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  1. Messerschmitt Bf.109G-6 (A02029B) 1:72 Airfix With almost 34,000 examples constructed over a 10-year period, the Messerschmitt Bf.109 is one of the most widely produced aircraft in history and it saw active service in every theatre in which German armed forces were engaged. Designed in the mid-1930s, the Bf.109 shared a similar configuration to the Spitfire, deploying monocoque construction and V12 engine, albeit an inverted V with fuel injection rather than a carburettor used in the Spit. Initially designed as a lightweight interceptor, like many German types during WWII, the Bf.109 evolved beyond its original brief into a bomber escort, fighter bomber, night fighter, ground-attack and reconnaissance platform. The Bf.109G series, colloquially known as the Gustav, was first produced in 1942. The airframe and wing were extensively modified to accommodate a more powerful engine, greater internal fuel capacity and additional armour. In contrast to early 109s, which were powered by engines delivering less than 700hp, some of the later Gustavs could output almost 2000hp with water injection and high-performance superchargers. The Gustav series accounted for a dizzying array of sub-variants, some of which featured a larger tail of wooden construction. Odd number suffixed aircraft had pressurised cockpits for high altitude operation, Erla Haube clear view canopy with clear rear head armour, underwing points for tanks, cannon or rockets and larger main wheels resulting in square fairings on the inner upper wings to accommodate them. The Kit Airfix's Bf.109G-6 dates back to 2009, and as such is one of the earlier kits released under Hornby's ownership. The kit bears all the hallmarks of that particular era, with a low part count and broad, deep panel lines. Those hoping that this would be a re-tooling of the aforementioned kit will be disappointed, as the plastic is exactly the same as that provided in the original release. The kit is part of Airfix's Skill Level 1 range, and it arrives in a top opening box with the kind of dramatic artwork that we have come to expect from Big Red. Inside the box are three sprues of grey plastic and a single, small clear sprue. There are just 41 parts in total, which is quite low when you consider that the more recent 'Emil' in the same scale is made up of 64 parts. Out of the box the kit is cleanly moulded and the plastic has a satin finish to it. The cockpit is extremely spartan, comprising of a simplified seat, pilot and nothing else. There is no instrument panel, no control column and no sidewall detail, which harks back to days gone by. This is in stark contrast to the Emil, as that kit was very nicely detailed, despite being part of the series 1 range. The instructions recommend that the propeller be joined to the fuselage at the same time that the fuselage halves are joined, but I would recommend leaving this step until the end as it will make painting more difficult otherwise. The bulges for the 13mm MG 131s on the upper fuselage in front of the cockpit are inaccurate as they are represented by a single large bulge rather than two separate bulges on each side of the fuselage with a depression between them. The wings follow the usual format for a model of this type, with a single span lower wing and separate port and starboard upper wings. Flaps and control surfaces are moulded in place, but some basic structural details have been moulded onto the roof of the main landing gear bays. The horizontals stabilisers are moulded as solid parts, as is the rudder. As with other recent Airfix kits, there are different parts provided for you to use if you wish to pose your model with landing gear up or down. The landing gear legs provided for the down option are moulded in place with the bay doors, which is a plus point for strength and ease of assembly, but a negative point in terms of detail and ease of painting. A drop tank and two under wing gun pods are provided, along with a choice of canopies, including the aforementioned Erla Haube canopy. Both are duplicated and moulded in one piece, but this is no great loss given the lack of internal detail. Markings There are the usual two options from the included decal sheet, both different enough to give you variety, and both having some fun schemes that will test your masking and airbrushing skills. Option A has a saw-tooth splinter pattern on the wing uppers, while option B has a an RLM75 sinewave squiggle on all its upper surfaces. Better get your airbrushing and/or masking skills honed for either option. From the box you can build one of the following: Bf.109g-6 Maj. Herman Graf, Jagdgeschwader 50, Wiesbaden/Erbenheim, Germany, Autumn 1943 Bf.109GF-6/R6 Lt. Manfred Dieterle, 3./Jagdgeschwader 300, Bonn-Hangelar Airfield, Germany, Mar-April 1944 Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion This isn't the most detailed nor the most accurate Gustav on the market. It also lacks finesse in terms of the overall finish. All-in-all, there isn't much here to tempt the modeller with a primary focus on detail. Having said that, this is probably one of the cheapest Gustavs around, which is perhaps a hint to its intended market? Possibly the best thing about the kit is that it shows how far Airfix have come since this kit was initially tooled. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  2. The Westland Whirlwind – Airframe Album #4 (9781912932221) A Detailed Guide to the RAF’s Twin-Engine Fighter Valiant Wings Publishing The new Special Hobby Whirlwind kit in 1:32 has sparked renewed interest in this under-utilised aircraft that looks like it goes fast and means business, but due to the lack of development capacity at the time, relegated it to an aviation history dead-end. This book has been enhanced and updated to hit the market at just the right time, the original having been released a surprising seven years ago – a fact that blew my mind. The book is written by Richard A Franks, a man with prolific output who must have a gigantic reference library, with the strapline "A Detailed Guide to the RAF's Twin-Engined Fighter" carried over. It has 96 pages (excluding covers) of glossy paper in a soft-backed perfect bound portrait format, an increase of 16 pages over the original edition, whilst retaining its portrait A4 format. Inside the front cover is the following index: Technical Description Detailed coverage of constructions and equipment Evolution – Prototype, Production and Projected Variants 3D isometrics illustrating differences between variants Camouflage & Markings Colour side profiles, notes and photographs Production Concise history of each airframe built Big-Scale Whirlwind Build of the all-new 1:32 scale Whirlwind Mk.I from Special Hobby by Steve A Evans Appendices I Kit list II Accessory & Decal List III Bibliography 1:48 Scale Plans A preface and introduction to the Whirlwind takes up the first pages, with the next section at 30 pages covering the technical description with tons of photos. Evolution takes up 14 pages (no change, as there have been no new versions, unsurprisingly), with 17 pages taken up with camouflage and markings as per the previous edition. The next section is 9 pages long and is allocated to the production with a variable number of lines of text for each one, depending on how interesting its history was, which is possible due to the low number of airframes that were made. The new Big-Scale Whirlwind section has Steve A Evans building Special Hobby’s kit from the box, adding just some old Eduard Sutton Harnesses to the pilot’s seat, and of course a heap of talent plus some paint and glue, coming in at 7 pages. The end result is of course excellent, and the kind of model we all aspire to. There are three pages devoted to the appendices, and as they are time critical, they have been kept compact, rather than padding out the back of the book. The plans at the rear of the book are in 1:48, which is my favourite scale and will be very useful for anyone trying to build the Trumpeter kit in that scale that came out around the time of the first edition. That’s not a perfect kit, but it’s probably the best one we're likely to get for a while, given the paucity of alternatives. The text of the rest of the book is closely spaced around the numerous photos, diagrams and drawings that are everywhere without being hard to read or appearing cluttered. The aforementioned pictures are of high quality and will be of great interest to the modeller as well as the amateur historian, or just anyone interested in aviation in general and the Whirlwind in particular. The colour profiles in section four are by Richard J Caruana, and are of high quality, accompanied by notes appropriate to each airframe depicted, helping the reader to gain insight into the subject matter. Conclusion This a yet another very accessible book for the modeller or interested reader, and serves up even larger quantities of information, some of which hasn't been available on the web, as well as a build of the new Special Hobby kit. The Whirlwind has been long overlooked in the history of British early WWII fighters, and it is a welcome sight to see that being remedied in kit form over the last few years, and while no kits are perfect, they’re certainly welcome, as is the re-print of this expanded book. Well worth a read, and great reference material. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  3. What is the true colour of Dark Green as applied to UK manufactured aircraft during WWII? For many years I've used Humbrol 30 and it is very close to US FS 595A Ref 34096. I got a copy of the Federal Standard paint chips back in the 1970s and it is kept in the dark. RAF Dark Green is a bluish green with no hint of brown. Recent tins of 30 are, when dry, almost exactly the same as 30 painted on to models back in the 1970s. Exploring airbrushing and acrylics purchased a number of Vallejo paints, covering WWII RAF colours. I was given a basic set of LifeColour paints. This week I tried both Life Colour 538 and Vallejo 71.016. Both claim to be RAF Dark Green, but once painted and dry are VERY different. The Vallejo seems to be more like 34096, a dark olive green colour with no blue hue at all and the Lifecolour is worse, a light earthy colour, more like 34027. What is the general experience of the colour accuracy of acrylic paints form the various makers? At the moment, based on one trial I'm very suspicious of all these acrylic paints..based on these two the temptation is to bin the lot!
