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  1. Tanker Techniques Magazine IDF Special Issue vol.2 Author – Several Publisher: Ak Interactive Price: 18,95€ AK4845 Introduction AK has been established as a renowned brand for modelling products and high-quality publications. The book is in a A4 format with 112 Pages, with soft cover with reinforced inner cover. The paper is satin finish, with a good touch and with excellent printing, giving a lot of quality to the colors and image. All Photos are sharp and superb quality, allowing us to appreciate in detail each one of them. This publication is a special issue part 2 dedicated to IDF Armour vehicles and its crews, represented in 8 articles, 7 vehicles and a figure, made by 8 well know modellers. All articles have introduction text, and all pictures are numbered and correspondent captions in English and Spanish. A foreword is written by Michael Mass and Kristof Pulinckx and present us a modelling perspective of the subject in hands (IDF armour), and as a kind of bulleting news, informing about the amount of available IDF scale models currently in the market. As a special note, every build has a preface of the type, made by Michael Mass from Desert Eagle Publications, describing the historical context of the vehicle, its origins, field deployment and evolution in IDF use. A real compact history lesson in two pages. As for the content goes, and consulting the index, we have the followings: 1. ACHZARIT by Rubén González Hernández The first article is one of my favourite’s armour vehicle. Using 1:35 Meng as a base, this is a full step by step photo description, featuring assembly, detailing, interior painting, exterior painting, and weathering. 2. AMX-13/75 by Lucas Zaro The next article focusses on the AMX-13/75 in 1:35 scale, from Takom with aftermarket goodies. A very clean and straightforward build, also with step-by-step photos of the entire process. 3. Magach 6B Gal Batash by Oscar Ebrí Casola Using 1:35 Meng model as base, this article presents us with a model with some degree of scratch build and show us how we can improve a model with simple technics. 4. M113 Chata’p by Jesús Ramón The fourth article focus on the highly modified and classic M-113. Using Tamiya’s 1:35 as base and with the help of a conversion set, the author uses with care combination of items in resin, photo etch and scratch build, to obtain an original and aggressive look. Also, with comprehensive step by step photos of the entire process. 5. Merkava Siman 2 by José María Illa The sixth build focus on the famous Merkava MBT. Using 1:35 Takom Merkava 2B. This article focuses on a complete build with emphasis at the painting and weathering parts. 6. Nun-Nun M325 by Łukasz Orczyc-Musiałek Using the classic Resin offering 1:35 Mig Production resin model, this sixth article present us the task of preparing, building, detailing, and painting a multi-media. The result is a very convincing scale vehicle. 7. IDF TANKER by Calvin Tan The seventh article is a figure in a base in 1:35, using a classic Verlinden reference. The set was updated with some scratch details and minor corrections. The author integrates the figure in a small base. A written description of all items (figure preparation, scene, and painting) is provided, as a chart with all colours used to paint the figure. 8. M109A2 DOHER by Kristof Pulinckx The last build is a modern classic. Using the 1:35 AFV-CLUB Doher, Friul Model tracks a and a conversion set, the final result is a very convincing model of this well know SPG. The narrative drives us through the construction parts, showing the use of P.E. parts as replacement for the Kits parts, scratch build details and tracks worn and used treatment. The painting process is quite simple and effective, and the weathering process is based almost with oils in order to give a dusty look. Conclusion This is a long review, but the book deserves it and I really hope that the pictures will help to understand why. The historical introduction in the beginning of each article is a pleasant and original way to present the model. It’s my view that every author offers us with their unique way and personal approach to several technics, starting by the model preparation, painting and weathering and in the end, as far as a average modeller like me, I was captivated with some weathering technics presented. This book is a must, as it covers several aspects of the theme, aggregates several technics, and present it in a very attractive reading and visual guide. Highly recommend! My thanks to Fernando Vallejo and Ak-interactive for the review sample. Ricardo Veríssimo
  2. PLUSMODEL U.S. Telephone Trailer K-38 (catalogue n.º 538) Available from Plusmodel 17 resin parts, PE sheet and decals Prize tag:15.70€/22,40$ Plusmodel is the most prolific 1:35 model company of diorama accessories and we are lucky that over the past years, we having the privilege to have the opportunity of reviewing several sets. So for today, we got a telephone trailer! First of all, a little bit of history: “Although the K-38 is cited as produced by various manufacturers;[1] the SNL-G-685 parts list[2] reveals that the unique body parts all had AT&T part numbers. A list of serial numbers, manufacturers and dates of delivery is in compilation, and seems to indicate that Highway Trailer made the earliest units at the start of World War II, FWD production was later in World War II, and Regent Manufacturing post World War II production. The disc wheels, 4" wide by 18" diameter, are described as "motorcycle type". The earliest trailers had two tie-down holes stamped in a recess on either side of the wheel hub, visible in one of the images used here. Later plain wheels sometimes had a single hole cut in a corresponding place in each wheel centre, or a welded-on loop, and the post war Regent production had a different style entirely with more of a lattice section towards the outside of the centre disc. This variation can be attributed to manufacturers using whatever wheels were available at time of production, but all wheels appeared to have been made or altered to be able to be secured by hole(s) or loop. The bracket on the top is for a fuel-burning lantern used for roadside warning purposes, and on inspection appears rather more elaborate than it needs to be. A fabricated steel guard with mesh sides was provided for the lantern. No electrical wiring was provided on the original trailer, but a single taillight and reflector were commonly added. Security was by padlock and hasp on the main lid, the rear lower hatch being secured by a pin with a pull handle running up the rear inside of the main body. Production quantities are not known, but serial number spread suggest that FWD alone produced something over 3000 units, and there is a known spread of at least 250 units in the Highway Trailer serial numbers. The US Army Signal Corps K-38 trailer, cable splicer, 1/4 ton, 2 - wheel, seems to have been a standard civilian American Telephone & Telegraph designed product from the 1930s that was adopted into military service, and later augmented by the K-38A, a modified Willys MB/GPW jeep trailer which was outfitted for the same work - the repair and maintenance of lead-wiped telephone cable joints. The parts list below was published in January 1945, which supports the assumption that both types were in use at the end of World War II. Identical civilian trailers dated as late as 1948 have been found, albeit with slightly different wheels. Although the K-38 is cited as produced by various manufacturers,[nb 1] the SNL-G-685 parts list [1] reveals that the unique body parts all had AT&T part numbers. A list of serial numbers, manufacturers and dates of delivery is in compilation, and seems to indicate that Highway Trailer made the earliest units at the start of World War II, FWD production was later in World War II, and Regent Manufacturing post World War II production. York-Hoover and Transport Freight production has not yet been dated. USA serial number information does not seem to exist - at least in quantity, and images of the unit is service are very few. Most trailers seem to be identified simply as model "S" trailers on their respective serial plates, with just one known example of a late World War II FWD plate actually being stamped with the Signal Corps designation of "K-38". The hyphen is part of the Signal Corps designation and should not be neglected. The disc wheels, 4" wide by 18" diameter, are described as "motorcycle type". The earliest trailers had two tie-down holes stamped in a recess on either side of the wheel hub, visible in one of the images used here. Later plain wheels sometimes had a single hole cut in a corresponding place in each wheel centre, or a welded-on loop, and the post war Regent production had a different style entirely with more of a lattice section towards the outside of the centre disc. This variation can be attributed to manufacturers using whatever wheels were available at time of production, but all wheels appeared to have been made or altered to be able to be secured by hole(s) or loop. The wheels appear to be subject to more corrosion and damage than the rest of the trailer, and are a particular problem for current restorers. The bracket on the top is for a fuel-burning lantern used for roadside warning purposes, and on inspection appears rather more elaborate than it needs to be. A fabricated steel guard with mesh sides was provided for the lantern. No electrical wiring was provided on the original trailer, but a single taillight and reflector were commonly added. Security was by padlock and hasp on the main lid, the rear lower hatch being secured by a pin with a pull handle running up the rear inside of the main body. Production quantities are not known, but serial number spread suggest that FWD alone produced something over 3000 units, and there is a known spread of at least 250 units in the Highway Trailer serial numbers.” - in Wikipédia As all product from Plusmodel, the U.S. Telephone Trailer K-38 came with the usual packing, in small paper boxes with the parts wrap in bubbles plastic. Inside there are 22 resin parts, a photo-etched fret and small decal. The small decal (plusmodel self-productions I think) only have four white stars with an appearance of a solid white color. It´s does not look like to be a transparent white. The PE freet is a small one but it contains 37 pieces. In PE you will have all the small details like hinges, hooks, handles wire reel, cover supports, a sort of head “helmet” to communicate and others small exterior details. The resin is in dark grey and the majority of the parts have no flash at all. However, there´s two parts that have a protecting resin barrier to prevent damage. The trailer hinge and the axle for the springers. All parts are beautiful casted with no bubble or distortions... as usual, top noch from Plusmodel. And the surface detail is fantastic. For example, the trailer main pice have all the positive rivets and hinges well represented along the metallic reinforcements. The resin block are reduce to minimum making quite easy to remove with a saw. The trailer cover also have some really nice detail in and outside allowing the modeller to display this trailer open or close which makes perfect sense as the trailer has full interior detail. The springer and the wheels have exquisite detail, quite fine and delicated. The instructions are a simple paper sheet with assembly diagram, decal placement directions. Nothing to report on this one, as they are clear to follow in the construction and decal guidance. One more point this time and looks like Plusmodel have been reading our review: a small paragraph with a historic text about the model itself. Great! No color guide is given but the boxart is a good color reference. Conclusion Quality and Plusmodel are two words that can be together always. And to make a word “menage” you can add “creativity.” It’s a very good little kit that will enhance any diorama or vignette! Kudos once again to Plusmodel. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMEND Our truly thanks to Plusmodel for these review samples.
  3. Hello everybody. The Caterpillar D9 heavy bulldozer in scale 1:35. Based on the fantastic kit of the armored Bulldozer of Meng Models. Several parts replaced, made new or modified. Plus metal tracks, etched parts, new decals, lights, .... I hope that you like it! Cheers Micha
  4. PLUSMODEL Big Wicker Baskets (12 resin pieces) Catalogue n.º 537 Price tag: $20/€14 – directly from Plusmodel Once again, here I am reviewing another set of Wicker Baskets… this time some bigger ones. As usual, the quality behind all Plusmodel is top noch. All the parts come with the usual packing, in small paper boxes with the parts wrap in bubbles plastic. The set of Big Wicker Baskets are used in everywhere in the world and for a very long time, so you can use this in a XVIII diorama, a WWI ou WWII or even a Vietnam diorama. So you practically can use it everywhere. In the box, you find 6 different types of wickers baskets, only four of them are duplicated. Has I said in the other review, I’m overwhelmed by the parts details. The texture, the wick interlace is really notice and very well done in realistic manner. The small details as handles and lid are cast in separate parts, which is quite good as its gives the modeller much more display options. There aren’t any in this set and is not really need it. Conclusion What can I say?? A perfect set for any diorama modeler that would like some extra detail. This set is just jaw-dropping. I know it´s simple set but the detail finesse and real look of the wicker is too good to be true. What do you want more? VERY VERY HIGHLY RECOMMEND Our truly thanks to Plusmodel for the review samples.
