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  1. So for the GB I'll be attempting this kit: Seems I have a love for odd looking, twin boom / twin bodied aircraft, so this will be in fine company with my recently built and similarly black F-82 Twin Mustang. I've got a few after market bits - a set of Print Scale decals, plus some Eduard canopy masks and their small interior PE kit. In terms of Journey's End, according to Wikipedia: So I might do that decal option from the pack or maybe "Cooper's Snooper" (P-61B-2 42-39454 flown by 1 Lt George C Cooper, 548th NFS, Iwo Jima, Spring 1945) since I like the look of the nose art. I've got 3 other GB builds to do first, so you might have to wait a while for the sprue shots and build start!
  2. Hobby Boss is to release in late January 2020 a 1/18th Messerschmitt Me.262 Schwalbe kit - ref. 81805 Source: http://www.hobbyboss.com/index.php?g=home&m=article&a=show&id=151&l=en V.P.
  3. I finished this shelf sitter today. It was started at the Saturday modelling club in a local library which is sadly but understandably cancelled for the foreseeable future. It comes with masses if interior detail, most of which I decided to ignore as the fit of the upper and lower hull halves was poor. 20200512_143224[1] 20200512_143248[1] I have built the Tamiya T-34 which is some much simpler to put together, but I do like the later but pre-T34/85 turret 20200513_193525[1] 20200513_193509[1] Thank you for looking
  4. The IAR 80 was a small-series Romanian-built WW2 fighter plane. Built with very limited resources and under many unfortunate circumstances, the plane behaved pretty well during its operational life, on all fronts. This little forgotten fighter is really close to my heart so I was very happy to see that Hobbyboss decided to offer a plastic kit dedicated to IAR 80. Now let's see what's in the box: Dry-fitting of the main pieces is very good and also the kit seems to be pretty accurate in dimensions. It really looks like an IAR80:) But this is where the good news is over, because the kit has some errors probably caused by sloppy documentation work (no wonder for Hobbyboss). Hopefully, with some love & tenderness, most of these can be properly addressed. I also acquired the separate PE instrument panel released by Yahu Models for IAR 80. It can be seen in the above picture with the canopy and windscreen. Although it looks like difficult to assemble (it is not the traditional just-stick one-piece IP from Yahu, this set consists of many small pieces that must be assembled together), I strongly recommend it for those interested in IAR 80, because it is a HUGE improvement over the kit's parts. The kit itself comes with a small PE fret containing the seat belts...but unfortunately these seatbelts are not correct for the early time-frame of the IAR 80 series. This type of seatbelts were indeed fitted to IAR 80/81 but only starting with summer 1943. They were also usually retro-fitted to earlier models of the plane, but of course starting with 1943. A 1940-1941-1942-early 1943 machine would not be fitted with such seatbelts. As said, the IAR 80 was produced in very limited numbers, only some 450 machines were built and it was used operationally only by the Romanian Air Force, mostly on the Eastern front and home defense missions. As an example, when fighting the Americans during the Ploesti oil fiend missions, it was usually mistaken with the Fw190:) Anyway, there is very limited knowledge about this plane and a very good reference work on the subject is the book "Romanian Hunter" authored by Radu Brinzan. Very solid work, it contains lots of details needed for an IAR 80 model. I greatly recommend it to anyone interested. One of the main problems of the Hobbyboss kit is that the original decals are almost unusable and the painting instructions are largely incorrect. There are decals for 2 airframes in the box: aircraft no.42 and aircraft no.137. But no.137 was a 6-gun wing model, while in the box we have the 4-gun wing model. Of course, some modifications could be made, but the idea is that OOB the markings for no.137 are incorrect for this model. The remaining variant, no.42 airframe, was indeed a 4-guns wing, but the King Michael's crosses are not the right ones for this model. But again Radu Brinzan came to help with this lovely decal sheet dedicated to early series on IAR 80, which is offering some very nice and correct markings and painting instructions for the earliest IAR 80 airframes. Another problem is related to the guns. As represented in the kit, they are not very correct and anyway under-represented. The early IAR 80 series were armed with 4 FN machine guns. These were some Belgian variations of the classic Browning 303. I looked to find some decent aftermarket for these and I found appropriate only this Quickboost set designed for the new Airfix P40B kit, which contains 4 browning 303 barrels. While not perfect, they are the closest match I could find for the FN's installed in the early IAR 80. Anyway, I intend to represent an early IAR 80 airframe, one of the machines built in the first series. The airplane was built in small batches, first series spanning from No.1 to No.20. I will probably go for a pre-war marking (1940 to early 1941 time frame), so the most probable candidates are no.2, no.9 or no.17 from Radu's decal sheet. That's all for the moment . Thanks for looking and cheers,
  5. Number 7 complete for the year. This model sat, like so many of my stalled builds, partially assembled and covered in primer. And probably for at least 5 years. The HobbyBoss kit is something of a throwback. I know there have been complaints about it's accuracy, which I won't comment on (as I don't care enough), but it reminds me of the classic Monogram and Hasegawa kits of the 80s. It's a big, chunky model, well detailed in some places, a bit simplistic in others. It goes together quickly and easily, but not necessarily well I chose to build mine as an in-service USAF "what might have been" of the 1st TFW, USAF. The decals were cobbled together from TwoBobs, the Academy Raptor, and a Japanese decal sheet (NBM). I painted this as something of a test bed. I'm starting on a USAF F-16 in the Have Glass V paint scheme, and wanted to try Hataka lacquers version of this paint. It's maybe a touch too light out of the bottle, but after a coat with clear and then a dark dirt Flory wash, it darkened up a little bit and looks closer to the real thing. Because it's a big ole kit in one colour - especially the wings - I tried to break it up a little bit with the wash, some oils, and also by painting a few panels in silver and grey. I probably painted the radome and leading edges in too pale a shade of grey, but that's a minor thing. They match the grey of the markings well enough. I was also aiming to get the distinctive Have Glass V "is it gloss or is it matt?" look and I think I just about pulled it off. I gave it a single light coat of Hataka matt varnish, over a Klear gloss coar. When it catches the light it's glossy and metallic. When it doesn't catch the light it's dull and matt. Due to it's enourmous size, long profile, and low down stance it's a very hard model to photograph. For the intake covers I used pieces of cardboard, coated in tissue paper soaked in thinned black paint, then some decals from the NBM sheet. You know how I said it's a big model? Here she is alongside a 1/32 F-16 fuselage for scale...... Overall, very happy with this one. There's some things I'd do slightly differently with the paint scheme, but like I said, she was something of a test bed. Now she's another completed model, and a big, eye catching one at that.
