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James H

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  1. 1/32 Tempest Mk.V “HI-TECH” Special Hobby Catalogue # SH32052 Available from Special Hobby for 79,90€ Unlike Spitfire development, where even major airframe revisions saw the type keep its original name, Hawker’s Typhoon project was different. The Typhoon wasn’t without its problems, such as a seemingly unstoppable leaking of carbon monoxide gas into the cockpit, and of course that tail unit which had broken away completely on some aircraft, ending with a series of reinforcement straps that were designed as a simple fix for this. Like the Hurricane, the Typhoon also had a thick wing section that provided the machine with enough space for heavy armament, fuel tanks and resulted in a steady gun platform that could be used for low-level operations. Unfortunately, the thick wing was responsible for high levels of drag that slowed the aircraft at certain altitudes, and affected climb rates. To fix these problems needed a number of radical solutions which resulted in Sydney Camm and his team taking the Typhoon literally back to the drawing board. The resulting aircraft was sufficiently different enough to the Typhoon, as to eventually merit a name change, and in keeping with Hawker’s use of severe storm condition names for its range of fighters, ‘Tempest’ was chosen. Originally, the type was to have been called Typhoon II. Six prototypes were built, using different engines, resulting in not just the large-intake Typhoon style machine being built, but also a radial machine and a sleek-cowl Griffon-engine Tempest. Other variables including bubble canopy and car-door style canopy (á la early Typhoon), were included. The small tail fin surface of the prototype machines was eventually enlarged too, and the recognisable filleted fin introduced into production machines, as well as the wider span horizontal tail-plane that was seen on later versions of the Typhoon. A wider track landing gear helped with higher landing speeds. What made the Tempest radically different to the Typhoon was the design of a sleeker, laminar flow wing that was designed by NACA in the USA, and implemented on the new Mustang design. The Tempest Mk.V, which is the subject of this kit release, was fitted with a Napier Sabre IIa/b liquid-cooled H-24 sleeve-valve engine, and had wingspan of 41ft, length of 33ft 8in, and a maximum speed of between 432 and 435mph at 19,000ft. Armament was typically Mk.II/V Hispano cannon (x4), and rockets and bombs could be carried externally, as could droptanks for increased range/operational time. The Tempest went through various incarnations, and the later Sea Fury was a development of this, through the Tempest II family, retaining the later Bristol Centaurus engine. The Kit It really does seem like a long, long time since Special Hobby announced their Tempest kit. Of all the comments I’ve been reading online, and from people I know, this does appear to be a highly anticipated release, and offering the modeller an alternative to the PCM kit that was released in 2013. Currently, the PCM kit isn’t really showing up as available from various retailers. When Special Hobby said they would send me a copy of their new kit, I knew I would be in for some enjoyable hours rifling through the box and writing an article. Remember, I’m not generally looking at accuracy here, as this is an out-of-box appraisal that will look at details, possibilities, engineering, options and quality. Special Hobby’s Tempest kit is packed into quite a large, standard type box with a removable lid (take note, Revell!), and adorned with a classy artwork of a V1 being taken down by a victorious machine, piloted by Wing Commander Roland Prosper Beamont. Of course, this is one of the FIVE scheme options provided, and the only one that carries the D-Day invasion stripes. No other profiles are shown on the box lid, but there are some renders of the included resin parts and other items supplied in this HI-TECH boxing. Lifting the lid is difficult due to the tight fit, but once off, you’ll see EIGHT sprues of medium grey styrene, packed into a single clear sleeve, ONE sprue of clear parts that is packed into a separate sleeve, and a cardboard bridge that has TWO bags of resin stapled to it, plus a package with the masks, decals and photo-etch parts. A large colour-printed instruction manual lies at the bottom of the box. SPRUE A Only two parts here, but pretty key ones; both fuselage halves. As Special Hobby have future plans for releasing the Mk.6 and Tempest II, the nose is moulded separately, allowing this tooling to be good for all versions. The kit shows just how far this company have come in the last years, with regards to both moulding, tooling and detailing. You would be hard pressed to differentiate the Tempest from a kit made by a whole multitude of more mainstream manufacturers out there, such as Hasegawa, Revell, Airfix etc. Surface detailing is excellent, with restrained, even rows of rivets, and lots of extremely fine panel lining and port/panel access plates. Edges are sharp where the wing will meet the fuselage etc. and the parts have a nicely polished finish to them that wouldn’t look out of place on a Tamiya release. The rudder is separately moulded, and where the nose cowl parts will fit, the forward fuselage has a moulded bulkhead that will provide rigidity to the proceedings. Internally, those high standards of detail are also evident, with stringer and former representation being both refined and sharp, and with associated rivet detail included. Only one ejector pin mark exists in this area, and this is on the area adjacent to the instrument panel. As no other detail is in the vicinity, removing this will be easy. Some detail is also included around the area of the retractable tail wheel, using the same level of refinement seen in the cockpit area. Note also that this model has locating pins too, unlike some of the other less mainstream model kits. I have to say here too that Special Hobby is NOT a Limited-Run company, but fully mainstream. SPRUE B Wings, glorious wings. These are supplied as a single span lower part, and upper port and starboard panels. Note that the inboard leading edge is a separate part, accommodating the future kits that will have intakes in these places. I have to say that each time I take a look at this kit, I like it more and more. Surface detail is commensurate with that of the fuselage, incorporating full rivet detail (plus double rows, where applicable), finely engraved panel lines, fastener detail, access panels and nicely shaped cannon blisters. All control surfaces are integrally moulded, so can’t be posed without taking a saw to the model. Ailerons are moulded along with very fine actuator arms that really do look very good. Cannon shell ejection chutes are also finely moulded. One thing I like here are the tabs that protrude from the upper panels, and provide a support for the wing to fuselage connection. Actually, there is another purpose for those tabs. If you flip the wing parts over, you will see they form the roof of the main gear wells. These areas contain rib and stringer detail, along with rivets, and this will be detailed further with various rods, pistons etc. All of this will be framed by the gear bay walls that are supplied as separate parts that will be fitted into the recessed area in the upper wing panel. Cannon fairings are separate parts too, and the wing has a small bulkhead within that stops them from being inserted too far within. SPRUE C You will be able to pose the elevators dynamically, as these are moulded separately to the stabilisers. All parts here are the traditional upper and lower halves, and external detail is of the same high standard that we have seen so far, including rivet and fastener detail and trim tab actuators/actuator fairings. Other parts included here are for external drop-tanks and bomb bodies. Bomb fins are separately moulded. Bombs and tanks are moulded as halves also, and with the latter, you will of course need to reinstate any panel line detail that may be lost from seam eradication. The fuel filler cap is nicely engraved, but I think the detail to the rear of this is supposed to represent a pipe, and is instead moulded as a fillet. If this is the case, cut away and replace with a little length of bent, rigid wire. SPRUE D This sprue looks very Eduard-ish in design, with its large radius corners. Here we have the fabric covered rudder, complete with its rib tape detail and metal trim tab. This is the only fabric covered area on the Tempest, and I do like the representation here. The multiple undercarriage door parts are just beautiful…both inside and out, with some great detail there, and no pesky ejection pin marks to worry about. Small tags have instead been placed externally to the main doors, and these just require snipping off, followed by a quick swipe of a sanding stick. Et voila! Other parts here include the upper, chin intake wall and the bomb release fairings. SPRUE E For the first time, the instructions show parts here that won’t be used on