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  1. Since I'm a serial starter but only occasional finisher (mental note: buy new shelf of doom), I have dragged a new kit out of the medium sized stash I keep. This time I went for something that I hoped to be able to finish, since it has few parts and no rigging. The Focke Wulf Triebflügel is most definitely a Luft '46 Luft '50 project, even if it proceeded from a sketch on the back of a napkin and into wind tunnel testing by wars end. While I can understand peoples fascination with the advanced projects the Nazis left behind I do think most people don't think about the amount of development and resources needed to make most of them happen. Time and resources the 3rd Reich did not have. And it's not like the Allies didn't have plenty of fantastic secret projects as well, the Northrop XB-35/YB-49 is pretty sci-fi if you ask me, and that DID fly. But anyho, Amusing Hobby's Triebflügel is on the bench. The kit looks good, plenty of fine detail on the fuselage, and the fit is supposedly very good. Which it should be since the Triebflügel is basically an elliptic shape with a propeller in the middle (poor pilot), so no difficult curves. A not so amusing part of this hobby is the cleaning of the sprue attachment points, and in this kit they are all on the mating surfaces. The cockpit is pretty disappointing, with very basic detail indeed. But one of the reasons I picked this kit is so I can practise my scratch building, as it sure could be improved. So better get to work on that cockpit, even if it will be almost invisible once closed up.
  2. FV221 Caernarvon British Heavy Tank (35A042) 1:35 Amusing Hobby via Albion Alloys Following WWII’s end, the Allies were a little bit obsessed with emulating the Nazi’s struggle to make bigger and more powerful AFVs, until they realised that perhaps slightly more manageable, mobile armour was more suitable. While Britain thrashed about looking for a suitable heavy tank that would lead to a number of types based on one chassis, the Conqueror came into existence, eventually leading down a dead-end and being replaced by the Chieftain in due course. An offshoot from this project was the CV221 Caernarvon, which was a Conqueror chassis that had a Centurion Mk.II turret grafted on, initially with a 17-pounder for the prototype and later with a 20-pounder main gun from a Centurion Mk.III shoehorned into it. Whether they intended this to be the Main Battle Tank or not is open to conjecture, but only one of the 17-pounder and 21 of the 20-pounders were ever made, which were named Mk.1 and Mk.2 respectively. Some of the Mk.2s were later converted back to Conquerors, which while it could never be termed a success was of more use to the army than the Caernarvons. When the Centurion was upgraded to a 105mm gun, the reason to continue with the Caernarvon must have evaporated in an instant, as it was heavier and lighter armed, leading to the cancellation of the project and the conversion back to Conquerors for many of the experimental series of hulls. The Kit This is another minor retooling of the original Conqueror Mk.I kit (35A006) with the addition of a couple of extra sprues of parts from their Centurion line, and a new decal sheet. Detail is of course good, as per the previous issues, and the new sprues from the Centurion are engineered and detailed in the same manner, so will blend in seamlessly. In the box you get ten sprues and two hull parts in a sand-coloured styrene, a bag of track-links in brown styrene, a sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a bag of eight springs, a length of braided cord, small decal sheet, colour instruction booklet with painting and markings guide at the rear. Construction begins with the hull, and the suspension bogies that contain the Horstmann suspension units, which is where the real springs come in. These are contained between two end-caps, which affix to a back-plate, and if you're careful with the glue when you attach the perforated front part, you should end up with working suspension. Two pairs of road wheels and a single pair of return rollers are fixed to the axles, and held in place by hub caps that fit using friction alone, so the wheels should turn too if you don't overdo the paint. This is repeated over the eight bogies, a multi-part drive sprocket with final drive housing is installed at the rear and the adjustable idler wheels are added to the lower glacis, with an element of adjustment possible before you apply glue, which should allow you to take up any additional slack in the tracks before you finish construction. A set of small side skirts are glued along the length of the road wheel area, with tie-downs/grab-handles at either end, although it may be better to leave these off until after the tracks are fitted, and possibly until after painting. The rear bulkhead fits to the opening in the back of the hull after being decked-out with towing hooks and various small parts, after which the upper hull becomes the focus for a while. The upper hull is essentially complete save for the front glacis plate, which is the first of the new parts, having the light clusters and lifting eyes fitted, while on the rear deck a few spare track links are added on the moulded-in fenders along with the usual complement of pioneer tools with moulded-in tie-downs. The driver's deck is also installed with a hatch to be used with the hinge and vision block parts, dropping into the aperture in the hull, and leaving the hatch movable. The stowage boxes and other small parts that are sprinkled around the upper hull are also carried over from the Conqueror, with towing cables made up from the braided cord and having styrene eyes at each end. Also on the engine deck the Conqueror Mk.2 exhaust assembly is run down both sides of the area, with angled protective shrouds covering each one in place of the rather complex-looking assembly of the Mk.1. The turret is much the same as the Conqueror in terms of construction, and is made up from an upper part, two-part sides, and separate turret ring, onto which the various hatches, sensors and vision ports are affixed. Two sets of smoke grenade launchers attach to the turret sides, a communications wire reel is fitted to the port side, and the shell-ejection port is glued in place over its port. The mantlet fixes to a pair of pivots that are added to the front of the turret early on, then the single-part barrel with slide-moulded muzzle threads through the hole into the socket with a coaxial machine gun next door. The commander's fancy cupola-cum-sighting-mechanism is next, with the majority of small parts from the Mk.1, including hatch, lifting eyes, vision blocks and machine gun. The completed assembly twists into place, locking to the turret with a bayonet fitting. The final diagram shows the turret, upper hull, lower hull and track runs coming together in one fell swoop. The tracks are very nicely moulded, and are of the click-fit workable variety, which works very well indeed in this instance. The parts are moulded in pairs with a small injection manifold between them, and they are attached by only two sprue gates, with no ejector pins to deal with. Clean-up is super-simple due to the location of the gates, and the click action is quite robust, leaving you with a run of tracks in fairly short order, which is just as well as you need 98 links per side. Having seen a few rather poorly engineered track-joining methods from other major manufacturers over the years, it's refreshing to see a genuinely good track-making method from Amusing Hobby. The last job is to build the gun's travel lock that’s added to a pair of hinge-points on the rear bulkhead. Markings It's an AFV kit, so the decal sheet is the size of an over-motivated stamp, and because of the limited colour palette and lack of complexity of the designs, only five colours are used on the sheet. The two decal options have been penned by AMMO on Amusing Hobby’s behalf, but it isn’t documented where and when they served, if ever. The decals are well-printed in China, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion It didn’t see much service and there weren’t many of them, but the FV 200 series do have a certain presence, especially in the flesh when you realise they’re massive. It’s an interesting divergence from the mainstream, and should be a reasonably easy build with those modeller-friendly tracks helping immensely. Highly recommended. Available in the UK in all good model shops. Review sample courtesy of
  3. Messerschmitt Me.262 HG.III (48A003) 1:48 Amusing Hobby via Albion Alloys The Me.262 was a ground-breaking aircraft, as it was the world’s first fully operational jet-powered fighter that went into action too late to make any real difference to the outcome of WWII thanks to Hitler’s meddling (Nice one Adolf!), insisting that it was made capable of performing as a fighter-bomber, thus delaying its entry into service by around a year – a crucial period in wartime. It was an amazing leap forward in technology, able to outpace the best piston-engined fighters by around 100mph, although it wasn’t without its problems, mainly because of the engines. Due to their isolation from the metallurgical technology and supplies from the majority of the free world, the Nazis were unable to make the kind of metals that were needed to stand up to the rigors and heat of burning jet fuel for more than a short period, which meant that the engines were effectively ruined within a few hundred hours of use. The Junkers Jumo 004 engines were the more advanced axial-flow type, but they were slow to spool up and down, which made the aircraft vulnerable to attack during take-off or landing, which resulted in a lot of losses once the Allies caught on. Add to that the weakness of the nose gear to this early tricycle design, and it was far from perfect. As with all technology, the next version is underway before the original has even reached completion, and the 262 was no exception. A streamlined canopy option was mooted initially, and that became known as the Hochgeschwindigkeit I or HG.I. Another variant was to have a greater sweep to the wings at 35o and closer-set engine nacelles, with a V-tail that turned out to be an aerodynamic faux pas. A further design had a greater sweep still at 45o and two of the more advanced Heinkel HeS 011 engine in semi-conformal nacelles buried in the wing root, but the war ended before that got further than the drawing board. Some of the DNA of the HG.III may well be found in subsequent designs in early US, British or Soviet jet aviation. The Kit Anyone that knows me will also know that I have a bit of a thing for Me.262s, so when I saw this one in the Rumourmonger area of the site, I was very happy and you can probably see my excited comment there if you care to have a look – feel free to roll your eyes. Amusing Hobby specialise in models of unusual types, whether it’s armour or aircraft, and this is their third venture into aviation, which makes me very happy they have. The kit arrives in a slim top-opening box, and inside are two large sprues in sand-coloured styrene, a clear sprue, decal sheet and the glossy instruction booklet with colour profiles on the rear for the markings options. Two sprues may seem a little light for a 1:48 jet fighter, but because of the design of the HG.III, the blended forward fuselage, nacelles and wings take up only two parts, with another two for the aft section of the fuselage. This cuts down on the part-count substantially, as does some nice moulding of the cockpit and the nose gear bay. Construction begins with the lower fuselage for a change, into which you add the long