  5. PLUSMODEL Stabile Engine (catalogue n.º 505) Available from Plusmodel Prize tag:33.30$/23.40€ And here I go again, reviewing my favourite diorama/accessories brand. To be honest was quite difficult to try to understand and know what the hell is a stabile engine. So I had to ask and cry for help to Petr from Plusmodel that told me that a “stable engine is an internal combustion engine designed to drive agricultural machinery, such as cutter, threshing machine, etc.” So it´s fair to say that is a “stability engine” made by the company “Slavia”. I didn’t found much but for what I have research, this light engine was in fact commonly used in farm works early part of 20th century. Not much I know but I even found a video from Youtube with the exact stabile engine that Plusmodel reproduce: Or this one also from “Slavia” So this little engine is quite suitable since WWI, I think. And I already have a project for it. As all product from Plusmodel, the stabile engine came with the usual packing, in small paper boxes with the parts wrap in bubbles plastic. Inside there are 30 resin parts, PE fret and decals with metal wire. The resin is in dark grey with a bit of flash but nothing that you can solve with a new n.º 11 blade but the casting is top quality as usual Also no bubbles or wrapping is notice in all resin parts... as usual, top noch from Plusmodel. The PE is unpainted and contains several little details and two mesh. All parts looks very fragile so handle with extra care. The decal sheet, as all others ,looks like Plusmodel own production, with very good registration, color pigmentation and very thin carrier film. The instructions are a simple paper sheet with assembly diagram, decal placement directions. Nothing to report on this one, as they are clear to follow in the construction and decal guidance. No color guide is given but the boxart is a good color reference. Conclusion Well, I got no much to say that I haven’t said before. Once again Plusmodel did it: quality, easy to construct, originality and good prices. This engine, as most of Plusmodel set is easy to be a part of a larger project... I sure mine will! VERY HIGHLY RECOMMEND Our truly thanks to Plusmodel for these review samples.
  6. T-44 Soviet Medium Tank MiniArt 1:35 Catalogue n.º 35193 Price tag: £ 39.99 659 plastic parts 15 clear parts 1 decal sheet for 10 variants 1 photo etch fret with 94 parts Total: 768 parts. MiniArt did make a good marketing move with the release of two videos on this model and truly it was not for less: one T-44, first released in injected plastic and then with full inside. Everyone can google it and search for a full history of this almost WWII tank. So a little resume in wikipédia: The T-44 is a medium tank first produced near the end of the World War II by the Soviet Union. It was the successor to the T-34, offering improved ride and cross-country performance and much greater armor. Designed to be equipped with a powerful 85 mm main gun, by the time it was fully tested the T-34 had also moved to this weapon. Both tanks offered similar performance, so introducing the T-44 was not considered as important as increasing T-34 production. Fewer than 2,000 T-44s were built, compared to about 84,000 T-34s. Although the T-44 was available by the end of the war, they were not used in combat. Attempts were made to improve the T-44's armament with a new 122 mm gun, but the turret proved very cramped and the rate of fire was poor, on the order of three rounds per minute. Another attempt with a 100 mm gun seemed more promising although a number of additional changes would be needed to make a truly effective design. Design work on a slightly enlarged version of the T-44 began during the war and a prototype was produced in 1945. This newer design entered production in 1947 as the T-54/55 series of medium tanks, the most-produced tank of all time We were lucky enough to get a sample directly from MiniArt of the brand new T-44 in 1:35 with full interior. I have an addiction when I open a new kit - see the instructions. Now I decided to start this review by precisely by the instructions. I know it's not common, but at least it's different. The instructions comes in in A4 brochure with features list on the front page. Before the constructions drawings, a short history, parts map which should be mandatory in all instructions), assembly process and finally profiles options. The color guide and info is made in collaboration with Ammo of Mig, so all references colors are from their paint range. The first thing I noticed is, unlike instructions Gaz Bus Passenger, that over the instructions are given information which colors to use. This help is very welcome and is a novelty in Miniart and very welcome and is a sign that actually Miniart is listening to their customers and Reviewers since the last review indicated that the low point of Gaz was precisely not have any indication colors for interior. Kudos MiniArt. The instructions indications and drawings are quite clear and modeller friendly, with the parts attachmet points well indicated and with very good color indications. As I said, now I have the habit of reading the more than 3 times instructions (addiction acquired with WnW) and a careful observation can be seen that the division driver is not included and the engine compartment may not be complete because only It presents the engine without further detail such as exhaust connections. If we see 12 in steps 17 and 20 clearly see what is contemplated is the only engine and only provided the possibility of even hatches open upon engine. And a careful observation of the points 17,21, 27, 32 and especially 35, we clearly see that there is not a single piece to the driver's compartment. As can check in step 35, upper hull portion which covers the driver has the hatch in one piece with the remaining part with no possibility of opening without an operation and scracthbuild. The thought of MiniArt may be the following: if you do not provide the possibility of make the driver's compartment visible (for having the hatch closed without possibility of opening) is not necessary to do the driver's compartment. It was indeed a MiniArt option but honestly with so much detail in the fighting compartment and the tower, the driver compartment would be a nice touch and a must I think to full interior model kit. As for the Gaz, the schemes options are made by Ammo of Mig, and give us 10 options with several profiles and full color indications. 8 are from Soviet Army and two are beute-panzers 1946 with two what if options. 1. T-44 from unidentified units of the Red Army in the summer of 1945; 2. T-44 from unidentified units of the Red Army 1945-1947; 3. T-44 from unidentified units of the Red Army 1947-1955; 4. T-44 from unidentified units of the 8th Mechanized Army. Operation “Whirlwind”, Budapest, Hungary, 4-11, November 1956. 5. T-44 from unidentified units of the 8th Mechanized Army. Operation “Whirlwind”, Budapest, Hungary, 4-11, November 1956. 6. T-44 presumably Belarussian Military District, 50th years; 7. T-44 from unidentified units of the Red Army in the summer of 1945; 8. T-44 from the 29th Armored Division of the 5th Guards Mechanized Army, Slonin, Belarus, 1946-1947; 9. Captured T-44 battle group “Fries”, 38th Panzer Corps of the Wehrmacht, Kurland in January 1946; 10. Captured T-44 with its own name “Lilofee”, 101th Jaeger-Division of the Wehrmacht, Austria, spring-summer, 1946; I do have a soft spot for Luft 46 and Paper Panzer 1946, so I will with no doubt to one of those options. To these options, a small decal sheet is provide with good colour registration and thin film carrier that will provide a very good adaption to the surface. I never found out which is MiniArt manufacture so I wonder if it is a MiniArt fabrication and if it is is a quite good one. The only PE fret is packed between two cardboard sheets and contains 94 parts. Of course, here you will find some typical elements like engine meshes as well as some parts for interior. Now, cracking the plastic. All the plastic come in a one plastic bag, as usual by MiniArt. However, this time, some others more fragile parts came inside another plastic bag. A nice addition packing care by MiniArt. The plastic does have some nice engraved detail and no flash at all. The plastic is the new and improved one, so is a friendly modeller use. There`s a lot of sprue… several are simply equal and could be all in one and its looks like that they were all in one like the F1 that is quite a small sprue… They all are cut in one en and it looks that they were moulded in a single sprue and them cut in each one. With that politicy, there`re a lot of sprues in this kit, 65 frets in total. I really like the detail on the plastic and the best example of that is the cast iron textured surface sides and bottom. The hull comes in separate panels, which require careful alignment and dryfit to get it done. I confess that I prefer the single moulded hull. Another point that I always look is the barrel. In this case I`m quite happy with the box example. A single moulded piece with a hollow end and not a two slice pieces. Yup, someone could said: a metal barrel would be nice. Yes but I think we really can not complain with the barrel part give from the box. This tank does have quite a few transparent parts for a tank! 15 transparent parts included and in excellent quality and real transparent. The tracks have great engraved details and are made to be workable along with torsion workable bars. There`s a round of pics of the plastic of the fantastic kit. CONCLUSION This kit has everything to be a great success MiniArt and is well deserved because it can be an excellent replica out of the box. The injection moulding is top noch and the quality of the plastic shows MiniARt care with quality and detail. I think this will be and should always be the manufacturers of the way: get a good direct replica box. And in this case the MiniArt actually offers that to the modeler. Certainly not have all the inside detail but the detail missing with the current design of the upper parts is not visible and therefore we can always say that with the upper hull kit designs, the missing interior detail was effectively useless for invisible. The options given are very interesting and mostly beute-panzer 1946. The kit is very well done and shows clear improvements regarding the latest releases specialty in the colour guides. Yes, is space left for AM for the interior and the metal barrel but the kit remains a great model straight from the box. Very Highly Recommend My truly Thanks to Miniart for the review sample. Fran
  7. PLUSMODEL 1:35 Caravan (90 resin pieces and photo-etched set and one decals sheet to 3 version) Catalogue n.º 504 Price tag: 118,20$ (83€) – directly from Plusmodel. Plus Model was established in 1990 in the Czech Republic. Their product range is comprised primarily of 1/35th scale resin kits, conversion sets, and accessories which are vacuum cast from polyurathane plastic. For many years up to today that Plusmodel was creating in a clear and serene form, their own space in modeling, especially for 1/35 scale with fantastic resin kits and accessories for dioramas. If you want something different and it will stand out in your diorama or vignette, Plusmodel is the answer. Once again, now we do have an item that will stand for itself in any work, as a unique and original item: 1:35 Caravan. As far I could get some intro for this. I have failed miserably. I had no references for this caravan, in use in the Wehrmacht or those marking that I will show later on this review. I asked even to some expertise friends and still nothing. I did get some pictures, directly from Plusmodel, that kindly given permission to publish them here. So back to the box, you get a usual sturdy box in an open top. It`s very well packaged, with all the parts coming inside of a bubble bag. The dark gray resin is perfectly molded and you well may struggle to see bubbles in the 90 resin parts as they will see not a single one. Outstanding casting as it was expected by Plusmodel. All resin parts come in a plastic bag and in a smaller plastic bag, the decals and photo-etched. The box art is very attractive and is not more than the fully built and painted model which highlights the quality of Plusmodel. But let's get to it: All the resin pieces are easy to work out and quite simple to clean the flash and the resin blocks. All the undercarriage is very well detailed and presumably, it`s quite well reproduced. All the springs, axles, suspension system, tabs, etc is represented given the modeler the possibility to put in upside down or even turn over. Checking up the caravan itself, it’s constituted for 4 sturdy resin walls that don’t show with any distortion or bubbles which is quite outstanding considering the size of those parts. The surface detail is very good. The two end parts are in the same quality casting with a door in one of then, just you can just leave it open. The caravan as no interior but it as doors and windows so it’s up to the modeler to create the interior… some sleeping bed, war machinery (radios, shelves, chairs, etc). The wheels are well cast, with detail and no bubbles and raised details very well achieved. Plusmodel gives the modeler every detail possible in resin like a small chimney, bolts and side boxes. The small photo-etched sheet contains some small parts for the suspension and trailer itself and a skylight hatch. These small details (as hinges, handles and tubes) give a realistic touch to the model. The decal sheet has a good color registration, made usually by Plusmodel itself. The color and letters look fine by me but I have no reference at all of the options given. The civil options are totally unknown for me, but I googled “OldenBurg” or “F.W. DEUS” or “Joh. Grüters” and nothing, zero… Was quite frustrating… As I already said, the only pictures I have were, generously given by Plusmodel. The instructions are quite noticeable, with simple comprehension without any difficulty to the modeler with the parts numbers very well identified and the place where to, being quite easy to follow to the intermediate modeler. Conclusion: This caravan is possible to be almost every theather in WWII… I confess that I didn’t found anything about it on the internet, really nothing, but the pictures given by Plusmodel are just great. In this kind of subjects, more obscure ones, I think Plusmodel could put some history in the instruction and even a link to some pictures where they had their inspiration. As for the product, the quality is of the highest level, with castings at most higher standard and detail is one of the best in modeling world, as resin concern. Very Highly recommended. With my sincere thanks to Plusmodel for this review sample. To purchase directly, click this link. Francisco Guedes
  8. PLUSMODEL Wicker Baskets (27 resin pieces and one small PE sheet) Catalogue n.º 507 Price tag: $27,30/€19,10 – directly from Plusmodel Plusmodel is my favorite diorama accessories manufacture in the modeling world as they do allied quality with originality. If your project is a vignette or a diorama, then Plusmodel is your solution. Wicker Baskets are used in everywhere in the world and for a very long time, so you can use this in an XVIII diorama, a WWI or WWII or even a Vietnam diorama. So you practically can use it everywhere. All the parts come with the usual packing, in small paper boxes with the parts wrap in bubbles plastic. In the box, you find 5 different types of wickers baskets, two of each and one wicker box. The detail is such outstanding… I really don’t have words to express how amazed I was when I saw them. So I will just let here the pics. The small details as handles and lid are cast in separate parts, which is quite good as it gives the modeler much more display options. The Pe sheet is just for straps for one wicker. The instructions are a simple paper sheet with an assembly diagram of some of the baskets. Conclusion I`m afraid that I becoming quite annoying about Plusmodel quality but is their fault. This set is just jaw-dropping. I know it´s simple set but the detail finesse and real look of the wicker is too good to be true. What do you want more? VERY VERY HIGHLY RECOMMEND Our truly thanks to Plusmodel for the review sample.
