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  1. ARL44 French Heavy Tank (35A025) 1:35 Amusing Hobby The ARL 44 is a French Heavy Tank which does look unusual. At first glance it would appear that it resulted from an affair between a Char B1 and a King Tiger. The main reason for the resemblance to the Char B1 is that the tank was developed in Secret during WWII under co-ordination from CDM (Camouflage du Matériel), a secret Vichy army organisation trying to produce materiel forbidden by the armistice conditions. Thus the designers relied on what they knew and did not have access to outside tank developments. The tank was to be armed with a 90mm DCA Naval AA gun, this was so large that for transportation the gun retracted into the turret and part exiting through a rear hatch which was also used to load ammunition. The turret itself was a make shift affair as the French at the time were unable to do large castings. The turret was actually made from armour plate salvaged from the wreck of the battleship Dunkerque. Only the turret front was cast. It was decided after WWII to build this to maintain continuity in French design, and to boost home moral, even though the Tank would be inferior to even the Sherman which was available in large numbers. The tank was unreliable and not well liked, with the brakes, gear box and suspension to light for the weight and resulting in several serious accident. The tank would be replaced in French service by the American M47 Patton. The Kit This is a great kit from Amusing Hobby that many thought would never get kitted. On first look in the box the most noticeable part is the large hull casting which looks like it should be in a Warhammer box! There are an additional 4 sprues of plastic, a bag of track links and a small sheet of PE. Although not mentioned in the instructions at all, or the parts diagram there is a one piece turned metal barrel in the box. Construction starts with the multitude of small road wheels for each side of the tank. There are 18 pairs for these down each side and these are sandwiched between the outside housings with a large idler wheel at the front. There are also two pairs of small return rollers added to the top of the main hull track return areas, Additional front plates are also attached to the main hull to allow the track roller assemblies to be attached, The rear drive sprockets can then be fitted along with the tanks rear bulkhead and the floor. The top side covers for the track are then fitted to the hull. The complicated cooling system for the tanks petro-electrical transmission is then built up ad added to the hull, along with the crew hatches and many hull fittings. The PE grills are added to the engine deck as well at this stage. Work now moves to the turret. The gun mantlet is built up and this added to the turret after the base has been added to the main casting. The large rear hatch is added along with the hatches and additional track links. The muzzle brake is added to the main gun barrel and this is added to the turret. The tracks are very nicely moulded, and are of the click-fit workable variety, which works very well indeed in this instance. The parts are moulded individually with an ejector mark on the underside which wont be seen. There is no clean up and assembly is super simple, they just click together. leaving you with a run of tracks in fairly short order, which is just as well as you need 80 links per side. Having seen a few rather poorly engineered track joining methods from other major manufacturers lately, it's refreshing to see a genuinely good track-making method from Amusing Hobby, this is just about the easiest track I have ever used. With the tracks installed, the turret can be twisted into place and the model is finished. Markings A mall decal sheet provides markings for two tanks, one in French Blue, and one in Green / Sand. Colour call outs are given in MiG Ammo colours only. Conclusion I'm quite fan of the strange and wonderful and think this tank fits into that category. While it was not successful it filled one of its main briefs of keeping the French designers & manufactures busy while better designs were forthcoming, eventually which lead to the AMX-30. It will be an interesting model to display and may leave more than a few people scratching their heads. Very Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  2. Hi, This is a 1:35 model, the KV-1 russian heavy tank. This is Tamiya KIT no. 35066. I made it as movable model. Additional parts are the Friulmodel tracks, towing cables, engine grill, saw. At the bottom I added a short video how does the model ride. Constructive criticism is encouraged
