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  1. Planet Models is to release 1/48th de Havilland DH.94 Moth Minor, tourer/trainer & coupe, multimedia kits. Source: https://www.specialhobby.net/2021/05/nova-stavebnice-serie-planet-models.html V.P.
  2. Morris CS9 British Light Armoured Car ‘Battle of France’ (MV132) 1:72 Planet Models by Special Hobby In the years before WWII, British military spending was dangerously low on the agenda of the government, who were hoping that another expensive war could be avoided, before the realisation dawned that Adolf Hitler and the Nazis weren’t going to be stopped by appeasement, but could only be routed by military action. During the mid-30s, a light armoured car was designed by Morris Motors’ commercial arm, based upon their C9 truck, but with the chassis instead covered by an armoured hull, and an open turret that accommodated two crew members that could either operate a single Vickers Machine gun, or a Boys Anti-Tank Rifle and a Bren gun. That may seem like a light armament by WWII standards, but pre-war, tanks were lightly armed and armoured to a level that the Boys rifle could penetrate. Whilst combat with other armoured vehicles wasn’t high on their to-do list, they had to be able to defend against the likelihood, as scouting and reconnaissance could result in an unexpected encounter with armour by its very nature. After two years of development, the type went into service with the British Army in small numbers, serving in the Battle of France once war broke out, where all of them were either destroyed or abandoned, and if time permitted, scuttled so that they were of no use to the enemy. They also served in the North African campaign, where they were found to be good over sand and soft ground once fitted with appropriate tyres. They were quickly outpaced in terms of armour and armament, so were withdrawn during the African campaign, with only around a hundred built. Their poor design and lack of success was typical of pre-war British armour, which was generally short-sighted and penny-pinching to the sometimes fatal detriment of the British soldiers that were using them. This is a state that wasn’t entirely resolved until the last year of WWII in terms of indigenous production, wartime fighting forces relying heavily on Lend/Lease equipment from the US. The Kit This is a brand-new tooling in resin of this little armoured car, and it is well-detailed to say the least. The kit arrives in a small cardboard box with a captive lid, and inside are a Ziploc bag full of grey resin parts, a smaller bag with orange 3D printed parts, and an even smaller bag that contains the decals and a Photo-Etch (PE) fret. The instruction sheet is folded over the parts to reduce movement during transport, and this is printed in colour, with painting and decaling instructions to the rear. Detail is excellent, with a high part count of thirty-four resin, twelve 3D printed, and thirteen PE parts in the box. Construction begins with the floor pan, which has four seats, two stowage boxes, radio equipment, gear lever and hand-brake added, the latter in PE. The dash is mounted on the bulkhead, which has the foot pedals moulded into it, and receives the steering wheel with integrated column slipped into place under the dash. The hull is moulded almost structurally complete, just adding the radiator and two 3D printed leaf-springs to the front, a pair of Lee Enfield rifles and a Lewis machine gun strapped to the insides over the rear axle. A resin bumper is fitted below the grille, and at the rear, six ammo boxes in racks of three are mounted on the rear deck, with a hatch inserted between them, and a PE number plate on the bottom right valance. A PE footstep is joined to the rear opposite the number plate, and the interior is mated under the hull, flipping the model onto its back to mount both axles and wheels, drive-shaft between the rear axle and the underside of the engine that is moulded into the floor, and adding a piece of wire from your own stock to replicate the steering linkage behind the front axle, and another 3D actuator part mounted in front of the left wheel. A PE number plate is fixed to the front along with width indicator stalks, rear-view mirrors, and a placard for unit markings. Two headlights are fixed next to the 3D printed front arches, and on the top deck a curved bullet-splash guard is bent from a flat piece of PE around the turret opening. The open-topped turret is placed over the circular cut-out, fitting three ammo boxes on ledges around the sides, then mounting the 3D printed Boys rifle in the front offset slot, a Bren gun on the rear side, and a small 3D printed part inserted through the central slot at the front, adding a PE flap at the front in the open position. Markings There are two decal options provided on the sheet, although as usual with AFVs, the number of decals is fairly small. From the box you can build one of the following: 12th Royal Lancers Regiment, A ‘Arravale’ Sqn., Avesnes, France, Autumn, 1939 12th Royal Lancers Regiment, C ‘Cores’ Sqn., France, Autumn, 1939 The decals are printed using a digital process and have good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut loosely around the printed areas. This means that the carrier film on their decals can be coaxed away from the printed part of the decal after they have been applied, effectively rendering them carrier film free, making the completed decals much thinner and more realistic, and obviating the need to apply successive coats of clear varnish to hide the edges of the carrier film. It’s a great step further in realism from my point of view, and saves a good quantity of precious modelling time into the bargain. Conclusion This is the only kit of the type, which wasn’t used in large numbers or for very long due to its failures, so it’s a boon that it’s a well-detailed kit that should be relatively simple to build once the parts are removed from their casting blocks. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  3. Elektrischer Generator 8KW für Flak Sw-36 mit Sd.Ah.51 (MV131) 1:72 Planet Models by Special Hobby Searchlights were the only way of finding enemy aircraft from the ground before the invention of radar and reliable infrared detection of targets, and all nations had their own systems to use in the run up to WWII. Germany’s system started with a 60cm reflector that output a staggering 137,550,000 candles of light in a tightly focused beam, which is the equivalent of 1.729004e9 lumens, if you can wrap your head round that number. Imagine 5,763,345 of your average 5w LED bulbs crowded into that space, and you’ll be getting there. These devices required a prodigious power supply, and could not rely on the domestic electricity supply, as it was unreliable due to the bombing, and the location of the searchlight stations wouldn’t necessarily be within range of a suitable connection. Instead, they were powered by generators that produced 8KW of DC current, using 6-cylinder BMW engines that had been used in pre-war cars, fed with petrol/gas by the attending crew. Like the searchlight, they had to be portable to go where they needed, so they were carried around on the same carriage that the searchlight used, the Sd.Ah.51. The Kit The kit arrives in a small white cardboard box with a sticker of the subject matter covering one side, and inside is one bag of parts, the instruction sheet and several packing foam pieces to protect it during transit. If you’ve already read our review of the Searchlight kit (MV130), you’ll recognise the carriage, which is made from the chassis and two wheels that slot into the axles under the arches. The print-bases with the frames cut away The generator can be left mounted on the carriage on the two tracks that accept the six wheels under the body, or it can be shown rolled off and sitting on its own wheels. The body of the generator is a single part, with the flat access door for the control panel a separate slim part that has a support moulded into it, so take care when removing it from the print-base. It can be fitted hinged up from the top to the horizontal in the open position, or by cutting off the support it can be glued over the instruments for transport or inclement weather conditions. Markings Like the Searchlight, the choice of colour is Panzer Grey for early war years, or Dunkelgelb for later operations. The cable reels should have their contents painted a black grey to represent the insulation around the cables, and the dials and switches in the control panel can be picked out using your preferred method. The carriage has just the wheels in rubbery grey, the rest is painted the same colour as the generator. Conclusion Coupled with the Searchlight kit, this makes an interesting diorama subject, or could be built alone for inclusion with a towing vehicle. Detail is excellent, and construction simple. Take your time cutting the parts free from the supports, and you’ll have a great model. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. 60cm Flak Scheinwerfer (Flak Sw-36) mit Sd.Ah.51 (MV130) Světlomet 60N s Vlekem 1:72 Planet Models by Special Hobby Searchlights were the only way of finding enemy aircraft from the ground before the invention of radar and reliable infrared detection of targets, and all nations had their own systems to use in the run up to WWII. Germany’s system started with a 60cm reflector that output a staggering 137,550,000 candles of light in a tightly focused beam, which is the equivalent of 1.729004e9 lumens, if you can wrap your head round that number. Imagine 5,763,345 of your average 5w LED bulbs crowded into that space, and you’ll be getting there. There were larger diameter lenses at 150cm and 200cm, but we’re concerned with the baby of the range, which is kitted here by Planet Models in glorious 3D printed detail. The Kit The kit arrives in a small white cardboard box with a sticker of the subject matter covering one side, and inside are three bags of parts, one of which is doing a good impression of being empty, but more on that in a moment – just don’t throw it away. The largest print base contains most of the parts for the model, including the chassis and running gear, while the cylindrical searchlight is in another smaller bag, both of which are protected by sturdy supports in the form of a framework that has small recesses where the top can be cut free with a pair of nippers without damaging the parts. We nipped them off to show off more of the exquisite detail, and they have clearly been developed with protection in mind, including a web-work of internal structure to the floor and roof that adds strength to the whole arrangement. The final “empty” bag contains two small clear acetate discs, one of which is used as the outer lens for the searchlight, the other is provided as a spare in case of loss or damage. The print-bases with the frames cut away Construction is relatively simple, which is a common theme in 3D printed models. The base of the searchlight is a single part, into which you slot the cylindrical light, painting the interior silver, then applying the clear acetate disc over the top. The carriage is built up separately, consisting of the chassis and two separate wheels that slip over axles under the curved arches. You then have a choice of joining the two assemblies together to depict he light in transit, or leaving them separate so that you can pose the light in operation, with the carriage in the background. The lights were powered by an 8KW generator when in operation, which was mounted on a similar carriage as the searchlight, and is available as a separate model, which we’ll be reviewing shortly. Below you can see all the parts on simple prototype print-bases by Special Hobby Markings There are no decals on the model, and external painting is straight forward, requiring a choice between early war Dark Grey, sometimes referred to as Panzer Grey, or the later war Dunkelgelb or Dark Yellow. The operator’s seat is painted a leather brown, and of course the tyres in a rubber grey shade. Weathering will add some visual interest to your model once basic painting is completed. Conclusion A fantastically detailed model of this compact searchlight that is a rarity in the modelling world. Careful painting and weathering will result in an excellent model. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  5. HESA Shahed 136/Geran-2 (PLT279) Planet Models by Special Hobby The Shahed 136 autonomous drone, which translates to “witness” in English, rose to prominence after the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine on 24th February 2022, when it was later rumoured that Iran was exporting these simple drones for use by the Russian aggressors, which was confirmed following the recovery of remains of several destroyed examples in Ukraine. The drone is a simple piece of equipment that has been put-together using off-the-shelf components, many of which either originated in the West, or were designed there and manufactured overseas. In Russian service they are designated as Geran-2, which means Geranium. It is thought that the Russians are now manufacturing the larger components themselves, importing only the specific electronics and other parts that would be more difficult to manufacture at short notice. They are powered by a reverse-engineered copy of a Western designed piston engine that drives a two-bladed pusher propeller, and they are noisy in operation, which makes them an easily identified target for Ukrainian snipers or anyone else with a gun and a scope to take a pot-shot in aid of their nation’s defence. Although their payload is relatively small at an estimated maximum of 50kg, they are cheap to produce, and despite their vulnerability to ground-fire, are hard to hit by other types of weapons, particularly aircraft as their radar can’t lock on easily, and the speed differential is significant. The use of a technological successor to GPS by the Russians has increased their accuracy and extended loiter time, waiting for targets of opportunity to travel into their vicinity. They are launched from a ramp, sometimes in a rack of up to five drones on the back of a truck, using a RATO pod under the centre-line of the delta-winged drone to gain height and speed, after which it is jettisoned and the prop takes over. There is speculation about the aircraft’s range, with a maximum of around 1,500 miles, but with a top speed of 115mph it would take many hours to reach a target deep within Ukrainian territory, with plenty of opportunities for interception by the eagle-eyed locals. The Kit This is a brand-new mixed media kit from Special Hobby’s resin specialist brand Planet Models, although it includes traditional and 3D printed resin, and injection styrene parts inside the small cardboard box. There are seven grey resin parts, five 3D printed parts in orange, a sprue of grey styrene, and a decal sheet that provides the minimalist stencils applied to Russian and tail-codes for Iranian airframes. It’s a very small model for obvious reasons, and all the parts are easy to remove from their casting and printing blocks, and we’re all very familiar with removing styrene parts from sprues. Construction begins with the liberation of the parts and clean-up, then the support frame is made from three styrene parts from the sprue, plus four resin castors on circular bases. The drone is moulded almost complete, needing just the fins and rudders to be glued to the wingtips, two pieces of wire or tube from your own stock inserted into recesses in the leading edges of the wing, and the nicely detailed piston-engine slotting into the rear. The RATO pack installs on a bracket and slot under the fuselage, and that’s it. You join the two assemblies together, the nose support fixing into a hole under the nose at the bottom of a retaining strap that is moulded into the drone itself. Markings There are three Russian and two Iranian tail-code options, and for the Russian airframes there are No Step/Don’t Push stencils for each of the horizontal control surfaces. The aircraft is painted an off-white all over, while the engine is different metallic shades, and the RATO pod is black. The trolley is dark grey with silver castors and rubber tyres. If you need further information, there are plenty of pictures online. Conclusion A well-executed model in my favourite scale of an interesting drone from the modern era of drone-based warfare, even though it’s on the side of the aggressor. They make quite a bang when they’re shot down, so you know when you’ve hit one, which is always good. