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  1. Hello Folks, this WIP is somewhat special to me, I normally do floating things. But there's a story behind this build. This is going to be a present for my father's birthday. He was a helicopter pilot in the east german army from 1980 untill there was no more east germany. He flew the Mi-24D and I always loved hearing the stories he had to tell about this time. So I decided that he deserves to have a nice model to remind him of that time. I will be modelling the machine he flew on his very last flight in September '90. This is how it looked: I originally wanted to use the Italeri Hind D Kit for this as it already has german markings... but the markings included are wrong... those are for a helicopter taken over by the bundeswehr after the reunion. so I got some NVA markings and stencils. I then started the italeri kit and found it to be very crude... So I got the HobbyBoss kit which is very nicely molded and has a far more accurate interior... So I will be using the Italeri decals and the pitot tube on the hobbyBoss kit. (The HobbyBoss pitot is the wrong shape and as I need to finish this until sunday evening I don't have the time to order the master model replacement.) So here's the boxes and the decals I'm using... Oh and I also got the eduard masks for the hobbyboss canopies. In order to get the right shape I had to fill this antena / lump of plastic... whatever it is it has to go I then started with dryfitting the interior and getting the first colors on the cockpit. nothing glued jet! To get the cockpit color close to this typical russian turquoise I painted it with light blue and applied a green wash to it. not perfect but I will leave it as it is. Some more detail painting to follow. Heres the paint scheme I'll try to achieve: The model will be placed an a small base of concrete airstrip. Thats it for today, hopefully I'll get some good progress tomorrow! Thanks for watching Any comments welcome Cheers Konrad
  2. I’ve been excited waiting for this group build since signing up in october 2017 for it - and now it’s here My subject is a berlin airlift c-47 from 1948 - the one closest to camera in this shot (315672) It’s gonna be really fun and challenging trying to capture that trashy weathered used old feel Iliad provide the decals for this aircraft (third one down...) The kit is a 1:72 scale hobby boss c-47 that i found on evilbay for a great price The obligatory sprue shots: It has an interesting cockpit glass set-up and a mere whiff of PE (50% of which is steps that i wont use) I bought some aires wheels for it then i spotted the eduard weighted set (thought they looked better) and bought them.. but now I can’t decide which - guess there’s plenty of time to find out. I’ll be on holiday on the start date so i hope its ok to post this now.
  3. Having been impressed by the Hobbyboss 1/350 scale Type IXC U-Boat, which features somewhere in the depths of this section, I’ve had a go at their Type VIIC sub to the same scale. This time I’ve made a waterline version using a small ‘Coastal Kits’ base which is about spot on scale wise. The model itself is built OOB and employs the supplied photo etch parts, and again I’ve used human hair for the aerial wires and superglue for the insulators. Overall I’m quite pleased, but the flag leaves a lot to be desired so I’m looking at ways of producing a more scale like item. Two Pence piece gives an idea of size.
  4. Soviet BT-2 Light tank Hobbyboss 1:35 History The KhPZ design bureau headed by Morozov barely changed any features of the original BT-1 chassis and Christie design, concentrating instead on the engine, transmission, turret and weaponry. The turret was of the simple “barrel type”, a cylinder made of several layers of steel, 5-6 mm (0.2-0.24 in) in all, which was designed to house a 37 mm (1.46 in) long barrel, high velocity AT gun. It was not ready for production at the time and was later in chronically short supply. Because of this, many BT-2s were delivered with a mixed armament of DP-DT machines guns only or a 37 mm (1.46 in) gun with or without a single coaxial DT machine-gun. The standard configuration included the gun and a coaxial DT machine-gun mounted in an oblique fixed position, in the Japanese style. Its traverse depended on the turret. The “full machine gun” version consisted of a single coaxial DT machine-gun and a twin DP-28 (Degtyaryov model 1928) light machine gun mount replacing the gun. The other important point was the engine. The Soviets imported a licence for the American Liberty L12, a water-cooled 45° V-12 aircraft engine capable of 400 hp (300 kW), built as the M5-400. This first model, although powerful and light, was also found difficult to maintain and unpredictable. The power-to-weight ratio meant excellent performance, although less impressive than the original Christie M1931, mostly because of the added weight of the turret and all the military equipment. The first run and trials of the BT-2 were successful and showcased a road speed of 100 km/h (62 mph), with an off-road speed of 60-70 km/h (37-43.5 mph) depending of the terrain. They were largely showcased for propaganda purposes and featured in movies throughout the thirties. In 1933, it was a completely new and unrivalled concept in the world, allowing “true” cavalry tactics built on speed, mostly for breakthrough exploitation and advanced reconnaissance missions. This emphasis on speed over protection also reflected the confidence in the naval “battlecruiser” concept, traduced in land warfare. The speed acted like an active protection on its own, since a target moving so fast was more difficult to hit. The M5 engine gave a 39 hp/t power-to-weight ratio and a 400 litre tank allowed a 300 km (186 mi) range at cruising road speed, with a tactical range of just 100 km (62 mi). This was impressive for the time, giving that it was at an average off-road 60 km/h (37 mph). The Kharkov Komintern Locomotive Plant delivered 620 BT-2 until 1935. Most were equipped with the 37 mm (1.46 in) model 30 gun, provisioned with 96 rounds. Some also received a radio “horseshoe” antenna fixed on the turret. The latter had only two side small vision slits. The gun mantlet also varied slightly in shape during the production run. Another external modification included the front mudguards, not mounted on the earliest model, and headlights. The Model The kit comes in a fairly small top opening box with an artists representation of the tank in the field. Inside there are five sprues and two separate parts in the standard tan styrene, two sprues of grey styrene, a small clear sprue, a very small sheet of etched brass and a decal sheet. This si one of those models that you just know is going to be a nice, quick build, until you get to the tracks. The thinness of the instruction sheet tells you that it is a fairly simple kit. The mouldings though are up to the usual standard with some fine detail, including the prominent rivets. There is no sign of flash or other imperfections, but a fair few moulding pips. Construction begins with the drilling out of various holes before the upper hull section is glued to the lower hull, along with the rear mounted drive covers, towing hooks, drive shaft cover and suspension bump stops, three per side. The five external beams either side are then glued into position, followed by the drivers hatch, suspension units and the eight piece front steering arms. The side plates are the attached, covering all the suspension detail, and the front wheels are attached along with their hub caps. On the hull roof there are six PE grab handles that will need to be carefully folded to shape before fitting. The two piece idler, and road wheels are joined together and glued to the their respective axle, as are the rear mounted drive sprockets. Now comes the fun bit, the tracks. The 48 individual links per side are quite small with the hinge parts moulded into them, these are glued together making up the track run, there’s not a lot of surface to glue so be careful, and they look to