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  1. I imagine most of you older modelers might've built all of these models at some time. Heaven knows, like us, they've been around a really long time. These were built a long time ago, pre-internet in fact for the most part. Monogram kits may not have had all the bells and whistles of more modern offerings but they mostly got the shapes of the airplanes right and provided a good "canvas" upon which a modeler could "do his stuff". These were all built at a time when nobody saw them but myself and my family. As time progressed and I completed more kits, I started to think that they weren't worthy of photographing. But obviously, a few years back, I decided that even these old kits should be documented by some pics, if for no other reason than to see how my skills might've improved. Back in August of 2015, I took two models to the Cameron Airport for a little photo session, and neither had been photographed before. Although it was really hot out there, I managed to get some pics of each plane. These are both ancient 1/48 Monogram kits (as are all four), and both were built at least 25 years ago now, maybe even longer. The Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX has an entirely scratch-built cockpit, resin wheels/tires and a vac-formed canopy from Squadron. The camo paint job was sprayed with my venerable Paasche H airbrush. The Douglas SBD Dauntless is pretty much OOB. I remember being a bit “daunted” myself by all that greenhouse canopy masking. For sure, there were no pre-cut masks back then! Again, all enamels, and applied with the Model H. I did drill out the holes on the dive-flaps, and added a few other details. The Curtis P-40B and the Mitsubishi A6M5 were photographed back in 2013, again at the by-now so recognizable Cameron Airport. Both reveal my limitations as a model builder back then, and those probably haven’t improved as much as I’d like since then. The A6M5 has my first fully scratch-built cockpit but with the one-piece kit canopy, most of the work is largely unseen. I’ve been telling myself for years that I’ll buy a Squadron vac canopy and open it up to show off the details. Maybe still...one o' these days. I used the book, “Great Book of World War Airplanes” with illustrations by the great Rikyu Watanabe for the detail information. Best as I can recall, the 'pit turned out pretty good; maybe someday I’ll get to see it again. I just remembered that I used rubber O-rings from the hardware store to replace the kit's tires. I scratch-built the wheels from plastic scrap. The P-40, long a favorite type of mine, may well be the oldest of these builds. I can still recall sanding a big step down where the wings and fuselage met. That took a while! I believe that other than the radio aerials, it is completely OOB. All four have received some rudimentary weathering; I guess my very first attempts at that feature. As with the others, the paint was all ModelMaster and Humbrol enamels, sprayed with the Paasche H single-action AB. I hope everyone enjoys my little look at scale modeling back in the day and perhaps feel a bit of nostalgia for that simpler time. Thanks for letting me humbly share this “blast from the past”, in more ways than one! Thank you also for stopping in and looking around, and as always, please leave your comments and critiques! Cheers! Gary Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX more spitfire Mk IX pics Douglas SBD Dauntless more Dauntless pics Mitsubishi AGM5 Type O Curtis P-40B Warhawk
  2. Next small project to take away, a WWII steam tug full of character These were a series of emergency tugs built from 1943 to '45. A total of 182 of these little prefabricated tugs were built in modular units, by several different yards around the U.K. often by women workers. Unusual in being of a hard chine design and all welded construction. Plenty of further info available here http://www.steamtugbrent.org/history-of-tid-class-tugs.html Keel shear piece laid started on the frames Hopefully along with Stuart's we'll inspire some scratch building. I hope you'll join us for the trip Kev
  3. Well, the title sums it up, I'm going to display my 1/350 HMS Warspite on a sea base moored to a bouy (based on photo's of her in Valetta harbour) but there seems to be no single way that battleships were moored. So as my nautical experience only stretches to yachts under 50ft I have several questions - 1) Some photo's seem to show a main anchor chain to the buoy, others seem to show a cable, is there a preference? 2) other pictures then show chains descending from the extreme of the prow into the water but what to? They seem under tension so must go to something. 3) Would there be a stern line to another buoy to hold the ship in position? Yachts usually swing with the tide or wind but several hundred feet of battleship is something else. Again pictures are not clear or consistent. 4) Would keeping an anchor ready to trip if things went awry be a standard procedure? My Googlefoo hasn't brought up any manuals online. Of course I could make it all up and no one who is likely to see the finished article would be the wiser but the detail fetishist in me wants to get it right, so I hope there is someone out there versed in mooring a big ship! Dave
  4. Hi, I would like to proudly present my first completed ship! I've had two previous attempts at building a ship, but both have failed due to different reasons. My first try was Heller's Tirpitz in 1/400 but the detail & fit was horrible, it was also my first model so I had no idea how much work a battleship was. My second attempt at ships was Fujimi's lovely 1/700 IJN Fuso but I ordered the wrong wooden deck for it which I realized after it was glued, and I lost all motivation to move ahead with the build. After building a few decent aircraft I finally got the courage to go back to ships. I originally intended to build the Warspite OOB but ended up ordering Pontos wooden deck (which came with some PE) and Eduard RN railings. I started last christmas and have been working on the build a few hours per weekend. The kit itself was lovely, most of the detail was pretty good and everything went together smoothly. The whole model is brush painted using Vallejo model colors, weathering is mostly diluted acrylic paint and a few touches of Tamiya weathering master. Rigging is streched sprue (my first go at rigging) and only after it was done did I realize I probably should have painted it . In the end I'm pretty happy with what I've achieved apart from a few mistakes that bug me: I think the waterline is too low for WW2 warspite, the wooden deck has a small crack and the forward superstructure rigging is too thick. Hope you enjoy!
