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  1. Jagdtiger Sd.Kfz.186 Porsche Production Type (8003) 1:35 Takom via Pocketbond Ltd. The King Tiger was a development of the original Tiger that itself terrified Allied troops, but its fatal weakness was further stressing the over-stretched drivetrain by piling on yet more weight without significant improvements to the capabilities of these important areas. When running, the King Tiger was a formidable foe, but too often it was to be found broken-down and abandoned, often because of something trivial. This was of no use to the Germans, who were already short of tanks due to their complexity and losses on both fronts, and if the vehicle was abandoned in battle the crew were more than likely to scuttle it if they were able, or the Allies would pump a few rounds into it just to be sure. Adding yet more weight to the King Tiger by creating a heavy tank killer would not seem to be a bright idea, this is exactly what the German engineers did. They stripped off the upper hull, discarded the turret and installed a fixed casemate with a huge Krupp 128mm main gun that could defeat any tank of the day with a single shot from outside the range of most if not all Allied armour. The gun had some lateral travel for fine-tuning its aim, but any significant change in direction required the driver to reposition the vehicle, needing firm cooperation between driver and gunner to achieve good results. The usual two contenders for the project were Porsche and Henschel, although these differed mainly in the suspension area, with the Porsche suspension using 8 wheel stations while the eventual successful bid from Henschel had nine, helping to spread the ground pressure a little. Only eleven of the Porsche design were made early on, the rest by Henschel. With 250mm rolled-steel armour on the casemate that was almost impenetrable, the weight caused extreme stress on the Maybach engine, which could only travel 50 miles at slow speed over rough ground on a full tank of fuel. As fuel was becoming short at that point in the war, this later became a serious problem when the two recipients of the type lost a fifth of their strength due to fuel-shortage related issues. The seemingly perennial issue with Nazi tanks was the complexity of their designs, which meant that fewer than 100 were produced before the end of the war, although there is some uncertainty on those numbers due to the breakdown of record keeping toward the end. After the war three vehicles were saved for evaluation, and one still resides in the Tank Museum at Bovington. It is only when you have stood next to the vehicle that you realise what a monster it is. The Kit This is a rebox of Takom’s 2019 kit, with a new lower hull that has one less roadwheel station for this very early series that were pressed into service due to the general lack of “proper” production examples. It arrives in a standard top-opening box with an attractive painting on the top, and inside you will find ten sprues and two hull parts in grey styrene, a small fret of Photo-Etch (PE) parts, decal sheet, and instruction booklet that has a colour painting guide to the rear. This is an exterior kit, and has individual track-links on four of the sprues that have excellent detail on their constituent parts. Construction begins with the new lower hull, adding bump-stops, idler wheel axles and armoured inserts for the final drive housing at the front, then it is outfitted with eight two-wheel bogies each of which is made up from six parts and are split into two sets of four, handed to suit. The massive bellhousing around the final drive is clipped into place, and it is topped with a two-part drive sprocket on each side, with a smooth three-part idler wheel at the rear. Work begins immediately on the tracks, which are large and each made up from three parts, with 47 double-length links on each side. My test build of a short section of 5.5 links took a while, as there are a lot of sprue gates to trim, most of which also require some clean-up, and there is a single ejector-pin mark on the inside of the link, which can see in the photo above, and may need hiding if you are planning to depict your Jagdtiger with nice clean tracks. That’s your choice of course, and a lot will be hidden by the road wheels, which are densely packed. The links can be made to be flexible after they are glued, but it requires care and sparing use of liquid glue or perhaps one of the more viscous types available to reduce capillary action drawing the solvent into the hinge cavities. My first attempt to make all six links at once led to the links falling apart as soon as I handled them because the glue was drying too quickly to bond, so another attempt was made by assembling them one at a time, and flooding the exterior detail of the links with a little liquid glue after to improve the bond. You might find a better solution, or opt for an aftermarket resin or metal alternative. With the tracks out of the way, the rear bulkhead with exhausts, inspection hatches and pioneer tools are made up, adding heavily armoured cast covers where the exhaust from the bulkhead, the two parts having a satisfying cast texture moulded-in. The rear is inserted into the lower hull and has a pair of mudflaps fitted to the end of each sponson. The upper hull is largely complete thanks to some slide-moulding, and is detailed with mushroom vents, lights, pioneer tools and crew hatches, then styrene towing cables moulded with the barrel cleaning rods between them, plus a store of additional track links attached by brackets to both of the casemate sides. The travel lock is made for the front, capable of being used or stowed, periscopes and sighting binoculars in their armoured slot are fitted to the roof along with various lifting hooks at the corners because armour is heavy and deep maintenance requires their complete removal, particularly of the engine deck. More periscopes are inserted into the front and casemate roof from the inside, and these parts are moulded in grey styrene, so a coat of silver and some translucent green might be in order to add a little detail before adding the armoured covers. The kügelblende is fitted to the exterior, but with the bow machine gun muzzle in its ball-mount added from inside, which can be left mobile with careful gluing. The engine decks were covered with louvers to draw fresh air in and allow hot air to escape, and these were covered with