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  1. Northrop Grumman X-47B OrangeHobby 1:72 Air Series It is now a sure thing that Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, or UAVs are here to stay, and as the technology advances, you will find more uses of them across all military branches. The US Navy were comparatively slow in entering into the Unmanned Carrier Air System (UCAS) field, possibly due to the immaturity of the technology for the sometimes tricky take-off and landing cycle of a carrier aircraft, not to mention the harsh physical environment found at sea. The eventual aim is to create a large surveillance, and strike vehicle that can project US air power into perhaps more hotly contested airspace than would be suitable for manned aircraft. The original A variant was a proof of concept technology demonstrator, while the B is a more robust airframe that is capable of carrying existing weapons systems, while the projected in-service airframe will be roughly the same size, but able to carry new weapons systems more suited to unmanned delivery systems. Taxying under its own power in 2010, the first airframe flew a year later, and after successful testing that resulted in a shortening of the programme, has now embarked upon sea trials ahead of schedule aboard USS Harry S Truman. In 2013, successful launches and landings were performed from USS George H W Bush in the Atlantic Ocean. 2014 saw more trials that involved deck handling and clearing of the deck within the same time-scales as manned vehicles, all of which went well for the X-47B. The X-47B will compete in the forthcoming US Navy UCLASS competition scheduled for 2016, the aircraft will be designated X-47C. Reportedly, despite the X-47B's success in test flights, Navy officials were concerned that it would be too costly and insufficiently stealthy for the needs of the UCLASS project. Costs for the programme rose from a projected US$635 million contract awarded by the Navy in 2007 to an estimated $813 million. Government funding was to last until September 2013, however, in June 2014 the Navy provided an additional $63 million for "post-demonstration" development. It is expected the winner of the competition will be in service by 2020. The Kit The kit arrives in a rather unassuming brown box with only a smallish label to give away the contents. On opening the box you are greeted by a wall of bubble wrap protecting the resin parts inside. Orange Hobby have packed this kit very well including extra padding for the tip on the main casting (one of the wings has a nick on the end and the leading edge but this is due to me dropping it!!). The first thing to strike you when you unpack the kit is that the main body of the UAV is a one part resin casting. Due to the hollow on top for the main intake, and the weapons bays/under carriage bays it is not overly heavy. The main top of the engine intake is a separate part, as are the two wing outer sections. Two bags then contain all off the other resin parts. A small sprue of injected parts is supplied for the landing gear. Finally there is small photo-etch fret and a sheet of decals. The resin parts are very well cast. I can see only a few small pin holes and none are in hard to fix places. Once you have cleaned all the casting blocks off the first step is to attach the exhaust parts, followed by the large part which completes the engine inlet. A large inlet is added to the rear left hand side, and an outlet which looks like the APU exhaust. Following this the instructions would have you add a number of photo-etched antenna to the top, however I suspect most modellers will leave these parts to last. Construction then moves onto the out wings. The modeller can build these in the folded or open positions. If building them open a set of hinges is provided. Construction then moves to the underside of the UAV though I suspect many modellers will complete this before they attach the wings. Two detailed weapons bays and undercarriage bays are moulded into the kit. These can be closed up if the modeller wishes though that would be a shame to hide all the detail. The nose bay doors will need to be spit by the modeller. All of the hinges for the doors are supplied as photo etched parts which will look better in this scale. Weapons launching pylons are provided, but no weapons load is supplied with the kit. At present it looks like the X-47 has not been cleared for weapons, though a stated 4,500Lb is given for this test vehicle. The main undercarriage is next to be assembled. The legs are supplied as injected parts, with the wheels as resin units. The legs seem to have posative fitment points which is welcome. Canopy The perils of using a template for reviews was I actually checked the box for a canopy Decals There is one main sheet of decals along with a small sheet containing a couple which look to have been left off the main sheet. The decals are glossy and monochrome so no registration issues. No manufacturer is listed. Markings are for the first test aircraft only. There is no decal manufacturer listed on the sheet. The decals appear to be glossy with no register problems. Care will be needed with the main decal for each wing as it is an out line only with no carrier film in the middle. Conclusion This is another great release from Orangehobby. It is great to see modern UAVs like this one becoming available in 1/72. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of Orange Hobby.com
  2. Tarantul III class corvette OrangeHobby 1:350 History The missile boats of Project 1241 class are further developments of the Molniya (Lightning) family boats, developed for export. It differs from its predecessor (Project 1241RE boats) in that the outdated P-20 missile system (SS-N-2 Styx) has been replaced by the Moskit-E (SS-N-22 Sunburn) missile system which fires supersonic anti-ship missiles, and the new Garpun-Bal multirole radar system has been installed. Trials of the first boat of the class have already been completed. The Project 1241 Molniya Missile Boats are intended to engage combatant ships, amphibious ships, and other vessels at open sea. With its comparatively small displacement of 550 tons, "Molniya " is equipped with four "Moskit" supersonic anti-vessel missiles. The first launch of Russia's newest supersonic anti-ship missile, the Moskit SS-N-22 Sunburn, was conducted from an export Molniya fast missile boat at the Feodosia test range late in October 1999. The boat has a radar missile target designation system. It's fitted the latest radio-electronic systems of this purpose. With its high noise-proof features, it can observe fifteen targets simultaneously and define target destinations of six. Besides the missiles and 57mm guns, the boat has anti-aircraft missile weapons and automatic 30mm gatling guns. It has twelve portable anti-aircraft missile launchers "Igla" meant to hit air targets in conditions of natural visibility. The on-board rapid-fire artillery guns are meant to destroy air, surface and coastal targets. They can also be used to destroy