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  6. We got this in to review the other day, and I fancied a quick build, so left the box open after I posted the review here, and knocked it together pretty quickly, although it was done in between other things, such as fixing my old folks' faulty radiator and annoying phone system, plus the usual It goes together nicely with very little effort, other than trying to keep my sausage fingers from breaking bits off it of course I painted it with some Alclad white primer with a touch of grey added to give it an off-white look, then gave it about half a dozen coats of Alclad Aqua Gloss, applying the decals about three coats in at about the same time as a mixture of Ultimate's Concrete and Dark Dirt washes to the panel lines. I picked out the rivets in mid grey with a dot of off-white on top so they didn't look too prominent, slapped some metallics on the motor, added a beige colour followed by some brown oils on the prop, and grey over a black undercoat on the stand, using some Green Stuff World Chrome for the castors, and highlighting things as I went. Here she is. Target practice for the Ukrainian troops. ...and the underside: It's 8cm from nose to tail, so not a very large model. I'm gonna glue the frame to the underside now I've taken the pics, and as it doesn't take up much room in the cabinet, it'll get in there pretty soon now
  7. Had this in the stash for donkeys, at last an excuse to just get it done. An easy kit (for resin), nice refined details, few parts, started this yesterday. Next stage is to paint the interior before attaching the tub and the one piece wing. The tub rear platform is longer and wider than the slot in the fuselage is the only fit issue. Test fitting the wing shows just a bit of fettling and filling to be done. The canopy is vac-formed and this will inevitably screw me up as it always does. I'm no fan of vac-formed. There are two copies so fingers crossed. I missed the email last January about Pledge Floor Polish (aka Future) going out of production. Not that I liked the stuff for anything but dipping canopies, my alternative was the Gunz Gauzy products (both the orange and green labels). I have not had good results with this stuff. Air bubbles or just poor self leveling in corners occurred too often than not. So I went to order some PFP..... holy crap, a $10 bottle is now expected to cost anywhere between $50 and $100. Pity the daft sods who decide paying that is a sensible option and I hope all those daft sods who bought up stocks and are trying to sell it at that price get stuck with it. I decided to try a $10 bottle of Quick Shine Multi Surface Floor Finish or QSMSFF for short. It's a bit like the Gunz stuff but takes 50mins to properly dry. That bottle will last 14 Generations if it doesn't go bad. Test fitting the wing And the jug that costs $10 The canopy dipped .... looks nice and shiny and coated to prevent damage.
  8. Ok the idea for this build is a bit of a mash up of a couple of builds I have wanted to do, but didn’t the time or the motivation for at the time. One has been running around in one form or another in my mind for quite a while now. I have come close a couple of times to starting it, (a Ho-229 was to be the base for one) and I sort of did with the Turbo-Prop Arado, but it still wasn’t quite what I had in mind. I have two similar projects on the go but they're on the back burner for a bit. The second was that I have a Planet Models Ju-388J nightfighter (Jumo 213 version) sitting in the stash that I have been dying to build and have never had the excuse to. So after seeing the Ju-88 STGB I finally had the idea of how to killer two birds with one stone and bring these two ideas together! So the plan is…… If the war had stretched into 1946 we would have seen some interesting aircraft and technologies in service, especially so with radar technology advancing as quick as is was. By the end of the war we were already seeing the next generation of radar systems which operated in the Centimetre band, like the RAF’s H2S and US H2X radars and the German FuG-240 (Berlin) & FuG-244 (Bremen) units. A few of the Ju-88’s were fitted with the FuG-240 and it was found they recovered their original speed which had been lost with the earlier radar units and their large antennas/antlers! It would have been only to be a matter of time before the use of the FuG-240 (and later versions) would have been more widespread, with it being fitted to newer aircraft models as they became available. With the venerable Ju-88 reaching it’s peak in the Ju-388 family this aircraft would have been a prime candidate for the new radar system. Well that’s the plan, chop the nose off a 388 and fit a new nose, simple really, but……….. I want it to be as believable as possible and not too whiffy which will make it a bit harder. So this will be the base, Planet Models Ju-388J-3 with Jumo 213 engines, of cause I reserve the right to add lots of other stuff as I go along, it wouldn’t a normal build if I didn’t throw in heaps of extras! The 388 is actually quite a nice model the only thing that may give me issues is the wings, they are very slightly warped and getting the dihedral right will be fun! The nose is just a resin cast of the long radome version, it looks a bit better in my opinion than the shorter version. Well best to start by cutting off the nose, luckily there is a very convenient panel line to follow for this. Strangely enough this happens to be almost perfectly round which will make life much easier as we go to fit the nose. Ok first fit, it doesn’t look all the great, I’ll need to move it forward a bit. That’s looking a bit better, so I’m going to have to add a bit to get the profiles right, I have a plan for that! First I’ll make a ring using plastic card, working with plastic will make this part so much easier! Next to fill the gap I’m going to use plastic strip like so. I just keep adding rings till I get the right diameter. Then add a disk at the back the size I require and the first part is done, only a small amount of filler required for shaping. Ignoring the joint gap for the moment I now have to decide how I want the new nose to sit, sort of inline with the horizontal axis or a bit dropped down? I like the inline one as it looks good, but I have to remember the flying attitude of the 388 (and 88 for that matter) was slightly nose up, they didn’t fly truly level! So I may need to have it slightly drooped down so the antenna face would be lined up to the vertical axis. Have a look at how the antennas were mounted on 88’s and you’ll see what I mean. Well I’ve made a start, there’s only a couple of hours work (I needed a brake from the Ta-152 as I was getting annoyed with it!) and the project is a goer. I’ve actually done the filling of the nose now as well and it’s looking good! This won’t be a full time project, just something to work on when my other builds frustrate me and I need a break from them. I can’t promise I’ll be finished by Xmas either as I’m bound to do other mods on this as I go along. This should be an interesting build!