mesh grilles to protect from dust, debris and of course grenades that could immobilise the expensive tank from within if they get through the armour. These are found on the PE sheet and are glued over the cast louvers and accompanied by some small pioneer tools and a fire extinguisher, then the main engine hatch is fitted out with multiple mushroom vents, lifting eyes and an anti-aircraft mount for the MG42 on the back deck. The rear of the casemate has a clamshell door that worked as crew entrance as well as the only route in and out for the gun if it needed to be removed for replacement or repair. Even the hinges are heavily armoured, with twin door handles for dramatic entrances, and matching locks on the inside to keep out unwanted guests or pranksters. A small pair of location marks above the doorway should be removed for this variant and the rolling texture will need to be replaced if you are heavy-handed. A pair of large towing eyes are clipped in place on the rear of the hull sides that project aft of the rear bulkhead. The big main gun is mounted across the tops of the sponsons in the lower hull, but the gun tube is first made up from two halves, split vertically and with a separate hollow muzzle at the tip. There is a pivot point moulded into each half toward the rear, and these are trapped in place by the four-part mount, which has a curved stopper that prevents the gun from dropping beyond its real-world abilities. A pin on the underside of the mount fits through the bottom brace and is glued to a small cap below to permit the gun to traverse the 10o as per the real gun, then it is glued into the hull and the upper hull is slid into place over the barrel. At this stage the casemate front is a bit breezy, as the front plate isn’t yet installed, but this is now rectified and the big mantlet and short gun sleeve are pushed into place over the gun tube. The final parts are the side skirts, which are supplied as a single length per side, plus another for the curved fenders at the front. In reality these parts would often get bent, dented or lost during battle, and modellers often create their own damage, thinning the kit parts and simulating dents etc., or they resort to PE aftermarket for scale thickness and easy bending. Markings There are three options on the decal sheet and in the instructions, with the profiles penned by AMMO to get their paint codes in there and gain extra customers. From the box you can build one of the following: 3./Schwere Panzerjäger Abteilung 653, Morsbronn, France, March 1945 3./Schwere Panzerjäger Abteilung 653, Morsbronn, France, March 1945 3./Schwere Panzerjäger Abteilung 653, Ritterschoffen, France, March 1945 The decals are printed anonymously, and are in black and white. They have good register, sharpness and colour density, with a matt carrier film reasonably close to the printed decals. Conclusion The Jagdtiger was an incredible piece of military equipment that if fielded sooner and in greater numbers could have possibly made a difference to the outcome or at least delayed the success of D-Day at the very least. Luckily, they came too late and in too small numbers to make any difference at all, soaking up resources that could otherwise have been spent on simple, effective projects instead. The detail throughout is good, with a subtle texture to the rolled armour, and a different texture applied to the cast parts. The tracks are very detailed, but a little fiddly for my ham-fists, but with care they will get the job done. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of UK Distributors for
  2. Hi friends, Type 69-II Takom with Aber barrel : build finished
  3. So chaps, the next build will be something that is very dear to me, Veh reg 09EA90 ( G3 Ops) my old ride at 6th Armd Bde Salamanca Barracks in Soest West Germany. I signed for the detachment back in 1990 as a young Signaller barely just out of school, 09EA90 was straight out of base workshops after a major overhaul so it was basically a brand new wagon, the paint finish was immaculate ( sprayed black and green) , not a chip or scratch and all the kit was brand new first issue. (didn't stay like that for long) I'll be using the great Takom FV432 as the basis of this conversion which will be a in depth conversion. Most people wouldn't be able to tell a 432 and 436 apart from first glance but there are a bucket load of differences, the interior is the major headache as it filled with Radio kit. 09EA90 had a twin 353 Zulu fit along with a single 321 and a SCRAT fit. We also had 3 Ptarmigan subsets and the Redbrick TAC IC system. Adding to that I have to scratch build the new cage as the Takom cage is too small for a 436, a 1500 w Onan gene set and add the various armoured boxes on the roof plus the Racal 8m masts and mounts. After the first Gulf War our Squadron started getting the GPMG to fit on the commanders cupola, the Infantry started getting the swearing removed LSW as a section weapon so us Signallers got the GPMGs that were surplus to the Infantry. We did still have the LMG (Bren) up until that point but no mounts to fix them to the cupola. The box shot I need to find more of my photo's from the day but here are a few of 09EA90 First photo is of the Forward Headquarters 6th Armd Bde, 09EA90 (G3 Ops )on the left, centre is Radcon and the right hand side is one of the Ptarmigan Radio Relay wagon Stay tuned for more Dan
  4. Saw this advert in the October Airfix magazine, which interested me; two 1/72 kits in one box, Already released Chieftain mk 10 & mk. 11; https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/TAK05006?result-token=1l8eG and the advert for this forthcoming new release, FV432 mk2/1 and Cheiftain Mk 5. which interests me. Link and length tracks in 1/72, though? Will I need new eyes?
  5. Hi all, this is going to be my next build. In the large box you find the upper hull as one piece, four big sprues grey styrene, one clear sprue, a small photo etch fret and a small decal sheet. The parts are nicely moulded, no obvious flash or ejection marks. I intend to build a Typhoon K of Russian Military Police in Syria because the colourful stripes will break the green overall scheme. I bougt the decal sheet from Echelon Fine Details, which has also parts for the blue flasher included. The decal sheet also includes decals for a GAZ Tiger, which is great, so I can build another one ´! That's all for now, I hope to show some progress soon. Thanks for looking!
