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  1. Eurofighter Typhoon Black Jack (03820) 1:48 Carrera Revell The Eurofighter EF2000 Typhoon started out as the EAP programme in the 1970s engineered entirely by BAe, but was later joined by a number of international partners due to a supposedly common requirement, with the constituent partners changing over time to finalise with Britain, Germany, Spain and Italy remaining, while France went their own way with the Aerodynamics data to create the Rafale, which coincidentally has a similar general arrangement. Delays and cost overruns seem to be a frustratingly common factor in modern military procurement, and the Typhoon suffered many, resulting in the Germans taking delivery of the first airframe in 2003, Italy in 2005 and the UK in 2007. Airframes of all users have since taken part in operations in many operations as their operators become au fait with the type’s capabilities and more weapons come on-stream. After the British Typhoons were initially ordered without guns, then with guns but without ammo, which was again overturned in due course, they were grounded in 2011 due to a lack of spares, which required the RAF to cannibalise grounded airframes to keep flying. The two-seat variant is used for training and conversion, although it is fully capable of going to war if needs required it, having all the systems in place to make it capable. The single-seater Tiffie is a great airshow crowd pleaser due to its agility at all speeds, and the impressive tearing roar of its twin EF2000 jet engines that propel it forwards with an impressive 20,000lbf of power per engine with reheat engaged. The original tranche 1 airframes have been retired now, replaced by the more capable FGR.4 airframes with advanced avionics and a plan to replace the MFDs in the instrument panel with a new Large Area Display in 2024, putting a LAD in every cockpit! The Kit This is a reboxing of Revell’s 2000 tooling of this delta-wing 4.5 generation fighter, which they have reboxed more than a few times over the years. This boxing has the recent Black Jack display scheme that debuted in September 2021 with a large roundel on the tail and stylised Union Jack segments on the main planes and canards. It’s a somewhat polarising scheme as discussed on a thread here on Britmodeller, but I’m one of those that quite likes it, so there. The detail is good for the most part, with a few areas such as the intakes that aren’t particularly easy to put together and paint well, coupled with intakes that are probably a little bit too short. The interior of the trunking was highly secret at the time however, so you can’t really blame Revell for that. The kit arrives in Revell’s deep end-opening box, and inside are seven sprues in light greenish-grey styrene, two small sprues of clear parts, a large decal sheet, and colour instruction booklet with profiles on the rear pages. Construction begins with the Martin Baker ejection seat, which is made from six parts, and has a detailed painting guide, called out in letter codes that match a table in the front of the booklet that gives Revell colours. The seat is inserted on pegs in the rear of the cockpit tub, which has moulded-in side consoles to which the HOTAS controllers are added, throttle on the left console, two-part control column in the centre. The instrument panel is a single well-detailed part with three MFDs taking up the majority of room, noted as having “Decal 2” applied to the screens. This doesn’t appear to be correct however, as decal 2 is actually part of the canard Union Jack. The correct numbers are 79, 80 and 81, which have simple screen designs and buttons around the edge. A circular HUD lens pops on top of the panel, which is glued into the front of the cockpit to complete it. To prepare the fuselage for closure, the canards are attached on their pivots by small cups, requiring careful gluing to leave them mobile if you wish. A short exhaust for the APU slips in the hole in the port side to give it some depth too. As the fuselage halves are brought together, the cockpit is trapped between them, and a small hourglass-shaped bulkhead is inserted under the tail, remembering to install 30g of nose weight to prevent your model from being a tail-sitter. The fuselage has a huge open space where the wings and engines will later fit, with this large assembly being next to be built up. The main gear bays are central under the fuselage, and are built up together from forward and rear bulkheads that are held apart by a ribbed roof section and a pair of thick trunks. The intake trunking is also made from twin top and bottom sections, a central splitter, and a blanking plate at the rear which is bereft of any detail. The two assemblies are dropped into the lower wing from the inside, bearing in mind that the intakes also create the nose gear bay, which will also need painting white. Before the lower wing can be installed, the top splitter plate and two side inserts must be glued into the fuselage along with the nose cone, which doubles as your second chance to install nose weight if you forgot the first time. With the lower wing in place, the upper wings are glued on, with detail for the outer section of the main bays moulded-in, which will need painting too. Various lumps, bumps and actuator fairings are fixed under the fuselage, and two variable inlet ramps are fitted to the front of the intakes to complete that area. The wingtip sponsons are prepared with various protrusions, one of which is the light, ready for installation later, then the spine and rear deck that covers the 2nd cockpit aperture are installed on the fuselage top. The twin exhausts are made up with a choice of open or closed petals, and these have afterburner details moulded into the front of the trunking parts, which you can see on the sprue pics. The landing gear legs are next up, starting with the nose leg, which is made of two sections and a two-part wheel, to be inserted into the bay with the opened bay door on a strut, or if you’re posing her in the air, the same door is laid flat over the bay. The main gear legs are chunkier and have separate oleo-scissors and a complex retraction jack, finished off with a two part-wheel. They’re handed of course, and each have two handed bay doors that either glue to the edges of the bays or closing over the bays for in-flight. The exhausts and a host of small sensors, exhausts and running lights are dotted around the rear and elsewhere, then a choice of open or closed air-brake is provided on the spine, using just the exterior part to close it over, or adding an internal detail part and jack if you intend to pose it open. Moving forward, the cockpit is covered over by the fixed windscreen, and the canopy opener, which has a detail insert inside, using a jack part to hold it at the correct angle. It’s worth noting here that the canopy is of the modern ‘blown’ type, which requires the mould to be made of three parts, leaving a fine seamline down the outside of the canopy, which you can choose to either leave, or sand away then polish back to clarity with fine sanding sticks. The open canopy is probably safer left off until later though, as there’s still a lot of work to do, some of it on the underside. Remaining near the cockpit for the time-being however, there are two strakes fitted into slots in the sides of the cockpit, and a choice of opened refuelling probe that has a chunky actuator and captive bay door, or if you intend to model it retracted, the bay door inserts in the aperture. Flipping the model over, four more strakes are inserted into holes under the nose, just aft of the nose cone. The Typhoon is quite a bomb-truck, and is covered in pylons underneath, adding these, the wingtip sponsons and actuators, then creating the weapons that a Tiffie can carry when the need arises. The options are as follows: 2 x 1,000L Fuel Tank 4 x Meteor A2A Missile 2 x AIM-9L Sidewinder A2A Missile 2 x Storm Shadow Cruise Missile 2 x GBU-24B Paveway III Laser-Guided Bomb 2 x AIM-132 ASRAAM A2A Missile (AIM-132) Whether any of these weapons would be carried by the aircraft other than the fuel tanks, is up to you to check with your references. A page in the instructions shows the painting and markings that should be applied to each one. Markings This is a special boxing, so there’s only one option on the extensive sheet, but it’s a bright one. The Black Jack scheme was created in advance of the 2021 season, building upon the black scheme previously worn by that aircraft, and using a highly stylised British flag on both sides of the wings and canards, plus a large roundel on the tail. It was only applied to one aircraft, so from the box you can build this aircraft: Typhoon FGR.4 ZJ914, flown by Flt. Lt. James Sainty of 29 Sqn., RAF Coningsby, July 2021 Decals are by Zanchetti of Italy, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion A little flash has crept in here and there, including the wings and canopy, but that’s the work of moments to deal with. The kit is just as good as it was on initial release, with the intake oddities complicating matters slightly, but not enough to make it an issue. Add the handsome decal sheet into the mix, and we have a winner… providing you like the scheme of course. Highly recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  2. Aston Martin DB5 007 Goldfinger (05653) Easy-Click System 1:24 Carrera Revell Aston Martin’s Grand Tourer, the DB5 rose to prominence above almost anything they had produced to that date or since, when it won a starring role in the James Bond film Goldfinger, driven by Sean Connery as the eponymous hero, fitted with guns, oil-slick dispensers, bullet-screen and an ejector seat to name but a few of the gadgets used. Like all of Jimmy’s cars, it ended up in a tangled heap, crashed into a building, and JB in the hands of the bad guys, which is a surprisingly common outcome for such a supposedly accomplished spy, although he always manages to escape. Developed from its predecessor the DB4, the DB5 was so named after the owner of the company David Brown. The engine was a light-weight aluminium straight-six block with three carburettors that propelled it to over 140mph thanks to its 280bhp output that was sent to the rear wheels via a 5-speed gearbox that was bought in from a third-party to solve previous problems that their home-grown box had encountered, although a four-speed box was used in early editions. It was also available with a 3-speed automatic box, but who’d want that unless they had leg issues? Like modern Astons, it was lavishly appointed, with leather trim, thick luxurious carpeting, and traditional chrome wire-wheels with knock-on/off nuts. The magnesium alloy body had two doors, and could seat two comfortably, with additional space for children or adults with no legs, and luggage in the boot. It was initially launched in 1963, and the production run included a small number of custom-built cabriolets, some of which had more powerful Vantage engines, and at the very end of production some were kitted out with the upcoming DB6’s engine. During its last year of production in 1965 they released the Vantage option with an extra 40+bhp of power squeezed out of the engine thanks to improved carburettors and more aggressively profiled camshafts, with only 65 being made before the DB6 replaced it in their line-up. The DB6 was an evolution of its forerunner, with improved aerodynamics and luxury, developing into a closer representation of the later DB series cars that we’re probably familiar with from our childhood and beyond. The Kit This is a new tool Easy-Click System kit from Revell, designed to be built by novices or experts alike, requiring no glue unless you feel the urge, and including a set of five thumb-pots of acrylic paint and a two-ended paint brush. You also receive a folded A3 poster of the box art without the trappings required for the packaging, which you can hang on the wall if you wish. Inside the end-opening box are four sprues in black styrene, three sprues and the bodyshell in muted silver, one in dark grey, two chromed sprues, a clear sprue, four flexible black tyres, decal sheet, sticker sheet, and instruction booklet that is printed in colour, and has the painting and markings guide on the rear pages. Though this is a snap-together kit and comes with both decals or stickers for the younger audience, detail is good for a kerbside model, and it includes some of the gadgets that Mr Connery used in the movie, such as the bullet-screen, ejection seat opening in the roof, and the extendible axles that tore the side out of the baddie’s car during a frenetic chase. Construction begins with the floor pan, which has a silver insert that depicts the underside of the engine and transmission using two parts, over which the suspension struts are added, pivoting the front axles with moulded-in brake disks and their connecting arm, then layering a sub-frame over it before moving on to the rear axle. The back axle is bulked out with an insert in the centre that creates the differential housing, fitting suspension struts and dampers into the rear of the floor pan. The twin down-pipes from the engine are placed side-by-side along the centre of the floor pan, then attention turns to the interior. The front seats are each made from an L-shaped part with pencil quilting that has a rear panel inserted, while the dashboard has the steering column and wheel inserted into the right side, adding eight decals or stickers to the dials, and another to the centre of the steering wheel and centre console. The interior floor is a grey part that receives the rest of the internal assemblies, starting with the gear stick, which has a choice of standard or 007 variants with the cap open displaying the red button. A choice of centre armrest with alternative open rest that has gadget buttons in it is made next, then the driver’s foot pedals are snapped into the right footwell, popping the front and rear seats in behind. The door cards are both fitted with inner handle, while the driver’s side has another secret pocket that can be fitted open to display more gadgets. They have a decal applied, and are clipped into the sides of the floor, held vertically by the dash that is installed at the same time. The completed interior is inserted into the bodyshell after adding a rear-view mirror above the windscreen, and if you’re going for realism, there are quite a few ejection-pin marks around the perimeter of the roof liner that you may wish to hide with filler. A black inner wheel well insert is added forward of the interior while the body is inverted, and at the rear, three clear lenses are clipped into the corners to create the light clusters, painting the lenses the appropriate clear colour. Naturally, there are alternate bottom lenses depicted flipped open to display the barrels of the rear machine guns. The front and rear number plate holders are built with a rotating prism held inside a frame, adding the bumper and boot handle at the rear, plus slide-out over-riders that are held in place by a pair of washers inside. The front bumper is installed after the bodyshell and floor pan are mated, fitting a front valance to the rear of the bumper, and adding the same kind of slide-out over-riders either side of the rotating number plate holder before fixing them under the front of the vehicle, and slotting the distinctive chromed Aston Martin grille into the centre. Side lights or machine guns are fitted into the front wings, and the headlight lenses are too, once the inner lens and chromed reflector are fixed into the recess. The wheel hubs are built from three layers, the rear of the hub in black, and the wire wheels in chrome, trapping a top-hat washer in the centre that friction-fits on the axles. The flexible tyres are slipped over the hubs and attached to the model, one per corner as you’d expect. The windscreen is carefully inserted from outside, helping it along by inserting your index finger (other fingers are available) through the ejection seat hatch to ensure it doesn’t fall inside. The rear screen can be inserted similarly, adding the side windows from the outside. It’s worth noting that the side windows are supplied as a single part, including both the door window and the quarter-light, and locating on a pair of tabs that clip into the sills of the bodyshell. External chromed door handles and the wing detail inserts are applied to the exterior side, and you have a choice of installing standard knock-off wheel nuts, or the 007 weaponised versions that project from the centre of the wheel on a tubular support, by using different chromed parts. More chromed parts follow, including the aerial base, a pair of windscreen wipers, and wing mirrors, not forgetting the hatch through which your unfortunate front seat passenger would be ejected should the need arise. You can pose it closed by using the part, or leave it off to show off the interior better. The last standard parts are the twin exhausts that have the back box moulded in, clipping to the end of the down-pipes under the body. The 007 specific gear is finalised by sliding the bullet screen behind the rear window, which slots into the rear bodywork, and can be fitted with a decal or sticker that portrays some bullet damage for a little movie frivolity. Next to the exhausts, a black tube is inserted into a hole in the valance, and if memory serves, this is the oil dispenser. It’s a while since I’ve seen Goldfinger. Markings This is a special edition, so there is only one option on the decal sheet, although there are alternative number plate options for those rotating plate holders. From the box you can build the following: Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. It’s not clear who printed the stickers, but they seem well-done and fit for purpose. Conclusion Sean Connery played a colder and cooler Bond (controversial!) than his replacement, and the DB5 cemented its place in motoring and movie history by appearing in Goldfinger. It’s a good-looking model of the car, and should provide some fun for the novice and expert alike, choosing which of the gadgets to deploy on your model. Highly recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  3. Leopard 2A6M+ (03342) 1:35 Carrera Revell The Leopard 2 is the successor to the earlier Leopard Main Battle Tank (MBT), and was developed in the 70s, entering service just before the turn of the decade. The initial design had a vertical faced turret front, while later editions had improved angled armour applied to the turret front that gives the tank a more aggressive look and provides much better protection from an increased likelihood of deflecting incoming rounds away. It has all the technical features of a modern MBT, including stabilised main gun for firing on the move, thermal imaging, and advanced composite armour, making it a world-class contender as one of the best tanks on the market. The original Leopard 2 variant entered service in 1979, but has been through several upgrades through its service life and the current production variant is the highly advanced 2A7+, with the 2A8 waiting in the wings. The 2A6 is still a powerful battlefield resource however, and likely to be so for some considerable time. It sports the Rheinmetall 120mm smoothbore gun with the barrel extended over the A5, which results in a higher muzzle velocity that improves its penetration power over its predecessor, allowing it to reach targets at a greater range and hit harder. It also has an armoured ammunition storage space in the turret that is engineered to blow outward in the event of a detonation of munitions, which again improves the crew survivability further. For close-in defence they are fitted with an MG3 machine gun, and the armour is installed to give it an arrow-head front profile to the turret, as well as several more subtle upgrades that follow on from the 2A5. Sales of the Leopard 2 have been good overseas because of its reputation, and Canada, Turkey, Spain and many Nordic countries use it as well as many other smaller operators. The 2A6M is a mine-protected variant for use in asymmetric combat and in the likelihood that IEDs or mines have been planted to destroy the heavy armour before it can roll over their lightly protected positions. These were upgraded in the mid-2010s to the 2A7 standard, but due to monetary constraints only fifty vehicles were converted, only using the + designation until the completion of the programme in 2017. The upgrades involved new comms systems that include a field telephone on the rear bulkhead, replacement of the potentially dangerous Halon fire extinguishing system with a more environmentally friendly chemical system, as well as new sights for the commander and gunner, bringing them up to modern standards. The Kit This is a new boxing of Revell's 2012 tooling of this type, as evidenced by the raised copyright lettering on the inside of the floor pan. It arrives in an end-opening box, with a painting of the Leopard wearing European camouflage while another big cat, the Eurocopter Tiger flies behind it. Inside are eight sprues in grey styrene, in a welcome move away from the green Revell used to use in their AFV kits. There are also four sprues of flexible black plastic, plus four runs of track in the same material, and a clear sheet of acetate (not pictured – it’s invisible) that is marked as "window sheet" on the instructions. A short length of wire (not pictured) is taped to the instruction booklet, and the ends are quite sharp, so avoid stabbing yourself like I once did some years back. The decal sheet is hidden away in the centre of the booklet, and is protected by a sheet of thin greaseproof paper, as is the clear acetate. The kit is clearly a modern heritage, and has some nice detail on the outer hull, including patches of anti-slip coating on the main surfaces. The large circular cooling fans on the rear decking are particularly nicely done as separate parts, and should look well once painted. The odd splitting of the track could cause some issues however, as each track is made up from two halves that must be glued together before they can be fitted to the tank, but won’t react to normal styrene glue, so would be best done with super glue or epoxy glue, which would require the joint to remain relatively straight, so positioning them in the middle of the top and bottom track runs would be beneficial. Construction begins with the hull, which is built up from separate sides, held in alignment by two perforated bulkheads that sit in slots in the floor plan. An insert is added to the right rear side, completing the lower hull by fixing the rear bulkhead in place. The upper hull is mated with the lower, fitting a hatch on the right side, and one of the two circular cooling vents on the engine deck. Suspension details such as bump-stops, swing-arms with stub axles detail the hull sides, after which seven road wheel pairs are slipped over the axles on each side, and four return rollers per side. The idler wheels are smaller than the road wheels, and the drive sprockets are built from two separate toothed parts each. An appliqué armour panel is added to the underside of the tank, which improves its mine resistance, although unusually it doesn’t have an angled keel to deflect the blast like most other anti-mine packages. As mentioned earlier, the tracks are of the rubber-band type with nice detail, and if you can live with the curving of the links around the drive sprockets and idler wheels they should suffice. Each length is made from two sections, which have a generous four-link overlap and two pins on each link to strengthen the join. You are instructed to glue them with ordinary plastic adhesive, and you are recommended to clamp them together and wait until they are properly cured before handling them, but you’ll be in for a long wait, as I tested liquid glue and it had no melting effect. The pins are flush to the track pads on the outer face, so filling or hiding them under the fenders and against the ground would be advisable once you have attached them to the vehicle. The rear bulkhead of the vehicle has a large radiator grille running along the full width, which is a little shallow, but with some black paint in the recesses, should suffice for most modellers. A couple of turnbuckles are glued to the lower edge, and under the ends hang the two flexible mudguards that are made from the same plastic as the tracks, and the field telephone box with handle in the centre. Two other panels are fixed to either side, one with a bracket that receives the convoy light shield, applying a decal or painting the white cross by hand if you prefer. Three towing shackles and the rear light clusters finish the rear of the vehicle for now, installing the flexible towing cables with styrene eyes later. A set of pioneer tools are added to the rear deck, gluing barrel cleaning rods to the front deck, and the afore-mentioned towing ropes are fitted. If you're not happy with a mould-line running down your tow-ropes, now would be the time to replace it with some braided wire or cord, using the kit parts as a length template. Moving to the glacis plate, spare track links on a palette with the front hazard lights are installed, along with the usual shackles and headlights, followed by the driver’s hatch, which has detail inserts fixed front and rear. The fenders are integral to the top hull, and only the side-skirts need to be added. These are made from two basic parts on each side with tapering forward sections, and overlaying thicker appliqué armour over the front two road wheel stations and idler, plus the rear sections that locate on a long guiding tab moulded into the back of the parts. The turret is a complex shape, and the base is made up from three parts, onto which the main gun is built up with a block in place of the breech. The barrel is supplied in two halves, split vertically lengthwise, and it has some nice moulded-in detail, so take care aligning the parts and again when cleaning up the seam. The barrel is tipped with a hollow muzzle, but this is a little shallow, so might be better drilled out once the glue is dry. The mantlet section that raises with the gun is built up around the base of the barrel in three parts, and this is then added to the lower turret, being locked in place by a pair of trunnions that permit the barrel to raise and lower. The top of the turret is a large part with only one two-layer panel in the rear right added along with the sighting system's lenses that are installed from inside. This is mated to the bottom of the turret, after which the side panels and bustle are added to complete the main part of the turret's construction. The angled panels that bolster the armour of the turret's arrow-head front are installed next, and here there are were some quite significant sink-marks in previous boxings that seem to have been almost totally eradicated in this boxing. A bustle stowage box is created from a four-sided part with separate roof, glued to the rear of the turret, then the roof of the turret is festooned with various small parts, including antenna bases, armoured surrounds over the vision blocks, the new sight in front of the commander’s cupola, which utilises two parts cut from the clear sheet for its lenses front and rear. Another sighting turret is installed behind and to the left of the commander’s cupola, and the TV sensor box at the front is outfitted with its doors, which you can pose open by cutting the part in half and gluing it to the outer edges of the box. Lifting eyes and two crew access hatches are made and installed in open or closed positions, fixing the gunner's MG3 to the edge of his hatch. Triangular mesh baskets are made from four parts each and installed on the angled rear corners of the bustle, and these styrene parts would be prime candidates for replacement by aftermarket mesh to give a more realistic appearance. The smoke grenade launchers are fitted to each side of the turret just forward of the baskets, and these are made up from individual barrels attached to a rail with supports moulded in. To create the aerials, the instructions tell you to cut and heat up one end of two 75mm lengths of wire before plunging them into the aerial mounts that were added earlier in the build. Whether super-glue would be a less hazardous option is up to you. Just be careful you don't stab or burn yourself at any stage. It hurts. The turret can then be added to the hull by twisting it into place to lock the bayonet lugs under the turret-ring flange. A pair of rear-view mirrors are added to the front of the tank, and the last part of the build is to decide whether to lock the barrel to the rear for transport, or leave it free with the transport-lock stowed between the two large fan grilles, one of which has been left off until this point, possibly to ensure that the base of the travel-lock that is moulded into the grille is correctly lined up. Markings There are two decal options included on the sheet, both of which are painted in NATO green, brown and black camouflage. You can build one of the following from the box: PzBtl 104, Pfreimd, 2018 PzBtl 414, Bergen-Lohheide, 2019 Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion The Leopard 2 is an