  4. Bristol Beaufort Mk.I (A04021) 1:72 Airfix The Beaufort was a medium- and torpedo-bomber that was developed from lessons learned from the Blenheim, which was a little out-dated by the time hostilities commenced. It was named after the Duke of Beaufort, and was ordered side-by-side with its competitor for the specification, which was the Blackburn Botha. It is a twin-engined bomber powered by a pair of Bristol Taurus radial engines, and although it was originally intended primarily as a torpedo bomber, it was more often used as a bomber where it saw extensive service during the opening years of WWII. It was fast and rugged, but initially its armament was found to be insufficient to defend against attack, so this was remedied by adding more guns, including a clear dustbin under the nose, which turned out to be practically useless, so was often removed. By 1942 it was deemed to be unfit for front-line service, although more airframes had been lost to accident and mechanical issues than to enemy action, partly due to the troublesome Taurus engines. Various upgrades were made in addition to the armament in order to improve the capabilities and reliability of the aircraft, with the Taurus engines briefly replaced by Pratt & Whitney Twin-Wasps, but returning to the Taurus units when supplies of the P&W engines couldn’t be maintained. After leaving the front-line, it was used in training, with the last heavily modified airframe leaving the factory in 1943 in the UK. Many Beauforts were made in Australia as DAP Beauforts, with their own variants, including a transport type with a new centre fuselage section. The basic design of the Beaufort was re-used in the more successful Beaufighter, which was almost a coupé Beaufort with a much-reduced fuselage that gave it a higher top speed and better overall performance, plus it was found that it could carry out pretty much all of the tasks previously allocated to the Beauforts, as well as being an excellent nightfighter with heavy armament. The Kit This is a brand-new tooling from Airfix, and should make many people quite happy. We’re a bit late to the party, but it’s better late than never, so here goes. It’s a high-quality, crisp tooling from the Airfix stable, and includes plenty of detail that used to only appear in kits in a larger scale, as well as their modern tooling tricks that make the build a more pleasant proposition. One aspect that hasn’t quite worked out are the trapezoid protectors on the fuselage sprue, which were designed to save the trailing edge fairings from damage during shipping. This hasn’t worked, and both tips of the fairings were curled over on my example, but not so badly that they couldn’t be straightened. Otherwise detail is excellent, which is high praise coming from a modeller used to larger scales. Construction begins with the fuselage floor, which has three 1mm holes drilled in it if you intend fitting the torpedo. The aft wing spar has a seat attached to the front, then it is joined with the floor along with the front spar with moulded-in bulkhead, and appliqué radio gear fitted to its rear. In the cockpit is a “slide” under the hatch, and in the centre a long console with controls and an upstand for the instrument panel is glued in before adding the pilot’s seat with armour panel over a flat floor insert. The instrument panel has the rudder pedals fixed behind it, and a decal with the dials on for the front, with the foot well closed off behind and a swivelling seat for the front crew member hanging out over the nose. The control column is glued in a recess in the floor, and aft of the wings an Elsan toilet is salted away under where the window for the waist gun will be later. There’s a joke in there somewhere, but I’ll leave it up to you! The fuselage halves both have ribbing moulded into them, and they are prepped by adding circular windows, an access hatch with a D-shaped window, and a support for the waist gun, which will be occupied later. There is a flange at the rear of the upper fuselage that should be removed from both sides for the turret insert to fit properly later, then the interior can be slid into place in the port fuselage through the spar slots. A section of floor in front of the pilot is added at the front, then the tail-wheel bay and bulkhead at the rear, and another bulkhead just forward of the Elsan, after which you can close up the fuselage, installing the optional pilot on his seat if you intend using him. A scrap diagram gives a detailed painting guide if you need it. Moving back aft to the turret, the insert with turret ring is inserted into the aperture, then underneath the bomb bay bulkheads with their torpedo cut-out are installed, to be finished off later. The wings are separate entities that are slipped over the twin spars when complete, and they have a cut-out for a pair of landing lights in the port side, and recesses for the main gear bays with some nice detail moulded-in. The flying surfaces are separate, and you get a choice of flaps, depending on which decal option you have chosen. The ailerons are standard across both, as are the elevators, which have single thickness flying surfaces and dual-thickness fins, with an unusual circular location pin that I’ve not seen before. The rudder is also separate and can be added deflected if you wish. Before the engine nacelles are made up, the locations for the main gear legs are built from three sections to create a twin A-frame, a bulkhead is inserted into the rear of the bay recess, then the nacelles are each made from two halves with a bulkhead at the inside front and are then glued over the location, adding intakes into the recess at the top. Both banks of Taurus cylinders are depicted in the kit, the aft bank surrounded by a circular ring, and the front bank glued in place trapping the propeller shaft in place, which slides through a collector with stators in a three-pointed star form. The nacelle halves join around it and the cooling flaps are fixed to the rear, completing the assembly by extending the exhaust to the rear. The engines and cowlings are handed, so their mating points with the nacelles are also keyed to ensure they go together correctly, with the exhausts on the outboard side of the cowlings. The Beaufort was quite well-stocked for windows, which are crystal clear and include small sections of the fuselage where appropriate on this kit, forming the stepped canopy and asymmetrical glazing on the right side, the glass nose for the bombardier's use, and the angular windows from which he takes aim under the tip of the nose. The mid-upper turret is well-detailed and covered by two glazed sections with twin Lewis guns and a bicycle seat for the operator, while the semi-useless nose lower gun station is fitted to the outside skin with its single .303 machine gun mounted in the clear glazing. The turrets are dealt with later in the build after the bomb bay and landing gear are finished. You have three choices regarding the bomb bay, which is to insert a single part that closes over all three sections, pose the front and rear torpedo sections opened inward and the wider central section opened outwards, or cut the outer sections of the closed bay off and use them to close the outer section of the main bay to carry a torpedo, which is made later. If you’re building your Beaufort in a wheels-up pose, you’ll still need to make and paint the wheels, as they’re visible even retracted, but they are inserted with the flat-spot uppermost, hidden inside the bay, and with a representation of the strut and bay door covering the front of the bay. The tail wheel is always extended, and is a single part that fits into the bay with a transparent diagram showing how it attaches within. For the gear down option, the retraction frames are made up, and inserted into the rear of the bays, with the bottom ends glued to the main legs. Scrap diagrams help you fit them correctly, then the two bay doors are snapped into the bay sides on their long hinges, and the two-part wheels are flexed into position, with what looks like a 4-legged squid attached to the front of each strut. They’re more likely to be bumpers to assist the doors opening and closing, like the Mossie. Various small parts are added around the wings, then the turrets mentioned earlier are put in place, with a fairing around the top turret and a scrap diagram showing how it should fit. Torpedo time! It was one of the Beaufort’s primary uses, and it would be churlish not to include one, so they did. The main body is assembled from two halves, a set of screws at the rear, a substantial H-shaped stabiliser at the very rear, and a fusing spinner at the front. It