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Found 38 results

  1. This was my Christmas present from the missus (thank god I'm through the socks & undies stage of life ) . I've been umming and arring about whether to start this or the 1/48 B-24 in the stash, but this has won. I spent an hour or so removing all the little sprue bits that festooned the fuselage parts and have taped the big bits together because I never grew up and just needed to see it so! Glad I did, it looks gorgeous in the flesh. EDIT:I couldn’t sleep tonight so been looking for schemes and decided on The Swoose based in Italy, a nice weathered bird so should have fun on the paint work The real aircraft I have only managed to find two photo's so far, but it has some unusual art work positioning which stood out and an opportunity to practice faded olive drab along with a plash of colour on the rudder. There's a great profile on Mark Stylings website, I hope he is OK with me taking a snippet as I've put a link to the original to respect his copywrite. All I've found out so far is that it was salvaged 16th May 1945, so if anyone can shed any light on it's operational career, I'd be most welcoming of your research. The kit And just look at these instructions, lovely! Cheers Neil
  2. Avro Lancaster B Mk.I Nose Art Kit (01E033) 1:32 HK Models The Lancaster was a development from the two-engined Manchester, which was always an unsatisfactory aircraft. The Manchester was a response to the air force's obsession with twin-engined bombers in the 30s, which would have required engines of greater power than were available at the time, and led to a change in mindset due to the comparative success of our allies with four-engined bombers. Rather than start from scratch, AVRO simply re-designed the Manchester by adding an extra wing section between the inner engine and the outer, thereby extending the wing and improving both lift and power output substantially – of course it wasn't that simple. AVRO's chief designer, the incredible Roy Chadwick submitted this design to the specification that also brought forth the designs for the Halifax and the Stirling, in a sort-of prequel to the post-war V-bombers, where the Government gave the go-ahead for all three due to the untried technology being used. The use of the then-new Merlin engine with its previously unheard-of power output put the Lancaster's various capabilities into alignment and created a rather impressive "heavy". After renaming the initial prototype Manchester III to Lancaster perhaps to distance it from its less-than-stellar twin-engined sibling, the prototype first flew in 1941, partially due to the fact that AVRO had already been working on improving the performance of the Manchester, and partly because of the urgent need for a heavy bomber capable of taking the fight (and a lot of bombs) to Berlin. A large contract for over 1,000 Lancasters was soon forthcoming, and further production was begun at AVRO Canada after an airframe was flown to them as a pattern for production. The quality of the eventual design was such that very few noticeable differences were made between the initial and later variants, with cosmetic changes such as side windows and the enlarged bomb-aimer's window being some of the few that were readily seen if we ignore the specials. The main wartime alternative to the B.I was the B.III, which differed mainly by having license-built engines that were manufactured in the US by Packard, with over 3,000 built. The installation was so close to the original, that a B.I could easily be retrofitted with a Packard built Merlin with very little problem. There were of course the "Specials" such as the Dambusters and Grandslam versions, but other than 300 or so of the Hercules radial engine Lancs, most of the in-service machines looked very similar. At the end of WWII the Lancaster carried on in service in some shape or form for long after hostilities ceased, with a name change to Lincoln when the design became mostly unrecognisable, and later the spirit of the original design lingering on in the Shackleton, which retired in the mid 1980s, 40 years after the end of WWII. The Kit The origins of this kit are the full 1:32 HK Models Lancaster B Mk.I that we reviewed here, where I pinched the preamble and some of the pictures from in case you were wondering (why reinvent the wheel?). This reduction to just the nose of that kit worked out beautifully due to the convenient break in the fuselage just past the leading edge of the wing. It’s a big portion of the detail however, as evidenced by the hefty 171 kit parts, which includes a sprue of new parts that have been tooled specifically to act as a convenient support trolley to hold the finished model. A lot of modellers have expressed an interest in the kit but baulked at the size of this well-known heavy in 1:32, and so the nose with the all-important cockpit was requested from HK Models and the other company that was planning a big Lanc, who sadly went into administration at the start of the current Covid-19 crisis. HKM have obliged with this new boxing, reusing the nose area of the artwork as well as the majority of sprues, plus the aforementioned trolley sprue, some new decals that only cover the necessary area (who has roundels on their nose?), plus a wee-small clear sprue that holds a couple of new parts. So what’s in the box? It’s not a head, so don’t fret. There are seven sprues in grey styrene and two nose halves in the same colour, two sprues of clear parts and a bonus clear starboard fuselage half to show off all your hard work, the original sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) brass containing seatbelts etc., a decal sheet and finally the new shorter instruction manual. Everything is bagged either in pairs or separately for protection, and the clear parts have additional sticky clear sheets attached to the more vulnerable areas to ensure that the parts arrive in pristine condition with no chaffing. Detail is just as good as before as you’d expect, as you can see from the pic of some of the cockpit parts below. Construction begins with the cockpit. I know, shocker, right? The prominent pilot's seat, which is made up of a substantial number of parts including PE seatbelts is large and has a highly visible location within the cockpit aperture. The cockpit floor is on two levels, and is fitted out with various equipment, including the radio-operator's station, the pilot's seat and control column on the upper level, and the instrument panel, which has controls, rudder pedals and other parts added along the way, being added to the assembly along with the side walls that have instruments moulded in, and a small extension to the front bulkhead beneath the instrument panel. More instrumentation is added to both sides of the nose interior, and if you are using the grey styrene parts, you'll need to add all the clear side windows. Attention turns toward the nose turret, with the detailed interior made up before it is cocooned inside the front and rear halves of the glazing, and as is standard with HK models, the gun barrels are separate parts that can be added later after painting, which is always good to see. The Canadian airframe has some slight colour variations inside, and needs a few holes drilling, which is covered in a scrap diagram showing which areas are painted black and interior green, with separate call-outs for the various areas of the assembly as construction proceeds, then the halves are joined and some small parts are fitted in the upper cockpit, the fairing at the base of the nose turret is inserted, and the glazing under the nose is also glued in, with a choice of two styles, the circular insert being for the Canadian version. The big glazed canopy appears almost complete as it comes off the sprues, but there are two openable panels that are separate, and the additional vision blisters need adding to the large side frames for all but the Canadian option, which is probably best done with a non-solvent adhesive to avoid fogging. I'll be using either GS-Hypo, or even Klear when the time comes, although be wary when you pull off the masking so you don't also pull off the blister if you use the latter. A small forest of antennae are fitted to the exterior depending on your decal choice, then it’s time to build up the trolley. In terms of display options, it’s your only one unless you plan on building some kind of placard or base, so let’s get on with, as the DIY solution sounds too complicated. The floor is made from two layers of framework that are laminated to create a deeper frame, and hide the ejector pin marks on the mating surface. To be certain of a good fit however, it would be wise to at least flatten them off and test-fit them in place to achieve a good join. Four castor wheels and their yokes are made up next, and they are joined by struts slotted through the frame with little round feet to take the weight off the castors and to make sure the trolley doesn’t go anywhere unexpectedly. The corners of the frame have verticals with supports added, then the finished model can be slotted in between them, relying on styrene’s flexibility to safely insert the lateral pegs into the holes in the nose. Markings The new decal sheet has some elements of the original boxing, but with a lady in white added so that you can depict one of four airframes: B MK.I R5868/OL-Q, No.83 Sqn. RAF, Wyton UK, June 1943 B MK.I R5868/PO-S, No.467 Sqn. RAAF, Waddington UK, May 1944 B MK.I W4783/AR-G, No.460 Sqn. RaAF, Binbrook UK, May 1944 B MK.I RF128/QB-V, No.424 Sqn. RCAF, Skipton-on-Swale UK, Spring 1945 Each aircraft is painted in the same green/brown over black with a high demarcation, although the location of the dark green sections are different on two of the machines. The decals and painting guides are shown on a series of three drawings showing left, right and overhead with the decals shown using numbers, while the colours are marked in letters, both in triangles. The fact that the drawings are in greyscale doesn’t really matter given the relatively small variations and low decal count, but you've also got the colour one above now too. The colours are called out by name plus AK Interactive, Tamiya and Gunze brands, which shouldn’t be difficult to find in any brand, although the Tamiya mix for Dark Earth involves mixing four colours to achieve one. I was sure that Tamiya now have a Dark Earth and Dark Green in their range now. Did I imagine that? 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 Every home should have a big Lancaster, but if you’re short on space this is the perfect compromise, with lots of detail and still with a lot of the presence of the full kit. There is already plenty of aftermarket devoted to the cockpit of the original kit that will fit this one, so you can start straight away, even if you’re addicted to aftermarket like a lot of us. Very highly recommended. Available soon from all good model shops. Review samples courtesy of
  3. Hey all, Whilst scrolling across Facebook this morning I happened upon this little message from the HK Models Facebook Page (Link for original post) Hopefully, judging from their current profile pic of a Phantom FGR.2 we may be seeing some large scale RAF/FAA Phantoms? Sam
  4. HK Models is to release a 1/32nd Junkers Ju-52 kit - ref. Source: http://www.master194.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=95762 V.P.