impressive and capable tank, and this kit should build up into a good rendition of it with a little care and attention to detail. Whether you want to replace the tracks or not depends on your priorities and budget, but the flexible tracks included are well-detailed for their type. Highly recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  4. Leopard 1 A1A1-A1A4 (05656) 1:35 Carrera Revell The Leopard Main Battle Tank (MBT) was designed in the mid-50s as an answer to a requirement by the newly reformed German Army to replace the outmoded American cast-off M47 and M48 tanks they had been using up until that point. It was based upon the premise that manoeuvrability and armament were more important than armour, as the rise of the HEAT round had rendered most standard rolled steel armour ineffective due to its massively increased penetrating capability. To make for a more agile target, the Leopard was designed to withstand 20mm rounds from all directions, weighing in at 30 tonnes, and with Nuclear, Biological, Chemical (NBC) protection to counter the Soviet hordes that they expected to be flooding across the border. Three design teams competed for the Tank contract from Porsche, Rheinmetall and Borgward. The Porsche prototype was eventually selected as the winner. Production was set up with Krauss-Maffei in Munich and deliveries began in late 1965. Provision was also made for bolt on Lexan armour, and it could carry the 120mm gun of the Leopard 2, even though this was never used. Export sales followed, and the Leopard 1 would go on to serve with the Armies of Belgium, Holland, Norway, Italy, Denmark, Australia, Canada, and Turkey. The A5 with Germany, Holland and Chile. The initial A1 variant reached service in the mid-60s carrying a NATO standard 105mm gun, then in the 1980s research was begun with a view to upgrading the tank, improving the turret to store more ammunition, and a more advanced fire control system was fitted to increase accuracy. An important upgrade to the A1A1 standard formed the basis of the A5 in the 80s, which with the benefit of retro-fitting, became the de facto standard Leopard 1 up until its replacement by the Leopard 2 in Bundeswehr service early in the new millennium. The Kit This is a new boxing of the 2015 tooling from Revell, as evidenced by the raised copyright details on the underside of the engine deck. It is a multi-version boxing, and arrives in a substantially oversized box as a gift-set, with enough room for another kit inside despite the extras, which seems a little wasteful of shipping space in our modern cost-conscious age. Inside the large top-opening box are ten sprues in grey styrene, a sprue and two track lengths in black flexible plastic, a 15cm length of metal wire (not pictured) taped to the colour instruction booklet, decal sheet, and profiles on the rear of the instructions for the four decal options that are included in this issue. The afore mentioned extras include six thumb pots of acrylic paint, a #2 paint brush, a 12.5ml bottle of Revell Contacta Professional cement with a needle applicator, and an A3 poster of the box art without all the frippery necessary for the packaging. It’s hard to photograph well, and there’s a thumbnail of it on the box top in case you can’t picture it. Detail is good, and it shows up better in grey styrene rather than the older green styrene Revell used to use, which was not only difficult to photograph well, but made it difficult to see too, as well as appearing a little old-fashioned. It’s an exterior kit, and offers the option to build the major variants, with traditional ‘rubber-band’ tracks that might deter some, and attract others. The cast texture on the mantlet and other parts is good, as is the Lexan armour that is applied to the turret sides, which has a fine waffle texture moulded-in, plus attachment bolts in recesses. Construction begins predictably with the lower hull, starting with the floor and adding the sidewalls that are supported by a bulkhead that slots into two grooves at around mid-way. The rear bulkhead is next, pointing out the detail painting of the moulded-in rear light clusters using letter codes that correspond to a table at the front of the booklet in Revell colour codes. Suspension details are added on both sides of the hull, including bump-stops, shock absorbers for the rear axles, and swing arms for all stations, locking in place on a keyed peg. The road wheels are made in pairs, fourteen road wheel assemblies, two idlers, plus four return-rollers on mounts higher on the hull sides. The road wheel pairs are slid onto the axles in groups of seven per side, plus the idler wheels at the front of the hull, then the drive sprockets are made from three layers ready to be fitted onto the hull with the tracks. Being of the rubber-band type, their ends are joined by threading the turrets at one end of the run through corresponding holes in the other end, then melting them flat into rivet-shapes with a hot screwdriver or similar item, turning them in a continuous band. One end of the loop is wrapped around the idler wheel, inserting the drive sprocket in the opposite end, and pushing the lengths over the road wheels, and gluing the sprocket into position at the rear. The upper hull is prepared by drilling out flashed-over holes in the front, three on the glacis plate, and two on each side ‘cheeks’ over the fender. While the part is inverted, the vision blocks for the driver are painted and pushed into their recesses in the forward deck, detail painting sensors over the fenders, and some filler caps on the engine deck. Detail inserts are applied to the sides of the hull once the two halves are mated, drilling a hole in each one before applying glue. Another small insert is fitted on the left side around the turret ring, then you have a choice of three styles of cooling grilles on the rear hull sides depending on which variant you are building, and for the A1A1 or A1A2 there is a tie-down at the rear that should be removed for some vehicles. The side skirts are fixed to the hull sides on small pegs, adding mudguards at the rear before the installation of detail parts begins, fitting lifting eyes, stowage boxes and pioneer tools on almost every surface. The rear bulkhead is adorned with towing eyes, shackles and a convoy shield light with cross decal, plus spare track links, and an equipment box on the top left. The towing cables are moulded in the same flexible black styrene as the tracks, and whether you use them is up to you, as you have separate styrene eyes for each end, so replacing them with cord or braided wire would be a simple task. The instructions show where they should be fitted, and their location as they snake toward the front of the vehicle, with arrows showing where the various tie-downs should be. More parts are added to the glacis, including light clusters, triangular blocks between the fenders and glacis, and a rack of cold-weather track grousers in three rows that mount on three pins. The driver’s hatch can be fitted opened or closed, although a figure would be needed to hide the empty interior, the location of the open hatch shown in a scrap diagram nearby. The turret upper begins as a hollow part, adding three vision blocks to the roof, then building the gun pivot from a hollow rectangle with pegs at each end, held in place by two trunnions in the lower turret. The vision blocks around the commander’s cupola are painted in, then the two halves of the turret are mated, adding detail parts and sensors on either side of the main gun on cylindrical projections, with open or closed covers possible using the same parts. The commander’s cupola and the gunner/loader’s hatches have top rails fitted, and a periscope is installed in front of the commander’s hatch. The gun barrel is provided in two vertically split halves, and has the cooling jacket and its straps moulded-in, inserting the keyed rear into the mantlet after drilling out several holes from within depending on which variant you are portraying. The completed assembly is glued to the box-shaped pivot to complete the basic structure, then additional details are layered over it in the next several steps, starting with a bustle stowage box with cylindrical tubes to each side, which is fitted to the rear of the turret, and covered with a back panel and tubular framed basket on each side, taking care to locate the ends to align the assemblies correctly. The crew hatches are both circular and made from two spaced layers, adding a central boss inside, both of which can be posed open or closed in their respective hatches, as per the accompanying diagrams on the following page. A canvas mantlet cover is fitted to the space at the front of the turret, adding lifting eyes to the top surface, then two racks of smoke grenade launchers on curved rails are made, glued to the turret sides, and surrounded by Lexan armour panels that cover the majority of the sides, adding two more panels to the bustle baskets, and a piece of appliqué armour to the mantlet with its own lifting eye. Various rails are added over the armour on the sides, and the gunner’s MG3 machine gun is fitted to a two-part pintle-mount, inserting the peg into the ring around his hatch, and aerial bases into a sockets near the rear of the turret roof. An TV camera is made from three parts and attached to the top of the mantlet for the A1A2 and A1A4 variants, mounting a three-part cage with a protective door to the front, while all variants have an Infrared night vision system in a box with the hatch posed open or closed, the open option involving cutting the hatch down the centre. It is mounted on the left side of the mantlet with a short frame supporting the front, and a thick cable leading back and into the turret at the corner. The completed turret is then lowered into the hull and twisted into position on a pair of bayonet lugs. The build isn’t quite over however, as there is a two-part travel lock applied to the rear bulkhead, which can be posed lowered for action or vertically to clasp the barrel while the turret is reversed for travel. The final two styrene parts are used to make the driver’s wing mirror that is mounted on the right fender at an angle, using a long or short support. You’ve probably forgotten about the piece of wire taped to the front of the instructions, but it has a use. Aerials of two lengths are cut depending on the variant, their ends warmed in a flame until they’re hot enough to melt plastic. Then they are inserted into the aerial bases, although I’d rather use super glue in case the plastic melts too freely. I have used wire and carbon rod for AFV aerials in the past, and would entreat you to be very careful when looking closely at your model, as the end is very sharp. If you’re clumsy like me, perhaps a dot of super glue forming a ball on the end could save your eyesight. Markings There are four decal options on the small sheet, but there are additional digits for number plates that permit you to build your own vehicle registrations. From the box you can build one of the following: Leopard 1 A1A1 (4. Baulos) PzBtl 24, Braunschweig 1977 Leopard 1 A1A2 (3. Baulos) JgBtl 511, Flensburg, 1988 Leopard 1 A1A3 (2. Baulos) PzBtl 354, Hammelburg, 1987 Leopard 1 A1A4 (2. Baulos) PzBtl 324, Hammelburg, 1987 Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion It’s a well-detailed exterior model of this important Cold War warrior, and while the flexible tracks may put off a few, it’s swings and roundabouts. There are plenty of variant options, and tons of number plate choices that should allow you to build a good replica of the first Leopard. Highly recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  5. The Mandalorian N-1 Starfighter (06787) 1:24 Carrera Revell We’ve all heard of Star Wars, the three trilogies, the spin-off films and now under the auspices of the massive Disney corporation, we are being treated to some television series on their streaming service Disney+ that are bringing back some of the magic that perhaps had been lost, or at least dulled over the years under the helmsmanship of J J Abrams. The Mandalorian series reached our screens in 2019, right around the time the Covid-19 pandemic first hit, and it has helped keep us Star Wars fans entertained for three seasons now, with a fourth in the offing for 2024, hopefully. It has brought us new characters into the much-loved Star Wars universe such as the Mandalorian, Din Djarin himself, Grogu the baby Yoda, and it has reintroduced the previously reviled but nevertheless popular Boba Fett, who seems to have mellowed and become more well-rounded during his short time being digested in the Sarlacc Pit, and has now got his own series on the strength of his cameo performance in season 2, as has former Padawan of pre-lava bath Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka. Even Luke Skywalker has made a brief appearance at the end of season 2, heavily de-aged using CGI and an actor with a similar physique to his younger self to fit in with the show’s timeline of being set just after Return of the Jedi. At the end of Season 2, the original ship that carried Din Djarin around the universe, the Razor Crest, was obliterated by Mof Gideon’s cruiser, in a scene that had my jaw genuinely dropping, mostly with sadness. Mando made it off the planet and back to Tatooine with some help from Boba Fett where he met up again with Peli Motto, who with some help from her fold-up droids and those light-fingered Jawas, fixed them up with a heavily modified Naboo N-1 starfighter that had a special feature that gives it a remarkable turn of speed when activated. As Din isn’t all that fond of droids, the Astromech socket was removed to make space for little Grogu to sit while they travel, with a clear dome keeping the cold of space at bay, whilst giving him a bird’s eye view of the space outside the canopy. The Kit This is a new tooling from Carrera Revell, who hold the license to produce kits of the Star Wars franchise outside the Far East, although the manufacturer in the Far East seems to have become rather quite of late. The kit arrives in a large end-opening box with a painting of the N-1 in combat over some Star Wars landscape, and inside the box are eight sprues of grey styrene, a sprue of clear parts, decal sheet, and the instructions, which are printed in colour on matt finished paper. Detail is good, as this is a large kit, and much of it is moulded into the seventy-seven parts inside the box, including crew figures of the Mandolorian and Grogu (baby Yoda). A stand is also provided in crystal clear styrene, although you may wish to decorate the base with some kind of landscaping material. Construction begins by making up two engine structures from halves, adding a compressor face to the front, and a toroidal bulkhead to the rear, plus inserting L-shaped hoses joining the engine to the bulkhead, with plenty of detail painting to be done in between stages. Two detail inserts are fabricated from panels with half of two cylindrical shapes moulded-in, thickened with additional halves and more detail painting to be done. The engines are installed in the tip fairings of the wings after painting the interior, and the detail inserts are applied to the undersides, putting the finished assemblies to one side for a time. Din Djarin is supplied as a seated figure, his body and legs made from front and back halves, adding a two-part head and detail decals to his torso, and deciding whether you wish to pose Grogu in the cockpit on Mando’s knee, or in his observation blister behind. To place him in the cockpit, leave the tab on Mando’s right thigh, mounting the single-part Grogu onto it and applying decals for his eyes and the upper folds of his ears. If you wish to pose Grogu in the blister, cut off the tab and make good the knee before painting and decaling Mando. Din’s arms are separate, and have flight control handgrips moulded-in, with more detail painting and decals applied in various areas on his forearm and shoulder pauldrons, plus two tiny extra decals on his helmet’s ear fairings. The ship’s cabin is moulded into a large insert that also includes detail that will be seen around it, so detail painting is a must before you proceed. The sidewalls are separate, and these too are detailed with decals after painting, as is the rear bulkhead, adding them all to their tabs within the cockpit area once completed. The instrument panel and coaming are moulded as one, applying five decals to the panel and coaming before it and Mando are inserted, gluing some lozenge-shaped cut decals to the soles of his feet, possibly to represent foot pedals – I’m not entirely sure, as it’s not a place I’ve thought to look while watching the show. Mando and the panel are then dropped into position in the cockpit, each with their own location sockets and tabs. The fuselage upper is a large part, and must be partly painted inside before it is utilised, especially around the lips where greeblies and details will be seen. The two upper wings and the engine nacelles are placed into the lower wings by use of several turrets and pins, adding a curved fairing around the roots, which locates on tabs with pins and holes on the underside. The N-1’s skeletal tail fairing is clipped into the upper fuselage on a similar tab and pin, with detail painting shown, and a scrap diagram showing the relationship between the parts. If you plan on inserting Grogu into the viewing blister, he is supplied again and a two-part head and body assembly, using the same decals for the other figure, but as there are two sets, you could simply build both for giggles, or use one in a different situation. He attaches to the floor of his area on two pins, then is inserted with Grogu or a deeper turret without him from the inside of the upper hull, as is the main canopy, which is crystal clear, and locates on a pair of tabs from inside without glue so that it can slide back and forth into position. The cockpit assembly is fitted over it from within, locking the canopy into position, so make sure everything is properly finished before you mate these two assemblies. The N-1 is a cut-down ‘roadster’ of a ship, and has areas without panels covering the equipment within, either for weight-saving or aesthetic purposes, and two of these can be found in the nose just in front of the cockpit, inserting two bays on tabs into the upper hull once detail painting is complete. The two engine nacelles are covered with framework where some panels were removed, allowing the viewer to see the engines within, while some moulded-in details are also painted to give further impression of layered detail. If you have fitted Grogu, his clear blister snaps into position over him and the floor, but if you have decided to put him in the cockpit with Mando, there is a tapered head of an Astromech droid with a couple of decals applied to fill the space. A two-part set of greeblies with a circular ‘air-box’ on top is fitted to a depression in front of the main canopy, wrapping a grille decal around the air-box in two parts, with a little more detail painting pointed out between it and the canopy. The engine nacelles have tapered tips with a long tail, which is made from two halves and is fitted to a tapering cylindrical part, then is in-turn fitted behind the engines, with a short tapering intake with stator blades moulded-into the front. Two auxiliary intakes mounted above and below the main intake are painting black to imply greater depth. Over the nose, a pair of blaster cannons are inserted into troughs in the skin, with a proton torpedo launcher barrel moulded under the nose. Under the tapering tail, a hyperdrive capable engine fairing is built from a two-part tube with fairing, and a set of exhaust petals are detail painted in various shades, painting the skeletal tail fairing at the same time. This ‘stinger’ is further extended by the addition of a beam and framework underneath, plus some silver/black stripe decals. All that is left to build is the stand, which is made from four clear parts, comprising three supports and a raised plate into which they plug, with shaped tips to provide additional stability to the model. Markings The N-1 is a unique creation, and although it was based upon the Naboo Starfighters of the prequel era there is only one decal option suitable, unless you’re doing your own paint scheme. From the box you can build the following: Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion This builds into a large well-detailed model, and while it won’t match scale with most other Star Wars kits you have, it is easy to build, and should build into a creditable replica of this new ship. Highly recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  6. BMW Z8 - 007 The World is not Enough (05662) 1:24 Carrera Revell The Z8 was a short-lived two-seat roadster that was produced from 1998 to 2003, designed as an homage to the 1950s era 507, to which it bears a striking resemblance. It started as a concept, and by 1996 there were sightings of prototypes, then in 1997 it made its debut at the Tokyo Motor Show as the Z07 in a more flamboyant form, toned down to a more practical style by launch, at which time it sported a removable metal roof that had been designed with the car, rather than as an afterthought. It was not a cheap vehicle, but BMW took the unusual step of guaranteeing spares supplies for 50 years, in the hope that it would go on to become a modern classic, thereby encouraging the super-rich collectors into the market. The interior was designed by Scott Lempert, with the intention of keeping it clean and uncluttered by making the controls multi-functional, reducing the driver’s workload. With a power output of 400bhp, it could rocket to 100km/h in 4 seconds, thanks in part to its all-aluminium construction, which included the spaceframe that was custom formed at a separate plant before being hand-finished at BMW’s Munich factory, with a total of over 5,700 built before production ended in 2002. It was replaced by the Alpina Roadster V8, which was toned down from the seat-of-your-pants style of the Z8, even down to the leather chosen for the seats, suspension, and the ease of a 5-speed automatic transmission, which gave it the feel of a Grand Tourer. The Z8’s image was etched into the minds of the cinema-going public when it was used in the James Bond film The World is not Enough, starring Pierce Brosnan as the eponymous 007, where it tore around the countryside before being cut in half lengthwise by a helicopter with an underslung set of multiple cutting wheels that cleaved his ride in two and stopped its roll completely. The Kit The copyright on the kit is 2000, which was the first time it was seen on the shelves of a model shop, when the car was still new, as was the film. This boxing arrives in a medium depth end-opening box, and inside are two sprues and a bodyshell in Revell’s usual light grey styrene, a sprue of chromed parts, a clear sprue, a bag of flexible black tyres, decal sheet and the instruction booklet that is printed in colour and has the decal profiles on the rear cover. Detail is good, and this is the only game in town at this scale. It is a kerbside model, with no engine, moulded-in doors, bonnet and boot panels that make for an easier build, while the alloy wheels and the underside are well detailed however, as is the dash and interior. As this is a special edition boxing related to the 007 film The World is not Enough, it also includes a set of six thumb-pots of acrylic paint, a #2 paint brush and a 12.5ml bottle of Revell’s Contacta Professional plastic cement, plus a folded A3 poster of the box art without the additional adornments necessary for the packaging, which is a little large and difficult to photograph, but a thumbnail of it can be seen on the box photo above. Construction begins with the two seats, which are moulded as individual units with separate back inserts that extends up to the headrest and side supports for the back cushions. The dash is a well-detailed moulding to which the steering column and chromed steering wheel are installed, with decals for the centrally mounted instrument binnacle and a choice of central bosses on the steering wheel. The door cards are fitted with grab-handles and are detail painted to match the rest of the interior, carrying that over to the cabin before applying six more decals to represent the smaller details. Foot pedals, gear shifter, handbrake and roll-over bars behind the head of each seat are installed, then the seats and dash are fitted into position, to be set aside while the rest of the underside is made. The wheels are first of the underpinnings to be built, each in pairs due to the size difference between the front and rear wheels. The tyres are moulded in a flexible black material, and have their centres filled with material out of the box, which must be cut away with a new #11 blade before you can install the two sides of the hubs, with the combined disc rotor and calliper acting as the pivot around which the wheel will rotate. The rear of the hub is blank, and should be painted the blackest black you possess, slipping it into the rear opening of the tyre, and slotting the rotor in through the hole. The front hub is well-moulded with five pairs of spokes, five studs in the centre, and a BMW logo decal applied to the centre. This might sound like a compromise, so I put a wheel together to test whether it would work, painting the interior ‘Black 4.0’ from Stuart Semple, and using his ‘Mirror’ for the brake disk. It looked good once it was put together, even though I didn’t bother with any preparation, primer or painting of the calliper. The rear axle is detail-painted and glued to a sub-frame along with two suspension mounts, dropping it into the rear of the floorpan, which is also detail-painted before the extensive twin-pipe exhaust system is laid over the underside, ending in custom-shaped back boxes. At the front, the steering arm is slipped through the suspension mechanism, trapping the suspension struts and stub-axles between the floorpan and the inner arches moulded into the interior. Staying at the front, but on the bodyshell, the front light reflectors are fitted from inside, moulded together by a carrier that keeps them in the correct orientation, installing the angled number plate holder under the grille, then following up with the clear lenses, and two chromed grille inserts that have circular fog lights embedded in the outer ends. The detail inserts in the front wings are also chromed, and are slipped into position from inside the bodyshell, then the clear windscreen is fixed on a pair of tabs in the front of the cab cut-out, adding a pair of windscreen wipers to the lower outer edge, and a combined rear view mirror and sun visor part is inserted into the top frame on a peg. The bodyshell is then lowered into position on four turrets, fitting the rear valance and two chromed exhaust pipes, one on either side after installation. The wing mirror housings are chromed, as are the mirror parts, one for each door, and a chromed door handle is inserted into the depression in each panel. The wheels are brought in and glued into position by applying glue sparingly to the centre disc part and avoiding the outer portion of the hub if you wish to rotate the wheels at any point. The final option is posing the roof up or down, with this boxing supplied with a cloth roof that can be shown stowed away by using a C-shaped styrene part at the rear of the cabin cut-out. The deployed hood is a single clear part with the integrated rear screen the only part that remains clear. The part that is intended to be the canvas hood is quite smooth, and would benefit from some stippling with glue or primer to give it a more fabric-like texture, and there are also a few ejector-pin marks on the inner face that you may want to deal with if you think they’ll be seen. Markings This is a special edition representing the movie car, so only one option is included in silver. From the box you can build the following: Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion The Z8 was an attractive car with a significant claim to fame. This kit is a good kerbside model of the type, and if you can find a 1:24 3D printed Pierce Brosnan figure to put in the driver’s seat or stand next to it, you’ll have an interesting addition to your display cabinet. Highly recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  7. Eurocopter Tiger – 007 Goldeneye (05654) 1:72 Carrera Revell After a troubled beginning in the 1980s, the collaborative effort between France and Germany stabilised toward the end of the decade, keeping costs from ballooning further, and a ceiling on spiralling costs that were starting to make the off-the-shelf AH-64 Apache look increasingly attractive. It first took to the air in 1991, with several features making it stand out from the crowd, such as an all-composite fuselage, glass cockpit and stealthy aspects to its flight envelope. After the break-up of the Soviet Union, its uses were adapted to justify the expenditure to include close-air support and escort duties for other helicopters, adding an air-to-air element to its capabilities. The major contributors merged during the 90s to form the Eurocopter Group, and continued