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  1. Boeing 757-200 Icelandair (7032) Zvezda 1:144 First flown in 1982 the Boeing 757 was designed as a replacement the to hugely successful 727 tri-jet. The initial version was the -200 as depicted in this kit, which entered service with Eastern Airlines on January 1st 1983. Designed to cruise at higher altitudes than the 727, the 757 was able to achieve up to 45% fuel saving over its predecessor. The later -300 version stretched the fuselage by 23 ft (7.1m) and entered service in 1999. It has served widely with Civil, Military, and Government/VIP operators, as both passenger and freight haulers. Offered with the Rolls-Royce RB-211 or Pratt & Whitney PW2000 engines, a total of 1,049 757's of all versions were delivered. After nearly 40 years of service it is becoming an increasingly rare sight in the skies. Since this kit was announced, it has been eagerly awaited by airliner modellers, and first impressions are that it was well worth the wait. It is presented in Zvezda's stout cardboard post-office resistant box, with an outer sleeve depicting an Icelandair 757 taking off. Slide the outer cover off and the box reveals a set of beautiful looking moulding in light grey plastic. Panel lines are lightly engraved, and details are razor sharp on all the finer elements such as engine fans and undercarriage legs. The fuselage features the 'lobe crease' along its length, but is difficult to photograph as it is so subtle. Construction starts with the cockpit (we don't say that very often in airliner modelling!) with seats, control columns and rear bulkhead. Strips of glazing are provided for the cabin windows, and the instructions show to remove various lengths from each one, a sure sign that a -300 is on the way, and this sprue will be shared with it. The cockpit opening is of the 'letterbox' type, with a clear insert for the glazing, like the Airfix 'Skyking' and some Revell kits do. The instructions note to include 10 gr of weight in the nose to prevent tail sitting. There is no option to assemble it with slats and flaps down (which seemed to divide opinion amongst modellers) as the wings are formed from a single span lower part with individual uppers for each side. This is a virtually fool proof way of getting the dihedral set correctly and equally each side, simplicity itself. The wing can be built with the upward curved 'winglets', or the standard tips which are included but marked as not for use. Either are probably appropriate as photos show Icelandair 757's with both at various times. Next up are the engines, and here we have a real bonus. Zvezda have included both the Rolls-Royce and P&W options in full, which is very welcome for those of us who like to buy multiple kits and finish them with aftermarket decals for other liveries. The Rolls-Royce engines are used on this Icelandair version, and feature stunningly moulded fan detail. Also welcome is the provision of inner liners for the intakes. They are in 2 parts so can be assembled and smoothed off before fitting to the fan units. Knowing how accurately Zvezda's kits fit together, a quick swipe with some wet & dry paper should clean up any seams in seconds. Finally the undercarriage is assembled, but there is the option to assemble it 'gear up' in flight, and a sturdy stand is provided should you chose to do this. The undercarriage is made up of Zvezda's typically fine detailed parts, so will need care in assembly. Attention to detail evident even here as two complete sets of wheels are provided, each with different hub patterns. Kudos to Zvezda! Nose leg main part: I've had a couple of messages since posting this review, asking if it is possible to fit the nose leg after assembly. The good news is yes! Stage 10 in the instructions is the final step, and this is where you fit all the legs to complete the model. Summaries from the instructions to illustrate some of the pints made above. Decals Just one colour scheme is provided, that of Icelandair. It is beautifully printed in perfect register and with minimal carrier film. Silver framing is provided for all window surrounds and the cockpit glazing. A much appreciated touch is the provision of blocks of colour for the blue and yellows needed for painting the model. These will be the engine cowlings (yellow) and the under fuselage and fin. A second sheet provides the wing and tailplane walkway markings. Conclusion. The 757 has been high on many airliner modeller 'wants' list for several years. There are nice resin kits available, but the two injection moulded 757's from Minicraft and Eastern Express are not up to most modellers expectations, and can now be consigned to 'collectors only'. This new kit far and away exceeds them, and looks to be outstanding 'in the box. I have no doubt that it will build up with the superb fit that Zvezda achieve with their kits, a little care will be needed with assembling the noseleg, but the rest of it looks to be simplicity itself. I am sure that it should be a big seller for Zvezda, and that the aftermarket decal producers should be releasing some of the many, many attractive schemes that the 757 wore over the years. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  2. Ilyushin IL-62 is probably one of the most successful Soviet built intercontinental airliners. The plane carried max. 186 passengers to a max. distance of 10.000 km. Its maiden flight took place in January 1963 and a total of 292 planes were built during the years. Its main operator were Aeroflot and it was also the biggest plane used by Interflug, the East German state airline. The company operated a total of 24 planes. IL-62 was also widely used by many other Soviet block airlines. Ilyushin IL-62's were in use until the early 2000 but because of stricter noise regulations and new and more economical plane types they went almost totally out of commercial traffic. The only airline still using the plane for domestic tourist flights are Air Koryo of North Korea. I built the Interflug IL-62M from a Zvezda 1/144 kit with BOA decals I ordered from the web. I also used a photoetch set from Extratech. The Zvezda kit was of very high quality, very detailed and its fit was excellent. I primed the fuselage with white Tamiya Fine Surface primer which I then sprayed with Tamiya rattle can gloss varnish. The lower part of the fuselage, the wings and stabs were painted with Xtracolor X137 light gull grey. For the smaller details, wheels, lights, etc. I used Humbrol enamels and Vallejo acrylics.