this build. Here, that is for a second set of propeller blades. Engine cowl halves are moulded here, as are a number of parts that form the flap section and intake outlet to the rear of the main intake. The exhaust attachment boxes can be found here, and these will just glue internally. A two-part spinner is included, with the back-plate including channels that will precisely angle the propeller blades. There is a little flash on the spinner, but nothing to be concerned about. One thing to note is that the fuselage decking to the rear of the pilot, is included here as a separate part. That’s a nice touch as there is a lot of detail in this area, and removing a seam would have been a pain in the arse. Other notable parts here are the upper and lower parts for the wing leading edge inboard areas, where future kits will have the intakes attached. SPRUE H Quite a few parts here are shown as not for use on this release. These include two sets of balloon tyres, several intake parts, leading edge intake parts, and also a seat back etc. What can be used here are the various undercarriage parts, including well detail, walls and the struts, pistons and rods themselves. Looking at how refined much of the detail is here, I’m going to stick my neck out and say it’s Tamiya-esque. Simply gorgeous details that you’ll bury away in those gear bays. Even the sprung-loaded rods look very authentic and filigree. I am particularly impressed with the gear struts and the detail definition here. Please be careful with the removal of parts from this sprue, as so many of the landing gear parts have some very fine detail protrusions. If in doubt, use a razor saw. Note also the forward cockpit bulkhead and the armoured frame onto which pilot’s seat will fit. SPRUE I A small sprue, but one with perhaps more parts on it than any other. One area that features heavily here is the cockpit. For me, a nicely detailed cockpit is the very heart of a satisfying project, and this cockpit it certainly better than most I’ve seen in quite a long time. Two detailed tubular side frames are adorned with various fixing plates and panels and brackets, and there are numerous console parts, throttle, spacers, torsion rods and linkages etc. The main instrument panel is moulded in three parts; central panel and two angled panels that fit to its sides. Be careful here as there are two different sets of side panels. The instructions clearly show what you should not use. Here you will also find the canopy rails and three different types of joystick grip, although none of these are shown as for use, with resin parts favouring these all along the way. Presumably these, like the seat and other parts, will be used in any future, standard boxing that isn’t classed as ‘HI-TECH’. The plastic parts are actually still very nice, as are the cannon fairings that will also be ditched in favour of the resin extras here. Again, watch out for the numerous parts that won’t be used here, and there are a fair few of them. SPRUE J The last grey styrene sprue. Another bulkhead is supplied here, for the rear of the cockpit, and the exhausts are included as halves. It’s a little disappointing that Special Hobby didn’t include the resin ones they now sell, as part of this HI-TECH offering. I would’ve preferred those to the cockpit seat, for instance. It will take some careful seam removal work on these parts. More wheel well parts are found here, as well as the three-part assembly for the tail wheel, again with some very nice structural detail included. More unused seat parts can be found, so some nice parts for the spares box. Several intake parts are moulded here, as are the bomb sway braces and fins and tail wheel strut. The most obvious part though, the radial engine of the Centaurus, is just there to tease us for the future release. SPRUE K This is the clear sprue, and on my sample, the windscreen has broken free from the runner. It still looks ok to me though. Thankfully, the main hood is still attached. A number of other parts here are drop tank fairings that I think were made from clear acetate or similar. Nice to see these, and they’ll certainly show off that wire modification I mentioned earlier, for the drop tank itself. Finally, note the various wingtip, fuselage, tail and wing-underside lenses for the various lights that were fitted to the Tempest. Clarity is very good, but a little scuffing on my main hood means that I will need to polish it away. Plastic Summary This kit is almost flash and seam free, with nice tight sprue gate points that are generally well placed so as not to cause problems. I can’t see any sink marks either, except for a couple on the reverse of a part, so they don’t count. Ejector pin marks; there’s only two I can see that need removal, and that will take just a few minutes. Plastic quality is excellent, and the quality of the mouldings are very high quality. Resin parts Two bags of parts are supplied here, and these are cast in dark grey resin. These include: Seat Two sizes of main gear wheels (weighted) Anti-shimmy tail wheel Cockpit components (tread boards, pedals, throttle quadrant/levers, control stick/grip, seat, trim wheel, internal windscreen frame) Cannon fairings These parts are also very high standard, with fine detailing. On my sample, the tread boards are slightly warped and will need a dip in hot water, and a stem has broken from the windscreen internal frame. This is an easy fix, fortunately. Casting blocks will generally be easy to remove too, and there shouldn’t be any nasty surprises here. Photo Etch Only a small fret here that includes parts for the fabric seat belts, control grip trigger, whip aerial and mount plate etc. This small stainless fret also contains a small notch that you need to align on the ailerons, and use as a scribing template for the small trim tabs. Seatbelts These are produced by HGW, from their microfiber material, and should need no introduction. Being laser-cut and pre-printed, all you need to do is to snip and assemble. Just remember to peel the backing paper from them first! Masks A small sheet of vinyl masks is included, for the canopy, lights and wheel hubs. These are sharply cut and exhibit no shrinkage. Decals THREE sheets are supplied here, printed by Eduard. The largest contains roundels and fin flashes. Peeling off the protective sheet does seem to have removed some of the very tiniest of specks of ink from them, but this is so small that it probably won’t be noticeable when they are applied. A slightly smaller sheet holds he various serials, codes, emblems, kill markings, and instrument dials for the cockpit. The latter is printed in banks of instruments, and I would be tempted to punch these out to remove their carrier film. Their definition is excellent and they can certainly be used without having to resort to an aftermarket product. The last sheet is mainly stencils, plus the rivet banding for the drop tank acetate covers. Printing is excellent throughout, with minimal carrier film, solid colour and perfect register. The schemes offered are: JN751, R-B, No.150 Wing, flown by Wng. Cdr. Roland Prosper ‘Bee’ Beamont, RAF Castle Camps, April 1944 SN129, SA-M, No.486 (NZ) Sqn. RAF, flown by Sqn.Ldr. C.J.Sheddan, Fassberg, Germany, May 1945 SN228, EDM, No.122 Wing RAF, flown by Wg. Cdr. Evan Dall Mackie, Fassberg, Germany, May 1945 NV724, JF-E, No.3 Sqn. RAF, flown by Pierre Clostermann, Copenhagen, Denmark, June 1945 NV994, JF-E No.3 Sqn. RAF, flown by Pierre Clostermann, Hopsten, Germany, April 1945 Instructions This is printed in a glossy A-4 format, similar to that of Eduard, with a profile on the front page, and a history of the type given in both English and Czech. There are then over two pages dedicated to a parts map, which is useful for knowing the parts not to use, and then we are into the construction. A series of excellent line drawings are annotated with splashes of colour to signify paint and other nomenclature, such as drilling and mask use etc. Illustrations are very clear, and should present no problems. Colour call-outs are supplied throughout construction and refer to both Gunze and Alclad II paints, and the last pages of the manual are given over to the 5 schemes, with each being shown in all 4 planforms. Conclusion This is the kit I’ve been waiting for, for what seems like years! Was it worth that wait though? Absolutely. In fact, this has far surpassed what I even expected this to turn out like. The kit is thoughtfully designed throughout and beautifully recreated in plastic, resin and metal, with good wing loadout options (although the manual tells you that it was really only the fuel tanks that were generally carried during the war), and some seriously eye-catching detail. This is also a very full box of parts and will provide the modeller with a seriously interesting build that will, in my opinion, blow the PCM opposition straight out of the water. I can’t wait to start snipping away at this one. Watch for it in a future issue of Military Illustrated Modeller. Recommended? Damn right!! My sincere thanks to Special Hobby for the review sample seen here. To purchase direct, click THIS link.