development of the airframe and its weapons systems, some of which were next generation designs, leading to official orders for production airframes in the run-up to the new millennium. Export sales followed, and the initial airframes went into service with their operators’ requirements baked into their airframes for the tasks they were intended to carry out. Unlike the Apache and other countries’ variants, the German Tiger doesn’t have a gun turret built into the airframe, but this can be added in a pod when required, along with air-to-ground and air-to-air weapons. As with most aircraft, upgrades have been made to the Tiger’s capabilities, with a new Mk.III upgrade that was originally intended to be applied across the various operators’ fleets, it was eventually agreed by France and Spain last year, with the objective of reaching service in the late 20s, overhauling the avionics to join the digital battlefield, new weapons capabilities, and survivability improvements that include enhanced countermeasures. The Australians have elected to retire their fleet and purchase Apaches for their needs, despite their Tigers having most outstanding issues dealt with by Airbus. The Kit This is a reboxing of a kit first released in 2006 when the Tiger was still relatively new, and this is the fourth rebox with new decals to link with the James Bond franchise, as it appeared in the film Goldeneye in 1995 with Pierce Brosnan playing the eponymous 007. It was stolen by a crime syndicate, as crime syndicates do, and of course Mr Bond eventually thwarted their end-goals, although not before a little wanton destruction, driving through a city in a Russian Tank, and blowing lots of other things up for good measure. The kit arrives in a medium-sized end-opening box with a painting of the Tiger flying over some very fiery explosions below, and inside are two sprues of grey styrene, a clear sprue, decal sheet and instruction booklet that is printed in colour, and has profiles of the markings option on the rear pages. A little flash has appeared since its initial appearance, but it’s a simple matter to remove that, and detail is good for a kit of this age. Construction begins with the cockpit tub, which has side consoles and pedals moulded into both cockpits, adding cyclic and collective sticks to both places, plus an additional control in the rear seat. Each crew member has a seat with moulded-in belts that has around cocooning them, which are dropped into position along with the two instrument panels, applying decals to them both. There are no decals for the side consoles however, and no details moulded-in, but they’re unlikely to be seen due to the cockpit’s position in the fuselage. A rear bulkhead is fixed behind the pilot in the aft station, adding a couple of decals to the bulkheads and to the armoured seats, after which the cockpit can be installed in the starboard fuselage half, taking care to paint the areas of the side walls that might be seen from outside. A simple rotor-head is fitted without glue to the engine cowling, adding basic exhausts to the rear, gluing the two halves together, painting the cockpit coamings black, and trying not to knock off the tail wheel that is moulded into the port fuselage at the rear. There is plenty of raised and recessed detail in the exterior of the model, which should show up well after painting and washes. The nose is built separately from two halves, fitting the targeting turret into the space under the tip without glue, so that it too can rotate freely later. The winglets are made from two halves each, and are set aside while the heat-diverting exhaust trunks are made up from two parts, and the stabilising fin at the tail has its vertical fins added. Holes are filled at the front of the boom, and under the cockpit, gluing the nose tip into position, then fixing the winglets on tab and slot joints under the rotor-head. The canopy is supplied as a single part that would benefit from a dip in Future/Klear to improve clarity, fitting an instrument cluster in the roof of the front cockpit before gluing it into the fuselage along with the exhaust-diverters made up earlier. The fin is also applied to the tail, slotting into a groove in the rear, moving on to the fixed landing gear on each side of the fuselage, which has separate tyres, and a crew step on each side, one for each pilot. Another hole is filled on the starboard nose, fitting various clear parts in as grilles around the intakes and other apertures, filling a few more holes on the boom, and adding more steps up the starboard side for maintenance work. The forward section of cowling is fixed to the front of the rotor-head behind the cockpit, plus windscreen wipers for both crew, and a cable cutter at the rear of canopy. The rear rotor is a single part that fits into a hole in the tail, but requires detail painting and has several applied, which is best done before it is secured to the airframe. The main rotor cap has a hole drilled out from inside to fit the two-part sensor dome that is made from two halves, as appropriate for this variant, setting it aside while the preparations are made to accommodate your choice of weapons. This involves fitting the wingtips to the winglets, and two sway braces to the undersides of each one, then building up two boxes of TRIGAT missiles, which are known as PARS 3 in German usage. These are made from two halves with detailed ends, adding decals around the assembly according to the scrap diagrams nearby. The twin Stinger pods are each single parts, and are mounted later to the outer pylons, placing the TRIGAT pods on the inner pylons. First however, the main rotor is built from four individual blades that are trapped between the upper and lower rotor base, painting the blades dark grey with metallic leading edges, and applying a different coloured decal to the root of each one. It is secured in place on the rotor shaft along with the cap and sensor fairing above it. Markings As this is a special edition, only one option is provided to paint and decal your model, which is the demonstration airframe from the film Goldeneye. From the box you can build the following: Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion The Tiger can be a bit of a Marmite helicopter, but there are bound to be more than a few modellers that have fond memories of James Bond fooling about in a Eurocopter Tiger and escaping destruction by a hair’s breadth, while the chopper wasn’t so lucky. Highly recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  8. Citroën 2CV - 007 For your Eyes Only (05663) 1:24 Carrera Revell Following WWII, France was recovering from the trauma of the preceding five years, reinvigorating their industries and improving the lot of the French people at the same time. Vice-President of Citroën, Pierre Boulanger had the original idea of creating a new design based upon the pre-war TPV that could travel over rough ground, had a low cost of ownership, and could help the French populace gain mobility, particularly farmers, allowing them to put the horse and cart back in the barn when they needed to go somewhere, able to carry a reasonable load without risking damage to people or equipment. The resulting design was the basis for the 2CV, having long-travel suspension, an easily maintained engine that although relatively low in power, could keep the vehicle moving over the terrains mentioned with or without a load. The act of crossing a ploughed field with a carton of eggs on the back seat is often mentioned, and Top Gear once attempted it themselves, although I forget the outcome. Its load carrying capability was enhanced by the canvas roof that originally encompassed the boot space, allowing the load to project upwards and behind if necessary, although the canvas roof was later stopped at the rear parcel shelf, adding a separate boot panel. It first went into production in 1948, and the original design continued with few major alterations, including adding the boot panel in 1957, allowing users to open the boot without having to roll the whole roof back. A shape change was introduced in 1961, adding more features to the simple design, and mounting two additional doors to create a four-door sedan with a new engine that increased horsepower to a staggering 14hp. Further changes carried on, adding extras that would appeal to the modern buyer, and by 1970 the Oil Crisis brought new popularity to this frugal run-about, which is probably why my hippie art teacher had one – a bright green Diane with a striped green/white canvas roof, and as much creature comfort as your average waste basket. As the effects of the Oil Crisis wore off, sales slumped, and extra efforts were made to boost them, which included featuring a bright yellow 2CV in the James Bond Movie, For Your Eyes Only. The positive effects of its appearance were grabbed with both hands by the marketing execs, creating a special edition with the same yellow paint job, 007 stickers on the doors, and bullet-hole decals on the panels. The engine was left stock however, unlike the stunt car, which had a flat four engine installed that output twice the power of the production engine, although twice nothing isn’t a large number. In effect, Citroën finished off the 2CV themselves, first with the more modern-looking Visa (the car, not the card) that was produced in tandem with the 2CV, which was in turn itself replaced by the AX, a highly popular car at the time, despite having all the crash safety protection of a crisp packet, which included a plastic boot lid and front wings. Production ceased in France in early ’88, but carried on a little longer in Portugal, finishing there in 1990 with a total production of over 3.8m cars, by which time everyone had probably finished coaming the hairspray out of their manes. The Kit The original tooling of this kit appeared in 2011 with round headlights as the final Charleston model that finished the 2CV’s career, but this is the first reboxing to utilise square headlights and other parts applicable to a non-retro production vehicle. The kit arrives in a medium-depth end-opening box, and inside are six sprues and the bodyshell of grey styrene, a chromed sprue, a clear sprue, a small square of plastic or plastic-coated mesh, four black flexible “rubber” tyres, a decal sheet, the instruction booklet that is printed in colour and has profiles on the rear pages. As it is a gift set, it also includes an additional bag with six thumb-pots of acrylic paint, a 12.5g bottle of Contacta Professional glue with a needle applicator, and a #2 paint brush that has been well-protected by the starchy finishing agent used to form the bristles into a point after manufacture. Quite often the lack of a protective sleeve results in a brush tip that is fit only for painting round corners. The final item is an A3 colour poster of the car in the form that it appeared in the movie, with Revell, 007 and Citroën logos around the star of the poster. It’s too large for my photobooth, but you can see a thumbnail of it on the box art above. Detail on the sprues is good, having been tooled relatively recently, and you get a full engine, a depiction of the structure of the unusual suspension system it employed, and a full cab interior. You also have the option of showing the canvas roof rolled up to the rear, or deployed, which are described as ‘Movie Car’ and ‘Promotion Car’ respectively. The bodyshell has been created using sliding moulds, which has allowed the designers to achieve raised and recessed details on all sides of the shell, giving it the prototypical ‘Jelly Mould’ look that gave rise to its derogatory nickname – a name I used many times in my youth. Construction begins with the engine, which comprises a substantial number of parts, building up the block and transmission, cylinder head, intake and sump, plus the air-cooling system that has a substantial ring around the fan, capped with a clear part that includes the four stator blades that are painted black before closing the fan in behind. The floor pan has parts of the suspension mechanism moulded-in on the underside, adding swing-arms front and rear, the rear one having the axles moulded into the ends. The exhaust is a single part that is threaded through the floor pan, and the front suspension arms are fitted to circular mounts, melting the ends with a hot blade or screwdriver so that they can remain mobile. They are linked together by a pair of arms that meet in the centre and have gaiters moulded over the pivot points, with detail painting needed to complete it. A steering arm is then fitted to the trailing arms of the front suspension, using a hot screwdriver to melt the ends again, fitting the engine in position on lugs moulded into the front of the floor pan, one of which is invisible, so is portrayed as a dotted “ghost” image in that step. Before the inner wings can be glued in place either side of the engine, an internal corner must be sanded to a bevel to allow it to fit well, so pay careful attention to the diagrams before attempting installation. The interior floor is a separate part, with rectangular patterns moulded-in to represent the floor area that is covered by protective mats. A parcel shelf is installed on the rear arches, then the bench seat is made from an L-shaped cushion part that has a pair of legs and integral support glued into the front underside, making the front seats individually, adding backs to the hollow L-shaped fronts, and a frame under the seat cushion. All the seats have pencil-line quilted upholstery down the centres, and the rear seats have lap-belts moulded-in, fixed to the floor by the front legs and a raised guide on the front of the parcel shelf. The driver’s foot pedals are inserted into the front footwell on the left side, and the two front seats without belts are installed between the two footwells. If you're wondering where the front belts are, they’re cleverly moulded into the B-pillars that are integral to the door cards, which have the simple inner frames and door card details moulded into them, one part per side. These are fixed to the sides of the floor, making up the dashboard from two parts with decal for the instrument binnacle, a separate gear stick and handbrake dangling from the dash, plus the steering column with separate wheel that is installed along with the dash, sliding into a socket in the floor and on a block that locates under the binnacle. The steering wheel is worthy of note, because it has a single spoke attaching it to the rim, in typical quirky Citroën style. The cabin is mated with the floorpan, and a firewall is prepared by drilling a hole, adding a dash pot and a decal, plus painting an oval shape and some other details at the same time, gluing it to the front of the cab. A hose is inserted into the engine bay linking the intake with the bulkhead, and a wiring loom is mounted over the engine with wires trailing backwards into the bulkhead, with more layers of detail to come. A battery is made from two parts, fitting into a recess in the firewall at the same time as another thick hose and a thinner one is added into the bay, followed by the two-part circular air ‘box’ with input and an output tubes, a square dash pot, and a thick battery lead to further enhance the content that greets anyone lifting the bonnet. The 2CV suffered from skinny wheels that helped to keep its fuel consumption low, without the need to worry about skidding on corners, as it just couldn’t go that fast. Each hub is built from inner and outer faces that have a cap inside that is left unglued, so that it can be fixed to the axle and remain mobile. The finished hubs have flexible black tyres flex-fitted over them, then they can be glued in place on the axles, taking care not to let the glue spread and lock the wheels in place. There is a choice of how you finish the distinctive grille of your Jelly Mould, both utilising the four-slat chromed grille part, but with a choice of installing a clear part with a mesh decal applied to it behind the grille, or cutting a section of the mesh supplied to shape using the clear part as a guide, and gluing it to the back of the chromed grille. It’s your choice, and either one would do, just check whether the grille mesh is horizontal or diagonal, as the drawings of the two options seem to disagree. The bonnet panel has the requisite five fluted lines, and has the interior painted tan to represent the sound insulation, adding the grille to the front, and a hinge part at the rear, which drops into a space at the front of the bodyshell. You have some detail painting to do inside before proceeding, the next step involving trapping the hinges of the bonnet in place with a panel, again taking care with the glue. A rear-view mirror is fitted in the centre of the windscreen between the A-pillars, and a clear courtesy light is inserted at the top of the B-pillar on the driver’s side, fitting a narrow C-shaped rail to the roof over the windscreen before the bodyshell can be mated with the rest of the model. You are instructed to tape the door cards to the bodyshell over the sills to ensure that they bond well during the curing process. The roof can be posed open or closed, using the Movie or Promotion name to differentiate. In the open position, the rear window is installed in the separate rear panel above the boot, and the rolled-up canvas roof is glued onto the top of the panel. To create the Promotion option, the deployed roof part has the window inserted at the rear, fitting either one to your model. It’s a shame there weren’t two-part 118s (the window), so you could build both options and swap them at will. The two fixed side windows per side have their rubbers painted black before they are inserted into their respective cut-outs, then you have the choice of posing the front windows closed by using the single parts with a line down the centre, or by using two sections that are glued together folded. Bear in mind that these windows have chrome surrounds, so get your best chrome source ready to do the job here. Conversely, the windscreen is mounted in rubber, and is a straight-forward rectangle. The model looks like a car now, but there are a lot of small parts still to add, starting with the rectangular headlights, which are moulded together as a chromed part on their mounting bracket, and have clear lenses fitted after you have painted the exterior yellow. The clear indicators on the front wings are next, which you will need to paint clear orange, fitting the chromed bumper below and painting the over-riders black. It is glued in place under the nose, and a numberplate holder is fixed to the valance in the centre on a tab, with another at the rear between the rear light clusters, which should be painted a mixture of red and orange, as per the accompanying scrap diagram. The rear bumper mounts on two brackets under the light clusters, and a chromed boot handle is inserted into a depression in the bottom centre of the panel, adding a chrome filler cap to the rear right wing, and chrome door handles to all four doors. The windscreen wipers are also chromed, as is the single wing mirror on the driver’s side, which reminds us that basic safety features such as offside wing mirrors used to be an extra if you were lucky, and sometimes weren’t even offered. The 2CV had a pair of short mudflaps fitted to the front arches, probably to prevent claims for chipped paintwork from unhappy buyers, but the kit also provides a pair for you to use on your model. Markings If Henry Ford were colour blind he might have said “any colour you like, as long as it’s yellow”. He wasn’t, but these are your options. Both schemes are presented in a garish yellow, and of course Mr Bond, played by Roger Moore at the time, was hardly likely to advertise his presence by having 007 displayed on the doors and bonnet of his car, so it’s easy to guess which is the promotional car. From the box you can build one of the following: Movie Car Promotion Car Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion I must admit that this is a cool kit and a fun reboxing, although yellow isn’t my favourite colour. If you’re building the Movie Car, you should really replace the engine with a flat-four and install a complete roll-cage, and someone is bound to do that, but most people would forgive you if you didn’t. Other than that nit-picking, it’s a great model of a later design 2CV in its four-door guise, and it’s in the de facto standard for large(ish) car models. Highly recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  9. Alpha Jet 50th Anniversary (03810) 1:144 Carrera Revell At the end of the 60s, with the SEPECAT Jaguar project transformed from a trainer into an attack aircraft, it left the advanced jet trainer replacement unfulfilled, so France and Germany began a collaboration to design a new trainer that was to become the Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet, the Breguet part in the collaboration being absorbed by Dassault when they bought the company. It flew late in 1973, and went into service with France in 1979 after extensive trials as the Alpha Jet E, fulfilling a similar role to the BAe Hawk in the RAF. The Germans used the jet as a Light Attack aircraft with the A suffix, and limited export success brought the Alpha Jet to Francophile countries in Europe and Africa, with a number of ex-Luftwaffe aircraft finding their way to Thailand, Morocco, and Portugal. One of Britain's defence company QinetiQ bought 6 ex-Luftwaffe aircraft, which occasionally make appearances at airshows. Germany has retired the aircraft now, but many airframes are still in service elsewhere, with the later MS2 fitted with new avionics, engines, a glass cockpit and improved weapons carrying performance used to train pilots on modern types. Civilian operators are currently receiving support from dedicated companies that have been set up with this purpose in mind, providing upgrades, repair and maintenance service, helping to keep the remaining airframes in the air for the enjoyment of spectators at airshows and in use as adversary trainers around the world. The Kit This boxed set first hit the shelves in 1993 in the old Revell blue boxes as a single kit, while this box has three identical kits in the box, each one comprising two small sprues, a clear sprue, shared decal sheet, instruction booklet and an A3 poster of the box art minus all but an unobtrusive Revell logo in the bottom right corner. The total sprue count is six in grey and three in clear, with a surprising level of detail visible on the exterior, and a basic two-seat cockpit inside. Firstly, bear in mind that each kit is identical, so we will look at one set of sprues and you should imagine doing everything three times over. Construction begins with the cockpit, which is a single part that has ejector seats and control columns moulded-in, with enough detail to be suitable for the task when painted and viewed through the canopy. The main gear bay former is slipped into the lower portion of the fuselage halves as they are glued together, adding 5g of nose-weight before gluing them together. The intakes are made from splitter plates and trunks that are joined and applied to the fuselage sides, with single part exhausts added behind, fitting the elevators on flat spots either side of the tail, which would benefit from pins to strengthen the join. The belly insert covers a blank spot under the fuselage, adding an additional fairing between the engine nacelles for the German version, and closing the forward half of the nose gear bay with a door that opens and closes only during take-off and landing, or for maintenance. The wings are each single parts that attach to the fuselage using traditional slot and tab, adding optional strakes and arrestor hook under the tail of the German variant. The German Alpha Jet carries two tanks with stabilising fins under the wings, consisting of two halves and a separate pylon that mounts on a pair of pins under the wings. Germany also had a probe on the nose of the aircraft, while other variants had a simple cone instead. The main gear struts are each a single part that are well-moulded, and have separate wheels added, fixing them at the rear of the bay openings on a wedge-shaped tab, which is shown more clearly in a scrap diagram. The small bay door is fitted to the top edge of the bay, and the blank interior of the bays will probably never be seen again, which is a good thing, as they have an ejector-pin mark in the centre on each side. The nose gear has the wheel moulded into the strut, and the bay is further enclosed by fixing an L-shaped door to the rear of the bay. The last parts are wedge-shaped actuator fairings under the wings, two on each side. Markings There are three decal options on the sheet, and for a change you can build all of them from the box, which is nice. Alpha Jet A, Cottesmore, UK, June 7th 1996 Alpha Jet E, Fairford, UK, July 16th 2007 Alpha Jet E, Florennes, Belgium, June 15th 2017 Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion I was prepared to smile politely and describe an old, clunky kit, but was pleasantly surprised to see the quality of the sprues in the box. If you’re an Alpha Jet lover and don’t have the space for larger kits, you can get a quick fix within this box, building three kits and decals for different operators. Highly recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  10. Consolidated B-24D Liberator (03831) 1:48 Carrera Revell Consolidated's Liberator always seems to have flown in the shadow of the more popular B-17 Fortress in the media's eye even thought there were more of them, and in some aspects it was inferior, with its Davis Wing design offering poor low-speed handling and a lower maximum ceiling, but it saw more than its fair share of action in almost every theatre of WWII, both in US use and in the hands of the RAF. It has a specification written around its main design traits, and had a long wingspan, twin bomb bays and four super-charged engines to provide motive power. It was unusual in having a high wing placement, tricycle undercarriage, and tamboured bomb-bay doors that retracted up the side of the fuselage, and was fitted with a fully glazed nose cone with .30cal machine guns for protection from head-on attacks, which proved unsuitable for the task of defence. This was later updated to a turret fitted with .50cal guns with a glazed lower for the bomb aimer's position that was the H variant, but many of the earlier D models were still in use concurrently, even with the later J models. Taking a leaf from the B-17's defensive armament book it could be fitted with up to 10 .50cal M2 Browning machine guns, with the layout changing during production changes, when various options were found to be unsatisfactory, such as the poorly defended nose, offsetting the waist guns to give the crew more room, and the underside guns, which were eventually replaced with a Sperry ball turret that could be retracted into the fuselage to reduce drag, and must have been a relief for the crew if they had to make a belly landing. The name "Liberator" was coined by the British, as they were early adopters of the type after the fall of France, serving with Coastal Command, and later with the RAF after the fuselage had been lengthened, the nickname soon spreading to other operators. In US Service the Liberator flew alongside the B-17, and later superseded it when the shorter range of the B-17 began to be an issue, with the Ploiesti raid being one of the most notable operations that featured the B-24, which suffered heavy losses due to the low-level nature of the attack on such a heavily defended installaion. After the J standardised the nose turret, the N was intended to be a major upgrade that incorporated a standard single tail fin to improve handling. Due to the end of the war this was cancelled, although the tail was still seen in the PB4Y-2 Privateer operated by the US Navy until long after WWII. After the huge success of the B-29 and the dawning of the jet age, the Liberator was drawn down with unseemly haste at the end of the war, with only the Privateer soldiering on. A civilian airliner was prototyped as a potential offshoot, but that didn't proceed due to the same issues. The Kit This is a reboxing of the original Monogram kit of the type that has been around since the 70s, at which time it was the pinnacle of injection moulding technology, and must have been quite an impressive kit at the time. To be fair, time has been incredibly kind to the moulds, particularly as some would have you believe they’ve been at the bottom of the sea at some point! The rumours we hear on the internet, eh? It has raised panel lines, includes a set of figures and a ground-handling tractor that would probably be considered gimmicks by today’s cynical modeller. Those aspects aside, the detail is still pretty good for the age, and is a firm basis on which to improve if you’re interested in going the extra mile. It’s a big model too, with the Davis wing making for a substantial wingspan of almost 70cm. Construction begins with the broad cockpit, which seats two pilots abreast on substantially framed seats, with steering yokes inserted into the wide instrument panel after applying the included decal for the instrument dials. The seats