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Found 114 results

  1. 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
  2. Duncan B

    Last week's new arrivals

    We have been stocking up this week with some new kits, here is a sneaky peak at a few of the kits we have been getting in: GWH 1/48 T-33A Shooting Star Late version Kinetic 1/48 F\A-18A/B/C/D Blue Angels Kinetic 1/48 CF-188A RCAF Demo Team 2017 Takom 1/35 Hanomag, Vidalwagon and V2 Takom 1/35 Panther A's (early, mid-early and late) For more information on all the new arrivals at BlackMike Models follow the link : https://www.blackmikemodels.co.uk/collections/new-arrivals Duncan B
  3. Well I'll give this WIP thing another try..... Not an AFV builder at all really (last one I did was the Tamiya Tiger I 30 years ago) But a mate who is into tanks got me interested and the I saw the Takom 2047 at the lhs and next I was outside with that big box! A period of research followed/ continues, but my inspiration is Liejon Schoot's awesome build of the Trumpy 1/16 kit. I'm really hoping i'll push trough with this one, as i'm prone to getting stuck on details, and chasing my tails in research.... This means I jump about on subassemblies for the most part, modding anything that takes my fancy. some random stuff I have done so far, as i'm a random person... AAggghhhh...google photo's won't play nice...postimage it is.... tbc
  4. AndyRM101

    M31 Recovery Vehicle

    Bit late to the party, as normal, but the kit I'll be building finally showed up this morning, which was a nice distraction from the fact that I turned 45 today And the kit is... What you should really have been seeing above was a box shot of Tamiya's new Korean war Sherman, but there doesn't seem to be much sign of it turning up anytime soon, despite being listed as a Jan release. Not a problem though, as the M31 was going to be my choice prior to the Tamiya announcement, so it'll make a perfectly good stand-in. There's an outside possibility that, if I get this one done quick enough, I might squeeze the Sherman in as well, so long as it's out before the GB ends. Progress will begin once I've recovered from the shock of not being 44 anymore Andy
  5. Hey guys, This is Takom's new Maus, and it's a nice kit! Resembling something of an IKEA item, the vehicle is pretty much flat-pack with sides slotting into each other and the most complex bits being the running gear and track, where the track is made from 3 pieces per link and each piece is secured by at least six points connecting it to the sprue... The paint scheme is off the top of my head, a splinter camouflage influenced by an ambush scheme, then painted in Mr. Hobby Colours. The weathering was grimy enough as I created various airbrushed effects and then using oil paints, washed, filtered and streaked the rest. Thanks for looking guys! Sam
  6. Bear Hobbies Online Shop

