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  1. Hong Kong Models 1/32 Avro Lancaster B Mk.1 01E10 Limited Edition (Bonus Clear Fuselage) This review is intended to help you through the forest of small Lancaster modifications that were made in both field and factory and (as with the Spitfire) can be quite confusing. We have already shared photo’s of built examples and the first plastic that was available to us, so now it’s time to see what’s wrong and what is right. History of this kit Approximately five years ago Large Scale Modeller spoke to HK Models at the Telford (UK) show and heard of the plans to do a large scale Lancaster. One of the first questions we asked was: where did, or where, are you guys getting your drawings and input? Because we all know: a drawing is no guarantee for a correct shape. And most of us know that looking hard and long at surviving examples can cause lots of errors in detail, caused by post war modifications and repairs. This marked the start of a long and intense co-operation between HK Models and LSM. James Hatch, Cees Broere and Jeroen Peters were shown very early CAD drawings, which made it clear there was much work to be done. HK Models showed patience and willingniss to fix what was wrong. Mind you: almost all alterations and LSM input concerned the shape of tail, engines, fuselage, canopy, wings etc… When you look at the 1/48 Lancaster kit for instance you can’t miss the shape issues in the nose and engines, and we wanted to prevent these same mistakes in the first 32ndscale Lancaster kit. When we first got our hands on the 3d printed prototype a year later we were quite pleased with the rough shape. No details were present, only a solid 3d printed shape. This prototype gave everyone an idea of the size and rough shape. Nothing more. Months and months went by. Seemingly without any progress…. To the outside world at least. In the following months we went back and forth sharing photo’s, drawings and other intel to get the shape of the engines right. It’s weird: when you transfer cross sections from a drawing 1:1 to a 3D model, you might not get the exact shape you want. The computer interpretes the shape between to compley cross sections, whereas aluminium has it’s own way. The first 3D printed prototype, back in 2014. Currently being converted into a Manchester by Cees Broere: Slowly, bit by bit, we were shown small parts of the interior. The detail inside the cockpit and mid / rear fuselage is a step up from the B-25 and B-17 models. More on that later. Release dates were pushed back in the last two years. Sometimes caused by paint scheme options, sometimes by lack of 3D talent. A profession that is much in favour in Asia. Just in time for the Telford show (2018) HK Models told us that we would have a built production kit in our hands, and they kept promise. Just in time (or, depending on how you look at it, too late) in the sense that Wingnut Wings announced their release of a Lancaster a few weeks before the show. A big buzz on social media followed with the main proclamation being: HK Models must be furious! To my surprise HK Models took this news pretty well and responded: At least we know we gave this kit all we have. Which I know to be true. For me it was a special moment to see Neil Yan from HK Models talking to Richard Alexander from Wingnut Wings at the show, sharing experiences in the development of their kits. This is where I should address the oil canning announcement made by Neil Yan. Yes, this was to be the case, but with all the delay the kit had already suffered and the sheer amount of computer calculation needed to achieve this, the idea was abandoned. And let’s face it: if the Wingnut Wings kit (which will require at least another year of development) would not have this feature, nobody would have mourned the lack of this effect on the HK Models kit. In addition the Wingnut Wings kit will also have raised rivets. So in a year the modellers will be able to choose from a classic kit with fine recessed panel lines and rivets, or from a novell kit with raised rivets and all over oil canning. Both will require different paint / weathering techniques and will therefor attract different modellers. Enough on how this kit came about, let’s look at the plastic, in order of construction. The Box Facebook shows a lot of modellers that received their kit, marveling over the size. But it’s exactly the same size of the B-17 box. 66,5cm wide, 37cm deep and 16 cm high. To give you an idea of how big the Lancaster is, take a look at the B-17 kit and detract a few mm. The Lancaster kit measures 972 mm wing span and 664 mm length. Part count: 824. The B17 kit measures 989 mm wing span and 709 mm length. Part count: 709. The fact that the Lancaster is basically a smaller model but still packs over 100 parts more, shows you that the level of detail is higher. In this case we are looking at the Limited Edition. I believe Neil Yan told me that 1500 of these were made. It contains the clear fuselage, to show off the interior. In this box we encounter: - 4 fuselage parts (2x forward, 2x rear, in grey plastic) - 4 fuselage parts (2x forward, 2x rear, in clear plastic) - 2 main wings - 46 (!!!) sprues (including 2 clear sprues) - 1 photo etch fret I must add that a few sprues are moulded together and linked. But still… - One large sheet of decals to build either OLQ, POS or ARG. More on this later. - One large instruction booklets that has the size and weight of a magazine. The foreword has been written by our own Cees Broere. You also might notice the AK Interactive logo on there. AK Interactive has provided information on the three scheme options and will develop a special paint set for this kit in the near future. The sprues that contain most cockpit parts (Sprue O, P, Q, W, X): Step 1 through 13 (forward nose section interior / cockpit) • (Stage 1) We start construction with the pilot’s seat which is made up from 11 plastic parts, and 3 photo etch parts for the seatbelts. The seat part looks to be a bit on the long side and also the distance to the rudder pedals seems to be a bit long. Since I myself will replace the rudder pedals with photo etch ones’ from Eduard (which I’m sure will appear), I will position these a bit more towards the seat. Pilot's seat side frames: Pilot's seat rear frame: The arm rests: Rudder pedal arms: The kit's photo etch seatbelts: • (Stage 2) If you’re building a Mk.1 in early war situation beware. This cockpit includes a GEE indicator unit. See photo for reference. This unit was introduced in 1942. The GEE Indicator, type 62, used as navigational aid: The kit's part. Lovely detail: The kit's supplied radio: And the real thing. No complaining here: • (Stage 5) Also: this cockpit includes a Fishpond indicator (next to the radio set) and was only introduced in 1944. Again: see photo for reference. The fishpond indicator has a visible back which is moulded hollow. An error pointed out by our team and now receives a photo etch backing plate. The Fishpond indicator: The complete H2S indicator installation: • Also: The HS2 unit (radar) which is also included in the kit only saw service in 1943. Note that it works in co-operation with the supplied radar bulge. More on this part later. Using these parts is not necessarily wrong, since some Mk.1’s had this equipment fitted as the war continued. • (Stage 9) The instrument panel is quite nice but could have been a bit more detailed. The throttle levers for instance stand out… In reality these had two gracefully formed outer levers and two short levers in the middle. The HK Models levers look different. If you look at the Airscale offering, you’ll see what we mean. A nice illustration that shows you what is what: The kit's panel: This is what the throttle levers should look like: Here's a look at the Airscale panel: • (Stage 10) Part P26 is the Williamson F24 camera. One feature that is missing (we don’t know why) is the cone / lense of the camera. You’ll have to add this yourself. The kit's camera, seen from the top, with correct detail: The real thing: • (Stage 11) The trimming console (part number 59) next to the pilot’s seat (right side) should feature two star shaped trimming wheels. These are absent. See photo for reference. This is typically one of those details that an Eduard cockpit set will include… The trimming wheel console seen from above: Here's the kit's steering wheel, lacking the wheel brake lever on the left: And here's a look at the real thing. As you can see, the dimple in the middle, should be a dome: • The back of the steering wheel column is hollow. This should be solid / closed. So this needs to be filled. • The flight engineer panel (part P1) should be a separate panel from the panels that are alongside of it. These panels protect the wiring behind it. Please note that the Airscale photo etch supplies this panel separately. The kit's engineer panel: The real deal: The Airscale offering: • (Stage 13) The bomb aiming / computer (part P64). This element is quite visible through the glass domed nose and needs a bit