is mounted on a trestle-like pylon within the main bay, which is made from two parts, and once the torpedo is installed, it is bracketed by the outer panels of the bay doors cut from the cruciform closed bay insert. An L-shaped pitot is slotted into a hole under the glass nose, a pair of clear lights are glued into each wingtip, and if you have left the waist gun hatch open, a Lewis gun with dinner-plate magazine is affixed to the support within the window. The model is finished by putting on the props with their little spinners, adding a stocky aerial behind the cockpit, another near the top turret, and a narrow, raised part between them. Markings Two options are included on the decal sheet, one in dark earth/dark green over sky, the other in dark sea grey/dark slate grey over black. From the box you can build one of the following: N1016 OA*X No.22 Sqn., RAF St Eval, Cornwall, England, 6th April 1941 – mission against German Battleship Gneisenau L9866 MW*J, No.217 Sqn. RAF St Eval, Cornwall, England, 1st February 1941 – mission against German cruiser Admiral Hipper Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. There are also plenty of stencils to apply around the airframe, which always improves the detail of any aircraft model. Conclusion What a nice kit. There is a lot of detail, all of which is crisp and delicate, much improved from their output from back in the day. Now I just need one in 1:48 please. Pretty please? Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  5. FIAT G.50 Initial Series (MKM144127) 1:144 Mark.I Models The G.50 was Italy’s first all-metal monoplane with retractable undercarriage, and was in-service by 1938, performing well amongst its contemporaries. It was somewhat short-ranged, and had issues with its initial armament being a little light, originally consisting of two .50cal equivalent machine guns in the wing. The Hawker Hurricane could out-fly it however, and was faster by a good margin, and as time went by the shortcoming became more apparent. A number of attempts to remedy them were made, including improvements to the engine, more fuel and armament changes, but even the installation of a Daimler Benz 601 didn’t give it enough improvement. By this time the G.55 was designed and underway, taking full advantage of the DB engine and at the start of its journey to obtain an excellent reputation as an all-round fighter. Under 800 of the G.50 were made, with a number of two-seat trainers amongst them, and over half as the G.50 Bis, that took the airframe as far as was practical. The Kit This is a brand-new tooling from Czech-based Mark.I Models, and for all you 1:144 aficionados out there, this should be a welcome sight. The kit arrives in a diminutive yellow-themed box, with a nice painting of the type on the front, and the profiles on the rear. Inside are two sprues of a grey styrene, two tiny spruelets in clear, a decal sheet and the instruction booklet, which has colour profiles on the rear pages. The sprues permit you to build two examples of this aircraft, so pick two of the decal options and away you go. Despite the scale, there are recessed panel lines, cockpit detail and plenty of landing gear parts, but that’s the level we’ve come to expect from Mark.I over the years. Construction begins with the tiny cockpit, which has a seat on a rear bulkhead, floor, control column, and instrument panel, which has a couple of decals for it. How cool is that? The painted cockpit is placed inside two fuselage halves, and after adding the thicker centre section of the wings, the two subassemblies are mated to create the basic airframe. There is a two-part engine included that represents both cylinder banks, and that slips inside the two cowling halves, then onto the flat front of the fuselage along with an exhaust insert. At this stage the decal option require different fitments around the underside, namely the intake between the main gear bays, the location of the tail-wheel, and the shape of the spinner slipped over the one-piece prop, be it pointy, curved or absent? On the nose the gun barrels fit into their troughs, and a pair of humped fairings are added further back, then the landing gear is made up, with separate leg, retraction jack, wheel and captive bay door for each one. The tail-wheel is a single part, with the aforementioned caveat of the different location for one decal option. Markings There are four options on the included sheet, with a wide range of colour schemes that will test your airbrushing skills if you go for the mottled options. Two are Italian, while the other two are Finnish, and only one of the latter options is painted in solid colours. From the box you can build two of the following: FIAT G.50 Srs.IV (CMASA-built), Black 352-Red 13 (MM 5403), 352 Flight, 20th Fighters Sqn., 56th Wing, Italian Air Corps, Italian Air Force, Ursel Airfield, Belgium, Autumn 1940 FIAT G.50 Srs.IV (CMASA-built), Black 354-Red 3 (MM unknown), 354 Flight, 24th Fighters Sqn., 52nd Wing, Italian Air Force, Tirana Airfield, Albania, Jan 1941 FIAT G.50 Srs.III (CMASA-built), FA-27 (MM 4944), Black FA-27, 3/LeLv 26, Finnish Air Force, Kilpasilta Airfield, Finland, 1942 FIAT G.50 Srs.I (CMASA-built), FA-17 (MM 3599), Black FA-17/White 1, 1/LeLv 26, Finnish Air Force, Lunkula Airfield, summer, 1941 The decals are printed with the Mark.I logo, and have good register, sharpness and colour density as you would expect, plus a thin glossy carrier film. Given the scale there are no stencils, but it was pleasing to see prop markings as well as the instrument panels for both the kits. Conclusion This isn’t my scale of course, but I have a lot of respect for Mark.I and their kits, which they constantly squeeze detail into, to a far higher degree than many in this scale. Couple this with sometimes unusual subjects, and it’s not surprising that 1:144 modellers watch their every move. Highly recommended. Available from all good model shops Review sample courtesy of
  6. le.gl.Einheits - Pkw (Kfz.1) German Personnel Car (35582) 1:35 ICM via Hannants Ltd Made mostly by three German companies, this all-wheel drive staff car designed by Stoewer was produced with different bodies during the early war, the most prevalent being the four seat staff car depicted here. It was however complicated and unreliable, so was eventually replaced by the ubiquitous Kubelwagen. The Kit This is a re-release of their kit (35581) but with new parts for a deployed soft-top roof, which hasn't yet been available with only the stowed roof released so far. The box contains five sprues in grey styrene plus a single clear sprue and decal sheet, not forgetting the instructions with integral painting guide at the rear. The additional sprue contains the new parts for the roof, but you'll still find the retracted roof parts on the original sprues in case you change your mind. New Sprue Construction begins with the chassis, which is first to be built up with dual springs supporting independent suspension and a driveshaft linking the two transfer boxes, plus the steering linkage front and rear. Fuel tank and stowage are placed to either side of the chassis rails and an exhaust pipe is threaded through to the engine compartment, which is filled with a full rendering of its 4 cylinder 2 litre Stoewer power plant over the front axle. The floor of the cab is built up and added to the chassis, then the three part styrene wheels with moulded-in tread are fitted to each corner along with the radiator at the front. The firewall and rear passenger bulkhead are installed next with the former having instruments and transmission tunnel moulded in and pedals attached to the floor. The cab sides, boot/trunk cover, engine cowling and gear shifter are all put in place before the seats are built up from base, cushion and curved back at the front, with a bench seat at the rear of a similar construction that has just enough room down the sides for two Kar98 rifles to be stowed in shackles. Two more rifle points are attached to the front bulkhead, bumpers/fenders and doors are all added with steering wheel and windscreen also made up. The rear light cluster is fitted to racks for additional fuel on the rear quarters with a spare wheel in between them, and the folded canvas roof above is still available if you decide you don't want to install the new one. If you do, and that's probably the main reason you would chose this boxing, the semi-rigid side panels with the glazing panels that mostly stayed on the sprues previously are inserted into the frames which are then attached to the sills and the windscreen. The rear of the hood has a small rectangular window inserted into the flat panel, then has