nose gear bay, after deciding whether the deeply hidden ejector-pin mark in the very depths of the bay is worth hiding. Speaking personally, I will be putting a tiny shim of plastic over the complete roof of the bay to make sure it’s never seen again. A central spine is inserted onto three turrets running from the nose gear bay to the aft of the main gear bays, forming the centreline of the latter. From the outside the gear leg, its retraction jack and captive door are added to the front, and nearer the rear a side-opening door with its own retractor is fixed, with a scrap diagram showing the correct orientation of the jack. The nose wheel is a two-part assembly with radial tread and a separate inner hub, just like those in the standard 262. The tapering intakes are made from top and bottom halves, and these are slipped inside a bulkhead with half-circular cut-outs, then the assembly is dropped into the lower fuselage on a number of receiver turrets. At the rear of the engine trunking, the rear fan and bullet fairings are slotted into place in the exhaust trunking in preparation for the centre section that will be visible through the main gear bay openings. The centre section has a pair of oddly-shaped sort-of figure-of-eight bulkheads that are spaced apart by two sets of trunking, which comprise a series of stepped cylinders. A pair of jacks are set diagonally between the two bulkheads before it is inserted into the lower fuselage ready for closure. The cockpit finally gets some attention, based upon a familiar cylindrical part that bears a close resemblance to the original 262 cockpit, into which the seat, control column and rudder pedals are mounted, with a fuse box on the right side and the main instrument panel lowered into a slot in the sidewalls with a clear gunsight on a rod mount passing through a notch in the top of the panel. Given the relatively low part-count for the cockpit, detail is good, with excellent raised and etched dials on the panel and side consoles. If you wanted to add more detail however, it’s entirely probable that existing Me.262 aftermarket will fit due to the similarities between it and the standard cockpit. The completed assembly is inserted into the upper fuselage, then the two halves are joined together, with a chunk of weight added to the space in the nose, although you aren’t given a value to help you work it out. The D/F loop and pitot probe are glued into position at this point, but I’ll be leaving them off until after painting. The canopy is sadly a single part, and fits into the recess over the cockpit, with a portion of the fuselage moulded into the front of the windscreen for ease of merging it with the rest of the fuselage. My example had a few small scratches on the surface, but they will probably disappear after a coat of Klear, and incidentally it’s the streamlined canopy, not the standard comparatively upright version. Underneath, the main gear legs are inserted into a pair of sockets moulded into the upper fuselage, and both have a two-part wheels with diamond tread fixed to the axles, and a half-circular bay door with jack, and a triangular rear bay door, with an antenna just behind the bays. A scrap diagram shows the correct angles from the front to assist you in placing them. The aft fuselage is split vertically, and has the elevators fixed to slots in the tail, then the completed assembly is mated with a stepped lip at the rear of the forward fuselage. I would leave the elevators off until after the fuselage is joined to ensure that they are set perfectly square with the wings, but that’s just me being cautious. I couldn’t resist nipping a few of the major parts off the sprues and taping them together after completing the review. Fit is excellent without glue, and the canopy slots into place perfectly, so probably won’t need any remedial work if you’re careful with the glue. The join between the front and aft fuselage is cleverly stepped for strength, and the elevators have one or two tabs to ensure the correct one is installed. It’s surprisingly large! Markings The HG.III was a paper project so it’s unlikely that anyone got as far as designing a camouflage scheme specifically for it, so the world is your lobster when it comes to markings. In sensible mode, extrapolating existing late war schemes would be a sensible move, but no-one can argue even if you painted it sky blue pink with purple spots, although they may question your sanity in private. There are two decal options included on the sheet, with profiles provided by AMMO, and using their colour codes to identify the shades. From the box you can build one of the following: Decals have never been the strongest part of Amusing Hobby’s offerings, but this sheet seems well-printed apart from a slight smudge on one of the E3 decals, with a matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The supplied Swastikas are in dog-leg halves, and they seem a little large to my untrained eye. The white ones with black outlines will need a little of the black outline cutting away if used, but the black with white outline markings correctly have a gap in the white outline where they will overlap. I’ll be using some of my Xtradecal Swastikas when I build mine for my own ease. Conclusion Hopefully, all those that would pooh-pooh this release because it “never existed” have given up reading by now, and I sometimes wonder how they cope when they’re watching fictional movies, Sci-Fi or other non-existent things. It’s an injection moulded Me.262 HG.III, which I thought we’d never see in my lifetime, so there’s a lot to be happy about. The detail that is provided is good, but if you’re a detail fiend you might hold off your build until someone has created detail sets for the landing gear bays, which could be seen as a little simplified to some, although little will be seen once it’s in the cabinet. External detail is excellent however, with rivets and raised details over the entire surface. Highly recommended. Available in the UK in all good model shops. Review sample courtesy of
  4. Amusing Hobby is to release a 1/48th Messerschmit Me.262 HGIII kit - ref. 48A003 Source: https://tieba.baidu.com/p/7178046448 Box art V.P.
  5. Interesting aircraft cockpit 3D renders announced as a new project in the Amusing Hobby Models Group Facebook page. Sources: https://www.facebook.com/groups/3165843010182459/posts/4573359412764138/ https://www.facebook.com/groups/3165843010182459/user/100004271373549/ Looks like a Yakovlev Yak-141 Freestyle cockpit to me. And as Amusing Hobby aircraft kits are up until now (Luft46 fantasies) all in 1/48th scale... (http://www.amusinghobby.com/goods_cat_14.html). Scale now confirmed: 1/48th ! V.P.
  6. IDF Shot Kal w/Gimel (35A032) 1:35 Amusing Hobby via Albion Alloys No-one that is familiar with WWII British armour could say with hand on heart that the tanks fielded were adequate for the task in hand, and sometimes they were barely adequate to even be used in battle. The War Office was painfully aware of the fact, which can be partly laid at the door of inadequate development and funding in the approach to the war, but by 1943 work had begun to rectifying this lapse in quality. What became known as the Centurion was on the drawing board and in development during the last two years of the war, and the initial instances rolled off the production line while the guns were still firing during January of 1945. They took the suspension of the lacklustre Comet, extended it with an extra wheel-set and also widened it, using Horstmann suspension for practicality’s sake, even though its ride was inferior to the bulkier Christie type. It was outfitted with sloped armour that was best-in-class, and at outset it used the Rolls Royce Meteor engine, which was both capable and well-known by that point. Initial production used the 17-pounder gun that had transformed the Sherman into the Firefly, which was capable of taking out a Tiger at a reasonable distance. The Mark II followed quickly with increased performance and armour, again replaced by the Mk.III that was a major update with gun stabilisation giving the crew the capability of firing the new 20 pounder gun accurately on the move, accelerating the removal of the Mk.I and Mk.IIs from service due to its massive improvement over its forebears. The Mk.V used the even more capable L7 gun that kept it ahead of most tanks of its day, a weapon that saw long service wherever it was used. Overseas sales of the type were excellent, with a large number of operators, some of whom used them for an extensive period, such as Israel, who named the initial batch Sho’t, which translates to Whip in English. With the capture of enemy tanks during the 60s, the Israelis had over 300 on hand, which they began upgrading in their usual manner to extend their lifespan and improve crew survivability. With a new engine and transmission that required a raised engine deck, and a new armour pack from the Mk.13, the name was changed to Sho’t Kal, with a further suffix depending on what upgrades the type carried. The Gimel received a new turret rotation mechanism, Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA) package, and a new cupola for the commander, keeping it at the top of the AFV tree in its area of operation. The gradual drawdown of the Sho’t Kal began before 1990, with most of the survivors re-engineered to be used as Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) such as the Puma or Nagmachon, and Combat Engineering Vehicles that extended their usefulness long beyond that anticipated by the original designers. The Kit This is a substantial additive re-tool of the original Centurion/FV4005 kit from Amusing Hobby from recent times, adding four more sprues to the box. The kit arrives in a sturdy top-opening box with an appealing painting of the subject matter on the top, and inside are fifteen sprues and one hull part in sand-coloured styrene, a bag of 210+ (I lost count) individual track links in brown styrene, a single round clear part (not pictured), a bag of six brass springs, a length of braided thread, a new fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a small decal sheet and an instruction booklet in portrait A4 format. Detail is up to the standards we’ve come to expect from Amusing Hobby, and the new parts include a replacement engine deck, the mantlet and corrugated blast-bag, and the additional stowage basket on the rear of the turret. Construction begins with the assembly of the bogies that are built around the six metal springs to give the suspension arms some real travel, providing you keep the glue away from the pivot points. There are three of these each side of the large hull tub, and each one carries four wheels in pairs on two axles each, held onto the axles with a central hub cap. The tracks are wide, so the return rollers sit on projecting bases, and long stand-off brackets are added to support the side skirts later in the build. The huge final drive housing is layered up and topped with a toothed drive sprocket and a small roller that is probably there to prevent track shedding during turns, as seen on the WWII Panther. At the front is the idler wheel on an armoured axle that pivots to give good track tension once you have made them up and wrapped them around the road wheels. The tracks are supplied free of any sprues and quite free of clean-up, especially if you are planning on dirtying them up later, so you can just start making them up there and then. Each side uses 102 links, and as they snap-together they shouldn’t take too long to assemble, which is nice. I put together 12 links in a few minutes, and they do remain workable, although they aren’t as mobile as