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  1. Halberstadt Cl.II & RE.8 “Harry Tate” (32804) 1:32 - Wingnut Wings Not only do Wingnut Wings produce outstanding kits, they also produce a number of ‘Duellists’ double kits which depict the actual aircraft that took part in a known and documented incident. The latest of these pairs their new Halberstadt Cl.II with the long out of production RE.8. The event took place on 9th June 1918, when the Schlasta 13 Halberstadt was being flown by the inexperienced crew of Kuesler and Mullenbach. Returning from a patrol, they were heading back to their own lines when they were intercepted by a 3 Squadron RE.8 being flown by Roderick Armstrong and Frank Mart. Armstrong and Mart forced the Germans down and captured the Halberstadt undamaged. Flown back to Britain and extensively tested, it formed the basis of a capture report in Flight magazine on 10 October 1918. The kit. In one of Wingnut Wings large boxes, lifting the lid reveals the two kits packaged side by side in their own compartments. The lid itself depicts the incident getting under way, with Armstrong flying the RE.8 and Mart aiming his Lewis gun firmly at the hapless Kuesler and Mullenbach in the Cl.II. Steve Anderson really does produce the most amazing artwork, telling the story and at the same time showing the aircraft to perfection. The Halberstadt Cl.II The parts are the same as provided in the Halberstadt Cl.II reviewed here with the exception of sprue F, which has been replaced with sprue G. This holds the parts particular to the 'Late' version of the CL.II, which had the LMG 08/15 Spandau moved from the port to the starboard side in front of the pilot, resulting in changes also to the instrument panel and cowlings. The RE.8. The RE.8 was the workhorse of the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force, serving from mid-1917 until the end of the war in November 1918. More than 4,000 were produced by various sub-contractors, and it served widely in all theatres of the Great War. Regarded as a competent rather than great aircraft, perhaps the most telling comment is that it rapidly disappeared from service when the war was over, whilst its contemporary, the Bristol F.2B continued into the 1930’s. Sharing the other side of ‘The duellists’ box, the plastic sprues are all individually wrapped, and then sealed in another bag to keep them all together. I built the individual release of this kit back in 2014, so can perhaps add a little more to this review. In short, I had no problems whatsoever, it went together beautifully, and was a total pleasure to work on. On the real aircraft the interior is formed around a wooden framework, which is where assembly of the kit starts. There is a stunning amount of detail on all the parts, with ‘routing’ and metal brackets on the engine bearers being a nice touch. There are levers, wheels, ammo drums, oil & fuel tanks, wireless sets, etched brass belts etc. all to be painted and added to the main framework. The instrument panel is the best of the lot, an absolute gem, and very visible on the finished model. There are a fair amount of simple bracing wires between the frames. I used heat stretched sprue on mine, secured with white glue. The end result is outstanding, being a very satisfying and rewarding kit to build. I actually started my build with the RAF 4a engine, as engines are my favourite part of these kits. The real one is a V12, and a complicated (but interesting) looking piece of engineering. Wingnut Wings have made construction easy, the main assembly consists of a three part crankcase, with each cylinder being in two halves. Assembly is faultless, everything fits together like a dream. The only thing you have to do is plan your painting and assembly sequence, which really means assemble as much as you can without the cylinders on, paint them black and most everything else in silver before bringing it all together for final assembly. Even the ignition wires are provided as a bunched loom, so that is one less job that I normally do with fuse wire. Finishing it all off are those two great big steamboat like exhaust stacks. With engine and interior done the two fuselage halves can be brought together. The moulded stitching on the exterior is crisply done, and quite a big feature of this model as it runs virtually the whole length on both sides of the fuselage. After the lower wings are fitted, various other items are added to the fuselage exterior, such as the elevator control line cranks, and the Vickers gun with its Constatinesco synchronisation gear. The leather reinforcement patches for control line exit points are provided on the