  5. le.gl.Einheits - Pkw (Kfz.1) German Personnel Car (35582) 1:35 ICM via Hannants Ltd Made mostly by three German companies, this all-wheel drive staff car designed by Stoewer was produced with different bodies during the early war, the most prevalent being the four seat staff car depicted here. It was however complicated and unreliable, so was eventually replaced by the ubiquitous Kubelwagen. The Kit This is a re-release of their kit (35581) but with new parts for a deployed soft-top roof, which hasn't yet been available with only the stowed roof released so far. The box contains five sprues in grey styrene plus a single clear sprue and decal sheet, not forgetting the instructions with integral painting guide at the rear. The additional sprue contains the new parts for the roof, but you'll still find the retracted roof parts on the original sprues in case you change your mind. New Sprue Construction begins with the chassis, which is first to be built up with dual springs supporting independent suspension and a driveshaft linking the two transfer boxes, plus the steering linkage front and rear. Fuel tank and stowage are placed to either side of the chassis rails and an exhaust pipe is threaded through to the engine compartment, which is filled with a full rendering of its 4 cylinder 2 litre Stoewer power plant over the front axle. The floor of the cab is built up and added to the chassis, then the three part styrene wheels with moulded-in tread are fitted to each corner along with the radiator at the front. The firewall and rear passenger bulkhead are installed next with the former having instruments and transmission tunnel moulded in and pedals attached to the floor. The cab sides, boot/trunk cover, engine cowling and gear shifter are all put in place before the seats are built up from base, cushion and curved back at the front, with a bench seat at the rear of a similar construction that has just enough room down the sides for two Kar98 rifles to be stowed in shackles. Two more rifle points are attached to the front bulkhead, bumpers/fenders and doors are all added with steering wheel and windscreen also made up. The rear light cluster is fitted to racks for additional fuel on the rear quarters with a spare wheel in between them, and the folded canvas roof above is still available if you decide you don't want to install the new one. If you do, and that's probably the main reason you would chose this boxing, the semi-rigid side panels with the glazing panels that mostly stayed on the sprues previously are inserted into the frames which are then attached to the sills and the windscreen. The rear of the hood has a small rectangular window inserted into the flat panel, then has the corners attached before the assembly is fitted to the rear of the car. The external retraction frame drops into grooves in the sides of the rear hood, and finally the top fits on to complete the roof. Of all the joins on the hood the only ones that may need sanding and/or filling are those on the corners at the rear, as the top panel has a handy overlap so has a natural step that matches the kit's panel. Front lights, jerry cans and pioneer tools are attached to the fenders, and windscreen wipers are fitted into the depressions on the frame, with wiper-motor boxes moulded into the frame for completeness. The lights and windscreen all have clear parts so the passengers don't get bugs in their teeth. Markings There are four theatre specific options included in the box with early war Panzer Grey the colour of choice, and these haven't been changed from the earlier boxing, as they're essentially the same vehicles but with the hood up! From the bag you can build one of the following: WH-102 360 16 Pz.D, Don area, June 1942 WH-240 663 11 Pz.D, Ukraine, July 1941 WH-307 582 Panzergruppe 1 Kleist, Ukraine, July 1941 WL-22662 I./JG51 Stary Bykhov (Belorussia), July 1941 Conclusion A welcome addition to the Kfz.1 line from ICM, and perfect for a rainy day... literally! Great detail, crystal clear parts and only a few ejector pin marks on the hood parts if you think they'll be visible. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  6. Soviet Jeep Crew Special Edition (35313) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models LtdChoose... This boxed set with additional sprues for weapons is a new one from MiniArt for crewing your Soviet WWII era vehicles, with a full crew for a jeep and a matronly traffic direction lady with flags to aid the troops in their journey. The set arrives in a shrink-wrapped figure box, with five sprues of grey styrene and a small slip of paper that gives parts locations for use in conjunction with the instructions that are printed on the rear of the box. Two of the sprues contain parts for five figures that are broken down in to separate heads, torso, legs and arms, plus skirt parts for the female of the species. These sprues also contain a number of PPsH machine guns, pouches and bags, a Mosin–Nagant M1891/30 rifle and the aforementioned flags. On the other sprues are various accessory items including another two M1819/30 rifle, a shorter barrelled M1938 carbine, all of which have separate receiver tops with moulded-in bolts and a single sniper-scope that would be best suited to the longer-barrelled weapons. On another sprue two more PPsHs are found with a variety of drum and stick mags in and out of carry-pouches, and on the final sprue a number of types of pistol, flare pistols, holsters, folios, binoculars and their cases are provided, which would typically be stored around the vehicle by its occupants. Painting instructions as well as building details are printed on the rear of the box with numbers in blue corresponding to a chart which converts between Vallejo, Mr Color, LifeColor, Tamiya, AK, Mission Models and Hataka, as well as having swatches and colour names. The painting guide also extends to the weapons and accessories, which is good to see. Overall a well-sculpted set with plenty of detail and accessories to add value. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  7. German Panzer Tank crew - Normandy 1944 (84401) 1:35 Hobby Boss via Creative Models Panzers need crews, and most kits don't include them so if you want to add some human scale to your model you'll need some figures. That's where figure sets come in, and styrene injection moulded figures are the most cost-effective way to get hold of a themed set, which is why there are so many out there. This set depicts a German panzer crew during the late war, specifically Normandy 1944 around the time of D-Day. The set arrives in a standard figure-sized box and inside is a single sprue in sand-coloured styrene containing parts for five figures, only one of which is cut at the waist to fit in confined hatches. They're a re-release of the Tristar set that originates in the early noughties, and like their other boxes we've reviewed they're pretty well done and pocket friendly. The half figure gives the impression of being stood with one elbow resting on the hatch edge, as does the seated driver type figure who does