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  1. So folks with the M113 rapidly coming to an end I thought I'd let you all in on the next project. Undecided on the scheme but it might be the NATO 3 colour jobbie ? The beautifully done Master MG-42, this will be a modern MG-3 though. Expensive but worth it And a couple of crew figures It will be a few days before I cut plastic on this one. Regards Dan
  2. Hi Pals, A small diorama with my last tank, a Takom Chieftain MK2, inspired by the kit's boxart and some photo of the real model. I add a link to the RTI, and another to the WIP, in case there is anyone interested in seeing more photos, with the model alone. Thanks for watch and comments. Cheers mates.
  3. Latest tank to go out of my father's confinement factory . Slightly touched up by me prior to photographing. A kit bought in this year's only model exhibition here in Malta before everything was cancelled due to the pandemic. Just for 5 €. A nice kit, with lots of photoetched (a bit too many, for our taste) and wonderful rubber tracks and moving wheels that allows smooth movement. To photograph this in the wilderness was an odyssey, trying to find somewhere remotely similar to Finland in the middle of the Maltese summer. After walking for hours on end, we decided for a small spot in a dried up stream under one of the only woods on the island, and we emptied a whole water bottle to moisture a bit the environment. I love that the kit depicts a version of a minor country, I am tired of seeing Russian, German and American AFVs coping everything on the market. Made happily OOB.
  4. Mikoyan Mig-25PD Foxbat-E (48903) 1:48 ICM In an attempt to fulfil the perceived need for a supersonic interceptor that could take off, climb to height and attack an incoming bomber stream, which at the time was the most efficient method for delivering the newly invented nuclear warheads, The Mig-25 Foxbat was created. It managed the job to a certain extent, but as it never truly achieved its goals, it was left to its successor the Mig-31 Foxhound before the task was handled competently, by which time the role of ICBMs was about to make the primary role redundant. The Mig-25's inadequacies were hidden from the West however, until the famous defection of a Soviet pilot to an airfield in Japan revealed that the Foxbat wasn't as high-tech and all-conquering as we had been led to believe, having many steel parts instead of the high-tech alloys that the investigators were expecting. The prototype flew in 1964, and was constructed primarily of stainless steel, and reached service at the turn of the decade, although it had been seen before that, both in reconnaissance photos of the West, as well as at some parades. The West assumed that the large wing was to aid manoeuvrability, when in fact it was a necessity due to the aircraft's enormous weight, which made it fast, but changing direction was a chore due to all that momentum wanting to carry on in the direction it was travelling. It was also lacking in the avionics department, especially in one crucial aspect. It had no credible capability for targeting aircraft that were lower than itself, which coincided with the change in tactics to low level attack by the Western Allies, so a lack of a useful look-down/shoot-down capability was a serious deficiency. Nevertheless, several hundred were made, with the last one rolling off the production line in 1984 with a number of export orders into the bargain. The PD was the second iteration of the P interceptor, having improved engines, ability to carry R-60 missiles, and a more efficient Pulse-Doppler radar for basic look-down-shoot-down capability, which was later coupled with an infrared sensor under the nose. NATO gave it the Foxbat-E designation, which was also extended to the PDS, which were original P airframes that were later brought up to the PD standard. Although it suffered from some serious deficiencies, it held a number of speed and altitude records, and was theoretically capable of Mach 3, so could give an SR-71 a run for its money, probably at the expense of significant damage to its engines however. Attempts to improve the Foxbat were unsuccessful, and the Foxhound was its eventual replacement, and delivered everything that was expected of its forebear, staying in service until it is replaced by the Pak-Fa at some point in the near future. The Kit Since the release of the reconnaissance based RBT in Q1 and RB in Q3 of 2017, ICM are now releasing the interceptors, and we hope (well I do anyway), eventually the trainers, which relies of course on us all getting lots of the other marques, so what're you waiting for? Now the Revell/Monogram kit has been put out to pasture, we can delight in these kits from ICM that have given us a new level of detail and accuracy from the days of the Cold War when things had to be guessed at. The box is the same size and style as the other releases, although this time my review sample lid was almost destroyed due to it being such a tight fit on the box lower. I managed to get it off eventually, but it's a struggle every time. This is a revised tooling from the original, with four shared sprues and three new ones in grey styrene, the same clear sprue, and of course a different set of markings for the decal options, with