  9. PLUSMODEL Diorama Accessories Sets and a Bunker (Garden Pump; U.S.300 gallon fuel tank and German Artillery Bunker”) Available from Plusmodel for the prices indicated below on the text Plusmodel is my favourite diorama accessories manufacture in modelling world as they do allied quality with originality. If your project is a vignette or a diorama, then Plusmodel is your solutions. All the samples come with the usual packing, in small paper boxes with the parts wrap in bubbles plastic. Garden Pump Catalogue n.º 532 Prize tag: 19.70$/13.80€ In a diorama, the small details are the ones that give live to your work. This garden pump is a complete set with base, a slide, pump and two watering cans. The pump is well cast in a single and delicate with good detail. The watering cans are in two sizes and are semi-hollow, allowing the modeller to add the water. The slide is in a single piece, well cast and quite fine simulating the real structure. U.S. 300 gallon fuel tank Catalogue n.º 533 Price Tag: $22.40/€15.70 Now a set for modern subject, not really small but with not many parts, only 18 resin and a small decal sheet. All the parts are cast in light gray resin and no warps or casting imperfections. The decal sheet, as all others, looks like Plusmodel own production, with very good registration, color pigmentation and very thin carrier film. The fuel tank is support in two cement beans, giving the modellers a good details on the fuel tank structure. The fuel tank itself has lots of upper details with all gauges and valves, 8 to be precise. The instructions are a simple paper sheet with an assembly diagram, decal placement directions. Nothing to report on this one, as they are clear to follow in the construction and decal guidance. No color guide is given as it's up to anyone imagination, as practically it's up to your imagination and probably your imagination will not match the reality. German Artillery Bunker Catalog n.º 493 Price tag: $39.10/27.40€ This bunker has no resin, only plaster parts, but its big and imposing presence with 12 parts. The plaster parts are very well conceived and its quite easy to get it all together in no time. The parts don’t need any cleaning being ready to assemble and paint. The plaster texture is perfect to simulate concrete so do not soft the surface. Its rough tans its perfect like that. No decals sheet, and to be honest, none is necessary. The instructions are quite easy to follow and I believe that even with no instructions, this bunker is a shake´nd´bake. Conclusion I`m afraid that I becoming repetitive about Plusmodel quality but is their fault. These sets just have everything for your diorama: quality, easy to construct, originality and good prices. What do you want more? If these sets are what you need to enhance your diorama just do it and treat yourself and your work and project. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMEND Our truly thanks to Plusmodel for these review samples.
  10. Mini Art STuG III 0-series 1:35 Scale Part No. 35210 Introduction with thanks to historyofwar.org When it first appeared the Sturmgeschütz, or as it is more commonly known the StuG III, was a unique weapon – a powerful artillery gun mounted on a fully armoured, tracked, low slung chassis based on the Panzer III medium tank, and designed to provide close support for the German infantry. By the middle of the Second World War it had developed into a potent anti-tank weapon, and the StuG III Ausf.G was produced in larger numbers than any single version of any other German tank or armoured fighting vehicle of the Second World War. The StuG went through a series of name changes during its history. On 15 December 1936 it was officially named the PaK (Sfl.), or anti-tank gun (self-propelled). In 1937 it became the Pz.Sfl.III (s.Pak), or armoured self propelled vehicle, third model (heavy anti-tank gun). On 7 February 1940, as the first vehicles were close to entering service, the name changed again to the 7.5cm Kanone (Pz.Sfl.) or 7.5cm gun (armoured, self propelled). The familiar name appeared on 28 March 1940, when the vehicle was renamed as the Sturmgeschütz, or assault gun, abbreviated to Stu.G. Even Sturmgeschütz was an abbreviation of the full name found in official documents of gepanzerte Selbstfahrlafette für Sturmgeschütz (7.5 cm Sturmjanone 40 L/43), or armoured Self-propelled gun carriage (7.5cm assault gun 40, length 43 calibres). This changed again in 1943 when the first StuGs based on the Panzer IV began to appear. The StuG III now officially appeared, as the Sturmgeschütz III für 7.5cm Stu.K.40 L/48 (Sd.Kfz 142/1), or Assault Gun III for 7.5cm assault cannon 40, length 48 calibres. Short gunned StuG (Ausf A-Ausf E) Development of the StuG began in 1936 when the first specification was issued. The new vehicle was to provide artillery support for the infantry. It had to carry a gun with a calibre of 75mm, capable of firing for 6000m and penetrating 40mm of armour at 500 meters. It was to have all-round armour, although the early version was to have an open roof. Finally the vehicle was to be no taller than a standing man. Daimler-Benz were given the contract to produce the chassis and superstructure of the new vehicle, and unsurprisingly chose to base it on their own Panzer III. Krupp got the contract to develop the new gun. Five experimental vehicles and five experiment guns were ready by 1938. They had soft steel superstructures and a fixed gun, which made them unless for combat, but they were used to improve the design and to develop tactical doctrines for the use of the new weapon. This period also saw the open roof replaced by an armoured roof, to protect the crew against incoming small arms fire when the vehicle was on the forward facing slope of a hill. The StuG featured the same hull and suspension as the standard Panzer III. The superstructure and turret of the tank was replaced by a rectangular fighting compartment, which contained the commander, loader and gunner, while the driver remaining in position in the front-left of the vehicle. The gun itself did not quite have the range of movement that had been desired, but only by a small margin. Although the eventual long gunned StuG was produced in response to a crisis on the Eastern Front, the idea of fitting a longer gun on the StuG chassis predated the war. In August 1938 Krupp started working on possible guns, and a wooden model was complete by November 1939. This gun reached the prototype stage in 1940 and series production was planned, but these plans were abandoned after the Germans encountered the T-34 and the KV-1 tanks early in the invasion of the Soviet Union. These Soviet tanks had armour that was simply too thick for the existing German tank guns to penetrate at typical combat range. The Germans reacted by developing long gun armed versions of both the Panzer IV and the StuG III. Rheinmetall received the contract to produce the StuG gun, eventually producing the 7.5cm Stu.K 40 L/43, designed to have a muzzle velocity of 770 meters per second with a 6.8kg shell. This made it capable of penetrating 80mm of armour sloped at 30 degrees at 1,000 meters. Production of the new gun began in March 1942 and soon picked up speed. In the same month the first three StuG III Ausf.Fs, combining the chassis of the Ausf.E with the new long gun, were completed by Alkett in Berlin. They were later joined by Miag at Braunschweig and MAN at Nuernberg. Eventually 8,413 long-gunned StuG IIIs would be produced (from a total production run of 9,235). Production rose steadily from 1940, when only 15 were built per month, to 45 per month in 1941 and 66 per month in 1942, but the vast majority were built in 1943-44. 395 were built in October 1943, and even as late as December 1944 a total of 492 StuGs and StuHs (armed with a howitzer) were built. German tests proved that the long-gunned StuG III could penetrate the front armour of the Cromwell, Churchill and 75mm M3 armed Sherman from well outside the effective range of those tanks, but that the 76mm M1A1 armed Sherman outranged the StuG. The situation was more even if side armour was involved. The frontal armour of the StuG was also vulnerable to fire from Russian 85mm and 122 mm guns, as seen in the T-34/85 and the heavy JS (or IS) series of tanks. Combat Record – Short Gun The short-gunned StuG was designed to operate in support of the infantry, following behind the advancing troops and providing high explosives artillery fire to help overcome any enemy strong points that were holding up the advance. This was the same role that was performed by the short-gunned versions of the Panzer IV, and could replace that vehicle when operating with tanks. It was seen as an offensive weapon, although the lack of close-defence weapons and its light side armour meant that it was not to be used in close-quarters fighting. At first the StuG was used to equip independent Sturmartillerie-Abteilung (assault gun detachments). These each contained three gun batteries, each with six StuGs divided into three platoons, giving each detachment eighteen StuGs. Later on the battery commanders were also given a StuG, bringing the theoretical total up to twenty-one. These batteries and detachments were not to be permanently attached to any particular division, but would be attached to unit for specific operations.This system took some time to put in place. At the start of the German offensive in the west in May 1940 the StuG was in use with Sturmartillerie Batteries 640, 659, 660 and 665, and only twenty four vehicles had entered service by the end of May. One of these batteries then became part of the infantry regiment “Grossdeutschland” (the predecessor of the more famous infantry division of the same name).The detachments began to take form in August 1940. By January 1942 a total of 18 Sturmgeschütz-Abteilungs had been formed (the name changed in February 1941), while three batteries had been formed as part of the SS Divisions “Das Reich”, “Totenkopf” and “Wiking”. This was the start of a process that saw the StuG spread out from the independent detachments to become an integrated part of a very large number of divisions and other units.The StuG entered combat with the battery that had been attached to the Grossdeutschland regiment, during the advance into France in May 1940. While not as spectacular as the tank divisions, the Sturmgeschütz proved to be a very useful infantry support weapon, helping to overcome French strong points that might have delayed the German breakthrough. The short-gunned StuG continued to be a valuable weapon during the early days of the fighting in Russia in the summer of 1941, and even as late as the summer of 1942 a total of 619 (of the 822 produced) were still active on the Eastern Front. However, like the Panzer IV the short-gunned StuG, with its low velocity gun and HE shells proved unable to deal with the armour of the T-34 and KV-1 tanks. However valuable the StuG was as a close support weapon, anti-tank weapons were in greater demand, and production soon switched to the long gunned StuG. By July 1943 there were only 37 short-gunned StuGs left on the Eastern Front. Combat Record - Long Gun The long-gunned StuG III entered service with the Sturmgeschütz-Abteilungs of the infantry division “Grossdeutschland” and the 1st SS Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler in time to take part in the summer offensive of 1942. When it entered service the long gunned StuG III was a very capable tank killer, although its merits caused great controversy within the German army. Tank commanders tended to dismiss it as a waste of resources. The StuG was certainly a less effective offensive weapon than the tank, simply because it’s relatively limited arc of fire meant that if a target appeared at an angle to the direction of the attack the StuG had to stop, turn to face the new target, fire, and then turn back onto its original course. As a result the momentum of the attack was soon dispersed. It was also not very effective as a flank guard, or in any situation where enemy vehicles could appear from several angles. The constant use of the engine to change directions could also bog down the vehicle. In a counterattack carried out by the Grossdeutschland division during the fighting around Kharkov in March 1943 each StuG claimed 1.2 victories over Soviet tanks, while each Panzer IV claimed 4.7! In contrast the StuG was a very effective defensive anti-tank weapon. Its low profile meant that it could find suitable hiding places more easily that the tanks, and was especially successful when posted just behind the current front line. In these situations it was normally clear where the enemy tanks would appear, and so the StuGs could be carefully placed to maximise their effectiveness. Between January and August 1944 the StuG brigades claimed to have destroyed 4,667 Soviet tanks at a cost of 713 write-offs. While