have legs. Two more figures are stood in a feet-together pose with their hand(s) on the edge of a hatch with one wearing a commander's cap and black uniform while the other is in camouflaged overalls. The final figure in the set is an officer with riding jodhpurs, peaked cap and ironwork on his chest, with a standing pose indicating he's on the tank deck or standing on the ground. In addition to the pistol holsters a set of maps are included as decoration, and these cap be found printed on the side flaps of the box. The instructions printed on the back of the box tell you to soak them in water and peel the printed surface from the card backing, then trim and fold them to your satisfaction, which is a nice touch and cleverly executed. Sculpting of the figures is good, with parts breakdown assisting with the hiding of seams and separate heads giving a little flexibility in pose along with the arm parts. Oddly, the best detail appears on the "rear" of the sprues which is why there are two photos of the one sprue. It's an odd way of doing things, but a non-issue in practice. The instructions are printed on the back of the box as already mentioned, and the parts and colours are both pointed out on each figure in relation to a table of codes for Mr Hobby, Acrysion, Vallejo, Model Master, Tamiya and Humbrol shades, which should cover most of us. In addition there are small samples of the camouflage patterns that were used by this stage of the war, which will be fun to paint unless you pick up some camo decals that are becoming popular for achieving complex camouflage patterns these days. Check out eBay if you're interested. Conclusion A welcome re-boxing of a good set. Five (4.5) figures for a good price with good detail. If you have a Panzer you'd like to fit out with a crew for whatever reason (do you even need one?), these a great, cost-effective way of doing just that. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  8. German Train Station Staff 1930-40s (38010) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd Railway stations take more staff to run them than you'd probably imagine (unless you work in one too), and this was more true back in the days when porters were a thing and service was more important than profits. In WWII when the men were being conscripted to fight, women were drafted in to replace them in non-protected jobs where physical strength wasn't an issue. Older workers were also conscripted back into the workforce where their experience was useful. This set is a perfect accompaniment to your railway diorama, and contains four figures as depicted on the front of the shrink-wrapped figure box. Inside are six sprues of varying sizes in grey styrene, the largest containing the figures of two female conductors/platform staff, a male porter of advancing age sporting one of those attractive short moustaches that were popular in the early 40s, but not so much now (can't imagine why), and finally a Wehrmacht soldier that seems resigned to his fate. The rest of the sprues contain the ancillaries including a full sprue of army equipment such as helmets, bags, water bottles and entrenching tools – maybe a little much for one guy, but that leaves plenty of spares for another project. Two of the remaining sprues contain the porter's trolley and sundry railway equipment such as lights, oil cans, lamps etc., with the last two sprues holding lots of luggage options for the trolley and passengers. The instructions are on the rear of the box along with the colour guide, showing the parts for each figure, plus a few of the more complex suitcases and the trolley. Paint codes are given corresponding to Vallejo, Mr. Color, LifeColor, Tamiya, AK, Mission Models, Hataka, colour swatches and the colour names in English and Ukrainian. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  9. Wehrmacht Off-Road Cars (DS3503) Stoewer Kfz.1, Horch 108 & DB L1500A 1:35 ICM via Hannants Ltd. War takes place over almost any kind of terrain which is why many military softskins are all-wheel drive with low-ratio gutsy transmission that trade top speed for terrain handling grunt. During WWII the Nazis had a plethora of such vehicles, some home-brewed while others were taken from their conquests and pressed into service. Stoewer, Horch and Daimler Benz were German companies that produced such vehicles seeing action in many theatres carrying staff, troops to and from the front lines, as well as arms, ammunition and stores from place to place. The Kit This is another of ICM's reboxings of existing kits in useful groups that would often be seen together, or used on the battlefield in close proximity. This set includes three personnel vehicles in the one box, and as well as the convenience, there's a decent saving on buying them all separately. The various kits are all recent releases with excellent detail throughout, but for the ease of description we'll handle them separately. They arrive in a newly themed box with each kit/set in its own resealable bag and separate instruction booklets and decals for each one. le.gl.Einheits - Pkw (Kfz.1) German Personnel Car (35581) Made mostly by three German companies, this all-wheel drive staff car designed by Stoewer was produced with different bodies during the early war, the most prevalent being the four seat staff car depicted here. It was however complicated and unreliable, so was eventually replaced by the ubiquitous Kubelwagen. The bag contains four sprues in grey styrene plus a single clear sprue and decal sheet, not forgetting the instructions with integral painting guide at the rear. The chassis is first to be built up with dual springs supporting independent suspension and a driveshaft linking the two transfer boxes, plus the steering linkage front and rear. Fuel tank and stowage are placed to either side of the chassis rails and an exhaust pipe is threaded through to the engine compartment, which is filled with a full rendering of its 4 cylinder 2 litre Stoewer power plant over the front axle. The floor of the cab is built up and added to the chassis, then the three part styrene wheels with moulded-in tread are fitted to each corner along with the radiator at the front. The firewall and rear passenger bulkhead are installed next with the former having instruments and transmission tunnel moulded in and pedals attached to the floor. The cab sides, boot/trunk cover, engine cowling and gear shifter are all put in place before the seats are built up from base, cushion and curved back at the front, with a bench seat at the rear of a similar construction that has just enough room down the sides for two Kar98 rifles to be stowed in shackles. Two more rifle points are attached to the front bulkhead, bumpers/fenders and doors are all added with steering wheel and windscreen also made up. The rear light cluster is fitted to racks for additional fuel on the rear quarters with a spare wheel in between them, and the folded canvas roof above. Front lights, jerry cans and pioneer tools are attached to the fenders, and windscreen wipers are fitted into the depressions on the