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  1. I should have thought about this build a bit more before taking it on as it was a bit of a nightmare trying to weather the 4BO green, but leave the 6K brown looking like it had just been applied. In hindsight I should have weathered the whole vehicle before doing the 6K brown. Also, it would have been a lot easier if I had extended the base terrain the full width of the wood. Oh well, we live and learn. Thanks for looking George
  2. This is one of those extremely rare occasions that I have known what I want to build for a GB since before it got through the bunfight, I usually end up building something completely different from what I intended after going through several changes of mind. Right from the start the Henschel Hs-126 was the front runner in the stash and the colour scheme was going to be either from a land of snow or sand, and snow has won. ICM first released their very nice 1/48 Hs-126 in 2010 and It was released in boxings for the A and B versions, then about a year or so later it was released by Italeri with the options of both A and B from the same box (at least that is what it claims) and with a very nice decal sheet for 7 versions which actually made it quite difficult for me to decide what to build as I like a few of them, especially the Condor Legion and Greek ones, fortunately I think I have another one in the stash somewhere. Anyway lets start with the usual box top and whats in it shots shall we; Rather nice box art actually. The as yet untouched parts still in their plastic bag; And the 6 other schemes offered by Italeri other than the option on the box top; And the very nice looking decal sheet that comes with the kit; I have a couple of references that I shall be using for this build; Now those of you that know me or pop into my builds will know that I have a liking for a temporary Winter camouflage scheme and the Luftwaffe were kind enough to oblige by painting a fair few of these in such schemes from their service on the Russian front, such as the one on the front of the Aufklarer book on the right. And that aircraft is shown in the book with a nice clear picture to back up the profile; So that is the one I am going to try to reproduce, assuming I can find the correct size and style of code letters in the decal stash. I have a Helldiver to get either finished or very close to finishing before I can make a start on this one which will prove difficult as I really want to get started on this as I have been looking forward to it for a long time. Thanks for looking in and as usual all comments and criticisms are gratefully received. Craig.
  3. Every now and again, I like to paint a figure as a break from aircraft modelling. ICM's recent release of a Roman Centurion caught my eye. There is something about the combination of colours that is very appealing. It is a very nice kit to work on - sharply moulded with crisp detailing. I used Alclad for the metalwork, Mr.Color C18 for the basic flesh tone and Games Workshop acrylics for the rest including the gold tassles. The one thing missing from the kit is a decal for the decoration on the shield. I wanted to say a big thank you to @cmatthewbacon for sending me the artwork which I printed out on white decal paper. That worked a treat. The base is MDF that I coloured with teak effect woodstain to make it look like a more expensive piece of real wood. I very much enjoyed working on this figure and will definitely look to do another one at some point this year. Cheers Richard C
  4. Bonsoir Mesdammes et Monsieurs, I shall be joining you in this celebration of all things gallic, on Wednesday, after I have completed my entry for the Phantom STGB. I bring to the buffet, the legendary Renault 'Taxi de la Marne' which won fame and a name in September of 1914. (I have drawn on Wikipedia for the following historical background. If that's not your thing please scroll down to the photos to have a quick look around the sprues.) The Renault Type AG, commonly referred to as the Renault 'Taxi de la Marne' or 'Marne Taxi' was a hackney carriage automobile manufactured by the French automaker Renault from 1905 to 1910. The nickname Taxi de la Marne was earned by the vehicles when the fleet of Paris taxis was requisitioned by the French Army to transport troops from Paris to the First Battle of the Marne. This battle was a turning point of the war when the German offensive which threatened to engulf Paris was halted, beginning the four long years static trench warfare. During the battle, the French Army's 62nd Division had arrived at a railway station outside Paris, a significant distance away from the battle, with no military transport capability. Some logistical genius suggested "If all else fails we could always hail a cab." The idea had possibilities and the general staff estimated it needed to hail approximately 1,200 taxis to transport the 6,000 man division to the battle, five to a cab. With the help of the National Gendarmerie the required taxis were assembles at Les Invalides in central Paris to carry soldiers to the front at Nanteuil-le-Haudouin, fifty kilometres away. During the night of 6-7 September 1914 they set off. Each taxi was supposed to carry five soldiers, four in the back and one next to the driver, but the cabs were small and the soldiers undoubtedly had equipment to carry and only approximately 4000 soldiers were delivered to the battlefield in this way. I don't know how many traveled on the roof and running boards of the cabs but it makes a marvellous tableau. The drivers, following city regulations, as taxi-drivers always do, dutifully ran their meters during the operation and the French treasury paid a total fare of 70,012 francs. It seems that the practical contribution of the taxis of Paris to the great defensive victory was rather small as 150,000 soldiers of the French 6th Army had already arrived by train. However, the morale effect of the improvised and semi-public operation was of great value in raising the spirits of the battered but unbowed French army and of the people of Paris. The Kit What magnificent box art from ICM! What do you think the soldier on running board is thinking as he looks us in the eye? "You may well cheer, People of Paris, but I shall probably be dead by the morning." Our three figures are well supplied with equipment, which will be carried inside the cab to justify the dramatic poses of our three heroes. Here we have examples of the Chauchat and Hotchkiss machine guns and that essential piece of field equipment for the French Army, the coffee grinder! Our four dismembered figures. The flag will be great fun to paint and look at those faces! In such a small scale as 1/35, I think they are magnifique. And turning to the vehicle... Only a few sprues. But we have an engine, which will not be seen, some small parts on big sprues and a great looking set of wheels. Spoiled only by real rubber tyres. I'm not a fan but to be honest I haven't actually used the things for decades so I might be surprised. The glazing looks reasonable and will stay bagged until the last moment. I'm considering replacement with clear film from cake boxes which is a Very Good Reason to eat cake. For the sake of completeness, here are the transfers.
