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  1. Hi all, finally finished the Hobbyboss J-11B. It's essentially their Su-27 kit with Chinese missiles and WS-10 engine nozzles, also has the modernised cockpit with MFDs. The kit was great, the fit was largely spot on. It's by far the largest kit I've built, dwarfing the JF-17 in the same scale. A few minor annoyances which I covered in the WIP thread like the sprue connections (an issue I've also had with the trumpeter kits). Here's the WIP: I built this in the PLA Naval Air Force scheme, Blue 24 based out of Hainan. This aircraft is notable for intercepting a US Navy P-8 Poseidon, with the US claiming the pilot performed a series of dangerous manoeuvres. The Chinese deny such allegations but clearly Hobbyboss didn't get the memo as the box art features the aircraft flying inverted above a P-8 . It's is also the aircraft I use as my profile picture... I should mention the front canopy snapped during the build so there is a noticable crack, the two halves are just bluetacked in place until I find a long-term solution. The usual place I use take photos was a little too small for the aircraft so I had to try something new for most of these. Anyway, here are the photos: Thanks for looking in! 向前!向前!向前!
  2. Hi folk's.with the rest of the year mapped out with GB's I thought I would start a project to fall back into as a break from what's planned so I picked up a couple of HB's little easykit's for little money to see how they turn out.The twin seater has an Iraq A F scheme and the single seater I have Syrian marking's in the stash.Despite the easy kit style and cheap prices they do make sone nice little kit's in this' range. Start in the usual place the cockpit's and we'll see how it goes,I've also an Airfix new tool 15 and a Dragon offering if these two go well.
  3. 同志们好! With my Beaufighter almost wrapped up it's time to start a new build and I'm very excited to finally get my hands on this kit. I'm a huge fan of the Flanker and the J-11 was China's license built Su-27 for use by the PLAAF, with over 400 being built. The J-11B features a range of upgrades over older J-11s, such as weight-reducing composite materials and Chinese domestic avionics. Block 2 airframes also use domestically produced WS-10 engines. I'm especially excited for this kit as it offers a PLANAF scheme for aircraft '24', the aircraft which I use as my profile picture. This specific J-11 is noteworthy for it's interception of a US Navy P-8 Poseidon in August 2014 off the coast of Hainan island in southern China. The US claims the J-11 made a series of dangerous manoeuvres, flashing it's compliment of missiles (2 x PL-8s and 2 x PL-12s) as it passed by the P-8's nose. It's also claimed the J-11 performed a barrel roll over the US aircraft, though the Chinese deny these allegations. Clearly Hobbyboss didn't get the memo though as it's depicted on the box art . This wasn't the first interception to cause a diplomatic storm however, as a J-8B collided with an EP-3 Orion in 2001 during an interception, leading to the loss of the J-8 and its pilot. The damage caused by the collision forced the EP-3 to land at Lingshui Airbase at Hainan, where the aircraft remains- though heavily gutted. The kit itself is essentially the Hobbyboss Su-27, it even says so on the fuselage- though it comes with the Chinese PL-8 and PL-12 missiles. It also has open and closed exhaust nozzles and some rubber tyres. This build will all be out of box. The decals provided offer a PLAAF and PLANAF scheme. Looking forward to making a start on this, though the F-5 GB starts tomorrow so I've also got my Tigershark to work on. Thanks for looking in!
