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Found 7 results

  1. M. Fan Cheng Ping (樊成彬) - usually publishing infos about Freedom Model Kits and KASL Hobby in the Taiwanese forums - has published pictures of a 1/48th Beechcraft T-34C Turbo Mentor resin test/design model. From various messages, it appear it'll be a injected plastic kit from Freedom Model Kits (FMK). Source: https://www.facebook.com/groups/MilitaryModelingSRG/permalink/1879366678945880/ Something to replace the OOP Czech Model kit. https://www.scalemates.com/kits/151929-czech-model-4809-t-34c-turbo-mentor To be followed V.P.
  2. Freedom Model Kits (FMK) is to release a 1/48th Grumman S-2T RoCAF Turbo Tracker kit. Announced as a new tool kit !! To be followed. Source: https://www.facebook.com/groups/8586041972/permalink/10155446805336973/ V.P.
  3. Freedom Model Kits is working on an new tool 1/48th AIDC AT-3 Tzu Chiang kit. Source: https://www.facebook.com/groups/MilitaryModelingSRG/permalink/1931235620425652/ V.P.
  4. After the 1/48th kit (link) Freedom Model Kits (FMK) is working on a 1/32nd Beechcraft T-34C Turbo Mentor kit - ref.12003 Sources: https://www.facebook.com/Freedommodelkits/posts/1492074717539711 https://www.facebook.com/groups/MilitaryModelingSRG/permalink/1931772517038629/ V.P.
  5. F-20A Tigershark 1:48 Freedom Model Kits In a programme spanning two decades and costing $1.2 billion, Northrop's F-20 was perhaps one of their most expensive failures, mostly due to policy changes and political pressure. They were looking for a replacement to the lightweight and low-cost F-5 Freedom Fighter that would keep costs low while giving much improved performance to keep pace with the Mig-21s that were being exported to Soviet aligned nations at the time. Eschewing the twin engine format of the original, it had a large GE F404 engine installed in a suitably reshaped rear fuselage, while the wings, forward fuselage and empennage stayed very similar to the original. Under the Carter regime it was decided that leading edge technology shouldn't be included to prevent it from falling into Soviet hands, but after the Reagan administration took over, policy soon changed to giving allies modified versions of the F-16 and even the F-15, which rapidly eroded its market. Add to that the total lack of interest in selling the aircraft by the Government, and the customer base dwindled away until in 1986 the project was finally cancelled whilst circling the drain. As an aircraft? It was well-liked, well-tested and although two of the prototypes crashed killing their pilots, it was found that both were due to the pilots losing consciousness from excessive G-forces, leaving the aircraft's reputation unblemished. With one prototype left intact and another only partially completed, the remainder was shipped off on cancellation to Los Angeles where it hangs in the California Science Centre. It seems to have been yet another Cold War Warrior that got the first three of the four dimensions right, but fell foul of the important fourth – politics. The Kit Freedom Models announced their intention to release a kit in 1:48 of this dead-end development of the F-5 some time ago, and they have been fine-tuning their tooling with the assistance of the modelling community until they were satisfied with their work. The box that arrived has a nice satin finish with a dramatic painting on the top, and inside you will find four larger sprues and eight smaller ones all in the same mid grey styrene that is reminiscent of a KittyHawk pressing. Perhaps they use the same factory? There are also two small sprues of flexible black grommets, a clear sprue, a tiny nickel-plated sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) metal, two decal sheets, fan-fold instruction booklet and separate fan-fold colour markings guide. Apart from the rather flimsy bags that protect the sprues, the overall impression is of a quality product, and the detail that is moulded in backs this up. Addition of the removable pylons via the wing-mounted grommets is a nice touch, as is the addition of PE parts, although the sheet is very small. The two decal sheets should provide plenty of grist for a What-Iffer's mill too, having lots of markings from many nations. The cockpit tub is a single part, into which a nicely detailed ejection seat is added, although no belts are included. The main instrument panel is well detailed, and there is similar detail on the side consoles, with decals supplied for them all. Rudder pedals sit behind the panel, and the control column slots into the floor, after which it can all be fitted within the nose section of the fuselage. The nose gear bay is a single part, but nicely moulded given the constraints, and when you fit this to the nose, there is a scrap diagram to guide you in its correct orientation. There are a couple of holes needed in the nose if you are fitting some RWR sensors, and then the nose section can be closed up. Oddly, there are some panels on the inside wall of the nose that are shown but not referred to, and these seem to imply that it was the original intention to allow these to be opened to show the bay inside. It looks like this was later canned, as there is just a single T-shaped insert added to the top of the nose with the cannon troughs moulded in, to which some stub