  5. AVRO Lancaster B Mk.1 (01E010) 1:32 HK Models The Lancaster was a development from the two-engined Manchester, which was always an unsatisfactory aircraft. The Manchester was a response to the air force's obsession with twin-engined bombers in the 30s, which would have required engines of greater power than were available at the time, and led to a change in mindset due to the comparative success of our allies with four-engined bombers. Rather than start from scratch, AVRO simply re-designed the Manchester by adding an extra wing section between the inner engine and the outer, thereby extending the wing and improving both lift and power output substantially – of course it wasn't that simple. AVRO's chief designer, the incredible Roy Chadwick submitted this design to the specification that also drew the designs for the Halifax and the Stirling, in a sort-of prequel to the post-war V-bombers, where the Government gave the go-ahead for all three due to the untried technology. The use of the then-new Merlin engine with its previously unheard of power output put the Lancaster's various capabilities into alignment and created a rather impressive "heavy". After renaming the initial prototype Manchester III to Lancaster perhaps to distance it from its less-than-stellar twin-engined sibling, the design first flew in 1941, partially due to the fact that AVRO had already been working on improving the performance of the Manchester, and partly because of the urgent need for a heavy bomber capable of taking the fight (and a lot of bombs) to Berlin. A large contract for over 1,000 Lancasters was soon forthcoming, and further production was begun at AVRO Canada after an airframe was flown to them as a pattern for production. The quality of the eventual design was such that very few noticeable differences were made between the initial and later variants, with cosmetic changes such as side windows and the enlarged bomb-aimer's window being some of the few that were readily seen if we ignore the specials. The main wartime alternative to the B.I was the B.III, which differed mainly by having license built engines that were manufactured in the US by Packard, with over 3,000 built. The installation was so close to the original, that a B.I could easily be retrofitted with a Packard built Merlin with very little problem. There were of course the "Specials" such as the Dambusters and Grandslam versions, but other than 300 or so of the Hercules radial engine Lancs, most of the in-service machines looked very similar. At the end of WWII the Lancaster carried on in service in some shape or form for long after hostilities ceased, with a name change to Lincoln when the design became mostly unrecognisable, and later the spirit of the original design lingering on in the Shackleton, which retired in the mid 1980s, 40 years after the end of WWII. The Kit We have been waiting a long time for this model from HK Models, and there has been much written about it over the years since its original announcement. After a long hiatus where little was heard of the kit, they came back with a much improved design that they were working toward releasing, when another manufacturer sprang a surprise announcement that took some of the wind out of their sails. They have progressed quickly however and have now brought their product to market well in advance of the competition, which should result in good sales as many modellers will be keen as mustard to acquire a 1:32 Lancaster. A 1:32 Lancaster, by golly!!!!! As mentioned in my review of the recent Hobby Boss B-24J review, the 1:32 modeller is pretty well spoiled by comparison to his or her former selves only a few years previously. Never mind golden, we're in a platinum age of modelling! As you can imagine, the model arrives in a large box, and it's well-stocked with plastic. You may have heard that the initial issue will be doubly-blessed by including an additional clear fuselage and nose section for a transparent model should you wish – this is the edition that we will be reviewing, although at some point these will run out and the unbadged boxes will be all that are left with no clear fuselages inside. My review copy came directly from HK in its own box, so rather than benefiting from the "herd" protection offered to models stacked together in a container, it had to suffer the slings and arrows of careless handlers on its journey from the Far East, which resulted in a few parts being damaged. Always check your models when they arrive anyway, as you never can tell what's happened to it in transit. The box contains forty-two sprues of grey styrene, plus two fuselage halves, two nose halves and two wings, two clear sprues and if you're getting the special edition clear fuselage edition, the same fuselage and nose parts in clear. When I say "same" I mean the same shape. The external detail that would reduce transparency have been omitted from the clear parts, so have clearly been moulded in separate moulds. There is also a small sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) brass parts, two decal sheets plus a tiny addendum sheet, and finally a veritable tome of an instruction booklet. First impressions? We'll ignore the sheer size of it, and note that the external detail is neat, crisp and of varying thicknesses and depth to improve the detail, with many rivets to entertain the eye. In addition, clever moulding techniques have been used to improve detail and reduce work for the modeller. The wings of the model are both moulded as single parts, with the trailing edges open to receive the flying surface detail, a set of hollow wingtips, hollow barrels and other slide-moulding tricks to improve your experience. The clear parts are incredibly bright and smooth, extending from the smallest parts to the special edition fuselage parts that you can see in the accompanying pictures. A full interior, detailed cockpit and turrets, bomb bay with contents and a full set of engines also bring yet more detail to the party, plus dropped flaps and poseable flying surfaces. The instructions seem to be a little prone to flitting from area to area at times, but for the most part this makes sense later when they are brought together. Construction begins of course with the interior, and starts at the front with the pilot's seat, which is made up of a substantial number of parts including PE seatbelts as it is large and has a prominent location within the cockpit aperture. The cockpit floor is on two levels, and is fitted out with various equipment, including the radio-operator's station, the pilot's seat and control column on the upper level, and the instrument panel, which has controls, rudder pedals and other parts added along the way, being added to the assembly along with the side walls that have instruments moulded in, and a small extension to the front bulkhead beneath the instrument panel. More instrumentation is added to both sides of the nose interior of choice, and if you are using the grey styrene parts, you'll need to add the clear side windows. A scrap diagram shows which areas are painted black and interior green, with separate call-outs for the various areas of the assembly as construction proceeds, but the halves are not yet joined. Attention turns toward the nose turret, with the detailed interior made up before it is cocooned inside the front and rear halves of the glazing, and as is standard with HK models, the gun barrels are separate parts that can be added later after painting, which is always good to see. The big glazed canopy appears almost complete as it comes off the sprues, but there are two openable panels that are separate, and the additional vision blisters need adding to the large side frames, which is probably best done with a non-solvent adhesive to avoid fogging. I'll be using either GS-Hypo, or even Klear when the time comes, although be wary when you pull off the masking so you don't also pull off the blister! Now for the rudders at the opposite end of the airframe. These are made traditionally from two halves each, but with a bull-nosed section glued to the front to mimic the aerodynamics of the real thing, plus horn balances and trim-actuators. The elevators get the same treatment minus the leading edge section, and their fins are fitted out with hinge-points before being closed up and added to the elevators. The rudder and elevator panels are joined together with a large tab, and they too are set aside while the mid-upper and tail turrets are built up along the same lines as the nose turret, complete with separate barrels, and in the case of the rear turret, the prominent c-shaped chutes under the gun barrel slots, which are PE. Bombs! They're also done at this stage, with eighteen plus a single Cookie for the centre of the bomb bay. The smaller bombs have two halves and a separate fin ring, while the Cookie is just a two-part cylinder with pegs poking out from the inside that affix it to the bay. About that bomb bay. The cockpit floor doubles as the forward part of the bay, while the next assembly is built upon the aft section, which is joined later on. Equipment, storage and ammo boxes are added along with a funny-looking chaise-longue affair, then a short bulkhead is glued to the rear so that a curved floor section can be installed and joined up. When the full interior is together, the long ammo feeds are added to the aft, and the bomb bay sides are fitted to the now complete bomb bay. The interior is pretty much done, save for the details that are mounted to the fuselage, of which there are plenty. The long rows of clear windows are first, with the aft hatch, the "Window" dispenser chute, fake tail spar and the plinth for the tail turret all fitted and painted along with the interior, which has lots of nice ribbing detail moulded into it, as you can see from the pictures. The nose section is mated to each fuselage half and then glued together around the interior, and if you're planning on using the clear fuselage, your choice of glue will be most important here so that you don't end up with a horrible hazy fuselage. You'll have noted by now that all the external detail moulded into the grey styrene isn't present on the clear parts to better preserve its clarity so that you can see all your hard work more clearly. With the fuselage closed and two inserts added to the underside at the front, you are directed to fill up the bomb bay with those bombs you made up earlier. Adding the bombs will also save you from having to clean up the ejector pin marks that are hidden between the ribs, which is never a pleasant task from experience. The bay doors are split into two parts, and can be posed open or closed, simply by removing the tabs along the hinge-line. For the open option, leave the tabs on, and add the two end bulkheads that have the actuators moulded in and set the doors to the correct angle. The fixed tail wheel, three identification lights and a towel-rail aerial are installed at the rear, then the fuselage is flipped over and the top is detailed with circular window inserts (including the dingy hatch), DF loop inside the rear of the cockpit, plus a gaggle of other aerials. A couple of last detail parts are added to the starboard interior of the cockpit, a bulkhead inserted behind the nose turret, that