etched brass fret. The top wing is made up from a two part centre section, with the main planes being single moulding with separate ailerons. The centre section is moulded in clear plastic as several RE.8's had the inner panels covered in transparent Cellon, to improve upward visibility. However, it was not the case with the subject of this kit, so can just be painted over. These are big parts for single mouldings but are absolutely flawless, with no sink marks or any blemishes. The fabric and rib detail is done to perfection, and when assembled the upper wing becomes quite a big piece. I usually re-inforce the aileron mounts by drilling and pinning them with fine brass wire. It is not strictly essential, but I knocked the ailerons off a couple of my earlier completed builds whilst handling them, so prefer to do this nowadays. They are only fitted in the final stages of the build when all painting and decaling are done. Putting the top wing on is undeniably a stressful moment. The main thing is to test fit each strut into its socket and clear out any primer/paint/detritus to ensure a smooth fit. A nice touch is that the strut ends are all keyed to matching sockets, so you can’t get them wrong. When all is ready, use plastic cement such as Revell Contatcta to assemble it upside down, staring with the Centre section and working outwards. Carefully lift it to rest in the empty box, wing leading edges first, as shown in the instruction book. Next to go on is the undercarriage, and fortunately this is quite sturdy as by this stage the model will be becoming surprisingly heavy. The tyres have miniature lettering moulded on to them, but you will probably require a magnifying glass to read it all! Carburettors and cowlings need to be added, along with that superb, huge four bladed prop. The moulding is a work of art, it is all curves and twists, with super fine trailing edges. Finally the observers Scarff ring and Lewis gun are added to complete the model. The brackets on the Scarff ring are etched brass, as there really is no other way they could be done. I added cream painted fuse wire to represent the bungee cord on mine. The gun ring and a pair of underwing bomb racks are contained on sprue R, of which two are supplied. This is the standard 'RFC Armaments' sprue supplied in several kits, and also has Lewis and Vickers guns, various bombs and ammo drums that can all go in the spares box. It is one of the more complex of Wingnut Wings Kits due largely to the amount of rigging, but well within the capability of anyone who has completed a few 1/32 biplanes. There is nothing complex about it, it is just that there is a fair bit to do. Option 1. Halberstadt Cl.II 15342/17 'III' Kuessler & Mullenbach, Schlasta 13, 9 June 1918. Option 2. RE.8 D4689 'P' RC Armstrong & HJ Mart, 3 Sqn AFC, 9 June 1918. Decals. There are two sheets of decals, the larger one of A4 size containing the lozenge decals for the Halberstadt, and the slightly smaller one has all the individual markings for both aircraft. A small supplementary sheet is included for the RE.8, with a large letter 'P' for the upper wing, and tailfin serial number 'D4689' in plain white, as it was on the day of the incident depicted. (The main sheet has it in black edged in white, as per delivery to the squadron). Printed by Cartograf they look to be of excellent quality, with fine detail, good colours, and in perfect register. The 5 colour lozenge decal look particularly good, both the upper (darker) and lower (lighter) colours look just right to my eye. Also they are in 'cookie cutter' format, making application much easier. Some extra guidance on producing the typical Halberstadt 'stippled' finish is helpfully provided in Wingnut Wings website. Conclusion. This is another inspired pairing to add to the 'Duellists' series of double kits. Having a pair of aircraft linked together by the same story adds extra interest. It is especially intriguing that an RE.8 crew succeeded in capturing an intact Halberstadt, as it is so often portrayed as an inferior aircraft. It just shows that in the hands of a competent crew, it wasn't such a bad aircraft. Both are beautiful kits, and having built the original release of the RE.8 I can confirm that it is superbly engineered, and builds up without problems. It is also one of the most impressive finished models in my display cabinet. From the instruction booklet to the superb mouldings, the etched brass, the decals, the presentation, everything is done to the highest possible standard. It is great to have the RE.8 available again so get this set while you can, you'll love it! Highly Recommended Review sample courtesy of