they perhaps could be under ideal circumstances. You might get the occasional one coming adrift, but in general they should be fairly easy to fit, and if you want to freeze them in place once you have them installed, a dab of glue to each link will do the trick, leaving you free to handle them more roughly during the painting and weathering process. Both runs of links are applied to the vehicles with the traction bar on each link to the rear, so ensure you test-fit them properly before you put them in for the final time. A number of spare track links are fitted to the rear bulkhead with more towing eyes and the infantry telephone box, separated by an insert. A number of PE stiffening plates are added to the sloped lower bulkhead, which have large bolts etched in. The new engine deck has PE plates fixed to it and a hole bored from inside, as does the glacis plate, the driver's glacis panel and the turret ring section. The driver’s clamshell hatch has a pair of vision blocks with armoured housings added to their front, with some small curved parts added from PE along the way. The glacis plate has the front fenders moulded into it, and this is outfitted with ERA blocks and a few small PE parts during installation plus fender extensions, completing the basic hull. The fenders have some holes drilled and some small sections removed, as do some of the small parts that add detail, and create the detailed stowage boxes on top of them. The detail level is then increased further with more boxes than other boxings, supports and a selection of pioneer tools, with more PE parts being added to some of the boxes here and there. The engine deck has a pair of exhaust pipes with separate PE flappers added, and a large number of grab handles and other small parts, plus the travel-lock for the barrel. At the front, more ERA blocks are dotted around, some on top of stowage boxes, a pair of front light clusters behind protective frames, attaching to the ram, and the sturdy arrow-head ram with a spare road wheel bolted to the top. The side-skirts are glued into place with the fenders, and the two towing cables are made up from styrene eyes with two lengths of braided cord of 12cm running between them, with a scrap diagram showing how they should be attached and laid over the rear of the vehicle. Now for the turret. It is built on a floor surround, which has the turret ring cut out, and has the two sides and the roof wrapped around it, trapping the highly-detailed covered mantlet and its coax machine gun in place, allowing it to elevate if you keep the glue off the pivot pegs. Some holes are drilled and filled in the roof, then the prominent angular stowage boxes are added to the sides along with aerial bases, and ERA blocks under the stowage boxes. The commander’s cupola and search light fit into the hole in the roof with armoured covers over the vision blocks, then uzi SMGs on racks, additional ammo boxes, barrel cleaning rods and other small assemblies are scattered around the top and sides of the turret. More ERA blocks are fixed to the sloped forward section of the turret roof, and the mantlet is first decked out with brackets to mount the ERA blocks that fix either side of the main gun. The grenade launcher boxes are detailed assemblies that are handed, and attach to the front corners of the turret on brackets with more ERA blocks. The two crew machine guns are made up and fixed to their brackets on the two hatches, and a large boxy search light is created using the single clear lens and a number of detail parts, to be attached at the root of the barrel later on. The rear bustle framework is first made from a number of fine tubular parts, then wrapped with PE mesh and has additional fuel cans affixed. It is glued to the turret rear, which has a pair of circular PE parts glued to the underside, then it is flipped over for making up the main gun. The gun tube is made of three parts, all of which are keyed to ensure the correct orientation, with the corrugated sleeve, tubular fume extractor and tapering muzzle sections, all of which are hollow-tipped, thanks in part to sliding moulds. You can now choose to use the searchlight or a remote .50cal M2 Browning machine gun over the barrel shroud, making up the latter from a good number of parts and a hollow barrel thanks to another sliding mould. If you are using the MG on the barrel, the searchlight is stowed on the back of the turret next to the indigenous rear basket, or if you choose to employ it, the empty bracket is shown installed in place on the rear. Pop the turret on the hull and that’s the gluey part over with. Markings There are decals for two vehicles supplied that wear one paint scheme, and it’s IDF sand grey. From the box you can depict this: The decals are printed in-house and are perfectly adequate for the task in black and white. Conclusion Another substantial investment in an additive tooling from Amusing Hobby, and it should build into an attractive model. Anyone wanting to depict the history of the Centurion or with an interest in IDF hardware should get a lot out of this boxing. Highly recommended. Available in the UK in all good model shops. Review sample courtesy of
  7. Swedish Strv-104 (35A043) 1:35 Amusing Hobby via Albion Alloys Following WWII, Sweden assessed their defensive arsenal and reached the conclusion that they needed to re-equip with more modern tanks, so they went on the prowl for a suitable vehicle to defend their country. Having seen the technical and developmental promise of the new British Centurion, they made advances to the British Government, and were initially rebuffed in favour of equipping the British Army first. It occurred to someone along the British chain of command that a big influx of cash into the war weakened coffers would be welcome, so minds were changed and an offer of 80 of the much-improved Mk.3s was made, arriving in Sweden in the early 50s. Further orders followed, ending with an order of over 100 Mk.10s that served alongside their indigenous and ingenious (not to mention unusual) S-Tank (Strv-103) for many years under the name Strv-101. In the early 80s the Swedish engineers began a midlife upgrade programme that would help extend the life of the type further, in line with their original feelings on the capabilities of the basic hull. The gun was better stabilised and jacketed to keep the barrel cool, the engine and transmission were updated, and the whole electronics package was upgraded to modern standards, including the fitting of night-vision optics amongst other improvements such as laser range-finding and targeting. The armour was also modernised to include appliqué Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA) packages around the front of the hull and its turret to counter the ever-improving penetrative capabilities of projectiles at the time. This variant was given the name Strv-104, leapfrogging the S-tank by one. Both types were withdrawn from service at about the same time in the later 1990s after the Swedish military made comparison trials with modern types that found the 104 wanting in enough areas to warrant replacement. The German Leopard 2 was their final choice, entering Swedish service as the Strv-121, and later as the improved Strv-122. The Kit This is a substantial additive re-tool of the original Centurion/FV4005 kit from Amusing Hobby from recent times, adding two more sprues to the box and nipping off the original smooth exterior barrel from one of the existing ones. The kit arrives in a sturdy top-opening box with an appealing painting of the subject matter on the top, and inside are twelve sprues and one hull part in sand-coloured styrene, a bag of 210+ (I lost count) individual track links in brown styrene, a bag of six brass springs, a length of braided thread, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a small decal sheet and an instruction booklet in portrait A4 format. Detail is up to the standards we’ve come to expect from Amusing Hobby, and the new parts include a replacement engine deck, the cooling-jacket wrapped barrel that uses slide-moulding to achieve the details, and the angular ERA blocks for the front of the vehicle. Construction begins with the assembly of the bogies that are built around the six metal springs to give the suspension arms some real travel, providing you keep the glue away from the pivot points. There are three of these each side of the large hull tub, and each one carries four wheels in pairs on two axles each, held onto the axles with a central hub cap. The tracks are wide, so the return rollers sit on projecting bases, and long stand-off brackets are added to support the side skirts later in the build. The huge final drive housing is layered up and topped with a toothed drive sprocket and a small roller that is probably there to prevent track shedding during turns, as seen on the WWII Panther. At the front is the idler wheel on an axle that pivots to give good track tension once you have made them up and wrapped them around the road wheels. The tracks are supplied free of any sprues and quite free of clean-up, especially if you are planning on dirtying them up later, so you can just start making them up there and then. Each side uses 102 links, and as they snap-together they shouldn’t take too long to assemble, which is nice. I put together 12 links in a few minutes, and they do remain workable, although they aren’t as mobile as they perhaps could be under ideal circumstances. You might get the occasional one coming adrift, but in general they should be fairly easy to fit, and if you want to freeze them in place once you have them installed, a dab of glue to each link will do the trick, leaving you free to handle them more roughly during the painting and weathering process. Both runs of links are applied to the vehicles with the traction bar on each link to the rear, so ensure you test-fit them properly before you put them in for the final time. The rear bulkhead needs a little adaptation for this boxing, moving the towing eyes to the top of the raised locating marks, then removing the unused section and smoothing it back down. A number of spare track links are fitted to the top section of the bulkhead with more towing eyes and the infantry telephone box, separated by an insert. Two small marks on each side of the lower hull are also removed and made good during installation of the bulkhead. The new engine deck has a hole bored from inside, as does the glacis plate, the driver's glacis panel and the turret ring section, then the exterior of the engine deck has a dozen small pips removed from the centre of the deck as it is fitted along with the other parts to the top of the hull. The driver’s clamshell hatch has a pair of vision blocks with armoured housings added to their front, with some small curved parts added from PE along the way. The glacis plate has the front fenders moulded into it, and this is outfitted with ERA blocks and a few small PE parts during installation, completing the basic hull. The fenders have some holes drilled and some small sections removed, as do some of the small parts that add detail, and create the stowage boxes on top of them. The detail level is then increased further with more boxes, supports and a selection of pioneer tools, with more PE parts being added to some of the boxes here and there. The side-skirts are glued into place with the fenders, after cutting out the foot-holes at the front and rear, which are marked and pre-thinned from the inside to help you out. The hull is finished off by fitting a number of additional fill-in ERA blocks, the front light clusters with protective cages, and other small parts. At the rear the engine