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  1. Slightly late to the party - I wasn't intending to start this build yet, but I moved it up because for once I wanted to actually finish before the deadline! This is my first groupbuild entry in flippin' YEARS so I'm looking forward to it! Here's the much-maligned Kitty Hawk F-35B in 1/48: The kit has a poor reputation with bad fit at the top of the list. Let's see if I can beat it into shape! There's a lot of plastic in this - all of the weapons bays are capable of being displayed, and the lift fan and main engine nozzle are intended to be deployed in the hover configuration. It's well-presented with a colour instruction book and some very nice decals for about eight different options. Because the kit isn't challenging enough (ha!) I'm also going to use the Eduard Big Ed set. It's not exactly their usual Smörgåsbord of goodies, this one is quite cheap and just contains the interior and exterior plus masks and the RBF tags (completely redundant for this build!) The weather's very nice, so I might as well waste it and do some undisturbed modelling! Alan
  2. Dassault Mirage 2000 family by Kitty Hawk confirmed - 1/48th or 1/32nd? Images look like 3D scans from M2000B 5-OW n°519 preserved at Espaces Aéro Lyon Corbas - EALC http://www.ealc.fr/ & https://www.tripadvisor.fr/LocationPhotoDirectLink-g1582569-d5979211-i156131920-Ealc_Musee_de_L_aviation-Corbas_Rhone_Rhone_Alpes.html Source: http://www.greenmats.club/topic/1267-новый-mirage-от-kitty-hawk-слухи-и-догадки/ Hey Tali, your source? I mean the Chinese forum link? Updt: Thanks Tali!!: http://tieba.baidu.com/p/4260567148 V.P.
  3. After reviewing this kit a while back here, I figured I'd give it a go, cos I do rather like these Russian side-by-side two-seaters, and I've not built anything modern for a while. I've built a few Kitty Hawk kits over the years, and found that as long as you test fit and keep your wits about you, they build up into pretty good models. So, with as many wits as I can scrape together, I set about building it, which is nice I'll try to flag up any gotchas so you don't have to find them out the hard way, but there's always a better way of doing things, so I reserve the right to be wrong at any point I began at the beginning (really? ) with the cockpit, and the seats, which are made up from a surprisingly large number of parts. I always clean up parts prior to fitting to remove mould seams, any flash and such that inevitably crop up with even the bestest moulding machines. The seats went together well with a bit of the aforementioned fettling, and given the part count, I took my time, adding a few parts and leaving them to dry off while I did something else. Each one has 20 parts before you break out the seatbelts, so if you try to put them all on together, you're gonna have a mushy mess on your hands. I ran across an issue with the rear panels on the headbox, which were a bit wide at the front, so I trimmed them down and they fit nicely now. I also noticed that the kit sides have two location pegs, but only one hole in the seat pan, so I cut off the rear one. It doesn't affect fit at all, as they butt hard up against the rear of the seat. The end result is some rather nice seats Their ejection rails are a single styrene part with a PE back, but there's a little break in the groove that holds the PE, so I sliced and trimmed that out so they fit within it better. Quite delicate, so I'm trying to be careful when I'm handling them. Incidentally, some of the part numbers are switched on the small parts, so check the diagrams, rather than trusting you have the correct arm-rest or whatever. The cockpit floor needs a few parts adding, and those are quite small and delicate, so before you add those, widen the slots for the launch rails a bit, so they fit a little looser. You'll thank yourself later Here's a weird thing. There's only one pair of rudder pedals, and they seem to be fitted between the two pilot stations, with one pedal for each pilot. Is that a mistake on the designer's part, or is that how they look? The rear bulkhead is a snug fit to the floor too, so test that and check if it needs a little easing. Now for the engines. Cutting and preparing took a couple of minutes, and I cut them dremelled off the ejection turrets inside to save weight, even though it's unnecessary for all but the one at the rear. Less plastic at the back, less nose-weight needed I glued two sections together first, and allowed the glue to set up a little before I tried in the third section, holding the ends betwixt thumb and forefinger while I got the join nice and neat. You can run glue along the last two joins from inside if you've left the first joint long enough, and adjust the seams while the glue is still moist ( ) . I'm not bothering with ancillaries or painting the engines on mine, so I won't be hiding the seams, but with care you can get them nicely lined up to minimise the job. The 2nd one was a tad harder because I hadn't left the first seam long enough, but overall not too difficult. I later glued in the engine fronts, but left the rear off for now, while I fill the three seams that'll probably never be seen The gear bays were a mixed bag. The nose gear bay is easy enough up until you put the rearmost C-shaped panel in, which I think is a little wide for the aperture. I test fitted the main parts of the bay in the lower fuselage, and couldn't find a way to make part C26 fit unaltered. The groove it fits into could be the culprit, but I ended up sanding away the lip until it was very small, after which it fitted nicely. Part C25 fits the bay ONE way, which you can tell by looking at it from above. The end of the lips taper in at one end, and that matches the contours of the bay. That'll save some head-scratching There's a couple of square ejector-pin marks in the bottom of this part, one recessed, the other proud. I put a slip of styrene in the low one and sanded them both back flush with a narrow stick. The main bays go together fairly easily, but F16 isn't used for both bays. F15 is used with B30, and F16 is fitted to B29. Those can be added after you've built the bay to make things easier for yourself. The same goes for D9 and D10. The numbers are switched in the diagrams, so swap 'em over if you haven't yet spotted they wriggle in the wrong direction. The gun bay is a simple affair, so not worthy of leaving the access panel off, so I built it up without titivating it, and won't paint it either. part F33 is a bit mushy as well as being tiny, so take care fitting it. My barrel had a weakness in the corrugated part, probably caused by two cooling wavefronts of styrene meeting and not mixing well. I glued that back together, and will replace the muzzle with some micro-tubing to get a nice hollow barrel and a realistic steel finish. Here's a pic of the various assemblies sat together: I'm currently working on the fit of the engines to the fuselage, which are held into the lower fuselage by a slot on the bottom of the engine, and two tabs on the leading edge, which you can see in the pic above. The bulkheads that glue into the fuselage aren't tooled properly, and one of the slots has been inverted in CAD, and has been moulded as a rectangular block sticking out. Oops! I chopped them off and drilled a new slot, tweaking fit as I went. They should fit reasonably central in their nacelles now, once I've painted the front and rear. Those two afterburner rings also had a couple of cold-front weak-points, so I drizzled glue in there and left them to set up. I've just started cleaning the parts up, with tiny amounts of flash on the uprights that I would rather remove, even though you'll be hard pushed to see up the tail without a flashlight! That's where we're up to as of now, and I'm quite enjoying myself. I would have held out for some Eduard parts to detail things normally, but as the canopy doesn't open, there's not a lot of point me lavishing detail on it, even if the sets were available (which they aren't at time of writing). If the exterior sets arrive before I get the fuselage closed up, I could be tempted, and I've just noticed that KH are working on a set of metal legs for this kit. After building the AMK Mig-31 and watching its legs spread under the weight over the next year or so, I'd really like to get hold of a set Shall I carry on with a detailed description of the build, or just crack on in a "today I built the xxxx" manner?
