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  1. M60A2 Patton "Starship" 1:35 Academy The M60A2 was named the "Starship" due to the then modern technology fitted to the tank. It was designed as a force multiplier to operate alongside M60A1 tanks. Development began in the 1960s with them entering service in 1972. The Starship featured a new different turret from other tanks of the time. The main turret had quite a low profile which was offset somewhat by a large commanders copula on top. This featured a sighting system and a co-axial 50 cal machine gun. The idea was for the commander to find the target and lock on the main armament and then be searching for the next target while the gunner engaged the current one. The turret was fitted with M48 152mm gun / launcher. This was the same gun fitted to the M551 Sheridan. This could fire conventional ammunition to a range of 1.5km and the MGM-51 Shillelagh anti-tank guided missile with an effective range of 3km. A groove as cut into the barrel to allow the missile to fire. The US Army at this time had spent a considerable amount of money on the MGM-51 system. One of the major problems with the missile for its time was its technological advancements which made it unreliable. The missile did not come into sight of the gunner until it was over 700m from the tank and with an effective range of 2km (later extended to 3km) it had a limited envelop of operations. Over 88000 missiles were purchased with the only reported use being a dozen or so fired at bunkers by Sheridans in the Gulf war of 1991. In the end the Starship proved to be a bit of a disaster. The main gun range had already been exceeded by other tanks and the missile system was unreliable. In addition a closed breech scavenger system), which used pressurised air to clear the breech after each shot lead to a slow rate of fire. It was also found that the missile was not as good at penetrating armour as was required. The Starships were phased out by the early 1980s with the hulls being converted to M60A3 tanks, or in some cases armoured bridge layers. If anyone is interested in seeing the Starship in operation there is a training film available here on YouTube. The Kit This is a not a new kit per se from Academy, some of the main parts are from other kits; however the parts for the Starship, and the tracks are new to this boxing. It should be noted that as the main hull is from a kit which features added reactive armour there are some markings on the front of the kit scored in for placement of this armour. The modeller will need to remove them for this kit, which should not be difficult. The addition of photo etched parts for the turret stowage bins, and other small fittings is a nice touch. Construction starts with the lower hull. Fittings for the rear drive and front idler sprockets are added along with suspension components. These are followed by upper parts of the lower hull which house the idler wheels. The main torsion bar suspension parts are then added along with the two part idler wheels, followed by the 3 part main wheels, and five part drive sprockets (these all feature central poly caps so the can be pushed on at any stage of construction). Construction then moves onto the upper hull. The first item to be installed is the drivers hatch, this is installed from underneath. On the top the various stowage bins are added to both sides along with various hull fittings such as light, lifting eyes and protective bars. A few small photo etched parts are used at this stage. Construction then moves to the turret. The first item to be made up is the side mounted searchlight. This a complex affair with 10 smallish parts, some photo etch and a clear plastic cover which the modeller has to cut to size from a small sheet of acetate supplied. The main gun parts are then added along with the barrel, this in one part but there will be the mould line to remove. The commanders copula (a main part of this build) is then built up and added to the turret. Various hull fittings are added along with the turret bins. The mesh for the bis is supplied as photo-etched parts. The last parts to be added are the tracks. These are not rubber band, or individual links. They are short lengths of moulded track which are connected by individual links where they go around the sprockets and bend at the bottom Though better than the rubber band type they will still not sit correctly where they run over the idler wheels so I suspect they will be replaced by many modellers. Luckily they are standard M60 tracks so replacements are readily available. Decals There is a small decal sheet with markings for one tank from the US Army. Conclusion This is an unusual and short lived Main Battle tank, and part of the M60 Patton MBT line. It should make a great addition to a collection of cold war Armour. It is good to see companies bringing us this type of kit. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of UK Distributors for
  2. All the latest new items from ACADEMY are available now. Academy 1/35 Sherman with rocket launcher parts from Italeri. http://www.pocketbond.co.uk/Product.aspx?ID=4548 Academy 1/35 T-34/85 "Berlin 1945" - this is a limited edition kit with a new turret plus all the PE parts required for the bedspring armour on the turret and upper hull. http://www.pocketbond.co.uk/Product.aspx?ID=4549 Academy 1/35 M60A2 'Starship' - substantially retooled with new turret, cupola parts and link & length tracks on no less than 4 brand new injected sprues. http://www.pocketbond.co.uk/Product.aspx?ID=4634 Academy 1/72 T-50 Advanced Trainer - following on from the F-4J Phantom in the snap-together-build-from-the-box-without-glue-and-paint format is the KAI/Lockheed Martin supersonic trainer T-50 as used by the Korean Air Force. A brand new tool, with some very nice detail, and the display stand is a nice touch too. No decals in this one though, just the stickers hence the low price. http://www.pocketbond.co.uk/Product.aspx?ID=4633 Plus a whole bunch of restocked items. See our website for details.
  3. AModel, is to release two 1/72nd Beechcraft 2000 Starship kits. Ref.AMO72279 Source: http://hobbyterra.com/product/1-72-plastic-aircraft-model-kit-beechcraft-2000-starship-n82850-amodel-72279.html Ref.AMO72273 Source: http://hobbyterra.com/product/1-72-scale-aircraft-model-kit-beechcraft-2000-starship-n641se-amodel-72273.html V.P.
  4. Hi guys, this was a bit of an experiment ive been wanting to do for some time. Below is a screen grab from the Battlestar Galactica Mini Series, it shows a Battlestar similar to the Galactica hit and adrift, and it gave me an idea. I thought to myself, hmmmmm ...so, rather than posting all the photos, here is the end product, and a link to the folder with all the WIP photos for your viewing pleasure. http://s181.photobucket.com/user/chris1984_99_99/library/Battlestar%20Titanic?sort=3&page=4 I still need to get a base made for it, but I think im finished with the kit itself. Its my first time doing an explosion this way, so any words of advice or how to improve would greatly be appreciated! Thanks! Enjoy!
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