  5. BQM-34A (Q-2C) Firebee (48403) 1:48 ICM People think drones are a new thing for the military but in reality they are not. The Firebee was developed by Ryan for the new USAF in 1948 as a jet powered gunnery target with the first flight being in 1951. The USAF Designation was Q-2A, and when the US Navy bought them they designated them KDA-1. The original Firebees were air launched from a modified A-26, or ground launched using a RATO system. The system was later used by the US Army as well. Q-2Bs were fitted with a modified engine for higher altitudes. They were developed over time with the KDA-4 being the main USN version, however differences were mainly internal. The Royal Canadian Air Force purchased 30 KDA-4s which were launched from an Avro Lancaster Mk.10DC. In the late 1950s the USAF Awarded Ryan a contract for a new second generation Firebee this would become the BQM-34A or Q-2C. This was a bigger airframe with longer wings. One of the main recongition features was the fact the original nose intake was replaced by a chin intake for the new Continental J69-T-29A turbojet. As well as the USAF and USN the US Army had a ground launched (With Rocket assist) designated the MQM-34D, this version having a longer wing than the USAF & USSN ones. The main launch aircraft for these new drones was the DC-130. While initial production ended in 1982 the production line was re-opened in 1989 to produce more targets. These BQM-34S featured improved avionics and a new J85-GE-100 engine. The Kit This kit is a brand new tool from ICM, following on from their original kit. This boxing gives two drones but without trailers no doubt designed to be hung under one of their Invader kits at some point The kit arrives on one sprue for each Drone (shown once). The model will be just over 145mm long when built. Construction is fairly basic and starts with the full length intake/exhaust for the engine. The engine is installed inside the main body and it can be closed up, a triangular inert goes in the top. The left and right main wings are single parts, these have tabs on them for where they join inside the main body to lock together. The tail planes are also single part with tabs again to lock in place. single piece. End plates are added to the tail planes and the rudder goes on the top. Decals Four options are provided for on the decal sheet (but as you get two drones you get two decal sheets) USN BMQ-34, Naval Base Ventura County (overall red) USN BMQ-34, 36 Mission markings. (Red with Yellow wingtips and a checker board tail) USAF BQM-34, Wallace Air Station. (Red with Yellow wingtips as on the box art) USN BQM-34, circa 2000s in overall white. The decals look nicely printed, in register with no issues. Conclusion This is a good looking kit which will look good hanging under a model, or built as a standalone model. Highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  6. I have several F-104s in the stash and decals for a couple of Danish and Norwegian options, but I fancied something different. I'd seen this kit in my LMS and this seemed the perfect moment to indulge. He's a generic Viking from the 9th century, a time when they were just starting to make their prescence felt in what is now the UK mainland - although their history and impact on European geopolitics would last a lot longer, but that's a tale for another day. He comes in a box, which has a suitably active painting on it: He has parts, the black ones are for his base. Several others are optional. I may miss the arrows poking out of his shield and go with the bearded axe as his only weapon. The knife is a sign he is a free man and not a Thrall. He should also have an arm ring in there somewhere but it could reasonably be under his armoured t shirt. Instructions have a simple picture construction/painting guide on one side and a parts diagram and paint list on the other. Also included is a print of the box art wich is a nice touch. There are no decals, so painting the shield is left as an exercise for the builder. I have a few designs for inspiration, including my own two (the first I just liked the design, the second is my senior cat, Tolv) My cats will be following, they're Norwegians and love this kind of thing. That's Tolv from the shield at the top. Horologists will be happy about that, that's where Twelve should be I have several other GB builds on the go, but I'll try to fit this one in round them. Andy
  7. At the Moscow "Мир детства 2021" expo, ICM has announced a 1/72nd family of Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23/-27 Flogger from 2022 Source: AlexGRD V.P.
  8. Hi All! ICM 1/48 Weekend built Painted GUNZE It's difficult for me to take decent photos of an airplane in flight. Sorry Enjoy watching!
  9. ICM is to release 1/32nd Bell AH-1G Cobra kits - ref. 32060 - Bell AH-1G Cobra (early production), US Attack Helicopter - released Source: https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/ICM32060 - 1/32 - ref. 32061 - Bell AH-1G Cobra (late production), US Attack Helicopter - released Source: https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/ICM32061 - ref. 32062 - Bell AH-1G Cobra with Vietnam War US Helicopter Pilots NEW - III quarter Source: https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/ICM32062 V P.
  10. At the Moscow "Мир детства 2021" expo, ICM has announced a 1/35th Sikorsky CH-54 Tarhe kit for 2022. Source: AlexGRD V.P.
  11. British Torpedo Trailer (48405) 1:48 ICM via Hannants The British 18” Mk.XII Torpedo was an air-launched variant of the earlier Mk.XI that entered service in the early 30s. The Mark.12 was the variant used by the Fleet Air Arm and RAF Coastal Command during WWII, and could be fitted with a break-off wooden tail fairing to reduce entry speed into the water, and the nose was painted red for a training round, or the less visible black for a live round, which goes against the “red for danger” methodology normally used. The Kit This kit is a single sprue of grey styrene in a small top-opening box that contains parts for a complete torpedo, plus a trailer to transport it around the airfield. The torpedo is made first, built from two halves with a double layer screw and a pair of perpendicular fins at the rear, two of which are moulded in. The optional break-off tail is made from two rectangular end panels, with a single horizontal plane stretching between them. The wooden tail includes the tail fins of the torpedo and is a straight replacement to the standard fins, then a spacer and large spinner are fitted to the front. The guts of the trolley consists of two scissor jacks, and these are both made from four parts each that are mounted onto a slotted base, then surrounded by a framework with two small balancing wheels at either end. A short axle projects from the centre of the rails, and these mount a larger wheel with integrated tyre, plus a winder at each end that operates the scissor-jacks (on the real thing). The torpedo is lowered into the cradle along the trolley’s direction of travel to finish off. The instructions have a sprue diagram on the front page, the build steps spreading over the two central sheets, and at the rear are the painting instructions, with codes from ICM’s new paint range, plus Revell and Tamiya codes as well as colour names. There are two painting suggestions, and from the box you can build one of the following: British Torpedo Cart with a Mark.XII Training Torpedo, WWII British Torpedo Cart with a Mark.XII Training Torpedo, WWII Net photo – Copyright unknown. Conclusion A nicely detailed set that will complement any diorama scenario or even to personalise a model placed on the shelves of your cabinet. Notice the Beaufort in the background on the box top? Me too Highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  12. ICM is to release 1/48th Douglas B-26K Counter Invader kits. - ref. 48279 - Douglas B-26K Counter Invader, USAF Vietnam War Attack Aircraft - released Source: https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/ICM48279 - ref. 48280 - Douglas B-26K with USAF Pilots & Ground Personnel NEW - IV quarter Source: https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/ICM48280 V.P.