  4. Kitty Hawk is reported running two 1/48th helicopter kits: Bell AH-1Z Viper (Super Cobra) - ref. KH80124 Sources: http://www.kittyhawkmodel.com/#!80123/cnuv http://www.kittyhawkmodel.com/#!80124/c1eup http://s362974870.onlinehome.us/forums/air/index.php?showtopic=266634 http://scalemodels.ru/news/6428-vertoletnye-anonsy-Kitty-Hawk-Models-1-48.html Also a UH-1Y Venom (or Super Huey) - dedicated thread http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234974037-148-bell-uh-1y-venom-super-huey-by-kitty-hawk-cads/ - ref.KH80123. V.P.
  5. I would like to share a dual build OOB of two kitty hawk 1/48 Su-34. Making 2 at a time is such as laborious task, which most certainly can be categorized as a form of self-torture and I shall gladly never attempt again. The kit is incredibly detailed buth riddled with many issues and unclear instructions.
  6. After the Su-34 "Fullback" (http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234996669-kitty-hawk-su-34-148-render-march/), Kitty Hawk is to release a 1/48th Sukhoi Su-35 "Flanker-E" kit - ref. KH80142 Source: http://www.kittyhawkmodel.com/copy-of-kh80141 Looks like a weapons box with a Sukhoi a/c as bonus V.P.
  7. A close look at the Kitty Hawk's messages in a chinese forum concerning the future Mirage 2000 kit ( link ) display, in the signature from the KH representative, a Bell UH-1 Huey CAD. Would be quite logical after the 1/48th AH-1Z Viper ( link ) and UH-1Y Venom ( link ) kits isn't it? Source: http://tieba.baidu.com/p/4260567148 V.P.
  8. Kitty Hawk is to release in 2019 a 1/48th Sukhoi Su-27 "Flanker-B" kit - ref. KH80163 Source: https://tieba.baidu.com/p/5966177390 Box art But it's a Su-27SM in the box art https://russianplanes.net/id198962 https://russianplanes.net/regs/RF-95255 V.P.
  9. Hello. I have just finished this nice Su-22 kit from Kitty Hawk in 1/48 scale. It is the replica of the Yellow 77 unit from the Ukrainian Air Force. The cockpit and Canopy is detailed using Eduard's photo etch upgrade set and crew boarding ladder from "Part".
  10. For the sake of clarity and after the release of the Kitty Hawk Bell AH-1Z Viper (http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234943269-148-bell-ah-1z-viper-super-cobra-by-kitty-hawk-released/) I've decided to open a new dedicated thread for the future KH 1/48th Bell UH-1Y Venom - ref.KH80123 Source: http://scalemodels.ru/news/6428-vertoletnye-anonsy-Kitty-Hawk-Models-1-48.html Source: http://www.arcforums.com/forums/air/index.php?showtopic=276651&view=findpost&p=2627492 V.P.
  11. Kitty Hawk is to release a 1/48th modern Russian airfield set - ref. 80158 - including: a URAL 4320 truck & APA-5D Russian airfield starter truck Source: https://www.facebook.com/song.wang.5076/posts/2105122629746351 as well as Russian bomb loading carts Remember AMK is supposed to propose - one day... - a APA-5D kit: link V.P.
  12. Mike

    F-35C Lightning II 1:48

    F-35C Lightning II 1:48 Kitty Hawk We reviewed the F-35A (reviewed here, and F-35B (reviewed here) when they were released, and you can pick up some information on the real thing from there if you have a read. The F-35C is the traditional carrier-borne variant, which has a number of differences to make it resilient enough to work from a carrier at sea, including strengthened landing gear for those hard landings, larger folding wings and tail planes for greater control at landing speeds, and of course a big hook at the rear for trapping-on, which was subject to a little controversy when it had to be hastily re-designed. The Kit This is the third variant of the Lightning II from Kitty Hawk, and you can read our reviews of the previous two by following the links above. The C is likely to be the last for a short while until the various other operators settle on their configurations. In line with commonality of the real variants, the A and the C models share a great many parts on the sprues, with a subtly different fuselage that omits the refuelling port and adds a bulge under the tail for the arrestor hook. The guts of the beast are familiar, with new sprues containing the larger wings, a new cockpit tub and some weapons, plus the gear legs and wheels for this ruggedized variant. The box is standard Kitty Hawk fare, with a painting of an F-35C on the blocks ready to be catapulted into the air – a scene that lends itself to Kinetic's diorama base that I have half-completed behind me. Inside the box are eight sprues in light grey styrene, one of clear, a reduced Photo-Etch (PE) sheet, and two sheets of decals. A detail & Scale flyer hides the instruction booklet at the bottom of the box, which has a fold-out full colour painting and decaling guide that is much improved over their early efforts. Thanks for listening guys! The kit is typical Kitty Hawk, and if you have any of their kits, especially the other F-35s, you'll know exactly what to expect. The sprue ejector guy still has his machine turned up to eleven though, and there are some visible stress marks on the surfaces of the wings, and the instrument panel looks like it was almost punched in half by the severity of the ejection. The clear sprue is marked up differently than the A, but a brief visual inspection doesn't show any obvious differences, but it does show how lovely and clear the part is, although my canopy had broken off the sprue (cleanly) by the time I had opened the bag. The PE sheet is much smaller than the earlier A, eschewing the option of having the crisp metal exhaust petals that could easily drive the novice PE user to despair. Construction begins with the cockpit, and don't be tempted to choose the wrong tub as your basis for this. Appropriately it is number B13, and the instructions call for E25 instead, which has a sort-of missing edge to the tub to accommodate the refuelling probe bay on the starboard side. The pilot's seat is a little lacklustre, but does have a set of PE belts to hide the bland cushions, and of course a pilot figure that isn't mentioned in the instructions if you want to hide it properly. The instrument panel had received a punch in the back from the ejector pin, but remains intact on my review sample, so take care when you remove it from the sprue. The central portion is blank and has a decal to depict the large expanse of glass that is the modern instrument panel. It's like sitting in front of an ultra-wide LED screen, mainly because that's what it is. The rudder pedals are nicely moulded integrally to the tub, with a short control column and HOTAS stick on the port side console. A few black boxes affix behind the seat, and a large coaming shrouds the instrument panel, with the assembly to be added to the lower fuselage in due course. The nose gear bay is shallow and made up from separate sides with a separate angled forward section, so detail here is good. The chunky gear leg with a massive retraction strut can be placed in at this stage, or left 'til later, and the additional parts add extra life to it, with separate bracing struts, and of course the twin nose wheels, which are made up from halves, which suits the circumferential tread engraved into the contact surface. The big weapons bays in the belly are next, with a long snaking conduit running their full length, and a couple of equipment boxes added to busy the area up. You'll need to do a little more work with wiring (did I say a little?) to add extra visual interest and make the whole area as faithful as possible, or you can chicken out and close them up! The two weapons bays and nose gear bay are then installed in the lower fuselage, which should give it the structural rigidity that it lacks out of the box. A little tail-hook bay is placed in the rear, and then it is time to build up the engines, which comprise full-depth intake trunking, plus a basic representation of the engines themselves, which will ultimately disappear within