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  1. Thought I'd post some pics of a build that's been going on some time, meant to be relatively quick but life has very definitely got in the way this year! Started back in April, very slow progress; The plan is a Mk11 Chieftain with a 432, on a simple base, extras are Voyager models etch for the Chieftain and Tetra model works etch for the 432 with Master Club tracks for both, which I haven't used before. Accurate Armour figures with Hornet heads when we get that far. Started with the Chieftain building up the hull and replacing various bits with the etch; Turret next, hopefully it'll move a bit faster! Cheers Nick
  2. I've recently gotten into 1/72 scale armor and started off with Takom's double boxing of the FV432 and Chieftain Mk.V. Out of those two, I decided to start with the diminutive FV432, which was an interesting build and painting challenge. The kit itself was so-so, more complex than it had to be in some areas but with a high level of detail. I painted it using AK Real Colors NATO Green and NATO Black, slightly modulating the base colors, and then weathered using Ammo enamels and Oilbrushers using a reference photo of one of these vehicles on maneuvers that was covered in mud and dirt. I have a bunch of other 1/72 armor in the works as well, so this is just the begining! Comments and criticism welcomed as always!
  3. Takom is well known by AFV - aka targets - modellers not really by aircraft modellers. There's a recent announcement in the Chinese producer Facebook with what is obviously a Lun-class MD-160 Ekranoplan. So, soon something flying in the Takom range of kits? Time will tell. Source: https://www.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1537299736478570&id=354803674728188 V.P.
  4. Takom continues to surprise us with its choice of subjects. 1:350 Zeppelins; the P and Q class becomes half a meter long in that scale - in the same scale as many WW1 ship kits. The Q-class is of interest to me as L-20 drifted ashore in Norway and some bits and pieces are on show in the museum at Stavanger-Sola.
  5. https://testvalleymodels.com/collections/new-in-this-week/products/revell-space-shuttle-1-72 https://testvalleymodels.com/collections/new-in-this-week/products/panther-ausf-f-1-35 https://testvalleymodels.com/products/us-navy-lcm-3-landing-craft-1-35?pr_prod_strat=collection_fallback&pr_rec_pid=6610403393590&pr_ref_pid=6611357040694&pr_seq=uniform https://testvalleymodels.com/products/chieftan-mk-5-5p?pr_prod_strat=collection_fallback&pr_rec_pid=6610400542774&pr_ref_pid=6611357040694&pr_seq=uniform https://testvalleymodels.com/collections/new-in-this-week/products/hms-kent-type-23-f78-frigate-1-700
  6. Hi! I'm starting a new build of Takom's fantastic Panther kit. It has a full interior included and very thorough detailwise. I have an ABER set to it, which has all the goodies including aluminum barrel, brass MG barrels, antennas etc. There's also MasterClub tracks, Eduard Panther interior set, Tamiya brass shells and Aber shackles. Some of the aftermarket aren't really necessary, but on the other hand, why the hell not. The details are very crisp and so far the kit goes together really nice. Nothing much has done yet. I'm at the point to get the first paint on it to get the lower hull sides and bottom together. Sorry about the crappy images. We had a rare occasion of sunshine this time of year here and there's a lot of light and shadow on the photos. Cheers! Kristjan
  7. Bandvagn BV 206S with Interior (2083) 1:35 Takom via Pocketbond Originally developed as a replacement for the Volvo Bv202 for the Swedish army by Hagglunds, which are now part of the global Bae Systems conglomerate, the Bandvagn is a segmented tracked vehicle that was initially designed for troop and equipment transport, with the crew cab in front, and an adaptable rear cab that can be reconfigured to a number of specific tasks. All four tracks are powered and have very low ground pressure to help it travel over both arctic tundra and boggy conditions during the Swedish thaw, with an additional amphibious capability making it almost unstoppable. It has been so successful that dozens of countries now field them, with the United Kingdom amongst them, (a larger variant named the Viking) using them to good effect in the desert during recent actions in the Gulf and Afghanistan. The S variant is armoured to withstand small-arms fire, and can carry 12 fully equipped troops spread between the two compartments, which improves survivability in the case of a hit from a larger calibre round or IED. While the British BvS 10 is similar in form, it is substantially larger with a more powerful Steyr engine to pull its added bulk along. The Kit This is a brand new tooling from Takom, and it seems fitting that it's the (likely) more popular armoured variant that has led the way, although I'm sure that other variants will follow. Whether this will extend to the Viking is uncertain, as I would imagine it would require an almost complete retool, given the dimensional differences. This variant is fielded by Sweden, Spain, Germany, France, Netherlands and Italy, so there