  2. Halberstadt Cl.II (Early) 1:32 Wingnut Wings (32049) Announced a couple of months ago, Wingnut Wings have now released two boxings of the Halberstadt CL.II, in ‘Early’ and ‘Late’ versions. Designed in 1917as two seat escort fighter and ground attack machine, the CL.II served from July 1917 until the end of the war in November 1918. Of all wood construction, the CL.II was smaller than existing two seaters (‘C’ types) and lighter (the ‘L’ part of its designation). Consequently is had a good rate of climb, top speed, and manoeuvrability, with excellent communication possible between the closely located pilot and gunner. It proved to be popular with its crews and very effective in its designated roles. Some 700 were built by Halberstadt and a further 200 by Bayerische Flugzeug-Werke (BFW). They were often attached to specialised ‘Schutzstaffel’ Protection Squadrons, whose job was to fly escort to traditional two seat reconnaissance and artillery spotting aircraft. Following their transition to the ground attack and infantry support role, they were renamed ‘Schlaststaffel ‘ Battle Squadrons. The Kit. Presented in Wingnut Wings familiar silver edged box, the glorious Steve Anderson painting depicts the ‘flame’ decorated Schusta 26b machine (options C) over the lines, about to receive attention from an approaching Sopwith Camel. Lifting the lid reveals the plastic components on four large and one smaller sprue, with a further small one holding the clear parts. The decals fill two large A4 sized sheets covering all the individual markings for five options, with a full set of five colour lozenge in upper and lower colours. As always the ‘icing on the cake’ is the superb instruction booklet in full colour. This is more than just a set of construction drawings as it contains period photographs of CL.II’s, showing detailed close ups where these help to illustrate particular details. Further photographs show some of the actual aircraft offered as options. The assembly drawings are beautifully clear, explain every step with clarity, and pointing out many of the variations that must be made for the particular aircraft chosen to build. One thing I always appreciate is the full colour sub assembly drawings, showing how the completed cockpit area should look. Not only does this remove any doubts, but it helps to plan the painting sequence for all the components. Construction begins with the cockpit, filled with lovely details like the fuel tank upon which the pilots seat is affixed, the compass, the pressurising pump, wire reel etc, finished off with etched brass seat belts and numerous little placard decals. The Telefunken Type D wireless and amplifier set is a little gem that I expect most modellers will want to install. A small number of control wires run down the cockpit sides, and can be replicated with the rigging material of your choice. The illustrations show exactly where they go. The Daimler Mercedes D.III engine can be built as one of three versions, a standard 160hp D.III, a 180hp D.IIIa, or a 200hp D.IIIau. The instructions make it very clear which parts are appropriate for which version, and are backed up with contemporary black & white photos, and full colour CAD drawings of the finished engine. A fixed LMG 08/15 Spandau machine gun is fitted on the port side in front of the pilot. Wingnut Wing provide a choice of two, one as solid plastic moulding, and the others with and etched brass slotted cooling jacket for higher detail. A similar choice is available for the observers LMG 14 Parabellum later on in the build. With the engine and interior built up, the two fuselage halves are joined together. Various ‘rivets’ and tabs need to be shaved off the exterior surface, as they are only appropriate to the ‘late’ version Halberstadt. This is a simple task to do, and clearly pointed out in the instructions. With the fuselage halves together, construction moves on to adding the lower wings and tailplanes, and that very distinctive gun ring over the observers cockpit. Very early machines (Options B & D) had a smaller rudder than later ones, and although the difference is subtle Wingnut Wings supply both. All the parts for the 'Early' version are on sprue 'F'. One little detail that I particularly like about German aircraft of this period is that several of them had a compass mounted out on the port wing, away from magnetic interference. This Halberstadt is one of them, and it makes an interesting and eye catching detail on the finished model, particularly as the decal for it is a little masterpiece that is fully readable under a magnifying glass. Struts and engine cowlings (complete with etched brass flash guard for