  6. Russian KrAZ-260B Tractor with MAZ/ChMZAP-5247G semitrailer Hobbyboss 1:35 (HB85523) Production of the KrAZ-260 began some time during the early 1980s when it replaced the earlier KrAZ-255B on the production lines at the Kremenchug Motor Vehicle Plant. However, the vehicle was not disclosed to the general public until 1985 when examples were displayed towing 152-mm 2A36 nuclear-capable field guns during a Red Square parade - the KrAZ-260 can tow loads of up to 10 tons when fully loaded (30 tons when empty). The Red Square example had an open body equipped with forward-facing bench seats although this had been a parade configuration. The normal body uses a conventional cargo body with tailgate all covered by the usual tilt over bows. A winch is a standard fitting under the cargo body and can be employed for either forward or rearwards recovery, including self-recovery. The overall appearance of the KrAZ-260 is similar to that of the earlier KrAZ-255B but the bonnet is more angular to accommodate the turbocharged diesel engine, and the overall dimensions are slightly larger. As far as can be determined the KrAZ-260 was produced for military service only and as apparently not been delivered to armed forces outside the Soviet Union. The Kit The kit arrives in a fairly substantial box. There are 17 sprues of plastic, the main trailer chassis as one part, three sheets of PE, and a set of window masks. Construction starts with a very detailed engine unit for the KrAZ. This unit has so many parts that the first 3 pages of the instructions deal only with its construction. Once the engine is done the gear box/transmission is made up the two can then be fitted into the chassis as it is made up. Again there are plenty of part for the chassis, the front bumper is also added along with the 5th wheel plate. The exhaust system is added along with the axles and transmission shafts. Suspension units and springs are also added. Air tanks and the battery box are also added. Last up for the chassis the mud guards are added and the wheels. Next up the cab is built up, followed by the front wings/mud guards and finally the bonnet. This can then be attached to the chassis. Last up for the chassis is attaching the spare wheel carrier which sits behind the cab. Now its time to assemble the trailer. This starts off with construction of the gooseneck, this is made up and the landing legs added. The main trailer bed is then assembled, the axles are constructed and then added along with the eight wheels. The rear ramps are put together then the bed, gooseneck and ramps come together. The spare trailer tyre can then be added. Decals Markings are provided for one Russian Army vehicle, any colour you want as long as it is Russian Green! No information is provided as to units etc. The Conclusion This is an will build up into an impressive looking kit. Hightly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  7. Hobby Boss is to release in late June 2020 a (ex-Merit) 1/18th Bell UH-1B Huey - ref. 81806 Source: http://www.hobbyboss.com/index.php?g=home&m=article&a=show&id=159&l=en Test model V.P.
  8. IDF Puma AEV (84546) 1:35 HobbyBoss via Creative Models Ltd. The Puma is based on the Sho't, the Israeli version of the British Centurion tank, but vastly altered so as to be almost unrecognisable. Instead of a turret it has a flat armoured "blockhouse", additional armour packages and four crew stations with FN machine-guns, one of which can be operated remotely, and a larger crew hatch behind them. They can be used as personnel carriers with a crew of up to eight, but are most commonly seen as Armoured Engineering vehicles, sometimes fitted with mine clearance rollers, explosive mine clearance rocket systems as seen here, or dozer blades. When they are used for mine clearance, the Carpet Mine Clearance system launches a number of rockets with a fuel-air mix onto the area needing clearing, with the explosive overpressure very efficient in detonating most kinds of anti-tank mines. Any remaining mines are then detonated by the rollers, clearing the way of the advancing forces. Their heavy weight and relatively high speed make them ideal for clearing roadblocks, and their armour makes for a highly survivable platform that has seen extensive in IDF use since introduction in the early 90s. More recently, developments have been made to use the vehicles as an IED clearance asset, which requires the fitting of additional electronic equipment to jam signals of remote detonation commands. They are also using booby trap clearance equipment, requiring additional training for their crews for this potentially dangerous work. The Kit The original tooling of this kit was reviewed here in 2016, and this new edition adds the carpet mine clearing system mentioned above. There are twenty nine sprues and two separate hull parts in green styrene, four in brown containing the track links, a small clear sprue, fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a bag of twenty four tyres in rigid black styrene, a copper cable, length of chunky chain and a decal sheet. The instruction booklet and separate colour painting/decaling guide are found at the bottom of the box in my sample. A larger box than the original was necessary for the extra parts, and inside is a small divider to reduce movement during shipping and reduce chaffing of the plastic. Construction begins with the two types of road wheels, twelve of each in pairs, with separate flexible tyres slipped over the hubs after painting if you wish to ease that task, but do ensure you position them with the flange to the outside before gluing them in place. All the road wheels have a central cap added, as do the two idler wheels, while the drive sprockets do not. They are set aside while the suspension arms, dampers and bump-stops are added to the narrow lower hull, and are fitted in pairs-of-pairs to their axles along with a number of return rollers of various sizes. The front and rear bulkheads have inserts with additional detail, including towing loops and spare track-links, plus a large towing hitch under the rear end. The tracks of the individual link type, and are supplied on the brown sprues with 105 links required for each track run, which is one down from the original edition. The usual method of gluing them with liquid glue and then wrapping them around the sprockets should do the trick, holding them in place with anything handy to achieve the correct degree of sag. The fenders are festooned with additional equipment and stowage, and have separate end-caps to the front with cross-braces to strengthen them laterally. These fit into slots in the side of the lower hull, after which the upper hull gains focus. The Rafael Overhead Weapon Station (OWS) remote turret is built up first with a clear TV camera port, with the other three crew-served machine-guns next, followed by sundry equipment and antenna bases for the flat blockhouse area. The crew hatches have separate detailed hinge mechanisms, and these fit in place in either open or closed positions along with the weapons on their mounts. A triangular stowage area is made up from delicate frames that are protected by foam wrapped around the sprues, adding small parts along the way. This and the blockhouse are then fitted in position on the