  3. Good after noon fellow modelers, I've made one entry in this GB, but, why only one? So, bravely, as I'am not , I 've decided to start another one Bf109, this time, Zvezda is a producer. Aside from very poor and shallow panel lines, Zvezda's kit si exeptional. Cokpit is almost finish... Thanks for watching!
  4. In 2021 Zvezda is to release a 1/144th Boeing B-757-200 kit - ref. 7032 Source: https://vk.com/zvezdamodels?z=photo-29859496_457589701%2Fwall-29859496_2617107 V.P.
  5. For part two of my reparations to Col I shall be taking my build to the other temperature extreme from the deserts of North Africa, the freezing cold of the Russian front in Winter. I have an interest in the equipment flown by Germany's allies and have wanted to build up a collection of 109's in their various markings so this seemed as good a place to start as any. I was going to go with a Romanian E but the Airfix decals I have for them are a bit pants with the yellow looking very faded which will only get worse when put onto a dark green camouflage scheme, I then thought about a Finnish G-2 but thought I would save that for the Scandinavian GB later this year, Bulgaria is being expertly covered by @Ray_W in great detail, I already have an Italian ANR G-10 so that left Hungary and Slovakia, and Hungary was the best option in my opinion. The Hungarians operated almost every version of the 109 so there is a lot to choose from, including a great variety of colour schemes. The version of 109 I am going with is the F-4 which in my opinion is the best looking 109 version, and the kit I am going with is the recent offering from Zvezda which is a very comprehensive kit of around 200 parts, not all of which are used as there are parts in the kit to allow you to build an F-2 as well and there are options of open or closed panels on the wing undersides and complete engine should you decide to display your model that way. Here is the ubiquitous box top shot, with some pretty nice art work; And the untouched sprues; And a look at some of the details on the wing interiors; And the aftermarket decals by SBS that I will be using for this build; And the sheet itself; Don't think I will be using the decals for the tail stripes, paint will work much better. And a look at what for me was the absolute stand out scheme on the sheet; I do love a winter camouflage scheme! Also gives plenty of scope for weathering, the plan is to paint the aircraft in it's normal 74/75/76 scheme and then apply the decals and then to carefully mask them and spray the white over the top, just like they did in the field. I need to get Emil either finished or very close before I can make a start on Friedrich, hopefully that will be soon. Thanks for looking in and as usual all comments and criticisms are gratefully received. Craig.
  6. Zvezda is to release in 2021 a new tool "easy-build series" 1/72nd Hawker Hurricane kit - ref. 7322 Source: https://vk.com/doc6108131_578170851?hash=b62de4a6f84263e904 V.P.
  7. In the framework of the recent toy tradefair Mir Detstva 2017, held at Moscow, Zvezda is reported having announced a "surprise" new tool 1/48th aircraft kit for 2018. Bets are open La-7, Fw.190... To be followed. UPDATE : IT'S A YAKOVLEV YAK-130 "MITTEN" https://vk.com/wall-29859496?own=1&w=wall-29859496_2175134 Source: https://vk.com/wall-29859496?own=1&w=wall-29859496_2000050 Source AlexGRD: http://master194.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=100171&sid=b7252e4ad3d849de8e26c4c009281a81 V.P.
  8. Mi-24P Hind-F (4812) 1:48 Zvezda HobbyPro Marketing Instantly recognisable to enthusiasts of Cold War aircraft, the Mil Mi-24 'Hind' has formed the backbone of the Soviet Union/Russian Air Force's attack helicopter force since the 1970s. The need for a battlefield attack helicopter became obvious following the experience of American forces in Vietnam. Mil developed the Hind as a response to this need, using the successful Mil Mi-8 'Hip' transport helicopter as a basis. It was transformed by the addition of a small pair of wings positioned to the rear of the passenger compartment for carrying weapons, a machine gun in the nose and a tandem cockpit for the flight crew. It was capable of carrying eight troops as well. The Mi-24V Hind E is one of the later, and more capable Hind variants, introduced into service in the 1980s. It is capable of carrying the highly effective AT-6 Spiral anti-tank missile on the hard points under its wings, as well as the four barrelled 12.7mm machine gun in the nose turret. It is capable of carrying a range of other ordnance, including the UPK-23-250 23mm cannon pod and the B-8V20 rocket launcher. The later Mi-24P or Hind F is a gunship version, which replaced the 12.7mm machine-gun with a fixed side-mounted 30mm GSh-30-2K twin-barrel cannon. As aiming the canons depends on manoeuvring the helicopter controls are moved for this to the pilot. First seeing use in Afghanistan these models also saw combat in Chechnya and later in Syria. They are still in service today with Russia and other nations. The Kit This is a brand-new tooling from Zvezda, fresh off the presses in Russia, so it is a modern kit and has plenty of detail moulded-in, and options to have many areas of the kit opened up. Its great to have a new tool model of the Hind in a manageable scales, as nice as the Trumpeter one is 1/35 is a bit large! The only issues I can see is that there are no rivets at all on the fuselage? Having seen a couple of these close up they are covered in rivets and the lack of them on the model is strange. I can understand this would have cost more to mould onto the kit but there is just something about seeing the kit smooth that is not right. As well as the main fuselage