of attention. First of all: If you’re building an early Mk.1 (pre 1942) you’d need to use a different bomb aiming mechanism; the CSBS (course setting bomb sight). Also note that the CSBS sight did not have a computer attached to it (part 15). If you are building a post 1942 Lancaster, this Mk.XIV will probably be correct, but still needs a bit more detail. See photo’s for reference. The early CSBS sight: The later Mk.XIV sight: Part 64, the Mk.XIV sight as supplied by the kit: • (Stage 15) The instructions call for a seatbelt on the bomb aimer’s seat, but as far as we know, it did not have these. So maybe better to leave them off. • (Stage 16) The cockpit window (part Cc1). In our honest opinion there should have been an inner cockpit framing. Like HK Models supplied on their Mosquito kit. The forward windscreen part of this frame was a solid cast part. The top of the middle section featured a stainless steel tube frame and the rear section was made of square strips of wood. So not all of it was a round frame. A feature that will be included in the Wingnut Wings kit. However this will be made from square shaped tubing, which isn’t correct either, since the top middle section needs to be round. Also: the horizontal frames of the aft section of the canopy (think of it as forward, mid and rear affair) did not have any framing on the outside. The Perspex was screwed on the inner structure with only the screwheads visible on the outside. This was actually pointed out to HK Models by the LSM Team but unfortunately not incorporated in the kitparts. If you paint on the inside of the canopy the horizontal frames (usually black), that would give the effect but that still leaves the outside framelines. If you want to go the whole nine yards, you will have to scrape or sand off the horizontal frame lines and polish for clarity and then paint the horizontal lines on the inside with the screwheads (steel or black) on the outside. Another thing are the separate bubble shaped windows. These glue on separately. Not exactly correct, since the pilot is supposed to stick his head in those, which is not possible if you glue these on. I'd recommend glueing these with Future. Early Mk.1's did not have these bubble shaped domes, later Mk.1's sometimes had only one and late Mk.1's often had two. So again: check your references. The cockpit window: The separate bubble: And here's a shot that clearly shows the tubular cockpit framing and bubble window: And while we're on it. The inside cockpit featured curtains that were used to blacken out any light from the cockpit, making the Lanc less visible at night. You might want to add this feature too. Note the wiring the curtains run along: UPDATE (step 14 to 32) • Step 14: The FN5 (Frazer Nash) Nose Turret The FN5 nose turret is made up from 22 parts (inclusing 2 clear and 2 photo etch). The basics are all there, but there is a lot of room for extra detailing. First up are the Browning .303 machine guns. They miss some detail on the flash hiders: the horizontal grooves at the base of the flash hider. See photo’s for reference. Master does a real nice set for the HK Lancaster, letting you replace all 8 barrels. Even if the grooves would have been there, I would have recommended to replace the barrels. They add strength and crisp hollowed detail. In terms of detail you could go to town and add electrical wiring and ammo belts. One part that is difficult to get right on the FN5 turret are the twisted arms that connect the main frame to the gun mounting. In the kit these are flat, whereas these should be twisted. Again: see photo for reference. What is remarkable is the fit and quality of the clear parts. You can practically click them together and they hold. Beautiful clear plastic with a perfect snappy fit: Building steps of the nose turret: The Browning .303 machine guns. Not liking the barrel detail that much, but the best possible in injected moulded plastic: Note the ventilation vent (which is missing) and the flash hider details: This is the Master Barrels set. Note the flash hider and barrel detail: Check this modern repo and you'll see the twist in the arms I'm talking about: · Step 19: The FN50 Mid-upper turret Like the FN5 turret, again, the quality of the transparency fit is amazing. All the basic detail is present (comparable with the B17 turret details) but offers a lot of room for extra detailing. The first thing I looked for was whether the rollers for the barrels were present, and they are. See photo for reference. These rollers followed the shape of the fairing and tail, preventing the guns from hitting the plane itself. The Lancaster turrets did not really have seatbelts, but rather lapbelts. These were slightly wider than the notmal seatbelts and had a steel wire attachement to the seat. You might want to replace the PE provided seatbelts with HGW ones’ which will surely be available soon. Don’t stare to hard at photo’s of still flying Lancasters, because they all have modern era seatbelts… So, check your references. Again: beautiful super clear plastic: Gun controls: Here's a wartime pic. Note the two rollers which followed the "Taboo Track" around the cupola. Present in the kit: · Step 20: The FN20 Rear turret The transparent dome for the FN20 turret is a one piece affair. Really nicely done. It allows you to build the interior and just place the dome over it, without risking glue on parts you don’t want it. When first test shot pics were released of this kit, people screamed: where are the ejection chutes?? We’ll, they’re conveniently provided in photo etch, like they should be. Again, as with the other turrets, I would recommend replacing the barrels for brass Master barrels, adding ammo belts and some electrical wiring. The one piece glass dome: Here's a nice drawing I found showing the top view and dialog of the FN20 turret: The ejection chutes (parts 1 and 2) and lap belts are provided in photo etch: · Step 26: The fuselage halves In the limited edition kit, you get the option to build your Lancaster with a transparent fuselage. I myself, would only do this if I was to add all the detail that it needs. Lots of wiring, wing spar, parachutes, etc… Anyhoo, you will notice that the clear fuselage does not have any rivet detail on the outside. This is done as to keep these parts as clear as possible, to show off the interior as much as possible. You will also notice that on both the clear and grey fuselage halves the windows are provided separately. I assume that leaving rivets off from the clear fuselage was easier than to mould all the windows closed? I’ve seen some chatter about these windows. There are people that want to build a later mark without windows. Know that lots of later Lancs that did not feature windows, simply had them painted over. Again: check your references. Note the smooth surface and absence of rivets on the clear fuselage: Delicate rivets along the fuselage and window openings: Fuselage windows: · Step 31: The bomb bay This is one parts of the kit that really need some TLC. The Lancaster had a whole wide variety in bomb loadout options. In the kit you’ll see the forward section of the bomb bay carries 4 bombs in a row. This is a possibility, but not a standard feature. The bomb bay contained three bomb stations. In order to carry two rows of bombs on the mid station, an adaptor bomb carrier could be fitted. This caused the mid 2 bomb rows to hang slightly lower than the 2 outer bomb rows. So: you can either attach 3 rows of bombs in your bomb bay, or fashion a frame that makes the mid two rows hand slightly lower. The detail in the bomb bay itself is pretty minimal, but I’m sure Eduard will go to town here… Also I’m hoping aftermarket bomb options will become available. Like incendiary cannisters (see photo for reference), mines or 1000lb and 2000lb bombs. Forward section with false 4 row attachments: Rear section with correct 3 row attachment: Typical 3 row bomb layout: Bomb bay detail. Three rails and lots of wiring: Loadout with incendiary canisters and one cookie: Another part of step 31 is the bomb aimer lower sighting window. Part 15. Not that the Mk.1 window is provided (the one with the rectangular window ), but also the later version. The rounded one. Again: know what version you are building and check references. Two escape hatch options: · Step 32: The tail wheel The tail wheel is the later anti shimmy type. Like shopping carts have a center groove to prevent the wheel from wiggling and causing possible structural failure to the tail. So if you’re making an early Mk.1, check whether this type of wheel is correct for you. These were also retrofitted on earlier Lancs. Note that the kit decal options are correct for this wheel. The detail is pretty low on the tail wheel, but on the other side, there just wasn’t much detail on the real thing either. The real deal: TO BE CONTINUED!
  2. Hi all, I had this itch to build a propeller type again. And if it itches you have to scratch. Although this time no scratchbuilding is involved, ...I hope. Here’s a start with the tailplanes.