upper hull panel, which also has the driver's hatch with vision blocks situated just forward of the blockhouse in a recessed area. The upper hull and lower are now joined, and more detail is added to the fenders, consisting of small PE hooks and tiny parts are added along the length to hold the two tow cables, which are themselves made up from braided copper and styrene eyes. The side-skirts can then be added on their T-shaped brackets that mount on lugs moulded into the sides of the upper hull. The mine roller is then built with its multiple toothed wheels on two swing-arms that are formed from complex angular parts that make up a hollow assembly. These are both mounted to the base part with pivot-pins as well as some restraining cables that reduce bounce on detonation. This assembly is then set to one side while the large rear-mounted compartmentalised box is made up that contains the fuel-air bomblets. This is constructed from flat plates and risers in three layers, with the hydraulic ram that allow it to pivot for aiming added in a central slot on the base. The bomblets are made of two halves to which the vanes and stabiliser ring are attached, allowing a number to be dropped into their compartments. A base plate and PE blast deflectors are joined by a further layer, then the large C-shaped beam that supports and allows the movement of the weapon is assembled from a large number of parts. Finally, all three sub-assemblies are brought together in a surprisingly large finished model. Markings All Pumas are painted a base coat of Sinai Grey, and differ only by their unit markings and personalisations. There is only one decal option shown on the instructions, but if you know your IDF and/or Hebrew, there are clearly more possibilities as evidenced by the relatively large decal sheet and three number-plates, but as I don't profess to understand Hebrew, it would be difficult for me to comment further. The decals are printed in-house and are have good register, colour density and sharpness, so should be suitable for use unless you have something else in mind. Conclusion A nicely detailed and surprisingly long kit that just cries out for a crew and lots of stowage in that big basket. They are often seen with anti-slip coatings applied to the horizontal areas where the crew are likely to step, so it may be worthwhile applying some Cast-A-Coat or finely ground pumice to these areas, being careful to check your references first for the correct locations. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  9. My entry for this GB will be the HobbyBoss 1:48 F-18A Hornet She will be in the markings of VFA-25 'Fist of the Fleet' circa 1987 whilst the squadron (part of CVW-14) was assigned to USS Constellation stationed the Western Indian Ocean / Arabian Gulf providing air cover during Operation Earnest Will So the build will be another learning exercise I will be adding the Aires Resin Cockpit - eek! Painting ... Black-basing & mottling, Make it up as I go along haha etc to give a grubby , well used exposed to the elements finish Kit pictures will go here when Aires cockpit is delivered!
  10. LvKv 90 Anti-Air Vehicle (84507) 1:35 HobbyBoss via Creative Models Ltd. Based upon the original Combat Vehicle 90 (CV90), this anti-aircraft light tank uses the same chassis with a 40mm Bofors autocannon in a new turret, which is guided by a Thales radar unit perched on top of the turret in a cylindrical housing. LvKv stands for Luftvärnskanonvagn, which translates to self-propelled anti-aircraft weapon, with the 90 representing the decade of its birth. It can fire programmable proximity-fused fragmentation or armour piercing rounds, which coupled with the complex computer algorithms used in targeting, calculating velocity and direction of the target, speed of rounds, ballistic drop make for a highly accurate weapon that will put the fear of immediate perforation in any passing enemy that lingers in range (up to 14km) for more than a couple of seconds. It can also track up to six targets at once, far beyond that of any mere human and a useful force multiplier. Although it isn’t strictly speaking a frontline vehicle, it is well-enough armoured to withstand armour piercing rounds from most APCs to its frontal armour, and small arms fire from the back and sides. It is also a connected fighting vehicle, benefitting from and contributing to a better overall situational awareness of their forces that is an incredibly useful tool in battle that all modern forces aspire to have. It gets around the battlefield thanks to a Scania 550hp diesel engine that drives the tracks and also act as propulsion in water with the fitment of a flotation kit that gives it greater all-terrain capability. The Kit Based upon their initial 2012 release of the CV90-40C, but without all the appliqué armour of the IFV, and with a new turret gun and radar “pot”. In its splinter camouflage it is an attractive design, and from the box it is well-detailed throughout with individual link tracks and separate track-pads. From the standard Hobby Boss box come fourteen sprues and three hull and turret parts in sand-coloured styrene, four sprues of track-pads in black, thirty trees of track-links in a metallic grey, a small clear sprue, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) parts, a sheet of decals, and the instruction booklet with separate painting guide. In an unusual turn of events, construction begins with the vehicle’s rear hatches, which are festooned with styrene and PE parts before completion. Then the more predictable make-up of the four-part drive sprockets (x2), four-part road wheel pairs (x14), and two-part idler wheels, which are set aside until after the lower hull and its swing-arm suspension is finished off. The rear hatch made earlier is added to the stepped underside, clear lights are slotted inside the sloped front of the upper hull, and a number of PE parts are added around them next to the front fenders. Now you can add all those wheels, then make up the tracks. Each side uses 82 links comprising two parts, with two sprue gates on the pads, and three on the metallic-coloured links, all of which is sensibly placed and easy to clean up. It took a few minutes to make up the example section of 6 links for the review, and you can even leave off the pads until after painting the tracks if you are modelling it clean, scuffing the pads with a sanding stick before you glue them in for a bit of realism. With the hull joined, a number of pioneer tools are attached to the rear along with pre-moulded towing cables that are supplied with PE tie-downs, with styrene grab-handles on the glacis and a nicely detailed driver’s hatch added. At the rear is an access hatch for the engine, and on the sides a pair of skirts are fixed to blocks on the hull sides. More PE and clear parts are fitted on the rear bulkhead, with a number of PE grilles added to the deck and a trio of aerials at the very rear. The Bofors cannon is a simple affair, made up from a four-part mount and a barrel with concertina recoil bag at its base, split horizontally with a single piece flared muzzle fitted last. The barrel is slipped through the turret from the inside and is trapped in place by the cut-outs as the lower turret is glued in place. It should remain mobile if