the corners attached before the assembly is fitted to the rear of the car. The external retraction frame drops into grooves in the sides of the rear hood, and finally the top fits on to complete the roof. Of all the joins on the hood the only ones that may need sanding and/or filling are those on the corners at the rear, as the top panel has a handy overlap so has a natural step that matches the kit's panel. Front lights, jerry cans and pioneer tools are attached to the fenders, and windscreen wipers are fitted into the depressions on the frame, with wiper-motor boxes moulded into the frame for completeness. The lights and windscreen all have clear parts so the passengers don't get bugs in their teeth. Markings There are four theatre specific options included in the box with early war Panzer Grey the colour of choice, and these haven't been changed from the earlier boxing, as they're essentially the same vehicles but with the hood up! From the bag you can build one of the following: WH-102 360 16 Pz.D, Don area, June 1942 WH-240 663 11 Pz.D, Ukraine, July 1941 WH-307 582 Panzergruppe 1 Kleist, Ukraine, July 1941 WL-22662 I./JG51 Stary Bykhov (Belorussia), July 1941 Conclusion A welcome addition to the Kfz.1 line from ICM, and perfect for a rainy day... literally! Great detail, crystal clear parts and only a few ejector pin marks on the hood parts if you think they'll be visible. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  7. German Support Vehicles on the Battlefield #2 World War Two Photobook Series (9786155583551) Peko Publishing Although the German forces used horses for a lot more of their transport in WWII than most of us would realise, they were also pushing towards heavy mechanisation, using wheeled, half-tracked and fully tracked vehicles to move their troops, supplies, artillery, food and even injured men back and forth from the front lines, behind them, and on the battlefield on occasion. This is a new volume from Peko's World War Two Photobook Series, and as the name suggests it is primarily a book of photos, which isn't too difficult to divine. Although this is Volume 2 of the set it still covers the earlier vehicles with their relatively light armour and armament, detailing all the variations in fit and finish between the main factories that were involved in construction and adaptation of WWII German military vehicles. There are also numerous examples of captured Russian, British and French equipment that was pressed into service, plus a few Ford trucks that had found their way into service with the Nazis, possibly thanks to Henry’s well-documented fondness for Mr Hitler. It is a hardback book in landscape format, hard bound with 112 pages plus two blank inner leaves, finished in an overall white cover, and arriving protected by a layer of shrink-wrap that also helps prevent scuffs and keeps out dirt during shipping and storage. The photos are almost without exception full page, with space left only for the captions, which are in Hungarian and English, each one adding valuable insight to the photo, which may not be immediately apparent without it, especially if your eyesight isn’t too good. For the modeller there are plenty of diorama possibilities, as well as opportunities to see how the crews actually stowed their gear on their vehicles (or otherwise) in real-world circumstances. Seeing how they come apart when blown up is also useful for diorama purposes, but thankfully there are no grisly scenes accompanying the destroyed vehicles. Where the photos are from private collections there are attributions in the corner as appropriate, with a number showing soldiers standing in front of damaged or abandoned vehicles after the fighting is over, plus a number of groups investigating the wreckage after a cataclysmic explosion of the vehicle by enemy action, or demolition by the escaping crew. There are also a number of maintenance scenarios with the hatches or doors open for even more inspiration. While the contemporary photos are in black and white for obvious reasons, the detail in which they are depicted would be an absolute boon to any AFV enthusiast or modeller, especially those wishing to go down the route of realism and authentic settings. Conclusion Whether you have models that you intend to use this book for reference, or have an interest in the subject, this book will give you all the reference pictures and some besides, as well as some realistic setting ideas for dioramas. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  8. Close Combat US Tank Crew (35311) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Sometimes tank crews have to vacate the relative safety of their vehicle to fight, such as when their ride is disabled or knocked out by enemy action, the occasional mechanical breakdown, or getting caught napping outside by the enemy. They’re specifically equipped with more compact weapons to fit the confines of their vehicles, and in WWII US tank crews typically carried the M3 Grease Gun or an M1911 pistol for self-defence, the latter sometimes on a close-fitting three-point body holster keeping the holstered weapon close to their torso to avoid snagging themselves on the tank when inside. This figure set contains five tankers dressed in typical US tanker overalls, hard helmets and M1 steel helmets. Inside the shrink-wrapped box are seven sprues, two containing the figures, two their helmets, weapons and accessories, while the remaining three have parts for an M2 Browning .50cal machine gun, some ammo cans and sundry other weapons and bags, with a tiny Photo-Etch (PE) sheet protected in an over-large card envelope. Two of the crew are kneeling either on or near the tank in a fairly tense fashion, looking out for danger, one with a Grease Gun, the other a pistol. The two standing figures are also wielding Grease Guns, one firing, the other looking cautiously round a corner. The final figure is standing on the deck of the tank firing the turret-mounted .50cal while bracing himself in an almost seated position, such that if the gun suddenly disappeared, he’d end up on his butt. They’re all wearing tanker overalls except the guy with the pistol, and three of them are wearing the short bomber jackets typical of tankers of the day. Think Telly Savalas in Kelly's Heroes. The instruction sheet covers the building of the .50cal, its mount, a choice of open or closed ammo can, a short length of link for the open option, and the four-part tanker helmet that everyone but the .50cal gunner is wearing. The short perforated cooling jacket for the .50cal is supplied as a PE part, with the barrel handle and collar also made of PE parts. You will need to roll the collar and jacket into a tube before fitting it, but there is another barrel included in the set that has a moulded-in jacket and collar in case you don’t have any luck with the rolling. As usual with MiniArt figures their sculpting is exceptional with crisp detail and sensible parts breakdown plus loads of extras to add some detail to their vicinity if you use them in a diorama. The Grease Gun has a separate stock as shown on the rear of the box, while additional guns, a satchel, pistols and holsters, plus plenty of other spare weapons can be found on the sprues. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  9. Hi All, My latest completion is Tamiya's lovely Mustang III. El Mojo has been somewhat depleted of late, so I was looking for a straightforward build - I didn't bother with a WIP for this one (for the aforementioned reason). I chose to model this as GA*Q of 112 Sqn, based in Italy in 1944. Here's a photo of the aircraft: This aircraft was a little unusual in that the Sky identification band was painted out (except around the serial number), and it did not have the usual yellow leading edge stripes. Although there is much speculation around the camouflage colours for these aircraft I've chosen to model the aircraft in DG/OG over MSG. Rather curiously, Tamiya's decals provide the incorrect serial number for this aircraft (FB309, whereas any fool knows it should be FB247 ). Never fear, a quick firtle in the spares box yielded the appropriate digits). The kit was an absolute joy to put together - it was pretty much OOB with the exception of a lovely instrument panel from Yahu. I drilled out the ID lights on the underside of the wing and mixed appropriate paints with Krystal Kleer - I think it worked rather well. Anyway, on with the photos! Here's a lovely pair of shark mouths to warm @corsaircorp's frozen cockles (I hope you've now defrosted a bit Alain?) - one with her 112 Sqn forebear: Finally, who doesn't love a family photo? One with her kissing cousin from 3 Sqn RAAF, later also based in Italy: I've thoroughly enjoyed this build, and with mojo at much more normal levels I can gird my loins for a more challenging project. But what, you may ask??! Thanks for looking, Roger
