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  1. Bronco Airspeed A.S.51 Horsa Glider Mk.1 Available from many online-stores around £109.99 The Horsa was a troop carrying glider of World War 2 built by Airspeed, a company associated with small trainers and sports aircraft. Designated the AS51 the Horsa was built to a 1940 specification for a 25 seater glider for use by Airborne forces. An order for 400 aircraft was placed February 1941, with fuyll production beginning in February 1942. By this time orders had reached 2345 aircraft. Much of the production was sub-contracted to furniture manufacturers who built the glider in sections and which were transported to Airspeed for final assembly. The Horsa was used by both British and American Airborne Forces in all operations from 1942 to the end of the war. It was also used to carry jeeps and small artillery pieces. The Horsa Mk 1had a wingspan of 27m and a length of 20m, loaded weight was 7,000k. it was normally towed by a four engine bomber such as a Short Stirling or Handley-Page Halifax due to the weight. But the smaller C47 Dakota was often used in large operations as not enough bombers where available. The Kit and Contents. This kit is BIG, the large, packed box screams size. From the thick cardboard box itself, the very well illustrated box top and the large cardboard protective packaging everything is on a big scale with this kit. The contents consist of: 18 regular grey sprues, 3 clear sprues, 1 heavy nose weight in its own protective box, 1 small etched fret, 1 set of self adhesive vinyl window masks, 1 sheet of decals, A really nice piece of artwork that matches the box art (a nice touch I think). There is a lot of plastic here, it took me over an hour to photo it all, and it all looks well cast with no noticeable flash. There are some prominent pin marks from the moulding pins on some of the larger pieces but they do seem to be in places where they will either be covered by other parts and most looks easy to deal with where they are not. The kit looks to have a decently detailed cockpit (moulded in seat harnesses) though I'm sure the aftermarket people will be out with some updates soon. There is also what looks like a very detailed hold space along with a large port side cargo door that can be posed either open or closed along with a smaller what looks like personnel entry door at the rear. The fuselage looks to be built as per the real thing with an inner tube of supports, bracing and floor/roof components. Added to this are the troop seats (again moulded strap detail) and some smaller internal detail parts. The skin of the fuselage comes in large sections and wraps around this tubular core. I imagine the modeller will need to be very careful with this approach as the slightest misaligning of parts will result in a bigger misalignment in the next stages. Onto this the wings and tailpieces fit, along with the pose-able control surfaces as does the large undercarriage. I wonder how strong the undercarriage needs to be to ensure this stays on its wheels but the kit parts seem very sturdy. All external panels are smooth and Ive seen some criticism for this as some period pictures show noticeable deformation around the frame of the aircraft. I can see both sides of this and personally I'd rather it wasn't there and do some work myself to reproduce it if I see it necessary at the time. There are plenty period photo's around should the modeller wish to replicate this. The painting guidance and decals exist for 3 versions of the aircraft. Two UK RAF and one US D-Day airframe, there doesn't seem to be any guidance on differences in the build or fit of the aircraft depending on the theatre. Guidance is in the instructions for the width of the painted on invasion stripes in 1/35th scale, which I think is a great feature. The Sprues The 18 sprues are as follows. Sprue A (x1) This sprue contains the Tail parts of the aircraft including the fuselage sides for the tail, the pose-able rudder and the support struts for the horizontal tail surfaces themselves. Sprue B (x1) This sprue contains the upper fuselage and wing spar parts along with some of the outer body panels. Sprue C (x1) This sprue contains the majority of the cockpit parts along with some internal bracing for the wing structures. Sprue D (x1) This sprue contains the bulkheads for the inner fuselage parts. Sprue E (x1) This sprue contains the horizontal tail surfaces and pose-able control surfaces for the tail parts. Sprue F (x1) This sprue contains some more internal bracing for the wings, outer fuselage skin parts and some undercarriage parts. Sprue G (x2) These contain further cockpit and fuselage pieces along with some of the troop seats. Sprue Ha (x1) and Hb (x1) These are the wings. Large mouldings of both wings split in the usual upper/lower piece manner. Sprue J (x1) This contains more