the fuselage forever. The F135 engines that are currently too large to carry by the US Fleet replenishment systems have their rear face surprisingly close to the rear of the aircraft, so exhaust trunking isn't required, but you'll have enough sanding and filling already with the intake trunks, so breathe a sigh of relief here. These slot in on top and between the weapons bays, and are joined by the main gear bays, which will also need some additional wiring to super-detail them. The big gear legs have separate retraction jacks and oleo-scissors, with the wheels themselves made up from two halves and a separate inner brake calliper part, which look like they can also be installed later if you wish. Once in place outboard of the weapons bays, the cockpit is then attached to the roof of the nose gear bay, and attention turns to the upper fuselage. The gun blanking plate is attached above the starboard intake lip, and the refuelling probe is added, which doesn't seem to have a closed option, although the cover is added later in the build. Some test-fitting and fettling would be needed if you wanted to pose this closed. Ten PE shackles are added to around the cockpit lip, as well as a rear bulkhead behind the pilot's head, and the sharp tip is added to the nose, before the wings are started. The wing sprues of the C are totally different from the other variants, both in terms of sprue layout, configuration as well as size. The inner wing panels are built from a two-part core with separate leading edges and posable flaperons, both of which are also made up from top and bottom skins. The outer wing panels are similarly constructed, and can be posed down for flight, or by the use of a small hinge part, they can be posed up for storage below decks. A hinge strip is placed horizontally or vertically, respectively. The horizontal tails are two parts each and plug into the rear booms either side of the engine, so you won't be able to pose them without some adjustments. The enlarged vertical tails are also two parts, and these fit into some large sockets on the top of the fuselage. Again, they're fixed, so posing them offset to one side or other will involve work on your part. The exhaust petals are a single very finely moulded part, and quite nicely done. Mine had received a light blow during transit, so a couple of the petals were very slightly less sharp than the others, but this shouldn't notice under a few coats of paint. Once installed, a pair of serrated fairings are fitted to blend the exhaust in with the fuselage. A crew step is included in the kit, and that normally resides behind a fuselage panel á la the A-10. Another small door is present at the front of the tail-hook bay, and that opens up to permit the hook to deploy fully. If you are depicting your F-35C in flight, you'll need to address all these bays to fettle and fit them closed, and this will be best done before you close up the fuselage. The underside of the Lightning II is as forest of doors in order to maintain its low-observability as much and as long as possible. The weapons bays have two doors running their whole length, and the main gear bays have two that open toward the wing tips. The nose gear bay has a pair of clamshell doors at the front of the bay, and a single door captive to the retraction jack at the rear. All of these doors are well detailed inside, and have separate hinges that should result in a good strong joint with the fuselage. At the nose a clear part represents the faceted Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS) that is integrated with all of the F-35's systems. The real thing has an oily holographic sheen, but good luck with representing that one! Kitty hawk aren't usually stingy with their weapons, and with the C, we have a number that can be added to the pylons that are included with the kit, but none are able to be installed in the weapons bays out of the box, which seems a shame, and misses the whole point of providing the opening bays. There is however the new semi-stealthy pod that contains a GAU-22 25mm four barrelled gatling gun to give the new uber-aircraft old school dog-fighting capabilities at the expense of some of the stealth. This sits between the weapons bays on the belly, and is made up from three parts. The external pylons are fabricated from two halves plus an insert for the location points, with the slim outer pylon having faceted stabilising base attached to the upper edge of the pylon. To these you can add a combination of the following, but check your references if you want to make the load-out more accurate. 2 x AIM120 AMRAAMs 2 x AIM-9X Sidewinders 2 x GBU-38 Iron bombs 2 x GBU-31 Iron Bombs 2 x GUB-31B Iron Bombs 2 x GBU-12 Smart Bombs Markings We are treated to four markings options, which is good considering the short lifespan of the "final form" F-35C so far. From the box you can build one of the following: US Navy No.01 VFA-101 – all over RAM grey with hi-viz markings and Grim Reapers badge on the tails. US Navy CF-01 – all over RAM grey with lo-viz markings and blue/yellow lightning strikes on the tails with F-35 in yellow. US Navy CF-03 - all over RAM grey with lo-viz markings. US Navy CF-01 prototype – patchwork blue/grey primer, RAM grey and blue tail fins. Depicted before the final finish was applied. Colour call-outs are Gunze throughout, as you'd expect from a Far Eastern company, and the decals have been printed anonymously, as per their previous kits. The quality does seem to have improved somewhat, and registration is good on this issue, but there are still the occasional bleed of some of the more intense dark colours, especially on the stars and bars, although it's barely noticeable without magnification. One of the greys has been composited by mixing grey and black printing, so on close inspection some of the logos on nose appear a little grainy, but again, you really have to be paying close attention. The yellow flashes on the tail of option 2 are printed, and may not show up too well over a blue tail, so perhaps give some consideration to masking them, using the decals as a template. Conclusion The final part of the F-35 trilogy will fit nicely on the shelf with the A and B, and as usual with Kitty Hawk, should build up into an impressive looking replica with the application of some modelling skill. Test-fitting and care in preparing the parts will pay dividends, and that patchwork primer option is really rather tempting. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of and available soon from major hobby shops
  13. Among numerous projects, anounced or not announced, Kitty Hawk is reported to have a 1/32nd Northrop F-5E Tiger II. Mike Benolkin from Cybermodeller has even reported words from Glen "Kitty Hawk" Coleman saying that the 1/32 F-5E is coming in March barring any logistics problems... Wait and see. Sources: http://forum.largescaleplanes.com/index.php?s=5c2ff6e68ae17012c76054379ea11236&showtopic=66843&p=886701 http://forum.largescaleplanes.com/index.php?s=5c2ff6e68ae17012c76054379ea11236&showtopic=66843&p=887578 - ref. KH32018 - Northrop F-5E Tiger II - ref. KH32019 - Northrop F-5F Tiger II - ref. KH32023 - Northrop RF-5E "Tigereye" V.P.
  14. A close look at the Kitty Hawk's messages in a chinese forum concerning the future Mirage 2000 kit ( http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234995392-148-dassault-mirage-2000-family-by-kitty-hawk-cads-release-in-2016/ ) display, in the signature from the KH representative, a Boeing MH/AH-6 Little Bird CAD. Would be quite logical after the 1/48th AH-1Z Viper ( http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234975145-ah-1z-viper-148/ ) and UH-1Y Venom ( http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234974037-148-bell-uh-1y-venom-super-huey-by-kitty-hawk-released/ ) kits isn't it? Source: http://tieba.baidu.com/p/4260567148 V.P.
