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Found 15 results

  1. There is something about the brutish looks of the conqueror that has made me want one in the collection for some time. I'm not an expert enough to say if it is 100% correct but it looks the part to me :-) By my standards this was a quick build. There were no issues with the way it went together. The only oddity is that there are no clear lenses for the headlights included, just normal plastic ones. I'll add clear lenses one day. As its so prominent I replace the barrel with one from Aber. I think its designed for the Dragon kit, but it was not hard to make it fit. Painting as done with a very old tin of Humbrol paint from their old Authentic range. One of the marking options from the kit was used, as I found a photo of that tank online. Enough waffle, on to the photos. Tim
  2. 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
  3. Hi Guys This is a brass cast undercarriage set for the new Amusing Hobby kit These parts are the same as the superb kit parts but they are far more robust, for parts that always seem to get broken, when handling models. Note a small brass rod is supplied to make an axle for the main centre wheel. Special thanks to Mike Williams of Britmodeller (the BOSS) for suggesting these to me and for lending me his kit parts in advance to get this set out as soon as possible. Mike also added some detail to the main wheel, this is 'subjective' however there is no clear or 100% detail for this aircraft SO he just did it!!! The castor wheel yokes are exceptionally fragile so this should sort that problem with ease and they are superbly cast. Dash over to get your set now https://aerocraftmodels.bigcartel.com/product/focke-wulf-triebflugel-brass-undercarriage
  4. Hi Guys This is a brass cast undercarriage set for the new Amusing Hobby kit These parts are the same as the superb kit parts but they are far more robust, for parts that always seem to get broken, when handling models. Note a small brass rod is supplied to make an axle for the main centre wheel. Special thanks to Mike Williams of Britmodeller (the BOSS) for suggesting these to me and for lending me his kit parts in advance to get this set out as soon as possible. Mike also added some detail to the main wheel, this is 'subjective' however there is no clear or 100% detail for this aircraft SO he just did it!!! The castor wheel yokes are exceptionally fragile so this should sort that problem with ease and they are superbly cast. Dash over to get your set now https://aerocraftmodels.bigcartel.com/product/focke-wulf-triebflugel-brass-undercarriage
  5. Amusing Hobby is working on a 1/48th Focke Wulf Triebflügel kit - ref. 48A001 Source: http://www.ipmsdeutschland.de/Ausstellungen/Nuernberg2018/Bilder_AT/MBK_Distribution_06.htm V.P.
  6. Focke-Wulf Triebflügel (48A001) 1:48 Amusing Hobby Toward the end of WWII the Nazis were desperately casting around for wunderwaffe, or Wonder Weapons that would turn the ever-increasing tide against their attempt to take over Europe and probably the world. This resulted in some possibly more left-field designs being considered, when under normal circumstances they would more likely have been dismissed out of hand. One such project that has since gained traction in the minds of the Luft'46 community and beyond is the concept of the Triebflügel from Focke-Wulf, which was little more than a rocket body with a rotating set of arms with ramjet engines at their tips providing the motive power. This arrangement was to enable it to take off vertically, which was of greater interest as the front lines got closer, as was the use of the simple ramjet that was propelled up to speed by rockets, all of which used little in the way of strategic materials or complex technology. It went nowhere of course, and had some critical issues that would have needed to be addressed if it had gone further, such as the counter-rotation required to offset the torque of the motors was supposed to be supplied by the cruciform tail pressing against the air, it would have to land vertically with the pilot facing forward and the rear view obscured by the still rotating engines to name but two. Post war the Convair Pogo was to attempt a broadly similar flight profile with similar issues raising their heads and helping ensure its demise. If you've been following the Marvel Avengers film franchise (MCU), you'll have seen Red Skull absconding in a very Triebflügel-esque aircraft at one point, which although undoubtedly CGI could actually be attempted now with our computers and other technologies. Can we convince Elon Musk to give it a go? The Kit This is the first winged project from Amusing Hobby, and it's great to see them applying their sense of the unusual and what might have been to their choice of aviation subjects too. Because the Triebflügel only got as far as a general arrangement design, there is also little in the way of "you got that wrong" that can be said about the subject unless you enjoy being ridiculed for being a know-to-all with a crystal ball. Arriving in a slightly smaller box than their usual AFV kits, there is a dramatic CGI render of a Triebflügel in action on the lid, and inside there are eight sprues in sand coloured styrene, one small clear sprue, a sheet of decals, instruction booklet and two separate painting guides that fold out to provide quite a few options. There's a relatively small part count due to the