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  1. I built these for an RAF 100 Group Build on the KG144 forum. There's a full WIP there which I'll spare you. I'm fascinated by the bush wars of the twilight years of the British Empire, of which the Radfan war of the early 1960s was a pretty nasty, brutish example. I built one FGA.9 (using the Xtradecal decals), one T.7 and one FR.10, all using the newly-released Mark1 kits which are fantastic. I added a few scratch built details around the engine intakes and the ejector seat. I used the Master Hunter pitots (incredibly fine things). The 100gal small tanks are available from Whirlybird Kits (four in a packet and very reasonably priced) and the rockets on the FGA.9 were designed by immensely talented Decapod and are available from Shapeways. You can also see the different nose shapes between the FR.10 and FGA.9 quite nicely. And finally, all together. If you haven't had a crack at a 144 Hunter, I can't recommend the experience more highly. Plenty more aftermarket options that I didn't use if you're into that. Check out Brengun's etch sets and Retrokit's early Hunter conversions for starters... I'm very happy with the three of them. Thanks very much for looking! Angus
  2. Whilst searching for a quick and easy build as a second choice for the group build, I came across this kit in the stash. One thing that led to me choosing this was that option B was for a camouflaged Vampire based at Ringway in the '50's. In my younger days, I spent many a Saturday/Sunday on the spectator terraces at Ringway collecting registrations and then, when I got home, painstakingly underlining the days spots in a copy of Civil Aircraft Markings - yes, I was anorak boy. This, along with the fact that the Vampire seemed to be missing from the list, was enough for me to make it my second kit choice. by John L, on Flickr by John L, on Flickr by John L, on Flickr
  3. HAWKER HUNTER T Mk.8B XF991/LM, Black 688, No 764 NAS RNAS Lossiemouth (HMS Fulmar) July 1969 - July 1972 1/144 Mark1 MODELS I have just completed this little Mark1 Models Hunter T.8 for the Hawker (Siddeley) GB. It is a nice kit that uses the Revell 1/144 kit parts as a base with replacement T.8 parts provided on a separate sprue. I modified the Revell tanks to make a pair of the smaller 100 gallon underwing tanks, and the seats had wire grab handles added. I also scratched a replacement tail-hook from brass tube and scraps of plastic, the pitot tube is a Master after market item. by John L, on Flickr by John L, on Flickr by John L, on Flickr by John L, on Flickr by John L, on Flickr by John L, on Flickr by John L, on Flickr Here I have included a shot of the underside, taken yesterday, before I added the last few details this morning. by John L, on Flickr
  4. Dornier Do 17Z-2/3 Mark1 Models - 1:144 Scale The Dornier Do 17 was a twinned-engined light bomber which had a long narrow fuselage, giving it an outline that was often referred to as the "flying pencil". The initial requirement of this design was for a cargo or mail plane for Deutsche Luft Hansa [DLH] (no connection or legal association with the modern day Lufthansa) with the intent of expanding their airmail delivery service; there was also speculation that it could be utilised as a passenger plane with seating for four to six passengers; however, due to the long and narrow shape of the fuselage, it is highly improbable that this could ever have become a passenger aircraft for the airline. The initial prototype made its maiden flight on November 23rd 1934; however, Deutsche Luft Hansa rejected the design and it, with the other prototype Do 17's, was abandoned and stored in Dornier’s hangar. Few years later, a liaison officer from the German Air Ministry, who was a former test pilot with DLH , discovered that the prototypes still existed and, after test flying the aircraft, recommended that they should be purchased and modified to bomber standards for the military. One major modification was to replace the standard tail fin arrangement with double tail fins and rudders which, along with uprated engines, provided a top speed of 245 mph and matched any fighter speed at that time. Production of the Do.17 aircraft commenced in 1936, in time to be in service against Rupublican fighter aircraft during the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939. German Luftwaffe units formally took operational service of the Do.17 from 1937 onwards and became heavily utilised in the Battle of Britain and early years of World War Two. By then, the aircraft was deemed vastly under powered when carrying a full payload, thus giving a very limited range, and was superceded by the more powerful Junkers Ju.88 and a higher spec. version which became the Dornier Do.217. The Kit: The kit comes in Mark1’s typical, and immediately recognisable, yellow box with end opening and a very nice box-art rendition of a Do.17Z 2/3 on the Eastern Front. The back of the box shows illustrations of four aircraft; two Do 17Z-2 and two Do 17z-3 versions in colour profile; any of which can be produced using the decals provided. Within the box are two see-through jiffy style zip-lock bags; the larger contains