  10. This Republic P-47D Razorback, a 1/48 scale Testors kit (a re-pop of the very old Hawk P-47), was built many years ago. The build was inspired by one done by Dr. Paul Budzik of Francis "Gabby" Gabreskis' T-Bolt in an old Finescale Modeller magazine. I remember that his was done in 1/32 and of course, was a magnificent model. I had the old Testors kit in my stash and was motivated to try and duplicate the bigger plane as best I could. This is my humble result. I added quite a bit of detail in the cockpit, on the engine and some brake lines. Built mostly OOB, I did lower the horizontal stabilizers, open the cowl flaps and drill out the gun barrels as well. This kit had the option of building either the razorback or bubbletop version; I went with the razorback because that part seemed to fit a little better. This was also one of the first builds where I tried to modulate the paint finish a bit but it is almost unseen in the pics. Heck, looking at them now, I can't see it! I’m sure I was too timid in my efforts. The decals mark her as a 84th Fighter Squadron plane with the 78th Fighter Group, operating out of Duxford, Cambridge in 1944 flown by Major Quince Brown. (http://www.americanairmuseum.com/person/173590) Thanks for your interest and comments! Gary
  11. Bloody Vienna (March – May 1945) The Soviet Offensive Operations in Western Hungary and Austria ISBN: 9786155583261 Peko Publishing As the might of the Soviet war machine rolled the Nazi troops back toward their own land, it began to look increasingly bad. So much so that even Hitler began to realise that the end could be nigh, and switched the Western front to defensive operations to withdraw troops to hold the Eastern front that was collapsing hard. Two Soviet armies approached the Austrian border, and the opportunity to take Vienna and the last remaining oil sources was too good to miss. Stalin and his generals organised the next assault to take Vienna, West Hungary and the surrounding area, while Guderian battled with Hitler over where to send the troops freed from the West. For once Hitler chose the longer-term solution, which was the oil fields, which Guderian grudgingly agreed with in hindsight. The book is hard-bound in a landscape format, with 212 real pages and a few blank pages at each end. It is written by Kamen Nevenkin, and is an interesting combination of a military history book and a pictorial history, with plenty of reading in between numerous often page-sized photos. From a Western European perspective we’re perhaps not as well-versed in the details of the conflict from an Eastern European standpoint, but this book goes through the history of the various parts of the conflict, taking the story up once the Nazis were in full retreat following Kursk, and ending with their removal from Hungary and the area around Vienna, plus a cameo from the British. Yay! Nebelwerfers! The book is broken down as follows: Chapter 1 – Soviet Military Planning and Preparations The strategic and political background of the operation The plan Chapter 2 – The German Catastrophe at Balaton The Soviet offensive begins The clearing of the Danube bank The fall of Western Hungary Chapter 3 – The fall of Vienna The first battles in Austria Street fighting in Vienna The struggles for Sankt Pölten and its vicinity Battles on the flanks Chapter 4 – Endgame in Austria The Allied advance in Western and Central Austria Capitulation and surrender in Austria The British Participation The photographs are large enough to show the details that might be harder to see at a smaller size, with a lot of them showing the state of German and Russian hardware after battle, some in a sorry state of repair after penetration by enemy rounds, others after they have been retrieved to a dumping ground. A few of the photos have evidence of wear and old age present, while a few have been reprinted from something resembling newsprint style photos, but that’s to be expected of 70+ year old pictures from cameras in the hands of possibly unskilled photographers. There are a few photos with victims of the conflict shown, and while they aren't particularly grizzly in black and white, they could be upsetting to the young or those easily upset. Forewarned is forearmed. Conclusion There are some great photos and some interesting text within the book, and I have again learned more about the subject during my speed read for the review. I’m hoping to go back and re-read it soon, and it’s definitely worth a look and a read. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  12. HOUSTON

    SPITFIRE.

    Fascinating history if you like history. another short video. sering a lot of talk about Spitfire is going on, and everyone is building one in large scales right down to smaller scales, I thought you may like to see it. If these videos have been posted before and you HAVE SEEN them then MY BAD !! Anyway ENJOY
  13. Day Fighter Aces of the Luftwaffe 1939-42 (ISBN: 9781612008486) Day Fighter Aces of the Luftwaffe 1943-45 (ISBN: 9781612008790) Casemate Publishers Pilots are a competitive lot, and there won’t be many of them that would deny that fact. Many aimed to become an Ace, an appellation that was achieved by shooting down five enemy aircraft or more, which is a lot more difficult than it sounds in warfare where the pilot’s lifespan is measured in weeks, days or even hours of combat. At the beginning of WWII the German Luftwaffe were pitched against a number of countries and their aircraft, with the latter often deciding the battle. The Germans had excellent fighters in the Bf.109 and later the Fw.190 and their opponents were often poorly equipped, a situation that would prove fatal for many of the Nazi's opponents, regardless of their flying skills. There were many Luftwaffe aces during WWII, but only a few of them survived the war, as continuous combat took a toll on even the best of them, with random chance or “bad luck” also conspiring against them the more sorties they flew. The Books These two books are best looked at and owned as a set, but as it’s a set of two it won’t break the bank. Because of the sheer number of aces within the Luftwaffe during WWII it has been split into two volumes that cover the time between the outbreak of WWII in 1939 to 1942, then 1943 to the end of the war in 1945, by which point the Luftwaffe was a faint shadow of their former glory and were essentially a spent force with few serviceable aircraft, even though time and money was still being spent by the RLM on development of new wunderwaffe that might have had an effect earlier in the war, and ignoring the fact that the German war machine was in tatters at that point. The books are perfect bound in attractive covers that match, and each has 128 pages of satin colour printed paper within. Both are written by Neil Page and illustrated by Vincent Dhorne with an appealing look to the pages and layout. Each book is laid out in a similar manner as you’d expect, as follows: Day Fighters of the Luftwaffe 1939-42 Table of Contents Timeline of Events Introduction The Polish Campaign and the Phoney War The Campaign in the West, 1940 Over England, 1940 Waiting for Barbarossa, 1941 Barbarossa, 1941 Africa, 1941 On the English Channel, 1941 Over the USSR, 1942 In the West, 1942 The Mediterranean, 1942 Afterword Glossary Bibliography Index Day Fighters of the Luftwaffe 1943-45 Timeline of Events Introduction The USSR, 1943 The West and the Reich, 1943 The Mediterranean, 1943 The West and the Reich, 1944 Normandy and the Invasion of France, 1944 Defence of the Reich The East, 1944 The Mediterranean, 1944 1945 Afterword Glossary Bibliography Index The Timeline pages can be placed side-by-side for a complete overview of the war in simplified terms, in case you aren’t familiar already, and the introductions are appropriate to the time period, so differ between the two volumes and have a more downbeat theme for the second book. The book contents are broken down in the same manner to the Timeline, so within each section pages with details of the pilots that became aces, with photos of them in best dress posed photos as well as more candid photos in front of their aircraft or with colleagues around the airfields they were stationed at. There are also excepts from war diaries of many aces, which have been accented in Luftwaffe blue, or feldblau in German. The photographs are of high quality and large enough to be useful as references or inspiration for dioramas, with some quite poignant as they show the pilots and ground crew laughing and joking, more so during the early war but even when things are bad and getting worse there is always room for gallows humour. There are profiles in each volume on a background of feldblau again, and there are even a few contemporary photos in colour thanks to some wealthy pilots or official photographs using comparatively rare colour film. At the top corner of each odd page is a tab with the section name printed in white to ease finding of the sections, which uses different colours to differentiate between them. Conclusion This is a good ready-reckoner of notable Luftwaffe pilots, and if you are interested in their exploits these volumes place them firmly within the context of when during the War they were active. The bibliography should provide a starting point for a deeper dive, should you be inspired. Highly recommended. Day Fighters of the Luftwaffe 1939-42] Day Fighters of the Luftwaffe 1943-45] Review sample courtesy of