speculative nature of the design, but what is there is nicely moulded and has fine panel lines and rivets throughout. The sprue diagrams show the centre ring (part 1) attached to the end of the main sprue, but it had been nipped from the runners before dispatch, probably to prevent damage during transit. Construction begins with the cockpit, which is built onto an L-shaped floor and rear bulkhead, with side consoles, rudder pedals, control column and instrument panel, all of which has good raised detail, and once the seat is dropped in, other small details such as the gun sight finish it off, with the nose area closing up around it. The two-part canopy can be posed open or closed, and the rotor base is added at the back of the nose from a cylindrical arrangement of three parts that can be left to rotate so you can show off those rotors. The tapering rear fuselage is made of two halves that close around the large tail-wheel, which sits inside on a platform and is allowed to rotate. The fuselage is completed with a DF loop and aerial, then put aside while the rotors and tail assembly are build up. The three rotors, which I keep wanting to call wings because they are, are all identical and are made from two halves, tipped with the ramjet cowlings that have the simple mechanism inside, most of which I'd paint black or rusty. Each cowling has two halves and an intake lip, and one of the drawings incorrectly has an intake fan drawn inside in step 8, and there is a fan on the sprues, so maybe they were considering making it jet propelled? These are glued into the holes on the centre fuselage section, or left loose for storage or posing later. The tail has four cruciform fins that are made of two halves with a slot down the centre for the landing gear castor, which has a separate yoke and wheel, replicated four times over. If you are posing your model landed, the clamshell aerodynamic covers are glued in place split, while in-flight they are posed closed over the four castors and the big central wheel. That's it! You're done, but part of the fun with this type of hypothetical is the painting. Markings The decal profiles have been drawn in conjunction with AMMO using their paint codes, and there are four choices with absolutely no facts involved, as it's pure fantasy. The world really is your oyster, and with the addition of some home-made hydra decals you could even paint it as the Red Skull's personal ride from Marvel's The First Avenger. There is no backstory to the options provided, so the profiles will have to speak for themselves. The decals have only the Amusing Hobby name on them, but have good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas, with lots of different types of crosses, a few unit badges but no swastikas, so if you're stickler for your Hakenkreuz, you'll need some of your own. Conclusion Awesome! Lunatic, with a touch of bonkers, and a hint of desperation. I've had a hankering for one of these for a while, but as this is the first injection moulded kit in my preferred scale, it's been an idle quest until now. I just need to find the time to build it now. Why are you still here? You need to track down and buy one of these at your earliest convenience! Excruciatingly highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  7. British Tank Destroyer FV215B(183) (35A008) 1:35 Amusing Hobby Post WWII, everything armoured was still suffering from a hangover from Hitler's "bigger is better" mantra, and Heavy Tanks were all the rage. The FV214 Conqueror was one such vehicle, and was intended to be the big-brother of the Centurion, wiping out enemy tanks and clearing the way. It saw service in limited quantities in West Germany in the late 50s to early 60s, and was phased out in favour of the Main Battle Tank. The FV215B was a proposal for a Self-Propelled Gun based on the same chassis, but with the turret housing a 183mm gun fitted to the aft part of the hull to reduce overhang of its limited traverse turret. It never progressed beyond a mock-up, so was essentially a paper project, and ended its days consigned to the waste paper basket when the project was cancelled. The Kit This is a great paper project from Amusing Hobby, with some sprues borrowed from their Conqueror kits as you might expect. There's no harm in getting the most out of the sprues, and we get an interesting developmental dead-end of the Conqueror line into the bargain. FV222 Conqueror ARV next maybe? The kit arrives in a traditional top opening box, and inside are nine sprues and two hull halves in sand-coloured styrene, 226 track links in brown styrene two-per-sprue (113 of them in my kit), eight real-live springs, a length of braided copper wire, a small sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a decal sheet, and instruction booklet with colour profiles and markings guide on the rear pages. It doesn't share as many of the parts as you'd think with its progenitor, with only the running gear, lower hull, wheels, tracks and side-skirts from the original, all the rest being newly tooled. Detail is the same quality as the Conqueror, although some texturing of the turret armour would have been an improvement, but it's not massively difficult to do yourself with a stipple of Mr Surfacer and a few knocks with a spinning Dremel tool. It's an exterior kit, so other than a few periscopes and small parts near hatches, there is nothing inside. If you're opening hatches, grab some Post WWII tank crew to go with it and you're set. 