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Norden Bombsight 1:32 Robert Mrozowski Model & Design Modeller Robert Mrozowski set about fabricating an accurate bomb sight for his HK Model B-17 Flying Fortress, which turned into a mammoth two year project of research, learning, design and a search for fabrication facilities. The end result is a highly accurate resin replica that would look great in the nose of your Fortress. The set arrives in a ziplok bag with a black backing card and a header card stapled to the top, which also contains the instructions in colour. There are six resin parts and two in clear acrylic sheet Construction is straight-forward once the parts are removed from their moulding block, with the main part needing very careful removal to leave you with a 2mm cylindrical stub at the bottom of the part. This is detailed at length by a series of three 3D drawings showing the correct way to remove it, and the end result. The instructions suggest slow-setting CA for attachment of the resin parts to allow sufficient time for fine tuning the arrangement, and also recommends the use of PVA glue for the attachment of the clear acetate disc that is also supplied in a small ziplok bag within the main one, along with a spare in case you mislay one. Painting is important to obtain a life-like finish, and you are recommended to visit two web pages to obtain details, but these links are quite long-winded to type, with strings of numbers providing plenty of opportunity for typos. To help you out, here they both are in a short, clickable format. That said, I only managed to screw up one of the links when typing them in, so perhaps it's not sure a chore afterall! Link 1 Link 2 From looking at the pictures in the links above, you will be able to gather just how accurate the model is when comparing it to the photos of the real thing. Conclusion This is Robert's first commercial aftermarket product, but if this is well-received others may follow, although we believe that the alternative mount for the newly released E/F Fort will be forthcoming soon. We wish him luck! Highly recommended. Available from Hannants in the UK Review sample courtesy of [img= http://www.britmodeller.com/reviews/robertmrozowski/logo.gif]
DeHavilland Mosquito Paint Masks 1:32 Maketar HK Model and Tamiya have both recently entered the market with brand new kits of the much beloved (by me and quite a few others) Mossie at 1:32, which has opened up a new market for Maketar for paint masks. They have produced this masking set to help you not just with masking the canopy, but also with replacing almost all of the decals for that smooth painted-on look that is much more realistic than decals, which suffer with the thickness of carrier film that can be tricky to hide. Each set is designed to allow you to set aside all but the tiniest and most complex markings, such as small stencils and nose art, which often has a high colour and shade content - They recommend keeping those decals. The masking material is either vinyl or kabuki tape, which you can select at time of purchase according to your preference. In case you're not familiar with kabuki tape, it's the yellow flexible tape used by Tamiya for their masking tapes, as well as others. There's a page here on the Maketar site that discusses the differences between the two if you're interested. Each set arrives in a ziplok bag, and inside you'll find your masks surrounded by paper packaging. There are no instructions included in the pack, but it's not too difficult to work out how to apply them, and placing central dots in roundels is a breeze if you apply the outer bands as temporary place-markers. Burnishing the edges of the tape and spraying your chosen paint colour in thin dry layers away from the edges where possible will also help obtain a clean and level result. The key component is to take your time though. The canopy masks are laid out in the shape of the glazing panels, so all you have to do is work through from one end to the other, taking extra care on the compound curves at the corners, which have been slit to allow easy lay-down. You might want to put some masking fluid over the darts though, just to ensure no paint creep. Some additional strips of masking are included with both sets to help you with other masking tasks, and the HK Model patterned set also has a name-plate that will come in handy if you're putting your Mossie on a base, and a set of wheel masks as a bonus. Of the two the Tamiya set is the larger, as it mimics a larger range of decal options provided with the kit, and has no space for extras such as name plate and wheel masks. Please bear that in mind if you're wheel-painting phobic! Conclusion At 1:32 scale there is a good argument for painting markings, as they're large enough to handle easily, and it also allows you to apply any modulation, weathering or chipping effects to them, which is more difficult to do with decals. Into the bargain you have no carrier film to hide after decaling, which is always nice. Highly recommended. HK Models Mosquito B Mk.IV Series II (01E015) Tamiya Mosquito FB Mk.IV (60326) Review sample courtesy of