  15. Su-34 Metal Landing Gear and Exhausts (MT-02) 1:48 Kitty Hawk We reviewed the new Kitty Hawk 1:48 Su-34 recently here, and I'm allegedly building one here to stretch my cabinet space to breaking point when I manage to finish it. I made a plea to Song on Facebook a couple of weeks ago for a set of these new gear legs that he was showing off, and thought no more of it until we received our latest box of kits from them. I opened up the Little Bird with figures, and spotted a couple of clear plastic boxes wrapped in bubble-wrap and some really tough clear tape, which immediately piqued my interest, as they didn't look like they belonged there. A few minutes (seemed like hours) of wrestling with the packaging later, I discovered this handsome set of upgraded parts (times two) and was overwhelmed with both their shininess and the fact that Song had remembered me! Inside the little clear boxes with the Kitty Hawk and Panda logos embossed on the top are three gear legs, two exhaust cans, and the little mudguard for the nose gear, all in what looks like brass to non-metallurgist me. I've been working on the kit gear legs on and off recently, and have become quite familiar with them as a result, and was impressed with the number of parts that these replacements render surplus to requirements. The nose gear leg is very well appointed with most of the parts in-situ, other than the landing lights and their brackets, plus the ancillary parts on the back of the main leg. It also benefits from the fine struts that form part of the mudguard support being made from metal, which makes them much stronger. I had already knocked off the end of my styrene leg, so this is great news. The mudguard is also very well appointed, and will look great in place. Moving on to the main gear legs, you have the structural parts all provided as a single part, with the scissor-links and dampers all there and adding to the strength of the gear leg immensely. The casting technique has been chosen very wisely, and has almost no clean-up to do, and zero visible seams. I'm no expert on casting metal, so suspect it's possibly lost wax casting, but whatever the technique it is very effective. Top marks! The exhaust nozzles provided in the kit are resin castings, and as such look pretty good. Putting them side by side with the metal cans shows two things that stand out in the replacement parts' favour. The first is that the lip is finer on the metal one, and the second the detail in the forward end is different, with a corrugated section and a ring of aerodynamic fairings at the inner base of each petal. The two location pegs are also much more sturdy than the resin ones, and again clumsy old me had managed to break one off the resin ones somehow (although it could have been damaged in transit - I can't remember). Conclusion Having been bitten by collapsing styrene landing gear with my AMK Mig-31BM in the past, I will be a lot happier with the long-term stability of my Su-34 now it is fitted with big strong metal gear legs. A great idea, and excellent execution. They should be available soon, and I would heartily recommend picking up a set, especially if you are adding any aftermarket to your model, which of course increases the all-up weight of your creation, all of which balances of three legs. Extremely highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of Available soon from major hobby shops
  16. After the the interceptor (MiG-25PD/PDS) and training (two seats MiG-25U/UB) "Foxbat" types, KittyHawk is to release in 2014 (?) a 1/48th kit from the reconnaissance & bomber variant of this Soviet era iconic aircraft: the MiG-25RB "Foxbat-B". My favourite variant. Among the various test shot pictures posted recently on Internet, THE evidence a MiG-25RB test shot with a bomb and a recce nose. But the engine exhausts are wrong for the type... Source: https://www.facebook.com/Kagero.SM/photos_stream The KH MiG-25RB exhausts Source: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.588810247842510.1073741931.224979750892230&type=1 Real MiG-25RB Source: http://scalemodels.ru/modules/photo/viewcat.php?id=913&cid=62&min=60&orderby=dateA&show=12 MiG-25RB walkarounds: http://scalemodels.ru/modules/photo/viewcat_cid_62.html http://scalemodels.ru/modules/photo/viewcat_cid_369.html V.P.
  17. It seems we'll have another Su-34 in 1/48 in March 2016. Info from the local dealer. Source: GreenMats.Club
  18. Su-34 Fullback (KH80141) 1:48 Kitty Hawk The Sukhoi Su-34, known by the NATO reporting name 'Fullback' is an all-weather strike fighter, designed to replace the ageing Su-24 Fencer in Russian service. Despite being based on an existing design (the Su-27), the type endured an extremely protracted development, punctuated by the collapse of the Soviet Union. Eventually, 200 of the type are expected to enter service, replacing approximately 300 Su-24s. There are many differences between the Su-27 and the Su34, principal amongst which is a completely new nose, which accommodates the crew side-by-side, and gives it a duck-billed look that is hard to capture, plus small canards forward of the main planes, all of which has a reduced front radar signature, due to basic stealth shaping. Since September 2015, Su-34s have been involved in the conflict in Syria, dropping BETAB-500 and OFAB-500 bombs. There has already been interest in the type from overseas customers. Algeria has ordered an initial batch of 12 aircraft, while Vietnam is apparently also interested in the type. The Kit This is a complete new tool from Kitty Hawk, following on from another manufacturer's slightly flawed attempt, so a lot of people are hoping it's right. It arrives in a large box, as it is a big aircraft with 12 hardpoints for attaching munitions, of which KH are apt to include many! The boxtop art shows a Fullback climbing out after causing some chaos with some oil storage tanks, and inside the lid it quite a full box – the artwork header has also been updated from the original to a more modern, funky look to catch the eye, as you can see above. Many of these semi-blended designs are moulded with wings integral to the fuselage halves, which reduces the part count and usually means that half the box is taken up with just two parts. Not so here, as the wings are separate, and all the available space is taken up with parts. The fuselage halves still take up the full length of the box, and there is a high parts count due to the generous provision of Russian weapons. Beside the two fuselage halves there are thirteen sprues in pale grey styrene, a sprue of clear parts, four resin (yes, resin!) exhaust cans, a sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) parts, and three decal sheets of various sizes. The instruction booklet has a glossy cover with fold-out leaves that detail the box contents in front and painting of the weapons at the rear, while the full colour painting and markings guide is found in the centre of the booklet, which will be more use when removed carefully and the staples bent back so your instruction booklet doesn't fall apart, which is exactly what I've just done. First impressions are good, with a little flash around the large complex fuselage mouldings, which isn't entirely surprising, as they are complex shapes. There are slide-moulding seams behind and forward of the cockpit opening that will need a little attention before construction, and just aft of that a few panel lines have been tooled very faintly so they don't catch on the mould as the part is ejected. These would be best deepened with your favourite scribing tool before you get too far into the build. The inboard walls of the rear engine nacelles also suffer from this to a slightly lesser extent, so while you have your scriber out, fix those too. They're not defects, but necessities of production that have been present since injection moulding model kits began. The massive array of weapons provides spans six sprues, and it's best to consider them as a generic set, as there are some that won't be used and more that the Su-34 can carry. It's cheaper for KH to tool one set of weapons for all Soviet/Russian subjects than individual load-outs again and again. Construction begins with the cockp…. Nope, with the engines for a change, which KH have included for good measure, and to which are fair quantity of parts are devoted, only to be hidden away unless you're planning on opening up some panels, which will of course require some surgery to the upper fuselage, but if you flip it over, you'll see that KH have thoughtfully included two panels above each engine that can be cut out from the inside to provide access to the engines, with rivets engraved on the interior so they can be left lying about as if they are being worked on. Sure, they're a bit thick, but this is a much better option than just hiding the detail away, and if you're interested in scale fidelity, you have a shape template to base your work on. Both Saturn AL31FM1s are included, and they are set aside until later on in the build. Whether you paint them fully is entirely up to you and whether you want to cut those panels out, but I'd probably just do the front and rear faces, as they're all that will be seen eventually. Now it's the turn of the cockpit, and the first item is a pair of well-detailed Zvezda K36dm seats, which have PE seatbelts included, and are an improvement on earlier kits. The cockpit floor has the side consoles moulded in, and slots for the ejection ladders, plus control columns and decals for all panels, which are printed on a small decal sheet that has an almost photographic look to it. The rear bulkhead and access door fit to the back, and the instrument panel to the front to finish off, then this too is set aside while the gear bays and cannon bay are built up. The former are well-detailed with individual panels and additional parts to give a busy look, while the cannon bay is somewhat simpler with only a few parts in addition to the breech. The nose gear bay is more complex, and has the hatch for crew access moulded in, with a ladder built into the nose gear bay later on. This explains why you should never see a Fullback with its cockpit open, unless the crew are about to disappear on their ejection seats. Finally, the fuselage is ready to close up, after the aforementioned fettling and the removal of the residual sprue gates that can be found on the mating surfaces in places, which is an effort to avoid marring surface detail and IMHO is a great idea that is slowly creeping into kits from various manufacturers. The gear bays, two engine supports, the engines themselves and the cockpit are all added to the lower half, with the upper fuselage dropped on and glued along with the canards, which pivot on a pin, so you can set them to whatever pitch seems appropriate after checking your references. The forward facing radar is fitted to the blunt end of the fuselage, and the nose cone is popped over it, covering it up unless you do some scratching and pose it opened. The pilot's HUD is a sizeable part, and has a trough in the cockpit coaming, a PE glass support, and two part glazing, plus a horizontal lens on the