  4. Lockheed U-2A Dragon Lady (87270) 1/72 HOBBYBOSS via Creative Models The U-2 is a high altitude reconnaissance aircraft currently in service with the US Air Force. It was proposed and developed by Lockheed in the 1950s. Proposed in 1953, approved in 1954; and test flown in 1955 the aircraft was designed by the legendary Clarence "Kelly" Johnson. The design was based on the F-104 with a shortened fuselage and longer wings the aircraft with its lack of conventional landing gear was in all purposes a jet powered glider. Although rejected by the USAF the aircraft came to the attentions of the CIA who were up until this point relying on the USAF for intelligence flights. In the end due to lack of performance of other projects the U-2 was given the go ahead by a joint CIA/UASF project. The U-2 has undergone many design changes of the years from the original U-2A with the aircraft still continuing to serve with the USAF despite attempts to retire it. The only other nation to officially use the U-2 was Taiwan, though it later emerged the RAF had access to aircraft during the 1960s via the CIA. The Kit This is a brand new tool kit from HobbyBoss. The kit has 66 parts over 4 main sprues and 2 clear sprues, the parts are very well moulded with fine engraved panel lines. The kit looks to represent the clean lines of the early U-2 with no issues at all. Construction starts not with the cockpit but with the main landing gear bay. This has a couple of parts for the gear added before it can be placed in the fuselage. Next up the basic cockpit is constructed. A five part seat, unfortunately this does not look like the early Lockheed seat at all but a later seat. You could always replace it with a wicker seat which the CIA did on a few flights to save weight! Next into the cockpit is the instrument panel (instruments as decals) and the control column. The exhaust is the next part to be built up. Once this is done the cockpit, exhaust, front & rear wheel bays and the airbrake bays can all be added into the fuselage halves, and they can be closed up. The wings which are conventional left/right/upper/lowers can be built up and added to the fuselage along with the single part tail plane and rudder (left & right halves). Next up the main and tail landing gear are built up and added along with inserts in the main wing. To finish up the air brake doors are added along with the main intakes; then the gear doors can be added along with the wing pogo units. The last items are a few aerial, lights, the canopies and the end wing bumper units. Decals Decals are provided for 3 aircraft, all in a Natural Metal Finish, decals are in house and look to have no issues. 66701 - UASF (overall NMF) 66701 - USAF (overall NMF with large patches of International Orange) 320 - National Advisory Committee For Aeronautics (later to become NASA) Conclusion This is a great looking kit from HobbyBoss and their attention to detail is to be commended. Overall recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  5. HobbyBoss is to release a 1/48th Fairchild-Republic A-10C Thunderbolt II kit - ref. 81796 A new variant from its original A-10 kit with a new sprue - ref. 80323 - link Source: http://www.hobbyboss.com/index.php?g=home&m=article&a=show&id=207&l=en V.P.
  6. A bit of background ... In the 1940's, a rather loose arrangement of revolutionary organizations and individuals cooperated (with different degrees of success) in attempting to overthrow dictatorship regimes in Central America, predominantly focusing on Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. This "Carribean Legion" or "Légion del Caribe" benefited from a range of military equipment (and crews) becoming obsolete following the end of WWII, including aircraft such as the P-38 Lightning. During the summer of 1947, one of the Legion's operations was aimed at the Dominican Republic, being prepared from a remote area in Cuba. Plans for this operation were apparantly not kept very confidential, as the Cubans stopped the operation from ever taking place while confiscating weaponry including 6 P-38's, with the incident known as the "Cayo Confites affair". Summary based on a.o. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caribbean_Legion I used the Hobbyboss “easy-assembly” 1/72 P-38L kit for this scene - and an easy assembly it was. Mostly out of the box, with a few tweaks: Added some parts of an Airwaves cockpit PE set (designed for Hasegawa) Scratchbuilt the radio compartment behind the pilot’s seat Scratchbuilt the supercharger intakes on the outside tail booms Removed the camera on the right wing pylon Added a few lines of rivets The model is finished with Tamiya/Gunze acrylics and Alclad, decals are from LF Models (working OK, but very very delicate handling needed!). Weathering is done with oil paints and some pigments. The base plate is from Italeri, I added a Joefix palm tree and some railroad modelling grasses. The figures are 3D printed resin items from Germania's set of Cuban revolutionaries. Hope you enjoy the pictures, thanks for looking!! Patrick Credits background picture: designed by Freepik, photo by freestockcenter: https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/beach-with-palm-trees_1017245.htm?query=palms indonesia beach
  7. Hi all, This is the excellent Hobbyboss 1/48 D-9 kit, finished as 'Blue 18' of I./EKG(J), based at Pilsen towards the end of the war. EKG(J) was a training unit, tasked with converting ex-bomber pilots to single seaters. There have been many representations and profiles of this a/c as having red numbers, although the evidence now points to them being blue. I would probably have pressed on with red markings, had it not been for some very helpful discussion with @SafetyDad, @MDriskill and @tempestfan a few weeks ago. Painted with the usual mix of Vallejo and Mig acrylics, and using Montex masks for everything except the octane triangles and the smaller stencils. Blue 18 seems to have been quite an old D-9 with the early canopy, which came from an Italeri A-8 kit. Interestingly, I had plenty of Eduard 'standard' canopies but these were all way too long in the tail. Whether the Hobbyboss dimensions are undersize, or the Eduard dimensions are oversize, I couldn't say. Anyway, hope you like the pics ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ok - here's some (hopefully) improved pics, taking into account some of the suggestions down-thread..