barrels are added. The coaming is a drop-in part onto a slot in the top of the nose, and you can then decide whether you want to model the prototype with the long nose or the short – the long one being seen on the first prototype before it was lost. The instructions then flit to the engine, which is made up from two halves of the exhaust trunk, plus a depiction of the rear of the engine. With that done, the inner halves of the intake trunking are made up, with a small insert on the backside, and three PE strips inserted into grooves on the splitter plate. These are then inserted into the lower wing halves, which also contain the lower fuselage. A long plate and two grommets are also inserted on the centreline for the pylon that is fitted later. Two more grommets per pylon are added to each wing after drilling 1mm holes where indicated. With two pylons per wing, you'll need eight holes and a corresponding number of grommets, but take care because the two sprues of grommets are of differing thickness, with the shallower ones used on the outside pylons where the wing is thinner. Get this wrong, and the fit of your top & bottom wings will be testing! The exhaust is trapped between the two rear fuselage halves, and the outer intake trunking is added on each side, then mated to the lower wing/fuselage section along with the separate vertical fin. The exhaust is also added, and is a little thick on the outer lip, which when compared to photographs should be wafer thin. Perhaps an aftermarket F404 exhaust from an F-18 could be adapted to fit if this bothers you. The cores of the wings are now completed, but flaps and slats need to be added to the leading and trailing edges, all of which are individual parts, so can be posed according to your wishes by leaving the hinge tabs or cutting them off. The tail-planes are also single parts, and you'll need to drill out the some 1.2mm holes to accept their stubs. A pair of missile rails are added to the wingtips, and these were sometimes fitted at a slightly downward angle to the wing as shown in the scrap diagram, so check your references. Now you can fix the front and rear halves of your Tigershark together, at which point it starts to look like an aircraft. The landing gear are next on the agenda, and nicely detailed they are too. The nose gear leg is in three parts with a separate yoke-half to allow you to add the single-part wheel, and an optional extended oleo that changes the sit of the aircraft to a nose-up position. The main nose door can be posed open or closed by removing the hinges, while the smaller door must remain open while the gear is down. The main gear legs are single parts with the slim brake discs moulded in as the rear hub, to which some small PE linkages are added before the two-part wheels are added and they are glued in place at the wingtip end of their bays, which are moulded into both the lower and upper wing halves due to their shallow nature. A retraction jack is situated inboard on each leg, and the outer bay doors are captive to the leg, resting against them in positions described in a scrap diagram. The inner bay doors can be posed open with the addition of retraction jacks, or closed by leaving them on the sprues and using two different door parts. The rest of the work under the fuselage includes a profusion of aerials and sensors, the belly mounted air brakes and the arrestor hook with its aft fairing. A small scrap diagram shows how the airbrakes are fitted in the open or closed position. The canopy is crystal clear, and the windscreen fits to the edges of the coaming with the addition of a tiny piece of PE that is best added using clear gloss rather than glue, while the opening mechanism of the canopy is built from a different set of parts for open or closed, and it then attached to the rear of the canopy, with a set of PE rear-view mirrors fix to the front horseshoe. As a nice extra, there is a two-part crew ladder provided that could be used to give the aircraft a more candid look in your cabinet. At this point your built may well stop if you're planning on portraying one of the prototypes bereft of weapons, but if you want to depict the weapons test aircraft or go down the hypothetical in-service aircraft route, there are plenty of choices supplied in the box on the small sprues. As well as additional fuel tanks, there are a variety of weapons, as well as the appropriate pylons for ach, all of which press-fit into the wings, care of the grommets within. In the box are the following: Weapons: 2 x AIM-9L Sidewinder 2 x AIM-9M Sidewinder 4 x AIM-120C AMRAAM 2 x AIM-7 Sparrow Launch rails: LAU-115/B/A pylon LAU-115C/A pylon LAU-127 dual launch rail LAU-127 single launch rail A table shows which weapons and tanks fit to which pylons, but you'll need to check your references to get an idea of what constituted a realistic carry for the prototypes, or what was likely to be carried in action for the What-If route. The weapons themselves are nicely detailed with slide-moulding used to good effect on the exhausts and launch rails, and separate fins adding to the detail. The fins are a little thick, but that's to be expected with injection moulded parts at this scale. Markings There are two decal sheets as previously mentioned, but the smaller of the two is devoted entirely to