  9. While waiting for suitable weather conditions to paint my entry in another GB (it's cold and humid), I was seduced by this excellent GB topic. Will you have me in your ranks? Drawn like a moth to light, I thought I might have a crack at my first resin kit, the Commonwealth Aircraft CA-15 by Planet Models. Looks great in the box, I do like a low parts count and ...oohah... the parts are SOLID. Let's see how it builds. I'm claiming a tenuous connection with this aircraft. It was designed and constructed at Fishermans Bend, downriver from my home in Melbourne. In addition, Dad worked as an engineer at Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation, albeit not in the 1940s. I guess the brand loyalty lingers regardless 🤓 I've known about this aircraft since early teenage years when I worked as a volunteer with the Australian Aircraft Restoration Group. I somewhat dismissively thought of it as a souped-up Mustang. Wrong! It is primarily influenced by the Focke-Wulf Fw190 and was initially designed around the massive radial engines thought to be available in 1943. CAC didn't begin assembling kit Mustangs until early 1944 and commenced manufacture in late 1944.
  10. Hi All, Not sure if I've followed formalities for a group build as I've never done one before but hopefully this thread will be allowed. After looking through the builds that are running, I thought I'd bight the bullet and build a subject that was in my float plane stash and start a subject that nobody else is covering. So, here I have my future build, a Saunders - Roe SR.A/1 Prototype Flying Boat Fighter. Some preamble: During the closing stages of WW2 the design of a jet-powered fighter flying-boat was conceived for use in the Pacific. Three prototypes were built and allocated serials TG 263, 267 and 271. The first flight was successfully made on 16th July 1947, the second and third machines were completed and joined the programme during 1948. Due to the lack of orders, the project was suspended but was revived for a short while after the outbreak of the Korean War but the increasing capability of land-based fighters forced the subjects cancellation. The aircraft made its final public appearance at the Festival of Britain by landing on the River Thames. Now the obligatory box shots Boxart. Fuselage sprue. Wing sprues. Other stuff. Decals look nice. Two vac-canopies, nice and clear. Instructions (side 1) containing some blurb, paint scheme and decal placement. Instructions (side 2) ... I've seen better. So their we have it. First job is to remove all the parts, clean it all up and pray . Also I'll need to find out the cockpit colour as nothing is mentioned about that. I plan to display the beastie on a sea base doing its stuff ,so I'll be putting test pilot 'Geoffrey Tyson' in the seat. Thanks for looking. Stuart
  11. Zetor 15 "Czechoslovak Tractor" (MV127) 1:72 Planet Models by Special Hobby Following WWII industrial plants worldwide turned in some cases to making civilian vehicles. The Zetor 15 was the first farm tractor to be produced at Zbrojovka plant in Brno after WW2. The Zetors were delivered both to civil users and the military, in Czechoslovakia and abroad as well. The Czechoslovak army for example used Zetor 15 tractors for towing the military aircraft such as the MiG15 on airfields. Amongst many unique features to be brought into tractor manufacturing they unitised parts across the range and introduced the first roll over protected cab for a tractor. The company is still in existence to this day and still making tractors after UTC Holding rescued the then failing State owned company from bankruptcy in 2002. The Kit This is a new tool kit for 2021 from Planet Models, part of the Special Hobby group of companies. It is a resin kit with a number of small parts which will need careful handling in their removal from the casting blocks. There is also a small PE Fret and a small decal sheet. A small length of wire (not included) will also be needed to finish the model. The main chassis is a single part to which the seat and controls are added along with the cooling fan on the front the exhaust. The engine cover/fuel and oil tanks is added to the radiator and all of this is added to the front of the tractor. The front steering axle is then built followed by the rear frame. The large rear mud guards go on and then the wheels. Markings There are two different styles of factory markings on the small decal sheet. Conclusion This will probably be used by most modellers for an aircraft diorama, but it will make a good stand alone build for anyone who likes tractors. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  12. Zetor 15 Military Tractor With Tow Bar (MV128) 1:72 Planet Models by Special Hobby Following WWII industrial plants worldwide turned in some cases to making civilian vehicles. The Zetor 15 was the first farm tractor to be produced at Zbrojovka plant in Brno after WW2. The Zetors were delivered both to civil users and the military, in Czechoslovakia and abroad as well. The Czechoslovak's for example used Zetor 15 tractors for towing the military aircraft such as the MiG15 on airfields. Amongst many unique features to be brought into tractor manufacturing they unitised parts across the range and introduced the first roll over protected cab for a tractor. The company is still in existence to this day and still making tractors after UTC Holding rescued the then failing State owned company from bankruptcy in 2002. The Kit This is a new tool kit for 2021 from Planet Models, part of the Special Hobby group of companies. Following on the from the civilian tractor we now have this military version. It is a resin kit with a number of small parts which will need careful handling in their removal from the casting blocks. There is also a small PE Fret and a small decal sheet, this kit also includes a 3D printed tow bar. A small length of wire (not included) will also be needed to finish the model. The main chassis is a single part to which the seat and controls are added along with the cooling fan on the front the exhaust. The engine cover/fuel and oil tanks is added to the radiator and all of this is added to the front of the tractor. The front steering axle is then built followed by the rear frame. The large rear mud guards go on and then the wheels. The tractor can be fitted with the traditional agricultural exhaust or a more modern car type one. The 3D tow bar will just need cleaning up before use, and to main eye adding. A length of wire will be needed which fits from the tow bar to the main under carriage legs of the aircraft similar in a way to the Me 262 towing arrangement so all the force is not put on the nose leg/ Markings A small sheet gives number plates and a set of cowl markings. Conclusion A great diorama accessory for you early Czech aircraft. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  13. 15cm TbtsK C/36 WWII German Atlantic Wall Gun (MV126) 1:72 CMK by Special Hobby This 15cm gun was originally designed for a range of new destroyers commissioned by the German Navy, but their weight caused some issues that often led to a turret being removed and another replaced by the C/38 twin gun in order to keep the barrel count the same. This left a number of “spare” turrets that eventually found their way to form part of the supposedly impenetrable Atlantic Wall that was the purview of Erwin Rommel in the run up to the inevitable invasion by the Allied forces. Because they didn’t yet know the location of the impending attack, the wall was stretched thin along most of the northern French coat, and up as far as Norway. These guns were mounted upon a concrete casemate that kept them stable and able to rotate as necessary to engage targets. The gun has a splinter shield on the front, sides and roof, but with an open rear that could mean a cold post if you were unlucky enough to be assigned to one during the winter. There were two sighting hatches at the front, and four inspect covers around the bottom of the shield to inspect the powerful electric motors used for traversing the assembly. Needless to say, many of these guns were pummelled into extinction by the Allied invasion force from offshore, overhead, and from behind once the troops reached the shores. The Kit This is a rebox from Special Hobby via their Planet Models brand, and it arrives in a small white cardboard box with the front adorned with a large sticker that shows you what’s inside in the shape of a number of 3D renderings. Inside are seventy-one resin parts on a number of casting blocks, a small fret of Photo-Etch (PE) parts, and the A5 folded instruction booklet. Detail is excellent, although a few parts had come off their blocks in transit on my example, and a tiny bicycle-style seat had gone missing somewhere along the line. Check your kit when it arrives, just in case. Construction begins with the breech, which is exceptionally well detailed, fitting a toothed wheel at the base, and then adding the working floor, aiming and elevation gear to the sides, and a set of two triangular supports for the foot-plates. The turret shroud has the majority of its apertures flashed over, and the trailing edge needs the moulding attachment points sanding away, after which the various doors and hatches are installed along with their supports. The shroud is then slid over the internals and glued in place. The cylindrical base attaches to the underside, and the big barrel tube can then be super glued into the breech through the front to complete the job. A number of scrap diagrams show how the model inside the shroud should look once built, so you have one last chance to check your work before you get too far. The back two pages of the instructions are covered with adverts for recent releases. Conclusion A very unusual model that might not otherwise have been made in this scale, although the contents of the box could have been protected a little better to prevent damage to parts. My sample had a few styrene peanuts in the box, but maybe a few more were needed. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  14. I’m calling this finished! The yellow was difficult to work with, but the kit itself was a decent fit, especially considering it’s resin. I was surprised to read that over 1,000 of these were built between 1940 and 1943, mostly for use in the paratroop training role. Towed to a height of 6,000 metres, the glider had a range of around 140 miles. This example was based at RAF Weston on the Green in Oxfordshire in the early 1940s.
  15. I don’t usually have more than one model on the go as I like everything tidy and compartmentalised, but this one is another build for a client who’s requested it by mid-December, so I need to get on with it while I’m waiting for the F-16 exhaust. It’s an oddly proportioned aircraft, looking like it should be Wellington bomber sized but is actually smaller than a Tornado, despite apparently being a troop carrier! It can’t have been much fun being squeezed into one of these in full kit on your way to get shot at. Massive respect to those brave lads. Oh good, more resin. 😐 And vac-formed canopies. Metal undercarriage and lots of portholes. Masking should be interesting. I’ve been asked to build this scheme, so I’ll look at it as good experience for when I get around to making my Canberra TT.18 from the Alley Cat conversion pack. Has anyone built this kit, or have any tips for spraying those stripes!?
  16. Named after a genus of dragonflies, this prototype aircraft was built and tested by Miles Aircraft in 1942 as a private venture design for a carrier-based aircraft. The odd design was a response to the requirement for an unrestricted view of the carrier deck. Apparently handling was initially terrible until CoG problems were overcome. More on this design here, if anyone is interested: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miles_M.35_Libellula The kit is resin, with metal undercarriage legs and a vac-form canopy (two of which are provided, in case of cutting issues I assume!) Despite being resin, it was a fairly straightforward build, apart from getting the yellow to look reasonable. I did add nose weight too, but I’m not actually sure if that was needed or not. This one is a build for a client, so here are a few photos before I post it off to them.
  17. Here is a very strange type, an aircraft I hadn’t even heard of before, until I was asked to build it as my second pro build for a client. In fact I hadn’t even heard of Planet Models either. It’s 1/48 but still tiny, with vac-form canopies and some metal parts. A very strange looking contraption indeed! But it should be an interesting build, very different from my recent Tornado and Jaguar! Has anyone else built this kit before?