the same stencils on a separate sheet. The instruction booklet is also different, and shows which parts aren't needed in this boxing, thankfully including the clear dials for the instrument panel, which I never quite understood the need for when you have a paint over it to depict the dials and the rest of the panel. Sharing much of the sprues of the original it has excellent detail, with lots of this apparent on the outer skin, as well as the new single part styrene instrument panel part that has a decal on the main sheet providing all the instrument faces. Good news! The build sequence is almost identical too, but as well as a new nose for this Interceptor (sporting the IR sensor with tracking facility), there is also the new instrument panel as mentioned above, and some slight changes to the exhausts. The biggest difference however is the inclusion of weapons! These are supplied on two of the new identical sprues, containing a quartet of R-60 Aphid Air-to-Air (A2A) missiles that can be fitted to the outer pylons for short-range fighting, and four R-40 Acrid long range A2A missiles, two of each of the Semi-Active Radar and Infrared homing varieties. These are usually fired in pairs with the Infrared missile first and the Radar missile second, to avoid confusing the former with the latter's heat signature. If the R-60s were carried on the outer rails, this reduced the Foxbat's long range capability to a one-shot deal, with only shorter range R-60 missiles left at its disposal. The Syrians claim to have shot down an Israeli F-15, but this was never confirmed for many reasons, some of which were political, some not. A US F-18 was shot down in the early part of Desert Storm by an Iraqi Mig-25, presumably not one of the ones they found buried after the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime. Markings There are four decal options included in the box, two from the Soviet Union and one each from Libya and Iraq. As mentioned earlier, the markings are on one sheet with the instrument panel decals, while the copious quantities of stencils for the airframe and missiles are on the other. Decals are printed anonymously, and have good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. From the box you can build one of the following: Mig-25PDS 146th Guard Fighter Regiment, Vasilikov 1989 – marked Blue 56 with 60 years celebration scroll on the intakes. Mig-25PD Soviet Air Force, 1986 – marked Red 17. Mig-25PD Iraqi Air Force, late 80s – Arabic code on the nose, Iraqi flag on the tail. Mig-25PD Libyan Air Force, 90s – Coded 6716. Conclusion It's nice to have the fighter (read interceptor) variants reaching us now, as although recce is an important task for any air force, the aircraft with the missiles and bombs are just that bit cooler to many. Another sterling effort from ICM who are now the kings of Mig-25 in 1:48. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  5. Better late than never! NATO forces are being bolstered by forward deployed recon birds in W. Germany, based out of Bremgarten Air Base near Freiburg. Due to the fairly limited time, this will be a largely OoB build. At this time I will likely be building RF-4E 35+23.
  6. Hi Pals, I have finished the model, along with its base. A well detailed OOB kit and easy to assemble, with the exception of the tracks, which are very laborious, although not particularly difficult. I added some small extra bit, such as the headlight wires, and the rearview mirror rods, and the strips of the barrel's thermal sleeve straps, as well as a pair of antennas. The only thing that could have focused better, is the behavior of the bogies of the undercarriage, when climbing the vehicle on the slope, although it is not too steep, and the solution was, or take off parts (too risky), or lay it flat on the terrain, but I prefer as it looks ... and that is that at first, I didn't think about making a base ... I wrote it down for a next occasion ... I have had a lot of work with the photos, because although I have the means to do them quite well, the backgrounds are a real headache to get them to have a pure color, either white or black. As far as I can tell, you have to do post-process, that is, some software to use (Photoshop). There are different series of photos, with different background color, different lighting, and different post-process. I include some photos of the real model that have inspired me, and to see how much I approached the real model. I will indicate a small comment in each series. The main thing for me, when making them, is that the color of the model does not change, and if it does, the minimum possible, because the one that has, for better or worse, is the one that I want to show. Thank you very much everyone for taking time to watch, comment and suggest improvements. Until the next model and Cheers. Set of black background, with two lights, and white / black Photoshop setting. Set of White background, with a lights, and brightness adjustment with Photoshop. Set of White background, with two lights, and brightness adjustment with Photoshop. Set whit diorame, and white background, with two lights, and brightness adjustment with Photoshop. Black background, with two lights, and brightness adjustment with Photoshop. Real photos of the model and box art, for inspiration ...