    TAKOM PANTHERS - ALL IN STOCK

    Hi Kitty lovers !! full detail panthers as reviewed by Mike here Pleased to announce the brand new tool Takom Panthers are all in stock and available for purchase ! on site now - and on ebay later tonight. Grab the bargains at the website. AMAZING ONE OFF PRICE 44.99 (RRP 60.99) !!!! https://bearhobbies.com/takom-1-35-wwii-german-tank-sd-kfz-171-panther-a-early-production-w-full-interior-kit-tako2097/ https://bearhobbies.com/takom-1-35-wwii-german-tank-sd-kfz-171-panther-a-late-production-w-full-interior-kit-tako2099/ https://bearhobbies.com/takom-1-35-wwii-german-tank-sd-kfz-171-panther-a-mid-early-production-w-full-interior-kit-tako2098/4
  7. Hey Guys I bring to you my first build log, the rather lovely Chieftain mk.11 from Takom. I chose this kit mainly due to the brilliant build logs on Youtube, I wanted something with fiddly little parts, a bit of PE and I could follow along to for my maiden voyage. I'm already a week into the build and loving it so far, i forgot how relaxing cutting, sanding and gluing can be, beats watching the junk on the TV. Here's what i have so far. Seamline hell! I've scraped, sanded, scraped and sanded, will probably need more scraping and sanding I got carried away gluing, those exhausts are going to be a pain to paint. So far no issues with fit, the size of the gates are questionable, they are huge. OH and extra thin cement is pure witchcraft, so much better than the tubes of cement I used many years ago Anyway that's it for now. Going to make a start on the lower hull and more stowage boxes
  8. King Tiger, Initial Production Takom 1:35 Hitler, and therefore Nazi Germany was obsessed with bigger which they equated with better, and this was reflected in almost every aspect of arms production in the run-up to, and throughout World War II. After the Panzer IV had been matched by Allied designs, the Tiger addressed the balance back in their favour, becoming the most feared combatant from any force, despite several draw-backs of its design, such as a weak transmission, and a level of complexity that meant it was slow to manufacture, prone to break-downs and expensive to repair. Expecting the Allies to bring heavier tanks to the field before too long, the King Tiger, Tiger II, or Königstiger as the Sd.Kfz.182 was known came into existence, having begun development even before the war started. Porsche's ground-breaking and complex design was unsuccessful for this reason, while the Henschel proposal was taken forward to production, using the same underpowered Maybach engine that was barely adequate for the Tiger I, and taking on the sloped armour of the successful Panther to significantly increase the effective thickness of the armour whilst keeping weight down to a staggering 70 tonnes. The initial turrets had curved surfaces that were difficult to manufacture, and a redesign was necessary to cure this and remove the shot-trap under the mantlet, with the new design being known today as the Henschel turret, while the old design became the Porsche turret, although both were designed by Krupps. A weak transmission design, coupled with the underpowered engine ensured that many vehicles broke down in the field, and plans were in progress to improve both aspects with fuel-injection and a new drive-train, but were curtailed by the end of the war. Most of the initial order of 1,500 units were built under difficult circumstances due to bombing of the factories and the encroaching Allied forces, and despite its problems it became one of the icons of German tank design of WWII, with a number surviving to be placed in museums, with some still running. The Kit We have had a few King Tiger (KT) kits in 1:35 over the years, but nothing new for quite a while, and at times the preferred brands have been hard to come by with prices reaching silly levels on eBay. Takom's new range of KT kits aims to provide a full set of these imposing tanks, with and without Zimmerit anti-mine coating, with Henschel and Porsche turrets, and with or without interiors. This should cater for almost every possibility, and if you like your tanks buttoned up, you won't be wasting the interior if you buy wisely. The type included from the box is that of the initial production, it therefore includes the Porsche turret and no Zimmerit. It is this and the paint schemes that are represented that make it one of the plainest King Tigers built. Inside the box are a lot of sprues, taking up almost all the available space. There are ten sprues, two hull parts and upper turret in a grey styrene, one sprue of clear parts, one small sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, and a very small decal sheet. The instruction guide is in the by-now-familiar Takom format, in landscape A4, with a separate booklet for the painting instructions. All the parts are beautifully moulded with no sign of flash or other imperfections, but there are quite a few moulding pips, and for those modellers who have an aversion to indie link tracks, look away as, although these are link and length, each individual link is connected to the sprue by no less than ten gates which will require the nice tedious job of cleaning them up before fitting. Before building can begin, you will need to decide which of the four versions you wish to build as certain parts of the front glacis plate and hull deck need to be removed, as well as some holes to be opened up. Construction begins with the the road wheels and the sprockets are made up from two parts whilst the idlers are three part units. Once the gearbox covers and axles, which you will have to be careful in getting the parts fitted int eh right order, have been fitted to the hull all the wheels can be attached to their relative axles. There is a separate lower glacis plate to be attached as well. With all the track links and lengths cleaned up it’s just a case of patience and following the build guide carefully, ensuring it sags in the correct places. Work then begins on the upper hull and the fitting of the towing cables, pioneer tools, and the separate panel for the drivers and bow gunners hatches. Inside, there is a large panel glued to the inside of the glacis plate, along with the two periscopes. The three piece bow machine gun is then assembled and glued into the ball socket in the bow plate. Then, on the outside the rest of the ball mechanism is fitted, along with the armoured hood. The track guards are also added at this point, although I’d probably leave them off until the entire hull is complete and the tracks fitted. Once you’ve decided which version you are building he rear bulkhead is fitted out with the engine gearbox cover, a smaller access hatch, the alternative exhausts and exhaust covers, track puller, the two rear mudguards and rear mounted towing shackles. The completed bulkhead is then attached to the rear of the hull. On the rear upper hull alternative centre engine covers, one is fitted with three individual engine hatches each fitted with a ventilation style dome and two other access hatches. The alternative centre hatch is fitted with a single large hatch each with two ventilation domes. There are also alternative radiator covers, attached each side of the centre hatch, there have different grilles and on one style the grilles are covered by armour plate. Each of the centre mounted circular opening is covered by PE grilles. Each assembly is then glued into position. The upper hull is then glued to the lower, then the upper bow mounted track guards are fitted, followed by the three piece bow mounted light and lower, inner gearbox covers, to which the towing shackles are attached. The turret is assembled next, with the single piece centre section of the turret fitted with the roof, inner rear bulkhead, gunners internal hatch framing, inner section of the commanders cupola, outer rear bulkhead gunners hatch actuator, in open or closed position, three piece gunners hatch, periscope cover, small access hatch and grab handles. The large eight piece rear mounted hatch is then attached with its hinge covers, along with the roof mounted ventilator cover or alternative cover plate. The turret base is fitted with the gun trunnion section via two trunnion mounts and then glued to the turret. The outer commanders cupola is fitted with the seven periscope covers before being glued into position. There are two types of gun barrel, dependent of which version is being built, each made up from five parts before being fitted to the mantlet and the breech end within the turret. The completed turret is then attached to the hull, completing the build. Decals There are four paint schemes, one for each version. All the paint codes are for AMMO paints, but with the German names for each colour. There are six schemes with vehicle numbers; the other two just have generic crosses etc. The decals have been printed by Takom and although only a small sheet they are nicely printed, in register with good opacity. Three of the options are from November 1943 when at the Henschel Factory, each in the same Dunklegelb overall with Panzer grey barrel and red brown muzzle. The one different scheme is for a vehicle from January 1944 at the Henschel tank proving grounds, Houdenbeck, Germany, in Panzer grey overall Conclusion This is a very nice kit, as we have come to expect from Takom. The track links could cause some modellers sleepless nights, but with a bit of patience they should be fine. Other than that a fairly easy build and will look great in any collection. Review sample courtesy of UK Distributors for
  9. CM-11 (M-48H) Brave Tiger With ERA 1:35 Takom via Pocketbond The CM-11 is a hybrid MBT borne out if the need to quip the Republic of China (ROC) forces with a new MBT while staying within limitations set by the US-PRC Joint Communique on United States Arms Sales to Taiwan. The MBT was developed by General Dynamics and the ROC Armoured Vehicle Development Center. The hull is that of an M-60A3 and were purchased from the US. The turret is a development of the M-48 A3 unit and was produced by the Army Ordnance Maintenance and Development Center. The turret features a M68A1 105mm main gun with the added advantage of the ballistic calculator developed for the M1 Abrams. Combined with a laser rangefinder and night vision optics this gives the CM-11 a high probability first hit in all conditions and while on the move. The commanders turret featuring an M2 machine gun was procured from Israel. In addition to this gun the loaders hatch has a mounted M240 7.62mm machine gun. During development it was found that the hybrid would not offer the same protection as newer tanks and Explosive Reactive Armour would be introduced to offset this. This proved problematic as the additional weight caused problems with the torsion bar suspension, and the older engine. These problems were solved and in 2011 tanks were seen with the new ERA package installed. The ROC all the MBT the CM-11 Brave Tiger, in the US it has the designation M-48H (H for hybrid). The Kit The ERA kit is a slight modification to the original Brave tiger kit issued by Takom. It was a welcome sight so see this MBT kitted by a major manufacturer. In the box there is the hull casting, turret casting, 6 sprues of light grey plastic, a small clear sprure, a small sheet of PE, a tow cable, 2 lengths of rubber track, 2 steel pins and a very small decal sheet. Construction starts with the lower hull. Various hull fittings are attached along with attachment points for the suspension. The rear gearboxes for the drive wheels are built up and attached. Next up the suspension legs for the road wheels from the torsion bars are built up and attached. These complex parts are built up from three parts each, and 5 parts for the front idler wheel assembly. Care must be taken on assembly as not all of the axles are the same. The road wheels (14), return rollers (6) and drive wheels (2) are then made up and added to their respective axles. Attention now move to the main hull deck. At the front the drivers hatch can be displayed open, or closed (note there is no interior). Th drivers periscope can ether be in the deployed or stowed position as well. Various hull fittings are added as is the rear ravelling mount for the main gun. Note for modellers a fair few holes need to be drilled in the upper deck for various fittings. The front lights are also added at this time. The upper hull can then be joined to the lower one and the engine louvres added at the back. The side plates which go above the tracks on the hull are now made up. There are a fair few stowage boxes on these which are also made up and added. The tracks are added and then the track covers can go on. The tracks supplied are the ribber band tracks, however they seem to be extremely well moulded. Instead of the usual arrangements of clipping them together TAKOM have gone with a metal pin each side to join the runs. Various hull fittings and some of the ERA is then added to the upper hull. Construction then moves to the tank turret. A number of holes need to be drilled to accommodate all the fittings on the turret. Antenna mounts, ventilation covers, grab handles and smoke grenade launchers are added to the hull. The gun and mantle are added. The gun is a one part barrel to which a hollow muzzle end is added. The loader and commanders hatches are added along with their respective machine guns. The various ERA panels are also built up and added ot the turret. The last item to be built up and added is the rear turret stowage basket. Markings This is probably the smallest decal sheet I have seen on a kit, even an AFV. It has only a single number, and a single national marking. Only one paint scheme is available, the US Brown/Black/Green scheme. Conclusion It is good to see TAKOM producing this kit of the MBT from the ROC. The kit si not too complex and will appeal to those who like the M48/M60 gen ration of MBTs, those looking for something a little different, or fans of the ROC. Highly Recommended Review sample courtesy of UK Distributors for