  3. Hey guys, Been a while since I posted here, but I wanted to share my attempt at correcting the look of the B-17 around the windscreen/cockpit area. I haven't given up on my C model, as you can see, and I won't be progressing any further with this one for a while as I'll be moving overseas shortly, but I wanted to try a trial just to see if it could be done..... I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, even at this very rough stage! Cheers, Craig Cheers, Craig
  4. It's time for me to stop whinging about whats missing on the HK kit and start to add what's missing instead. The missing pockets down the side of the raised Skippers floor has always bugged me. So I made some. They are basically made of 10 thou plastic card, sanded square and, in this pic, held on with Blu tack. Next will be the trim "wheels" sitting in front of and above the trim whel next to the Skippers seat. I'm currently searching for images of what should be under the raised area. In the kit is a solid wall visible at the rear of the bomb aimers area. This surely isn't correct? I'm looking for images taken from the bomb aimers area looking back. I am also wondering what this kit is.. The box says Mk1, but I'm becoming more cpnvinced this kit ios a Mk.X
  5. Lancaster B Mk.I, R5868, PO-S (S-Sugar) It's been a week or so since I tool delivery of the test shot for HK's soon-to-be-released Lancaster kit, and despite some pretty crap illness last week, I made some headway this weekend and snipped some plastic. Most of what you see here is dry-fit, with a very small number of glued components. I've read on another site that this model has soft detail and soft edges. Perhaps that's the impression my photos gave, but actually having the plastic here, I know it's not the case, and is no better/worse than recent and contemporary releases, and is every bit as sharp as I would expect from a modern tooling. There was also a hint towards 'brand loyalty' too, suggesting that I would happily write nice words where none were really justified (in not as many words). My answer to that is bullshit. There's no such thing as a perfect kit, and this is far from a perfect kit. However, the Lanc is my thing, so here we go. From the RAF Museum: Building a Lanc As I have said, work at the moment has simply to snip some plastic and do a little test fitting. This time it's quite nice to be furnished with some instructions as I was building blind with the test shot fuse I received in Shizuoka. Unlike that test, this one required me snipping off all of the injection points which double as pin towers, from the circumference of the fuse halves. These are connected to the joint faces, which I prefer, and you'll notice that because of this, there are no pin marks within the fuse halves. Of course, the nose is a separate unit too. Hers's a couple of basic mock-ups of the cockpit area, minus many key details which still need to be installed. This kit does have a serious lack of wiring moulded into the cockpit areas, linking up the various avionics panels. This will need to be added with some lead wire before I can start to add some paint. When complete, things should look quite different. The bomb bay is around 12 inches long and is constructed as two parts. No other items fit into here apart from the sidewalls. The munitions plug directly into these plates. 18 bombs and 1 cookie. I also did a little turret work too, and here you can see the rear turret sat in position on the rear fuse. Note the tail spar boxing and the walkway. There will also be internal fuselage doors installed here, which I'll add when the interior is painted. More soon!
  6. 1/32 Paint Mask Set for Avro Lancaster B Mk.I (Numbers and Insignia) DN Models Catalogue #32/827-027 Available from DN Modelsfor $21,99 Introduction Today we take a look at a ‘complete’ mask set for the HK Models Lancaster, which ofcourse will also be applicable for the future Wingnut Wings Lancaster. The brand behind this mask set is new to me, but as the logo states has been around since 2013. Founder and owner Mitko Nikitov sent us these masks after we came into contact through his HK Models Lancaster review. His website shows an extensive range of mask sets for all scales. We being Large Scale Modeller ofcourse only look at the 1/32 and 1/35 sets, which include masks for the B-24, Do-335, Me-262B, A-4 Skyhawk, Starfighter, etc… The branding, look and feel and product looks very professional. Therefor we’d like to welcome Mitko with his DN Models product range to Large Scale Modeller! The set When comparing the quality of this product to other suppliers of masks sets, I’m tempted to look at Montex or Maketar, because the same kind of material is used. There are people that prefer the Kabuki paper (like is almost always used by Eduard and is also offered by Masketar) and there are people that prefer this rubbery, plastic adhesive like we have here. To me it definitely depends on the type of curved surface we’re working with. Plastic tends to have a sharper edge but is more difficult to work with on rounded and strongly curved areas. In this case, the case of the Lancaster, I would definitely prefer this material over Kabuki. The complete set: When people ask me whether I have started my Lancaster build I answer with a strong ‘No’. The reason is that I think using decals for the roundels on a kit this size is a no go. No matter how good you are in getting rid of silvering with setting solution, you will always see a decal was used. Besides: on roundels this big I love to play with contrast and shade insides the large red and blue areas. Fading, chipping… all things that are near impossible with decals. Here's my recent finished Wellington (48th scale) on which I used only masks. The roundels bland in with the model and are sprayed very thinly. Alongside this full mask set for the numbers and insignia DN Models has released a canopy mask set for the Lancaster, which we will look at in a separate review. This is a first for them in this scale and we’ve seen them do the same for the B-24 kit. The mask set includes three sheets with all insignia and numbers to build any of the three options included in the HK Models kit: AR-G B.MkI, W4783, No.460 Squadron, RAAF, Binbrook, United Kingdom, May 1944 The ‘G’ for George is a WW2 survivor with 90 operational flights and can be seen today at the Australian War Memorial in the Anzac Hall. What I like is that the serial number W4783 in reality shows small interuptions in the letter W and numbers 4 and 8. This is because masks were used in reality as well. These small interuptions are also present in the paint mask. PO-S B Mk.I, R5868, No.467 Squadron, RAAF, Waddington, United Kingdom, May 1944 ‘S’ for Sugar. When looking at reference photo’s of this aircraft (I’m talking about photo’s of the RAF Museum in Hendon) you’ll things like a large ‘S’ above the flash on the tail. This ‘S’ does not show up in earlier wartime photographs. Make sure you use wartime photographs of this plane and be sure to pick a certain time period, since this plane was altered in many areas. Think of needle props vs. paddle props for instance. The Cookie bomb carried by PO-S features hand written text: 100 NOT OUT. Even this artwork is included in the mask set. This hand chalked marking was done to indicate the 100thmission of this plane. OL-Q B Mk.I, R5868, No. 83 Squadron. RAF, Wyton, United Kingdom, June 1943 ‘Q’ for Queen. You might notice the same serial number on this plane. This is because this plane started out as OL-Q where it flew with the RAF, and was transferred in September 1943 to the Australian RAAF and received codes PO-S. This set does not replace all the decals provided with the HK Models kit. Only the larger ones’ you really want to spray. The mission nose art of PO-S, ground crew instructions, etc.. are not included. The large square you’ll find on one of the sheets is not mentioned in the instructions. This is ofcourse the marking for the life raft on the top side of the right wing. Verdict This set is (in my eyes) a must have for anyone building a large scale Lancaster. It’s complete, easy to use (easier than Kabuki in my honest opinion. Especially in this large size), and it’s well produced. No small corner inaccuracies that can cause masks to tear were spotted. Mitko was quite critical on the absence of colours in the HK Models kit instructions. We can say that he makes up for this in his own way by adding colour in his own instruction sheet. Well done Mitko! The only thing that I would have maybe added is an instruction on how to use these kind of masks. Many modelers lack experience in this craft. Make sure you use a marker to draw a large X over the roundels. This makes it easier to reposition the removed sections. And use masking tape to holy the letters, roundels and numerals in place while transferring them to your model. When in doubt: ask a fellow modeler on the forum! Highly recommended. Our sincere thanks to DN Modelsproviding this mask set for review. Jeroen Peters
  7. Here is my build for the GB.. Do-335 B-2 V13 (RP+UP) Not sure what Aftermarket I am going to add just yet... But I will be adding the following for sure - Brassin Wheels Brassin Exhuasts HGW Harness
  8. Hi just got the HK Models beautiful Lanc. Interested to know, what is the status of the accessories for this like fabric seat belts, dash boards, Instrument panels, barrels, wheels, Bomb sight, H2S radar etc..?
