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Found 146 results

  1. Hallo Here my Takom 1/35 Merkava 1 Hybrid. Actually, the kit is fine to build. Generally I did no battlefield damage or dirt and dust. Just generally weathering. Since I know this tank myself well, I left the weathering at low scale. Happy modelling
  2. Hallo again This is my first full interior kit. So, I hope to get along. Does anybody have good sources about this recovery vehicle? I am very pleased for any information. Stay health. Happy modelling
  3. This is Takoms excellent Chieftain Mk 11, figures are from Firing Line. The only problem I had was that some parts wanted to stay on the sprue & broke when I cut them off so I had to make the headlight guards from brass rod. I figured the real things would have been kept reasonably clean but would have got mucky when on exercise. This is the look I've gone for so a little bit of chipping & no rust. Any observations & constructive criticism welcome as always. Pete
  4. Hello, I have a Takom Panther Ausf.D early/mid 2in1 set (Takom no. 2103) in my stash and I slowly prepare for building it. The set has details for early and mid versions, but it does not specify, which features go with which version. Nor does the painting schemes specify the versions. Could anyone point out the main differences between early and mid versions and what to keep in mind when going with either of these? Thanks, Kristjan
  5. Afternoon all. The time has arrived and the need to kick off the big build for 2020. All my remaining un-finished projects will be used to break up the long timeline on this new one. The beautifully moulded and detailed Takom Bergepanther Ausf A. by DEMAG This will also be the main star of my first diorama too. Not sure what the scene will be yet, so for now I'm going to start the build of the Panther. With it being a full interior one, the diorama may be a basic one to have a base to put affix it too with maybe another small vehicle and some figures. I might try and attempt also to build the actual wooden upper structure in wood to aid weathering and worn wood look in places. Have to see, and if feasible when I get that far. As if I don't have enough to do, I also have the Voyager PE set and a must for an Ausf A.......the ATAK Zimmerite........... I'll do my best to take pix as I go along, but it'll be a long slog ahead. Cheers......
  6. T-54 in syrian markings from the yom Kippur , which is the mig-ammo 1/72 kit and the 72nd maz 537 transporter by takom , both built oob and really nice kits that build up totally trouble free,built in the T-55 stgb thats just about to end at the weekend, Glynn
  7. So chaps, the next build will be something that is very dear to me, Veh reg 09EA90 ( G3 Ops) my old ride at 6th Armd Bde Salamanca Barracks in Soest West Germany. I signed for the detachment back in 1990 as a young Signaller barely just out of school, 09EA90 was straight out of base workshops after a major overhaul so it was basically a brand new wagon, the paint finish was immaculate ( sprayed black and green) , not a chip or scratch and all the kit was brand new first issue. (didn't stay like that for long) I'll be using the great Takom FV432 as the basis of this conversion which will be a in depth conversion. Most people wouldn't be able to tell a 432 and 436 apart from first glance but there are a bucket load of differences, the interior is the major headache as it filled with Radio kit. 09EA90 had a twin 353 Zulu fit along with a single 321 and a SCRAT fit. We also had 3 Ptarmigan subsets and the Redbrick TAC IC system. Adding to that I have to scratch build the new cage as the Takom cage is too small for a 436, a 1500 w Onan gene set and add the various armoured boxes on the roof plus the Racal 8m masts and mounts. After the first Gulf War our Squadron started getting the GPMG to fit on the commanders cupola, the Infantry started getting the swearing removed LSW as a section weapon so us Signallers got the GPMGs that were surplus to the Infantry. We did still have the LMG (Bren) up until that point but no mounts to fix them to the cupola. The box shot I need to find more of my photo's from the day but here are a few of 09EA90 First photo is of the Forward Headquarters 6th Armd Bde, 09EA90 (G3 Ops )on the left, centre is Radcon and the right hand side is one of the Ptarmigan Radio Relay wagon Stay tuned for more Dan
  8. On this occasion, I will dedicate myself to a Chieftain. I always liked this model, the heaviest thing that the western block could offer against the Pact, but I have never been able to do it, now I am glad I did not do it, because before the only viable kit, it was Tamiya, already surpassed with the kits today. It is my first Takom kit, and in which I have given way to more expensive models, because so far I have not overcome the € 50 barrier on any model. I hope to treat it as it deserves I have opted to choose the Mk2 version, which is the "closest" to the original Chieftain model, maybe later (depending on the result you get), get an Mk5, for example. It is obvious that the quality of the kit is very high, accustomed to more basic kits, and with less clear instructions. Although like Tamiya's, none, IMHO, the best. A great kit of a magnificent tank. Cheers to all.
  9. Hallo again This is my first car, after 30 years of modelling. A totally new field for me. To this unique car, I have a personal affection. When I was a little boy, the Austrian Post company used this truck until the end of 1960s for pulling very heavy low-bed trailer with huge cable reels. The accuracy of kit parts is amazing. Like resin on a/c kit parts. This model is from Takom. I want to show this models, as new from the workshop. Not battle used. Just minor weathering. Happy modelling
  10. Hi All, Here's the Takom Flakpanther with the twin 37mm turret. You also get a much less attractive looking 4 * 20mm option turret but I'd imagine most people will build this as at least a wooden mock up of it was produced. I can't bring myself to glue on individual track horns so went for Fruils both sides have about 1 link too many when i look at it now. Otherwise a great kit which I enjoyed immensely. Very simple "diorama" just to give it a bit of context - still struggle with faces as you can see. Would appreciate your thoughts Many Thanks David
  11. Hi friends, here you have my last build, a big project: the King Tiger from Takom. Tanks are not my preferred subject, but this one I think turns out quite well. I like specially the interior of the model. It's been difficult to me to ensemble the tracks, since this are separated and I don't know how to calculate how much of each goes for each side. I added some rifles and an MP40 in the interior and three used munitions. I'm think in sell this model... Thanks Ricardo https://flic.kr/s/aHsmHGoht5
  12. Hi guys I will be building the Tiran 4 from Takom in 1/35. Pictures will follow later. Cheers,
  13. US Army 1/4 Ton Utility Truck + trailer & MP Figure 1:35 Takom via Pocketbond First of all we all know this is a Willys Jeep, also we know Takom knows it is. However due to licencing laws no one can actually call it that on paper so we are stuck with 1/4 Ton utility vehicle! Suffice to say the Jeep was developed with input from Bantam, Willys and Ford. All three companies competed for the contract from the US Army for a utility vehicle with Willys winning. The 60hp engine in their entry helping it to win. However design features from Bantam & Ford were incorporated into the final design. Willy could not keep up with production demand for the vehicles so Ford was contracted in to mass produce them as well. Production numbers were quite staggering even by todays standards with nearly 1.5 million being built in total and supplied to all branches of the US military as well as their allies. The Kit This was a surprise from Takom. The kit arrives on Three main sprues for the Jeep, and one for the trailer. There is also the main chassis as a single part and the main jeep body. There is also a clear sprue, small sheet of PE, and a sprue for the figure. Construction starts with attaching the axles and suspension components to the chassis followed by the wheels. The multipart engine is then built up and added to the chassis, along with the transmission. Controls are added to the body and this is mounted to the chassis. At the front of the jeep the front wings are added, along with the radiator and its distinctive grill. The firewall is built up and added in, and at the rear the rear body part is added. The underseat fuel tank is placed in and the bonnet (or hood) is added. The dash and its cover are added in along with the front seats. The windscreen is added t the frame and this is installed, followed by the steering wheel. At the rear the spare wheel and spare fuel can are added. If wanted then the pintle mounted machine gun is made up and added in. The driver figure can then be added if needed. For the trailer the suspension, axle and wheels are added to the underside. The tow bar mounting is then added. The sides and mud guards are added along with the trailer front & back to complete the main body. The wheels can then be added. to finish things off. Markings There are markings provided for 4 jeeps, any colour you want as long as its Olive Drab! US Army Military Police, Czechoslovakia 1945 US Army Military Police, Berline1945 US Army Anti Aircraft unit, Germany 1945 US Marine Corps, Korea 1950 The decal sheet is printed anonymously, but is of high quality and should pse no issues. Conclusion An immediately recognisable vehicle, Highly recommended if you want a new tool Jeep Review sample courtesy of UK Distributors for