  10. M3 Lee Late Medium Tank 1:35 Takom via Pocketbond The US Army had been remarkably complacent with regard to tank development in the lead-up to WWII, and approached war with precious few that were hopelessly outclassed. This realisation resulted in a frantic clamour to produce a modern tank that could hold its own in combat, with the M3 Lee coming into service as a stop-gap measure within a year of its first design while the M4 Sherman was in development. As a consequence of its rather rushed introduction, it was known to have a number of fairly serious flaws, but it also had some strengths that (at least in part) made up for them. Its high profile and sponson mounted main gun gave the enemy a large target, but when the 75mm main gun was brought to bear on a target, it was surprisingly powerful and effective, gaining a reputation in North Africa. A great many examples were exported to the British and Russian forces in the early stages of WWII, and after the majority of British armour was left on the beaches of Dunkerque, the need became even greater. The British required some changes to improve the vehicle's performance, which most visibly included a new larger turret with a bustle to accommodate radio gear, and a cupola instead of the sub-turret with machine gun mount, which was named the Grant after general Lee's opponent. Due to the pressing need for suitable numbers however, the British did take a number of Lees, and the Soviet Union also took delivery of a substantial number of Lee variants, although some ended up at the bottom of the sea thanks to U-Boat action. The Soviets disliked the Lee intensely and gave it a wide berth wherever they could in favour of the more modern and capable T-34, the production of which ramped up substantially after the initial shock of Barbarossa, which led to its retirement from front-line service by 1943, while the other Allied continued to use them (mainly in Africa) until the end of the war. The Late version deleted the side doors and left only one pistol port. The Kit There have been three kits released initially, one being the Early Lee, the other the British specification Grant (see here), and the M31 Recovery version (see here). This kit does share a core of common parts.. Inside the box are ten sprues and two parts in grey styrene, a small clear sprue with headlights, a PE sheet, decal sheet and instruction booklet as mentioned above. Construction begins with the lower hull, which has a rear bulkhead and final drive housing attached at the front, with three stations on each side for the VVSS (vertical volute-sprung suspension) units, which held a pair of wheels each. The drive sprockets are fitted to the front, and idlers at the rear. The individual double wheel units are made up. 12 wheels are made up and fitted into 6 bogie units. The tracks are link and length, with a jig supplied for the top run, which has an upward curve at the front as it rides over the drive sprocket. The highly curved areas have individual links supplied, with the diagonals under the drive and idler wheels fitted in short lengths. The tracks fit under the sponson floors, with separate sides added. The complex angles of the glacis plate and casemate of the 75mm gun are formed over a number of steps, with the roof having a cut-out for the turret and the limited-traverse mantlet of the main gun attached before it is flipped over and fitted to the rest of the hull. The engine deck is fitted last, and has a choice of pioneer tools and towing cables, which require some holes to be drilled from the inside before fitting. The exhausts and mudflaps are fitted to the rear bulkhead along with a number of panels and towing eyes to the rear, with the driver's hatch and caged light cluster on the wings. The turret has a simple two-part construction, with the mantlet inserted into the lower half, allowing the gun to elevate, while the top machine gun turret actually has more parts, including vision ports, a split hatch, lifting eyes and machine gun barrel. The 37mm gun and coax machine gun are fitted last before the mantlet cover is installed, which makes one wonder what the purpose of the additional machine gun on the top of the turret was when there was already one mounted coaxially. Markings There are four markings options spread over the inner cover pages of the instructions, All of which are in Olive Drab, the captured example featuring applied winter camo. From the box you can build one of the following: Unknown captured tank Pz.kpfw M3 744, probably on the Eastern Front? 1st Armoured Div , England Dec 1942 Tank #9 1st Armoured Div , England Dec 1942 Tank #4 1st Armoured Div , England Dec 1942 Tank #7 The decals are printed anonymously, and have generally good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Recommended Review sample courtesy of UK Distributors for
  11. Panther Mid-Early Production Sd.Kfz.171 1:35 Takom via Pocketbond The Panther was Nazi Germany's answer to the surprise appearance of the Russian T-34 after they finally reacted to the invasion that was Operation Barbarosa. Although the project had been in gestation some time before, they took some design cues from the T-34 in the shape of the sloped armour, resulting in the Panther that was intended to fill the gap between the Panzer.IV and the (then) new Panzer VI Tiger. It was eventually supposed to replace both the Pz.IV and the earlier Pz.III that was really showing its age, but in reality it often fought alongside the Panzer IV. It was planned as a lighter, more manoeuvrable tank than the Tiger, and was fitted with a high velocity gun from the outset, which gave it enormous penetrating power that was only equalled by the British 17-pounder fitted to the Sherman to make the Firefly. The sloped frontal armour gave it an increased effective armour thickness, but this was not so true of the side armour, which was comparatively weak, and this area became the preferred target of engaging allied tanks, especially in urban combat where this was a telling issue. Like most German WWII tanks it was complex to produce, so suffered in terms of volume produced, and this led to it being rushed into service with quite a tick-list of things still to sort out. Later production solved most of these initial gremlins, but loses in the interim were high with many being abandoned after failing during combat. Curiously, the Ausf.D was the first to enter production, with the Ausf.A following later in 1943, replacing attrition of the less reliable Ausf.Ds until they themselves were superseded by the Ausf.G, which became the final major variant with increased ammo storage, simplified design to ease production, and further improvements to reliability, although this was never fully cured with a high rate of attrition due to mechanical issues, some of which resulted in catastrophic fires. A Panther II was planned, which retained much of the look of the original Panther, while improving armour and suspension. They got as far as creating a pair of prototypes before the war ended, and a destroyed but still substantial chunk of the Schmallturm (smaller turret) can be seen at Bovington. The Kit This is a brand new tooling from Chinese powerhouse Takom, who came from nothing a couple of years ago and have created their own back-catalogue in that short time. The Panther seems to be a popular choice at the moment, and there seems to be a trend of this duplication of effort between some of the Far Eastern operators, but as one company's Panther makes £0 for the other companies, we're spoiled for choice with newly tooled Panthers at the moment. This is the Interior kit of the tank, which has all the greeblies inside that you would expect if you tore open a real one in service. While this sort of attention to detail doesn't appeal to everyone, it's often said by modellers that we know the detail is there, and with the proposition of leaving hatches and panels open, or even doing a cut-away in museum stylee, there are plenty of reasons why one might want one of these uber-kits for your stash. Arriving in a deeper than usual white themed box to give a premium feeling, and accent its special nature, the box is rammed full of sprues as you'd imagine. There are 28 sprues in mid grey styrene in various sizes, plus hull, turret and two track jig parts in the same shade. There are also four braided copper cables in two thicknesses, a small sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) grilles, a single piece of flexible styrene, and two decal sheets, plus of course the instruction booklet in a landscape A4 format. My review samples had received a bit of a shock during transport, which had put a bend in the delicate engine deck supports, breaking a few of the protective sprues between them. The damage wasn't permanent and you can possibly see the stress marks if you look hard enough, but it could have been prevented by bagging it separately from the two jigs, which did the damage. That said, almost every sprue is either bagged separately or with a couple of others, so there's a lot of protection therein, so I suspect I was just unlucky. Construction begins with the floor of the hull, adding scale armour to the underside of the glacis, a conduit and then framework that binds the floor to the sides, and the longitudinal ribs that hold the torsion bars in place. The hull insides have stub axles moulded in for suspension and final drive housings to be added, and the detailed transmission fitted between them when completed. The torsion bars are fitted to one hull side and offered into the slots, then joined by the other side, meshing together across the floor. Externally, the swing-arms with their stub axles are fitted with bump-stops, and aligned using the jigs supplied whilst drying, after which the interleaved road wheels are installed, some in pairs and some singly. Flipping over the hull to right-way up the various assemblies for the lower interior are constructed such as crew seats, ammo racks, radio gear and engine bay walls, then slotted into the hull in order. Inner walls are added to the engine bay to form the compartments for the radiator baths, and a firewall is fitted to the front, through which the transmission projects, linking the transmission to the forthcoming engine. The rest of the space in the lower hull is filled with upright boxes of ammo that have only the tips depicted to save styrene, as nothing of the lower parts can be seen. The bottom surround to the turret basket is placed over the equipment, finishing off the lower hull details forward of the engine, save for some small parts added later. The tracks are of link and length variety, which can be built up on the aforementioned jigs just by using the drive and idler wheels. There are longer lengths where the track runs are straight or gently curved, and individual links for the sharp curves around the ends. It is interesting to note that the hollow guide horns that must be glued into each link have been moulded so that they fit perfectly into each link when applied as they are moulded in long runs. There is a scrap diagram dealing with this clever aspect, so don't get carried away snipping them off the sprues individually, as you'll save some time by checking out step 15. The runs are built up in a vague C-shape, with the bottom run left off until they are attached to the road wheels later, hiding any glue joints from view. The Maybach engine is built up over successive steps, and fitted into the narrow bay where it is surrounded by ancillaries and pipework. Careful painting here will really pay off, but you'll need to check forward a few pages as there is a full-colour page showing the completed interior with call-outs in the instructions using AMMO colour codes. It also shows the demarcation between red primer and the pale bone-white used in the more crew-centred areas. The sponsons are also added, and these are also covered with sloped ammo storage, going a long way toward explaining why crews got out of their tanks in such a hurry when hit. The Panther was quite vulnerable at the sides due to weight-saving reductions in the armour thickness on the sponsons where all that ammo was kept. The radiator baths and fluid tanks are added to the rear of the engine deck at this stage too, and is closed in by the rear bulkhead with its armoured exhausts and stowage boxes. The upper hull is next, with the spaces on the engine deck filled by the cast radiator covers with their mesh, the front aperture by the access panel that houses the two crew hatches for driver and machinegunner, and the main engine deck with mushroom vents, smaller access hatch, and the large cast radiator inlets either side of the circular exhausts. The small triangular side-skirt is fitted at the rear and the pioneer tools are draped along the sides, with the towing ropes made up from styrene eyes that have slide-moulded holes to accommodate the ends of the braided cable. An inner skin is glued into the rear of the glacis plate to give a scale armour thickness, which has the bow machinegun, some driver controls and the vision port mechanism added inside, travel-lock, front fenders and vision blocks from the outside, before it is mated with the lower half. Schurtzen on stand-off brackets are fastened to the sides, towing shackles to the rear, and a sturdy hitch under the rear of the tank completes the hull. The turret is moulded with its roof and sides already together, to which vents, lifting eyes, the commander's cupola and other hatches, vision ports etc. are added, with the commander's cupola having armoured covers on his periscopes, which can be glued in place as one by leaving them on their circular sprue in much the same way as the track links. The corresponding interior parts are fitted, which includes three pistol ports, and once the rear face is brought in, the aft hatch with armoured hinge. The commander gets a ring-mounted MG34 machinegun, which is probably best left off until later, after which the attention turns toward the turret floor, most of which is taken up by the gaping hole. Around it are fitted raised edges, small chunks of equipment and the turning mechanism, and it is then put aside while the mantlet and gun breech are built up. The mantlet is multi-layer, with sighting gear and gun tube projecting through, which hinges at the sides. The outer mantlet fits around and protects the inner assembly, and has two more examples on the sprue that will be used in later boxings. The completed breech with recoil guard plug into the rear of the assembly, and it too is put to one side. The turret basket floor is circular and receives the crew seats which is then fitted under the lip of the turret floor, in readiness for installing in the turret later. A flexible corrugated hose glues into the interior recess for the fume extractor in the turret ceiling, and is later hooked up to the turret basket later on, but first the mantlet is fitted to the front of the turret, and is joined by the barrel, which has a solid core and hollow three-part muzzle. The commander's lift/swing hatch slots into place on his cupola, the turret floor is glued to the underside, which then leaves the turret to drop into its aperture in the hull, with an optional turret ring fitting between them. Markings The decal options are hidden away in the double-folded rear page, and are printed in glossy full-colour using Mig's AMMO paint system for colour call-outs. The two decal sheets are split between internal stencils, which are on the larger sheet, and external numbers and crosses on the smaller sheet. Both sheets are well-printed with good register, colour density and clarity, with instrument decals adding realism to the driver's station. From the box you can build one of the following three options: 3. Pz. Div. Totenkopf, Poland 1944 – green cloud pattern over dunkelgelb. 23 Pz. Reg., 23 Pz. Div., Eastern Front, 1944 – Green/brown camo over dunkelgelb. 26 Pz. Div., Italy 1944 – all over dunkelgelb with sprayed brown stripes on the schurtzen. Conclusion Panthers are good sellers, and this kit has plenty to recommend it, such as the level of detail packed inside, with a sensible and straight-forward construction process that for the most part mimics the way a modeller that plans to paint the interior would build in assemblies at different stages. The tracks may not appeal to all, but they are detailed and uncomplicated, plus the inclusion of casting/rolling texture on the exterior armour is good to see in a modern kit, although some may want to improve it so that it shows up more under paint. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of UK Distributors for
  12. SoftScience