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 inner 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 new upper hull is built. Blanking plates are affixed to the lower edges of the sponsons before it is flipped over and the glacis plate is added to the blank front of the upper hull. Light clusters, travel-lock for the barrel and lifting eyes are added, then around the front of the turret ring a group of PE grilles are glued in place with super glue and the engine access hatch is detailed with grab-handles and lifting lugs. A semi-circular hatch is supplied for the driver, with periscope and levers inside, stowage boxes and exhausts are added to the fenders, plus air cleaners and fire extinguishers, then short outer skirts that hang from the edges of the fenders on small lugs. The upper turret is a single moulding to which the internal periscope and latching parts are fitted, while cable bobbin, stowage, shell-ejection hatch and twin smoke grenade launchers are fitted to the slab-like sides. On the roof are the three hatches, sighting gear and a single coaxial(ish) machine gun projecting from a wedge-shaped appendage in front of the commander's cupola, which has a flip-forward hatch and a mushroom vent in the centre of the roof. Either side of the commander's hatch are spare ammo cans for the belt-fed aft-facing machine gun that is fixed to the rear on a Y-shaped mount. The massive 183mm main gun is made from two interlocking tubular parts with hollow centres, which have their join hidden by the fume extractor that fits around them in two parts. The completed barrel then slides through the angular mantlet and locates in the pivoting part, which latches inside the mantlet with a firm push, having moulded-in splines to keep it from drooping, although if you play with it too much it will end up saggy. The completed mantlet and single piece turret floor complete the assembly, leaving just the tracks and final assembly to do. 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 turret twisted into place, and a pair of aft mudguards fitted to the fenders to complete the job. Markings It's a what-if, paper-project or hypothetical AFV if you like, so the schemes have been made up with the assistance of Mig Jiménez's company AMMO, so it's not a surprise to see that the colours are using their codes. Both options have camouflage patterns, which should be easy enough to apply because you have five views so there's no guesswork involved. If you're planning on using an airbrush you can either freehand them with nice tight demarcations, or get some of that clever putty, roll out some snakes and get on with masking it up, leaving it to settle a little into the corners to prevent "the fuzzies". The decal sheet is small and contains a number of which alphanumeric codes to create your own number plates using the black rectangles as a backdrop, some well-known British tank regiment badges, a couple of yellow donuts and circles, and even a British flag with a tiny first aid roundel nearby. Registration, colour density and sharpness are up to the job, and you have plenty of scope to create your own vehicle with a little made-up history if you like. Conclusion I'm quite fond of this era of gigantic tanks when they were still figuring out the best way of doing things in the world of Armoured Fighting Vehicles, so this appeals to me both from a subject point of view as well as a nice kit that will look imposing on the shelf, unless you plonk it down next to a Conqueror or a IS-3, or maybe even an American T-28, or your own 1:35 scratch-build P1000 Ratte! Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  8. Pz.Kpfw.VI Tiger (P) "Truppenübungsfahrzeug" (35A023) 1:35 Amusing Hobby After encountering the T-34 during the invasion of Russia, it was realised that new tanks were needed to combat them, one of which was the Panther, while the other was already in development and eventually became the Tiger. There were two designs proffered for the contract, one by Porsche, the other by Henschel, and it was eventually the Henschel design that found favour with Hitler, after the Porsche design famously failed in a cloud of smoke whilst being demonstrated in front of him at Rastenburg. There were other reasons, such as the complexity of the design and the fact that its petrol-electric drivetrain required too much in the way of the strategically valuable copper. The Tiger (P) ran with a very similar turret as the Henschel design, with the name Tiger coined by Ferdinand Porsche himself. Where it differed was the forward positioning of the turret, which made for a long overhang of the main gun that was deemed a problem for descending hills or crossing large ditches. In the rear were two petrol engines that provided power to an electric generator that ran the two drive motors at the very rear of the tank. Although a mechanical gearbox wasn't necessary, the extra weight of the additional engine, generator and electric motors made for a very heavy vehicle and much added complexity. The road wheels were paired, and not interleaved like the Henschel design, which gave a higher ground pressure, but simplified maintenance at least in that area. It was not enough, so the design lost out and the name was transferred to the Henschel offering. Much of the chassis was reused however in the Ferdinand/Elefant Tank Destroyer, which shared the same track layout and lower hull, 100 of