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Found 21 results

  1. Just finished this in the Brits Abroad group build - a 1/48 Beaufighter target tug using the Tamiya kit and Red Roo conversion. The Red Roo conversion is excellent and includes the most detailed instructions I've ever seen - highly recommended. WIP is in the group build here thanks for looking Z
  2. Red Roo and Dekno have just released a 1/72nd Stinson SR-8C Reliant limited edition (60 copies) resin kit - ref. GA720800 Resin kit by Dekno Models (link), concept, research and development by Red Roo Models (link). Sources: http://www.deknomodels.com/news/soon-stinson-sr-8c-reliant https://www.redroomodels.com/dekno-models/stinson-sr-8c-reliant-raaf-172-scale/ V.P.
  3. ModelArt Australia - Issue 99 Modelart via Red Roo Models Just as it was predicted that video would kill the radio star, it was predicted that internet modelling forums would kill modelling magazines. Nether of these it would seem has come to pass. Issue 99 of Modelart Australia has come to use via Red Roo Models a supplier of Australian related modelling items, and a supporter of Britmodeller for a while now. I must admit to not being a great fan of modelling magazines over the years and generally only pick one up at an airport etc if travelling. This issue is 66 pages long and deals with a wide variety of genres and modelling topics. Kits looked at include the impressive new Africa Twin from Tamiya, and the Airfix 1/48 P-51D. For car modellers here is a build of a Ford F100, and for ship modeller the IJN Mikasa. For the aircraft modeller there is a look at converting Trumpeter's Skywarrior to an A3-D2, and a tales of two Fw 190s. As to modelling techniques there is an interesting article comparing Paint chipping solutions. For an Aussie slant there is a look at the CAC CA-18 Mustang, and a report from the South Australian Scale model Expo. The magazine also covers the normal areas such as new releases, and model news. Conclusion If you like a good read from a modelling magazine with a slant towards Australian subjects then the magazine is available for world wide subscription at what seems a reasonable rate. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. I shall be joining with the venerable Catalina. Starting with the Academy 1/72 PBY-5A kit I will add the Red Roo PB2B-2 conversion. I would have preferred to start with a PBY-5 kit but the 5A is all that is around and easy to find these days in the LHS They come with locally added RAAF decals, though I will not be using them. The Red Roo conversion includes the resin parts to make a wartime or civil PB2B-2 and the set I have includes decals for an 11SQN RAAF machine among others. Though since it also has the parts for a civil aircraft I could be tempted to build a QANTAS one! Perhaps I could do both as I have another PBY-5A kit and conversion in stash
  5. CAC CA-25 Winjeel Trainer 1:48 Red Roo Models The Winjeel (or young eagle) was developed by the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation of Australia to fulfil a post WWII requirement from the RAAF for a basic/advanced trainer to replace both the Tiger Moth and the CAC Wirraway. It is strikingly similar to the Percival Provost developed for the RAF though the Winjeel had provision for a third seat behind the two forward seats. The first prototypes proved to be a remarkably stable aircraft, in fact so stable it was almost impossible to spin. As spn training was required the tail had to be re-designed. 62 production aircraft would be built with the first being accepted into service in 1955. They were initially retired in 1968 to be replaced by the MB-326 which proved unsuccessful so they were brought back until 1975 when replaced by the PAC CT/4A Airtrainer. After retirement from the training role 14 aircraft were retained for use in the Forward Air Control role armed with Smoke bombs, these were retired in 1995. The Kit The kit arrives from Red Roo in a sturdy card box. This is a true multi-media kit with mainly resin parts (grey & clear), white metal parts, photo-etched parts, an instrument panel film, and a pair of vac formed canopies, The kit has been produced in association with Special Hobby, The resin parts are very well cast with no real problems evident (only one small thin part had broken in transit). Construction starts with the biggest part in the box the main wing. Two cut outs need to be made on each side to incorporate the clear resin landing lights. In the top of the main wing in the middle is the floor of the cockpit. Here the control columns and udder pedals with their associated structure need to be added on. The seats then need to be removed from their casting blocks and their photo-etched seat belts added. Inside the left fuselage half the engine controls need to be added, along with a similar set which go into the main wing section. The fuselage halves can then be joined up and added to the main wing section. The tailplanes are also added at this stage. Construction now moves onto the business end of the aircraft. The radial engine is made up from a central hub to which the individual cylinders are added. The exhaust system is fitted behind the engine and the PE wiring to the front. The engine mounts are added to the front of the fuselage, followed by the engine. The one piece cowl is then fitted over the engine, The vertical tail/rudder is then added along with the crew seats and rear cockpit bulkhead. The rear cockpit decking and internal frame are also added. Next up the instrument panel is fitted with the instruments being decals with the front photo-etch. Different versions are provided depending on whether the trainer of FAC version is being built. Various aerial and scoops are fitted along with the tail wheel and main landing gear. The main gear is fixed and the legs come in re-enforced metal due to the weight of the resin model. Separate brake lines and gear linkages are provided in photo-etch. Resin main wheels are then fitted. Last up the prop is added to the front and canopy is added. The canopy is vac formed, thin and clear. Luckily two are provided