  14. German Road Signs Ardennes, Germanny 1945 (35609) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd During WWII German forces loved to signport their way around the countryside, and often when they retreated there wasn't time to "scorched earth" everything. This set is full of signs of this nature, and includes military signs to guide their troops, distance and direction of nearby towns and so forth as they didn't have the luxury of GPS and satnav back then, which is probably just as well. This is one of their range of sign sets, in the shape of German road signs from the Ardennes, most likely used during their long retreat during the Allies' D-Day offensive and the following Defence of the Reich. The set arrives in a shrink-wrapped figure box with a painting of the contents on the front and brief instructions on the rear. There are five sprues in grey styrene in the box or four if you ignore the fact that the large one has been cut to fit the box, plus a decal sheet on thick paper that contains all the painted descriptive fronts of the signs. As the box art implies, you also get a concrete telegraph pole alongside the signs, of which there are thirty-eight in total spread across two identical sprues. Each sign is either metal or moulded with a restrained wooden texture that will show through the decals if you use enough decal solution during drying. Some of the larger signs are also made from a few planks, so the joins will also show through the decal. There are 48 decals on the sheet, so plenty of options that could be spread over multiple dioramas. The telegraph post is made from two halves with lightening holes through the centre, and a pair of isolators on each side, for which you’ll need to add some wires either taut or cut and dangling from the post. Conclusion Dioramas rely on the minutiae of the background to give that "lived in" look to the terrain, and signage is essential for all but the straightest of roads. The addition of the telegraph pole gives extra depth to any road scene, and the painting guide helps with painting the plastic parts. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  15. Eastern Front Fighters (ED72010) 1:72 Exito Decals During WWII the Eastern Front was a cauldron of death and destruction for both the Soviet and German troops, and a heavy toll was exacted on all that participated. The German Luftwaffe fought there in large numbers, drawing experienced aviators from the Western Front to try to stop the advance of the Soviets back into their own territory, rolling the Nazis up and over the border into Germany and their eventual defeat between the jaws of the allied vice. This decal set arrives in Exito’s high quality resealable packaging with a big piece of card keeping everything straight and tidy. Within is a glossy cover sheet plus three double-sided glossy sheets detailing each of the three decal options with many views to assist with the painting and decaling process. Small photos confirm the design choices of the artists and a list of colours necessary to complete painting is given in a number of brands, with a handsome pair of profiles on the backside that is suitable for hanging on the walls as a poster once they have fulfilled their job as instructions. The decals are printed by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt/gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. From the set you can build any or all of the following: Bf.109E-7 “White 2”, flown by Lt. Heinrich Ehrler of 4./JG5, Alakurtti, Finland, late April 1942 Bf.109F-4 Trop, W.Nr.10266, Flown by Maj. Gordon Gollob, Kommodore of JG77, Oktoberfield, Crimea, Soviet Union, June 2-6 1942 Bf.109G-6 “White 10”, flown by Oblt. Robert “Bazi” Weiß, Kapitän of 10./JG54 Northern sector of the Eastern Front, USSR, January 1944 Conclusion Another cracking set of decals from Exito, who are showing their attention to detail and pure quality in every release. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of [url=" https://exito.site/"][/url]
  16. I'm new to late war Luftwaffe colors. I'm working on a 1/72 FW-190A-8 with a late war scheme (RLM81/82/76). I am using my Hataka (Lacquer) Late war Luftwaffe set and this is the result of the RLM 81 and 82: Of course shooting it was maddening, because I couldn't quite get the colors right, but this is fairly close. In reality the green and the violet are a little more vivid. As near as I can tell, the RLM 82 green is about right, but the RLM 81 is really a puzzle to me. I seem to remember seeing paintings of green and violet German A/C (Me-262s), but most often the RLM 81 is more of a brown than a violet. It just seems awfully purple to me, but I'm new to this so i could be wrong. Eduard's instructions for late war FW-190A's look about the same for the Violet, but a little darker for the RLM 82, but in general it seems like my paint would be authentic. The reviewer on "the modelling news" seemed to think that the Hataka Acrylic version of RLM 81 was a little vivid, but felt it was in the realm of possibility. Any thoughts?
  17. Next small project to take away, a WWII steam tug full of character These were a series of emergency tugs built from 1943 to '45. A total of 182 of these little prefabricated tugs were built in modular units, by several different yards around the U.K. often by women workers. Unusual in being of a hard chine design and all welded construction. Plenty of further info available here http://www.steamtugbrent.org/history-of-tid-class-tugs.html Keel shear piece laid started on the frames Hopefully along with Stuart's we'll inspire some scratch building. I hope you'll join us for the trip Kev
  18. Next up from the Wednesday trip to the airport is another Testors kit from Hawk, this time from 1960. My Testors kit was issued in 1982. The aircraft is the well-known rocket-powered interceptor, the Me163 Komet, in 1/48 scale. This kit had only about 25 pieces and the instruction sheet had good four-view drawings for four different color schemes and some actually pretty good decaling and weathering tips. I chose the simplest of the four: Me-163B-O V-41, Eprobungskommando 16, Bad Zwischenahn, May 1944. (flown on first operational Komet mission according to the instruction's notes) I believe I’ve read that the all-red paintwork was done as a tribute to the World War One ace, the "Red Baron", Manfred von Richthofen. The only addition I made to the kit was adding the two cannon barrels. Other than that, it was straight OOB. I remember building this in the winter of 1989-90 at the kitchen table of my grandmother’s house where we lived while our house was being finished, and she was living in a nursing home. Again, I added a poorly painted ground crewman (never thought he would see the light of day...), from the Monogram Me-262 kit to add a sense of the true size of the little “power egg”; a plane that seemed as dangerous to its pilots as it was to the enemy. I knew a former WWII top-turret gunner in a B-17, here in our hometown. I once asked him if he had seen any of the German jets or rocket planes. He said he had but they were so fast, he was never sure if he had hit any! The wind played hob with the Komet at the airport. It wobbles on its take-off dolly anyway and the wind kept it moving up and down. I expect some pics might be a bit blurry. I expected her to actually take flight any minute, lol. That photo session was cut pretty short and I only got a few pics but that’s okay. The model isn’t really worth too many pics at best and I had one more plane to photograph. So, with no further ado, here’s my Komet at the Cameron Airport. Thanks for looking in and please leave comments, good and bad!