the kit sprues, instructions, decals and a smaller bag that contains the clear sprue. There are 67 components attached to the sprues; 11 are clear parts and 65 are grey pieces, although 2 of these are not required in this version. The grey sprues are of a fairly rigid plastic, not too soft but not brittle either, and should be easy to cut and glue the pieces together. Panel lines are engraved and distinct which should allow them to be visible under a coat of primer and top coats. Sprue A holds the main fuselage, lower main wings plus some of the engine and cowling parts. The definition of the panel lines are crisp as can be seen below: Sprue B has the remaining items, including the cockpit area, upper wing, tailplane and rudders, main and rear wheel assemblies and the twin-engine cowlings and propellers: The clear sprue has all the glazing elements; for the canopy and nose glazing, the bomb-aimers window and the underbelly gunners position. The nose glazing is a complex set of fittings and the designers at Mark1 appear to have made the assembly as simple as possible by providing it as three separate components to ease the fit. Having said that, I am not looking forward to masking up all those glass frames at this minute scale. An initial count shows up 55 individual glass panes, although there could be more! Decals: The decal sheet has been produced in-house by MKM Mark1 Models and, although the sheet measures only 10cm x 5.5cm, it is stuffed full of over 40 individual decals, including complete swastikas for the rudders. The registration and colour is good and each decal has minimal clear backing surrounding them. The whole package is completed with the inclusion of an eight-page set of instructions, colour markings and decal placement guides. The first page shows the components breakdown on each sprue and is followed by three pages of assembly instructions, which are in illustrative form only. Painting of parts before assembly or insertion into the fuselage etc., are described with RLM colours. The remaining four pages, which are printed on the other side of the same sheet, provide four full-colour plan and profile drawings; each depicting an aircraft that can be produced with the enclosed decals. Conclusion: This looks to be a nice little kit; the panel lines are nicely recessed and there all that glazing should allow for some additional detail to be added into the cockpit and bomb-aimers areas. Whether built out of the box or by adding extra detail, this lovely little kit should build up to a great model of the formidable 'Flying Pencil' of the Luftwaffe in WW2. Well done to Mark1 Models for producing a kit of this light bomber at 1:144 scale in plastic. Highly recommended. Mark1 Models can be purchased from mainstream model shops or on-line retailers. Review sample courtesy of:
  5. Hawker Hunter T.8B/T.8C Mark I Models 1:144 scale The Hawker Hunter must be classed as among the best looking jet aircraft ever produced. Its sleek lines and Avon powered engine meant that it could achieve almost supersonic speed, quite remarkable for an aircraft designed as far back as 1948. Although the Hunter was designed and produced from the outset as a military fighter aircraft, it was produced as a private venture by Hawker, mainly as there was little support from the Government at that time; who were more concerned with disarming after WW2 and the country was reduced to living under austere conditions. Following on from the highly successful single seater version, which had been deemed so popular within the UK and was also exported to over twenty countries, a twin-seat trainer version was produced. This design was titled 'Specification T.157D' which Hunter gave the designation as the Hawker P.1101; for a two-seat trainer aircraft with side-by-side instructor/trainee cockpit controls. These were again, mostly designed for the Royal Air Force; however, the Royal Navy also had operational single-seat Hunters by this time and so a navalised version was to be produced. Ten aircraft were initially diverted, from an original R.A.F. order of T.7 trainers, to the R.N. plus eighteen T.4's were converted to naval requirements and designated the Hunter T.8 Some of these conversions were were old single seat export versions that got returned to Hawker who then rebuilt them as the two-seat trainer version. The kit: The rear of the box shows markings for four Hunter T.8 two-seaters, two as trainers, one for the Fleet Requirements and Development Unit (FRADU), with the fourth being for RNAS Yeovilton's Admiral's Barge. Unlike previous productions from Mark1 Models, this kit contains only one model; although in respect it does contain two fuselages. One is for a single-seat Hunter FGA.9, with the other fuselage being the replacement body to make a Hunter T.8 The two sprues for the single seat Hunter was originally produce by Revell, as #04039 Hunter FGA.9; a kit which in itself has become quite a rare item to find. Mark1 Models has obtained these sprues as they contain virtually all the parts for the T.8 with the exception of the fuselage and two-seat canopy. Caveat: For those wishing to get this kit to make the original single-seat Hunter