these figures are probably overinflated, and can not take into account those Soviet tanks that were recovered and repaired after the Germans had been forced back, there is no doubt that the StuG was one of the most effective anti-tank weapons available to the Germans during the long period of their retreat on the Eastern Front. As production levels increased StuGs were issued to an ever increasing number of units. Early in 1944 companies of StuGs were attached to the tank hunting detachments of infantry, grenadier, “gebirgs” and “Jäger” division, and the existing detachments were renamed as brigades. They even served with the Panzer divisions after Guderian was appointed as Inspector-General of the Panzer forces. Nine Panzer-Grenadier divisions were each given a StuG detachment with 42 vehicles in three companies, while two Panzer-Abteilungen (III/Pz.Rgt.24 and III/Pz.Rgt.36) each got four companies – two of 22 StuGs each and two of 22 Panzer IVs each. Variants StuG III 0-Series a series of 5 prototypes built with a soft steel superstructure on a Pazner III Ausf B chassis with 8 road wheels per side StuG III Ausf.A The first version of the StuG (the Ausf.A) entered service just in time to take part in the campaign in the west in May-June 1940. StuG III Ausf.B The StuG III Ausf.B was very similar to the Ausf A, but with wider 40cm tracks in place of the 36cm tracks used on the earlier model. StuG III Ausf.C The StuG III Ausf.C saw the introduction of a periscopic gun sight in place of the direct vision sight used on earlier machines. StuG III Ausf.D The StuG III Ausf.D was virtually identical to the Ausf.C, with no visual differences. Internally a bell was added to help the commander get the attention of the driver. It is possible that this version of the StuG saw the introduction of face hardened armour. StuG III Ausf.E The StuG III Ausf.E was the final version of the machine to carry the short gun. The main change made from the Ausf.D was an increase in the size of the armoured pannier on the left of the superstructure and the addition of a new pannier on the right, increasing the storage space and making it easier to use the StuG as a command vehicle. StuG III Ausf.F The StuG III Ausf.F saw the introduction of the 7.5cm StuK40 L/43 gun. With its higher muzzle velocity and armour piercing ammunition this gun turned the StuG into a potent tank killer. StuG III Ausf.F/8The StuG III Ausf.F/8 was similar to the Ausf.F, but used the improved hull developed for the Panzer III Ausf.J, in the first change to the basic hull design of the StuG since it was introduced. StuG III Ausf G The StuG III Ausf.G was the final production version of the StuG. With a total of 7,720 built from new between December 1942 and the end of the Second World War it was produced in larger numbers than any other version of any German tank. It featured an improved superstructure with sloped side armour, and a commander’s cupola was added to the top of the fighting compartment. The Kit The kit we have today is one of the 5 prototypes produced by Daimler Benz for trials of the system. German armour is always a guaranteed seller as we have found with the multitude of Panthers released this year and historically Tigers; in fact even the paper Panzers have been out in force over the last few years . Is it any surprise that we now go back to find one of the stalwarts of German Armour in the second world war being kitted in greater numbers? Dragon, Tamiya and others have produced mainstream Stug III’s including a rather nice Finnish version by Tamiya. This is the first of Mini Arts creations of the early panzer III kits and the first thing you think is “this isn’t a Panzer III, it has too many wheels” once you get past that and into the kit itself you then start to find a very nice kit indeed. Inside the Sturdy top opening box we find a Plastic bag containing a lot of plastic! On counting I made it 48 sprues, all but one in grey (the other being clear)! Add to this a small photo etched fret with minor details on, a track jig, a decal sheet and instruction sheet and we have quite a comprehensive package! So what’s in the box and importantly how does it build? This being the first build review we have done I will start with the box contents and instructions and then we’ll look at a step by step build of the kit. Firstly; I am not an expert armour builder so this will be me doing a warts and all build showing any pitfalls I come across with mistakes and all. Secondly I have not built a Mini Art kit before so this could be interesting also. So without further ado here are the sprues grouped together in their multiples so you get a good idea of what’s available to you. I usually tell people what’s on each sprue if I’m doing an Aircraft build but on this occasion I have no Idea what’s where and with 44 sprues I’m not likely to know. I can say that all of the sprues arrived undamaged and well protected with the subsets in their own bags, no flash or sink marks are evident and it looks to be moulded with the kind of finesse we have come to expect from the likes of Tamiya or Dragon but with instructions you can follow and a multitude of parts. The multitude of small parts makes a bit of a curates egg for me as I like Great detail (doesn’t everybody) , however I don’t like assembling 5 parts when one would have clearly done, Mini Art aren’t alone in this and a lot of this comes down to keeping the moulding process simple and also goes towards the ever increasing trend of suppling more and more parts. Mini Art have been clever here in that they tend to group the sprues in sub sections so for example most of the Chassis suspension parts are grouped on the A and B series of sprues, this means we don’t have to be trimming parts from various sprues. I personally like this approach as I’m not going to be hunting for that mystery part on sprue Z16 when the rest of the parts are on sprue A! Construction Construction starts with the chassis tub, this is a multi- part affair and goes to show that there was little or no slide moulding used in the tooling (this keeps costs down). The chassis tub is broken down of 5 parts; front, back, sides and floor. Nicely moulded with nice hatch, bolt and rivet detail included. Onto this there are bump stops applied. The suspension comes next and it appears that the suspension is workable with quite a few moving parts; time will tell if this is worthwhile. Drive sprocket and idler wheels are next on the list and these have PE bolts and Hatches attached, followed by the rear glacis. At this point no colours have been called out nor will they be until step 16. My take on this depends on what sort of modeler you are, if like me you build sub-assemblies then paint then you can probably treat all of this as one stage but I for one will be planning how this goes accordingly and working out where to put the paint and when. This comes as a consequence of not having the airbrush in the same room as the rest of my modelling bits. Through steps one to 16 there are a myriad of parts to be fitted and reading the instructions carefully a couple of times would be a great idea. Step 17 brings me to my nemesis with armour; tracks. No matter what happens, me and tracks just don’t get on and I end up wishing wistfully for the days of Tamiya’s vinyl one piece tracks because I just can’t seem to get these right. Mini Art call these tracks workable and they are individual links held in place with tiny pins. Mini Art state in the instructions to build these in strips of 8 using the jig provided and to glue the pins in place while on the sprue. My presumption is that the sprue runs line up with the track link length and then you cut the pins off when dry? Steps 18 to 24 deal with the front and rear top decks and the fenders that run across the top of the tracks, be careful here as there are 2 sets of fenders; one set with pilots for drilling and these are to be used and the other with no pilots and my guess is these are for a normal Panzer III. Hatches on these decks can be positioned open or closed, although I wouldn’t with the front and rear decks as there’s nothing to be seen inside these sections with no drivers seats or otherwise included. Vents on the engine deck are made from PE to keep them to a scale thickness, to add interest the front fenders can be positioned up or down. When we get to steps 25 to 33 dealing with the interior that can be seen and here there will be a lot to see if you decide to have the hatches open (if you don’t painting will be a breeze). These steps deal with the gunner’s position and has the full gun breach, sighting and elevation mechanism along with a couple of MP40’s and a gunners’ seat. This is a multi-part assembly that looks really complex and will really look the part if painted and weathered well, it is worth remembering that the 0-series were prototypes and only a small number were built so chances of them getting really smashed to smitherines on proving grounds were slim. Bear this in mind when weathering. Steps 34 to 44 then deal with the upper superstructure and the gun. And in step 35 the instructions tell you to use one of two front plates depending on which version you are building so check and decide which one you are going to build at this point. A full set of tools and the very short barreled 75mm gun are installed at this point with what must be the thickest radio mast I have seen on an armoured vehicle yet this is mounted on a small PE bracket and looks fairly fragile. A full series of tools is provided as are various hatches and stowage boxes, with lots of PE used for some of the finer details. Frustratingly there is a tow cable diagram but no cable just the tow ends so you will have to source your own cable on this. That then brings us to the colour schemes and there are 3 options all in…… wait for it…….. Grey! As with all early war German armour the call out is for German Grey all over with a white interior, my guess is that the interior will not be a pure white as called out by Mini Art but rather slightly off white or even cream, colour callouts are made throughout the instructions which are clear and concise throughout leaving you with no doubt as to where things go. These are CAD produced diagrams and as good as any I’ve seen recently. Colour call outs are well called out both using codes for: Vallejo, Mr. Colour, Life Colour, Tamiya, Testors, AK, Humbrol and Revell as well as what the colour actually is and finally there is a small decal sheet containing a total of 6 decals printed in the Ukraine I haven’t seen this manufacturer before but look forward to seeing how well they work. Summary, Such is the interest in German armour this will be a seller as anything with a cross on it seems to sell in droves. My take is that this is a model of an important part of the STuG family as this is where it all began and if you have an interest in German armour or assault guns this will be on your want list. If it builds well (and there is no suggestion it won’t; watch this space) then this will be a great addition to anyone’s collection and I can bet it will cause a stir at shows with people not really sure what it is. Conclusion Well it’s a bit too early for conclusions as I’m about to start building it but from what I’ve seen so far I can only recommend this kit to all My thanks To Mini Art for the review sample
  11. Concrete Telegraph Poles MiniArt 1:35 Catalogue n.º 35563 (Buildings and accessories series) Price tag: 13,50€ (available in MBK – Modellbau-Koenig) This set is a quite useful one in several sceneries since WWI and modern conflict so it’s a quite useful set that I was quite happy to see it release by the same usual suspect: MiniArt. This set has a quite strange looking box… It’s a very long and sturdy box. The inside is quite simple with 4 identical sprues containing the poles and fixtures, and two transparent ones containing the lamp lenses and light bulbs. These clear parts are quite a really nice touch of realism, one thing that we expect from MiniArt. Kundos. These poles are quite big - 20 cm long each. So in 1:1, its represents a pole of 7 metres. Sounds accurate to me. The injection mold is very well done with very fine details. The fixtures are very thin and fragile so extra care must be taken to remove then. The only low I can point to this fantastic set is the fact that the poles do not have grainy surface of poured concrete. However its not hard to replicate that grainy surface if you want to. The instructions are in the back of the box and the construction is quite straightforward and easy. Conclusion Another winner from MiniArt. An original subject, with tons of possibilities, at a very affordable price tag and in top of that, with extyerme good quality. A perfect add to your diorama or a simple vignette. Very Highly Recommend Our thanks to MiniArt for the review samples. Available in any good model shop – click here.