  6. Russian Army Tank Transporter MAZ-537G Tractor w/ ChMZAP-5247G Semitrailer 1:72 Takom The MAZ-537, also known as the KZKT-537, is a military tractor unit manufactured by MAZ and KZKT between 1959 and 1990. Combined with a trailer such as the ChMZAP-5247G, it can tow loads of up to 65 tons. The tractor has been widely employed by the USSR, former USSR states and export customers in a diverse range of military and civilian roles, including tank transportation, artillery tractor and in the oil and gas industry. Powered by a 38.8 litre V12 diesel engine (with pre-heating to cope with cold climates) and drive to all eight wheels, the tractor weighs 21,600 kg. The G version is equipped with a 15 ton winch and can self-extract from adverse terrain. The vehicle has largely been superseded by the KZKT-7428 in Russian service. Takom must have something of an interest in military tractor/trailer combinations. Their range of 1:72 kits is comprised almost entirely of such subjects, including the Hanomag/V2 combo and the M1070/M1000 that we reviewed on this site but a few days ago. This kit continues the trend, but omits any kind of load to put on the trailer. No matter as the likes of Revell and Modelcollect have released lots of Soviet/Russian hardware that would be suitable for the job. Inside the relatively compact top-opening box are four frames of grey plastic, a single small clear frame, a small fret of photo etched parts, decals and a couple of piles of rubber tyres for both the tractor and the trailer. Each item is packed in its own bag for protection. The quality of moulding is clean and crisp and looks good to me. The instruction manual is much smaller than normal (just under A5 size) and although the painting diagrams are in full colour, the size of the illustrations and the decision to use a dark grey background makes them almost impossible to interpret properly. I would probably recommend you give up and find some decent photographs to work from. Construction starts with chassis and drive train of the MAZ-537. As the tractor is eight-wheel drive, there are drive shafts and differentials running the length of the central chassis. The wheels are single, solid parts which just pop into the massive balloon-like tyres. Each is then attached to a small axle sub-assembly, which in turn fits onto the side of the chassis. The whole thing is richly detailed but not overly complex. One the chassis is complete, attention turns to the cab unit. There are various details that have to be fixed to the underside of the floorpan, after which it can be flipped the right way up and fixed to the chassis. Interior detail is limited to the bench seat and a basic dashboard and steering wheel. As with their M1070 kit, the clear parts are moulded from clear polystyrene and the doors are entirely translucent, meaning some masking will be required prior to painting. I would recommend both inside and outside be painted in order to achieve a good finish. finishing touches include the rear view mirrors and tiny photo etched windscreen wipers. The ChMZAP-5247G trailer is comparatively straightforward to assemble. The chassis is basic ladder-like structure, with the upper load surface moulded in place. The road wheels fit onto two suspension bogeys, making two pairs of four wheels. As before, the wheels are separate to the rubber tyres, which will speed up painting and weathering. The spare wheels for both tractor and trailer fit onto the trailer, as do the hydraulic stabilisers. Alternative parts are provided so the latter items can be used for building the trailer in the detached configuration if desired. The painting and marking guide shows four different schemes for the tractor and trailer. The Afghan Army, Hungarian Defence Force, Iranian Army and Soviet Army are all provided for. Paint references are provided for the Ammo by Mig range of paints. Unusually, recommendations are also made for Ammo weathering products as well. As mentioned in the preamble, the painting diagrams are infuriatingly small for such a large vehicle (and no, it's not my age), so extra pictorial references will be essential. Conclusion It feels as though fans of Soviet bloc/Russian hardware are enjoying something of a golden age at the moment. Ten or so years ago, kits of subjects such as this MAZ were either non-existent or strictly limited run. Now, thanks largely to mainstream manufacturers such as Takom, Modelcollect, Revell, ICM and Zvezda, we seem to have a choice of not just MBTs, but APCs and other vehicles such as this in injected plastic. The utilitarian, almost Tonka-esque look of the big MAZ appeals to me enormously and it will look great with a soviet MBT on the back. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of UK Distributors for
  7. Hallo Here my Takom 1/35 Merkava 1 Hybrid. Actually, the kit is fine to build. Generally I did no battlefield damage or dirt and dust. Just generally weathering. Since I know this tank myself well, I left the weathering at low scale. Happy modelling
  8. Hallo again This is my first full interior kit. So, I hope to get along. Does anybody have good sources about this recovery vehicle? I am very pleased for any information. Stay health. Happy modelling
  9. This is Takoms excellent Chieftain Mk 11, figures are from Firing Line. The only problem I had was that some parts wanted to stay on the sprue & broke when I cut them off so I had to make the headlight guards from brass rod. I figured the real things would have been kept reasonably clean but would have got mucky when on exercise. This is the look I've gone for so a little bit of chipping & no rust. Any observations & constructive criticism welcome as always. Pete
  10. Hello, I have a Takom Panther Ausf.D early/mid 2in1 set (Takom no. 2103) in my stash and I slowly prepare for building it. The set has details for early and mid versions, but it does not specify, which features go with which version. Nor does the painting schemes specify the versions. Could anyone point out the main differences between early and mid versions and what to keep in mind when going with either of these? Thanks, Kristjan
  11. Afternoon all. The time has arrived and the need to kick off the big build for 2020. All my remaining un-finished projects will be used to break up the long timeline on this new one. The beautifully moulded and detailed Takom Bergepanther Ausf A. by DEMAG This will also be the main star of my first diorama too. Not sure what the scene will be yet, so for now I'm going to start the build of the Panther. With it being a full interior one, the diorama may be a basic one to have a base to put affix it too with maybe another small vehicle and some figures. I might try and attempt also to build the actual wooden upper structure in wood to aid weathering and worn wood look in places. Have to see, and if feasible when I get that far. As if I don't have enough to do, I also have the Voyager PE set and a must for an Ausf A.......the ATAK Zimmerite........... I'll do my best to take pix as I go along, but it'll be a long slog ahead. Cheers......