F.6A/FGA.9, please note that it does not contain the single seat canopy, only the two-seat canopy is supplied in the box. The third sprue in the kit is for the two-seat trainer version and contains the fuselage, new cockpit area with two ejection seats, plus the instrument panes etc. These would be a direct replacement for their single-seat versions. The instrument panel facia has been moulded smooth, the detail being provided on an enclosed decal. The clear sprue contains a single canopy for the two-seat trainer version. It is moulded in crisp, clear plastic and should show up much of the internal area of the cockpit quite nicely for those who wish to detail that area. The decal sheet contains roundels and squadron markings and motifs for all the aircraft depicted on the back of the kit box. The detail is clear and all the items appear to be in good register and the colours are vivid. Conclusion The use of a separate kit, with additional parts for the main model is quite good, not only must it have saved costs on design and production but it has the added benefit of leaving us with extras for the spares box. As mentioned earlier, do not expect to find a single-seat canopy to make an original kit, but all the rest is there. This is a particularly favourite aircraft for me, mainly as I used to work near to the FRADU (Airworks) aircraft at RNAS Yeovilton, and so I am very pleased that Mark1 has produced this. Mark1 Models has also produce a kit of the R.A.F. T.7 version, as #14481 Hawker Hunter T.7 These models can be purchased from many main line model and hobby shops or on-line. Review sample courtesy of:
  6. DH Vampire FB.5/FB.51/FB.52A/MK.6 - Mark1 Models 1:144 scale Mark I Models 1:144 scale Concept designs for the first Vampire was started as early as 1941 but these proposals were not accepted by the Air Ministry until 1942. Detailed designs were then undertaken for the aircraft which was now named the D.H. 100 Spider Crab and given an Air Ministry Specification E.6/41 for three prototypes. The first test flights were not undertaken until 1943 and a production order for 120 Vampire Mk.1 aircraft was issued in May of 1944. The first Mk.1’s entered operational service in the R.A.F. in 1946. The Vampire, in various versions proved to be a popular aircraft and saw service with many countries, including Canada, France, Italy, Norway, Switzerland and Sweden. The kit: There are two complete kits provided in the box, which has a box-art image of Vampire Mk.5 WA144 tigermouth of No.112 Squadron R.A.F. in Germany 1953. The reverse of the box has five profile full-colour views showing various versions of the Vampire with their markings. These views are supplemented in the instructions with colour plan views that show painting demarcations and decal placements etc. The kit itself consists of a single grey sprue, containing all the component parts for the aircraft body; plus a clear sprue which holds the single-piece canopy and two tiny pieces for the wing-tip navigation lights. There are two of these kits in the box. On closer viewing, it can be seen that the engraved panel lines are sharp and not too recessed; although these could soon get filled when the primer, paints and varnish have been applied. The fuselage body is really small (obviously for the scale) and I can envisage some problems in finding space for the recommended 5g of nose weight. Five of the component parts make up the cockpit console, consisting of the floor; backwall; seat; control column and instrument panel. There is even a decal sheet for this panel!Finer details include intake and exhaust blanks, wheels and struts for main and nose gear assemblies, plus a pair of external wing tanks. The clear sprue holds the single-piece canopy and two tiny pieces for the wing-tip navigation lights. The four pages of instructions are fairly basic but clearly laid out in picture format, and include colour details for painting. There are two pages depicting coloured 4-view plans of the various liveries that can be applied. Some unusually different liveries are shown here. The decal sheet has markings for Vampires of air forces of Britain, France, Italy and Switzerland. There are enough decals to make two of the four aircraft displayed on the box-art; plus there will invariably be some decals left over for the spares box. Conclusion These kits can be classed as short-run castings and, as such, don’t just throw themselves together; however, with a little application and patience I think they can become nice little treasures in any post-war aircraft collection. I personally like this kit and I am pleased that Mark1 Models has produced this jet in 1:144 scale and I shall be buying more of them. These models can be purchased from many main line model and hobby shops or on-line. Review sample courtesy of:
  7. Brewster F2A-1 & B-239 1:144 Mark1 Models MKM14444 The stubby Brewster F2A-1 Buffalo fighter, the operational version derived from the prototype XF2A-1, was designed and built in the late 1930s by the American Brewster Aeronautical Corporation. It was one of the first monoplane aircraft destined for carrier-borne operations with the United States Navy. This single-seat, all-metal mid-wing monoplane with flush rivetting, fabric-covered control surfaces and a retractable undercarriage was powered by a Wright R-1820-34 Cyclone radial engine. It was fitted with a Hamilton Standard propeller and its armament consisted of two machine guns in the nose and one in each wing. Deliveries of the 54 Brewster F2A-1 fighter, began in mid-1939; however, with hostilities starting in Europe, only eleven aircraft were delivered to the U.S. Navy, being allocated to VF-3 attached to USS Saratoga (these turned out to be the only F2A-1's that the navy received). The remainder of the order of F2A-1 versions were sent to Finland as the Model B-239. The difference being that these did not have the carrier-born facilities of the USN versions. The Buffalo saw gallant service with the Finnish Air Force in their fight against the Soviet Union and became popular among its pilots, earning a reputation as one of their most successful fighters. As a carrier-borne fighter for the U.S.N., the Buffalo soon became obsolescent and was replaced by the F4F Wildcat; whereas in Finland the last B-239s continued to fly until 1948. Brewster Buffalo Mk.1 & B-339D MKM14446 Following on from the success of the F2A-1, Brewster produced an uprated version with the designation F2A-2, for the U.S. Navy plus further orders were received from Belgium for 40 aircraft, and from Britain for 170 aircraft. These export variants were designated the B-339 and B-339E respectively. A further 72 aircraft were ordered by the Netherlands East Indies government which dignated B-339D's. By the time of the first export deliveries, to Belgium, Europe had virtually fallen and so these aircraft were diverted to Britain, allocated to the R.A.F. and re-designated the Brewster Buffalo Mk.1. The Kit(s) Two sets of kits have been received here at BMHQ, and these are kit numbers mkm14444 (Brewster F2A-1 and B-239 in US Navy and Finnish service) and mkm14446 (Brewster Buffalo Mk.1 and B-339 RAF, RAAF, RNEIAAF and IJAAF service). As these kits are virtually identical, the main differences are in the decals, it has been decided to incorporate both kits within this single review. Each box comes with two complete kits adn the first thing to note is that the sprues for both kits are the same, with the choice of alternate parts included for the different variants. Furthermore, the sprues for the subsequent sets in the range, i.e. mkm14445 and mkm14446 also use these same sprues; it is only the various decals that separate these models. I find this facility of great use, mainly as the modeller can build two of the same type or one of each type from the same box set. The first sprue contains the main fuselage components, instrument panel, engine facia and tailplanes; plus a choice of spinners and tailwheels. Some parts are not need for each kit and these are marked in the instruction sheets. Panel lines are recessed and finely engraved on the fuselage and tailfin. There are small enhancements within the cockpit area to define some of the internal framing, which is enough because there is very little room left by the time the seat pan and instrument panel have been added. The scale fuselage length is a mere 5cm and only 0.6cm is visible cockpit area (I think my paintbrush is wider than that). The second sprue holds the main wing assembly, including the fuselage floor, wheel struts and choice of propellers and tail pieces; dependent upon variant to be constructed. As with the first sprue, the choice of variant to build will leave some pieces for the spares box. The wing assembly's panel lines engraved with what should be enough depth to take primer and top coat, plus washes without losing their definition. Clear parts A single piece canopy component is included along with the underbelly glazing piece. The framing on the canopy, although miniscule to say the least, is proud enough to allow for masking with modelling tape cut to size. Decals The decals are the elements in which all the variants are identified; as already mentioned the sprues are common across all kits. In the case of this kit, of the Brewster F2A-1 & B-239 variants, decals are provided for four separate aircraft, namely: Brewster F2A-1 - 3-F-17 of VF-3, U.S. Navy, USS Saratoga in the winter of 1939. Brewster F2A-1 - 3-F-13 of VF-3, U.S. Navy, USS Saratoga in the winter of 1939. Brewster B-239 - BW-354 of 2/LeLv 24, Finnish Air Force, Tiiksjarvi airfield in the summer of 1942. Brewster B-239 - BW-370 of 4/LeLv 24, Finnish Air Force, Rompotti airfield in the summer of 1942. Decals for the second kit, mkm14446 Brewster Buffalo Mk.1 and B-339D, also provide decals for four separate aircraft; these are: Brewster Buffalo Mk.1 - W8189 (Q-WP) of No.243 Sq., RAF, Kallang airfield, Singapore in the summer of 1941. Brewster Buffalo Mk.1 - AN185 (V-TD) of No.453 Sq., RAAF, Sembawang airfiled, Singapore in December 1941. Brewster Buffalo Mk.1 - W8163 (P-GA) of the RNEIAAF, Andir airfield, Java, Netherlands East Indies in March 1942. captured Brewster B-39D - Japanese Air Technical Research Laboratory, IJAAF, Tachikawa airbase, Japan in 1942. Conclusion The Brewster F2A-1 Buffalo is a tiny little model in this scale; however, it should look every bit the part when completed and painted up correctly and appear quite impressive on any display or diorama setting. Care needs to be taken on which variant, components and markings to be used but these are detailed quite well in the illustrated instruction sheet. Another good choice of aircraft model from Mark1 Models Review sample courtesy of