frame, with wiper-motor boxes moulded into the frame for completeness. The lights and windscreen all have clear parts so the passengers don't get bugs in their teeth. Markings There are four theatre specific options included in the box with early war Panzer Grey the colour of choice. From the bag you can build one of the following: WH-102 360 16 Pz.D, Don area, June 1942 WH-240 663 11 Pz.D, Ukraine, July 1941 WH-307 582 Panzergruppe 1 Kleist, Ukraine, July 1941 WL-22662 I./JG51 Stary Bykhov (Belorussia), July 1941 Horch 108 Type 40 (35505) This is a relatively new tooling from ICM, dating from 2015, with nine sprues in grey styrene, plus a clear sprue, a floppy sprue of black flexible tyres, a small decal sheet and the aforementioned instruction booklet. The model is built up on its ladder chassis, including the engine, transmission, suspension with nicely moulded springs, plus body supports, brake hoses and exhaust system. Overall it's a very neatly detailed underside, with the engine being the focal-point. The hubs are split between inner and outer halves, which facilitates easy painting of the wheels and tyres separately, and installation of the tyres on the hubs without struggle. The coachwork is assembled on the floor plate, which has the rear wheel arches moulded in and stops at the firewall, with spaces for the driver's pedals in the left foot well. The body sides are added, with moulded-in framework, and the dashboard is fitted between them to stabilise the assembly. The dash has a decal for the instruments, a handgrip for the co-driver, heater ducting and a lever beneath the steering column, which is added later. The front inner arches are glued to the underside of the body, and a rear load cover with moulded-in seatback is applied over the rear arches, after which the two rear doors and their handles are installed. A delicate (in this scale) framework is fitted between the rear seats and the driver's area, with the fifth wheel behind the driver, and two bench seats facing each other in the rear compartment, which also have delicate framework under their cushions. The front seats are individual, but of similar construction, and have space for the supplied KAR98 rifles between them, with two more pairs fitted in the rear compartment. The windscreen is of the flip-down type, and has two separate panes added to the frame, with no windows supplied for the sides as it is modelled with the hood down. The doors can be fitted opened or closed, with their own separate handles inside and out. Once the chassis and body are mated, more of the underpinnings are added, and the radiator with cooling fan are attached along with the louvered bonnet and front bumper irons. At the rear the hood is constructed from four parts, sitting on top of the load cover in a folded state, as there isn't an option for a raised hood on this variant. Wing mirrors, pioneer tools, front headlights with clear lenses, and number plates are dotted around to finish off the build. Markings Four decal options are supplied on the small sheet, with unit, number plate and tyre pressure stencils being about all that is to be seen. All options are from the Eastern front, with three shown in Panzer Grey, and one in the Sand Yellow scheme used later in the war. From the box you can build one of the following: 8.Pz.Div, Soviet Baltic, 1941 – grey Russia, Summer 1942 – grey Russian, Autumn, 1942 – grey KG 51, Russia, Summer 1943 – Dark Yellow '43 L1500 (Kfs.70) WWII German Personnel Car (35525) This is the larger of the three vehicles manufactured by Mercedes Benz in a predominantly personnel role, but it was also built as a truck in small quantities. There are three sprues in grey styrene, plus one of clear parts, and the black and white instruction booklet with decal sheet slipped inside. It is a full-detail kit that includes a chassis and engine compartment, together with all the associated underpinnings. Construction begins with the chassis-rails, leaf-spring suspension and crew-steps attached to the outer edges, joined together by a number of perforated cross-braces plus the front bumper and rear towing bracket. The drive train and axles are assembled along with the three-part styrene wheels separate from the chassis, but it may be prudent to at least test-fit them to the chassis before the glue sets so that they retain the correct shapes. The transfer box is at the centre of the assembly with drive-shafts leading to the axles, and it is added to the chassis with the exhaust between them, and at the front a well-detailed engine is installed, built from 16 parts. The body is then begun with the firewall which has the dashboard, driver controls and steering wheel attached along with the two-pane windscreen with clear panels added from behind. The crew seats are assembled on a raised box and a rear compartment, the boot/trunk if you like, is built up to be incorporated into the body. The bodywork begins with the tread-plated floor, onto which the rear wheel wells are fitted, then the side body panels with cut-outs for their separate doors, rear panel with moulded-in doors and the already-assembled firewall with windscreen. Next are the gearstick, seats, spare wheel and frame that helps keep the spare wheel in place and supports the front bench seat, which faces the rear seats so the troops can stare at each other while they travel. The canvas hood is supplied as a four-part folded assembly and rests over the top of the trunk area, leaving much of it exposed as a kind of "parcel shelf". The body is joined to the chassis and the engine compartment is cowled in either the opened or closed position along with the distinctive Mercedes 3-pointed star on the grille. The front mudguards are also installed and are decorated with headlights with clear lenses, convoy light and width indicators plus side mirrors, door handles and a rear-view mirror inside the screen. Underneath, two stowage areas are added between the front and rear wheels, one boxed in, the other a framework. Rear number plate and lights finish off the build. Markings As often is the case with ICM, there are four decal options included in various patterns and colours but as the side profiles are in black and white it's hard to tell without referencing the table on the opposite side of the page. Looking on the bright side, the constant flipping back and forth will help create a draught to keep you cool. Grossdeutchland Division, Ukraine, Summer 1942 Grossdeutchland Division, Kharkov, Summer 1942 North Africa, Summer 1942 Italy, Summer 1944 The decals are printed on a strange lavender coloured paper, but are otherwise identical in registration, sharpness and colour density to their usual fare, so well up to the task. There are instrument decals included for the instrument panel, which is always nice. Conclusion If you want some WWII German Personnel cars for your collection/stash or for a diorama or two, then these are just the ticket, with lots of good quality detail and decal options that give the modeller plenty of choice of finishes. Very highly recommended. Available in