  12. T-54 in syrian markings from the yom Kippur , which is the mig-ammo 1/72 kit and the 72nd maz 537 transporter by takom , both built oob and really nice kits that build up totally trouble free,built in the T-55 stgb thats just about to end at the weekend, Glynn
  13. On this occasion, I will dedicate myself to a Chieftain. I always liked this model, the heaviest thing that the western block could offer against the Pact, but I have never been able to do it, now I am glad I did not do it, because before the only viable kit, it was Tamiya, already surpassed with the kits today. It is my first Takom kit, and in which I have given way to more expensive models, because so far I have not overcome the € 50 barrier on any model. I hope to treat it as it deserves I have opted to choose the Mk2 version, which is the "closest" to the original Chieftain model, maybe later (depending on the result you get), get an Mk5, for example. It is obvious that the quality of the kit is very high, accustomed to more basic kits, and with less clear instructions. Although like Tamiya's, none, IMHO, the best. A great kit of a magnificent tank. Cheers to all.
  14. Hallo again This is my first car, after 30 years of modelling. A totally new field for me. To this unique car, I have a personal affection. When I was a little boy, the Austrian Post company used this truck until the end of 1960s for pulling very heavy low-bed trailer with huge cable reels. The accuracy of kit parts is amazing. Like resin on a/c kit parts. This model is from Takom. I want to show this models, as new from the workshop. Not battle used. Just minor weathering. Happy modelling
  15. Hi All, Here's the Takom Flakpanther with the twin 37mm turret. You also get a much less attractive looking 4 * 20mm option turret but I'd imagine most people will build this as at least a wooden mock up of it was produced. I can't bring myself to glue on individual track horns so went for Fruils both sides have about 1 link too many when i look at it now. Otherwise a great kit which I enjoyed immensely. Very simple "diorama" just to give it a bit of context - still struggle with faces as you can see. Would appreciate your thoughts Many Thanks David
  16. Hi friends, here you have my last build, a big project: the King Tiger from Takom. Tanks are not my preferred subject, but this one I think turns out quite well. I like specially the interior of the model. It's been difficult to me to ensemble the tracks, since this are separated and I don't know how to calculate how much of each goes for each side. I added some rifles and an MP40 in the interior and three used munitions. I'm think in sell this model... Thanks Ricardo https://flic.kr/s/aHsmHGoht5
  17. Hi guys I will be building the Tiran 4 from Takom in 1/35. Pictures will follow later. Cheers,
  18. US Army 1/4 Ton Utility Truck + trailer & MP Figure 1:35 Takom via Pocketbond First of all we all know this is a Willys Jeep, also we know Takom knows it is. However due to licencing laws no one can actually call it that on paper so we are stuck with 1/4 Ton utility vehicle! Suffice to say the Jeep was developed with input from Bantam, Willys and Ford. All three companies competed for the contract from the US Army for a utility vehicle with Willys winning. The 60hp engine in their entry helping it to win. However design features from Bantam & Ford were incorporated into the final design. Willy could not keep up with production demand for the vehicles so Ford was contracted in to mass produce them as well. Production numbers were quite staggering even by todays standards with nearly 1.5 million being built in total and supplied to all branches of the US military as well as their allies. The Kit This was a surprise from Takom. The kit arrives on Three main sprues for the Jeep, and one for the trailer. There is also the main chassis as a single part and the main jeep body. There is also a clear sprue, small sheet of PE, and a sprue for the figure. Construction starts with attaching the axles and suspension components to the chassis followed by the wheels. The multipart engine is then built up and added to the chassis, along with the transmission. Controls are added to the body and this is mounted to the chassis. At the front of the jeep the front wings are added, along with the radiator and its distinctive grill. The firewall is built up and added in, and at the rear the rear body part is added. The underseat fuel tank is placed in and the bonnet (or hood) is added. The dash and its cover are added in along with the front seats. The windscreen is added t the frame and this is installed, followed by the steering wheel. At the rear the spare wheel and spare fuel can are added. If wanted then the pintle mounted machine gun is made up and added in. The driver figure can then be added if needed. For the trailer the suspension, axle and wheels are added to the underside. The tow bar mounting is then added. The sides and mud guards are added along with the trailer front & back to complete the main body. The wheels can then be added. to finish things off. Markings There are markings provided for 4 jeeps, any colour you want as long as its Olive Drab! US Army Military Police, Czechoslovakia 1945 US Army Military Police, Berline1945 US Army Anti Aircraft unit, Germany 1945 US Marine Corps, Korea 1950 The decal sheet is printed anonymously, but is of high quality and should pse no issues. Conclusion An immediately recognisable vehicle, Highly recommended if you want a new tool Jeep Review sample courtesy of UK Distributors for
  19. PL-01 Prototype Polish Light Tank 1:35 Takom via Pocketbond The PL-01 is a prototype light Tank developed by Polish Defence firm OBRUM with support from BAe Systems. The base is the Swedish CV90 light tank. The driver gunner and commander of the vehicle are all based in the hull giving a lower turret silhouette. In addition a rear compartment can also house 4 Soldiers. Main armour is a modular ceramic-aramid shell and protection is also provided against mines and IEDs. The turret can mount either a 105, or 120mm cannon firing standard NATO ammunition. 