  18. CAC CA-25 Winjeel (259) 1:48 Planet Models by Special Hobby Winjeel is the name for “young eagle” used in Victoria by the original Australians, and the aircraft was designed and build in the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation in that area during the 1950s. It was designed as a trainer aircraft to fly in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), replacing the previous Wirraway and Tiger Moths, although it required some redesign to make it a little less stable so that spin-recovery training could be undertaken. In an effort to phase out the prop trainers, the powers that be tried to replace it with an imported Macchi jet trainer, which failed and led to an extension of the Winjeel’s service life until the mid-70s with a few serving until the 90s as a Forward Air Controller (FAC) after which time it was replaced by the Pilatus PC-9 turbo-prop. The Kit This is a Planet Models reboxing of the 2016 resin kit by Red Roo with amended decals, and should give some relief to those that have been in the market for one. It arrives in a smallish top-opening box with the parts inside heat-sealed partitioned bags to reduce the chances of chaffing or breakage of the small parts during shipping or moving around once you own it. A few of the exhaust collector pipes had broken off in my sample, but these were easily glued back with small quantities of super glue There are three main bags of parts, with the larger fuselage and heavier full-span wings kept separate from the smaller parts for obvious reasons. The two vacformed canopies are again in another bag with the Photo-Etch (PE), a pre-printed acetate sheet, clear resin parts and white metal parts, plus of course the decal sheet. The instruction booklet is A5 and has colour profiles on the rear pages for painting and markings. Resin usually comes still attached to its pour block, which is where the liquid resin is poured into the mould and acts as an overflow and bubble-catcher for more rustic manufacturers that don’t have access to pressure casting methods. These will have to be removed before you can assemble or paint the parts, so there will be a little extra time needed to prepare the model for construction. With resin, you should take the precaution of wearing a mask when cutting or sanding it, as the tiny particles are harmful to your health if breathed in, which is the same with all small particles. Washing the parts in warm water will remove any sanding residue and also improve the adhesion of paint, as there may still be some mould release agent on the parts when you receive them. Take care not to use water that is too hot, as this may cause deformation to more delicate parts, and this technique can conversely be used to fix warped parts, followed by cold water to “freeze” the changes in the parts. Construction begins with the wings for a change, cutting out segments of the leading edge on each side to accommodate the clear landing lights, which you can drill out the back of to depict the lights inside. A number of small parts are fitted to the cockpit floor, which is also the top surface of the wing, then the fuselage halves are also detailed with resin and PE parts before it is closed up and mated with the wing in close succession. The elevators are placed on the flat at the rear of the fuselage with the tail fit inserted into the slot on the top, then there is a brief pause while the complete Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN-2 Wasp Junior nine-cylinder radial engine is made up around a central hub with separate cylinders, wiring loom, exhaust collector and an aft spacer part so that it sits correctly within the cowling. There are three seats within the cockpit, and they all have four-point seatbelts supplied on the PE fret, backed by a rectangular panel toward the rear of the cockpit, the majority of which is painted a bright grass green in some airframes. The front of the fuselage has two circular parts installed, followed by the engine and finally the cowling, which is cast as a single part with flashed-over cooling ports that will help show off your work on the engine when complete. The instrument panel is backed by a resin part, with a small lump on top that is only necessary for the FAC role, so should be removed if necessary for your choice of decal. There are two PE panels and acetate backers supplied, one for the trainer, the other for the FAC aircraft, so again choose your panel depending on your decal choice, or leave the resin panel and paint that if you prefer, and add the roll-over frame over the seats for those inevitable accidents. A tiny rudder actuator arm is fitted low-down on the fin and on all the trim-tabs, then four small clear resin lights are glued inside the cockpit, at the very tip of the tail and at each wingtip. Underneath the aircraft the white metal tail-wheel is installed in the rear, an intake and exhaust are glued under the nose with two PE parts joining them. The wheels are fixed, and the white metal struts are given PE scissor-links and brake lines, then glued to the underside of the wing into small depressions, adding wheels and pitot probe later. The canopy is vacform and beautifully clear as a result, doubled-up just in case you have an accident or want to cut it to open up the cockpit and make a slip-up. Careful cutting with some Blutak holding the canopy in shape, followed by careful sanding of the edges to ensure a good fit will see you with a spare to offer to others in the future if they have problems. The FAC version has a small aerial in front of the cockpit and blade antenna at the rear, plus a windscreen wiper and sensors in front of the windscreen, leaving just the two-blade prop to be slid into the bell-housing of the engine. Markings There are four markings options in the box, with four-view colour drawings of each option at the rear of the instruction booklet, allowing you to make one of the following: A85-404, No.1 Basic Flying Training School, RAAF Point Cook, 1964 A85-411, FAC Aircraft, No.76 Sqn. RAAF Williamtown, 1990 A85-415, FAC Aircraft, No.76 Sqn. RAAF Williamtown, 1990 A85-415, No.1 Basic Flying Training School, RAAF Point Cook, 1965 The decals are anonymously printed, but generally have good register, sharpness and colour density, except for a little bleed on one of the blue arrows, but that can easily be cut off before application. The glossy carrier film has been printed slightly high too, but it still covers the printed areas so shouldn’t be of issue. Conclusion A welcome re-release of a niche product made and flown by our Australian allies after WWII. Detail is good, casting blocks sensibly placed, and with the addition of PE, white metal, clear resin and two vacform canopies, that detail is improved even further. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  19. Planet Models is to release 1/48th General Aircraft Hotspur glider kits. - ref. PLT211 - General Aircraft GAL-48 Hotspur Mk.II - released - link - ref. PLT213 - General Aircraft GAL-48B Twin Hotspur Mk.I Source: http://www.specialhobby.net/2017/04/plt211-gal-48-hotspur-mkii-plt213-gal.html V.P.
  20. I hardly build Spitfires or Messerschmitt Bf 109s anymore. In my old modelling days I see to drift more and more towards the esoteric and strange when it comes to aircraft! I am not sure why, but I love these odd, hardly-built-at-all planes! The FFVS J 22 was built in reasonable numbers, but is still quite unknown to many aviation enthusiasts. But I had to have Planet Models new 1:48 kit of this and when I discovered there was an all red specimen amongst all the standard painted and marked ones, I of course had to make that one! It was called "Röda Blixten" which means "red lighting", quite appropriate, I think! I apologise for the rather bad images, I am certainly no photographer!