the UK from Importers, H G Hannants, Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  10. Russian Tank Crew (84411) 1:35 Hobby Boss via Creative Models Ltd. This is new reboxing of this Tristar figure set, consisting of seven figures either in whole or in part for two of them who are legless and suitable for insertion into tight hatches of their tanks. The set arrives in a figure-sized box and inside are two sprues in tan styrene, one larger than the other. The parts for each figure are grouped together with a letter prefix identifying them as part of one figure without having to refer to the instructions, which are printed on the rear of the box in the usual fashion. Four of the crew are wearing overalls and two are wearing leather tankers' jackets that bear a passing resemblance to more modern biker jackets. The final figure is a female tanker in the standing position, as the Soviets were ahead of most other WWII combatants in allowing women to serve on the front line, decades before the other Western powers. Two of the male figures have alternative heads so you can build them wearing either the tankers' helmet or a fitted cap. You can see the various poses below in the instruction picture. Sculpting is good with the helmeted characters having three sections to their heads consisting of a narrow section with their faces and two side parts that include hanging straps that bulk out the head. The alternative capped heads have the usual seamline running down the backs of their ears, as does the female with her seam running down the front of her short bobbed hair. The table below the instructions shows the colours visually as well as in words, plus Mr. Hobby, Acrysion, Vallejo, Model Master, Tamiya and Humbrol codes for our ease. These are called out side-by-side with the part number on the instructions as you can see. Conclusion Quite a large set for a competitive price with good moulding that can be used to crew up a number of projects if you use them wisely. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  11. German Officers (84406) 1:35 Hobby Boss via Creative Models Officers and their meetings. They happen a lot, and if there aren't any comfy seats you can even get them to stand up whilst discussing whatever it is they feel the urge to talk about. This set was originally released by Tristar (no, I don't remember either) in 2001, it is now reboxed under the Hobby Boss brand, and arrives in a shrink-wrapped figure box with one sprue in sand coloured styrene and a tiny fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass. To be honest time has been kind to the sprue, and there appears to be no damage or flash, good detail, even extending to coat tails, emblems and handles on document cases. There are four figures on the sprue, all dressed differently and of different ranks and parts of the military, even down to a Lieutenant carrying a case and documents for the General to his side. The tanker is in the SS as can be seen from his collar mounted death's head emblems (D'ya think we might be the baddies?), and while it's difficult to see, the gentleman in the great coat may well be a Major. The PE parts are two pairs of glasses with round lenses of the type worn by the Lieutenant on the right of the boxtop photo. The instructions are printed on the rear of the box, and at the bottom there is a small section detailing how to make maps for the officers to carry and/or examine. Where are these maps? If you check the first drawing of the four you'll find a map on each of the four side tabs that help close up the box lid. You're told to cut them off, soak them in water and then peel off the top printed layer from the card and cut your map from that once it has dried. Very clever! Two of the maps show coloured terrain as well as roads and building, while the other two are black and white showing larger scale details. Conclusion A useful set of officers, including the pudgy General and with good detail that belies the set's age. The addition of the PE spectacles and maps add extra value to what is already a well-priced figure set. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  12. Hi, I did this model some years ago - not so many in fact. It was short after I was visiting UK and in Airplane magazine there was a kind of monography of AW Albemarle showing on one photo a piece of fuselage of rather badly weathered mashine from 295 Squadron. Perhaps I made it too heavy exploited. In painting I followed the profile from this web page: http://www.britisharmedforces.org/ns/ns/raf/nat_albemarle1.htm But now I have doubts about the lettering - should be rather 8Z.A, not 8.ZA sice the squadron code was 8Z not ZA... Is the profile I followed wrong or the squadron made an exception in writing codes??? Here she is: Comments welcome and regards Jerzy-Wojtek
  13. HELP....... Sorry guys need help. In the middle of an Airfix 1/48 Mustang. Have managed to scrape through the build so far with the last scraps of a pot of Humbrol 226 (interior green) for the cockpit etc. However, according to Humbrol site, no longer available in acrylic and not in the new style/formulation. So I need to replace. Would like to try Vallejo, but need a supplier where I can physically go and buy it rather than use online as I need it urgently to finish the build. Has to be acrylic - cannot use enamel for health reasons for myself or the wife (both have asthma!). Also don't like mixing as either have to mix a large batch, and then have it sit around for a long time between appropriate builds, or, have to mix fresh batch if not mixed enough and then not getting the same shade as not matching the exact same mixing quantities again. Any ideas? Milton Keynes or surrounding areas.
  14. Howdy everyone, Just put the finishing touches on my latest effort: HobbyBoss`s 1/48 FM-1 Wildcat kit, masquerading as a Martlet Mk V Finished to represent an aircraft with 733 NAS, Trincomalee, Ceylon, 1945 Built pretty much from the box contents, with only seat belts, engine wiring, brake pipes and aerials added Decals from Xtradecals set X48104 `Yanks with Roundels Part 2` Had to copy the camo` from pictures on the internet as the image on the instruction sheet was too dark to make out...... ...but I couldn`t find a photo of the actual aircraft. Apparently it was a non operational unit so didn`t weather it too much. Hope you enjoy, thanks for looking Cheers Russ
  15. This Republic P-47D Razorback, a 1/48 scale Testors kit (a re-pop of the very old Hawk P-47), was built many years ago. The build was inspired by one done by Dr. Paul Budzik of Francis "Gabby" Gabreskis' T-Bolt in an old Finescale Modeller magazine. I remember that his was done in 1/32 and of course, was a magnificent model. I had the old Testors kit in my stash and was motivated to try and duplicate the bigger plane as best I could. This is my humble result. I added quite a bit of detail in the cockpit, on the engine and some brake lines. Built mostly OOB, I did lower the horizontal stabilizers, open the cowl flaps and drill out the gun barrels as well. This kit had the option of building either the razorback or bubbletop version; I went with the razorback because that part seemed to fit a little better. This was also one of the first builds where I tried to modulate the paint finish a bit but it is almost unseen in the pics. Heck, looking at them now, I can't see it! I’m sure I was too timid in my efforts. The decals mark her as a 84th Fighter Squadron plane with the 78th Fighter Group, operating out of Duxford, Cambridge in 1944 flown by Major Quince Brown. (http://www.americanairmuseum.com/person/173590) Thanks for your interest and comments! Gary