  12. ELECTRIC CART C4-32 “Mule” Plusmodel Catalogue n.º 470 Available at Plusmodel.cz at €16.20 And here we are again check some little gem from Plusmodel, one of my favourite resin company. Super quality with super originality. Now, this little fellow. While Plusmodel just call it Electric Cart, C4-32 is actually a Taylor Dunn. So checking Taylor Dunn website, here`s their history: Davis Taylor could scarcely have known where his engineering degree would take him, but his technical background and independent spirit led him to start a company that would later become a world class supplier of industrial vehicles. Mr. Taylor initially built a small electric-powered cart for personal use in his poultry supply business. After receiving inquiries from other ranchers about the little cart, he decided to build a few of the carts for friends and neighbors. He built a 30' x 60' sheet metal facility on the orange grove adjacent to his home on Ball Road, in Anaheim, California. The year was 1949, and the business was named the “Taylor Shop.” Fred Dunn joined the business in 1951, and several years later the company changed its name to Taylor-Dunn Manufacturing Company. Before long, the company began making and selling vehicles to hundreds of ranchers and nurseries from San Diego to Simi Valley. Today, over 60 years later, Taylor-Dunn produces a broad line of electric and gas powered personnel, burden, and tow vehicles which are used in industry and commerce across the United States and throughout the world. From the day we shipped our first vehicle in 1949, we have pursued a singular goal: to build tough, rugged, dependable vehicles to move personnel, equipment, and materials. It's that simple. For over sixty years, our standard and custom vehicles - burden carriers, personnel carriers, stockchasers, electric carts, tow tractors & more - have been the leading solution for customers in a broad range of industrial, commercial, and ground-support markets. Our guiding principle is to provide application-specific solutions, which are reliable, efficient, and economical. The model comes in the usual Plusmodel box with the box art being the kit itself. All the parts comes in bubble wrap to protect them all and it’s a quite effective method as until now I did not have any damage in the parts. Cracking the box, the light gray resin was no distortion or bubbles. Plusmodel casting is top noch and the quality department also does some great work as all the review samples I have got in the past years, not a single piece came in the box with bubbles or some distortion. This little gem is made with 28 resin parts, 8 PE parts (in a very small PE sheet) and a small decal sheet with two versions options. The all vehicle structure comes in one single piece with some great rendering details of the metal surface of the vehicle. The front and the bumper are in separate parts and both have great detail. And if you are thinking in turning this fellow upside down Plusmodel do not let you down with all the under details being reproduced. So you got the rear wheel axle present alongside with a full details from steering wheel system. It’s a very small vehicle and so all the other parts are quite small and delicate. The drivers place is very well detailed with the seat, steering wheel, pedals and several handles. Quite amazing in such a small model. The tires have some great engraved details. The wheel chain are very well reproduce in PE and its quite good in detail. Speaking of PE is a great set with small attachment points. The decals sheet brings us two versions: military version (in yellow) and civilian version in orange. The instruction sheet are quite easy to follow as also the subject is quite simple but with great details. Conclusion: Well another little gem from Plusmodel at a very reasonable price tag. The casting of the light gray resin is high quality and the details on the parts are top noch. Its everything in the box to make a truly fantastic model. Its has tons of potential and diorama possibilities... It maybe will look great alonside my 1:32 Hornet. VERY Highly recommended. With my sincere thanks to Plusmodel for this review sample. To purchase directly, click this link. Francisco Guedes
  13. U.S. Soldiers at rest (1:35 WWII Military Miniatures series) MiniArt Catalogue #35084 Available from any good model shop MiniArt does have a good range of 1:35 military (and now sarting also with some civilians) with several ones being quite original and with unseen positions in 1:35 scale. So whenever Miniart releases another figures step at a very good value price (comparing with resin ones) I always jmp myself in happiness! J The boxart of this set of soldiers at rest is a good one, caughting the attention to all the figures that this set contains with some workart around the box to give the modellers the temptation to buy it. In the back of the box, there`s the color guidelines for all 5 figures. You will get also, on the down right side, a quite helpful color chart with full color reference. Now let`s go inside. You will get 5 Americans soldiers at several positions of resting, like sleeping, smoking, reading and playing cards. Inside the three sprues of grey plastic are kept together in a plastic bag. No instructions ...but really do you need it? Absolutely not. Just be checking the sprues, I was quite surprised with the plastic and the injection molding. These sprues do have several flash to remove and some soft detail. Its quite strange as all the previous late release of figures from Miniart, the are becoming better and better. So lots of cleaning that flash will be needed but after that you can build some great and original figures of these. be construction of these figures. The surface detail on cloths is good, not as crispy as the others sets I reviewed (here and here). All the figures postures are quite well achieved, very natural and realistic. Concerning to the head and facial expression, injection models limitations are in fact visible here and everywhere else. Notwithstanding the head are well molded, balanced in size and the faces are quite nice in expression and look… the cleaning simply can ruin it. But you`ve got a good solution: resin heads. To add extra detail to your set, Miniart give a full set of newspapers, magazines and a playing card set. These sets come in very well printed in matt coated paper. Conclusion: The figure set is quite comprehensive giving the modelers endless possibility for use in dioramas or vignettes, is the complete set is just one of the figures and all that for the price (at least in my usual store) of a resin figure. This set however does have lots of flash and some soft detail in some small parts that I quite don’t understand why looking back to others Miniart Releases. I`m quite sure that those flash are only in was my sample, I bet. Highly recommended Francisco Guedes Our thanks to MiniArt for the review samples. Available in any good model shop.
  14. PLUSMODEL Diorama Accessories Sets (U.S. Pressure Bottles; Road barriers; Plastic Cans; ) Available from Plusmodel for the prices indicated below on the text Plusmodel is my favourite diorama accessories manufacture in modelling world. They do allied quality with originality. If your project is a vignette or a diorama, then Plusmodel is your solutions. All the samples comes with the usual packing, in small paper boxes with the resin aprts wrap in bubbles plastic. PLASTIC CANS Catalogue n.º 468 Prize tag: $18.20/€12.80 Simple plastic cans. And this set brings a lot of them. 30 plastic cans to be precise. All the cans are in light gray resin without distortion or flash as usual. There are 9 types of plastic packaging. Small, medium, large, narrow,wide ... There`s got to be something for everyone! A small sheet of decals has good colour registration with various chemical warning labels and toxic warning. The small PE sheet brings 8 handles with two distinct styles allowing handles to 4 drums. U.S. Pressure Bottles – Modern Catalogue n.º 478 Price Tag: $20.90/€14.70 Now a set for modern subject! Is not a small set with 59 resin parts. Its brings 10 and allows 4 to have all the pressure connection and control structure of this pressure with pressure gauges and valves. The bottles are modelled in a single resin pour block. They are quite easily removed with a saw. All the parts are cast in light gray resin and no warps, or casting imperfections. The PE small contains 7 pieces that are very easy to work with, giving some extra detail to it. A novice on PE should have no problem working with these ones. The decal sheet includes gas nomenclature (acetylene, air oil free, oxygen, nitrogen oil free, argon oil free, carbon dioxide) and stripes (white, green and black) that are design for the bottles. The set includes parts to assemble 10 gas cylinders: - gas cylinders (10x), - main valves (10x), - safety caps (10x), - pressure gauges (10x). The pressure gauges are not given in decal… so to do them realistically, a decal would be perfect for it. However the decal sheet doesn’t bring any so or you do a custom decal or your paint for yourself. As you can see in the box art, this set also Includes a hand cart for transportation. The cart looks quite simple but with some delicate construction. So extra care should be taken to get it done. Its well detailed with chorea and two wheels and still clasp to hold the bottle in the car. Really nice touch. The wood pallet is also included, and made by 7 resin parts, with very easy construction. This wood pallet could be used with the set or in other scene. Its perfectly used in other scenarios. The instructions are a simple paper sheet with assembly diagram, decal placement directions and color guide. Nothing to report on this one, as they are clear to follow in the construction and decal guidance. Road Barrier Catalogue n.º EL066 Price tag: $4,6/3.3€ The Set is from Easy Line, a line with very few parts to be used easily and without major problems to give an extra detail to your diorama at low cost. Is like a low-cost line from Plusmodel. So the set is made from 6 resin parts, barrier timber and a wire. The barrier timber is a mall wooden trunk round and round and cut to size. The resin parts are the baluster as well as barrier support mechanism. The wire is for modelers use to shape the handle on ballast. It has no instructions or foot but a small drawing showing the location of parts. Is a simple set, inexpensive but very effective bringing more life and interest to your diorama. Conclusion I`m afraid that I becoming quite annoying about Plusmodel quality but is their fault. These sets just have everything for your diorama: quality, easy to construct, originality and good prices. What do you want more? If these sets are what you need to enhance your diorama just doi it and treat yourself and your work and project. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMEND Our truly thanks to Plusmodel for these review samples.