in case something goes wrong cutting them out. Finally using left over material from the PE fret the modeller needs to fabricate trim tabs for the ailerons. A last item of note that rounds of this package from Red Roo is a CD containing a walkaround of the aircraft in case the modeller can not find much on line. Decals A comprehensive decal sheet accompanies the kit from Red Roo with 6 decal options. All national insignia, walkways and marking bands have been included. The decal sheet has had to be cut along the top to get it to fit in the box. The decal sheet is the same great quality as Red Roos normal decals, thin with minimal carrier film and no defects. The six options provided are; A85-401 - Overall Silver with yellow training bands. A85-450 - Overall Silver with Dayglo nose, tail & wing panels (50 markings on nose). A85-405 - Overall Silver with Dayglo nose, tail & wing panels (05 markings on nose). A85-438 - Overall Silver with Dayglo nose, tail & wing panels. A85-443 - Later Orange/White/silver scheme (43 markings on nose). A85-426 - Camo FAC Scheme, Nose art "Miss Behaviour" on nose. Conclusion This is a great kit of an important trainer for the Royal Australian Air Force. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  6. Hawker Typhoon 1B Tropical Trials Unit Conversion 1:72 Red Roo Models Serious thought was given to the use of the Typhoon overseas once the problems with the engine, and rear fuselage structural problems were resolved. The proposals were first mooted in 1941 but not acted on until Winston Churchill raised the issue of them being used in the MTO. By mid November 1942 the aircraft was ready with a modified air filter being fitted. However due to engine failures and other accidents the programme was delayed. By 1943 three aircraft (R8891, DN323 & EJ908) were fitted with the new experimental filters and ferried out to the Middle East for trials. By the end of September 1943 the protracted trials were considered at an end and the three aircraft released to 451 Sqn for general flying. EJ906 was struck of charge in February 1944 due to a lack of spares, RR8891 was lost when it struck the ground in August 1994, and DN323 was stuck off charge shortly after the crash of R8891 as it was considered no longer worth the trouble of keeping it airworthy! All there aircraft features the scheme of Dark Earth & Light Stone over Azure blue. There seems to be evidence of EJ906 wearing the code letter Y, but none for the other two airframes. The resin parts though small are well cast. The decals look well printed, colour dense, and should pose no problems to the modeller. The modeller will have to use the kit, or their own national insignia.. A set of comprehensive notes and instructions are provided in addition to the decals. A 1:48 version can be found here if needed. Review sample courtesy of
  7. Gloster Meteor U.16/U.21 Drone Conversion set 1:48 Red Roo Models The Meteor like many operational aircraft found a new lease of life following its retirement from front line operational duties as a drone aircraft. These acted as both manned and unmanned target for the military. In the UK these flew as the U.16 and in Australia the U.21 as conversions of the F.8. The wingtips were modified, the nose was changed and various aerial fits were made. The cannons were removed as the spaces were used for additional electronics. The conversion from Red Roo features a new nose cone, wingtip extensions and pods, plus various different lengths of wire for the aerials. While the conversion was originally for the Classic Airframes kit it will fit the new Airfix Meteor. The new nose fits the fuselage well but the modeller will have to thin the resin of the replacement nose in order to accommodate the front landing gear assembly. The modeller will also have to remove the kit wing tips, and the cannon fairings. Decals in the form of serial numbers are provided for WK797, WH460 & WE902 of the RAF. Also A77-884, A77-207 & A77-882 of the RAAF. Conclusion This is a great little conversion from Red Roo which enables one of these 6 Australian Drones to be built, or any other U.16/U.21 with the modeller's own decals. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  8. RAAF Rank Pennants 1:72/48/32 Red Roo Models Rank pennants, are exactly as anticipated, they show the rank of a senior officer when they had their own assigned aircraft. Those provided are for the Ranks of Group Captain and Wing Commander. These are with and without a dark blue border. Conclusion This is a great little sheet for those details which only a modeller will appreciate. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  9. RAAF Kingfisher Flying Boat Decals 1:32 Red Roo Models During WWII The RAAF received a batch of 18 Vought OS2U Kingfishers which were originally destined for the Dutch East Indies. The RAAF took these on charge in 1942, while initially used as training aircraft for pilots destined for flying boats in 1943 they were used to equip No. 107 Squadron RAAF. Here they were used for convoy escort duties until the Sqn disbanded in October 1945. Post war one Kingfisher was used in support of the Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition in 194748 The Decals If at first you think there is something wrong with these decals but you can't put your finger on it; it is because of the "reversed" appearance of the decals and apparent pale colours. These decals are done with a direct deposition printer using an interesting technique where the colours are printed in the reverse order to normal screen print decals, with the whites last, followed by the glue. So instead of "sliding" the decal on, you "slap" it on! There is no problem with moving them around. A separate sheet of whites is provided for backing all the decals if needed. An interesting addition to the decal sheet is a small envelope with two small 3mm clear discs in it. RAAF kingfishers were delivered with the gunsight telescope which went through the front screen. These were removed in service and the hole plugged. The instruction have you fill the hole in the screen with crystal clear (or similar)and then use the discs over this. Now if that is not attention to detail I don't know what is! Decals are produced for four aircraft; A48-4 No.3 Operational Training Unit, Rathmines NSW 1942. RAAF Seaplane Scheme Extra Dark Sea Grey & Dark Slate Grey. A48-17 No. 107 Sqn, Rathmines, Rathmines NSW 1943. Extra Dark Sea Grey & Dark Slate Grey uppers over Sky Blue. A48-5 No. 107 Sqn, Sussex Inlet 1945. Aircraft stripped back to bare Metal with fabric areas in Aluminium Dope. A48-13 RAAF Antarctic Flight, HMAS Wyatt Earp* 1948 - Overall Trainer Yellow. *Yes the Australian Navy really did have a Ship named the "Wyatt Earp"! Conclusion The service of these Flying boats is only a small part of the RAAF in WWII and after but still worthy of note. With sets like these the modeller has a chance to build one of these aircraft. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  10. GAF (Avro) Lincoln Enhancement Set for the Blackbird Models Conversion 1/72 Red Roo Models Following on from the success of the Lancaster, Avro's infamous chief designer Roy Chadwick, developed the Lincoln as a natural evolution with the purpose of being able to fly higher, further and with a greater payload as a result of the longer wing span, greater fuel capacity and more powerful Merlin engines. Despite the prototype being first tested in 1944 shortly after D-Day, the Lincoln was too late to see service in WWII although was intended to join the Tiger Force against Japanese forces. Apart from the extended wings and fuselage, the nose was redesigned significantly incorporating optically flat panels instead of the characteristic Lancaster blister nose ti improve visibility for the bomb aimer. A further modification included a Boulton Paul turret armed with two .50 Browning machine guns. As well as this was the introduction of a mid upper Bristol turret with two 20mm cannon to significantly improve defensive firepower. The Lincolns began to replace the 4 engine heavies in RAF service soon after the war with plans to produce versions in Canada and Australia. With the end of hostilities, production in Canada was ended with only one aircraft produced, but the Department of Aircraft Production in Australia (later known as Government Aircraft Factory) produced 73 Mk.30's. The first of these entered service with No.82 wing at RAAF Amberley in 1949 where they replaced Liberators. In the 1950's, the RAAF needed the Lincoln to perform anti-submarine- duties. To incorporate the necessary equipment, 20 aircraft with modified in to Mk.31's with the most notable difference being a 6.5' nose extension. Whilst this enabled carriage of the anti-submarine equipment, the long nose made it incredibly difficult to land, particularly at night due to poor visibility. 10 of the Mk.31's were later updated to MR Mk.31 to facilitate maritime reconnaissance duties. The RAAF Lincolns took part in bombing missions along side the RAF aircraft in the 1950's operating out of RAF Tengah in Singapore during the Malayan Conflict. The RAAF eventually retired its Lincolns in 1961. The enhancement set This set is designed to enhance the Blackbird Lincoln conversion set for the Airfix Lancaster B.II that was released two years ago. Whilst the Blackbird set isn't the only conversion around (Paragon which is like rocking horse poo and the readily available Flightpath set), it is the only one for the latest Airfix Lancaster kits. I built the Blackbird kit last year (HERE) and as you can see below, it builds in to an impressive replica. Whilst the Blackbird conversion contains most of the key features to produce a pleasing Lincoln, there are still gaps in the parts list necessary to complete an accurate conversion. I addressed several of these details by scratch building, but used the Airfix FN.82 rear turret as the next best thing to the Boulton Paul 'D' type turret that was actually fitted. This is where the Red Roo set comes in with particular focus on the Australian variants, namely the Mk.30 and Mk.31's. Before I get in to the part contents, it's important to pay homage to the instructions contained in this enhancement set. I know from the build above how much research is required to complete the Lincoln conversion accurately and Red Roo have made this element of the build stress free by including an incredibly comprehensive 13 page A4 colour instruction booklet. Diagrams and detailed explanations clearly navigate the builder through the finer details of the Lincoln assembly referring to both the Blackbird conversion and Airfix Lancaster donor kit. Further, on page 11, there is a matrix of all the Mk.31's produced with the variations in turret armament , flare outlet plate, rocket rails and roundel configurations. Whilst this set is focussed on the Australian variants, the instructions would of been most welcome in building my RAF rendition of this forgotten bomber, in particular, the angular cut necessary on the rear fuselage to achieve the correct profile after inserting the fuselage lengthening plug. The parts supplied come in various formats, resin, brass coloured white metal, platicard and steel wire. The contents are: Correct Bristol Type D rear turret - resin base and gun mount with clear resin front and rear sections & white metal .50 brownings Mid upper turret - resin base and early / later clear resin cupolas, white metal 20mm cannon .50 Browning barrels for front turret - white metal Rocket rails that were carried on the Australian variants (paper template included for accurate location under the wings) Gun laying equipment blister Strike camera housing Various aerials carried by RAAF variants (white metal, resin and steel wire) Resin windows for the Mk.31 extended nose Correct tail wheel The resin components are of very good quality. The mid upper turret is located further forwards than on a Lancaster due to the extra weight, so a 15mm diameter hole will need drilling in the fuselage as explained thoroughly in the instructions. It's important to check your references on the aircraft you are building as to whether it used the early 'flatter' cupola or whether it uses the later more rounded version which