scale thickness) are fitted next, in preparation for the multi-part upper wing being fitted. This comprises of upper and lower center sections halves, solid outer panels, and separate ailerons. The radiator detail is moulded into the center section parts, with lovely sharp definition. The fuel tank even gets a clear plastic sighting tube to fit on its top surface. The wings themselves have rib and delicate fabric ‘sag’ detail, with ultra fine trailing edges. No doubt the top wing will fit on flawlessly with everything lining up to perfection. One thing I learned early on is not to use cyano on the struts, but slower setting glue such as Revell Contacta. This gives you time to pop all struts fully into their sockets and check that everything is lining up as it should. Next up is the undercarriage, with the option of faired and unfaired axles. (I always use fine fishing line to rig the legs, and it is amazing how much strength this gives them, just like on the real thing). The kit supplies Neindorf, Garuda, and Axial propellers, with the instructions pointing out which one goes with each option. All are impressive mouldings with superb hub detail moulded in, and unlike many other manufacturers, there are no sink marks on the blade roots. The build is completed by fitting either an LMG 14 or LMG 14/17 machine gun for the observer, plus a choice of flare racks and cartridges to locate around the rear cockpit. There is even a choice of flare pistols to put inside. The rigging is at moderate level, as this is a single bay biplane. There are no double wires or awkward runs, so it should not present any difficulties using your preferred method of elastic line, fishing line, stretched sprue etc. Options. A. Halberstadt CL.II 5702/17 “3 Martha & Else”, Max Niemann & Rudolf Kolodzicj, Royal Prussian Schlasta 21, October 1918. B. Halberstadt CL.II “4 Rosi” Royal Bavaraian Schusta 23b, Early 1918. C. Halberstadt CL.II “4” Royal Bavaraian Schusta 26b, Early 1917. D. Halberstadt CL.II “1”, Fridolin Redenbach, Royal Bavaraian Schusta 27b, September 1917. E. Halberstadt CL.II “4 Dora”, Royal Bavaraian Schusta 27b, March 1918. Decals. Decals are printed by Cartograf, and are of the usual faultless quality. Everything is in perfect register with minimal carrier film and good colours. Two A4 sized sheets are provided, with the first covering all the different markings and detail items. It is always the little placards and instrument dials that impress me most, they are such perfect little miniatures and really add so much to the finished model. The ‘flame’ section for option C is wisely provided as the ‘fingers’ only, as it will be necessary to paint the forward section of the fuselage due to the compound curves. The second sheet contains a set of ‘upper’ and’ lower’ 5 colour lozenge in ‘cookie cutter’ format. This is a very helpful idea as the fabric on the CL.II was applied at 45 degrees, which would be a little awkward to do with strips of decal. Pay attention to the instructions, because only option E had the standard upper and lower lozenge fabric applied. C,D, and B had the ‘lower’ lozenge applied on the upper surfaces, with the lowers covered in bleached linen. Option A had yellow painted wings, but this would have been over the standard lozenge as per option E. Whether you want to do this or just omit the lozenge and go straight for yellow paint is your choice, but all of this is shown in the instructions. Halberstadt had an unusual method of painting the CL.II’s fuselage. Patches of greens, brown yellow and blue were covered with a ‘stipple’ effect. Wingnut Wings helpfully have a guide on their website showing how to achieve this with an airbrush set to low pressure. Both the ‘Early’ and ‘Late’ versions of this kit have an option in them that does not have this stipple finish, should you want to avoid it. Conclusion. Without a doubt, another masterpiece from Wingnut Wings. It has everything we have come to expect from them, attractive box art and packaging, flawless mouldings, superb decals, and instructions that are more like a detailed reference manual. This is a very good looking aeroplane with lots of interesting marking options. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to learn that it quickly becomes one of their best sellers. Very Highly recommended  Review sample courtesy of
  3. Source: http://www.wingnutwings.com/ww/product?productid=3189 - ref. 32049 - New model in development to be announced at the Shizuoka Hobby Show (10-13 May 2018) hopefully for release later in 2018. Update on September 29th, 2018: - ref. 32049 : Halberstadt CL.II - early - ref. 32062 : Halberstadt CL.II - late V.P.