be particularly fiddly to drape over the wheels. Fortunately there was very little sag on the tracks of these vehicles so it may be best to make the top and bottom runs to length, glued them onto the wheels, then add the sections that go round the idler wheels and drive sprockets separately so that they can be curved to shape before the glue sets. The track guards are then attached, as is a large aerial looking item. These are followed by the exhaust silencer, engine hatch and engine grille. Finally the single main turret part is fitted with the lower turret ring, commander’s hatch and four piece gun/mantle. The turret is then fitted to the hull completing the build Decals The small decal sheet is sparse to say the least. What there are, are nicely printed and if previous experience has taught me, quite thin. All the sheet includes are two sets of numbers from 0 to 9 so you can choose whichever tank ID you like. There two colour schemes on the paint guide, Russian green overall or a mixture of red brown and flat black over flat white. Conclusion There is something about these inter-war tanks. It was a time of great experimentation throughout the world and while this was a quick tank it wasn’t a great success, but still is an interesting subject for your collection. There can’t be too many more Soviet inter-war tanks left to kit now. Review sample courtesy of
  5. Having recently built a couple of 1/350 scale U-Boats by Hobbyboss I thought it’d be fun to build the worlds largest submarine to the same scale as a comparison between WWII technology and Cold War technology. It’s hard to believe that there’s only about 40 years between the Type VIIU-Boat and the Typhoon, but the difference in size and destructive technology is worlds apart. The kit went together very easily, but the decals were very delicate and caused some stress in their application, however they do look very good when in place and are worth the effort. There are many moveable parts and a couple of build options within the kit along with 20 missiles, missile tubes and hatches which can open and close should the builder want to display them all. I didn’t fancy all that repetitive work so I only chose to display five of ‘em. The white line around the hull, prop ducts and across the upper rear hull was masked and airbrushed as no decal was supplied for this very prominent feature. The photos don’t show the variation in colours on the hull, or the washes used to weather the hull. Perhaps I’ve been a little conservative with my application, but it can be seen with the naked eye.....honest guv. Anyhoo, without further ado here is the Russian monster:
  6. I'm building the Hobby Boss 1/48 LCM3 for a GB on another forum. I naively thought it would be a mostly OOB build when I started. But, I soon found myself pondering some of the parts, and that's when OOB left the building. As such, I thought this would be interesting to show, here, too. Here are the bits from the box As you can see, I added Eduard's PE for this kit. At first, this all looked OK. Since I would be building this for Overlord, I knew the Sherman wasn't a possibility, but I figured that a Jeep would be a fine accompaniment for the completed kit. The first steps are the hull. Turns out the very first pause came with the skeg and rudder The leading edge at the rudder hinge works out to about 4.3 inches thick! Also the rudder won't support any side loads, which I assumed would have been a strong consideration for a beaching boat... My Google-foo soon found an image with the needed detail. Turns out this enlargement showed an LCM aboard an M25, a.k.a., Dragon Wagon. Hm, if only Tamiya would release one of those in 1/48. But, I digress. Here's what I did to fix the kit. And the shot similar to my enlargement above That looks much better. Around this time, I found my subject vessel. Woohoo! A source of truth...and more questions... Details on LCMs are scant indeed. My best source of info have been videos on YouTube, which showed the next issue. I noticed that when the ramp dropped, there was some activity in that channel at the bow in the photo above. That guide is a C channel with the equalizing sheave shuttling from the aft end of the guide when the ramp is raised--as seen above--to the forward end of the guide when the ramp is lowered. HB was apparently clueless about that, as they just supplied a U channel for the part, with no other connection to the boat beside it being welded to the frames. As for ramp operations, HB guessed there were ramp winches port and starboard, and the cables ran from winch, along the deck to a sheave at the bow, and then up to a sheave at the top of the bow to padeyes on the ramp. Watching more videos and reading the contemporaneous Skill in the Surf: A Landing Boat Manual, led to a better understanding of the mechanism. There's a single ramp winch driven by the port engine, hauling on a cable connected to the eye on equalizing sheave. There's a single ramp cable (wire rope) running from a padeye on the port side of the ramp, over a sheave at the bow, down to a sheave leading into the equalizing sheave guide, around the equalizing sheave, forward to a 2nd sheave at the forward end of the sheave guide, around that sheave and aft above the deck to a sheave that transferred the ramp cable to the starboard side, around a sheave and forward above the deck to a pair of sheaves (bottom and then top) to the other padeye on the starboard side of the ramp. As the name suggests, this arrangement ensures that the tension on both sides of the ramp are equal, ensuring it moves freely. The green line in the image below runs from equalizing sheave to top of the ramp winch cover. The red line shows that port-side ramp cable. The yellow line shows what I believe is the ramp release cable mentioned in Skill in the Surf. I first made up a C channel from 2 strips of Evergreen C channel and strip material. Now that I had the equalizing sheave channel, I needed an equalizing sheave. This is a guess--the only part visible is the uppermost rectangular bar, which is what first caught my attention. With an equalizing sheave guide and equalizing sheave in hand, I turned my attention to the ramp sheaves. Here's HB's interpretation. I needed something more like this More searching led me to making these bits. The sheaves are disks cut from 0.01 in sheet punched using Waldron #6 and #4 punches. The rest of the bits are also 0.01 sheet. I used those bits to make these two assemblies. I first thought the winch cover was thinner than HB's part, so I thinned down the port winch cover. Turns out I was incorrect, and HB got the width about right. But the cable entered the winch cover at the top, not the bottom. I was able to refashion the unneeded starboard winch cover into a better shape. HB's winch drum looked more like a sheave. Also shown is the revised winch drum, which I corrected using my smallest square needle file, along with the mounting plate/box for the drum, which I thinned down considerably. Skill in the Surf indicated the LCM carried two 12 foot boat hooks. HB just had some unidentified hooks in the cargo hold. Eduard provided PE replacements for the hooks; they also indicated that plain 1mm rod, 95mm and 60mm long, were to be placed in the hooks. I made up two boat hooks from 0.04 rod, 3 inches long. I tapered the ends and mounted a hook fashioned from 0.026 brass wire into a hole drilled into the tapered end. I'm now working on the 50 cal mounts, shown in the enlargement below. I first noticed that the 50 cal Brownings are not mounted. Harrumph, and I just spent a couple of evenings tarting up the HB Brownings with the Eduard PE and Master barrels. Here's a before and after shot of the HB plastic. The remaining HB plastic, folded Eduard PE, and the marvelous Master barrels. And the assembled 50 cals Both HB and Eduard provide an armor plate shaped differently than shown in the photo above. This will be easy enough to fix. The hard bit, where I'm now stuck, is the elevation mechanism. My Google-foo has been unable to find anything like it.