distinctive bomb-aimer's window at the nose, some small parts on the bomb bay doors, and moving aft the fairing around the mid-upper turret, then the rear turret is dropped into place. Keeping the turret theme, the mid-upper and nose turrets are dropped in, and the main canopy is fitted. Moving swiftly on, the nose turret is then pinned in place by adding in the fairing with the pivot fairing, which is a delicate part and will need protecting from handling. My part didn't survive shipping, but it's easy enough to put it back together again, as I found with my broken nose section (did you spot the damage to that?). Those tail fins (remember them?) are inserted into the depression, securing tightly with two pegs at the bottom of the well. Another few small parts are added around the bay including some PE parts, and then the fuselage is set to one side while the engines and wings are constructed. The Lanc has four Merlins, and each of those is identical, but their mounting into the nacelles is another matter. There are two types of mount, and these are then mirrored, giving four individual designs in total. The engines are each made up from a healthy number of parts, with individual exhaust stacks with hollow tips thanks to slide-moulding. Take care assembling the four engine mounts, as they are all quite similar, but a slip here will cause you trouble later on. The engines and their accessories behind are encased in the mounts and set aside while the main landing gear is built up. The wheels are both made up from two halves, having no tread as was common during the war and a flat, weighted patch to add a little realism. The wheels are fitted into the right-hand side of the leg, joined by the cross-braces, and trapped in place by the left side and a couple of small braces. Times two, of course. After this interlude, the aft sections of the outer nacelles are assembled, beginning with a large tank sat on a trestle between the tubular frame. A firewall fits to the front of this, and the engine mounts slide into the front, with the aft section of the cowling enclosing this. The front cowling is optional, and can be omitted if you want to show off your work on the engines, or glue them in after putting the two-part flame dampers on each of the side panels. The lower cowling with the intake for the radiator is separate from the rest of the chin, and should show the radiator panel slung under the engine earlier once complete. These nacelles are finished off with a spinner backplate, an outlet and intake underneath, and then they get set to one side while the inner nacelles are built up. The inner nacelles house the gear bays, which fit against the underside of the top skin of the wing, and it is this section that is made first. The inner skin has stringers moulded-in, and two large ribs are added along with a rear bulkhead and smaller front bulkhead. Again, the engine is attached to its firewall, but this time it is enclosed in its cowling and spinner backplate and given its intake/outlets before it is attached to the aft section. The two rear fairings are prepared by adding some tankage in the front, next to the moulded-in detail of the zig-zag structure at the sides of each bay. The bay roof is fitted to the port side, and hemmed in by the starboard. If you are modelling your Lanc in-flight, cut off the tabs of the bay doors and fit them in place and you're done. If you are going for the wheels-down option, the gear assembly is installed into the bay before the starboard fairing is glued in-place, then a small set of notches are made in the edges of the bay sides to accept the bay doors. The engine assembly joins the aft section to complete the inner engine nacelles, which must then wait until the wings have been prepared with flying surfaces and other such details. The wings are each moulded as a single part, with the top and bottom surfaces as a single part, which is a little disturbing initially, as it looks like you're missing some parts! They are effectively an almost closed clamshell that is open at the rear where the flaps and ailerons will go later. Each wing also has a separate tip, which is slide-moulded as one hollow part, and has a cut-out for a clear formation light, and a stepped contact patch to make for a stronger bond. With these joined, the aileron "bay" is closed at the rear by adding a long narrow part that spaces the wings correctly. Two single-piece flap bays are then slid into the remaining trailing edge space, and a wing root insert is added at the open wing root. There are three aerodynamic fairings spaced between the nacelles that aren't yet present, and before these are dropped into place, a rectangular part is fitted to the circular hole in the outer nacelle slot. Then it should be a matter of inserting the two nacelles into their recesses and applying plenty of glue to hold them in place. The flaps are in two sections like their bays, and the outer section is a single part, while the inner section has the tapered rear of the nacelle added before it is fixed in place, which is where you have options. To add them stowed, you just glue them in place across the flap bays, and to show them deployed there are slender actuators that glue into gaps in the ribs, then fix into the inside of the flaps to hold them at the correct angle. The Ailerons are each a single hollow part with a separate front section plus an actuator, which attach to the wing via two hinge-points that are glued into slots in the trailing edge of the wing. To finish off each wing, the two top cowlings are fixed to the nacelles, and a couple of small parts are attached to the leading edge. That's the wing done, and as you may remember there are two of them, so you'll need to do that twice, with one being a mirror image of the other. Four engines means four props unless your Lanc is broken, and here you have a choice of paddle or needle-bladed props, three of which fit onto each of four central bosses, and are covered with the spinner. They fit onto the nacelles via the four pins protruding from the nacelles. The final act is to fit the wings to your creation, which should be a doddle, and won't even require any glue, unless you never want to remove them again. The root inserts you innocently inserted earlier have a set of slots moulded-in, and these match the lugs that are moulded into the fuselage at the wing roots. You simply align them with each other, and pull the wing backwards to lock them. It's that simple, and if you're one of us mere mortals that doesn't have infinite storage space, you can take off the wings any time and stow them in a smaller space. I wish that Hobby Boss had the same thought when they were doing their B-24J that I reviewed recently. Markings The Lancaster B.Mk.Is usually wore a fairly standard finish of Night (a matt blackish shade) with the topsides in a green/dark earth camouflage that had a high demarcation along the fuselage sides. The aircraft were more often than not differentiated by their codes, and by the personalisation and nose art that their crews applied to them, some of which have become quite famous, and for good reason. There are three decal options supplied in the box, and you can build one of the following: B.Mk.I R5868/OL-Q, No.83 Sq. RAF, Wyton, UK, June 1943 B.Mk.I R5868/PO-S, No.467 Sq. (RAAF), Waddington, UK, May 1944 B.Mk.I W4783/AR-G, No.460 Sq. (RAAF), Binbrook, UK, May 1944 There are two decal sheets, which are necessarily large, and a separate page at the rear shows you where to place all the stencils, which are also included. There are a surprisingly large number of them, which should keep you busy for a little while. 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 is a tiny third sheet with the heading "erratum" with a single decal for the dinghy release stencil on the spine of the aircraft. Conclusion It's the first 1:32 Lancaster in injection moulded styrene. It's been a long time coming, and there are bound to be more variants to come, such as the aforementioned Dambusters and Grand Slam versions, plus I'd imagine a B.Mk.III, but if you're after a vanilla Lanc, you can now buy one! There's tons of detail, and by now you've seen a few builds and will know what to watch out for. Careful test fitting and a methodical approach should serve you well though, so don't rush it. Very highly recommended. Review samples courtesy of
  6. I completed this huge model a few months ago - it's the stunning HK Models 1/32nd Lancaster combined with Iconic Air's Dambuster Conversion. The conversion set provides the modified bomb bay set up, the bomb itself, as well as a decal sheet for the 617 Squadron aircraft. I have chosen Maltby's aircraft, coded AJ-J. Paints were from Hannants' Xtracolour range of enamels. Regards, Rob
  7. Figured I'd start a thread for my B-17 that I've been tinkering around with for a month or so now. I've been an on and (mostly) off modeler for the past several years but doing a 1/48 B-17 has been a project I've been researching for a number of years now so over the past 10 years or so I've acquired most of the detail sets for the Monogram kit and and attempted to start that last year but I think I tried to do too much with it and my modeling skills weren't quite where they needed to be to turn that kit into what I had in mind so it got stashed away. Then around Christmas I saw HK came out with a 1/48 kit and after doing a little research I sprung for it and am quite happy I did. Yes, there are a couple inaccuracies like the rear fuselage being slightly too fat and the out engine nacelles sitting a tad high but those don't really bother and quite honestly after having the kit in my hands, I don't think they'll be all that noticeable when the model is finished. The ultimate goal for me is to build a diorama with this. I've done a fair bit of research on the particular plane I'm doing and the history of it is pretty interesting. One such part of that history that I plan to capture is a particular mission in which it had two engines knocked out by flak over France and it had to make an emergency landing at RAF Thorney Island. So that will be challenging but I'm up for it. The plane comes first though. I plan on going slow with this and will be going over the top detailing wise when you take into account what can actually be seen but I've always wanted to go all out on a B-17 and I don't have many other kits I plan on building so I have no problem spending some money on aftermarket bits. I'll start by pointing out the parts of the kit that aren't accurate for an "early" G. 1.) The radio room gun would not have been enclosed on early Gs. The set up was much the same as an F with the hatch open and the gun mounted on a ring that slid back and forth for storage. 2.) The wing tip tokyo tank vents were also not present on early Gs. These were added later and from the pictures I've seen, the two vent version located more in the middle of the wingtip seemed to be more common. 