should be plenty of options to go at amongst those operators. It's not a huge vehicle, so the box is commensurately compact, with six sprues and two hull parts in grey styrene; four rubberband-style black flexible tracks and a small sprue in the same material; a clear sprue; decals and of course the instruction booklet, which has a correction sheet included for step 21. The booklet is around a5 in size in portrait form, with a glossy fold-out at the rear containing the decal and markings options. Detail is good, with some slide-moulded parts at the edges of sprues to improve it further, and the main compartments are moulded as individual shells, again using slide-moulding to obtain superior detail on the sides of the parts. There may have been a bit of groaning at the inclusion of "rubber" tracks, but as the real things are made of just that, it's entirely accurate and having seen the larger ones coiled up at the Tank Museum, they're very chunky, not to mention incredibly heavy, which doesn't really carry through to them in 1:35 as you can imagine. The inclusion of an interior is useful due to the large ballistic windscreen in the forward compartment, which would look a bit odd otherwise. Construction begins with the large beam-mounted running gear, with four road wheels, idler and drive sprocket on each one. The front and rear suspension is identical but handed, so you end up with four subassemblies, which each have their boat-like mine resistant hull fitted with slightly different drive-shafts and mounting struts, both of which are well-detailed. The tracks wrap around the suspension and are glued at the ends using standard cement, with a large contact patch and four shallow pins making this task a little easier. Once on the road wheels, the outer half of the drive sprocket locks them in place and the finished subassemblies fit on pegs to their mounts. The rear compartment has a complex umbilical as part of its drive assembly, which is linked to the front compartment via a recessed back panel that keeps the gap between parts small. At this point the lower portion of the vehicle(s) is/are complete. In the crew cab the driver and co-pilot's seats are installed on the sponsons, and the engine compartment cover slips between their chairs, while a pair of jump-seats attach to the rear wall. The pedal box and other controls are fitted before the upper hull is detailed with exterior parts, separate front and passenger doors and the thick glazed panels, with an overhead console and sun visors added inside. The rear compartment's details are all fitted to the upper hull part, including jump seats, stowage locker on the roof, and the obligatory fire extinguisher. At this point it is worth mentioning that if you are going for accuracy, you will need to shave off the copyright and kit details from inside the roof of each compartment, as well as some ejector-pin marks that simply couldn't be avoided in these large parts. There is sure to be some additional detail missing from the rooves too, which you'll have to scratch-build yourself although who will ever see it? That's entirely up to you though The upper and lower are now ready to be brought together with the addition of mudflaps front and rear, running-board on the forward compartment, and rear doors on both parts. The rear compartment's door has a window included, as well as the usual windscreen wiper (very thoughtful for the troops), light clusters etc. The rear door of the front compartment covers up the linkage and what looks like the heat exchanger on the roof mounted air conditioning unit. Markings You get three possible schemes in the box, with the decals mostly consisting of number plates and unit markings. Two of the options are Spanish with one Italian, with the Spanish in Khaki green all over, and the Italian in NATO camouflage. You can build one of the following: Regimiento de Montaña 66 2002 – Khaki Green Regimiento de Cazadores de Montaña 66, 2009 – Khaki Green 9th Reggimento de Alpini, 2008 – NATO Green, Brown & Black camo As the profiles cover less than two pages you might need your magnifying glass to read the print, but usefully the interior colours have been provided next to the final profiles to assist you with painting. The decal sheet is small, but is reminiscent of Cartograf's style, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. A couple of instrument dials are included at the bottom of the sheet, which will improve the realism of the dashboard. Conclusion It's awesome to see the sheer volume of modern and near-modern armour being kitted now, and this is one of those instances. Clearly, there's more mileage in the Bv206S due to the number of operators, but as a British modeller, I'm now hoping we'll get the Viking at some point down the line. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of UK Distributors for
  8. Morning all, and Happy New year.....a recent completed Bergepanther for the Panther GB. Here's the rest of the pics. Tools and other stowage to follow once they turn up....delayed due to lockdown ...Once here, I'll add and update the pics. Here's the build blog for those interested.... All the best Simon.