Dornier Do.355B-2 Zerstörer 1:32 HK Model The Dornier Pfiel (Arrow) lived up to its name, as it was one of the fastest prop-driven aircraft of WWII, however it came too late to the fray to see service in significant numbers, or make a difference to the outcome. Dornier had used the idea of the pusher-pull props on his earlier flying boats, and when asked to design a fast bomber, he experimented with a scale Do.17 fuselage without engine nacelles, but with a prop at the front and rear, which reduced parasitic drag of the nacelles, increased roll rate and removed the dreaded asymmetric thrust experienced when a traditional two-engined aircraft suffered engine failure. After the successful trial he began working on a bomber, but after cancellation of that project by Goering, it was morphed into a heavy multi-role fighter. Capable of bearing the newest engines that promised increased power above the 2,000hp level, the lead engine was cowled in a similar fashion to the Ta.152, while the rear engine was buried in a deep fuselage bay, driving the prop by a tubular shaft to reduce weight. The aircraft is a big one due to the additional engine, but it also sits high off the ground on long tricycle gear legs to allow sufficient clearance for the large prop at the rear, which is protected by an additional downward facing fin and rudder, giving the tail a cruciform appearance. Sadly, for those testing the Pfeil, this long undercarriage was a source of problems, as it was too weak and prone to failure. Powered by two DB603 engines (the variants differed between airframes), it was capable of around 470mph with boost enabled, and had a good rate of climb. There are stories of it outrunning Allied fighters on the few occasions when they were encountered, including the Hawker Tempest, which was no slouch. Recognising the capability of the 335, the Heinkel He.219 was ordered to be cancelled to concentrate effort on building this promising fighter, but as Mr Heinkel politely ignored these instructions, only a few Pfiels had been built by the time their factory was overrun. The A series were designated for reconnaissance or fighters, both day and night, while the B series were the Zerstörer (destroyer) variant, with two MK103 cannons in the wing leading edges, and two additional fuel tanks to extend its range. There were plans to uprate the engine, extend the wings, and even place jet engines at the rear, or in pods at the side of the fuselage. There was even a mock-up done of a Zwilling (twin) that would be used for ultra-long range reconnaissance, but due to the cessation of hostilities, none of these esoteric variants ever saw the light of day. Only one Arrow still exists, which was one of the early A series that were spirited away by the Americans at the end of the war. The other disappeared, but 240102 survived and was restored in Germany, then returned to America where it still resides, next to the only surviving Arado Ar.234. The Kit HK Models have already graced us with some stunning models that have never been done in this scale in injection moulded form before, and this is their latest foray into the market. The Pfiel is a big favourite of mine, and I have two or three of the Tamiya kits in 1:48, but will be building this one at some point soon. It's a sensible decision to portray the more aggressive looking B-2 with the big guns in the wing, although at least one of my modelling chums has lamented the lack of 2nd cockpit in the box for the "Anteater" trainer. We all have our favourites, and if this kit is a success, maybe Neil will give us the Anteater in due course – there's certainly a slot in the top of the fuselage ready for it! Our review sample is an early issue with downloaded instructions, which has resulted in some "winging it" going on as I worked my way through the sprues, so consider that fair warning! The projected release in Europe is around October 2014, so if you're going to Telford, you should hopefully be able to pick one up there. Inside the long top-opening box are thirteen sprues in a mid-grey styrene, a sprue of clear parts, a small fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a decal sheet, two nose weights in some kind of white metal, and in your box there will also be a printed instruction manual. You lucky devils! Construction begins with the interior, which extends from behind the rear engine, and is built up on a floor that integrates a pair of short wing root spars and the radiator trunking. Above the wing root is a large and well detailed fuel tank, with the pilot's seat just in front, which must have been a bit of a worry for any potential flyer. The cockpit is a very well detailed tub into which the control column and rudimentary ejection seat are added, plus the instrument panel with