3.) The outer ball turret supports, parts V17 and V18, are incorrect for a G. Fs had the spherical housing over the support but Gs did not. I'm not sure how I'll tackle that yet. 4.) This isn't really an inaccuracy, but the antennas were not a one size fits all deal in that all planes had them....referencing prototype photos is a good idea for these. But all in all I'm really liking the kit and its been pretty fun so far. I'm starting by making the major modifications. The plane I'm building was the last B-17G-25-DL built which was the first production block to incorporate staggered waists windows, so I filled in the kit opening with sheet styrene and carefully cut out the new opening. It's just rough so far and I till need to enlarge it height wise but at least its there. Once the fuselage is closed I'll have to re-rivet the area but that shouldn't be too difficult. MRB_7054 by Matt Bourke, on Flickr MRB_7050 by Matt Bourke, on Flickr I also cut away the elevators from the horizontal stabilizers so I can reposition them in the down position. The other main mod that I think will go a long ways towards having a more accurate looking plane is lowering the landing gear. This photo is post-mod, but both the lowered and raised gears were modeled fully extended which would not be accurate for a plane on the ground. I cut away the entire torsion link assembly since they were undersized anyways and then made a cut at the top of the oleo flush with the collar and then removed about 2.5mm of material if I recall correctly. I was eyeballing prototype photos and I think this looks good for an unloaded aircraft. I then squared up both pieces and then drilled out the center of each piece then CA'ed a piece of brass rod for a strong, solid joint. I replaced part of the torsion links with pieces from the Monogram gears and still have yet to replace the oleo scissors with some styrene. Landing Gear by Matt Bourke, on Flickr Right now, my focus is on the cockpit. Like I said before, I'm probably going over the top but detailing like this is therapy to me and I enjoy it. The center throttle quadrant left a bit to be desired so I've modified it a bit by cutting away the bottom front of it then gluing in some styrene and shaping it into what it should look like. The back part of the top was also cut away and replaced with a portion of a True Details console as I liked the 3D detail better than the kit and also better than what Eduard offers for photoetch. Speaking of Eduard, the sides and top of the console as well as the floor of the cockpit have PE pieces which look pretty good to me. I still have to add all sorts of lever but that will come later. The control columns for the pilot and copilot will also need a little work since I'm not too big on how they look. Center Console by Matt Bourke, on Flickr The seats were next. I tried my hand at using Milliput for the first time to make the seat cushions and I'm pretty happy with how they turned out. I still have some areas to clean up with a file but they're done for now too (they're not glued to the armor yet, just stuck on with blue tack). Seats by Matt Bourke, on Flickr That's all I've got so far. I'm currently tinkering with the sidewalls. I cut away the half relief oxygen canisters and will be replacing them with Resin2Detail tanks. I'm also trying to replicate the fabric covering on the sidewalls with some aluminum foil. As for markings, the plane I'm doing is "Man O War II" from the 91st BG. The 91st memorial website was down for a while but just recently got back up so right now I'm sifting through the daily mission reports trying to learn more about the crew. If you click on the flickr link, I've included a brief history of the plane in the description for those who are interested. The first "Man O War" lasted only one mission but the 2nd was a bit luckier and managed to complete 77 missions before being shot down. I'm modeling it in late April of 1944 (before the red tail surfaces) when it had between 20-25 missions to its name and was still being flown by the original crew. Original Crew of B-17G-25-DL "Man O War II" by Matt Bourke, on Flickr
  8. Source: http://www.merit-int...01E04_01E05.jpg HK Models: http://www.hk-models.com/eng/p2_05.htm V.P.
  9. Im saving up money for model kits rn and I am constantly thinking about the HK Models 1:32 Lancaster, which is not on my list yet, what are your thoughts on the kit and if you have made it by any chance what did you think of the build? Thanks in advance. Levi
  10. Hi chaps. This is going to be my entry into the group build. Hk models 1/32 meteor f.4. I picked this kit up last month, whilst on holiday in briddlington, from croppers models. I've been itching to start it since, and this group build has given me the perfect excuse. Everything comes nicely packaged in a sturdy top opening box. Comes with a massive 1 piece lower wing! 2 individual upper wings. Notice the open engine hatches on the nacelles. I think they might have been intending to supply engine details, but none are included in the kit. There are a couple of really good aftermarket engines, but they are too expensive for my liking. The transparencies are nice and clear, a nice touch is the tape over the main canopy, to protect it from scratches. Nose weight is included too. Decals look nice, although there aren't many of them. As an added bonus, there is a 1/144 meteor kit included, with a little stand, but no decals. Looks to be a nice kit overall, but for a kit this size the parts count is lower than I expected. Matt
  11. Dornier Do.335B-6 Nightfighter (01E021) 1:32 HK Models The Dornier Pfeil (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 following cancellation of that project by Goering, it 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 hollow 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. Other B variants included the 2-seat night fighter with the radar operator buried in the fuselage behind the pilot, with just an astrodome to look out of, and antennae bristling from the leading edges of the wing. 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 capitulation by the Nazis, none of these esoteric variants ever saw the light of day. Despite numerous examples being taken as war prizes by the Allies, 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 as part of Operation Paperclip. The other airframe they had disappeared somewhere along the line, but 240102 survived and was later restored in Germany, then returned to America where it still resides, next to the only surviving Arado Ar.234. The Kit I can't believe it has been four years now since the release of the initial Zerstorer boxing of this kit, which you can see here if you wanted to have a squint. A lot has gone on in the meantime that has delayed all of HK's projects, most notably their 1:32 Lancaster, but a lot of people will be very glad to see them back producing new kits, and wish them well with these projects, myself included. I'm normally a 1:48 kind of guy, but I make an exception for interesting subjects and this is just one of those that appeals and will look awesome on the shelves when completed. It is a fairly minor re-tool of the original that includes new leading edge inserts that don't have the cannon cowlings moulded in, a new spine to the fuselage to accommodate the 2nd crew member along with a bunch of extras on the same sprue, plus another small sprue of clear parts for the rear seater, and PE belts to keep him in touch with his seat during manoeuvres. The final parts are a set of short wingtips, decals and of course a new sheet of decals for the occasion. The box is long and narrow, and has an atmospheric painting of the subject flying toward us at an angle. Inside are fourteen sprues in mid grey styrene, two clear sprues, two sheets of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, two chunks of white metal nose weight, a large sheet of decals and a rather large instruction booklet that is about the size of a tabloid newspaper (probably a little smaller). Detail is lovely, and has been crammed in everywhere possible, offering various thickness of panel lines, overlapping panels and using sliding moulds to achieve more detail where sensible. The instruction booklet is nicely laid out too, with clean isometric-style drawings showing how to put your Arrow together, with interior detail included on both engines, which have the opportunity of being displayed open due to some separate panels. Construction begins with the spindly-looking early ejector seat that was fitted to the Pfeil (a first in aviation), which has a high part count and some nice PE belts. This is fitted to the rear bulkhead of the cockpit, which then plugs into the front section after you have added rudder pedals, control column and such. The nose gear bay is fabricated from various panels and bulkheads, as is the bomb bay, which in this case houses an extra fuel tank that has been relocated from the spine due to the second crewman. His cockpit is slightly less well-appointed with what appears to be a standard seat with the same belts as the pilot. No doubt he'd be left to make his own way out in the event of an emergency, and would have to hope that the explosive bolts in the tail had done the trick and separated the pilot-dicing prop and cruciform tail fins before he gets out. This and the shortened original fuel tank then fit to the roof of the bomb bay, while the pilot's cockpit glues to the roof of the nose gear bay. Because the model has substantial internal structure, you're going to need to build up the two DB603A engines that push/pull the Pfeil before you even begin to think about closing up the fuselage. It also has a Mustang-like intake under the fuselage that cools the rear engine, so that will need fabricating too. The engines are identical in terms of function, but they aren't interchangeable due to their mounting within the airframe. The forward engine has a fairly standard mount much like you'd see in a fighter, while the aft engine has cranked arm and trestle holding it steady. The blocks are the same, but to fit the mounts, you need to drill out different holes for each engine before you join the two halves together. The aft engine sits on the roof of the bomb bay behind the radar operator, and it is connected to the bulkhead by a couple of hoses, but if you're going to detail them, there are bound to be some additional wires you can add. The forward engine is mounted on the bulkhead of the gun bay, which hides one of the nose weights, the other being hidden inside the forward engine – you did remember to put that in, didn't you? Now is the time to put the assembled interior into the port fuselage half, at which point you may realise that you probably didn't paint enough of the fuselage interior – one of my favourite tricks! The aforementioned ducting slots in behind the main assembly, and this is pierced by drive shaft for the rear prop, with the intake lip added later in the build. A small PE part is lodged deep inside to portray the grille and it's all painted aluminium according to the call-out codes that are scattered throughout the instructions. Now you can close up the fuselage, and soon after the new spine part can be fitted after you have drilled a few version specific holes and fitted the black boxes into the front of the rear cabin. At this stage the top cowling on the nose and front inner cowling can be added too, which then allows you to put the windscreen and instrument panel in place, as well as the gun barrels for the two cowling mounted 20mm cannons and coaxially mounted Mk103 30mm cannon, all of which