  3. Britsh Heavy Tank Mk.V Female 1:35 Meng Models The British Mark V tank was an upgraded version of the Mark IV tank, deployed in 1918 and used in action in the closing months of World War I, in the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War on the White Russian side, and by the Red Army. Thanks to Walter Wilson's epicyclic gear steering system, it was the first British heavy tank that required only one man to steer it; the gearsmen needed in earlier Marks were thus released to man the armament. The Mark V had more power (150 bhp) from a new Ricardo engine (also ordered by Stern). Use of Wilson's epicyclic steering gear meant that only a single driver was needed. On the roof towards the rear of the tank, behind the engine, was a second raised cabin, with hinged sides that allowed the crew to attach the unditching beam without exiting the vehicle. An additional machine-gun mount was fitted at the rear of the hull. Production of the Mark V started at Metropolitan Carriage and Wagon at the end of 1917; the first tanks arrived in France in May 1918. Four hundred were built, 200 each of Males and Females; the "Males" armed with 6-pounder (57 mm) guns and machine guns, the "Females" with machine guns only. Several were converted to Hermaphrodites (sometimes known as "Mark V Composite") by fitting one male and one female sponson. This measure was intended to ensure that female tanks would not be outgunned when faced with captured British male tanks in German use or the Germans' own A7V. The Mark V was first used in the Battle of Hamel on 4 July 1918, when 60 tanks contributed to a successful assault by Australian units on the German lines. It went on to take part in eight major offensives before the end of the War. Canadian and American troops trained on Mk Vs in England in 1918, and the American Heavy Tank Battalion (the 301st) took part in three actions on the British Sector of the Western Front in late 1918. The Canadian Tank Corps, however, did not see action and was disbanded after the war's end. Approximately 70 were sent to support the White Russian forces in the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War and in the British North Russia Campaign. Most were subsequently captured by the Red Army. Four were retained by Estonian forces, and two by Latvia. The Model The last year or so has been great for those who have been hankering for some new British WWI tanks. What with the Mk1’s from Takom and IV’s from Takom and Tamiya. Meng have previously released a Mk.V Male with full interior which has been reviewed HERE, they have now followed that up with the Mk.V Female, unfortunately without the interior. The kit comes in a deep box with a depiction of the vehicle on the battlefield. Inside there are seventeen sprues of beige styrene, four in black styrene ad sheet of etched brass and a small decal sheet. The kit has been designed with the co-operation of the Bovington Tank museum and there is evidence of this tie-up on the boxtop and on the beautifully laid out instructions. Naturally, being a Meng product the parts are all superbly moulded, with no sign of flash or other imperfections, just gorgeous detail. It is interesting, having built the Takom Mk.IV, to see the way different companies design, what are very similar vehicles. In a way the Meng kit is quite a bit simplified in comparison to the way Takom went about it. That’s not to say that the Meng kit is inferior, just different. The simplified points in the build are mostly concentrated around the areas that won’t be seen, such as the rhomboid structures and wheel fittings. Talking of wheels, that is where the construction of this kit begins. The idler, sprockets and two variations of road wheel are each made up from two parts, with the sprocket drive chains, including a section of chain and the chain box, are made up from five parts. The ammunition storage racks, which make up the internal angled faces of the gun compartments are each fitted with a pair of fire extinguishers. The track runs between the two faces of the rhomboid structures are much simpler than in the Takom kits with each of the top and bottom runs being single lengths, with just the end plates being separate. The drive chain assemblies are then attached and the road wheels slid onto the axles moulded to the rhomboids outer half. There is a small hatch fitted just in front of the sponson opening and an internal grille to the inside rear. The rhomboid halves are then closed up and fitted with a chain oiler and shackle mounting. The armoured fuel tank is made up from seventeen parts, but this does include the rear bulkhead of the tank and the ball mounted Vickers machine gun. This assembly is then glued to the rear portion of the hull floor before being sandwiched between the two rhomboid assemblies. The