deck is detailed with a number of small parts and a protective bumper around the rear of the turret, with a scrap diagram showing how it should look from above. Now for the turret. It is built on a floor panel, which has the turret ring cut out, and has the two sides and the roof wrapped around it, trapping the two-part mantlet in place, allowing it to elevate if you keep the glue off the pivot pegs. Some holes are drilled and filled in the roof, then the prominent angular stowage boxes are added to the sides along with spare smoke grenades, their launchers, aerials, and of course the tapered ERA blocks on the mantlet, which attach via brackets and have a number of bolt-heads applied around the edges from the shaped section of sprue L. The commander’s cupola and binocular sighting glasses fit into the hole in the roof with armoured covers over the vision blocks, then a few more spare track links on PE brackets on the rear corner facets, the commander’s machine gun on a relaxed mount, and the main gun are all glued in place to complete the turret. The gun tube is made of three parts, all of which are keyed to ensure the correct orientation, with the sleeve, fume extractor and muzzle sections, all of which are hollow-tipped, thanks in part to sliding moulds. The smooth sided bore evacuator is left over from the earlier boxings, while the other two barrel segments have the texture of the cooling jacket with its attachment belts moulded into the styrene, giving a realistic look. Pop the turret on the hull and that’s the gluey part over with. Markings There’s only one markings option supplied and one paint scheme, as that’s what they wore. It’s the Swedish splinter pattern, and it makes anything look good. From the box you can depict this: Decals are printed in China and up to the task. There aren’t many of them, so there’s not much to say. Conclusion It has taken some investment by Amusing Hobby to tool the new parts for this slightly niche option, so it’s good to see a kit that allows you to make an Strv-104 from the box in good-old-fashioned styrene, with a little bit of PE to give you some in-scale thickness parts where sensible. Highly recommended. Available in the UK in all good model shops. Review sample courtesy of
  8. Not been doing much on Britmodeller for a long time, but it's nice to be back after a long overdue break. I decided to have a crack at this as I have fond memories of the Airfix 1/32nd plastic one which I used to push around with my soldiers when I was about 8. It's also a classic tank and considered in some quarters to be the finest MBT ever produced - and its British. I've got the RAAC Mk5/2 and the Amusing Hobby ARVE Cent to do at some point but god knows when. The Mk5, which is this kit rolled off the production lines in about 1955. The Mk 5/1 quickly followed and by 1959, we had the MK5/2 which had the first L7 gun. I'm modelling a MK5/2. I've not seen many of these modelled, which is surprising given its been out for a little while. I guess it's been superseded by the arrival of the new AFV Club Cents. On the subject of that AFV Club Cent, the Amusing Hobby Cent is a complete rip off of the AFV Club kit. The only difference is the fenders which have the tool boxes moulded in. I've gone for a bit of after market, so there is quite a bit of work to do on this build Bit of Eduard etch, and A set of skirts from InAccurate Armour and a set of resin wheels from Sovereign Models as the kit wheels and PanzerArt wheels are incorrect, without the reenforced rims.
  9. Unable to curb my impulsive acquisitions, I have branched out into a IDF Centurion (the 'Valley of tears' series gets part of the blame) Any good resources (pref online) on the Golan theatre?
  10. T-72M2 Moderna Slovakian MBT (35A039) 1:35 Amusing Hobby via Albion Alloys The T-72 was the successor to the T-64, having a larger 125mm main gun and a more reliable auto-loader that gave it an advantage over its predecessor. It was improved further by fixing some niggling problems that were initially present, and was given the name T-72. Unfortunately, problems with production led to delays that required substantial investments in the factory before full volume could be reached, continuing with modifications until the break-up of the Soviet Union in the early 90s. Export sales were robust, and overseas sales were designated with the suffix M. Initially the M was fitted with inferior armour and gun, but with the M1 those aspects were redressed to T-72A standards, and had smoke grenade dischargers added to the turret. Some of this type were also made in Czechoslovakia (now Czechia & Slovakia), and Poland, who were part of the Warsaw Pact at the time. The T-72M was produced under licence in the former Czechoslovakia. Units were split between both countries when they split. T-72M2 Moderna is a Slovakian modernization of the tank. It adds DYNAS reactive armour, an improved 2A46MS 125mm smoothbore cannon, modified S21U engine; and the most visual difference is the addition of two 30mm 2A42 cannon replacing the NSV-T machine gun. The upgraded MBT though received no orders and only a few units were built for evaluation Slovakia not being able to afford them. The Kit This is a new release following the completely new tooling T-72 from Amusing Hobby, and is one of their first ventures into real-world armour, their previous offerings tending to be more esoteric project tanks or of the “paper panzer” variety, which has been a boon to those that enjoy strange and unusual armour, even so this leans more to this being a non only a prototype. Unlike to the inital T-72 this is not a full interior kit. The detail is excellent, with judicious use of slide-moulding across the sprues. The tracks are also impressive, having individual links and separate track pins that can leave you with a very fancy workable track run that you don’t need to glue, thanks to its friction-fit nature. The lower hull is separate from the sprues, and has detail moulded into both sides, so there are necessarily some ejector-pin marks on the interior face, which might possibly need filling, but check the instructions to ensure you’re not wasting your time filling things that will be covered by equipment later – I suspect most if not all of them will. Like anyone else, I hate wasting precious modelling time. Construction begins with the lower hull, to which you add various suspension parts, bearings and return-rollers, plus idler-wheel axles and a three-part drive-sprocket that is held in place on the final drive housing by a long thick pin. Under the front glacis is an appliqué armour panel with fittings for the self-entrenching tool or mine-plough, four of which you need to remove with a sharp blade or sanding stick, then make good your handiwork. These are overlaid with hinge-points and rams in a scrap diagram, with the main drawing showing them already in-place, then it’s time to deal with the rear bulkhead. This begins as a flat panel, and has four curved brackets, some spare track-links and an unditching log, before it is attached by two lugs on the moulded-in aft bulkhead. The road wheels are made up from pairs of wheels with a central hub, as are the idlers, with twelve of the former and two of the latter. At this point two additional fuel tanks are built from a slide-moulded tube that has the strapping moulded-in with separate end-caps. These are set to the side until the wheels are dealt with, beginning with the long torsion-bar suspension units with swing-arms and axles at the tip slid into the hull slots, plus a couple of smaller dampers toward the front, following which the idlers and road wheels are glued to the stub axles. There is a scrap diagram showing the correct orientation of the damper arms in relation to the main swing-arms, which should help a lot. Inserts are added at the sides of the turret ring. It’s tracks time! Each run has 95 links, and the individual links are moulded in a tree of eight links, with tree sprue gates on each one. They’re easy to nip off and clean up as they are situated on the curved edges of the link, and were very easy to remove thanks to the slightly soft plastic. The jig that you can find on each of the pin sprues has a pair of tabs that allow you to build a much longer jig from it if you like, or you can build them up in runs of eight. With the flat side up, you drop the links into the jig with the guide-horns sliding through the holes, then you cut a set of four track-pins still fixed to their sprue (imagine a four-pronged pitchfork), and push them into the pin holes in the sides of the links. These push home snugly and you can see some of the receivers discolouring with stress-marks as this happens. After they are inserted, you simply cut them off neatly, and that’s your lot. I made up a test-run of sixteen links in a few minutes using just a pair of side-cutters, a thin sanding stick and some patience, and was very impressed with how easy it was to do. It makes sense to leave the sprue on the pins long to give you some room for handling them without pinging them off into the gaping maw of the carpet monster. It’s going to take a little time, but they’re among the best, most robust, flexible and easiest styrene tracks I’ve built. The glacis has a two-layer lamination, with added armour, then it’s a case of adding the light clusters with clear lenses and two-part cages. The two front mudguards are being attached to the front of the fenders with styrene springs added along the way, then a pair of triangular webs are fitted between the guards and the front lip of the glacis and a series of stiffeners in styrene and PE are fixed along the length of the fenders in preparation for the additional fuel tanks and stowage this is laid over it. The rear ends are finished off with more detail parts to close them over. The upper hull is formed from the forward section with the turret ring moulded in, to which equipment and vision blocks are added inside along with the driver’s hatch, then it is dropped into the hull along with two engine deck panels, which are first fitted out with mesh from the PE sheet and optional top covers. This completes the deck so that the flexible spring with wire run through the centre can be cut and glued into position to depict the hosing for the fuel tanks as per the accompanying diagram and a black & white photo from the engine deck. A tow cable is made up from 8.5cm of cord and two more towing eyes to drape over the rear, again as per the scrap diagram. The side skirts are then added. Lastly we move to the turret. The top insert is added to the upper casting with periscopes and hatches being added. The turret is covered in blocks of ERA with scrap diagrams showing where the more difficult ones go. Smoke discharger are fitted to the sides. Mounting points are added for the side 30mm guns. These can then be built up and added. A large ammunition locker is then added at the rear of the turret for these guns. To finish thing off the main gun is assembled and added. The turret can then go on the MBT. Markings There is very little in the way of marking except two small Slovakian flag for the sides of the turret. Strangely there are no clues as to the colour scheme used on the tank at all included with the kit even though MiG AMMO is mentioned on the box along with some colour views? this might though be because we received an early sample. Conclusion While this is a produced tank, although in very limited numbers it still fits neatly into the kind of thing we expect from Amusing Hobby. Very highly recommended. Available in the UK in most good model shops. Review sample courtesy of