  13. WWII China Guomindang AF Pilots (32115) 1:32 ICM The Kit This is a new set from ICM no doubt to fit in with a number of Chinese National marking options in their kits. There are two standing pilots and one officer giving a briefing. The pilots are provided with separate parachute packs. As with all ICM figure sets the sculpting looks top notch. Conclusion This is a good looking set which will provide the modeller with some crew for their Chinese aircraft. Highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  14. Until ....how long will i be on duty instead of @Homebee ? Yes, yes...again " On Moscow"...next you's also know.... secret items from ICM in 1/48! My bet is on the Death Star! B.R. Serge
  15. B-26K Counter Invader (48279) USAF Vietnam War Attack Aircraft 1:48 ICM via Hannants The A-26 was built by Douglas back in WWII as their successor to the A-20 Havoc. Two types were designed, The C with a glass bomber nose and the B with a full metal nose filled with either 6 or 8 .50cal machine guns, which coupled with the three in each wing gave it quite a punch, deserving of the Strafer title. It also had a pair of turrets on the fuselage mid-upper and dorsal positions, which were both operated by a single gunner using a complex remote mechanism that flipped between the upper and lower turrets depending on where the gunner was looking through his binocular sights. This trained the guns accordingly and also calculated the correct offset for parallax and lead, but was very complex and caused some delays to it entering service, and even more issues with maintenance in the field. Then in 1948 it was re-designated as the B-26 by the US Air Force to confuse us, and later on back to the A-26 just to complete that process of confusion. It was developed a little after the Marauder and despite using the same engines it was designed totally separately from its tubular colleague. It was initially less than popular in the Pacific theatre where its poor cockpit visibility due to the canopy and engine position rendered it unloved by the first users. It was more popular in the European theatre and was accepted as replacement for the Havoc fairly quickly. After the war it served in Korea, early Vietnam engagements and other conflicts, ending its days in US service with the Air National Guard in the early 70s. In the mid 1950s some Aircraft were converted to the Drone controller role with the DC prefix to launch Ryan Firebee drones in support of combat training. In a late twist the B-26 would be brought back in the 60s for the Vietnam War. The aircraft externally still looked like the WWII aircraft. The turrets were removed in favour of the fixed forward firing guns and four hard points were fitted to each wing allowing the carriage of 8000lbs of ordnance. The wings of these aircraft were rebuilt and strengthened. The rudder was enlarged and permanent tip tanks (65 US Gal) were added. Anti icing was added to the airframe and new a new anti-skid braking system was added. In the cockpit the dials and displays were updated and a secondary control yoke was added to allow flight from either seat. New 2500 HP engines were added along with cuffed broad chord props. The USAF ordered 40 of the "new" aircraft which were know as Nimrods to their crew. As well as combat operations in South east Asia some aircraft flew with the CIA in the Congo. The aircraft were retired by 1969 with AC-130 gunships taking over their night interdiction role. Only 6 aircraft survive with "Special Kay" having been restored to Flight as a memorial to crews who fought the secret missions in South East Asia. The Kit This is a brand new tooling from ICM, when the new Invader family was announced many of hoped for day we would get a new tool Counter Invader. While you get many parts of the original Invader boxings they are for the common parts . The B-26K boxing features a new fuselage sprue, new wing sprues, a new rudder, new engine nacelles, a pylon sprue; and weapons sprures ICM previously released as a stand alone set. It arrives in the familiar top opening box with a captive inner lid on the lower tray. A quick look over the sprues reveals that panel lines are very crisp, narrow and restrained, the surface is matt and very neat-looking, with plenty of engraved and raised details on the parts, plus subtly indented flying surfaces mimicking their fabric covering. Construction begins with the aft compartment is built up, the rear bulkhead is installed, then a pair of bombs on their racks, the reason for which will become clear in a moment. The port fuselage half is detailed with some side console and panel parts and then has the bomb racks, nose gear bay sides being added. The rear compartment with radio/equipment racks is then built with the seat being added to the floor. This is then fitted to the port fuselage along with the wing spars, and at the front the port nose interior parts which holds the nose gear bay door. Next up we build the cockpit. The centre console is built up and added to the floor, rudder pedals are added to the right hand seat where as for the left hand seat they are part of the instrument panel. The panel goes in as well as both control columns. Here ICM have not got it right. The controls supplied are those of the standard B-26 not the new ones for the K. The modeller will have to make, or source these. The last items to be added to the cockpit are the seats. The completed cockpit can now be added to the fuselage half. After this the starboard fuselage side is prepped, with its own bomb racks and forward nose bay parts being added. The fuselage can then be closed up. The tailplanes and their separate control surfaces can now be built up, and added to the model. At the front the solid nose is made assembled and added to the fuselage. ICM recommend adding 40g of weight to the nose. An additional intake is added to the right side of the nose. The wings are next, and they are new tool parts for this kit featuring the heavy strengthening added to the wing for the carrying of external loads. The lower wing parts also have the recesses for the four pylons per wing. All of the control surfaces for the wings are separate. At the ends of the wings are the tip fuel tanks for the B-26K. These are a butt fit with no mounting tab which would have been a stronger join. The wings once assembled can then fit on over the wing spares protruding from the fuselage. Next up the two engine nacelles and these build up pretty much identically. These are on the sprues from the original kit They are split vertically, and each half has internal structure moulded-in, with bulkheads added fore and aft of the gear bays, coupled with bay lip inserts that bulk out the edges and also hold captive their bay door. This may require some clever masking and a little care during handling, but it shouldn't hold you back too much, as the hinge-points are relatively robust. The two halves are joined together, the prominent intake on the top of the nacelle is made up from two parts, then is added to the nacelle front which is in turn glued to the rest of the nacelle, with the completed assemblies attached to the wings from the underside, as yet without their engine cowlings or props. The engines are added later in the build, and the Twin Wasps are depicted in their entirety with both banks of pistons, push-rods, ancillaries and reduction housing at the front, plus the collector ring and exhausts at the rear, the latter made up from eight parts each. So that they are fitted correctly and mesh properly with the nacelles, they are attached using a jig that is discarded later, so remember not to glue it in! Again the engines are identical and interchangeable with each other, and they fit to the nacelles with a teardrop-shaped tab, after which the new engine cowling is slotted over them. The cooling flaps are last to be added in four sets around the rear of the cowling. The top of the fuselage is still open at this point with both the front and rear canopies going on. A hole needs to be drilled in the front canopy and ICM give detailed dimensions for where this is. Each of the three tyres are made from two halves with separate hubs applied from either side, then hung on their respective legs, which have retraction jacks and scissor links added along the way, these are new wheels for the B-26K. The main airframe is now essentially complete save for a host of antennae and the new props. Next up all of the pylons are made up and added from the new sprue. Weapons ICM previously released this set as a stand alone boxing. It arrives on 4 sprues, it gives the modeller the following stores, 2 x LAU-10A Pods of 5" Rockets. 2 x LAU-69 Pods of 2.75" Rockets. 2 x LAU-68 Pods of 2.75" Rockets. 2 x BLU-23 500LB Fire bombs. (Can be made with or without the fins) 2 x BLU-27 750LB Fire Bombs. (Can be made with or without the fins) 2 x Mk.77 750LB Incendiary Bombs. 2 x SUU-14 Dispensers. 2 x Mk.81 Snakeye Bombs. 2 x MK.81 Low Drag Bombs. 2 x Mk.82 Snakeye Bombs. 2 x Mk.82 Low Drag Bombs. All of the above bombs can be fitted with Fuse extenders) In addition there are 2 MERs all with Sway braces. There are also what look to be 12 Flares to load on the MERs. All of the parts are well moulded and there are enough parts to give some additional detail to the weapons. An included decal sheet gives markings for the weapons. Markings In this boxing there are four options included on the decal sheet, all in SEA topside with back undersides (ICM have released their own Acrylic paint set for this aircraft). From the box you can build one of the following: 64-17651, 56th Special Operations Wing, 609th Special Operations Sqn Nakhon Phanom 1969, "Mighty Mouse" name and artwork. 64.17649, Davis-Monthan AFB, 1970 "Sweet Therese" name. 64-17645, 56th Special Operations Wing, 609th Special Operations Sqn Nakhon Phanom 1969 64-17679, 1st Special Operations Wing, USAF Late 1960s "Special Kay" name. This aircraft has been restored and is the only B-26K flying. The decals are printed anonymously, although they look like DecoGraph's output to my eye. They have good registration, colour density and sharpness. In reality these aircraft did not carry a large number of markings. Conclusion This model should make a fair few people happy, me included. Detail is excellent and made so much nicer by the matt surface, and there's a good interior included for what is bound to be a popular kit. Following on from other kits it was highly anticipated the Counter Invader would arrive and it has! Keep 'em coming ICM! Very Very highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  16. DB-26B/C With Q-2 Drones (48288) 1:48 ICM via Hannants The A-26 was built by Douglas back in WWII as their successor to the A-20 Havoc. Two types were designed, The C with a glass bomber nose and the B with a full metal nose filled with either 6 or 8 .50cal machine guns, which coupled with the three in each wing gave it quite a punch, deserving of the Strafer title. It also had a pair of turrets on the fuselage mid-upper and dorsal positions, which were both operated by a single gunner using a complex remote mechanism that flipped between the upper and lower turrets depending on where the gunner was looking through his binocular sights. This trained the guns accordingly and also calculated the correct offset for parallax and lead, but was very complex and caused some delays to it entering service, and even more issues with maintenance in the field. Then in 1948 it was re-designated as the B-26 by the US Air Force to confuse us, and later on back to the A-26 just to complete that process of confuion. It was developed a little after the Marauder and despite using the same engines it was designed totally separately from its tubular