  19. G’day all, One of my fellow Adelaide Soaring Club members sent this out last week. Some fabulous footage of Lancasters, Manchesters and other WWII aircraft in amongst this, some of it in colour. Very well worth a look as a tribute to the heroes who risked their lives night after night so that we can live in a free society. Lest we forget.
  20. Today sees the launch of a new brand of Acrylic Lacquer paints from well-known company AK Interactive, which have been worked on in association with a number of respected aircraft and armour colour experts for over a year, including our own @Nick Millman. They have produced a range of colours that will be of great use to anyone making models of WWII aircraft or AFVs of the main protagonists in the European arena, namely Great Britain, America, Russia, and their foes Nazi Germany. Using their own knowledge of paint manufacture and formulation, coupled with the named experts (you'll see those names later on), they are more than a little bit proud to launch the range, which is accompanied by a book on the subject that looks to be well worth a read. At time of writing we are waiting for our samples, plus a copy of the book, but from looking at the pre-release publicity material, it all looks very interesting. If you scroll to the bottom there are some useful links to the initial range of paints and other information, so you can see all the shades that will be available initially, and if you visit their site you should be able to see the new racks with the branding on so that you can hunt them down in your local bricks & mortar model shop if you're not ordering online. You should be able to buy the pots individually or in themed sets, and as well as the Real Color AIR sets, there are also a range of Real Color AFVs coming too, with 133 available AIR and a further 114 in AFV flavours. If you're feeling flush you can buy the whole set in one fell swoop, which will ensure you have every colour to hand plus their clear coats right from the outset. The formulation is suitable for use their own thinners which are odourless (always good), and other thinners that can be used with non-latex acrylic paint formulations. The pots are glass, and contain 10ml of paint with a textured lid that makes it easier to remove, and the details of the paint colour and number are easily seen on the colourful labels. To accompany the range of paints, AK have also launched two books, entitled Real Colors of WWII Air and Real Colors of WWII AFV, which are a companion to the colours, and have a serious quantity of information and colour photographs that will amuse you for hours, and serve as a reference for future use. You can see details of both volumes here, but we have reproduced a few pages of the Air edition here in case you're short of time. You can find a handy PDF conversion sheet here, the full release information and range of paints can be seen on their dedicated website here along with information about how to use them, the names of the collaborators, and how they went about selecting shades for "The Accuracy". We're really looking forward to seeing the fruits of their labours, and will report back in due course when we have the paints and books to hand. Thanks to Fernando at AK for the information, and to all the people that took part in this expedition into colour accuracy.
  21. Hi all, hope you all are ok and safe... This is my first completed model during my quarantine here in Spain (started several months ago). I bought this one because of the color scheme, without knowing anything about the sprues or reviews, etc. so it was a surprise when I opened the box. Airfix did a strange thing with this product, I don't mean it's a bad thing, but at least strange. Half of the sprues are from the '70s and half are modern ones, designed for this D-Day edition... I think it had been better to design completely a new one model, if you plan to design the half of the sprues (the fuselage, and the top part of the wings, mainly). I must say that the old moulds almost haves a more crisp and fin details, except for the outside panel lines. The new parts haves modern negative panel lines, but a bit oversized. There had been some serious fitting problems, specially with the wings, and a lot of putty and sanding, and again sanding. But I think at the end it turn out nice. I must say that it had been in some points a bit painful, but in the other hand is a nice project to test my skills... I completed the model with a set of PE from Eduard designed for a Tamiya kit, and a bit of scratch, specially in the cockpit. The bad part is that behind the glass and the fuselage it will be all this work hidden. May be the thing I like more of my build is the cockpit, with all that wiring and scratch added to de PE, it had been very pleasant to do. I had follow some points on the page Scalespot.com and his beautiful Mossie in 1/32 from HKM for the references specially in the cockpit parts. Also added some scratch to the wheel bay and landing hear, because out of the box is very simple. Also rivet works by me, and I split the back control surfaces to have a more dynamic form. The decals are very hard to work with Mr Mark Setter/Softer and they are very thick... Well, I hope you like it. Thanks for take a look... Ricardo.
  22. Eagerly awaiting the start of the GB. Here is the beginnings of my build. - 1/48 Tamiya P-51B Mustang - Eagle Strike IP4810 Blue Nose Birds of Bodney Part 4 - Ultracast 48026 Detailed Exhausts - Ultracast 48139 Corrected Flaps - Ultracast 48133 Block Tread Wheel - Ultracast 48014 Seats (may or may not use these, depending on Aires set) - Aires #4223 Cockpit Set (not yet arrived...thought I had a set) - Resin propeller blades as well (no sure brand, they are in the bag with the exhausts. More yellow resin so guessing not ultracast) Gonna depict PZ*D from the 486th Fighter Group as seen in the photo below with plane not fully striped.