holes for the instruments. The seat has separate armour and cushion parts, as well as a nice set of PE seatbelts to detail it further. If you are planning on putting a pilot in the aircraft, you will want to remove the arm-rests and move them to the horizontal position. The clear parts are crisp and clear, with separate panels for the tear-drop viewing panels at head height. The canopy is separated from the windscreen too, which allows easy posing of the cockpit open. The gear bays are similarly well detailed, with lots of wires, hoses and unions moulded into them, which combined with some additional parts give a good three-dimensional look to them, but as always some of the smaller wires and parts will have to be added from scrtatch. This is carried on to the weapons bay, which has an additional fuel tank installed, and is nestled in the aperture between the wing roots. The engines share many parts, and most are found on sprue P, of which there are two, as you'd expect. The remainder of the parts are on sprue O along with the engine bearers that are of course different between the installations. The DB603 is built up from six parts and should need little in the way of fettling with some careful test fitting beforehand. The super-chargers fit onto the side of the engines, and numerous pipes and bearers are added to the sides, which make for a busy engine bay. Individual exhaust stacks have hollow tips due to some clever moulding, and each one is individually numbered to ensure correct placement within the engine block. There is a small ejector pin mark on the underside of each one that will need filling if you are leaving panels loose to display your work, otherwise, I suspect you needn't bother with them. The rear engine is then fitted into a fairly empty bay, although with just the long covers off, little can be seen of anything but the engine. The forward engine is built up the same, save for the large metal weight that fits snugly within the main halves and helps to prevent your model from being a tail-sitter. Another vaguely saddle-shaped weight sits under the cannon-bay, which is directly in front of the pilot's office. This is fairly simply rendered, but a pair of long barrelled MG 151/20 autocannons are included with breech detail and ammo feeds. The barrels are hollow tipped, thanks to slide-moulding, making a small drill bit in a pin-vice redundant on this occasion. The barrels pass through the engine's firewall and will eventually project through the top cowling once installed. The engine bearers at the front would look at home in any single-engined fighter, and suspend the forward engine and its slimmer reduction gear housing well, allowing the installation of the beautifully moulded nose cowling and of course the prop and spinner. The top central section of cowling is glued down, but the two side panels can be left off, or hinged up on stays to display all your hard work on the engines. A pair of super-charger intake trumpets are supplied for the cowling of each engine, and these are slide-moulded to form one hollow part that simple needs its seams scraping to be ready for use. Two small panels over the cannon bay can also be displayed open in a gull-wing fashion. The rear engine also has panels around the exhaust stacks that can be propped open with a stay provided in the kit, and the radiator outlets either side of the X-tail at the very rear of the fuselage can be posed open or closed. The nose gear bay is well detailed, and the sturdy nose gear leg fits into a keyed socket in the roof of the bay, with retraction and stabilising struts. A single wheel is fixed to the yoke, and this has a separate two-part hub, and heavily sagged tyre. The main gear bays are partially moulded into the upper surface of the wing, with some nice rib and rivet detail visible in the roof. The gear legs are moulded into a strong rib which slots into the outer end of the bay to give a substantial attachment point for strength, and two retraction struts fit to the front and rear faces of the leg. Another larger wheel is fitted to each leg, and these too have separate hubs and pronounced weighting to the tyres. I think the sag will be a little too much for some tastes, but it's not hugely noticeable to my eyes, especially when the shadow of the wings blot out the view. Retraction jacks are also included for the inner bay doors, which are held in place at the correct angle, while the main covers are captive to the gear legs on each side. The weapons/fuel bay also has poseable doors, with small actuators fore and aft. The wings of the Pfeil are large, both in length, as well as chord at the root, and the detail engraved into the surface is exemplary, consisting of multitudes of petite rivets and panel lines that appear to be of differing widths and size across the wing. This gives a more realistic look to the wings, and should look well under paint. A set of rounded tips and shorter squared off tips are present in