clear sprue. A few probes and the refuelling probe are added, although I'd leave those until later on in case I broke them off. The twin vertical stabilisers are next, with a single thickness that is bolstered at the root, and with separate rudder, antennae and clear formation light. These are also set aside (the theme of this build!) while the exhausts and stinger are made up. You may have noticed that the exhaust cans are resin, and you can choose open or closed positions to suit your intended situation, with the tabs at the rear locking it in place on the two-part exhaust trunks. Careful painting whilst paying attention to your references will result in a good finish to this area. The Stinger is the fairing between the engines, and contains the rear radar, as well as various other equipment, and the chaff and flare dispensers that are fired to confuse and thwart incoming missiles. The body of the stinger is two part, with a recess in the top for the PE dispensers, and holes in the rear that accommodate three PE exhaust vents, which will need rolling to fit the contours of the surrounding area. These assemblies are all fitted to the rear along with some more small parts, and the tail fins attach to the sides of the fuselage with two locating pins each. Before the engine nacelles are installed, additional parts are added inside the main wheel bays that will mate with the corresponding cut-outs in the nacelles later on. Each nacelle is built up in the same manner, with a main outer skin, small PE auxiliary intakes on the sides, plus a pair of blow-in doors further back. The intake ramp attaches to the eventual roof of the intake, and a two-part trunk changes the interior profile to match the cylindrical shape of the engine front. A small elliptical insert is added to the outside of each one before they are fitted to the fuselage, along with a few more small parts hither and thither. It still needs wings, which is next and begins with the elevators, which have fairings added at their base, and when they are attached to the fuselage, another part is added, which connects them to a hinge-point in the fuselage rear. The main wings are each two parts, with slats and flaps front and rear respectively, along with a small wing fence toward the tip, and a choice of straight or curved fairing where the leading edge meets the tip rails, which you'll need to check your references to select the correct one for your airframe, as all the decal profiles show curved fairings. They fit into the fuselage on two tabs with a good mating surface, and should blend with the upper surface with a little care and test-fitting. Landing is tricky without wheels, and Russian fighters invariably have tough gear for rough field operation, and twin rear wheels on bogies are the norm. The Fullback has sturdy struts reminiscent of the Mig-31, but with both wheels on the outer face of the bogie. The legs have separate scissor-links and additional actuators, with a pair of two-part wheels each, which have decent hub and tyre detail. There should be some circumferential tread, which is absent due to moulding limitation, but as these aircraft are often seen with threadbare tyres, painting them to resemble well-used examples gets round needing to replicate this. Either that or you could treat yourself to a set of wheels from Eduard that will doubtless fit this newer tooling. The nose gear is also pretty substantial and has a high parts count, which includes a pair of clear landing lights. The crew ladder is in two parts and fits to the rear of the leg, above the mudguard that nestles behind the tyres to reduce FOD intrusion into the airframe on rough airstrip movements. The wheels are each two parts, and again there is no tread, despite it being shown on the diagrams. Happily, each gear leg can be added to a completed airframe, which is good news as it saves them from damage during handling. There are scrap diagrams of each main gear bay showing how things should look once you have installed them and the small surrounding panel at the rear of the bays. The front gear bay doors are single parts, while the rear bay doors all have additions before they can be inserted, with actuators adding a bit of realism. More scrap diagrams show their orientation after they are added, so there's little chance of making a slip-up here. Before you can load up your Fullback, you need pylons, which are all fitted with PE shackles or styrene sway-braces before they are added to the model alongside the wingtip rail. A twin rail fits between the nacelles, and either three underwing pylons, or two and a double are attached to each wing, plus the wingtip pods already mentioned. Additional single rails fit to the underside of the nacelles level with the gear legs. As already mentioned, there is a ton of weapons on those six sprues, with ten pages devoted to building them up. This is what's selected to be carried by the Su-34: 2 x FAB-500-M54 general purpose bomb 2 x BETAB-500 bunker buster 2 x OFAB-250-SZN bomb 2 x SPPU-22 gun pod 2 x U-6 pylon adapter 2 x R77 Missile Adder medium range A2A missile 2 x R73 Archer short range A2A Missile with APU-73 adapter 2 x UBK-23 gun pod 2 x GUV-8700 gun pod 2 x R27-ET/R27-ER Alamo medium range missiles with APU-470 pylon adapter 2 x R27-T Alamo medium range missiles with APU-470 pylon adapter 4 x R60 Aphid short-range A2A missile with three types of pylon adapters 2 x U-4 adapter rail 2 x UB-32 rocket pod 2 x KH-35 Kayak anti-shipping missile 2 x S-24 rocket with APU-68 pylon adapter 2 x KH-23 Kerry A2G missile with APU-68 pylon adapter 2 x KH-59 Kazoo TV guided missile 2 x KAB-250 satellite guided bomb 4 x FAB-250-M62 bomb 4 x FAB-250-TS bomb (there's a spelling mistake showing it as "F2B" on the instructions) 4 x FAB-250-M54 bomb 2 x BETAB-500-ZD penetrator bomb 4 x SAB-100 high explosive bomb 2 x S-25-A, B & C rocket 2 x RBK-500-250 cluster bomb 2 x B-8M rocket pod 2 x B-13 rocket pod 2 x KH-25-ML/MT Karen A2G Missile 2 x KH-29L Kedge laser guided A2G missile 2 x KAB-500KR TV guided bomb 2 x KAB-500L laser guided bomb 2 x KAB-1500-L/KR laser/TV guided bomb 2 x UB-16 rocket pod 2 x KH-31 A2G missile 2 x KH-58ME Kilter missile 2 x KH-58 Kilter missile with AKU-58 pylon adapter There are two pages of diagrams showing which stations the various weapons are suitable for, but if you're going for accuracy, check your references for some real-world loadouts, as with all aircraft there are limitations. The parts on the sprues are also marked by designation, with all the parts for each weapon sub-numbered within that section of the sprue. Markings The largest decal sheet is for the armament, with each weapon's stencils and markings sectioned off with a dotted line and the designation, which will make applying them a much easier proposition. Four pages of colour diagrams at the rear of the booklet show their colours and markings. Once you have unpicked the main painting guide from the centre of the booklet, you can rotate them so they're easier on the eye, where you'll discover that there are four markings options, each with four views so that there is no guesswork with the camouflaged options. Everything is a good size too, which makes reading the decal numbers and other details a lot easier than some of their first kits, proving that KH have come a long way in all departments. There is a variety of schemes available out of the box, two of which use the three shades of blue camo, one in primer, and another in dark blue over blue, and all rocking a fetching white radome. There are also large expanses of bare metal where paint wouldn't last, on the underside of the engine nacelles, and the leading edges of the elevators (hot missile exhaust?). From the box you can build one of the following rather generically described airframes: Russian Aerospace Defence Forces Red 02 in three-tone blue camo Russian Aerospace Defence Forces Red 03 in three-tone blue camo Russian Aerospace Defence Forces in primer Russian Aerospace Defence Forces in dark blue over pale blue It is unclear where and by whom the decals were printed by, but in general they are of good quality with decent sharpness and colour density except for the use of half-tones to create orange and the dielectric panel decals. On my sample, the dielectric panels also expose an element of mis-registration of the white, which is offset, giving the panels a drop-shadow effect on the sheet, which will probably disappear once applied. I would however be tempted to paint them and create some masks using the decals as templates. The white also shows up in the outlined digits as well as the tail decal BBC POCCИИ having the entire white outline projecting from the top, rather than equally spaced around the letters. Conclusion The plastic looks great, and as Kitty Hawk has stated that they want their Su-34 to be the best on the market in the scale, it shows that they have put additional effort into this model. The huge choice of weapons are also highly detailed, which are likely to be seen again as KH fill more gaps in the Soviet/Russian line-up, and we can forgive them for the little faux pas with the decals, which can be rectified fairly easily – hopefully it's an isolated case. As to shape, I've put some of the main parts together with tape to get a feeling for the overall shape of the airframe, and my first impression is that it's a good overall shape, with maybe a little more of a flare to the tip of the radome needed at the front, but it's very hard to gauge against photos of the airframe due to distortion and such, so I'll leave the final decision to you guys. If you want to discuss it further, start a thread in the main forums and link back to this thread Very highly recommended. We're now building this one, and you can find the thread here, with plenty of hints and tips, as well as pictures of the process Review sample courtesy of Available soon from major hobby shops
  19. I thought I had this one nearly done, all painted in the eggplant gray and light blue scheme, decals on, about to do the panel lines and then I saw this photo of a faded Su-35 with it's uniform dark gray looking far more interesting. So the decals were removed and the fading began. Begemot decals and A.M.U.R Reaver engines were a must for this Kitty Hawk kit as the nozzles are not drooped and the decals have some issues. The kit went together easily with an overall good fit. It certainly has some issues but overall it's a nice kit with a lot of improvements over previous Flankers (particularly after 8 Academy Flanker builds). I have a couple GWH Su-35s waiting and clearly they are simply a new level of accuracy, quality and sophistication that is amazing. However, like most kits with a bit of extra work the Kitty Hawk builds up nice and looks the part. The nose gear is something to be warned about, it's nicely detailed but the angle is all wrong because the smaller rear strut is too short. I used an Academy replacement to correct it. I replaced most of the chunky aerials and antennas with thinner plastic card and a few bits of etched brass from the stash plus some B8M-1 rocket pods as seen in an Aviadarts entry.