parts there are another 6 sprues of parts in grey plastic, and a clear sprue. The rotors have their characteristic droop moulded in. Before you start its worth considering if you want the engine covers, doors, engine compartments open or closed. Once this is done construction can start with the cockpit. Here two figures are supplied if the modeller wants to use them. The tandem tub is moulded as one part to which the seats are added along with the flight controls and side controllers. All instruments are provided as decals. The cockpit sides go on and then the cockpit section attaches to the floor of the rear troop compartments. Next up we concentrate on the engine decking which also forms the roof of the troop compartment. The main gearbox is built up and added along with other engine ancillaries to the top. Rails are added to the underside. The mount for the gearbox is added along with the separating bulkhead between the two engine. The rear bulkhead for the troop compartment is added and then the roof/engine decking can be added on making sure the central seating part for the troop compartment goes in. The two engines can the be assembled and added to the engine deck. Inside the troop compartment the seat bases are added. Moving to the main fuselage sections holes need to be opened up and additional parts added inside the main cabin area. If closing up the fuselage then engine panels and the troop compartment doors can be fitted in the closed positions. Next up the cockpit section is flipped upside down and the front section including the wheel well is added. At the rear the main wheel well is assembled ad added in. The main fuselage can then be closed up around the cabin section. At the front the pilots main panel goes in and then the front fuselage side can go on. The forward sensor fairing is also fitted. At the rear of the tail section the small wings are fitted as well as the tail rotor gearbox. The wings for carrying the weapons are built up and added at this stage along with the pylons. The rear top mounted IR jammer is also now installed. At the front the engine intakes and covers go on. The clear canopies can now be fitted. The last major area for completing the fuselage is the construction and addition of the landing gear. If building the Afghan version then IR diffusing exhausts are fitted. Onto the rotors. The main rotor head is built up with the blades adding onto the rotor head, the lower plate is added and control linkages join the two. This can then be added to the helo. The tail rotor is a single part. To finish up the main fuselage the side mounted 30mm cannon is built up and installed along with various aerials, and the large external chaff/flare dispensers. The large spure for the weapons is the same as for the previous kit as it also contains the under chin turrets. There are four fuels tanks, four rocket pods and four anti-tank rockets. Markings There are five painting options included on the decal sheet. From the box you can build one of the following: 262nd Separate Helicopter Sq,n Soviet Army Aviation, Bagram Airbase, Afghanistan, 1989. 334th Centre of Combat Employment and Personnel retraining. Russian Army Aviation, Torzhok Airbase, 2014. Aviation Group of the Russian Air & Space Forces in Syria. Khmeimim Airbase 2017. 5th Helicopter Sqn, (Hubschrauber - Geschwader) East German Army, Basepohl Airbase, 1988. 86th Helicopter Aviation Unit, Hungarian Military Forces, Szolnok Airbase 2019. The decals are well printed with a red band around the edge that is reminiscent of Begemot’s work, but that’s just my guess. The colours are dense, printing sharp, and what little registration there is on the two large Russian logos is good, with a satin carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion It’s a very nicely moulded kit, A welcome addition to the range. Recommended. Available from all good model shops online or in actual buildings. Review sample courtesy of
  9. Zvezda is to release in 2020 a 1/48th Mil Mi-24 "Hind" kit. Probably the start of a family of Mi-24: D/V/P etc. Fingers crossed. Source: https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235061306-zvezda-2020/ V.P.
  10. Hey folks, i'm back haha after finishing my easyjet 319, i'm now sharing with you a WIP of two A320s. One is a custom order from someone, the other one is for myself. The custom ordered one will be AerLingus and my own will be holiday airlines, an airline most of you probably haven't heard of. Basically my friend @Berko suggested to do something from turkey, which initially wasn't my preference, but then i remembered that i flew to turkey in '94 and in a split second the choice was made. Since i have a weird tendency to build rare birds or things that are neither popular nor beautiful, this color scheme might not wake up everyones interest. People who know me, are aware of whats coming. Lots of scratch builds, details, corrections and ways of doing things a bit different maybe, which doesnt mean it is right or good, but my aim is always to improve my model skills and to share stuff here, so you can supply me with tips or ideas and vice versa. Less talking, here come the first pics. First i was a bit bored and i started with the fuselage halfs. So the surface is made for painting it with a brush, very coarse and not airbrush friendly. I initally filled the main door oulines with superglue. The rear doors are rectangular - which is completely wrong. seems like the CAD designer forgot them. After filling i sanded the stuff and now the surface is nice and the door outlines are gone. this way i dont have any conflict with the door decal dimensions. next up is the flight deck. Added thrust levers and a proper anti glare shield.