you don’t drown the joint in glue. With that the turret is detailed with a stowage bustle, more stowage on the sides, smoke grenade launchers, hatches, grab-handles and lots of little PE camo-tie-down parts that are shown in detail in a larger scrap diagram on the same page. The turret is finished off with a sighting box in front of the gunner’s position, the big radar pot, spare track-links and a shrouded barrel of the coax machine gun. The turret twists into position and is held in place by the bayonet lugs on the side of the turret ring. Markings As is often the case with HB kits, there’s only one decal option supplied with precious little background information, and that’s for a splinter camouflaged vehicle with yellow number 143030. The decals included in the kit are minimal, as befits an armour kit, and they have good enough registration, colour density and sharpness for the task in hand. Conclusion I like anything with the Swedish splinter, and this futuristic-looking vehicle looks great in the box, and once complete it will have provided plenty of modelling enjoyment, as well as breaking up the standard green of our shelves. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  11. IJN Pre-Dreadnought Mikasa 1:200 Hobbyboss History Mikasa is a pre-dreadnought battleship built for the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) in the late 1890s, and was the only ship of her class. Named after Mount Mikasa in Nara, Japan, the ship served as the flagship of Admiral Tōgō Heihachirō throughout the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905, including the Battle of Port Arthur on the second day of the war and the Battles of the Yellow Sea and Tsushima. Days after the end of the Russo-Japanese War, Mikasa's magazine accidentally exploded and sank the ship. She was salvaged and her repairs took over two years to complete. Afterwards, the ship served as a coast-defence ship during World War I and supported Japanese forces during the Siberian Intervention in the Russian Civil War. After 1922, Mikasa was decommissioned in accordance with the Washington Naval Treaty and preserved as a museum ship at Yokosuka. She was badly neglected during the post-World War II Occupation of Japan and required extensive refurbishing in the late 1950s. She is now fully restored as a museum ship and can be visited at Mikasa Park in Yokosuka. Mikasa is the last remaining example of a pre-dreadnought battleship anywhere in the world The design of Mikasa was a modified version of the Formidable-class battleships of the Royal Navy with two additional 6-inch guns. Mikasa had an overall length of 432 feet, a beam of 76 feet, and a normal draught of 27 feet 2 inches. She displaced 15,140 tons at normal load. The crew numbered about 830 officers and enlisted men. The ship was powered by two vertical triple-expansion steam engines, each driving one propeller, using steam generated by 25 Belleville boilers. The engines were rated at 15,000 indicated horsepower, using forced draught, and designed to reach a top speed of 18 knots although Mikasa proved to be faster during her sea trials in December 1901. The ship reached a top speed of 18.45 knots using 16,341 indicated horsepower. She carried a maximum of 2,000 tons of coal which allowed her to steam for 9,000 nautical miles at a speed of 10 knots. Mikasa's main battery consisted of the same four Elswick Ordnance Company 40-calibre twelve-inch guns used in all of the preceding Japanese battleships. They were mounted in twin-gun barbettes fore and aft of the superstructure that had armoured hoods to protect the guns. The hydraulically powered mountings could be loaded at all angles of traverse while the guns were loaded at a fixed angle of +13.5°. They fired 850-pound projectiles at a muzzle velocity of 2,400 ft/s. The ship's secondary armament consisted of fourteen 45-calibre 6-inch quick-firing guns mounted in casemates. Ten of these guns were positioned on the main deck and the other four guns were placed above them at the corners of the superstructure. They fired 100-pound shells at a muzzle velocity of 2,300 ft/s. Protection against torpedo boat attacks was provided by twenty QF 12-pounder 12 cwt guns. Lighter guns consisted of eight 47-millimetre three-pounder Hotchkiss guns and eight 2.5-pounder Hotchkiss guns. The ship was also equipped with four submerged 18-inch torpedo tubes, two on each broadside. The waterline armour belt of Mikasa consisted of Krupp cemented armour that had a maximum thickness of 9 inches over the middle of the ship. It was only 4 inches thick at the ends of the ship and was surmounted by a six-inch strake of armour that ran between the barbettes. The barbettes were 14 inches thick, but reduced to six inches at the level of the lower deck. The armour of the barbette hoods had a thickness of 8–10 inches. The casemates protecting the secondary armament were 2–6 inches thick and the deck armour was 2–3 inches in thickness. The forward conning tower was protected by 14 inches of armour, but the aft conning tower only had four inches of armour. Mikasa, like all the other Japanese battleships of the time, was fitted with four Barr & Stroud FA3 coincidence rangefinders that had an effective range of 8,000 yd. In addition the ships were also fitted with 24-power magnification telescopic gun-sights. The Model Originally released by Merit International in her 1905 fit, Hobbyboss have now released her as she was completed in 1902. The large top opening box with a very nice painting of the ship at anchor, contains 19 sprues, and four separate parts, all in a light grey styrene, one black stand, five sheets of etched brass, a length of chain and a smallish decal sheet. Whilst not having the Merit kit to compare it with I have checked the hull and fittings with my book on Japanese Battleships by R A Burt. From what I can see Hobbyboss have the hull correct, which makes a nice change, as their Trumpeter colleagues seem to have a problem with this area in their ship kits. The mouldings are superb, especially for what is still quite a large model, there is no sign of flash or other imperfections and a fair few moulding pips to clean up. The only real problems appear to be the masts and the yardarm positions in particular. The kit calls for the lower yardarms to be attached above the lower platforms, whereas all the pictures and photos show these were fitted below the platforms, easily remedied during the build. Talking of the build, construction begins with the gluing the two hull halves together, along with the three bulkheads, rudder and lower gun deck. This all produces a really strong hull and certainly won’t collapse when handled. The ten 6” mounts on the gun deck are then fitted, each pinned into place, while four two piece 3pdr guns, each with PE gun shield are also fitted to their respective positions, two forward and two aft. The three piece main deck is then added and the model turned over to fit the two bilge keels, four propeller shafts with separate A frames and the four propellers. Each of the PE guns shields around the 6” and 3pdr guns are made of PE, they come in alternate parts and can be posed open, (three parts) or closed up, a single part). The main deck is then fitted out with a variety of winches, skylights and decks houses, as