  9. 1:32 Avro Lancaster B Mk.I Hong Kong Models Well, it’s almost here. After a few short (some would say long!) years of delay, the gargantuan Hong Kong Models’ 1/32 Avro Lancaster B Mk.I is soon to hit the shops, and is in final production as I write this. In a few weeks, the decals will be printed, as will the instruction manual and glossy box with its artwork by Piotr Forkasiewicz. There’s no doubt that this will be an impressive product, and certainly one that will make many a heavy-bomber fan very pleased indeed. HK’s kit has 817 parts, a wingspan of 972mm and a length of 664mm, so you will need some decent place to display it when completed. The wings have been designed to detach in the same way as the B-17, with a slide and lock mechanism, and looking at the instructions, and parts, it does look like you may be able to also detach the substantial tail and fin assemblies. The final model will also come with three schemes, one of which is S-Sugar (PO-S) which adorns the box art. Stencil decals will also be supplied. \ My test sample is by no means the final version. A small number of other modifications have already been applied since mine was pulled from the tooling, including an improved wing-locking system via tweaking the wing tools. Arriving by DHL Express from HK, the kit you see here arrived in a plain card box with all parts bound in a many layers of bubble-wrap. However, the clear fuselage/nose parts were actually ready in their heat-sealed packets, and these will be included in the Limited-Edition release. At this point, I expect that the standard grey parts will also be included with this Limited-Edition. The clear parts are also covered in a peelable protective film to lessen the chance of any scuffing on that crystal clear and shiny surface. A relatively small quantity of Limited-Edition kits will be released, and I imagine that a fair few of these will have been sold on kit pre-order. HK’s kit has FIFTY-ONE (fifty-five for Limited Edition) sprues, a number of which are interconnected on my sample, and may or may not be on the final production release. A number of these aren’t sprues in the most literal sense, but are themselves large, single pieces, such as the fuselage, nose and wings. Two standard clear sprues are included, and everything else is moulded in light grey styrene. The fuselage is split at a joint just inboard of the wing leading edge, as per the actual aircraft, which was sort of built in modules. As for the wings, these are moulded as a single piece, so no need to glue upper and lower halves together. This is produced in the same way as the Mosquito’s innovative single-piece wing. Wingtips are separate items, and these are again moulded as single-piece, hollow parts. Note the openings for the engine nacelle modules to be installed. The latter can be more or less completed and then plugged into the wing, complete with undercarriage for the inboard nacelles. Whilst it was an original intention to depict oil-canning on the exterior surfaces, HK has decided not to take that approach, and have stuck to their fine panel lines and rivets finish as per today’s standard. The WNW kit will have the quilted appearance on their release which is scheduled for late next year. Internally, the Lanc’s fuse has a complete set of formers and stringers moulded in situ, with no pesky ejector pin marks that need removing. Instead, a series of tabs will need to be cut from the perimeter of these large parts, and a couple from selected windows. Fit of these large parts is excellent, and I can testify to the fit quality of the cockpit too as I built an early test shot just after Japan’s Shizuoka show. Internally, detail is excellent, with a fully fitted-out cockpit, radio operator, engineer, bomb aimer stations, as well as the infamous main spar which proved such an obstacle to crews which had to abandon their damaged aircraft. Ammunition containers, feed belts, doors to access rear turret, main hydraulics tank, flap jack, flare tube, turret hydraulic pressure recuperators, and even the Elsan toilet for those awkward in-flight moments! As you will imagine, the interior is spread around a number of sprues, and the completed model should look quite amazing. Note that the kit will come with some photo-etch, including such things as the seatbelts, but this test shot doesn’t have that. Those turrets are also nicely detailed within, and the joint lines on the forward and mid-upper follow a natural frame line. The rear turret glazing is moulded as a single piece item, and all turrets can be positioned/moved when installed. Barrels in this kit are moulded from styrene and the use of slide moulding has created hollow muzzles. Cooling slots are micely depicted. I do know that Master Model will produce a set of barrels specifically for this model. A small sprue contains the mid-upper fairing, and also a blanking plate, but the latter isn’t for use with this release. Another key external part that isn’t scheduled for use with this kit is the bulbous H2S housing that sits under the belly. So, it’s obvious that HKM has plans for the Lanc, as alluded to on the box art (Avro Lancaster Series). Four detailed engines are included in this kit, plus their respective oil tanks, mounts and firewalls. A little extra lead plumbing and wiring, and these will look very nice indeed. Of course, the intake radiators are included, with their very fine textured finish. Looking at the engine nacelles, HK do seem to have got the shapes correct after a failed few first attempts, so kudos to them for persevering with that. The nacelles, undercarriage and engine installations can be completed as separate units and then installed later. The appearance of the gaping mouth of the intake looks correct, and of course, the engine panels can be posed off the model to reveal the workmanship within. Exhausts are separately moulded stubs with semi-hollow, detailed ends, thanks to slide-mould technology. You will notice that both paddle and needle type prop blades are included, and both look slated for use with this release. The flying surfaces of the Lanc are pretty large. To strengthen the tail areas, the inside of the parts have a series of ribs that will stop any accidental compression from cracking the seams, and also provide more basic rigidity. Elevators and rudders are moulded separately and can be positioned. A large bomber needs a substantial payload, and this is supplied by means of 5 sprues of bombs and two which contain parts for the cookie. Plenty of construction work here to fit out the working face of the Lanc, but construction is very simple here. These are moulded with their plungers in situ, as well as fins, and you just need to add the ring to the fins. The instructions show the bomb bay doors and actuators being fitted at fuselage completion, which would be correct as the wings are separate modules which will install later. Clear parts are exceptional, with well-defined framing and no distortion, visually. Blisters are supplied to fit the main canopy sides, and the forward side canopy windows are separate too. Note that two different bomb aimer blisters are included in my sample, with only one for use with this specific release. I don’t know whether these extra unused parts will be supplied in the general release. My sincere thanks to HK Models for sending out this test shot for this article, and to build for the Military Illustrated Modeller magazine. In the meantime, check out the Facebook page for building the 1:32 Avro Lancaster, here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/LancAssemblyLine/
  10. 1/32 de Havilland Mosquito B Mk. IX / B Mk.XVI Hong Kong Models Catalogue # HK01E16 Available from MJR Hobbies for £139.50 The Mosquito was probably one of the RAF’s most versatile aircraft designs, and indeed, an aircraft that we may never have had at all if it wasn’t for the perseverance of its designer, Geoffrey de Havilland. It was actually the simplicity of de Havilland’s design that could well have seen the project being stillborn. To meet Air Ministry requirements for a high-speed bomber, de Havilland proposed a new airframe, composed mainly of non-strategic materials, and powered by twin Rolls Royce Merlin engines. Unlike designs which were submitted by other manufacturers, de Havilland envisaged that his machine would be fast enough to be totally unarmed, and with a smooth, aerodynamic exterior. For the Air Ministry, this perhaps seemed a little too much like a flight of fancy, and de Havilland was asked to simply act as a contractor for designs from other manufacturers. Undeterred, Geoffrey de Havilland took on his design under a private venture arrangement, using a small design team led by Eric Bishop, and work began under strict secrecy at Salisbury Hall, Hertfordshire, in October 1939. The aircraft was to be designated ‘DH.98’. Even though de Havilland’s proposal was for an unarmed bomber, his team created a design, which would allow the installation of four, forward firing cannon that would sit in the forward belly of the aircraft, and fire through blast tubes. With the war now in full swing, and changes in Air Ministry requirements, which saw a general acceptance of the DH.98 for a reconnaissance role, a full size mock-up was inspected by the Air Ministry in December 1939; only 2 months after the project began in secrecy. The foot was now firmly in the doors, and from this point, the Air Ministry made demands of the DH.98 which saw it being developed for a high-speed bomber and also fighter role. The Mosquito, as it soon came to be known, was one of the most versatile airframes in frontline service, with it eventually being used for roles such as night-fighter, long-range fighter, photo-recon, fast bomber, and maritime strike aircraft. No potted history of the Mosquito can be complete without a few words about its construction. The main airframe itself was composed of wood, with the fuselage being formed over a concrete buck, as halves, using a sandwich of balsa in between birch layers. These rigid shells required no internal framework, and once fitted out, were glued together and strengthened by simple bulkheads. The wings were also all-wood, being constructed from spruce and plywood, mainly. This highly successful design was also operated by the US, as well as Canada, Australia, China, France and New Zealand etc. and nearly 8000 had been built by the time production ceased in 1950. The kit This is of course HKM’s second incarnation of the Mosquito, with this particular kit version, the Mk.IX and Mk.XVI differing from the original release, mainly due to being fitted with the two-stage Merlin engine. This B Mk.IX was derived from the PR Mk.IX machine, and there are parts in this kit, albeit unused, for such a machine. I’m pretty sure that type could be cobbled