  15. ROYAL MODEL 1:35 Scuba Diver and Boys throwing Stones (Ref: 760 and 749) Available from Royal Model Royal Model is a very well know name in the modelling world, especially for AFV/Dioramas models. There´s a brief history about Royal Model directly from Royal Model website: “Royal Model came into existence in the early 1990s in Catania (Italy) as a result of the passion that its founder, Roberto Reale, has always had for the world of art in general and of modelling in particular. In 1995 with the appearance of its first products, ROYAL MODEL soon was awarded the Modell Fan magazine prize in the "accessories for dioramas" category and from that time on there have been a continuing number of accollades that have led the company to invest all of its energies in the articles that it has produced to date. Today ROYAL MODEL is one of the few companies that can pride itself on offering a catalog that completely addresses all aspects of military modeling, in particular in 1/35 scale, always seeking to provide the modeler with ground-breaking products that are accurate in every detail. As in the past, ROYAL MODEL continues to dedicate as much attention as possible to producing its unique line of products, reproducing the most minute details with the utmost attention and precision, using the best materials available and innovative technology combined with experienced and knowledgeable personnel, while constantly engaging in scrupulous historical research for details which remains the bedrock of the success of this company. After 20 years of business we can rely on a world-wide distribution organization, which leads us to believe that we have succeeded in making our products readily available even for customers who may not be able to find them in their own location.” After making zombies reviews, I just return to “normal” stuff. Normal but incredibly original. So, now Royal Model just release a scuba diver and a set with 3 boys. One thing that I always found quite perfect in Royal Model figures is the sculpting. Al the figures are morphologically and anatomically “perfect”, and that is not easy, really not see, as we see now and then some very distorted figures in their hands or face. Not Royal Models, and these ones are no exception, even the boys are perfect. Scuda Diver Catalogue n.º 760 Price tag: 12€ This scuba diver is actually a bold release from Royal Models as the only use of it is in deep water… in modelling term, in deep resin and lots of it… not every model is willing to attempt that… But now with this one, I do for sure will try a “aquarium” diorama and an aircraft wreck. The pose of the scuba diver is an “in action“ pose… he`s diving and swimming under water… Check all the resin gray parts you found no distortion or bubbles. All the detail of a scuba diver are there: -Exposure wet suite -Hardness -Mask -Air hose -Fins -Air tank -Air Regulator -Dive computer (wrist watch) -ankle knife All the details are very well reproduced with sharp detail. The fins are very well made with some curve to represent the legs movement under water. The only low I can find on this set is its own limitation to be used only under water. Boys throwing stones Catalogue n.º 749 Price tag: 29€ When I saw hthise set I just thought: wow, great idea… The image is a typical one for the Middle East but in reality you can use it in any other scenario. It brings 12 resin parts, and the each figure come with the torso and legs in one single piece. The arms and head are separate. The resin is casting is quite good. I also found one bubbles on one body. The rest is flawless. The intention of the all set is movement. The movement of throwing move with every muscle and body part. That sense of movement is quite hard to sculpt and transfer that sense to a figure is quite hard… However Royal Model did it! You look to the boys and you see movement, the violence of the throw, the energy spends in that movement. The arms are perfect made with some stones in the hands of some boys and their positions in relation with the body just are the top noch to that sense of movement. Perfect. Now, the heads and face. If the bodies are anatomic perfect for child, the head and the face are also in perfect dimension. To have a perfect sense of movement, the face is essential and these ones are just amazing. Boys are screaming, with words of order, revenge, anger, rage… Conclusion: Wow… These boys are the perfect representation of the quality of some product in our modelling world. Really is a golden area. I just found one bubble easy to fix so it does not move donw my feelings about these “boys” set. The scuba diver is also fantastic with the only low is that his usefully is quite narrow… only under water.. All items are top noch in quality and for sure in originality. Do you self a favor, and get both these!!! You wont be sorry! VERY HIGHLY RECOMMEND. Our sincere thanks to Royal Models and Roberto Reale for the review sample seen here. Check out all other news items from Royal models like a cows, drink cans, etc - click here to see them all. Francisco Guedes www.largescalemodeller.com
  16. PLUSMODEL 1:35 Accessories Wherry (Catalogue n.º 457) Price Tag: 13.60 €/19.40$ Available from Plusmodel Plusmodel is a quite busy company in releasing diorama accessories giving modelers huge options to their work in dioramas! We are spoiled by Plusmodel and very happy with that. And once again Plusmodel just release a very welcome add to their catalogue with a wherry, or we can call it simply a rowing boat. The kit come in small but strudy box, with boxart, the model complete with paint and weathering as usual in all Plusmodel box. Opening the box I was quite surprised nonetheless the little letters on the box art (not so little) saying “laser carved wooden parts…” The all kit is in wood!!! Two very very thing sheet of laser bass wood (I guess) gives the modeler all the is need to get a roaw boat. The next question is: how I going to build a wood boat? I`m a plastic modeler… Well Plusmodel really thinks of all and put inside the box, a sturdy paper sheet that is a construction jig, so the modeler just need to put the pieces in proper order in the jig and glue everything with white glue or cyano. The instructions are quite clear and starts with the necessary steps to build the jig. The rest of the construction, the wherry itself looks quite simple as it has very little parts (less than 20 pieces). The quality of the pieces are really awesome… its wood, real wood so no criticism is possible. The only non-wood parts are from the small PE sheet that is for the row supports being only 4 small pieces. Despite the boxart boat showing some lettering, there`s no decals inside the box. Plastic Barrels (Catalogue n.º 466) Price Tag: 15.30 €/21.80$ This set is quite simple and easy going one with 12 resin parts, one PE sheet and one decal sheet. The 12 resin parts are in grey color and are very well cast with no cleaning besides the resin block in the bottom. The side carry handles are in PE giving only 8 handles, which looking at the box art is logical as not all of the plastic barrels have them. The small decals set bring 20 danger symbols, with good definition and color registration, which is quite enough to all the barrels. CONCLUSION: As usual, Plusmodel comes to the rescue with original itmes to enhance our little vignettes or dioramas at a very very affordable prices if you consider that for example the plastic barrels set will give you at least for two dioramas. Highly recommended. With my sincere thanks to Plusmodel for this review sample. To purchase directly, click this link. Francisco Guedes
  17. PLUSMODEL Cables reels (small and large) (Catalogue n.º 455 and 456) Price Tag: 13.60 €/19.40$ Available from Plusmodel Plusmodel is a quite busy company in releasing diorama accessories giving modellers huge options to their work in dioramas! We are spoiled by Plusmodel and very happy with that. Cable reels are present every here… in a construction site or in a farm… or in just abandoned…. And they are almost intemporal so you can use then in WWII scenario or modern one. Here we a going to take a close and quick look to new accessories to enhance your diorama to an all new level. The cable reels come in the standard Plusmodel box, been curious that the Big cable reels are in a smaller box than the small cable reels…. Both sets are in 1:35 scale and both are a small multi-media kit. The large and the small set are different diameter, being that the only difference. You get laser cut/etched wood for the side plates and the cylinder, hard paper card for the metal plates and resin for the bolts. I never worked with these laser cut wood but it really looks fantastic because his real wood at scale. There`s no decals sheets so all the numbers that are in the box arts are aftermarkets or painted. The instructions are quite simple as both sets are. I do have some reservation in how to make the central cylinder as is in the instructions, because it really look like a difficult task, doable, but hard to get it right. Maybe I wrong on this but I will try it soon, just to check it. CONCLUSION: These little and simple Cable reels are a perfect adding in any diorama bringing a special detail on it with a most high quality. Highly recommended. With my sincere thanks to Plusmodel for this review sample. To purchase directly, click this link. Fran Guedes
  18. 1:35 Tractor Fordson N-big Plusmodel Catalogue #448 Available from Plusmodel for 70,20€ Tractors are, with a single doubt, not my candy shop… I totally out of my league here but I was very please when the postman bring me the latest release from Plusmodel, the Fordson N-big. Anyone that may have a little bit of interess in WWII Aircraft, already saw at least one photo with this little tractor, even if you didn`t notice that. For this review I made or try to made a little bit of home work and after researching a bit, I found a really nice article called “The Tractor that won the war” that focus the essentials about the history and the major role on backstage of the war. So let me share it: The tractor that won the war With the closure of the Ford plant in Southampton, I was thinking about the influence Ford has had on modern vehicles, and especially tractors. They produced a number of iconic and influential brands, but the Fordson Model N became widespread and familiar to many in the interwar period and during the Second World War. A Fordson Model N has pneumatic tyres, and the narrow mudguads suggest a fairly late manufacturing date, around the Second World War. The large crawler behind it is a Caterpillar D8 22A, which is in running order. This Fordson is most likely from the Second World war period, indicated by its narrow mudguards. Tractors like this were a common sigt throughout the coutnryside carrying out tasks vital to the war effort. Fordson Model N By the time Ford began producing the Fordson Model N the company had already established itself as a manufacturer of cheap and popular farm tractors. Ford began to displace other American companies, such as John Deere and International Harvester, as market leaders for UK tractor imports during the Great War, when the head for British Ford, Percival Perry, offered a prototype design of tractor to the Ministry of Munitions (MoM) for consideration. The MoM took this design on, and undertook to buy these tractors at cost plus $50 dollars per unit. Initially 5,000 units were ordered, but this was increased to 6,000, and the order was completed in April 1918. These early Fordson (Ford was prevented from using the Ford brand on tractor by an a tractor manufacturer who had already claimed the Ford tractor name, although his design didn’t prove successful) tractors had a Hercules engine (manufactured by Hercules Motor Corp., Canton, Ohio) the had six-spoke rear wheels and ladder radiator sides. This MoM tractor, as it came to be known, was eventually replaced by the Model F tractor. This was a very similar vehicle, but, from 1920, possessed a Ford engine which was still of the same basic pattern with four cylinders and rated at 1000rpm. The gearbox gave three forward speeds and one reverse and the total weight was of around 3000 pounds. The Fordson tractor became the most popular tractor in the UK, and was produced in Cork in Ireland. From 1928 the Cork plant produced the new Fordson Model N, until production was switched to Dagenham in 1933. In 1929 the Cork production facility was the largest tractor factory in the world at this time. The Fordson Model N ‘Standard’ Very similar to the Model F, the new tractor featured a conventional magneto in place of the Model T type coils and an increased bore engine with a maximum of 30hp when the new high compression head was specified. The engine was also available in either petrol or petrol-paraffin versions, while a heavier and redesigned front axle added more weight. The major differences visually were the cast front wheels instead of the spoked variety used previously as well as the use of full length rear mudguards fitted as standard (first offered on the Model F in its latter days of production). These long mudguards were intended to help reduce one of the Fordsons’ main disadvantages; in certain circumstances the tractor would rear up on its back wheels (from my own experience this wasn’t confined to Fordsons, I have seen our old McCormick International rear up when working or carrying weight on the rear). Unfortunately some drivers had been seriously injured or even killed when the tractor’s implement hit an obstruction in the soil sometimes causing the vehicle to tip backwards onto the operator himself. The long mudguards helped to prevent this to some degree and also provided space for two toolboxes. The new English built Model N looked a bit different to its Irish forebears. the long mudguards and the grey colour scheme were replaced. The colour scheme was replaced with dark blue models and orange models. The Fordson name was now cast into the radiator side panels and a new ribbed pattern cast into the radiator tank with the toolbox mounted on the dash. The tractor was available in two versions; the standard agricultural model with steel wheels, or the more versatile Land Utility model complete with pneumatic tyres. In 1935 lights and electric starter were available as options as was a rear power take off shaft. Two different gear ratios were also later made available, the standard box being referred to as the green spot version whilst a new low gear ratio option was introduced known as the red spot version. One of the main features of these tractors was the water-bath air cleaner which consisted of a header tank behind the engine block with an air intake mounted through the hollow steering wheel. An industrial type came with pneumatic tyres, electric lighting and horn and was used in a number of non-agricultural roles. In 1930 the Roadless Traction Company, which was based in Hounslow, Middlesex, built its first crawler conversion of a Fordson. These were originally a full track configuration with the tracks themselves made with special rubber-jointed track plates. 