colleague. It was initially less than popular in the Pacific theatre where its poor cockpit visibility due to the canopy and engine position rendered it unloved by the first users. It was more popular in the European theatre and was accepted as replacement for the Havoc fairly quickly. After the war it served in Korea, early Vietnam engagements and other conflicts, ending its days in US service with the Air National Guard in the early 70s. In the mid 1950s some Aircraft were converted to the Drone carrier role with the DB prefix to launch Ryan Firebee drones in support of combat training. The Kit This is a brand new tooling from ICM, initially released as the Solid nosed aircraft, this is now the glass nosed aircraft with the inclusion of new parts for that nose (though all the parts for the solid nose are still in the box) This boxing also includes underwing underwing drones the Q-2A and Q-2C drones which have been released separately by ICM. It arrives in the familiar top opening box with a captive inner lid on the lower tray, and inside are nine sprues in grey styrene, two in clear, a decal sheet and the instruction booklet. A quick look over the sprues reveals that panel lines are very crisp, narrow and restrained, the surface is matt and very neat-looking, with plenty of engraved and raised details on the parts, plus subtly indented flying surfaces mimicking their fabric covering. You might also notice that there are parts for an open or closed canopy, the open one having the flat top surface, while the closed canopy has the slightly blown roof that was used after 1944 to improve visibility. Construction begins with the cockpit, creating the pilot's seat, instrument panel (with instrument decals) with built-in door to the nose, centre console with throttle quadrant before adding those and the single control column to the floor. The aft compartment is built up around the front wing spar with a set of radio gear hanging from a pair of risers, then a pair of bombs on their racks, the reason for which will become clear in a moment. The port fuselage half is detailed with some side console and panel parts and then has the bomb racks, nose gear bay sides, forward spar with radio gear, rear spar in the centre of the bomb bay, sloped aft bulkhead and another frame behind that, followed by the cockpit floor, so you'll have to do some detail painting as you go. After this the starboard fuselage side is prepped, and here's where a little cautionary note about sink-marks on the exterior of my sample needs making. The right side of the cockpit and bomb bay with its detailed ribbing has caused the shallowest of sink-marks on the exterior, which would be best dealt with using a little filler before you get busy building. You could have dismissed it as oil-canning of the skin if it were consistent and on both sides, but as it isn't you'll need to decide whether you're going to fix it. Happily the majority of it is in areas that are open enough to allow easy sanding back of filler, so it shouldn't slow you down very much. With that and a quantity of detail painting you can then slide the starboard fuselage over the two spars. The instructions then have you building up the tail feathers, with the elevators having separate single-part flying surfaces, plus a two piece rudder to attach to the moulded-in tail fin. If you are using the glass-nose, it's a modular part that in real-world situations could be swapped for the gun-nose in a short time. This is built up and added on as a complete unit along with its glazing. The wings are next, and the lower parts have a smattering of flashed-over holes ready to drill out for bombs, gun-pods or drop tanks, plus three cartridge ejection chutes to be cut out for the wing mounted .50cals. The faces of the in-line radiator baths are added to the lower wings and then it's already time to bring the halves together. You'll notice that there are fairings and a hump in the upper wing where the engine nacelles will be, and these are separate assemblies to be built up later. First, the separate two-section flaps (oddly with no deployed option), and the ailerons are prepared and added to the trailing edge of the wings, the latter being of one piece each and slotting into wing via two tabs. The tip lights and underwing landing lights are added from clear parts, and a small insert is glued into the wing that includes three more barrel stubs each and will again need drilling out. At this stage the instructions have you sliding the wings onto the spars and gluing them in place. Whether you'd rather wait until you've added the engine nacelles though is entirely up to you though. Holes will need to be drilled as indicated in the bottom wing section to accept the drone pylons. There are of course two engine nacelles and these build up pretty much identically apart from their outer skins, which are handed to fit their respective fairings as you'd expect. They are split vertically, and each half has internal structure moulded-in, with bulkheads added fore and aft of the gear bays, coupled with bay lip inserts that bulk out the edges and also hold captive their bay door. This may require some clever masking and a little care during handling, but it shouldn't hold you back too much, as the hinge-points are relatively robust. The two halves are joined together, the prominent intake on the top of the nacelle is made up from two parts, then is added to the nacelle front which is in turn glued to the rest of the nacelle, with the completed assemblies attached to the wings from the underside, as yet without their engine cowlings or props. If making the clear nose version then ICM recommend adding 100g of weight into the front of each nacelle. The engines are added later in the build, and the Twin Wasps are depicted in their entirety with both banks of pistons, push-rods, ancillaries and reduction housing at the front, plus the collector ring and exhausts at the rear, the latter made up from eight parts each. So that they are fitted correctly and mesh properly with the nacelles, they are attached using a jig that is discarded later, so remember not to glue it in! Again the engines are identical and interchangeable with each other, and they fit to the nacelles with a teardrop-shaped tab, after which the engine cowling is slotted over them. The cooling flaps are last to be added in four sets around the rear of the cowling. The top of the fuselage is still open at this point, as it has an insert where the top turret was. Flipping the model over there is the same for where the lower turret would be. Another clear light is added to the very rear of the fuselage, and attention turns to the landing gear, which is of the tricycle variety as became the fashion in late war. Each of the three tyres are made from two halves with separate hubs applied from either side, then hung on their respective legs, which have retraction jacks and scissor links added along the way. The main airframe is ostensibly complete save for some antennae and the props, and if you've been sparing with the glue when assembling the engines, the latter should still spin once complete. Its then on to the drones. Rather than include the instructions from the drones ICM have put these into the main instructions. The down side for this is the fact that no individual paining instructions are included you have to rely on the small drones attached to the aircraft in the main decal instructions. Q-2A People think drones are a new thing for the military but in reality they are not. The Firebee was developed by Ryan for the new USAF in 1948 as a jet powered gunnery target with the first flight being in 1951. The USAF Designation was Q-2A, and when the US Navy bought them they designated them KDA-1. The original Firebees were air launched from a modified A-26, or ground launched using a RATO system. The system was later used by the US Army as well. Q-2Bs were fitted with a modified engine for higher altitudes. They were developed over time with the KDA-4 being the main USN version, however differences were mainly internal. The Royal Canadian Air Force purchased 30 KDA-4s which were launched from an Avro Lancaster Mk.10DC. This kit is a brand new tool from ICM, The kit arrives on one sprue for the Drone. The model will be just over 100mm long when built. Here unlike the original boxing there is no ground trailer in the box so these will just be for hanging from a kit as the pylons are on the sprue. Construction is fairly basic and starts with the full length intake/exhaust for the engine. The rear engine part is installed inside the tube and it can then go together. At the front a forward baffle/bulkhead goes in and then the nose bullet goes in front of that. This can then be installed in the main body and it can be closed up. The left and right main wings are two parts upper & lower, these have a V tab on them for where they join inside the main body. The tail planes are single piece. Tip tanks go on the end of each main wing, with arrow shaped end caps on the tail planes. A faring goes on the top of the drone. Q-2C In the late 1950s the USAF Awarded Ryan a contract for a new second generation Firebee this would become the BQM-34A or Q-2C. This was a bigger airframe with longer wings. One of the main recongition features was the fact the original nose intake was replaced by a chin intake for the new Continental J69-T-29A turbojet. As well as the USAF and USN the US Army had a ground launched (With Rocket assist) designated the MQM-34D, this version having a longer wing than the USAF & USSN ones. The main launch aircraft for these new drones was the DC-130. While initial production ended in 1982 the production line was re-opened in 1989 to produce more targets. These BQM-34S featured improved avionics and a new J85-GE-100 engine. This kit is a brand new tool from ICM, following on from their original kit. The kit arrives on one sprue for each Drone (shown once). The model will be just over 145mm long when built. Construction is fairly basic and starts with the full length intake/exhaust for the engine. The engine is installed inside the main body and it can be closed up, a triangular inert goes in the top. The left and right main wings are single parts, these have tabs on them for where they join inside the main body to lock together. The tail planes are also single part with tabs again to lock in place. single piece. End plates are added to the tail planes and the rudder goes on the top. Markings In this boxing there are two options included on the decal sheet, two in bare metal, the other in black. From the box you can build one of the following: Drone Controller DB-26C 44-35666, Holloman AFB, Late 1950s (Glass nose) Drone Controller DB-26B, 44-34652, Tyndall AFB, late 1950s (solid nose) The decals are printed anonymously, although they look like DecoGraph's output to my eye. They have good registration, colour density and sharpness, and include a number of stencils that are legible with the right eyeware. While drone markings are included on the main sheet, ICM have also included the sheets from the drone kits if you want something different. The modeller will have to source the instructions for these as they are not in this kit. Conclusion This model should make a fair few people happy. Detail is excellent and made so much nicer by the matt surface, and there's a fair proportion of the interior included for what is bound to be a popular kit. Following on from the drone kits it was highly anticipated the DB-26 would arrive and it has! Keep 'em coming ICM! Very highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  17. At the Moscow "Мир детства 2021" expo, ICM has announced a 1/32nd family of Yakovlev Yak-9 from 2022 Source: AlexGRD V.P.