which had already been built at the Porsche factories. Only one Tiger (P) was ever built to completion, and it was pressed into service as a command tank late in the war. The Kit This is a complete new tool from Amusing Hobby, although there have been a number of kits of the type in 1:35. It arrives in a pretty standard looking top-opening box with a picture of Ferdinand Porsche next to his creation, a resin figure of whom is included in the box as a bit of bonus. The rest of the content consists of six sprues and a lower hull half in sand coloured styrene, eight sprues of track links in brown styrene, a pair of "rubber-band" tracks, a decal sheet, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a small bag of springs, a roll of braided copper wire, the instruction booklet and the aforementioned figure. Detail is good throughout, and the inclusion of two styles of tracks should appeal to most, while the figure will look good next to the model, although you will need to warm his arms up to get them to fit properly in his pockets judging by my brief efforts. Construction begins with the paired road wheels that are built up, affixed in twos to three suspension units on each side of the tank, and then offered up to the hull with end-caps holding them in position, allowing them an element of movement to accommodate the ground, assisted by the custom springs that are inserted during assembly. The wheels themselves are also held on by end-caps, which allows them to rotate, and the same feature is visited on the idler and drive sprockets using an internal collar that is glued to the axle. Without further ado, the tracks are introduced, where you have a choice of using the supplied flexible tracks (which aren't mentioned in the instructions), or the individual links that consist of two parts per link. Each of the eight sprues contains a jig, which you can use to build the runs of 109 links per side, and as the jigs can be glued together, you can construct a long run at one sitting, up to 40 links if my maths is correct (it usually isn't). The links have two sprue gates per part, and clean-up is straight forward, so shouldn't take too long with a sharp knife. The contact ridge on each link is separate, and you glue these to the main part of the link to trap the pins inside their recesses. Using liquid glue may cause some issues with glue wicking into the joints and leaving you with unworkable track links, so for my test I used Super Glue (CA), which I dabbed on the contact points with a needle in small quantities. This worked, but CA is a little brittle for the task, so I would suggest getting some tube glue such as Revell Contacta with the precision applicator that will weld the parts together and give more strength. As already alluded, take care with applying too much, as the pins are very close to the contact points by necessity. When completed, the tracks have a great deal of movement available, so wrapping them around the road wheels should pose no issue. With the tracks on, the hull sides are added, with an insert on the diagonal panel next to the glacis added on each side. Taking care with alignment will benefit you here, as the hull top drops onto the side panels, so taping this loosely in place while the glue cures will ensure a good fit. The hull top is detailed with jack blocks, the front glacis with machine gun ball mount and driver's armoured vision port, and at the rear, two louvered panels to cool the engines, with each one having separate slats added before they are joined. The fenders are prepared with stiffeners and bumpers that take the wear from accidental track hits on the angled parts, with long tabs helping to make a good joint with the hull. Pioneer tools, PE engine grills, lights and additional spare track in a bracket along the rear of the hull are all added, and the towing cables are created from the braided copper wire with styrene eyes finishing off the ends, with a scrap diagram showing their arrangement. Now for the turret. The main part provides the turret ring and curved side-walls, into which you place the panel with the gun's pivot point engineered in, which is held in place by external pins. The vision ports, top hatch and commander's cupola are all fixed in place, and at the rear a special bracket allows the rear storage bin to fit over another two short lengths of spare track links. The bin has a separate lid so could be posed open if you wish. The barrel is made up from two tubular sections, with a three-part flash suppressor, the core of which is hollow. The rear of the barrel is inserted into the keyed hole in the mantlet, which is backed by another part for attachment to the interior, and a coaxial machine gun is threaded through the hole. All that is left to do now is to twist the turret into position where it is locked by a bayonet style fitting. The figures is cast in resin, and has already been removed from its pouring blocks, except for a pair of platform shoes that you will need to flatten off. The hat and arms are separate parts that fix to the body with square pegs for security. My sample had some issues with locating his hands properly in his pockets, so a little heat will be needed to coax them into position. I tend to use hot water and then plunge the parts into cold water to fix the shape, so it's just something to be aware of before you try to assemble and paint. As usual with resin, take the precaution of wearing a mask when cutting