well as the two funnel bases. The multitude of large ventilators, each made from six parts are the glued into their respective positions around the midships section, followed by more skylights, hatches and smaller winches. The lower front, lower rear and two centre sections of the main superstructure are then fitted, after which two mote 6” guns are fitted fore and aft of the upper deck and eight 3pdr guns amidships. Each of the openings for the guns are shielded by PE parts much like those on the lower gun deck and are also able to be posed open or closed. Two mezzanine decks are fitted with nine support columns then glued into place over the gun mounts. The upper front and rear sections of the upper deck are then attached. For the myriad of ships boats there are fourteen cradles made of plastic and four of PE, these are all positioned within the well that the upper gun deck bulkheads created. Four more large ventilators are assembled and fitted in the same area. Each of the eight boats are made up of multiple parts, the rowing boats can be assembled open or with canvas covers fitted, they are also fitted with PE rudders. The steam launches have separate boilers and masts, but can also be assembled with a canvas cover in place, whilst the steam pinnaces are fitted with three ventilators mast and PE rudder. The boats can be attached to their cradles later in the build to allow easier access to the boat deck. There are lots of deck furniture to fit next, these include hatches, windlasses, anchor chains, haws pipe covers, (PE),storage boxes, raised deck hatches with PE grilles, cleats, bollards, Jack staff, Ensign staff, and breakwaters. With these all in place, it’s onto the bridge and the armoured conning position, including separate roof and rear screen, also on the lower bridge deck are three small deck houses, two flag lockers and two, two piece 3pdr guns. On each side there two support frames for the upper bridge deck wings. The upper bridge deck is then fitted with ten support columns before being glued into position. The single piece command bridge is then attached, along with four mast stay blocks. The same procedure is carried out for the aft positioned auxiliary steering position. The bridge and aft positions are then fitted with searchlights, binnacles, rangefinders, and PE cross braces for the outboard wing supports. The two bridge decks are also fitted with their respective railings, and inclined ladders, all made of PE. The main gun turrets are assembled next, each being made up from a turret base, onto which the four separate trunnion mounts and two guns are fitted. The turret is then slid over the guns and glued to the base, being finished off with three unidentifiable parts to the roof. The two masts are then assembled, each should be the same, but remember to fit the lower yardarm beneath the lower observation/gun platform. They are each made up from three mast sections, two platforms several PE support braces, two yardarms, a gaff, and a 20m boat handling crane. The lower platforms are fitted with two 3pdr guns, while the upper platform has a single searchlight. The two funnels are next to be assembled. Each one is made up from two halves into which the inner top section is sandwiched. Two steam pipes are fitted to the forward funnel, while the aft has three. The forward funnel also has a platform attached to its forward face to which two pipe are attached from below and two horns are fitted to the upper surface which is surrounded by a PE railing. Both funnels have a PE ring which needs to be rolled to shape before being attached, followed by the funnel cap grille. Both are then glued to their bases, before being attached to their respective positions on the boat/upper gun deck. The masts and main turrets are also fitted at this point. The mezzanine decks are fitted with eight 3pdr gun assemblies before the main railings are attached. The main deck railings are also fitted at this point, along with the main anchors in their stowage areas, their handling cranes. There are several derricks on each side of the hull which I presume are for handling the anti-torpedo netting which is provided in folded form in PE, as well as their associated storage decking which is also PE. Life-ring containers are folded to shape and a lifering added before being attached to their locations on the main hull. Four boat davits are fitted wither side of the boat deck and eight anti-torpedo net booms attached to the low down, near the waterline. Either side of the quarterdeck are four more davits onto which are attached four more of the ships boats. As with the previous boat assemblies, these can be assembled either open or with their canvas covers fitted. The two PE accommodation ladders are folded to shape, assembled and fitted either side of the quarterdeck and lastly, but by no means least, the prominent three piece covered walkway is added to the stern, and fitted with the ships name plate. Above the walkway is a small PE platform which, once attached completes the build, with the exception of painting and all the rigging has been added. The kit comes with a large black plastic stand, a name plate backplate and the name plate in etched brass, which is a nice touch. Decals The smallish decal sheet contains two Ensigns, one straight, the other as if flapping in the breeze. Not quite sure why they have done this, but in their infinite wisdom Hobbyboss have made the flags quite complex in that the sun, and the sun’s rays on either side have been printed separately which could be fun to get right. I presume it’s to prevent bleed through but I’ve not seen any other manufacturer do this. The other decals on the sheet include the prominent funnel bands and the ships name. Conclusion The last pre-dreadnought in existence deserves it’s place in maritime lore, and it’s great to see this ship given the 1:200 treatment, as it’s the perfect scale for what is in fact quite a small ship. Once built, it will look superb in any collection, but I suggest you invest in a nice case to keep the dust off it. There are a number of upgrades for this ship produced by the likes of Mk1 Design if you wish to take it to the next level, but with all the etch that’s included some modellers may feel that is a little extravagant, That said, it could certainly do with a wooden deck and turned barrels, such as those reviewed HERE. Review sample courtesy of
  12. Hallo again Now I started a Tiger II. The kit is HB. A very good mold, I am astonished about the quality. It is a kit without interior. I build all different types of tanks from Germany, Russia and Great Britain from WW2. Two exceptions are Merkavas from Israel present day. My build is straight from the box. I build the version just painted in Minium; it is a protective paint against rust. Without any marking, ready for deployment. Well, first I work on plastic, without all tools and pulling ropes etc. After turret and tracks, I start spraying the first round. With tools and etched parts the second round. Well, we will see how it works out. Corona makes me more patient, we will have lots of time. Here in Austria we have curfew. It will last I think three full months. Happy modelling