  23. Wehrmacht Radio Trucks (DS3509) Henschel 33D1 & Krupp L3H163 w/Kfz.72 1:35 ICM Via Hannants Ltd Radios were a little larger in WWII than they are now, so any radio with a decent range needed to be transported by a truck if it was to be mobile, and to a certain extent that's still true. The German Army use different chassis with the same Kfz.72 body with panelled wood sides to contain the equipment and crew needed for communications, which was a crucial aspect of their then-new Blitzkrieg warfare technique. the Henschel 33 truck was a product of the mid-30s and remained in service with the Wehrmacht until 1942, able to carry just over 3 tonnes and powered by a 6-litre petrol engine and made in substantial quantities. The Krupp L3H163 chassis was also used, with similar capabilities as the Henschel, although it was a slightly more modern design originating in 1936 and using Pneumatic braking systems to slow the 110hp engine’s roll. The Kit This is an amalgamation of two kits from the ICM stable, both of which were released originally in 2012 in their radio truck guise. It makes a lot of sense in the same way it did to the Germans at the time, although why they used two types rather than one for simplicity… well, it’s a good thing they did as it made for more complex and back-end heavy maintenance that helped slow things down for them. The kit arrives in a deep glossy box with a painting of the two types next to each other, showing how they differ mainly forward of the Kfz.72 body section, although the accessories and so forth are different between the two types, giving them some individuality. It’s a full box with seven sprues of grey styrene and a clear sprue for the Henschel truck, and nine sprues plus clear in the Krupp bag. Each kit has its own instruction booklet in the slightly older style, with a small decal sheet hidden within the pages of each one. Henschel 33D1 w/Kfz.72 Radio Truck Beginning with the six-cylinder engine and its ancillaries, the chassis rails are next with running boards fitted along with cross-rails, crew stirrups and some stowage, oil containers and jack block. The rear wheels are made up from a pair of tyres with moulded-in hub, joined to the rear by a two-part brake drum assembly. Four of these are made, and then set aside while the chassis is progressed by the insertion of the engine, front axle, steering box, exhaust and air-tanks at the rear. The transmission is assembled with the transfer boxes and drive shafts distributing the power to the rear axles that are mounted on twin leaf-springs on the top and bottom of the hub. The twin wheels are added to the ends of the four axles, and two single-part front wheels are attached to the front along with steering linkage. At this point the chassis is complete, and the body is then begun, starting with the cab. The cab is begun with the driver controls being inserted into a pedal box, instrument panel installed on two brackets, and steering wheel made up and all three assemblies fitted to the firewall along with the window frames and their clear glazing. A full-width bench seat is assembled and added to the cab floor with the front, sides and rear, the latter three having glazing added along the way. The back of the seat fits to the rear wall, and after a lick of paint, the corrugated roof is added, then closed in by the two crew doors with glazing, handles and winders. These can of course be fitted open or closed as you see fit. The front wings/fenders glue onto the chassis with large tabs holding them in place, and the radiator is slipped into the front rail of the chassis in preparation for the cab, which has its cowling made up along the centre rail, which can have its doors flipped up to view the engine. The cab is fitted to the chassis with the cowling once the radio cabin is completed. The cabin is basically a rectangular box with window (and door) cut-outs on the sides and front, a door cut-out at the rear, and two wheel well inserts cutting into the cabin floor. The rest of the cabin is empty, so if you want the extra detail inside you’ll need to do some research on the likely configuration of the interior. The wooden panelled cabin is completed by the curved ribbed roof, the rear door and side door with their glazing panels. The chassis, cab and radio cabin are mated with additional tools, antenna tubes, rear-view mirrors and an upstand enclosure for stowage on the roof, then more small parts such as jacks, lights, cowling clasps, a roof-mounted light bar, pioneer tools, steps, ramps for getting out of mud, and even some foot-pegs to reach the roof and get the stowage. Markings Any colour you like as long as it’s panzer grey. The two decal options are for vehicles in Poland and the Ukraine, with just a few number plates and small stencils completing the job. Decals are well-printed with crisp instrument dials for the panel in the cab. Krupp L3H163 w/Kfz.72 Radio Truck The build of this truck is very similar to the Henschel for obvious reasons. There are some differences to the equipment attached to the chassis, such as winches and the placement of fuel tank and stowage, then at the rear wheels there are large horizontal springs playing a part in the suspension while the front rests on leaf-springs. The cab has a central driver position and full-width instrument panel with some minor cab shape differences, which also extends to the cowling over the engine. The Kfz.72 cabin is based on many of the same parts as the Henschel as you'll see from the pictures, with the differences mainly in terms of the equipment attached to the exterior. In addition, the cab roof also gets a stowage enclosure fitted to the roof for even more carriage capacity. Externally, all the same tools and equipment are fitted to the vehicle but in different places, plus the addition at the rear of a pair of covered-up wind-up antennae that sit either side of the back door of the cabin. Markings It’s panzer grey again, and this time the vehicles depicted are from France and the Ukraine, with a similarly small and concise decal sheet including instrument panel dials for the cab. Conclusion Thanks to the communication needs of Blitzkrieg, these vehicles were ubiquitous wherever German command was established, with more sent closer to the front lines to extend lines of communication and keep abreast of changes on the battlefield. Having two of them in one box gives extra options and the opportunity to load up on Panzer Grey once to paint them both at the same time. Highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  24. The Me-262 is, hand’s down, my all-time favorite aircraft. I really love them! In fact, when the “Stormbird Project” was building its replicas, I got in touch with them about volunteering. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Me_262_Project Unfortunately, the commute from central Texas to Seattle, Washington killed the deal. I built this Monogram Me-262 somewhere between 1992 and ’96 I’d guess. I really should’ve kept better build records back then. I knew very little about weathering and wear, and looking back now, my models from that era look more toy-like I guess. Because of that, I had never taken the Me-262 out for a proper photo session. So, a couple years ago, I decided to take her out to the airport, along with a Monogram F-15 in Israeli livery that had never been photographed either. Both the Me-262 and the F-15 photographed well out there, surprisingly. Nothing like a good background of hangars and skies to bring out their best I guess. This aircraft belonged to 2./KG (j)54, based at Giebelstadt in March of 1945. The paint is Model Master and Humbrol enamels, sprayed through my Paasche Model H. The red paint was from an ancient little tin that I bought when an old hardware store in Cameron was closing it's doors. Amazingly, the paint was still viable and worked great through the AB. I did make some belts and buckles for the pit as well. So, here’s a look at this old warbird. It’s best to go ahead and lower your expectations jes’ a lil’ bit before diving in though. Thanks for your interest and support!
  25. Junkers Ju.88A-4 & A-5 Wheel Sets 1:32 & 1:48 Halberd Models Halberd Models’ recent flexible resin tyre sets require a slightly different method of construction to standard resin wheels, so I’ll refer you back to my initial review in 2019 here, which explains the process and design ethos in more detail. It also has a link to a video that shows the process fully, so if you’re unsure about how to use flexible resin tyres it’s worth a read. The assemblies are a drop-in replacement for the kit parts, so they should glue straight onto the landing gear axles, but it's always wise to test and adjust as necessary, as you'll be using either epoxy or super-glue to attach them because resin doesn't adhere with styrene glue. The tyres will deform slightly under weight, just enough to give them a more realistic look, but not so much that they'll look in dire need of more air before the next mission. Ju.88A-4 “Continental” Wheel Set (3233) This set is designed for the big Revell kit, which has been available for a while now, and this one is getting treated to a set of new wheels. Arriving in the by now familiar box, there are six resin hub parts on two casting blocks, plus three tyres – two main and one nose. Construction involves liberating the resin from their undercut base either with a razor saw or motor tool, then cutting the spoked centres out of the tyres and smoothing the inner face with a burr chucked into a motor tool. Each main wheel has a thick rear part with a deep hole in the centre, and a stepped front hub face, while the nose nose-wheel has two hub parts as you’d expect, over which you slip the tyre. They’re best glued with super glue (CA), and the wheels can be painted with latex based acrylic paints if necessary. Ju.88A-5 Early Type Wheel Set (4832) This set has a huge range of models it can be applied to with a little adjustment of the axle hole being the only possibility. They arrive in the same box as their larger sibling, and inside are ten resin parts that allow the modeller a choice of two types of hub, with and without a vented outer rim. Choose the correct parts after checking your references, and glue each hub half into the tyres using the groove in the rim to guide you, checking the scrap diagrams for the correct orientation of the tyres on the ground. The little tail wheels are built in the same way, but with one style of hub. Detail is excellent both on the hubs and tyres at either scale, and with sympathetic painting they should far outstrip that of the kit parts. Highly recommended. They’re currently being sold direct to customers via their Facebook page and through their distributors worldwide. Review sample courtesy of
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