  14. PL-01 Prototype Polish Light Tank 1:35 Takom via Pocketbond The PL-01 is a prototype light Tank developed by Polish Defence firm OBRUM with support from BAe Systems. The base is the Swedish CV90 light tank. The driver gunner and commander of the vehicle are all based in the hull giving a lower turret silhouette. In addition a rear compartment can also house 4 Soldiers. Main armour is a modular ceramic-aramid shell and protection is also provided against mines and IEDs. The turret can mount either a 105, or 120mm cannon firing standard NATO ammunition. 45 rounds can be carried with 16 ready in turret with the rest in the hull. A 7.62mm machine gun is also carried in a roof mounted installation. The vehicle is intended to be equipped with the latest active protection systems, along with integrated battlefield management technology. Thermal masking and air-conditioning will also be standard, There are plans to configure the same chassis a s Command Vehicle, ARV and Mine Clearance Vehicle. The Kit This is a bit of a left field release from Takom, though it is welcome. Given the stealth nature of the vehicle there is not that many parts. In addition to the main hull parts and the turret there are the two side sponsons and 5 sprues. Two of these are for the link and length tracks, and two for the wheels. There is small clear sprue, a small PE fret and a small decal sheet. Construction begins with the lower hull as the arms for the wheels are added. Alignment can be checked with the guide later being used to build the tracks. A pair of wheels is then fitted to each arm. Driver sprockets and idler wheels are also added. The track is o the link and length variety which seems to be favoured by Takom; these are built up using the supplied jigs. There are no return rollers at the top of the track. Once the tracks are on the front fenders are added along with the rear part of the hull. A font part is also added and then the main top hull can go on and the drivers hatch attached. The large side sponsons can then go on. We then move to the turret. The roof mounted machine gun is made up. The main gun is made up and added into the turret, this is then closed up and the roof mounted gun added. The turret is then mounted to the main chassis. Markings There are minimal markings for the vehicle exhibited at the 2013 International Défense Industry Exhibition and 3 other what iff schemes, The decal sheet is printed anonymously, but is of high quality Conclusion An unusual vehicle and maybe the future of armoured warfare? Highly recommended if you want something different. Review sample courtesy of UK Distributors for
  15. Hi, After two years here it is ... early version of Panther with full interior. It is not copy of some vehlicle so it is not historical model. It was a lot of work and hope the result look fine. In future I will also add a 5 figures into interior.
  16. Hi, Takom panther project start 2 months ago, here is progress till now. Almost ready for painting.
  17. Russian Army Tank Transporter MAZ-537G Tractor w/ ChMZAP-5247G Semitrailer 1:72 Takom The MAZ-537, also known as the KZKT-537, is a military tractor unit manufactured by MAZ and KZKT between 1959 and 1990. Combined with a trailer such as the ChMZAP-5247G, it can tow loads of up to 65 tons. The tractor has been widely employed by the USSR, former USSR states and export customers in a diverse range of military and civilian roles, including tank transportation, artillery tractor and in the oil and gas industry. Powered by a 38.8 litre V12 diesel engine (with pre-heating to cope with cold climates) and drive to all eight wheels, the tractor weighs 21,600 kg. The G version is equipped with a 15 ton winch and can self-extract from adverse terrain. The vehicle has largely been superseded by the KZKT-7428 in Russian service. Takom must have something of an interest in military tractor/trailer combinations. Their range of 1:72 kits is comprised almost entirely of such subjects, including the Hanomag/V2 combo and the M1070/M1000 that we reviewed on this site but a few days ago. This kit continues the trend, but omits any kind of load to put on the trailer. No matter as the likes of Revell and Modelcollect have released lots of Soviet/Russian hardware that would be suitable for the job. Inside the relatively compact top-opening box are four frames of grey plastic, a single small clear frame, a small fret of photo etched parts, decals and a couple of piles of rubber tyres for both the tractor and the trailer. Each item is packed in its own bag for protection. The quality of moulding is clean and crisp and looks good to me. The instruction manual is much smaller than normal (just under A5 size) and although the painting diagrams are in full colour, the size of the illustrations and the decision to use a dark grey background makes them almost impossible to interpret properly. I would probably recommend you give up and find some decent photographs to work from. Construction starts with chassis and drive train of the MAZ-537. As the tractor is eight-wheel drive, there are drive shafts and differentials running the length of the central chassis. The wheels are single, solid parts which just pop into the massive balloon-like tyres. Each is then attached to a small axle sub-assembly, which in turn fits onto the side of the chassis. The whole thing is richly detailed but not overly complex. One the chassis is complete, attention turns to the cab unit. There are various details that have to be fixed to the underside of the floorpan, after which it can be flipped the right way up and fixed to the chassis. Interior detail is limited to the bench seat and a basic dashboard and steering wheel. As with their M1070 kit, the clear parts are moulded from clear polystyrene and the doors are entirely translucent, meaning some masking will be required prior to painting. I would recommend both inside and outside be painted in order to achieve a good finish. finishing touches include the rear view mirrors and tiny photo etched windscreen wipers. The ChMZAP-5247G trailer is comparatively straightforward to assemble. The chassis is basic ladder-like structure, with the upper load surface moulded in place. The road wheels fit onto two suspension bogeys, making two pairs of four wheels. As before, the wheels are separate to the rubber tyres, which will speed up painting and weathering. The spare wheels for both tractor and trailer fit onto the trailer, as do the hydraulic stabilisers. Alternative parts are provided so the latter items can be used for building the trailer in the detached configuration if desired. The painting and marking guide shows four different schemes for the tractor and trailer. The Afghan Army, Hungarian Defence Force, Iranian Army and Soviet Army are all provided for. Paint references are provided for the Ammo by Mig range of paints. Unusually, recommendations are also made for Ammo weathering products as well. As mentioned in the preamble, the painting diagrams are infuriatingly small for such a large vehicle (and no, it's not my age), so extra pictorial references will be essential. Conclusion It feels as though fans of Soviet bloc/Russian hardware are enjoying something of a golden age at the moment. Ten or so years ago, kits of subjects such as this MAZ were either non-existent or strictly limited run. Now, thanks largely to mainstream manufacturers such as Takom, Modelcollect, Revell, ICM and Zvezda, we seem to have a choice of not just MBTs, but APCs and other vehicles such as this in injected plastic. The utilitarian, almost Tonka-esque look of the big MAZ appeals to me enormously and it will look great with a soviet MBT on the back. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of UK Distributors for
