframe to cope with cold weather and higher altitudes, and a new anti-skid braking system was also added. In the cockpit the dials and displays were updated and a secondary control yoke was added to allow control from either seat. New 2,500hp engines were added inside the nacelles, along with cuffed broad chord props to cope with the enhanced power delivery. The USAF ordered 40 of the "new" aircraft which were known as Nimrods locally to their crews. As well as combat operations in South east Asia some aircraft flew on the down-low with the CIA in the Congo. The last aircraft were finally retired by 1969 when AC-130 gunships took over their night interdiction role. Only 6 of the type survive, with "Special Kay" having been restored to Flight as a memorial to crews who fought the covert missions in South East Asia. The Kit This is a new variant from the recent tooling from ICM, and this is the second boxing now of the so-called Counter Invader. While you get many parts from the original Invader boxings, this edition features a new fuselage sprue, new wing sprues, a new rudder, new engine nacelles, a pylon sprue, and weapons sprues ICM previously released as a stand-alone US Armament set. It also includes a new sprue filled with five crew figures, which we’ll cover toward the end of this review. It arrives in the familiar top opening box with a captive inner lid to the lower tray. Inside the box are a healthy fifteen sprues in grey styrene, one in clear, two decal sheets and the instruction booklet plus two extra instruction sheets for the armament & figures. A quick look over the sprues reveals that panel lines are very crisp, narrow and restrained, the surface is matt and very neat-looking, with plenty of engraved and raised details on the parts, plus subtly indented flying surfaces simulating their fabric covering. There are a number of red blocks printed over the sprue map, which shows how many of the parts will be left on the sprues once you have completed construction, such as original wings, props, cowlings and one of the canopies. If you’re a bit ham-fisted and plan on building many Invaders, you could well find these come in useful down the line. New Parts Original Parts Construction begins with the internal bomb load, which is then placed within the port fuselage half along with some detail panels and bulkheads. The former gunner’s position and the cockpit are next, creating the pilot's seat, instrument panel (with instrument decals), centre console with throttle quadrant before adding those and the twin control columns to the floor. The aft compartment is built up around the front wing spar with a set of radio gear hanging from a pair of risers and a pair of wing spars, so you'll have to do some detail painting as you go. After this the starboard fuselage side is prepped, with the right side of the cockpit and bomb bay with its detailed ribbing. With that and a quantity of detail painting you can then slide the starboard fuselage over the two spars, and it would be a good idea when fitting those spar parts to let the glue set up with the starboard fuselage taped in place to ensure they make the correct angle when they're set in place permanently. The instructions then have you building up the tail feathers, with the elevators having separate single-part flying surfaces, plus a two-piece rudder to attach to the moulded-in tail fin. The gun-nose comprising the fixed lower and rear section of the nose are built up out of three parts, making space for the 40g of nose weight you are encouraged to fit before you add the single cowling panel that covers the gun bay, with a pair of four-barrel gun-inserts added through the holes to depict the .50cals. You'll need to drill out the muzzles or take the lazy way out and get a set of Master barrels. The nose section is a straight-forward butt joint to the fuselage, with a small half-moon cut-out that should help align it. The new wings are next with a small radiator intake prism moulded-in to which you add a radiator panel, and the lower parts have holes and long depressions ready for the four pylons per wing. You'll notice that there are fairings and a hump in the upper wing where the engine nacelles will be, and these are separate assemblies to be built up later. First, the separate two-section flaps, and the ailerons are prepared and added to the trailing edge of the wings, the latter being of one piece each and slotting into the wing via two tabs. The tip tanks are made of two halves and are glued in place, and underwing landing lights are added from clear parts. At this stage the instructions have you sliding the wings onto the spars and gluing them in place. Whether you'd rather wait until you've added the engine nacelles though is entirely up to you. It’s your model! There are of course two engine nacelles and these build up pretty much identically apart from their outer skins, which are handed to fit their respective fairings as you'd expect. They are split vertically, and each half has internal structure moulded-in, with bulkheads added fore and aft of the gear bays, coupled with bay lip inserts that bulk out the edges and also hold captive their bay door. This may require some clever masking and a little care during handling, but it shouldn't hold you up too much, as the hinge-points are relatively robust. The two halves are joined together, the prominent intake on the top of the nacelle is made up from two