    Soviet M3 Lee

    This thread will present my build of Takom's excellent iron cathedral. The kit is of a very early Lee, so much as I'd like to build it as an Operation Torch machine, my lack of proper parts forces me to keep things the way Takom intended. The kit offers excellent details, and I began with the bogies. Each of these consists of 14 parts, and all hinges can be built to swing. The first one is finished. Five more to go
  13. AndyRM101

    Krupp Raumer S

    This was finished a few weeks ago. Takom's newish release of the Krupp Raumer S (selbstantrieb or self-propelled). An incredibly simple kit with very few parts, but it builds up into a detailed, and huge (18 inches long) model. There was only a single example of the real one built, which was captured at the end of the war by US troops. One of the kit schemes has hypothetical US markings and I went with that option, but showed it as if it had been used for testing, then abandoned to the elements. I wasn't actually that happy with the results in the end, but it was fun to try out some heavy weathering. Thanks for looking Andy
  14. The_Lancaster

    Takom Mark IV Male

    Hey guys! So, this is my third tank on the 'Mark' basis, having built the Tadpole, and Mark. V by Takom also. Assembly was Fiddly yet satisfying as it was simply a repetitive case of building weird, angular boxes. Tracks were click together, and apart from being lengthy, the wheels were a breeze compared to that on other tanks. Painting was a mix of Tamiya Deep Green mixed with Khaki Brown. Although operationally I have read that the colour on these was a chocolate brown, no contemporary colour photos exist of these things as far as I'm aware and Takom calls for 'Moss Green', and to be fair I prefer it in green. The identification bands were masked off with maskol to get over the rivets and if it was over done in areas it wouldn't really matter as it gave a convincing chipped look. Weathering was done by first darkening the colour which i thought was too light to begin with by thinning dark green oil paint and airbrushing it on the low areas to bring a basic colour modulation into the mix. This was followed by thin brown paint ringed around the running gear. Finally, three coats of Raw Umber wash were applied before weathering back with dry-brushing and chipping. The exhaust is an older technique which I'm currently trying to perfect. I tried it on a maus I was building (currently on the bench complete in the corner as the track have scared me off!) and now on the Mark IV. I paint the exhaust in black oil paint to create a sooty fixer for pigment. This is something I'm yet to perfect however... Compared with my Mark V, it is a heavily different tank, just the shape's the same! Hope you enjoy! Sam Excuse the lighting but i've only got a temporary set up at the mo using the sun! Which in the UK is never advisable!
  15. johnny akes