  11. Here is my contribution to the GB, the ARL 44 heavy tank in 1/35 scale by Amusing Hobby. The ARL 44 has quite an interesting developmental history, the origins of it design started in 1943 as a tracked snow blower for the German Kriegsmarinem. French engineers secretly designed the parts with the duel intention of them also being using in a future tank design though. In late 1944 most of France had been liberated & work started in earnest on the ARL 44 with the hopes that it would be ready in time to take part in the invasion of Germany (Allied HQ at the time were expecting the Germans to put up more of a fight & that the war would take longer then it actually did). The first prototype was ready in 1946 & was fitted with the 76mm gun from the Sherman tank. It was quickly decided that this weapon was to small for use in modern combat so production was put on hold while & a new larger turret with a 90mm gun was designed. The new weapon took several years to develop but was finally completed in 1949, production continued with 60 tanks built in total. They didn't live very long though, in 1954 they were removed from service & replaced by the M47 Patton, most were scraped & some where used on target ranges. The kit comes with only four sprues, two of which are copies. The rest of the kits contains a single large upper hull, metal barrel, bag of individual workable tracks & a set of decals (there is some string to use as a tow rope too but I'm not using that). Close up of the upper hull, which is quite detailed & surprisingly sturdy. To add some colour to the kit I got AK's new modern French paint set. This is their new 3rd Gen paint that they have been advertising a lot recently, I'm curious to see if it's any better then their "old" paint. The part count of the kit is low & a dont see anything that will cause any issues, so looks like it will be a relatively quick build (famous last words ). It's become obligatory for me to add some 3D printed parts to every model I make though, which will add some time. For this one I'm thinking of printing the alternative ACL 1 turret used on the first prototype, I'll build the model first though & then see how much time is left & If I still feel like it
  12. Well after near a straight 12 months building the floaty things it's time for a brief return to AFVs. This Caught my eye. Who dosen't like Centurions! A classic tank. I've built an AFV Club Shot Kal on a previous site I have several Israeli machines in the stash but this Englsh oddity is attractive with it's first Gulf War era ERA and Stub 165mm Demolition gun. It was referred to s the "Antiques Roadshow" by troops in the Gulf war due to it's age. Apparently 12 served, 2 were lost to accidental explosive mishaps and non saw front line action. Amusing Hobby have based their kit on this vehicle There is a very fine series of Reference Walkaround pics on this site The kit has been reviewed elsewhere and of note is the absence of the fascine carrier that not all of the Gulf war machines carried. In keeping with the AFV Club offerings, no attempt is made to model the cloth gun mantlett. I'll see whether the AFV Club aftermarket ones fit and if not we'll have a go with some putty moulding. Notably stracks are suppplied as single link removed off the sprue which sounds pleasing. I've taken some Skirt handles Scorpion models and some enamel taillights for a Shot kal that are always very pleasing to use I'll need to grab some tow lines and luggage bin tie down handles from Accurate armour Intructions are conventional line printed on non gloss paper The parts breakdown seems almost identical to the AFV Club models, logical really. The springs supplied in the bogies are a nice touch and fit together nicely The only real issue at present is sourcing some Gulf Light Stone paint. I'd like to use Sovereign Colourcoats version but they are sold out at present so I'll be waiting patiently. Having used their naval range I'm now a fully paid up fan. More soon and nice to be back building some armour! Thanks for looking Rob
  13. #15/2021 My dad isn´t usually a friend of whiffers and Luft 46 subjects. But the Amusing Hobby kit of the Triebflügel is rather simple, hasn´t many parts, so he decided to give it a try. Painted it in prototype style, some metal some primer some paint, parts delivered from different manufacturers. build thread here https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235093032-luft-´46148-focke-wulf-triebflügel-vtol-fighter/ DSC_0001 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0002 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0003 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0004 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0005 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0006 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0007 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0008 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0009 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0010 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0011 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr DSC_0012 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr
  14. Usually my dad is no What If fan but this kit looks nice, good molding and not that many parts. DSC_0006 by grimreaper110, auf Flickr
  15. T-72M1 Russian Army Tank (35A038) 1:35 Amusing Hobby via Albion Alloys The T-72 was the successor to the T-64, having a larger 125mm main gun and a more reliable auto-loader that gave it an advantage over its predecessor. It was improved further by fixing some niggling problems that were initially present, and was given the name T-72. Unfortunately, problems with production led to delays that required substantial investments in the factory before full volume could be reached, continuing with modifications until the break-up of the Soviet Union in the early 90s. Export sales were robust, and overseas sales were designated with the suffix M. Initially the M was fitted with inferior armour and gun, but with the M1 those aspects were redressed to T-72A standards, and had smoke grenade dischargers added to the turret. Some of this type were also made in Czechoslovakia (now Czechia & Slovakia), and Poland, who were part of the Warsaw Pact at the time. The subvariant M1K was a command tank, and the M1V had appliqué Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA) fitted to improve survivability, and the later M1M that replaced the M1 was upgraded to T-72B standards with Arena Active Protection system protecting it from above by launching a rocket towards incoming threats to obliterate the incoming round or missile. The successor M1MS further benefited from much improved electronics that improved survivability further and raised situational awareness. As well as cast-offs from former Soviet inventory, many T-72Ms of various types are currently in service with Soviet and later Russian aligned nations, while the T-72 is also still in service in Russia either in later guises or as upgraded machines. The Kit This is a new release of a completely new tooling from Amusing Hobby, and is one of their first ventures into real-world in-service armour, their previous offerings tending to be more esoteric project tanks or of the “paper panzer” variety, which has been a boon to those that enjoy strange and unusual armour. The kit is of the full-interior variety, so the box is packed with plastic, grey for the interior, green for the exterior, which is fun – if you were a beginner and wanted to build your kit without paint, you could do so, especially as the tracks are moulded in brown styrene. The box is a top-opener with a nice painting of the kit on the front, and inside are eighteen sprues in grey, green and brown, twenty-eight ladders of track links in brown, a clear sprue, lower hull and turret in green, plus a sheet of Photo-Etch (PE), decal sheet, a length of wire, a long coiled spring that looks like a tube from a distance, a two-part resin figure, instruction booklet and separate colour painting guide that has been penned by the artists at AMMO. The final inclusion is possibly only intended for the initial pressing, and it’s a nice print of the box artwork on thick A3 stock. The detail is excellent, especially the interior sprues, which have some lovely textures and shapes moulded-in, like the anti-spall lining in the turret roof, a small impeller inside the hull amongst many others, with judicious use of slide-moulding across the sprues. The tracks are also impressive, having individual links and separate track pins that can leave you with a very fancy workable track run that you don’t need to glue, thanks to its friction-fit nature. The lower hull is separate from the sprues, and has detail moulded into both sides, so there are necessarily some ejector-pin marks on the interior face, which might possibly need filling, but check the instructions to ensure you’re not wasting your time filling things that will be covered by equipment later – I suspect most if not all of them will. Like anyone else, I hate wasting precious modelling time. Construction begins with the lower hull, to which you add various suspension parts, bearings and return-rollers, plus idler-wheel axles and a three-part drive-sprocket that is held in place on the final drive housing by a long thick pin. Under the front glacis is an appliqué armour panel with fittings for the self-entrenching tool or mine-plough, four of which you need to remove with a sharp blade or sanding stick, then make good your handiwork. These are overlaid with hinge-points and rams in a scrap diagram, with the main drawing showing them already in-place, then it’s time to deal with the rear bulkhead. This begins as a flat panel, and has four curved brackets, some spare track-links and an unditching log, before it is attached by two lugs on the moulded-in aft bulkhead. The road wheels are made up from pairs of wheels with a central hub, as are the idlers, with twelve of the former and two of the latter. At this point two additional fuel tanks are built from a slide-moulded tube that has the strapping moulded-in with separate end-caps. These are set to the side until the wheels are dealt with, beginning with the long torsion-bar suspension units with swing-arms and axles at the tip slid into the hull slots, plus a couple of smaller dampers toward the front, following which the idlers and road wheels are glued to the stub axles. There is a scrap diagram showing the correct orientation of the damper arms in relation to the main swing-arms, which should help a lot. Inserts are added at the sides of the turret ring, and also the first interior parts at the front of the lower glacis plate, which includes the initial driver controls handling the gear shifter in a quadrant with two PE gates. The next step sees the foot pedals and a detailed chair for the driver’s comfort. We’re deep into the interior now, with more controls, what looks like a drinks cooler (it isn’t) just behind and to the left of the driver’s station, then the hull sides are made up by decking out the two panels with a host of detail parts, including an instrument panel that has some decals on the sheet, and a few small PE parts, plus some ready-rounds for the big auto-feeder that’s coming soon. More ready-rounds are fitted along with some other equipment boxes, then the crew compartment skin is dropped into the lower hull along with a firewall and another group of rounds stored nose-down. A two-part fence for the auto-loader is slotted into the floor, then it’s time to create the auto-loader from a circular base with upstands that have castor-like wheels on every third upstand. Then you make up the shell slots, which are cylindrical, and