  7. FortyEighter

    F-14D Bombcat now "Felix 101" VF-31

    I'm hoping to be able to build this alongside the Tamiya A version Not sure whether to use the kit decals or look for something different, though there is a limited number of squadrons to choose from.
  8. bigbadbadge

    1/32 Spitfire VB

    Hi All I have also started another one (CC's ways are rubbing off on me), this time the Hobbyboss 1/32 Spitfire Vb of Jan Zumbach Serial EN951 code RF-D. The odd shaped fuselage Spine has been well documented online and well it just looks wrong. I am certainly no expert when it comes to Spitfires but the shape is too curved and appears too shallow. So I have set out to reshape this. I have started by comparing canopies and I put out a wanted request for a canopy with some kindly BMers offering and sending me some Canopies, take a bow Nick Belbin and Fightersweep. I have however got a complete Kit of the desired Spitfire via a generous trade with TrickyDicky210. Thanks you guys. I will be using the Revell MkII spitfire Canopy and have added some shots with it taped in place to see the height difference below I have used Plastrut rod glued along the spine on each side and rubbed down to hopefully a better profile Canopy rear section resting in place That's looking a bit better, just doing a bit at a time so I have fresh eyes each time . That's all for now Thanks for looking All the best Chris
  9. 1/48 Short Tucano converted from hobbyboss EMB-312. The following parts are modified: 1\ the original three blade is converted into a four blade propeller 2\ jet pipes are moved to lower front fuselage 3\ the nose section is slightly modified to represent a smoother cross section on the Short Tucano rather than Embraer Tucano 4\ I am going to add a frame to the original canopy 5\ Decided to omit the ventral airbrake, leaving it at closed position
  10. Hello, fellow Britmodellers. This is my first committed plunge into the wonderful world of shipmodelling (I usually restrict myself to things with wings), something for which I assign the blame to @Stew Dapple and @Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies after seeing their stand and having a chat to Stew at Scale Model World 2018. Although not at all a result of said chat, after my visit to Telford, the modelling mojo fled and has only just returned. I imagine it went somewhere sunny and warm; no idea why it's come back to dank and dark Britain (I speak both meteorologically and metaphorically, of course). I've been mooching about, looking at my half-finished kits and realising that they're all at or very close to some stage that I fear, like painting white intakes on a Phantom. Anyway, yesterday I dropped into a local charity shop with my boss, who loves to pick up utter tat from there. I often find the odd book, or perhaps a game for my son, but yesterday there were two kits sitting on a shelf: Trumpeter's 1/350 Roma and Hobbyboss' 1/350 Dunkerque. Fate? Maybe. They both appeared to be entirely complete; certainly the parts in box were all sealed, so the only real risk was that a bag had gone missing at some point. Last night I checked the Dunkerque box to see if it was complete (it is), and then thought I'd test the fit of the big bits (they fit really very well), and then I started following the instructions. So, looks like I'm committed, and damn the Phantom intakes! However, I really have very little idea of what I'm doing, so please please please let me know what I'm getting wrong! I'm not going outside the box on this one, so it's just the kit plastic and the included etch. Unless I find the guns look awful and plump for the Master Model replacements, I suppose. @Shar2 did a very nice review of the kit here, which includes lots of photos of the parts that are far better than any photos I could take, so rather than posting pictures of the box and plastic, I would ask you to pop over to his review instead. I think my starting point will be to paint the hull and the deck, which I hope to begin this weekend? In the meantime, I shall post this photo of what is, to my eyes, a very lovely battlewagon: To those more knowledgeable than me (that's anyone reading this), I ask: what are the three parallel lines running horizontally above the boot? Are these the strakes to which Shar2 refers in his review? Here's a shot of the lady's backside, with one of my favourite bridges thrown in for good measure: Thanks for looking in!