    Chieftain Mk 11

    First of the new year! OOB except for replacement tow cables, painted with Mission Models paints. Regards J A
  16. This is one I just managed to finish off in the run-up to the holidays, which allowed me to clear the decks ready for the M3/M4 group build (although I'm still waiting on the kit for that one). It's a very nice kit and, although some have reported a few fit issues with the hull superstructure, it all goes together well as long as you clean up the parts and pay attention to alignment. I had to swap the barrels for aftermarket replacements, due to one of the kit barrels being damaged in the box but, apart from that, it's a straight from the box build. Oh, and with the addition of the figure and stowage too, which came from Evolution and Value Gear. The only problems I had with it were with the usually reliable Takom decals. The ones that come with this are incredibly thick, and silvered quite badly on the slogans. I gave up on them for the red stars and sprayed them instead. Thanks for looking Andy
  17. The_Lancaster

    Takom 1/35 Bergepanther

    And now for something completely different, To retire the er... 'faithful' Italeri Bergepanther may I present the Takom Bergepanther, new from Takom. No release date as of yet but I would say it wouldn't be soon after their straight panther with full interior. Takom has quoted it as 'soon'!
  18. AML-90 French Light Armoured Car 1:35 Takom The AML-90 was designed from the original AML-245 specification by Panhard originally being designated the AML-245C. The main feature of this model is the DEFA D921 low pressure 90mm gun. The gun was specifically designed for light vehicles (<10 Tonnes), This made the AML-90 well armed in proportion to its weight. The gun has shallow rifling and coupled with fin stabilised rounds gives a an improved range, however the low muzzle velocity does only favour close combat. Combat in the South African border Wars, and The Six Day War would show the AML-90 was out ranged by older T-34/85 and M48 Patton tanks. Optical fire control, and no power assist on the turret traverse also hampered operations. Even given these factors the AML-90 is capable of destroying older main battle tanks. A Libyan T-62 was reported destroyed in the Toyota War (Libyan/Chad border conflict of 1987). The Kit This is a welcome new tool from Takom who seem to be on a mission to bring us less mainstream vehicles. It is an addition to the Takom AML-60 kit as both vehicles use the same AML-245 chassis (the two kits sharing 3 common sprues & the lower hull). The kit arrives on 4 main sprues, a small clear sprue, 5 rubber tyres, a lower hull part, and the turret. All of the parts are up to Takom's usual standard. The kit does not feature an interior. Of note are the instructions (which I dont normally mention), it seems Takom have shrunk their normal A4 instructions down to A5 to fint in the box, and this had made them harder to read. Construction starts with the lower hull. The rear of the car is attached to the hull along with additional side parts the rear frame and the main side door. The rear wheel housing and suspension components and springs are also added. Additional handles and smaller parts are also added at this stage. The front suspension components are then built up and added to the lower hull. Followed by the wheel housing and their suspension components. The wheels can then be built up. These consist of five plastic components for each wheel in addition to the tyres. The upper hull deck can then be added to the lower hull. Tools and periscopes are added at this stage., along with a sand channel and other parts which I suspect a lot of modellers will leave off until the end. Next the turret is built up from the main part with the hatches, tools and other ancillary parts being added. This turret is much larger than the AML-60. The lower and upper parts are put together with the gun mantlet being added between the two. The hatches, other lights and smoke dischargers are added along with the rear turret bin. the 90mm gun is then made up and added. The completed turret can then be added to the hull. Markings There are 5 options included with the kit, and are featured on the coloured artwork. Argentinian Army - Falklands War 1982 (Green/brown camo) French Army - (Green / sand camo) Israeli Defence Forces (overall sand grey) Iraqi Army - Kuwait 1991 (overall sand) Lebanese Army Special Forces - 2012 (4 colour camo) Conclusion This is welcome new tool from Takom of Armoured Car which was used by the Armies of many nations around the world. No doubt the aftermarket producers will do decals and probably a full interior at some point. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of UK Distributors for
  19. Hey Everyone, A new tank has found it's way onto my workbench, The mighty King Tiger Background The German Tiger Ausf. B, or King Tiger was arguably the very best tank that was put onto the battlefield during WW2, as well as the most costly. With each unit requiring some 300,000 skilled man hours to complete, the King Tiger went into serial production in December 1943 at the Henschel factory in Kassel. At the peak of production it took only 14 days to complete, and by the end of the war 492 examples were ultimately produced of the 1500 units ordered due to the intense Allied bombing campaign. With frontal armor reaching up to 150mm thick and side armor 80mm thick, this nearly 70 ton tank was built around the famous dual-purpose semi-automatic 88mm canon firing armor-piercing or high explosive rounds, the KwK 43 (L71) production by Krupp, with the T.Z.F.9b/1 binocular gun sight (later followed by the monocular T.Z.F.9d) built into the cradle. This set-up allowed the tank to engage virtually any enemy tank before it could come within firing range. The Henschel production version carried 86 rounds of internally stored ammunition for the main gun. Additional armament came in the form of 3 Rheinmetall Machinengewehr 34's with 5800 rounds; one mounted in a kugelblende on the right bow position; one mounted coaxially to the main gun; one mounted externally to the commander's cupola. This massive tank was mobilized by a OLVAR EG40 12 16B mechanical transmission with 8 forward and 4 reverse gears powered. The only other variant of the King Tiger was the Hunting Tiger, or Jagdtiger. With the exception of the initial prototype, all King Tigers were coated with zimmerit until September 11, 1944. The King Tiger dominated the battlefield in terms of capabilities, but often suffered from shortages of lubricants & fuels. These tanks proved themselves in battles ranging from Normandy, the Ardennes, Lake Balaton, and Berlin. Although they lived up to the expectations of the 'Wunderwaffe', the King Tigers were ineffective in stopping the overwhelming numbers they faced on the battlefield. Today there are a total of 11 King Tigers preserved around the world, with the rest having been long lost to the scrap yards. The Kit So I have decided to go with the Takom King Tiger Sd.Kfz.182 1/35 Henschel Turret with Full Interior. The Build So on with the build, Looking at the parts there is very little flash and the parts are detailed and well formed. Here is some shots of the Hull: This is where I decided to start the build, It made sence to start at the bottom and work my way up and after a few painting mistakes I made with my other Tiger build the lesson had been learned. So some progress: I have since given the base a coat of Mig-014 Rotbraun and im waiting on it drying before adding some details and Mig-017 Cremeweiss to the side sills: That's as far as I have got today, more to come over the weekend Chris
  20. King Tiger Sd.Kfz.182 Henschel Turret with Zimmerit – Full Interior (2045) 1:35 Takom via Pocketbond Hitler, and therefore Nazi Germany was obsessed with bigger which they equated with better, and this was reflected in almost every aspect of arms production in the run-up to, and throughout World War II. After the Panzer IV had been matched by Allied designs, the Tiger addressed the balance back in their favour, becoming the most feared combatant from any force, despite several draw-backs of its design, such as a weak transmission, and a level of complexity that meant it was slow to manufacture, prone to break-downs and expensive to repair. Expecting the Allies to bring heavier tanks to the field before too long, the King Tiger, Tiger II, or Königstiger as the Sd.Kfz.182 was known came into existence, having begun development even before the war started. Porsche's ground-breaking and complex design was unsuccessful for this reason, while the Henschel proposal was taken forward to production, using the same underpowered Maybach engine that was barely adequate for the Tiger I, and taking on the sloped armour of the successful Panther to significantly increase the effective thickness of the armour whilst keeping weight down to a staggering 70 tonnes. The initial turrets had curved surfaces that were difficult to manufacture, and a redesign was necessary to cure this and remove the shot-trap under the mantlet, with the new design being known today as the Henschel turret, while the old design became the Porsche turret, although both were designed by Krupps. A weak transmission design, coupled with the underpowered engine ensured that many vehicles broke down in the field, and plans were in progress to improve both aspects with fuel-injection and a new drive-train, but were curtailed by the end of the war. Most of the initial order of 1,500 units were built under difficult circumstances due to bombing of the factories and the encroaching Allied forces, and despite its problems it became one of the icons of German tank design of WWII, with a number surviving to be placed in museums, with some still running. The Kit We have had a few King Tiger (KT) kits in 1:35 over the years, but nothing new for quite a while, and at times the preferred brands have been hard to come by with prices reaching silly levels on eBay. Takom's new range of KT kits aims to provide a full set of these imposing tanks, with and without Zimmerit anti-mine coating, with Henschel and Porsche turrets, and with or without interiors. This should cater for almost every possibility, and if you like your tanks buttoned up, you won't be wasting the interior if you buy wisely. If you're unfamiliar with Zimmerit, it was a paste containing sawdust that was applied at the factory beginning in December 1943 and ending in September 1944, designed to prevent magnetic mines from sticking to the sides of tanks. It was applied in a number of different patterns, but was mostly seen in short horizontal ridges as depicted on this kit. Late war production eschewed this protection to speed production and remove the danger of fire hazard, the latter turning out to be false. This is a complete new tooling from Takom, and the first to feature a full interior from the box in this scale, although more new KT kits are on the way shortly. The box shows the tank cut in half to show off the interior, on a white background, and has deep sides to accommodate the contents, although my box didn't survive shipping very well and will need a bit of repair. Inspecting the parts shows that the Zimmerit coating has been well-done, showing individual tooling marks for each indent and "crowding" of the marks around raised areas on the mantlet and rear bulkhead, meaning that someone