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Found 348 results

  1. While I was waiting for the decals for the Tiran 4 to arrive, and for the T-34 GB to start, I thought that I'd make a start on this one. The decals for this were ordered at the same time as the ones for the Tiran, so hopefully, they will arrive together. Ever since Tamiya released their first AFV in 1/48th, I’ve had a liking for this scale, and this will be the third tank in this scale that I’ve built this year. As is the norm for me, I don’t want to build it OOTB, and the tank that I’ve chosen to depict will mean that nothing is straight forward. A couple of years ago, I built an Israeli M1 Super Sherman in 1/35th scale, and that is what I intend with this one. The IDF M1 Super Sherman used M4A1 cast upper hulls, mounted on HVSS lower hulls. To do this I am using a couple of kits for the conversion, namely the M4A1 76mm, which is a VVSS hull......... ........... and the M4A3E8, both from Hobbyboss. The turret will come from the Easy Eight kit as the one in the M4A1 kit is the wrong one. It’s a T23, but has the large circular loaders hatch, and it would appear that most (if not all) IDF tanks had the smaller oval hatch. The 76mm barrel is one of the excellent examples from RB Models. I need to order some more .50cal barrels from them as this build will require one. The decals are on order right now, and I’m waiting to hear from Ernst Peddinghaus as to when they will be ready (he’s doing the Tiran 4 decals at the same time). The illustration on the box for the Easy Eight depicts a tank fitted with T66 tracks, but fortunately, for this build, the box contains T80 tracks instead. Incidentally, I will be trying to get hold of another of the M4A1 (76mm) kits whenever I can, as I discovered that the decal sheet includes markings for an IDF M1 Sherman. Result! Right, time to get stuck into the build. Hopefully I'll be back tomorrow with an update. John.
  2. Almost/possibly/maybe a 'what if'. The Ta-152H definitely saw service, but it's less certain that the Ta-152C saw any action before the end of the war, although the story goes that two of them were indeed delivered to JG301 in time to see combat. Who knows. Anyway, this is my take on the Ta-152C, using the 'C-11' kit from Hobby Boss and painted in JG301 colours. The kit went together pretty well and was painted with Vallejo model air colours - RLM 82/83 upper, RLM 76 lower surfaces and matt clear. All the markings/insignia are Montex masks, so no decals apart from on the undercarriage legs. Light panel line wash and some light exhaust smoke with oils. Could probably have gone heavier on the oil smoke, given the quality of German aviation fuel supplies at the time, but there's always next time. Hope you like - comments welcome
  3. Well, it’s time I started to write up where I’ve got to with my first Tomcat build having spent the last few weeks pre lockdown, and the most of the time since lockdown, gathering information, drooling over others’ work and finally (I wish I had one)... set about and went and bought some. Intial (re) inspiration was an Airfix world mag article (Nov 2019) describing building the Finemolds F-14A as a Sundowners bird (was always my favourite) and it reminded me of when I’d made my last F-14A in “about” 1986 when I’d used some xtradecals to present the Hasegawa kit as a low viz sundowner. It suffered the problem that, as several have since, with the overall gull grey being a bit dark making the markings more low-viz than expected... but I made it nonetheless. However, that was lost n moves ago, and it wasn’t that brilliant. The Finemolds kit article looked interesting, so I found one on line and looked at a few additions to go with it. I then started conversing with a mate who also expressed an interest in the big Grumman feline and between us we started to investigate various other offerings (the new Academy one had just become available – or not), and Tony Oliver’s legion of Tomcat articles of seemingly all models proved so useful in admiring what could be done. Yup, it’s all inspirational stuff indeed. So, before I really start – thanks to all on here that have provided gen on the type and the kits, especially Tony Oliver for his monumental works and detailed threads on here, and to my mate Brian who, whilst living about 200miles away, has been a source of ideas and inspiration too... especially in these unusual times we find ourselves in at the moment. So, what better way to keep the motivation going than to have a good read on here, compare notes and ideas with a good mate or two and then crack on with a kit or two. It’s a great distraction from everything else that’s going on around us. So... a few books were acquired – the Detail and Scale two-volumes on Kindle (for inspiration), the Daco book (needs no introduction – does it) and the SAM MDF F14 book. A few older books were dug out of the loft from the 80s... and armed with these and the internet... I hoped I’d have enough references. No, probably not. In the end I ordered a GWH A model (and just order a D last week), a Hobbyboss A and D and a Ka A model. Despite the huge amount of detail offered my the FM and GHW kits, I thought that a simpler model might be best to start with so I opted for a Hobbyboss A model, and my chosen scheme would be of VF111 BuNo 161621 painted up with Miss Molly nose art. Yes, I know it’s a “bit bling” and I’ll probably produce something more tame with later models, but given that the HB kit lacks the pilots steps and doors, I thought that it offered a good clotheshorse to hang the simple scheme on... and give me something with a bit of a wow factor once finished (I hope). I still have questions, but I’ll either look into them as I go, or hide my ignorance somewhere. e.g. I’m sure that somewhere there’s a description of the differences in intake paint demarcation (grey-white) ... but I’ll guess for this one as the intakes will be fitted with blanks. I also plan for this to be my first model painted in acrylics, having previously stuck (doggedly) with enamels that, whilst I was comfortable with these, I often found myself swearing at them (and my poor attempts) when trying to get a good finish. My Phantom FG1 had been persevered with and got there in the end, but blimey it took a while. So, I thought I’d have a go at these new-fangled paints; which ones ... well, more of that to come. And again, it was useful to read a number of articles on here, as well as seeing Tony O experiment with a few different suppliers’ paints. The chosen bird is simply overall light gull grey... so how hard could it be? Having found a few “oddities” with the HB kit – more to come, one very noticeable point was that the fin was a little smaller than the decals that I’d acquired that were sized for the Hasegawa kit. Why are all the fins different sizes.... is it really that hard? Anyway, the Furball tail markings will be a bit wide, so I might opt to use the kit transfers for the fin... although they’re just the red bits (with the right ray shading) but on a grey fin (clear decal). So, I’ll paint my fins white first. Should work... I hope. IMG_20200508_080127304 by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr There were a few items to improve upon ... so I bought a few aftermarket items that are spread out here, and more were to follow. Masters probes; Aires exhaust and seats (not shown here); Quickboost nose gear doors, ECM/TCS chin pod (as it wasn’t in the kit although I noticed there’s one in the D kit after I rdered) and ventral fins (latter two not shown here); Eduard internal, external PE and mask set; Armory weighted wheels, and; Flighpath access ladders and intake screens. I won’t be using the access ladder on this kit, but I can save it for later. I may use the intake screens (or the ones in the eduard PE set to make up for the lack of details inside the intakes... but we’ll see how it goes. Finally, the colourful Furball decal set... lovely. I’ll not express too much of an opinion on the Eduard sets just yet, but in the build so far, I’ve used fewer bits that I thought I would simply because some of them seem a little pointless... but more to come. I started off just be looking at the kit parts, starting with the forward fuselage halves, but comparing what Hobbyboss gives us in comparison to Finemolds (my GWH one was still in the post). Quite striking really... the Finemolds one really is rather fine... but showed what I could do to the HB one to perhaps add a little detail before starting. Forward fuselage Tony O had highlighted the reinforced RIO side step, so that was sanded off and re-engraved (not as cleanly as I’d’ve liked, but I managed it to a degree. The next item that caught my eye was the Vulcan cannon nozzle; it looked a little crude, and just a hole. I looked at this wondering if it could be improved and settled upon a representation made from two pieces of plastic rod (that I really struggled to photograph); one for the cannon and one for the shroud inside the port. IMG_20200508_112500605 by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr IMG_20200508_113359012 by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr By tidying the coaming outside and cleaning up after, it looks reasonable... but we’ll wait for some paint and look again. Note that the hole in the face is a quarter arc rather than a single circular hole; it doesn’t really show up in the photos... it might look better with some paint. IMG_20200509_134333465_HDR by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr I drilled out the smart probe hole to fit a new one (shown test fitted before going back in the bag for the time being) and drilled out the shell case ejector chutes too. IMG_20200509_143147827 by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr In comparing the kit parts with photographs (and primarily the FM kit) it was clear that a little additional detail on the outside, especially the forward fuselage may be appropriate. I set about adding fastener “holes” with a needle in a pin vice (my standard tool for such) and with careful attention to photos, I added marks where I thought they would be worth doing. Once applied, I gave the whole a brush on Tamiya thin to settle any edges. Once it’s got some primer on, I’ll take another look. IMG_20200510_125441821 by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Main body One point that Tony O notes is that the external fuel tanks are mounted too far forward; I couldn’t find where in his thread he’d mentioned by how much, but with some measuring (once realising that the fuel tanks’ tips should align with the engine intake lips, I estimated that they needed to move about 4mm aft, and about 1mm outboard. I made up a small plasticard template and marked where the existing holes would fall, drilling these out, then added a further pair of holes, 4mm aft and 1mm “out”. By placing this carefully over the half holes on the inside of the trunking, I was able to mark (and drill) the new holes. For the other side, I just flipped the template over. I think they’re ok... I guess we’ll see. IMG_20200511_140934226_HDR by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr The ventral fins lack any detail, no NACA intake nor panel lines (why oh why?) So I opted for the Quickboost ones (that still needed the panel line engraving on the opposite