  11. British Headquarters WWII & Soviet Motorcycle M-72 with crew (6174 &6277) Art-Of-Tactic Wargaming Series 1:72 Zvezda Zvezda have a wargaming system called Art of Tactic, and while I’ve never heard of it, that doesn’t mean much, as I’m not into wargaming, so what do I know? You can visit the site here if you’re interested, where you’ll find all sorts of rules, expansions and a substantial list of existing products that are available from the range, including Starter Sets, Expansions, and history behind the scenarios. The kits are predominantly 1:72 for ground troops and equipment, and 1:144 for aircraft, with a growing range available. These two sets arrive in slim end-opening boxes, with a single sprue inside plus a sheet of instructions in Russian and English. On the rear of the boxes are examples of how the sets can be posed, and you don’t have to apply glue or paint if you don’t wish to. For some folks it’s all about the gaming, others like their pieces to be attractively painted, and if you add some glue, they’ll stay in one piece for longer, which is always good news. Just because these products have been designed with wargaming in mind, you shouldn’t dismiss them as model kits in themselves, as the moulding has been done to a high standard, using modern techniques that bring a good level of detail to the sets. We received two sets for review, and I decided that as they are fairly straight forward to build, that it would be a good idea to actually put them together as if in preparation for a gaming session. Often when you hear “snap fit” it’s a slightly misleading title, as there are usually parts that are a looser fit, so prone to working loose. Not in this instance however, although one or two parts will last longer with glue. Once the majority of parts are together, they stay together regardless of glue, but the glue helps to side the joins. You can see the results under each heading below. British Headquarters WWII (6174) This set includes four figures that can be mounted on individual bases or on a larger combined base so that they can be moved as a unit. The officer is pointing toward a distant target with his walking stick, pipe in hand, while another rank observes the scene with binoculars with what appears to be a map in hand. A kneeling man is offering the officer a field telephone, while the fourth man is saluting at attention for reasons best known to themselves. Sculpting is good, and the equipment they wear is appropriate for the era, with the figures going together well. You’ll need to find a bit of wire if you plan to detail the telephone waving man, but other than that, a scrape of the seams and some glue to hide the seams, and you’re good. I assembled these chaps on individual bases, but you can see the group base next to the figures, complete with a flag that allows simple movement of the set without excessive touching of the figures. Soviet Motorcycle M-72 with Sidecar & Crew (6277) This set can only be made up on the large base due to its size. The motorcycle has a pair of exhausts added, running down its sides from cylinder blocks, with a frame added to the right side for the sidecar. The two figures are well-moulded to fit in their places, with a choice of handlebars in case you want to model it without crew. One set of bars has hands moulded to it, which can be attached to the rider with a little glue, giving a more realistic look. The passenger is inserted into the sidecar and has a machine gun with dinner-plate magazine on the top (that’s one piece that needs glue), which mounts to the front of the sidecar with a triangular bipod that clips into the front fairing – the gun is also best glued to the tripod. At the rear is another cowling with a spare tyre on top, then the third wheel is fixed to the frame, and finally the whole assembly is mounted to the base on three large pins that won’t come loose even without glue. This set also has a flag at the rear for easy movement. Conclusion I’m not a wargamer as already mentioned, but from my point of view these sets are suitable for modellers as well as gamers due to their level of detail. The only alteration that would improve the detail further would be to cut away the web that joins the motorcycle rider’s gun barrel to his shoulder, which is a moulding necessity. Nicely detailed, and reasonably priced into the bargain. Highly recommended. Available from all good Model Shops. Review sample courtesy of
  12. I've not entered an airliner in a Group Build for well over a year, so time to make amends: This will be the Zvezda A321 kit with RicWarcup decals and Bra.Z winglets to build N701FR "Otto the Owl". Having relatives in Colorado, we have flown to / from Denver several times in recent years and I'm always drawn to have a walk around Concourse A and get photos of the Frontier aircraft that are on the gates. Mike
  13. Hello Here is my Zvezda Lockheed C-130E #314 of the Israeli Defence Force in 2012. The kit is quite easy to build and I picked some decals from my huge stock. Patrick
  14. TOR-M2/SA-15 Gauntlet Russian Anti-Aircraft Missile System (3633) 1:35 Zvezda HobbyPro Marketing A replacement for the SA-8 Gecko anti-aircraft missile system was requested by the Soviet Military in the mid-70s, and after a long development period, The TOR-M1 was finally accepted into service 10 years later. As with all things, upgrades followed until the M2 variant was developed, recently using the longer-range, more compact 9M338 missiles, stored vertically in the centre of the turret ready to be launched immediately, able to fire even whilst on the move under optimal conditions. Eight of the older 9M330 or 9M331 missiles can be launched from the TOR system, while sixteen of the newer 9M338 missiles can be carried in the same space, thanks to the compact size of the new design, increasing its effectiveness and reducing its down-time for reloads. The radar modules on the turret can provide targets and guide up to eight missiles at a time in later variants, and it can also communicate with the missiles after launch thanks to a small antenna on the vehicle that can update the missiles in-flight. The turret is mounted on a GM series tracked chassis made by Mytishchi Machine-Building Plant in a district outside Moscow, but the system can also be mounted on a wheeled chassis, and the same basic system is also capable of being mounted on a ship, with an amphibious variant in the pipeline at some point. It has seen extensive service in many of the conflicts around the world since it was taken into service in Russian and other countries, and sadly it is implicated in the shooting down of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 whilst in Iranian hands. The Kit This is a brand-new tooling from Zvezda, fresh off the presses in Russia, so it is a modern kit and has plenty of detail moulded-in. The kit arrives in a standard yellow-themed box with captive top lid, and inside are six sprues in grey styrene, plus two hull halves in the same colour. In addition, there is a small clear sprue, two different sizes of plastic mesh, the instruction booklet and a double-sided sheet of A5 printed with the decal options. The sprues have a shiny finish, with a good level of detail, including link and length tracks that have been created with the correct level of sag moulded-in. It is an exterior-only model, and there are no missiles to accompany