give you a choice of HE-Frag and HEAT shells. Six of each are made up to be placed within the 22 locations around the base, including 10 empty slots, and a few more ready-rounds. The completed carousel is inserted into the space made for it, and if you’re wondering at this stage when the assistance with painting is going to make an appearance, just flick to the rear of the booklet where you will find a set of colour 3D CGI renders with a legend to help out. There is a bulkhead with a fire extinguisher strapped to it inside the engine bay, plus ancillary equipment and some very nicely detailed final drive/brake cylinders that are made up from three parts for detail, plus the end-caps that slide inside an outer casing, with one each side of course. A large circular fan and tinwork is made up around the rear bulkhead along with more ancillaries and small parts in preparation to accept the power-pack. The engine is a V-46 V12-cylinder diesel that pumps out a lot of motive power to the drivetrain. The cylinder banks are each made up from four sides and the rocker cover plus a couple of small PE lifting eyes and exhaust manifold attached to each one in mirror-image. The engine block is built next with a gaggle of ancillaries at one end, then the cylinder banks are fitted into the top and joined in the central valley by the intake manifold with more ancillaries at the busy end, then a new detail insert for the blank end of the engine is constructed and joined with the main assembly. The rectangular air box has PE intake grilles around the three-part box, and the sub-assembly is joined to the engine via its thick input trunk, and two longer hoses that run down the side of the engine and attach to new components at the front of the engine. A scrap diagram of the engine shows how it looks from the side, for you to ensure that yours is set up correctly. The next box is a gearbox with drive-shaft that plugs into some pegs in the floor, then the engine is inserted into the bay, with a stiffening bar across the top, a couple of pots for fluids attached, and more gear added too. It’s tracks time! Each run has 95 links, and the individual links are moulded in a tree of eight links, with tree sprue gates on each one. They’re easy to nip off and clean up as they are situated on the curved edges of the link, and were very easy to remove thanks to the slightly soft plastic. The jig that you can find on each of the pin sprues has a pair of tabs that allow you to build a much longer jig from it if you like, or you can build them up in runs of eight. With the flat side up, you drop the links into the jig with the guide-horns sliding through the holes, then you cut a set of four track-pins still fixed to their sprue (imagine a four-pronged pitchfork), and push them into the pin holes in the sides of the links. These push home snugly and you can see some of the receivers discolouring with stress-marks as this happens. After they are inserted, you simply cut them off neatly, and that’s your lot. I made up a test-run of sixteen links in a few minutes using just a pair of side-cutters, a thin sanding stick and some patience, and was very impressed with how easy it was to do. It makes sense to leave the sprue on the pins long to give you some room for handling them without pinging them off into the gaping maw of the carpet monster. It’s going to take a little time, but they’re among the best, most robust, flexible and easiest styrene tracks I’ve built. You can build either a T-72M or T-72M1 from the box, and the upper glacis plate is subtly different between the two sub-types, so you have to make a choice now, as it isn’t possible to build the two side-by-side and choose later. The M has a two-layer lamination, while the M1 adds a third layer over the outer surface, which entails cutting off the four ribs in the top centre, and overlaying the additional layer that has just two raised ribs. That’s the main difference between them, then it’s a case of adding the light clusters with clear lenses and two-part cages, as well as the V-shaped bow-wash deflector. A tow cable is created from a section of the thread 8.5cm long and two styrene eyes, which is clipped to the deck on the glacis plate while the two front mudguards are being attached to the front of the fenders with styrene springs added along the way, then a pair of triangular webs are fitted between the guards and the front lip of the glacis and a series of stiffeners in styrene and PE are fixed along the length of the fenders in preparation for the additional fuel tanks and stowage this is laid over it. The rear ends are finished off with more detail parts to close them over. The upper hull is formed from the forward section with the turret ring moulded in, to which equipment and vision blocks are added inside along with the driver’s hatch, then it is dropped into the hull along with two engine deck panels, which are first fitted out with mesh from the PE sheet and optional top covers. This completes the deck so that the flexible spring with wire run through the centre can be cut and glued into position to depict the hosing for the fuel tanks as per the accompanying diagram and a black & white photo from the engine deck. Another tow cable is made up from 8.5cm of cord and two more towing eyes to drape over the rear, again as per the scrap diagram. The side skirts on a T-72 are made in part from thick flexible material, which is depicted in the kit by undulations moulded into the lower sections, with one part per side, and a tiny piece of PE at the front. Now we’re getting there, and can finally make up the 2A46(D-81) 125mm smooth bore cannon, the breech of which is shown assembled in the first drawing as reference. It is made up from breech halves split vertically, block parts that are split horizontally, and a two-part sliding portion of the block, plus a myriad of smaller parts on the breech as well as the breech safety frame and coax machine gun on a mount with ammo can that fits to the right side. The gunner’s station is then constructed with optical binocular sight in front of the gunner’s framework seat. This attaches to the underside of the turret rim with a large T-shaped support, and a number of equipment boxes and mechanisms dotted around the rim. Another seat is assembled and glued to the rim, then the turret upper is started. As with most turrets, the inside is substantially smaller than the exterior because of the thickness of the armour, so the interior skin has quite a confined feel to its quilted interior, which is the comfy, insulating side of the anti-spall liner. More equipment boxes are plastered to the walls on flat-spots, and a part of the auto-loader mechanism runs up the back wall where a curved insert is used to enclosed the wall fully. A periscope is attached to the outer roof, then the grey inner lining is inserted into the green turret along with the sizeable and detailed breech assembly. It’s a cabriolet turret at this stage, which will be rectified soon, but more detail is festooned around the outside of the turret, including the rear stowage bustle boxes, smoke grenade tubes, spare ammo cans, search light, and the outer part of the periscope. An overhead view of the turret is given to show the correct orientation of the grenade launchers, with four on the right, and six on the left. The two roof panels are mated next and detailed accordingly, including the round commander’s cupola and the D-shaped gunner’s hatch, both of which have handles, vision blocks and even another searchlight on the commander’s more luxurious hatch. He also gets a DShK (colloquially pronounced “Dooshka”) 12.7mm machine gun mount, which is a huge piece of equipment that is made up from a substantial number of parts, and mounts on the rear of the cupola with an ammo box, and the folding hatch. There is an intermediate stage to the auto-loader that has a stepped circular platform that prevents the turret crew from getting mashed legs, and is filled with a large number of parts that on first inspection resembles a jumble of cylinders and boxes, plus a few ready-rounds strapped to the top – a total trip hazard! The turret is slotted into the hull after dropping the platform on top of the lower feed mechanism of the loader, and the completed roof panel is also glued in place at this time. You may wonder where the barrel is, but it’s deliberate and remedied now, with the gun tube made from two halves split horizontally, and a separate muzzle section to give it a hollow tip, with a circular bolted PE part fitted between the shroud and the barrel. A turned metal barrel would have been almost impossible due to the cooling jacket that is strapped around the gun tube, so take the time to align the halves well to minimise clean-up once the glue has set. The Figure If you’re reading this next year, there might not be a figure in your boxing, as I suspect it’s a limited thing, but those of us buying the first boxing get a nice resin figure, a representation of whom can be seen on the far left of the box art. A Soviet Military Policeman (MP). It is cast in light grey resin in two parts. The largest part is the body, which has everything moulded-in but the figure’s hands and baton behind his back. The hands are on a separate pouring block, and should fit well into the gap between his cuffs. He looks quite tall on his casting block, but when measured with callipers he scales out to be around 6’1”, which is fairly tall, but not unreasonably so – this might be an optical effect due to the long casting blocks under his boots. Casting, sculpting and detail are all excellent, as you can see below, and you can take your colour cues from the box top or check your references. Markings As well as the interior 3D renders on the last two pages of the instructions, there is a separate tri-folded A4 glossy colour painting guide with six tanks under the ownership of various states, as follows: T-72M DDR (Deutsche Demokratische Republik – East Germany) T-72M Finnish T-72M Hungarian T-72M Syrian T-72M Armenian T-72M Czech Army The decals are printed in China and are in good register with enough sharpness to get the job done, although you can see some very slight dithering of the Finnish blue roundels under 2.5x magnification. It’s all but invisible to the naked eye however. The profiles have been penned by AMMO and use their codes for the paint shades, with the names next to the swatches, and below each profile there is a suggestion list of AMMO weathering products to add a little depth and realism to the finished model if you wish. Conclusion This is the first interior AFV kit I have seen from Amusing Hobby, and I’m impressed. It offers a substantial level of detail in a sensible, straight-forward build that should keep you busy modelling for many an hour. The inclusion of a resin figure is a nice bonus, and the 3D renders of the interior will help with painting immensely, as will the 5-vew profiles of the decal options. Very highly recommended. Available in the UK in most good model shops. Review sample courtesy of
  16. Amusing Hobby is to release a 1/48th Junkers Ju-187 Super Stuka kit - ref. 48A004 Source: https://tieba.baidu.com/p/7178046448 V.P.
  17. Some highlights from the Amusing Hobby (http://www.amusinghobby.com/ & https://www.facebook.com/Amusing-Hobby-1775421772678252/) catalog 2020-2021 are here: https://tieba.baidu.com/p/7178046448 Amusing Hobby "Luft 46" kits have dedicated threads: - ref. 48A001 - Focke Wulf Triebflügel - link - ref. 48A002 - Weserflug P.1003/I - link - ref. 48A003 - Messerschmit Me.262 HGIII - link - ref. 48A004 - Junkers Ju-187 Super Stuka - link - ref. 48A005 - Messerschmitt Me.329 - link V.P.