side to the NACA duct). I removed the existing fins and files smooth, replacing lost panel lines carefully. I drilled two 0.4mm holes in each fin (you’ll note that they’re different spacings – so that once I get one aligned, I wont mix them up. Each has a 0.4mm wire piece added, and a corresponding hole drilled in the body underside. Once one hole is in, I can “scribe” the spot for the other hole with the shorter wire piece in the other hole, and drill to fit. IMG_20200515_150249904_HDR by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Paint Then some paints arrived. I plan to give the Mission Models paints a try as they’ve had some good reviews and the system seemed quite well explained on websites, others’ threads and with all the videos on YouTube... I felt comfortable enough in trying these as my migration from enamels. I ordered some suitable colours, the thinners and polyurethane additive. IMG_20200516_124341524_HDR by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr I tested my clumsiness and ineptitude at airbrushing on some spare phantom wingtips, testing the black primer and a mix of the greys once that was dry. It seemed that no matter how I tried to abuse it, the paint flattened quite nicely. That’s good. IMG_20200517_191212407_HDR by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr IMG_20200518_181430920 by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Nose gear bay I decided to try to improve the detail inside the nose gear bay; normally a plethora of pipework, hoses, pistons and boxes, the kit offering was a little basic. The Eduard bits added some items, but it was still a relatively empty box. I know that normally, nobody will see this... but I thought I ought to try something... just to lift it a little. The most obvious omission was that big pressure vessel (Air tank? Hydraulic reservoir?) that I fashioned from some sprue turned in a minidrill, cut with a scalpel... still in need of finishing in this photo. IMG_20200520_185337578 by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr A bit crude and rough, but size wise it’s probably about right (compared to the FM kit item) and bulks out the bay a little. The brake units were made from bits of plasticard and various wire pieces added along the sidewalls and in the roof of the bay. My first attempt used the wrong size wires, so I replaced these and started again. It’s still a bit crude, but a little weathering will help blend all the bits together. IMG_20200522_161626403_HDR by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr IMG_20200522_161638963_HDR by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr At this stage, I popped the cockpit tub and bay into the fuselage halves just to see how it sat. It seemed ok. Oh, and the additional piston was fashioned from sprue like the reservoir/tank... with a bit of wire added for the sleeve. I guess this is linked to the undercarriage doors (?) Oh, and I removed those... I’ll either use the quickboost ones, or the Eduard ones if my sanity wants to be tested on their assembly. None of this is perfect... but I think it’s better than an empty bay. Main gear bays Having done the nose gear, I thought I ought to do the mains too. The Eduard bits replace the upper roof of the bays, but lose the wire harness mouldings in the process (is it really worth it then?) The inside of the bay is open to the kit inside; the bay is not blanked off. I added plasticard inner walls and then held the two parts together and marked the plasticard with a pen where it lined up with the kit’s ribs. I then added microstrip pieces to continue the ribs on the vertical faces. IMG_20200523_095243050_HDR by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr IMG_20200523_135147145 by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr IMG_20200523_141014829 by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr As the rear bays were a bit basic, I added some additional ribs to these too, again with microstrip IMG_20200523_163256076 by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Then with a series of small holes drilled into the sidewalls, I added lengths of 5A fusewire to represent the pipework and harnesses, along the inner sidewalls and across the bay roof. Looks untidy (and needed tidying up so as not to foul the wings when test fitted but again hopefully something a little better that the plain bays provided in the kit. Well, I hope so. IMG_20200523_164408070 by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Wings Yup... I put these together and needed to fill that seam. Took a couple of attempts, but got there in the end. I was going to add the PE access covers... but there’s no point. These just go over the markings made on the kit and, as far as I can tell, the access covers on this kit are a work of fiction. The GWH and FM kits seem fine in terms of number of covers and positions, but these are just wrong. I will live with them and just try not to draw attention to them too much. Yes, I could fill them and rescribe the right ones if I had the patience and skill... but nah; I’ll have other F-14 kits with better wings that can show them off. For now, I’ll pretend I didn’t mention it. IMG_20200526_180801587_HDR by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Glove Vanes OK, they’re not the easiest part of the kit... and cutting the recessed slots from the leading edge was a bit of a faff, and in the process of opening the forward edge of each, I managed to break the locating pin; thus a new one was made from a small piece of wire, for each side. Getting the “hole” square required a bit of back filling and re-cutting ... again, a fiddly bit. Ok, it works... but a transfer for the holes would probably be easier. IMG_20200531_151718570_HDR by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr First Paint I applied a light dusting of Halfords primer to the intakes, and then white (and then light gull grey) using the MM paints. Black primer went on the insides of the upper and lower main fuselage halves (especially in the wing areas to hide any light areas once the kit it complete) followed by some white to cover the gear bays. Engine disc was black primed and then treated with Alclad II Stainless Steel (for shine), after which a dark enamel wash was applied, and the spinner painted a light grey. The opportunity was taken to prime and “grey” some other buts including cockpit parts. Now, for the cockpit grey, I used some MM Dark Ghost which seemed about right in colour. Maybe a little light, but maybe that’s right “for scale”. Unfortunately, the bottle I had turned out to be full of little lumps and took ages to re-shake and mix with thinners to get a little that was lump free. The foil seal had also not been stuck properly when I came to remove it. I got in touch with the shop as I’d intended to buy some more colours anyway, and they sent me a replacement foc with my next delivery. I’m pleased to say that the new one is fine... as are all the others I’ve tried so far. IMG_20200601_201516590_HDR by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr IMG_20200602_180855099 by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Cockpit details OK.. so every kit begins with the cockpit... (?) so time to start with this then. I fabricated the part that sits behind the RIO seat from plasticard and microstrip – oh for a resin one of these (hint hint)... fiddly, but it’ll do for now. I based it on the GWH and FM kits and will work out how to fit it later. IMG_20200525_163154284_HDR by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr I’m using the Aires GRU-7A seats rather than the kit parts, but will add Eduard bits as I go; I assumed they’d fit – and per below... most did (with some fettling). Given that the seats in the kit sit a little low, I wanted to test the Aires seats in the tubs before committing to them. A quick test. I think they’re slightly high, so I removed some of the inner tub frame to let them sit lower. They’re tight, but they do go in. I had similar issues with my Airfix Phantom seats after I’d fettled and added scratch details to those. Actually, the RN Phantom has MB Mk7s, and it’s interesting comparing the two seats... the similarities are evident. IMG_20200522_162128135_HDR by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Some colour went on the seats first, and it seems that I finally found a use for Humbrol 30 as it suited the seat base and back, with a mix of Humbrol 30 and 29 (dark green and dark earth) to make the colour for the cushions (chute). Some of the resin details were picked out in the appropriate colours (silver, red, yellow, white, etc) and these were set asides overnight to dry. IMG_20200604_151759042 by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr The Eduard etch “bits” were applied using Bob Smith Industries Odourless CA glue, patience and a donation to the swear box. I didn’t use all of the bits, but most went on. Reference to the Daco book was very useful during this part of the build. IMG_20200604_195646651_HDR by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr The cockpit tub got its Eduard PE added in stages... The first bits had gone in before paint – the rudder pedals. Yes, these were fun and probably invisible, but I put them in anyway. Then, I started with the bigger bits covering the sidewalls and instruments panels one at a time. Take your time... there’s no rush. Some colour was added where it would enhance the moldings, such as around the throttle box, and a thin dark wash at the rear of the forward cockpit. The coamings got some paint too. I initially applied a light covering, using Humbrol dark earth, but then noticed in photos of BuNo 161621 in the Detail & Scale book that the coamings were dark green/olive drab and thus not faded at the time. I’m not sure how long the aircraft carried the nose art for, but I thought I ought to depict it per photos, so I applied a mix of Dark Earth, Dark Green, Black and French Blue and added darker and lighter shades of this to depict variation in the texture. The black was re-done with some matt black (may be tyre black). Later, I added a light dusting of satin/matt varnish to unify the appearance, which helped. These still need some wear added to the surfaces (worn metal) and the reflector dish for the head-up projector. IMG_20200606_151403238 by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr IMG_20200606_151424641 by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr IMG_20200606_151520644 by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr At this point, the central coaming and IP are just balanced in place. The sticks got some paint .. again, making as much use as possible of the Daco book. They do look oversize... but not much I can do about that now. IMG_20200606_152324272 by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Finally, I added some of the little etch bits. The throttle top, gear lever (down selected) and hook lever (up selected). Yes, they’re a fettle (and they’ll probably break off) but they’re there for now. I added the canopy pull lever for the rear cockpit (to the instrument panel) but haven’t photographed it yet. The front one will have to go in once the upper coaming is in place; that will be fun. Again, all parts secured with BSI odourless CA and then a little Klear added to provide a clear potting to the little bits. Seems to be holding, for now. Again – with apologies for the poor photos throughout – and this last one is just awful.. but the bits are there – just. IMG_20200606_160341518 by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Anyway... that’s all for now. Now that I’ve started with the build properly, it feels as though I’m getting somewhere; it’ll be nice to join the major components together and crack on with detailing the other parts and the project progresses. Thanks for reading. Jonathan