  18. US Tank Transporter w/ Abrams Tank 1:72 Takom The Oshkosh M1070, coupled to the DRS Technologies M1000 semi-trailer, us the primary means by which the US Army moves its M1 Abrams main battle tank, as well as various self-propelled artillery and other heavy equipment, by road. Powered by either a huge 12 litre Detroit Diesel unit or an even huger 18 litre Caterpillar engine, the M1070 can exceed 50mph and has a range of almost 450 miles, thanks chiefly to its huge 947 litre fuel capacity. The vehicle has been a hit for Oshkosh, with almost 3,000 examples rolling off the production line, many of which have been exported to international customers such as Iraq, Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UK. The M1000 trailer, produced by Leonardo DRS, was originally developed as a private venture but has been just as successful as the M1070, with over 2600 examples ordered. Both tractor and trailer are air-transportable if you happen to have access to the C-5 Galaxy or C-17 Globemaster. The M1 Abrams is, of course, the current Main Battle Tank employed by the armed forces of the USA. Named after General Creighton Abrams, Commander of US forces in Vietnam, the Abrams entered service with the US Army in 1980, gradually replacing the M60 MBT. Since then over 9000 examples of the gas turbine-powered tank have been produced and it is now in service with the armed forces of Australia, Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia as well as the US. The M1A2 variant is an upgrade over the original M1A1, with enhanced targeting and armour capabilities. The Tank Urban Survival Kit (TUSK) is a field-installable armour upgrade that incorporates various elements such as Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA), developed in response to experience acquired during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Takom, a name more often associated with huge 1:16 scale tanks (and less huge 1:35 scale ones), have now released a handful of 1:72 scale kits. Last time around we reviewed their V2 rocket and Hanomag tractor/trailer combo. This month we've been fortunate enough to receive another tractor/trailer combo, albeit from a completely different era. The M1070 and M1000 have previously been released by Takom along with an armoured bulldozer. The Abrams was previously released by Tiger Model back in 2015. It was well-received then, not least because it was the first TUSK Abrams to be produced in braille scale. Inside the box are eight frames of grey plastic, two small clear frames, a couple of small frets of photo etched parts, decals and a dauntingly large mound of rubber tyres, most of which are for the M1000 trailer. Each item is packed in its own bag for protection. Two instruction manuals are provided; one for the tractor and trailer and a separate one for the MBT. The quality of moulding is clean and crisp and looks good to me. Construction starts with the M1070. The ladder chassis is provided as a separate part, along with the cab body. To this you have to add the suspension and drive train components, all of which are made up from several different parts. It is immediately apparent that the kit is orientated towards detail rather than speed of assembly! Each wheel is moulded in two parts, but the tyres are moulded from a rubber-like material, which will speed up painting and construction considerably. The cab includes full interior details, such as crew seats, a dashboard and steering wheel. The doors are moulded from clear plastic, which will make painting them a bit more tricky, but will at least save having to glue tiny clear parts in place. The winch system behind the cab also starts off with a separate, slide moulded base, onto which various plastic and photo etched parts are added. A ladder and a few other bits and bobs and the huge tractor is complete. The M1000 trailer is comparatively simple when compared to the M1070 tractor, but with 40 wheels and tyres to paint and assemble, construction will be an exercise in endurance. Each of the 40 wheels is made up of two parts, and for every four wheels there is an axle/suspension unit, also made up of two parts. The mechanism that links tractor to trailer is a relatively simple part and holds two spare wheels for the trailer. The loading ramps can be finished in lowered or raised position, depending on your preference. Next up is Abrams, which I guess is semi-optional if you happen to have another vehicle that you wish to display on the trailer. Interestingly, this part of the kit feels like a partial re-box as there are separate Tiger Model-branded instructions supplied and even the plastic bags used to protect the sprues are different. Construction starts with the fearsome 120mm main gun and turret. A prodigious amount of parts make up this sub-assembly, with lots of extra bits for the TUSK II equipment and photo etched detail for the turret baskets. Clear parts are provided for the commander's cupola and the various electro-optical sights, as well as the two armoured shields that protect the crew when using the 7.62mm machine guns. Turning to the running gear and lower hull, Tiger Model have opted for a variation of the modern method of recreating the tracks and road wheels, with the outer road wheels moulded onto the lower tracks, while the inner road wheels and return rollers are moulded onto the upper tracks. This approach only works because the side skirts and ERA completely cover what would otherwise be very obvious chunky plastic tabs that hold the whole thing together. The painting and marking guide shows two different schemes for the tractor and trailer: The first is an example used during Operation Iraqi Freedom, based at Camp Buehing, Kuwait, in April 2003. It is painted in overall FS33446 (desert tan); The second vehicle is painted in the standard NATO Green/Brown/Black scheme and it from the Theatre Logistics Support Centre Europe, 21st Theatre Sustainment Command, Baumholder, Germany, 2011. A separate painting diagram is provided for the Abrams, but it only shows a single example painted with Tamiya XF-59. Weirdly, the instructions for the M1070 and M1000 use Ammo colour references instead! Conclusion Bringing three high-quality models together in a set like this is always a welcome move, and with the large, plain white packaging it really does feel a cut above your average kit. Each of the models is very detailed, particularly for the scale, and have no problem standing up to scrutiny. As a trio, they have the potential to spark the imagination of modellers keen on dioramas, although the temptation to ditch the trailer and have the M1070 hauling an ICM MiG-25RB out of the desert, as per the famous photograph, is almost overwhelming. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of UK Distributors for
  19. Jagdpanther G1 Early w/Zimmerit & Schwerer Platformwagen Type SSys (2125X) Special Edition 1:35 Takom via Pocketbond Ltd. After the Nazis encountered the formidable Russian T-34, their medium tank project took a new turn to become the Panther, which proved to be one of their more successful designs and is still admired today for its technical prowess and abilities. The need for tank killers took the chassis of the Panther, removed the turret and superstructure, replacing it with a casemate and powerful high-velocity gun in a new mount with elevation and limited side to side movement that was used for fine-tuning targeting or chasing a moving target. The heavily sloped glacis extended to the roofline, giving the vehicle a sleek look that was echoed at the sides, with a vertical step down from the roof at the rear onto the engine deck. The G1 variant used the Panther A as a base, while the later models designated G2 were based up on the Panther G chassis. The same Pak 43 88mm gun was mounted, in an internally fixed mantlet initially, and later externally bolted in the G2. As with all WWII German tanks, the design was complex by comparison with the enemy's, so production was slower, which was probably just as well as it was an exceptionally capable tank, just like is turreted progenitor. The gun was virtually unstoppable by armour of the time, the engine had enough power for the task in hand, and it wasn't overweight, so the transmission could handle the power easily. If there had been more of them, they could well have had an impact, certainly slowing down the Allied advances (providing they could find fuel for them), and making gains more costly in men and materiel. Along with other tank types they were usually transported via railway on low-slung wagons due to their propensity to break down during longer road journeys and their command's desire to keep their mileage away from the battlefield low. The Kit This is a new boxing of Takom's 2019 release of the early Jagdpanther G1 with zimmerit anti-mine coating moulded into the hull and other parts. It also includes the 2014 SSys Plattformwagen from Sabre model, which as you can imagine adds extra parts to the box, requiring a little extra depth than usual. The box is white themed with a line-drawing of the combination on the front and sides plus the large green Takom logo, which immediately makes the package a little classy and shows its limited edition status off well. In case you didn't know, Sabre are another Chinese model company with a couple of these kits in 1:35 and 1:72 scale. This of course (do I really need to say it?) is the 1:35 edition. The box is bulging with sprues even though this is an exterior only kit thanks to both the detail included in the Jagdpanther kit, but also because the wagon is a pretty large tooling at this scale. Inside the box are 22 sprues for the tank, 12 sprues for the wagon, two black jig parts, two lengths of braided copper cable, a sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, two decal sheets and a thick landscape instruction booklet with colour profiles in the rear for painting and markings. The detail on the tank is excellent, especially in regard to the zimmerit coating, which is of the waffle-type and is depicted as worn with an uneven surface that