  18. Time for next ugly tank - Neubaufahrzeug. Little bit done. As usually... lots of wheels.
  19. Amusing Hobby is to release a 1/48th Messerschmitt Me.329 Heavy Fighter Bomber kit - ref. 48A005 Source: https://tieba.baidu.com/p/7178046448 V.P.
  20. Hey all, Here's my rendition of the new Conqueror kit from Amusing Hobby. I picked this up from a recent pre-covid to the Tank Museum, Bovington after I kinda fell in the love with the real thing... What a beast! The kit is OOB except from the Aber gun barrel, because the original was a bit naff and basic. I also scratchbuilt a canvas mantlet cover out of milliput. I painted her using Tamiya Acrylics, namely XF-58 Olive Green, which may have looked a bit light but after a bit of weathering it created a good scale representiation. Weathering was with oil paints either thinned and used as washes or used as a dot filter. The tracks were plastic and click together, which were nice, but the joins weren't too strong as the tips of the plastic pins that were meant to snap into place snapped off instead. So fitting them to the model were fun... They were weathered with a burnt sienna & raw umber wash mixed 1:1 together. I then crushed up a pencil lead and rubbed it over the high points to create a metallic effect. Thanks for looking, and apologies for the lighting but i'm just settling in with a new photobox and I've yet to adjust the lights in my new setup Sam
  21. Centurion Mk.V Main Battle Tank (35A028) 1:35 Amusing Hobby Pre WWII it can be kind to say Britain lagged behind in tank development and even at the end of WWII we have many US types still in service. The A41 was designated as Heavy Cruiser tank back as far as 1943 , this was further developed into the Centurion. The five wheel Comet chassis was developed by adding a sixth wheel with the spacing between the second and third wheels increased. The original Christie suspension was replaced by the Horstmann suspension. The hull had welded sloped armour and the turret was partially cast. The original main gun was the proven 17 pounder with a 20mm supporting weapon. The mark II quickly replaced the initial Mk I tanks and had thicker armour and a fully cast turret. The 20mm gun was also deleted in favour of a normal machine gun. The mark III brought about the introduction of the 20 pounder gun. The Mark V brought about the delegation of the rear turret hatch, fitment of browning machine guns a re-designed turret roof; and the addition of guide rollers in the track runs. first combat or the new tank was in the Korean War where they were praised with their ability to operate in the mountainous terrain. The last combat for British tanks were for AVRE vehicles which deployed to the Gulf War in 1991. The tank was an export success being supplied to Canada, Sweden, South Africa, Israel, Jordan, Switzerland, Denmark, India, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, New Zealand, Austria, Singapore,The Netherlands and Australia. The South Africans further developed the tank into the Olifant, the Jordanians into the Temsah APC, and the Israelis into Nagmachon APCs, Nakpadon ARVs or Puma CEVs many of which still serve to this day. The Kit This is a new tool from Amusing Hobby, who have a thing for British “almost” projects of late, and are filling in some gaps between the in-service tanks that will no doubt please the what-if modellers as well as those that enjoy building cancelled projects or just downright unusual vehicles. Inside the box are ten sprues of varying sizes in sand-coloured styrene, plus a single lower hull part in the same colour. There is also a bag of brown track-links, a bag of brass springs, a length of braided cable, a small fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a diminutive decal sheet and the instruction booklet with a colour cover that has profiles on the rear. Detail is good throughout, the cast elements such as the final drive housing that has a light casting texture moulded-in. Construction begins with the assembly of the bogies that are built around the springs to give the suspension arms some real travel, providing you keep the glue away from the pivot points. There are three of these each side of the large hull tub, and each one carries four wheels in pairs on two axles each, held onto the axles with a central hub part. The tracks are wide, so the return rollers sit on projecting bases, and long stand-off brackets are added to support the side skirts later in the build. The huge final drive housing is layered up and topped with a toothed drive sprocket and a small roller that is probably there to prevent track shedding during turns. At the front is the idler wheel on an axle that pivots to give good track tension once you have made them up and wrapped them around the road wheels. The tracks are supplied free of any sprues and quite free of clean-up, especially if you are planning on dirtying them up later, so you can just start making them up there and then. Each side uses 102 links, and as they snap together they shouldn’t take too long to put together, which is nice. 12 links went together in a few minutes, and they do remain workable, although they aren’t as mobile as they could be. You might get the occasional one coming adrift, but in general they should be fairly easy to fit, and if you want to freeze them in place once you have them installed, a dab of glue to each link will do the trick, leaving you free to handle them more roughly during the painting process. Both runs of links are applied to the vehicles with the traction bar to the rear, so ensure you test-fit them properly before you put them in for the final time. The rear of the hull is constructed and added along with the engine deck. At the front the glacis plate is made up incorporating the front fenders. At the sides the track guards go on along with the lockers tools and exhaust. A thread tow cable is provided which is probably best dispensed with for a metal alternative. The last part of the vehicle to be constructed is the turret. The two sides go around the base with the gun mantlet at the front, The bins for the turret sides are made up and added along with the smoke dischargers. On the top the aerial mounts go on along with the commander hatch. The gun barrel is added to the mantle and on top a 30 cal machine gun is added. Spare track links can be added to the turret is wanted. Markings A small decal sheet provides markings for 10 Troop, C Sqn, 4th Royal Tank Regiment based in West Berlin in 1962. Conclusion A good looking model of one of the first true Main Battle Tanks. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  22. FV 4005 Stage 2 Self-Propelled Gun (35A029) 1:35 Amusing Hobby Everyone with an interest in British armour probably knows the Centurion tank at least on sight, and that it was the UK’s earliest Main Battle Tank, and most well-regarded amongst its peers, having a long service life and more variants than many. One of its many variants includes the lesser-known Self-Propelled Gun (SPG) prototypes that are lesser known for the reason that they never proceeded past prototype. The initial SPG variants began with big ambitions, but were abandoned in favour of other more appealing projects, one of which was the FV433 Abbot. The huge 183mm gun that was to be mounted in the FV4005 was developed from a 7.2” howitzer, and was enclosed in a fairly lightly armoured turret on a Centurion chassis. It fared no better, and was dismantled before the end of the 50s. A similar fate befell the FV 4004, named the Conway that was developed as a fill-in until the big Conqueror came on-stream, based upon a Mk.3 Centurion chassis and a 120mm gun in an oversized turret. Happily, the FV4005 now resides at Bovington Tank Museum, and if you’ve ever seen it in the grounds there, you’ll realise what a huge turret it had. The Kit This is a new tool from Amusing Hobby, who have a thing for British “almost” projects of late, and are filling in some gaps between the in-service tanks that will no doubt please the what-if modellers as well as those that enjoy building cancelled projects or just downright unusual vehicles. The kit arrives in a by-now familiar box with a rather severe-looking painting of the SPG in an urban environment with what looks vaguely like a burned out T-34 in the background. Inside the box are ten sprues of varying sizes in sand-coloured styrene, plus a single lower hull part in the same colour. There is also a bag of brown track-links, a bag of brass springs, a length of braided cable, a small fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a diminutive decal sheet and the instruction booklet with a colour cover that has profiles on the rear. Detail is good throughout, with large slab-sided panels everywhere, differentiating from the cast elements such as the final drive housing that has a light casting texture moulded-in. If you want a more realistic finish to the rolled steel parts, check the available photos online and consult the various techniques for producing the texture on such armour. Construction begins with the assembly of the bogies that are built around the springs to give the suspension arms some real travel, providing you keep the glue away from the pivot points. There are three of these each side of the large hull tub, and each one carries four wheels in pairs on two axles each, held onto the axles with a central hub part. The tracks are wide, so the return rollers sit on projecting bases, and long stand-off brackets are added to support the side skirts later in the build. The huge final drive housing is layered up and topped with a toothed drive sprocket and a small roller that is probably there to prevent track shedding during turns. At the front is the idler wheel on an axle that pivots to give good track tension once you have made them up and wrapped them around the road wheels. The tracks are supplied free of any sprues and quite free of clean-up, especially if you are planning on dirtying them up later, so you can just start making them up there and then. Each side uses 102 links, and as they snap together they shouldn’t take too long to put together, which is nice. I put together 12 links in a few minutes, and they do remain workable, although they aren’t as mobile as they could be. You might get the occasional one coming adrift, but in general they should be fairly easy to fit, and if you want to freeze them in place once you have them installed, a dab of glue to each link will do the trick, leaving you free to handle them more roughly during the painting process. Both runs of links are applied to the vehicles with the traction bar to the rear, so ensure you test-fit them properly before you put them in for the final time. Due to the size of the gun and hefty recoil, the rear bulkhead has a self-entrenching tool fitted on two swing-arms along with the armoured cooling vents and the ubiquitous communications telephone box on the rear. The engine deck is attached to the turret ring, then fitted to the hull, with the area under the mantlet having a large clamshell hatch with vision blocks in each half. The glacis plate has the front fenders moulded-in, and the rear portion of the engine-deck is closed off with a set of access panels with a raised edge, then the big fenders are fitted to a groove in the side of the hull, with detail parts added all down the side of the stowage boxes. The exhaust and its silencer sit on the aft sections of the fenders with a flared tip at the rear and a heat shield, then it is joined by a number of pioneer tools and the rear mudguards on both sides. PE stiffener plates are attached to the front fenders, along