have slide-moulded hollow tips, although I'd probably be tempted by some lovely Master barrels that will doubtless be available for this variant soon (you can already get AM-32-108 for the Zerstörer, but will have some bits left over). The fuselage has the vertical fins moulded in with separate rudders, and these are fitted along with the elevators, all of which use the same interesting construction method. The main part of these surfaces are slide-moulded as a single hollow part to which you add either a convex leading edge for the flying surfaces, or a concave insert along the trailing edges, so that they can be posed realistically. The elevators also have separate tips to ease moulding of the parts. The radiator flaps that nestle around the empennage can be posed open or closed by adding a small actuator strut, or cutting off the mounting lugs respectively. The tail is finished off with the prop, which is a single part trapped between the fore and aft section of the spinner. Pfeil wings are large, but also thick at the root, as evidenced by the depth of the wheel bays moulded into the upper surface. A short spar was added to the underside of the fuselage interior earlier, and this will enable a good strong mount for the wings later on. First each bay is fitted out with additional detail parts, plus the sockets for the spar that will come in handy later. The lower wing is glued into large pegs in the upper, and both sections have additional strengthening bracing framework moulded into the outer section to prevent the wings from flexing once built. The newly tooled leading-edge insert is installed, and the same technique is used for the flying surfaces, with the addition of a hinge-tab within the flap sections, and separate new short wingtips. Repeat in the mirror for the other wing, and then you'll need to resist the urge to put the wings on whilst you decide whether to follow the instructions and fit the landing gear at this stage. Whether or not you do, the build process is the same, as they can be fitted now or later, although if you're posing your Arrow in flight, you can glue the bay doors in place by just cutting off the hinges on the inner doors. Curiously, the instructions for building the gear is portrayed right-to-left in the instructions, beginning with a small actuator, which is then added to the main leg along with scissor-links and a large ladder-shaped retractor. The two outer doors are captive to the gear leg, and the inner is connected to another H-frame and attached to the bay. The wheels are in four parts, and have a weighted look but no surface details, leaving the door open for Eduard. The hubs are separate, and there is one for each side, repeated again for the other leg. The nose gear is built later in the instructions, but uses essentially the same steps and can be left off until later if you require. Moving back to the fuselage, you can choose to have your Pfeil closed up, or have it all hanging out with canopies and cowlings propped open as if it is being inspected by the guys with the oily rags. The same parts are used for both scenarios, and props are provided all round so that you get them all at the correct angle. The canopy has two separate blister panels on its sides, and opens sideways for exit, leaving the windscreen in place. The observation dome isn't shown open for some reason, so if you wanted that open too, you'll need to research how it hinges. There is also a flush-fitting canopy that can be used instead, and this too isn't shown open. The front cowlings open up like an Fw.190 in gull-wing fashion, as do the smaller doors on the gun pack. The exhausts are each separate parts with hollow tips, and you need to put them in the correct order for accuracy front and rear. The rear engine is exposed by a large angular D-shaped door on each side, with the slot for the exhaust stubs a separate part that fits into the aperture, and on the starboard side has an intake for the supercharger, while the engine in the nose has its intake on the port side. The bomb bay doors can be left open to expose the fuel cell, and has similar slab-like doors to the nose bay, with one each side. The inner doors on the main gear wells also fit to the slot in the fuselage, and on the port side is a fold-away crew access ladder in a small bay of its own, all of which is provided in the kit. These can all be posed closed by removing the hinge tabs. The nose cowling has been made as a three-part assembly, which allows the modeller to change out the cooling flaps part to pose them open or closed, and both have the impression of the annular radiator baths that can be seen through the rear. This subassembly then slides over the cowling fitted to the engine earlier, and the prop is pushed into place after it has been outfitted with a two-part spinner, which is noticeably more rounded than the aft spinner. Two of the decal options are theoretical in-service schemes, so HK have included a pair of drop-tanks, flame-dampers for each of the exhausts, and the four radar antennae that fit to the leading edges of the wings. The antennae are each made from an L-shaped base, with two dipoles each. Those with the longest bases are fitted above and below the starboard wing, while the shorter ones are both fitted to the top of the port wing, spaced apart. The drop tanks are split horizontally, and have sway-braces and a short pylon between them and the wings, attaching by two pins outboard of the landing gear. The flame dampers are each made up from four parts, and one is fitted to each exhaust port on the cowling, with the three-pointed star facing forward. At this stage HK have you bringing the wings together with the fuselage for the first time, but we all know you'll have done this ages ago! A couple of extra pages are devoted to the optional open/closed pose of each section of the airframe which initially confused me a little, but then that's easy to do. Markings There are three markings options from the box, two of which are marked as "what-if", the last one being a real-world captured example that was in France's possession at the time. If you don't like squiggle or mottle, you'd best either make up your own equally valid camo, or do the French one, which was all-over khaki. From the box you can build one of the following: Do.335B-6 W.Nr. 240312, 1./NjGr.10, Germany, Summer 1945 – RLM76 Light Blue with RLM75 Grey Violet mottle. Do.335B-6 W.Nr. 240371, 2.NJG 11, Eastern Front, Autumn 1945 – RLM81 Brown Violet and RLM82 Light Green splinter over RLM65 Light Blue with RLM76 Light Blue squigle on the top surfaces. Do.335 M17, W.Nr. 230017, CEV, Brétigny-Sur-Orge, France, 1947 – all-over Khaki. 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 number of stencils provided, plus an instrument decal for the pilot's cockpit, which can either be used intact, or you can punch out the dials and use them individually. You could also use them as a base for applying the more detailed decals that are produced by our friends at Airscale, who do a Luftwaffe instrument panel sheet in 1:32. Conclusion It has taken a while, but the wait has been worth it, and we're one step closer to the Anteater 2-seat trainer, which is my personal favourite variant. It's a big aircraft, and in this scale it makes an impressive model when completed, with superb detail throughout and a simple build process that shouldn't faze anyone that has built a few models already. Extremely highly recommended. Review samples courtesy of
  12. Available 2Q 2013 ref. 01E04 Source: http://www.pacmodels.com/news.php And in German langage (HK Models .de page???) and not yet available in the homepage English version, the first testshot - not prototype - pics! Wingspan: 78,79 cm, Fuselage lenght: 98,80 cm... http://www.hk-models.de/index.htm http://www.hk-models.de/p2_04.htm Don't forget HK Models has a 1/32nd Avro Lancaster and a Gloster Meteor IV in project... V.P.
  13. After its 1/32nd B-17E/F Flying Fortress, Meteor F.4 & Lancaster Mk.III, Hong Kong Models is now working on a 1/32nd Dornier Do.335B-2 Pfeil kit - ref.01E07. Source: http://modelforum.cz/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=68170&start=3060 V.P.
  14. Hi folks, I'm new here but I've been working on the new Mossie kits since they came out. I was fortunate enough to get the Tamiya kit in early July thanks to them arriving here in Canada so early. I have both kits well under way so the first couple of posts are bringing things up to date. Otherwise I don't build that quickly. Here's the obligatory box shot: This is the HK box on top of the Tamiya one. There is quite a size difference between the two.
  15. After two single-seat boxings (http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234945466-132-dornier-do335-a-0a-1b-2-pfeil-by-hk-models-b-2-a-0a-1-released/), HK Models is to release a 1/32nd Dornier Do.335A Trainer Pfeil, two-seats variant kit - ref. Source: https://www.facebook.com/largescalemodeller/photos/a.459679464104014.1073741828.450176221721005/1046027058802582/?type=3&theater Box art V.P.
  16. HK Models 1/32nd scale Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress This model represents ‘Skipper’; a Douglas-built B-17G 42-238129 assigned to the 367th Bomb Squadron, 306th Bomb Group, based at Thurleigh. This aircraft was one of 234 built by Douglas that had both staggered waist gun positions as well as the factory-fitted Cheyenne tail turret, and were delivered in camouflage finish. This particular aircraft entered service on 25th February 1944, and was still on strength with the 306th on VE-Day. The replacement natural metal starboard stabiliser, fin centre-section, both elevators and tail turret were necessary after the bomber was rammed from behind in a taxiing accident at Thurleigh in November 1944. After repair, ‘Skipper’ went on to complete over 100 missions. After hostilities ended, this veteran was transferred to the 398th BG at Nuthampsted on 28th May 1945, before flying back ‘across the pond’ in January 1945 where it resided at Kingman before succumbing to scrap man’s torch on 28th December of the same year. This model has been built more or less out of the box, with only very minor additions. I made the small 'ice windows' on the pilots' windscreens from careful masking and Archer rivets. Aftermarket seat-belts came from Eduard, and a few additional details were added here and there from Evergreen strip where I felt them necessary, such as under the flightdeck floor. I used Eduard’s exterior set which provided some vents and grills omitted by HK, as well as more detailed fuel filler caps. I didn’t use any interior sets, as I felt that the kit parts were perfectly adequate when painted up, and Eduard have used ‘standard’ US interior green on components rather than ‘bronze green’ used on the B-17. I sprayed on the bomb group markings myself, and used the kit decals for the ‘stars and bars’ etc. The ‘Skipper’ name was printed for me, and I used KitWorld’s excellent stencil set. All paints were from Hannants’ Xtracolour range. All in all a very straightforward and enjoyable build… although it’s an expensive model, if you’re a fan of the B-17 it’s a ‘must have’ kit. Was it worth the money? Roll on the B-17F version would be my answer to that! More detail pictures to follow...