together with relative ease. There are TWENTY-FOUR sprues of light grey styrene, all individually wrapped, a further THREE slide moulded main parts (wing, forward fuse, rear fuse), and THREE sprues of clear styrene. If you like a nice part’s count, despite some of the single piece parts included, then you won’t be disappointed. A total of 375 plastic parts are included, with options for both standard and bulged (cookie/blockbuster) bomb bay. These are supplemented by TWO frets of PE parts, and a single decal sheet from Cartograf. Tomek Wajnkaim’s atmospheric box art is superb and would certainly catch my eye if I was in the local hobby store. At this point, I do have to state that I have had an input on this kit, as with the previous Mosquito release, and this extends to a few design touches and also work on the manual. My extended team at LSM has also contributed with the box art and box design, instruction illustration and decals. The box carries the LSM logo too, stating our input. I don’t want anyone to be of the impression that I will write my article based on something I hadn’t declared. This kit, as with any other, isn’t perfect. No doubt about that. I will also state from the outset that there has been no re-tooling of either the wing (intake shape), or the nose section. These remain the same as the original release, along with any respective clear parts. For an review of the previous release, take a look at Jason Gill’s article HERE. Ok, onto business. Many a paragraph has been written about the previous release, both in modelling communities and on social media. Instead of doing an entire review for this new kit, I’ll do an overview, and describe the differences that are to be found with the B Mk.IX and B Mk.XVI. This is perhaps the first kit where I have seen slide moulding being used so widely, and for main parts. A full span wing is included again, and this incorporates both the upper and lower panels as a single piece. That’s certainly a very advanced way of using slide moulding, and definitely the most impressive. All there is to do to complete the basic wing structure is to add the trailing edge spars and wingtips. As far as clean-up goes, a faint moulding line exists around the leading edge, and that’s it. A few swipes with a sanding sponge, and its history. Wing detail is excellent, with not only the various filler and access panel details on the underside (remember that this was a wooden-skinned wing), but also the extremely fine laser-etched wing panel tapes. You’ll need to tread carefully with paint, or these will disappear. HK has also moulded the stabiliser as a full span part, with the same sort of trailing edge spar insert. In fact, all of the control surfaces and fin are also hollow and have a simple mould seam to remove only. I did say that slide-moulding was extensive. Surface detail on these parts is limited, by very nature, but what there is, is beautifully rendered. With the wing being a single part, if you wish to fit the underwing tanks, you will need to actually mark the locations yourself, and then drill holes. A plan is included to show you exactly how to do this. When you open the box, it’s hard to ignore the two fuselage sections, moulded as front and rear, and connected along the fuselage stiffening joint that runs circumferentially around this area. This perfectly hides any connection you will make. As with the wing, very faint moulding seams exist, and these will just need a few seconds to eradicate them with a sanding sponge. These parts are very impressive in their execution, with the minimal external details being nicely applied. The cockpit entry door and the equipment port in the lower rear fuse, are separate parts, and the side walls that sit underneath the wing, are also separate. This is to facilitate the fit of the wing to the fuselage, as per the real aircraft. Assembly at this point is not too dissimilar from that in the de Havilland factory! A detailed bomb bay is included, and two different styles of bomb door are available. These are the standard, straight doors, and the bulged doors for the cookie-carrying machine. Front and rear fairings are included for these, and these fit beautifully (speaking from previous experience). Of course, there is a major change in this kit, and that is inclusion of the two-stage Merlin engines. To accommodate these, longer nacelle panels have been included, as well as newly-tooled parts for the upper cowl, that plug into the upper wing. The new engine parts are moulded onto two identical sprues that also hold the longer engine bearers, glycol tank and supercharger etc. Detailed engines are supplied for both nacelles, as are two versions of the propeller. The exhaust sprue is the same as in the previous release, but this time, we build it as a 6 stub version, and not the 5 stub. All new sprues for this release concern the engine area. A total of six newly-tooled sprues account for this part of the build, and help to produce that recognisable nacelle profile. Photo-etch louvres are supplied for the side of the lower intake cowl. As far as I can tell, there are no cockpit changes in this release. Having built this one for the box art model on the previous release, I can say that the cockpit it very nice out of box, but would benefit from Eduard’s detail set, or the Profimodeller PE release. Some lead wire for wiring also wouldn’t go amiss. PE seatbelts are included too, but you might hanker after the textile ones from HGW. You’d have to go a long way to beat those for realism. Looking at the instructions, you are advised to install the bomb bay door actuators around the time you build the cockpit. My advice is NOT to do this, but to wait until the model is more or less complete, otherwise you will bend or snap them whilst handling the Mosquito. In fact, I would attach them after painting, at the same time you fit the bomb bay doors. If you want to see what can be done with the HKM kit, take a look at this link on The Modelling News. Probably one of the finest cockpits I’ve seen, albeit with a lot of dedication from the builder. I quite like the undercarriage on this kit. Looking at the real thing, HK has produced a superb replica, and it does actually articulate when built…..right up until the point where you have to install it to the model. Removing the seams on the wheels is a little tedious, but isn’t it always, unless you fit a nice resin replacement, such as Eduard’s Brassin parts. The undercarriage bays are highly detailed, with nice constructional detail and some wiring/plumping. A little extra wiring would be good to add, but the bays are quite narrow, and vision will be limited. Gear bay doors have the correct internal detail representation. The last newly-tooled sprue in this release concerns the canopy. This sprue holds just two parts which are for the side panels. All clear parts fit around an internal framework, and they do fit just great. Clarity is superb, and the frame lines are nicely defined. I would use Eduard’s masks for this canopy though. When I originally built the prototype, I had no such luxury, and it took hours. There will be a small change in the masks to represent this kit, but nothing too different. Two PE frets are included, with parts for the louvres, intake grilles and seatbelts. There isn’t anything to tax you too much here, and PE quality is very good. If you, like me, want to add some extra detail, then of course it would make sense to change the belts, as previously mentioned. There are three schemes for this release. These are: B Mk.IX, ML897/D, No.1409 Met Flight, Wyton, late 1944 B Mk.IX, LR503/F, No.105 Squadron, Calgary, May 1945 B Mk.XVI, MM199/M5-Q, No.128 Squadron, Wyton, December 1944 A single, large Cartograf-printed decal sheet is included. Printing is superb, with decals being nice and thin, with minimal carrier film, authentic colour, and perfect register. They are also glossy, which is preferable to matt, as I find they conform far more easily. The glossy A4 instruction manual is printed in greyscale, but it easier to follow that the early HK manuals, with shading being used on solid areas. Construction takes place over 44 easy to follow stages, with some sub-stages included. Parts options are clearly shown and paint call-outs are supplied in Gunze, Tamiya and AK codes. This kit is a partnership between AK, LSM and HKM. The latter pages of the manual have profiles for all three schemes, from multiple angles. These are printed greyscale too, and I admit that I would have liked to have seen these in colour. A profile is included for stencil placement too. Conclusion Whilst not a perfect kit (is there one?), I do profess a love for this one, ever since I saw it on the Pocketbond stall at Telford in 2014. That was when I was working with HKM, along with the other LSM team, and I took the prototype home to build for a magazine, and the box art. There is a respectable parts count, some nice engineering, and a finely detailed kit to be had with this release, and no doubt we’ll see more sets released to coincide with this hitting the shelves. Being the B Mk. IX / B Mk.XVI variant, this of course opens up more neat options schemes. I wonder when we’ll see the PR version… My thanks to Hong Kong Models for the sample seen here. To purchase directly, check out your preferred hobby store. In the UK, MJR Hobbies will sell this for £139.50. Click here to hit their page. Completed model of previous HKM Mosquito kit, built by author
  11. I'll take part with a Meteor F.4 from the (then) Dutch Air Forces, as they were still part of the Royal Army at that time. The Air Force only became the Royal (Netherlands') Air Force in 1953.... In any case, the Dutch Meteors weren't the most colorful variants to ever see the skies, but hey... There aren't many photos of the F.4 around on the internet either, so you have to make do with some early ones, BEFORE the introduction of squadron and base-colors. www.strijdbewijs.nl www.gahetna.nl / fotocollectie Anefo, J.D. Noske The second photo is from September 28th, 1949, showing a Meteor that made a crash-landing near the fishing town of Volendam, showing the squadron code "3P", meaning it was from 324 Sqn. The trigger to start the kit was a scale modeling day, organized by the Aviodrome Aircraft Museum on Lelystad Airport on June 20th. http://www.aviodrome.nl/dagje-uit-aviodrome?gclid=CjwKEAjwwZmsBRDOh7C6rKO8zkcSJABCusnbJ2GHPWa1iPn7Qk2rK6rPNFwMpY9N3MDpD_AI33QnFhoCtLTw_wcB The first thing to keep in mind is that the sprue attachments are on the contact surfaces of the fuselage halves and have to be carefully removed. If that is don, it's advisable to treat both contact surfaces to a little sanding with a sanding stick as there are some slight irregularities around the aligning pin holes, as you can see. To be continued.