parts, then is added to the nacelle front which is in turn glued to the rest of the nacelle, with the completed assemblies attached to the wings from the underside, as yet without their engine cowlings, engines or props. The engines are added later in the build, and the Twin Wasps are depicted in their entirety with both banks of pistons, push-rods, ancillaries and reduction housing at the front, plus the collector ring and exhausts at the rear, the latter made up from eight parts each. Again, the engines are identical and interchangeable with each other, and they fit to the nacelles with a teardrop-shaped tab, after which the engine cowling is slotted over them. The cooling flaps are last to be added in four sets around the rear of the cowling. The top of the fuselage is still open at this point, as it has an insert with the faired over section where the top turret used to be, with another for the former dorsal turret fitted later on. Each of the three tyres are made from two halves with separate hubs applied from either side, then hung on their respective legs, which have retraction jacks and scissor links added along the way. Happily, these can be fitted late in the build, so the open bays can be masked quicker than if they were present. Speaking of bays, you can depict the bomb bay open or closed by using either a one-piece door for closed, or two separate doors with internal detail for open. This is nice to see, as it's always a little tricky to join two doors and get them aligned with the fuselage so there are minimal join-lines. The main airframe is ostensibly complete save for some antennae and the new broad-blade props, and if you've been sparing with the glue when assembling the engines, the latter should still spin once complete. The four pylons per wing are each made from two parts, and should have some 0.8mm holes drilled in their lower surface for later use, then you need to make a choice what to put on the pylons, with the help of a load-out diagram provided, or from your own references. US Aviation Armament (48406) As well as the internal bomb load, there are four sprues containing various munitions, as follows: 2 x LAU-10A Pods of 5" Rockets 2 x LAU-69 Pods of 2.75" Rockets 2 x LAU-68 Pods of 2.75" Rockets 2 x BLU-23 500LB Fire bombs (Can be made with or without the fins) 2 x BLU-27 750LB Fire Bombs (Can be made with or without the fins) 2 x Mk.77 750LB Incendiary Bombs 2 x SUU-14 Dispensers 2 x Mk.81 Snakeye Bombs* 2 x MK.81 Low Drag Bombs* 2 x Mk.82 Snakeye Bombs* 2 x Mk.82 Low Drag Bombs* *All of the above bombs can be fitted with Fuse extenders In addition, there are 2 MERs with Sway braces, with what look to be 12 Flares to load on the MERs. All of the parts are well moulded and there are enough parts to give some additional detail to the weapons. US Pilots & Ground Crew Personnel - Vietnam (48087) This new set is designed for this kit, but could equally be used elsewhere. There are two pilots getting ready for flight, one of whom is carrying a helmet. An officer figure (possibly maintenance) is standing around with a clipboard in hand, with two ground crew reaching above their heads to fiddle with things such as the external weapons. The uniforms are Vietnam era and the sculpting is up to ICM's high standards. Markings In this diorama-style boxing there are four similar options included on the decal sheet, all of which are in Vietnam light and dark green, brown and black camouflage. From the box you can build one of the following: 64-17651, 56th Special Operations Wing, 609th Special Operations Sqn Nakhon Phanom 1969, "Mighty Mouse" name and artwork 64.17649, Davis-Monthan AFB, 1970 "Sweet Therese" name 64-17645, 56th Special Operations Wing, 609th Special Operations Sqn Nakhon Phanom 1969 64-17679, 1st Special Operations Wing, USAF Late 1960s "Special Kay" name. This aircraft has been restored and is the only B-26K flying The decals are printed anonymously, although they look like DecoGraph's output to my eye. They have good registration, colour density and sharpness, and include a number of stencils that are legible with the right optics. The decals for the armaments are of the same quality and sharpness. Conclusion This model is excellent for anyone wanting to create a diorama or at least add a few weapons and figures to their model. Detail is excellent and the addition of the figures and weapons is great news. Very highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  10. This was a pretty easy build, with the overall level of detail and fit being quite good on this kit. I just added an instrument panel and PE seatbelts in the cockpit, connected a few cables to the winch and added some other small exterior details. I cut out one of the cockpit windows as well and mounted it in the opened position. The camo colour was built up with different tones of green, tan and grey (Gunze/Tamiya) and weathered with oils, a light drybrushing and some pigment dusting. Decals are from the kit: nicely printed but terribly brittle, causing them to break up easily. They settled well on flat surfaces, but getting the large ones to conform to the curved nose and tailboom required quite a bit of work (and touch-ups with paint afterwards). The very nice Heller Jeep received some parts of a Brengun PE set and I also added a scratch-built antenna/radio unit. Figures are from CMK/Hasegawa, with some ValueGear items and Eduard’s PSP base completing the little scene. Hope you enjoy the pictures: thanks for looking! Comments always welcome, Patrick P.S. For those interested in the subject, I came across this YouTube video with interesting footage of VNAF UH-34D's operating from a.o. Da Nang AB: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D228_1s5zaU Credits background picture: designed by Freepik, photo by jannoon028: https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/tourism-flight-stratosphere-scenic-cloud_1048502.htm#page=1&query=stratosphere tourism&position=44&from_view=search