have belts moulded-in, and the bomb aimer’s stool and sight is added to the lower forward section, before the fuselage halves are prepared with paint and side windows that are applied from inside. There is plenty of ribbing moulded into the interior, plus some other details and oxygen hoses for good measure, but the prominent yellow oxygen tanks are absent from the kit. The fuselage halves are further detailed with bomb bay ladders that are hung from the two bays and have a stick of two-part bombs attached to the rungs. The waist gun windows can be posed open or closed by making them up with their central windows, and positioning them swung up into the roof for the open option. The two gunner positions are situated in a section of floor with lower sidewalls moulded-in, and have the mounts for the .50cals glued into position on each side, trapping the pintle-mounts in place so that the gun can be moved after completion. There is a moulded-in texture to the floor in this section too, and it is inserted into the starboard fuselage half, then the nose is detailed with equipment add-ons and the nose bay doors, which I’m sure were changed to open outward at some point, I just can’t remember when. The cockpit and a rear bulkhead are fitted into the front of the starboard fuselage, as is the nose wheel on its short strut, attached to a short bulkhead by a V-shaped brace. A small mudguard is applied over the top before it is glued under the cockpit floor, and another bulkhead is fixed at the back of the bomb bay to permit closure of the fuselage, which will need lots of tape, no doubt. The four Pratt & Whitney R-1830-35 Twin Wasp engines are each depicted by a single insert that fits inside the nacelles with a drive-shaft slipped through the centre, trapping them in position by closing up each wing and adding the cowling to the front. The gear bays are moulded into the lower wing halves, and do a decent job of depicting the interior, and shouldn’t need any additional work other than painting, unless you’re a detail hound. The completed wings are slotted through the fuselage to interlink in a strong bond, thanks to the long tabs at the roots that project through the fuselage and into corresponding holes in the opposite wing root. The three-bladed props are each a single part and glue straight onto the shafts at the centre of the engine inserts, but are probably best left off until later. The prominent H-tail with big rounded rudders is made up from upper and lower halves that accept a two-part rudder at each end, the flying surfaces having a fabric texture engraved into the surface, which although a little over-scale should reduce under a few coats of paint. It is glued to the rear of the fuselage over the rear turret, which is made from two clear halves that trap a twin Browning mount between them that rotates on a circular platform once installed. Moving forward, you have a choice of modelling the bomb bay doors in the closed position by using one set of parts, or rolled up the side of the fuselage using another set. Behind the bay is an insert that covers the location of the belly turret, which was often either absent or retracted on many Liberators. Behind that is a bumper to protect the tail against over-exuberant take-offs, and behind that is a crew access hatch that can be posed closed by inserting the door, or open with the access ladder and cutting off the tabs that hold the door flush with the rest of the fuselage. Going back to the wings, you have a choice of building your model gear up or down, each option starting by making up two sets of gear from four parts each, comprising the strut, captive bay door and two-part wheel with flat-spot moulded in. The instructions show the flat-spot uppermost for the retracted option, so that it will be hidden by the bay door, but fails to note that for the gear down option, the flat-spots should be inverted. Each leg is supported by a retraction jack, giving the leg three points of contact within the bay. The canopy is built from three parts, adding bulged side windows and gluing the finished assembly over the cockpit with a clear astrodome in front over the bomb-aimer’s position. Behind the cockpit is an upper turret that traps the twin guns between the top and bottom of the turret ring before putting the clear dome over it and snapping it into position. Either side of the nose is a whisker-like probe and four Browning machine guns are pushed, one through the side of the nose and three through the clear bomb-aimer’s window before it is glued in place, with each of the waist gunners also getting a Browning for their pintle-mounts. The last parts of the model are a pair of probes that sit on the wing behind the inner engine nacelles, a faired D/F loop and an aerial just behind it, which has two wires (from your own stock) fixed to it and the top of each of the rudders, as per the picture of the finished model on the cover of the instructions. As mentioned earlier, there is a tracked ground-handling tractor that is made from thirteen parts, including a pair of crew seats for two seated crew members, who are accompanied by a guy with a spanner, another wearing headphones and pointing up at something, and finally a gentleman in a parachute harness with headphones that could be a representative of the crew. If you are using the tractor, there is a towing bar included that fits into a recess in the yoke of the nose wheel and hooks over the towing hitch on the tractor. The colour call-outs for the tractor are shown during the build process, with more diagrams showing the correct colours for the included figures. Markings There are two decal options on the large sheet that are substantially different from each other, and have a good range of decals to add some detail and realism to the paintjob. From the box you can build one of the following: B-24D-25-CO ‘Flak Alley’, 44th Bomber Group, 68th Bomber Sqn., Shipdham, England, October 1943 B-24D-20-CO 98th Bomber Group, 343rd Bomber Sqn., Brindisi, Italy and ‘Bond Tour’ in USA, Winter 1943 Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The instrument panel decal is a realistic-looking depiction of the real thing, with two cut-outs for the yokes. Conclusion The Liberator was an important, if slightly overlooked part of the US bombing offensive during WWII, and until someone releases a new tooling with engraved panel lines, this is the only game in town in 1:48 scale, and because of the size of it, shouldn’t be too hard to re-scribe if you prefer recessed panel lines. Highly recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  11. Volkswagen Corrado 35 Years Giftset (05666) 1:24 Carrera Revell The VW Corrado was a child of the late 80s, arriving in 1988 and based on the then-current Volkswagen A2 platform that could also be found under the Mk.2 Golf amongst others. It was a replacement for the Scirocco, but ran alongside it for around three years, with almost 100,000 made, half of which were sold in the US. It was designed as a 2 plus 2 sports hatchback, and for its time had classic lines that don’t look too out of date, even now. The bodyshell was partially zinc-plated, which kept the panels from rotting out as the years went by, although because of the nature of the car, many saw the wrong side of the hedge at some point in their lives, meaning that there is a dwindling stock available on the second-hand market today, with the price increasing as a result of that fact, and the nostalgia of those that would have liked one when they were in-production from 1988-95, of which I was one. The top-of-the-line VR6 had some components from the A3 platform, adding a new wider front-end to cater for the suspension and the additional bulk of the V6 that was either 2.8 or 2.9 litres if your budget would stretch to it, or you could have the G60, which was equipped with a supercharger mounted on a 1.8 engine, which wasn’t quite as fast as the VR6, which could get to 60mph either side of 7 seconds depending on the engine type. The base model 1.8L 16V wasn’t slow however, getting to 60mph in a respectable 9 seconds, but those two seconds make a lot of difference on the ground. Initial sales were slower than VW would have liked, partly due to the higher price when compared to the ageing Scirocco, which sold alongside the Corrado for three years, but anyone that had a hankering for some hi-tech gadgetry would have been enamoured with the spoiler on the rear of the sloped hatchback boot, which automatically deployed at 100kmh and drew admiring glances from those that were left in its wake, although whether it helped with handling is debatable, as all Corrados were front-wheel drive, so technically the airflow was putting more weight on the rear, thereby lifting the front wheels and reducing their traction. Still cool though. There was talk of the police being able to tell how fast you were going by whether the spoiler was deployed, and I have a feeling that its function was made selectable at some point, but as they have radar guns anyway, it didn’t deter many people. The last model in the US was in 1994, with Europe following on the next year, with no upgrade or replacement available in its place, which is a shame, as the Corrado had a good reputation and a stylish name that was gleaned from Spanish and roughly translated means sprinter. I’d still like one. The Kit This is a reboxing of the kit that was originally tooled in 1990 as a G60, complete with supercharger assembly under the bonnet, although it has been reboxed in the past as other variants, one the extremely rare Zender cabriolet that was released in 1991, just a year later. The kit is a celebration of 35 years since its launch, and arrives in an end-opening box with three sprues and the bodyshell in grey styrene, a clear sprue, a bag of four flexible black tyres, decal sheet and the instruction booklet, which is printed in colour and has the painting and decaling guide on the rear page. The package is completed by another bag containing six thumb pots of acrylic paint, a 12.5g bottle of Contacta Professional cement with a precision applicator, and a #2 brush without protector that had got a little bent out of shape. Detail is as you would expect for a kit that is almost as old as the 35-year anniversary that the giftset is intended to celebrate, and although some aspects of the model are slightly simplified, there is a full engine on the sprues, and with a little surgery you can ‘pop the hood’ to show off your work under the bonnet. Construction begins with the engine, starting with the cylinder head with integrated supercharger unit, applying a choice of two decals on the head after painting. This is then added to the top of the two-part block and transmission, and has the sump fitted underneath, installing the exhaust manifold under the supercharger at the rear of the transversely mounted engine, and fixing the distributor on the front, which you’ll need to wire up if you are planning on opening the bonnet. At the front of the engine, the air-intake path is connected to the supercharger on the left side, and at the other end of the block depicting the alternator, which is later supported by the front axle. The front of the floor pan is painted in preparation for engine installation, painting the inner arches in body colour, and the ancillaries in various other shades, plus black for the cover panels, and applying a decal to the top of the battery that is moulded into the left inner wing. The completed engine and front axle are then inserted from below into the space at the front, supporting the axle with a pair of coil-over shocks that are painted yellow in the centre. A scrap diagram shows that from the side the engine should be tilted back 5° from vertical, using the floor pan as datum. Underneath the pan, the exhaust with catalytic converter is inserted into a recess down the centreline, starting at the downpipe and ending at the forward muffler box, which is made from two halves, the visible portion having stiffening ribs moulded into its surface. The rear box has the entry pipe moulded into it, as well as the exhaust pipe, adding the stainless-steel tip, which is over-thick and will need thinning or replacing with a length of tube to improve realism, remembering that the tip is angled. The rear axle is mounted behind the front box, and fits snugly around the rear box, mounting on another pair of yellow coil-over shocks. The wheels are each made from three parts, consisting of a bland inner rim that you paint black inside to hide its presence, then gluing the visible alloy wheel design to the front and slipping the flexible black tyre over the assembly, the latter having a nice tread pattern moulded-in. There are some slight sink-marks in the surface of the alloy portion of the hub, which can be filled and sanded flush with a little care to protect the moulded-in details around the stud locations and logo. The finished wheels snap into position, then the radiator assembly is made up from the core moulded on a cross-member, with the fan trapped between it and the tin-work behind, lowering it into position at the front of the engine bay, and connecting a hose to the supercharger, then linking the air box to the intake trunking via a ribbed cylindrical structure. The front seats are both made from front and rear parts, and have two decals applied to the centre cushions to depict the pattern of the material on those portions. They are set aside while the interior tub is prepared, first painting the moulded-in scuttle at the front, the carpet, centre console, pedals and the integrated carpet mat under the driver’s feet, which are on the left side, sadly for the right-hand-drive fraternity. There is a choice of white or red Corrado logos to apply to the front carpets if you wish, depending on which colour you paint the carpets. The rear seats are painted and decaled, the gear shifter with gaiter and decal plus manual handbrake (remember those?) in the centre, and speaking of the centre console, there is a large sink mark at the front of this, but as it is covered by the dash panel later, who cares? The seats are installed on a pair of raised guides, fitting the door cards after painting them and detail painting the accents and latches for added realism. The dash is made from two parts, most of the detail is moulded into the vertical section, which has two decals applied for dials and heater details, then is topped off by the coaming, which has a pair of vents in the forward corners. The short steering column with stalks is inserted under the instrument binnacle, fitting the steering wheel to the top with a grey accent panel in the square centre boss, which is perhaps the most dated part of the car. The completed dash is inserted into the front of the cab, and here the diagrams initially seem to imply that there is a separate lower structure that is undocumented, but it is simply the shelf under the dash, which has had its connecting ends mostly obscured by the red location arrows. The completed interior can then be joined to the floor pan, mounting on rails and locating via the exhaust tunnel. The bodyshell has its upper interior painted black, except for the roof, which is painted a dark grey to match the accent material, and the bonnet is also painted black if you plan to open it up for viewing, which is shown in the next step, although only after the deed has been done, and you have taped it back into place, presumably to keep the bodyshell from deforming during handling. The rear of the shell has a pair of inserts fitted into the light cluster cut-outs, and these may need trimming of flash, then painting with your shiniest silver or chrome colour to reflect some light back through the clear lenses installed later, which are painted red, amber and left transparent where the reversing lights are. The trim around the doors, windows and screens are all painted black, assuming you have painted the shell red (other colours are available), adding more black paint to the clear part to depict the trim at the bottom of the windscreen and on the B-pillars. The clear part is inserted from within the shell, and the body is then fixed to the floor pan, leaving the front side windows without glass, as is common with many car models. The rear bumper is added under the boot at the same time as the rear light cluster mentioned earlier, then the front bumper with black valance is fitted with clear lenses under the main lights, fixing it in place, then adding the grill and integrated light backing strip under the bonnet. These lens backings are flat, and should be painted chrome to reflect the light before you fit the headlamp lenses. If you have cut the bonnet loose from the bodyshell, the tape can be undone and the bonnet removed so that you can install the slam panel, and a dash pot on the rear bulkhead, then the bonnet is glued in place at an angle, but a stay isn’t provided, so check your references and make one up from wire or rod that fits the bill. The two windscreen wipers are fitted to the clear windscreen, so take care with your choice of glue so that it doesn’t fog the screen around it. Another wiper is fitted to the rear screen too, and the wing mirrors are built from the shell plus clear mirror, which you should paint chrome on the back side to maximise reflectivity of the part in the same manner as a real mirror. The final task is to stretch a length of sprue to create the radio antenna that fixes to a base glued to the rear of the roof at an angle, which helps the car look fast even when standing still. Markings There is only one set of marking for this model, but the main differences between individual cars is the body colour and the number plate, of which there is a wide choice from various countries. From the box you can build the following: Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt and gloss carrier film, which varies between individual decals, and is cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion I was a big fan of the Corrado when it launched, and still have a soft-spot for it, even today. The model is a little on the old side, but it’s also the only game in town, so I’m planning on building it. If you’re looking for an upgrade to the detail, you could consider the transkit from Whitechocolate124. Highly recommended, despite its age. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  12. SBD-5 Dauntless (03869) 1:48 Carrera Revell The Douglas SBD Dauntless was a Dive Bomber and Scout aircraft developed for the US Navy. The SBD standing for “Scout Bomber Douglas”. Design work on the aircraft was started as early as 1935 by the Northrop Corporation under the designation BT-1. Northrop was taken over by Douglas in 1937, and the design was modified to become the BT-2. This was eventually ordered by both the US Navy and Marine Corps and entered into service in time for America’s entry into WWII. The original SBD-1, and later SBD-2 (with increased range and different armament) were the first two types deployed. The USMC getting the -1 in late 1940, and the USN receiving the -2 in early 1941. One of the main features of the aircraft were the split flaps, more commonly referred to as Dive Brakes which were designed to stop tail buffeting in dives. The SBD-3 was to follow in 1941 which had increased armour, self-sealing fuel tanks, and four machine guns. The SDB-5 followed and was to become the most produced variant with almost 3000 built. This aircraft had a 1,200hp engine, and flew with increased ammunition capacity. The Royal Navy and FAA evaluated the SBD-5 but were not overly impressed, so decided not to take it on. The -5 was superseded by the -6 with another more powerful engine, and a further 450 were built before production of the type ended. As well as use by the USMC & USN the SBD-5 would be used by the Royal New Zealand Navy, and the French who used them against the Germans in Western France in early 1945, then later in Indochina in 1947. The US Army would use the same basic airframe as the A-24 Banshee, and the later A-24B was equivalent to the SBD-5, but with the arrestor gear removed. The A-24s survived to be incorporated into the new USAF inventory where they would become F-24s under the new nomenclature, with the last of them scrapped at the beginning of the 50s. The Kit This is a reboxing of the Accurate Miniatures kit that has been seen in many boxes over the years, including Italeri and Revell. This latest boxing is available now, and reminds us just how well the toolings of Accurate Miniatures have stood up to the tests of time since its initial release in 1997. It is a well-detailed kit with recessed panel lines, subtle details throughout and very little in the way of flash, indicating that the moulds haven’t suffered from their frequent use over the years. The kit arrives in Revell’s usual end-opening box, and inside are six sprues in a pale blueish grey styrene, a clear sprue, decal sheet and instruction booklet in colour with colour profiles on the rear pages. Construction begins with the interior, detailing the sidewalls of the fuselage with separate parts, adding the rear cockpit bulkhead, then creating the rear gun mount. The cockpit floor has a short spar moulded into the underside, which is joined by the clear main instrument panel with three decals supplied, the pilot’s bulkhead and seat that has decal belts, a single radio gear assembly, and an insert that fits between the crew positions. These are all painted up and fitted into the relevant slots in the starboard fuselage, and then locked in position by the port side without fitting the floor yet, as it has some additional work still required. Braces, control lines and floor mounted controls are added along with a pair of rudder pedals, then the floor assembly is inserted into the fuselage from below with the spars projecting through the slots in the wing roots. The lower wings are full width, and have a clear landing light inserted into the hole in the starboard side, and two holes need drilling on either wing to accept the bomb pylons later. The lower wings are offered up under the fuselage and once glued they are joined by the upper wings and the elevators at the rear, which are two parts each and have the flying surfaces moulded-in. The dive brakes on the main planes are fitted later on. Preparation of the front of the fuselage involves building up the gun trough insert with a pair of machine guns inside, and the 9-cylinder Wright R-1820-60 Cyclone engine, which is moulded as a single part to which the bell housing and wiring loom are added, and the magneto is glued to the top of the housing. The gun troughs and the tapered fuselage cowlings are glued to the main fuselage with another part underneath, then the painted engine is mounted on the keyed circular recess, with the cowling and the forward section of the gun insert assembled round it. The main gear is built next, with a choice or weighted or un-weighted tyres, which have separate hubs on each side, and attach to the axles on the struts that have a captive bay door added at an angle, which is shown in a scrap diagram to assist you, with the wheels outermost. An aerodynamic cowling around the centreline bomb is slotted into the underside, and you have a choice to depict the three-section dive brakes in deployed or stowed position, using either just the single central perforated section or adding the hinges, plus the upper and lower section of the two outboard brakes fitted flush with the wing surfaces, or installing them open by the use of delicate hinge parts that allow them to be posed partially deployed or fully open during a hard dive. The cockpit is completed by the addition of a number of small parts around the pilot’s station and the twin machine guns aft of the gunner’s seat, which are a single part on a separate mount and a small armour shield. The canopy is then installed, with more choice of parts and locations. The windscreen is the constant, while separate sections are sleeved inside the fixed section between the seats for a fully open configuration. If you’re closing the canopy over, there is a full-length part that butts up to the windscreen, which seems to require the gun mount to be removed, but it’s not made entirely clear. The three-bladed prop is a single part that slots into the bell-housing of the engine, and an exhaust stub slots into a gap in the cowling, with another on the other side. It’s bits and bobs time now, with pitot probe under the port wing and a TV-style radar antenna under both wings, plus another aerial pole just forward of the cockpit. The Dauntless is a bomber, and these are last to be made up, with the three-part centre bomb first with a pair of stencils, then the two-part ancillary bombs on their own pylons for attachment to the wings. The main bomb is fitted with an A-frame “trapeze” launcher that throws it away from the aircraft’s underside, and the final act is to add the arrestor hook that comes in handy, keeping the crew dry on their return to the carrier. Markings There are three decal options included on the sheet, and they are all painted in a variation of the three-tone US Navy scheme of WWII. From the box you can build one of the following: VB-16, USS Lexington (CV-16), August 1943 VB-16, USS Lexington, New Guinea, April 1944 VB-5 USS Yorktown (CV-10), Truk, February 1944 Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion It’s nice to see the Dauntless in 1:48 back again, which brings back fond memories of building the old Matchbox kit as a kid. This one’s a bit smaller and more detailed, and should build into a handsome model with some really nice decals. Highly recommended. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  13. Dassault Mirage 2000C (03813) 1:48 Carrera Revell The Mirage family of fighter aircraft began in the late 1950s as a brainchild of Marcel Dassault, using the delta wing format and having no horizontal tail surfaces. The Mirage 2000 is the final mainstream (ignoring the Mirage 4000, which did not see service) 4th generation development of the general concept before adoption of the Rafale by the French Air Force in 2000. The C in the title for the fighter stands for Chasseur or Hunter. As well as two internal 30mm DEFA cannon the aircraft is armed in the air-to-air role with Matra R550 Magic, Matra Super 530D, and MBDA MICRA Missiles. In addition to the Mirage C there is a two-seat B model trainer, N model that has Nuclear Strike capability, and D model Ground attack version, all of which saw service with the French Air Force. Mirage 2000 aircraft have also been sold to Egypt, India, Peru, The UEA, Greece, Tiawan, Brazil, and Qatar, many of which are still in use, although at time of writing, Greece retired theirs a couple of years ago. The Kit This is a reboxing by Carrera Revell of a Monogram kit that was first issued in 1982, and was later upgraded with some weapons, most notably the Exocet missiles, and a one-piece lower wing. The kit arrives in a shallow end-opening box with a painting of the subject on the front, and inside there are four sprues in grey styrene that don’t have the modern runners around the edges to protect the parts from damage or accidental removal during handling. There is also a small clear sprue, a wide decal sheet and the instruction booklet that is printed in colour on matt paper, with painting and decaling instructions on the rear pages. Detail is reasonable for the era, although the panel lines on the underside of the wings are engraved because of their later tooling date, while the rest are raised, which might make a little extra work for the modeller if the urge takes them it rescribe the rest. There is a little flash here and there, but much of it is on the sprues, although a little is also present on the parts, but flash is easily removed, and is preferable to short-shot parts on any day of the week. The clear parts are in good shape, although my sample had a little light scuffing on the canopy that could be sanded and polished away with little effort. Construction begins with the cockpit tub, adding the instrument panel in the front, building the Martin-Baker Mk.10 seat from three parts, and adding decal seatbelts before installing it in the sloped rear of the cockpit along with the control column. There is also a crew figure that is moulded mostly in one part, with a separate right arm for the control column that should allow it to be positioned accurately on the control column. The pilot’s back is hollow to help reduce the likelihood of sink-marks on the figure, and to assist in a close fit to the seat or waving to someone if you prefer. The fuselage halves have sidewall detail moulded into their inner surfaces, and these should be painted before the cockpit tub is glued to the starboard side, and the walls of the nose gear bay beneath are inserted underneath and into the port side, so that the fuselage can be closed and the seamlines dealt with in your preferred manner. The clear windscreen and HUD glass parts are fitted to the front of the cockpit opening, then the assembly is put to one side while the wings are built. The lower wing is moulded as a single full-span part that also has portions of the lower fuselage moulded-in, gluing the upper wings over the top, and then unusually moving on to the making of the main landing gear before it is joined to the fuselage. Each gear leg comprises a single strut with retraction jack added, and two-part wheels glued to the stub axle at the lower end, fitting the captive bay doors next to the strut on the outer edge of the bay. It’s probably wise to skip ahead and join the fuselage to the wings before doing this, but the instructions blunder on with the weaponry next, making a large three-part finned fuel tank for under the centreline, a couple of Exocet missiles on custom pylons, and a pair of Magic A2A missile on their own pylons on the outer stations. This is where the two assemblies are joined in the instructions, and good luck dealing with any seamlines without knocking any of the weapons or gear legs off if you followed the instructions! The single SNECMA M53-P2 engine is not depicted, but the afterburner ring is trapped between a tapering length of trunking and exhaust petals, which slides into the rear of the fuselage under the tail once completed, and to avoid any possibility of see-through effect, the four holes in the trunking ‘plant pot’ would be best filled with styrene sheet or something similar. At the intake end, the blanked off fronts of the nacelles either side of the cockpit have a two-part intake with shock-cone on the inner face, and a strake added at an angle to the horizontal on the outer surface, with a scrap diagram helping you get the angle right. If you followed the instructions, your Mirage is lying nose down on the table at this stage, which is about to be rectified by the addition of nose gear, which is moulded as a single strut and retraction jack, which has a pair of trapezoidal landing lights added, one on each side of the strut, and two single part wheels, one on each side of the short cross-axle. This plugs into sockets in the shallow bay, then it’s a case of adding the various probes and sensors around the model, one on each side of the fin, two at an angle in front of the windscreen, plus another in the centre, and the pitot probe at the very tip of the nose cone. The final act is to decide whether you want to pose the canopy open or closed by gluing the tab at the rear of the part into a slot behind the cockpit at an angle or otherwise. Markings There are two decal options on the wide sheet, both wearing the same basic scheme, but one with special markings to set it apart from its in-service colleague. From the box you can build one of the following: Mirage 2000C/RDM EC 1/2 ‘Cigognes’ Dijon, France, 1994 Mirage 2000C/RD EC 5/330 ‘Côte D’Argent’, Centre D’Experimentations Aeriennes Militaires EM AA Monte-de-Marsan, Tigermeet 1996, Beja, Portugal Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion It’s not the newest kit in the world, and you might want to consider rescribing the raised panel lines if you’re so inclined, but there are some good decal options to make this old kit more appealing. Recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  14. Airbus H145 ADAC Luftrettung (04969) 1:32 Carrera Revell The H145 has a convoluted development process that started with a collaboration between MBB and Kawasaki, who merged into Eurocopter under the Airbus banner, undergoing a few changes in designation during the process, the most well-known of which is the EC145. The MBB R117 rear section was combined with the EC135 forward fuselage and avionics to create a twin-engined helicopter with two crew and a maximum passenger load of nine. It wasn’t a simple cut-and-shut of course, with substantial redesign of parts, which led to a capable aircraft with better range and load-carrying capability than either of its predecessors. It first flew in 1999, and has gone on to be used by several European nations in civil and military roles as well as customers even further afield, with the T2 variant introduced in 2011 with new engines, avionics, a shrouded tail rotor and other aspects improving its performance further. Another variant is in development at time of writing, further expanding the type’s capabilities, and using a new highly advanced rotor to improve its carrying capacity, an upgrade that once in-service can be retro-fitted to existing airframes, offering similar benefits. ADAC is the German equivalent of the British AA or American Triple A, and stands for Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club that translates to General German Automobile Club, and like the AA, their signature colour is yellow. Those facts might seem to be irrelevant to a helicopter, but they also run a fleet of air rescue helicopters for its members via a subsidiary ADAC Luftrettung, which translates to Air Rescue, as you’d imagine. The aircraft are located strategically throughout Germany so that any medical emergency case can be reached in 15 minutes, getting the casualty to medical care within the Golden Hour, vastly increasing their chances of survival when compared to traditional ground-based ambulances that are slower and subject to the vagaries of traffic jams, poor roads or even a total lack of infrastructure where the casualty may be. Another operator of the H145 is Rega, the privately-run non-profit Swiss Air Rescue organisation, and their colours are red and white, the same as their national flag, which is a big plus. The Kit This is a new boxing of a kit that was originally released in 2005, but has been upgraded with new parts, which is borne out by the differing copyright dates on some of the sprues, one sprue dated 2017 and containing parts for the newer T2 shrouded tail rotor that wasn’t present on the original design. The kit arrives in a deep end-opening box, with a photo of the ADAC airframe on the front, and a Rega aircraft inset in the bottom left. At this scale the part count is high, weighing in at 275 parts to detail the model, although many those parts will remain on the sprues and are blacked out on the sprue diagrams at the front of the instruction booklet. There are thirteen sprues of grey styrene, three of clear parts, a large decal sheet and the instruction booklet that is printed in colour, with painting and decaling profiles on the rear pages. Detail is good, although some of the parts have shiny surfaces that hark back to its origins. There are no flash or mould defects visible, but as with any model, clean-up and test-fitting should result in a creditable replica of this modern rescue helicopter. Construction begins with the floor, which has four holes filled near the rear before the details are added, starting with a shallow bulkhead under the front. Flipping the floor back over, the twin sets of pedals are attached to the front, slotting into the bulkhead, with a scrap diagram showing how they should locate from the side. The collective and cyclic sticks are fitted in duplicate, with a rotor-brake on the right side, the use for which I found out from asking a pilot at the recent RAF Valley families’ day. The RAF also operate the EC145 (as they called it) in the air-sea rescue training role. The centre console has a choice of two instrument inserts and decals for the two operators, mounting on top of a two-part base, which has a separate fire extinguisher added to the rear on the left side. The main panel is mounted on top of the console in a two-part binnacle, again with a choice of two panels and decals, one for each operator. An additional two-part coaming is added to the sides of the binnacle, then the crew seats are built from front and rear portions, plus headrest and two cantilever legs, mounting on rails behind the instruments. An equipment package is built up from eight parts and is fitted in the space behind the left pilot’s seat, and looking like a sci-fi coffee machine. A small instrument panel is mounted on a bracket at an angle at the base of the package, adding a passenger seat to the side, facing the rear, and two down the port mounting rail, facing forward. Like the pilot seats, they are made from front and rear L-shaped parts, with two supports that mate to a square base, and all seats have crew belts moulded-in, plus decal seatbelts and material pattern decals. Two packs of medical equipment are built from two and three parts each, one having three pressurised bottles projecting from the top for medical use, applying dial decals to them. These are installed behind the rearmost of the two seats on the port side, the starboard side of the cabin taken up by a stretcher on a drop-down wheeled frame that is made up from five parts, and mounted on a two-part base that has a diagonal rear panel to prevent the stretcher from moving during flight. Like many helicopter models, there is an inner skin to the model, which will be seen through the extensive glazing of the cockpit. The two sections behind the side doors have grab-handles and several decals applied before equipment racks are installed over them, then joining to the floor at the rear. The roof panel is painted and extensively decaled before it is joined to the top of the interior assembly, and set aside while the fuselage halves are prepared, initially by painting the interior a dark grey to prevent bare plastic from being seen. The two side and cockpit side windows are inserted from inside on both halves, and a door interior part is laminated into the cockpit area to add detail there, applying various decals to the surfaces once painted. The two fuselage halves are then brought together around the interior, adding a bulkhead to the top, cutting a 10mm x 8mm slot into the top centre of it before installation. The gap in the underside is filled with a large insert that has the legs for the skids, and a flush insert near the front where equipment is sited on other boxings. A portion of the engine cowling and ducts are moulded into the fuselage halves, painting the ducts during assembly, fitting a pair of circular parts to the front of them, which need a small section removing beforehand, as explained in the accompanying diagrams. The rotor head is built from upper and lower halves, and mounts onto a circular boss with a blade attitude actuator fitted between them, further mounting the assembly on a square base and attaching it via a pin that should leave the blades free to rotate. As an alternative, a cylindrical spacer is fixed underneath the square base, and a long rod is glued into the underside of the rotor head, leaving the two sub-assemblies separate for ease of painting of the model and rotors separately. Either choice can then be trapped between the two main engine cowling parts, adding a pair of stiffeners to two sets of lugs inside the cowling that should prevent the seam from coming apart due to handling, which is good to see. The stabilising fins are each made from top and bottom surfaces plus an end-cap with an indicator light moulded-in. The shrouded rotor is made from separate rotor and stator blades that are mated between a cap and pin, then inserted into the port boom half, fitting the bearing in the centre at the front of the shroud. The two halves are then mated, and after dealing with the seams, three inserts are fitted around the outside of the tail, and three more are placed in recesses below, which minimise the amount of seam-filling on the underside. Two clear lights are added to the rear and tip of the tail, then the stabilisers are slotted into recesses at the rear of the boom, mating the boom to the engine cowling, then fixing that in place on raised locating lugs on the fuselage. Although the model looks very much like a helicopter now, there is still much to do over the following pages, starting with the rest of the glazing, but a decal for the overhead console will need to be applied, taking care to fill the seam inside before you do. It’s a step that’s easily missed on the instructions, so could be discovered only later to your frustration. Glazing starts with the vision panels under the nose, followed by the large single frontal glazing, after which the tapered fairing for the tip of the engine cowling is plugged-in, and a prominent sensor is fixed to the space between the front glazing at the tip of the nose. The engine exhausts are painted and glued into the outlets in the rear of the cowling, then the two sliding side doors are made from two skins with a piece of clear glazing between them, and applying a gaggle of decals to the freshly painted interior. The doors can then be posed closed by inserting them into their cut-outs, or slid back ready for action as you like it. Fun with doors hasn’t finished yet, but which type of rear doors you fit will depend on which decal option you plan to depict. The ADAC doors have a window in each one next to the opening edge, adding a clapping plate behind the starboard half, and decaling both. The Rega doors have no windows and fewer decals, but have a blue and grey box on the port half, and all doors can be posed open or closed as you prefer. Both decal options have a standard set of sensors and antennae underneath the fuselage, then diverge depending on which decal option you’ve chosen again. The ADAC option has a foot bar half way up the legs, fitting the skids with a shaped plate applied over the length of the skid on both sides. Attachment braces for the plates and blade antennas between the legs finish off the ADAC legs, while the Rega skids have the foot bars, and a small fairing to the rear of the skids, plus two plates that fit to the angled portion of the skids, thickening and extending them slightly. Both decal options have a couple of custom sensors/antenna added under the nose, then five hand-holds are fitted around the engine cowling to assist access for maintenance, adding one windscreen wiper arm down the centre of the windscreen. The winch over the port side door is made in two sections, one consisting of three parts, the other with three more parts including the fairing around the winch mechanism, painting the winch block red for ADAC, and adding a yellow stripe to the Rega option. The first assembly is fitted into holes in the side of the port fuselage, adding a bracing strap between the two arms before inserting the winch assembly into position, and adding a pair of towel-antenna to the boom just behind it, plus three more whip-antenna under and over the boom, the Rega option adding a pair of yellow stripes to one of them. More individualised antennae are fitted to the roof above the cockpit, the Rega option including a wire-cutting fin, while ADAC forego this. Each of the four rotor blades has two circular drop-weights fixed to a clamp moulded near the base of the rotor, and are either fixed to the rotor head on the model or separately, depending on your earlier choice. The circular base is then linked to each blade by an actuator, with a scrap diagram showing the completed assembly, finishing the rotors with a shallow cap in the centre. Markings There are two decal options in the box, as already mentioned. One in service of ADAC in yellow, the other a Rega airframe in red and white. Both options are kept in good clean condition, so weathering should be minimal, but check your references if you’d like to make your model more like an in-service aircraft. From the box you can build one of the following: ADAC Luftrettung Rega Air Rescue Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. There are a lot of small decals applied to the interior as well as the exterior, and they will do a lot to improve the detail and realism of the model, so take your time and get them all on your model. Also, watch out for the overhead panel decal and ensure that you apply it before closing the canopy. Conclusion Having been up-close to a British EC145 recently, this aircraft is a sleek and modern helicopter, with plenty of detail moulded into the sprues. It should build into a creditable replica with some care and attention, and its bright scheme should stand out in your cabinet. Highly recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  15. C-54D Skymaster (05652) 75th Anniversary Berliner Luftbrücke Airlift 1:72 Carrera Revell After the DC-3, Douglas began working on a design for group of major airline companies that was designated the DC-4, but it wasn’t quite to their liking, being less reliable and uneconomical than they would have liked, resulting in a design with a smaller airframe to meet their needs. War intervened, and the balance of the contract was taken up by the military under the name C-54 Skymaster, where it was used to transport cargo and personnel, with many variants with specific tasks such as Air Sea Rescue. The aircraft served throughout the war, and well into post-war through Korea, plus with many civilian operators, some of which flew into the 90s. There are still a few around at time of writing in museums and such. After the end of WWII and the former capital of Hitler’s Reich was split between the four main Allied powers, despite being located well behind the border of what became the Russian sector of Germany, which eventually became known as East Germany, or the German Democratic Republic. The Soviet Union quickly transitioned from Allies to enemy due to mutual distrust, which signified the beginning of the Cold War that dragged on until the early 90s. A land corridor was used by the Western Allies to supply their sector of Berlin, but this was blockaded by the Soviets in the summer of 1948, who generously offered to remove it if the Allies withdrew the newly introduced Deutschmark from the Allied occupied sectors. The Allies weren’t willing to give in to their demands however, and plans were made to supply Berlin by air, in the hope that the Soviets wouldn’t dare shoot down unarmed transport aircraft. They were right, and for the next fifteen months, the seemingly impossible task of supplying the city was accomplished by the Allies, with the C-54 involved, with around 330 airframes taking part. The airlift wasn’t without cost however, and over 100 pilots and crew died in accidents relating to operation of the airlift, several of them crews of Skymasters. The success of the operation became more embarrassing for the Soviets as the months rolled by, and eventually they lifted the blockade of their own volition, but the Allies carried on supply by air for some time after, in case the Soviets had it in mind to reestablish it, which had extended to road, rail and even canal transport. Berliners were extremely grateful, and there remains a Historical Foundation that maintains a museum to commemorate the actions of their former enemies, and they have a C-54 as one of their exhibits. The Kit To remember the 75th anniversary of the airlift, Revell have re-released their 2016 tooling of the C- 54D in a new box that includes four paints, a bottle of Contacta Professional glue and a #2 paint brush, plus a small bag of ten laser-cut plywood boxes to act as cargo for the model, all enclosed in a vastly over-sized top-opening box. There are also fourteen sprues of light grey styrene, a clear sprue, large decal sheet and the instruction booklet, which is printed in colour and has painting and decaling profiles on the rear pages. This is a modern tooling, and has plenty of detail in the cockpit, interior and gear bays, although the flying surfaces are joined to the airframe with T-shaped hinges that seem to be a throwback to an earlier time when models were also intended as play-things. If left mobile, drooping ailerons on both sides would be indicative of a control failure, so it might be a good idea to apply a little glue to freeze the controls in a manner to your liking. Construction begins with the nose gear bay for a change, building the two sides on the roof panel, which is also the floor of the cockpit, flipping it over to install the instrument panel with moulded-in centre console and a forward bulkhead, applying a decal to the panel after painting. A detail insert finishes off the console with moulded in throttle quadrants and other controls, plus a triangular coaming that joins the panel and bulkhead together. Both pilots get an L-shaped control column with separate yoke, handed toward the centre, and a trim wheel on each side of the central console, then their seats are made from two-part seat cushions with moulded-in four-point harnesses, while the third crew member has lap belts only. The pilots’ seats are then mounted on a two-part frame and fitted to the rails moulded into the cockpit floor, painting everything as you go. A bulkhead with a doorway is detailed with five parts and has two decals to add detail, then it is mounted on the front of the passenger/load compartment floor, which has some nice detail moulded into its surface. The bulkhead for the rear of the radio/engineering compartment is also detailed with four parts plus the third seat, and is fixed into the slot in the floor to create the space, with a scrap diagram showing how the detail parts should link to two bulkheads together. More detail is added in the shape of a short corridor and section of wall to deepen the bulkhead on both sides, one of which has a fire extinguisher moulded-in. Two cots insert into the right side of the bulkhead on tabs, and are locked in place at the other end by another bulkhead with separate door that can be posed open or closed, adding a roof section over the top between the bulkheads. Two runs of five canvas and webbing seats are made from two parts each, and placed in the load area just behind the bulkheads, enclosing the space with two inserts that have tons of ribbing detail moulded into them, with the option to cut out the side load door, which is marked out on the outside of the part. The rear bulkhead is stepped and closes the rear of the fuselage interior, and the cockpit with nose gear bay is glued to the front bulkhead, completing most of the work on the interior details. The nose gear strut is a complex affair made from seven parts and is inserted into the bay, the drawing for which has one wall rendered invisible to aid location of the assembly. The fuselage halves are fitted with portholes on a long clear carrier, painting the cockpit area in green, then detail-painting the equipment boxes and cutting out the half-circles over the cockpit that will later receive an astrodome. A set of flashed-over holes under the belly are also opened at this stage, and you have the option of posing the crew hatch open on the starboard side of the nose, then repeating the process on the port fuselage half, which has a few more individual portholes. The interior is glued into the starboard fuselage half, and you are instructed to add 60g of weight into the spaces in and around the nose where it won’t be seen, then a pair of curved spacers are mounted under the main floor, and an insert is put in place where the side cargo door is located. The fuselage can then be closed, at which point you realise this is quite a large model, even at 1:72. The lower wings are long and slender, and are moulded as a full-span part, with the main gear bays moulded into the inner engine nacelles, painting the interior in green, and removing the short length of sprue that supports the part during moulding and transport. Each of the four nacelles are closed at the front by circular engine mounts, being careful to arrange them correctly so that the exhaust outlets are on the outer sides. The inner nacelles have bulkheads inserted behind the new parts, fitting another to the rear of the bays, and inserting a roof segment into the rear, all of which is painted in interior green. The flaps can be posed deployed, or “cleaned-up” for flight, and if you wish to deploy them, you will need to remove the portions marked in grey on the lower wing, as per the accompanying diagram, inserting flap bay wall inserts into the space, then closing the wings with two upper halves. The prominent intakes and their fairings on the top of each nacelle are each built from front and rear parts, and glued into recesses moulded into the upper nacelles, then the wings can be mated to the fuselage, adding inserts onto the nacelle sides for the exhausts. The flap bays are extended by adding an insert with the flap mechanism, fitting another inboard after removing a small portion of the base on both sides. The rudder fin is moulded to the fuselage, and has two T-shaped hinge-points moulded-in, onto which the two rudder panel sides are glued, giving the option of leaving the rudder mobile. The elevator fins are each made from two halves, and slot into the tail, with the flying surfaces glued around them in the same manner as the rudder. The intakes under the nacelles are completed with a lip, and an outlet at the rear, fitting the exhaust collector rings around the nacelle bulkhead for each of the four engines, which are next on the menu. The rear bank of pistons have a two-part push-rods and intakes added to the rear, trapping the axle between the two portions, with the front bank glued in place after sliding it over the axle, and finishing off the motor with the bulkhead, magnetos and push-rods moulded as one part. With all four engines complete, the cowlings are made from the cylindrical section that is moulded as one part, plus a choice of open or closed cooling gills at the rear. The engines slot into position in the cowlings on guides, and a scrap diagram shows the correct location. The assemblies are then glued to the nacelles on T-shaped pegs that match recesses on the firewall bulkhead, and they are completed by adding a choice of two styles of exhausts into the exit holes. It's not made abundantly clear to the hard-of-thinking (aka me) that the gear can be depicted raised for flight, so it’s good to know in advance to save you from gluing the nose gear into position before you get to the steps that deal with the landing gear. The nose wheel is made up first, and there are three styles, one for each of the decal options, as shown by the instruction steps that are mentioned at the bottom of each diagram. Two types are made from two halves, while the third is built from two halves plus a centre insert that will be seen through the spokes. To build a model with gear up, the nose bay is covered with a single lozenge-shaped door part with an engraved panel line down the centre, while the gear down option requires them to be cut in half down the panel line. Your choice of nose gear wheel is flex-fitted between the halves of the yokes, so can remain mobile, unless you intend to file a flat-spot to portray the weight of the airframe, in which case a dab of glue will suffice to keep it in position. The main gear legs are built from the strut and a chunky Y-shaped retraction jack, that has three additional parts linked to the upper portion, adding hubs to the cross-axle at the bottom end, which differ depending on which set of wheels you are using, as there are three again. Before installing them, a separate scissor-link is fitted to recesses in the front of the strut, then the three types of wheels are built, one with a separate hub that is inserted into one side of the two-part wheel, the other two made from halves, with a small hub cap on the outer face. In addition, there are twin brake hoses fitted to the front of the struts, with one end fitting into recesses in the hubs, adding a small triangular part between them, and a Y-shaped strut into the bay, plus a small antenna under the nacelle. Two actuators are added either side of the main wheel strut, and these open and close the main bay doors, which are cut from the single part that is used for the in-flight option. The remainder of the bay door part is also cut into three, and two mount on studs at the base of the strut, and the other at the front. For the gear-up option, the bay door part is used without cutting and is simply glued into the cut-out. Back to the flaps. To lower the flaps, two parts per wing are glued together, and mounted on the actuators that were installed earlier. To model them retracted, two alternative parts are glued per wing and inserted flush, in line with the airflow. In a small diagram the tail receives a light at the top of the fin, adding another two in a fairing that is glued to the pen-nib fairing at the rear of the fuselage. At the other end of the fuselage, the canopy part has an overhead console glued into its roof and painted according to the diagram before the canopy is glued down, joined by an astrodome behind it, a pair of twin antennae on an insert in the roof, and a small intake off to one side. Under the wings, a pair of pop-up landing lights are inserted into a recess either flush with the skin of the wing by cutting off the peg, or folded down on the peg. The cargo door is moulded as a single part that can be cut to depict the doors open, and a small porthole is inserted into a hole in the narrower door. Whether you pose them open or closed is up to you, but open doors in flight might whistle a little bit. Fitting the antenna and props are the last thing you’ll be doing after main painting, and on this kit the three-bladed props and spinner are moulded as a single part, and each one slots onto the axle projecting from the front of the engine. A cluster of probes and antennae are fitted around the nose, under the nose, under the wing roots and under the aft fuselage, after which there are two diagrams that show where the antenna wires should be fitted, using your favourite rigging material to finish the task. Just in