floating mines. "Molniya" also has two launchers and combined-interference shells to protect targets from anti-boat weapons with different guidance systems. The boat is also fitted with active radar jammers and IFF radar. The missile boat is equipped with the full set of navigation and communication equipment, powerful gas turbine power plant, air-conditioning and ventilation systems to provide efficient operation in any climatic conditions. The boats' relatively small size enables them to blend in with coastal merchant and fishing traffic, making them difficult to locate and target. With a skilled operator, Russian-built patrol craft armed with Sunburn anti-ship missiles would be a significant threat to any seagoing adversary. The boat's high navigation characteristics allow it to use weapons in stormy weather with wind force 5 and ensures safety in the sea with wind force 8. Thanks to its sophisticated weapons, high running features, the boat can control a total area of water up to 5 thousand square nautical miles. The boat's speed is up to 38 knots, sailing range up to 2,400 miles, crew 41 members. Project 12411 was the designation for a new class of guided missile corvette that would replace the Osa-Class corvette that served the Soviet Navy and its allies around the world. Using a hull that is smaller than the Nanuchka-Class and is less capable than that class, the Tarantul is nevertheless faster and more agile. Powered by a pair of 34,000 HP gas turbines, the Tarantul class can cruise around 40 knots. The Model The kit comes in a rather plain brown cardboard box, with just a small label to tell you what’s in it. Inside there are separate single piece lower hull, main deck and transom parts, along with six “sprues” of parts are all moulded in grey resin. The kit si completed with the etched brass sheet, four turned brass parts and a small decal sheet. Whilst the parts are all beautifully moulded, there is a fair bit of flash, but since it’s quite thin it shouldn’t take much to clean them up. The details moulded are very finely done, yet still crisp. There is a fair amount of mould release visible on the parts, so they will need a thorough wash in warm soapy water. The kit is produced as full hull only, so if you wish to build this as part of a seascape, you will have to take a cutting disc to the hull. Construction begins with the fitting of the transom and main deck to the hull section, with the transom also fitted with two large exhaust port doors. On the underside of the hull, the brass turned prop shafts are glued into position, along with their A frame supports, followed by the two rudders, whilst the bow mounted anchor is also attached. The small resin mast carrying the separate bass tilt radar is fitted with two PE platforms, each of which has a PE plate radar array attached. The main mast is made up of upper and lower sections. The upper section is entirely made of PE and will require some careful bending to get it all to shape, the platform on which it sits is also of PE with the exception of the platform frame. The top dome radar and ECM pods are glued to the platform. The lower section consists of a styrene centre piece around which the mast frame is folded before being glued to the base platform, which, in turn, is fitted with the styrene and PE support beams. The platform is also fitted with SATCOM domes and two PE platforms. The upper section is then glued to the lower section. The main superstructure part is fitted out with the upper deck part over the bridge area, onto which the large radar dome is attached, along with the bass tilt mast and mainmast. The blast deflectors are fitted just forward of the gatling gun tubs, which have a PE gangway fitted between them. The watertight doors are then glued to their respective positions. The main 57mm gun turret is now assembled, consisting of the metal barrel which has the resin trunnion moulded integrally, the turret and the base. The two 30mm gatling gun turrets are also assembled, each made up from the base, turret and tiny metal barrel. The multi barrel rocket launcher parts are glued to their PE frames, as are the separate liferafts. These are then glued to the top of the superstructure, along with the gatling guns and upper deck railings. The completed superstructure is then fitted to the main deck, followed by the main gun mounting, deck bollards, and winches. The models is completed with the fitting of the main gun turret, two more rocket launchers, liferafts, anchor chain, two cable reels and the two main missile launchers. Decals The waterslide decals are provided for the ships numbers for two vessels, one of which also has a name plate on the port and starboard quarters, missile launcher numbers and ships ensigns. They are well printed and in good register. Conclusion It’s great to see the smaller Russian ships getting released, although even in this scale it’s actually not that small. As usual the kit is very well moulded, with some lovely details. Recommended to all maritime modellers, of at least intermediate skill level. Review sample courtesy of
  3. What can I say about this ship,that is not know already,served with the Royal Navy from 1959 to 1984 and still in service with the India Navy as INS Viraat. Another great kit from Orange hobby,I would have to really nitpick ,this kit is so good,so far only need to add some railings to the walkways around the funnel and clean the resin !!!, all the paint fell off the bridge opps.It comes with a excellent P.E. set with instructions that could be clearer,but there plenty of photos on the net of the ship, built by OH to check,oh good decals for the ship,but nothing for the aircraft,you only get 2 SeaHarriers and 2 Seakings but you can buy extras ones from OB and they come with a tug and tow bar included and HMS Victorious 1966 is about to be released and they are working on HMS Eagle 1968 and yes they are going to look at HMS Ark Royal 1978,At Last
  4. Lockheed Martin F-35C Lightning II OrangeHobby 1:72 - Orange Model Series The F-35, otherwise known as the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) is an American led multi-national effort to bring a fifth generation multi-role aircraft to a number of Allied nations, whilst spreading the cost of development between them. The Lockheed X-35 won the JSF contest over the Boeing X-32, and development went ahead, culminating in its first flight at the end of 2006. There are three variants of the F-35, the A, which is a conventional aircraft designed to take off and land on made-up airfields, the B, which is to be the successor to the Harrier, or AV-8B as it is known in the US, and finally the C model, which is the carrier based cat & trap variant. The F-35C is the traditional carrier-borne variant, which has a number of differences to make it resilient enough to work from a carrier at sea, including strengthened landing gear for those hard landings, larger wings and tail planes for greater control at landing speeds, folding wings; and of course a big hook at the rear for trapping-on, which was subject