  20. No it's not a joke. Kitty Hawk is to release a 1/32nd Focke Wulf Fw.190A-5 kit - ref. KH32025 Source: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2129165307342083&set=a.1874930699432213.1073741830.100007459027346&type=3&theater 3D render V.P.
  21. Not only a F2H-3/-4 "Big Banjo" - ref. KH80130 - (http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234946848-148th-mcdonnell-f2h-3-4-banshee-by-kittyhawk-in-2014) but also a McDonnell F2H-2 Banshee in 1/48th by Kitty Hawk -ref. KH80131. V.P.
  22. Trumpeter is to release 1/32nd Curtiss P-40 Kitty Hawk kits in 2016-2019 Source: http://www.themodellingnews.com/2015/12/trumpeter-catalogue-2016-2017-lets-see.html#more - ref. 02211 - Curtiss P-40M Kitty Hawk - ref. 02212 - Curtiss P-40N Kitty Hawk - ref. 02228 - Curtiss P-40B Warhawk (Tomahawk Mk.II) - ref. 02269 - Curtiss P-40E Kitty Hawk - ref. 03227 - Curtiss P-40F Kitty Hawk V.P.
  23. Russian Yak-130 "Mitten" (KH80157) 1:48 Kitty Hawk The Mitten (that's a cute name!) is a small 2-seat advanced subsonic trainer that is able to haul around 3,000kg of munitions to perform its ancillary role of light fighter. It began development as a joint project with Italian company Aermacci, but creative differences led to a split after the unveiling of the prototypes in the mid-90s, following which each manufacturer went their own way, even though the majority of the design and airframe work was completed. The Italian version became the M-346 and they agreed to split the market roughly between NATO and independent states that were previously aligned with the Soviets, or had good relations and a track history of purchases. The Yak-130 won the competition to become the new Russian trainer in the early noughties, beating Mikoyan into second place, and securing a small pre-production order to begin with. It is a thoroughly modern trainer, and can mimic the controls of the majority of the current 4th and 4.5 generation aircraft in the Russian inventory, and also has the capability to replicate the controls of the new Su-57, formerly known as the Pak-Fa. This is accomplished by a fly-by-wire system plus a trio of large Multi-Function Displays (MFD) in the cockpit, which can be configured according to their training requirements, involving dogfighting, missile and weapons launch, self-defence and other systems in order to prepare the pilots for their eventual role. A side project to create the Yak-131, a light-attack aircraft was terminated due to insufficient safety of the pilots at low levels, leaving the Mitten as the only fork of the design in Russian service. The Kit This is a brand new tooling from Kitty Hawk of this diminutive trainer, and coincides with the release of the Aermacchi "version" from another vendor, which may or may not be a coincidence, who knows? With it being a small aircraft, it's surprising to see that it arrives in the same sized box as some of the larger aircraft from the KH line, but once you open the box you can see why. It's a box of Russian/Soviet weapons with a free Mitten for good measure! There are seven large sprues in the box, plus one clear sprue, a small fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a container with two resin pilot figures inside, three decal sheets, one of which is tiny, and the instruction booklet with pull-out centre pages on glossy paper for the full-colour painting and decaling guides. Detail is nice, with lots of raised and engraved features, plus use of sliding moulds to give either additional detail, or reduce part count, which alongside the four weapons sprues makes for a well-rounded package. Parts breakdown is interesting, with the top fuselage and blended wings moulded as one part, plus a two-part lower fuselage and wing inserts completing the main airframe. The canopy has been moulded in a split-mould, so that the correct "bubble" of the part is obtained, but it behoves you sand down the seam and polish it back to clarity, which is a common theme of modern jets and their quest for situational awareness. Construction begins with the cockpit, making up the two NPO Zvezda K-36LT3.5 ejection seats, which share a common look with many modern Russian seats, and have separate cushions and PE seatbelts if you aren't using the supplied resin pilot figures, in which case you would leave off the rear seat's belts, as the front seat pilot is depicted climbing aboard. The cockpit tub is built from a stepped floorpan, onto which a combined rudder/control stick assembly is fitted, then the sidewalls are brought in, which hold up the instrument panels, both of which have decals for their MFDs. The rear IP has a coaming added, the rear bulkhead is installed, and the launch rails for both seats are affixed to the resulting bulkheads, with the seats fitting into their slots at this point. As with many smaller modern fighters, the nose gear bay is right under the cockpit floor, being built up from individual panels and glued in place straddling the step, and held in the correct location by a quartet of L-shaped guides. The nose gear leg has a two-part yoke that traps the wheel in place, and can be fitted now or later as you see fit, with a clear landing light attached to the oleo. The completed assembly is then dropped into the lower nose part, which needs a few holes drilling beforehand, after which it is set aside while the upper fuselage is prepared. The upper fuselage and wings are fitted out with an airbrake bay and a pair of inserts inside the root extensions, which once the lower nose and cockpit are installed, these parts will be partially seen under the extensions, so fit them nice and neatly, minimising any gaps, and filling those you can't disguise. The Mitten (I do like that name) is a twin-engined aircraft, and the intake trunks are built up as assemblies that are then installed above the main gear bay in the lower fuselage. You'll need to take a view on how much will be seen here before you go mad with filling seams, but as the tubular section is a single part and has an engine front attached to the end, only the U-shaped initial area will have a seam to fill. The gear bay is central and shared by both wheels, with bulkheads added before it can be slotted into the fuselage along with the APU exhaust on the starboard side. The rear of the engines are fitted to the exhaust trunks, which are split lengthways in half, so may need filling, and these are then attached to their troughs, with fairings added between and around them, leaving just a fraction of the lip exposed. This assembly can then be added to the upper fuselage and you have a fairly complete airframe that just needs lower wing panels, leading edge parts, then the flaps in the deployed position, ailerons, and finally the intake lips installing to complete the wings. The main gear legs have more clear lights added, and two-piece wheels fitted at the end of the cranked oleo, before they are glued along with the retraction mechanism on either side of the centre bulkhead, with doors and their jacks for all the wheels added later. Flipping the model over, the nose cone is affixed along with a forest of antennae and aerials around the front, plus the large HUD for the pilot, which has two clear lenses for added realism. The crew ladder is depicted deployed by default on the model, which is to take advantage of the resin crew figures, one of which is climbing into the front seat with his face masked and ready to go, while the instructor peruses a checklist. They're very nicely sculpted, and give a human dimension to this little aircraft. Two inserts are supplied for the holes in the root extensions, which I would rather have installed earlier in case they fall through into the interior, but there's nothing stopping you from doing this yourself if you wish. The auxiliary intake doors behind the cockpit are depicted closed, which is a bit of a shame from a detail point of view, but I would imagine that Eduard or someone will be all over that very soon now, as they're often seen open, especially in flight. The airbrake bay gets its door and jack, the windscreen is fitted around the now-complete coaming, and the rear canopy is bedecked with a set of PE