  8. That's South East Asian, most Skyhawks were seaworthy out of the crate From wikipedia: Due to the declining relationship between Indonesia and the Soviet Union, there was a lack of spare parts for military hardware supplied by the Communist Bloc. Soon, most of them were scrapped. The Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU) acquired A-4 Skyhawks to replace its Il-28 Beagles and Tu-16 Badgers in a covert operation with Israel... The A-4 served the Indonesian Air Force from 1982 until 2003. Take one Hobbyboss 1/48 A-4E, add in some Airies resin for the Israeli extended exhaust and 30mm DEFA cannon (standard on the A-4N, retro fitted to the E) and smother liberally in FCM decals and you should have a very smart Indonesian A-4E in three tone camo. That's the plan anyway Pics to follow. Andy
  9. HobbyBoss is to release in late July 2021 a 1/72nd Lockheed U-2A Dragon Lady kit - ref. 87270 Source: http://www.hobbyboss.com/index.php?g=home&m=article&a=show&id=185&l=en 3D render+box art V.P.
  10. Just a placeholder for now, will add more details once the GB commences (and I've got some space on the workbench). I'm going to attempt the US Navy 3-tone camo (grey) scheme, I have some camo masks for it, so hopefully not too hard! According to Scalemates info here, the kit was originally a Trumpeter moulding from 1999 so shouldn't be too old, also I've become a bit of a fan of HobbyBoss 1/72 stuff, not overly complex and tend to build up quite nicely so fingers crossed.
  11. Hi all This is the Hobbyboss 1/48 Me262 kit, finished in the markings of Lt Hans Dorn, 1/JG 7, surrendered at Fassberg in 1945. The Hobbyboss kit is not without some issues, but these are fairly easy to fix and on the whole it goes together really well. Painted with a combination of Mig and Vallejo colours and using Montex masks for the markings - except the underwing crosses and octane triangles, which are from the kit decals. Multiple pics of Yellow 17 are available, both in Luftwaffe markings and subsequently with RAF roundels - sadly none of them in colour. I believe this particular 262 ended up in Canada after the war. Anyway, hope you like the pics...
  12. I stumbled across the Toldi a few months ago and knew that I wanted to build one right away. Germany would not supply its allies during WWII, so Hungary decided to build its own. Sweden was one of the few countries prepared to sell to Hungary, and they had what was at the time (1934) one of the best tanks around in the L-60 with sloped, welded armour and torsion bar suspension. Hungary purchased a licence and began to produce their own as means of kickstarting their industry. After many production delays they finally arrived already obsolete with just a 20mm gun and poor armour. A few attempts to up-gun them failed, and when they came up against Russian T-34s they didn't stand a chance. I've started with the HobbyBoss Toldi I. I bought an SBS resin and PE upgrade set, but have barely used anything other than the lights and storage chest clasps. A metal SBS 20mm gun barrel is on there too. It's built other than the upper/lower hull that I'll be able to leave until the very end. The weird circular aerial will go on last, and fall off within a week... The HobbyBoss individual link tracks are absolutely awful, they just don't fit together without forcing them so after making up about 1/3 of one side I gave up and shopped around. Way over-priced but I now have a set of Friul metal tracks to put together (I'm a Friul virgin, so it will be fun). Here it is in primer: And here is what I'm aiming at (excuse the shadows, my light is directly above my desk, useless for taking photos) I love these odd markings. A green cross on a red octagon? Who can that be? It will be finished simply, I've realised that I love the build, hate the painting, so I'm just after a nice clean finish for everything that I do from now on. A Toldi III in olive drab will soon join it on the shelf.