different roundels/flags to assist the Whiffer, with countries such as Great Britain, Australia, Canada, Turkey, South Korea, Taiwan, Latvia, Spain, Japan, Singapore, USA, and Germany featuring, some of which are in lowviz as well as hiviz styles. The main sheet holds the decals for the prototypes, with a large proportion taken up by the cheat-lines used on the most colourful scheme used at the Paris Airshow in 1983. From the box you can build one of the following: First Prototype at Paris Airshow, 1983 – Red/white with black pinstripe demarcations. First & second prototypes 1983-1985 – FS36375 grey over light grey with grey anti-dazzle panel. First, second & third prototypes 1984-1986 – All over dark blue (FS16076). The FS code stated seems quite elusive outside the Gunze range, and is stated as Engine Grey, with a different FS code FS16081. Xtracolor 128 uses the same name and FS code however, if enamels are your thing. The decals are printed on pale blue backing paper to a good standard with registration, colour density and sharpness up to standard, and the stencils legible under magnification. While banding is included for the weapons, there are no stencils, which will be difficult to source by other means. Conclusion If you aren't interested you'll probably have sloped off chunnering about how they should have done a "insert favourite neglected subject in any scale here", but you're still reading, which is good. While hardly an important dead-end, the Tigershark was a good-looking aircraft, and will make an interesting end-point for any collection of the various F-5 derivatives. It is nicely tooled with raised and engraved rivets making an appearance, and enough detail included to satisfy most modellers. A set of crew belts on the PE sheet would have been welcome however. Highly recommended. Review samples courtesy of
  6. Freedom Model Kits or Freedom Q is to release a egg plane (?) - or scale? - Mil Mi-24V "Hind-E" kit - ref.17301 Source: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10153622324614147&set=gm.1750508361831713&type=3&theater Box art V.P.
  7. X-47B US Navy UCAS 1:48 Freedom Model Kits Like 'em or loathe 'em, the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, or UAV is here to stay, and as the technology advances, you'll find them creeping into more aspects of military aviation. The US Navy were comparatively slow in entering into the Unmanned Carrier Air System (UCAS) field, possibly due to the immaturity of the technology for the sometimes tricky take-off and landing cycle of a carrier aircraft, not to mention the harsh environment found out to sea. The eventual aim is to create a large surveillance and strike vehicle that can project US air power into perhaps more hotly contested airspace than would be suitable for manned operations. The original A variant was a proof of concept technology demonstrator, while the B is a more robust airframe that is capable of carrying existing weapons systems, while the projected in-service airframe will be roughly the same size, but able to carry new weapons systems more suited to unmanned delivery systems. Taxying under its own power in 2010, the first airframe flew a year later, and after successful testing that resulted in a shortening of the programme, has now embarked upon sea trials ahead of schedule aboard USS Harry S Truman. In 2013, successful launches and landings were performed from USS George H W Bush in the Atlantic Ocean. This year (2014) will see more trials that involve deck handling and clearing of the deck within the same timescales as manned vehicles, so as not to disrupt operations. The Kit This is the first release from newcomer Freedom Model Kits, and it is of an unusual subject, so hats off to them for their enthusiasm. The kit arrives in a sturdy top opening box, adorned with some nice artwork of an X-37B being shadowed by an F-35, and inside are six sprues in a mid-grey styrene that has a translucent edge, a small fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, and a sizeable decal sheet. The instruction booklet is printed in black and white on A4 folded concertina-style, with the painting and decaling guide on a glossy sheet of folded A3 in full colour, which is nice. So far, it's a professional looking package that shows no "first product" rough edges. The larger sprues are individually bagged, while the two smaller sprues are bagged together, and on my review sample, which had withstood the rigors of individual shipping by DHL, there was evidence of minor chaffing on the bags, but not on the sprues thankfully. The aircraft is a blended wing/fuselage, and the halves are certainly surprisingly large, getting larger still when you add the folding wings. Construction begins with the landing gear, which will be very familiar to anyone that has built a modern carrier based jet in recent years. The nose gear leg is a rugged main part with the retraction jack and catapult lug moulded in, to which the rest of the retraction mechanism is added, plus a box of tricks, some tiny PE linkages, landing lights etc. added during construction. The main leg is supplied in deck-handling mode, or extended for take-off, with the catapult linkage in the dropped position. More PE is used to add some tie-down points on the leg, which will require a steady hand and