it, which is a minor shame, but someone is bound to come up with an aftermarket block of resin to portray that area in much finer detail than is possible in styrene. Unusually for an AFV, construction begins with the turret, which is based upon a floor that has the turret ring moulded-in, with the bland upper turret installed and detailed with inserts on all sides to busy it up, plus the roof panel, which has the two missile compartment tops moulded into it, and equipment is placed within the cut-out at the rear that will form the base of one of the radar installations. To either side of the turrets are two additional panniers, which have sections of the larger mesh inserted into the angular ends, using a template that is printed next to the instructions. The large flat radar panel is made up with the dielectric panel at the front, which has a shallow convex bulge in the centre, to be fitted to the rear of the turret on some substantial hinges that fix to the rear corners. The framework for the other radar is then made up and attached to the rear of the large rectangular panel, which has the curved radar installed at the top, then is inserted onto the equipment that was installed earlier in the recess of the turret along with even more parts. The lower hull is then pulled from the box and outfitted with the suspension swing-arms, towing hooks and the two-part drive sprockets, to be joined by the paired road wheels and the four return rollers each side, leaving the idler wheels off until the tracks are ready to be put in place. As already mentioned, the tracks are link and length, with good detail and no ejector-pin marks to deal with, which is always nice. The long straight runs on the top and bottom are moulded as single parts, with shorter lengths for the diagonals and four curved sections that are made up from individual links by wrapping five or six links around the drive sprockets and idler wheels, applying glue and letting them set up. These curved sections are used to link the straight sections, with an additional single link between the front diagonal and bottom run, to break up the sharpness of the transition. The upper hull is a stepped panel with a cut-out in the central section ready to accept the turret later, but it first needs detailing with panels to bring the deck, which starts life as a series of blank-faced raised boxes, up to scratch with the highly detailed surfaces, adding the sloped glacis plate with clear windows, headlamps, and optional open or closed hinges for the window covers that are fitted later. The sides and rear bulkheads are joined to the lower edge of the deck, and another long piece of mesh is inserted into the narrow exhaust outlet, again using a nearby drawing as a template. To mate the two hull halves together, two narrow fender inserts are slotted into the sides of the lower hull, which join with the upper hull, accompanied by a lower glacis plate and a few details in the rear. The engine deck has more surface detail fitted next, including more mesh for one of the heat exchangers on the engine deck, an overhang on the right rear, plus three stowage boxes hanging over the back. At the front are fixed clear vision blocks for the crew with guards, sensors, hooks, a 2-man saw, a flat cover over the headlamps that supports a large angular box, a pair of styrene towing cables with moulded-in eyes, with another slung under the rear bulkhead and accompanied by rear mudguards, one of which was off the sprue in my example. Yet more detail is fitted to the upper hull in the shape of pioneer tools, trunking on the engine deck, a stowed ladder, rear lights, spare tracks and sensors, plus a pair of long textured panels that run down either side of the turret area. There are two completion options for this kit, as already mentioned. The first is with the radars and other equipment stowed for transport, and with the front windows open and the windscreen wiper blades installed. Alternatively, with the radars popped up ready for action, the two covers are installed lowered, thanks to the alternative hinge parts that will have been fitted earlier in the build. A few more small parts are dotted around the front of the deck, and that’s the model finished. Now for some paint. Markings There are two painting options included on the decal sheet, although with several of the numerals 0-9 on the sheet, pretty much any numerical code can be assembled. From the box you can build one of the following: Victory Parade Moscow, 2017 Khmeimim Air Base, Syrian Arab Republic The decals are well printed with a red band around the edge that is reminiscent of Begemot’s work, but that’s just my guess. The colours are dense, printing sharp, and what little registration there is on the two large Russian logos is good, with a satin carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The scan of the logo seems to have rendered it more red, when it looks more orange in the flesh, so please remember that. Conclusion It’s a very nicely moulded kit, with just the right amount of detail for an exterior model. The tracks are well-detailed and aren’t over-complex, which is always a bonus and shouldn’t dissuade even the most track-phobic modellers from picking one up for their stash. Keep up the good work Zvezda! Highly recommended. Available from all good model shops online or in actual buildings. Review sample courtesy of
  15. Kit - Zvezda Paint - All Tamiya acylics Decals - Spares Extras - DEF Models kit-specific resin mantlet and aluminium barrel. So here' my first ever Zvezda kit which I started about six weeks ago, and other than some cursing around the link & length tracks which seem a half-link or link too long... it went together very easily in just three sessions. I mixed my own version of 4BO green using various Tamiya greens, yellows and possibly some witchcraft. I gave it two coats of Tamiya Clear, decals, then a third coat of clear and left the whole thing to cure and went on holiday ! When it made-it back to the bench, I decanted some cheap hairspray into my airbrush and applied two medium coats about 20mins apart. Left it again for about 45mins in the New Zealand sunshine and then applied a mottle of Tamiya 'Buff', 'Deck Tan' and Flat White. Another break for around 20mins then started the chipping process especially on the top of the casement and engine deck which would have got a lot of wear from the crew and probably wouldn't have received too much in the way of 'winter white' anyways. The rest of the paint effects are simple Panel / Pin washes, an overall dirty brown wash and finally some streaking, all with Windsor & Newton oils. To finish I mixed a cocktail of various MIG pastels and dark washes to get a rich black brown mud at the lowest points and a lighter but still earthy brown tone higher up. I deliberately left-off the spare tracks usually mounted on the front hull as well as the snow cleats from the right side (all will be used when I build a T34 / 76 later this year). Only stowage is a couple of tarps from lead foil, a rucksack on the aerial pot and a 'liberated' German jack. Love the final look of this project one of those rare times that what you get at the end of the process is precisely what you envisioned when you bought the kit in the first-place. Please feel free to make any comments, ask any questions or hurl any abuse. Have a great weekend, all. Very best from NZ. Ian.