  7. USAF MD-1 Towbar Early & Late (191548 & 191648) 1:48 VideoAviation Our friends at VideoAviation specialise in accessories for our aircraft models such as ground-handling gear and weapons sets. These two sets from them depict the two versions of the USAF’s trusty MD-1 Towbar that debuted in the 80s and is still in use today. The original design was updated to improve the operation of the transport wheels by adding an additional damper and wider wheels and tyres, presumably to improve its handling during transport to and from the apron. Both sets contain many of the same parts and arrive in a clear clamshell with a card front and instructions behind, plus the resin parts behind in a ziplok bag for safety and cushioning. The clamp/hitch that attaches to the nose-gear are first to be made up, and they are the same for each variant, consisting of a wide Y-shaped bracket with two fingers that wind in and out on a worm-screw that’s hand-cranked from one end. This attaches to one end of the bar, and at the join between the two halves of that the two suspension arms and their wheels are added. The modern version has wider, smaller wheels and additional pair of arms that stand up and attach to the damper with the other end slotted into an additional bracket clamped over the bar. The towing eye slots into the hollow end of the bar, and has a wire that you shape by using the included jig (bottom left & right in the photo) and slip into the base of the eye. Scrap diagrams show the wheels in both transport and towing positions, and you are told to paint the finished piece in green or grey depending on the era or your references. Conclusion Great for dioramas either in the foreground or as background clutter, with a choice of two types depending on when your model is in time. Casting is excellent as we’ve come to expect from VideoAviation, and it’s also available in 1:32, which we reviewed a while back here. Highly recommended. MD-1 Towbar Early (191548) MD-1 Towbar Late (191648) Review sample courtesy of
  8. After a lot of help from fellow modellers on this site through this thread I now have enough information to at least start a build. In fact I am going to build two AV-8C's, One as a normal service machine and the other as 719 operated by NASA So let's post an out of focus picture so show what I am starting with Hopefully some progress pictures later today, mayby not as I am not the fastest builder in the world Gondor
  9. I thought it was when I cut up a Vulcan to convert it to a Vulcan B.1a was when I had officially lost it, but wow.... I have built a second 1/72 Victor (much better than my first I think!) and am planning to buy a K.2 next to put on that lovely hemp scheme, after that I'll probably get around to a camouflage aircraft (perhaps by then there'll be a conversion set for the Airfix kit to make a BK.1a!). Not only have I built another of these, I also used Air Graphics' conversion set to convert this to a Victor B.Mk.2 at the very beginning of its service life, this is XM718 which I think was the final Victor built and left the factory with the later drooped leading edges on the outer wing rather than leading flaps. Anyway, my ramblings aside, here is my second Airfix Victor B.Mk.2: I particularly like his image from the front, probably the angle the Victor looks best from. Another great angle to view this aircraft from. The flaps and airbrakes are deployed, which isn't right for a parked aircraft but perhaps they were testing them or showing off the aircraft? Imagination needed there a bit. The awesome airbrake assembly of the Victor. It's one of my favourite parts of the aircraft, I'd love an airbrake door from one on my wall but they're quite big and I imagine quite rare to find. If XH673 is scrapped (I feel very strongly about how that aircraft should be saved!) I might go after one from that.... I imagine they'll sell off all sorts of bits, I can only dream... I'd still rather the full thing to to a good home though! And the underside, I don't think the weathering is that bad on here at all. I will admit, there's one spot I need to work on at the rear of the bomb bay where I'm still repairing the paint after a crack opened up between the fuselage halves. Bomb bay is open, the part at the front is held on my friction only so I can put on the closed bomb bay part if I so wish (and if I could find it!) which is also held on by friction alone, clever engineering from Airfix to be able to do that. And now with my other Victor I've said so much about Now having finished the model I think adding the extra intake vanes was an improvement aesthetically Here's where I used the resin APU intake (less than perfectly blended in) showing the difference between the original B.Mk.2 APU intake (XM718) and the B.Mk.2R (and later) APU intake (XL512) And my three Victors together Some pictures of my other Victors on their own: Mikromir 1/144 Victor B.1, XA940 Through a filter which I think is closer to how the model actually looks And my first Victor, also Airfix's Victor B.Mk.2R (built out the box that time), XL512. I need to replace the IFR probe on this which I snapped a few months ago (part of the motivation for doing the conversion on my second one of the kit was to end up with a spare, aside from the fact that I really really like early Victor B.Mk.2s)
  10. Last minute entry from me. I'm hoping it shouldn't be too much trouble as the kit is missing decals. But I've gotten from a reliable source that they sometimes went out w/o any markings on them...so we'll go with that. k 1:350 Mikr Mir Sturgeon Class (short hull) Nuclear Attack Sub Now off to get the rental car so I can get to work this week, then I'll see if I can get this one knocked out.