  2. What a strange looking pit with that recessed control stick. Looking pretty neat. How is the rest of the cockpit detail?
  3. I am SO impressed!
  4. Really like this one, especially that blue scheme. Nice to see what the differences actually are with this. A must for my stash sometime!
  5. 1/35 V-2 Rocket, Meillerwagen, Hanomag SS100 Takom Catalogue # 2030 Available from Modellbau-Koenig for €79,50 The V-2 (German: Vergeltungswaffe 2, "Retribution Weapon 2"), technical name Aggregat 4 (A4), was the world's first long-range guided ballistic missile. The missile with a liquid-propellant rocket engine was developed during the Second World War in Germany as a "vengeance weapon", assigned to attack Allied cities as retaliation for the Allied bombings against German cities. The V-2 rocket also became the first artificial object to cross the boundary of space with the vertical launch of MW 18014 on 20 June 1944. Research into military use of long range rockets began when the studies of graduate student Wernher von Braun attracted the attention of the German Army. A series of prototypes culminated in the A-4, which went to war as the V-2. Beginning in September 1944, over 3,000 V-2s were launched by the German Wehrmacht against Allied targets during the war, first London and later Antwerp and Liège. According to a 2011 BBC documentary, the attacks from V2s resulted in the deaths of an estimated 9,000 civilians and military personnel, and a further 12,000 forced labourers and concentration camp prisoners died as a result of their forced participation in the production of the weapons. The A-4 used a 74% ethanol/water mixture (B-Stoff) for fuel and liquid oxygen (LOX) (A-Stoff) for oxidizer. At launch the A-4 propelled itself for up to 65 seconds on its own power, and a program motor controlled the pitch to the specified angle at engine shutdown, after which the rocket continued on a ballistic free-fall trajectory. The rocket reached a height of 80 km (50 mi) after shutting off the engine. The V-2 was guided by four external rudders on the tail fins, and four internal graphite vanes in the jet stream at the exit of the motor. The LEV-3 guidance system consisted of two free gyroscopes (a horizontal and a vertical) for lateral stabilization, and a PIGA accelerometer to control engine cut-off at a specified velocity. The V-2 was launched from a pre-surveyed location, so the distance and azimuth to the target were known. Fin 1 of the missile was aligned to the target azimuth. V-2 rocket on a surviving Meillerwagen (photo, author) As Germany collapsed, teams from the Allied forces—the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union—raced to capture key German manufacturing sites and technology. Wernher von Braun and over 100 key V-2 personnel surrendered to the Americans. Eventually, many of the original V-2 team ended up working at the Redstone Arsenal. The US also captured enough V-2 hardware to build approximately 80 of the missiles. The Soviets gained possession of the V-2 manufacturing facilities after the war, re-established V-2 production, and moved it to the Soviet Union. (Courtesy of Wikipedia) The kit This is actually the second Takom release of the V-2, with the initial kit containing just the rocket itself. This more comprehensive boxing contains not only the V-2 Meillerwagen that was designed to carry and cradle the rocket, but also the Hanomag SS100 heavy road tractor. Lastly, if you wish to display the V-2 in its deployed position, then parts are also included for the launching platform. In fact, the only thing this set really misses is the liquid oxygen and other fuelling tanks. I’d like to think we’d eventually see those. For the moment though, let’s look at the main event. This is a large box, and it is absolutely crammed full of plastic and other goodies, which isn’t surprising when you consider it contains three kits (four if you include the small launch platform). As with much Takom artwork, this one certainly pleases. A Meillerwagen is shown raising the rocket into position onto the launching platform whilst a previously launched weapon is seen rising into the air in the distance. One side of the box shows the Hanomag and trailer, with the V-2 in lowered position. The other has a sprue and contents map, showing that this project is no weekender. Inside the box there are a total of SEVENTEEN light grey sprues that are all bagged individually (except for the main rocket parts), one clear sprue, one small PE fret, two packets containing a total of 15 vinyl tyres, two brass chains, and two small decal sheets. Yup, a real package! Two instruction booklets are included. One of these concerns the Hanomag alone (as this was a separate release), and the other deals with the Meillerwagen, V-2, and the launching platform. Several painting options are included for all individual components. Hanomag Having already seen a release of this as a standalone kit in 2016, it made total sense to include it as part of the V-2 Meillerwagen release we see here. A total of SEVEN sprues and ONE clear sprue go into the construction of this robust-looking vehicle, as well as 7 of the 15 vinyl tyres included in this release. Reading a small number of online accounts regarding the specific Hanomag release, construction appears to be a trouble-free process, and this would look to be the case when you look at the kit engineering. Despite that fact, the Hanomag SS100 is packed full of detail. Construction takes place over 26 stages within the manual, with all of these being depicted in greyscale renders that reference any RLM colours used, as well as codes for Mig Ammo paints. Mig have partnered with Takom to bring you their own colour call-outs and profiles for their releases. Four schemes are supplied for the Hanomag, all with starkly different appearances. These are for vehicles that were used at Peenemunde, Tempelhof, Mittelwerk (Nordhausen), and Belgium. I’m not really sure that all of these schemes were for use in V-2 deployment, for example, the Telmpelhof vehicle. Unless my history serves me incorrectly, no V-2 was fired from Berlin!! The model includes detailed chassis, with engine, transmission, exhaust system, fuel tanks, and suspension. It’s quite deceptive when you look at the sprues, as the chassis itself is constructed from a number of innocuous looking beams etc. that don’t really make any sense until you look at the in constructional context. This approach certainly adds to the parts and sprue count, and should be real fun to build. I’ll certainly be expecting this when I begin this soon for Military Illustrated Modeller. Like them or not, you get vinyl tyres in this release. These are all supplied off-sprue, so there is no clean-up to do with them. The seam is almost invisible, and moulding detail includes the manufacturer identifying lettering on the side of them. Kit design allows the front wheels to be positioned together via a working linkage. Cab detailing is very good, and also quite simplistic, as is commensurate with the real thing. It appears that the doors can be posed in the open position, but there are internal door panels that are fitted when the external doors are secured within the frame. Manual illustration doesn’t show an optional position for the doors, other than closed. Meillerwagen At first glance, this looks to be a daunting-looking project, but having seen one of these being built on YouTube, and thanks to some nice engineering and quirky construction, it appears that you end up with something quite complex in appearance, but relatively easy to build. There are six sprues associated with this vehicle, although not exclusively. There are some parts on them associated with the launch platform too, which appeared to have been cut down for the release of the separate V-2 rocket in 2016. Here, those sprues are included in their un-butchered format. Another twenty-four steps are given over to the construction of this behemoth, with that figure doubling or trebling if you look at the various sub-assemblies contained therein. These stages are shown in a separate manual to the Hanomag, and also containing illustration for building the V-2 and launching platform. As with the Hanomag, multiple colour options are provided for the Meillerwagen. These are for two machines that operated in Holland in 1944, with one being overall grey, and the more attractive unit carrying the Dunkelgelb, Olivgrun and Shokobraun (Schokoladenbraun?) colours. I don’t know if you’d need to pair the Meillerwagen colour with the Hanomag. It would be quite attractive if you could use odd colours and certainly some visual stimuli. The Meillerwagen can be built with the lift frame either raised or lowered, and the upper collar can be posed in an open or closed position. The frame contains operating platforms that can be suitably posed, and with these are included two lengths of brass chain for the crew safety barrier. Eight further vinyl tyres are included for the construction of the Meillerwagen. A series of Hydrogen Peroxide tanks are included within the frame. A single PE fret provides a small number of parts for the Meillerwagen, and shares itself with a few small details designated for the rocket. V-2 and launching platform I suppose it’s ironic that the real star of the show is the one with the least number of parts, but that really doesn’t matter, as detail is every bit as good as that of the Hanomag and Meillerwagen. The rocket comprises of separate front and rear sections, supplied as halves, with the connection ring that fits between them, as per the real thing. Into the lower halves fit the exhaust nozzle and the graphite steering paddles that sat in the rocket’s thrust gases, guiding