  17. HK Models 1/32nd Avro Manchester after the Lancaster? See on the table. Sources: https://www.facebook.com/hkmmodels/posts/1762400990676185 https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10210601505371790&set=a.1590767327043.79557.1171661098&type=3&theater V.P.
  18. I've just completed converting the 1/32nd scale HK Models Meteor into a T7 using the Fisher conversion set. The conversion gives a new resin moulded nose section, forward intakes, full interior and of course a new canopy. The new resin parts didn't fit all that well in my experience of this build, but with some careful cutting, trimming and sanding it came together in the end. Paints were Xtracolur enamels and decals came with the kit. Thanks for looking, Rob
  19. Source: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1625691294347156&id=1375731456009809 Time will tell. V.P.
  20. This is the build I was really hoping to do back when I proposed this build a year ago! The HK Models Meteor F Mk 4 converted to an F Mk 8 using Paul Fisher's excellent set and the Zotz Decals sheet with IAF markings. I wasn't sure I'd be able to get the money together but I had a good month just after the updated conversion and the decal sheet were released, so I'm set and ready to go! This is going to be great! Michael
  21. I've just finished converting HK Models' Meteor F.4 to the F.8 version using the Fisher Conversion set. This involved removing the F.4 nose section just forward of the wing and fitting a new resin nose, chopping the tail section off and grafting on a new resin rear end, the forward sections of the intakes were also removed and resin replacements added. A fully detailed cockpit interior including ejection seat was also supplied in the kit, and I also installed a G-Factor brass undercarriage set due the extra weight with Brassin resin wheels. Decals came with the Fisher set, and I used Xtracolour enamels to paint the model. I've completed this as a 63sqn aircraft from RAF Waterbeech in 1956. The conversion parts mated to the HK donor kit very well indeed, as long you followed the guidance to the letter. Some small amounts of filler were all that was needed to blend the resin conversion parts to the airframe. Fisher have just released a T.7 conversion so I'm hoping to complete that in the not-too-distant future. Rob
  22. I've decided I would like to join this Group build as I love the Meteor. I have build a Tamiya Meteor F.3 and have several 1:72 Meteors of various marks and a couple of Classic Airframes kits but I have decided to build HK Models 1:32 Meteor F.4. I've been excited about this kit since it came out and have been itching to start it. Here is a box shot along with the contents. I have some Fisher Models air intakes and have ordered some HGW Seat belts and an interior set from Eduard. Markings wise I have yet to decide between a 56 squadron Meteor using Pheon decals or a trainer one using the Kit World decals. After removing the parts from the sprue the first job will be the surgery required to cut out the intakes..... Thanks for looking. Mark
  23. I've been working on this project on and off for the last year or so, and finally applied the finishing touches this weekend. The HK Models kit needs no introduction and was for the second time, a joy to build. Having seen a few of these kits made up as war-beaten WWII aircraft, I wanted to do something a little different, and thus decided to build this version as a modern day warbird. Most preserved Forts in natural metal gleam like a mirror - something that terrified me, so I went instead for the Experimental Aircraft Association's 'Aluminum Overcast' which is operated from Oshkosh, Wisconsin, which is actually painted silver rather than being in NMF. Being a Vega block 105 aircraft, she never saw combat, as it was actually built too late to see service in WWII, and instead went straight to the boneyard as 'surplus' before being bought in 1946 by Universal Aviation for aerial mapping purposes. It was sold again in 1947, this time as a cargo hauler which required numerous modifications, before once again taking on the role of aerial mapping platform in 1949, spending 12 years in the Middle East. By 1966 another sale ensued and the B-17 was used as a chemical sprayer back in the US, before its final role which began in 1966 as an aerial tanker and fire bomber. After retirement from this role in 1988, she was purchased by the 'B-17s around the World Foundation' and subsequently donated to the EAA, where a thorough restoration to WWII configuration began. She's been touring the US since 1994, and proudly wears the colours of 398th BG which flew from Nuthampstead during the war. Although she's 95% authentic in comparison to her WWII counterparts, she does carry a full, modern avionics suite, as well as extra passenger seats in the rear fuselage, radio room and flightdeck for those lucky enough to enjoy a flight in her. The upper turret is just a dome with dummy barrels fitted to improve access to the flightdeck, but the ball turret is fully operational. I carried out the simple modifications to the HK kit to bring it up to 'warbird' status by scratch-building the passenger seats, removing and filling the radome on the top of the nose compartment, adding the modern aerials seen on the aircraft and leaving out the top turret mechanism. Armour plate was removed from the pilots' seats, and the flightdeck oxygen system was also removed. I painted the interior olive green as the original, as unlike her wartime sisters she's painted internally. Wooden floors and ammo boxes were recreated using the superb HGW decals, and a final touch was a scratch-built rear access door and entry step as well as a ladder stored in the bomb-bay as often seen when these Forts are on tour. Decals came from KitsWorld, and paints were automotive acrylics. Boeing B-17G-105-VE s/n 44-85740, civil reg. N5017N 'Aluminum Overcast' DSC_0058 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr DSC_0065 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr Removing the nose radome: S1030377 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr Interior progressing with scratch-built passenger seats etc: DSC_0008 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr DSC_0082 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr DSC_0087 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr DSC_0092 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr DSC_0094 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr DSC_0101 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr DSC_0108 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr DSC_0117 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr DSC_0120 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr DSC_0136 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr DSC_0147 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr DSC_0154 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr DSC_0157 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr DSC_0160 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr And the picture that inspired it all: Srenco-B17 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr Thanks for stopping by, Tom
  24. de Havilland Mosquito B.Mk.IV Series II 1:32 HK Models The Mosquito was one of the ground-breaking private projects of WWII, and it contributed a significant effort toward victory against Nazi Germany from its introduction in 1941 to the end of the war and beyond. Initially conceived by Geoffrey de Havilland as a fast bomber, it was not intended to carry armament, simply relying on speed to take it out of harm's way. Numerous versions were considered, but a twin engine design with a wooden monocoque fuselage was eventually used, with space for four 20mm cannons in the forward section of the bomb bay. It was initially met with a very lukewarm reception from the Air Ministry, as they still clung to their obsession of turreted aircraft, which became heavy and complex, reducing speed both in the air and through the production line. After some shenanigans that included a mock-up of a turret behind the main canopy, DH were issued with a requirement for a 400mph capable light bomber/reconnaissance aircraft, which solidified as DH.98, and was named Mosquito. Despite having been ordered to stop development work after Dunkirk, DH carried on due to the vagueness of the request, and the prototype flew at the end of 1940. After lengthening the engine nacelles and splitting the flaps to cure poor handling at certain speeds she flew for the ministry and managed to outpace a Spitfire, pulling away with a speed advantage of 20mph. The Mosquito lines were split between bomber/recon variants with glass noses and fighter variants with the four cannon in the belly and four .303 machine guns in the nose. It really was the master of all things, as it showed when it became a night-fighter, torpedo bomber, and even in its dotage it was well-used as a target tug until the early 60s. The Mossie was even converted to carry two bouncing bombs called Highballs, and always gave a good account of itself, striking fear into the hearts of the opposition. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, which was evidenced by the German Focke-Wulf Ta.154 Moskito, which attempted to recreate the success of the Mossie, but failed due largely to inferior construction and glue, which caused delamination of the wings in the air. The Mosquito was mainly constructed by woodworkers that might otherwise have been left idle during the austerity of the war, and it was their skill and ingenuity that contributed to the success of the aircraft, and made it very economical to build using very little in the way of strategic materials. Time is unkind to wood however, and very few Mosquitos have survived in airworthy condition, the last of which was lost in 1998 in a fatal crash. There is hope that the Mosquito will fly again over Britain, as the People's Mosquito group are trying to raise funds to construct a new-build Mossie to entertain a new generation of aviation fans at airshows. The Kit HK Models hit the modelling scene a couple of years ago creating models in 1:32 that a lot of us never expected to see in that scale. Based in Hong Kong, they now have a substantial catalogue of single, twin and four-engined aircraft that cause quite a stir when they are announced. The Mosquito was announced last year to much enthusiasm, and we are now able to get our hands on a sample thanks to our friends at Pocketbond, who are their UK distributors. Since their announcement another company has also announced a 1:32 Mosquito, but thankfully theirs is the fighter, while this is the bomber variant, so unlikely to eat into each other's markets. Who wouldn't want two Mossies? You might have guessed that I love the Mosquito, and it is what brought me back to the hobby when I decided I needed a model of one for my shelf. I also grew up listening to the last flyable Mosquito overhead, as I live close to where she was based, so it is firmly entrenched in my heart as my favourite aircraft of all. The box is long and reasonably narrow, with a dramatic painting of a Mosquito loosing off a Cookie bomb over a smoking landscape during a night raid. Without dragging my Do.335 from the stash, the boxes look