  11. Having heard about this GB from Dermo245 I hope you don't mind if I throw my hat in the ring with a couple of cold war classics, First up will be a de Havilland Vampire FB.5 (F217) along side a Hawker Hunter FGA.9 (bagged Novo version of F204) A few sprue shots to get started... I plan to use some of my stash of old Modeldecal sets for the markings. Thanks for looking.
  12. What is the best MiG-19 kit in 1/72nd scale? I know of the old Heller and KP kits, and Mastercraft do one. Are there any others? I'm specifically looking for the cannon-armed version, as opposed to the missiles-only version. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you! Best Regards, Jason P.S. This is an aeroplane that cries out for a new-mould kit. Airfix? Zvezda? Anyone?
  13. Having completed a Special hobby F-86H last year, and a hybrid CAC Avon Sabre last week (see below), this in theory gives me more time to work on the 1/72 Sedbergh glider ..................... however I'm already suffering Sabre withdrawal, so need to get another underway. RFI's for both can be found on here. I am a little spoilt for choice on the matter of which Sabre to build next: In the end the chosen one is this, mainly because I actually have two of this one! I am undecided on exactly which scheme to do at the moment, but any suggestions welcome! Progress so far is limited to some work in the cockpit to get some weight in a stable place and also make some improvements to the seat. Also, some weeks back I recall @Lord Riot was given some advice on wing fence position so I have started to work on repositioning these more appropriately. The plan is to insert a fin sliver of plastic card and shape accordingly. I used this approach on the Avon Sabre and it worked OK. You can probably just make out where the original fences were positioned, outboard of where I have made my cuts. More to come soon. Terry
  14. Hi all Apologies if this question has been asked before, but I'm currently building the Revell 1/72 Hunter FGA.9 (it's going together beautifully and I'm delighted with it so far) and want to know what colour(s) to paint the air intakes? There's nothing indicated on the instructions and I've looked at dozens of images online but can't see anything conclusive. Can anyone help please? Many thanks Tim
  15. Late entry. Due to time constraints I'm not going to be able to build the Aero S-105, so the little Vamp will have to do. Initial dry fit of parts looks fair, and a modest parts count and simple design mean it will hopefully go together without too many hassles. Time will tell.
  16. So my dad bought the Tamiya 1:72 MiG-29 a while back and I am building it for him soon, I have a question about the cockpit though, is the MiG-29 cockpit turquoise like earlier Soviet/Russian jets or is it grey like newer cockpits. I am asking because I checked on the internet and I came up with mixed results, some not even the MiG-29. Thanks in advance
  17. Not often posted as my modelling isn't up to most on this site but fairly happy with how this turned out. Hasegawa kit with aftermarket drop tanks, practice bombs, ladder and decals. 6 Sqn, RAF Coltishall, XX766 from 1992.