the V-2 onto its path of destruction. The rocket fins are separate parts, to be plugged into the lower half. Without a doubt, even in 1/35 scale, this is an imposing creation. Externally, detail is given as fine panel lines and rows of recessed rivets. Cleaning up the seams will mean that some of this may be lost, so make sure that Rosie is available to put back what might disappear under a sanding stick. The rocket is supplied on two sprues, with the main body parts being separate and in their own clear sleeves. PE is supplied for hatch latches and the strap which holds the rocket onto the Meillerwagen whilst in transit and being erected. There are six colour schemes for the rockets, ranging from those built for deployment and test. Whilst there are camouflage options, I still prefer the black/white quartered unit whose colours were apparently to gauge telemetry when launched. Lastly, the launching platform. As the Meillerwagen is raised, the rocket base is located to the launching platform before the vehicle moves away and the rocket is ready to fire. This little kit comprises the thrust table with its scalloped sides to equally deflect the thrust outwards, manually-operated jacks, and a geared table onto which the rocket sits. A total of around 40 parts comprise this unit. Decals Two small sheets are included for the Hanomag and rocket. These simply contain things such as serials and stencilling for the rocket, and military registration plates and instruments for the Hanomag. These are nicely printed by Cartograf and in perfect register. Conclusion The only things missing here are the fuelling tanker and the firing cabin. Maybe we’ll see those eventually. Having said that, this is a superb representation of the rocket and her delivery/deployment train, in the most intricate of detail. Once you get all the sprues out of the box, you’ll be hard-pushed to get them to fit back in there, there really is so much plastic to work with. This brings me onto the price. MBK is selling this kit for €79,50, and I think that represents excellent value for money for what is really quite an amazing kit of what was ground-breaking technology at the time, leading onto what eventually became a part of America’s space programme and the moon landings. This is no weekend project (except maybe for the rocket itself), and I think you’ll need a little patience for the Meillerwagen, but the payoff will be a stunning model that will be very different to others on the shelf. My sincere thanks to Modellbau-Koenig and Uschi van der Rosten for the sample reviewed here.
  6. You are awesome. So awesome I want to give you applause. Loving the work so far. The Schlepper should help with weight up front and balance it out a little.
  7. 1/32 Fokker D.VII “Early” Wingnut Wings Catalogue # 32067 Available from Wingnut Wings for $99 plus shipping The Fokker D.VII was a German World War I fighter aircraft designed by Reinhold Platz of the Fokker-Flugzeugwerke. Germany produced around 3,300 D.VII aircraft in the second half of 1918. In service with the Luftstreitkräfte, the D.VII quickly proved itself to be a formidable aircraft. The Armistice ending the war specifically required Germany to surrender all D.VIIs to the Allies. Surviving aircraft saw continued widespread service with many other countries in the years after World War I. The D.VII entered squadron service with Jasta 10 in early May 1918. When the Fokker D.VII appeared on the Western Front in April 1918, Allied pilots at first underestimated the new fighter because of its squarish, ungainly appearance, but quickly revised their view. The D.VII was also noted for its high manoeuvrability and ability to climb at high angles of attack, its remarkably docile stall, and its reluctance to spin. It could literally "hang on its prop" without stalling for brief periods of time, spraying enemy aircraft from below with machine gun fire. The D.VII also had problems. Several aircraft suffered rib failures and fabric shedding on the upper wing. Heat from the engine sometimes ignited phosphorus ammunition until cooling vents were installed in the engine cowling, and fuel tanks sometimes broke at the seams. Aircraft built by the Fokker factory at Schwerin were noted for their lower standard of workmanship and materials. Nevertheless, the D.VII proved to be a remarkably successful design, leading to the familiar aphorism that it could turn a mediocre pilot into a good one, and a good pilot into an ace. Manfred von Richthofen died days before the D.VII began to reach the Jagdstaffeln and never flew it in combat. Other pilots, including Erich Löwenhardt and Hermann Göring, quickly racked up victories and generally lauded the design. Aircraft availability was limited at first, but by July there were 407 in service. Larger numbers became available by August, when D.VIIs achieved 565 victories. The D.VII eventually equipped 46 Jagdstaffeln. When the war ended in November, 775 D.VII aircraft were in service. Armament was 2 × 7.92 mm (.312 in) LMG 08/15 "Spandau" machine guns, and the type was powered by either a Daimler-Mercedes D.IIIa/aü, or a BMW IIIa. Maximum speed was between 117mph and 124mph, dependent on powerplant. (Courtesy of Wikipedia) The kit For those that missed out on the four previous release versions of this kit, I suspect the release of Wingnut Wings’ Fokker D.VII (Fok) “Early” kit, will come as welcome news. Dare I say that I also suspect that for those that love this aircraft and bought the previous releases, this will also find a place in the stash. Well, the next time I expected to see the D.VII was in the fabled ‘Special Edition’ kits that have been mooted for some time, but I’m certainly not complaining about seeing another boxing of this beautiful kit. Wingnut Wings’ Fokker D.VII is already a proven kit in terms of engineering and fit, but seeing as the original kits were released 4 to 5 years ago, I’ll take a fresh look at the whole thing again, for the benefit of those who don’t know what this kit offers, and of course to highlight the differences between this and the original (Fok) release. I personally think that the D.VII was one of the prettiest and most aesthetically pleasing aircraft of The Great War, and Steve Anderson’s silver-lined box art captures its lines beautifully. The sides of the box show the FIVE schemes offered in this release with Ronny Bar’s exceptional profile artistry. Inside the box, there are EIGHT medium grey sprues and a single clear sprue, all individually bagged to prevent damage to the fragile parts contained therein. You like decals? Good, as there are FOUR large sheets with this release. A single photo-etch fret is included too. Lastly, a glossy, full colour instruction manual completes the ensemble. The Wingnut Wings release spiel is as thus: Very simple rigging 4 high quality Cartograf decal sheets including fitted ‘Fokker streaky camouflage’, 4 & 5 colour lozenge and markings for 5 early production aircraft 210 high quality injection moulded plastic parts including 19 parts exclusive to Fokker built aircraft (plastic parts are the same as 32011 Fokker D.VII (Fok)) 8 photo-etched metal detail parts Optional cowlings, propellers, low & mid height gun mounts, cockpit coamings, windscreens, low & high exhausts 180hp & 200hp Daimler-Mercedes engines Fine in scale rib tape detail Full rigging diagrams Sprue A As is typical with many WNW releases, this sprue tends to hold many of the smaller components from around the airframe. With the exception of the tubular cockpit sidewalls, you will find almost every other cockpit part moulded here, as well as the fuel tank and gauge, engine firewall, empty ammo bin, gun mounting cross member frames and ammunition feed bin. The latter parts to be used with this release are the MID and LOW brackets and ammo feed bin. Please ensure you decide which aircraft you are building before you set out, as these small differences will mean the difference between accuracy and the unmentionable. Also, don’t confuse these similar parts, as there are ones also supplied for the HIGH mount, which aren’t applicable to this release. The cockpit itself is superbly appointed, with nicely detailed floor, pilot seat (with PE belts) and optional cushion, rear bulkhead with filigree canvas lacing detail, spark advance lever, fuel tank pressurising pump, control column and grip with throttle control, tachometer, and a compass/gimbal. Whilst two instrument boards are included, only one of the parts is suitable for the early D.VII. This is to be fitted with a Bosch magneto, and decals are supplied for the instruments themselves and the various signage on the panel. An optional altimeter is included with the only proviso that you don’t fit it on the right hand side when building option A, with the streaky Fokker finish. Other parts on this sprue include the inner and outer radiator panels (two other sets of parts included, but not for use here), lower engine cowl (common to all versions on this kit), empty belt chutes, optional Oigee gun sight, undercarriage struts and spreader bar (with moulded bungee detail), rudder, tailskid etc. Sprue B Here you will find the fuselage halves, moulded with beautifully subtle external details such as the control cable grommets. Externally, there isn’t much else to see, which is the nature of the aircraft. Due to the various permutations of engine cowl etc. the forward fuselage ends just before the first cowl plate (or in this case, the fabric panels that were a feature of the early machines). This sprue contains many fragile parts, such as the sidewalls cabane struts and engine bay frames. The very nature of these parts means that WNW has moulded small tags onto them which are used for