is exactly as it should be. The paste was applied by hand, often by forced labour who were working against their will and didn't give a hoot about how nice their enemy's tanks looked going into battle. Sections of the zimm are missing from the surfaces where tools or other parts are attached, and if there is repetition of the effect, it's difficult to find evidence and it defeated my eyes. The paste was applied to reduce the magnetic signature of the tank's vertical(ish) surfaces in order to defeat magnetic mines that the Russians were alleged to be using, although this threat was much less than expected which is why the paste was eventually removed from the construction process. There is a slight difference in colour between the tank sprues and the wagon sprues, with the wagon having a more bluish tint, while the Takom sprues are their standard grey. Construction begins with the tank, and the lower hull is the first part to be built up. This assembly consists of the floor with lower glacis plate insert, plus the two side plates, both of which have zimmerit coating around their suspension just in case some brave/foolhardy Russian chanced his arm (literally) and shoved a mine in there. The suspension arms are next, slotting into holes in the hull and with two holes in the back of each one that cleverly ensures that they will only fit in the correct direction and at the right angle, aided by leaving the jigs in place during curing. Don't throw the jigs away yet, as they have another job to do later. The wheels are up next, and they travel in pairs to spread the vehicle's weight over the ground. These are built up with their moulded-in rubber tyres (they switched to steel rims later), the outer pairs getting made up after fitting the inner wheel behind the inner part of the pair. The final drive housing and small guide wheel that was fitted to help reduce track-throwing are added to the front of the hull and it's time for tracks! The tracks on this kit are link-and-length, and come with separate twin rows of guide-horns that are best added before you remove the track links from the sprues. The guide-horns come on their own rails that you remove en-masse and apply to the tracks in accordance with the instructions, and once dry you can remove the rail and clean up the sprue-gates. Each of the track links are then cut from the sprues, with only one gate per link making that task fairly quick. Before you can make up the track runs, you need to construct the idler wheels and drive sprockets, with a choice of two types of drive sprocket. The reason for making these now is so that they can be slipped onto the spindles on the jigs to build up the tracks including the independent links around the more curved areas, and the longer lengths on the tops and bottoms. The lower section are shown added after they are fitted to the wheels, which will be most useful to paint them separately then glue them in place after. The final outer wheel from the rear station is fitted into place along with the idler-wheel tensioner and a small collar around the drive sprocket axle to complete the job. With the tracks out of the way, the sponson floors are added to the sides of the lower hull, and the rear bulkhead with complex exhausts is made up, noting that the instructions don't show the zimmerit coating on any of the parts but it is there on the sprues. The stowage boxes on the rear of the tank are coated with zimmerit, as is the bulkhead, while the cast exhaust armour and the tubes themselves aren't coated, although the armour has a nice casting texture moulded-in that helps with the realism. When it is fitted at the rear a pair of towing shackles are glued to the rear extremity and attention turns to the upper hull and casemate. It is worth stating again here that the moulding of the zimmerit on the hull is excellent, and the first act involves adding all the pioneer tools and the track racks to the sides, using a few extra links from the track sprues. The interior of the upper glacis plate is laminated to the outer layer, with the bow-mounted machine gun trapped between them, the zimmerited domed kugelblende, periscope and the inner mantlet moulding all fitted from the outside. The inner mantlet has cast texture included, as does the saukopf that fits at the base of the barrel later, but first the full breech is made up from a substantial number of parts, including compensators, sighting gear and crew seats, which isn't half bad for an exterior kit. The completed breech is fitted from the inside and linked to the barrel, which passes through the aforementioned saukopf, with a choice of two muzzle-brake styles, one large, the other small. Each one has a baffle and end-cap fitted before installation for extra detail. With that the upper hull and lower hull can be joined, and the engine compartment frame fitted to the aft deck in anticipation of the heavy cast louvered parts that are covered with PE mesh grilles to keep grenades and debris out. The front fenders are covered in zimmerit and are fitted to the front along with their headlight, and a long frame and hangers is run down the sides for the schürzen that will be fitted later. Firstly, the casemate roof is assembled, with numerous hatches, periscopes, vents and it's then placed on the roof with the addition of a bit of glue. The shürzen panels are supplied in complete runs, one for each side and they have their edges thinned to give a more accurate look, however if you want to depict them damaged you'll need to either mangle the plastic parts or replace them with thinner material such as brass or thin styrene (aftermarket being the easiest way). Following this the engine deck is filled in with the round louvers and their grilles, plus the large engine hatch with its smaller inner inspection cover complete with mushroom vents on the tops. The rear of the casemate is the last of the hull plates to be added, and this has a drop-down hatch in the centre, stowage box on the left and shell-ejection port on the right with an aerial mount above it. The final act is to cut two lengths of braided wire and attach them to the towing eyes, then fit them to the deck using the small hooks supplied. Schwerer Plattformwagen SSys Moulded in a shinier plastic, this portion of the build begins with the flatbed, which comprises four sections and is best laid flat during curing of the glue to ensure a level bed later. If you are planning on choosing the option of using the upstands along the sides of the bed, you'll need to remove the flashed over points that are picked out in the first step, and you'll probably also want some narrow chain to string between them, as I think that was sometimes the case. With the glue on the bed cured, four longitudinal C-profile ribs are fitted, then seven lateral cross-beams and some smaller ones at angles toward each end. Then the large weight-bearing tapering beams are run along each side, made up from two parts that butt up against each other. Two box section pivots are made up from flat parts, and the sides of each of the two bogies are fitted out with bearings and leaf suspension (four in total), with brake-blocks installed on the inner faces using scrap diagrams to get the position right. The sides are spaced apart by the box section and additional rods are attached between the brake block mechanism, cut to length as required. The wheels are made up on their axles and are also suspended between the sides, the additional bracing girders are attached around the bogie to stiffen the assembly. When complete, these mate with pivot points under the bed assembly, and can be glued in place or left to pivot. The bogies are finished off with buffers, pneumatic brake hoses and a nicely detailed hitch, with a few small parts added to the sides of the bed. Happily, you also get a set of tracks to sit your wagon on, with enough track to sit under the wagon, and some linking plates in case you've decided to get some more track or have another wagon up your sleeve. There are 18 sleepers/ties and two lengths of rail a shade over 30cm/12" in length, and while the rail on my sprues were a little bowed at one end, attaching the sleepers and fixing them to a base will bring the rails back into alignment. The sleepers are shown with a 10mm gap between them, and you thread the rails through their cleats from one end to the other. Markings There are six markings options for the tank with varying camo scheme on a dark yellow base, one of which is straight dunkelgelb without any camo. The profiles are five-view to give you every side of the patterns, and the colours called out using Mig AMMO shades, as they were also involved in the artwork. Decals are printed anonymously with good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Yes - those profile backgrounds are all different colours. The wagon decals are printed by Sabre with a copyright of 2014. They are all white, so there's no registration to worry about, but they appear sharp and dense with plenty of stencils along the main beams of the bed with a few more on the bogies. Conclusion The Jagdpanther on its own is a great kit with superior detail, and added to the Sabre Plattformwagen it really lends itself to a transport diorama just by the addition of some groundwork and ballast, with maybe a few figures to add a sense of scale. This has me itching to build it, although at the moment I'm trying to finish at least one project before I start another. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of UK Distributors for