  8. Bristol Beaufighter Mk.1F MarkI. Models 1:144 The Bristol Beaufighter owes much of the design to its predecessor, the Bristol Beaufort with enhancements for fixed cannon arrangements. This upgraded designed, originating in 1939, was initially referred to as the "Beaufort-Fighter". An unusual concept of the design was in the installation of wing-mounted machine-guns, in that the allocation was four guns were fitted in the starboard wing but only two in the port wing. This offset was due mainly to the impedence of the landing light position in the port wing. The first operational aircraft were not deployed until mid-1940 and were allocated to No.25 Squadron based at Martlesham. The Beaufighter could undertake many roles, with the fighter-role being primary; however, this heavy armed, twin-engined fighter would make a good night fighter as it had room for a radar fit and additional radar operator additional to the existing crew. The night-fighter version was to prove its worth in November 1940 when a Beaufighter of No.219 Squadron used a radar intercept to shoot down a Junkers Ju.88 during a night sortie. The Kit Mark1 Models has actually produced three Beaufighter kits: The Mk.1F which can be completed as the nightfighter, as in the image above; plus a Mk.1C and a Mk.VI as in the images below. The kit comes in a small card box, with end opening flaps, and has a colour painted image of a Beaufighter Night Fighter as the box-art. On the rear of the box are four side profiles of different Beaufighter Mk.1F aircraft, any one of which can be built and finished using the enclosed decal sheet. Although the title of this kit implies a night fighter variant, any of the Mk.1F's can be built and the colours and markings showing types from No.68 Sqn (detached to RAF Valley, Anglesey); No.60 Sqn, RAF Middle Wallop; No.89 Sqn, RAF Abu Sueir airfield, Egypt; or No.252 Sqn, RAF El Magrun airfield, Libya. There are, currently, three separate Beaufighter kits issued by MarkI. models; MKM14434 (this kit) which is a Mk.1F; MKM14435 represents a Mk.1C; and MKM14436 is the Mk.VI variant. The sprues that come with this kit are common across all three kits; some parts being used on one version but not another etc. and in conjuction with the associated decals within each kit box. There are two main sprues with this kit, each sprue being of rigid, but not brittle, grey plastic. The first sprue holds the two fuselage halves and the first thing to note is that there are no locating pins or holes in these part, although this should not be a major issue on such a small item. Panel lines on the fuselage are very finely recessed. Internal detail consists of a long floor piece, instrument panel, control stick and two seats - one for the pilot and one for the rear gunner/observer. Other parts on this sprue are the propellers and the undercarriage, of which the wheel flaps are nicely detailed. The second sprue has the pieces to make the main wings, engine cylinders and cowlings. Here, again, there are no locating pins on the wing units but the lower wing section has an overlap which, when the two wing halves are assembled, allow for a good register when fitting to the fuselage. This reverse view shows the lack of locating pins and holes to line up the relevant parts. Care will need to be taken during assembly just to ensure that the pieces do not slip out of position whilst the glue is drying. The detailing of the clear parts is crisp and contains the pilot's canopy, observer/gunner canopy and wing-lights etc. INSTRUCTIONS AND COLOUR DETAILS An eight page A5 sized paper booklet is supplied and this contains a single page of parts breakdown, followed by three pages of assembly diagrams. The remaining four pages shows colour details of the four aircraft camouflage patterns that can be used for this kit. The back of the kit box also has colour details of the various aircraft and help to identify decal placements. The same type of colour details are also present on the Mk.1C and Mk.VI kits which means that three kits could give you twelve variants/theatres of operations from the sets of decals. DECALS The decal sheet is nicely produced by Mark1 Models and the detail is clear and the registration looks good. CONCLUSION There may not be many parts for this kit but, at 1:144 scale, the parts are nice and well detailed and should allow for a good build of this popular type of WW2 heavy fighter. As mentioned previously, care should be taken whilst glueing the various components as there are no locating pins on the parts; however, having done a dry-fit test, I found that the way the parts are moulded help to hold the components in place quite easily. I'm looking forward to getting more of these little gems. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
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