has the strengthening frame across it further back from the centre line. The white metal components are nicely represented, although given the nature of the material, slightly less well defined in detail compared to the resin. That said, the perforations in the .50's are good as you can see in the photo below. The clear resin parts are nicely moulded and look to be accurate. In the review set, the later mid upper cupola has a few minor bubbles and slightly more distortion in comparison with the early version, but with a dip in Kleer, all parts should look good. Notable in the review pack was two copies of the 20mm cannon Conclusion Clearly, tackling a build that involves cutting up a kit and inserting significant plugs and additional detail is not aimed at inexperienced modellers, so this enhancement set does expect a degree of modelling competence. One could argue that some of the parts contained should of been included in the Blackbird conversion (correct BP rear turret in particular), so it is great to see a solution available. Having built the Blackbird conversion which is a great set in itself, this enhancement set would of made the build much easier, both in terms of the research provided in the instructions and the additional parts that would normally require scratch building (20mm cannon and mid upper base for example). Of course, buying a conversion and then an enhancement set pushes up the cost somewhat, but if, like me, you had wanted to build a detailed Lincoln for many years using a good donor kit, the investment is justifiable. Given the contents of this set, whilst it is primarily marketed as a RAAF enhancement, it is equally valid on an RAF variant too. Review sample courtesy of
  11. RAAF Short 'C' Class Empire Flying Boat Conversion 1:72 Red Roo Models During the early stages of WWII before Aircraft production was kicked up a notch many air arms found aircraft in short supply and looked for civilian aircraft to fill the gap. The RAAF was particularly short of long range assets. There were though a number of Shorts C Class Empire Flying boats in the country which were pressed into service. The RAAF would use five of these aircraft which would be serialed A18-10 through A18-14. Aircraft from Imperial Airways were impressed into service, where as Aircraft owned by Quatas were subject to a formal charter. Some of these aircraft would be fitted with bomb racks, and a nose aiming position, and they would receive upper defensive gun mounts. Other aircraft not fitted for bombing would also receive upper gun mounts. In all cases the gun mounts were open with a wind deflector fitted in front. Two of the aircraft would also gain camouflage colour schemes. None of these aircraft would go on to survive the war. Only one was lost to enemy action, the others to accidents. The Conversion The conversion from Red Roo is for the CMR Kit and contains; 1 clear resin bomb aiming copula, 4 bomb racks, 2 browning 0.5cal machine guns, 2 Lewis guns, 2 scarff rings, 2 azimuth arms, 2 wind deflectors, 1 template; and the decal sheet. There is a clear acetate sheet which contains a template to scribe a new hatch on the left rear of all four aircraft. This hatch retracted internally and allowed use of a Lewis gun from this position. A similar but larger hatch was located on the right hand side. This allowed engines to be loaded into the aircraft, and again a Lewis gun to be deployed. The instructions are comprehensive and need to be studied depending on which aircraft is to be modelled. Some had the bomb racks and associated bomb aiming window, and some did not. Again top armament options varied between aircraft. The metal parts are brass and so quite soft, care will be needed in handling these. A full sheet of decals is provided for all marking options. This includes serial numbers, code numbers, roundels, and fin flashes. The look to be colour dense, with no registry issues. Conclusion The service of these Flying boats is only a small part of the RAAF in WWII but still worthy of note. With sets like these the modeller has a chance to build one of these 5 historic aircraft. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  12. RAAF ARDU C-47 Dakota Project INGARA 1:72 Red Roo Models What must be the longest serving transport in the history of the Royal Australian Air Force must be the venerable Douglas C-47. Even after its successors in the form of the Caribou & Hercules were on the scene the C-47 continued to serve with the RAAF's Aircraft Research & Development Unit (ARDU) based at Edinburgh in South Australia. It was finally retired in 1994. The last job of this venerable aircraft was to take part in project INGARA. Ingara is an aboriginal word which mean "long way" Between 1992 and 1994 C-47 A65-86 was modified with a radome under the rear fuselage which housed a synthetic sideways looking radar which had been developed they the Defence Science & Technology Organisation. The project was undertaken to test the design of a radar system capable of producing high resolution ground mapping at long stand off ranges, including target detection of trucks and tanks. 75 hours were flown between 1992 & 1994. Following retirement in 1994 A65-86 is now at the Royal Australian Navy Fleet Air Arm museum at Nowra. The INGARA project did not end with the C-47, the radar was later integrated into a Beach 350 King Air aircraft to test and validate broad area airborne surveillance concepts, as part of Joint Project 129 - airborne surveillance for land operations. The experience of the Ingara team was critical in convincing the US to undertake the Global Hawk project with Australia. Scientists and engineers from what was then DSTO (now DST Group) played an integral part in adding maritime surveillance and dynamic control capability to the Global Hawk system and systematically tested the deployed system against various ISR scenarios. The system was proven in the Gulf War where tactical intelligence was collected at night and through thick oil smoke. The system is now part of the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Test Bed to assess and evaluate multi-sensor ISR issues, and is the only system of its kind in Australia that can collect fully polarimetric radar data. The Conversion This conversion from Red Roo contains the parts and decals to make A65-86 as she was when fitted with the INGARA radome. The parts are the main radome, blanking astrodome mount, VHF antenna, Blade antenna, two etched transponder aerials and a mounting plate for the radome. The instructions are clear about where to fit the parts, the colour scheme and decal placement. The decal sheet designed by Hawkeye models provides all the markings needed including the Blue cheat line. They are in register, well printed and look colour dense. Conclusion This set enables a late use C-47 to built which had an interesting and important job with the RAAF's Aircraft Research & Development Unit. Red Roo continue to bring us interesting conversions with an Australian slant. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  13. Boston/Havoc "Hedgehog" Exhausts 1:48 Red Roo Models Fitted to RAAF Bostons for night operations, this set of replacement flame-damping exhausts has the correct spiky look that garnered them the nickname "Hedgehog" exhausts. Once the moulding block has been removed, they are a drop-fit replacement to the kit parts, but as usual do check the fit before you apply glue, as you'll need to use Super Glue (CA) or epoxy, which makes a bad install tricky to recover from! Casting is good, with each spine having a hollow tip as per the real thing, and the body has a slightly rough exterior. As usual, take the precaution of wearing a mask when cutting or sanding resin, 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 and glue, as there may still be some moulding release agent on the parts when you receive them. Review sample courtesy of
  14. CAC Wirraway Stencil Decals 1:48 Red Roo Models Special Hobby's CAC Wirraway kit is about the only game in town at 1:48, and Red Roo, based in Australia have released this stencil set to ensure that those little details that make a model look more realistic are correct in every way. Arriving in a ziplok bag with the instructions acting as backing card, the decals are printed on good quality light blue paper, with the majority printed in black, but with the occasional red one for those more urgent instructions. Each decal is accompanied by a decal number in a lozenge-shaped surround, which makes them stand out nicely from the sheet. The sheet is broken up into the two fuselage sides, and the wing upper and lower, so they should be pretty easy to find. At the bottom there are a few spares to mistakes or the decal bank, which is always nice. The instructions cover two sides of A4 paper, and have been printed in colour to ease the way. Each decal is pointed out with their corresponding number, making them easy to position on the model. The decals are well-printed, sharp, in good register and with good colour density on the red. A couple of the red CAUTION markings seem very slightly low compared to their black accompanying text, and if this bothers you, you can cut them loose before wetting and position them yourself later. In all likelihood however, it's unlikely that it will bother anyone, as it is barely noticeable. Carrier film is thin, glossy, and cut closely to each stencil for the most part. Conclusion The devil is in the detail, and so is the realism. These accurate stencils will improve the look of any Wirraway model, and are well worth the investment and effort. Review sample courtesy of
  15. Hawker Typhoon 1B Tropical Trials Unit Conversion 1:48 Red Roo Models Serious thought was given to the use of the Typhoon overseas once the problems with the engine, and rear fuselage structural problems were resolved. The proposals were first mooted in 1941 but not acted on until Winston Churchill raised the issue of them being used in the MTO. By mid November 1942 the aircraft was ready with a modified air filter being fitted. However due to engine failures and other accidents the programme was delayed. By 1943 three aircraft (R8891, DN323 & EJ908) were fitted with the new experimental filters and ferried out to the Middle East for trials. By the end of September 1943 the protracted trials were considered at an end and the three aircraft released to 451 Sqn for general flying. EJ906 was struck of charge in February 1944 due to a lack of spares, RR8891 was lost when it struck the ground in August 1994, and DN323 was stuck off charge shortly after the crash of R8891 as it was considered no longer worth the trouble of keeping it airworthy! All there aircraft features the scheme of Dark Earth & Light Stone over Azure blue. There seems to be evidence of EJ906 wearing the code letter Y, but none for the other two airframes. The resin part though small is well cast. The decals look well printed, colour dense, and should pose no problems to the modeller. The modeller will have to use the kit, or their own national insigna. . A set of comprehensive notes and instructions are provided in addition to the decals. The conversion is for the 1.48 Hasegawa kit, though the guys at Red Roo tell us they are working on a 1.72 version as well. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  16. ANARE C-47 Dakota Conversion (for Italeri kit) 1:72 Red Roo Models The ANARE, or Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition, was borne out of the success of the British, Australian, New Zealand Antarctic Research Expeditions (BANZARE) which took place in the late 1920s and early 1930s. These expeditions were led by renowned explorer Sir Peter Mawson, who had been part of Shackletons Nimrod expedition in 1907 and had been a member of the party that was first to reach the magnetic south pole. Although plans to expand these expeditions were put on hold by the Second World War, Mawsons enthusiasm was undiminished. As a result of his lobbying, the Australian Government committed to establish a permanent station on Antarctica in early 1947. By the 1950s, several permanent bases had been established and were being resupplied by a specially formed Antarctic Flight equipped with Auster and Beaver