to a little controversy when it had to be hastily re-designed. Twin nose wheels are also a feature not seen on the other models. As well as all of the latest avionics and weapons systems, the JSF is also a low-observable airframe, more commonly known as stealth, and has two internal bays that can be used to carry munitions, as well as six external hard-points for when stealth is not the primary mission focus. It also exhibits the same style blended fuselage and wings as the F-22 Raptor, with semi-blended engine intakes and heavily canted twin-tails, although it sports only one engine compared to the Raptor's two. As with a lot of new aircraft projects the F-35C has suffered its fair share of problems, the only difference is they seem to have been "made available" to the press more easily by its detractors. These have included software issues, the fact that the engine s too heavy to be carried to the carrier by the traditional replenishment systems, and the engine generates more heat than any other one currently in use. Destitute these setbacks VF-101 received its first F-35C back in 2013, and VX-23 completed a 2 week sea deployment in November 2014. The Kit The kit arrives on five sprues of dark grey plastic, one sprue for the aircraft tow tractor, a small clear sprue, a small PE Fret and two small decal sheets. The main fuselage is split top/bottom. The detail consists of raised detail in the most part with some fine engraved lines, and heavier ones for the control surfaces. Some of the sprue gates for the larger parts are quite heavy and they will need careful removal. The immediate noticeable point for the kit is the Radar Absorbent Material (or RAM) is moulded in relief on the kit. There has been some criticism of this, however it is one way of doing this, and it is how Orange Hobby have chosen to mould this. Construction shockingly enough starts with the cockpit area. The main instrument panel is placed into the top fuselage half, the instrument panel itself is supplied as a decal. Once this is in place the side controller and throttle are added to the cockpit tub. The seat is made up from 3 parts with the addition of a set of PE seat belts, it looks to be a fair representation of the F-35 seat in this scale. Once made up the seat can be added to the cockpit tub, and this placed in the upper fuselage half. Construction then moves to the lower fuselage half which looks short on structure due to all the openings its has. The one piece front wheel well is the first part to be put in place, this is then followed by the two main weapons bays which are again one piece each. The main wheel wells are two part affairs, and once they are constructed they are also added to the lower fuselage. Each side intake is also constructed and added to the lower fuselage at this time. The intakes curve in and have no ends. Now in reality you should not be able to see the engine from the front of the intake so you will not here, though it might be an idea to blank them off to stop any light issues. The exhaust is also constructed and added at this time. Once all the parts are in, the two half's of the fuselage and be closed up. Once the fuselage is closed up the next are of construction to be tackled is the landing gear. The front gear consists of a two part leg, to which two single part wheels are attached. This slots into two good mounting points in the front gear bay. The rear legs are again two mart, each with a single wheel to attach. These again have good locating pins in the main gear wells. The next major construction step is to attach all of the gear doors, and weapons bay doors to the underside. All of the doors have separate and prominent retraction mechanisms which first must be attached to the doors. It is suspected most modellers will leave the doors and undercarriage off until after the model is painted. The tail planes and vertical tails are added next. All are one part mouldings so you just have to clean the parts up and then attach them with no additional construction. The outer main wings are also added at this stage. As befits a carrier aircraft these fold. The modeller can place them in either the folded or open position. There is a cover for the wing fold hinge which had tabs moulded for the folded position. These will need to be removed for open wings. The last items to be used which will finish the model are to attach the wing pylons and weapons to be used. Two AMMRAMs and two Sidewinder AIM-9X are provided along with a centreline 25mm Gun Pod. The canopy can be attached in the closed or open position. If leaving it open then a separate hinge part is provided for this. The last sprue in the box is not for the aircraft at all. It provides the deck tractor used to move the F-35 around. This hooks onto the nose wheel and has a small seat for the operator. The cart is constructed with a mixture of plastic and PE parts and will provide a good diorama accessory if you want to pose the aircraft on a flight deck. A final item provided in PE is a set of 4 tie down chains if the modeller wishes to use them. Canopy The canopy on the real aircraft is Tinted (in all likely hood with some coating to preserve the low Radar observability aspects of the aircraft) and this has been represented by a tinting of the model canopy. This is not too dark and should not interfere with seeing the cockpit if the modeller closes the canopy. The canopy is clear and features the moulded in canopy det cord as seen on the real aircraft. Decals Decals are provided for three aircraft. CF-03 Test Aircraft CF-05 Test Aircraft 168733 Which was the First Production Aircraft in the markings of VF-101, the Red Sqn markings and Full colour National Insignia add a little bit of colour to an otherwise grey aircraft. The decals are glossy, in register and have very minimal carrier film. It is noticeable that the slime lights are not on the decal sheet. Instructions Overall the instructions are in the range of what I would call "OK". The diagrams are hard to follow in some parts. The decal diagrams are missing some decals, and the painting instructions are next to useless. There are no colour call outs except "dark gray" and there is no differentiation on the painting instructions to show which areas are the light grey and which the dark. I suspect this is because they would like the modeller to buy the separately available laser cut masks for the model. Either way I would have thought a correct painting guide would be a must. Conclusion This is another unexpected release from Orangehobby. It is great to see aircraft like the F-35C like this one becoming available in 1/72. The issue of the raised RAM areas is pretty much like Marmite, some will like it and others will hate it. Either way that's how the kit is moulded and there is no changing it now. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of Orange Hobby.com