  18. In 2019 ICM is to release a new tool family of A/-B-26B/C Invader kits: - ref. 48281 - Douglas B-26B-50 Invader, Korean War American Bomber - release expected in Q3 2019 Source: https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/ICM48281 - ref. 48282 - Douglas A-26B-15 Invader - release expected in Q4 2019 Source: https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/ICM48282 Dedicated decals by ICM: - ref. D48001 - Douglas A-26B/C Invader (WWII) - release expected in Q3 2019 Source: https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/ICMD48001 - ref. D48002 - Douglas B-26B/C Invader (Korean War) - release expected in Q4 2019 Source: https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/ICMD48002 V.P.
  19. Leyland Retriever General Service (35600) 1:35 ICM via Hannants The British Army remembered the usefulness of mechanising transport that it learned from WWI, so when war became likely, British companies such as Leyland were tasked with creating a modern truck chassis to be used in the forthcoming conflict. The Retriever was a six-wheeler chassis that could be outfitted with truck bodies, cranes, or even command wagon bodies such as that used by Monty during his campaigns in Europe and the Middle East, which now resides in the Imperial War Museum. It was a flexible type, and thanks to its 6-litre, 4-cylinder petrol engine outputting over 70hp, it could carry a healthy 3 tonne load almost 200 miles before refuelling. Around 6,500 were made in total before the end of WWII, and many were put to good use after their military service in civilian use. The Kit This is a reboxing of a brand-new tooling from ICM, and the second of a series of kits using the same chassis, which already includes the early General Service (GS) cargo body that we reviewed recently. This is the standard GS Cargo, and arrives in ICM’s usual top opening box with captive inner lid. Inside are an increased nine sprues in grey styrene, a small clear sprue, seven flexible plastic tyres, a postage-sized fret of Photo-Etch (PE) and a similarly small decal sheet that is found within the glossy instruction booklet with colour painting guide on the rear page. Detail is crisp, and slide-moulds have been used to add detail to the chassis rails, with the steering wheel having a delightfully crisp set of finger grips on the inside of its circumference. The majority of the box is the same as the early boxing, with just the two new sprues that we’ve marked accordingly. New Sprues Construction begins with the ladder chassis, adding cross-rails, front suspension and the mounting point for the powered double rear axle, after which the Leyland engine is made up from a substantial number of parts along with the four-speed (and reverse) transmission and ancillaries. With the block mounted between the chassis rails at the front, the exhaust downpipe and muffler are installed from below, with a scrap diagram showing the location of the downpipe once in place. The rear axles are mounted either end of a pair of large leaf-springs that pivot around the centre, and these are joined to the motor with drive-shafts as they are slotted into the springs from above, then a number of linkages are inserted in two stages to complete the bogie. The front wheels are free-wheeling, and have brake drums at either end of the steering rack, which is then joined to the underside of the front springs and again linked to the chassis and steering wheel by rods. The rear hubs have their brake drums added to the backs of them before they have their well-moulded tyres slipped over the rim, while the front wheels have a flat back that joins to the drums already on the axle. Finally, the spare is fitted onto a two-part hub and fixed to a bracket with a turnbuckle holding it in place, then it is further attached to a larger set of bracketry for stowing between the cab and load bed. The cab starts with the new firewall with window frame to which the instrument binnacle is added on the right (correct) side, then the floor halves are installed, with the driver’s controls attached to the right hand footwell. The delicately moulded steering wheel and column with brace are slid in through the small hole in the footwell, and the engine cover is constructed from a fixed central section and two L-shaped inspection panels that allow maintenance without removing the whole cab. What initially looks like a pair of stowage boxes at the rear of the cab are in fact the crew seats, which have short back “rests” on the rear bulkhead that is joined by a pair of short sidewalls. A pair of mudguards are attached underneath the floor, then the lower cab is glued to the chassis over the engine compartment, with the radiator assembled from styrene with a PE grille and a pair of PE name badges top and bottom. With the chassis flipped over, the outlet for the exhaust is slipped through a bracket and joined to the back of the muffler, then it’s time to make up the fuel tank, which has separate end caps, and twin mounting brackets that allow it to fit onto the space between the cab and load area alongside the spare wheel. This kit is the cargo version and has a flatbed built up with low sides, bench seats and loading gate at the rear. Underneath the bed are two longitudinal beams with cross-braces slotting into the engraved grooves along its length. To each outer side of the beams are stowage boxes and diagonal mudguards, after which the sub-assembly can be mated with the chassis, then a pair of running boards are attached on brackets between the front and rear wheels. The crew are protected by a canvas roof that has sides and back fitted before it is joined to the cab, leaving just the sides open to the atmosphere, an improvement from the early model, which had no windscreen at all. The front is fitted out with two headlamps with clear lenses, and an optional “shelf” on the left side of the radiator, then side-lights are installed outboard on stalks and a hand-crank is slotted into the front of the radiator at the bottom. The wagon has a canvas cover in real life, but in the model you get the option of leaving the frame as per the Early model, which consists of four lateral inverted U-shaped supports and seven longitudinal ribs that slot into the grooves moulded into the hoops, or adding a canvas tilt. The tilt is actually the simplest option, as it is made from three parts, top and two sides, with the frames moulded into the inside for added detail. Markings It’s a truck in the British Army, so it’s going to be green apart from the canvas tilt, which will be canvas coloured. They didn’t wear much in the way of additional decoration other than number plates and the occasional unit markings. From the box you can build one of the following: British Army, 1940s Lend/Lease Consignment, Winter 1942 Decals are by ICM’s usual printers, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion ICM have been filling a lot of gaps in the British WWII softskin range, and this will likely be very welcome, finding a place in a lot of stashes. Highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  20. WWII Red Army Rocket Artillery (DS3512) 1:35 ICM via Hannants During WWII, Ford UK built a great many vehicles for the British war effort, as well as some 34,000 Merlin engines for Spitfires, Lancasters and Hurricanes. Made by Ford UK under the Fordson brand, the WOT 8 was the last of a long line of vehicles using similar nomenclature in service of the British Army. Introduced in 1941 there were approximately 2,500 built, with a number of those sent to Russia as Lend/Lease vehicles, of which a number were converted to carry BM-13-16 Katyusha rockets on an angled rack that extended partially over the cab and is bolted firmly to the chassis. They carried 16 RS-132 rockets in an over-and-under configuration on each of the eight rails, which made an uncanny howling roar as they were unleashed from the rails. Its large fuel tank gave it a healthy range and a reasonable top speed thanks to the Ford V8 engine that put out 85hp, which wasn’t terrible for the day. The WOT.6 was a 4x4 light truck (3 ton capacity) with a short cab that housed a 3.6L V8 engine pumping out a fairly paltry 85hp that could get it to 75mph eventually. The engine's location under the cab gave the load bed plenty of space on the chassis rail, and also gave the truck a sit-up-and-beg look. The heat from the radiator had to be redirected by a fairing