  4. Not a high flying PR Spit or High Altitude version, or even a speed record breaker. As im awaiting canopy masks for my Seafires I thought I would see if I could build and finish one of these Hobbyboss kits while waiting. Although simple they are well moulded and accurate, with a level of detail that would shame some mainstream makers. The cockpit is moulded into the one piece fuselage but it has seat and control column detail albeit simplified. Here are the contents. Two little challenges, there are no undercarriage doors but I can either scavenge some from another kit where resin replacements have been used or there are 'closed' doors that can be adapted. Or even a few minutes with some plastic card. The other is filling the location for the bomb. I'll make mine a straight interceptor. Simple instructions and transfers for two options, one Dark Green/Dark Earth and one Dark Green/Ocean Grey. But the colour call call outs are seriously weird. I can almost understand the medium grey and light gull grey (but not the light green) for the 303 Squadron version but Light Gull Gray instead of Sky for the 317 Squadron option!
  5. Hobby Boss is to release in late June 2020 a (ex-Merit) 1/18th Bell UH-1B Huey - ref. 81806 Source: http://www.hobbyboss.com/index.php?g=home&m=article&a=show&id=159&l=en Test model V.P.
  6. For all the ME262 enthusiasts, I think this is the largest ME262 model on the market at 1:18 scale. I built their 1/48 scale and enjoyed it. The level of detail and accessories is great. However don;t think I have space for a 1/18 scale!
  7. Hello, Started to work on the Mil Mi-4, HobbyBoss 1/72 kit some times ago; decided to show you my progress. Kit with several Eduard photoetched and masks sets (interior, exterior, cargo bay) and a decal set from a Romanian supplier; my intention is to create an "all doors open" model with some basic scratch improvements. That being said, "the stuff pile" looks like this: Started by removing some nasty ejector marks on the cargo bay celing (the only plastic part not treated in the dedicated photoetched set); before and after: The machine has a nice landing light in the nose; kit representation is far from convincing: My effort spoiled by epoxy glue leaking inside the light (an aftermarket headlamp designed for some 1/48 vehicle but fitting nicely the size): Eduard photoetched dashboard is not matching the kit plastic base; decided to make a new one from scratch including the textile hood and frame (visible on the original and not represented in the kit):
  8. South African Olifant Mk.1B Hobbyboss 1:35 History The Olifant Mk.1B (Elephant) is an upgraded variant of the Olifant Mk.1A tank. The Mk.1B was developed as an interim solution. It entered service with South African National Defence Forces in 1991. About 44 vehicles were upgraded to the Mk.1B standard. The Olifant Mk.1B main battle tank has a number of armour improvements over its predecessor. Passive armour has been added to the glacis plate and nose of the hull. Turret has been fitted with stand-off composite armour. Protection against mines has been improved by adding double floor. New side skirts were fitted. This main battle tank was also fitted with an automatic fire suppression system. The Olifant Mk.1B MBT is armed with the British L7 105-mm rifled gun. This gun is compatible with all standard NATO 105-mm munitions. A total of 68 rounds for the main gun are carried inside the vehicle. This main battle tank was also fitted with new fire control system. Secondary armament consists of two 7.62-mm machine guns. One of them is mounted coaxially with the main gun, while the other one is placed on top of the roof. The Olifant Mk.1B tank has a crew of four, including commander, gunner, loader and driver. The Olifant is powered by a new Continental turbocharged diesel engine, developing 950 horsepower acquired from Israel. These replaced the petrol engines in the earlier variant and improved the power to weight ratio. By fitting the diesel and additional fuel tanks range was increased by quite a margin. The Model It’s been a long time coming and on the wants list of many an armour modeller, but at least it has been released and joins an ever growing list of South African military vehicles now available in injection moulded plastic. The kit is packed in a nice sturdy box with a depiction of the tank on the move on the front. Inside there are six sprues and four separate parts, all in a dark yellowish styrene, four sprues in a brown styrene, on in clear, twenty four plastic “tyres”, two sheets of etched brass and a small decal sheet. The mouldings are, as usual very well done, with no sign of imperfections or flash, but there are quite a few moulding pips to clean up before many of the parts can be used. The moulded detail on the hull and turret parts is very nicely done, and matches pretty well with the real vehicle. The build begins with the fitting of the torsion bean suspension arms to the lower hull, along with the lower glacis plate and three under side mounted access panels. Each of the axles is then fitted with their respective shock absorbers, with the foremost and rearmost units being fitted with bump stops. The twelve double return rollers are then assembled, each from three parts, while the two part drive gear covers are fitted with a single roller These assemblies are then glued into place on the lower hull. Each road wheel consists of an inner and outer wheel, separate tyres and an outer cover. Once assembled these are then glued to their axles, as are the two piece idlers and drive sprockets. The individual track links are held onto the sprue by only two gates, thus making them easy to clean up. What is not so easy is the assembly of ach track length. Consisting of one hundred and five links, each link has to be glued to the next, which is fine for the upper and lower runs, but less easy getting the correct flow around the idlers and drive sprockets. Moving on to the upper hull, the driver’s vision ports are fitted from the inside, while on the outside the track guards and rear mudflaps are attached. The large forward mudflaps are next, and these are fitted with three attachment straps before being glued into place. The rear lights, towing hook and eyes are fitted to the rear, along with a large breaker bar. Also fitted to the rear bulkhead is a large storage box, which is covered by a PE chequer plate along the top and sides, the two exhausts are also fitted, one each side of the storage box. Several small brackets are glued to each side of the hull, along the track guards, while on the drivers position and large external armoured vision port is fitted, along with its associated wiper and wiper motor box. The large spaced armour block is fitted to the upper glacis plate, along with several small items. The drivers hatch is then assembled from three parts and fitted into position, while either side of the front engine deck, two, three piece intakes are attached, probably air conditioning units. Staying on the engine deck, several guards and grab handles are attached along with more brackets. The upper hull is then attached to the lower hull, followed by the fitting of the two five piece heavy duty towing eye blocks, which also incorporate the headlights are fitted to the glacis plate. Two more eyes and their shackles are fitted to the lower rear plate. The main gun is split in two parts longitudinally, once the two halves have been glued together, they are slid into the four piece mantle. Inside the upper turret section the commanders clear vision ports are fitted, before the gun assembly and the lower hull section glued into place. On each side of the rear of the turret there are four smoke dischargers, their two bar guard and just behind them an unusually shaped bin. The rear bustle of the turret is fitted with three sets of three track links and their fixing bars. The top of the turret is fitted with two more vision blocks on the gunner’s side, lifting eyes and two aerial bases. The commander’s side is then fitted with a sighting unit which also has a wiper and associated motor, plus to protection bars over the top, at the same time the gunners hatch is assembled and glued into place. Finally another large sighting unit is assembled from nine parts, and fitted onto the commander’s cupola, followed by the three piece hatch and two more two piece aerial bases. The completed turret is then attached to the hull completing the build. Decals While there is really only one colour scheme, the decals have markings for up to four different tanks. Essentially only the turret markings and numbers plates are different, although there are enough individual numbers to change two of the number plates to any tank with the same prefixes and suffix letter you can find reference for. The decals themselves look to be the usual fare from Hobbyboss, there are bright. clear, with good opacity and little carrier film. Conclusion It’s great to see this tank finally being released, bringing another part of the Centurion story to life. Not only that but with three South African vehicles now released, who knows what might be next, as there’s plenty of weird vehicles to choose from. The kit itself appears to be quite accurate when comparing with pictures of the real vehicle on the net, well, once I’d got over the fact that there is the Mk.1B and Mk.1B Optimum which is quite different from the kit tank. There’s nothing in the kit that should cause anyone any problems, other than the tracks, which can always be replaced with metal or resin aftermarket items. That said, I wish Hobbyboss/Trumpeter would make their tracks as user friendly as MiniArt are doing with their latest releases. Oh, and what were they thinking when they moulded the road wheel tyres separately? I guess once painted and weathered they will look ok, but for some modellers they will have to be replaced with resin road wheels or scrounge a set from the AFVClub Centurion kits. Review sample courtesy of
  9. Not quite an oob Oddly, HobbyBoss only supply RAF and Finish decals with this kit. I used Carpena decals, which needed some Liquid Decal Film coated on them. I added a paper instrument panel as well
  10. Thought I’d have a go at retro converting the 1/35 Hobbyboss Delta Force FAV back into a basic VW sand rail. There was a lot of cutting, sawing and general butchery to get the result I wanted and the engine as supplied was very basic so I’ve added a few bits to represent an average VW Beetle engine, but with a few extra details like ignition coil and plug leads, ribbed sump with drain plug, aerial from stretched sprue and a new distributor cap. Paints are Tamiya with Revelll weathering powder and Humbrol lacquers. Alclad steel paint was used for the wheel hubs and a Molotow chrome pen for the air cleaner, wing mirror and other chrome details.