internal bulkheads and some further fuselage pieces. Sprue K (x1) This contains more floor pieces along with parts for the large port side cargo door. Sprue L (x1) This contains the large wing control surfaces. Sprue Ma (x1) This is the bracing for the Undercarriage. Sprue Mb (x1) This is the large, one piece cockpit canopy structure. Its very clear and looks to be free from defects and anomalies. Sprue Mc (x1) and Sprue Md (x1) This is the side windows for the fuselage sides. A further, very small bubble window and smaller side window. Sprue N (x1) & Sprue P(x2) Sprue N is further bulkheads and some side panels for the fuselage. Sprues P are further parts for the interior including parts for the cargo seats. Etch Fret P (x1) This small fret has some straps for the pilots cockpit and some small bracing for the cargo seats in the rear of the aircraft. The Window Masking and Decal Sheet The Window masking is for the main canopy itself and the various windows on the side of the fuselage. These are laser cut vinyl and are self adhesive. I can see these being a big part of the build given the size and prominence of the cockpit windows themselves. The Decal sheet looks well produces, in good register and seems to have all the necessary markings and national insignia. The schemes are: RZ108 of RAF 'Operation Overlord', France, 6th June 1944. PW773 of RAF 'Operation Mallard', Normandy, France, 6th June 1944. RF141 of USAAF 'Operation Overlord', Normandy, France, 6th June 1944. The Instructions Sheet. This is really well printed on glossy paper. Its illustrated really well and they are really clear and easily readable. They are black and white, except for the external colour scheme and in english. All paint guidance is given in MR. Hobby, Hobby Color, Humbrol and Tamiya. The Schemes that are presented on the decal sheet are all presented on the last 3 pages of the Instruction Sheet. The Nose weight. There is a nose weight included. This is very hefty and comes in its own cardboard box to protect the other parts from it rattling about in the main box itself. Conclusion. I think this kit will fly off the shelves. Bronco and a few other manufacturers, Tamiya included, have already released a number of Airborne figures, vehicles and small artillery pieces that will look great with this kit in a diorama. The only figures that may be difficult to source at this time are the pilots but Im sure someone will remedy that soon enough. The only quandary I have is how to build this, either as a Bronco loading up with personnel and equipment, or as a crashed example with the pieces of the fuselage scattered in a field and the occupants escaping from the site. One thing that will drive this for most I am sure is space to keep and Display it. At almost a metre in wingspan and almost as long in the fuselage this will be difficult to find space for even once you have discarded that box. For those completely without space issues can you imagine this being 'towed' behind the upcoming 1/32 Lancaster that has been announced recently by HKM? That really would be something to see. Overall I'd say really highly recommended, especially if like me you like the idea of mixed aircraft, armour and personnel dioramas. One last bonus us the artwork supplied below, its a really nice touch and would look good in a decent frame.
  2. Kitty Hawk 1:32 OV-10D “Bronco” HH32003 The Bronco - Wikepiedia Entry The North American Rockwell OV-10 Bronco is a turboprop light attack and observation aircraft. It was developed in the 1960s as a special aircraft for counter-insurgency (COIN) combat, and one of its primary missions was as a forward air control (FAC) aircraft. It can carry up to three tons of external munitions, internal loads such as paratroops or stretchers, and can loiter for three or more hours. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_Rockwell_OV-10_Bronco The Kit. Well, as soon as I heard about this I knew I had to get it. It’s been on my pre-orders since day one and today it arrived. I have to say that, so far, Im not disappointed. Some have said they’d rather Kitty Hawk had started with the OV-10A and worked through the various models. They also say that the various bumps and extras on the D model make it ugly. Well for me it just looks right, yes its fugly but so is the A-10 and it never did that aircraft any harm. So onto the fun bit, the kit breakdown. The box is big, not WnW Duellist big just big. Its about 60cm wide, 20 deep and thickness of about 15cm. Its also packed to the gunnels with plastic. There are 9 sprues of grey plastic that’s as good as any I have seen (including Tamiya) and 1 of clear. A nice touch is that the clear sprue is housed in a special box of its own. There is also a metal nose weight that seems quite heavy and a fret of small PE along with 2 sheets of decals. The Sprues: Spue A has main engine parts, some