or sanding resin, as the tiny particles are harmful to your health if breathed in. Washing the parts in warm water will also improve the adhesion of paint, as there may still be some moulding release agent on the parts when you receive them. Markings Only two schemes are provided from the box, one being the initial prototype livery of Panzer Grey, the latter being a Dunkegelb, green and red brown camouflage. The paint call-outs are given in the AMMO range, which you can always convert using one of the many charts available if you don't use them. The decals are a generic sheet of white outlined red turret numbers, plus a choice of two styles of crosses in case you fancy doing a speculative colour scheme for a change. The decals are sharp and with good colour density, although the white is very slightly offset, but as many of these markings were hand-painted by inexperienced mechanics or crew, they're hardly likely to be pin-perfect anyway. Conclusion It's nice to see a new kit of the fairly well forgotten Tiger (P), and the inclusion of a choice of track styles will please those phobic about individual track links, with Mr Porsche in resin a bonus that if not used in this model can be pressed into service as a civilian at some point. A complete package too, with only glue and paint required. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of Available from all good model shops soon
  9. German 88mm L71 Flak 41 Amusing Hobby 1:35 History The 8.8 cm Flak 18/36/37/41 is a German 88 mm anti-aircraft and anti-tank artillery gun from World War II. It was widely used by Germany throughout the war, and was one of the most recognized German weapons of that conflict. Development of the original model led to a wide variety of guns. The name applies to a series of related guns, the first one officially called the 8.8 cm Flak 18, the improved 8.8 cm Flak 36, and later the 8.8 cm Flak 37. In addition to these Krupp designs, Rheinmetall later created a more powerful anti-aircraft gun, the 8.8 cm Flak 41, which was produced in relatively small numbers. Krupp responded with another prototype of the long-barrelled 8.8 cm gun, which was further developed into the anti-tank and tank destroyer 8.8 cm PaK 43 gun used for the Elefant and Jagdpanther, and turret-mounted 8.8 cm KwK 43 heavy tank gun of the Tiger II. As early as 1939 the Luftwaffe asked for newer weapons with an even better performance, to address the problems of defending against attack by high-flying aircraft. Rheinmetall responded with a new 88 mm design with a longer cartridge and a longer barrel. A prototype was ready in early 1941 leading to the designation 8.8 cm Flak 41. The new gun fired a 9.4-kilogram (20 lb) shell at a muzzle velocity of 1,000 m/s (3,280 ft/s), giving it an effective ceiling of 11,300 meters (37,100 ft) and a maximum of 14,700 meters (48,200 ft), which General der Flakartillerie Otto Wilhelm von Renz said to be "almost equal to the 128-mm." It featured a lower silhouette on its turntable mounting than did the 8.8-cm Flak 18/36/37 on its pedestal mounting. The barrel was at first a three-section one with a length of 74 calibres, and then redesigned to dual-section with a length of 72 calibres. Improvements in reloading raised the firing rate, with 20 to 25 rounds a minute. Because of problems in service, the guns were almost exclusively used in Germany where they could be properly maintained and serviced. The Flak 41 had the disadvantage of complexity, and was prone to problems with ammunition, empty cases often jamming on extraction. Because of the high cost and complexity of this weapon, the Germans manufactured relatively few of them, 556 in all. The first deliveries were made in March 1943 and, as of August 1944, only 157 were fielded; with 318 in January 1945. The Model The kit comes in a rather flimsy top opening box on which there is an artist’s impression of the gun in action. Inside there are five sprues of yellowish plastic and a small decal sheet. The mouldings and detail is first rate with no sign of flash or other imperfections and very few moulding pips. The instructions are really nice and clear with actual drawings of the parts rather than renders, which I know some modellers aren’t keen on. The build begins with the breech assembly, which consists of no less than nineteen parts. This assembly is then glued to the rear of the gun tube, which itself is made up from three slide moulded parts, so no seems to worry about. The two piece slide is then fitted to the underside of the gun tube before attention is given to the recoil slide section or carriage of the mounting. This is made up from fifteen parts and includes the elevation gear and numerous small parts. The recouperator tube is then fitted to its eight piece mounting which in turn is fitted over the carriage. The gun tube assembly is then slid into position on the mounting slide along with the five piece inner shield assembly. Each of the rear mounted trunnion pins are fitted to the rear of the carriage. The mounting base is then assembled from upper and lower halves, the two piece folding arms are sandwiched between these halves and can be left unglued if required. Each of the four arms are then fitted with separate ground bases, with the fixed arms also being fitted with small hooks at their tip and large hook like fittings to the fixed arms half way along. The spade like items that pin the trail arms to the ground can either be fitted