aircraft. In 1959, the flight re-equipped with a specially modified Dakota. Modified by De Havilland Australia, the new aircraft was fitted with improved avionics and navigational equipment, as well as the all-important skis and JATO (Jet Assisted Take Off) bottles. Sadly, Ann Cheries (as the aircraft was christened) career lasted less than a year. During a particularly severe storm on the night of 8 December 1960, she was blown a full eight miles from Rumdoodle Base, where she was stationed, into a crevasse in the ice shelf. As it was considered impractical to retrieve her, she was abandoned to the elements. This multimedia conversion kit has been produced by Red Roo Models in partnership with Hawkeye Models, also of Australia. It is comprised of a number of resin parts, as well as various lengths of brass rod, some silver coloured thread and a piece of mesh. A large decal sheet and colourful instructions round off the package. Everything is packed into a clear plastic bag, and despite the fact that some of the more delicate items are reinforced with wire, a couple of small parts were broken when I unpacked them. I think a sturdy cardboard box would be a better choice for a package such as this. The main landing gear skis are comprised of the skis themselves, aerodynamic tailplanes and bracing wires to hold them in place. A resin jig is included so you shouldnt run into any difficulty lining everything up. The other resin parts include the rear tail ski, the fairing for the radio compass, the radome for the Marconi Doppler scanner, the oblique camera ports, the drift sight, the vertical camera port, the nose antenna fairing, the JATO bottles (reinforced with wire), the repositioned oil coolers and the plug for the gap where the oil coolers would be on an unmodified Dakota. The brass wire parts are used for various antennas and the sheet of mesh is used for the cargo net. The instructions are very comprehensive and there are plenty of drawings too. The decal sheet is superbly printed and includes a decent selection of stencils as well as all of the national markings. The Ann Cherie moniker is faithfully reproduced, as is the ANARE skiing penguin character. Conclusion If this kind of subject floats your boat then youll be very happy with this conversion set. Alternatively, if you happen to have a spare Italeri Dakota lying around and dont know what to do with it, then this set should provide some inspiration. The resin parts are nicely cast (by CMR) and the decals look like they should perform very well. Overall I think this set can be highly recommended. If you want to see what the completed model will look like, follow the buy it now link to Red Roos website or check out the picture below, showing a completed model build by Peter Mahoney of Hawkeye Models. Model by Peter Mahoney Review sample courtesy of
  17. RAAF PR CA-18 Mk. 21/23 Mustang Conversion 1:72 Red Roo Models In order to fulfil their need for a fast photo reconnaissance aircraft, the RAAF took the decision to convert a number of their CA-18 Mustangs to make them suitable for the role. The first 14 CA-18 Mk. 21 and the last 14 CA-18 Mk. 22s were duly modified with the addition of both vertical and oblique F.24 cameras in the fuselage behind the cockpit. All of the PR Mustangs were fitted with the US-built Packard equivalents of the Merlin 68. Red Roo's conversion set is designed to be used with the Tamiya or Hasegawa kits. It includes the oblique and vertical camera ports, a set of De Havilland Australia 'cuffless' paddle propeller blades, a CAC CA-18 moulded seat, decals and an instruction book. The resin parts are nicely cast, being very fine and free from bubbles. The seat in particular is an absolute gem, with a very thin backrest. The decals are also very good. They are crisp and clear just what we have come to expect from this manufacturer. Where Red Roo really stand out this is in the quality of their instructions. Although this is a relatively simple conversion, the instructions are a full 22 pages and are packed with colour and black and white photographs, diagrams, colour profiles, original aircraft manual drawings and historical notes. Decal options are included for: A68-84, the third CA-18 Mk. 21 to be converted which was fitted with a combination of bomb racks and rocket rails under the wings; A68-92, which was fitted with rocket rails only; A68-187, which was owned by Adastra Airways of Bankstown, NSW following disposal by the RAAF; and A68-200, which was the last of the photo reconnaissance Mustangs to be delivered to the RAAF. Conclusion From what I've seen, this set is pretty much perfect. It is easy to use, the subject is interesting and all of the individual components are of high quality. The instructions are a feast of information too. If this kind of subject interests you, then this set comes highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  18. RAAF P-38 Lightning (PR) Conversion Red Roo Models - 1/48 There has been some confusion over the correct designation of the three P-38 Lightnings operated by the Royal Australian Air Force. They have been described as F-4's, however this was not the case. The three aircraft were standard P-38E models which were locally converted to approximate F-4A standard. However examination of photographs reveals considerable differences between Lockheed factory built F-4A aircraft and the RAAF converted aircraft. The aircraft received by the RAAF were A55-1 (ex USAAF 41-2158), A55-2 (Ex USAAF 41-2159), and A55-3 (ex USAAF 41-2122). A further two USAAF aircraft 42-2220 & 41-2156 were loaned to 75 Sqn RAAF during the last quater of 1943. The three RAAF aircraft had a fairly short service life. They were all destroyed or damaged beyond repair as a result of undercarriage failure, or engine failure. The Conversion Kit The kit supplied by Red Roo to make this conversion is fairly simple. It contains the following parts; 1 x replacement nose tip. 2 x replacement left & right main camera nose. The parts are well cast with very little excess resin, they have very positive attachment points. The conversion is recommended for the Academy P-38. Instructions I am very impressed by the standard of the instructions from Red Roo. For such a small conversion you have 4 colour sheets for all the decal oprions. The instructions also contain contains black & white drawings, b&W photos of real aircraft. Decals Decals are provided for 4 aircraft. 