  9. Hi all, In between the frustrating steps of my other projects, I've decided to start something a little more easy going. I picked up Takom's M-46 and Jeep combo, a few days ago. Bother kits have been previously released separately. I don't think there is anything new here. The patton has the fantastic Korean War tiger markings, and the jeep can also be built as a USMC Korean War vehicle. The choice was simple. My thoughts on Takom kits, shift. Some of the early ones were extremely frustrating, but the more recent releases are like Tamiya+. The kits are well engineered and comparatively easy to build, like Tamiya. The + comes from all the small details that are all right there. So anyway. Here we go. First the chassis and engine of the jeep. Admittedly, I started this a few nights ago, but I'm just now getting around to posting. It looks fairly intricate, but the assembly was very simple. And here are the first steps of the patton. After wrestling with the suspension on Miniart's T-44, this was like a dream. After taking this photo, I finished the other side. This all took maybe an hour or so.
  10. Hi all, In between the frustrating steps of my other projects, I've decided to start something a little more easy going. I picked up Takom's M-46 and Jeep combo, a few days ago. Both kits have been previously released separately. I don't think there is anything new here. The patton has the fantastic Korean War tiger markings, and the jeep can also be built as a USMC Korean War vehicle. The choice was simple. Some of Takom's early kits were extremely frustrating, but the more recent releases are what I like to call "Tamiya-plus". The kits are well engineered and comparatively easy to build, like Tamiya's. But they also have a bunch of smaller details that Tamiya often excludes, right there, in the box. So anyway. Here we go. First the chassis and engine of the jeep. Admittedly, I started this a few nights ago, but I'm just now getting around to posting. It looks fairly intricate, but the assembly was very simple. And here are the first steps of the patton. After wrestling with the suspension on Miniart's T-44, this was like a dream. After taking this photo, I finished the other side. This all took maybe an hour or so.
  11. I have done a build thread in awhile, so with a week off over Easter I thought I would pull this one out of the stash. I was brought up on Salisbury Plain, and then later Germany so this was quite the nostalgia build. Completed as Chieftain of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, based in West Germany in the 1980s (which was when we were living there). Brush painted with Tamiya Acrylics. Build thread can be found here: Thanks for looking.
  12. Haven’t done a build thread in awhile. I picked this up before Christmas as a possible holiday build, but didn’t get to it. So pulling it out as a maybe Easter holiday build. I grew up on Salisbury Plain so this will bring back memories of taking the bus from Tidworth to Salisbury for the Saturday markets. Box is packed to the brim! No surprise I guess as there is two of everything. oh oh - photoetch Going to make things easier on myself - a single colour scheme: Reading around, it looks like Tamiya XF-65 is the go, which is good as I have pot of it. any tips/tricks/warnings gratefully received, although my intent is to do it straight out of the box as don’t feel up to major fettling if needed.
  13. Quite a mouthful, but I spotted this on ebay this morning direct from China for now. Henk has a pic up so I'll link to that here. Seems to be a Good time for T54/55 models with the offerings from Revell, Italeri, Ammo and now Takom in 1/72.
  14. Finally took photos of my completed GDR T-55 AM2B from Takom. Not many good close ups unfortunately, due to the annoying dust and white fibres that seem to cling like no tomorrow after it sits on a shelf for more than a day >< I actually got this kit when I grew frustrated with a Miniart T-55 and its overly complex construction, and just wanted to complete a T-55 kit The figures are from the Miniart Tank crew, 1960s-70s set, with a rough representation of the GDR uniform camo. Thanks for looking ^-^ Gaz
  15. Decided to join in on the Takom 'experience'. Inspiration for the build will be this period photo, though it won't be displayed knocked out: There are a few builds ongoing with the Takom kits, and wanted to see myself the fit problems - it did not take long ... There is also some measurement discrepancies compared to Dragon's smart kit of the III J. The length of hull plate (has the red bar over top) on the Takom kit, is bit deeper in depth. The weld bead in front of this looks ok, but the armour plate thickness appears to be slightly more than half that of Dragon. Since I had the hulls out, some further comparisons showed the overall lengths and widths were near equal. Not so with the locations for the return roller stands - on the Takom hull, they are several mm back, particularly the first and third locations: Anyhow, here is a little trick to introduce a weld bead. The kit parts (C6, C17) already have the plastic in place to represent the weld, but has no texture. One the part is glued in place, just run some liquid cement along the area, and stipple it with a tool - I used the tip of a needle file: regards, Jack
  16. Hi folks My latest OOB build. Nice kit, plastic tracks work well. All the hatches can be posed open, but there's no point really unless you're an ace scratch builder as there's nothing inside. Finally, here's a few next to its big cousin for comparison purposes: Regards J.A.