  11. So for the GB I'll be attempting this kit: Seems I have a love for odd looking, twin boom / twin bodied aircraft, so this will be in fine company with my recently built and similarly black F-82 Twin Mustang. I've got a few after market bits - a set of Print Scale decals, plus some Eduard canopy masks and their small interior PE kit. In terms of Journey's End, according to Wikipedia: So I might do that decal option from the pack or maybe "Cooper's Snooper" (P-61B-2 42-39454 flown by 1 Lt George C Cooper, 548th NFS, Iwo Jima, Spring 1945) since I like the look of the nose art. I've got 3 other GB builds to do first, so you might have to wait a while for the sprue shots and build start!
  12. Greetings all, This rather large box somehow appeared on my doorstep this week - how these things happen I shall never understand... I love the 8th Air Force and the B-17 and B-24 in particular, so decided to have a go at the recent HobbyBoss release of the B-24, or the 'crate the B-17 was delivered in' if you spoke a B-17 crew. Not very fair really, especially when you consider it could fly farther, faster and with a greater bombload than the Fort. The kit looks fairly simple in places as has been discussed at length elsewhere, but that's just what I'm after at the moment - something nice and straightforward but with an imposing end product. We shall see... Customary box shots: IMG_0197 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr IMG_0199 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr And progress so far... I thought I'd ignore the instructions and start with the main undercarriage bays. First up was a spraying of aluminium and a grey Flory wash to bring out some of the lovely detailing: IMG_0195 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr Following by it all slotting together rather nicely into a very sturdy box-structure: IMG_0200 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr IMG_0201 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr All that only took a couple of hours in total - lovely! Take care all, Tom
  13. Hobby Boss is to release in late January 2020 a 1/18th Messerschmitt Me.262 Schwalbe kit - ref. 81805 Source: http://www.hobbyboss.com/index.php?g=home&m=article&a=show&id=151&l=en V.P.
  14. I finished this shelf sitter today. It was started at the Saturday modelling club in a local library which is sadly but understandably cancelled for the foreseeable future. It comes with masses if interior detail, most of which I decided to ignore as the fit of the upper and lower hull halves was poor. 20200512_143224[1] 20200512_143248[1] I have built the Tamiya T-34 which is some much simpler to put together, but I do like the later but pre-T34/85 turret 20200513_193525[1] 20200513_193509[1] Thank you for looking
  15. The IAR 80 was a small-series Romanian-built WW2 fighter plane. Built with very limited resources and under many unfortunate circumstances, the plane behaved pretty well during its operational life, on all fronts. This little forgotten fighter is really close to my heart so I was very happy to see that Hobbyboss decided to offer a plastic kit dedicated to IAR 80. Now let's see what's in the box: Dry-fitting of the main pieces is very good and also the kit seems to be pretty accurate in dimensions. It really looks like an IAR80:) But this is where the good news is over, because the kit has some errors probably caused by sloppy documentation work (no wonder for Hobbyboss). Hopefully, with some love & tenderness, most of these can be properly addressed. I also acquired the separate PE instrument panel released by Yahu Models for IAR 80. It can be seen in the above picture with the canopy and windscreen. Although it looks like difficult to assemble (it is not the traditional just-stick one-piece IP from Yahu, this set consists of many small pieces that must be assembled together), I strongly recommend it for those interested in IAR 80, because it is a HUGE improvement over the kit's parts. The kit itself comes with a small PE fret containing the seat belts...but unfortunately these seatbelts are not correct for the early time-frame of the IAR 80 series. This type of seatbelts were indeed fitted to IAR 80/81 but only starting with summer 1943. They were also usually retro-fitted to earlier models of the plane, but of course starting with 1943. A 1940-1941-1942-early 1943 machine would not be fitted with such seatbelts. As said, the IAR 80 was produced in very limited numbers, only some 450 machines were built and it was used operationally only by the Romanian Air Force, mostly on the Eastern front and home defense missions. As an example, when fighting the Americans during the Ploesti oil fiend missions, it was usually mistaken with the Fw190:) Anyway, there is very limited knowledge about this plane and a very good reference work on the subject is the book "Romanian Hunter" authored by Radu Brinzan. Very solid work, it contains lots of details needed for an IAR 80 model. I greatly recommend it to anyone interested. One of the main problems of the Hobbyboss kit is that the original decals are almost unusable and the painting instructions are largely incorrect. There are decals for 2 airframes in the box: aircraft no.42 and aircraft no.137. But no.137 was a 6-gun wing model, while in the box we have the 4-gun wing model. Of course, some modifications could be made, but the idea is that OOB the markings for no.137 are incorrect for this model. The remaining variant, no.42 airframe, was indeed a 4-guns wing, but the King Michael's crosses are not the right ones for this model. But again Radu Brinzan came to help with this lovely decal sheet dedicated to early series on IAR 80, which is offering some very nice and correct markings and painting instructions for the earliest IAR 80 airframes. Another problem is related to the guns. As represented in the kit, they are not very correct and anyway under-represented. The early IAR 80 series were armed with 4 FN machine guns. These were some Belgian variations of the classic Browning 303. I looked to find some decent aftermarket for these and I found appropriate only this Quickboost set designed for the new Airfix P40B kit, which contains 4 browning 303 barrels. While not perfect, they are the closest match I could find for the FN's installed in the early IAR 80. Anyway, I intend to represent an early IAR 80 airframe, one of the machines built in the first series. The airplane was built in small batches, first series spanning from No.1 to No.20. I will probably go for a pre-war marking (1940 to early 1941 time frame), so the most probable candidates are no.2, no.9 or no.17 from Radu's decal sheet. That's all for the moment . Thanks for looking and cheers,
  16. Number 7 complete for the year. This model sat, like so many of my stalled builds, partially assembled and covered in primer. And probably for at least 5 years. The HobbyBoss kit is something of a throwback. I know there have been complaints about it's accuracy, which I won't comment on (as I don't care enough), but it reminds me of the classic Monogram and Hasegawa kits of the 80s. It's a big, chunky model, well detailed in some places, a bit simplistic in others. It goes together quickly and easily, but not necessarily well I chose to build mine as an in-service USAF "what might have been" of the 1st TFW, USAF. The decals were cobbled together from TwoBobs, the Academy Raptor, and a Japanese decal sheet (NBM). I painted this as something of a test bed. I'm starting on a USAF F-16 in the Have Glass V paint scheme, and wanted to try Hataka lacquers version of this paint. It's maybe a touch too light out of the bottle, but after a coat with clear and then a dark dirt Flory wash, it darkened up a little bit and looks closer to the real thing. Because it's a big ole kit in one colour - especially the wings - I tried to break it up a little bit with the wash, some oils, and also by painting a few panels in silver and grey. I probably painted the radome and leading edges in too pale a shade of grey, but that's a minor thing. They match the grey of the markings well enough. I was also aiming to get the distinctive Have Glass V "is it gloss or is it matt?" look and I think I just about pulled it off. I gave it a single light coat of Hataka matt varnish, over a Klear gloss coar. When it catches the light it's glossy and metallic. When it doesn't catch the light it's dull and matt. Due to it's enourmous size, long profile, and low down stance it's a very hard model to photograph. For the intake covers I used pieces of cardboard, coated in tissue paper soaked in thinned black paint, then some decals from the NBM sheet. You know how I said it's a big model? Here she is alongside a 1/32 F-16 fuselage for scale...... Overall, very happy with this one. There's some things I'd do slightly differently with the paint scheme, but like I said, she was something of a test bed. Now she's another completed model, and a big, eye catching one at that.