  11. Shar2

    German VK.30.01(P). 1:35

    German VK.30.01(P) Hobbyboss 1:35 The VK 30.01 (P) was the official designation for a medium tank prototype proposed in Germany. Two prototype hulls were made. The tank never entered serial production, but was further developed into the VK 4501 Tiger (P). The VK 30.01 (P) was sometimes known, and referred to, as the Porsche Typ 100. The requirements for the new development of a 30-tonne schwere Panzerkampfwagen included the ability to mount at least the 7.5 cm KwK L/24 main gun with a desire to fit the 10.5 cm KwK L/28 if possible. Later, in 1941, the German Army encountered —unexpectedly— heavily armoured enemy vehicles such as the Soviet T-34 and KV-1. Plans were then made to instead mount the more effective 8,8 cm KwK L/56. Krupp were directly contracted by Porsche to produce the turret to house the 8,8 cm KwK L/56 and the two teams worked together to develop it for the VK 30.01 (P) chassis. A fully developed drawing with the Krupp turret was completed, dated 5 March 1941. The Krupp turret would be used on both the Porsche and the Henschel Tiger. Uncommon for tanks at the time, Porsche selected a gasoline-electric drive. The front drive sprockets for the tracks were driven by two electric motors mounted forward in the hull. Two air cooled V-10 gasoline engines, mounted toward the rear of the vehicle, were each connected to a generator to produce electricity. The generated electricity was then used to power the motors. Each engine produced 210 PS at 2500 RPM; giving a total of 420 PS available to drive the generators. The model The kit comes in the standard stly of box we’re used to from Hobbyboss with an artist’s impression of the tank on the front. Inside there are four sprues and three separate parts in the Caramac coloured styrene, five sprues of dark, browny coloured styrene, a small sheet of etched brass and a small decal sheet. The mouldings are well up to their usual standards with no sign of flash or other imperfections, just a few moulding pips to clean up before use. The thinness of the instruction booklet shows that, besides the tracks the build will be a fairly simple one. Construction begins with a number of sub assemblies, notably the suspension arms, idler axles, road wheels, return rollers, drive sprockets and idler wheels. The suspension and axles, along with the drive gearbox covers are then glued to the lower hull which is a single piece moulding with some nice detail on the underside, which unfortunately you won’t see once complete. The road wheels, drive sprockets, idler wheels and return rollers are then glued into their respective positions along with two large tow piece brackets onto the rear plate. The tracks are now assembled from individual links,, now, each link is attached to the sprue by five gates, so there will be plenty of cleanup required before they can be glued together, 78 link per side. Personally I don’t like this style of fixing the links together and will probably by aftermarket metal tracks for when I build this. With the tracks fitted, I would normally leave this till the end of the build to aid painting, but since I’m going by the instructions will stick with it. Inside the lower hull just forward of the rear plate there is a support bulkhead fitted, while on the plate the two, six piece exhausts are assembled and glued into place. Moving onto the upper hull, the two track guards are fitted with PE sections on the inboard fronts before the guards are glued to the hull, as are the four hatches on the engine decking. Tow more large towing brackets are glued to the lower glacis plate and the additional armour plate fitted to the driver and gunner’s positions. On the engine deck there are four PE grilles to be fitted while and either end to the track guards, large angled support brackets are attached. The driver’s vision port and gunners four piece machine gun are glued into position. The turret comes as a single piece section to which the rof is attached, along with the commanders ten piece cupola and four piece gunners hatch. The mantlet is a two part unit which is then fitted with the co-axial machine gun and trunnion mounts and the whole assembly glued to the front face of the turret. The cartridge exit door is glued to the rear of the turret, and the three piece gun with another three pieces making up the fume extractor is glued into the mantlet. The completed turret is then fitted to the hull completing the build. Decals. The small decal sheet contains just a pair of German crosses and two sets of individual numbers from 0 to 9 so that you can make up your own identifying number for the turret side. Conclusion This would be a nice simple kit from Hobbyboss, if it wasn’t for the way the individual track links are assembled, that said the whole kit could be built in a weekend and would make a pretty good mojo reviver. While the vehicle never went into series production there are no reasons why the modeller couldn’t detail it up with pioneer tools and other equipment and use it in a diorama or vignette. Review sample courtesy of
  12. Hi everybody. As 2018 draws towards a close, I thought I'd give you the 'heads-up' of the next sub build, a 1/350 Typhoon Class SSBN of the Russian Navy from the HobbyBoss boxing. I generally build Royal Navy subs but a fellow club member had this kit sitting in his loft, knowing that he will never build it, donated it moi to see that it gets built. The box. Hull halves. Sprue A. Sprue B (their are four of these!) Decal sheets and some PE. Size comparison between the current Russian Typhoon and RN Vanguard SSBN's....need a bigger bench! As mentioned in the title, this will be a waterline job and will be underway, so no hatches open. This will rid me of quite a lot of the kit and hopefully I use it as a good subject to try out some weathering (maybe) and more water. The tiling on the Typhoon looks a bit OTT and I'll more than likely 'knock' them back. I have heard something of a dimensional issue but we'll see if that is so. Stuart
  13. Scargsy

    HobbyBoss Panzer IV B

    Hi all, So I thought I'd start a thread for my build - I'm intending to build this (once it arrives): HobbyBoss Panzer IV B, kit no. 80131 I've also got some crew as I think it helps with the scale, though I'm not sure about my painting skills: Depending on time, etc. I was thinking I might make a little diorama with some "Battle of France" themed stuff - with some French infantry / AFV, but that will depend on how much of a glue bomb the Panzer turns into
  14. 1/72 Hobbyboss P-40N Warhawk by Jon Gwinnett, on Flickr 1/72 Hobbyboss P-40N Warhawk by Jon Gwinnett, on Flickr 1/72 Hobbyboss P-40N Warhawk by Jon Gwinnett, on Flickr Hobbyboss quickbuild, brush painted (twice, after over enthusiastic thinning ruined the first coat), Eduard belts, replacement Airfix wheels and struts courtesy of Anil's Part & Supply Inc.* after I lost the originals. * Massive thanks to @azureglo for the kindness that prevented this being on a one way trip to the bin, and thanks to @Cookenbacher for coining the name for Anil's new enterprise!
  15. Grumman Hellcat F6F-5 Minsi II of Captain David McCampbell, USN, Medal of Honor winner, CAG, 34 victories (although none in this particular aircraft!) Hobbyboss Hellcat by Jon Gwinnett, on Flickr Hobbyboss Hellcat by Jon Gwinnett, on Flickr Hobbyboss Hellcat by Jon Gwinnett, on Flickr OOB apart from some Eduard seatbelts. Brush painted in Revell and Humbrol acrylic. My first finished plane for two years.