  5. Turned Barrels OrangeHobby 1:35 OrangeHobby continue to enlarge their portfolio of armoured subjects with this superb selection of new turned barrels to fit some of the latest armour releases. The barrels are all beautifully turned and come with additional features to make the completed models even more detailed. [G35-128-58] The first set contains a replacement 1:35 NSV machine gun barrel for the no particular kit, just any that has this machine gun mounted. The main barrel and under barrel reciprocation tube are of turned brass, whilst all the fittings are in photo etched nickel plated brass. It will build up into a very detailed unit, complete with folding rear sight and will make a great addition to the finished model. Vehicles which use this weapon, include Finnish Leopard 2R’s, PASI APC and Nasu Transport, Russian T-72, T-64 and T-80 MBT’s, and a whole host of other vehicles used around the world. [G35-130-80] This barrel set is the only one that actually comes in its own box. Designed for the Dragon 1:35 M48A3 the set comes with the turned alluminium barrel, and interestingly designed two part muzzle brake, also in alluminium and a soft resin dust sleeve for where the barrel enters the turret. This is the only part the will need some cleaning up, but nothing too taxing. [G35-133-96] This large barrelled set is for the Trumpeter 1:35 2S7 203mm SPG. The set comes in two poly sleeves, with a single card header. One sleeve contains the main barrel and breech end joint, whilst the other contains four hydraulic rams which are a combination of turned alluminium and resin, along with a separate resin end cap for the barrel and an etch brass sheet containing the rifling for the interior of the muzzle, to give some semblance of realism. [G35-137-98] This barrel is for the Trumpeter 1:35 2S19 “Msta” 152mm SPG and is a combination of three brass turned barrel parts, seven etched brass parts, and four resin parts. The resin plug is fitted between the two kit parts that make up the base of the barrel, followed by two etched rings and centre barrel section, which has four etched braces glued around its base and an attachment ring at the other end. The front section is also fitted with an etched strengthening strip before being glued to the centre section. The three piece resin muzzle brake is then assembled and glued to the end of the barrel. The finished barrel is then fitted to the kits trunnion part and the two reciprocation tubes glued underneath. [G35-141-88] This next barrel set is for the Dragon M-103A1 and consist of a turned brass barrel which has then been added to the mould for the resin sections to be moulded around the barrel. The muzzle end is fitted with an attachment ring and muzzle. The resin parts on the barrel are joined together by a long sprue section with just a single sprue gate on each which shouldn’t take too much cleaning up. [G35-146-96] The final barrel set is of the Rheinmetall 120mm L44 for the Meng 1:35 Leopard 2A4, even though the etch does state it's for the 2A5 variant. As with the M-103A1 barrel, OH have turned the main barrel section, this time out of alluminium, and placed it into the resin mould so that the parts can be moulded integrally to the metal part, although this time the sprue gates are much large and will take a fair bit more cleaning up. The set also comes with a sheet of etched nickel plated brass, resin muzzle mounted sight, four brass rings and a rubber dust cover. Two of the rings are each fitted with etched parts to represent the locking rings and another etched part which needs to be bent into a hexagonal shape, which, with the other rings make up the barrels muzzle. The areas around where the resin has been moulded will need to be cut away and cleaned up before fitting. Conclusion It’s great to see OrangeHobby continuing with their production of armour parts and this selection of barrels also shows that their attention to detail is all being kept to a high standard. Although not everyone feels the need for replacement barrels, these really do add an improved look to the completed model. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  6. USS Robert E Peary OrangeHobby 1:350 History The 46 ships of the Knox class were the largest, last and most numerous of the US Navy’s second-generation ASW escorts. The lead ship of the class was the USS Knox (FF-1052), laid down October 5, 1965 and commissioned April 12, 1969, at Todd Shipyards in Seattle. Planned as the follow-on to the twin 5-inch gun armed Garcia class frigates and the Tartar missile-equipped Brooke class frigates, their initial design incorporated the prior classes’ pressure-fired boilers (the design later was changed to conventional 1200 psi boilers) in a similar-sized hull designed around the massive bow-mounted AN/SQS-26 sonar. Ten ships were authorized in FY 1964, sixteen in 1965 and ten each for FYs 1966, ’67 and ’68; six were canceled in 1968 and four more in 1969. They were built in four different shipyards and were originally commissioned as destroyer escorts (DEs) 1052–97 in 1969–74, they were redesignated as frigates (FF) on 30 June 1975. The Knox class was the Navy’s last destroyer-type design with a steam powerplant. Due to their unequal comparison to destroyers then in service (large size with low speed and a single screw and 5 inch gun), they became known to a generation of destroyermen as “McNamara’s Folly.” These ships were retired from the US Navy at the end of the Cold War due to a declining need for an advanced ASW capability. By 1994 all ships of this class had been retired from the US Navy, although some remain in service with foreign nations such as Egypt, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey and Mexico. At 4,200 metric tons (4,130 tons), with a length of 438 feet (133.5 metres) and a beam of 47 feet (14.3 m), they are driven by a single screw geared turbine developing 35,000 shaft horsepower (26 MW), giving them a speed of 27 knots (50 km/h). The steam plant for these ships consists of two Combustion Engineering or Babcock & Wilcox "D" type boilers, each equipped with a high-pressure (supercharger) forced draught air supply system, allowing a plant working pressure of 1,200 PSI and 1000 °F superheat. This design allows fast acceleration, crucial while prosecuting a submarine attack. They are equipped with one 5 in (127 mm) 54 caliber Mark 42 gun forward, an ASROC abaft the gun and forward of the bridge. Since they are single purpose platforms their surface defense capability is nominal; however they do mount Harpoon missiles and Mk-46 torpedoes. The aft weapons point was originally outfitted with Mk 25 basic point defense missile systems (BPDMS) for launching Sea Sparrow missiles. These were eventually refitted with a 20mm Phalanx CIWS. They are equipped with a helicopter hangar aft. USS Robert E. Peary (FF-1073) was the third US Navy warship ship so named and was laid down 20 December 1970 by the Lockheed Ship Building and Drydock Company at Seattle, Washington; launched 26 June 1971; sponsored by Miss Josephine Peary; and commissioned 23 September 1972, Comdr. Charles Beasley, USN, in command. After twenty years of service, and the end of the Cold War she was decommissioned on 7 August 1992, struck from the