  13. Well the day has come for the beginning of the Group Build, at present am still waiting for the Kit to arrive for this build. It appears to be still in Hermes/Evri's depot. Anyway I will be building a Hobbyboss BAe Hawk Mk.100/102 kit as the Royal Canadian Air Force's CT-155 Hawk advanced trainer. The kit will be utilising Caracal Decals Canadian Hawk set and specifically the commemorative scheme based on the 419 Squadron Lancaster marked VR-W. I shall probably get some resin Bang seats too and then ponder what to do about the Centreline Fuel/Baggage pod which no manufacturer seems to make in 1/48 scale. Photos when the kit turns up.
  14. Hello everyone. VMA-311 ‘Tomcats’ April 1985. After just a 40 year wait I’ve finally got myself a Scooter that was knocking around as I was growing up. With the Hasegawa kit not being really available for some time, the box art of the Hobby Boss kit was a good selling point for me. Sadly everything went down hill from here on in, with my build strewn with errors and too many accessories it’s made me feel a little stupid. . The M ‘Mike’ boxing is frankly a disaster zone, it’s missing the best part of two sprue’s, the clear parts missing are the anti-col lights, and a good chunk of aerials and air scoops. The wings don’t come with the prominent ‘slats’ which is a deal breaker for a lot of modellers. It comes with a vast selection of weapons, sadly not applicable for this A/C. Accessories used: ResKit wheels. (Didn’t enjoy these rascals.) Eduard Multiple Ejector Launcher. (Lovely - but time consuming to build.) Eduard Mk 82 Snake Eye with retardant tails. (Lovely but horrible to assemble.) Eduard cockpit etch set. (Really lovely.) Attack Squadron/Arma Hobby Douglas 150 Gal fuel tanks. (Ggggrrrrr - never again.) Quick Boost 48-574 F-105 Thunerchief aerials. (For missing kit parts.) Quick Boost intake covers. (Lovely.) Quick Boost 48-574 Kfir C2-C7 air scoops. (For missing parts.) Quick Boost refuelling probe. (I managed to snap the kit part off and couldn’t get it to stay back on.) Anti-col lights. Spares box. (Just not funny H.B ) Two Bobs 48092 Lo-Vis Mikes Pt I. (Out of production, really would like to see as set of 1/32 Tomcats decals low-vis.) Plus Models F-4 Phantom pilot set. (Pilot has his side arm weapon removed.) This dark and moody photo is where some of the model features became a prerequisite - intake blanks and white fuel tanks. Inspiration for paint colours and weathering. The air brakes have been depicted as just cracked as per reference photos. Many missing and much needed aerials and scoops are shown here. I’ve gone for a sun bleached weathered look. It might be just a grey colour scheme but, red intake blanks, yellow steps, blue bombs and black cat art lift things. This IPad is really struggling to create a decent photo. One of the problems with the underside, is well, it might not be seen. But I’ve given the bomb bodies a sun bleached look and a greasy grubby looking lower surfaces. The fuel tanks this time around being mostly clean. Now if I could make an OA-4M to go with this kit I’d be very happy, but Hasegawa TA-4J is rarer than hens teeth. Thanks for looking.