  16. From Leningrad to Narva (9786155583186) Peko Publishing After the horrific siege of Leningrad was broken and the remaining Germans that could escape retreated back toward Nazi held territory using the tactics of collapsing retreat to delay the inevitable, then holding the pre-invasion line around Narva, which they managed to hold for some time. During this period there were numerous battles, offensives and counter offensives with significant casualties on both sides, and it is this process that this book documents in detail, including lots of photos. Bound in a hardback cover in landscape format, the book contains 80 pages of printed material, plus two fly-leaves inside. It arrives in a shrink-wrap cover to keep it in good shape and the pages nice and crisp. The text is in English by author Kamen Nevenkin, and is interspersed with some impressive and poignant pictures of damaged vehicles and at times the crews and soldiers that died with them. The photos are all black and white, which adds to the desolate feeling they evoke, with the information in the captions adding to it, as well as pointing out interesting points that may have slipped your attention on first glance. It is broken down into chapters according to the timeline, as follows: Chapter 1 Page 3: The siege of Leningrad Chapter 2 Page 13: The Leningrad-Novgorod Offensive, January 1944 Chapter 3 Page 33: The Raid of the 16th Tank Brigade Chapter 4 Page 45: The First Battle of Narva, February – April 1944 Chapter 5 Page 66: The Fall of Narva and the German Evacuation of Estonia, July – September 1944 Sources Page 80 The book begins with the German siege of Leningrad and continues to document the initial Soviet attempts to break the deadlock, which was eventually successful in the early part of 1944 once the lake had frozen over. The Germans withdrew to the Estonian border, which was where the original Barbarosa offensive had begun years earlier, with Narva being an important centre of operations. It took the Russians a long hard battle to cross the river's frozen surface, and further hardships to secure the bridgehead that eventually led to the German forces withdrawing and eventually opening the floodgates for the final assault on Berlin in 1945. Conclusion With a broad variety of photos spread throughout the book and informative text around it, this makes for an interesting read, as well as a treat for the eyes, which will doubtless inspire some diorama opportunities. Review sample courtesy of
  17. I’ve always loved GHQ’s ‘Micronaut’ line of 1/2400 scale warships. Intended to be used as wargame counters, these models are simple to assemble and ridiculously tiny, but the detail on them is first rate! This one is one of the Japanese navy’s ill-fated light aircraft carriers, the IJN Ryujo. I started by cleaning up an old Nichimo 1/200 U-Boat stand. Taking a sheet of high quality artist’s drawing paper intended for watercolors, I traced and cut out an outline of the ship. After gently rolling the paper over a pen to create a lightly undulating “sea”, I lightly attached it to the base with dots of cyanoacrylate (super glue). Once I was happy with the positioning, the whole paper got a soaking with the cyano. This fixed it securely in place and made it rock hard. Then I trimmed the paper and sanded the sides smooth to integrate the sea seamlessly onto the base. The sea base was painted with a coat of Tamiya Royal Blue (X-3) acrylic with enamel paints for the wake. The sides were then shot with Tamiya Desert Yellow (XF-59) acrylic followed with a streaky coating of Winsor & Newton Burnt Sienna artist’s oil (with just a touch of Burnt Umber) to simulate the look of a wood base. Now back to the ship! To depict the Ryujo as she appeared at the time of her loss at the Battle of the Eastern Solomons on August 24, 1942, the model was painted in Tamiya Kure Naval Arsenal Gray acrylic (XF-75). Then I applied the decal to the previously glossed flight deck. The end result is quite effective – and SO much easier than painting all this would have been! To complete the paint job, I added small details on the boats and funnels followed by a thin dark gray oil wash over the gray acrylic to outline details and deepen recesses. The ship was then attached to the ocean base with Soft Gel Medium, a clear viscous polymer used by artists as a thickener for acrylic paints. It works great as an adhesive, too. As with all Imperial Japanese Navy aircraft carriers, the Ryujo carried multiple masts to support communication antenna wires. These masts rotated down to horizontal during combat or flight operations. Matching the dimensions of a scaled down drawing of the vessel, I cut the three smaller units from brass wire and attached them to the ship with polyvinyl acetate (PVA) glue. To replicate the main mast’s lattice structure, I repurposed a type 13 radar from a 1/700 scale Japanese destroyer photoetch set, cutting the piece down and attaching it to a wire cut to the appropriate length along with a yard and antennae spreaders. As a final step, I installed copper wire rigging taken from an old coil. This stuff is about as fine as human hair, but even so it is fairly heavy for 1/2400 scale. I added just a representative sampling of the ship’s rig to keep from overwhelming the little model. The tiny IJN Battle Ensign is a Peddinghaus decal from their 1/1250 scale “Marineflaggen Japan” set. And done!
  18. ADP MASTER modell 1/72 Iljuschin IL-4 W.I.P. by Andrii Dzhuran. Dedicate to Benedikt (thank you for an interesting idea and good recommendation) Hi folks! The display stand for the RA-5C VIGGI is dries after painting now and I have a bit spare time for the start of new one "work in progress". So. Ilyushin IL-4 Bomber As early as beginning of the thirties, a group of desiners of the Central Desigh Office, headed by S.W. Ilyushin, started developing a twin - engine long - range bomber. Finally, the prototype of ZKB-26 was built as a mixes construction and equipped with the M-85 engines. This bomber started on its maiden flight already in 1935. Only a few month later, the modified version of type ZKB-30 was completed as all-metal construction. The IL-4 flew in the formations of the soviet airforce as long - range bomber, torpedo bomber and as long-range reconnaissance plane and towing airplane for transport gliders untill 1946. Although four prototypes had been constructed no serial production was started. Thus, the IL-4 remained the last bomber Ilyushin had developed with piston engines.