  20. M46 Patton US Medium Tank 1:35 Takom via Pocketbond Despite his insistence that the US Forces didn't require a heavier tank toward the close of WWII, which resulted in the delay of the capable Pershing tank, so that it barely made any difference the final few months of the war, the US Army seem fond of naming tanks after this flamboyant General. The M46 was developed after the shortcomings of the M26 Pershings were determined after WWII. Initially called the M26E2 it was decided the new tank had so many deviations from the M26 it needed its own designation. 1160 were built. The only US combat use of the M46 was in Korea. The only use of the tanks outside the US would be small numbers sent to those countries who would get the later M47 in order for crew training. The Kit Takom seem to want to give us all the variants of the Patton and this is no bad thing. The kit arrives in a standard top-opening box, and inside are seven sprues and three separate parts in mid-grey styrene, a small clear sprue, two khaki coloured track jigs, a small decal sheet and of course the instruction booklet with painting guide on the insides of the glossy cover. Beginning construction involves adding the various suspension parts, using the track jigs to line up all the swing-arms, and creating 14 pairs of road wheels, plus two drive sprockets. The jigs can then be used to create the track runs, which are link-and-length, by installing the idler and drive sprockets temporarily in the jig and lining up the parts of the track with small bars that ensure correct position when dry. The whole assembly can then be lifted off once the glue is dry to install the road wheels and tracks in your preferred order of construction and painting. The upper hull is made up primarily from a single slab with moulded-in engine deck louvres and the sleek cast glacis plate, which has subtle casting texture to its surface. The bow-mounted gun, lifting eyes and towing shackles are added along with the D-shaped front hatches and their periscope, finished off with the light clusters and their protective framing. Shackles, vents, towing eyes added to the rear, and then the two fenders are built up away from the hull, with stowage, pioneer tools, exhaust boxes with shrouds added to both before being attached into long slots with matching tabs in the now complete hull. The turret also has the casting texture moulded-in, which will need a little fettling around the top-bottom join, paying careful attention to your references so that you don't make it too neat and tidy. In fact, it could do with a little sharpening at the bottom edge, with an almost vertical torch-cut pattern where the area has been "tidied" up, and I use that term very loosely. The casting details are nicely embossed on the bustle, and should escape any damage if you are careful when cleaning up/texturing the joint. A functional pivot for the gun is fitted inside the lower half before closure, and if left unglued will enable the gun to be posed after completion, although there is no damping in the shape of poly-caps, so it might need gluing later to prevent droop. The hatches are added, with an M2 derivative machine gun on a simple pintle-mount next to the loaders hatch. Two barrels for the main gun are supplied, depending on whether you will be fitting the canvas mantlet cover or not. Without it, the barrel is a single moulding, with a choice of muzzle types, while with the styrene cover the barrel is split vertically but uses the same muzzle brakes. The searchlight mounted over the gun is then built up and installed. Grab handles and tie-down points, and spare track links are fitted to the sides of the turret, plus smoke dischargers, and then it's just a case of twisting the turret into its bayonet fitting, and you're finished. Markings There are nine marking options from the box, and the profiles have been done in conjunction with Mig Jiménez's company AMMO, so the colour codes are theirs, although you also get the colour names, so conversion to your favourite brand will be relatively easy should you need to. Tank No. 5 of C Company, 6th Tank Battalion, 24th Infantry Division, Korea March 1951. Tank No. 3 of C Company, 6th Tank Battalion, 24th Infantry Division, Korea March 1951. B Company, 73rd Heavy Tank Battalion, Korea 1951. 64th Tank Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division, Korea 1951. E Company, 2nd Medium Tank Battalion, 40th Armour, 7th Infantry Division, Korea 1955. D Company, 1st Marine Tank Battalion, Korea 1952. C Company, 1st Marine Tank Battalion, Korea 1952. Tank 53, Tank Platoon, 5th Marine Regiment, Korea 1952. 64th Tank Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division, Chorwan, Korea, 1953. The decal sheet is printed anonymously, but is of high quality so could be by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion Not everyone likes link-and-length tracks, but otherwise this should appeal to many modellers, with plenty of relatively unusual schemes to choose from. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of UK Distributors for
  21. King Tiger Sd.Kfz.182 Henschel Turret with Zimmerit – Full Interior (2045) 1:35 Takom via Pocketbond Hitler, and therefore Nazi Germany was obsessed with bigger which they equated with better, and this was reflected in almost every aspect of arms production in the run-up to, and throughout World War II. After the Panzer IV had been matched by Allied designs, the Tiger addressed the balance back in their favour, becoming the most feared combatant from any force, despite several draw-backs of its design, such as a weak transmission, and a level of complexity that meant it was slow to manufacture, prone to break-downs and expensive to repair. Expecting the Allies to bring heavier tanks to the field before too long, the King Tiger, Tiger II, or Königstiger as the Sd.Kfz.182 was known came into existence, having begun development even before the war started. Porsche's ground-breaking and complex design was unsuccessful for this reason, while the Henschel proposal was taken forward to production, using the same underpowered Maybach engine that was barely adequate for the Tiger I, and taking on the sloped armour of the successful Panther to significantly increase the effective thickness of the armour whilst keeping weight down to a staggering 70 tonnes. The initial turrets had curved surfaces that were difficult to manufacture, and a redesign was necessary to cure this and remove the shot-trap under the mantlet, with the new design being known today as the Henschel turret, while the old design became the Porsche turret, although both were designed by Krupps. A weak transmission design, coupled with the underpowered engine ensured that many vehicles broke down in the field, and plans were in progress to improve both aspects with fuel-injection and a new drive-train, but were curtailed by the end of the war. Most of the initial order of 1,500 units were built under difficult circumstances due to bombing of the factories and the encroaching Allied forces, and despite its problems it became one of the icons of German tank design of WWII, with a number surviving to be placed in museums, with some still running. The Kit We have had a few King Tiger (KT) kits in 1:35 over the years, but nothing new for quite a while, and at times the preferred brands have been hard to come by with prices reaching silly levels on eBay. Takom's new range of KT kits aims to provide a full set of these imposing tanks, with and without Zimmerit anti-mine coating, with Henschel and Porsche turrets, and with or without interiors. This should cater for almost every possibility, and if you like your tanks buttoned up, you won't be wasting the interior if you buy wisely. If you're unfamiliar with Zimmerit, it was a paste containing sawdust that was applied at the factory beginning in December 1943 and ending in September 1944, designed to prevent magnetic mines from sticking to the sides of tanks. It was applied in a number of different patterns, but was mostly seen in short horizontal ridges as depicted on this kit. Late war production eschewed this protection to speed production and remove the danger of fire hazard, the latter turning out to be false. This is a complete new tooling from Takom, and the first to feature a full interior from the box in this scale, although more new KT kits are on the way shortly. The box shows the tank cut in half to show off the interior, on a white background, and has deep sides to accommodate the contents, although my box didn't survive shipping very well and will need a bit of repair. Inspecting the parts shows that the Zimmerit coating has been well-done, showing individual tooling marks for each indent and "crowding" of the marks around raised areas on the mantlet and rear bulkhead, meaning that