  18. Hello everyone, this was a very special build for me, as it was a present for my dad. He was a pilot from 1980 till the end of the German Democratic Republic and flew first on Mi-8 and then on Mi-24. The Airframe depicted is the one from his very last Flight on September 20th 1990. Here's a photo of the original The Build: [WIP can be found here] I used the Hobbyboss 1/72 Mi-24V kit along with the Italeri Mi-24D kit (Parts used from Italeri: Pitot tube and Decals) Also used some Tom's Decals for NVA Insignia and Stencils The Base is made from Plastic sheet on a wooden board and some grass mat here are the pictures: Thanks for watching! All comments welcome Cheers Konrad
  19. Hello Everybody, here's my little side project while the Tirpitz is on hold And what you get in the box is typical Trumpeter, many small parts and what surprised me the bridge is molded in clear plastic Next, a little size comparison: Arleigh-Burke-Class Udaloy-Class (and just for you Brits: Type 23 Frigatte) I gotta say this WIP will not be step by step like my Tirpitz build... But anyway, here are some pictures: fitment of the bulbous bow is far from good... needed a lot of putty and sanding... Also some problems on the bridge parts... the upgrade set includes nice doors a lot of sinkmarks had to be removed... now fast forward! this is my color reverence: decks painted and construction of the forward mast: And here's where I am at the moment: colors are: Main deck - Mix of Tamiya Linoleum deck brown (XF79), Hull red (XF9) and black (XF1) Upper decks - Citadel Skag brown (thinned with tamiya thinner and paint retarder) Lower hull - Tamiya Hull Red Upper hull and superstructure - Tamiya Light gray (XF66) over black Water pass - Tamiya flat white (XF2) Thanks for looking any comments welcome Konrad
  20. Hi All, my second WIP here. Taking a break from my ICM Beer Delivery Spit as it is too cold outside to prime it. I picked this 1982 kit up a few months ago for the princely sum of £3.60 on eBay and it is also my first jet. I have only done WWII so far but also have an interest in Cold War jets. I'm not expecting any magic from this old tool but I'm sure with a bit of love something respectable can be produced. And if not for a few quid I'm sure it will be happy in the bin. Usual bits first; box, parts (detached on arrival as it is pre-owned but not started), decals and instructions. There are about sixty pieces with multiple ordnance options and wheels up/down options. Unfortunately, or fortunately, due to the lack of interior detail, there is no canopy open option which is how I usually like to build them. The decals look pretty old and thick and I'm not sure how good they will be after thirty odd years so may pick up some aftermarket ones later on if I can build anything worth spending more on. As is common with these small older kits the instructions are a single double page spread And paint and decal instructions that I will probably not use First thinks first - the office. Well, the seat and the stick and the floor. That's all there is. The parts have no great detail but that's not a shock on this older kit and some of the joins between the sprue and the pieces are more substantial than some pieces themselves The highly detailed cockpit painstakingly assembled and a pair of 5p coins superglued in so that it doesn't sit on its tail. This was the only place I could fit them As the canopy will be closed and it is only 1/72 I will not be adding any custom cockpit interior. A quick spray of Tamiya Rubber Black and some seat belts painted on with Tamyia Flat Yellow just to give a hint of some effort being made to detail the cockpit. Will give the customary dry brush when it has dried to bring out any hidden detail that may be lurking there. Got to say that I'm really surprised about how good the fit is. The fuselage halves and 'cockpit' mate almost perfectly without any gaps Bombs and stuff And the wing assembly. So far, so nicely fitting. Apart from the other landing gear cover(?) was missing from the box. Will decide whether to scratch build one or scratch build a jack/trestle to make it look like the other landing gear is being replaced The first major fit issues arrived with the fitting of the wings to the fuselage, but shouldn't be anything a bit of Humbrol filler can't fix Note. The missing port landing gear A little bit of dry brushing in an attempt to bring the cockpit to life at least a little bit Over all I'm pretty pleased and quite surprised about how well this kit fits together. Sure, there isn't the detail that we expect in more modern kits but this is proving to be an enjoyable quick build and a nice break from the beer delivery Spitfire. I really enjoy getting these older kits and trying to get the best out of them. Anyhow, that's all for today. More to follow should anybody be interested (filling, smoothing, priming...)
  21. KUTA continuation. Lets see if I can get this knocked out this month. Original thread: '70s NATO/Warsaw Pact - Luftwaffe RF4E Haven't done much yet aside from painting the inside of the intakes and now researching loadout, which should be pretty minimal considering it's a recce bird.