to each arm or in their stowage points on the central base structure. The mounting itself is made up of two trunnions fitted within large panels. Each side is then fitted out with internal stowage and electrical boxes, while the left side is fitted with a complex array of fittings and controls for elevation and the right side fitted with two seats and all the dials and controls for ranging and azimuth. These controls are really well detailed and the instructions followed closely to get everything in the correct place and in the correct order. The only downside is that there aren’t any decals for the gauges and dials. The turntable on which the mounting is fitted is assembled from seven parts and it is this that the two trunnion mounts are glued with the gun assembly left unglued between each trunnion. The main gun shield is then built up from four main parts and twelve small fittings before they are glued into position at the front of the mounting. The completed gun/mounting is then attached to the trail assembly, completing the build. Decals The small decal sheet only has kill markings for the barrel and shield, but no indication on where these could actually be used. There are four different colour schemes on the painting guide but no indication on where these guns were used. Conclusion Normally, when you see a kit for a German 88, you think you know exactly what it is and the shape of the gun and mounting. This is something quite different though and shows a weapon that I hadn’t known of before. The shape and low silhouette makes it have a completely different look and stance to what I was used to so will look great in a collection towed weapons. I think the only things the modeller has to look out for are the fiddly parts on the gun controls systems, other than these, it looks to be a pretty straight forward build. Review sample courtesy of Available from all good model shops soon
  10. FV214 Conqueror II Heavy Tank (35A027) 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 Mk.1, of which only a handful were made before it too was upgraded to the Conqueror 2 with improvements in armour over its short-lived predecessor. It was a behemoth, and lumbered across the terrain at a slow rate due to a combination of extremely thick sloped armour that was almost 180mm on the glacis, the huge gun, advanced fripperies such as the rotating cupola, and brass cartridges, although it could only carry 35. The upside of the 64 tonne all-up weight was that it could stably travel over almost any terrain, although with a top speed of only 22mph on metalled roads, it would be a slow-moving target off-road. The Conquerors were deployed solely in Germany, there to halt or at least slow the advances of the expected Soviet horde that thankfully never came. A few additional variants were proposed, but only the Armoured Recovery Vehicle (ARV) was built in small numbers on the basis you need a titan to pull a titan if a tank broke down, which they often did due to their weight and the strain that put on the Rolls-Royce Meteor engine and running gear. The Conqueror and Centurion were eventually replaced by the Chieftain tank in the mid 60s, which ushered in the era of the Main Battle Tank in British service. The Kit This is a minor retooling of the original Conqueror Mk.I kit (35A006) with the addition of an extra sprue of parts, a new decal sheet, and a change of styrene colour. The changes centre on the glacis plate, the front deck, the commander's cupola, and the exhaust/engine deck, with smaller parts either replaced or carried over from the original tooling. As a result, you can still build a Mk.I from this boxing if you wish to, taking your cue from the parts that are replaced with the K sprue parts instead. Detail is of course good, as per the previous issue, and the new sprue is 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 copper wire, small decal sheet, instruction booklet and separate painting and markings guide. 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 a new part and has a new hatch to be used with all the original 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 Mk.1, with towing cables made up from the braided wire and having styrene eyes at each end. On the engine deck a pair of new filler caps are present in the spaces between the ribs and vents, and these are shown in an overhead scrap diagram because there are no location points on the hull. Also on the engine deck a new exhaust assembly is run down both sides of the 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 Mk.1, and is made up from an upper part, lower bustle part, 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 either the closed or open positions, using a small actuator to obtain the correct angle. The mantlet fixes to a pair of pivots that are added to the front of the turret early on, and the edges of the part are wrapped with PE strips that can be used to fix a canvas mantlet cover on the real thing. The barrel then threads through the hole into the socket, and is made up from two solid sections plus a hollow muzzle, and the new wrap-around sleeve that is split vertically and encases the barrel just aft of the prominent flange. The commander's fancy cupola-cum-sighting-mechanism is new, with some small differences in the cast shape, and the omission of casting serials on the sloped section. The majority of small parts are from the Mk.1, with hatch, lifting eyes, vision blocks and machine gun all reused, but with two additional lifting eyes on the rear of the cupola, which have their location points marked faintly on the rear. The completed assembly fits onto the cupola ring part, and then twists into place, locking to the turret with a bayonet fitting. Also new is the turret basket at the rear of the bustle, which is made up from four styrene parts, and is shown in its final location in a scrap diagram for your ease. 