to be of a similar size, which is always good news for stacking. Inside there isn't much in the way of wasted space, with styrene parts taking up most of the volume, carefully packaged in re-sealable cellophane bags. The fuselage parts are further protected by some self-cling wrap to stop the parts chaffing against each other in transit, while the glazing parts have been secured to a white backing card with tape to further protect them too. This initial run has a special addition in the shape of a pair of standing crew figures in resin, which were sculpted by Steve Warrilow. If you want these chaps, don't delay in picking up your kit, as the first issue is unlikely to stay on the shelves long once you've seen what's in the box. Inside the box is one large sprue, three medium sprues, three small, and nine small sprues with either a single part, or a small group of similar parts on, all in a mid-grey styrene. There are also two fuselage parts, and one wing part in the same styrene, a gaggle of four clear sprues, a small fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a medium sized decal sheet, single sheet paint conversion table, and a large (A3ish in size) glossy covered instruction booklet with the painting and markings guide at the rear in shades of grey. The bonus figures are sealed in an opaque foam envelope, held closed by a sticker that mentions their limited edition status. If you're late to the party and reading this sometime down the line, it's possible you may not have this in your box, so prepare yourself. Some fancy footwork has been utilised to create some very interesting and technically advanced moulds for both the fuselage and wings, which is good to see, especially coming from such a relatively new company. The fuselage is provided in halves, but in the fore/aft fashion, rather than the usual seam that runs along the length of the fuselage. The split is at the fuselage strengthening band over the wing roots, so seam clean-up is minimised if not entirely obviated. The full-width wings caused a little furrowing of the brow, as when they were released from their bag the top and bottom surfaces didn't separate, because they have been moulded as a single part. I'm not 100% certain of how this was done, but I have a few guesses that revolve around styrene remaining quite flexible once cooled. This technique has also been used for the flaps, ailerons and elevators… ok, all the flying surfaces, which saves a lot of mucking about with glue. Construction begins with the important pilot's seat, with its asymmetrical seat back that curves in due to the pilot's proximity to the canopy. The seat bottom and cushion are one part, while the arms and side detail are added to the sides, after which the seat back and PE belts are installed. Note here that seat and seat-back cushions are moulded into the seat, so if you wanted to depict them without, you'll have some work ahead of you with sanding sticks. The cushions are well sculpted though, so I'd imagine most people would stick with them. The cockpit is built up in assemblies that come together at the end, with the rear deck mating with the rest late in the process, as it is attached to the top of the wing that passes through the fuselage. The pilot's seat attaches to a half bulkhead that is actually the front bulkhead of the bomb bay, so has detail on both sides, with small parts added to each for extra detail. The main instrument panel is a single part with moulded-in rudder pedals, behind which a box is added to prevent the see-through look. There is a group of individual decals arranged on the sheet as if they were a single decal containing only instrument faces, which you will apply after painting of the panel, then fix it in place on the cockpit floor, which has a separate access hatch panel fitted to it, plus the single piece control column, after which it is mated with the pilot's bulkhead. The flat deck (or bomb bay roof) that the co-pilot's seat is attached to is next, with his armoured seat back, equipment boxes and PE seatbelts added before it is fixed to the rear of the pilot's bulkhead. The sidewalls then enclose the cockpit, with the circular ferrules (fixing points) standing out from the sides, doing a creditable impression of ejector pin marks if you didn’t know any better, and hiding the presence of a few pin marks that will need removal. The ejector pin marks should be easy to tell apart however, as they have a less refined and sometimes recessed aspect. There is lot of detail moulded into these side panels, and these should look great under a coat of paint, although some of the detail is sloped a little at the edges due to the constraints of injection moulding technology, and the ejector pin marks make extra work. A compass is added to the pilot's side, and on the exposed deck at the front, the bomb-sight is added, while the rear bulkhead that is the leading edge of the wing-root is attached to the back of the cockpit tub, which is then slipped inside the single-piece nose of the beast, with only two small parts added in the very front of the nose, plus the important sides windows. You will have to paint the inside tip of the nose the interior colour, as the side walls stop at the instrument panel bulkhead, which might be best done before installing the windows from the outside. The nose glazing completes the nose, and work turns toward the canopy, which is notable in that it has internal as well as external framing, which is faithfully depicted here is a substantial frame that sits within the canopy parts. There are a couple of ejector pin marks on this part that will need careful fettling to restore the gap between parallel tubing, but you could be forgiven for leaving it as it might well not be seen. The windscreen attaches to the front, with the tapering rear section to the rear of the frame, leaving a gap that is filled by three panels, taking the form of the blistered side windows, and the emergency escape panel on the top. The dingy pack door on the rear is a separate part that is added before you mate the forward and rear sections (there is no interior to this bay). At this stage you'd be forgiven for expecting the fuselage halves to be joined, but instead you will find yourself building the elevator assembly, which starts with the planes moulded in a single part to which you add small fillets to close up the rear of the skin. The tail-wheel structure is then built up in the bay between the planes, with the strut attached to a small bulkhead, which also acts as the hinge-point for the leg to rotate rearwards into its bay. The elevators have also been moulded in one piece, with a curved forward section closing up the skins, after which its hinge-point is clipped into a trough that runs across the rear of the elevator planes. This is in turn glued into the rear fuselage, into the slot in the same manner as the actual aircraft was constructed. The missing lower fuselage panels are then added as a single part, boxing in the bay and leaving an oval(ish) hole through which the tail wheel deploys. Three clear recognition lights are clued into depressions in the fuselage sides, after the depressions have been painted silver to simulate the reflectors. Another hatch in the side of the fuselage covers up its aperture, leaving scope for aftermarket providers to create a set to show off what is inside. The final act before bringing the fuselage halves together is to add the bulkhead and rear end of the bomb bay to the aft fuselage, before the two halves are glued together, with tabs and pins providing clear guidance for correct location. My example was a little tight on the top pin however, so you may want to check yours and ream it out a little to ease fit, without making it so sloppy that it doesn't do its job. The tail and rudder are moulded as one part each, with a blanking piece added to each before you set them to whatever angle you choose. They then fit to the fuselage, and a small blister is placed on a lug on the starboard side to give the actuators room to pivot on the real thing. Finally, a pair of small formation lights on a base fit to the very end of the fuselage. The detail on the fuselage sides is faithful to the original, with no panel lines, just very faintly raised tape marks where the joint between wooden panels have been filled and covered before doping. This also extends to the other major external parts that were constructed using wood, which is almost everything but the engine cowlings where metal was favoured both for strength and its heat resistance. The engine nacelles are then constructed around the substantial twin struts of the gear legs, which have the main retraction jacks held between their halves to give them extra strength, as well as the anti-fouling bars at the bottom of the legs that prevent the gear bay doors from catching on the struts as they rotate. The wheels are built from two part tyres with a circumferential seam across the tyre's tread-blocks to fix, although this isn't likely to be as difficult as it sounds. The hubs are separate parts, and slot into keyed depressions in their respective positions, after which they are trapped between the stub-axles when the two legs are brought together and held there by a top bar and cross-brace, with the mudguard added later. The short bulkhead to which the M-shaped brace attach is added next, and the big tank that is so evident at the top of each leg is installed before it is attached to the bay roof. The nacelle sides are added next with a couple of small parts including bulkhead and strut parts, added to each side before they enclose the upper leg within. There are quite a number of ejector pin marks in these parts, which will need addressing, but they are raised, so no filler will be needed. This build process is repeated for the other leg, after which the Merlin engines are built up using eighteen parts to produce good detail, plus an additional four parts for the five-stack exhausts, and another four for the engine bearers. Add in some wiring and hoses, and you will have a good looking pair of engines to show off later. They are added to the front of the engine nacelles, with the remaining cowlings built up later for installation or otherwise once the wings are completed. The wings are already substantially complete due to the clever moulding techniques used, and after drilling some holes for the optional slipper tanks, for which a measuring guide is included, the rear is closed up by adding the slim bay walls to the flaps and ailerons, as well as the upper cowling for the engine bays. Small inserts are added to the lower wing trailing edges as the basis for the hinges for the flying surfaces, and the upper section of the bomb bay is added from a single part that depicts the twin fuel tanks that take up the remainder of the height within the wing spar box. As mentioned earlier, the flaps and ailerons are hollow moulded as one part each, with the flaps linked by a moulded-in hinge. Their leading edges are closed with aerodynamic profiles, as are the ailerons, after which they are added to the trailing edges of the wings and small hinge-fairings are added on the underside. The wingtips are separate hollow moulded parts into which the forward and rear-facing formation lights are added, with