  16. Those who have followed my recent builds will know of my affinity with the 747. Whilst my current 747-436 tribute build is stalled (I'm still waiting for replacement decals), I thought I would turn my attention to some more modern 747 kits. Hopefully they will be far less hassle and go together much more easily than the venerable Revell 747-400! The only modern version of the 747 is the -800 variant. Both Revell and Zvezda have 1/144 versions of this aircraft, but which is best? There's only one way to find out - build them both! To start, here are the two boxes: First impressions - the packaging on the Revell box is superior, as are the decals. The quality of the sprues looks pretty comparable - time will tell as the build progresses... More on that later! Regarding the schemes, I am going to venture into the world of custom decals and build these two as 'what ifs'. Both models will be finished in a 'Utopia' or 'World Image' livery, used by British Airways at the turn of the century and then dropped in favour of the current 'Union Flag' scheme. It was a bit marmite(!), but I quite liked it and thought it would be an interesting side project to design something completely different and previously unseen on a 747. One model will be finished in the 'Youm al-Suq' design, representing Saudi Arabia. This scheme was only ever used on two aircraft - an Embraer 145 (G-EMBJ) and a 737 (G-GBTA). Images of these two aircraft can be seen on the artist's website: https://www.shadiaalem.com/british-airways-utopia-project I purchased some decals designed for the 737 and set to work on photoshop, amending the design to fit a 747. Here's the original decal: Then after many, many hours of work, I created something 747 sized: The other airframe will receive a variation of the 'Colum' livery used on my tribute build. This design was quite well received and there were several different versions of this design in use. I am basing my decal on G-BGDR, a 737-236. I bought these decals earlier in the week and have a few hours of work ahead of me... Here's how they look, compared with the 747: Obviously they need enlarging and I will have to make a few modifications and additions along the way! I hope to turn my attention to these two models soon - I need a break from the endless round of filling/sanding/priming which seems to be happening with all my other projects at the moment! Just gluing plastic together will make a pleasant change...
  17. The all white livery of the Polish national airline LOT brings out very well the elegant contours of the Tupolev Tu-134A. This jet in various East European liveries was a very familiar sight at European airports in the 1960's and 70's. In my mind The TU-134 was one of the best looking Soviet manufactured airliners. I built the model from an excellent, tamigawa quality 1/144 scale Zvezda kit. The livery decals were a combination of various sets: Avia Decals, F-DCAL and the very genuine looking, three dimensional glass nose cone decal from Ascensio. The cabin windows, the windscreen and the nose cone of the kit were open so I had to putty and sand them closed. I sprayed the plane with white Tamiya fine surface primer which I then covered with Tamiya clear gloss varnish. The metal areas are Alclad Polished aluminium. Humbrol and Vallejo colours were also applied to smaller details.
  18. Zvezda is to release in 2020 a 1/72nd Lockheed C-130 Hercules kit - ref. 7321 Source: https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235061306-zvezda-2020/ V.P.
  19. The kit is in 1/48 scale from Zvezda. Although surface details, are nice, the panel lines are a bit too shallow for me. Construction was easy and straight forward but the clear part need a bit of extra care. Especially when you choose for open canopy position, the overlapping front and rear canopies are moulded in one piece. So it was difficult for masking and painting but finally through patience, I managed to do so. Painted with Mr.Hobby lacquer paints and weathered using AK Products.
  20. While I'm still trying to solve the problem with the Lufthansa DC-10 cockpit windows, I decided to start with my other kit that I had in my queue. In order to complete the complete line of Boeing passenger planes, I chose the Boeing 767 in the colors of the magnificent Brazilian airline Varig. The choice of VARIG started through a very strong link that I have with the airline and with Brazil itself: My grandparents emigrated from Portugal to Brazil in the 50's. They met there, got married and had children telling Portugal again already in the 1980's. On the trips they made from Rio de Janeiro to Oporto they chose Varig most of the times and even today, they always tell me how big, splendid and good the airline was in terms of service, quality and planes. Thanks to that and also thanks to my mother, my house is full of things from Varig. Cutlery, trays, blankets and more. Like TAP and Swissair, Varig is an airline that is in my heart, due to my connection with Brazil. An airline that unfortunately shouldn't have had the outcome it did. But turning now to the kit itself! I bought this kit on sale on eBay and with free shipping! I was quite satisfied however, a little suspicious that the kit is from Zvezda. Since I was a kid, I've been used to seeing Revell kits. That's why I always try to give preference to Revell, even knowing that most of the time the mold is not the best. The box is a normal Zvezda box, with the lid and the illustrations drawn, along with the classic box where the kit comes from, which is quite good and resistant and useful for storing things in the future! When I started assembling the kit I put the two main parts together and I was very surprised by the quality of the kit. The two pieces fit perfectly and at first glance everything looked in place. All the pieces have incredible lines and details that honestly left me with an excellent impression of Zvezda! For all kits to be so perfect, I started to have a favorite brand! The next step was to apply putty to all the windows as well as to make the necessary changes to the main fuselage. This Boeing 767 comes with the Aeroflot layout which consists of four doors at the front and four doors at the rear. It turns out that the Boeing 767 that I'm going to make, the PP-VPV has a different configuration: It has two doors at the front, four windows on the wings and two doors at the rear. I confess that I was very close to changing the plane to the -200 version. The 767-200 is an airplane that manages to have a very peculiar beauty. But after comparing the 767-200 and the 767-300 with the same painting (yes because Varig operated with both versions), I opted for the -300 version. Maybe one day I won't make a 767-200 with the colors of American or United Airlines The kit had such a good fitting, that the windows fit perfectly into the holes. Obviously, I putty and sanded everything and in the final result the entire surface was polished. I have to stress this one more time. The kit had such a good fitting, that I didn’t apply putty in the top and bottom. I just sanded it and then with the help of a scalpel I redid the lines I had erased with the sandpaper. It was a 1st time, not applying putty to cover bad fittings, which saved me a lot of time and patience! Zvezda you rock! After sanding and applying the wings (and those had to take a little plastic putty from Vallejo), I turned to the engines while the putty was not drying so I could sand again to apply the primer. I decided to follow the instructions and started with the low pressure turbine and nozzle area of the engines. After assembling (just to check the fit and shape of the engine), I noticed that this interior part would not be very visible. Anyway, I decided to apply a smoky color in order to simulate a little the metallic alloy already marked by the high temperatures there. Varig's 767 used to have General Electric CF6-80C2 engines. After that I decided to apply a primary white to reveal some imperfections as well as for the paint to adhere better when applying the final color. This afternoon I did it and left it to rest. Next time I will probably sand the imperfections a little and then start with the painting process!