rear-view mirrors and handle before it is installed in either the open or closed position. As it hinges sideways, you might want to do something to strengthen the bond early on, and a little research should result in a solution. You might also notice that there is a shallow blast shield between the cockpits, so grab a piece of spare acetate sheet and make your own if you're in the mood. The wingtips have pods on adapter rails fitted, with the chaff and flare dispensers moulded into the tops, with two pins holding each pod in the correct location, and a small clear wingtip light visible on the inside of the rail. Your poor little Mitten has lost his tail, or rather it's not been fitted yet, so a nicely slide-moulded fin part fits into a depression in the top of the fuselage, with two pins for good measure, while the elevators are moulded in one part each, with a central(ish) pin around which they rotate. Now for the stores and hard-points, which the Yak has seven of excluding the already occupied wingtip points. Three stations per wing are supplied, with the outermost one having PE shackle-points, and the centreline point has a twin-cannon pod fitted, in case things get down-and-dirty. There is a cornucopia of weaponry on those four sprues, some of which won't be carried in real-world scenarios, but it's surprising just how many it can carry, but with hindsight it has to carry pretty much everything that the frontline aircraft can or it won't be an adequate trainer. Here's a list of what's suggested as candidates for a load-out, but if you want accuracy, check your references for actual configurations. 2 x fuel tanks 2 x KAB-500KR TV-guided bomb 2 x KAB-500L or 500SE laser guided bomb 2 x KH-29T A2S missile with different seeker heads 2 x R-73 Archer short-range A2A missiles with APU-73 adapter rails 2 x R-77 Adder A2A missiles with adapter rail 2 x KH-25-ML or MT A2S missiles with adapter rail 2 x U-4 launch rails 2 x U-6 launch rails 4 x BD-3UMK adapter rails 4 x BD-4UMK adapter rails 2 x KH-58ME Kilter anti-radiation missiles 4 x R-60 Aphid A2A heat-seeking missiles with adapter rails 2 x KAB-1500-L, KR or SE laser guided bomb 2 x KH-31 Krypton supersonic A2S anti-shipping missiles 2 x R-27ER or ET Alamo long-range A2A missiles with APU-470 adapter rails 2 x R-27T Alamo medium-to-long range A2A missiles with APU-470 adapter rails There are also some rocket pods and iron bombs that aren't used, so if you wanted to play "spot the unused bombs" have fun with it! There's a diagram at the end of the instructions that shows which loads can be placed where, but again, if you're going for realism, there's no substitute for checking your references for real-world choices. Markings There are a lot of decals with this kit, and from the box you can build one of seven options. The second large sheet of decals is purely for the weapons, while the other sheet is destined for the airframe and the little sheet contains the MFD decals for the instrument panel and a couple of colourful decals that couldn't be included on the main sheet. The markings guide is stapled in the centre of the booklet, so as usual I have liberated them by unpicking and re-bending the stapes, leaving the last glossy page in situ as its reverse side contains some of the build instructions. Here are your decal options: Kitty Hawk are another of those companies that sometimes don't include any information about the location, unit or time period for their decal options, and this is one of those times. We know that you can make Russian machines in primer, grey, red or green, or a Bangladesh Air Force option, which they have accidentally referred to as "Bulgarian" on the side of the box, and that's your lot. The primer airframe is one of the prototypes, and the colourful ones are aircraft that have been on display, the red one bearing a resemblance to the Russian acrobatic team's red and white scheme. Decals aren't always the strongest part of KH kits, but this one seems to be ok, save for a slight offset on the white, which creates a little "shadow" on some of the decals that it has been used to underprint weaker colours. The instrument decals are really detailed, and could pass for real, but you would need to leave the canopy open to really appreciate them, so give that some thought during the build. The det-cord that shatters the canopy before ejection is supplied as a decal, which there are always divided options about, with two camps that prefer either moulded-in or decals, so there's no pleasing everyone. The carrier film should be easy to hide with some careful application of Klear/Future or similar gloss varnish however, so with a bit of care they can be made to look good. The decals for the weapons are good enough for the task, although my copy has a slight blemish in the black banding for the KH-59 missiles, but as those don't appear to be on the sprues, I'm not even worried. Conclusion Cute as a button, and a nice-looking aircraft that comes with a huge range of stores and some nice schemes. The lack of blow-in aux-intake doors and more information on the decal options are minor downsides on the whole, but who wouldn't want a Yak-130 in their stash (I know, some people won't, but you've got this far)? What's more, if you bought two, you could answer the question "What's in the bag?" from your Significant Other honestly, if a little misleadingly. "Oh, just a pair of mittens, darling". Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of and available soon from major hobby shops
  24. F-101B/CF-101B/RF-101B Voodoo (KH80114) 1:48 Kitty Hawk Delays to the USAF WS-201 interceptor programme lead to calls for an interim aircraft to be brought into service, a design programme which was eventually won by McDonnell using the original F-101 Voodoo as the basis for the new aircraft. Some major modifications were need to the front of the aircraft to accept a twin cockpit, the large radar and a means to carry air-to-air weapons. The new aircraft was designated the F-101B by the Air Force though the manufacturer suggest the F-109. The new aircraft would also get more powerful engines with longer afterburners. To do away with airframe design changes the longer afterburners simply extended from the airframe. Weapons carriage for the new aircraft was also something new, in the form of a rotating weapons pallet under the main fuselage. The original missile of choice was the AiM-4 Falcon. Two semi active radar homing missiles, and two infra red guiding missiles were carried, one each on either side of the pallet as it was practice to fire one of each at the target. Later on the aircraft would gain the Nuclear tipped Rocket the AIR-2 Genie. In this case two Genies were carried on one side of the pallet and two infra red Falcons on the other side. 479 F-101Bs were built in the end, many more then the original A and C model. The only export customer would be the Canadian Air Force who designated the aircraft the CF-101B. As a final end to the Voodoo story in the early 1970s the USAF identified a gap in their reconnaissance capabilities ad a plan was put in place to mount three KS-87B cameras and two AXQ-2 TV camera in the aircraft in place of its weapons and radar equipment. 