  16. Russian BM-13N "Katyusha" Rocket Launcher 1:35 HobbyBoss Stalin's Organ as it was known in WWII was a truck chassis with cab where the flatbed had been replaced by a rack of rocket launch tubes that contained various diameter rockets over the years, as well as differing numbers of tubes, range and explosive power of the rockets. They were useful at delivering a lot or ordnance to a location rapidly, but suffered somewhat in accuracy due to their unguided nature and the variability of their propellant efficiency. Their ability to relocate between salvos was a plus, giving them the ability to hit fast and hard, then escape retribution by relocating, which offset their long reload time. The BM-13 was a WWII variant, although they continued in service long after cessation of hostilities in various guises, using various chassis. They were often built on lend-lease trucks such as the Studebaker US6 or post war the indigenous ZiS-151 (a rough US6 copy), and fired 13.2cm rockets weighing in at 42kg each from eight launch rails. The Kit This is a new tooling from HobbyBoss, and represents the post WWII BM-13N mounted on a Zis-151 that bears a striking resemblance to the Studebaker chassis, having some minor differences around the engine cowling at the front. Even the engine was copied to a large extent, much of which is replicated in the kit. If you are planning on building a WWII Katyusha, this kit won't be strictly accurate to the time period, but a great many folks won't know it wasn't produced until 1948. Inside the standard HB box are ten sprues, two truck parts off sprues, plus eight launch rails all in sand coloured styrene, a clear sprue, twelve flexible styrene tyres, two sheets of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a decal sheet, markings guide on glossy colour stock, and the instruction booklet in black and white. On unpacking the sprues from the myriad of bags that protect every part of the kit, detail is good, with lots of small parts, some very nicely moulded larger parts that take full advantage of the available modern moulding techniques such as slide-moulding. The cab body is a single piece, as is the shroud that flips down for firing, and the launch rails have detail on all sides, including the lightening holes on the sides. Construction begins with another set of rails however, which are the chassis rails, because you get an almost full rendition of the vehicle inside the box. Cross-braces, transfer boxes and drive couplings are added first, with exhaust and suspension details after, including some lovely leaf-springs and hubs, onto which the wheels are placed. Each wheel has a two-part hub that fits inside a nicely done tyre that even has maker's mark and specification moulded into the sidewalls, as well an aggressive V-tread on the contact surface. The two rear axles are doubled-up by the use of handed hubs, while the single-width steering wheels are installed on a through-axle with steering gear and a transmission shaft added along the way. The engine is built up from a large number of parts, and should look impressive painted and weathered with oil and dirt. The engine and radiator assembly are added to the front of the chassis, while the battery box and fuel tank are fixed to the outside of the chassis rail along with some perforated crew steps on sturdy brackets. The cab is then built up on a floor panel, including; foot pedals, steering column and gear stick; instrument panel with accompanying dial decals; and a full-width bench seat for the crew. It is inserted into the underside of the cab, with the addition of glazing front and rear, with additional clear parts added between the inner and outer cab door skins. Separate windscreen wipers are installed in the top frame of the windscreen, and the bonnet/hood is then built up from a finely moulded set of panels, the sides for which have perforated louvers in their sides. The radiator grille is multi-layered, and includes the Cyrillic manufacturer's mark on the front for good measure, with large swooping fenders added over the front wheels. The flatbed consists of a floor panel that includes the rear fenders with light-clusters, plus several stowage boxes and a pair of spare wheels in a large and well detailed bracket that holds them vertically behind the cab. The rocket launch assembly is next to be constructed, beginning with the base, onto which the upstands and substantial tubular frame are built up over a series of steps. The eight launch rails and their rockets are constructed and linked together by three rods that hold them together, resting on cut-outs in the top of the support frame, which are glued in place with small shaped covers. The sighting equipment is then attached to the left side and the whole assembly dropped onto the rear of the truck, with a choice of travel mode or firing mode, by using a shorter or longer brace at the front of the supports. In firing mode a single-piece armoured cover is placed over the top of the cab to protect the windows and occupants from the hot exhaust gases, but this isn't shown in a stowed position for the travel option. These seem to vary in design somewhat according to available information, so check your references before you decide how to portray it. Markings The single-pages guide shows only one example, wearing Russian Green and a red star on each door, but as you can see from the decal sheet, there are other Soviet nations included on the decal sheet for your use if you feel the urge, although the Polish checkerboard looks a little out of proportion, so you'll need to check that too. Decals are usual HB, with reasonable register (looks like blue is out a fraction), slight stepping in some places, but usable. Conclusion A nice kit that needs to be set properly in a time-period, as I suspect some might think buy it thinking they're building a WWII era kit. Detail is excellent, and the use of PE is nicely done, but the decals are a bit of a damp squib overall. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  17. 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
  18. Shar2

    PLAAF J-16. 1:48