  12. Hi there, BIG... WIP will focus on a first stage : the internal sub-assemblies. The ball-turret is on stage followed by the dorsal turret / set of parts. Please feel free to ask questions or leave comments. Thanks for checking-in. Cheers, Laurent.
  13. Ladies and gentlemen, Within a couple of months, or thereabouts, the new B-17E/F will be released by HK Models. I sort of get the impression that this is the one that everyone wants to see, as Memphis Belle can be built from this (and will be included in the decals), plus there will be an option to build another as yet un-named famous machine (with specific glazed part), and parts will be there to build standard E and F variants. Jeroen will be doing a more thorough assessment of the kit, along with Cees, within the next week, so my post here will just take a look at the new parts in this kit. Please remember that there is always the possibility that there could well be some refinement of the model as of yet, including the reduction of internal ejector pin marks etc. This kit contains no decals or PE parts. The final kit will have three schemes (2 x B-17F, and 1 x B-17E). First of all, there are around 15 to 16 new sprues! So, this isn't just a minor rework. The first one up is a whole new starboard fuselage. This is superbly packed in order to protect the delicate fin to rudder connection. How is this part different? Well, firstly, you will notice that the crew access door is now moulded separately, giving the modeller another display option. I couldn't understand why this wasn't the case with the initial 'G' version, and HK have obviously listened to comments. Secondly, the waist gun window has now moved in line with the one on the port-side. The old position can still be seen, but faired over. One great feature of this model is the ability to unplug the wings. To attach, you just clip them to the fuselage, and push them forward to lock into position. Here you see the chunky connector. This model needs to filler in this area, so rest-assured that this is a practical feature. New internal bulkheads are supplied. One of these is for the radio operator station, and one for the forward cockpit. These was certainly enough in the way of change to merit these being re-tooled. Of course, new parts are included to further furnish these areas. The E/F had quite a different upper turret, with a slightly lower profile, and what looks to be far more in the way of glazing panels. The turret internals are also markedly different, having built up the cutaway model for the HK stall at Telford last year. The instrument panel is also different, and here it can be seen, along with the plug that fits into the rear of it, sandwiching the instrument decal. Here we can see the earlier engine cowls that have a squarer front radius. New prop blades are also included. HK haven't simply done the most obvious in the way of changes. There are of course refinements in the original design, such as that fuselage crew entry door, but there are also new internal parts, such as new crew seats, and details that seem to be specific to the E/F, some of which can be seen in the waist gun areas. Here, we appear to see a fairing for the upper nose area of the 'F' version, maybe to convert the model to a late 'F', or perhaps even an early 'G' without the chin turret........ New internals for the E/F noses. Also included is the rear part for the new tail turret. The E/F didn't carry the Cheyenne tail turret that the later 'G' did, and here you can see that earlier tail, plus new internals for the various crew stations. New parts for the B-17E nose, inside and outside shots. And if the B-17F floats your boat, here are the specific nose parts for this, including internal shots. No less that FOUR new clear sprues here, containing new noses (although you should see another in the production kit, designed for another 'F' machine). New parts for Memphis Belle will also be tooled. Note the small astrodome for that fairing we saw a earlier. Also of note are the different waist gun windows, and the canopy for the tail turret. You can usually glean a lot about a kit from looking closely at the options, such as that astrodome. So, there you are. Expect to see far more in the next week when Jeroen and Cees will really look in depth at the whole kit, including the common sprues. Danke!!
  14. Many of the people who look here will already have seen this work on another forum. As I am no longer a member of that particular forum, I thought I'd put up some of the work done here. I will start by saying that this thread is not a kit bashing rant or intended in any way to disrespect the work of HK Models. We are all aware that there are issues with the kit and we are also aware that many people are happy with the way it looks out of the box, I for one am not happy with the appearance, so I am pulling out all the stops to correct it and make it a little more pleasing to my eye. I want to build this model as little Miss Mischief, but may have to change my mind as the NMF will be very difficult to achieve with all the cutting and modifications that are being done to the fuselage. We'll have to wait and see..... The first thing we notice if we want to build LMM (Little Miss Mischief), we need to move the starboard waist window back to create a non-staggered waist window fuselage. The recessed area for the glazing will be very difficult to reproduce, so I have decided to cut the window aperture out, along with a corresponding piece of plain fuselage and simply swap them over.... This is the inside of the fuselage, where I have marked out the lines I will cut. Note I've used the ribbing as a guide to keep everything square. Following some careful scoring and cutting with my razor saw, I have a £250 model with a big hole in the side!! Now, if we turn the cut out part over, we can refit it into the hole and hey presto, job done... No.. note the moulding for the clear part is different top and bottom... We need to cut the removed section in half and replace the front with the rear and vice versa... here's an interior shot to show what I mean. the plastic stock is there to lift the aperture into the correct position and to fill the gaps resulting from the saw cuts. Here we are, a non staggered waist window fuselage.. If you intend to build this kit this mod should be considered as it will really open up your options for the finished scheme, especially if you don't want to build it in NMF.
  15. Hello Gents ! Will be in with the Dornier Do335 ; one of my top-3 favorite German airplanes. AM : Eduard Brassin wheels, Eduard masks, RB productions seat-belts. Nose engine panels removable, guns hatches closed, cockpit open, 2 aft engine panels in open position for current ground maintenance. Bomb bay closed. I usually build my models out of war context, and this one won't be an exception. No svatiska and no guns, just a beautiful and powerful Dornier Do335. Most likely and partially bare metal, with a home drew Nose Art inspired from ESHER's work : Nose-art base : Free-style artistic licensed for personal civil version of the Dornier. Scheme is still in progress, but main idea is : 3 or 4 tone livery with at least 60% of the fuselage in NMF. Lately found something very inspiring : Will see... Thanks for checking in. Cheers, Laurent.
  16. Hi All, Finally finished the cookie monster! Basically a test shot that misses the fabric patches surface details and didn't include decals. I used Mal's perfect masks for the codes, roundels and No Step indications and also the ProfiModeller stencil decals. These include some typo's and are huge in numbers, but they definitely add some life to the otherwise dull surface of the wooden wonder. I took my time with the weathering part. Using a grey sharp colour pencil for scratches and a silver Prisma pencil for the scratches on aluminium parts, like the cowlings. Overall I'm pleased with the result and love the sleek lines of this machine. At the time I started this kit little after market was available, so limited to the HGW sutton harnesses and ProfiModeller Pitot tube. Ah! And almost forgot. I used Airscale decals for the instrument panel. Cheers! Next!
  17. Hi All, Here we go! Yet another Mosquito being build here on LSM while the kit is not even on the shelves yet. This kit arrived wrapped in bubbles, no decals and no instructions. Got these in PDF from Jim to help me out, since I'm not big with puzzles. Having already seen the sprues and kit at Telford the shock of all the slide mouldings wasn't big, but still impressive... Borrowed a few Mossie books from Cees (since I'm not an RAF expert) and just bought an HGW Sutton harness. My plan is to start with the instrument panel (some Airscale will help me out here) and see where I'll go from there! Let the journey begin...