1937 saw the introduction of the new orange paint, known as Harvest Gold, was introduced, and an oil bath air cleaner replaced the old water-washer version. The old Fordson engine, still basically similar to the original, was now pushed to higher compression with an engine speed increase to 1200rpm, to give more power from the unit. This did cause some engine problems particularly with oil consumption and bearing failure, but the Fordson was still generally reliable. The orange tractors were still available either on steel wheels, as the Land Utility version on pneumatics, row-crop tricycle model or in industrial form (similar to the All-Around, which was a tricycle version with vee-twin front wheels and adjustable sliding rear axle, which had been aimed at the North American Market). Fordson was by this time the best-selling tractor in Britain, selling far better than any of the other manufacturers which were generally the more sophisticated American machines. However the Model N was beginning to get a reputation as a temperamental machine, difficult to start, especially when hot, and difficult to get into gear when cold (synchromesh gear boxes weren’t available for tractors for many years to come). This reputation was not helped by the changes made to its engine which made the orange tractor very prone to oiling its spark plugs when running; experienced operators would habitually keep a spare set warming on the cylinder head. The outbreak of World War II resulted in a change to green paintwork (apparently to try to make the rows of tractors at Dagenham look a bit less conspicuous to overflying enemy aircraft, certainly there was a major project to disguise manufacturing production, my Grandparents often told me about the trompe l’oeil images of terraced houses painted onto the rooves of factories in Birmingham). This version of the Standard Fordson became the only tractor produced in large numbers during the Second World War. The change to green was accompanied by a few alterations to the tractor itself and the difficulties associated with the engine problems on the orange tractors were addressed with changes to the head and pistons. The tractor that won the war With the threat of food shortages in mind and the war looming, the British Government and the Ford Motor Company came to a deal, whereby the government to stockpile 3000 Fordson tractors in readiness for the effects of the coming conflict. According to some sources the stockpiled tractors were all painted an all-over yellow colour to help identify these particular machines. When the war did arrive in August 1939 the 3000 Fordsons were joined by thousands more green Fordson N tractors produced at the Dagenham plant, at a rate of up to one hundred a day, throughout the war (the 100,000th Dagenham built tractor came off the production line on 10th November 1943) The Second World war, with it’s shortage of raw materials, and change in the composition of the work force, lead to a few changes, for example, the rear mudguards were made narrower, in an effort to save steel supplies. The hexagonal holes in the radiator casing were designed the spark plug to be held firmly, while the operator split it using the specialised Fordson spanner, allowing cleaning of the spark plug core. The Model N remained the same throughout the war years, although various different experiments were carried out with regards to engine types and different transmissions, many of which were used by the military as aircraft tugs and for general haulage duties, often with specially built modifications. The need to produce war materials halted most other vehicle manufacture, making the Fordson the only tractor available in any quantity. The Fordson N was essentially a very simple tractor and was a very reliable machine overall and it became the tractor most often encountered by the hard-working women of the Land Army. The websitehttp://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/stories/74/a2054774.shtml features the story of one of these Land Girls, Mary Henson. She mentions using a Fordson, and some of the maintenance tasks she had to carry out. These Fordsons played a vital role in the efforts to combat the food shortages, as land was made to work harder, produce more, and more and more fallow and was pressed into service. With so many people involved in the war effort, the mechanisation of agriculture was necessary to allow the physical tasks to b completed. Tractors like the Fordson Model N allowed a Land army worker, or lone farmer to keep the and working, despite the lack of labour available. The Model N was produced until 1945 and by the end of the Second World War thousands of Fordsons were working in the fields of Britain and had been converted for a range of uses in agriculture and industry. The RAF used many of the Roadless crawlers (first produced in 1930) but preferred a half-track version to the original full-track version, as it was found that fitting a front axle to the crawlers (thus making them into half-track machines) made them more stable when hauling heavy loads. These were seen on the runways of the many grass airfields that were scattered all over the countryside during the war. Model N Industrial versions were also used by the RAF for aircraft tug duties, sometimes these were fitted with Brockhouse torque converter transmissions. A number conversions used the Model N Fordson as a base unit including road rollers, dump trucks and drainage machines. The tractor was often fitted with an extra slow reduction gearbox to help cope with the slow speeds necessary for such work. There were even some Fordson N conversions to diesel power and fitted with Perkins four cylinder diesel engines. Initially the diesel engine was slow to be accepted, but with improvements in the technology and they became more powerful farmers gradually came to see what benefits they had to offer in terms of reliability and fuel economy. This option was never offered as a factory standard. The Model N was replaced by a new Fordson tractor in 1945. Engine The Fordson Model N engine, lacked a pressure lubrication system and relied solely on “splash” caused partly by dippers on the big ends collecting oil from troughs in the sump and partly by the motion of the tractor. When the tractor was stationary and engaged on “Belt work” the sump needed to be kept up to the correct level. When running the engine on vaporizing oil it was most important to drain the sump every 50 hours and refill it to the correct level with S.A.E 30 oil. The Fordson tractor is a gauze screen, which is accessible when the plate is removed from the base of the sump. It acts as more of a sludge trap than a filter. The engine is designed with a “dam” which when the oil is circulated retains the oil passing it through this filter. If the oil becomes to thick the filter will become clogged and the oil will spill back over the dam and into the sump unfiltered Cooling System The engine was cooled by the circulation of water in the jackets round the cylinders. The heated water flowed by thermo-syphonic action, assisted by a pump at the front of the cylinder head to the radiator, and as it flowed downwards through the radiator tubes, it was cooled by the stream of air induced by the fan placed behind the radiator. On later models a radiator calorimeter, or temperature indicator, was fitted to the cast radiator top and enabled the operator to see at a glance if the cooling water was at the correct temperature. The water had to be cleaned daily or even more often if working hard. On cast water jacket systems holding a lot of water, it was be impracticable for cost reasons to use anti-freeze, as ell as this often being unavailable during the war period (see Mary Hensons story). Steering Box. On Model “F” and “N” tractor with the large water filled air cleaners the steering was lubricated partly by grease nipples and partly by sump “Fumes”. On the later (1937-1952 )oil filled air cleaner models the steering box was oil filled. The level needed to be checked every day-drain and refilled every 200 hours. Water filled cleaners had to have the level checked twice daily and be drained and flushed weekly. Rear Transmission The Fordson Gearbox and rear axle was a common chamber, the recommended lubricant was E.P 140 viscosity oil. According to West, the old thick oil really caused heavy gear drag, which helped tremendously to free the clutch on cold mornings. He reports that the old 140 oil was so thick that when repairing the tractor in winter he’d heard of farmers having to put a 5 gallon drum on the top of the primus stove 2 hours before it was needed to be poured into the tractor. The oil level had to be checked often, and changed frequently. (Resource: https://agriculturaltrainee.wordpress.com/2012/10/25/the-tractor-that-won-the-war/) Now back to the model kit, the box is a sturdy little box, quite resistant, with top flip opening. Cracking the box, lots of resin, a small decal sheet and an even smaller PE sheet. You got more than 40 resin parts, in a light grey color, with some cleaning to do. These flashes are quite easy to remove even with the hands. So it would not be a problem. The removing form the resin blocks would be a tedious task not because how many they are but fragile and quite small. The first thing that crosses my mind is that is a little tractor indeed, even with the Big on the name. Looking for the parts, the delicacy of many parts, this resin kit is not even for intermediate modellers. There`re lots of parts, and only two that I may consider part of the main body, each just turn the build a lot more challenging. The wheels are very well cast with all the tread detail, specially the rear ones. The rear ones bring the rim in other piece. The fitting of this two are crucial and testing in dry fit they really fit wheel in each other. The front wheels are in a single piece but these ones looks different for the one that are in the instructions picture. In the instructions, on the front page, there`s a pic with a Fordson N-Big and the front wheels do have some side tread, which there none on the model kit. Also the front rims looks bit different for the instruction pics. Not really an issue even because I believe that they are probably both true. I just the pic on the web (http://www.fordsontractorpages.nl/phpbb3/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6509&sid=e4101be9669ac3fd5a63c9612938366f) where you can see a Fordson N-Big droven by a women. Notice the front wheels. Exactly, no side tread and that are much alike the model ones! PERFECT! J The main body one this model, in fact doesn’t exist. You got the man pieces: the fuel tank and water tank model in a single piece (a very well cast one, with no bubbles or distortion, but with a little more cleaning to do by flash removing and some seams mould lines. This one will connect to the radiator (cast also in a single piece, with sharp details mainly the “fordson” very small letters on the side) and to a lower piece. This piece is the casted with the cylinder block, crank-shaft, clutch and goes all the way to the rear wheels latitude two other essential pieces: the differential and worm diver gear. All the engine compartment is fantastic detailed and nothing was left unthinking, so Plusmodel gives the modeler everything. The fan is not forgotten and barely seen and the fan pulling starting crack is made of a very thin resin piece. All other details are very well cast and care and time should be taken to remove these small and fragile parts from the resin blocks. On the top of the tractor, the very particular primary air that looks like a chimney, and is also in a solid resin part, well design and spot on. The driver compartment that is quite detail devoid, has all the details it needs. The seat is quite well molded, have a full steer wheel and all handles in fragile resin but with sharp detail. The small PE sheet 24 parts in brass giving very small details like nuts, little handles and engine fan. The little decal sheet has a good colour definition and ink pigmentation. This gives the modeler three option: - RAF 31234, Overall Dark Green - Medium Grey with yellow radiator cover with RAF inscription both side (box art) - Overall Dark Green with RAF inscription and white stencils on both sides of the tank. The instructions are in the traditional Plusmodel type, being two A4 sheets, folded in half, making a small booklet of 8 pages, with drawings of the several construction stage. You can see the Plusmodel did have the care to try their best to indicate the parts locations and connections between them, being easy to follow. Conclusion: This model is made by very small details on the engine and all support structure… basic that`s is the all model, because besides that and the wheels you only got the fuel tank, radiator and drive seat. The details of the casting are flawless and could find any resin distortion or bubbles, so quality control in Plusmodel is working at full speed. The subject is quite original and when full built, while small, it will caught attention at your local model show. This would be a fantastic addition to any tractor fan or just if you want something different on your collection but I also see this one with some trailer bombs right at the side of…. HK Lancaster in 1:32. This one is in 1:35 but the different is totally bearable for me… No issue for that… So my Fordson already have his destination full marked. Highly recommended Francisco Guedes Our thanks to Plusmodel for the review samples and all the support given. To purchase this directly, click THIS link.