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 turret twisted into place, new armoured final drive covers installed, and the gun's travel lock added to the rear bulkhead. Markings It's an AFV kit, so the decal sheet is the size of an over-ambitious stamp, and because of the limited colour palette and lack of complexity of the designs, only four colours are used on the sheet. The white is very slightly out of register, evidenced by the slight "shadow" on the right of the yellow decals, and a very slight difference in width of the white outlines on the black 4 triangles. It's nothing of great importance however, as the 4s can be trimmed, and the yellow will doubtless disappear on a green vehicle. Otherwise the decals are well-printed, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion There's something about the bulk of the Conqueror that is even more impressive if you've ever stood near a real one, as it is truly massive. Amusing Hobby have captured that aspect of it very well, and now we have a choice of two variants. I wonder what our chances of the ARV is? Low, I should think, but we can wish, can't we? One thing is for certain, there's a Mk.1 with spaced armour knocking about – a Super Conqueror! Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of Available soon from good model shops.
  11. This is my take on Amusing Hobby's Vk 16.02...with some slight modifications IMG_9042.JPG IMG_9052.JPG IMG_9047.JPG IMG_9046.JPG IMG_9059.JPG IMG_9048.JPG IMG_9055.JPG
  12. Jagdpanzer 38(D) Tank Destroyer (35A021) 1:35 Amusing Hobby The Hetzer, as this tank killer is better known now, was based upon the chassis of a Czechoslovakian design that was taken up by the Germans when they invaded, occupied the country and took over the factories. After being deemed adequate for service with the Reich, many variants and hulls were created by German industry as was their wont. The 38(T) was based on a widened chassis, uprated engine, and a low centre of mass, which was achieved by eschewing a traditional turret in favour of a casemate with a limited traverse, putting the onus on the driver to achieve rough targeting, while the gunner fine-tuned his aim using the traverse available to him. The lack of turret and wide sloping hull gave more crew space, and this was to be increased further by the enlarged 38(D) but this only reached prototype stage before the end of the war. The increase in chassis width allowed the engine to be moved forward, giving the fighting compartment extra room, which is always at a premium in battle. It was to be mass produced as the designers were happy with their creation, but it was never to reach fruition along with some of the other variants, some of which had turrets. The Kit A brand new tooling from Amusing Hobby, who are well known as purveyors of many paper panzers from WWII's darkest days for the Reich. There were few satisfactory kits of the Hetzer 38(T) available until recently, so having this model in injection moulded plastic is a real boon to anyone interested in the what-if of WWII armour. Even enlarged as it is, the 38(D) is still a fairly petite tank, and inside the box are six sprues and a lower hull part in mid-grey styrene, a bag of track links in brown styrene, two sheets of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a small sheet of decals, instruction booklet in matt colour, and painting guide in glossy colour. Construction is quite straight forward with no interior detail to assemble and paint, so the build begins by detailing up the lower hull tub with final drive housing and a single return roller on each side. The wheels are fitted to the suspension units in pairs with two on each side, totalling four pairs, all of which fit into the long slots that project below the hull. The drive sprocket is made up from two halves and a central hub cap, and if you are careful with the glue on all the caps, the wheels should remain able to rotate. The hull is flipped right-side-up and the fenders are attached to the edges with an L-shaped tongue overlapping the inside of the hull to give it extra strength when set, which is then further stiffened by the addition of the rear bulkhead, which has towing hooks and extra track links added before it is glued in place, with stiffeners extending out across the rear of the fenders. The idler wheels are fitted on stub axles that are surface-mounted on the bulkhead to extend the track run and ease track tensioning on the real thing. Although there is no interior, there are openable hatches in case you want to include crew (not supplied), and the hinge for the top hatch is the first thing to be added to the inside of the upper hull together with some vision blocks and the aiming periscope which then has the curved and armoured panel fitted to the top deck with armoured periscope covers and mushroom vents, plus a visor for the driver's slit, light and grab handles on the engine deck. The main hatch is fixed to the hinge, a mesh vent is placed over the louver, another