  17. Russian KrAZ-260B Tractor with MAZ/ChMZAP-5247G semitrailer Hobbyboss 1:35 (HB85523) Production of the KrAZ-260 began some time during the early 1980s when it replaced the earlier KrAZ-255B on the production lines at the Kremenchug Motor Vehicle Plant. However, the vehicle was not disclosed to the general public until 1985 when examples were displayed towing 152-mm 2A36 nuclear-capable field guns during a Red Square parade - the KrAZ-260 can tow loads of up to 10 tons when fully loaded (30 tons when empty). The Red Square example had an open body equipped with forward-facing bench seats although this had been a parade configuration. The normal body uses a conventional cargo body with tailgate all covered by the usual tilt over bows. A winch is a standard fitting under the cargo body and can be employed for either forward or rearwards recovery, including self-recovery. The overall appearance of the KrAZ-260 is similar to that of the earlier KrAZ-255B but the bonnet is more angular to accommodate the turbocharged diesel engine, and the overall dimensions are slightly larger. As far as can be determined the KrAZ-260 was produced for military service only and as apparently not been delivered to armed forces outside the Soviet Union. The Kit The kit arrives in a fairly substantial box. There are 17 sprues of plastic, the main trailer chassis as one part, three sheets of PE, and a set of window masks. Construction starts with a very detailed engine unit for the KrAZ. This unit has so many parts that the first 3 pages of the instructions deal only with its construction. Once the engine is done the gear box/transmission is made up the two can then be fitted into the chassis as it is made up. Again there are plenty of part for the chassis, the front bumper is also added along with the 5th wheel plate. The exhaust system is added along with the axles and transmission shafts. Suspension units and springs are also added. Air tanks and the battery box are also added. Last up for the chassis the mud guards are added and the wheels. Next up the cab is built up, followed by the front wings/mud guards and finally the bonnet. This can then be attached to the chassis. Last up for the chassis is attaching the spare wheel carrier which sits behind the cab. Now its time to assemble the trailer. This starts off with construction of the gooseneck, this is made up and the landing legs added. The main trailer bed is then assembled, the axles are constructed and then added along with the eight wheels. The rear ramps are put together then the bed, gooseneck and ramps come together. The spare trailer tyre can then be added. Decals Markings are provided for one Russian Army vehicle, any colour you want as long as it is Russian Green! No information is provided as to units etc. The Conclusion This is an will build up into an impressive looking kit. Hightly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  18. IDF Puma AEV (84546) 1:35 HobbyBoss via Creative Models Ltd. The Puma is based on the Sho't, the Israeli version of the British Centurion tank, but vastly altered so as to be almost unrecognisable. Instead of a turret it has a flat armoured "blockhouse", additional armour packages and four crew stations with FN machine-guns, one of which can be operated remotely, and a larger crew hatch behind them. They can be used as personnel carriers with a crew of up to eight, but are most commonly seen as Armoured Engineering vehicles, sometimes fitted with mine clearance rollers, explosive mine clearance rocket systems as seen here, or dozer blades. When they are used for mine clearance, the Carpet Mine Clearance system launches a number of rockets with a fuel-air mix onto the area needing clearing, with the explosive overpressure very efficient in detonating most kinds of anti-tank mines. Any remaining mines are then detonated by the rollers, clearing the way of the advancing forces. Their heavy weight and relatively high speed make them ideal for clearing roadblocks, and their armour makes for a highly survivable platform that has seen extensive in IDF use since introduction in the early 90s. More recently, developments have been made to use the vehicles as an IED clearance asset, which requires the fitting of additional electronic equipment to jam signals of remote detonation commands. They are also using booby trap clearance equipment, requiring additional training for their crews for this potentially dangerous work. The Kit The original tooling of this kit was reviewed here in 2016, and this new edition adds the carpet mine clearing system mentioned above. There are twenty nine sprues and two separate hull parts in green styrene, four in brown containing the track links, a small clear sprue, fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a bag of twenty four tyres in rigid black styrene, a copper cable, length of chunky chain and a decal sheet. The instruction booklet and separate colour painting/decaling guide are found at the bottom of the box in my sample. A larger box than the original was necessary for the extra parts, and inside is a small divider to reduce movement during shipping and reduce chaffing of the plastic. Construction begins with the two types of road wheels, twelve of each in pairs, with separate flexible tyres slipped over the hubs after painting if you wish to ease that task, but do ensure you position them with the flange to the outside before gluing them in place. All the road wheels have a central cap added, as do the two idler wheels, while the drive sprockets do not. They are set aside while the suspension arms, dampers and bump-stops are added to the narrow lower hull, and are fitted in pairs-of-pairs to their axles along with a number of return rollers of various sizes. The front and rear bulkheads have inserts with additional detail, including towing loops and spare track-links, plus a large towing hitch under the rear end. The tracks of the individual link type, and are supplied on the brown sprues with 105 links required for each track run, which is one down from the original edition. The usual method of gluing them with liquid glue and then wrapping them around the sprockets should do the trick, holding them in place with anything handy to achieve the correct degree of sag. The fenders are festooned with additional equipment and stowage, and have separate end-caps to the front with cross-braces to strengthen them laterally. These fit into slots in the side of the lower hull, after which the upper hull gains focus. The Rafael Overhead Weapon Station (OWS) remote turret is built up first with a clear TV camera port, with the other three crew-served machine-guns next, followed by sundry equipment and antenna bases for the flat blockhouse area. The crew hatches have separate detailed hinge mechanisms, and these fit in place in either open or closed positions along with the weapons on their mounts. A triangular stowage area is made up from delicate frames that are protected by foam wrapped around the sprues, adding small parts along the way. This and the blockhouse are then fitted in position on the upper hull panel, which also has the driver's hatch with vision blocks situated just forward of the blockhouse in a recessed area. The upper hull and lower are now joined, and more detail is added to the fenders, consisting of small PE hooks and tiny parts are added along the length to hold the two tow cables, which are themselves made up from braided copper and styrene eyes. The side-skirts can then be added on their T-shaped brackets that mount on lugs moulded into the sides of the upper hull. The mine roller is then built with its multiple toothed wheels on two swing-arms that are formed from complex angular parts that make up a hollow assembly. These are both mounted to the base part with pivot-pins as well as some restraining cables that reduce bounce on detonation. This assembly is then set to one side while the large rear-mounted compartmentalised box is made up that contains the fuel-air bomblets. This is constructed from flat plates and risers in three layers, with the hydraulic ram that allow it to pivot for aiming added in a central slot on the base. The bomblets are made of two halves to which the vanes and stabiliser ring are attached, allowing a number to be dropped into their compartments. A base plate and PE blast deflectors are joined by a further layer, then the large C-shaped beam that supports and allows the movement of the weapon is assembled from a large number of parts. Finally, all three sub-assemblies are brought together in a surprisingly large finished model. Markings All Pumas are painted a base coat of Sinai Grey, and differ only by their unit markings and personalisations. There is only one decal option shown on the instructions, but if you know your IDF and/or Hebrew, there are clearly more possibilities as evidenced by the relatively large decal sheet and three number-plates, but as I don't profess to understand Hebrew, it would be difficult for me to comment further. The decals are printed in-house and are have good register, colour density and sharpness, so should be suitable for use unless you have something else in mind. Conclusion A nicely detailed and surprisingly long kit that just cries out for a crew and lots of stowage in that big basket. They are often seen with anti-slip coatings applied to the horizontal areas where the crew are likely to step, so it may be worthwhile applying some Cast-A-Coat or finely ground pumice to these areas, being careful to check your references first for the correct locations. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  19. My entry for this GB will be the HobbyBoss 1:48 F-18A Hornet She will be in the markings of VFA-25 'Fist of the Fleet' circa 1987 whilst the squadron (part of CVW-14) was assigned to USS Constellation stationed the Western Indian Ocean / Arabian Gulf providing air cover during Operation Earnest Will So the build will be another learning exercise I will be adding the Aires Resin Cockpit - eek! Painting ... Black-basing & mottling, Make it up as I go along haha etc to give a grubby , well used exposed to the elements finish Kit pictures will go here when Aires cockpit is delivered!