someone has spent a lot of time researching and producing this aspect, rather than just copy-paste (excuse the pun) of blocks of texture onto the CAD designs. The weld seams have all been reproduced too, and the skin has been quoted as being of scale-thickness to accurately depict the interior size. This has been done by laminating parts around the hull, rather than risk sink marks on the delicate Zimmerit texture. The interior has been faithfully reproduced within the limits of injection moulding too, and really does beg you to leave open as many hatches as possible so that all the detail isn't lost to darkness. There are bound to be some modellers tempted to do a partial cut-away to expose yet more of the detail, and I'm sorely tempted myself, but will probably chicken out eventually. Inside the box are a lot of sprues, taking up almost all the available space. There are fifteen sprues, two hull parts and upper turret in a grey styrene, one sprue of clear parts, two sheets of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, two decal sheets, and three bags of tracks, with one each for the tracks and their links, plus another for spare links for the turret sides. The instruction guide is in the by-now-familiar Takom format, in landscape A4, with glossy cover and painting instructions to the rear. A separate interior painting guide is provided that works for either turret design, with labels showing which is which. Construction begins with the whe… No, the hull, actually. The lower hull is decorated with cross-members internally, the final-drive housings at the front, and along the interior sides inserts add all the extra detail as well as scale armour thickness that will be visible around the interior parts. Torsion bar bearings are added across the hull in long lines, which receive the two-part axle/torsion-bar combination later on. Various internal equipment enclosures and fuel tanks are added to floor, along with the driver's controls. Even the lower escape hatch is depicted, and has handles and locking wheel added before it is installed in the front floor. The road wheels are built into pairs and attached to the axles, with long bearings on the inner sets and short ones on the outer, so that they all line up. The driver's seat is a complex arrangement that is attached to the floor, with the final drive unit to its right, supplying the motive power to the two bell-housings and drive-sprockets. It also includes the steering column, with a quadrant style wheel on the left. The rear firewall of the crew compartment is then detailed and added at around two-thirds of the way back, creating the engine compartment with drive-shafts and transfer boxes reaching from the bulkhead to the rear of the final drive housing. The engine compartment is split longitudinally into three main compartment, with the power-pack in the central section, a radiator bath with fans on either side, and a pair of slope-sides fuel tanks using up the space over the rear wheels inside the sponsons. Each section is separated by bulkheads, which are inserted before the engine is built up from a large number of parts over a couple of pages of the instructions, with colour call-outs on the interior painting guide. Add some wiring, some grease and grime, and it should look superb. Additional hoses, panels and a final centrally mounted fuel tank are added behind the engine, all of which were interlinked to allow the driver to select where to draw the fuel from, and were even filled centrally from the rear filler cap. Parts of the hosing are included for good measure, although some is hidden from view. The two radiator housings are identical, and are topped off with a fan each, with another fuel tank outboard, as previously mentioned. A tread-plated panel with a large circular cut-out for the turret base is added to the aft of the crew compartment, along with a webbing across the forward section of the area, with ten machine-gun ammo bags attached ready for the bow gunner's use. All of the space over the sponsons is then filled with ammunition storage, which is represented by four trapezoid packs of shells in racks, which are built up from two or three layers of shells moulded to their racks, with PE percussion bases for each one. At this point all the lower hull parts are completed, with only the parts attached to the inside of the upper hull left to install, so that's where we go next. The upper hull has a separate panel including the driver and gunner's hatch, which fits into the hull along a fairly prominent panel line on the real thing. The edges of the insert are recessed and have recessed bolt-holes to allow the modeller to leave it off, or loose to show off the interior. Its underside has detail too, and a few raised ejector pin marks that are near some rivet lines, but away from much of the detail. The underside of the upper hull has some recessed ejector pin marks too, which will need filling level if you are serious about the realism of the interior, which will also behove you to remove the product code from the ceiling to the right of the insert. A selection of pioneer tools are included for attachment to the outer hull sides, and these have been supplied with little PE clasps that you bend into a U-shape to replace the kit lugs to better mimic the latches used by the Germans in WWII. These could have been done completely in PE, but would probably have alienated most purchasers, as they are notoriously tricky to complete, so this is a good compromise that promotes their use, while leaving the PE averse to use the plastic option rather than cut the lugs off. The engine deck is also separate from the upper hull, to allow for the subtle differences between production runs, whilst squeezing the maximum detail out of the area. The central armoured section has a large access panel with two mushroom vents in the centre, and this can be removed entirely (requiring a hoist for the real thing), or the inner section hinged open to reveal some of the detail of the engine. The radiator housing covers both have the circular armoured vent that is covered with a PE mesh guard, plus the two intake ducts, which are also covered over with PE mesh panels, but the right panel holds the extinguisher cartridge, while the left has the wire/bolt cutters lashed to it with another optional PE clasp. These covers hinge toward the centre, and have the hinge-notches laid out to allow them to be posed open or closed to further increase the detail on show just for the hell of it, or for diorama purposes. The array of towing cables are supplied as moulded parts with the barrel-cleaning rods moulded-in, which is perhaps a little retrograde in terms of detail, but makes the job of fitting them a lot easier, and with some sympathetic painting, they should look just as good as braided wire or cord. Flipping the upper hull over, the glacis plate is thickened to scale with an insert that has the kügelblende aperture moulded in, and the side armour is scaled by adding another insert on each side. Externally, the kügelblende's ball-mount is inserted from outside, then covered with a two-part armoured dome, which has the Zimmerit coating moulded into its surface, giving it a faceted look. The sides of the upper hull are coated entirely with Zimmerit patterning, which extends under the side skirt mounting points, which I have seen described as wrong, but after a little research, it appears that it was sometimes done at the factory, although never (or seldom) on the side skirts themselves. These were mounted by paired brackets on the hull, which are present in the moulding, in case you wanted to remove any or all the panels, and the skirts are provided as single parts from each side, with recesses in the back to accommodate the brackets without any cutting. Although moulded from styrene, the skirts have been given a very nice slender edge by chamfering the mould, the trick of which would only be exposed if you decided to remove any sections, or elected to inflict damage to the panels, as was frequently seen. If you intend the former, trimming the thickness at the breaks between panels will see you right, but the latter is probably better done using an aftermarket PE set to obtain the best scale thickness and ruggedness of the metal parts. Inside the upper hull the bow machine gun is installed with a pair of ammo bags of the kind attached to the bulkhead (and the rear of the turret ring too), and the raise/swivel mechanism for the hatch openers are also made up and inserted under the hinge-point on the deck. The front fenders attach to lugs moulded into the upper hull, and have the same chamfered edge to fool the eye into thinking they're thinner than they are. They are attached and have three small PE jointing parts locking them to the sloped edge of the side-skirt, and between them is fitted the single headlight and bracket with a styrene part portraying the wire coming from a small armoured gland on the front of the deck. Two armoured covers for the vision blocks are added to the tops of the driver's rotating periscope and the bow-gunner's fixed 'scope to finish off the upper hull. Tracks can be pretty tedious to put