    PLAAF J-16 1:48 Hobbyboss History The Shenyang J-16 is a multirole fighter capable of both ‘beyond-visual-range’ air-to-air and precision strike roles. The aircraft is the latest addition to the ‘Sino-Flanker’ family, which has been developed by the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation (SAC) from the Russian Sukhoi Su-27 ‘Flanker’ airframe, but incorporated with Chinese indigenous avionics and weapon systems. The most noticeable difference of the J-16 to the previous J-11B series is its two-person crew, with the pilot seated at the front of the cockpit and the weapon system officer (WSO) at the back. The airframe of the J-16 appears to have been developed from the Shenyang J-11BS two-seat fighter-trainer, an unlicensed copy of the Su-27UBK ‘Flanker-C’. Therefore, the aircraft can be distinguished by its cropped vertical fin tails (same as the J-11BS/Su-27UBK) as opposite to the square topped vertical fin tails of the Su-30MKK. At the same time, the J-16 also bears some design features of the Su-30MKK, including the side-mounted electro-optical sensor (as opposite to the centre-mounted design on the J-11BS/Su-27UBK) in order to make room for the in-flight refuelling probe, and the twin-wheeled nose landing gear (as opposite to the single-wheeled gear on the J-11BS/Su-27UBK) to support the extra weight. Like the Su-30MKK, the J-16 is also expected to have undergone structural enhancements in its airframe in order to achieve an increased take-off weight. The Model The large sturdy box with a depiction of the aircraft in flight over a non-descript Chinese city hides something pretty nice. On opening the box, and on giving a very unusual WOW!, you are confronted with an inner tray which carries the upper and lower airframe, neatly tied to the tray and protected by foam wrap for particular areas. Normally you have to glue the wings to the fuselage when building an aircraft kit, which is why I used the term airframe, as the upper and lower fuselage halves are complete with the main wing sections, I’d love to see the mould for these parts. On removing the tray there are a further twenty six sprues in a similar grey styrene, three sprues of clear styrene, four vinyl tyres and two medium sized decal sheets. The mouldings are very nice indeed, with no sign of imperfections, flash but a fair few moulding pips. The surface detail is nice and fine with the panels all seemingly in the correct place and of the right shape. The build begins, naturally, with the cockpit. The twin bay tub is fitted out with front and rear bulkheads, instrument panels and coamings, rudder pedals and joysticks, which I wouldn’t have though the WSO would have had, so looks like the kit hasn’t been modified from the SU-27UB. Not being able to find any cockpit photos on the internet I’ll have to rely on the BM massive to confirm this. The ejection seats are each assembled from eight parts and look to be a reasonable representation of a Russian K36 seat, the biggest problem being a complete lack of seat belts, so it looks like the modeller will be using some aftermarket belts. The completed seats are then glued into place and the tub glued into the upper airframe section followed by pilots upper coaming. The nose wheel assembly is built up from nine parts and put to one side. Before the two airframe sections can be joined together, the two, three piece exhaust nozzles are assembled and glued into position, as is the five piece nose wheel bay. Ensure that you have drilled out all the holes required for the pylons you wish to hang from the wings, before you join the airframe together. Once the airframe has been assembled it’s time to add the pair of two piece flaps, nose undercarriage assembly, four piece vertical tail fins/rudders, two piece horizontal tailplanes, exhausts, either open or closed, and separate slats/leading edge flaps, depending on your choice of phrase. The two ventral fins are also glued into place, along with each of the five piece intakes, with the internal ramp being positioned to the modellers wishes. The underside of the forward intakes looks like it should have some moveable slats, but the detail is quite indistinct and soft, at least to my eyes. The main undercarriage is now assembled, from the main oleo, with actuator moulded onto it, the two piece wheel and the mounting bracket at the top. These are then glued into place and the undercarriage doors added as are several aerials to the airframe. The separate nosecone is large enough to pack with weights should the kit require it, and I would presume it would need some, It looks pretty accurate, but may need a rub down to get rid of the moulding join line as from pictures it is a pretty clean shape, without the lightning runs seen on some radomes. The canopy is fitted out with PE rear view mirrors, rear hinge plates and mid section strut. The canopy can be posed open or closed and per the modeller swishes. The windscreen is moulded complete with the IRST on the right hand side, which has a separate clear part to fit on the end. The separate inflight refuelling probe is also fitted as is its cover panel. The three piece airbrake is also poseable, although it is very rarely seen open with the aircraft o n the ground and shut down. The airframe is finished off with the addition of the pitot probes, AOA sensors, air temp sensors and radome tip pitot. The kit comes with a fair selection of weapons to fit onto the twelve pylons provided, these include:- 6 x PL-12 medium range air-to-air missiles 4 x PL-10 short range air-to-air missiles 2 x KD-88 anti shipping missile From the pictures I’ve seen on the net, this aircraft is meant to be quite a bomb truck, so it’s a shame no bombs or air to ground missiles have been included Decals The kit comes with two decal sheets, the national markings and exterior of the aircraft while the other is for the cockpit and the markings for the missiles. The decals are very nicely printed with minimal carrier film, in register and with pretty good opacity; they are slightly glossy and should settle down ok on a glossy surface. There are two colour schemes to choose from:- J-16, No. 78077 in blue grey over light grey and with full colour national markings. J-16, No. 70191, in Barley grey over medium grey and with toned down markings. Conclusion This is my first big Mig from Hobbyboss and from what I can tell it certainly looks like a J-16 from the research I’ve done, but I’m sure those of the BM massive will know better just how accurate, or inaccurate it is. For me though it’ll build into a pretty impressive model and will look great in any collection. Not a difficult build by anyones standards so could be good for those who want to try out a big jet. The only real downside for me is the lack of air to ground weapons which should really have been included even at the expense of the multiple medium range missiles, especially at the price point it’s been set at. Review sample courtesy of