  21. 15cm TbtsK C/36 WWII German Destroyer Gun (MV125) 1:72 Planet Models by Special Hobby Battleships need guns to make them the offensive weapons that they are, and during rearmament, Germany was searching for a larger weapon for their torpedo boats and destroyers. The gun chosen was the 15 cm TbtsK naval gun, which was capable of lobbing a 100lb shell almost 24 miles at a medium elevation. It was a little too much for some existing ships, but when mounted in new builds it was a useful tool. The gun was typically mounted either singly or in pairs, the former being the C/36 that is the subject of this kit. The Kit This kit arrives in a white cardboard box with a large sticker showing off the subject from the front, and four smaller views with and without the splinter shroud below. Inside are three bags of parts and the instruction booklet. Two bags contain resin parts and the final bag holds the Photo-Etch (PE) sheet, with the turret shroud loose in the box, but protected by a number of packing peanuts. Construction begins with the breech, which is exceptionally well detailed, fitting a toothed wheel at the base, and then adding the working floor, aiming and elevation gear to the sides, and a set of two triangular supports for the foot-plates. The turret shroud has the majority of its apertures flashed over, and the trailing edge needs the moulding attachment points sanding away, after which the various doors and hatches are installed along with their supports, as seen below. The shroud is then slid over the innards and glued in place. The cylindrical base attaches to the underside, and the big barrel tube can then be super glued into the breech through the front to complete the job. A number of scrap diagrams show how the model should look once built, so you have one last chance to check your work before you get too far. The back two pages of the instructions are covered with adverts for recent releases, and the Life Raft sets that we also have in for review are amongst them, often being found lashed to the sides of the turret on the real thing. Conclusion There seems to be a rash of various turrets and suchlike from ships of various eras in various scales, and this one adds a slightly left of field option that is presented in serious detail. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  22. GAL.48 Hotspur Mk.II (211) 1:48 Planet Models by Special Hobby General Aircraft Limited were approached by the British government to create a new troop-carrying glider after the German Fallschirmjager’s successes with them in the early war. The Hotspur was the result, but it was soon realised that its 8 troop limit was insufficient for their needs going forward, and the initial Mark.I suffered from some teething troubles that were addressed by the more competent Mk.II after only 18 Mk.Is were made. Changes to the wing were made to improve flight characteristics, and the fuselage was stiffened to reduce the likelihood of it breaking up during a hard landing. Other improvements included a braking ‘chute that prevented it from careening through field and glen after its 91mph landing (a terrifying prospect if landing downhill), a better canopy for visibility, and side doors to aid fast deployment of the troops. Because of the type’s limitations however, the glider was generally used in training because of its forgiving handling characteristics that helped learner pilots, although it did have a high sink-rate that was either a boon or a curse, depending on whether anyone was shooting at you. In the run-up to D-Day, it was suggested that the gliders could be used to carry crew and equipment over to the makeshift RAF airfields in France, and Spitfire Mk.IXs were considered for the towing task. Experiments showed that it was just about practical, but the caveats were that the Spits had a habit of overheating due to the low speed, and would have been vulnerable to enemy fighters whilst towing at a stately 160mph maximum. Some bright spark even thought of increasing the passenger numbers by creating a twin-fuselage “Zwilling” with a straight 12ft centre wing section between the two fuselages. That one got as far as prototyping, but it would be an easy conversion if you had two kits to hand. once hostilities ceased, the Hotspur was retired rapidly as the training need had evaporated overnight, but fortunately a few airframes found their way to museums, where they remain today. The Kit This is a new tool resin kit from Special Hobby’s resin division, Planet Models. It has had a long gestation that has been further extended by the vagaries of the pandemic, but at last it is with us. It arrives in a small white box with a large sticker on the lid to tell us what’s inside. On opening the captive lid we find several heat-sealed and channelled bags within, containing all the resin parts, using trapped air to protect the parts, and the rest of the box filled with packing peanuts to further protect the contents. The largest parts are the fuselage halves and the two wings, followed by the elevator fins, and twenty-two smaller parts in the same grey resin on twelve casting blocks. Two vacform canopies, 13 clear resin window plugs, two white metal gear legs and a decal sheet round out the package, with the instruction booklet supplied on three sheets of A4 printed on both sides, and with colour profiles on the rear pages. Resin usually comes still attached to its pour block, which is where the liquid resin is poured into the mould as well as acting as an overflow, and as bubble-catcher for more rustic manufacturers that don’t have access to pressure casting methods. The blocks will have to be removed before you can assemble or paint the parts, so there will be a little extra time needed to prepare the model for construction. With resin, you should take the precaution of wearing a mask when cutting or sanding it, as the tiny particles are harmful to your health if breathed in. Washing the parts in warm water will also improve the adhesion of paint, as there may still be some moulding release agent on the parts when you receive them. Take care not to use water that is too hot, as this may cause deformation to more delicate parts, but this technique can conversely be used to fix warped parts, using cold water to “freeze” the changes in the shape. Construction begins with cleaning up the parts, such as the fuselage, which has a few areas where casting blocks have been, and clearing away any flash from the windows and join lines. After that, the cockpit is made up from a narrow floor with seats and twin control columns, the ribbed sides of the fuselages with additional bracing and equipment added, plus a twin frame that makes up the cockpit sills, to which two simple instrument panels are fitted, along with some dial decals to improve detail. The fuselage has a number of windows dotted around, and these are all clear resin parts that are inserted from inside, so they need fitting and sanding flush if necessary before you join the fuselage halves around the cockpit floor, then you add the sills in the opening and the canopy over the top of that. Many people are a bit phobic