together, and if you ask different modellers, rubber-band, individual link, link-and-length, or full metal workable track links are the only way to travel. Speaking personally, it's only rubber-band tracks that grate on my nerves, as they merely bend around the end-of-run, and you don't get that faceted look that is present on many of the real things. In this kit you get individual links in two bags, as each track link is made from two sections that interlink. They are also handed, and only go on the sprockets one way – fact that isn't mentioned in the instructions, which also omits the number of links you'll need to make a complete run for each side. 96 of each type are included in the bags, so it's a fair bet that it's around 45 pairs per side. Gluing up the tracks into a run using liquid glue along a straight-edge and then wrapping them around the wheels and fixing them in place will usually result in a good finish, but if you want to paint them off the vehicle, it might be as well to build them in two sections so they can be removed. That's up to you of course! Each link has four very small ejector pin marks on the interior surface, which can be buffed off in seconds with a sanding stick, although you'll need a skinny one for the mark between the two guide-horns. Equally, you could just slather the tracks with some muck to hide these from view and forget all about them! With the tracks on, the upper hull is joined to the lower, and the front of the lower hull receives the big armoured plate-ends and final drive protection that incorporates the towing eye holes, with the towing shackles clipping over the holes and giving the impression of the real thing. RB Productions do a lovely set of brass shackles to upgrade the look here if you feel inclined. The rear bulkhead is detailed with the armoured access panels, the C-shaped track tools and jack-block, plus a multi-part jack that fits on long brackets at the bottom of the bulkhead. The exhausts are two parts each, and have hollow tips, but you will need to hide the seamline after gluing, which are then covered by large cast armoured shrouds with separate lifting lugs on their sides. The rear mudguards butt-fit on the bulkhead against the hinge-detail that is moulded into the panel, and the whole assembly is glued to the rear of the hull, being careful to line up the exhaust pipes with the holes in the bulkhead, which also has a couple of ejector pin marks to fill while we're there. Another pair of shackles clip over the holes in the aft of the side armour, and we finally get to the fun part. Who doesn't like a big turret? With a separate roof making removal of the (sadly necessary) ejector pin marks easier, they will be the first task, followed by mating the roof with the side shell and the front. Inside are a number of items such as the fume extractor, periscopes, extinguisher and the interior portion of the commander's cupola, plus the gunner's hatch with optional open or closed positions of the ram that controls its movement achieved by swapping parts, as per the scrap diagram. The large rear hatch was partly for escaping a doomed tank, but was also the only way of extracting the big 88mm gun without dismantling the turret. This version has the pistol port, and attaches to the rear of the turret by two large armoured covers that allow it to hinge down flat to the deck for ease of exit. On the roof the various mushroom vents, shell cartridge ejection port and lifting lugs are all glued in place along with all the track hangers on the turret sides, which fit on little pips moulded into the Zimmerit finish. The topside of the cupola is built up with the covered vision blocks and a mount for the commander's machine-gun, with the lift/rotate hatch fitting neatly in the centre, while the gunner has to slum it with his simple opening hatch as described earlier. The spare track links are bagged separately, but I can see no discernible difference between them and the tracks themselves, so I guess someone put them in as a last minute addition? With most builds, the turret would be almost finished, but with a full interior, the basket, breech and sighting gear are required, and these are built up on a circular base that fits into the bottom of the turret, with a serious amount of detail and plenty of parts making for a good looking assembly. You will need to curve a few PE panels around the inside of the turret aperture, but that's not outwith the bounds of the skills of most modellers, and leaving them off may be noticed. If you've not rolled PE before and don't have suitable tools, just fold up a piece of kitchen roll, place the PE on that and use a cylinder of some kind (pen barrel or X-Acto knife handle) to apply pressure as you roll it over the part gently. Keep testing the fit, and stop when you get there. The glue will hold the parts in place from thereon in, just remember to use Super Glue (CA). The bustle contains a pair of ready-ammo racks with 11 shells on each side of the access-way, which are supplied in the same style as the shells in the lower hull. The finished assemblies fit to panels that mate with the turret floor, and again there are PE bases to each one. The long-barrel Krupp 88mm KwK 43 L/71 was considerably longer than that mounted on the Tiger I, and could propel the shell significantly faster due to the new design, increasing its penetrating power immensely with the new Armour Piercing (AP) shells that were designed for it. Typically, the KT carried a mix of AP and High Explosive (HE), and this is accommodated on the second decal sheet, which includes the correct stencilling and painting guides. The full breech is depicted, and the part count is high, as you'd expect, with the completed assembly fitting unglued between two supports that attach to the floor of the turret to enable it to elevate once completed. With the breech fitted and the glue cured, the upper turret is slipped over the end of the breech and glued together, the circular mantlet is built up from three sections, and the one-piece barrel are both then glued to the breech, with the three-part muzzle brake added to the end of the solid barrel to give it a hollow tip. Before the turret is dropped into place on the hull, a pair of PE mesh panels are added to plastic frames and applied to the front of the engine deck. The turret is just drop-fit, so remember this when you're handling the finished model. Markings You get two options in the box, and of course the decal sheet is small – this is an armour kit afterall. Registration, colour density and sharpness are all good though, and from the box you can build one of the following: Tiger II Ausf.B, 3./s.H.Pz.Abt.503, No.301 Mailly De Camp, France, July 1944. Tiger II Henschel s.H.Pz.Abt.503, No.233 Budapest 1944. Both are painted in Dunkelgelb, Olivegrun and shokoladebraun camouflage but in different patterns, and the colour call-outs are in Mig AMMO, who also drew the profiles, with small advertisements to the sides showing the new paint sets that Takom and AMMO have collaborated on to coincide with this release. We've got a couple of sets in for review, so watch out for that in due course. The second sheet of decals contains stencils for the many shells, the driver's instruments and even the red cross for the first-aid box, all of which are small details that improve the look of any model. Conclusion This is a very nice kit of the lumbering pinnacle of German WWII armour, and there have been some nice examples of attention to detail and careful tooling of the moulds to improve or preserve detail. The full interior is well worth the additional effort, and despite my initial concerns that none of it would be seen, there are plenty of opportunities to leave various panels off that will allow you almost full access without cutting into the model. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of UK Distributors for