  15. It's finished! 1/18 scale FW-190 A-8 has left the bench. The model produced by HobbyBoss lacking a lot of details, it has them less than models in 1/72 but I wanted to make it because the larger the model, the easier it is to stuff the electrics. I remade the interior of cockpit, added aluminum foil seatbelts, added gunsight and detailed a bit landing gear wells. The armament is made of brass tubes. Apart from that, I added diodes, optical fibers and a motor. As German equipment other than prototypes and what-ifs will never appear on my shelves, I painted my FW in the colors it wore when the Yankees tested it at the Toul-Rosières airport in France in 1945. To paint this one I've used AK Real Color, Tamiya and Mr Hobby paints, and weathered it with Ammo Mig pigments and liquids also from this manufacturer. It is driven by a 12V motor and the optical fibers are powered by 12V LED diodes. The resin lady on the wing (to distract from the lack of details of the model ) is also on a 1/18 scale, from Coree. My wife helped me plant the grass on the base, many thanks Short movie with working engine and lights:
  16. Small pleasant model that I had chosen to clear my mind after my first Mirage IIIE Modelsvit, to make a "quickly done" model.... Well, not so easy for me.... six months anyway ! This does not come from the model but only from me, which drags me miserably. The kit itself is very easy, no pitfalls, super assemblies. I also took a little time to have fun doing a two-tone camouflage (while the green suited him very well too...). And also to try various patina techniques. On a tank, we risk less. On the historical side, this SS-23 was designed at the end of the 1970s, entered service in 1979. Its fatal purpose was to transport nuclear tactical missiles. Intended to replace part of the Scub-B fleet, it was reputed to be very effective and made it a formidable weapon. The entire SS-23 fleet was disbanded in 1987 following the US-Soviet FNI disarmament agreements of 1987. And now photos : I hope you will like it. Complete set of photos can be find there and the work in progress there. Alain.
  17. I have begun a project I am calling "the Minor Gustavs," attempting to model Bf 109Gs that served in the air forces of "smaller" countries (i.e., not Germany and Italy). I wanted a quick way to get into this, and a "surprise" day off from work gave me the opportunity to challenge myself with a "blitz" build of HobbyBoss's "easy assembly" Bf109 G-6 "late" kit. I wanted to see if I could complete it in 24 hours, and that did not happen. But, she was all done in 66 hours, and anyway I had a blast! In the spirit of keeping it quick, I built this as a Romanian Ga-6 (main difference being teardrop MG blisters) with a single Russian blue colour (Tamiya XF-23), using decals from an out-of-print RB sheet I managed to procure from a hobby shop in California. I cut off the kit rear wheel and used a spare from an AZ kit, and RB provided resin for the unique blisters, but otherwise this is all OOB. This is the WIP thread, if interested:
  18. Here is my build of HobbyBoss's recently released F/A 18F in 1/48 scale. Really can't knock the kit, I haven't build the Meng or Hasagawa kit personally but I reckon it can hold its own against those kits, really no complaints at all went together a treat, used Mr Hobby Aqueous paints. Went for VFA-154 "Black Knights" scheme based on USS Nimitz on and around 2013. Please let me know your thoughts and critique appreciated.
  19. Hi All Completed build number 2, much happier with this than the first. The kit itself comes with five photoetch frets, so that up'd the challenge from Dreadnought for starters. She's brush painted in Humbrol enamels, mixed up my own red for the hull, then decks are 123, and hull/uppers is 125. The kits is very nicely engineered and goes together a dream generally. I augmented it with Model master barrels for the main and secondary armament and then likewise Model masters resin and turned brass aa guns (2 types) and training guns (they were chuffing awkward/tiny). The kit has some railing but lacks the main deck and most of the boat deck as well, so that is from my Repulse kit as I have after market for her. I added a thin line of evergreen strip to replicate a wooden rail that ran around her stern and scratch built the struts for the seaplane. It was my first proper go with photo etch and then I tries simplified rigging and overall I'm very pleased with her. She's taken a long while to complete but that was partly due to the amount of time between coats of paint at the start of the build then my wandering attention, a really nice kit to build and is such a lovely looking ship I might well do her sister ship at some point, Apologies some of the pics aren't great, my phone refuses to focus at times, Firsts; Photoetch as well as working out my own for that not provided Main barrels AA Resin and barrels Pin washing Rigging Build log here; I recently did a presentation course and the guidance was always one thing you liked (or more) and one thing you could do better so points I can improve are always welcome thanks for looking Sam
  20. Hi all, RFI, my completed Hobby Boss 1/48 Avenger built as an FAA 846 Squadron aircraft launched from HMS Trumpeter on 4th May 1945. Operation Judgement was the Royal Navy’s final offensive action of WW2 in Europe. The WIP is posted here and contains all the decision making, some the reasoning, and all the progress in completing this model. I’m very pleased with how it turned out particularly as there were some elements that stretched my abilities. The photos below were shot with a Canon DSLR and a 24-70mm macro lens on aperture priority at f11. The studio is my kitchen bench Cheers.