case you didn’t put enough weight in the nose, Revell have thoughtfully supplied a stand that can be placed under the tail to prevent the crew from ending up in the tail. Markings There are four decal options on the large decal sheet, all wearing the same silver scheme, but with different markings to tell them apart, in addition to the wheels of course. From the box you can build one of the following: Air Transport Command, Airlift Berlin, 1948 USAF, Airlift Berlin, 1948 US Navy, Airlift Berlin, 1948 USAF, Airlift Berlin, Wiesbaden Air Base, Winter 1948-49 Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin satin carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion A well-detailed model of this common transport from WWII and the Cold War, depicted as four airframes that participated in one of the most ambitious, extended and successful airlift missions in all of aviation’s history. It would make a great memorial to all the pilots and crew that lost their lives helping the people of Berlin survive. Highly recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  16. Volkswagen T2 Bus Technik (00459) 1:24 Carrera Revell Easy-Click System Originally planned to be developed from the chassis of the Volkwagen Beetle (Type 1) in the post-war period, the Type 2 was intended to be a light commercial van, with a cab-forward design that put the driver over the front axle, leaving most of the body length for cargo, and the engine in the rear that gave it a high tailgate lip. Its design has been credited to a Dutch VW importer, who intended to build a van from the chassis of the Beetle that he initially wanted to import to his country. Finding the Type 1’s chassis a little weak, a ladder chassis was installed, keeping the wheelbase the same length, and cladding it in a boxy body that proved to be as aerodynamic as a house brick. This was rectified following some work with an outside agency in a wind tunnel, splitting the windscreen and improving streamlining to an acceptable level. Production started in May 1949, initially offering the Kombi with two side windows each side and two rows of removable seats, or the Commercial without windows in the load compartment. A microbus was introduced shortly after, with a deluxe variant added for those that preferred to travel in relative luxury. Almost 10,000 T2s were made during the first year of production, and this continued until 1967 when a new generation was introduced with a smoothly curved front windscreen and a lengthened chassis, plus a more powerful 1.6 litre engine replacing the original 1.3 litre lump found in the back of the first generation. It also adopted 12v for the electrical system, rendering any electrical accessories from the previous models redundant for use with the new model. The suspension was also changed with the new model, and as time went by improvements were made to various subsystems and the engine size was increased once again to 1.7L with a flat-four block that was air-cooled like most of Volkswagen’s output at the time, which gave them their distinctive chug. Other variants were made, including one with a raised roofline for the overseas market, and in 1979 the VW Combi as it was known in the UK was phased out in favour of the boxy “modern” T3 that has faded into the background when compared to the earlier models, thanks to being totally devoid of any discernible character. The Kit This is a luxurious reboxing with new parts and specialist electronics based upon a 2021 Easy-Click kit. The kit arrives in a stylish glossy black box, and inside the bodyshell, floorpan with electronics, and the base are surrounded by more gloss black cardboard inserts to keep them safe and give an air of quality. Underneath these the rest of the sprues in various colours can be found, all separately bagged with copious tape. There are eight sprues of styrene, one in black, one in red, two in light grey, two in muted silver, two in white, one that has been covered by a layer of chrome, plus two clear sprues, a bag of five flexible black tyres, the afore mentioned bodyshell in red, and the floor with electronics on black styrene, which has a carrier for the lights already in place that is also in black. A sheet of stickers and the instruction booklet complete the package, the latter printed in colour with sticker placement diagrams and operation of the electronics on the rear pages. The kit is of the kerbside variety, with just the underside of the engine depicted, but there is plenty of detail throughout, although the “serious” modeller may want to deal with the ejector-pin marks that can be found on the door cards, some of which are raised. The plinth has a raised socket in the centre, and a speaker grille to one side, plus a pair of buttons to the front that operates the LED lighting in the front and rear, plus the sound effect that depicts the engine starting up and idling for a few moments before shutting down again. The lighting is a toggle switch, so don’t forget to switch it off after demonstrating it to your friends and family. Construction begins with the front axle, using the steering arm to join the two brake housings, then inserting their pegs into the main axle part and clipping it into place under the floor pan. The rear axle is moulded as a single part, and that is trapped under a representation of the underside of the engine, plus a cross-brace, all inserted into the rear of the floor pan. The wheel hubs each have flexible black tyres pushed over the side without a lip, and a red socket is placed in the centre, push-fitting to each end of both axles, allowing the wheels to rotate freely. The red centres are then hidden by a chromed hub cap that clips into place front and rear. The seating was removable, supposedly by one person, and the two rows are built on the base bench cushion, one that has a full-width rear seat with backing panel, the other a 60/40 split, which have separate cushions and backing panels. The largest back cushion also has a grab handle to the rear, and an additional tubular leg frame, totalling four. They are installed on pegs in the passenger compartment, the split seat to the front of the area, and separated from the crew compartment by a white bulkhead. The driver’s seat is a single two-part arrangement, with a double-width passenger seat in the same style, both mounting on square pegs on the highest area of the cab. The driver is on the left side, adding clutch, brake and accelerator pedals plus a gear lever to the floor, then dropping the completed assembly into the floor pan, avoiding trapping the wires for the headlights as you do so. The dash is a single part with a choice of speedometer stickers, plus stickers for the other dials, radio and a couple of stencils, one of which is applied to the long steering column with moulded in stalks, applying another to the steering wheel once it is fixed to the top. The bodyshell is moulded in red for those that don’t want to get involved in painting, as are the other parts that will benefit the younger or inexperienced modeller, and the first step is to apply a pair of door latch stickers to the inside, and adding a rear-view mirror to the centre of the roof by the windscreen. The completed dash assembly is then fixed in the nose, after which you can mate the bodyshell with the floor pan, being careful of the LED lights and their wires, which are supplied attached to a black carrier, which you need to remove to slide them through the cut-outs. Once through, they are pushed back into position, and the carrier is clipped into the recess running across the front, clipping the clear lenses over the LEDs. The cab doors are separate parts, and receive their windows that clip into position, painting the seals if you’re minded, then they are fitted into their cut-outs, but won’t be secured until the front panel is in position, so it may be as well to tape them into place for a short while. The indicator lights are on their own clear carrier, and this is inserted from the rear, painting the lenses with clear amber/orange for added realism, after which the front panel can be clipped into place, trapping the door hinges in position. The sliding side door has a sticker and window installed, then it is slotted into position in its cut-out being careful how you locate the guiding tabs at top and bottom so that it remains mobile, but is fixed to the structure. The wheel wells all have mudguards with white VW logo stickers fitted behind each wheel, then the side windows are clipped into their holes, painting the seals if you feel like it. The rear light clusters consist of chromed reflectors with clear lenses that have light-guides moulded-in that pushed through to keep it in position near the LED, painting the relevant sections of the lenses red and orange. There are two surface-mounted LEDs on the edge of the little PCB that manages the lights, and these are located behind the light clusters, and it would be advisable to check for light bleeding through from the inside around the lights, which could be stopped by silver foil glued inside, or by painting the area inside with a couple of layers of black paint. The cargo door has a window clipped in, and is mounted in its cut-out, the hinges dropping into recesses in the roof, although they won’t be secure until the roof is finished, so be careful when you tip it upside down, or tape it in place. Under the boot is the engine compartment hatch, with a choice of a one or two-row number plate, depending on which nation’s plates you will be using. Up front, another pair of stickers represents the prominent grilles under the windscreen and between the indicators, adding a pair of windscreen wipers to the bottom of the frame, the front bumper, and a choice of number plate frames as at the rear. The rear bumper slots into position, with a two-part towing hitch under it in the centre. The remaining chromed parts are the two wing mirrors on the doors and the VW logo at the centre of the front, which can be replaced by a spare tyre with a choice of hub styles for US or EU made vehicles. The finishing touch involves placing the roof over the length of the vehicle, which has the shape of the cab’s headliner moulded-in. The base is already assembled from the box, and has a battery compartment underneath that can be accessed with a Philips cross-head screwdriver, where you will need to install two AA batteries, screwing the compartment door back into position so the batteries don’t fall out. The finished model is slotted into the blocky receiver, where it mates with a two-pin male socket once rammed fully home. I had a little problem with getting mine into position correctly, and you’ll be able to tell if you have made the same mistake because the lights won’t work. A good firm push solved it, so bear that in mind. The left button toggles the lights, while the right button operates the sound effect, which is all handled in the base, so doesn’t even require the model to be in situ. The start-up/shut-down sound effects lasts around 16 seconds, and requires no action from you to complete, so won’t continue to drain the batteries if you forget about it, unlike the lights. Markings This edition has just one set of markings for the model, all of which are provided as stickers that are nicely printed. You have a choice of several styles of number plate from various nations, which will dictate the number plate holder you use when building the model. You don’t have to paint the model at all if you don’t want to, as most of the parts have been moulded in their main colour. You can paint some or all of it to enhance the details and realism if you want to, but it’s your model to do with as you like, just so long as you enjoy yourself. Conclusion A nice display model with some technical touches to add some extra interest to the completed model. It might not appeal so much to the purists that demand ultimate detail, but they’re not really the target market. Don’t forget to ensure you have a pair of AA batteries in stock before you start! Highly recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  17. Messerschmitt Bf.109G-6 Easy-Click System (03653) 1:32 Carrera Revell With almost 34,000 examples constructed over a 10-year period, the Messerschmitt Bf.109 is one of the most widely produced aircraft in history and it saw active service in every theatre in which German armed forces were engaged. Designed in the mid-1930s, the Bf.109 shared a similar configuration to the Spitfire, deploying monocoque construction and V12 engine, albeit an inverted V with fuel injection rather than a carburettor as used in the Spit. Initially designed as a lightweight interceptor, like many German types during WWII, the Bf.109 evolved beyond its original brief into a bomber escort, fighter bomber, night fighter, ground-attack and reconnaissance platform. The Bf.109G series, colloquially known as the Gustav, was first produced in 1942. The airframe and wing were extensively modified to accommodate a more powerful engine, greater internal fuel capacity and additional armour. In contrast to early 109s, which were powered by engines delivering less than 700hp, some of the later Gustavs could output almost 2000hp with water injection and high-performance superchargers. The Gustav series accounted for a dizzying array of sub-variants, some of which featured a larger tail of wooden construction. Odd number suffixed aircraft had pressurised cockpits for high altitude operation, Erla Haube clear view canopy with clear rear head armour, underwing points for tanks, cannon or rockets and larger main wheels resulting in square fairings on the inner upper wings to accommodate them. The Kit This is a new tooling from Carrera Revell, but it isn’t a traditional plastic model kit, instead it is one of their Easy-Click system, but unlike any that we have seen previously, as it snaps together in a manner similar to the famous Lego bricks. The kit arrives in a standard end-opening box with a render of the finished product on the front, and inside are five sprues of parts, one grey, one green, two light blue, and one black, each one ready to clip together once cut from the sprue. There is also a clear sprue with a single canopy part, a sheet of decals, a sheet of stickers, and the instruction booklet that is printed in colour and has decaling and sticker application guides on the rear. Each part joins to the other by friction fit, and each location turret has a corresponding circular receiver, and here an issue has crept in that might concern a “serious” modeller, as some of the receivers have resulted in shallow sink marks in the self-coloured plastic, which is most evident on the green coloured plastic. I suspect that we’re not the intended audience however, as this is an ideal method of introducing modelling to a younger person, removing paint and glue from the equation, but keeping the cutting of parts from the sprues, and giving them a choice of decals or stickers, depending on their skill level or impatience. Construction begins with the main landing gear, which are made up from two parts including the wheel, and can be lowered or retracted thanks to a short axle at the top of the legs. They are placed in the lower wing halves, and each wing is fitted to a central black former that has some of the cockpit detail moulded-in, including the control column. The wing roots are added, with optional painting instructions for the more advanced modeller, fitting the seat back into the cockpit, then surrounding it by two cockpit sides. The exhaust stubs are fixed to the front of the central former, and is surrounded by cowling parts on both sides and under the chin, adding another panel under the wings, hiding the central former. The instrument panel has two decals to apply, and this is inserted into the front of the cockpit, fixing the supercharger intake on the port side of the fuselage, then fitting the upper cowling gun troughs, the black barrel insert, and the rear cowling in front of the cockpit. The upper wing parts are then clipped into place in green and grey to create the splinter camouflage out to the rounded tips of the wings, trapping the gear legs in position at the same time. The starboard side of the rear fuselage is clipped into position on the central former, then a black extension is added, and locked in place by the port rear fuselage side, pausing to clip the canopy into the upper fuselage part, which has recesses to accept the moulded-in framework, which has caused a little distortion of the clear parts. The centre former is extended again with a short part that includes the tail wheel, closed in by more tapering fuselage sections, then adding a short length of spine in green, and the tail fin on both sides of the centre, filling in the rest of the spine and slotting the elevators into a groove in the tail fin, then finishing off with the rudder. To complete the model, the three-bladed prop is clipped onto the axle, and a spinner tip completes the prop. Underneath, a two-part drop-tank plugs into a two-hole recess after clipping the two halves together. Markings There is one scheme in the box, but as there are decals and stickers included, the process is shown twice, as the numbers differ between the sheets. Even though this is an Easy-Click kit, there is still a good number of stencils and other markings, so your model will have plenty of visual interest once completed. From the box you can build the following: The decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin satin carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion This kind of kit is a great introduction to modelling for today’s impatient youth, who probably wouldn’t even notice the slight sink marks on some parts. Recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  18. ’66 Shelby GT 350R (07716) 1:24 Carrera Revell Ford’s Pony Car was first introduced in 1964, and immediately struck a chord with the American car-buying public, claiming a place in motoring history as it did so. By 1966, not much had changed yet, including the size and weight of the car, making it one of the lightest from the whole lineage. The Shelby 350 was a modified Mustang, with more powerful engine, stiffer suspension and distinctive styling in any colour as long as it was white, making it a track-style car before that name was fashionable, also changing the name to capitalise on the reputation of the Shelby company. The first batch of the ’66 350s were based upon the Fastback chassis, and colours other than white were available, and over 1,300 were made, plus around 1,000 in the standard bodyshell. A small number of ‘special’ cars were given the R suffix to differentiate, as they were race-prepared, and not suitable for picking up a carton of milk and a pack of Lucky Strikes from the local 7-Eleven. These cars raced in the SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) Pro Racing series, including races at Laguna Seca and Riverside tracks. The Kit This is a reboxing with new decals of the 1985 tooling by Revell under the Monogram branding, which is backed up by the raised lettering on the underside of the interior tub of the model. The kit arrives in a shallow end-opening box, and inside are four sprues and the bodyshell in white styrene, another sprue that has been chrome-plated over white styrene, a small clear sprue, decal sheet, and instruction booklet that is printed in colour with profiles for the decal option to the rear. This is a special boxing that depicts a single car as it raced on two tracks with Walt Hane at the wheel on both occasions. This is an old kit, but has good detail, and time has been kind to the moulds, including a full engine, underside details and the spartan interior that had been stripped down in anticipation of racing. Construction begins with the engine, two parts for the block and transmission halves, adding multi-part detail inserts top and bottom, then fitting two cylinder-blocks and their rocker-covers, which have decals for the top, then accessorising it with alternator, serpentine belt, fan and manifolds, exhausting four cylinders per bank. The under-tray of the vehicle is then outfitted with the front axle with suspension moulded-in, twin sports exhausts that exit at the sides in front of the rear wheels, and the rear axle, which has ‘hi-tech’ leaf-springs and the drive-shaft moulded-in, then has a pair of dampers fixed between them and the chassis to reduce rebound, installing the engine between the chassis rails at the front, joining the down-pipes from the manifolds to the exhausts. The interior is begun by applying six dial decals to the instrument binnacle, and a further two to the smaller central binnacle, taking the time to remove the standard equipment details in the centre of the main dashboard, as no-one listens to music while they’re racing. The two binnacles are glued into position, fitting the steering column with stalks, and spacing the lightened steering wheel with a tapering extension, then the instructions have you switching to the other wheels, inserting the two hub sides from each side of the flexible black tyres, applying gold or white Firestone logos to them depending on which race you are modelling. After that diversion, the dash is inserted into the front of the interior tub on a pair of notches, and the angled gear shifter is fixed to the transmission tunnel before the rear seats are covered over by a blanking plate and two flashed-over holes are drilled in the flat area at the rear of the doors for later use. The solitary driver’s seat and a covered spare tyre are put in place behind the wheel and on the blanking plate at the rear respectively, and a three-part roll-cage is located on the two holes, and that has a fire-extinguisher moulded into one of the cross bars. The bodyshell is prepared by painting the roof liner dark grey and sanding away the logo moulded into the front arches, then the front and rear screens are popped in from within, adding a chromed rear-view mirror into a hole in the top of the windscreen, before the rear quarter-light cut-outs are covered over with blanking panels that are painted red. Another small moulded-in logo is removed from in front of the arch, although that would have been better done at the same time as the other, then the interior tub is glued into the shell, painting portions of the underside red, as some of it will be seen through the floor pan once the assemblies are joined. Before that however, the rear light clusters are painted as per the instructions and fitted on pegs into the rear of the car, then the chassis and bodywork are brought together, adding a pair of coil-over shocks in the front turrets, which you can paint red if you have steady hands. The wheels are snapped onto the axles in each corner, then the engine bay is painted black around the engine, so it is probably a good idea to paint that before you have the engine in the way, for the sake of your sanity. A dash pot is glued to the firewall, and a strut brace is fixed to the suspension turrets, then the interior front bulkhead with separate radiator is slotted into the front of the bay, jumping back (literally) to add the rear bumper and opener/badge in the centre of the boot. We’re back at the front to install the bumper and chromed radiator, adding chromed reflectors with clear lenses in front that have a fine mesh texture engraved on the rear. Two circular chrome side-lights are painted orange and inserted into the corners of the bumpers to complete the car’s distinctive ‘face’. The bonnet has some detail moulded into the underside, but you’ll need to remove the ejector-pin marks in between them, applying the two go-faster stripes after painting, and another decal that depicts a circular mesh vent over the stripes toward the rear. The air-box and radiator feeder-pipe are glued into the engine bay, and the bonnet can be slipped into position without glue to leave it mobile, adding a chromed stay that is supplied to prop it open, or you can lay it across the bay, dropping into two recesses in the bonnet sides. There are some additional decals applied in the bay, some to bulkheads, others for the ancillary parts that gives the area a little extra realism. Markings This is a special edition in all but name, as it has decals for two particular races that this car took part in, one at Riverside, the other at the world-famous Laguna Seca circuit, and while you’d expect the car to be almost identical for each race, you’d be mistaken, as there are some subtle differences, such as the colour of the Firestone logos and the colour of the driver names. There are also two styles of pony logo on the front grille, one with silver trim, the other with just the coloured stripes and the outline of the horse. Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Although the decal numbers are called out for the seatbelts on the instructions, they aren’t represented in the drawings, so in case you missed it, there is a full set of seatbelt decals to add extra detail. Conclusion This is an old kit, but other than the lack of outer runners and the copyright details giving it away, it’s not what you’d expect. There’s plenty of detail, and the body is well shaped. The instructions are a little odd in places the way they flit around, but taking some time to look them over should help avoid mistakes. Highly recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  19. Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIB (04968) 1:32 Carrera Revell Although somewhat less glamorous than the Supermarine Spitfire in the eyes of some, it was the Hawker Hurricane that proved to be at least half of the backbone of Britain’s air defences during the summer of 1940. Designed in 1935, the Hurricane was relatively advanced compared to other fighters in service at that time, featuring a fully enclosed cockpit, retractable undercarriage, eight .303 inch machine guns, a powerful liquid-cooled V12 engine and, most importantly, a cantilever monoplane. Despite its modern appearance however, the design and manufacturing techniques were thoroughly conventional, which meant that it was relatively straight forward to produce in large numbers. This proved useful when it came to manufacture because the aircraft could be churned out quickly, and was easy to repair and maintain. The Hurricane's first kill was achieved on 21st October 1939 when 46 Sqn found and attacked a squadron of Heinkel He.115s over the North Sea. The Mk.I was initially fitted with fabric-covered wings, which limited its dive speed, which was rectified by the replacement with a more robust metal skin, and adding a stabilising strake beneath the rudder to assist with spin recovery. Armour protection for the pilot and self-sealing fuel tanks were also added in light of combat experience, making the aircraft more survivable for the pilot, and increasing its ruggedness. The Mk.II was equipped with the Rolls Royce Merlin XX engine, capable of developing almost 1,500hp with the help of a two-speed supercharger and revised glycol/water injection system. The longer cowling required by the new engine also improved stability further, and by the time the Mk.IIB was in production, it also had hard-points for carrying bombs or additional fuel for longer-range sorties. Although the Hurricane was a solid performer, it proved to have less scope for improvement when compared to the Spitfire, and as it was slower due to its aerodynamics, the Spitfire became the poster-child of the Battle of Britain and beyond, despite the Hurricane claiming more kills than the graceful Spitfire. Later variants were fitted with 20mm cannons, and the final production variant, the Mk.IV used the so-called ‘universal wing’ that could carry bombs, weapons, fuel and other options, with a deeper armoured radiator housing under the centre. The Kit This is a brand-new tooling from Revell, and has been anticipated by many larger-scale WWII modellers since its announcement. The bated breath should now have been released and some mouthwash slooshed, as it’s available now from all the usual places online and in the real world. It arrives in a deep end-opening box, and inside are eight sprues in light grey styrene in three bags, a separately bagged clear sprue, a decal sheet secreted inside a colour instruction booklet that has markings profiles on the back pages, and a list of paint choices in Revell codes near the front. Detail throughout is crisp and neat, with finely engraved panel lines and relief for the fabric-covered areas that do a good job of representing the skin of the real thing. There are a lot of ejector pin marks inside the fuselage halves, and a few of them encroach upon the sidewall details of the cockpit, although whether they’ll be seen is debatable. Construction begins with the cockpit, which is made from sub-assemblies, starting with the pilot’s seat, which is fabricated from base, back and two side panels, then the bulkhead behind the pilot is layered from four sections after drilling some holes in the tapered top-section. The foot troughs and framework are joined together, and the sidewall framework is detailed with small parts, predominantly on the port side, and a cross-member with framework and hose is assembled. There is a lot of detail-painting called out with coloured flags with letters that cross-refer to the paint guide at the front, and this continues throughout the whole build. The framework of the cockpit can then be joined together by adding the cross-member and a tubular A-frame, with the front slotting into four holes in the forward bulkhead. The ‘floor’ of the cockpit is inserted into the assembly and rotated into position, after which the control column and linkage is installed along with the rudder pedals between the two troughs. A compass with decal is dropped onto a mount near the front of the cockpit, and in the rear the armoured bulkhead is slid down into the framework at an angle so that the seat can be fitted, with a scrap diagram showing the correct location from the side. A long winding hose is inserted down the port side of the cockpit, with the rear end curling round and mating with the cross-member under the seat, and there is another scrap diagram to help you with this. A lever is inserted into a socket in the starboard side behind the armour, with the handle projecting into the cockpit, which brings us to the instrument panel, which is surfaced with raised and recessed detail, over which you apply three decals for the various sections before gluing in place between the two sides of the cockpit framework. A choice of oval or rectangular lensed gunsight are added to an angled mount that slips through a hole in the panel in front of the pilot. In order to close up the fuselage, the spacer that fills the area where the Merlin should fit is joined together, and this has exhaust ports moulded-in with good detail, and the two halves trap the axle in place, along with the front detail insert that depicts part of the motor. This and the cockpit assembly are added to the starboard fuselage half after it has been painted internally, the afore mentioned ejector-pin marks dealt with if you feel the need, and the addition of a small detail skin to the aft of the sidewall. The port fuselage half is painted and has a detail part fixed into a socket, then the two halves are brought together, and here the instructions advise not to glue the cockpit framework into either fuselage half, but leave it floating in the sockets, presumably to achieve a better fit. The top of the engine cowling is glued over the empty space, and the closed canopy is temporarily taped into position over the cockpit opening for reasons that aren’t expounded upon. The main gear bays are actually a single space beneath the two bay openings, and are made up in stages, starting with the leading edge, which has two ribs attached to the main shape, then has a clear roof insert added, which is clear to replicate the two observation windows there, and they have a hose snaking across front to back. Some small detail parts are inserted, followed by the rear bulkhead, which has a two-part cylinder attached to the middle, and two retraction jacks glued to the sides. The wing’s centre section is separate on this model, and has a spar fitted inside, locating on pins that are moulded onto the inside, then the bay assembly is pushed into position, feeding the hose through a hole in the spar until it locates on more pins. Both lower wing halves have a cut-out in the leading edge that receives a landing light bay that has a separate lens slotted in before it put in position, painting the inside interior green. They are both glued onto the centre section using pins and tabs, and are closed over by adding the upper wing sections, drilling a hole in the starboard part if the aircraft had a gun camera mounted. Flipping the wing over, the leading edge of the centre section is added, then the remaining inserts that include the gun ports, clear landing light cover and other small parts such as the gun camera shroud are inserted along with the clear wingtip light covers. The fuselage is dropped into position between the wings, and underneath the chin insert and lower fuselage insert are fitted, followed my a recognition light and the fairing around the tail wheel. The trailing edge of the strake in front of the tail wheel is then sanded to a new angle by removing 2mm from the bottom and nothing from the top. The chin intake is put together from top and bottom halves, and the radiator core is made up from front and rear sections, and dropped into the cowling, which is built from an oval intake and the streamlined fairing, and once installed under the wing it has the flap at the rear added in the open or closed positions, using the diagrams to the side as guidance. All the flying surfaces are separate, so can be depicted at any reasonable angle, starting with the rudder panel, which is made from two halves and has a clear lens fitted above the trim-tab. The elevators fins and panels are all similarly two parts each, and fit to the fuselage under the fin via the usual slot and tab system. The ailerons are dealt with later, and are again two halves each, slotting into the spaces in the trailing edges, then you can choose whether to depict the flaps in the open or closed positions by swapping out the parts as per the instructions. There are ribs moulded into the open flaps, but the flap bays are devoid of any detail. The front of the fuselage has a fairing added to the front, with a choice of styles, one of which is open at the front, the other partially closed by a cover. There is a choice of two styles of exhaust, one with round pipes, the other with fish-tail outlets, and are each made from two halves, although they don’t have open ends. This could be remedied by opening the tips before joining the halves, taking care to cut them to the same profile as the exhausts. When finished your chosen style assembly is slotted into the outlets in the side of the cowling and painted a suitably hot and grimy colour. The crew stirrup can be depicted dropped for access or retracted by inserting a stub into the opening, and an L-shaped pitot is pushed into a hole under the port wing near the aileron hinge. The landing gear is next, beginning with the tail wheel, which is two parts as is the strut, which is closed around the wheel to create the yoke, and is then inserted into a hole in the tail. The main wheels are two parts with an additional hub insert, and these are slotted onto the axles at the end of the main struts and have the three-part captive doors made up concurrently and fitted once the legs have been inserted into the bays and supported by their retraction jacks. You are advised to remove the canopy at this stage, and still no explanation is forthcoming, as if you intend to leave the canopy closed, you reuse the same part two steps later, adding a choice of rear-view mirror styles on the top of the windscreen. The same choice of mirrors is available if you are planning on leaving the canopy open, but separate parts are used, the canopy portion sliding over the spine of the fuselage on runners. It’s worth noting that the canopy parts look slightly “smooth” on the sprues, as we’re used to raised frames on our models, but these have been engraved as tramlines on a smooth canopy, which looks strange. Checking quickly on Google, the canopy has very shallow raised frames, which would disappear to almost nothing when factoring in the scale, so a few coats of paint should result in a reasonable facsimile. The windscreen however has thicker frames on the front, and a flared frame at the rear to deflect wind away from the pilot with an opened canopy. These aspects aren’t rendered at all on either the open or closed canopies, but if this bothers you it could be remedied by adding a few layers of primer strategically to build up thickness. A light and aerial mast is inserted behind the canopy at the end of the build, and you’ll need some thread or wire to depict the antenna itself. The three-bladed prop is moulded as a single part, which is enclosed in the spinner and rear plate before it is slipped over the axle to complete the model. Markings There are two decal options on the sheet, and they’re like day and night. Literally. The first option is a day fighter in traditional brown/green camouflage over sky of the time, while the second is an all-black night fighter. From the box you can build one of the following: No.79 Sqn., RAF Fairwood Common, South Wales, July 1941 No.253 Sqn., RAF Hibaldstow, England, late 1941 Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The decals for the instrument panel and compass are printed with black backgrounds, and have the dials line-drawn in white and yellow, plus a little red. Conclusion A new-tool Hurricane in 1:32 will please a great many of my fellow modellers, and there’s enough detail to please most of them. The canopy is a strange choice, but on balance the kit should build up into a well-detailed model out of the box. Highly recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  20. Unimog 404S (03348) 1:35 Carrera Revell Unimog was the brand-name used by Mercedes for their truck, tractor and commercial vehicle range that began post WWII as an agricultural brand, initially built by another company for them whilst using their engines. The range broadened in the late 40s and early 50s to include trucks, of which the 404 series was one, entering production in 1955. It is a small (1.5 tonne) 4x4 truck that was driven by a 2.2 litre M180 straight-6 Mercedes engine and has impressive off-road performance due to a change that had been required by a customer, the French Army, who wanted the spare tyre to be stored clear of the load compartment. The designers altered the shape of the rear chassis rails to allow the wheel to sit under the floor, the downward sweep giving the chassis extra flexibility that smoothed the ride on rough surfaces, assisted by coil springs, rather than traditional leaf springs. The four-wheel drive system could be disengaged on smoother ground, leaving just the rear wheels engaged, thereby saving fuel and wear on the front drive-shafts, and generally improving performance all round. The 404 series was the most numerous of the Unimog line, and was available as a short or long-wheelbase chassis, with the shorter option phased out at the beginning of the 70s, while the longer wheelbase continued on in service for another decade before it too was retired. The nascent West German Bundeswehr were a major customer, buying substantial quantities of the 404S as a workhorse for their forces, taking on many roles in their service. A total of over 62,000 of the 404S were made over its lengthy production run, with many of them still on and off the roads to this day due to their rugged engineering. The Kit This is a reboxing of the recent tooling from ICM of this Bundeswehr pillar of their transport arm. It arrives in an end-opening box, and inside are five sprues of grey styrene, a small clear sprue, five flexible black tyres, a small decal sheet and a colour printed instruction booklet with decal profiles on the rear pages. Detail is excellent throughout, and includes a full chassis and engine, plus the bodywork and load area, all crisply moulded as we’ve come to expect from ICM. The grille of the vehicle is especially crisp, as are the coil springs on each corner, and the wheels are very well-done with multi-part hubs. Construction begins with the ladder chassis, which is joined together with a series of cylindrical cross-members, plus front and rear beams, the latter braced by diagonal stiffeners to strengthen the area around the towing eye at the rear. The suspension is next, adding an insert to the opposite side of each spring to avoid sink-marks, but care must be taken to align them neatly to minimise clean-up afterwards. Triangular supports for the fuel tanks are added on each side, then attention turns to the six-cylinder Mercedes motor. Beginning with the two-part cylinder block and gearbox, the basic structure is augmented by ancillaries, fan, pulleys and drive-shaft for the front wheels, after which the engine is mated to the chassis and has the long exhaust system installed, adding a muffler insert around the half-way point, and siting another drive-shaft adjacent. Two stamped fuel tanks are each made from two parts, with the forward one having a filler tube and cap glued to the side, sitting on the out-riggers that were fitted to the chassis earlier. The front axle is made up from five parts to capture the complex shape of the assembly, to be installed between the suspension mounts and mated to the forward drive-shaft, plus the stub axles for the front wheels. Two stowage boxes are made for the opposite side of the chassis from the fuel tanks, then the rear axle is made up with similar detail and part count, fitting between the suspension and having larger circular stub-axles that have the drum brakes moulded-in. The front wheels have separate drum brakes, and both front and rear axles are braced with damping struts, while the front axle has a steering arm linking the two wheels together, with more parts linking that to the steering column. With the chassis inverted, the front bumper and its sump guard are fixed to the front, and a curved plaque on the rear cross-member, plus another pair of diagonal bracing struts for the rear axles. Each wheel is made up from a two-part hub that goes together much like a real steel hub, but without the welding, around the flexible black tyres. The front and rear hubs are of different design, so take care inserting them in the correct location. Lastly, the chassis is completed by adding the radiator and its frame at the front of the vehicle. The cab is the first section of the bodywork to be made, starting with the floor, with foot pedals, shaped metalwork around the gearbox cut-out, sidewalls and the internal wheel wells below the floor level. A number of additional parts are glued beneath the floor for later mounting, then the lower cab is built up on the floor, including the front with recessed headlight reflectors; bonnet surround, dashboard with decal, plus various trim panels. The floor is then lowered onto the chassis with several arrows showing where it should meet with the floor, taking care with the radiator. Once in place, the bonnet and more interior trim as installed along with a bunch of stalks between where the seats will be inserted. The seats are made from the basic frame to which the two cushions are fixed, much like the real thing, then mounted inside the cab, followed closely by the two crew doors, which have handles on both sides, and pockets in the interior. They can of course be posed open or closed and there is no glazing to put in, thanks to the cabriolet top. More grab-handles, controls and other small parts are fixed around the dash, and the windscreen with two glazing panels are put in place, with a highly detailed steering wheel that has the individual finger ‘bumps’ on the underside, and for your ease, it’s probably better to put the wheel in before the windscreen is fixed in place. The cab is finished off by adding the cabrio top, which starts with an L-shaped top and rear, to which a small rectangular window and two side sections are added, dropped over the cab when the glue is dry and the seams have been dealt with. The load bed begins with a flat rectangular floor that has engraved planking, plus two longitudinal supports and three lateral beams that takes the weight of the bed once complete. The sides of the load area are stamped with raised and recessed detail, and comprise four parts, one for each side, plus raised side framework, and what looks like a spoiler on two short upstands at the front of the load area. Underneath is a rack for a nicely detailed jerry can, a stowage box or three, and the spare wheel on a dropped C-shaped mount, built in the same manner as the road wheels. The number plate holder is hung under the rear, also holding the rear lights for that side, with another less substantial part on the opposite side. The cab wasn’t quite finished earlier, as the front doesn’t yet have lights. The recessed headlight reflectors should be painted with the brightest metallic you can find before they are covered by the clear lenses and their protective cages, joined slightly outboard by combined side-light/indicator lenses, a choice of two styles of door mirrors, and a pair of windscreen wipers to keep the screen clear. Markings You might guess that most of the decal options are green that is so typical of how I remember the Unimog in West German service. From the box you can build one of these two: Kompanie/PzBH24, Braunschweig, 1961 Kompanie/PzGrenBH82, Lüneburg, 1975 Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion The Unimogs were ubiquitous in Cold War West German army service, so there ought to be a good market for a modern tooling of the type, with many variants out there, and more in due course. Highly recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  21. 75th Anniversary Northrop F-89 Scorpion (05650) 1:48 Carrera Revell The United States Army Air Force issued a specification for a jet interceptor in August of 1945, the same month that WWII ended, and Northrop’s response was a design that started life with swept wings, reverting to straight wings due to the low-speed issues inherent to swept wing configurations. The prototype first flew in 1948, winning the battle with the alternative Curtiss-Wright XP-87, as it was the fastest of the offerings, and by 1950 it was faster still, having more powerful afterburning engines in the belly nacelles, and a great deal of advanced equipment for the time, entering service toward the end of 1950. As was typical of the time, fewer than 20 airframes were built before the -B variant replaced it with improved avionics due to the rapid pace of development in the early jet age, followed by the -C. Four years later, the -D was the main variant in production, which improved radar and avionics further, and dropped cannon armament in favour of unguided rockets, which was part of the blinkered thinking of the era, expecting dogfighting to be a thing of the past in the missile-equipped world. The Scorpion was an all-weather interceptor that was intended to defend the United States in case of incursion by an enemy, with their former WWII ally the Soviet Union at the top of the list. The Scorpion’s name came from the high position of the tail and elevators, which was due to interference with the airflow from the wings, forcing relocation to an ‘elevated’ position. The sharp nose adds to the aggressive look and this had been lengthened by around 3’ early in the evaluation process to accommodate six cannons and a radome to give it more destructive capability along the line of flight. The addition of permanent tip-tanks extended the type’s range, and gave it a distinctive look. The F-89B variant was a problem child, and was withdrawn in 1954, while the following -C variant was also afflicted with issues from introduction in 1951. The -D was also first flown in 1951, demonstrating how fast things were changing, benefitting from experiences and fixing issues that had plagued the early variants, and became the definitive version, recommencing production that had stalled after the earlier problems in 1953. Almost 700 -Ds were built, skipping two variants that didn’t reach the production line, after which the F-89H was created that was easily distinguished from the earlier types by the greatly enlarged tip-tanks, which instead contained an array of weapons. There were three-each of radar and infrared missiles, plus another forty-two unguided FFAR rockets, but the complexity of this arrangement led to delays that ended its career early in 1959, as it was outclassed by the new types that were reaching service. The final variant was the -J, which was essentially a modified -D that had the capability of firing air-to-air nuclear rockets under the wings, firing one during a test in 1957 - what an insane concept! It was also capable of mounting up to four Falcon missiles for offensive operations that didn’t require a mushroom cloud. The Kit This is a 75th Anniversary release of this 1990 tooling to celebrate the formation of the United States Air Force (USAF) as a separate force, although at time of writing it’s closer to 76 years. The kit arrives in an over-sized top-opening box, and inside are four sprues of light grey/green styrene, a clear sprue, large decal sheet and the instruction booklet that is printed in colour, reusing the old black and white drawings that have been updated to the new style. This is a kit from another era of modelling, but even though it has raised panel lines, it is still a well-detailed kit, with plenty of interest in the cockpit, landing gear bays, and throughout the usual areas of interest, with both raised and engraved features. There aren’t a huge number of panel lines on each external surface, so anyone wanting to rescribe wouldn’t be scribing for too long, as there are only eight main parts to rescribe, plus the tip tanks. Why Revell put the model in such a large box is a source of confusion though. It’s not the worst example of box over-kill ever, but it is noticeable, mainly because of the relative weakness of the cardboard that makes the package a little bit too flexible for my liking. That might not sound too serious, but you must bear in mind that if you intend to stash models on top of this box, it won’t take too much weight before collapsing. As this is a gift set, it comes with a selection of acrylic paints in small “thumb pots”, a Revell No.2 paint brush, and a 12.5g bottle of Revell Contacta Professional glue, which is well-liked by many, partially due to the precision metal applicator needle that makes it easy and accurate to use, avoiding wasting glue in the process. Construction begins with the c…. complete fuselage, gluing the two halves together, and applying the nose cone to the forward end, dealing with the seams once the glue is cured. It’s an unusual starting place, but the cockpit can be inserted from the underwing area once it is complete and painted, which is the very next task. The pilot and radar operators have very different ejection seats, the pilot’s having a simple seat that is trapped between the two side frames with another at the rear that includes a simple head cushion. The rear seat has an extended foot-rest moulded into the seat part, adding curved sides and a thicker rear frame at the rear, both seats having moulded-in belts to add some detail. The cockpit tub has the side consoles moulded-in with raised instrument details moulded-in, and accepts the two seats, plus two instrument panels, one for each crew member, adding control column and throttle in the front, and a tiny clear dome in the rear cockpit. The completed cockpit is then inserted from below, aligning the front instrument panel with the coaming moulded into the fuselage. The front faces of the engines are inserted after it, moulded into a carrier to hold them in position, before closing the hole in the underside with an insert after cutting a small section from the rear if appropriate. Once the glue for the insert has cured and any seams been dealt with, the exhausts are made from rear face of the engine plus trunking, which slides into holes in the rear of the fuselage, then has C-shaped deflectors over the top, which were used to assist smoothing airflow over the tail, which had been a problem with the initial design. An auxiliary intake is built from two halves and inserted into a slot in the port rear fuselage, and the intake lips are installed to the front, taking care to test fit and fettle to improve alignment as much as you can. The nose gear bay is moulded into the lower insert, with detail in the roof, but none on the side walls due to limitations in standard injection moulding. This is partly rectified by the bay side walls moulded into the bay doors, which slide down the sides of the bay and give the doors a firm connection to the fuselage. A small clear light is popped into a recess just forward of the bay. The gear leg is a single strut that is inserted into a U-shaped frame, with a retraction strut to the rear, spaced by a jack that gives it a strong triangular base that plugs into the roof of the nose bay. The Scorpion’s wings are relatively short wide assemblies that are made from top and bottom halves, the latter having the gear bays moulded-in, which is really rather nice considering the age of the moulds, which are also very clean and relatively free from flash. Each wing slots into its appropriate fuselage side on a substantial tab, with the instructions advising taping the wings to the correct dihedral, but a jig would be more effective, coupled with checking back to ensure nothing has moved. The gear bays are filled by a straight strut with lateral retraction jack, vertical outer door, and the closed inner door, opening only for deployment/retraction and for maintenance. This is repeated under the opposite wing, then four FFAR rockets are fitted onto the four pairs of carriers moulded into each wing, finishing with the two-part tip tanks that mate via the usual slot and tab method. The elevators are a single part that attaches to the top of the flat lower fin section, trapped in place by the upper fin that has a long tab that passes through the elevators into the moulded-in portion of the fin. Probes are fixed to each side of the fuselage around the intake area, then the windscreen is glued to the front of the cockpit cut-out, placing the canopy behind it, with the option of sliding it back to open it, or forward to portray it closed. Finally, there is a clear rod that you can insert under the rear fuselage if you forgot to add enough weight to the nose during closure of the fuselage, for which the instructions recommend 20g, although a little more won’t hurt, within reason. Markings There are two decal options on the sheet, and it’s any colour you like as long as it’s bare metal. They come from the post-war period where camouflage was no longer a priority, so the schemes were typically bright and with minimal paint over the exterior. Some were painted grey, but the majority had colourful unit-markings at the extremities, with various flamboyant motifs such as lightning bolts and stars to differentiate their squadrons. From the box you can build one of the following: F-89C Scorpion 51-5843, Montana Air National Guard, 186th Fighter-Interceptor Sqn., 120th Fighter Group, Great Falls International Airport, Montana, USA, May 1958 F-89C Scorpion 50-746, 84th Fighter-Interceptor Sqn., Hamilton Air Force Base, California, USA, 1952 Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion A surprisingly well-detailed rebox of this unusual early jet interceptor from the early part of the Cold War, which will doubtless appeal widely, and using the raised panel lines as a guide, re-scribing it shouldn't be a large undertaking. It’s also the only kit available in this scale at time of writing, so qualifies as the best by default. Highly recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  22. ATF Dingo 1 (03345) 1:72 Carrera Revell Engineered and built in the late 90s by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, the Dingo is an early incarnation of a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) type of armoured transport vehicle that was used by the German Bundeswehr from 2000. It has a shallow V-profile keel under the vehicle that deflects blast waves from underneath away from the crew compartment, and while it may sacrifice a few of the four wheel-stations in the process, it should protect the crew from significant injuries in all but the most extreme mine or IED attacks. The ATF part of the name stands for Allschutz-Transport-Fahrzeug, which translates to “All-protection transport vehicle” according to Google. The windows are also angled inward at the top, which increased their effective thickness a little, and reduces the effects of blasts that are rising up the side of the vehicle. The Unimog chassis at the heart of the vehicle is armoured and protected by the keel, rather than using a monocoque build process like many vehicles of the style, creating a strong chassis that is highly resistant to deformation by explosions. It is lighter than many vehicles of its type, some of which is accounted for by the fabric-covered load area at the rear, rather than using heavy metal armour to protect non-essential equipment. The vehicle was originally equipped with a 7.62mm machine gun in a turret on the roof, but since 2008 there have been remote weapons stations retro-fitted to further protect the crew from harm when using the weapon, without adding any armour and bullet-resistant glass weight to screen a human crew member operating a turret. The Dingo 2 is a development of the original Dingo, with an extended chassis from the Unimog U5000 that offers improved protection for the crew and can carry more equipment, up to four tonnes for the longer wheelbase variant. There are hundreds of both versions in service around the world besides the variants that are used by the German military and police force. Germany has sent 50 Dingo 1s to Ukraine to help them with the defence of their nation against the invaders. The Kit This is a reboxing of Revell’s 2005 tooling of this MRAP Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC), and it arrives in a small end-opening box with a painting of the type on the