  19. KrAZ-260 Heavy Utility Truck Hobbyboss 1:35 History 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 Model The kit comes in a sturdy top opening box with a artistic impression of the vehicle in use in a very snowy environment. Opening the box reveals seven sprues of caramel coloured styrene, one sprue of clear styrene, a small photo etched brass sheet, seven vinyl tyres, a small decal sheet and a sheet of masks for the clear parts when painting. The mouldings for all the parts are superb, with no sign of flash imperfections but with loads of moulding pips, which will add to the cleaning up time. As with most truck kits there are a lot of parts that will probably never be seen, particularly the very detailed chassis, suspension and engine, but in my view it’s better to have them than not. The build begins with the very detailed engine, which is a model in itself. The block consists of four parts, which also include the cylinder barrels. The cylinder heads are then attached, these are separate items, but include the exhaust manifolds. There then follows the clutch bell housing at one end and the auxiliary drives at the other. The sump is then fitted, along with the fuel rails, intake manifolds, turbo chargers, starter motor, alternator, drive belts and fan. The four piece gearbox is then fitted to the bell housing, while at the front of the engine the three piece radiator/housing is also attached. The transfer gearbox, consisting of six parts is also assembled at this point. The next part of the build is the assembly of the chassis. First of all the cross-members have to be assembled. The two long chassis rails are then joined together by these cross-members and the engine assembly fitted, as is the transfer gearbox and the drive shaft from the engine. The front bumper is assembled from a single piece beam, four clear parts for the lights and three PE parts for the top of the beam. This is then attached to the front of the chassis. The rear bumper consists of side sections carrying the rear lights and a centre section which includes a step, plus the lower beam is fitted with a tow hook. The chassis is also fitted with an eight piece winch unit which is attached to the transfer gearbox by another shaft. Another three cross-members are attached to the chassis rails, including one which has three guide wheels for use with the winch. An eight piece cross-member is assembled and fitted to the front of the chassis just to the rear of the front bumper. The four piece exhaust systems is then attached to the engine, followed by a pair of four piece air filter units which are attached to the intake manifolds on top of the engine. The front differential/axle is made up from five parts and is fitted to the front suspension springs and attached to the transfer box by another drive shaft. U bolts are used to fix the axle unit to the leaf springs and the shock absorbers are fitted to the axle at one end and via a separate bracket to the chassis at the other. The front wheels are made up of outer hubs, inner hubs and ball joints, each wheel is then fitted with three piece brake accumulators and steering brackets. The steering rack is then fitted, along with the steering dampener, steering column and a couple of cab bearer brackets. The rear bogie attachments are part of the main rear cross-member, so all the modeller has to do is add the leaf springs and the two twenty one piece rear differentials/axles and add the multitude of drive shafts between the axles and the transfer box. Several sub-assemblies are now required, these include the Jerry can stowage, which consists of a PE framework and two, three piece cans all held in an external plastic frame. There are also two, five piece fuel tanks, a five piece storage box come access steps on the right hand side of the chassis, a five piece accumulator/access steps for the left hand side, another pair of accumulators and a six piece oil tank, also for the left hand side of the chassis. The chassis, suspension is completed with the assembly of the four, five piece wheels for the rear axles and three piece wheels for the front axles, these include the large rubber/vinyl tyres. With the chassis and suspension complete the build moves onto the cab, with the assembly of the two piece bench seat and four piece driver’s seat. The seats are then glued to the cab floor, along with the foot pedals and gear stick. The instrument panel, with decals instruments, and steering column/steering wheel are assembles. The IP and steering column are then glued into place in the front cab section, followed by the cab floor/seating and windscreen panels. The rear bulkhead of the cab is fitted with a clear screen, before being glued to the rear of the floor/seat section. Each of the two doors is made up from three parts before being attached to the cab, being posed as per the modellers wishes. The roof is fitted to the cab and detailed with three small reflectors and a roof mounted searchlight. The two wings are each assembled from six parts before being attached to the front of the cab, and finished off with the fitting of the grille and bonnet. The fresh air vent on the bonnet as well as the door handles, two piece mirrors and grab handles are all glued into place. The completed cab is then attached to the mounting points on the chassis. The thirteen piece spare wheel frame is then assembled and the three piece wheel/tyre is fitted along with a two piece air conditioner unit, before being attached to the chassis just behind the cab. The truck bed is made up from the main bed, back panel, two side panels and rear panel. Each of the panels is then fitted with their respective number of tie hooks for the tilt. On the underside there are eight lateral structural braces fitted, as well as two short longitudinal braces. Also on the underside the four mudflaps are attached, two forward of the rear wheels and two aft each with their support rods. Inside the loading area the modeller can choose to have the four bench seats posed in either the stowed or down positions, with each bench made up from four parts. The completed bed is then fitted to the top of the chassis completing the build. Decals The small decal sheet provides decals for just two different markings, both in overall Russian green with a black chassis and wheels. The only difference being the markings on each of the cab doors. Conclusion This kit is certainly not as complicated as the Takom release to build, although there are still a lot of detail parts, mainly for the chassis, it should be a relatively simple build for anyone other than a novice modeller to get a great looking model. I imagine some will probably want to replace the vinyl tyres with resin ones, but it really isn’t necessary as the kits items are more than sufficient. The biggest downside with this and most truck models is the lack of tilt rails or tilt option, which on a kit at the price point it is set at really should have these basic items included. Review sample courtesy of
  20. SoftScience

    Essex Avenger

    My contribution to this build will be a TBM-3 from VT-83, which participated in the sinking of the Battleship Yamoto during the closing months of WW II. I'll be using the Hobbyboss kit. I was massively disappointed when I purchased the kit, as it is marketed as a British avenger, but doesn't give you the parts needed to build one. It sat in my attic for a year and then got moved to a new attic at my new house. Then last week I found this vt-83 sheet and the prospect of actually building the kit finally opened up.
  21. I have been working on this kit for a few months now despite it starting off as a 'quick build'. I would like to strip it all back and rescribe then repaint but I have too many other kits to build and this was not a serious kit, just a fun one.