  13. This was my first Hobby Boss kit. I started it in earnest in the fall of 2012 and hit the first “snag” soon after. I had to repaint the seat several times to get the effect I wanted and stopped construction for several weeks. Then I took up the gauntlet again. The plastic in this kit was sort of odd; in some places it seems quite soft but it also seemed very brittle at times too. I broke several parts just removing them from sprues, and this sure wasn’t my first rodeo. The fore and aft sections of the fuselage presented the next challenge. There was a terrible fit between the two sections. After I had them together, I found that it looked like “a bear’s *ss sewed up with a grapevine” (old sheet metal saying there…). Out came the Bondo and I went to work evening the two halves up. Next step was re-scribing all that lost detail. The wing to fuselage fit sucked too, and I spent a few sessions wrestling that into shape. Then, I somehow lost one of the front gear doors and had to make another one. Believe me, I was quickly losing my passion for this build even though the MiG-17 was a long-time favorite of mine. I wanted a MiG-17 of the North Vietnamese Air Force. I had looked at several paint schemes for this plane and finally decided on one. The full-scale plane like this is at the Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio. On-line research revealed that this scheme, along with 3 or 4 others all bearing number 3020, was claimed as being used on the mount of North Vietnamese ace Le Hai (7 kills). Hmmm…by this point though, the die had been cast, decals had been ordered and I stayed with the squiggly paint. I was worried that my Paasche H wouldn’t be able to do what I needed for those complex squiggles. I do have a double-action Paasche Model V, but I just couldn’t get it to cooperate at all so it was back to the Model H. At first I planned on doing a sort of “reverse” pattern. I would paint the darker color first and then use small blobs of Blue Tac to mask the squiggles and then spray the lighter color over those. Well, I had more than half of the underside done when I abandoned that plan. I don’t think I could’ve ever made that look right. So one fine Saturday morning, I fired up the CO2 and the Model H and just painted the darned thing. I wish my spray pattern had been a bit tighter but I finally justified my work by assuming that the original Vietnamese painter probably had a lot of over-spray too. So, it was onward through the fog! I custom-mixed the pale color from Model Master Sand, Flat White and Faded Olive Drab, while the green is MM SAC bomber green. The decals are a combination of kit markings and aftermarket. Weathering was done with Flory washes and pastel chalks, colored pencils and a bit of dry brushing with Humbrol Matt Aluminum. Cockpit features are mostly courtesy of an Eduard Color Zoom set. I did scratch-make the oleo boot covers on the front landing gear. The canvas boots were frequently found on the front and often on the main gear too on NVAF ’17s. My boots are tissue soaked in white glue and shaped around the oleo section. I broke both of the forward pylons/mounts for the drop tanks and had to wait for replacements, When they arrived and were painted, I had trouble getting the outside “legs” of both of these to fit tight against the underside of the wing. But, ah hah, a bit of internet research found several period pics that show the outside leg didn’t fit flush on the actual planes either. I took a few pics of the MiG-17 inside once finished around March 2013, just to document the actual completion and to get a few underside shots as well. After waiting several weeks for the wind to die down, I finally had a window of opportunity for a photo session at the Cameron airport. When I got out there and opened the box, the starboard pitot was laying on the bottom of the box. Arrghh! Well, I wasn’t packing it in just for that! It turns out that NVAF Pfc. Dam Dhum Phuc had backed a re-fueling truck into that pitot tube and knocked the damned thing off! Oh well, photography must march on! That was just one more SNAFU in what seems like a jinxed build from the start. At any rate, the MiG-17F was finished, and I like it alright now, I guess. Thanks for checking in and taking a look at her! As usual, comments welcomed! Gary The kit: And the inspiration for my paint job:
  14. Hi all, Since I built my Defiant I’m now on a turret roll, so I’m going to drag myself kicking & screaming from my OOB comfort zone and attempt to build Hobby Boss’ “British Fleet Air Arm Avenger MkI” as an FAA Tarpon. From what I can tell, Hobby Boss have taken their “standard” US Avenger kit, sourced a new set of decals, made up a couple of paint schemes and issued it as an FAA version. All of the shortcomings and errors of this version of the kit have been well documented – thanks to @tonyot, @85sqn, @trickyrich and others for easing my journey of discovery with their excellent and insightful information (see below). Armed with that rapidly assimilated wisdom here is the kit box: Shots of the sprues – the detail level and crispness of the parts all bode pretty well: Transparencies – again, very nice: Kit decals – not so nice. Not convinced of the accuracy of these – the red of the national insignia alone is quite hallucinogenic. They’ll go straight into the dodgy pile… I’ve sourced a couple of extras for the build; Eduard instrument panel (which is intended for the Accurate Miniatures kit, so we’ll see how that goes), Eduard masks (a must for all that glazing!) and Eduard harnesses. So Eduard everything, basically. I’ve been hankering after a BPF build, so I’ve decided to model this aircraft; JZ257 of 849 Sqn, HMS Victorious, January 1945. I believe that this aircraft would have taken part in the Operation Meridian raid on the Palembang oil refinery in January 1945 (849 Sqn was certainly involved). Here’s a shot of Tarpons on that raid (albeit from a different squadron flying off HMS Illustrious): From what I can tell, JZ257 was one of the second batch of 200 Avenger MkIs delivered to the FAA. The aircraft would therefore have been equivalent to a Grumman-manufactured TBF-1C. This aircraft would have had the following configuration: - 2 x 0.50” machine guns mounted in the wing roots, as opposed to the single cowling-mounted gun of the earlier batch. The kit has these gun ports - ü. - Observer’s position in the central cockpit, including radar scope and plotting table. The kit as it stands is configured as a ‘standard’ US aircraft with electronics in place of the Observer position, so this is where the major surgery needs to happen. This will be my first real attempt at scratch building, so I’ll give it my best shot! Grumman-built aircraft had the cockpit, Observer’s position and turret interior painted in Bronze-Green. - The remainder of the aircraft interior including the bomb bay was painted Interior Green (with the exception of the cowling interior, which was Light Grey). - I have seen varying claims that the undercarriage and bays were painted Insignia White, the underside colour or even Zinc Chromate Yellow. The colour photo showing the faded paintwork a bit later looks to me like white might be the go – it’s definitely not ZCY (although other Eastern-manufactured aircraft could have had this configuration). - There is varying information around the ventral 0.3” gun (and whether it