to prevent it being ingested by open windows, thereby cooking and possibly even poisoning the crew if it wasn't in the best of health. Over 30,000 were built in a number of configurations, and they were in service from 1942 to the end of the war, with those in good enough shape carrying on into the early 60s. A great many WOT.6 and WOT.8 wagons were sent to the Soviet Union under the Lend/Lease programme during WWII, and were used in all manner of operations from simple transports to the WOT.8 carrying a Katyusha rocket launcher that was loaded with up to 16 RS-132 rockets. The rockets accelerated off their rails up to almost 800mph and had a flight radius of under 5 miles with a lack of precision that ensured that although you knew something was going to be blown up in a given area, it was anyone’s guess who or what would fall victim to its detonation. They were however incredibly useful for terrifying the enemy, gaining the nickname Stalin’s Organ (no sniggering at the back!) due to the haunting screech as the rockets left their rails. The Kit This is a multi-kit reboxing of existing kits, most of which we’ve seen already, so rather than send you off on a link-following rampage, we’ll gather them all together in the one place, and add in reviews of few parts we’ve not done before. Inside the box are the following kits: 35591 BM-13-16 Katyusha on WOT.8 Chassis 35507 WOT.6 WWII British Truck 35795 RS-132 Ammunition Boxes (reduced sprue-count) 35648 Soviet BM-13-16 Crew (1943-5) 35643 RKKA Drivers (1943-5) There are no decals included in the kits due to Soviet vehicles seldom having much in the way of markings, and their instruction booklets have been gathered in a card folder to keep them together. Let’s crack on. BM-13-16 on WOT 8 Chassis (35591) This is a recent tooling from ICM as part of their expanding WOT line. Inside the bag are eight sprues in grey styrene, five black wheels in flexible plastic, a clear sprue, and a small fret of Photo Etch (PE) brass. I don’t know about you, but I’m an admirer of rocket launchers and such like. Construction begins with the chassis ladder and the front sub-frame with cross-members and leaf spring suspension, plus a full V8 block made up from a good number of parts. The exhaust has a silencer near the rear and exits the underside at the rear of the aft suspension springs to which the rear axle and differential are fitted, then joined to the central transfer box by a driveshaft with the front axle having a similar reversed layout plus steering box. The drum brakes are hidden behind the wheels, which are made up from the flexible “rubber” part that is sandwiched between the inner and outer hub, plus extra detail parts on both sides, eventually slotting onto a long axle front and rear. The underside is mostly complete, and attention turns to the body beginning with the engine compartment between the two curved front wings. Radiator, air filter and fan are added along with a hand-crank for manual starting, then the radiator hosing is installed so that the side plates that isolate the power plant from the crew cab interior can be added. In the right foot well the driver’s controls are added, with a handbrake further to the rear, and a central instrument panel sits almost on top of the engine. The crew seats sit atop boxes and have separate cushions for back and base, after which the cab can be boxed in, adding detail parts and glazing panels as you go. The sloping cab is trimmed with a dash panel and steering wheel, then separate doors with handles and more glazing are put in place either open, closed or anywhere in between at your whim, then closed in with the rear cab and finally the curved-sided roof. The PE radiator grilles have to be bent to match the contours of the sloped front, and these are later joined by a rain “porch” that prevents ingress of water in the winter, and probably helps divert engine heat from the open cab windows in the summer. The spare wheel and the substantial fuel tank are built next, and positioned behind the cab. This is made from a large floor, detailed sides, front and tailgate, with stowage boxes between the front and rear angled mudguards, which have braces holding them at the correct angle to the floor. On the original kit the truck bed would now be made up (and the parts for it are still in this boxing), for this boxing though the rocket launching rails and their elevating apparatus are constructed. The eight rails are built up from three parts each and are then threaded together on three cross members. The modeller will need to line up the spacing of these and luckily ICM provide a jig for this. After the rails are sorted then the fairly complex raising gear is put together, this can be in either the raised or lowered position. 16 rockets can then be added to the rails (8 on the upper side, and 8 on the lower). The base for the launching system is then built up and attached to the back of the truck before the launch rails can then be added on. Two rear ground stabilisers are then added to the chassis. To finish off the vehicle lights are added and on the cab there are shutters to protect the cab when the rockets were being fired. Model WOT.6 WWII British Truck (35507) Inside the outer clear foil bag are seven sprues in medium grey styrene, a clear sprue in its own bag, four flexible black plastic tyres and a sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) parts, each in their own bags. The instruction booklet completes the package, and is printed on glossy white paper in colour, with black and red used for the diagrams throughout, and the unused decal options printed in colour at the rear. The construction phase begins with the chassis, which is made up from two main rails, with sub-rails and spacers holding things together, and front suspension moulded into the outer rails. With the chassis completed by adding the rear end, attention turns to the engine, which is a complete rendering, and made up from a good number of parts for detail, including the block, pulleys, transmission and a short drive-shaft that threads through the holes in the cross-members. The two long exhaust pipes with mufflers go under the chassis on each side, and the rear suspension is fitted, which is a substantial set of leaf-springs, then the axles and drive shafts are attached to the suspension and transfer box. Brake drums, fuel tanks, steering arms and struts are all installed before the wheels are built-up around the rubbery black tyres, which have tread details moulded-in, and are finished off by the addition of the hubs, which attach from both sides, and are then detailed with additional parts before they are slotted onto the axles. The undercarriage is almost done, and it's time for the upper surfaces, beginning with the engine bay, which has the front wheel-arches moulded in, and is then detailed with lights, front rail, radiator and some additional ancillaries to keep the engine running. You even get a pair of lower hoses for the radiator to mate it to the engine, and two more longer ones diving diagonally down into the topside of the engine from the top of the rad. There's going to be a bit of painting needed, as the engine can be seen from the underside, even though access is limited. The bay sides are planted, and are joined by internal covers and instrumentation on top, which have a few decals to detail them up. Some of the driver's controls are added on the right side (the correct side) of the engine, and a pair of seats are built up and added to the square bases installed earlier, then the front of the cab is detailed with clear parts and window actuators, before the sides are attached to the edges and lowered onto the chassis, then joined by the simple dash board and steering wheel on its spindly column. The doors are separate parts and have clear windows, handles and window winders added, then joined to the sides in either the open or closed position or any variation of the two. The cab is a bit draughty at the moment, until the rear panel and the roof are added, the latter having a pop-up cover on the co-driver's side, with a couple of PE grilles then added to the front radiator frames after being bent to shape. Now for the truck bed, beginning with the sides, which have two stiffeners added, then are covered with bumpers along the top and bottom edge of the outside face. The bed floor fits into a groove into the bottom, and is kept square by the