  22. Rarely do I post a finished build, but perhaps the amount of builds started would leverage that.... No. This Draken has been ready since about June, but other commitments (some of them can be applied as decals to 1/144 F4D, F-14s, F-15Es and F-16s - if one would follow the Shelf Oddity trace) stood in the way of doing proper photos. The kit is F-Toys, sripped of the factory applied paint with the help of Wamod Acrylic Cleaner. Underneath the original paint you will see crisp panel lines, some fine details and loads of potential. The weakest part of the kit (or of all F-Toys kits in general) is the canopy. Recently Brengun began to release vac-formed replacements, so this is less of an issue. Gear doors in this kit had been replaced with prototype PE parts, some antennas added from the same fret, pitot and fin spike from Master. I scratch-built the main undercarriage legs, which ...kinda shows - I took the liberty of presenting only the photos that do not display this unwanted feature. Tail bumper-wheel were also scratchbuilt. The Danish art of mantainence was the desired end effect: RLM02 from Valejo used as base and Hataka Blue Line B025 Interior Green for extensive touch-ups. Selected touch-ups received glossy highlight. In 1/144 two additional layers of paint, applied with the brush produce some noticable bumps.... Some panel lines were accented, some smoke stains added (a little too much?)... The finished model goes like this: Well, this is it.
  23. It has been in the works long enough. Resin, vacu canopy and decals from Miniwing. Cannon fairings courtesy of Master. Brass by Shelf Oddity, which means it is the test article for the brass parts - an awkward way to promote our product and equally awkward way to excuse imperfections. First two photos with my trusty companion, who did the part chopping: and lent a helping brush: Now, the Attacker himself: "We there yet?" For anyone still awake - few WIP photos, focusing on metal bits, because resin parts came together without any fuss: The one showing dorsal bleed doors and boundary layer vents: The one showing boundary layer ramp inside intake (that no one will ever notice): The one showing ventral boundary layer vents along gear struts locks in u/c bays. And the one showing tremendous effort on my part - making a cut through the middle of the tail wheel to make it a twin tail wheel.
  24. Su-122-54 Tank Destroyer Early Type (37035) 1:35 MiniArt Not to be confused with the unsuccessful Su-122 of WWII era, the Su-122-54 (Object 600) was a re-tread of the concept but utilising the more recent T-54 chassis as its basis, although this was lengthened slightly to accommodate the alterations that included a fixed casemate for the gun, which has elevation and limited traverse like many other tank-killers and Self-Propelled Guns (SPGs) to allow fine tuning of aim. It was fitted with the D-49 L/48.4 rifled main gun with 35 rounds carried onboard, and a pair of KPVT 14.5mm heavy machine guns with 600 rounds, one mounted coaxially to the barrel, the other on the commander's station on the roof, which rotated to give fire all round. The commander also had a TCD-09 stereoscopic rangefinder available for targeting, and could be used out as far as 5000m at extreme. They were only produced in small quantities (under 100), and were kept well away from prying eyes for much of their career, with NATO barely mentioning them in reports, despite them playing a part in some of the major exercises and deployments of the 60s. This could partially be due to the use of the Armoured Recovery Vehicle variant in parades that possibly gave a false impression of the type at the time. The Kit This is a new tooling from the masters of armour at MiniArt, using some of the sprues from their successful T-54/55 series. It arrives in their standard sized box, and inside are a lot of sprues of varying sizes. There are 49 sprues of grey styrene, two in clear, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, decal sheet and instruction booklet, with colour profiles at the rear for paint and markings. If you're not familiar with MiniArt kits, 49 sprues might seem a lot, but if you scroll down to the pictures you'll see that some are small, and often there are upwards of dozens of the same sprue for example in respect of track links. If you have built a T-54, you will recognise the construction of the lower hull, which is achieved by adding the suspension mounts to the lower panel, threading the torsion bars through the hull, attaching all the suspension parts such as the swing-arms, dampers and such to the side, then putting the sides with separate final drive housing and rear bulkhead in place. Between the two sides is a firewall, which is there as a structural element, as there is no interior to this kit. That said, you do get a full-length breech, which is assembled with its big coaxial machine gun and slipped through the big bolted mantlet and then set aside while the casemate is made up. The roof of the casemate is first to be put together, with four hatches on the roof, mating