  22. Stratenwerth 16T Strabokran & Vidalwagen with V-2 Rocket (2123) 1:35 Takom via Pocketbond The V2 rocket was way ahead of its time and was the world's first ballistic missile designed by a team led by Werner Von Braun, who was later captured by the Americans and became the driving force behind the Apollo programme. The rocket weighed in at over 12 tonnes, so handling it was a task for large equipment that was designed specifically for the task. Due to its short range it was necessary to launch them close to the Channel in order to reach London, so mobile carriers/erectors were designed by Hanomag, and Takom have already kitted this as number (kit #2030). A handling trolley was made to carry the rockets shorter distances behind a lorry (without the erection/launch capability) and was known as a Vidalwagen, with a 16 tonne gantry crane called the Strabokran that could be dismantled or erected in an hour by a team of 10 men. This combination of equipment permitted the rockets to be launched from ad hoc sites and allowed the crews to leave the area before any retribution from the Allies could be attempted. Of course the advancing Allies eventually put paid to their mobile launches as the front line went past the V-2's ultimate range, and the RAF's carpet bombing of their permanent launch facility La Coupole in France before it could be brought into service. The final V-2 was launched on 27th of March 1945, and once the factories were over-run the missiles and their equipment were hoovered up by the Allies, including the British with real examples of this kit stashed away in warehouses by the RAF Museum. The Kit This is a new offering from Takom that is a bringing together of previous releases in a new box. The V-2 was originally released some time ago and has been included in other boxing, as has the Vidalwagen. Finally the 16T Strabokran was originally released as a tank related kit (sometimes boxed with a Panther kit), because the same crane was used by the Wehrmacht as by the V-2 crews. Overall, it's an interesting combination of parts that you can now buy in one box, which suits me nicely. I like V-2s. Not what they were used to do, but the technology. The kit arrives in a standard Takom top-opener box and inside are 17 sprues in grey styrene, two bags containing 6 and 8 black rubberised tyres, a bag of copper chain, two decal sheets, two Photo-Etch (PE) sheets and two long lengths of thin and thicker braided cord. There are two main instruction booklets, plus a separate sheet to show how the V-2 is suspended from the crane, and if you have any other boxings you'll possibly be familiar with them. One booklet is entitled "Hanomag SS100/V-2/Vidalwagen", but the SS100 related pages have been removed. The Strabokran instruction booklet is separate and was available separately initially, so no changes there. Even though I have stood beside a full-size V-2 at Cosford, the size of it in the box is impressive at around 38cm (15") even without the very tip of the nose cone and the fins. Detail is what we've come to expect from Takom with many rivets and panel lines on the rocket, and well moulded framework for the trailer and crane plus all the extras that are sometimes left out of other models, such as the cord, PE and chain. Construction begins with whatever you fancy really, as there are three main elements to this kit, and you can arrange them however you like. Make your choice and build them up in the order you see fit, and try to resist the urge to put a huge diorama together than includes a Hanomag SS100 and another V-2. We'll start with the rocket and its trailer, as that's the fun part and there's no messing about with cockpits and gear bays so it should go together pretty quickly. The trailer is first for consideration, and is a simple tubular framed chassis with a fixed rear axle and a pivoting front axle with towing hitch leading the front wheels. It begins with a triple towing tube that has a central shock-absorber between it and the towing vehicle, with the twin leaf-springs either side of the front axle and one wheel per side, which are made up from a two-part hub slipped from either side into a flexible plastic tyre. There is also a collar inside the central cap that allows the wheel to rotate on the axle, so take care with the glue at this point. The rear is made up from a shallow A-frame that has a tubular "bumper" around it to protect the rocket's fins from damage, and this has the two cradles fitted to its topside, and more bracing tubes added all around before adding the rear axle and damper onto two more leaf-springs with dual wheels on each side. This is attached to the bottom of the rear frame along with the towing arm and front axle to finish it off. The rocket is made up from two parts that make up the pointy end and the majority of the body, with a one piece ring between it and the lower portion where the fairings for the fins are found, which are again made up from two halves. The exhaust chamber is fitted into the lower end of the rear with some small vents on the exterior, with the graphite steering vanes added in the path of the exhaust. The fins are joined to the fairings via a pair of tabs and slots and the three sections are brought together, plus some tiny little fasteners are added to the nose section equipment bay then tipped with a separate part to get the desired point. To join the rocket to the trailer, a few small parts are added to the sides of the rocket and a pair of PE straps are used to tie it down, with plastic parts representing the ratchet mechanisms used to tighten the bands. The last diagram isn't necessary but shows the trailer being hitched to an SS100 as per the original kit these instructions came from. The Strabokran has its own instructions, and construction of this element begins with the horizontal box-section that contains the shuttle from which the jib hangs. This is moved from side-to-side by pulling on the chain loops at the end, and another hanging chain allows the hook to be raised and lowered. This is built up in much the same manner as the real thing, with the sides fitted with end-plates, bobbins and pulleys, and an electric motor at one end. The shuttle runs along rails and is moved by being incorporated into two loops of chain that wrap around pulleys at each end, and after insertion the top section of the gantry is fitted in place with a plate over the pulleys and motor to protect them from the weather and falling debris. The legs to the crane are based upon large bogies that have twin wheels at each end and when in position they are jacked up on legs to prevent slippage. The bogies and upstands are made up and joined together to make an inverted T-shape, the height of which can be adjusted on the real thing using the gears, pulleys and cables within the structure. They can also be flat-packed for towing, so make your selection early in the build, and cross out the steps you won't need to follow to avoid mistakes. The structure is built up much like the real thing with the cable substituted with cord and scrap diagrams showing the layout. You will have to take your time over this process to ensure you make no mistakes, but the result should be well worth the effort. An axle is attached under the bogie and the twin wheels are fitted to each end, then the jacks are added to the holes in the ends of the bogie. You'll need one for each side, so repeat until you have two of whichever flavour (up or down) you have chosen. The erected legs have some small parts added before completion, while the two packed legs have the towing arm added to one, and a couple of braces fitted under the rearmost section, then glued to the circular attachment points under the gantry. The process for the erected crane is similar but for the height off the ground when finished! Because the Strabokran wasn't originally released with V-2s in mind, there is a separate sheet of instructions that show how the cradle is built and attached to the lashing points on the missile, with cord, lifting eyes and PE straps included, and a final drawing showing the cradle fitted to the rocket and how this attaches to the crane. Markings The painting and decaling instructions are found at the back of each booklet of this kit, and you can bet your boots that the rockets are all painted the prototypical black and white chequered pattern, while the Strabokran can be painted dark yellow, green or camouflaged in both colours, and the Vidalwagen is either panzer grey or dark yellow. The decal sheets are miniscule and are printed mostly in black and white with a couple of red stencils for the rocket, and as such registration, clarity and sharpness are more than adequate for the task. Be warned – decaling won't take long! Conclusion Sure it's not new plastic, but if you're interested in the V-2 then it's a nice way of displaying one in a slightly different manner than usual, either leaving the factory or being transferred from one carrier to another for launch or transport. Detail is good, and as long as you take care with cabling and chaining up the Strabokran, you'll end up with an excellent replica. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of UK Distributors for
  23. Hello everyone, Here's my third model completion for the year, Takom's T-55AM2B built mostly OOB as a vehicle of the East German Army. Paints used were Colourcoats ARG05 Olivgrun (RAL 6003) for the base colour with Humbrol 67 Tank Grey for the rubber portions of the skirts whilst 53 Gunmetal, 110 Wood Brown and 201 Metallic Black (lenses) were used for the details. Tracks were done using Humbrol 170 Track colour over a Revell 9 Anthracite Grey base, then dry brushed with Humbrol 270003 Polished Steel and 53 Gunmetal. Weathering was done with Humbrol 29 Dark Earth, 32 Dark Grey and 93 Desert Yellow. Apart from the Tamiya primer coat, which was sprayed, it's all done using a brush! The only changes I made to the kit were replacing the kit tow cables for Karaya items and using Mark 1 decals for the NVA insignia. Here's the model alongside the Takom T-55AM I completed two years ago: I find it interesting to see the differences between between Soviet and Czechoslovak produced vehicles as well as the original Soviet upgrade for the T-55 and the Czech-based one the East Germans used. Comments and feedback welcome, Mike.
  24. Hello friends, some picrures of my last building, i hope you like
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