  21. One of my projects for the website this year is a piece focused on the events of a single day, the 4th May 1945. This was the date of the last offensive operation mounted by the FAA against the Germans, and on the other side of the planet, the RN was also mounting carrier operations, also with Avengers, against the Japanese. I’ll be building two Avengers for this piece, one Hobby Boss and the other Italeri, ex Accurate Miniatures. The first of these builds is the Operation Judgement Avenger using the Hobby Boss kit. My reference photo is this one; There are a series of impressive photos of this operation, of which this is one of the more well known. Some of you may remember that during an intermission in another build last year I actually started this kit. I had just smash moulded the round windows when it became apparent that I’d removed too much internal structure in the fuselage so the first order of business was to replace it. It’s a little on the crude side but will suffice considering the extremely limited view afforded of it once the fuselage is closed. Next I repainted the cockpit assemblies the correct interior green colours, I.e. I’ve now painted the bronze green as well as the interior green. I’d previously built the observer’s cockpit, and now that it’s base painted I’ll get on and detail that area. I also worked on the instrument panels. The pilot’s one is from references, the observer’s one from my imagination. I may or may not use it. I simply paired it black, dry brushed and then scratched lines in the gauges before filling them with Klear/Future. I picked out some of the details with paints and Calle sit done. Those who have followed my previous builds know I have little patience for cockpits! So that’s the state of play for now. I’m not going to build the two Avengers in parallel, the second will be later this year. I’m travelling a bit for work this week but hope that by the weekend I’ll have, or at least be close to having the fuselage closed up. Cheers.
  22. KJ-200 Chinese AEW Aircraft (83903) 1:144 HobbyBoss via Creative Models Ltd The KJ-200 NATO Reporting name Moth (Or Y-8 Balance Beam) is a Chinese AEW / Airborne Early Warning Aircraft. The key component of the system is an Active electronically scanned array (AESA) phased array radar antenna in which the radar beam is electronically steered without moving the antenna. This is mounted on a Shaanxi Y-8 which is itself based on the An-12. The PLA Air Force currently have 7 of these, and the PLA Navy 3. The Kit Until now I don't think there has been a kit of this aircraft. In 1.144 it is still large but manageable for most modellers. The kit arrives on 5 sprues of grey plastic, a clear sprue, a small sheet of PE and 4 individual propellers (these are packed in their own box for added protection). The whole cockpit/nose section of the aircraft is moulded in clear plastic. Construction starts by adding some internal parts and the windows to the main fuselage sections. Then the main internal floor is made up with the front gear well on the underside of this, Internal bulkheads are fitted as is the main cabin roof. At the front the basic cockpit is completed. Instruments are provided for the panel as decal. The cabin/cockpit is fitted into the main fuselage and this is closed up. The nose section can then be added along with the wings. There is a single part upper with left/right lowers, once these are together wing tips need to be added. The tailplanes are also then added with there end fins. The engine nacelles can then be built up and added along with the landing gear. Lastly the single part props are added and the radar beam id made up and added. The final thing to do is a to add a series of PE blade aerials to the fuselage though the instructions don't show them being added. They are just there in the last steps. Markings There is a small decal sheet as the aircraft carries minimal markings. Just National insignia, serials and warnings for the props. Decals are printed in house and have good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion This is a really nice rendition of this unusual aircraft. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  23. HobbyBoss is to release 1/48th Sukhoi Su-17M-4 & Su-17UM-3 "Fitter-K & G" kits - ref. 81758 & 81759 - in 2016-2017 Source: https://www.facebook.com/TrumpeterModel/photos/a.103538733138062.8169.103526326472636/537476479744283/?type=3&theater V.P.
  24. 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
  25. Land-Wasser-Schlepper Hobbyboss built out of the box.
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