  17. Hallo again This will become a WIP about a Panther A an early one, in 1/35, the basic kit from Takom. I use the Friul metal track, due to the fact that the plastic single link and segments do not appear so good, when assembled. I use the full interior kit, to show all details. When finished, I will open the front hatches and maybe the central rear hatch for the engine compartment. Today I am not sure about two details. The shock absorber, I assume it is, which color did they have? The interior hull at the bottom is advised with hull red. Is it really so correct? The colors for the grenades is not sure for me. Brass cartridge? Or substitution material? Does anyone have a color photo from the engine? I can guess. In museums the photos I found are to my opinion far from real. Well, If anyone has some suggestions, welcome, I would be glad about it. Consider, my field are aircrafts, this is a sidestep. Happy modelling
  18. Very much a place holder for the moment as I'm co hosting the MTO build, it will be built out of the box ( apart from some Tamyia tracks) as I don't think I can add anything else. I have a set of Masterbox crew and a set of paints for the interior.
  19. Evening all........about time I kicked off the GB blog. Here's where she began as a standard blog build......but ended up languishing in a draw.........so have taken the chance to have a deadline and get it done........ Managed to get some of the final units put together.....engine, transmission, side walls and floor.....and then started to tedious painting in stages during the build............this is where I've had to leave off until Thursday. The paint I'm using is a Hataka modulation set for German "Red Primer" AFV Panel Lighting. I have to say, very impressed with the paint itself....it airbrush's with no issue's and dry's to a beautiful finish. The set is supposed to start with a A100 Jet Black (RAL 9005)....but decided to skip it and went straight on with the A174 Brown Primer Shadow. Looking back and final finish, I wish I had used the Jet Black.......live and learn. It's the first "Red Primer" colour lay down I've done....so making notes. There's two choices in interior paint job after the Primer is down. The MIG Interior painting illustration has everything Dunkel Gelb....sponsons, and everything above 12 to 16" from the floor. Another is taken from an actual analysis of a Berge in Germany, and it has a smattering in the forward driver and radio crew positions.........have to see how masking can be done as I fancy the MIG one, to show up the chipping better. Anyway.....off to read some of the other blogs in the GB.....nite all.....
  20. Hallo This kit is from Takom. With full interior. It was a challenge to build it. I did some Bergepanzer with full interior before. Here I knew already some of the challenges ahead. To avoid an awkward appearance of the finished tank I choose metal chains from Friul. They are easy to handle. The weight on the finished model you should consider! The hull interior I knew already. The difficult phases in assembling I met with knowledge of my Bergepanzer quite well. Not at all the turret. The assembling of the levers for the pivot to lift the gun was a major challenge. I met it. But I had to say good bye to the turret MG. For some reason, I did not find out, the space was not there…I have now no clue if it was my mistake or an error in the kit. Anyway, I choose the painting in Russia. Happy modelling
  21. Hey all, It's been ages since i last made a model tank and since November 11th is approaching, i decided to build a Takom 1/35 Mk.IV. I've been cutting and glueing the past couple of weekends and the model has come together nicely. I've made plenty of mistakes during the build, but most of them won't be noticed when finished. I have also just finished with painting the basic colors. The weathering proces is about to start and i aim to make a small diorama with plenty of mud (small tryout already made on part of the tracks) ! The model/sprues as it was at the beginning as well as the current status can be seen below & i will post an update when new progress has been made!