  20. LvKv 90 Anti-Air Vehicle (84507) 1:35 HobbyBoss via Creative Models Ltd. Based upon the original Combat Vehicle 90 (CV90), this anti-aircraft light tank uses the same chassis with a 40mm Bofors autocannon in a new turret, which is guided by a Thales radar unit perched on top of the turret in a cylindrical housing. LvKv stands for Luftvärnskanonvagn, which translates to self-propelled anti-aircraft weapon, with the 90 representing the decade of its birth. It can fire programmable proximity-fused fragmentation or armour piercing rounds, which coupled with the complex computer algorithms used in targeting, calculating velocity and direction of the target, speed of rounds, ballistic drop make for a highly accurate weapon that will put the fear of immediate perforation in any passing enemy that lingers in range (up to 14km) for more than a couple of seconds. It can also track up to six targets at once, far beyond that of any mere human and a useful force multiplier. Although it isn’t strictly speaking a frontline vehicle, it is well-enough armoured to withstand armour piercing rounds from most APCs to its frontal armour, and small arms fire from the back and sides. It is also a connected fighting vehicle, benefitting from and contributing to a better overall situational awareness of their forces that is an incredibly useful tool in battle that all modern forces aspire to have. It gets around the battlefield thanks to a Scania 550hp diesel engine that drives the tracks and also act as propulsion in water with the fitment of a flotation kit that gives it greater all-terrain capability. The Kit Based upon their initial 2012 release of the CV90-40C, but without all the appliqué armour of the IFV, and with a new turret gun and radar “pot”. In its splinter camouflage it is an attractive design, and from the box it is well-detailed throughout with individual link tracks and separate track-pads. From the standard Hobby Boss box come fourteen sprues and three hull and turret parts in sand-coloured styrene, four sprues of track-pads in black, thirty trees of track-links in a metallic grey, a small clear sprue, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) parts, a sheet of decals, and the instruction booklet with separate painting guide. In an unusual turn of events, construction begins with the vehicle’s rear hatches, which are festooned with styrene and PE parts before completion. Then the more predictable make-up of the four-part drive sprockets (x2), four-part road wheel pairs (x14), and two-part idler wheels, which are set aside until after the lower hull and its swing-arm suspension is finished off. The rear hatch made earlier is added to the stepped underside, clear lights are slotted inside the sloped front of the upper hull, and a number of PE parts are added around them next to the front fenders. Now you can add all those wheels, then make up the tracks. Each side uses 82 links comprising two parts, with two sprue gates on the pads, and three on the metallic-coloured links, all of which is sensibly placed and easy to clean up. It took a few minutes to make up the example section of 6 links for the review, and you can even leave off the pads until after painting the tracks if you are modelling it clean, scuffing the pads with a sanding stick before you glue them in for a bit of realism. With the hull joined, a number of pioneer tools are attached to the rear along with pre-moulded towing cables that are supplied with PE tie-downs, with styrene grab-handles on the glacis and a nicely detailed driver’s hatch added. At the rear is an access hatch for the engine, and on the sides a pair of skirts are fixed to blocks on the hull sides. More PE and clear parts are fitted on the rear bulkhead, with a number of PE grilles added to the deck and a trio of aerials at the very rear. The Bofors cannon is a simple affair, made up from a four-part mount and a barrel with concertina recoil bag at its base, split horizontally with a single piece flared muzzle fitted last. The barrel is slipped through the turret from the inside and is trapped in place by the cut-outs as the lower turret is glued in place. It should remain mobile if you don’t drown the joint in glue. With that the turret is detailed with a stowage bustle, more stowage on the sides, smoke grenade launchers, hatches, grab-handles and lots of little PE camo-tie-down parts that are shown in detail in a larger scrap diagram on the same page. The turret is finished off with a sighting box in front of the gunner’s position, the big radar pot, spare track-links and a shrouded barrel of the coax machine gun. The turret twists into position and is held in place by the bayonet lugs on the side of the turret ring. Markings As is often the case with HB kits, there’s only one decal option supplied with precious little background information, and that’s for a splinter camouflaged vehicle with yellow number 143030. The decals included in the kit are minimal, as befits an armour kit, and they have good enough registration, colour density and sharpness for the task in hand. Conclusion I like anything with the Swedish splinter, and this futuristic-looking vehicle looks great in the box, and once complete it will have provided plenty of modelling enjoyment, as well as breaking up the standard green of our shelves. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  21. IJN Pre-Dreadnought Mikasa 1:200 Hobbyboss History Mikasa is a pre-dreadnought battleship built for the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) in the late 1890s, and was the only ship of her class. Named after Mount Mikasa in Nara, Japan, the ship served as the flagship of Admiral Tōgō Heihachirō throughout the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905, including the Battle of Port Arthur on the second day of the war and the Battles of the Yellow Sea and Tsushima. Days after the end of the Russo-Japanese War, Mikasa's magazine accidentally exploded and sank the ship. She was salvaged and her repairs took over two years to complete. Afterwards, the ship served as a coast-defence ship during World War I and supported Japanese forces during the Siberian Intervention in the Russian Civil War. After 1922, Mikasa was decommissioned in accordance with the Washington Naval Treaty and preserved as a museum ship at Yokosuka. She was badly neglected during the post-World War II Occupation of Japan and required extensive refurbishing in the late 1950s. She is now fully restored as a museum ship and can be visited at Mikasa Park in Yokosuka. Mikasa is the last remaining example of a pre-dreadnought battleship anywhere in the world The design of Mikasa was a modified version of the Formidable-class battleships of the Royal Navy with two additional 6-inch guns. Mikasa had an overall length of 432 feet, a beam of 76 feet, and a normal draught of 27 feet 2 inches. She displaced 15,140 tons at normal load. The crew numbered about 830 officers and enlisted men. The ship was powered by two vertical triple-expansion steam engines, each driving one propeller, using steam generated by 25 Belleville boilers. The engines were rated at 15,000 indicated horsepower, using forced draught, and designed to reach a top speed of 18 knots although Mikasa proved to be faster during her sea trials in December 1901. The ship reached a top speed of 18.45 knots using 16,341 indicated horsepower. She carried a maximum of 2,000 tons of coal which allowed her to steam for 9,000 nautical miles at a speed of 10 knots. Mikasa's main battery consisted of the same four Elswick Ordnance Company 40-calibre twelve-inch guns used in all of the preceding Japanese battleships. They were mounted in twin-gun barbettes fore and aft of the superstructure that had armoured hoods to protect the guns. The hydraulically powered mountings could be loaded at all angles of traverse while the guns were loaded at a fixed angle of +13.5°. They fired 850-pound projectiles at a muzzle velocity of 2,400 ft/s. The ship's secondary armament consisted of fourteen 45-calibre 6-inch quick-firing guns mounted in casemates. Ten of these guns were positioned on the main deck and the other four guns were placed above them at the corners of the superstructure. They fired 100-pound shells at a muzzle velocity of 2,300 ft/s. Protection against torpedo boat attacks was provided by twenty QF 12-pounder 12 cwt guns. Lighter guns consisted of eight 47-millimetre three-pounder Hotchkiss guns and eight 2.5-pounder Hotchkiss guns. The ship was also equipped with four submerged 18-inch torpedo tubes, two on each broadside. The waterline armour belt of Mikasa consisted of Krupp cemented armour that had a maximum thickness of 9 inches over the middle of the ship. It was only 4 inches thick at the ends of the ship and was surmounted by a six-inch strake of armour that ran between the barbettes. The barbettes were 14 inches thick, but reduced to six inches at the level of the lower deck. The armour of the barbette hoods had a thickness of 8–10 inches. The casemates protecting the secondary armament were 2–6 inches thick and the deck armour was 2–3 inches in thickness. The forward conning tower was protected by 14 inches of armour, but the aft conning tower only had four inches of armour. Mikasa, like all the other Japanese battleships of the time, was fitted with four Barr & Stroud FA3 coincidence rangefinders that had an effective range of 8,000 yd. In addition the ships were also fitted with 24-power magnification