22 former Canadian aircraft were converted to the RF-101B role. These serves with the 192d Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron of the Nevada Air National Guard. In practice it was found that operating only 22 aircraft in this role was prohibitively expensive even for the USAF and they had a short service life. The Kit This is an extension of the original Voodoo kit from Kitty Hawk, and like that kit is modular in nature. Construction does not start with the cockpit but the intakes and engines. The intake trunking is built up with representable fan front and their handed intake bullets. Also built up at this time are the other end of the engines the exhausts. There is a rear part and on engine ring to insert. The intakes and exhausts are then placed in the lower half of the fuselage centre section. The heat shielded part of the rear fuselage is also added to the centre section at this time. The top of the centre fuselage section can then be added on. At the rear the large extending afterburner sections are built up ad added, along with the rudder, tailplanes, arrestor hook, and rear airbrakes. Construction then moves onto the wings. Into the top part of the wing is added the 4 part main gear & wheel along with the inner face of the wheel well. Once the gear is in the lower wing can be added along with the air brake which sits behind the gear. As the front part of the wing also forms the air intake the boundary layer splitter is added. The wings can then be added to the centre section fuselage along with the two part tail (split left/right). The flaps and main gear doors are then fitted For those missing it construction now moves to the cockpit. The four part seats are built up and PE belts are added. Instrument clusters are built up, and rudder pedals added. The housing for the Air-2-Air ID light must also be added at this time. Even if the modeller does not want to open the panels for the front avionics bay it must be built up at this time. The front gear, and gear bay must then be built up. The cockpit section then first on top of the gear bay with the avionics bay forming part of this module. To the rear of this module is fitted the bay for the rotating weapons pallet and to door is also fitted in at this time. The instructions would have you build the missiles at this time, but I'm sure these can be left until later. In the kit there are 2 IR Falcons, 2 SARH Falcons, and 2 Genies. The complete cockpit/gear bay/weapons pallet module is the put inside the front fuselage halves, The instrument panels and coamings are then added. To finish up the front and main fuselages are brought together. If making the F-101B then the flat panel is placed under the front fuselage section, and if doing the RF-101 then the camera system is placed here. The canopy is added. The panels for the avionics bays can be added in the open or closed positions. The drop tanks can the be added. Its worth noting that the profile for the RF-101B is wrong in that it shows the aircraft armed when in fact the weapons pallet was deleted. In addition there seems to be no replacement panel for the weapons pallet if making the RF-101. Decals The decals are sharp, i register and look colour dense. One US aircraft is shown though in Grey FS16440 and in Silver? I was on the understanding all Voodoos were ADC Grey? From the box you can build one from RF-101B, one CF-101B, and three F-101Bs. The 60th FIS is shown as FS16440 but these aircraft were ADC grey FS14673. There is also one NMF example which seems to be unusual? 60th FIS, USAF 136th FIS, USAF 437th FIS, USAF 17395 409 Sqn "Nighthawks" Royal Canadian Air Force. RF-101B 59-0434 192d Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, Nevada Air National Guard. Conclusion The plastic looks great, and aside form a couple of issues with the RF version should build from the box into a great model. Highly recommended Review sample courtesy of Available soon from major hobby shops
  25. F-5F tiger II (KH32019) 1:32 Kitty Hawk The original F-5 design was lead at Northrop by Edgar Schmued who previously at North American had been the Chief designer of the P-51 and F-86. The F-5 was designed to reverse the trend of bigger and heavier fighters to produce a small, agile, high performance aircraft. It was also recognised that life cycle costs, and the ability to upgrade the design needed to be thought out at the beginning. Thus after winning the International Fighter Aircraft Competition in 1970 to provide a low cost effective fighter to America's allies Northrop introduced the F-5E or Tiger II. More than 3800 aircraft were built and served with the US Forces as well as their allies. Indeed the F-5F & N still serve in the adversary role today. The design of the F-5 would later go on to influence the YF-17 and F/A-18, as well as the late unsuccessful (is sales) F-20. The Kit This is a complete new tool from Kitty Hawk, The kit arrives on 6 spures of plastic with a small clear sprue, sheet of PE and four decal sheets. The resin exhaust nozzles of the F-5E are not included in this boxin. There are two resin crew figures; one seated and one climbing the crew ladder, the crew ladders are also included in this boxing. Construction starts as one would expect in the cockpit. The seats are first put together each from an impressive 20 parts. Next up the cockpit tub is built up from another 20 or so parts not including the instrument panels and coamings. Once together the canopy raising parts are also added behind the seats. Following this the complicated nose gear bay / gun bay is built up which goes on front of the cockpit. All the detail is there for the nose mounted 20mm cannon including its ammo box and feed chutes. Once built up this section and the cockpit can be added into the front fuselage halves after some PE detail is added to the sides first. The nose section can then be built up and added but the modeller will need to select the right nose for the airframe being modelled. The instructions are of no help here so you will have to check your references. If wanted the seated pilot figure can be added. The canopy is then added at this stage in the instructions though I suspect most will leave it until the end. The canopy retraction mechanism is only in the raised position so if you want the canopy down some surgery will be needed. There is then the option to display the gun bay panels open if you wish to show off all that detail. Moving on to the centre fuselage two complete engines are built and installed. This seems a bit strange as no intake trunking is supplied and they will just sit there inside the fuselage. The main gear wells are made up and installed before the top of the fuselage is added. There are some optional vent panels to be installed but again its a case of checking your references as the instructions are of no help. For the rear the modeller can choose to build up plastic exhausts or use the resin ones. The two fuselage sections can now be joined and at the front the intakes added. Next up the wings are constructed. The main gear bay walls are added to the inner parts and the outers then added over the top. The main gears are made up and added along with the leading edge and separate flaps. The wings, tail planes and vertical tail are then added to the fuselage. The tail has a separate rudder. To finish off the aircraft the underwing pylons are added, and a whole range of missiles and bombs are provided. These include AIM-9 & AIM-7 missiles, Cluster bombs, dumb bobs and fuel tanks. Decals The impressive large decal sheet (and smaller additional sheets) look to be well printed. There is minimal carrier film and the colours are sharp, everything looks colour dense. There is an impressive array of stencils present. There have been problems with the tail designs which have lead to some addendum sheets. In previous kits the instructions have been in colour these are only in black & white and they suffer from this. They also suffer from the fact you need to remove them from the centre of the book to use them, and that there appears to be no information what so ever on the decal options provided. From the box as far as I can tell you can build one of these aircraft F-5F Taiwanese Air Force - Tiger tail F-5F Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force F-5F USMC VMFT-401 "Snipers" Aggressors. F-5F Taiwanese Air Force - Aggressor tail F-5F Malaysian Air Force F-5F Republic Of Singapore Air Force F-5F Taiwanese Air Force - Sun Tail F-5F Republic Of Singapore Air Force - Tiger Tail F-5F Royal Thai Air Force - 30th Anv Tail F-5F USN VFC-111 Sundowners F-5F Swiss Air Force F-5F Republic Of Korea Air Force Conclusion The plastic looks great, and there is an impressive array of marking options available. The addition of PE and resin parts including good figures makes this an all round exciting package from Kitty Hawk. The kit is let down by the total lack of information on the decal options and poor instructions for the painting & decaling of the model. Recommended if you want a large scale F-5F to your collection. Review sample courtesy of Available soon from major hobby shops