  21. Here is my finished Zvezda Boeing 737-8 Max in 1/144 scale. This is in the ‘protective layer’ fresh from the production line and in British Airways livery, though they don’t actually operate this variant, it is used by Comair in South Africa under the BA livery (ZS-ZCA). It was a standard OOB the build with the detail sheet supplied by Authentic Airliner Decals. The kit is straight forward enough to build and is great for little details at the same time! As this was a build designed to show the aircraft in its post production state the paint used was Halfords Racking Grey all over. I used Revell 361 applied lightly with streaks for the high impact primer layer on the engine nacelles. Various Revell Aqua colours for the metals. The detail sheet from AA was excellent and very true to life. It was like completing a jigsaw puzzle the way the pieces all interlocked and joined! I have always wanted to do a model in this way and when I saw this sheet I knew it had to be done! I can only hope I’ve done this excellent sheet some justice. It’s tempting me to convert a 737-8 Max to a 737-7 Max just to do the other scheme. Thank you for looking and as always feedback and comments are always welcomed. I am on a roll with getting these projects that have been sat around for a long time completed! Regards, Alistair
  22. 2C35 Koalitsiya-SV Self-Propelled Howitzer (5055) 1:72 Zvezda Soviet and post-Soviet Russia have long had a series of self-propelled guns (SPG) with catchy alpha-numeric names such as 2S3, 2S19 and so forth (I’m being a little sarcastic in case you missed it). The 2C35 is the latest in that long line, and was first seen in public by western sources in the rehearsals for the Victory Day parade in 2015, with more detail revealed as time went by. It is a highly mechanised vehicle, which has always been a goal of Russian AFV development, but with the advances in technology over the last few decades, the level of automation has advanced substantially, enabling the vehicle to operate efficiently with a reduced crew complement. The turret is un-manned, and is controlled from the command capsule in the main body of the vehicle, and like much of modern armour, they are part of a digital combat network that improves situational and battle-scape awareness, and the crew can even select the correct type of round for the upcoming fire mission without leaving the comfort and security of their cab. So far, the advanced turret has been fitted on a T-90 derived hull, but it is expected that it may be installed on the T-14 Armata hull in the future, which is in-line with the intended common-platform view expounded when it was announced. Changes to the auto-loader mechanism have already been made that have increased the rate at which the vehicle can put rounds downrange, with over 60 rounds able to be carried within the hull. As is common with modern SPGs, the onboard computers can instantly calculate various mission patterns, such as adjusting the trajectory of each successive round so that they all arrive at the same time, giving the enemy no time to scarper when the first shell of a volley detonates. The Kit This is a brand-new tooling from Zvezda, and it arrives in an end-opening box, but hold the groans, as there is an inner cardboard tray with captive lid that prevents the box collapsing if stacked. Inside are four sprues of grey styrene, one of black styrene, a small decal sheet, colour painting guide, and trifold A4 instruction booklet in black and white. The detail visible on the sprues is thoroughly modern, and there are plenty of aspects of kits of a much larger scale on view that will please any 1:72 AFV modeller. The black sprue contains the tracks, which are flexible enough to wrap around the road wheels, without having to deal with those nasty, flexible rubbery tracks of yore. Construction commences with the lower hull, which comprises the floor and two sides, with the self-entrenching tool added under the glacis along with various track-links and lugs. At the rear are another line of lugs and the rear bulkhead, then the road wheels are made up in pairs with rubber tyres moulded-in, a three-part pair of drive sprockets and two-part idler with tensioning axle at the front, which is inserted as you wrap the tracks around the running gear, so that you can obtain the correct tension once the tracks have been closed up into a loop. The track parts are well-detailed, and flexible enough to curve around the road wheels, although some heat on the subject will help this task go well and avoid snapping. A dip in hot water or a hair dryer carefully played briefly over the tracks will assist you with this, but take care not to scold or burn yourself firstly, and secondly don’t melt your tracks! With both tracks in place, the upper hull is added, and some detail painting will be needed for the pioneer tools moulded into the surface. It’s worth noting that the moulding is excellent for the scale, with fine vents on the engine deck, panel lines, raised details that will all add realism to the finished model when painted sympathetically. The side skirts also have a few tools moulded-in, and at the rear the mudguards and additional cooling grilles are fitted below and above the rear deck respectively. The gun’s travel-lock frame is similarly well-detailed, and it secures to the glacis plate along with the light clusters with their protective frames, a few additional track links, towing eyes, and three crew hatches at the front of the top deck under the gun. At the rear, the ubiquitous unditching log and two tow-cables are clipped to the bulkhead along with a pair of towing eyes. Speaking of guns, the big Kord 12.7mm remote weapon station includes a well-detail rendition of the gun, its turret, large ammo-can and the sighting box with protective lens cover moulded closed. This is fitted later to the roof of the turret, which is where the building of it begins, starting with sensors, smoke dischargers, and stowage boxes, with