telescopic gun-sights. The Model Originally released by Merit International in her 1905 fit, Hobbyboss have now released her as she was completed in 1902. The large top opening box with a very nice painting of the ship at anchor, contains 19 sprues, and four separate parts, all in a light grey styrene, one black stand, five sheets of etched brass, a length of chain and a smallish decal sheet. Whilst not having the Merit kit to compare it with I have checked the hull and fittings with my book on Japanese Battleships by R A Burt. From what I can see Hobbyboss have the hull correct, which makes a nice change, as their Trumpeter colleagues seem to have a problem with this area in their ship kits. The mouldings are superb, especially for what is still quite a large model, there is no sign of flash or other imperfections and a fair few moulding pips to clean up. The only real problems appear to be the masts and the yardarm positions in particular. The kit calls for the lower yardarms to be attached above the lower platforms, whereas all the pictures and photos show these were fitted below the platforms, easily remedied during the build. Talking of the build, construction begins with the gluing the two hull halves together, along with the three bulkheads, rudder and lower gun deck. This all produces a really strong hull and certainly won’t collapse when handled. The ten 6” mounts on the gun deck are then fitted, each pinned into place, while four two piece 3pdr guns, each with PE gun shield are also fitted to their respective positions, two forward and two aft. The three piece main deck is then added and the model turned over to fit the two bilge keels, four propeller shafts with separate A frames and the four propellers. Each of the PE guns shields around the 6” and 3pdr guns are made of PE, they come in alternate parts and can be posed open, (three parts) or closed up, a single part). The main deck is then fitted out with a variety of winches, skylights and decks houses, as well as the two funnel bases. The multitude of large ventilators, each made from six parts are the glued into their respective positions around the midships section, followed by more skylights, hatches and smaller winches. The lower front, lower rear and two centre sections of the main superstructure are then fitted, after which two mote 6” guns are fitted fore and aft of the upper deck and eight 3pdr guns amidships. Each of the openings for the guns are shielded by PE parts much like those on the lower gun deck and are also able to be posed open or closed. Two mezzanine decks are fitted with nine support columns then glued into place over the gun mounts. The upper front and rear sections of the upper deck are then attached. For the myriad of ships boats there are fourteen cradles made of plastic and four of PE, these are all positioned within the well that the upper gun deck bulkheads created. Four more large ventilators are assembled and fitted in the same area. Each of the eight boats are made up of multiple parts, the rowing boats can be assembled open or with canvas covers fitted, they are also fitted with PE rudders. The steam launches have separate boilers and masts, but can also be assembled with a canvas cover in place, whilst the steam pinnaces are fitted with three ventilators mast and PE rudder. The boats can be attached to their cradles later in the build to allow easier access to the boat deck. There are lots of deck furniture to fit next, these include hatches, windlasses, anchor chains, haws pipe covers, (PE),storage boxes, raised deck hatches with PE grilles, cleats, bollards, Jack staff, Ensign staff, and breakwaters. With these all in place, it’s onto the bridge and the armoured conning position, including separate roof and rear screen, also on the lower bridge deck are three small deck houses, two flag lockers and two, two piece 3pdr guns. On each side there two support frames for the upper bridge deck wings. The upper bridge deck is then fitted with ten support columns before being glued into position. The single piece command bridge is then attached, along with four mast stay blocks. The same procedure is carried out for the aft positioned auxiliary steering position. The bridge and aft positions are then fitted with searchlights, binnacles, rangefinders, and PE cross braces for the outboard wing supports. The two bridge decks are also fitted with their respective railings, and inclined ladders, all made of PE. The main gun turrets are assembled next, each being made up from a turret base, onto which the four separate trunnion mounts and two guns are fitted. The turret is then slid over the guns and glued to the base, being finished off with three unidentifiable parts to the roof. The two masts are then assembled, each should be the same, but remember to fit the lower yardarm beneath the lower observation/gun platform. They are each made up from three mast sections, two platforms several PE support braces, two yardarms, a gaff, and a 20m boat handling crane. The lower platforms are fitted with two 3pdr guns, while the upper platform has a single searchlight. The two funnels are next to be assembled. Each one is made up from two halves into which the inner top section is sandwiched. Two steam pipes are fitted to the forward funnel, while the aft has three. The forward funnel also has a platform attached to its forward face to which two pipe are attached from below and two horns are fitted to the upper surface which is surrounded by a PE railing. Both funnels have a PE ring which needs to be rolled to shape before being attached, followed by the funnel cap grille. Both are then glued to their bases, before being attached to their respective positions on the boat/upper gun deck. The masts and main turrets are also fitted at this point. The mezzanine decks are fitted with eight 3pdr gun assemblies before the main railings are attached. The main deck railings are also fitted at this point, along with the main anchors in their stowage areas, their handling cranes. There are several derricks on each side of the hull which I presume are for handling the anti-torpedo netting which is provided in folded form in PE, as well as their associated storage decking which is also PE. Life-ring containers are folded to shape and a lifering added before being attached to their locations on the main hull. Four boat davits are fitted wither side of the boat deck and eight anti-torpedo net booms attached to the low down, near the waterline. Either side of the quarterdeck are four more davits onto which are attached four more of the ships boats. As with the previous boat assemblies, these can be assembled either open or with their canvas covers fitted. The two PE accommodation ladders are folded to shape, assembled and fitted either side of the quarterdeck and lastly, but by no means least, the prominent three piece covered walkway is added to the stern, and fitted with the ships name plate. Above the walkway is a small PE platform which, once attached completes the build, with the exception of painting and all the rigging has been added. The kit comes with a large black plastic stand, a name plate backplate and the name plate in etched brass, which is a nice touch. Decals The smallish decal sheet contains two Ensigns, one straight, the other as if flapping in the breeze. Not quite sure why they have done this, but in their infinite wisdom Hobbyboss have made the flags quite complex in that the sun, and the sun’s rays on either side have been printed separately which could be fun to get right. I presume it’s to prevent bleed through but I’ve not seen any other manufacturer do this. The other decals on the sheet include the prominent funnel bands and the ships name. Conclusion The last pre-dreadnought in existence deserves it’s place in maritime lore, and it’s great to see this ship given the 1:200 treatment, as it’s the perfect scale for what is in fact quite a small ship. Once built, it will look superb in any collection, but I suggest you invest in a nice case to keep the dust off it. There are a number of upgrades for this ship produced by the likes of Mk1 Design if you wish to take it to the next level, but with all the etch that’s included some modellers may feel that is a little extravagant, That said, it could certainly do with a wooden deck and turned barrels, such as those reviewed HERE. Review sample courtesy of
  22. Hallo again Now I started a Tiger II. The kit is HB. A very good mold, I am astonished about the quality. It is a kit without interior. I build all different types of tanks from Germany, Russia and Great Britain from WW2. Two exceptions are Merkavas from Israel present day. My build is straight from the box. I build the version just painted in Minium; it is a protective paint against rust. Without any marking, ready for deployment. Well, first I work on plastic, without all tools and pulling ropes etc. After turret and tracks, I start spraying the first round. With tools and etched parts the second round. Well, we will see how it works out. Corona makes me more patient, we will have lots of time. Here in Austria we have curfew. It will last I think three full months. Happy modelling