navy list on 11 November 1995 and transferred to the Republic of China. As of 2005, the destroyer escort serves in the Taiwanese navy as Chi Yang. The Model The kit is contained in a very sturdy cardboard box with a sleeve showing the kits name and other details. With the sleeve removed you are able to open the front opening box which contains ten sprues of bluey grey resin, separate upper and lower hull sections, eight other resin parts, four turned brass parts for the gun barrel and mast tops, plus fourteen tiny, and I mean tiny, turned bitts. The kit also includes eight sheets of relief etched brass and comprehensive decal sheet. As we have come to expect with OrangeHobby the detail on the mouldings is excellent, unfortunately due to the tight packing of the parts a couple of the cleats and the very tip of the bow on the upper hull have broken off. The other item that needs addressing before construction can begin is the large moulding tabs that are attached to the upper and lower hulls on the join line. Not so much of a problem if the kit is built as a waterline model, but if built as a full hull getting a good join will take quite a bit of fettling and filling. Once the parts have been cleaned in warm soapy water, the moulding blocks removed and the parts cleaned up construction can begin. If you’re going to build it full hull then once the upper and lower hull sections have been joined and cleaned up the bulbous bow can be attached, along with the two stabiliser fins, rudder, propshaft, propshaft support bracket and rudder. The etched anchor chain, complete with stoppers is fitted to the fore deck with the rear ends to the two chain pipe openings and the front to the anchor, which needs to be carefully folded to shape. The resin capstan and brass bitts are then fitted into their respective positions, on the fo’c’sle, whilst on the quarterdeck the resin cleats and more brass bitts are attached. These parts could be left off till later as they will make handling the model a little more awkward and be prone to being knocked off. The instructions then call for the modeller to attach the railings between the bridge superstructure and the fo’c’sle side plates and on 01 and 02 decks, this is a bit early to be fitting them in my view and should be left off till near the end of the build. The resin intakes and Super RBOC launchers are fitted to the roof of the superstructure whilst the PE liferaft racks complete with resin liferaft canisters are fitted to each side of the superstructure. The inclined ladders are then folded to shape and attached to their respective positions. The signal flag locker sub assemblies with two styles of inclined ladder and signalmans deck plate. The rear superstructure, which includes the hanger bay is now fitted out with watertight doors, a raised PE platform and supports, rear aerial mast and two whip aerial towers plus a number of vertical ladders, along with resin ventilators. The completed assembly is then fitted to the main deck. Moving forward there is a small foremast fitted just above the bridge consisting of PE supports and light platforms, turned brass mast and PE vertical ladder. Just forward of the bridge on a dedicated PE platform the resin navigation radar antenna is fitted. Just aft of the bridge the Mk67 gun firing control system director complete with AN/SPG-53 fire control radar array is sited, made up from the resin mounting, resin radar dish, and PE dish supports. Amidships there are two PE ECM towers, topped off with two platform sections and the resin AN/SLQ-32 arrays. To the rear of the main superstructure two whip aerial platforms, made up of PE platform, railings and two liferaft cradles then finished off with a PE aerial. The kit comes with a choice of hanger sections, either retracted or extended and these are fitted into the hanger bay of the rear superstructure. Once again the instruction call for the railings and also the flightdeck netting to be fitted, but can be left off till the major parts of the build are completed. The next page of the instructions contains probably the most complicated sub assembly of the whole build. Working around the resin MACK the majority of the parts are PE and include the main mast, X platform, platform supports, walkways, wind baffles, the impressive, but complex AN/SPS-40 Air Search Radar array and the smaller AN/SPS-67 Surface Search array. The two radar arrays are fitted on top of resin towers and the whole assembly is finished with a resin yardarm with PE halyard arm and the resin top mast with PE vertical ladder. The two davits for the ships boats are then assembled; these have to be the most accurate davits I have seen in a 1:350 kit. They come complete with all lowering/raising motors, access platforms and a lovely rendition of the rope ways and blocks. Once complete the boats can be attached and the assemblies glued into position. With the hull complete it’s only a matter of assembling the ships armament which consists of the 5” gun with separate metal barrel, the Mk-16 8 cell missile launcher for ASROC and Harpoon missiles with separate mounting allowing the modeller to pose it in any position they want, and the 20mm Phalanx, which is made up of five resin parts and again can be posed as required. Lastly the single SH-2 Seasprite (LAMPS I) helicopter is assembled from seventeen parts, either resin or PE, these included the fuselage, cockpit and cabin doors, undercarriage, windscreen wipers, tail rotor, rear stabilisers, either extended or folded main rotor blades, main rotor head, MAD bird and it’s support cradle. You then have the choice of mounting the Mk44 torpedo which is itself made up from seven separate parts. Decals The smallish, but comprehensive decal sheet provides all the markings required for such a ship. These include the large flightdeck markings which will need to be placed on a nice gloss base to prevent silvering, ships numbers in two styles for bow and stern, warning circles for the ships weaponry and aerials, RAS station marks, the ships crests, and two sizes of national flag. The decals are well printed and are all in good register, nicely opaque and with a nice thin carrier film. Conclusion This is certainly one very nice kit, loaded with detail and some beautiful moulding. Yes, it won’t be the easiest kit to build, even when compared with some other resin releases, but it will be so worth the effort. This is definitely not one for the beginner or even an intermediate modeller with limited resin experience, without a large dose of patience, care and a very steady hand. But I can quite happily recommend this kit very highly if you have those qualities. Review sample courtesy of Orange Hobby.com