  18. 1/32 Mosquito Mk.IV Series II HK Models Catalogue No: 01E015 Available from all good model suppliers priced £149.99 Anyone who, like me, saw this kit at Telford 2014 will have been awaiting this kit with baited breath. Well its here and all I can say is Yes, its as good as one hoped and from handling at Telford expected of this release from HK Models. A certain Japanese company has also announced a Mosquito so its soon to have some company but I think it'll stand up to that if only for some of the major assemblies and their quality. More of that later. The kit arrives in a very shiny, nice artwork adorned, large box. Its very impressive and also has something Ive not seen before as it says its made in co-operation with AK Interactive and the one and only Large Scale Modeller. I think this, if nothing else puts HK Models where most modellers want them and thats listening to their customers. This has to be the future and I can only see HK going from strength to strength by doing this. The box is very full, nothing is going to rattle around in here and get damaged, in fact everything is very well wrapped and contained in plastic bags that support and protect the pieces. Also as this is one of the first run of these kits it comes with a little gift from HK Models. A resin crew thats sculpted by Steve Warillow. More on these later in the review. Kit Contents. The box contains the previously mentioned figures, 28 sprues including the clear ones, a sheet of decals, a small etched fret and the instruction booklet. The instruction booklet is also backed up by a one sheet that covers all colours with reference to a number of paint supplier including AK Interactive and Vallejo. This is a great idea as flipping back and forth in the instruction manual to find that colour chart often gets to be a pain, first world problems I know but when a manufacturer puts so much thought into it one has to give them credit. The Sprues Sprue A: Sprue A is the 1st surprise for those who didnt see the Telford moulds. Yes its a single piece nose as a single moulding. Slide moulded and very high standard its really a lovely piece. I really like the fact that there is a very small mould line that needs a quick waft with a snading stick and its ready to go. This has to be the future. Sprue B: Sprue B continues the surprise. Its a whole single piece fuselage. Again beautifully moulded, only needs a quick waft with the sanding stick and all those old worries about getting rid of fuselage seams is gone. Magic. The seam you see on the side is supposed to be there. These were tape lines on the real thing. These have been added to the kit by, once out by laser etching the kit moulds. This is a first and really adds a touch of class to this part, the other fuselage part and parts of the wings. Sprue C: Well as far as single moulds are concerned, HK have kept the best for last. Both wings, straight through the fuselage, as a single moulding with top and underside all as one piece. Amazing. No other words, you just have to see it for yourself and no picture will ever convey how good this is. Sprue D (x2) on left, Sprue E (x2) on right: Sprue D of which there are two are mostly engine, undercarriage and ancillary parts for those lovely merlin engines and the nacelles in which they are kept. Its all up to the standard of the other mouldings, very good, and looks great on the sprue. Sprue E again of which there are two is the bombs and the underwing fuel tanks. Sprue F (x2) on the left and Sprue G (x2): These sprues are a pair of propellers, 2 of each and of different types. In the instructions G are the ones used and F is for a later release. There are also some smaller nacelle parts here. Sprue H: Sprue H has the Merlin engine nacelles, control surfaces for both wings and tail and some panels for those 1 part wings. Its one of the largest single sprues in the kit. Sprue K: Sprues K and L are more parts to finish of those lovely wings. Sprue M: Sprue M is mostly cockpit parts. What surprises here is the cockpit frame. Its a single piece and has no glass in it, its actually the internal roll cage on the real thing and is a nice touch here. This looks like a great idea and the glass parts are added later so will make painting the roll cage easier and potentially make painting the seperate clear part frames easier too. Sprue N: Sprue N contains more parts to finish off the fuselage itself. Sprue P (x2): Sprue P is the very large (Big Boy?) bomb. Sprue Q (x2): Again more fuselage parts for the engine nacelles. Sprue S: This contains panels for the nacelle sides Sprue T: Sprue T is another sprue with more tail components and some contents of the engine nacelles. Sprues U, V, W and X These are the clear glass components and are primarily for the cockpit, though there are some wingtip anti-collision lights too. Sprue Y: Sprue Y has the exhaust stacks for those 2 merlin engines. Theyre very fine and included hollow ends which should look great under a coat of paint. Sprue Z: This is the final sprue and has the bomb bay doors (there are bulged and non-bulged in this kit depending on the bomb payload) and some of the bomb bay actuator parts. Etched Fret: The single, small etched fret contains the seat straps for both the pilot and co-pilot/bomb aimer. These have great detail in them, sadly for now you'll have to take my word for it as I photgraphed the back, not the detailed front, of them. Doh!!! Decals: The Decals are on one very large sheet, this is very well printed, and includes a full set of stencils for the aircraft. They look to be very well produced and in register. There are 3 attractive schemes included: Marking A: Serial DK296, No.3 FTU, Errol, Autumn 1943 (in Russian Markings), Marking B: Serial DZ637/P3-C, No. 692 Sqn, Graveley, Spring 1944 in night bomber colours, Marking C: Serial DZ627/AZ-X, No. 627 Sqn, Woodhall Spa, Summer 1944 in daytime colours with invasion stripes. Instruction Manual: The very large almost A3 instruction manual runs to 28 pages, including colour schemes and the callouts for the stencilling and decals. I often think that a good instruction sheet makes me want to build a kit and this one certainly does that. And Finally Those Pilots. They are really well sculpted, great poses and will look marvellous next to the kit. I cant wait to paint these. Im not very aware of Steve Warillow and his sculpting work but if everything he does is this good he's a seriously talented figure sculpting master. These will look great under a coat of paint, and I cant wait to try them out. Final Thoughts. Well if you haven't worked it out yet I love this kit. from the advances single piece mouldings, the instruction sheet and throughout the whole presentation it just oozes class and its something that I think will fly off the shelf. It'll be hard to beat and I think at this point anyway it could well be the best 1/32 kit on the market. Its Highly recommended to all and even though its pricey I think it'll give you enough pleasure to justify the price. Thanks to HK Models and Neil Yan for supplying this review kit.
  19. Hi gang, I actually started this model a few months ago, but in light of a workshop disaster on the production line, I've decided to put it to the front again and accelerate the build. As you might be able to tell, this kit isn't yet released by HK Models, and as far as I am aware, this is the only 335A-0 test shot that exists outside of HKM. I will build this for Tamiya Model Airplane International. For this build, I'll complete it as the machine currently on show in the NASM, but in American colours, as she was evaluated at the end of WW2. This will need the new Eagle Editions decal set which is currently in transit between Montanna and northern England! This is the scheme I will do: So what are the differences between this and the previous Do 335B-2 kit? Ok, this is a brief list: No wing-mounted cannon and gun pods (smooth leading edges) No fuel tank in weapons bay. A bomb is included, but not to be used with my build. Curvier windscreen, as opposed to the more angled, armoured screen of the B-2, and no side bulges either. Different nose undercariage strut with mudguard. For this build, I will use a combination of both Profimodeller and Eduard sets, with HGW seatbelts into the mix. There is a LOT of metal in this one, and unlike some of my tardier updates, I promise to post some photos of this one tomorrow. Thanks for watching.
  20. Hello Gentlemen, Decided to start here on LSM in the coming couple of weeks this amazing kit. This will be my second 1/32 build. And believe me, It's going to take time ! I opened the nice box while drinking the second morning "Dharkan" coffee. Yeah, conclusion was that i had a very nice gift in my hands and that it deserves my greatest full attention. She's one of my favorite German airplane. I usually build my models out of war context, and this one is no exception. No nazi svatiska, no Luftwaffe attributes and no guns, just a beautiful powerful Dornier Do335 B-2 with Mercedes DB603 stern and aft engines. Most likely and partially NMF, with a home drew Nose Art. Free-style artistic licensed for personal use Dornier... "OOB" with just the Ed. masks, RB Productions appropriate seat-belts ant the -MDC manufacturer duralumin stamps- decals. Don't know yet what is going to be closed or open since i want to keep the most seductive Do335's silhouette. She will be grounded with open cockpit. That, is at least 100% sure. That's it for now folks, Regards, Laurent. PS.: Reference book will be "VOM ORIGINAL ZUM MODEL : Dornier Do 335"
  21. Morning folks! I've been busy beavering away on the HK Models Mosquito for the last week. This has been an exercise in understanding how the 350 parts go together. Thats right...I have no instructions Ideally, I want to build the version which carries a cookie, and also one with shrouded exhausts. Another thing I'd like to include are the invasion stripes. Matt suggested this: This is a possibility, but you'll notice un-shrouded exhausts. That's no big deal, but if anyone can suggest additional schemes with cookies and stripes, can you post here? I promise I'll include a couple of build images later today, or tomorrow, depending on how things go.