with the other sides before the whole assembly is placed on the top of the hull. Worthy of note are the two diagonal corners to the casemate, which are separate parts that normally leads to worries about alignment. MiniArt have sensibly provided a pair of angled plates to glue inside the joints, which ensures that the sides and diagonals obtain the correct angle to mate with the glacis plate, which by now has the mantlet and breech installed. The wide fenders are also glued in place at this stage, with large tabs holding them to the top of the hull at the front, and two pins that locate into the side of the engine compartment, which is slightly raised compared to the front. The rectangular hatch sports the commander's periscope, and the larger round hatch at the rear has the huge KPVT machine gun attached to it, with twin magazines, one each side on a sturdy mount. The engine deck is made up in three sections, with louvres and hatches, plus small parts, some of which are PE for scale fidelity. A large storage box fits onto the deck once it is in place, and the rear bulkhead is decorated with towing hitches, rails and pioneer tools, plus a pair of large mud guards with separate supports on each side. The remaining two hatches are fitted, a number of supports are glued along the length of the fenders, and stowage boxes plus fuel tanks are added to any free space, as is the large side-facing exhaust on the port side. At the front, the fenders are finished off with front guards, which have PE stiffeners inside, and the single-part barrel is inserted into the keyed slot in the mantlet, with the outer saukopf-like section slid over before the two-part hollow muzzle-brake is closed up around the tip of the barrel. The vehicle now needs some road wheels, which are created in pairs with separate hub caps that hide the axle that also holds the multi-part drive sprocket and idler wheels. There are 10 pairs of road wheels needed, and two of each of the idler and drive sprockets, one for each side. At this stage various small parts are added around the hull, with a choice of day or night operations headlights on the diagonal sections of the glacis, more pioneer tools, additional stowage, aerial masts, plumbing for the additional fuel cells, and a rolled up tarpaulin that is attached to the rear of the casemate with PE straps. A common theme to Soviet era armour was the unditching beam and additional fuel drums on the rear, which were carried over to the Su-122-54, with PE straps and fuel caps that are shown from other angles in scrap diagrams to ensure you place them correctly. The towing cables are something you will have to supply from your own sources, with a requirement of two lengths of 1.1mm diameter with lengths of 175mm each, but you do get the towing eyes to terminate them with, so forewarned is forearmed. Keeping the best and most fun part until last, we come to the tracks. Yes, I'm being slightly sarcastic, as there can't be many modellers that actually enjoy putting tracks together, due to their repetitive nature. Each of the 90 links per side is attached by four sprue gates, and they are located in the pit of the concave track-pin tunnel, so will require extra care during clean-up. I found this a bit of a chore for the three links I did, but I do have easily fatigued hands, and you may come up with a faster method than I found using a sharp knife and round file. Detail on the tracks is staggering, with individual casting serials in the depths of each one, and happily no ejector pin marks to contend with. Markings There are three markings options available from the box, and the profiles are split between the inside front and rear covers of the instruction booklet. You can build one of the following: Soviet Army, winter camouflage 50-60s, marked red 326 Soviet Army 60s, marked white 318 Soviet Army 50-60s, marked white 344 Decals are printed by Decograph, which as usual have good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion Whether you've heard of this Tank Destroyer before or not, it has a certain presence, and the angular casemate is appealing as well as a useful feature for deflecting shots away from the crew. The detail levels are excellent, with PE and clear parts to give it extra realism. The only minor gripe is the positioning of the sprue gates on the track links, but with some careful cutting and making good, no-one will ever appreciate your effort! It's typical modern MiniArt, who have made producing great kits look easy. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  25. As mentioned in my 92 Squadron post earlier I planned to build a 1/48 Lightning in a Grey scheme. Here it is, 5 squadron from 1987, one of the last of the Lightnings in service. Built using the Airfix kit, out of the box, painted using Halfords Ford Polar Grey, Humbrol Dark Sea Grey and Humbrol light grey 27 (under the wings which looks much darker in the pictures). Flory wash and a satin varnish. Xtra Decal squadron markings and kit stencils etc.
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