  11. AH-1G Cobra with Vietnam War US Helicopter Pilots ICM 1:32 (32062) Most modellers will instantly recognise the Bell AH-1 Cobra Attack Helicopter. The AH-1 was the first production Gunship or Attack Helicopter to see service. During the Vietnam war the US Army began to see the need for armed helicopter to escort its unarmed UH-1 Hueys into combat. In parallel to this Bell Helicopters had been investigating helicopter gunships as early as the late 1950s. In 1962 Bell displayed a mock up concept to the US Army. This Helicopter featured a 20mm gun pod, and a ball turret mounted grenade launcher. It was felt by the Army to be lightweight, under powered and not suitable. Following this the US Army launched and Advanced Aerial Fire Support System (AAFSS) competition. This competition gave rise to the Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne heavy attack helicopter. However this proved to be to advanced for its time and was eventually cancelled in 1972 after 10 years of development (some things don't change!). Despite the AAFSS programme Bell stuck with its idea of a smaller, lighter gunship and invested its own money developing the AH-1. They used all of the proven components they could from the UH-1 platform, adding these to a newly designed fuselage. When The US Army therefore asked for pans for an interim gunship for Vietnam Bell was in a fortunate position to be able to offer the AH-1, or the Bell 209 as it was then called. Given the work Bell had already done the programme was completed in a relatively speed eight months and won the evaluation against the competition. In 1966 the US Army signed an initial contract for 110 aircraft. Some slight modifications were made to the production airframes. The heavy armoured glass canopy was replaced by Plexiglas with an improvement in performance. Wider rotor blades were fitted and the original retracting skids were replaced by simple fixed units. The G model was the initial 1966 production model gunship for the US Army, with one 1,400shp (1,000 kW) Avco Lycoming T53-13 turboshaft. Bell built over 1100 AH-1Gs between 1967 and 1973, and the Cobras would go on to fly over a million operational hours in Vietnam, approximately 300 were lost to combat and accidents during the war. The U.S. Marine Corps would use AH-1G Cobra in Vietnam for a short period before acquiring twin-engined AH-1J Cobras. The AH-1 went on to serve the US Army until it was replaced by the AH-64 Apache. The last one leaving active service in 1999. The AH-1G could be fitted with the The M-35 Gun System, this was a single M195 20mm cannon (a short-barrelled version of the six-barrel M61A1 Vulcan) on the port inboard pylon of the AH-1G. 950 rounds of ammunition were stored in boxes faired to the side of the aircraft. The system was primarily pilot controlled, but featured dual controls to be either pilot or gunner controlled. For this purpose the pilot was provided with a M73 sight. The Kit This is a brand new kit from ICM, and their first helicopter kit. The quality of the moulding is first rate from ICM with fine engraved panel lines and nice rivet detail on the tail boom and tail. While this boxing is the the early G you can see from the sprues that other versions will be along as there is the opposite handed tail, different landing skids, an upturned exhaust, different winglets and TOW missiles on the weapons sprures. The kit arrives on 5 main sprues of grey plastic and a clear sprue. As well as the main helicopter and armaments, the kit also comes with the ground handling attachments for the skids, something often missing from kits. While there is good detail on the kit and the option to open up the engine and gearbox area, this area is not massively detailed and will open itself up for the super detailer if they want. This boxing comes with an additional sprue for the M-35 Gun System. Work starts conventionally in the cockpit. The two five part armoured seats are built up and added into the main cockpit tub. Tail controls are added to the floor ,and for the pilots station a cyclic and collective columns go it. For the front seater the weapons control column is made up ad fitted in. Side controllers are also fitted for the gunner. Instrument panels and coamings go in for both stations with instruments being provided as decals. Now the cockpit is complete the visible parts of the engine/gear box and its compartment are built up. This is followed up by parts for the rotor controls. The tails are added onto the fuselage. Here there is quite a large part which overlaps to compete a good solid join. The tail rotor needs attaching to fuselage half before closing up if you want it to move. The engine / gear box parts are fitted into the right fuselage followed by the cockpit and cockpit rear bulkhead parts. The fuselage can now be closed up with additional cockpit armour panels being fitted at each side. At