front. Inside are three sprues in light grey/green styrene, plus a clear sprue, decal sheet and instruction booklet printed in colour, with painting and markings profiles on the rear pages. Detail is good for the scale, including the driving crew’s cab, a tilt for the rear compartment, and the underside of the chassis and its keel. Construction begins by adding the front and rear suspension units to the chassis, with moulded-in axles and drive-shafts, fitting a steering arm between the hubs of the front axle. The exhaust is threaded through the chassis and axles, mating to a two-part muffler at the rear of the vehicle along with a C-shaped bar, rear bumper and shield-shaped convoy light with a decal depicting the white cross that helps illuminate the rear of the vehicle for the vehicle behind. Another bumper and protective sump guard are fitted at the front of the chassis, then the four wheels are built from halves, one for each corner. The floor has a sloped form added under the rear before it is glued to the chassis, allowing installation of the dashboard on its central console, the short gear lever, and steering wheel, followed by two seats in the front, and another three in the rear, all on short bases that are moulded into the floor. The hull sides are prepared with their trapezoid windows from the insides, then they are glued to the sides of the floor, adding a bulkhead behind the rear crew, and another two-part bulkhead at the rear of the vehicle that has the light clusters moulded-in. The roof has the windscreen frame moulded-in, and the armoured windscreen is inserted from within, then glued in place over the crew cab. There’s no engine included in this model, building up the bonnet by applying the front wings, bonnet, and the grille, then flipping the model over onto its back to install the keel under the centre of the vehicle, and a pair of mudguards at the rear. Two pairs of crew steps are mounted on a tubular bracket that fit into recesses in the keel, with a scrap diagram showing the correct angle that they should be fitted, adding another rod across the rear of the chassis. The tilt for the rear load area is supplied as a single part that has creases moulded-in, but they are perhaps a little severe for some, and would benefit from being softened by using a sanding sponge, then fixing an aerial base on the right rear corner. Two large wing mirrors slot into recesses on the front door frames, installing the turret ring to the hole in the roof and posing the hatch open or closed. A gun mount is fitted between the two trunnions at the front of the ring, with a choice of MG3 machine gun, Mark.19 grenade launcher, or a Browning .50cal, each with its own magazine style. The MG3 and Browning have box mags of differing sizes, and the grenade launcher has a more substantial pair of linked drum magazine feeding it 40mm grenades that it fires at almost machine gun speeds. Markings There are three decal options on the small sheet, and there’s a lot of green involved. From the box you can build one of the following: 2.Kp/TF1 Zur, KFOR, Prizren, Kosovo, 2001 Task Force Fox “Essential Harvest” Macedonia, 2003 ISAF Camp Warehouse, Afghanistan, 2005 Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion A long overdue re-release of this compact MRAP from Germany. It’s got decent detail and clear parts, although a little flash has crept into the latter, but that’s the work of moments to remove with a sharp knife and sanding stick. Highly recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  23. Airbus A300-600ST Beluga (03817) 1:144 Carrera Revell The Beluga is an aircraft that’s close to my heart, as it frequently flies near or even over my home on its way to and from the Airbus factory at Hawarden, Chester. The fleet has recently been augmented by a larger and more advanced aircraft that is based on the Airbus A330, and is called the BelugaXL that brings a 30% increase in capacity, which also wears a distinctive mouth and eyes of its namesake whale around the nose area and cockpit. The Beluga as it is now known was originally called the Super Transporter, which is where the ST part of its nomenclature originates, and it was designed to transport over-sized components, typically the wings of the now discontinued A380, as well as many other large airframe assemblies that can include fuselages of smaller Airbus products on an ongoing basis. It replaced the ageing turbo-prop powered Super Guppies in 1995, with a fleet of five airframes carrying out their duties ever since. With the XL fleet now coming on stream at a rate of one per year, the Airbus operating company have extended their services to the wider transport world for outsized cargo to hopefully utilise excess capability, and possibly to take over loads that were previously carried by the sadly destroyed Antonov An.225 Mrija that was callously destroyed by the invaders of Ukraine. Although the Beluga’s cargo area is larger even than the legendary C-5 Galaxy, its load is limited to a comparatively low 47 tonnes, which is less than half to a third of its major competitors, although 47 tonnes is still a huge weight, especially if it’s on your foot. The BelugaXL is intended to replace the Beluga fleet in due course, with an original date of 2025, but as of 2023 they are still running side-by-side, with a slight difference in the howling take-off run letting us know which one is leaving Hawarden around 10 miles away. Cargo is loaded at the front via a portion of the fuselage above the nose raising toward the vertical while the low-mounted pressurised cockpit remains in position, giving the crew an excellent view of the runway during landing and take-off, without complicating the door’s mechanism or necessitating the evacuation of the crew during loading. The lower portion of the aircraft remains close to the standard A300, the major differences above the line where you would expect the windows to be, bulging out to accommodate the cargo it has been tasked with over the last 30+ years, and the introduction of the Beluga has reduced Airbus’s transport costs by a third, which is a substantial saving over the years. The production of the XL fleet is proceeding apace, the last of them rolling out onto the tarmac in the summer of 2023, with the original intention of drawing down the Belugas, which hasn’t completed yet at time of writing. When they do leave service, they will still have life left in them, and will be used by Airbus Beluga Transport (AiBT) for use carrying general oversized freight around the world. The Kit This is a reboxing of Revell’s 1997 kit, and is of course the only kit of the type in this scale. The kit arrives in a long end-opening box, and inside are five sprues of white styrene, a small open-sided clear sprue, a large decal sheet and the instructions printed in colour, with profiles for decals and markings on the back pages. Although the tooling is 25 years old now, detail is good, although some of the panel lines on the large cylindrical cargo area could be considered a little deep, but after primer and a few coats of paint they should reduce somewhat. Construction begins with the nose gear bay, which is moulded as a single part with a little detail inside, plus two ejector-pin marks that should be hidden beneath the substantial pivot-point that is mated with the lower portion of the strut, through which the twin wheels, one with moulded-in axle are slotted and glued. A long retraction jack locates into cups in the bay roof, and is joined to the leg around half way, painting everything in preparation for insertion under the cockpit. The fuselage halves have cut-lines for the cargo door thinned out from within, which is a nice feature, but that then puts the onus on the builder to create the interior, but no mention of this is made until the very end of the instructions. The windscreen is inserted into the port fuselage half along with the nose gear bay, then the two fuselage halves are mated, glued and taped in position while the glue cures. Underneath are a pair of fairings with NACA vents moulded-in, which fit into recesses in the fuselage halves, and those are best inserted once the fuselage halves have had their seams dealt with to your satisfaction, as there are some undulations near the edges in places. The elevators of the Beluga are made from top and bottom halves, and have their vertical surfaces made up from inner and outer faces, mating on a shallow peg that would suggest their installation would be best done after they are joined to the fuselage so that their alignment can be checked and corrected if necessary. Plugging the finished assemblies into the tail, attention shifts to the wings, which have a gear bay detail insert glued to the interior of the upper half before joining the lower, and Revell’s instructions show a clothes peg approaching the assembly menacingly from below. Use any clamps you wish however, and please don’t have nightmares. Once both wings are made, they each have five flap actuator fairings pinned in place, and a wingtip inserted in the open end, which has a little winglet at the rear of the fairing. The wings can then be plugged into each side of the fuselage on three substantial pegs, one of which is the inner end of the gear bay insert. Careful alignment of the wings is crucial, so it is wise to check and support the wings just in case one or both moves during the curing period of whatever glue you use. While you wait, the twin GE CF6-80C2A8 (catchy name!) turbofan engines are built up by fitting the front face, rear face and bullet parts within one half of the engine cowling before closing and gluing it, painting the components before it is put together. The pylons are moulded into the engine cowlings, and these are fixed to the underwing on a pair of pins, again taking care with alignment so they both hang correctly in relation to the ground. The two main gear legs are built up identically in mirror image, adding a retraction jack to the strut, followed by a pair of brake assemblies on a carrier linkage, then sliding two wheels with integral axles through the brakes and gluing the other wheels to the other side. These are inserted into the bay on three pegs, and have the bay door cut into two sections and glued in place on the outer edge of the bay. The nose gear was completed earlier, and has its bay door part cut in half for installation on each side of the bay. At this point, we find out that the model can also be completed in-flight by omitting the nose gear and main gear assemblies, placing the bay doors into the cut-outs without cutting them in half, however the nose gear doors will need the hinges cutting off so they will fit. Four small probes are glued over engraved marks under the nose, adding wingtip lights, plus a pair of position lights under the belly and on the top of the fuselage. Finally, the optional opened load area is dealt with, attaching the cut sections, now glued together, to the top of the open front by an angled connector that is glued in position. Then two arms are mounted on the pins moulded on either side of the cut-line, and in the next step a large insert is slid into the fuselage, but this isn’t on the sprues, which makes one wonder whether it was originally intended to be a styrene part. The modeller is told to visit step 37, where two drawings that show a pattern for the floor and rear bulkhead are to be used, an icon showing that a cutting motion is taking place. There are a line of small circular turrets to support the floor on each side of the fuselage interior, but they don’t offer a lot of support, so it may be wise to increase that by adding more material, and whilst doing that there are several ejector-pin marks inside the fuselage halves that you could also obliterate. Whether you use sheet styrene or cardboard is entirely up to you, and then you must decide whether to also detail the interior of the fuselage with ribbing and ancillary equipment, or depict it in the process of disgorging its cargo, thereby hiding the emptiness of the interior. That’s a fun question to ask yourself. Markings All five Belugas wear the same scheme, with a blue stripe up the rear of the fuselage and tailfin with stylised arcs in different shades of blue on the fin itself, the Airbus and Beluga names on the sides, whilst the only differentiating markings are the numbers on the front of their cargo doors, and their civil registration numbers. Only airframes 1, 2 and 3 are depicted on the sheet, so from the box you can build the following: Number 1 TA F-GSTA Number 2 TB F-GSTB Number 3 TC F-GSTC Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. There are also blue wingtip decals included on the sheet, with a spare in one corner, plus a triangular piece of blue decal to help with any gaps between the stripe decals, which are made from four parts, two per side. Conclusion There’s a ready audience for the Beluga, as it is an unusual-looking aircraft, and that is possibly about to increase if they are being drawn down from service. Whether we’ll see them back on the shelves in an AiBT livery remains to be seen, but it is a good time to pick one up with the official Airbus scheme, just in case it’s a while before it is back. Highly recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  24. Mercedes-Benz Unimog U1300L TLF 8/18 (07512) 1:24 Carrera Revell The Unimog U1300L is based on the 435 chassis, although the original U1300 was built on the different 425, and sibling the 1700L is also based upon the 435. It was introduced as a specialist fire engine for the German Fire Service and the Bundeswehr staring in 1975, and by the time it was retired in 1987, under a thousand U1300 and over 21,000 U1300L has been produced. The L variant used the enhanced 435 chassis and has a more powerful engine to improve its traction and load-carrying capabilities, with a choice of two lengths within the designation, driven from the rear wheels with selectable four-wheel drive for rough or muddy terrain. A straight six-cylinder diesel engine provides the power, sometimes with a turbocharger, and that power is put down through two or four wheels via an eight-speed gearbox that gives it a top speed of just under 70mph for an empty vehicle. Speaking of load, it can carry up to 1,800 litres of fire-fighting water supply to make a start on remote fires, and has a capacious load area that can be stacked with fire-fighting equipment and supplies, accessing them via large lift-and-retract doors on the sides and rear of the vehicle, a fenced-off roof area for more equipment and a ladder, and seating in the cab for three crew. The roof of the cab is the location for the blue flashers and the siren horn, with a movable search-light at the top of a post on the bonnet, as fires don’t just happen during daylight hours, although they do bring some of their own illumination. It was replaced by a 437 based truck that is still in service today. Incidentally that same chassis is also the basis for the Dingo 2 MRAP Armoured Vehicle. The Kit This kit is a reboxing of a kit from Revell that was first released in 1985, with new parts being added during the remainder of the 80s. The kit arrives in a large end-opening box with a painting of the kit in front of a burning building of some type, with a few fire-fighters seen in the background in their hi-viz protective gear and helmets. Inside the box are five sprues in styrene, two in red, one each in silver, black and white, plus a clear sprue, four flexible black tyres, a small piece of widely spaced mesh, a large decal sheet, and the instruction booklet that is printed in colour with profiles at the rear for the marking options. It is of course a product of its time, but still has some good detail where it counts, although there are a few moulded-in tools that would have benefitted from separate parts when looking at it from a modern perspective. There isn’t any mould damage visible, and a tiny amount of flash is relegated to the sprue runners, so shouldn’t be an issue. Note: The red sprue photos have been processed to reveal more of the detail, as they were a little bright. Construction begins with something you wouldn’t necessarily expect of a kit from the 80s, which is an engine. The big inline block is built from two halves and includes the sump, adding the serpentine belts with alternator to the front, and a depiction of the turbo on the left side. The chassis is moulded as a single large part, adding some ancillaries, the engine, drive-shaft, transfer box with additional drive-shafts moulded-in, and the exhaust muffler with exit pipe and feeder pipe that links to the engine in the front. The front suspension mounts are each made from two-part springs with rubber covers and connections on the bottom that accepts the seven-part front axle with pivoting hubs that have brake discs and callipers moulded-in. Additional struts, dampers and anti-roll bars are fixed to the axle, and a steering linkage ensures that the two hubs move in unison, providing you haven’t overdone the glue on the pivots. The rear axle is supported by another pair of covered springs, but its assembly is more complex and rugged to support the weight of the rear of the vehicle. The two assemblies are slipped over a transverse beam near the rear of the chassis, then the four-part rear axle is fitted, with two cross-braces, dampers, anti-roll bars and ancillaries layered over it. Two hydraulic reservoirs and their hoses join them together, then the assembly is attached to the chassis just forward of the rear axle, with more parts around them, adding fuel tank, foot-steps, stowage boxes and a rear cross-beam with towing shackle and reversing lights, one on the beam, the other on a bracket to the side. The vehicle’s wheels are each made from two hub halves that hide a mushroom pin to attach to the axle, and a rubber tyre is slipped over the completed hub, all of which requires no glue. The cab is a single part that is created via sliding moulds to produce all four sides in one part including detail, minus the doors and windows, with a pair of support beams that must be nipped off from the door openings, ready for the installation of the doors later. The two seats are moulded from two parts each, consisting of the upper pencil-quilted portion, and the base with integrated rails, one seating two on a wider cushion, while the driver gets his own individual seat. The cab floor is detailed with foot pedals, gear and drive shifting levers added to the centre, and the dash perched atop the centre console, applying four decals over the painted part before it is installed. The seats are mounted on the rear of the floor, the steering wheel and column are inserted, and another two decals are applied to the ends of the dash panel. Starting with the cab body inverted, the front grille is fixed under the bonnet, the windscreen slips in from inside, and a rear-view mirror is added to the centre, then building up the doors with door cards, fixed quarter-light, and a three-part hinge that is selectively glued so they remain mobile. They are glued at the front edge by the hinges, taping them into position until the glue dries. The cab is then lowered over the interior, adding a detail insert with ribbed roof and circular panel over the recessed top. The details are then applied, including the siren horn, a three-spoked circular part, and the blue lights on the front corners of the roof. Two small panels over the front wheels are inserted on the sides, with arches mounted on pegs from below. The load area is a complex assembly, starting with the partially tread-plated floor, adding four sides, taking care to mount the floor above the supporting lip inside each face. The internal dividers create four compartments, with moulded-in equipment, some of which are surprisingly deeply recessed to add realism, with a few that aren’t quite so good. Additional equipment, including rolled-up hoses, a simple cot, and the two up-and-over doors are inserted into the visible compartments on the right side, then some more details are added. This includes fire extinguisher, manifolds, nozzle, another hose, and a trio of yellow containers, which are fitted under the moulded-in hose racks, one of the more impressive moulded-in portions of the interior. The roof is fitted, and each side is edged by a length or double railings, fixing an extending five-part ladder into position along one side, and a vertical roof ladder that is moulded from vertical and horizontal sections, plus two mounts that fit on pins to the back of the vehicle and extends onto the roof for ease of access. The rear light cluster has clear lenses, hanging on a single stalk under the back of the vehicle, joined by a pair of lollipop reflectors on the corners, and number plate with light on the left side. Turning the body over, supports and pivots are inserted into location guides, then are joined by four mudguard halves, which will help when gluing the body on the rear of the chassis, adding the cab to the front, then making up the front bumper, which has the reflectors moulded-in for the running lights, fitting clear lenses over the top, and cutting two pieces of the supplied mesh to 7mm x 14mm to act as their protective cages. The vehicle is essentially complete, although the cab exterior needs detailing, adding the two wing-mirrors on large C-shaped mounts, the searchlight with clear lens on the scuttle in front of the windscreen, a pair of separate wipers, two grab-handles for access to the bonnet area, and two contoured clear indicators that should be painted clear orange. Markings There are a surprising eight decal options included on the sheet, but you’d be safe in guessing that the predominant colour is red. There are however TWO different reds, depending on which option you choose, so make your choice early, as you will have to apply some red paint to the exterior during the building process. From the box you can build one of the following: Trier, Germany Bad Oeynhausen, Germany Höxter, Germany Braunschweig, Germany Venlo, Netherlands Salzburg, Austria Switzerland, Altstätten Hasselt, Belgium Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion It’s an older kit, but it checks out. With careful painting and detailing, this should build up into a creditable replica of this workman-like fire-engine that saw extensive service in Germany and Europe. Highly recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  25. Panzerhaubitze 2000 (03347) 1:72 Carrera Revell The PzH2000 is Germany's self-propelled howitzer, and has some impressive stats at its disposal, especially the rate of fire, which in burst mode can fire up to three rounds in 9 seconds. Don't you just love the name "burst mode"? For sustained fire, it can fire between 10-13 rounds per minute, although with a suggested maximum of 100 rounds per day, that won’t mean 24/7 bombardment. It is also accurate out way beyond 40km, and has plenty of advanced features that allow it to land multiple rounds on a target at the same time by altering the trajectory of each subsequent round to shorten the flight time, leading to simultaneous arrival. The main gun is a 155mm unit designed and made by Rheinmetall, and is highly advanced with separate charge and ammunition packages allowing for tuning of the round in the barrel, all of which is done automatically by the auto-loader mechanism. A new gun that is in prototype at time of writing has already extended the effective range of the gun even further to in excess of 67km, and they are hoping to increase that further to 75km by the end of testing. The crew are well protected from counter-attack, even though the vehicles by their nature are usually some way behind friendly lines due to their long reach. In conflicts such as Afghanistan, where it first saw action with the Dutch, the boundaries of engagement aren't fixed, so additional armour has been added to the roof of the turret to protect it from mortar rounds. A few issues were reported based on its use in Afghanistan due to heat and cold problems affecting the gun's operation at extremes of temperature, but these have been addressed in subsequent upgrades. Some PzH2000s have been used in Ukraine, provided by Germany, the balance coming from the Netherlands’ stock. They have seen extensive activity there, firing well in excess of their recommended 100 shells a day, which has resulted in stress and degradation of the auto-load systems, and those have needed to be repaired, with additional attritional replacements being supplied in the meantime, increasing the overall numbers in-theatre over the period of the conflict so far. As a consequence of their active service, the barrels that were rated for 4,500 rounds before replacement have been found to be lasting far longer, some reaching 20,000 rounds before they were replaced. The Kit This is a reboxing of Revell’s 2001 kit of the type, arriving in a small end-opening box, containing four sprues of grey styrene, decal sheet and colour-printed instruction booklet that has profiles for the decal options on the back pages. The detail of the kit is good for the age and scale, showing neither mould wear nor flash, with crisp moulding, plenty of detail, plus raised and recessed features where it matters most. Construction begins with the assembly of the lower hull from the base structure, which is detailed with a pair of sides that have the suspension arms and other detail moulded-in. The fourteen paired road wheels, twin idler wheels and two-part drive sprockets are made up and fitted onto the stub axles on the hull sides, adding two of the four return rollers on the outboard positions, the inner two being moulded into the hull sides. The tracks are link-and-length, with two long runs top and bottom, short runs on the two diagonals, and ten individual links that accomplish the curves around the ends of the track runs on both sides. A scrap diagram shows the colours suitable for the steel track links and their rubber pads to assist with painting. The upper hull is made from the deck with moulded-in glacis plate, plus the two side panels, after which the two hull halves are mated, and the rear bulkhead with moulded-in access doors is inserted into the space on the back of the vehicle. There is a choice of where to locate a beam on the vehicle, either on the right side or across the glacis plate, fitting a shallow box on the left side of the hull. The rear bulkhead is completed by adding hooks, towing shackles and other small parts to it, then filling the void at the rear of the sponsons with inserts that have detail engraved that include light clusters and the doors for stowage boxes inside the sponsons. The skirts slip into position on the hull sides, then the front of the vehicle is outfitted with light clusters and their cages, towing shackles, and a pair of warning lights that are painted red for operation on civilian roads, finished off with a pair of wing mirrors, one each side. The hull is finished off with a towing cable that is mounted around the side and rear of the turret perimeter, placing a pair of track links on the deck, plus the driver’s hatch and armoured vision-block covers on the front right. The massive turret is made from a curved roof/sides that is mounted on the floor, and closed at the rear by a semi-circular bulkhead, adding three hatch-tops and a warning flasher to the top and rear, the most forward hatch also getting a machine gun ring for an MG3 with moulded-in pintle-mount, and a rail on the right-most hatch that is fitted at an angle. The pivot-point for the main gun is built from two halves two plus additional detail parts, then the front of the turret is detailed with a four-part mesh stowage position with a small panel and bracket above it on the right, and a tapering louvred panel on the left cheek. The barrel is moulded in two halves, and once complete is inserted into the breech/pivot on a keyed lug, then the assembly is clipped into position without glue inside the turret. The mantlet has four-barrel smoke grenade launchers on each side, and this is then slid over the barrel to cover the pivot drum, the interior of which isn’t meant to be accurate, just functional. A pair of aerials are made from stretched sprue and glued to the rear of the turret roof, and the turret is locked into position by lining up the bayonet lugs and rotating it to the front. An optional travel-lock for the barrel can be installed on the front deck, illustrated by two diagrams and a front elevation that notes that the centre of the lock is 16mm from the left side of the raised guides. Markings There are two decal options on the sheet, one in German service, the other in Ukrainian wartime service in 2022. From the box you can build one of the following: Batterie/Panzerartillerielehrbataillon 325 Muster 2011/2012 Ukraine/Ukrainian Army 2022 Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin satin carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion This is a reboxing of a very nicely detailed model, especially when you consider the tooling is now over 20 years old. The decals have been updated to reflect a more recent user of the type too, which will appeal. Highly recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
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