has spent a lot of time researching and producing this aspect, rather than just copy-paste (excuse the pun) of blocks of texture onto the CAD designs. The weld seams have all been reproduced too, and the skin has been quoted as being of scale-thickness to accurately depict the interior size. This has been done by laminating parts around the hull, rather than risk sink marks on the delicate Zimmerit texture. The interior has been faithfully reproduced within the limits of injection moulding too, and really does beg you to leave open as many hatches as possible so that all the detail isn't lost to darkness. There are bound to be some modellers tempted to do a partial cut-away to expose yet more of the detail, and I'm sorely tempted myself, but will probably chicken out eventually. Inside the box are a lot of sprues, taking up almost all the available space. There are fifteen sprues, two hull parts and upper turret in a grey styrene, one sprue of clear parts, two sheets of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, two decal sheets, and three bags of tracks, with one each for the tracks and their links, plus another for spare links for the turret sides. The instruction guide is in the by-now-familiar Takom format, in landscape A4, with glossy cover and painting instructions to the rear. A separate interior painting guide is provided that works for either turret design, with labels showing which is which. Construction begins with the whe… No, the hull, actually. The lower hull is decorated with cross-members internally, the final-drive housings at the front, and along the interior sides inserts add all the extra detail as well as scale armour thickness that will be visible around the interior parts. Torsion bar bearings are added across the hull in long lines, which receive the two-part axle/torsion-bar combination later on. Various internal equipment enclosures and fuel tanks are added to floor, along with the driver's controls. Even the lower escape hatch is depicted, and has handles and locking wheel added before it is installed in the front floor. The road wheels are built into pairs and attached to the axles, with long bearings on the inner sets and short ones on the outer, so that they all line up. The driver's seat is a complex arrangement that is attached to the floor, with the final drive unit to its right, supplying the motive power to the two bell-housings and drive-sprockets. It also includes the steering column, with a quadrant style wheel on the left. The rear firewall of the crew compartment is then detailed and added at around two-thirds of the way back, creating the engine compartment with drive-shafts and transfer boxes reaching from the bulkhead to the rear of the final drive housing. The engine compartment is split longitudinally into three main compartment, with the power-pack in the central section, a radiator bath with fans on either side, and a pair of slope-sides fuel tanks using up the space over the rear wheels inside the sponsons. Each section is separated by bulkheads, which are inserted before the engine is built up from a large number of parts over a couple of pages of the instructions, with colour call-outs on the interior painting guide. Add some wiring, some grease and grime, and it should look superb. Additional hoses, panels and a final centrally mounted fuel tank are added behind the engine, all of which were interlinked to allow the driver to select where to draw the fuel from, and were even filled centrally from the rear filler cap. Parts of the hosing are included for good measure, although some is hidden from view. The two radiator housings are identical, and are topped off with a fan each, with another fuel tank outboard, as previously mentioned. A tread-plated panel with a large circular cut-out for the turret base is added to the aft of the crew compartment, along with a webbing across the forward section of the area, with ten machine-gun ammo bags attached ready for the bow gunner's use. All of the space over the sponsons is then filled with ammunition storage, which is represented by four trapezoid packs of shells in racks, which are built up from two or three layers of shells moulded to their racks, with PE percussion bases for each one. At this point all the lower hull parts are completed, with only the parts attached to the inside of the upper hull left to install, so that's where we go next. The upper hull has a separate panel including the driver and gunner's hatch, which fits into the hull along a fairly prominent panel line on the real thing. The edges of the insert are recessed and have recessed bolt-holes to allow the modeller to leave it off, or loose to show off the interior. Its underside has detail too, and a few raised ejector pin marks that are near some rivet lines, but away from much of the detail. The underside of the upper hull has some recessed ejector pin marks too, which will need filling level if you are serious about the realism of the interior, which will also behove you to remove the product code from the ceiling to the right of the insert. A selection of pioneer tools are included for attachment to the outer hull sides, and these have been supplied with little PE clasps that you bend into a U-shape to replace the kit lugs to better mimic the latches used by the Germans in WWII. These could have been done completely in PE, but would probably have alienated most purchasers, as they are notoriously tricky to complete, so this is a good compromise that promotes their use, while leaving the PE averse to use the plastic option rather than cut the lugs off. The engine deck is also separate from the upper hull, to allow for the subtle differences between production runs, whilst squeezing the maximum detail out of the area. The central armoured section has a large access panel with two mushroom vents in the centre, and this can be removed entirely (requiring a hoist for the real thing), or the inner section hinged open to reveal some of the detail of the engine. The radiator housing covers both have the circular armoured vent that is covered with a PE mesh guard, plus the two intake ducts, which are also covered over with PE mesh panels, but the right panel holds the extinguisher cartridge, while the left has the wire/bolt cutters lashed to it with another optional PE clasp. These covers hinge toward the centre, and have the hinge-notches laid out to allow them to be posed open or closed to further increase the detail on show just for the hell of it, or for diorama purposes. The array of towing cables are supplied as moulded parts with the barrel-cleaning rods moulded-in, which is perhaps a little retrograde in terms of detail, but makes the job of fitting them a lot easier, and with some sympathetic painting, they should look just as good as braided wire or cord. Flipping the upper hull over, the glacis plate is thickened to scale with an insert that has the kügelblende aperture moulded in, and the side armour is scaled by adding another insert on each side. Externally, the kügelblende's ball-mount is inserted from outside, then covered with a two-part armoured dome, which has the Zimmerit coating moulded into its surface, giving it a faceted look. The sides of the upper hull are coated entirely with Zimmerit patterning, which extends under the side skirt mounting points, which I have seen described as wrong, but after a little research, it appears that it was sometimes done at the factory, although never (or seldom) on the side skirts themselves. These were mounted by paired brackets on the hull, which are present in the moulding, in case you wanted to remove any or all the panels, and the skirts are provided as single parts from each side, with recesses in the back to accommodate the brackets without any cutting. Although moulded from styrene, the skirts have been given a very nice slender edge by chamfering the mould, the trick of which would only be exposed if you decided to remove any sections, or elected to inflict damage to the panels, as was frequently seen. If you intend the former, trimming the thickness at the breaks between panels will see you right, but the latter is probably better done using an aftermarket PE set to obtain the best scale thickness and ruggedness of the metal parts. Inside the upper hull the bow machine gun is installed with a pair of ammo bags of the kind attached to the bulkhead (and the rear of the turret ring too), and the raise/swivel mechanism for the hatch openers are also made up and inserted under the hinge-point on the deck. The front fenders attach to lugs moulded into the upper hull, and have the same chamfered edge to fool the eye into thinking they're thinner than they are. They are attached and have three small PE jointing parts locking them to the sloped edge of the side-skirt, and between them is fitted the single headlight and bracket with a styrene part portraying the wire coming from a small armoured gland on the front of the deck. Two armoured covers for the vision blocks are added to the tops of the driver's rotating periscope and the bow-gunner's fixed 'scope to finish off the upper hull. Tracks can be pretty tedious to put together, and if you ask different modellers, rubber-band, individual link, link-and-length, or full metal workable track links are the only way to travel. Speaking personally, it's only rubber-band tracks that grate on my nerves, as they merely bend around the end-of-run, and you don't get that faceted look that is present on many of the real things. In this kit you get individual links in two bags, as each track link is made from two sections that interlink. They are also handed, and only go on the sprockets one way – fact that isn't mentioned in the instructions, which also omits the number of links you'll need to make a complete run for each side. 96 of each type are included in the bags, so it's a fair bet that it's around 45 pairs per side. Gluing up the tracks into a run using liquid glue along a straight-edge and then wrapping them around the wheels and fixing them in place will usually result in a good finish, but if you want to paint them off the vehicle, it might be as well to build them in two sections so they can be removed. That's up to you of course! Each link has four very small ejector pin marks on the interior surface, which can be buffed off in seconds with a sanding stick, although you'll need a skinny one for the mark between the two guide-horns. Equally, you could just slather the tracks with some muck to hide these from view and forget all about them! With the tracks on, the upper hull is joined to the lower, and the front of the lower hull receives the big armoured plate-ends and final drive protection that incorporates the towing eye holes, with the towing shackles clipping over the holes and giving the impression of the real thing. RB Productions do a lovely set of brass shackles to upgrade the look here if you feel inclined. The rear bulkhead is detailed with the armoured access panels, the C-shaped track tools and jack-block, plus a multi-part jack that fits on long brackets at the bottom of the bulkhead. The exhausts are two parts each, and have hollow tips, but you will need to hide the seamline after gluing, which are then covered by large cast armoured shrouds with separate lifting lugs on their sides. The rear mudguards butt-fit on the bulkhead against the hinge-detail that is moulded into the panel, and