a pair of tweezers. The main gear legs are similarly constructed with separate oleo scissor-links, retraction jacks, and separate brake detail, with a scrap diagram showing the correct orientation of the part. Both the twin nose wheels and individual main gear wheels are built up from halves, with some nice hub detail moulded in. The gear bay doors are angular for radar signature reduction, and each has separate hinge parts that many an established manufacturer would do well to imitate. Traditionalists that are missing building cockpits will be twitching noticeably by now, as the wings are built up next, with separate ailerons and air-brakes, the latter capable of being posed open or closed by including or omitting the separate hinge-points. Clear landing lights are inserted from within the lower wing parts, and covered over by the upper section with a surprisingly thick profile. With no cockpit to build up, the intake/exhaust trunking is built up next, and Freedom have opted to create a single two-part trunk, with front and rear engine faces obscuring the view through, for strength and simplicity of construction. The moulding on the fans is excellent, with gaps between the individual blades of the front compressor face and afterburner ring at the rear. The trunk is split horizontally, with a vertical splitter in the exhaust section moulded into the lower half. The completed assembly is then dropped into the lower fuselage and covered over by immediately adding the upper fuselage – the joys of having no complex cockpit to build and paint! The landing gear bays and weapons bays are all moulded into the lower fuselage half, and detail is excellent, with plenty moulded into the roof and sidewalls of the weapons bays, and into the roof of the gear bays. The gear bay doors all have well-defined location points in the side of their bays, as do the large weapons bays, with the same parts used for opened and closed options, again by the addition or omission of the separate hinge parts. A pair of GBU-32s are included on the sprues, and these have separate rear fins, plus a shackle on the top that mates with holes in the bay roof. The arrestor hook can be posed up or down too by using a short or long bracing strut in construction. The inner control surfaces are also added to the rear of the "diamond" at this point. The wings are now added, and again you have a choice of folded for stowage, or deployed. In the down position they are fixed to the fuselage with an insert that creates a tab to attach to the fuselage, plus a pair of hinge-covers on the upper side. The folded option has a more complex joint, with hinge detail and locating tab inserted into the fuselage, and the wings then added to the remaining tab. PE avionics bundles are added to the hinge, and plenty of scrap diagrams show the correct position and final look of the many parts used to detail the area. The final task is to add the variety of sensor blisters and aerials that adorn any modern aircraft, most of which appear to be on the upper rear fuselage over the exhaust port. Markings So far, only light grey (FS36118) has been applied to the test vehicle, and it has deployed with two carriers, but decals for many more have been included on the sheet in case you plan on portraying a "what-if", or projected scenario. Only two tail codes are given however, with markings for both deployments on the sheet, as follows: 168063 CVW-9, AV-1 coded 501 168064 CVW-9, AV-2 coded 502 The swallow and eagle motifs are provided for opposing wingtips top and bottom, as well as a full complement of national markings, walkways and stencilling. The decals are well printed with minimal carrier film, and registration is good with the exception of the red, which is slightly offset, but shows up because wouldn't you know it? The majority of the decals featuring red are rings around centre points in different colours. With those few exceptions though, the rest of the sheet is nice, and the detail on the technology participants decals on the nose gear doors is very good indeed. Conclusion It's hard to think that this is a first product from a new company, as they have certainly hit the ground running, with everything you could expect from a modern model kit out of the box. Quality of moulding is good, detail is good, instructions are clear and concise, and the options for opening or closing everything is good to see. So many companies today only offer the open option, which not everyone likes, and even those that do sometimes want to at least have the option to build their chosen subject with at least some panels closed. Freedom of choice… Even if UAVs aren't normally your bag, I suspect when you see this kit, you might find yourself inexplicably drawn to it. One note to the tool-setters in closing though – you need to dial down the force on the ejector-pin machine, as it's caused a few stress marks in the plastic on the other side of the part due to the force with which it's been expelled. It's only a visual thing as no discernable damage has been done to the outer surface, but it might be worthwhile turning it down from 11! Very highly recommended. Video of her first launch and trap on, taken 2013 Coming soon to model shops everywhere. Review samples courtesy of
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