mould pin ejection. This is a neat idea which means that the part itself isn’t impinged upon with ejector pin marks. Of course, you’ll need to snip all of these away and clean up the gate point, but the trade-off is a beautifully fine moulding. With the sidewalls, you will need to snip away the innermost forward stanchion. Some frames on other manufacturer-built airframes were shorter, and the kit parts cater to all versions. The cockpit frames are very fine and very detailed. As with many parts in this kit, I advise that you use a fine razor saw to remove them so that your cutters don’t cause distortion when you clip through the plastic. Other parts here include the lower cowling sump panel, radiator piping and two exhaust options. The only part not pertinent to this release is the oil tank. Sprue C The clear sprue. Not a lot here to talk about except to tell you that it offers two windscreen options with nicely defined frame lines, and the parts are perfectly clear. Sprue D (x2) Of course, you’ll find here the parts for which there are multiples of the same, such as the wheels, separate wheel hubs, axle captive nuts, outer inter-plane struts, ailerons, machine guns, control horns etc. Two Spandau options are given here. These are for the standard plastic guns, and one for a jacketless MG. Onto this will fit a rolled PE jacket for more authenticity. A plastic former is also included for you to roll your flat brass part around. The wheels are quite nice too. These are moulded with separate outer hubs, and within the main wheel hub, a little spoke detail is moulded, along with the nipple to inflate the tyre. Alas, this detail won’t be seen for this version of the D.VII, as the hubs have a fabric patch and not the actual opening. Aileron detail is negligible, as there was barely any rib detail to be seen on the real aircraft. Note that the ailerons aren’t handed either, meaning they are interchangeable. No worries about gluing the port to starboard etc. Sprue E ‘E’ is for engine. In this case, the early D.VII flew with either a Daimler-Mercedes 180 D.IIIa or 200hp D.IIIaü. There are a good number of parts not for use here, such as the Heine and Wolf propellers, plus a sump, rocker covers etc. Still, there are enough parts here to satisfy the ardent detail fanatic. The engine itself comprises around 25 parts, with options of course for the water-cooled intake manifold and plumbing, plus the flywheel. If you aren’t fitting the latter, you can add a generator. I would say check your references, but I don’t think that old cliché is useful when you’re dealing with an aircraft from around one century ago. An air pump is an option if you’re not fitting the water-cooled parts. Sprue F Only two parts here; the full span upper and lower wing panels for the upper wing. These are moulded sans ailerons, so you may pose these dynamically, should you wish. Surface detail really is excellent, with a highly realistic doped fabric appearance and rib caps/tape detail. Leading edges have finely moulded wing stacking pads, and strut locating points are clean. It would be worthwhile just drilling out the holes further for the control cable points, but remember, that the D.VII itself doesn’t have much in terms of rigging, which will doubtless please a lot of modellers. Wing trailing edges are very thin too, with light being visible if you hold them up to a lamp. This area also has a subtle scalloped finish, as would be the result of the doped fabric pulling on the wire trailing edge of the real aircraft. As the D.VII’s upper wing is relatively thick, WNW has included some locating points within the wing, that after gluing, should provide some nice reinforcement and prevent the wing from being squeezed and cracking any glued joint. Sprue H This is another sprue that’s common to all previous D.VII kit releases, and it contains a full-span lower wing panel with upper port and starboard panels, two upper cockpit deck options, the single-piece stabiliser and elevator. Wing and tail-plane detail is again superb and restrained, with positive strut positions where appropriate, and nice elevator hinge detail on the stabiliser. The elevator itself is, like the aileron in that detail is limited. Again, this is correct. You will also find two upper fuselage/cockpit decks here. Sprue I This is the last grey sprue and it contains the various permutations of cowl parts including both side and upper panels. This contains two different sets of side panels, a single nose cowl and three options for upper engine cowls. Other parts are included for these, but they aren’t applicable to this specific release. One set of side cowls will need to be modified if you are using the louvered option. This involves cutting out a hole for the low exhaust stack, and the removal of four forward louvres. Parts for the undercarriage wing are found here too, and this version doesn’t require you to cut and shorted them. With regards to the plastic, there really isn’t anything to fault anywhere on this kit. Seam lines are negligible, flash is pretty much non-existent, and ejector pin marks won’t hinder you. No sinkage etc. can be found anywhere. This model will be a joy to build from that perspective. Photo Etch The parts on this look identical to the previous D.VII releases, but the layout is different. This may be to incorporate the nameplate that is now a part of WNW releases. Either way, these parts are interchangeable with those of the previous releases. Here you will find the Spandau MG jackets, end caps and reticules, seatbelts and the MG flashguards. Quality is excellent, with parts being held in situ by small tags that will be easy to cut through. Decals As previously stated, there are FOUR large decal sheets here, printed by Cartograf. It’s great to see WNW add a Fokker streaking decal set when only one of the schemes actually calls for it all (with the exception a small fuselage piece on one other scheme. This is quite strange when you consider that they don’t include the black and white stripy decal for Bruno Loerzer’s machine. It’s very easy to mask off though, but they have included full side pattern decals in other releases. One sheet contains a full suite of streaking decal (with some sections not for use), and wheel hub outer edge decals. One sheet contains a set of 4-colour upper and lower wing lozenge, and another has 5-colour lozenge, but this time, the lower lozenge represents the coat of light blue paint that was applied. In a twist, the first scheme that employs the streaking decal, also includes the lighter lower wing lozenge applied to the UPPER surfaces! I can guarantee that if you have this finished model on your club stand, someone will tell you that you did it wrong! Probably my favourite scheme of them all, and they are all worth building. The remaining decal sheet contains all of the national markings, motifs, as well as some tail-plane lozenge and sections of lighter lozenge that fit within the cockpit area (for the non-streaky fuselages). More lozenge is included to wrap around the upper cockpit frame and some pieces for the rear bulkhead. Cockpit instrument and signage decals are included, as are a full set of stencils. All decals are glossily printed, thin and contain minimum carrier film. Colours are solid and authentic, and printing is in perfect register. The FIVE (actually six!) schemes are: Fokker D.VII, 262/18, Emil Thuy, Jasta 28w, mid-1918 (35 victories) Fokker D.VII, Rudolf Berthold, Jasta 15/JG2, mid-1918 (44 victories) Fokker D.VII, Max Kliefoth, Jasta 19, October 1918 (3 victories) (SCHEME C1) Fokker D.VII, Hugo Schäfer, Jasta 19, October 1918 (SCHEME C2) Fokker D.VII, Reinhold von Benz, Jasta 78b, August 1918 (1 victory) Fokker D.VII, Bruno Loerzer, Jasta 26/JGIII, November 1918 (44 victories) Schemes C1 and C2 are very similar with the exception of the nose, undercarriage and cabane strut colours, hence the inclusion of both options. Instruction Manual No one does these quite like WNW. This glossy A4 publication contains 26 pages, printed in full colour and begins with a parts map and colour references which are used throughout the construction process. The illustrations are in drawing style, and generally coloured in greyscale, but blue is used to highlight new parts addition, and yellow where PE parts are to be added. Full colour illustration is also supplied for key areas, such as the cockpit and engine, giving the modeller an immediate idea about how things should look once painted, despite the references being given throughout construction. Contemporary and period photographs are included, and the last pages are taken over by the excellent colour profile work of Ronny Bar, with some historical and scheme notation. Decal placement is easy to follow, as is the colour guide. Conclusion I'm more than sure that this new release will be more than welcome by WNW enthusiasts, and not least those that missed out on the previous four incarnations of this kit. The Fokker D.VII is packed full of just about every detail you could wish for, with maybe only a little wiring needed here and there. This really is a very comprehensive kit, and one that builds perfectly. Again, it's great to see a number of machine-specific options included here, and a total of four large decal sheets to create another series of beautiful examples of this important aircraft type. Price-wise, I don't think this can be beat. Building this model really is an adventure, and a thoroughly enjoyable one at that. Now, I wonder if we'll see any WNW separate decal sets for this release! Very highly recommended My sincere thanks to Wingnut Wings for the sample reviewed here. To purchase directly, click THIS link, or check your local distributor.