two top mounted cabins are each assembled from separate plates, to which the pistol port covers are attached. The forward “command” cabin also has a ball mounted machine gun fitted to the front plate and separate viewing hatches. The completed cabins are then fitted to the top hull plate, along with two more hatches, and the unditching beam rail attachment points. The exhaust and silence, which are of a completely different design compared with the earlier versions, is made up of six parts, whilst each beam rail is made up from four parts. The kit has the option of fitting the semaphore mast, which is positioned just aft of the rear cabin. The mast is fitted two rings from inside, allowing it to rotate should the modeller wish. With two semaphore arms attached on the top of the mast and two handles on the inside the completed top deck can be fitted to the rest of the hull, followed by the beam rails and exhaust assembly. The build then moves onto the sponsons. Each side having two dustbin style mountings with a machine gun in each mount. Each mounting comprises of eleven parts and each pair is fitted into the nice piece fixed sponson. Alternatively the modeller has the option of build the kit with two separate sponson ends which are then able to fold into the hull. Beneath each sponson there is a large panel with two hatches fitted to the outside and two crew seats fitted to the inside. The hatches can be posed open if required, although with no other internal detail there doesn’t really seem much point. With the armament fitted the rest of the hull is detailed with various pieces of PE to make up strengthening beams, brackets and intake grille shields. The rest of the parts, such as access panels are also added at this point. Coming to the end of the build and the tracks can finally be tackled. Each link is attached to the sprue by four gates which will take a while to clean up, but when they’re done it’s just a matter of clicking them together to make each ninety one link length. With the tracks fitted, the unditching beam with added chains is attached to the beam rails, followed by the large fascine, made up from fifteen parts and attached to the front of the tank, above the command cabin, with another pair of chains. Decals The smallish, well printed decal sheet provides markings for three vehicles, all of which are painted in brown, which I still have yet to see any definitive proof of use, except at the Tank Museum. Still, Brown it is, for now. The three vehicles depicted are:- Mk.V Tank A6 of the 1st Battalion, tank corps, British Army, France 1918. This vehicle has the red and white stripes on the outside front of each rhomboid. Mk.V Tank, of the 10th Battalion, Tank Corps, British Army, at the Battle of Amiens, France, August 1918. Mk.V Tank found in use by the German Army, Berlin 1945 The decals are well printed, with good register. Conclusion Well, they’ve been a long time coming, and now modellers have a raft of British WW1 tanks to choose from. Fortunately the modelling companies only seem to have clashed on the Mk.IV, thus giving the other versions a fair crack of the whip. This is an excellent looking kit, which looks like it will go together without too much fuss and will look great in a diorama or amongst its sisters in a collection. Very highly recommended Review sample courtesy of
  4. VK 45.02 Vorne HobbyBoss 1/35 I wasn't originally going to do a wip for this build as I didn't have any clear idea as to how I was going to build it. I've had it sitting in the stash for a while now and decided I should get it done but I didn't really want to do the Panzer grey scheme from the box. As this is effectively a paper panzer, any operational scheme would be a what-if so most late war schemes would be usable, but I wanted to do something a bit different. I'd got it in mind to do miss-matched hull and turret colours to show something cobbled together at the end of the war but after flicking through a few old magazines, I saw a couple of builds done in a rusty raw steel finish and thought this would suit the angular hull and show off all the armour plate joints and weld beads. I'm still intending to do the turret in a different scheme, probably Dunkelgelb, maybe with a faded green ambush camo, and I'll be painting a few panels and other fittings in red primer but, for now, I've been concentrating on the lower hull. After the hull was built up, I filled the holes for the tool clamps although I will be fitting the brackets for the tow cable (this is meant to represent a part finished hull that's been left to rust in the corner of a workshop). I added a bit of texture to the hull plates with Mr Surfacer along with a few missing weld beads and the cables for the lights. I