with the towing eyes and shackles front and rear, plus the side skirts that will hide away a lot of the tracks, so you could perhaps skimp with track building there if you wanted too. The turret is provided as an open-ended shell to which you add the rear panel with moulded-in access hatch, then detail with the stiffening ribs that are prominent on the sides. Small hatches are fitted to the roof, and the .303 coax machinegun is visible through the front of the box that sits on the left of the mantlet, while underneath the turret is fitted a stepped floor with the turret ring on the lower area, and the perforated floor in the rear. The tall mantlet has a pivot mechanism glued to the rear before it is inserted into the front of the turret, with a slot for the gun barrel, which is made up from three cylindrical sections, each having hollow tips, one for the muzzle, and one for the attachment to the pivot. The turret is then flipped over and slotted into the hull, with two double-tow cables made up from plastic eyes and the braided material that is provided. These are draped on the deck around the rear of the turret, with a location point on the rear hull and on the tops of the fenders. The last part of the vehicle to be constructed is the gun travel-lock, which can be made up on stowed or travel positions and using the same set of parts for each. For the stowed option the two front braces are folded to the sides of the glacis and the main A-frame is laid flat down the slope, while the travelling set-up has the A-frame standing at an angle with the clamp around the barrel and the front braces standing vertically. Markings This tank, nicknamed a less family-friendly version of the “poopbarn” never saw service, so the postage stamp sized decal sheet is adequate. It consists of a black maple-leaf and a white/red/white banner that is reminiscent of the WWI colours worn by the early British tanks. In addition, an April Fool decal and serial number in white. Only one vehicle is shown on the instructions, so you’re left wondering where the black leaf goes. If you check out the side of the box however, you’ll see another chassis in a NATO-esque four colour scheme with the emblem on the turret, but this isn’t documented elsewhere, so you’ll have to make up the camo demarcations that can’t be seen. Conclusion An interesting tank that sits somewhere between What-If and reality, having one extant chassis that I’ve seen with my own eyes outside Bovvy. It’s an exterior kit with good detail, nice tracks and an impressive turret that will doubtless generate some questions as to what it is wherever you display it. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  23. FV217 Badger Heavy Tank Destroyer (35A034) 1:35 Amusing Hobby Still clinging onto the "bigger is better" ethos that Hitler forced upon the Allies during the last years of WWII, post war British doctrine continued to specify and design huge and lumbering tanks for a while, such as the Tortoise, and to a great extent the Conqueror, carrying a 120mm gun that was intended to take out opposition armour at longer range than the smaller Centurion, whilst working in cooperation together. Design began while the war was still raging, and continued with subsequent changes to specification due to rapidly evolving needs for a further 10 years before it morphed into the Conqueror. This chassis was to be used as the basis for the Badger or FV217 which was to be armed with the same 120mm gun as the Conqueror. The project never made it off the drawing board though, so it is essentially a what if. The specs that can be found look impressive, however with the development of what would become the Main Battle Tank the days of the Tank Destroyer were numbered. The Kit This is a reboxing of the original Conqueror II kit with the addition of an extra sprue of parts, and a new casting for the main hull. This seems to be one of the vehicle designs revisited by World Of Tanks which amusing hobby seem to be using for inspiration. Construction begins with the hull, and the suspension bogies that contain the Horstmann suspension units, which is where the real springs come in. These are contained between two end-caps, which affix to a back-plate, and if you're careful with the glue when you attach the perforated front part, you should end up with working suspension. Two pairs of road wheels and a single pair of return rollers are fixed to the axles, and held in place by hub caps that fit using friction alone, so the wheels should turn too if you don't overdo the paint. This is repeated over the eight bogies, a multi-part drive sprocket with final drive housing is installed at the rear and the adjustable idler wheels are added to the lower glacis, with an element of adjustment possible before you apply glue, which should allow you to take up any additional slack in the tracks before you finish construction. The upper hull is essentially one complete part to which are added the front hatches and the main gun. There are a multitude of small fittings to add along side lockers and storage bins. There is a hatch to makeup nd add to the rear bulkhead of the top casemate. At the rear tools and the exhaust system are added with smoke dischargers being added to the side. The gun itself is made up from 5 parts with the gun broken down into sections which are single part moulds so there will be no massive seam to remove. For the top o the casemate a machine gun/command copula is also constructed at this time. The tracks are very nicely moulded, and are of the click-fit workable variety, which works very well indeed in this instance. The parts are moulded in pairs with a small injection manifold between them, and they are attached by only two sprue gates, with no ejector pins to deal with. Clean-up is super-simple due to the location of the gates, and the click action is quite robust, leaving you with a run of tracks in fairly short order, which is just as well as you need 98 links per side. Having seen a few rather poorly engineered track joining methods from other major manufacturers lately, it's refreshing to see a genuinely good track-making method from Amusing Hobby. With the tracks installed, the hull halves can be joined, the top copula installed; and the side skirts added. Markings It's an AFV kit, so the decal sheet is the size of an over-ambitious stamp. As the real thing never existed there are standard British Armour markigs with two suggested schemes of the standard Green & Black, and the Berlin camo scheme. Conclusion There's something about the bulk of this tank destroyer which is quite impressive, even if it was never built. Amusing Hobby have captured that aspect of it very well. We just wonder what they are dreaming up kitting next! Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of Available soon from good model shops.
  24. Hi all, I've been a member for a little while but this is my first attempt at posting any of my work. This is the Amusing Hobby 1/35 Conqueror MkI. I actually built it last year but have just got around to photographing some of my models. The build was pretty straight forward apart from the inner skirts which were warped in my kit. These were replaced with plastic card. It was painted with MRP paints and weathered with MIG pigments.
  25. ARL44 French Heavy Tank (35A025) 1:35 Amusing Hobby The ARL 44 is a French Heavy Tank which does look unusual. At first glance it would appear that it resulted from an affair between a Char B1 and a King Tiger. The main reason for the resemblance to the Char B1 is that the tank was developed in Secret during WWII under co-ordination from CDM (Camouflage du Matériel), a secret Vichy army organisation trying to produce materiel forbidden by the armistice conditions. Thus the designers relied on what they knew and did not have access to outside tank developments. The tank was to be armed with a 90mm DCA Naval AA gun, this was so large that for transportation the gun retracted into the turret and part exiting through a rear hatch which was also used to load ammunition. The turret itself was a make shift affair as the French at the time were unable to do large castings. The turret was actually made from armour plate salvaged from the wreck of the battleship Dunkerque. Only the turret front was cast. It was decided after WWII to build this to maintain continuity in French design, and to boost home moral, even though the Tank would be inferior to even the Sherman which was available in large numbers. The tank was unreliable and not well liked, with the brakes, gear box and suspension to light for the weight and resulting in several serious accident. The tank would be replaced in French service by the American M47 Patton. The Kit This is a great kit from Amusing Hobby that many thought would never get kitted. On first look in the box the most noticeable part is the large hull casting which looks like it should be in a Warhammer box! There are an additional 4 sprues of plastic, a bag of track links and a small sheet of PE. Although not mentioned in the instructions at all, or the parts diagram there is a one piece turned metal barrel in the box. Construction starts with the multitude of small road wheels for each side of the tank. There are 18 pairs for these down each side and these are sandwiched between the outside housings with a large idler wheel at the front. There are also two pairs of small return rollers added to the top of the main hull track return areas, Additional front plates are also attached to the main hull to allow the track roller assemblies to be attached, The rear drive sprockets can then be fitted along with the tanks rear bulkhead and the floor. The top side covers for the track are then fitted to the hull. The complicated cooling system for the tanks petro-electrical transmission is then built up ad added to the hull, along with the crew hatches and many hull fittings. The PE grills are added to the engine deck as well at this stage. Work now moves to the turret. The gun mantlet is built up and this added to the turret after the base has been added to the main casting. The large rear hatch is added along with the hatches and additional track links. The muzzle brake is added to the main gun barrel and this is added to the turret. The tracks are very nicely moulded, and are of the click-fit workable variety, which works very well indeed in this instance. The parts are moulded individually with an ejector mark on the underside which wont be seen. There is no clean up and assembly is super simple, they just click together. leaving you with a run of tracks in fairly short order, which is just as well as you need 80 links per side. Having seen a few rather poorly engineered track joining methods from other major manufacturers lately, it's refreshing to see a genuinely good track-making method from Amusing Hobby, this is just about the easiest track I have ever used. With the tracks installed, the turret can be twisted into place and the model is finished. Markings A mall decal sheet provides markings for two tanks, one in French Blue, and one in Green / Sand. Colour call outs are given in MiG Ammo colours only. Conclusion I'm quite fan of the strange and wonderful and think this tank fits into that category. While it was not successful it filled one of its main briefs of keeping the French designers & manufactures busy while better designs were forthcoming, eventually which lead to the AMX-30. It will be an interesting model to display and may leave more than a few people scratching their heads. Very Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
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