the box (the shorter ones were missing from my box, and hence the pictures), and these are also slide-moulded to form a single part per tip, rather than risk sink-marks due to over-thick styrene injection. The leading edge from the wing roots to the rib outboard of the landing gear bays are separate inserts that have been slide-moulded to form a single hollow part with the cannon fairings integral to the part, as well as a hole for the cannon barrels to pass through. The barrels have slide-moulded flash-hiders so that the muzzles appear hollow once installed, with a basic breech block and integrated barrel placed inside the fairings, and are attach within the fairings by a large lug/slot at the inside top. The flying surfaces are separated with both ailerons and flaps having slide-moulded voids so that the main part is hollow, and a semi-circular profile leading edge is added to complete the profile of the part, complete with cut-outs for the hinge-points. This hasn't worked too well on the larger flaps however, which still have a slight sink-mark running their length, which will require a little filler and the reinstatement of any lost panel and rivet detail. A clear landing light is embedded in the port wing, with a formation light at the rear between the exhaust outlets for good measure. The small wingtip lights are moulded in, so can either be painted or replaced by a small globe of clear styrene, painted to suit with translucent paints. The cross-tail has its vertical fins moulded into the fuselage halves, with the elevators plugged into slots in the sides of the fuselage. Elevators and rudders are all separate, and have again benefitted from slide-moulding to make single part hollow shells to which the leading edges are added. The mass-balance tips are also slide-moulded, which makes for a very neat solution. The props are moulded side-by-side on the sprues, with minor differences in their bosses identifying where the fit on the airframe. They are both moulded as single parts with props and bosses integral, but with two part spinners, the leading one of which is blunt by comparison to the rear one. Also at the rear, there is another neat moulding technique that results in a nice tidy intake for the radiator, which is underneath the rear fuselage in a Mustang-esque style. The inlet is a single part and fits into a recess under the fuselage, with the interior trunking depicted behind it, and fitted to the underside of the rear engine compartment earlier on. A few small parts such as a pitot probe and a crew ladder are the final touches to the kit, which will be rather impressive by this stage. Markings The decals provide three options from the box, and have been printed for HK by Cartograf, which ensures good quality. They are crisp, with good register and colour density, with a very thin, close-cropped glossy carrier film throughout. This sheet seems more complete than some of the earlier releases, and has a number of stencils, as well as decals for the instrument panel, which is good to see. From the box you can build one of the following: W-Nr 230013 Coded RP + UP – RLM81/82 splinter camouflage over RLM65 lowers. This aircraft has the longer rounded wingtips as seen above. W-Nr 230014 Coded RP + UQ - RLM81/82 splinter camouflage over RLM65 lowers. Short wingtips. W-No. 230014 as a French War Prize (1945 - 1948) – all over khaki with French roundels. Short wingtips. The second and third decal options have shorter, squared off wingtips that aren't pictured, as they were omitted from our box, due to their being individually packed in bubble-wrap specially for us, so your example should have them included. There are some contemporary pictures of abandoned airframes that give alternative schemes, including unpainted cowlings, a bare airframe with puttied panel lines, to name but a couple. If you go down the What-If route, the world is your oyster of course and limited only by your imagination. Conclusion This is (IMHO) perhaps the most complete offering from HK to date, with detail in all the right places that should make an out of the box build quite satisfying, and act as a good jumping off point for the super-detailers. It has clearly been tooled with the option of other variants, as evidenced by the removable top to the fuselage behind the cockpit and the leading edge inserts with the cannon fairings, which is great news for this modeller. If you want a big imposing late war fighter/bomber, the Pfiel ticks all the boxes, and has plenty of character. Inclusion of nose weights, a more comprehensive decal sheet, and wide use of slide-moulding makes for a well-rounded kit, and I hope it sells well, paving the way for the other variants. A scale-breaker for this 1:48 modeller Very highly recommended, and my personal thanks to Neil @ HK for getting this advanced sample out to us. Available soon from all good model shops online and on the high street, distributed in the UK by Review sample is courtesy of