  8. 1/32 Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXc Revell Kit No. 03927 The Supermarine Spitfire is a British single-seat fighter aircraft that was used by the Royal Air Force and many other Allied countries before, during and after World War II. The Spitfire was built in many variants, using several wing configurations, and was produced in greater numbers than any other British aircraft. It was also the only British fighter to be in continuous production throughout the war. The Spitfire was designed as a short-range, high-performance interceptor aircraft by R. J. Mitchell, chief designer at Supermarine Aviation Works. Mitchell pushed the Spitfire's distinctive elliptical wing to have the thinnest possible cross-section, helping give the aircraft a higher top speed than several contemporary fighters. Mitchell continued to refine the design until his death in 1937, whereupon his colleague Joseph Smith took over as chief designer, overseeing the development of the Spitfire through its multitude of variants. The Spitfire saw action in the European, Mediterranean, Pacific, and South-East Asian theatres. Much loved by its pilots, the Spitfire served in several roles, including interceptor, photo-reconnaissance, fighter-bomber and trainer, and it continued to serve in these roles until the 1950s. Although the original airframe was designed to be powered by a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine producing 1,030hp (768 kW), it was strong enough and adaptable enough to use increasingly powerful Merlins and, in later marks, Rolls-Royce Griffon engines producing up to 2,340hp (1,745 kW). As a consequence of this, the Spitfire's performance and capabilities improved over the course of its service life. The kit It’s been around three years now since Revell released their new-tool Spitfire Mk.IIa, and I’m quite surprised that they’ve left it this long to bring subsequent versions to market. That surprise is even more manifest when you take a close look at the new sprues in this release. All of them carry the year ‘2014’ on them, so this model has been in gestation for quite a while now. In fact, the Mk.IIa itself, released in 2014, also carries that date. Between these kits, there are only three common sprues, with the main components etc. obviously being new to this specific Mk.IXc kit. Styling of the new parts is the same as the earlier kit, such as riveting etc, so I imagine both kits were in development in tandem. Revell’s website gives the kits specifics as: Detailed Mk.IXc wings with guns Detailed cockpit and instrument panel Detailed radiator Rotating 4 blade propeller Alternative bomb load Detailed undercarriage Revell’s new-look box is used here, but to the same flimsy design we’ve all come to know and love, and the sprues within are packaged as multiples within clear bags. This isn’t something I like, as it risks the damage of parts. Looking around the fuselage exterior, Revell’s maniacal riveter has pretty much done the same job he/she did on the earlier Mk.IIa release, albeit this time, the Mk.IX did mainly have flushed rivets, dependent on where the machine was built. If domed rivets were used, this was generally on the aft fuselage, towards the rear of the cockpit area. You will of course need to check your references, as the old caveat goes. Either way, I do feel that what is given does need to be dialled back a little, perhaps with an airbrushing of Mr Surfacer and then the exterior being sanded back to plastic. Your mileage may vary and you may not be too bothered. I don’t have the Mk.IIa kit to hand any longer, but I think this aspect of the model may not be quite as extreme as the earlier release. If you want to add raised rivets, then this is very easy with a product such as Archer raised rivet decals. This is the same course of action I took for my Mk.IIa when I wrote the ADH/Doolittle title on building that kit. Of course, the fuselage halves are newly tooled as you would expect for a Mk.IX, and the rest of the exterior looks very nice indeed, with delicate panel lines, cowling fasteners and general outline. I have to say that it does look like a Mk.IX. Where I think things fall down a little is around the wingroot, where it doesn’t really have that deep, scalloped shape that I associate with this area, and against the light, it looks a little bumpy when looking from the rear, towards the front. I also note a few sink marks here and there, but they should be easy to fettle. Internal fuselage wall detail is simple, with most detail being separate parts. A couple of ejector pin marks reside in the rear cockpit area, and you will need to eradicate these. Again, the wings are newly-tooled as befits the changes to this later variant. Externally, detail really is very nice, with more fine panel lining, access ports etc. and the various bumps associated with the weapons bays and undercarriage seem to be on the mark. Rivet detail does seem to be finer than that of the fuselage, and I am more than happy with this. I can’t see any moulding defects here, although there is a little light flash that will need to be removed. I would have liked to have seen the small undercarriage position indicator panels as separates as these should be open when in the down position. Also, the moulded detail in the ceiling of the wheel wells is a little simplistic. The same can be said for the liners, as these are devoid of detail. Eduard released a nice fix for this in their earlier Mk.IIa sets, and I expect they’ll do the same here. Flap detail is moulded here (cue the many who say they weren’t dropped on the ground, and the £5 fine etc. etc.), but it is simplistic. The same is to be said of the flap parts themselves. Cockpit detail is very good, especially for a kit of this price point, and the instrument panel, whilst the same as for the Mk.IIa kit, does seem to generally hold very close to that of the Mk.IX. I’m sure there were differences somewhere, but I’m certainly not educated enough to notice what they are. Revell did miss out some interior detail on the original kit, and I’m sure there should be more internal sidewall detail than is supplied, such as various boxes and panels that sit in between formers, with those raised, elongated details etc. I can’t be any more descriptive than that. The missing details from the original kit were soon picked up by Eduard, who released some rather nice sets for that kit, and I have no reason to presume they won’t do the same for this, although it would’ve been nice to have had a properly appointed office to start with. Unlike the earlier kit, at least with this one you can guarantee that the metal ailerons are suited to the Mk.IX, and these are moulded onto one of the sprues that are common to both kits. Here is included a good amount of detail for the cockpit, as well as one of the underwing radiators, instrument panel and