also had to raise the turret ring with a strip of plasticard as otherwise the turret sat too low and wouldn't fully rotate. The whole thing was then given a patchy coat of black mixed with a little X-22 clear to act as a combined primer, basecoat and pre-shade This was followed by a raw steel mix made up from Tamiya XF-16 aluminium, XF-19 sky grey, XF-69 NATO black and XF-82 ocean grey. After the shot was taken, I misted over thinned XF-54 dark sea grey to tone down the metallic look a bit. To start the weathering, I sponged on some Vallejo 907 pale grey blue to represent mill scale on the surface, followed by a heavy sponging of Lifecolor 701 dark rust shadow from their rust & dust set. I also thinned the dark rust to a wash and used it as a filter over some of the panels I then added lighter rust tones with the other colours from the Lifecolor set. These were mainly added as washes on a damp surface and allowed to run and pool More washes were added including some Vallejo colours. I'll continue to build up the tones with thin colour washes and I'll start to add in some dirt and dust. The tow cable brackets will be added later and painted in red primer as will the driver's vision slit. The front MG mount will, I think, be Dunkelgelb, which will look like a retro-fitted piece and help tie the hull and turret together. Andy
  5. The New Meng Models Armoured Monster is Now in stock. The New Meng TS-020 retails at £59.99 with Free UK Mainland 1st Class Post. Kit Information This kit includes precisely reproduced driver’s cabin, engine and other interiors. Traditional cement-free workable tracks are easy to assemble. “Crib” trench crossing device is provided to show its unique history. We believe that this Mk.V will bring a brand new building experience for rhomboid tank fans. 465 parts in light Beige plastic 192 individual track links in Black plastic 50 brass Photo-etch parts 1 length of fine metal chain 4 vinyl poly caps 1 Decal sheet 36 page colour instruction booklet Tank Information In 1916, British and French troops launched the Somme Offensive against German army astride the River Somme in northern France. This battle, one of the bloodiest in human history, has also been remembered because of a new weapon that shocked the German army, the British Mk.I heavy tank. Tank, one of the greatest inventions in the war history of the twentieth century, marked the beginning of a new era of army mechanization. Mark series heavy tanks went through several improvements. The only thing unchanged was their unique rhomboid shape which remained in many people’s memory as the main feature of WWI tanks. In 1917, the British found a new transmission and engine, and then they started to improve Mk.IV tanks. Thanks to the epicyclic gearbox, only one driver was needed to drive the new tank. The tank was powered by a 150hp Ricardo 6 cylinder in-line petrol engine and could drive for 10 hours on a rugged terrain. This new tank was finally designated Mk.V. Mk.V tanks were first used in the Battle of Hamel in 1918, when they contributed to a successful assault by Australian units on the German lines. During the development of Mk.V heavy tank model kit, MENG received great supports from The Tank Museum in Bovington, UK. As one of the most famous tank museums in the world, it keeps more than 300 vehicles, including the Mk.V heavy tank (male). MENG’s designers measured the real vehicle and studied a lot of reference materials in order to accurately represent this classic tank. Click on the link to order yours today. http://www.creativemodels.co.uk/meng_model_135_british_heavy_tank_mk_v_male_-p-39761.html Or visit the website for all new releases. www.creativemodels.co.uk
  6. I found this a few days ago: http://www.dragon-models.com/d-m-item.asp?pid=DRA7519 I believe that this is currently the only M103 in this scale. I'm not sure if anyone else has put this on somewhere else on the forum, though.
  7. HobbyBoss 83841 Soviet T-35 Heavy Tank - 'Early' with HobbyBoss 81011 Soviet T-35 Heavy Tank Track-Links Day 1: Official start time will be 12:00 noon, Saturday 31st January 2015 Oh Yes! I'm back!!!
  8. Whilst the build is finished, I've left off any real weathering as I've got plans to put this into a diorama, just undecided in which season to place it, although Winter is winning at the moment. So you will see this again. The build went really well until I came to put the side plates on, there are just too many contact points and they wouldn't all line up at the same time. But for the casual observer they will do. The decals also didn't like Microsol and set as they shrank back and split in places which had to be touched up with paint, although once weathered properly you won't see the problem areas.