  22. Here is my recently completed Astute Class Submarine using the 1/350 HobbyBoss kit. Pretty straight forward kit that's almost 'toy like'. Went together with no real problems and painted using mainly Halfords Satin Black from a can, kit decals were used and are I based on the earliest boats when I trial. Mounted on usual base and a few figures from Tamiya were added for scale. WiP: Stuart
  23. I'm going to build the hobbyboss A-6E intruder, I'll be building it a a tram version that took part in operation desert storm with the tan and sand scheme, I've got 2 aires gruea-7 seats and eduard A-6E tram interior, and the A-6E tram exterior kit and masks the decals are by hi decal line, not sure how I'll have the wings as yet, Glynn
  24. Julien

    P-61A Black Widow - 1:48 HobbyBoss

    P-61A Black Widow 1:48 Hobby Boss The Northrop P-61 or Black Widow was the first operational American aircraft designed from the outset to be a Night Fighter using Radar as the primary means of interception. The aircraft would feature a crew of three; Pilot, gunner and Radar Operator. Early on in WWII the US in the person of their Air Officer in London Lt General Emmons were briefed on Radar by the British. At the same time the British were evaluating US Aircraft in their need for a high altitude, long loiter, and ability to carry a radar unit. At the time radar units were bulky and heavy. Jack Northrop realised that to fulfil these requirements he would need a large multi-engine aircraft. The Northrop proposal was to feature an aircraft with a long fuselage gondola between two engines and tailbooms. The size and weight (45' long with a wingspan of 66', and 22000Lb) were bigger than any fighter to date, and made t hard for some to accept the aircraft. The P-61 as it became was to feature 4 x 20mm cannons under the fuselage with a remote control turret on top carrying 4 x 0.5 cal heavy machine guns. A model SCR-720A radar was fitted in the nose which had a range of 5 miles. The remote turret could rotate 360 degrees and fired by any of the crew members. The turret suffered from buffet problems but the main cause of its non fitment to many aircraft was short supply. The same mechanism being given priority in B-29 production. The P-61 would see use in all theatres of WWII. American night fighter crew traded in there Mosquitos, Beaufighters, and P-70s to move to the new fighter. In addition to its night fighter duties P-61s were employed against V-1s in Southern England, and during the battle of the bulge certain units switched to ground attack where the four 20mm cannon proved their worth against ground targets. Despite it clearly being outclassed by the best aircraft coming online at the end of WWII the P-61 stayed in the US Inventory as the USAF experienced problems in developing a jet powered night fighter. Post war the P-61 would see use in developing ejection seats, and collecting radar data on thunderstorms. The aircraft we retired in 1947 as they were reaching the end of their operation lives, with no jet replacement in sight the USAF were forced to use surplus P-51s and make F-82s. The USAF would not get its first Jet Night Fighter the F-89 until 1951. The Kit The kit arrives in a fairly large box, there are nine sprues of grey plastic, a main clear sprue, a clear radar nose, two separate engine cowlings and a bag of metal parts (these are weights to stop a tail sitter!). The parts are very well moulded with fine engraved details and small sprue gates. Construction starts shockingly enough with the cockpit! in this case the front cockpit. Seats, consoles, and controls are installed for both the Pilot and Gunner, along with a bulkhead to the rear of the gunners position. The next area to be constructed is the front wheel bay which features as par of the cockpit floor. The front gear leg is positioned in along with the retraction strut and the two part front wheel, also the gear door retraction mechanism is installed. The first of two metal weights are installed now on the top of this part. The front cockpit is then installed on top of this weight. The second weight is then added in front of the pilots instrument panel. Construction then moves inside the main fuselage pod. This is of convention left/right construction. Side panels are installed in each side, along with two 20mm cannon barrels. The rear radar operators compartment is then made up. Following this the front and rear cockpits are placed inside the main fuselage and it can be closed up. Once closed up the radar unit is added to the nose. Another two metal parts are provided for this area, so even if the modeller is not going to use the translucent nose part they will need to be installed. The main canopies are added along with front gear doors at this point (though I suspect they will be left until later). Construction then moves to the main booms. Before building up the booms the main wheel wells must be added. A bulkhead is placed in each and then the main landing gear is attached (thought I suspect this will be left until later). Each boom consists of a left and right part. These are sandwiched around the main wheel wells. Once the booms are done the main wigs are the next item to be assembled. The wings are a one part upper each side with two parts to the underside to go either side of the booms. Inlets are positioned either side of the engine area when the uppers and lowers are joined. Once the wings are assembled they can be joined to their respective booms. Outer wing spoilers are then added to the wings. The next stage is to add the engine nacelles to the wings. Metal rears for then engines are included to get that all important weight forward of the main landing gear. To these the engine faces are added. A one part engine cowling is then fitted so no seam to remove here! following this the propeller can be added, though I suspect again these will be left until the end, as will be the main gear doors which the instructions would have you add next. Once both wing/boom combinations are assembled they can be added to the main fuselage, not forgetting the tail plane at the same time which goes between both booms. To finish of your model underwing bombs/drop tanks/rockets can be added as needed. Clear Parts There is a lot of glazing on the P-61 and Hobby Boss do not let us down here. A main sprue contains all the glazing apart from the front radome, which is contained on its own sprue. The parts are some of the best clear parts I have seen for a while. They are very clear and free from distortion while the frame lines are well defined which should make masking easier. The parts are very well protected in the box, given their own section and a foam sheet covering inside their individual bags. Decals The decals are glossy, in register and appear colour dense. I have used HobbyBoss decals in the past with no problems at all. The red walkway line will need care to apply as there is no excess carrier film The plus us there is not chance of any silvering! The blue in the national insignia looks a bit to light for me. Decals are provided for two aircraft; P-61A-1-NO 421st Night Fighter Sqn "Skippy/Nocturnal Nemesis" 25502. P-61A-5-NO 422nd Night Fighter Sqn "Jukin Judy" . Internet pictures show that Skippy/Nocturnal Nemesis was fitted with the top turret. The turret is supplied on the sprues but this is not shown on the instructions anywhere! Conclusion A thoroughly modern tooling of the P-61. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  25. Hello! Here's my HobbyBoss 1:72 Messerschmitt Bf 109E-7 Trop which I built back in 2008. It represents "Black 8", of 8./JG27, flown by Lt Werner Schroer, at Ain El Gazala, Libya, in April 1941. Despite being an "easy-build" kit, I had alot of work dealing with poor joints, especially along the fuselage sides. I added belts in the cockpit from an Eduard Luftwaffe WWII etched set. Although the boxtop displayed this option, it wasn't included in the decals so I used some from an old Airfix kit (from around 1980) which I had left over and were still in good condition. The main markings came from the HobbyBoss kit. The kit was mostly painted by brush except for the RLM80 mottling which was done with airbrush. The matt varnish was also airbrushed. Photos of this machine show it in reasonably good conditions so I kept weathering restrained. Thanks for looking and all comments are welcome Miguel