45 rounds can be carried with 16 ready in turret with the rest in the hull. A 7.62mm machine gun is also carried in a roof mounted installation. The vehicle is intended to be equipped with the latest active protection systems, along with integrated battlefield management technology. Thermal masking and air-conditioning will also be standard, There are plans to configure the same chassis a s Command Vehicle, ARV and Mine Clearance Vehicle. The Kit This is a bit of a left field release from Takom, though it is welcome. Given the stealth nature of the vehicle there is not that many parts. In addition to the main hull parts and the turret there are the two side sponsons and 5 sprues. Two of these are for the link and length tracks, and two for the wheels. There is small clear sprue, a small PE fret and a small decal sheet. Construction begins with the lower hull as the arms for the wheels are added. Alignment can be checked with the guide later being used to build the tracks. A pair of wheels is then fitted to each arm. Driver sprockets and idler wheels are also added. The track is o the link and length variety which seems to be favoured by Takom; these are built up using the supplied jigs. There are no return rollers at the top of the track. Once the tracks are on the front fenders are added along with the rear part of the hull. A font part is also added and then the main top hull can go on and the drivers hatch attached. The large side sponsons can then go on. We then move to the turret. The roof mounted machine gun is made up. The main gun is made up and added into the turret, this is then closed up and the roof mounted gun added. The turret is then mounted to the main chassis. Markings There are minimal markings for the vehicle exhibited at the 2013 International Défense Industry Exhibition and 3 other what iff schemes, The decal sheet is printed anonymously, but is of high quality Conclusion An unusual vehicle and maybe the future of armoured warfare? Highly recommended if you want something different. Review sample courtesy of UK Distributors for
  20. Hi, After two years here it is ... early version of Panther with full interior. It is not copy of some vehlicle so it is not historical model. It was a lot of work and hope the result look fine. In future I will also add a 5 figures into interior.
  21. Hi, Takom panther project start 2 months ago, here is progress till now. Almost ready for painting.
  22. US Tank Transporter w/ Abrams Tank 1:72 Takom The Oshkosh M1070, coupled to the DRS Technologies M1000 semi-trailer, us the primary means by which the US Army moves its M1 Abrams main battle tank, as well as various self-propelled artillery and other heavy equipment, by road. Powered by either a huge 12 litre Detroit Diesel unit or an even huger 18 litre Caterpillar engine, the M1070 can exceed 50mph and has a range of almost 450 miles, thanks chiefly to its huge 947 litre fuel capacity. The vehicle has been a hit for Oshkosh, with almost 3,000 examples rolling off the production line, many of which have been exported to international customers such as Iraq, Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UK. The M1000 trailer, produced by Leonardo DRS, was originally developed as a private venture but has been just as successful as the M1070, with over 2600 examples ordered. Both tractor and trailer are air-transportable if you happen to have access to the C-5 Galaxy or C-17 Globemaster. The M1 Abrams is, of course, the current Main Battle Tank employed by the armed forces of the USA. Named after General Creighton Abrams, Commander of US forces in Vietnam, the Abrams entered service with the US Army in 1980, gradually replacing the M60 MBT. Since then over 9000 examples of the gas turbine-powered tank have been produced and it is now in service with the armed forces of Australia, Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia as well as the US. The M1A2 variant is an upgrade over the original M1A1, with enhanced targeting and armour capabilities. The Tank Urban Survival Kit (TUSK) is a field-installable armour upgrade that incorporates various elements such as Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA), developed in response to experience acquired during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Takom, a name more often associated with huge 1:16 scale tanks (and less huge 1:35 scale ones), have now released a handful of 1:72 scale kits. Last time around we reviewed their V2 rocket and Hanomag tractor/trailer combo. This month we've been fortunate enough to receive another tractor/trailer combo, albeit from a completely different era. The M1070 and M1000 have previously been released by Takom along with an armoured bulldozer. The Abrams was previously released by Tiger Model back in 2015. It was well-received then, not least because it was the first TUSK Abrams to be produced in braille scale. Inside the box are eight frames of grey plastic, two small clear frames, a couple of small frets of photo etched parts, decals and a dauntingly large mound of rubber tyres, most of which are for the M1000 trailer. Each item is packed in its own bag for protection. Two instruction manuals are provided; one for the tractor and trailer and a separate one for the MBT. The quality of moulding is clean and crisp and looks good to me. Construction starts with the M1070. The ladder chassis is provided as a separate part, along with the cab body. To this you have to add the suspension and drive train components, all of which are made up from several different parts. It is immediately apparent that the kit is orientated towards detail rather than speed of assembly! Each wheel is moulded in two parts, but the tyres are moulded from a rubber-like material, which will speed up painting and construction considerably. The cab includes full interior details, such as crew seats, a dashboard and steering wheel. The doors are moulded from clear plastic, which will make painting them a bit more tricky, but will at least save having to glue tiny clear parts in place. The winch system behind the cab also starts off with a separate, slide moulded base, onto which various plastic and photo etched parts are added. A ladder and a few other bits and bobs and the huge tractor is complete. The M1000 trailer is comparatively simple when compared to the M1070 tractor, but with 40 wheels and tyres to paint and assemble, construction will be an exercise in endurance. Each of the 40 wheels is made up of two parts, and for every four wheels there is an axle/suspension unit, also made up of two parts. The mechanism that links tractor to trailer is a relatively simple part and holds two spare wheels for the trailer. The loading ramps can be finished in lowered or raised position, depending on your preference. Next up is Abrams, which I guess is semi-optional if you happen to have another vehicle that you wish to display on the trailer. Interestingly, this part of the kit feels like a partial re-box as there are separate Tiger Model-branded instructions supplied and even the plastic bags used to protect the sprues are different. Construction starts with the fearsome 120mm main gun and turret. A prodigious amount of