  7. Northrop Grumman X-47B OrangeHobby 1:350 The X-47B is an unmanned combat air system carrier (UCAS) being developed by Northrop Grumman for the US Navy (USN). The strike fighter sized unmanned aircraft is currently in its demonstration phase. The aircraft was first developed as part of the X-47 programme. The X-47B is a variant of Pegasus X-47A which was developed as a joint USAF and USN programme, called J-UCAS, in 2001. The programme was funded by the DARPA with Northrop Grumman as the main contractor. In February 2006, however, the Joint-UCAS development programme was cancelled for separate UAV development programmes by both the defence forces. Development of the X-47B, which had started in June 2005, was temporarily halted following the cancellation. The US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) contracted Northrop Grumman for the construction and demonstration of two X-47B aircraft under the unmanned combat air system demonstrator (UCAS-D) programme, in August 2007. The UCAS-D programme also aims to pave the way for developing potential future carrier-compatible, unmanned systems with little risk. Under a contract awarded in 2007, the company designed, produced and is currently flight testing two X-47B aircraft. In 2013, these aircraft were used to successfully demonstrate the first ever carrier-based launches and recoveries by an autonomous, low-observable relevant unmanned aircraft. The X-47B is expected to enter active naval service by 2019. The Model This is another great little set of two aircraft, much like that of the F-35C reviewed HERE. Only in this case the kits are contained in a small end opening cardboard box. Inside there are four sprues of light grey resin, a small etch set and a very small decal sheet. The details moulded onto the fuselage is really quite something, very fine indented panel lines, and hinge lines for the bomb bay doors and flaps, visible only at certain angles to get the light in the right place. The moulding gates are a little awkwardly attached to the underside of the leading edge, so some careful sanding will be required once removed from the sprue. The other parts, such as the landing gear, outer wing panels and large, (relatively), upper panel section, which includes both intake and exhaust, are all contained on a separate sprue. The undercarriage and intake plate are easily attached to the fuselage, but the outer wing panels could be a little more difficult due to the thin butt joint used. This can be overcome by posing the wings folded as there is a nice etched part used to represent the wing fold area. The other etched parts include the tail hook and the undercarriage bay doors. If the doors are to be posed open these parts will need to be cut at the lines shown in the instructions to separate the individual doors. As with the F-35C kits there are only the national insignia provided on the decal sheet, four in lo viz and four in high viz. Conclusion This is another very nice and useful set of 1:350 scale aircraft. They would look great on a model of the USS Harry S Truman or, in conjunction with the F-35C kits a look into the future of naval aviation with an updated Nimitz class carrier. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of Orange Hobby.com
  8. Lockheed Martin F-35CLightning II OrangeHobby 1:350 The largest of the three F-35 variants, the F-35C carrier variant features larger wings with folding wingtip sections, larger wing and tail control surfaces for improved low-speed control, stronger landing gear for the stresses of carrier arrested landings, a twin-wheel nose gear, and a stronger tailhook for use with carrier arrestor cables when compared with the F-35A. The larger wing area allows for decreased landing speed while increasing both range and payload. The United States Navy intends to buy 480 F-35Cs to replace the F/A-18A, B, C, and D Hornets and complement the Super Hornet fleet. On 27th June 2007, the F-35C completed its Air System Critical Design Review (CDR), allowing the production of the first two functional prototypes. The C variant was expected to be available beginning in 2014. The first F-35C was rolled out on 29th July 2009. The United States Marine Corps will also purchase 80 F-35Cs, enough for five squadrons, for use with navy carrier air wings in a joint service agreement signed on 14th March 2011. A recent 2014 document stated that the USMC will also have 4 squadrons of F-35Cs with 10 aircraft per squadron for the Marine Corps' contribution to U.S. Navy carrier air wings. On 3rd November 2014, an F-35C of VX-23, one of the Navy's flight test units, made its first landing on an aircraft carrier when it recovered aboard USS Nimitz; this started a 2 week deployment of a pair of aircraft for the initial at sea Development Testing I or DTI, the first of three at sea tests planned for the F-35C. The initial deployment was completed on November 14th. The Model This two aircraft set comes in a pair of poly bags which are stapled to a blue card header. The first poly bag contains the two fuselages complete with wings and horizontal tail surfaces attached, whilst the second bag contains two sprues of resin parts, a small etched brass sheet and a very small decal sheet. The detail on the aircraft is surprisingly good for this scale, with very fine panel lines particularly around the upper midships section. The mouldings are very clean and will require just the minimum of cleanup once they've been removed from the sprues. Each aircraft has separate outer wing panels which can be posed in either folded or extended positions, with the use of etched parts used to hold the panel when folded. The vertical tail surfaces are also separate and are glued into the slots provided which should prevent the need for any filler. The main and nose undercarriage are provided as individual resin parts, again with a nice positive mating area, and the detail is finished off with the addition of PE undercarriage doors for all three bays. Decals The tiny decal sheet only contains the US national insignia for the wings, in either hi or low vis which has been seen on the prototypes, although the nose insignia are missing and will need to be sourced from another set. Conclusion These are excellent little kits and will look great when mixed with other aircraft on the flightdeck of a Nimitz class carrier. If you’re intending to produce a model with a full squadron on, then not only will you need to buy a lot more sets you will also need to source some more decals, hopefully someone will release full squadron colours for them soon. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of Orange Hobby.com