rear pilot main former, complete with lightening holes that don’t need to be drilled out. A little flash can be seen here and there on some small parts, and on the radiator, but this is easy to remove. Another common sprue contains the wingtips, stabilisers, elevators, cockpit sidewalls and a former and bulkhead. The stabs and elevators are designed to be applicable to all Spitfire releases, meaning that on this kit, you will need to cut away a little of the stabilisers to allow the correct elevator setup to be used. In this case, as they are supplied, with the outer edge running front to back, and not angled as per the Mk.IIa kit. Surface detail of flying/control surface parts is excellent, with subtle riveting on the upper sides of the stabs, but strangely enough, more pronounced on the underside. A lot of the new Mk.IX-specific parts are to be found on another new-tool sprue. Revell has included options for both early and late exhausts, a new spinner/back-plate ensemble, wide-chord rudder, second radiator to match the original part, two-piece lower engine cowl with integral intake, new undercarriage struts and gear doors, and parts for a centreline bomb and carrier. As with the earlier release, I do feel that the undercarriage struts are perhaps just a tad too simplistic, but certainly not a deal-breaker. Seams do exist on these parts, and they will need particular attention before assembly. A small clear sleeve contains the last six small sprues. Two of these pertain to the wheels/tyres. These are moulded with integral four-spoke hubs, and for my, the hub detail doesn’t look right when I compare them with the photos in my Monforton Spitfire book. The tyres also don’t carry any Dunlop writing, or size etc. They also aren’t weighted. I’m none too impressed with these, and I would seem some aftermarket parts. Two more sprues hold the parts for the underwing bombs and carriers, plus the new propeller blades for this release. Shape-wise, they do look ok, but the tips seem to be clipped. A couple of swipes with a sanding stick along the trailing edge should correct that though. The last grey sprues contain the radiator interior grilles and the rudder pedals. Now, when we complain of multiple sprues being packed into a single bag, it’s said for a reason. All three clear sprues suffer this, and in mine, some parts had come adrift, including the main hood. Some very light scuff marks will need to be removed from this before assembly. Out of the three clear sprues, two of these are new to this release. These include a revised windscreen and hood, clear wingtips for the clipped-wing version, and two gunsights, of which only one is slated for use in this release. The clear parts themselves are superbly clear and also quite thin. Unfortunately, the hood on my sample is a short-short and will need to be replaced. A single decal sheet, printed by Cartograf, is included here. Being Revell, their remit seems to be for the decals to have a matt finish. I admit to preferring glossy decals, but we can’t have it all ways. Printing is nice and solid, with authentic colour and minimal carrier film. Registration is also perfect. As well as the serials, codes and national markings, stencils are also included, as is a two-part instrument panel decal, but unless you have gallons of Solvaset or Mr Mark Setter, I would ignore this, or at the very least punch the instruments from the main decal, or use Airscale for the instrument panel. The TWO schemes included are: Mk.IXc, DN-T, MJ832, No.416 Sqn, Royal Canadian Air Force, Tangmere, England, May 1944 Mk.IXc, UF-Q, MJ250, No.601 Sqn, Royal Air Force, Fano, Italy, November 1944 Instructions An A4 colour manual shows assembly over 73 easy-to-understand stages, with clear annotation and references made to Revell paints. I much prefer this new format of instructions over the ones Revell used to supply. The last pages clearly show each scheme and the colours used, plus decal placement. Conclusion I could moan about this and that, and indeed I have listed the things I don’t particularly like, or those that could have been better. I’ve also tempered that were possible with notes to say how whatever issue could be overcome. As a reviewer, I feel that it the best approach. However, I must remember the price point of this release. It’s roughly a third that of Tamiya’s Mk.IX kit. Of course, costs increase if you start to add any subsequent detail sets. A minimum of new wheels, interior set and wheel bay set will add around another £35 to that cost. It’s a juggling act, but if you are happy to do some of the extra work yourself, or you simply want a nice looking Mk.IX out of box, then this kit will more that suffice whilst providing some nice detail and what appears to be a model with accurate lines. If you’d like to see how I tackled the Mk.IIa, with tips that are pertinent to this release, then check out the ‘How to Build’ book from Doolittle Media. Recommended My thanks to Revell and Doolittle Media for this review sample.
  9. Excellent review and photos. Nice to see what the changes are. Would've been good to see an option to split the fuse. May have to get this one.
  10. So you got me a V-2 piece for my model?
  11. Frickin' awesome! Give me a quick tip on that wood grain. I have something coming off soon that would benefit
  12. Hi all, I'm looking at building a 1/32 Dr.I sometime soon, and want to know the best way to replicate the streaky Fokker finish? Are there readily available decals for this, or not? Hope you can help. Jim
  13. Just got these:
  14. I agree. I'll mention it to Neil this weekend and see what his thoughts are.
  15. Hi all, I thought I'd post some photos of my 1/32 Trumpeter Ju 87A, done in Condor Legion colours. The markings are custom masks, as is the emblem on the spat. The model was built with Eduard extras, and the paints are from MRP (Mr Paint, Slovakia). In all, a trouble-free project. I modded the cowl to correct a couple of anomalies but didn't bother with the lower spat shape. I could live with that. This model and build article are in the latest edition of Military Illustrated Modeller, which should be in the shops right now.
  16. I think the original plan was a B.Mk.35, but as in a lot of kit development, things change. The original instructions I sent you were also in development, and it's likely that HK revised their plans so as not to complicate things at this stage. I recall the kit was behind schedule. The idea to settle on a Mk.IX and Mk.XVI will have been for numerous reasons, whether through information (or lack thereof), and maybe scheduling (distributors like to push as hard as consumers!) Anyway, just for Steve, here are some louvres.
  17. trumpeter

    Aviation Megastore?
  18. You're bloody obsessed with louvres!!! As you say though, those don't apply to the versions modelled in this release as they are earlier.