more dischargers added to the sides later. The main gun is first constructed from the barrel, which has a hollow slatted brake, thanks to a separate section, and another part is added to the width of the shroud before it is slotted into the curved mantlet. The assembly is then trapped between two vertical plates that are glued to the turret floor, the side facets are added, and topped off with the pre-prepared roof plus the aforementioned additional smoke launchers on each side of the gun. It’s not over yet though, as the complex loading mechanism needs to be made up from a good number of parts, before it is fixed to the centre of the rear turret wall, to be joined by two stowage boxes that have additional stowage attached to their lower rear. The remote weapon slots into the raised base on the roof, and the turret is twisted into place on the hull with bayonet lugs holding it in place, with a choice of a travel-locked barrel, or not, depending on how you would like to pose your model. A few additional parts are added to the glacis between the V of the stowed travel lock as the final gluey act. Markings There is only one camouflage option included on the sheet, although the turret number can be anything you like thanks to the large number of digits on the small decal sheet. Victory Parade, Moscow 2016 The decals are printed anonymously, but they have a red border reminiscent of Begemot’s usual design, which may or may not be the case. Suffice to say that registration, sharpness and colour density are good, and the stylised new Russian “logo” is nicely done. Conclusion This modern tooling of a modern Russian SPG is impressive for the scale, and the tracks are good, as is the detail throughout. Highly recommended. Available in the UK from e-Models Review sample courtesy of
  23. Irish leasing specialists CityJet were the only European airline with a fleet of Sukhoi SSJ-100s. Between 2017 and 2019 they operated seven SSJs on a mixture of their own services and wet-leases to Brussels Airlines. Four aircraft were painted in full Brussels Airlines livery but despite positive passenger reaction Brussels terminated the leases early without giving any public explanation. Complex maintenance and poor availability of spare parts were probably factors. Matters can’t have been helped by the SSJs not being able to serve LCY forcing Brussels to continue using their elderly Avro RJs. Following the termination of the Brussels leases CityJet disposed of the SSJs and replaced them with CRJ 900s. The Zvezda kit is OOB apart from a few small details from plastic strip. It’s a pleasant build, the only annoyances being the need to fill various sink marks without destroying the detail (thanks goodness for Mr Surfacer 500) and trying to detach the halves of the nose wheel leg from the sprue without breaking anything. White paint is Halfords as usual. Blue is a mix of Revell 54 and 350, roughly 1:2, plus a few drops of black. Light grey is Humbrol 196 with a tiny spot of 42. Natural metal is mainly Tamiya TS-17 Livery decals are available from Drawdecal and Nazca. I had both sheets in my stash. Neither is completely accurate and the best that can be said is Drawdecal are less inaccurate so I went with them. I added Authentic Airliners windows. Detail decals are mainly from the “technical lettering” sheet by Revaro plus a few from the spares box and the kit sheet. It has nothing to do with the build but when I was researching photos of Brussels SSJs I was amused to see EI-FWF apparently suffering from silvering decals on the fin proving that it’s not just a problem for modellers! Thanks for looking and as always constructive criticism is welcome. Dave G
  24. I have been looking forward to this GB for a long time, building things in more unusual colours and markings and hopefully getting a few other to consider building such subjects themselves. I have far too many subjects to choose from and would like a 12 month GB so that I can get a few of them done if thats alright with our moderators, I really don't think its asking too much. And what to choose for the GB? Far too many to choose from really and if I wasn't tied up with other GB responsibilities I would be starting more than one subject, I still might. A very popular design across Africa is the ubiquitous Mil Mi-24 Hind, wherever there is trouble there seems to be a Hind, and there is often trouble unfortunately. So a Hind it is, and this time I shall be building a Zvezda one, a P with the twin cannon on the starboard fuselage. All still sealed in it's original packing; Now which of the many operators to finish it as? Fortunately DP Casper have come to the rescue of those of us who like to build our egg beaters in unusual markings recently with a couple of excellent sheets, one covering various Asian countries and the one I shall be using here which covers Africa; Lots of very nice options available there, but as most of the Hinds on the sheet are of the D/E type with the turret under the front cockpit it does help to narrow down my choices a bit, but fortunately one of the choices jumps out at me, a P from Djibouti in a rather fetching non-standard camouflage scheme; Very nice! I shall have to get an Mi-17 at some point to go along side it. The sheet itself looks very nice quality but I have never used them before so I hope they work as well as they look; I have a couple of other builds on the go at the minute so I need to get at least one of them finished before I can make a start on this one, hopefully very soon. Thanks for looking in. Craig.
  25. Hello to all.here is one of my latest finished models. The 144 Zvezda Il-76.it is not the best kit out there. Too complicated and overengineered while having the shallowest of panels that wont hold more than one layer of paint.Other than that it is an ok kit I guess.With a bit of work it can be made into a nice representation of the il-76.Pinted in gunze acrylics. Regards,Dragan
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