about vacform canopies, but with some blutak pushed inside it to hold it rigid and by using a sharp blade, they are relatively easy to cut out as long as you make regular light strokes. With the fuselage closed up, there is bound to be a little sanding and possibly some filling, so please remember the precautions mentioned above. The white metal landing gear has a tiny “spat” cover that plugs up the socket for the strut when it isn’t in use, but when fitted, it hangs over the front of the leg, which is outfitted with a pair of small resin wheels, with four supplied in total. The wings and elevators all fit using the traditional slot and tab method, and epoxy may be a slightly more forgiving option for these joints, as it gives you some curing time to ensure you get the correct dihedral on the main planes, and fit the elevators perpendicular to the tail fin. Once all those parts are cured and made good, you can fit the long skids into the holes under the fuselage. On my example those were a little obscured by flash and moulding debris, so if this happens to you, use the skid parts as a pattern if you’re having trouble finding some of them. That’s it! It was a simple glider, so it should be a simple kit. Nice though. Markings You get two decal options in the box, both of which are for training units. You can build one of the following from the box: BT551/L No.2 Glider Training Unit, Weston-on-the-Green, Oxfordshire, England, 1942 BT744/B1 No.1 Service Flying Training School, RAF Netheravon, England, 1942 The decals have good sharpness, register and colour density, although the yellow around the roundels do look like they could be a little translucent. There has been a lot of speculation about the colour schemes around the web, and that includes Britmodeller, so have a look at the thread [url= https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235019681-148-general-aircraft-gal-48-hotspur-mkii-gal-48b-twin-hotspur-mki-resin-kits-by-planet-models-hotspur-mkii-released/&do=findComment&comment=4108029]here[/url] to see what people have to say on the matter. Conclusion It’s been a long time coming, so troop glider fans will be very pleased that it has finally landed, and that it’s a 1:48 Hotspur. Detail is good, the resin is well-crafted, and once clean-up is completed, it should go together much like an injection moulded kit. Take care of the seams with super glue or epoxy, and make sure you have plenty of masking tape handy if you plan to depict the yellow/black striped decal option. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  23. It seems I've been running my own private KUTA build for some reason, with the J-22 that stalled during the summer, the (also Swedish) Tunnan, and my long-standing Tactical Pod Regult builds all seeing some action over Christmas and the New Year. It's been nice doing some modelling again, but BOY have I gotten rusty! This is the excellent Planet Models 1:48 FFVS J-22A fighter, which most folks including me have probably never even heard of! It kind of looks like a Swedish take on the Fw.190 after a fashion. It's pretty much out of the box except for the gunsight, which was a bit simplified, and some struts to hold the canopy open. painted with Lifecolor, Mr Color, a bit of Alclad (mostly primers), some of the new AMMO Bare Metal series, and whatever else I could lay my hands on, Ultimate Washes, the superb AKAN Flat varnish, and some old Mig filters too on occasion. Thanks to @petr@SpecialHobby for the review sample, and to Sten from Flying Colours Aerodecals for the additional decals I needed. Pictures... here they are: Thanks for watching, and if you've enjoyed it, please remember to hit like and subscribe... oh hang on, that's YouTube You can find the Work in Progress (WIP) thread here if you're bored.
  24. I think I'm pretty lucky. I earned by glider and power pilot wings through the most excellent Royal Canadian Air Cadet program. Went on to get my commercial, multi-engine and instructors rating all before 20 years of age. I had two airline jobs lined up in 1981 but due to a recession at that time they never came to be. No worries, I ended up having a great career at Honda Canada, where I had multiple jobs that took me coast to coast and even to Japan. I have a terricfic wife and two grown successful sons. I retired at a not too old age some years ago and in 2018 I couldn't resist the "Flying Bug" anymore, renewed my license and joined a small flying museum 15 minutes from the house. Edenvale Classic Aircraft Foundation (www.classicaircraft.ca and on FaceBook) has a small group of volunteers and we look after a number of RCAF artifacts and four flying aircraft. We have a 1943 DH82a RAF Tiger Moth and a 1943 Fleet PT-26 Cornell both of which we use for public rides. We also have a 1947 (1963 rebuilt) Fleet Canuck and a 1947 Auster A.O.P. VII ex RCAF and these are used for pilot training. I am lucky enough to have flown them all and will be doing my check out on the Tiger Moth this summer. Lucky guy for sure! Any way this brings me to this subject, the 1/48 Planet Models Fairchild PT-26 Cornell. This is the only option (I believe) for a kit of our Cornell. I have decided to model it after our own since I have all the reference I need and I really want to have one on the shelf. I have a Silver Wings 1/32 Tiger Moth to do after that check out. The kit is resin and requires some skills to bring together. Typically the parts have a few issues such as slightly warped fuselage halves, some parts are a bit crude and details that do not match our aircraft. In addition to building with superglue I will be correcting some details and (gasp) scratchbuilding the two cockpit interiors. I have not done very much scratch work and this will push my comfort level. It will also give me practice for another Tiger Moth, this one a Matchbox, that I am building for one of our members who restored our museum Tiger. First off her is our handsome pilot and model builder with our Fleet PT-26 (Fleet built PT-26s under license in Fort Erie Ontario). She was RCAF FV720 built in late 1943, delivered to RCAF in Sept 1944 to No. 1 Air Traning Command in Brandon Manitoba, she was actually kept in Reserve and sold in 1946. More history is available if anyone wants to know. The kit in its flimsy box Which provided all of the parts safely EXCEPT for the one-piece wing which is no longer "at one with itself". Oh well it will be fixed. Here is a typical part, the right wing tip. Some flash but very few pinholes or short molds. Overall the quality of casting, outline and detail is very good. THE NOTCH in the wing tip is supposed to be there but it is a hand-hold and so I will need to add the outer portion, essentially a bar that continues the wing outline. Like this... Well time to start dry-fitting and see how it is going to come together. Thanks for looking.
  25. I really like these early Luftwaffe flying boats, so when this one appeared on evil bay I couldn't resist it. Really nicely moulded parts. Having never built a Planet kit before I'm looking forward to this one. Cheers Pat
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