  4. Hi Guys, A photo shoot of a rather reclusive and rare Halberstadt D IV reproduction. The D IV variant itself was rare enough; only three were built, so it is a surprise to see a modern reproduction of it. More photos of the Halberstadt here: http://warbirdswalkaround.wixsite.com/warbirds/single-post/2016/09/23/A-Replica-of-a-Rarity-the-Halberstadt-D-IV
  5. Halberstadt CL.IV H.F.W. 1:48 Mirage Hobby The Halberstadt CL.IV was designed as a follow on from the same companies CL.II design. It incorporated many changes based on comments and feedback that the company actively sought from front line units. A major aim was to make the airframe lighter whilst retaining its strength, and the way this was done was by shortening the fuselage. The tailplane, fin and rudder were redesigned to compensate for the shorter coupled arrangement. The new aircraft utilised the same Mercedes D.III as its predecessor, but the improvements meant that it was actually faster and more manoeuvrable. Production was also undertaken by the Roland company, but they 'improved' the aircraft by lengthening the fuselage by some 15 inches, and reworking the wing design. The new wing proved to be weaker than The Halberstadt original, and thus delays were incurred with Roland production while they corrected this mistake. The CL.II and IV proved to be very useful ground attack machines, working in cooperation with German ground troops by flying in advance of them and softening up targets. This concept was later developed into the 'Blitzkrieg' used so effectively in the opening years of the second world war. Typical of the Halberstadt 2 seaters was the bathtub shaped cockpit opening, enabling both occupants to work in close proximity, and with excellent communication with each other. The kit. Mirage Hobby have released Halberstadt CL.IV H.F.W.(Early production batches/ short fuselage) version as a follow on to their earlier CL.IV and CL.II kits. The kit comes in a large box (for a 1:48 biplane) which is pretty well filled with plastic parts, decals and instructions. In fact the first thing to strike me was just how many plastic sprues there are in the box, full of parts. It is fairly obvious that some of the sprues are common with the other Halberstadt kits, which both makes sense and leaves you with useful parts that can go into the spares box. The plastic is a medium grey shade, forming sharp mouldings and very little flash, although there are a few minor sink marks here and there. The overall quality is very good, with some very fine parts and excellent detail. I was very impressed with the jackets on the machine guns, which have real depth to the fretted slots, and I would be tempted to use them as they are without using the etched brass alternatives. They really do look good enough to do that. The wings are single surface (I.E not a top and bottom to be glued togethcdr) and plain rib tape detail and fine trailing edges. There is a very subtle fabric sag effect, just visible between the ribs and out on the tips, which should look good once the lozenge decals are on. However it is very restrained and may also not be that noticeable, only a build up will tell. A complete Mercedes D.III engine is provided, although the detail looks a little softer than on the rest of the kit, it should still look good when built up. Advanced modellers may wish to wire up the magnetos, but very little will probably be seen once it is installed. The cockpit interior is fully provided for, with framework, bulkheads, fuel tank, instruments, radios, seat belts, ammo drums, etc. Mirage have packed a lot of detail in there, using etched brass where necessary, and it should make up into a highly impressive unit. The etched brass fret even provides a template for marking and cutting out the cooling holes in the engine cowlings for one of the versions. Instrument faces are supplied on a sheet of clear film, which will need painting white on the reverse side. While not as easy to use as decals they do give a superior glazed look when finished. The struts and undercarriage legs are very finely moulded with a 'scale' thickness to them. The fuselage interior framework looks a little more substantial, and will benefit from mould seam lines being scraped down. Decals. Four sheets printed by Mirage themselves are provided, one with all the national and unit markings to cover three different options. Two sheets of 5 colour lozenge are supplied for upper and lower, also containing plenty of rib tape material in narrow and wide strips. They are laid out as bolts of fabric material, for the modeller to apply diagonally to the flying surfaces. Again the printing is excellent, and the colours are to my eye exactly right. Lozenge colours are a source of disagreement among modellers, but I like these a lot. They have a good tone & density and no one colour overwhelms the others. Finally there is a sheet of mottle, to represent the stippled brush effect that Halberstadt applied to their fuselage sides and top. It will need cutting into shapes to apply, but should give a far better representation than most could achieve with paint. It is a lovely blend of greens and purples, and plenty is supplied. The quality looks extremely good, up there with the best producers. The printing is very sharp and everything is perfectly centred. The white borders to the Eisenkreuz are perfectly symmetrical around all four arms, for example. Carrier film is very thin, and occupies no more surface area than it needs to under each printed subject. Best of all, the colours are exactly right with the lozenge sheets being near perfect. All in all, very impressive. Conclusion. This is a very well presented kit and should build up into an impressive model. As there is a lot of fine detail and construction work it is clearly aimed at the serious/experienced modeller. Everything is in the box to produce a real winner, with no need at all for any aftermarket additions. The whole package is very well thought out, with good quality plastic parts, useful brass etch, and superb decals. The only (minor) criticism is that there are a few sink marks to be seen, but the sort of modeller who would build this kit will deal with those without even blinking. It is nice to see aircraft like this getting attention from manufacturers, particularly as there are very few Great War 2 seaters available in 1:48. This one is an essential addition to any collection. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  6. I'm on a WW1 vac kit roll lately, I jumped right into this one after finishing the Joystick's Albatros C.1 last month. This kit was also from Joystick and went together really nicely. I scratched the entire interior as well as all the struts, landing gear and the gun ring. Lots of fun! Hope you like the old crate! -Dan
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