panels for the engines and some cockpit elements too. Sprue B is the main outer wings and the flaps associated with that and the tail Sprue C is the main inner wings and again more control surfaces Sprue D is the main engine pylons and the small stub wings that fit below the cockpit Sprue E is the tail, some panels and some cockpit elements too Sprue F and J are the tail booms, cockpit parts and various under wing stores, missiles and bombs Sprue GP is the clear parts and this kit has a big cockpit, Sprue I (there are two) is weapons and the engine parts Sprue H (there are two) is more weapons, some engine parts and ancillary equipment. The Instruction Manual The Instruction manual is very good. It has bi fold out front and back covers and full colour guidance on the colour schemes, more of those later. It’s very well printed, clear and up there with the best. Whilst I’d say it’s on par with Tamiya its not up there with WnW But you can see that Kitty Hawk has really worked hard on these and to make them as clear as possible. The Colour Schemes I think I many need at least 3 of these kits, as I love all but one scheme. They are: US Marines VM)-4 airframe tail-number 55498, which is 3 tone wrap around scheme in Green (FS34102), Greyish Blue (FS35237) and Grey (FS36801 a very attractive scheme. US Marines VMO-2 airframe tail-number 55468, which is the main box cover Brown (FS30219) and Sandy Brown (no FS Callout but C19 in Gunze Sangyo) with an underside in Grey (FS16640). US Marines, VMO-2 airframe tail-number 55479, which is in a 2 tone grey wrap around scheme in Grey (FS3618) and Greyish Blue (FS35237). US Navy unidentified squadron tail-number 55172, which is Field Green (FS34097) over Grey (FS3662). This one is my least favourite and probably the only one I wouldn’t build personally. All of the schemes are also referenced, as is the whole kit in Gunze Sangyo colours. Personally I’d like some other callouts too but that’s just me, I always use Vallejo and convert using their colour charts anyway. Overall Impression This for me is a dream kit. I remember years ago buying the Testors 1/48 kit and the Paragon Details update with wings and pylons and I loved the look of the aircraft as much as I do now. For me it’s highly recommended. On all the sprues the detail looks great and where it exists there is some very fine riveting detail and great panel lines, which look to be mostly even and clean. Its currently being built by someone on a Facebook page and I think he has nothing but good things to say about it so far, though only into the cockpit area so far. There are also two full engines, removable panels and it’s all visible if you leave these off. A nice touch I think. The rear cargo door is accessible too and can be posed open as can the nose giving access to the hardware in there including the Optic systems in the nose. I’ve not been lucky enough to see Kitty Hawk’s earlier Harvard and Texan kits in 1/32 but from what I have read they are just as good and if they look as good as this does in the bare plastic I don’t see where anyone but the most choosy could have a problem with this kit. There is a very good selection of drop tanks, air to air and air to ground weapons. There are also some very nice cannons for the stub wings and they have full detail down to the bays in which they sit. A super details person could go mad with all the open panels and could build an absolute blinding kit from this. That said even OOB this is going to look great. I got it from Hannants at £59.99 but it should be available from all good model stockists. Highly Recommended.
  3. Hi guy's, Bronco's 1/35 V1 piloted flying bomb as a quick little build in between projects just to get something finished! The model practically fell together, the only thing being the locating pins and holes were so tight I couldn't completely close the fuselage. A little trimming of the pins and drilling of the holes and it was sorted. Excuse the seat belts it seems the super glue has let go for some reason. Paints used were Gunze H417 RLM76, H423 RLM83 and for the RLM 81 I used Vallejo 70887 Brown Violet. The model was sealed with automotive acrylic clear thinned with gp thinner before the squiggle pattern was applied. The Vallejo was thinned with metholated spirits. I had to be careful with this as I could just wipe it off with my finger but came in handy when tidying up the squiggles. Re sealed with clear. I used Tamiya flat black and red brown as a wash, wont be doing that again!! Flat coat is Model Master Acrylic Flat Coat. Weathering was achieved with sharp Derwent coloured pencils a little pastel dust and some sponging of the Vallejo Brown Violet. The trolley was painted with Tamiya Field Grey and weathered with pastels, oil wash and grey lead pencil. Thanks for looking cheers Bevan.
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