  22. Hi folks, Behind the scenes, LSM have been very proactive in working with HKM. Mostly on the Lancaster, but we have had a reasonable input to the forthcoming Mosquito kit too. If you'd like to see what we've been up to, then here is the box art, featuring my model, with the rest being done by LSM's graphic than division ( ) Pleased that we can finally announce it. Hope you like it!
  23. Hi guys and gals, The Mosquito is now finished, and all material submitted to Brett for publication in next month's Military Illustrated Modeller. A great kit to build. Pure fun, and no fussiness. Do yourself a favour...when this is released, buy it and share your work here. Here's mine, complete with Miracle Masks markings:
  24. 1:32 Do 335 detail sets (For HK Models kit) Profimodeller Catalogue # see article for price and code Available from Profimodeller I was lucky enough to recently build a test shot of the new Dornier Do 335B-2, from HK Models. This was, apart from an HGW seatbelt set, an entirely out of box experience which was published in issue #43 of Military Illustrated Modeller. It had to be an OOB build, simply because there were no specific aftermarket sets out for it at that time. That's the beauty of working with test shots. However, the first company, to my knowledge, to release upgrade/detail sets is Profimodeller, and today we take a look at these four new sets, and what they offer, above standard kit detail. 32209, Do 335B-2 barrel set, 599,00 CZK 32210, Do 335 pitot tube, 119,00 CZK 32211, Do 335 interior, 159,00 CZK 32212, Do 335 exterior, 590,00 CZK Do 335B-2 barrel set Out of all four sets, this is the only one specifically classed as use for the B-2 variant of the Do 335, and for good reason. This specific version had an MK 103 mounted within a large pod which extended from the wing leading edge. The standard fighter version (A-0 as supplied soon from HKM), didn't have this. Having built the B-2, I found that I really needed to drill out the muzzle brake, as for some peculiar reason, HKM had seen fit not to actually mould this with the openings already there. Of course, with the plastic part, you also lack a little of the sharpness and attitude that the real muzzle brake had. This set actually comprises of TEN turned and machined parts which directly replace all four of the Heavy Fighter's guns. The muzzles will connect to a set of brass barrels, but you will only see the forward-most point of this, where the barrel protrudes through the end of the pod. One very weak area of the kit are the two cowl mounted barrels. In a kit where so much is slide-moulded, these barrels look quite weedy, and aren't hollow at the end either. On my kit, these were replaced with aluminium tube, but this set also now supplies these for you, and of course, at the correct length. A small sheet of instructions shows you the parts included in this set, which are bagged within a small zip-lock wallet, and also gives the kit part number which will need to be replaced. A direct, drop-fit. Do 335 pitot tube This very simple, but highly effective upgrade takes the rather lifeless looking pitot tube in the HKM kit, and replaces it with a spangly hollow-ended one which is beautifully machined. Before you can install your pitot, you will need to fill the small area at the wing leading edge, which is moulded with the plastic kit pitot. Once filled and sanded to shape, you can drill it and insert your replacement part. The real deal here is that there are TWO pitot options. I have to assume that reference indicates that both types were employed on the limited number of Do 335s that flew. Either way, at least you have an option. Do 335 interior Whilst this set isn't specifically slated for the B-2, there are elements within it that can't be fitted to the A-0, such as the rear view mirrors that fit within the B-2's canopy blisters. You really will have to check your reference for the minutiae. This set contains one fret of photo-etch parts, and a small length of neoprene tubing and copper wire. If I'm honest, I do think the HKM kit cockpit is actually very good, and all I added to mine was a missing ejection handle. Having said that, I was aware that there was a certain amount of detail which hadn't been replicated. This is where this set will pretty much redress that balance. Here, you will find substantial upgrades for both the seat and control stick. The seat will be fitted with a cushion, as well as new armrests and brackets. I'm not really convinced by the cushion, and would perhaps use a little putty to recreate this. For the control stick, there is a little photo etch, and you will also fit the neoprene tube to this too, bracketed with a PE clip. One area I did find lacking on the HKM kit were the rudder pedals. These were poorly detailed and grossly undersized. This set includes a replacement set, plus brackets on which to mount them. Quite a lot of the interior, whether it be the walls or floor, are sheathed in PE, beautifully detailed with rivet and fastener detail. One anomaly in the kit is the gun breech block near the pilot's feet. This is disconnected from the forward bulkhead, where the gun mould be mounted. This is also redressed too. Other detail included is the ejection handle I mentioned, and the linkages associated with it (that I didn't add to my build!), and also a little console lever and bezel detail. You will also find new rear bulkhead detail in this set, as well as canopy release handles. This set is more or less a complete transformation of the kit parts. Do 335 exterior This is by far the most extensive and complex upgrade set out of the four that we have, containing THREE photo etch sheets, which appear to be stainless steel. You first need to get it out of your head that anything in this set is really classed as 'external', maybe apart from the front engine radiator mesh. Essentially, more or less everything in here is actually still internal, with the exception of the cockpit set we've just looked at. That's actually just as well, because I did feel that I needed to add more detail to the interior of the Do 335 as I was building, but I simply didn't have the time to do so. I seriously wish I'd had this set when I was building that. So, what are these other interior areas that are catered for with this build? Well, these are the rear engine bay, intake areas, and crucially, the belly bomb bay. Curiously, there is no detail here for the main gear wells. Perhaps it doesn't need any, or maybe there will be a forthcoming set..... The rear engine bay is changed quite dramatically, from interior bulkhead detail, to a COMPLETE sheathing of the bay floor. This is actually one area that I did feel needed the detailer's touch, and I couldn't have asked for more. There is also supplementary detail to add to the floor, in the shape of various plates and brackets. Sidewall detail is also supplied, sitting against the floor. One very imposing part of this area is the separate fuselage spine. Internally, this is devoid of detail. Well, not anymore! A quite fragile, structural framework will sheath the inside of this area, creating the illusion of a framework and riveted metal. This alone will help to totally transform this area, which is actually visible if you look upwards into the bay. The intake area also now has a mesh grille on both front and rear faces, and a whole new rear facing duct system which extends through to the rear cooling flap openings. These themselves have a photo etch framework to sit within them. Lastly, the bomb bay also undertakes a partial transformation. There are some replacement fuel tank straps included here which are only suitable for the B-2, but the rest will also apply to the A-0 standard fighter. Numerous parts are supplied which will detail the load-carrying framework, and a good quantity of sidewall detail is also included, as well as whole new detail sections which were missing from the HK kit. This includes bracket detail, and also a part for what appears to the underside of an engine-bay sump. In all, this is one hell of an upgrade set, and really gets my juices flowing to start the A-0 very soon. All PE is superbly made, and the instructions are perfectly clear to follow. Conclusion Despite only completing my Do 335 a couple of months ago, these sets are sort of spurring me on to build the not-yet-released Do 335A-0 very soon. They offer heaps of refinement and extra detail that I was so keen to add to my first build. I do feel that building the model again, will offer an entirely different and even more pleasurable experience than I first had. Some areas will be quite finicky to detail but the reward will be very good. Others will entirely propel the model into a different class of detailing. In all, I am very impressed. VERY highly recommended My sincere thanks to Profimodeller for these review samples. To order directly, click the links in the article. James H
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