  19. German Panzergrenadiers (35248) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Panzer Grenadier was a term that was coined during WWII to describe troops that supported armour, or motorised infantry. They wore pink piping on their uniforms, with an S that stood for Shützen, or Protect to differentiate them from gun or other armoured crew. If they weren't riding on a tank, they would often travel in trucks, or if they were really lucky, a half-track such as an Sd.kfz.251. This figure set from MiniArt contains a group of Panzer Grenadiers sat in various poses on a vehicle. It arrives in a standard end-opening box, with four sprues of grey styrene inside. The painting and main construction diagrams are printed on the rear of the box, with colours called out in a large number of brands of paint for your ease. From the box you can build four figures, each having separate arms, legs head and torso, plus seven standard German helmets. They are all seated in differing poses, with most of them nursing Kar98s rifles, while one shows off his MP40, which has a separate folding stock. Each of them has the usual complement of pouches, gas mask canister, entrenching tool and water bottle, with ammo pouches to match their personal weapons. There are two weapons and one accessory sprues, each of the weapon sprues providing two Kar98s and MP40s, bayonets, a pistol and flare pistol, plus holsters in the open and closed positions, along with first aid kit, map case, binoculars and ammo pouches to personalise the crew or diorama with. The painting guide covers Vallejo, Mr. Color, LifeColor, Tamiya, Testors, AK Real Color, Humbrol, Revell, and Mission Models, with the names of the colours given in English and Ukrainian. Conclusion MiniArt's figures are excellent, and these gentlemen can be used to give your truck, half-track or tank a little human scale, or even just a squad sitting around on a wall or some ruins. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  20. Trumpeter are releasing a very exciting item later this year: A massive 1/48 German WWII U-Boat Type VIIC U-552 Kit! Included with this model will be a transparent Starboard side to display all the interior detailing, and 48 submariner figures! With over 1100 parts this models is sure to get enthusiasts talking. Pre orders will be open sometime in the next few weeks, so watch this space! For full details, please see our newsletter.
  21. Ki-43-IIa "Oscar" | Hasegawa | 1/72 Japan -- 50th Sentai, 3rd Chutai -- Satoru Anabuki, Pilot 1943 Finished this one on Feburary 3rd, 2019. It was done completely on impulse. After reading a complementary review of the old Hasegawa Oscar kit, I pulled that same kit out of my stash and started working on it. The reviewer was pleased with how the kit just fell together, which was mostly true for me, except for the port wing which had some interference keeping it from making a snug fit -- never figured it out and had to do a little filling to compensate. When I looked closely at a build log of this same kit, I couldn't see that person had the same problem, so I guess I'm just lucky. The Ki-43 Oscar was the Imperial Japanese Army's primary fighter until mid- to late-1943 when better types were introduced. It is often mistaken for the Zero by non-enthusiasts, but the Zero was a superior fighter to the Oscar. The Oscar was nimble and in the right hands could be a potent adversary. I like to think of it kind of like our P-40: It was a workhorse that served through the entire conflict and was "good enough". This particular aircraft was flown by Sgt. Satoru Anabuki, who ended WWII with 51 claimed victories (39 officially recognized). After the war he flew helicopters for the Japanese defense force, retiring as a Lt. Colonel in 1971. He went on to fly for Japan airlines, retiring from there in 1984. He passed away in 2005. Finishing: Seams filled with CA (superglue), port wing root seam filled with Apoxie Sculpt epoxy putty. Paints: no primer > Tamiya TS30 Silver Leaf (decanted into airbrush) > Some panels painted with Mr. Color Super metallic stainless steel (darker) > some panels painted with Alclad White Aluminum (lighter) > Dark aluminum used for faint shading > Mottling is a mix of Mr. Color greens to replicate Tamiya IJA green > Tamiya IJA gray for control surfaces > sealed with Testors Metallizer sealer Decals: Kit decals Kinda wish I knew how to make the bottom a little dirtier. It looks a little too clean, but will be OK sitting on a shelf. One thing I noticed in the historical reference photos I have is that the nose cone on most (not all...) Oscars was really chewed up! Sometimes it was the most worn part of the plane. I wonder if it's because of the Hucks starter they used? Backing the starter truck up can't be easy -- maybe they bunged up the nose that way? Anyway, I used salt chipping on the nose and front of the cowl to match the look of the historical photos I had. Painted the engine black, and then went over it with a pencil -- new technique for me, but it worked really well! I treated this build like a full NMF build, even though it might have been completely covered by mottling. This gave me the opportunity to practice a bit more with the Silver Leaf. I found that adding a little Mr. Color leveling thinner and then spraying it so that it wet makes for a much more reflective surface than on my previous build I used it on (Jian Ji-2). Build notes: The Hasegawa kit practically fell together. I was apprehensive about the raised panel lines, but I think they look OK. The eye can be tricked into thinking they are recessed. I think I may be more comfortable with NMF and raised panel lines since this one came out OK, which means there might be a Airfix P-80 on my bench soon! Mottling on the empanage was Tamiya IJA green, but I found that it scratched off very easily! Not easily enough to take it off though, so I switched to Mr. Color for the rest. I found that scratched off fairly easily, but not nearly as easily as the Tamiya acrylic. I'm still not sure about the durability of acrylics, although the slickness of the NMF may partially to blame here. I had the worst time trying to decide how to do the mottling. There aren't many good quality historical photos of the Oscar, and those that are there seem to have mottling styles that are all over the place. Same with models I've seen, some are like mine, some are a fine scribble. I couldn't find any reference photos of Anabuki's plane, so in the end I used the Hasegawa studio model as a reference, hoping they'd done their homework! Thanks for looking! Comments, questions and constructive criticism always welcome!