the rear of the engine housing the exhaust part goes in. At the front of the helo the nose goes on, being careful to choose the right parts for the decal option being modelled. The side applique armour panels can be fitted to the model if needed as these parts are marked as optional. Turning things over the large central fuselage insert goes on with additional parts at the nose. The chin turret is now fitted with either one or two miniguns depending on your decal option. A light goes behind the turret. The final exhaust ring goes on the back (if modelling option 3 then the anti IR upturned exhaust is fitted) and the tip of the tail is added. Next up we concentrate on the stub wings. The two wings are built up and the weapons pylons are fitted. These are fitted to the fuselage along with the rear stabilisers towards the tail. The landing skids can then be fitted. Next up the large clear canopy parts go on. A sight is fitted to the front of the central glazing section. The front and rear large side canopy parts are fitted, these can be open or closed as need by the modeller. The access panels can be fitted to each side of the open engine/gear box area; again these can be open or closed as required. We now move to the main rotor. Each of the two blades are split upper/lower, and they are joined together. The central rotor head is made from tow parts, these are upper and lower, these sandwich in the rotor blades. Once these are on the control arms to the swashplate are then added along with the central mounting shaft. The rotor this then mounted. To finish off armaments can be added to the pylons as needed. The kit provides Two M157 7 shot rocket pods, two M158 7 shot rocket pods, two M200 19 shot rocket pods; and two M18 minigun pods. If the modeller want to use them then two pairs of ground handling wheels can be made up and attached to the back of the skids, Towing bars then can be attached to the front of the skids. If fitting the M-35 Gun System then one of the pylons is left of the left stub wing as the gun fits directly to the inboard station here. The two large ammunition panniers fit to each side of the fuselage. A cross feed links the two sides at the front, and at the rear the feed to gun itself goes on. Decals The decal sheet is in house from ICM, the decals look thin, in register and have minimal carrier film. 3 Options are included; 68-17074 "The Gladiator", C Troop, 16th Cav, Can Tho, January 1972. 68-115031 "Pandora's Box", 238th AWC, Vietnam 1971. 68-15012" #1 Du Me Mi", F Troop, 4th Cav, Phu Bai, 1972. The first 2 carrying the M-35 Gun System. Now normally with ICM the decal and painting guides are quite clear, for some reason they are not for this kits, they are very dark and indistinct, a little bit of a let down. The Figures This is the set ICM previously released on its own, now bundled with the Cobra, which we all suspected they would do. There are two standing pilots and one sitting, though this third figure could also be a crew man. As well as the sprue for the figures there are two smaller sprues with flight helmets. As with all ICM figure sets the sculpting looks upto their usual excellent standards. Conclusion This is another great looking kit from ICM which great tooling and possibilities for future variants on the sprues, the inclusion of the figure is a nice move. Very Highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  12. US Helicopter Pilots (Vietnam War) (32114) 1:32 ICM The Kit This is a new set from ICM no doubt to fit in with their new line of kits. There are two standing pilots and one sitting, though this third figure could also be a crew man. As well as the sprue for the figures there are two smaller sprues with flight helmets. As with all ICM figure sets the sculpting looks Conclusion This is a good looking set which will provide the modeller with some crew for their new helos. Highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  13. Hello to all.Here is my latest finished model.The great zvezda/dragon mig-17.I love this kit.The fit is superb.I only upgraded the seat.Made the pittotubes out of needles and the canons out of hypodermic needles.The paints used are gunze and tamiya.The decals came from the spares box.I made a full video of the build process and if you would like you can see it on the link bellow. https://youtu.be/C-Dw2nqAGIg
  14. Kit - Special Hobby Paint - all Xtracolour & Humbrol enamels Decals - Kit Extras - MPM kit specific etch set. Bell AH-1G Cobra Assigned to W/O 1 Dan Shaver C / 16th Cav Early 1972. The same photo again as above but with flash brings-out the brown in the OD. Bought on impulse from Hannants about six weeks ago and built it immediately ! - this is my very first SH kit and without any bull, I can tell you is one of the best kits I've ever seen. The finesse of the details, the fit, the options (loadout and decals) are incredible, and no I'm not on commission. There is a downside - the instructions are tiny and my 58 year old eyes really struggled at times. Only the slightest smear of putty used on the 20mm ammo bins as they joined the fuselage and that was it. The MPM etch set was / is outstanding and does a lot to the finished kit, well worth investing in. Not too much else to add, enjoy the photos, please go-ahead and pass any criticisms, ask any questions etc. All the best from New Zealand. Ian. Edit: Just noticed the cat hair on the starboard tailplane.... it's gone now !