  19. 1/32 Sopwith F.1 Camel “BR.1” Wingnut Wings Kit No. 32070 Available from Wingnut Wings for $79.00 plus shipping The Sopwith Camel was a British First World War single-seat biplane fighter aircraft introduced on the Western Front in 1917. It had been developed by the Sopwith Aviation Company as a successor to the earlier Sopwith Pup and would become one of the most iconic fighter aircraft of the First World War. The Camel had a mostly conventional design for its era, featuring a wooden box-like fuselage structure, an aluminium engine cowling, plywood panels around the cockpit, and fabric-covered fuselage, wings and tail. While possessing some clear similarities with the Pup, it was furnished with a noticeably bulkier fuselage. For the first time on an operational British-designed fighter, two 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers machine guns were mounted directly in front of the cockpit, synchronised to fire forwards through the propeller disc. In addition to the machine guns, a total of four Cooper bombs could be carried for ground attack purposes. Production Camels were powered by various rotary engines, most commonly either the Clerget 9B or the Bentley BR1. In order to evade a potential manufacturing bottleneck being imposed upon the overall aircraft in the event of an engine shortage, several other engines were also adopted to power the type as well. A metal fairing over the gun breeches, intended to protect the guns from freezing at altitude, created a "hump" that led pilots to refer to the aircraft by the name Camel. However, the Camel name never had any official status in regard to the aircraft. The 130 horsepower (97 kW) Clerget 9B was an important engine for the British Royal Naval Air Service and Royal Flying Corps, being license-produced in Britain and powering several important British aircraft, including the Sopwith Camel. However, at £907 a copy it was expensive, and prone to overheating, so the Admiralty asked Lieutenant W. O. Bentley, an established pre-war engine designer, to produce a modified version to solve these problems. Bentley came up with his idea of an engine - fitted with aluminium cylinders with cast iron liners, and aluminium pistons. Dual ignition was introduced to improve reliability, and the stroke increased to 6.7 inches (17 cm) which allowed power to be increased to 150 horsepower (110 kW). The cost of the engine was also reduced, falling to £605 (almost £40,000 at 2016 conversion) per engine. The resulting engine, initially known as the A.R.1 for "Admiralty Rotary", but later called the BR.1 ("Bentley Rotary") was manufactured in quantity, although initially against Admiralty orders. It was standardised for the Camel in RNAS squadrons, but unfortunately there were never enough to entirely replace the inferior and more expensive Clerget engine in British service, and most RFC Camel squadrons continued to use Clerget engines; in fact licensed production of the Clerget continued. (Courtesy of Wikipedia) The kit We very recently took a look at the Clerget-engine Sopwith Camel kit, and this kit isn’t too dissimilar from that, with only a single sprue being different. This relates to the engine of course, with this kit having the Bentley BR.1 engine. We won’t be looking at each sprue as we already have done, with the exception of the BR.1, and the parts options which are to be used in this release. Wingnut’s official kit info describes the kit as thus: 164 high quality injection moulded plastic parts. 16 part highly detailed 150hp Bentley BR.1 engine. Optional fuselage halves with alternative lacing details, windscreens, cut down cockpit decking, common or Bentley style engine cowlings, small & large cut out top wing centre sections, early and late undercarriage, propellers, 20lb Cooper bombs & carrier. 10 photo-etched metal detail parts. 24 page fully illustrated instruction manual. High quality Cartograf decals for 5 aircraft Sprue E (Bentley BR.1) Being a derivative of the Clerget, it’s not surprising that this engine is generally very similar, but it’s the attention to detail, of course, which drives our passion with these kits. Being WNW, you can pretty much guarantee that the levels of research were beyond our own mortal levels of understanding! The engine itself has 16 parts, with the rear of the cylinder block being separate to the front, but not along a centreline joint, which is a welcome touch. The joint itself is pretty much hidden from view when built, with it lurking around the rear face. Cooling fin detail is amazingly fine. The cylinder heads are separate and also have some beautiful detail, including the spark plugs, which are tiny! More nice detail on the induction pipe section too. As with many parts in WNW kits, I recommend you take a fine razor saw to this sprue when removing a number of the parts for assembly. So what else is different? Essentially, nothing. However, you do get the opportunity to use some parts here that weren’t for use in the Clerget kit. Whereas the aforementioned kit has one cowl choice, the Bentley offers TWO, out of a possible four that are on Sprue A. The unused parts on this sprue, more or less mirror those of the Clerget release. This also applies to the other sprues, including the clear parts. One other part of note that can be used in this release is the mid-upper wing section, with the larger upward viewing cut-out. Both large and small cut-out sections are for use in this release, but with the Polish scheme E being the one for the larger cut-out. Decals Five scheme options are available here, printed on a single, large Cartograf sheet. As with the previous kit, the printing is perfect with solid and authentic colour, minimal carrier film and perfect register. The finish is also glossy, which is what I personally prefer. Stencils are included, as are instrument decals. The five schemes on offer are: Sopwith F.1 Camel B6390 “Black Maria”, R Collishaw (60 victories), Seaplane Defence Squadron RNAS, December 1917. Sopwith F.1 Camel B7190 “Donner-Wetter!”, WGR Hinchliffe (6 victories), “C” Flight 10(N) Sqn RNAS, March 1918. Sopwith F.1 Camel B7270, AR Brown (10 victories – including Manfred von Richthofen, the Red Baron), 209 Sqn RAF, April 1918. Sopwith F.1 Camel B7275 “P”, HF Beamish (11 victories), RA Little (47 victories), E Pierce (9 victories) & R Sykes (6 victories), “C” Flight 3(N) Sqn RNAS & 203 Sqn RAF, March - April 1918. Sopwith F.1 Camel F5234, KM Murray, 7th Air Escadrille (Kościuszko Squadron), Poland, October 1920 Conclusion As with the Clerget release, there isn’t anything at all to fault or criticise here. If you like colourful schemes, then I think WNW has done very well to incorporate some of the more unusual elements of what are normally very samey-looking aircraft, especially with the blue/white striped nose of scheme B. I don’t doubt that will be high on the options for many purchasers of this kit. Another classy release that will offer the modeller the perfect levels of detail and buildability. Highly recommended My sincere thanks to Wingnut Wings for this review sample. To purchase directly, click THIS link. Watch out for our reviews of the remaining three Camel kits (USAS, Ships, Le Rhone) on LSM soon.
  20. Loving it! Such a great kit. You'll love this one.
  21. That looks like a proper engineering project. I'm sort of getting memories of the one I reviewed now. Good to see it being built.
  22. Slovakian Focke-Wulf Fw 189A-1 I've had a serious run of bad luck with forum builds in the last couple of years, with the ones that I try to feature here being more prone to screwing up, such as the awful P-39 Airacobra kit from ShittyKittyhawk. My bin can certainly overfloweth. In an effort to buck the trend, I thought I'd build perhaps my most ambitious project yet....the HpH Fw 189A-1 resin kit. What could possibly go wrong! If you want to take look at the review I wrote for this, check HERE This is a very new project for me, and I'll post a few photos in the next days. Work so far consists of cleaning up the main components, such as the boom halves, stabiliser, wing, wing centre section, engine cowls etc. I have also glued the steel reinforced spar to the centre section and the outboard wing spares. For this, I'm using HpH's own epoxy glue with a 24hrs waiting time. CA will be used for everything else. This kit is supplied with an amazing set of 'Wet Transfer' decals which contain no carrier film. All that is left on the model after application is the ink. All I will use here though are the stencils, as this model will be finished in a scheme over than what is supplied. For this build, I will depict a Slovakian machine. I've always had a hankering for a Slovakian scheme ever since seeing it supplied with the old Matchbox 1/32 Bf 109E-3 kit. Markings on this will be airbrushed, with masks courtesy of Miracle Masks. The Slovaks operated the A-1, as well as the A-2 versions. This is what I aim to achieve. Stay tuned folks!!
  23. HPH

    There sure is. PE with a Micro Crystal Clear coat. Ok, only a little update as I go into fitting the canopy parts. The mid upper fuselage section required a 0.6mm shim of plasticard on either side so that it would come up to the height of the fore and aft clear resin canopies, so no step resulted. This section is glued with odourless CA so that nothing nasty lingers when I fit the clear resin parts. At this stage, progress seems to be slow, but I'm hoping to have the canopies and cupola guns installed within the next 48hrs...if I don't go mad first.
  24. Thanks for posting, Malcolm. If anyone can donate even one kit, and maybe an extra tool or glue you have, then this will help. Remember....kits must be un-started, and not of modern/current military types as the latter could have an adverse effect on rehabilitation.
  25. HPH

    Just to prove this isn't another HpH Fw 189 that has bit the dust (and there are many online!), here's a recent shot. I'm currently manually masking both the outside AND inside of all glazed areas, and it is taking ages. The masks were awful, and all undersize. I ended up doing this with strips of tape and infilling the centres. Very disappointed with the masks....the only real turd in this kit.