run of track links are held in place by a long clamp, and the exhaust is made up and covered by a mesh outer that must be rolled to shape, testing frequently against the diameter of the plastic muffler. An MG34 machine gun is stationed on the roof with a small drum mag and a splinter shield to protect the gunner, another periscope is installed on the rear roof, and a mesh sided armoured cover is fitted to the engine deck over the main access panel. The complete breech is not depicted, but the big mantlet is provided with casting detail moulded in, within which the hinge-point for the gun is hidden along with a base to attach the barrel. The barrel is moulded from a single styrene part, and by use of slide-moulding it has a hollow muzzle, with only mould seams to scrape away in preparation for installation and painting. It slides through the big cast Saukopf (pig head) mantlet cover just like the real thing, and attaches to the stub in the mantlet, after which the completed assembly can then be fitted to the aperture in the glacis plate, with pioneer tools added to the rear before it is joined to the lower hull. The tracks are added almost at the last, and are supplied as individual links that clip together with no glue needed. There are two sprue attachment points on each link, which are easily cut flush, and no ejector pin marks or sink marks that I can see, so putting together 96 links on each side should be a piece of cake. I test fitted a short run, and the parts clip together easily just by inserting one pin into the hole at an angle, then flexing the other into the opposite side. The pins may deform a little, but not enough to render them useless, however as they're only held on by flexible pins, don't expect them to stay together with rough handling or pulling. Treat them gently during painting and everything should work out fine. With the tracks on the short PE "schurtzen" or side skirts are fitted to the hull using PE brackets that nestle into small recesses on the hull, which must be glued with super glue (CA) or epoxy – CA for speed and ease. A tool box is added to the port rear fender, and on the starboard the jack is pinned down by two brackets, finishing the build phase. Markings As this tank never saw service, the markings options provided on the A3 painting guide are fanciful and as such the world is your oyster when it comes to painting. The schemes are quite different from each other, but most have been seen before on other vehicles, and it's only natural to expect that those schemes might have been carried over to the 38D if it had seen service. Colour call-outs are in Mig Jiménez's AMMO codes, and no markings are shown applied to the schemes, but a small generic set of crosses and white outlined red codes are supplied to get your started. The decals are well-printed with good register, colour density and sharpness and have a closely cropped matt carrier film over each one. Conclusion Although the finished model is likely to be mistaken for the "ordinary" Hetzer, you will know the difference, and it should build up into a good looking replica of this Jagdpanzer that almost made it into service. Detail is good, casting and torch-cutting details are there where appropriate, and the use of PE parts to give scale thicknesses to the skirts is good to see included in the box. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  13. My latest modelling masterpiece, a 1/35 scale Flakpanzer E-100 model kit by Amusing Hobby. I made several changes to the base kit including; replacing the inaccurate plastic gun barrels with metal ones. Also replacing the rather weak plastic suspension springs with custom made metal ones too. The side skirt armour was modified so they can be displayed either on or off the vehicle, I also added a small crane to the side of the turret that would be used by the crew to aid with lifting the side armour on or off. Lastly the most important addition to this model is the obligatory bucket hanging off the rear, which every good tank model should have Took me about four months to complete in all & was a lot of fun, I think I'll make something smaller next tho...
  14. Amusing Hobby 1/35th VK 16.02 Leopard Built OOB, painted with Ammo Paints then weathered with various AK, Ammo and Wilder potions, and Pigments and pastels. The kit tracks deserve special mention, plastic individual link tracks with pins that work !. Build thread is available here Peter
  15. Nice little 'baby' Panther Not quite a paper panzer as they did build a couple, but not a success. Too big and heavy to be a good recce vehicle, and the 50mm just didn't have enough penetration late in the war. Designed to re-use a lot of components from the Panther.However I really do like the look of it - it's a Panther Cub. Rather than the Hobbyboss 1/35th Kit I am building the Amusing Hobby version, which seems to have better details and fully workable tracks with pins. Work starts by assembling the main gun, sight and co-axial MG-42. The Mantlet needed a small dab of filler for a small sinkmark. Then the fun starts - a base coat of Ammo Cremeweiss, then Gunmetal for the MG-42 and Breach mechanism. Breach operating lever painted Red, rubber around the sight optics, then some chipping and weathering. Finally for the day, Cremeweiss for the turret interior, picked out the commanders periscope optics and glued the mantlet into place Peter
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