  15. Here is my take at two Vietnam Huns. Pretty straightforward builds using the Italeri kits with a bit of Eduard PE in the cockpits. As both kits only come with a closed canopy, I cut off the respective windscreens and built the canopy actuators from scratch. On the F-100F, I added the appropriate antennae under the nose/belly and on the tail fin, while drilling out the cooling intake on the tail, to portray one of the early Wild Weasels. I added a Shrike missile (which was typically carried on the port in-board position) and rocket launchers from the spares box (I believe from Italeri's A-10). The F-100D was armed with Hasegawa Mk.82s and M-117s from the kit (with some leftover fuse extenders). I also used a Taurus vacform canopy on this one, to correct the wrong Italeri canopy. Decals are from Caracal, with markings for: - F-100D no. 55-2932 “Nashville Sound”, 90TFS 3TFW, Bien Hoa AB (Vietnam), ca. 1968 - F-100F no. 58-1226, 614TFS 35TFW, Korat RTAFB (Thailand), December 1965 For the fun of it, I used two different sets of paint: the F-100D is finished in Gunze paints, for the F-100F I used Vallejo's colours for the first time. Enjoy the pics! Patrick Credits background picture: designed by Freepik, photo by jannoon028: https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/clouds-sunset-mountains_986559.htm
  16. 1/72 Revell F-101B Voodoo, TDY to 13th Bomb Sqn, Ubon RTAFB, 1970 - Vietnam War My main interest is the Vietnam War and the many aircarft that operated there. Coupled to this I also like to throw in a curve ball every now and again. This Voodoo is one of them! This is the Revell F-101B, airbrushed using Tamiya paints, spare decals and a Flory wash to highlight all the lovely surface detail. A bit of 'History'. In order to further reduce the flow of supplies from the North via the Ho Chi Minh Trail, USAF planners converted a F-101B to be used in the night attack role against ground targets. Using 4 x modified AIM-4H missiles in the air to ground role this unique Voodoo became the very first Tank Plinker. Working alongside the B-57G out of Ubon RTAFB, the Voodoo was moderately successful but ultimately did not impress enough to warrant more airframes being converted. Cheers all, Phil
  17. Airkraft Modelling Guide Fighters & Attack Aircraft of the Vietnam War (9780995546080) MA Publications The Vietnam war saw the heavy use of aircraft and is one of the most modelled with lots of available kits, and source material. All braches of the US Military fielded aircraft in the war as well as their allies, and both armies of Vietnam. This new magazine style publication from MA publication give us a look at different aircraft use and 19 builds across the two most popular scales of 1/72 & 1/48., plus an odd 1:100 kit, There are information panels along side each build and a small history section at the beginning of the book (through one photo of Crusaders on a bombing run is actually taken in the 1970s over a range in the US! The builds featured are; US Navy F-4J - 1:48 Eduard (Academy kit) F-104 Starfighter - 1:48 Hasegawa F-104C US Navy F-4B - 1:48 Eduard (Academy kit) Arc Light Escort - 1:72 F-102 Meng Army Air - 1:48 Roden JOV-1A Mowhawk Fighter for Freedom - 1:48 VNAF F-5B Kinetic Gunfighters over Vietnam - 1:48 F-8E Monogram Fighting Fishbed - 1:48 MiG-21MF Academy Spook Shooter - 1:72 F-4D Italeri Green Machine - 1:72 A-6E Tamiya (Italeri kit) Hun On the Hunt - 1:48 F-100C Trumpeter Night Intruder - 1:72 B-57B Italeri Fresco Fighter - 1:49 MiG-17 HobbyBoss Sky Spotter - 1:72 O-1 Bird Dog Airfix Scooter Strike - 1:48 A-4 Eduard (Hasegawa kit) Dragons Teeth - 1:48 A-37A Trumpeter Flying Gas Station - 1:48 KA-6D Fujimi Jungle Viper - 1:100 AH-1G Revell Aussie Bomber - 1:48 Canberra Airfix It is good to see different kits are used which are readily available, reasonably priced; and in terms of the older kits it is good to see them not forgotten. The different modellers also use difference techniques and products on the various models so its good to be able to see them, and contrast their use. The reader will then be able to try a couple and see what works for them. The downside here is that this is a sponsored publication from HATAKA so only their paints are used with the obligatory recommendations. Conclusion This is a well put together publication for the modeller thinking of their next Vietnam war build. There is a good range of kits and techniques on show, as well photos of the real thing. Their is not too much history in this publication as most of it is devoted to the builds. When looking at the builds it also seems that some of the content here has been "recycled" into other MA Publications titles. In particular in this one I see that the A-6 build is in their A-6 Guide, and the F-104 is in their F-104 guide, as not having access to any other publications. Recommended if you want a book on modelling aircraft from Vietnam, though with the caveats that it is a sponsored publication with some of the builds appearing in other titles also. Review sample courtesy of
  18. 1/72 KP MiG-19S 'Farmer C', 6032 of Nguyen Hong Son, 925th Fighter Regiment, May 1972 I started this way back in the middle of last year and it has been sat on the SOD until this weekend. Finally put it to the top of the 'to finish' pile. It was a bit tricky building with the gear up (I wish more manufacturers would give seperate closed doors as an option). All of the engine cooling scoops are individually attached, fun... Once I had it primed it was a breeze to finish. All one colour, 8 decals, wash, clean and varnish. I am quite pleased with how it has turned out and it now gives my MiG-17 a wing man and something else for my Yankee Air Pirates to tangle with with. I have just noticed that the cannon barrels need a bit of TLC - back to the bench....! I have an Eduard MiG-21 in the stash that keeps looking at me.....!! Cheers all, Phil
  19. US Vietnam Uniforms - Figures Set (A.MIG-7034) AMMO of Mig Jiménez This set is for your US Uniforms of the Vietnam period. This four paint set arrives in a clear clamshell box with a card header with some colour use suggestions on the rear. Inside are four bottles each containing 17ml of paint that is dispensed by a dropper that is found under the yellow screw-top cap. Inside each bottle is a little stirring ball that rattles when agitated. AMMO paints separate quite readily so having a ball in the bottle makes mixing them a lot easier. We’re all familiar with the quality of AMMO paints by now, and they have a pretty good reputation amongst us modellers, and dry a little slower than some of the competition, which can be useful to avoid paint drying on the tip of your needle when spraying. The paints are as follows: AMMO F-503 Dark Olive Green AMMO F-504 Yellow Green AMMO F-544 Pacific Green AMMO F-535 Italian Green Camo Conclusion It’s great to be able to get sets of paint that will set you up for any Vietnam project. The addition of some white and black to assist you with modulation will help if that’s your methodology. Review sample courtesy of
  20. Hello, I present the M48A3 Patton model from Dragon. Added the mantlet and searchlight set from Legend, PE parts from Eduard, AFV Club tracks and machine guns from Aber. Painted Tamiya Olive Green on B&W base. Enjoy watching and I hope you will like it.