  9. Armour Detail Sets OrangeHobby 1:35 OrangeHobby are producing a fine selection of detail sets and their ever increasing range appears to have something for every 1:35 armour modeller. The five sets reviewed here are some of their newest and include aerials, machine gun barrels and even hydraulic actuators. [G35-118-36] The first set contains a replacement 20mm cannon barrel for the Meng AMX-30B2 and consists of a simple drop in replacement for the kit part. The main barrel is turned complete with the prominent recoil spring and really does look the part. Once the separate muzzle brake is attached, complete with the drilled holes, it will make a great addition to the kit. [G35-119-48] This set contains a selection of German aerials, four long and two short and come complete with four turned brass parts that represent the rubber mounts. There appears to be a slight amount of flash on the bottom of some of the aerials which will need to be nipped off before use. The mounts are simply glued into position on the particular aerial the attached to the model via a pre drilled 0.5mm hole. As with most metal aerials these are very sharp, and care should be taken when displaying the model as anyone getting too close a look could take their eye out. [G35-120-58] This set is very similar to the previous set, only it provides a set of aerials as used on modern Russian vehicles. There are four long and two short aerials contained in the poly bag along with the two part aerial mounts. The mounts are assembled, after which they just slip on to the base of the aerial and added to the model. Unlike the German set, these aerials are completely flash free and can be used straight out of the pack. The general warning about using these aerials is as per the above set. [G35-128-58] This set provides a replacement barrel and fittings for any kits version of the NSV 12.7mm heavy machine gun, both tripod mounted, and in the AA role as fitted to tanks like the T-72, T-64 and T-80. The kit parts will need to be modified to allow the fitting of the turned brass barrel and recuperator, plus the etched nickel straps, sights and clamps. If the modification is done correctly it will make a world of difference to the standard parts found in most kits. [G35-134-48] This final set is designed to replace the pistons and actuators in the Meng D9R “Doobi” armoured bulldozer. The clever part of this set is that the turned alluminium parts are then moulded into the resin fixture rings, making them direct replacements without the need to cut or modify the existing kit parts, although the resin sections do require a bit of a clean up. The two long turned alluminium parts are again direct replacement for the kit parts and slide into the kit fittings. Overall these parts will not only give extra strength to the completed model but the metal will not need to be painted, only weathered. Conclusion Although these sets provide a varied selection of parts, it does show that OH aren’t just trying not to copy what a lot of other companies are releasing. The quality of the parts is very high and what with the ease of use, they should be able to be used by all but the most novice of modellers. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of Orange Hobby.com
  10. 105mm F1 Barrel for the Meng AMX-30B2 OrangeHobby 1:35 This next barrel from OrangeHobby is a much simpler affair when compared with the recently reviewed 125mm T-90 barrel. Simpler it may be, but it is still a very nice addition to the already fabulous Meng AMX-30B2 kit. The single piece turned alluminium barrel is finished off with a small piece of etched nickel which is rolled up and slotted into the muzzle to represent the rifling grooves that are quite prominent on the real thing. At the other end a very nicely moulded resin part, which once trimmed, represents the canvas bag that protects the barrel/turret opening. The sag that is often seen on the real tanks has been moulded into the part and looks pretty realistic. The completed barrel is then simply slotted into place. Conclusion This is another very nice piece of aftermarket from OrangeHobby and makes for a very easy, good looking part, which will go a long way to enhancing the look of the Meng kit. Very highly recommended Review sample courtesy of Orange Hobby.com
  11. 2A24M 125mm Barrel for Meng T-90 OrangeHobby 1:35 Whilst we have been fortunate enough to have seen and reviewed several maritime kits from OrangeHobby, this is our first opportunity to review one of their Red Series 1:35 armour upgrades. The barrel arrives in a poly sleeve with a card header, with the parts held in separate poly bags taped to a black card insert. Surprisingly there are quite a lot of parts that make up the complete barrel. Firstly you have the two turned alluminium and one turned brass part of the barrel, then you also have two small sheets of etched brass, one sheet of what looks like etched nickel, but could just be tinned brass. To complete the pack there are two resin parts and five small tie wraps. The instructions are very clear and easy to read, but since there are some quite complex folds and rolling of the parts, great care will need to be exercised. The tie wraps are only included to help fit the nickel parts around the barrel whilst the glue sets. Conclusion This is a super product and a must for those who'd love a super detailed barrel to replace the kits styrene parts. The construction is quite involved, but the results will look great on the completed model. Review sample courtesy of Orange Hobby.com
  12. USS Pegasus Hydrofoil OrangeHobby 1:350 History PHM 1 PEGASUS hydrofoil boats were designed to operate offensively against hostile surface combatants and other surface craft; and conduct surveillance, screening and special operations. The six PHMs of the PEGASUS - class formed a single squadron which operated from Key West, Florida. They were the Navy's fastest ships when foilborne and driven by their single gas turbine. They had good range on their diesels, excellent seakeeping qualities, amazingly fast response to requirements for speed, and a potent punch. Since becoming operational, they established an unusually high availability rate while participating in a variety of missions, including significant involvement in the national drug interdiction program. The PHM project was started in the early 1970th by CNO Admiral Zumwalt in an effort to increase the Navy's number of surface combatants. The project called for a cost-effective hydrofoil boat designed to operate in coastal waters and equipped to fulfill the missions of destroyers and frigates in those areas so that these larger ships could be deployed to areas where they are needed more. These missions included surface surveillance as well as immediate responses (SSM missiles for example) to any hostile actions conducted by enemy navies. The PHM project was not only a US project. Other countries involved included Italy, Germany, Canada and Great Britain. During the initial phase of the project it was planned to build up to 100 hydrofoil boats for the NATO navies. Following the retirement of Admiral Zumwalt the Navy cut down the funds for the PHM project because due to the lack of money one decided to use the money for larger fleet units instead. The increasing costs of the PHM project finally resulted in the completion of only one PHM, the USS PEGASUS, although the construction of this ship had to be stopped for a while in 1974 due to the lack of money. At that time, the ship was only 20% completed. Although PHM 3 - 6 had already been funded in FY 74 (PHM 2 in FY 73), construction of these ships did not start until April 6, 1977, when Secretary of Defense Brown announced that the whole project (with the exception of USS PEGASUS) was suspended. Anyway, Congress now insisted on the completion of the last five