was replaced with an F24 camera). I’m going to stick with the gun – the decal sheet shows it in place so it must be right, right? - Round blister windows over the original window cavities. These provided significant improvements in visibility – they’re nicely shown in the shot below (forward of the access door): The kit windows are as fitted to the original batch of MkIs so are incorrect. I’m going to try crash-moulding these blisters, which could be interesting (think I’ll leave that til last) In terms of paint finish, from what I can tell the Grumman aircraft would have been finished in ‘standard’ FAA colours i.e. Dark Slate Grey and Extra Dark Sea Grey over Sky – I will be using these colours as opposed to those recommended on the Xtradecals ‘Yanks with Roundels’ sheet (although the decals look to be excellent otherwise). I also see a Corsair and Hellcat somewhere in my future It’s well documented that most BPF aircraft were heavily weathered and faded so I’ll push my weathering skills to the limit. The shot below is a great guide as to the level of fading of the paintwork, as well as being a very evocative shot of the conditions in which the aircraft (and crews) operated from temporary land bases (Ceylon, I’m guessing?). Another one (showing a Hellcat, but you get the general idea). It’s interesting to note that there’s very little bare metal on show, though the paint has worn through to the zinc chromate primer in heavy-wear areas. I might try and replicate that effect. And a couple of nice reference shots: The camo demarcation looks to be pretty hard from the above shot, so no freestylie on the airbrush… The kit contains a number of ordnance options including rockets, torpedo, depth charges and 500lb bombs. I’m guessing the Tarpons on the Palembang raid would have used the latter (and the kit rockets are bobbins), so I intend to do the same as shown above. From what I have read Hellcats & Corsairs took the role of combat air patrol and ground attack on that raid, so it kind of makes sense that the Tarpons would be bombing (along with Barracudas, if memory serves). The raid is detailed in the excellent ‘Carrier Pilot’ by Norman Hanson, which is well worth a read. So with all that under my belt I shall gird my loins and crack on with the build! Thanks for looking – until next time, Roger
  15. Build details here Great kit to work on and well worth the time & effort
  16. This is the Hobby Boss 1/700 kit, very nice indeed. All I added was a couple of Eduard crew figures. The base is polystyrene block so I could scoop out the distinctive wake pattern around the bow. I only used the upper half of the hull to make it waterlined. The rest of the sea is putty and white glue waves, acrylic painted, with gloss heavy gel for the water effect. This is a unique Special Operations attack sub in the USN - its predecessor (USS Parche, a veteran Sturgeon-class SSN) became the most highly decorated ship in the US Navy history. Looks like a long and successful career awaits the Carter! Alan
  17. First finished (almost) model since returning after 20 year hiatus from the hobby! As a trial run for a future Martlett build, I picked a HobbyBoss FM-2 quickbuild kit. Vallejo ModelAir EDSG/DSG/Sky, XtraDecal 72-140 set (expect more FAA in the future). minor quibbles to be fixed/underway: - outer gunports should be closed (not used). - antenna wire (backorder). The Sky underside is not supposed to be straight @ trailing edge, but in true software dev fashion that will be included in the next version!
  18. German Kanonen und Flakwagen of BP-42 (82925) 1:72 Hobbyboss The Wehrmacht made good use of the European railway network during the Second World War, moving men and material to the front line quickly and efficiently. The railway network became an obvious target for sabotage, which in turn meant that armoured trains became a natural requirement, particularly for operating in high risk areas where partisans might be present. Unfortunately the rapid development of ground attack aircraft meant that armoured trains became ineffective for the role they were intended to fulfil. Mike reviewed Hobbyboss's BR57 armoured locomotive some time ago (quite by accident, because he forgot to check the scale) and I've reviewed various iterations of their armoured wagons. This is the latest in the series, depicting a variant armed with quad flak and cannon turrets. In classic Hobbyboss style, the kit is tightly packed into a sturdy box, with everything meticulously wrapped to ensure it survives the journey from China to wherever you are. The kit is very simple, composed of a handful or slide-moulded parts, two sprues of smaller parts and two sprues holding Hobbyboss's standard track sections. Also in the box are the instructions, a glossy A4 painting sheet and a small sheet of generic decals. The detail of the slide-moulded parts is excellent, with crisp and fine surface details. Construction begins with the lower chassis. The axles and wheels fit in from above and are then boxed in so there is no see-through effect. As with other similar kits from Hobbyboss, the brake blocks are moulded in place on the wheels, while the leaf spring suspension units are separate parts. The buffers and couplings are provided for either end. The 2cm Flakvierling 38 mount is a mini-model in its own right, although in usual Hobbyboss style, the part count isn't excessive. There are some nice touches, including spare magazines and a nicely moulded splinter shield. The howitzer turret is a very simple affair by comparison, and it should be noted that none of the turrets can be posed in the open position (not that there is any interior detail in any case). The track is split into four sections, the joins in which are cleverly matched to the natural breaks and joined with nicely moulded fish plates. If you really want to hide the joins properly, some 00 gauge ballast could be used, while the detail could really be ramped up with some proper track. Only one colour scheme is included on the sheet, for a vehicle with a base of Dark Yellow, over which Red brown and Field Green stripes are applied in a similar fashion to contemporary armoured vehicles. Given how filthy railway rolling stock gets due to the soot and grease, there is huge scope for the builder to express him or herself with weathering. Conclusion I thought Hobbyboss had finished their range of German armoured trains, but apparently not. This model - ho ho - rails (that pun never gets old) against the trend of producing models with ever increasing levels of detail and complexity. It will make a great model when paired with Hobboyboss's BR57 and other armoured wagons. Whatever you decide to do with it, you can't deny that it's nice to have a mainstream model of this interesting subject. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  19. Leopard C1A1 Canadian MBT (84502) 1/35 HOBBYBOSS via Creative Models In 1978 the Canadian Army selected the Leopard C1 (Leopard 1A3 equivalent) to be its new Main Battle Tank. These would be called the Leopard C1 in service. The majority of these tanks were stationed in Germany with some in Canada for training. Additional armour was then applied during an upgrade phase with six tanks getting an enhanced thick MEXAS (Modular Expansive Armour System) kit made by IBD in Germany added, These MBTs were designated C1A1. These MBTs would serve with Lord Stratcona's Horse in the 1999 KFOR mission in Kosovo. The Kit This kit from HobbyBoss is a re-boxing of the standard Leopard 1 with different parts for the Canadian MBT. Construction starts lower hull. Various suspension components are fitted, and the ends of the main torsion bar system and its arms are fitted. The wheels can then be built up and attached, followed by the tracks which are individual links. The next step is a surprising one in that it looks like a full power pack is provided. While the engine has many parts and looks quite detailed there is no detailing for the engine bay, and the actual block is missing all of its hoses and connector, though there is nothing stopping the modeller going to town here if they want to do an open engine bay. Then the rear bulkhead is made up. There is virtually no moulded on parts here with a lot of small detail parts making up this bulkhead. The bulkhead can then be fitted. Moving to the top main hull the engine deck hatch is added, along with some side parts and the drivers vision blocks, the rear exhausts are then added along with quite a few detailed parts such as tools , mirrors etc. The lower and upper hulls can now be joined and the rear bulkhead fitted. PE parts for the engine deck are then fitted. The tracks are then made up and fitted. Apart from mentioning there are 80 links per side the instructions make no further mention of the tracks at all. They are individual links which must be glued together and there is a small jig for the straight sections. The additional MEXAS armour packs are added to the sides of the hull and the front. The rear tow cables are then added. Work now moves to the turret which has good casting detail moulded in. After the turret is together the large rear mounted turret storage bin is made up and added to the turret, Next up the roof mounted machine gun and its mount can be added. The MEXAS armour units can then be assembled and added to the turret. Next up the hatches and aerial mounts are added. The gun and its additional armoured mantlet are built up. These are then added to the turret after it is assembled. Like a lot of Leopard kits the kit barrel is not entirely accurate due to the complexities of the real thing and the limits of plastic moulding technology. The smoke dischargers are added to the turret and its then ready to be mounted to the hull. Decals Decals are provided for 1 KFOR unit though there is no information on this provided at all in the instructions. Conclusion This is a great looking kit from HobbyBoss and their attention to detail is to be commended. Overall Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  20. While some of my other builds are at the fragile stage to be transported when I go to my local model club meet on a thursday night to still keep me busy I had started on this one but I will still be concentrating on getting the other two completed first. So here we have my first Hobby Boss kit and my first pre-Dreadnought HMS Lord Nelson and as some of you may know I try to keep to ships built in the area of my home town and this one fits the bill of being built on the river Tyne at Jarrow This is how far I have got after a couple of sessions at the club this will be mostly out of the box only adding my first wood deck and the rigging using the WEM spreaders for the aerial set up. Does anyone have any info on the correct color as the instructions are identical to Trumpeter and are probably wrong I think I should be heading for a Dark Grey 507B beefy
  21. 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
  22. Pz.Kpfw.VI Sd.kfz.182 Tiger II (Henschel Feb 45 Production) (84532) 1:35 Hobby Boss via Creative Models Often called the King Tiger (incorrectly) the Tiger II was a German Heavy Tank of WWII and was the successor to the Tiger I tank. The tank still had the thick armour of the original Tiger, however this was sloped like the Panther. The Tiger II weighed in at 70 tonnes putting increasing pressure on the drive train which was based on the original design, The tank featured a long barrelled 88mm gun. Even though orders were placed for 1500 tanks production was severely disrupted by allied bombing with only 492 being produced. Henschel won the design contract for the Tiger II and all the examples were produced by them. Two turrets were designed for the Tank; the rounded Krupp design (erroneously called the Porche turret), the second was the easier to produce angular turret (again erroneously called the Henschel turret). The Kit This is a re-boxing with additional parts of HobbyBoss's King Tiger from 2018. The kit arrives on 14 sprues of plastic for the tank, 11 track sprues,; separate upper & lower hulls, the turret casting, a small PE fret and a metal gun barrel. Overall a nice looking package. Construction starts with the lower hull; the torsion bars for the suspension are attached connectors for the wheels There are 10 pairs for road wheels for each side which are interleaved. Idler wheels, drive sprockets, and return rollers are also added. The tracks go on next. These are individual links which clip together, however care must be taken as the different sides build up slightly differently, this is not helped by the instructions not saying how many links are need for each side. Next up the rear bulkhead for the tank is built up with the exhausts being added. Once complete this can be added to the lower hull. The front MG and mount are then added into the upper hull. At the back the engine deck is made up and added along with tools and towing cables. PE mesh parts are provided for the intakes. The front hatches are then added along with the side skirts. The top hull is now added to the rear hull. Once its on the front mud guards are put in place along with a pair of towing shackles. At the rear another pair of mud guards go on. Moulded cables are provided for the sides. Work now moves to the turret. The commander copula is built up, next up the comprehensive main gun and breach are constructed. There is no interior in the rest of the tank, but the internals for the main gun are pretty good. The barrel is attached and HB provide an open muzzle, or a cover one for you to use. The Gun is added to the turret base and the main part of the turret added over it. The rear hatch is added along with the command copula. Spare track links are provided for mounting to the turret if the modeller wants. The turret is then joined to the hull. Markings Despite this being a big model, it has a smallish decal sheet. markings are provided for 6 different tanks, however there is nothing on the painting guide to indicate anything about them at all. Conclusion There is no doubt this will make up to a great looking model of the King Tiger. It is a shame HobbyBoss cant put in anything about the markings at all. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  23. Hallo again This is my first car, after 30 years of modelling. A totally new field for me. The accuracy of kit parts is amazing. Like resin on a/c kit parts. This model is from Hobby Boss. I want to show this models, as new from the workshop. Not battle used. Just minor weathering. Happy modelling
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