  19. Sabre Models 1:35 German Railway Schwerer Plattformwagen Type SSys SBM 35A02 Available from many online-stores around £36.99 The Kit and Contents This comes in a sturdy cardboard box and whilst the artwork is subdued its detailed and shows that this is large enough to take a decent sized armour piece. Sabre Models are totally new to me and Ive not heard of them before I saw this kit advertised. I don't know why but I have always liked the look of Rail Car Models. Im not so taken by the trains but the choices for weathering and load that these offer is something that really gets my attention. I can see this with a tank on it, an aircraft or aircraft parts or even just dumped and weathered up at the side of a railway sidings covered in undergrowth. The options are limitless. The contents in the box are: 14 Grey Plastic Sprues, 1 Small decal sheet, 1 User Manual - Construction of the car itself, 1 Instructions for the rails and sleepers that has the colour chart on the back of it. The Sprues. There are quite a number of sprues here, though most are duplicates and in a couple of cases quadruplicates. They are very crisply cast and have no sign of flash. The flat beds themselves, which in reality are wooden, are really well cast and show a very convincing wood effect. I reckon this will build up really nicely. Sprue A (x2) This sprue contains the wooden pallets and some of the larger parts of the bogies and the side panels. Sprue B (x4) This contains the remainder of the metallic car parts themselves. Sprue Y1 (x4)on the left and Sprue Y2 (x2) on the right. Sprue Y1 included the wheels and the axles for those wheels. Sprue Y2 is mostly parts of the buffers and ancillary parts of the car itself. Rail and Sleeper Sprue (x2) Unnumbered. These include the sleepers and the rails on which the car rides. Instructions. The instruction are really well done. They remind me of Trumpeter instructions and I wonder if Sabre Models use the same suppliers. There are no colour callouts on these instructions at all, these are kept for the markings and decal sheets. The Colour Callout Sheet. This is printed very nicely on the rear of the rail instructions. All colours are marked as Hobby Color and Gunze Sangyo Mr. Color so you will need a conversion chart if like me you don't use these suppliers paints. As there are no colours in the main instructions the modeller will need to refer back and forth between this and the instructions as the build progresses. Decal Sheet. The decal sheet is small and looks to be very good quality. I cant read german so how accurate they are I do not know but they look the part. Conclusion. In conclusion this is a really nice little kit. It'll give the modeller the chance to exercise those weathering muscles and to have a go at replicating the metallic parts of the railcar and the wooden slatted bed itself. I cant wait to build it and come up with a few ideas as to where to place it and what to place upon it. If nothing else it'll be an interesting addition to any collection. Highly Recommended to all.
  20. Hi all, I have the Academy Sh60 kit in 1:35. I really want to do something different with this so though I'd do this scheme. Ive always loved digital schemes and whilst I think the Digital Camo is do-able in this scale with some accuracy the other markings may need some decal options. I'd consider doing my own decals too, but how good are the self printed ones? Any thoughts? Its from HCS22 and there are pics of it all over Google. Cheers, J.
  21. 1:35 Renault R-40 [Pz.Kpfw 40R 736(f)] Brach Model Catalogue #BM100 Available from Brach Model for 98€ The Renault R40 is the final variation of the R35. It was developed by the Atelier de Construction d’Issy-les-Moulineaux (AMX) which introduced a brand new and better suspension that consisted of 12 pairs of small road-wheels on each side mounted in pairs, vertical coil springs, and protective skirting plates. This vehicle mounted the long barreled 37mm SA38 L/33 gun in the APX-R1 turret and had an AMX crossing tail. A little bit less than 120 tanks had been built from 10th May on only and put into service with the serial number 51541 to 51658. They equipped the 40e BCC (30 R40 and 15 R35), the 48e BCC (29 R40 and 16 R35), the reconstituted 28e BCC (24 R40 and 21 R35) in beginning June and two Polish companies in France (companies "Pagézy" and "Chabowski" with 15 R40 each). The dimensions of this light tank: Weight: 12t Length: 4.02m Width: 1.87m Height: 2.13m Crew: 2 men Other technical information: -Maximum armor: 43mm (APX-R turret is cast and hull is cast armor + RHA bolted elements) -Maximum speed: 20-23 km/h (Renault engine, 4 cylinders, gasoline, 85 hp, 5880 cm3, water cooled) -Transmission : 4 forward, 1 reverse. -Autonomy : 140 km -Armament: a 37mm SA38 L/33 gun and a 7.5mm MAC1931 CMG (42 AP, 58 HE and 3000 cartridges - elevation of -16 to +20° and traverse of 5° right and 5° left but could be blocked to aim only with the turret rotation) - 37mm SA38 L/33 - in German service : 3.7cm KwK 143(f) -Theoretical rate of fire : 15 rpm -Traverse of 5° right and 5° left (could be blocked to aim only with the turret rotation) -Telescopic sight : 4x (L.767 telescopic sight, range drum up to 1400m for the APC shells and 1600m for the coaxial MG, field of view 11.25°, + reticle) -Practical AT range : 600-800m -Ammunitions : Obus de rupture Mle1938 (APC) - in German service : Pzgr 146(f), Caliber : 37x149R mm, weight of projectile : 0.700 kg, length f projectile : 103mm, V° = 705 m/s, penetration : 30mm /30° at 400m. -German tests with 3.7cm Pzgr 146(f) (source : Jentz): 100 meters = 29mm /30° 500 meters = 23mm /30° 1000 meters = 16mm /30° 1500 meters = 12mm /30° -Obus explosif Mle1938 (HE) - in German service : Sprgr 145(f) Caliber : 37x149R mm Weight of projectile : 0.670 kg (60 g explosive) Length of projectile : 110mm V° = 600 m/sEquipped with a long RSA Mle1938 fuze (Source: David Lehmann, German Documents from the National Archives, Panzertruppen) Looking at the Renault R40 (and also the R35) looks like we`re looking at an improved version of the Renaul FT, because it has their similarities, first by the arrangement of compartments (driver in the front hull, and rear mounted engine) and the unditching tail. We can look at them and say: for sure, these ones are “brothers”. There`s a review for a model kit that I was eager to put my hand on. I was lucky enough to have this opportunity to review it. Well, just enough chat and let`s go to the kit. Unboxing: The box is quite big for the relative small tank. The packaging of this kit is top notch. It`s a sturdy and well padded package. We notice that there is affection and dedication in the product and that such care with conditioning parts is because the manufacturer knows what the modeler wants and how they want. For modelers to modelers. The masters are done by Luciano Brach, a real genius and a gentleman too. The resin pieces come in various separates bags, having had the care of the big parts are not the same bags that small pieces and even inside the box are very remote and styrofoam in the middle, thus showing care in packaging, and all done to avoid any broken parts. This kit has 292 resin parts (104 are tracks links), a photo-etched sheet, a small acetate sheet (with instruments panels) and a towing cable (tread). Also have a small instructions booklet and a small sheet for three markings options (two French and one German). The resin is a light/medium grey resin, very well cast, with some very good details. In all the pieces I look for any bubble or distortion and I didn`t find any on my sample. This is an excellent example of resin art. Unlike some resin armor kits, the hull is not cast in a single piece, but similarly to a regular styrene model, with a hull top and bottom. This is a beauty, casting is superb and smooth and highly detailed. Casting blocks and some flash is present but are light and easily cleaned up. The tracks are individually cast resin links. The thing is so pretty in the box it is almost a shame to build it. The casting is very nice with no noticeable imperfections in my sample. The casting block and excess resin should be very simple to remove. In resin kits can some parts be warp or distort (although dipping in warm water and straightening will easily remedy this) but in this samples no warp in any pieces, especially in the fenders. Opening all the bags, I immediately come across the complete interior of the inner hull with the exception of the engine bay. I confess I was not expecting that this kit had much of the interior which was a real surprise and very nice. Interior The kit includes a hull interior (the lower hull is made by 3 pieces: the floor and the two sides). The hull floor and transmission are cast in one single piece, with a good attention to details, with no warp, and anti-slice floor as well. Both hull sides are also very well cast and very good surface detail and with an easy cleaning. The entire interior is well rendered and detailed. There is a separate upgrade kit for the engine (catalogue #BM079 - to get it directly from Brach Model, click here.) All the hatches are separate including the engine area. All the driver's seat is complete with seat in photogravure and resin, gearbox, turn right and turn left brakes levers, pedals and instrument panel. You will also get the two ammunitions racks with ammunition to put on it. In the end you will get a full and busy interior right from the box. Main body Being a resin kit, that`s mean that the surface detail can be very delicate. So the upper hull surface parts and the turret has a definite cast texture and fine recessed detail. Two outstanding cast resin pieces. I was quite surprise also with the fenders. A single resin piece, very well cast. These two pieces are delicate and thin with a very appropriate scale without need of a photo-etched. Despite being a single piece, both fenders show no distortion or warp which it`s a very good signal of the resin quality and the production control by Brach Model. The unditching tail (reminiscent of a close “relative” – The FT J ) is very well detail, and looks like quite simply of put it all together. Wheels and suspension: The inner and idler wheels and upper wheels have a fantastic detail and very little to clean making this operation quite more pleasant. Has we said before, the Renault R40 had 12 pairs of small road-wheels on each side mounted in pairs in each side of the hull. Regarding to this point I was a bit afraid because the alignment of all 12 wheels. However quite frankly I was very surprise and happy the clever solution. Luciano Brach decided to group the pneumatic suspension and structure, making a single piece formed by the suspension and two wheels attached. Every single one, has a locating point allowing the modeler a greater security in alignment of all wheels relative to the hull. Tracks links The kit includes link-to-link resin tracks, with quite good detail and no cleaning need. The instructions don`t mention if they intended to click together so I tried so link them. My first thought was: these resin tracks can be a quite a task. So I decided to try out. They are intended to click together, and they really click together. A delicate but simply task that in 30 seconds, I could easily in 30 seconds mount a track portion. Fantastic track links Passing now the the photoetched, there is 72 parts, since the interior to exterior detail, mainly being clamps, Renault placard, exhaust cover, etc, giving extra detail to the model. The sheet is very well achieved, appearing to be quite easy to work out, small connections points and easy bending. Instructions The instruction sheet is not a Meng ou Tamiya ones. This model is intented for experient modeller, and for that I do know that this instructions would not be a problem. There`s is no other information concerning decals or paint color guide for interior or camouflage, with no indications. With this instructions the modeler will not need to use references to find the correct location of parts, but will need to dig out their references for interior and exterior/camouflage painting guides. Decals The small sheet with three options is well registered, good colour saturation and quite thin. As we said, no color indications for the camouflage. Was quite hard to photograph the decal sheet because all the registration is in white. Conclusion Man I just love this lovelly Brach Models Renaul R40. All of the resin is beautifully cast and has no flaw. There is a little flash in some areas, but this is so thin and will be easy to remove. None of the castings suffer from seam lines, and while some items are cast on communal casting blocks, a small number are cast in a shallow mould and just have a thin membrane of resin to remove from between the parts, like the wheels sets and tracks. Looking at the limited reference I do have, and with Google being my friend, Brach Models do seem to have pretty good job of the look of the beauty. As far as accuracy goes, I have to admit I'm no expert on the Renault R40, but as far I can see, it really looks like the real thing. Pricey? This is no mass-produced TamigawaMeng kit. If you want a unique model that will stand out in any model contest or in your collection this is the one for you, or if you simply want to have a very good example of a Renault R40, just go for it, because it`s worth it. Very highly recommended Francisco Guedes Our thanks to Brach Models for shipping this out to us in such a speedy manner. To purchase this directly, click THIS link. (Full build model, courtesy from Brach Model)
  22. Hi guys! Here the lastest work of my good friend and awesome modeler (for me, the best in the world) José Brito. Just enjoy my friends! : Cheers Francisco
  23. News from Bronco!! A nice one I must say! Cheers Francisco
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