  22. Here's what I consider my latest completion for 2017, even if we are already into 2018: KIT: Hasegawa 1:48 Macchi C205 VELTRO AIRFRAME: AerMacchi built Macchi C205 VELTRO Serie I, 360sima squadriglia, 150° gruppo, 51° stormo MARKINGS: the wing insignia ("fasci alari"), tail crosses and code numbers were airbrushed using self produced masks; the Savoia emblems inside the tail crosses and the red alignment arrows for the variable incidence tail planes were custom printed on transparent decal film and kindly donated by Eugenio @72linerlover , the rest of decals are from the kit PAINTS: mainly Lifecolor acrylics (including the dedicated set for Italian WWII fighters), airbrushed, with the addition of Model Master Metallizer Titanium for the exhausts and Tamiya acrylics for the white bands and crosses, the codes and a few other details. The smoke ring camo is airbrushed as well, thinning the relevant paint with Vallejo Glaze Medium and spraying at a very low pressure, removing the airbrush protective cap. Many thanks to @Giorgio N for the advice on Vallejo Glazing Medium WEATHERING: mostly with tempera washes, various hues Aftermarkets: - SBS Models resin/PE cockpit set - Quickboost exhaust stacks Scratchbuilding: - Resin ailerons; my first attempt at resin casting, pretty happy with that - Supercharger intake butterfly valve, using plastic card - Oil radiators grid covers, from PE leftovers - Main U/C bay sand covers, plounge molded over gum masters (actually nade cutting them out from a Staedler pencil eraser) - Main U/C bay inner doors, from some beer can cutouts and 0.5mm styrene sheet - Undercarriage actuator arms, from steel pipe and rod - Pitot tube, using a prescription needle and steel rod - Fuel tank vent, from brass pipe - The tail plane fairings were removed from the fuselage and I molded a milliput copy to be applied directly onto the kit tail planes, because on the real aircraft they had variable incidence, so there's a gap between the fairings and the fuselage - Main wheels brake lines, using various tin and copper wires - Wing navigation lights, again plounge modling clear plastic, using the model wing as master - and stretched clear sprue to reproduce the lamps and a few other minor things. This model is the second of a double build, which involved a C202 Folgore (completed in August 2017), again from Hasegawa; here's the WIP thread, in case you're interested A huge thank you to everybody participated in the WIP thread with suggestions, encouragement, advice and even supplying stuff . Enough blah-blah, on with the pics: All comments welcome Ciao Edit: here are some family pics with the other subject of the double build
  23. Today sees the launch of a new brand of Acrylic Lacquer paints from well-known company AK Interactive, which have been worked on in association with a number of respected aircraft and armour colour experts for over a year, including our own @Nick Millman. They have produced a range of colours that will be of great use to anyone making models of WWII aircraft or AFVs of the main protagonists in the European arena, namely Great Britain, America, Russia, and their foes Nazi Germany. Using their own knowledge of paint manufacture and formulation, coupled with the named experts (you'll see those names later on), they are more than a little bit proud to launch the range, which is accompanied by a book on the subject that looks to be well worth a read. At time of writing we are waiting for our samples, plus a copy of the book, but from looking at the pre-release publicity material, it all looks very interesting. If you scroll to the bottom there are some useful links to the initial range of paints and other information, so you can see all the shades that will be available initially, and if you visit their site you should be able to see the new racks with the branding on so that you can hunt them down in your local bricks & mortar model shop if you're not ordering online. You should be able to buy the pots individually or in themed sets, and as well as the Real Color AIR sets, there are also a range of Real Color AFVs coming too, with 133 available AIR and a further 114 in AFV flavours. If you're feeling flush you can buy the whole set in one fell swoop, which will ensure you have every colour to hand plus their clear coats right from the outset. The formulation is suitable for use their own thinners which are odourless (always good), and other thinners that can be used with non-latex acrylic paint formulations. The pots are glass, and contain 10ml of paint with a textured lid that makes it easier to remove, and the details of the paint colour and number are easily seen on the colourful labels. To accompany the range of paints, AK have also launched two books, entitled Real Colors of WWII Air and Real Colors of WWII AFV, which are a companion to the colours, and have a serious quantity of information and colour photographs that will amuse you for hours, and serve as a reference for future use. You can see details of both volumes here, but we have reproduced a few pages of the Air edition here in case you're short of time. You can find a handy PDF conversion sheet here, the full release information and range of paints can be seen on their dedicated website here along with information about how to use them, the names of the collaborators, and how they went about selecting shades for "The Accuracy". We're really looking forward to seeing the fruits of their labours, and will report back in due course when we have the paints and books to hand. Thanks to Fernando at AK for the information, and to all the people that took part in this expedition into colour accuracy.
  24. Pz.Kpfw.III Ausf.D/B (36402 for MiniArt) 1:35 Eduard MiniArt's new and growing range of Panzer III models in 1:35 gets the Eduard treatment with this new set that's designed to augment the detail already there. As usual with Eduard's Photo-Etch (PE) and Mask sets, they arrive in a flat resealable package, with a white backing card protecting the contents and the instructions that are sandwiched between. A single brass fret contains all the parts needed, which starts with a new set of fenders with workable hinges that depend upon lengths of 0.3mm wire that you must provide, and result in a highly realistic finished item. At the rear a set of detailed mesh panels are folded and fixed to the cooling vents under the rear apron. The kit jack block is replaced by an all-new three-section PE assembly that replicates the wood grain, and is held together by a frame each end and a carry-handle. This is fitted into a new bracket on the fender, and is accompanied by new shackles for the pioneer tools such as the axe, fire extinguisher, jack itself, pry-bar and the S-shaped track-tool. The moulded-in cleats must be removed from the tools first of course, and the area made good. Review sample courtesy of
  25. I'm interested in doing a few figures in 1/48 scale from the North Africa theatre in WWII, but aside from the Tamiya Afrika Korps set, I'm not finding too much out there. Anyone have any suggestions for nice Afrika Korps and/or 8th Army infantry figures in this scale? Metal would be great, but resin or plastic works, too. 40mm scale wargaming figures would probably also work. Any ideas? Thanks.
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