parts make up this sub-assembly, with lots of extra bits for the TUSK II equipment and photo etched detail for the turret baskets. Clear parts are provided for the commander's cupola and the various electro-optical sights, as well as the two armoured shields that protect the crew when using the 7.62mm machine guns. Turning to the running gear and lower hull, Tiger Model have opted for a variation of the modern method of recreating the tracks and road wheels, with the outer road wheels moulded onto the lower tracks, while the inner road wheels and return rollers are moulded onto the upper tracks. This approach only works because the side skirts and ERA completely cover what would otherwise be very obvious chunky plastic tabs that hold the whole thing together. The painting and marking guide shows two different schemes for the tractor and trailer: The first is an example used during Operation Iraqi Freedom, based at Camp Buehing, Kuwait, in April 2003. It is painted in overall FS33446 (desert tan); The second vehicle is painted in the standard NATO Green/Brown/Black scheme and it from the Theatre Logistics Support Centre Europe, 21st Theatre Sustainment Command, Baumholder, Germany, 2011. A separate painting diagram is provided for the Abrams, but it only shows a single example painted with Tamiya XF-59. Weirdly, the instructions for the M1070 and M1000 use Ammo colour references instead! Conclusion Bringing three high-quality models together in a set like this is always a welcome move, and with the large, plain white packaging it really does feel a cut above your average kit. Each of the models is very detailed, particularly for the scale, and have no problem standing up to scrutiny. As a trio, they have the potential to spark the imagination of modellers keen on dioramas, although the temptation to ditch the trailer and have the M1070 hauling an ICM MiG-25RB out of the desert, as per the famous photograph, is almost overwhelming. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of UK Distributors for
  23. Jagdpanther G1 Early w/Zimmerit & Schwerer Platformwagen Type SSys (2125X) Special Edition 1:35 Takom via Pocketbond Ltd. After the Nazis encountered the formidable Russian T-34, their medium tank project took a new turn to become the Panther, which proved to be one of their more successful designs and is still admired today for its technical prowess and abilities. The need for tank killers took the chassis of the Panther, removed the turret and superstructure, replacing it with a casemate and powerful high-velocity gun in a new mount with elevation and limited side to side movement that was used for fine-tuning targeting or chasing a moving target. The heavily sloped glacis extended to the roofline, giving the vehicle a sleek look that was echoed at the sides, with a vertical step down from the roof at the rear onto the engine deck. The G1 variant used the Panther A as a base, while the later models designated G2 were based up on the Panther G chassis. The same Pak 43 88mm gun was mounted, in an internally fixed mantlet initially, and later externally bolted in the G2. As with all WWII German tanks, the design was complex by comparison with the enemy's, so production was slower, which was probably just as well as it was an exceptionally capable tank, just like is turreted progenitor. The gun was virtually unstoppable by armour of the time, the engine had enough power for the task in hand, and it wasn't overweight, so the transmission could handle the power easily. If there had been more of them, they could well have had an impact, certainly slowing down the Allied advances (providing they could find fuel for them), and making gains more costly in men and materiel. Along with other tank types they were usually transported via railway on low-slung wagons due to their propensity to break down during longer road journeys and their command's desire to keep their mileage away from the battlefield low. The Kit This is a new boxing of Takom's 2019 release of the early Jagdpanther G1 with zimmerit anti-mine coating moulded into the hull and other parts. It also includes the 2014 SSys Plattformwagen from Sabre model, which as you can imagine adds extra parts to the box, requiring a little extra depth than usual. The box is white themed with a line-drawing of the combination on the front and sides plus the large green Takom logo, which immediately makes the package a little classy and shows its limited edition status off well. In case you didn't know, Sabre are another Chinese model company with a couple of these kits in 1:35 and 1:72 scale. This of course (do I really need to say it?) is the 1:35 edition. The box is bulging with sprues even though this is an exterior only kit thanks to both the detail included in the Jagdpanther kit, but also because the wagon is a pretty large tooling at this scale. Inside the box are 22 sprues for the tank, 12 sprues for the wagon, two black jig parts, two lengths of braided copper cable, a sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, two decal sheets and a thick landscape instruction booklet with colour profiles in the rear for painting and markings. The detail on the tank is excellent, especially in regard to the zimmerit coating, which is of the waffle-type and is depicted as worn with an uneven surface that is exactly as it should be. The paste was applied by hand, often by forced labour who were working against their will and didn't give a hoot about how nice their enemy's tanks looked going into battle. Sections of the zimm are missing from the surfaces where tools or other parts are attached, and if there is repetition of the effect, it's difficult to find evidence and it defeated my eyes. The paste was applied to reduce the magnetic signature of the tank's vertical(ish) surfaces in order to defeat magnetic mines that the Russians were alleged to be using, although this threat was much less than expected which is why the paste was eventually removed from the construction process. There is a slight difference in colour between the tank sprues and the wagon sprues, with the wagon having a more bluish tint, while the Takom sprues are their standard grey. Construction begins with the tank, and the lower hull is the first part to be built up. This assembly consists of the floor with lower glacis plate insert, plus the two side plates, both of which have zimmerit coating around their suspension just in case some brave/foolhardy Russian chanced his arm (literally) and shoved a mine in there. The suspension arms are next, slotting into holes in the hull and with two holes in the back of each one that cleverly ensures that they will