1. A55-1 Ex USAAF 41-2158, this was one of only three RAAF P-38's to be operated in a natural metal finish. Some uncertainty remains of the colour of the mission markings so Red Roo have provided them in Black, blue & Red. 2. A55-1 This is the same aircraft as above, however it spent some time camouflaged in a hybrid pattern that differed from other aircraft. 3. A55-2 Ex USAAF 41-2159 This aircraft was camouflaged but had differing roundels to other aircraft as the blue outer band appears much narrower. 4. A55-3 Ex USAAF 41-2122 This aircraft had the same camouflage as A55-2 It appears that the stnd wing leading edge of this aircraft was damaged and replaced with stock USAAF part retaining the USAAF colours.. According to Red Roo's research they believe that none of the P-38R's were camouflaged in Foliage Green, Dark Earth and Sky Blue. It is believed that a quick and expedient means of creating a disruptive camouflage pattern was the application of Foliage Green directly over the USAAF olive Drab. Conclusion If you are a WWII RAAF fan, or a photo recon modeller then give this one a go, the results should be good. Review sample courtesy of
  19. Red Roo Decals 4847 - The Away Team Part 1. 3 & 450 Squadrons RAAF P-51C in Italy 1044-45 This is a large sheet featuring P-51C Mustangs of 3 & 450 Sqns RAAF. The decals seem to me to be very well printed with good colour density and in register. A full side of A4 colour instructions is provided for each decal option. The sheet provides full details and roundel to make 6 models. Most aircraft feature a light blue painted rudder with the Southern Cross on it. 1. FB128/ CV Mustang III 3 Sqn Lavariano, Italy 1945 This was one of only two aircraft fitted with Malcolm hoods. The aircraft retains a white noseband remnant of ETO recognition marks, but the rest have been removed. The aircraft has at some time been repainted in a non-factory pattern camo. RAF Colours used. 2. FX880/OK Mustang III, 450 Sqn Lavariano, Italy 1945 This was the other MK III fitted with a Malcolm Hood. The aircraft has patches of a lighter green paint either side of the engine cowlings suggesting something has been removed. The aircraft has at some time been repainted in a non-factory pattern camo. RAF Colours used. 3. KH631/ CV-V Mustang III, 3 Sqn Italy early 1945. Aircraft has factory ANA colours (or should that be colors?) The RAF Sky band at the rear has been over painted in a darker green possibly RAF Dark Green. 4. FB244/ CV-V Mustang III, 3 Sqn RAAF Cervia Italy, Jan 1945 Aircraft has been repainted in a non factory pattern using RAF colours. There is a small crocodile logo in black on the port side. The codes overlap the serial. 5. FB244/OK-F Mustang III 450 Sqn Lavariano, Italy 1945. The 3 Sqn codes were over painted in slightly lighter colours and these are given as decals to apply before applying the 450 Sqn codes.It appears this aircraft also had a repaint/repair around the port windscreen. 6. KH616/ CV-<> Mustang III, 3 Sqn RAAF, Fano Italy Dec 1944 Aircraft has factory ANA colours. Spinner is Red. Red Roo Decals 4848 - The Away Team Part 2. 457 Squadron RAAF Spitfires in the UK 1941-42 This is a medium sheet featuring 4 Spitfires of 457 Sqn RAAF. The decals seem to me to be very well printed with good colour density and in register. A full side of A4 colour instructions is provided for each decal option. The sheet provides full details and roundels to make 4 models. 1. Spitfire MK1, X4817, BP-C 457 Sqn RAAF, Jurby Isle Of Man Sept 1941 Aircraft in the standard RAF Dark Green, Ocean Grey & Medium Sea Grey camouflage scheme. A small Australian Flags was carried on the cockpit door. The significance of a small white rabbit under the windscreen is not known. 2. Spitfire MKI, N3246, BP-P 457 Sqn RAAF, Jurby Isle Of Man Sept 1941 Aircraft in the standard RAF Dark Green, Ocean Grey & Medium Sea Grey camouflage scheme. 3. Spitfire MKIIA, P8175, BP-R, 457 Sdn RAAF, Andreas, Isle Of man, Oct 1941 Aircraft in the standard RAF Dark Earth, Dark Green & Sky type S. This aircraft was a presentation aircraft that bore a silhouette map of Australia, with Charleville written beneath it. The aircraft also carried the legend “Baltic Exchange II” on the starboard side beneath the windscreen. 4. Spitfire MKVb, BL351, NP-H 457 Sdn RAAF, Andreas, Isle Of man, Feb 1942 Flown by Flt Lt J.A.A Gibson, B flight commander. Born in England but lived in New Zealand Gibson is believed to be the only Allied Pilot who flew operations in The Battle for France, The Battle Of Britain, the ETO and SWPA. He achieved 14 victories in The battles for France and Britain. Red Roo Decals 4848 - The Away Team Part 3. 457 Squadron RAAF Spitfires in the UK, MTO & Europe 1943-45 This is a medium sheet featuring 4 Spitfires of 457 Sqn RAAF. The decals seem to me to be very well printed with good colour density and in register. A full side of A4 colour instructions is provided for each decal option. The sheet provides full decals to make 5 models. 1. Spitfire MkVc, EE797, BQ-Y, El Dabra, Egypt Oct-Dec 1943. This aircraft was one of the first taken on strength by 451 Sqn. The aircraft was finished ion the Dark Earth, Dark Green over Azure Blue scheme. The Dark Green was over painted onto Middle stone areas leaving some slight over spray 2. Spitfire MkIXc MA466, BQ-S, Corsica, France May 1944. 451 Sqn was redeployed to support the invasion of Italy & Southern Europe during May 1944. This aircraft was finished in the high altitude scheme of Medium Sea Grey uppers over PRU Blue lowers. 3. Spitfire MkIXc MH771, BQ-M, Corsica July 1944. This aircraft was finished in the standard day fighter scheme, with a red spinner. 