clear green and red paint used on the correct sides. At this point the engine nacelles are glued to the slots on the underside of the wings, and the lower cowling with PE intake mesh is added to leave only the sides uncovered. You can choose to cover up those Merlin engines completely, or leave some or all uncovered to show off your work, although you will need to thin the cowling panels and detail them, as there is none inside. You can also install flame-suppressor covers for the exhausts if you choose, as well as the optional two-part slipper tanks for long-range missions. Adding the props and their spinners is probably not wise if you're clumsy like me, but the prop is a single part, with three tapered blades moulded in, and if you're interested there is a set of three-bladed paddle props included for your convenience. On the top of the wing you will build the last part of the cockpit, so if you remember to make that up before you put away the interior grey-green, you'll be much happier. You might also consider adding the snaking wires that are present on that section of the deck, leading to and from the radio set, but aren't present in the kit parts. The rear bulkhead and radio gear with colourful dials sit behind the co-pilot eventually when the wing is installed, but check how the parts mate up to ensure a good fit before you proceed. The fuselage and wings are mated in the same way as the original 1:1 aircraft, with the fuselage lowered onto the full-width wings, only in our case it'll be held together with model glue, not wood glue, bolts and so forth. Rather than work in a fiddly closed-in bomb bay, the sides are left off until after the bay door actuators and your choice of bomb-load has been made. Let's talk about bombs for a minute, eh? In the box you have a quartet of four short-tailed 500lb bombs that are carried on a rack affixed to the roof of the bomb bay, which would all fit comfortably in the standard bomb bay, with streamlined doors that match the profile of the fuselage. This is the Series II that is mentioned on the box – the Series I carrying four 250lb bombs with room to spare. Your other option is the later 4,000lb Cookie bomb (as it became known), which required a bulged bomb bay that gave the aircraft a slightly pregnant look. Both options are available to you, requiring a different fit of door actuators, different bay doors, and for the Cookie, a fairing fore and aft of the bay doors to smooth the airflow. The bay sides remain the same for both versions, but the bomb rack used for suspending the four three-part 500lb bombs is discarded along with the bombs to be replaced by two separate pegs that project from the top surface of the two-part Cookie bomb canister, requiring you to drill holes of approximately 2.5mm in diameter. Seeing the Cookie in place makes you realise just how powerful the Mossie was in order to carry this thin-cased tube of destruction. Another testament to the de Havilland design team. The gear bay doors are all single parts with moulded-in hinges that locate in depressions on the inside lips of the bays, while the bomb bay doors attach to the fuselage mounted hinges in the same way. Part of the Mosquito's speed was derived from her sleek streamlined appearance, which included burying the radiators within the leading edge of the inner wing, with the air ducted through the cores and out under the wing. The cores fit to the lower wing inserts and have the flap controlling their airflow attached to the rear, with the option of posing them in the open position if you wish. The bomber variant had the crew door on the lower nose due to the lack of cannon bays in the same area, so the crew could enter using a ladder from below. This door is provided separately with two hinges, a clear port-hole and grab-handle on the inside. This can be posed open, but it isn't made clear whether the inner hatch should be left open, and I'm afraid I don't know the answer to this one. Stowed or hinged, and if hinged, which side? It's such a long time since I built my 1:48 Tamiya Highball conversion, I cannot remember. Pop the aerial on top of the fuselage like a candle on a cake, and you're done. Crew Figures – Limited Edition The limited edition crew figures are a good reason to stock up your big Mossie pile early, and this in turn will help secure the release of additional variants, so take heed and get buying! The figures are further protected by a Ziplok bag inside their outer bag, and they are very nicely done. Each pilot is on his own pour block, attached by some rather 70s looking blocks on the soles of his feet. The helmeted pilot has separate arm and hand parts on another smaller moulding block, which fit very well to their intended locations. Glue them with super-glue or epoxy, and it's unlikely you will need to do any seam hiding. My only minor complaint is the size of the bare-headed chap's quiff. It is rather long, and sticking out horizontally as if he is in a stiff breeze. It may be hair envy, but it seems a little exaggerated from some angles, however it is easily trimmed back with the aid of a good hairdresser (or a scalpel). Having handled these figures for a while during the review process, it struck me that they looked a little on the tall side, and after measuring, the helmeted figure scales out at 6', while the chap with the quiff is around 6'5". It would have been very crowded in the confines of the cockpit with those two at the controls, and this is one reason why smaller navigators were preferred. There were of course some tall Mossie pilots, such as Group Captain Pickard who was 6'4", known best for the famous Jericho raid where he lost his life. Markings You are presented with three markings options in the box, each of which is depicted in greyscale over two pages, with colours called out using letters, and decals numbered. There is also a double-page stencil layout diagram that is common to all markings choices. From the box you can build one of the following: DK296, No.305 FTU, Errol, Autumn 1943 – Grey/green camouflage with low demarcation over ocean grey undersides. Roundels painted out and red stars in their place. DZ637 P3-C No.692 Squadron, Graveley, Spring 1944 – Grey/green camouflage with high demarcation over night (black) undersides. DZ627 AZ-X No.627 Squadron, Woodhall Spa, Summer 1944 – Grey/green camouflage with medium demarcation over ocean grey undersides. Black/white invasion stripes on the lower surfaces of the fuselage and wings. The decals are printed by Cartograf, so you can rest assured that register, sharpness and colour density are all up to snuff, and the inclusion of all the stencils is good to see. It would have been nice to see a little more information about the decal options, especially the red star bedecked Mossie, which was actually used in the Soviet Union for tests until it was damaged in a heavy landing, after which it was written off, and for the geographically challenged like myself, a country would have been helpful. The large "Keep Off" warning rectangles that are applied over the radiator have their inner areas covered with carrier film to include the writing, when it would have been better to remove the carrier in the blank areas and add the lettering separately to reduce the likelihood of silvering on a conspicuous area. If you have a sharp scalpel and a steady hand however, you can remove these yourself, and not worry about it. Conclusion This is a welcome kit in the 1:32 scale world, as well as being eagerly awaited by yours truly. Overall the detail is excellent, but the advanced (read anal) modeller will probably look at areas where the detail has been slightly simplified and wish that separate parts had been used, for example in the cockpit sidewalls there are a few controls that are moulded-in and as such their detail is a bit soft. This will undoubtedly be addressed by the aftermarket fraternity, although you could well argue that little will actually be seen once the cockpit is inside the fuselage. These minor niggles aside it is tour-de-force of injection moulding technology, and consigns the Revell/Lodela kit of yore to the recycling bin, or the museum if you prefer. I'm looking forward to other variants and trying not to think about where I'm going to put them. Very highly recommended, and available now from all good model shops. Review sample courtesy of UK Distributors for
  25. Mosquito Mk.IV (for HK Model) 1:32 Eduard HK Models' new Mossie hit the shelves just before the Tamiya kit, and Eduard have already released these sets to give us some extra detail, added realism and to ease some of the painting tasks that tax us modellers. There are a number of Photo-Etch (PE) sets available to choose from, all of which come in the usual flat-pack with white cardboard protective liner. The bags are self-seal, so you'll still be able to re-pack them once you've had a squint at the instructions, but take care not to get the contents stuck on the adhesive. It doesn't like to let go! Interior (32840) This set that contains a pre-painted and self-adhesive sheet as well as a bare brass sheet of PE is solely concerned with increasing the level of detail within the cockpit, which although cramped is quite visible under the canopy at this scale. It replaces all the moulded-in instrument faces and decals with a set of laminated panels that are pre-printed with dials for your ease. The simple kit rudders are replaced with PE parts that have much better detail, and a backing panel that prevents the see-through look. The throttle quadrant, compass and various other items on the side walls are also upgraded or replaced, resulting in a much improved level of detail. Interior Zoom! (33148) If you'd just like a set of instrument panel faces and control improvements, then this set is for you. You miss out on the skins for the radio boxes, rudder pedals and other parts, because you just get the pre-painted and self-adhesive sheet shown above, with a corresponding reduction in price. Seatbelts (32841) A set of good quality PE seatbelts with pre-painted surfaces are within the bag, with additional details such as loose tabs, extra buckles and a more complete depiction of the whole harness. They are simple to bend, but take care not to bend them too sharply, as the tight radius could bring off the painted surface. A dab of superglue should hold them in place nicely. Seatbelts FABRIC (32839) To me, the fabric belts are the pinnacle of realism in a kit, and are at their best in 1:32. You get a sheet of "material" on a sticky background, which you peel off, scrunch up and then add the nickel-plated PE hooks, buckles and adjusters in the same way as you would on the real thing. They are fiddly at 1:48, and less so at 1:32, but your hard work will be rewarded by a superb set of belts that fall realistically on the seats. Masks (JX182) If you hate masking, or just want to save some time, this pre-cut sheet of yellow kabuki tape is for you. It includes a full set of masks for all canopy components, with the sharper curved areas having the usual framing pieces, with you left to fill-in the highly curved area with scrap tape or masking fluid. You even get a couple of circular masks to cover your wheel hubs. Review sample courtesy of
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