  21. Hello everybody... As the instigator and primary host of the. This was my take on Tamiya's classic 1/35th M48A3. It is built in the markings of "DEATH" from the 1st Marine tank Battalion C-Coy company 1970 C-12. I used a mixture of kit decals and Star decals sheet 35 C-1074. The Sandbags are made from baked sculpey modeling clay and were molded to the hull. I went for a heavily used tank covered with stowage, sometime in the rainy season. Sometime in the not to distant yet cloudy future i would like to make a base for this. Pose it in a section of a Firebase defensive perimeter. Questions, comments, or thoughts are always accepted. Dennis
  22. Calling this finished now AFV Club 1/35 scale gun truck with some extra armour added from plasticard. Decals are from Star (I know, this does not depict the actual Bounty Hunter truck). Figures are from Paracel and are excellent, ordered direct from them in Vietnam and arrived quickly and safely. Paint is Life Color, Tamiya and Vallejo acrylics and weathered using Mig Ammo mud effects pack and oil washes. Base is just made from a drawer front and foam board. All comments welcome
  23. Here we are then, this old beastie. M48 1 by phil da greek, on Flickr There is a WIP on here if you care, but for those pressed for time this is going to be part of a larger project inspired by Kyochi Sawada's photograph of Lt. R Horner USMC and his platoon sheltering behind a Patton on Tran Cao Van Street in Hue on 1st February 1968. A little artistic licence here and there but trawling through the interweb of Patton photos I think this is fairly typical. As always it's brush painted in Humbrol enamels (a 50/50 mix of 155 & 030) and weathered in Humbrol 070 with a touch of white for variation and finished with Winsor & Newton Galleria acrylic varnishes. There's a little bit of aftermarket bits and some odds and ends from the spares box. M48 - 34 by phil da greek, on Flickr M48 - 41 by phil da greek, on Flickr M48 - 31 by phil da greek, on Flickr M48 - 36 by phil da greek, on Flickr M48 - 28 by phil da greek, on Flickr M48 - 30 by phil da greek, on Flickr M48 - 39 by phil da greek, on Flickr M48 - 40 by phil da greek, on Flickr M48 - 35 by phil da greek, on Flickr M48 - 38 by phil da greek, on Flickr M48 - 32 by phil da greek, on Flickr M48 - 29 by phil da greek, on Flickr Thanks for looking in.
  24. Hello everybody, Here is another double build I finished recently: the Accurate Miniatures reboxings of the old Monogram F-4D kits. I built both kits largely out of the box, adding only some wiring to the backseater's IPs, gunsights and spare PE mirrors. Construction was pretty straightforward, but filling and sanding is required, especially around the intakes and exhausts where fit is somewht problematic. Open airbrakes and lowered flaps are options in the kit. Despite their age, I really enjoyed building these two classics: the level of molded detail in the cockpit and around the airframe is just great!! For the 23rd TFS / 52nd TFW aircraft, operating from Spangdahlem AB, Germany, I used a (very, very old) Superscale sheet, showing the aircraft during the 1976 Tactical Air Meet at Twente AB, The Netherlands. These Superscale decals worked surprisingly perfect. This particular aircraft was credited with downing a Mig-17 over North-Vietnam in October 1967, hence the killmark on the splitter plates that was maintained. Stencils are taken from various spare decal sheets. Paints are Gunze. The travel pod is modified from a spare napalm cannister, the gun pod is taken from the kit. I also replaced the kit’s LORAN antenna with a spare one from a Hasegawa kit, as this is molded much finer, and finally I used an ECM pod from Revell's F-4F. "Ripley's believe it or not" flew with the 13th TFS / 423nd TFW, being stationed at Udorn AB, Thailand, during 1969 operations over Vietnam. I added a chinpod taken from the Italeri F-4C/D. Bombing load-out consists of Mk.82's from the kit (on Hasegawa TER's) and spare box Mk.83’s on the outboard pylons (found in the Fujimi kit). Sparrow missiles are Hasegawa items and the ALQ-87 is from the kit. Again, Gunze paints were used, followed by Eagle Strike decals. Hope you enjoy seeing my 2 SEA Phantoms, comments/feedback always appreciated! Thanks for looking and regards, Patrick
  25. VPAF MiG-21PFL 'Fishbed-D', '4127', pilot Dong Van Song, 921st FR, Noi Bai, 1966 Dong Van Song flew this plane often on the first part of 1966 - and two kills were confirmed by Noi Bai pilots with this airframe. On july 14th 1966 '4127' was shot down by F-4C (flown by Capt W J Swendner and 1Lt D A Buttell) using an Aim-9B missile. Pilot Ta Van Thanh was killed as the plane disintegrated over Hanoi, while he was chasing F-105s. - - - - - - Kit: Eduard MiG-21PF ProfiPack Edition (#70143) Scale: 1/72 Aftermarket: Master pitot tube, Print Scale decals. Paints: Vallejo acrylics Weathering: Flory Models Wash, Mig weathering products Simply brilliant kit by Eduard. Build thread:
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