addition of the front and rear sides. Under the bed are a number of stowage boxes and racks for additional fuel or water cans, which are happily also included, then they are joined by the two parts per wheel that form the wheel arch that are braced on the outside with two small struts. Then it's the fun part! Adding the bed to the chassis, which is kept in the correct place by two ridges under the bed that mate with grooves in the chassis rail. At the front, two light-hoods are fitted above the lights, and the prominent pedestrian unfriendly hood that deflects the rain and hopefully redirects the engine heat from being sucked back into the open front windows on a hot day. The cab is detailed with additional lights, horn, wing mirrors, grab-handles and even some pioneer tools, then the windscreen wipers. Moving backwards, the four c-shaped hoops that support the canvas tilt are applied to the outside of the bed sides, reaching roughly half-way down the sides to obtain a strong join in both 1:1 and 1:35. The final act is to add seven rods along the length of the roof section of the tilt frame, which will need some careful alignment to ensure all the hoops are vertical and correctly spaced. Now you can paint it, but you've probably got a lot of that done already in truth. RS-132 Rockets This half-set is a recent tool that is made to stack in the back of a resupply wagon like the WOT.6 above, or spread liberally around the scene. Inside the re-sealable clear bag are two sprues of grey styrene. Both sprues are identical, and from the box you can build two additional ammo crates, each holding four rockets apiece. Ignore the x4 in the middle of the photo above and imagine a nice white x2 instead The Crew Figures (35648) All four figures within the bag are on one sprue with a separate instruction booklet and product code. They are moulded in ICM’s by now familiar lifelike style, with lots of detail, realistic poses, sculpting, and including a number of weapons to sling over their shoulders. Three of the figures are shown loading rockets onto the back of the rails, while the fourth can either be their commander watching over the process, or with the tweak of his arm, he can be propping up the next rocket for loading with one of his hands, as can be seen in the picture below. RKKA Drivers (35643) This small bag contains two sprues in grey with a set of figure parts on each one. They are different in pose as well as head-coverings, but both are in the seated position with their arms outstretched to hold the steering wheel. Honk! Honk! One figure is wearing standard WWII era uniform with a parade cap at an angle on his head, while the other is wearing a winter-weather insulated smock with medal and a traditional Soviet-style fur cap with fold-down ear flaps tied over the top. Both wear calf-length “Cossack” boots. Conclusion All of the kits in this set are excellent modern toolings in their own right, and how they’ve fitted them all into one reasonably small box is quite surprising. The price is also very attractive, and if you can see yourself using all the models in the set, they’re a bargain even at list price. They should rocket off the shelves Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  21. AH-1G Cobra (Late Production) US Attack Helicopter ICM 1:32 (32061) Most modellers will instantly recognise the Bell AH-1 Cobra Attack Helicopter. The AH-1 was the first production Gunship or Attack Helicopter to see service. During the Vietnam war the US Army began to see the need for armed helicopter to escort its unarmed UH-1 Hueys into combat. In parallel to this Bell Helicopters had been investigating helicopter gunships as early as the late 1950s. In 1962 Bell displayed a mock up concept to the US Army. This Helicopter featured a 20mm gun pod, and a ball turret mounted grenade launcher. It was felt by the Army to be lightweight, under powered and not suitable. Following this the US Army launched and Advanced Aerial Fire Support System (AAFSS) competition. This competition gave rise to the Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne heavy attack helicopter. However this proved to be to advanced for its time and was eventually cancelled in 1972 after 10 years of development (some things don't change!). Despite the AAFSS programme Bell stuck with its idea of a smaller, lighter gunship and invested its own money developing the AH-1. They used all of the proven components they could from the UH-1 platform, adding these to a newly designed fuselage. When The US Army therefore asked for pans for an interim gunship for Vietnam Bell was in a fortunate position to be able to offer the AH-1, or the Bell 209 as it was then called. Given the work Bell had already done the programme was completed in a relatively speed eight months and won the evaluation against the competition. In 1966 the US Army signed an initial contract for 110 aircraft. Some slight modifications were made to the production airframes. The heavy armoured glass canopy was replaced by Plexiglas with an improvement in performance. Wider rotor blades were fitted and the original retracting skids were replaced by simple fixed units. The G model was the initial 1966 production model gunship for the US Army, with one 1,400shp (1,000 kW) Avco Lycoming T53-13 turboshaft. Bell built over 1100 AH-1Gs between 1967 and 1973, and the Cobras would go on to fly over a million operational hours in Vietnam, approximately 300 were lost to combat and accidents during the war. The U.S. Marine Corps would use AH-1G Cobra in Vietnam for a short period before acquiring twin-engined AH-1J Cobras. The AH-1 went on to serve the US Army until it was replaced by the AH-64 Apache. The last one leaving active service in 1999. The AH-1G could be fitted with the The M-35 Gun System, this was a single M195 20mm cannon (a short-barrelled version of the six-barrel M61A1 Vulcan) on the port inboard pylon of the AH-1G. 950 rounds of ammunition were stored in boxes faired to the side of the aircraft. The system was primarily pilot controlled, but featured dual controls to be either pilot or gunner controlled. For this purpose the pilot was provided with a M73 sight. The Kit This is a brand new kit from ICM, and their first helicopter kit. The quality of the moulding is first rate from ICM with fine engraved panel lines and nice rivet detail on the tail boom and tail. While this boxing is the the early G you can see from the sprues that other versions will be along as there is the opposite handed tail, different landing skids, an upturned exhaust, different winglets and TOW missiles on the weapons sprures. The kit arrives on 5 main sprues of grey plastic and a clear sprue. As well as the main helicopter and armaments, the kit also comes with the ground handling attachments for the skids, something often missing from kits. While there is good detail on the kit and the option to open up the engine and gearbox area, this area is not massively detailed and will open itself up for the super detailer if they want. This boxing comes with an additional sprue for the M-35 Gun System. Work starts conventionally in the cockpit. The two five part armoured seats are built up and added into the main cockpit tub. Tail controls are added to the floor ,and for the pilots station a cyclic and collective columns go it. For the front seater the weapons control column is made up ad fitted in. Side controllers are also fitted for the gunner. Instrument panels and coamings go in for both stations with instruments being provided as decals. Now the cockpit is complete the visible parts of the engine/gear box and its compartment are built up. This is followed up by parts for the rotor controls. The tails are added onto the fuselage. Here there is quite a large part which overlaps to compete a good solid join. The tail rotor needs attaching to fuselage half before closing up if you want it to move. The engine / gear box parts are fitted into the right fuselage followed by the cockpit and cockpit rear bulkhead parts. The fuselage can now be closed up with additional cockpit armour panels being fitted at each side. At the rear of the engine housing the exhaust part goes in. At the front of the helo the nose goes on, being careful to choose the right parts for the decal option being modelled. The side applique armour panels can be fitted to the model if needed as these parts are marked as optional. Turning things over the large