  9. Soviet JS-4 Heavy Tank Trumpeter 1:35 History There are 2 different tanks known as IS-4. One of these (Object 245) was an IS-2 rearmed with a long 100mm D-10T cannon. The other IS-4 was a new vehicle projected by LKZ in parallel with the IS-3 (Object 703) by the same design and development bureau. For this second IS-4 the IS-2 hull was lengthened, with an extra set of road wheels added and an improved engine. Both hull and turret armour were increased. Several alternative armaments were explored in paper studies but ultimately the IS-2's original 122mm gun was retained. An effort was also made to make use of technical data derived from study of the German wartime Panzer V Panther tank, which influenced the layout of the second IS-4's engine cooling system. The tank was approved for mass production from 1947 to 1949 but due to disappointing speed and mobility only 250 were built. Most of these were transferred to the Russian Far East. In 1949, production was cancelled and later these tanks were removed from service. The Model This large tank arrives in the standard sturdy top opening box with an artists rendition of the tank in service rolling along a battlefield. Inside, there are thirteen sprues of light grey styrene, separate upper and lower hull, plus separate upper and lower turret parts. There are also ten sprues of brown styrene for the individual track links, a small fret of etched brass, a length of brass wire, a metal barrel and a small sheet of decals. The moulded details are up to Trumpeters usual high standards when it comes to their armoured kits. Everything is very crisp, flash and imperfection free. There aren’t the huge numbers of parts as found in some of the latest kits, which can be rather daunting, but certainly enough to make a detailed model out of the box. Whilst the tracks come as individual links, their size makes the fairly easy to work with and shouldn’t cause too many problems for the average modeller. The build begins with the construction of the two idlers, two drive sprockets, road wheels, (14 off), and return rollers, (six off). The axle mounts and torsion bump stops are then fitted to the lower hull, followed by the torsion units themselves. Three return roller axles are fitted per side whilst the idler axles also have tensioning units fitted. Once the drive covers are fitted to the rear, the sprockets and other wheels can be attached. At this point in the instructions the tracks are attached, but they can be left off until later in the build should you so wish. There is a clear diagram showing how the tracks are built up and this should be followed carefully to get as realistic look as possible. With the lower hull pretty much complete it’s time to attach the single piece upper hull, followed by the drivers’ periscopes and cover, and there is an optional intake and grille that can be fitted depending on whether it’s a prototype or production machine, check your references first though. The large track guards are now attached and detailed with photo etched straps on the front mudguards. The side plates and mudflaps, fore and aft are now fitted followed by more detail parts, such as the pioneer tools, gun travel lock, towing hawsers and towing eyes. The unditching log is attached to the right hand side between the hawsers and there are two external fuel tanks attached to the rear hull. The engine deck has a number of brackets and other fittings added. The sub-assemblies for the two double external tanks are built up from the tank bodies, end caps, support brackets and handles, the completed items are then fitted to the rear of the tank on each track guard. Meanwhile the engine deck receives the photo etched grilles, with added PE surrounds which cover the intakes. Five storage boxes are now assembled and fitted in their respective positions around the upper hull and there is also what looks like an oil tank that is fitted on the right hand front track guard. The engine cooling fans are covered over with PE grilles and the exhaust s are fitted, one per side. It’s now time to work on the turret, with the fitting of the commanders hatch surround and an air vent surround next to it, to the upper turret section. Before fitting the lower turret section there are a number of periscopes, vent grilles and hatch handles to be fitted. The gun trunnion piece is sandwiched between the upper and lower turret parts and the commanders hatch, with added periscope is fitted, along with two PE grab rails. Five hand rails are fitted to each side of the turret and the mantle is attached to the trunnion. The metal barrel of the main gun is now attached, along with the co-axial machine gun barrel, AA machine gun scarf ring, periscope covers, vent covers and turret lifting hooks. The large 14.5mm AA machine gun is assembled form nine parts if you include the two parts for the ammunition box and when completed is fitted to the scarf ring mount. Lastly the two piece muzzle brake and trunnion cover are fitted completing the build. Decals The small decal sheet is for only one scheme for an overall green tank and comprises of the seemingly standard Russian shield, the tank number 279 x 2 for the example on the box top and a selection of other numbers should you wish to make your own up. Conclusion Trumpeter seems to be really digging around for Russian/Soviet vehicles at the moment as more and more are being released. I hadn’t known about this particular tank until I started researching it for this review. It certainly is a large and imposing vehicle and will look good when built. It’s not a very complicated build, with the exception of the tracks, so would be good start point for anyone wishing to take on a larger project. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
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