  23. This was my first Hobby Boss kit. I started it in earnest in the fall of 2012 and hit the first “snag” soon after. I had to repaint the seat several times to get the effect I wanted and stopped construction for several weeks. Then I took up the gauntlet again. The plastic in this kit was sort of odd; in some places it seems quite soft but it also seemed very brittle at times too. I broke several parts just removing them from sprues, and this sure wasn’t my first rodeo. The fore and aft sections of the fuselage presented the next challenge. There was a terrible fit between the two sections. After I had them together, I found that it looked like “a bear’s *ss sewed up with a grapevine” (old sheet metal saying there…). Out came the Bondo and I went to work evening the two halves up. Next step was re-scribing all that lost detail. The wing to fuselage fit sucked too, and I spent a few sessions wrestling that into shape. Then, I somehow lost one of the front gear doors and had to make another one. Believe me, I was quickly losing my passion for this build even though the MiG-17 was a long-time favorite of mine. I wanted a MiG-17 of the North Vietnamese Air Force. I had looked at several paint schemes for this plane and finally decided on one. The full-scale plane like this is at the Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio. On-line research revealed that this scheme, along with 3 or 4 others all bearing number 3020, was claimed as being used on the mount of North Vietnamese ace Le Hai (7 kills). Hmmm…by this point though, the die had been cast, decals had been ordered and I stayed with the squiggly paint. I was worried that my Paasche H wouldn’t be able to do what I needed for those complex squiggles. I do have a double-action Paasche Model V, but I just couldn’t get it to cooperate at all so it was back to the Model H. At first I planned on doing a sort of “reverse” pattern. I would paint the darker color first and then use small blobs of Blue Tac to mask the squiggles and then spray the lighter color over those. Well, I had more than half of the underside done when I abandoned that plan. I don’t think I could’ve ever made that look right. So one fine Saturday morning, I fired up the CO2 and the Model H and just painted the darned thing. I wish my spray pattern had been a bit tighter but I finally justified my work by assuming that the original Vietnamese painter probably had a lot of over-spray too. So, it was onward through the fog! I custom-mixed the pale color from Model Master Sand, Flat White and Faded Olive Drab, while the green is MM SAC bomber green. The decals are a combination of kit markings and aftermarket. Weathering was done with Flory washes and pastel chalks, colored pencils and a bit of dry brushing with Humbrol Matt Aluminum. Cockpit features are mostly courtesy of an Eduard Color Zoom set. I did scratch-make the oleo boot covers on the front landing gear. The canvas boots were frequently found on the front and often on the main gear too on NVAF ’17s. My boots are tissue soaked in white glue and shaped around the oleo section. I broke both of the forward pylons/mounts for the drop tanks and had to wait for replacements, When they arrived and were painted, I had trouble getting the outside “legs” of both of these to fit tight against the underside of the wing. But, ah hah, a bit of internet research found several period pics that show the outside leg didn’t fit flush on the actual planes either. I took a few pics of the MiG-17 inside once finished around March 2013, just to document the actual completion and to get a few underside shots as well. After waiting several weeks for the wind to die down, I finally had a window of opportunity for a photo session at the Cameron airport. When I got out there and opened the box, the starboard pitot was laying on the bottom of the box. Arrghh! Well, I wasn’t packing it in just for that! It turns out that NVAF Pfc. Dam Dhum Phuc had backed a re-fueling truck into that pitot tube and knocked the damned thing off! Oh well, photography must march on! That was just one more SNAFU in what seems like a jinxed build from the start. At any rate, the MiG-17F was finished, and I like it alright now, I guess. Thanks for checking in and taking a look at her! As usual, comments welcomed! Gary The kit: And the inspiration for my paint job:
  24. Hi all, Since I built my Defiant I’m now on a turret roll, so I’m going to drag myself kicking & screaming from my OOB comfort zone and attempt to build Hobby Boss’ “British Fleet Air Arm Avenger MkI” as an FAA Tarpon. From what I can tell, Hobby Boss have taken their “standard” US Avenger kit, sourced a new set of decals, made up a couple of paint schemes and issued it as an FAA version. All of the shortcomings and errors of this version of the kit have been well documented – thanks to @tonyot, @85sqn, @trickyrich and others for easing my journey of discovery with their excellent and insightful information (see below). Armed with that rapidly assimilated wisdom here is the kit box: Shots of the sprues – the detail level and crispness of the parts all bode pretty well: Transparencies – again, very nice: Kit decals – not so nice. Not convinced of the accuracy of these – the red of the national insignia alone is quite hallucinogenic. They’ll go straight into the dodgy pile… I’ve sourced a couple of extras for the build; Eduard instrument panel (which is intended for the Accurate Miniatures kit, so we’ll see how that goes), Eduard masks (a must for all that glazing!) and Eduard harnesses. So Eduard everything, basically. I’ve been hankering after a BPF build, so I’ve decided to model this aircraft; JZ257 of 849 Sqn, HMS Victorious, January 1945. I believe that this aircraft would have taken part in the Operation Meridian raid on the Palembang oil refinery in January 1945 (849 Sqn was certainly involved). Here’s a shot of Tarpons on that raid (albeit from a different squadron flying off HMS Illustrious): From what I can tell, JZ257 was one of the second batch of 200 Avenger MkIs delivered to the FAA. The aircraft would therefore have been equivalent to a Grumman-manufactured TBF-1C. This aircraft would have had the following configuration: - 2 x 0.50” machine guns mounted in the wing roots, as opposed to the single cowling-mounted gun of the earlier batch. The kit has these gun ports - ü. - Observer’s position in the central cockpit, including radar scope and plotting table. The kit as it stands is configured as a ‘standard’ US aircraft with electronics in place of the Observer position, so this is where the major surgery needs to happen. This will be my first real attempt at scratch building, so I’ll give it my best shot! Grumman-built aircraft had the cockpit, Observer’s position and turret interior painted in Bronze-Green. - The remainder of the aircraft interior including the bomb bay was painted Interior Green (with the exception of the cowling interior, which was Light Grey). - I have seen varying claims that the undercarriage and bays were painted Insignia White, the underside colour or even Zinc Chromate Yellow. The colour photo showing the faded paintwork a bit later looks to me like white might be the go – it’s definitely not ZCY (although other Eastern-manufactured aircraft could have had this configuration). - There is varying information around the ventral 0.3” gun (and whether it was replaced with an F24 camera). I’m going to stick with the gun – the decal sheet shows it in place so it must be right, right? - Round blister windows over the original window cavities. These provided significant improvements in visibility – they’re nicely shown in the shot below (forward of the access door): The kit windows are as fitted to the original batch of MkIs so are incorrect. I’m going to try crash-moulding these blisters, which could be interesting (think I’ll leave that til last) In terms of paint finish, from what I can tell the Grumman aircraft would have been finished in ‘standard’ FAA colours i.e. Dark Slate Grey and Extra Dark Sea Grey over Sky – I will be using these colours as opposed to those recommended on the Xtradecals ‘Yanks with Roundels’ sheet (although the decals look to be excellent otherwise). I also see a Corsair and Hellcat somewhere in my future It’s well documented that most BPF aircraft were heavily weathered and faded so I’ll push my weathering skills to the limit. The shot below is a great guide as to the level of fading of the paintwork, as well as being a very evocative shot of the conditions in which the aircraft (and crews) operated from temporary land bases (Ceylon, I’m guessing?). Another one (showing a Hellcat, but you get the general idea). It’s interesting to note that there’s very little bare metal on show, though the paint has worn through to the zinc chromate primer in heavy-wear areas. I might try and replicate that effect. And a couple of nice reference shots: The camo demarcation looks to be pretty hard from the above shot, so no freestylie on the airbrush… The kit contains a number of ordnance options including rockets, torpedo, depth charges and 500lb bombs. I’m guessing the Tarpons on the Palembang raid would have used the latter (and the kit rockets are bobbins), so I intend to do the same as shown above. From what I have read Hellcats & Corsairs took the role of combat air patrol and ground attack on that raid, so it kind of makes sense that the Tarpons would be bombing (along with Barracudas, if memory serves). The raid is detailed in the excellent ‘Carrier Pilot’ by Norman Hanson, which is well worth a read. So with all that under my belt I shall gird my loins and crack on with the build! Thanks for looking – until next time, Roger
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