only fit in the correct direction and at the right angle, aided by leaving the jigs in place during curing. Don't throw the jigs away yet, as they have another job to do later. The wheels are up next, and they travel in pairs to spread the vehicle's weight over the ground. These are built up with their moulded-in rubber tyres (they switched to steel rims later), the outer pairs getting made up after fitting the inner wheel behind the inner part of the pair. The final drive housing and small guide wheel that was fitted to help reduce track-throwing are added to the front of the hull and it's time for tracks! The tracks on this kit are link-and-length, and come with separate twin rows of guide-horns that are best added before you remove the track links from the sprues. The guide-horns come on their own rails that you remove en-masse and apply to the tracks in accordance with the instructions, and once dry you can remove the rail and clean up the sprue-gates. Each of the track links are then cut from the sprues, with only one gate per link making that task fairly quick. Before you can make up the track runs, you need to construct the idler wheels and drive sprockets, with a choice of two types of drive sprocket. The reason for making these now is so that they can be slipped onto the spindles on the jigs to build up the tracks including the independent links around the more curved areas, and the longer lengths on the tops and bottoms. The lower section are shown added after they are fitted to the wheels, which will be most useful to paint them separately then glue them in place after. The final outer wheel from the rear station is fitted into place along with the idler-wheel tensioner and a small collar around the drive sprocket axle to complete the job. With the tracks out of the way, the sponson floors are added to the sides of the lower hull, and the rear bulkhead with complex exhausts is made up, noting that the instructions don't show the zimmerit coating on any of the parts but it is there on the sprues. The stowage boxes on the rear of the tank are coated with zimmerit, as is the bulkhead, while the cast exhaust armour and the tubes themselves aren't coated, although the armour has a nice casting texture moulded-in that helps with the realism. When it is fitted at the rear a pair of towing shackles are glued to the rear extremity and attention turns to the upper hull and casemate. It is worth stating again here that the moulding of the zimmerit on the hull is excellent, and the first act involves adding all the pioneer tools and the track racks to the sides, using a few extra links from the track sprues. The interior of the upper glacis plate is laminated to the outer layer, with the bow-mounted machine gun trapped between them, the zimmerited domed kugelblende, periscope and the inner mantlet moulding all fitted from the outside. The inner mantlet has cast texture included, as does the saukopf that fits at the base of the barrel later, but first the full breech is made up from a substantial number of parts, including compensators, sighting gear and crew seats, which isn't half bad for an exterior kit. The completed breech is fitted from the inside and linked to the barrel, which passes through the aforementioned saukopf, with a choice of two muzzle-brake styles, one large, the other small. Each one has a baffle and end-cap fitted before installation for extra detail. With that the upper hull and lower hull can be joined, and the engine compartment frame fitted to the aft deck in anticipation of the heavy cast louvered parts that are covered with PE mesh grilles to keep grenades and debris out. The front fenders are covered in zimmerit and are fitted to the front along with their headlight, and a long frame and hangers is run down the sides for the schürzen that will be fitted later. Firstly, the casemate roof is assembled, with numerous hatches, periscopes, vents and it's then placed on the roof with the addition of a bit of glue. The shürzen panels are supplied in complete runs, one for each side and they have their edges thinned to give a more accurate look, however if you want to depict them damaged you'll need to either mangle the plastic parts or replace them with thinner material such as brass or thin styrene (aftermarket being the easiest way). Following this the engine deck is filled in with the round louvers and their grilles, plus the large engine hatch with its smaller inner inspection cover complete with mushroom vents on the tops. The rear of the casemate is the last of the hull plates to be added, and this has a drop-down hatch in the centre, stowage box on the left and shell-ejection port on the right with an aerial mount above it. The final act is to cut two lengths of braided wire and attach them to the towing eyes, then fit them to the deck using the small hooks supplied. Schwerer Plattformwagen SSys Moulded in a shinier plastic, this portion of the build begins with the flatbed, which comprises four sections and is best laid flat during curing of the glue to ensure a level bed later. If you are planning on choosing the option of using the upstands along the sides of the bed, you'll need to remove the flashed over points that are picked out in the first step, and you'll probably also want some narrow chain to string between them, as I think that was sometimes the case. With the glue on the bed cured, four longitudinal C-profile ribs are fitted, then seven lateral cross-beams and some smaller ones at angles toward each end. Then the large weight-bearing tapering beams are run along each side, made up from two parts that butt up against each other. Two box section pivots are made up from flat parts, and the sides of each of the two bogies are fitted out with bearings and leaf suspension (four in total), with brake-blocks installed on the inner faces using scrap diagrams to get the position right. The sides are spaced apart by the box section and additional rods are attached between the brake block mechanism, cut to length as required. The wheels are made up on their axles and are also suspended between the sides, the additional bracing girders are attached around the bogie to stiffen the assembly. When complete, these mate with pivot points under the bed assembly, and can be glued in place or left to pivot. The bogies are finished off with buffers, pneumatic brake hoses and a nicely detailed hitch, with a few small parts added to the sides of the bed. Happily, you also get a set of tracks to sit your wagon on, with enough track to sit under the wagon, and some linking plates in case you've decided to get some more track or have another wagon up your sleeve. There