the whole assembly is glued to the rear of the hull, being careful to line up the exhaust pipes with the holes in the bulkhead, which also has a couple of ejector pin marks to fill while we're there. Another pair of shackles clip over the holes in the aft of the side armour, and we finally get to the fun part. Who doesn't like a big turret? With a separate roof making removal of the (sadly necessary) ejector pin marks easier, they will be the first task, followed by mating the roof with the side shell and the front. Inside are a number of items such as the fume extractor, periscopes, extinguisher and the interior portion of the commander's cupola, plus the gunner's hatch with optional open or closed positions of the ram that controls its movement achieved by swapping parts, as per the scrap diagram. The large rear hatch was partly for escaping a doomed tank, but was also the only way of extracting the big 88mm gun without dismantling the turret. This version has the pistol port, and attaches to the rear of the turret by two large armoured covers that allow it to hinge down flat to the deck for ease of exit. On the roof the various mushroom vents, shell cartridge ejection port and lifting lugs are all glued in place along with all the track hangers on the turret sides, which fit on little pips moulded into the Zimmerit finish. The topside of the cupola is built up with the covered vision blocks and a mount for the commander's machine-gun, with the lift/rotate hatch fitting neatly in the centre, while the gunner has to slum it with his simple opening hatch as described earlier. The spare track links are bagged separately, but I can see no discernible difference between them and the tracks themselves, so I guess someone put them in as a last minute addition? With most builds, the turret would be almost finished, but with a full interior, the basket, breech and sighting gear are required, and these are built up on a circular base that fits into the bottom of the turret, with a serious amount of detail and plenty of parts making for a good looking assembly. You will need to curve a few PE panels around the inside of the turret aperture, but that's not outwith the bounds of the skills of most modellers, and leaving them off may be noticed. If you've not rolled PE before and don't have suitable tools, just fold up a piece of kitchen roll, place the PE on that and use a cylinder of some kind (pen barrel or X-Acto knife handle) to apply pressure as you roll it over the part gently. Keep testing the fit, and stop when you get there. The glue will hold the parts in place from thereon in, just remember to use Super Glue (CA). The bustle contains a pair of ready-ammo racks with 11 shells on each side of the access-way, which are supplied in the same style as the shells in the lower hull. The finished assemblies fit to panels that mate with the turret floor, and again there are PE bases to each one. The long-barrel Krupp 88mm KwK 43 L/71 was considerably longer than that mounted on the Tiger I, and could propel the shell significantly faster due to the new design, increasing its penetrating power immensely with the new Armour Piercing (AP) shells that were designed for it. Typically, the KT carried a mix of AP and High Explosive (HE), and this is accommodated on the second decal sheet, which includes the correct stencilling and painting guides. The full breech is depicted, and the part count is high, as you'd expect, with the completed assembly fitting unglued between two supports that attach to the floor of the turret to enable it to elevate once completed. With the breech fitted and the glue cured, the upper turret is slipped over the end of the breech and glued together, the circular mantlet is built up from three sections, and the one-piece barrel are both then glued to the breech, with the three-part muzzle brake added to the end of the solid barrel to give it a hollow tip. Before the turret is dropped into place on the hull, a pair of PE mesh panels are added to plastic frames and applied to the front of the engine deck. The turret is just drop-fit, so remember this when you're handling the finished model. Markings You get two options in the box, and of course the decal sheet is small – this is an armour kit afterall. Registration, colour density and sharpness are all good though, and from the box you can build one of the following: Tiger II Ausf.B, 3./s.H.Pz.Abt.503, No.301 Mailly De Camp, France, July 1944. Tiger II Henschel s.H.Pz.Abt.503, No.233 Budapest 1944. Both are painted in Dunkelgelb, Olivegrun and shokoladebraun camouflage but in different patterns, and the colour call-outs are in Mig AMMO, who also drew the profiles, with small advertisements to the sides showing the new paint sets that Takom and AMMO have collaborated on to coincide with this release. We've got a couple of sets in for review, so watch out for that in due course. The second sheet of decals contains stencils for the many shells, the driver's instruments and even the red cross for the first-aid box, all of which are small details that improve the look of any model. Conclusion This is a very nice kit of the lumbering pinnacle of German WWII armour, and there have been some nice examples of attention to detail and careful tooling of the moulds to improve or preserve detail. The full interior is well worth the additional effort, and despite my initial concerns that none of it would be seen, there are plenty of opportunities to leave various panels off that will allow you almost full access without cutting into the model. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of UK Distributors for
  21. Hi, Started a cutaway version of the Takom kit. It's the Henschel version with Zimmerit any 505. Bear with whilst I get up to date with pics.
  22. M31 US Tank Recovery Vehicle 1:35 Takom via Pocketbond by Bachmann The Tank Recovery vehicle, or ARV has been around nearly as long as the Tank has. Ever since WWI when British Mark IV tanks were fitted with jibs to produce salvage tanks the ability to recover and move inoperable tanks has been needed. In WWII the Germans become very adept at ths. WWII was the beginning of the true ARV, these were most often converted tanks which were obsolete. Many would get cranes or jibs to enable lifting operations as well. In more modern times the ARV is a version of the countires Main Battle Tank in order that another vehicle is not used to simplify logistics and repair needs. The M31 was based on the M3 Medium Tank. This was selected as it was still in production, but soon to replaced as the US Main tank by the M4 Sherman. The Tank Recovery Vehicle would be known as the T2. In order to save weight both the main 75mm gun, and the turret mounted 37mm gun were removed, however they were replaced by dummy units, and the front of the 75mm modified to provide a crew access door. The forward 30cal machine gun in the hull was retained, and the turret received a second 30cal on a British designed copula. A Garwood crane would be mounted in the gap left by the 37mm gun on the turret. This could carry 5 tons if countered by the weight of the vehicle alone, or 15 tons of the vehicle was stabilised. For whinching operations a 60,000lbs winch was installed in the crew compartment which could be used from the front or back of the vehicle. In addition it could go out through the turret to the crane. The M31 would make its combat debut with the 1st Armoured Division in Tunisia in 1943. Just over 800 M31s were produced and they would service throughout WWII never managing to get replaced by the later M32 (Based on the M4 Sherman). As well as the crane the M31 was distinguished by the numerous tool boxes on the exterior to carry all of the crews equipment, quite how successful re-tainment of the dummy guns were in obscuring the true identity of the vehicle were is open to question! The Kit There have been two kits released initially, one being the Lee, the other the British specification Grant. Both kits share a core of common parts, which have come over into the M31. This boxing has all the additional parts for the crane and exterior boxes. Inside the box are 11 sprues and two parts in grey styrene, a small clear sprue with headlights, a PE sheet, decal sheet and instruction booklet as mentioned above. Construction begins with the lower hull, which has a rear bulkhead and final drive housing attached at the front. Rollers are fitted into the floor which was where the winch cable comes out. Three stations on each side for the VVSS (vertical volute-sprung suspension) units are added, which each hold a pair of wheels. The drive sprockets are fitted to the front, and idlers at the rear on a trailing arm that is where tension is adjusted on the rear thing. A number of large bolt heads are added to the suspension units, which can be found on the sprue runners and are cut free with a sharp blade to be glued in the noted position on each arm. The tracks are link and length, with a jig supplied for the top run, which has an upward curve at the front as it rides over the drive sprocket. The highly curved areas have individual links supplied, with the diagonals under the drive and idler wheels fitted in short lengths. The tracks fit under the sponson floors, with separate sides added, which have crew hatches cut into the sides for later fitting. The complex angles of the glacis plate and casemate of the dummy 75mm gun is formed over a number of steps, with the roof having a cut-out for the turret. The engine deck is fitted last, and has a choice of pioneer tools and towing cables, which require some holes to be drilled from the inside before fitting. The exhausts and mudflaps are fitted to the rear bulkhead along with a number of panels and towing eyes to the rear, while the bolted glacis flanges are fitted to the front, with the driver's hatch and caged light cluster on the wings. A number of large tool boxes are then constructed and added to the main hull. Rear mounted winch rollers are added along with the surrounds for the associated equipment. Conctruction then moves onto the turret and attached crane. The dummy 37mm gun is attached to the rear of the turret and then the crane made up. As you may expect the crane comes with a fair number of parts all on a new sprue from the original release of the tank. Care is needed to get the myriad of parts in the correct place here. Cable is provided for the crane. The modeller will need to decide if they want the crane in front of the vehicle, or behind as there are 2 different mounting options. Markings There are five markings options spread over the inner cover pages of the instructions. From the box you can build one of the following: 1st Armoured Regiment Service Company, El Guettar, Tunisia, Aprli 1943. 2nd Armoured Division, 2/66th Armour Regiment "Gerogia on my mind", SV38 Operation Huskey, July 1943. Unknown Unit, Theater Issue Depot, Oran Algeria, May 1943. 2nd Armoured Division, 2/66th Armour Regiment "Invader", SV38, France, July 1944. 5th Army, 756th Tank Battalion, SV39, Mt Lungo, Italy, Jan 1944. The decals are printed anonymously, and have generally good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion It is good to see this variant now being issued following the original release from Takom, and that these support vehicles are not being forgotten. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of UK Distributors for
  23. Mark Hoffmanly