4. Spitfire MkXVIe TB592, NI-V, Matlaske, UK, March 1945. By this time 451 Sqn had been serving in the UK Since December 1944. They then moved to Marston in Feb 1945 before joinin12 group in March 1945. Operating from Matlaske the sqn participated in the hunt for V-2 rocket sites until the end of WWII. This aircraft was finished in the standard day fighter scheme. 5. Spitfire MKXIVe NH895, NI-K, Berlin, Germany October 1945. After the end of hostilities 451 sqn served as a part of the occupying forces in Germany, based at Gatow Airport in Berlin. Unlike other aircraft in the sqn NH895 did not have the camera ports painted over. The aircraft had its sky band overpainted with lead to slightly darker paint in this area Overall Conclusions These are excellent quality sheets which provide more than enough options for those modellers wanting to model RAAF Squadrons which fought in Europe. The decals look well printed, in register with a good depth of colour. The instructions are excellent and show that great deal of research has gone into producing these sheets. Even though the 1/48 sheets have been reviewed here, I should point out these are available in 1/72 as well. Review sample courtesy of
  20. RAAF PR CA-18 Mustang MK 21/22 Red Roo Models - 1/48 By 1944 the Australian government had made the decision to replace its old P-40's and Boomerangs with the excellent North American P-51 Mustang. Initially 100 P-51D's were shipped in kit form to be assembled by The Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation of Australia. These were to be know as CA-17 Mustangs, in the end 80 were completed with 20 kept for spares. These were then followed by 100 P-51K's shipped directly from the US. In 1946 CAC was afforded a contract to build 170 P-51D's, these were to be designated CA-18 Mustangs. At this time the RAAF also had a requirement for a fast photo-reconnaissance aircraft, capable of operating alongside the fighter aircraft equipping their front line Squadrons. It was not a great leap of faith to take the decision to modify the CAC Mustangs already in production for the PR role. To this end the first 14 CA-18 Mk21 Mustangs and the last 14 CA-18 Mk23 Mustangs wer modified in this way. All of these aircraft being fitted with the Packard Merlin V-1650-7 (Merlin 68)as used on the MK21 Mustang. The first 14 aircraft modified were serial numbers A68-81 to A6894 and the last were A68-187 to A68-200. The conversion itself was fairly simple. Flat optical glass was mounted in a curved frame on the port side of the rear fuselage, and a vertical camera port that extended beyond the lower surface of the rear fuselage was fitted. This was protected by a solenoid driven shutter style door. In the cockpit a small electrical panel to control the cameras and door was fitted to the port side of the cockpit, fairly low down. To aid camera alignment black sighting crosses were marked on the upper surface of the port wing, and the port side of the canopy. The Conversion Kit The kit supplied by Red Roo to make this conversion is fairly simple. It contains the following parts; 1 x oblique camera port. 1 x vertical camera port. 4 x de Havilland Australia "Cuffless Paddle" propeller blades 1 x decal sheet 1 x instruction sheet 1 x CAC Mustang locally made seat (See review of this HERE) Instructions I am very impressed by the standard of the instructions from Red Roo. For such a small conversion you have a 21 page A5 booklet. This contains black & white drawings, b&W photos of real aircraft. Colour photos of the conversion "in progress", along with full colour decal placement guides. Full conversion instructions are given for both Tamyia and Hasegawa kits. Decals Decals are provided for 4 aircraft. 1. A68-84 This was the third aircraft delivered to the RAAF In 1947 & Wears wartime Markings. 2. A68-94 As photographed at Canberra ACT in May 1950 Post war roundels. 3. A68-187 As photographed following disposal from the RAAF to Adastra Airways at Bankstown. Post war roundels. 4. A68-200 The final Photo Mustang delivered to the RAAF. As photographed at CAC Fishermans Bend, Victoria in June 1951. Post War roundels. Conclusion A must for any modeller wanting to make an accurate RAAF PR CA-18 Mustang. Review sample courtesy of
  21. CA-18 Mustang Pilots Seat RAAF Red Roo Models - 1/48 By 1944 the Australian government had made the decision to replace its old P-40's and Boomerangs with the excellent North American P-51 Mustang. Initially 100 P-51D's were shipped in kit form to be assembled by The Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation of Australia. These were to be know as CA-17 Mustangs, in the end 80 were completed with 20 kept for spares. These were then followed by 100 P-51K's shipped directly from the US. In 1946 CAC was afforded a contract to build 170 P-51D's, these were to be designated CA-18 Mustangs. As happens with home grown companies building other nations aircraft, governments intercede to equip these aircraft with home grown parts. As such the CAC CA-18's were fitted with a locally made moulded plywood seat. The seat attached to the support rails on the armour plates in the same manner that the NAA Built seat did. The seat was fitted with a three point quick release harness. The CAC seat was however a true "bucket seat as it had a depression moulded into the pan to accomodate the pilots parachute. No doubt this and other modification added to the cost of these aircraft much as similar schemes continue to do to this day! This Red Roo Models pack RRR48135 provides the modeller with two of these CAC seats. They do not come with belts. The seats are well moulded with the cast block on the bottom. The accurately capture the unique CAC Seat. In addition to the pair of seat the pack comes with a comprehensive 2 pages (4 sides) of A4 instructions. Not only do these provide information on the CAC seat, but give details of other modification needed to fit the seats. This is broken down into Instructions for Tamyia Kits, and Instructions for Hasegawa Kits. Finally information is provided on other "Aussie" mods for those wishing to super detail their kit. Conclusion A must for any modeller wanting to make an accurate RAAF CA-18 Mustang. Review sample courtesy of
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