are 18 sleepers/ties and two lengths of rail a shade over 30cm/12" in length, and while the rail on my sprues were a little bowed at one end, attaching the sleepers and fixing them to a base will bring the rails back into alignment. The sleepers are shown with a 10mm gap between them, and you thread the rails through their cleats from one end to the other. Markings There are six markings options for the tank with varying camo scheme on a dark yellow base, one of which is straight dunkelgelb without any camo. The profiles are five-view to give you every side of the patterns, and the colours called out using Mig AMMO shades, as they were also involved in the artwork. Decals are printed anonymously with good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Yes - those profile backgrounds are all different colours. The wagon decals are printed by Sabre with a copyright of 2014. They are all white, so there's no registration to worry about, but they appear sharp and dense with plenty of stencils along the main beams of the bed with a few more on the bogies. Conclusion The Jagdpanther on its own is a great kit with superior detail, and added to the Sabre Plattformwagen it really lends itself to a transport diorama just by the addition of some groundwork and ballast, with maybe a few figures to add a sense of scale. This has me itching to build it, although at the moment I'm trying to finish at least one project before I start another. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of UK Distributors for
  24. M46 Patton US Medium Tank 1:35 Takom via Pocketbond Despite his insistence that the US Forces didn't require a heavier tank toward the close of WWII, which resulted in the delay of the capable Pershing tank, so that it barely made any difference the final few months of the war, the US Army seem fond of naming tanks after this flamboyant General. The M46 was developed after the shortcomings of the M26 Pershings were determined after WWII. Initially called the M26E2 it was decided the new tank had so many deviations from the M26 it needed its own designation. 1160 were built. The only US combat use of the M46 was in Korea. The only use of the tanks outside the US would be small numbers sent to those countries who would get the later M47 in order for crew training. The Kit Takom seem to want to give us all the variants of the Patton and this is no bad thing. The kit arrives in a standard top-opening box, and inside are seven sprues and three separate parts in mid-grey styrene, a small clear sprue, two khaki coloured track jigs, a small decal sheet and of course the instruction booklet with painting guide on the insides of the glossy cover. Beginning construction involves adding the various suspension parts, using the track jigs to line up all the swing-arms, and creating 14 pairs of road wheels, plus two drive sprockets. The jigs can then be used to create the track runs, which are link-and-length, by installing the idler and drive sprockets temporarily in the jig and lining up the parts of the track with small bars that ensure correct position when dry. The whole assembly can then be lifted off once the glue is dry to install the road wheels and tracks in your preferred order of construction and painting. The upper hull is made up primarily from a single slab with moulded-in engine deck louvres and the sleek cast glacis plate, which has subtle casting texture to its surface. The bow-mounted gun, lifting eyes and towing shackles are added along with the D-shaped front hatches and their periscope, finished off with the light clusters and their protective framing. Shackles, vents, towing eyes added to the rear, and then the two fenders are built up away from the hull, with stowage, pioneer tools, exhaust boxes with shrouds added to both before being attached into long slots with matching tabs in the now complete hull. The turret also has the casting texture moulded-in, which will need a little fettling around the top-bottom join, paying careful attention to your references so that you don't make it too neat and tidy. In fact, it could do with a little sharpening at the bottom edge, with an almost vertical torch-cut pattern where the area has been "tidied" up, and I use that term very loosely. The casting details are nicely embossed on the bustle, and should escape any damage if you are careful when cleaning up/texturing the joint. A functional pivot for the gun is fitted inside the lower half before closure, and if left unglued will enable the gun to be posed after completion, although there is no damping in the shape of poly-caps, so it might need gluing later to prevent droop. The hatches are added, with an M2 derivative machine gun on a simple pintle-mount next to the loaders hatch. Two barrels for the main gun are supplied, depending on whether you will be fitting the canvas mantlet cover or not. Without it, the barrel is a single moulding, with a choice of muzzle types, while with the styrene cover the barrel is split vertically but uses the same muzzle brakes. The searchlight mounted over the gun is then built up and installed. Grab handles and tie-down points, and spare track links are fitted to the sides of the turret, plus smoke dischargers, and then it's just a case of twisting the turret into its bayonet fitting, and you're finished. Markings There are nine marking options from the box, and the profiles have been done in conjunction with Mig Jiménez's company AMMO, so the colour codes are theirs, although you also get the colour names, so conversion to your favourite brand will be relatively easy should you need to. Tank No. 5 of C Company, 6th Tank Battalion, 24th Infantry Division, Korea March 1951. Tank No. 3 of C Company, 6th Tank Battalion, 24th Infantry Division, Korea March 1951. B Company, 73rd Heavy Tank Battalion, Korea 1951. 64th Tank Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division, Korea 1951. E Company, 2nd Medium Tank Battalion, 40th Armour, 7th Infantry Division, Korea 1955. D Company, 1st Marine Tank Battalion, Korea 1952. C Company, 1st Marine Tank Battalion, Korea 1952. Tank 53, Tank Platoon, 5th Marine Regiment, Korea 1952. 64th Tank Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division, Chorwan, Korea, 1953. The decal sheet is printed anonymously, but is of high quality so could be by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion Not everyone likes link-and-length tracks, but otherwise this should appeal to many modellers, with plenty of relatively unusual schemes to choose from. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of UK Distributors for
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