ships since they had already been funded. In August 1977, Secretary of Defense Brown reactivated the PHM project and construction of the ships resumed but the four countries involved in the project had lost their interest in the PHM program. The last of the hydrofoils was commissioned in 1982 and all the boats were decommissioned on the 30th July 1993. The Model Its been a while since weve had an Orange Hobby kit in for review and theyve been kind enough to send some of their slightly older releases to have a look at. The first of these is their lovely PHM-1 class hydrofoil USS Pegasus. The castings are all beautifully formed, with no sign of deformed parts or even the slightest pin hole, although there is a bit of flash on several of the parts, which is very to remove. Casting blocks are minimally attached, thus making the clean up after removal a doddle with a just few swipes of a sanding stick. This kit is quite interesting in that, whilst it is produced from resin the parts breakdown is more akin to an injection moulded kit. The majority of the resin parts, and there are quite a lot of them considering the size of the kit, are held on the classic OH resin sprues with only the two hull halves and main deck, complete with superstructure as separate parts. The rest of the kit consists of etched brass, turned brass and aluminium parts, plus a length of copper wire and a small decal sheet. The instruction sheet, once you have managed to get , and keep it flat, having been rolled up in the box, is, for the most part very clear and easy to read, although some of the positioning arrows need careful interpretation to ensure correct fitting. The build begins with cleaning all the parts of warm soapy water to get rid of any release agent. The two hull halves are then joined together with the bow foil leg sandwiched between them. The bow foil is then attached to the leg and the stern foil legs fitted to each side. There is an option to have the foils retracted or extended and the parts used for the rear foils are different, reflecting the different state of the actuators. The stern foil is then attached to the two legs, followed by the fitting of the bow doors, aft intake grilles, two rudders and the two piece water jets attached to the stern. The hull is then fitted with the single piece main deck, which is then populated with several fixtures on the quarterdeck, plus deck hatches which can be displayed open or closed and auxiliary exhaust is attached to the rear of the superstructure, whilst foreward a couple more deck hatches and fixtures are attached, along with the 76mm turret, which is provided in two halves with the resin and brass barrel/trunnion fitted between them. The two part funnel is then assembled before being glued into position aft of the superstructure. The superstructure roof is then fitted out with a couple of hatches, several vents, intakes, Super RBOC launchers, liferaft, flag locker and other lockers. There is a horn fitted to the wheelhouse roof a PE inclined ladder and access door to the rear bulkhead. There are large intake grilles, watertight doors and hatches fitted to the superstructure sides along with two whip mast bases to which PE aerials are attached. Around the top of the superstructure the PE railings are fitted. These are very fine and will need to be handled with great care as the fret is very flimsy and easily bent. The mainmast is next sub-assembly to be built and consists of a resin mast, to which the various PE yards, stays, supports, platforms are attached and finished off with the resin LN-66 navigation radar array on the forward platform. The complex shapes of the rear PE supports will require some care to get right, but they appear to have been etched in such a way as to alleviate too many problems. Just forward of the mainmast is the large dome for the MK 94 Mod 1 fire control radar. The turned alluminium dome sits on a PE support cradle which is itself sat on top of the PE support structure, which will also need some careful folding to get right. To finish off the superstructure the PE wipers are attached to the front, port and starboard windscreens. Whilst nearing completion, there are still quite a few parts to build and add to the model. These include the bull nose hawse pipe on the bow and stern, along with several more deck hatches, main deck railings, liferafts and their cradles and two deck winches, which require the modeller to source some 0.5mm plastic rod to make the drum, around which the brass wire provided is wound round. The starboard forward winch needs to have some wire laid on the deck and attached to the anchor which lies on the port focsle. Lastly the Harpoon launchers are assembled and the kit provides parts options for either one, two, three or four tubes per launcher rack depending on what the modeller decides to use. The Harpoon tubes are made of turned brass and their supports in PE. Once assembled the launchers are fitted to the fantail/quarterdeck of the vessel thus completing the build. Decals The small decal sheet provides the ships names and numbers for every PHM of the class along with VERTREP markings for the focsle, depth markings and three unidentifiable markings per side on the boot topping. The decals are very nicely printed, in register and with quite a thin carrier film, although its still best to gloss over the areas the decals sit first. Conclusion The kit is definitely not one for a beginner, but someone of intermediate skills and above should be able to make a great looking model. There is a bit of cleaning up to do on the parts but generally they are very well moulded. Having built the WEM USS Pegasus I think this kit actually is better designed in that the foils have more of a positive fitment, and yet still has tremendous detail. It also has the advantage of now being the only kit of these hydrofoils in this scale. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of Orange Hobby.com
  13. HMS Hermes served with the Royal Navy from 1959 to 1984 and still is in service with the India Navy as INS Viraat . Another great kit from Orange hobby,this kit is so good, only need to add some railings to the walkways around the funnel.It comes with a excellent P.E. set and all of it gets used, good decals,you only get 2 SeaHarriers and 2 Seakings,but can buy extras ones and Harriers come with a tug and tow bar ,I also added a Wessex, RAF Harriers and a Chinook from John (BFM).Vehicles from WEM again resin. The Escort HMS Battleaxe a Type 22 Batch 1 Frigate from White Ensign models,needed a lot a work to bring it up to Hermes standard.Last thing,not sure about having the blades look like they are moving on the Chinook,time will tell.Both kits are resin models.The figures are all Eduard. Build for HMS Hermes http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234958877-1700-hms-hermes-1982-orangehobby-resinpe/ Build for HMS Battleaxe http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234943484-hms-battleaxe-type-22-1700-wem-resin-kit/ Enjoy
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