  22. 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!
  23. Chieftain MBT Mk.10 and Mk.11 kits (2 in one) 1:72 Takom The Chieftain tank will always be to this reviewer the one of the symbols of Britain's Army in the cold war ad in particular BAOR, seeing the tanks in and around Hohne where my Dad was based. It was a development of the highly successful Centurion tank, and continued the work done by the Centurion in addressing the apparent under-armoured and under-armed reputation of WWII British tanks. The result was one of the most impressive tanks of its day, and when it reached trials service in small numbers in 1959 they began ironing out the wrinkles, which resulted in a steady increase in all-up weight. As the design progressed beyond initial service with the Mark 2, further upgrades giving rise of the Mark 3, then skipping Mark 4 to reach the final production variant, the Mark 5, which carried NBC gear in the form of an over-pressure system, and a more powerful engine. Further small upgrades led to the Mark 10, which was the recipient of the Stillbrew up-armour package, which resulted in a much altered turret profile, particularly at the front. The Mark 11 was the last minor upgrade with the Thermal Observation and Gunnery System (TOGS) replacing the searchlight. Any further versions were cancelled in favour of the Challenger series of MBTs, which came on stream in the early 80s. The tank saw action in the Middle East only however, in the service of Jordan, Oman, Kuwait and Iran, who used it extensively in their long-winded war with Iraq. Kuwait's stocks of Chieftains were almost exhausted due to attrition during the Iraqi invasion in 1990, where they fared badly against more modern tanks for various reasons. The Kit There have been rumours of new Chieftain models in 1/72 amongst the small scale armour modellers following Takom's 1/35 scale kits. First Takom produced a Mark 5 in a double boxing with an FV432, now they have produced this double boxing of the two later marks of Chieftain. The quality of the moulding of this diminutive model are excellent with a good use of PE for scale thickness of the side plates, along with link and length track to replace the rubber band type often seen in this scale. The two tanks in this boxing are essentially the same but care must be taken on the small differences outside of the different turrets which are not explained very well in the instructions. While we mention the instructions they are a bit small, I know the kit is 1.72 but that does not mean the instructions have to be Takom! Construction starts with the lower hull, this is a bottom plate which contains the front, with separate sides and rear plates. Once this is together the bogies which carry the road heels are made up and added to the lower hull. There are three bogies each side each with 2 pairs of main wheels and a mount for the return rollers on top. Mounts for the drive sprockets go on the back, and for the idler wheels at the front. The tracks are then made up using the attached jigs. The drive and idler wheels go on and the track runs around the wheels and along the top. These parts are then added to the lower hull with the bottom run of track only going on after they are fitted. The lower hull is now complete. and the single large upper hull part can be added. The different parts for the rear o the tank are then made up before they can go on. Moving to the upper hull now various fittings such as headlight surrounds, tool boxes. hatches, tow cables, grills etc can be fitted. To each side the PE track cover plates go on. Next up the two turrets are assembled. These are very much the same except for the right hand side where the Mk11 has the TOGS system fitted. Markings As the tanks dont carry much in the way of markings Takom have squeezed a few options onto the small sheet. All markings look to be in register with no issues, from the box you can build; Mk.10 - A Sqn 1st Royal Tank Regiment "22" BATUS Training area Canada 1991 Mk.10 - "32" Hard target Warcop Range Mk.10 - C Sqn 14/20 King's Royal Hussars, Berlin 1988-91 in Berlin Camo Mk.10 - Zombie Tanks, Abrams Impersonator from The TV Series Walking Dead (Yes go back and look that was a Cheify!) - Some mods needed to make this look like an M1 Mk.11 - Unknown unit "10" BATUS Training area Canada Mk.11 - A Sqn 1st Royal Tank Regiment, Hildesheim Germany 1992. Mk.11 - 5th Inniskilling Dragoon Guards "21" BATUS Training area Canada Mk.11 - "31" Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. Conclusion These are quite detailed kits with many parts which build up to very nice models of this cold war warrior, Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of UK Distributors for Kagero's Photosniper on the Chieftain was useful in researching this review, and you can find our review from some time ago here.
  24. All done ...to all that commented ,followed along, THANK YOU........it's been fun and hope you all like what you see
  25. 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
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