    Meng and Takom Panthers

    Here are some more pictures I have managed to find on Meng's and Takom's Panther. Heres some pics for Mengs's Panther. From the looks of these pics it seems that Mengs will not contain an interior with the kit. I have heard that they are making an interior for the Panther but they will be selling it as a separate kit like they did with their KT. From the looks of it, Meng is further ahead in production than takom, but I could be wrong. Hopefully, they do not release on the same date otherwise I'll be broke. Mark
  24. Hi guys This is quite an interesting subject by Takom that surprised us all. It just goes to show the vast range of kits and subjects available now. I bet most people never would have thought they would see a kit of this ever be made. Personally It's not my usual build but unusual enough to grab my attention. I have been working on it on and off for a while now. Quite a nice kit but a bit laborious to build. This is down to most of the bits being duplicated to cover both guns and a slight mould misalignment meaning the parts clean up is taking longer than it should. I can finally see the light at the end of the building tunnel though. IMAG0475 by Mark Inman, on Flickr IMAG0478 by Mark Inman, on Flickr IMAG0479 by Mark Inman, on Flickr IMAG0480 by Mark Inman, on Flickr IMAG0481 by Mark Inman, on Flickr IMAG0482 by Mark Inman, on Flickr IMAG0483 by Mark Inman, on Flickr IMAG0484 by Mark Inman, on Flickr IMAG0485 by Mark Inman, on Flickr IMAG1166 by Mark Inman, on Flickr IMAG1167 by Mark Inman, on Flickr IMAG1168 by Mark Inman, on Flickr IMAG1169 by Mark Inman, on Flickr IMAG1170 by Mark Inman, on Flickr IMAG1171 by Mark Inman, on Flickr
  25. Hi, Started a cutaway version of the Takom kit. It's the Henschel version with Zimmerit any 505. Bear with whilst I get up to date with pics. John
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