central fuselage insert goes on with additional parts at the nose. The chin turret is now fitted with either one or two miniguns depending on your decal option. A light goes behind the turret. The final exhaust ring goes on the back (if modelling option 3 then the anti IR upturned exhaust is fitted) and the tip of the tail is added. Next up we concentrate on the stub wings. The two wings are built up and the weapons pylons are fitted. These are fitted to the fuselage along with the rear stabilisers towards the tail. The landing skids can then be fitted. Next up the large clear canopy parts go on. A sight is fitted to the front of the central glazing section. The front and rear large side canopy parts are fitted, these can be open or closed as need by the modeller. The access panels can be fitted to each side of the open engine/gear box area; again these can be open or closed as required. We now move to the main rotor. Each of the two blades are split upper/lower, and they are joined together. The central rotor head is made from tow parts, these are upper and lower, these sandwich in the rotor blades. Once these are on the control arms to the swashplate are then added along with the central mounting shaft. The rotor this then mounted. To finish off armaments can be added to the pylons as needed. The kit provides Two M157 7 shot rocket pods, two M158 7 shot rocket pods, two M200 19 shot rocket pods; and two M18 minigun pods. If the modeller want to use them then two pairs of ground handling wheels can be made up and attached to the back of the skids, Towing bars then can be attached to the front of the skids. If fitting the M-35 Gun System then one of the pylons is left of the left stub wing as the gun fits directly to the inboard station here. The two large ammunition panniers fit to each side of the fuselage. A cross feed links the two sides at the front, and at the rear the feed to gun itself goes on. Decals The decal sheet is in house from ICM, the decals look thin, in register and have minimal carrier film. 3 Options are included; 68-17074 "The Gladiator", C Troop, 16th Cav, Can Tho, January 1972. 68-115031 "Pandora's Box", 238th AWC, Vietnam 1971. 68-15012" #1 Du Me Mi", F Troop, 4th Cav, Phu Bai, 1972. The first 2 carrying the M-35 Gun System. Now normally with ICM the decal and painting guides are quite clear, for some reason they are not for this kits, they are very dark and indistinct, a little bit of a let down. Conclusion This is another great looking kit from ICM which great tooling and possibilities for future variants on the sprues. Very Highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  22. US Helicopter Pilots (Vietnam War) (32114) 1:32 ICM The Kit This is a new set from ICM no doubt to fit in with their new line of kits. There are two standing pilots and one sitting, though this third figure could also be a crew man. As well as the sprue for the figures there are two smaller sprues with flight helmets. As with all ICM figure sets the sculpting looks Conclusion This is a good looking set which will provide the modeller with some crew for their new helos. Highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  23. US Aviation Armaments (48406) 1:48 ICM The Kit This is a new set from ICM which arrives on 4 sprues, it gives the modeller the following stores, 2 x LAU-10A Pods of 5" Rockets. 2 x LAU-69 Pods of 2.75" Rockets. 2 x LAU-68 Pods of 2.75" Rockets. 2 x BLU-23 500LB Fire bombs. (Can be made with or without the fins) 2 x BLU-27 750LB Fire Bombs. (Can be made with or without the fins) 2 x Mk.77 750LB Incendiary Bombs. 2 x SUU-14 Dispensers. 2 x Mk.81 Snakeye Bombs. 2 x MK.81 Low Drag Bombs. 2 x Mk.82 Snakeye Bombs. 2 x Mk.82 Low Drag Bombs. All of the above bombs can be fitted with Fuse extenders) In addition there are 2 MERs all with Sway braces. There are also what look to be 12 Flares to load on the MERs. All of the parts are well moulded and there are enough parts to give some additional detail to the weapons. Decals A decal sheet provides markings for all the weapons. The decals look nicely printed, in register with no issues. Conclusion This is a good looking set which will provide the modeller with a fair few USAF weapons types to hang under their model. I would have like to see more bombs included in the set though. Overall recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  24. Hi All! My friend made a gift for me. Spitfire Mk. IX ICM 1/48 of the very first casts. But without decals I decided to create a soviet post-war Spitfire Native Russian decals nearby United Kingdom delivered to the USSR in 1944-45 about 1300 Spitfires- 9 (and 16) These aircraft were highly rated by the Russians, but were used minimally during the war These aircraft were apparently kept in case of a new war, at least until the Korean War and the MiG-15. I think so I chose a typical post-war Ла-11 and Як-9 paint job, completely gray I have no confirmation of such coloring. This is my guess. I think this is quite probable. In 1948-1950 We have little information about the post-war slave in the USSR of captured and Lend-Lease aircraft. Usually information is limited to individual photos I only added bumps from the wheels on the top of the wing Paint GUNZE Enjoy watching!
  25. BQM-34A (Q-2C) Firebee with trailer (48401) 1:48 ICM People think drones are a new thing for the military but in reality they are not. The Firebee was developed by Ryan for the new USAF in 1948 as a jet powered gunnery target with the first flight being in 1951. The USAF Designation was Q-2A, and when the US Navy bought them they designated them KDA-1. The original Firebees were air launched from a modified A-26, or ground launched using a RATO system. The system was later used by the US Army as well. Q-2Bs were fitted with a modified engine for higher altitudes. They were developed over time with the KDA-4 being the main USN version, however differences were mainly internal. The Royal Canadian Air Force purchased 30 KDA-4s which were launched from an Avro Lancaster Mk.10DC. In the late 1950s the USAF Awarded Ryan a contract for a new second generation Firebee this would become the BQM-34A or Q-2C. This was a bigger airframe with longer wings. One of the main recongition features was the fact the original nose intake was replaced by a chin intake for the new Continental J69-T-29A turbojet. As well as the USAF and USN the US Army had a ground launched (With Rocket assist) designated the MQM-34D, this version having a longer wing than the USAF & USSN ones. The main launch aircraft for these new drones was the DC-130. While initial production ended in 1982 the production line was re-opened in 1989 to produce more targets. These BQM-34S featured improved avionics and a new J85-GE-100 engine. The Kit This kit is a brand new tool from ICM, following on from their original kit. Like that a trailer is also supplied. These will also no doubt be a nice addition to one of their Invader kits at some point The kit arrives on one sprue for the Drone, and a second for the trailer. The model will be just over 145mm long when built. Construction is fairly basic and starts with the full length intake/exhaust for the engine. The engine is installed inside the main body and it can be closed up, a triangular inert goes in the top. The left and right main wings are single parts, these have tabs on them for where they join inside the main body to lock together. The tail planes are also single part with tabs again to lock in place. single piece. End plates are added to the tail planes and the rudder goes on the top. The ground handling trolley is more complicated than the original. the main U support frame is built up then this adds to the side rails with a rear cross member for strength. Two axle supports go on, and then the wheels fit to these. A tow bar adds to the front. Decals Four options are provided for on the decal sheet: USN BMQ-34, Naval Base Ventura County (overall red as the box art) USN BMQ-34, 36 Mission markings. (Red with Yellow wingtips and a checker board tail) USAF BQM-34, Wallace Air Station. (Red with Yellow wingtips) USN BQM-34, circa 2000s in overall white. The decals look nicely printed, in register with no issues. Conclusion This is a good looking kit which will look good hanging under a model, or built as a standalone model. Highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
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