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  1. G'day guys and gals, I've been a member on here for a while now and haven't put up a WIP thread, so I thought I might start with something easy and quick..... as the title suggests I'm converting the HK B-17G into a D model. I actually started this over on another forum just over a year ago, but I figured people might appreciate seeing it here as well. The bottom line so far is that this is in no way simple or quick. For those who aren't familiar with the HK B-17, this is an amazing kit and a long time dream come true for a lot of people that wanted a big bird of their own. It builds up nicely and looks like a B-17 when it's done. There's been plenty of comment about the accuracy of the kit all over the internet so this thread is not about trying to make a super accurate G. More so, I had an idea that using the kit as an excellent base, I could design a new nose and rear fuselage and graft them onto the existing centre section. As the wing shape more or less remained unchanged throughout the life of the fort, the would make my life easier. Originally I was intending to make vac form masters and then get them professionally pulled, but then I took a great big step into the 21st century and brought myself a 3D printer. I then used that to make the required fuselage corrections and now it's all about adding the internal details. I'm aware that most people (including myself a lot of the time) come for the photos, so I'll try and keep the explanations to a minimum. However if anyone is interested and would like to know how I did a certain thing or elaborate on a process, feel free to ask. Also, if anyone has any information they feel is pertinent to B-17's feel free to share it. Comments and critique are welcome too guys; I'm certainly not the world's greatest modeller but go for it, anything is welcome! Anyway, on with the pictures......
  2. Hi all. I have always admired the RAF Phantoms in dark green/ocean grey camouflage since I was a boy. They looked powerful and brutish not to mention much more different from the other Phantom oprators. In I /32 scale there are a few options. Wait for the upcoming HK Models kit, get a second mortgage to buy the Wild Hare conversion or....make your own conversion. I do not want to wait that long, a second mortgage is out of the question so option three would be it. Luckily I am not the only one with this desire. Master modeller Frank Mitchell did just that and with his articles on LSP for reference it was time to wield my trusty saw. Based on Tamiya's F-4J kit the differences are mostly in the intakes and rear fuselage/exhausts as te Spey was larger than the standard engines. The intakes need to be widened and the exhaust cans have a larger diameter and are shorter. With the articles to hand work began on the intakes. I let the pics do the talking. Cees
  3. Tamiya A4e 1/32 skyhawk kit converted to RNZAF A4k skyhawk NZ6209. Currently on static display at Ardmore Warbirds hanger Auckland. Aires cockpit, seat, wheel wells. Scratch built instrument panel A few bits and pieces moved around, tail straightened Scratch built intake covers Ladder by Profimodellor Custom decals by Simon Hutton at KitbuilderNZ
  4. 1/32 Ju 88C-2 Conversion set CMK Catalogue # 5027 Available from Special Hobby for 332 Kč (around £11.50 at time of writing) Junkers’ Ju 88 design was perhaps one of the first, true multirole aircraft, in every sense of the word, and the basic airframe was developed, added to and converted into roles ranging from fast-bomber, through to anti-shipping, night fighter, reconnaissance, heavy fighter, and also unpiloted flying bomb. The initial C version was converted from Ju 88A-1 airframes into a heavy fighter/fighter bomber role and dispensed with the usual glazed nose in favour of a solid metal nose through which four guns protruded. The gondola also had a solid front instead of the glazed area. The C version was pretty much the genesis for the later G-series machines we saw, albeit the C still had the Jumo engines and not the BMW radials. CMK’s little conversion set is simplicity itself and enables you to convert the Revell/Promodeller Ju 88A-1 into the rather slick looking heavy fighter version. There are external differences between the C-2 and C-4 machines, including the rear canopy. With the C-2 being converted from the A-1, there was only a single MG in the rear cockpit, whereas the C-4 had double rear-firing MGs, being converted from the A-5. To that extent, it’s possible that you could build the C-4 if you used the Ju 88A-4 kit. My eventual project will be to create a Ju 88C-0, for which there were only a handful converted. In a dusty corner of my attic, I have a complete starboard, forward window frame from a C-0 that crash-landed in Norway due to engine failure. To build that is on my modelling bucket list. Anyway, I digress. CMK’s Ju 88C-2 conversion set is packaged into one of their small and standard yellow boxes with a top-opening flap. A sticker label is attached to the front, showing a photo of a converted nose. Inside the box, a small zip-lock bag contains three main resin parts, plus a casting block with a further four components. A small instruction sheet is included, as is a very small decal sheet. All parts are cast in light grey resin, and the quality of them is excellent, with no flaws or other issues evident. You will of course need to remove casting blocks, or in the case of the new nose, grind down the pouring stuff so that just a small ridge remains that can help with location to the host model. The new nose is a solid piece, which is just fine as there was a metal sheet that divided the cockpit from the nose interior, with just the gun barrels protruding through. External detail is commensurate with that of the host kit, with fine panel lines. A number of latches line the circumference and the muzzle tubes have very fine riveting around them. Underneath the nose will sit a new section that does away with the glazed area of the kit and is located directly next to the new nose. As with the nose section, this is resplendent in fine panel lines, plus some fastener details. The replacement forward gondola is cast as a solid piece with a pouring stub that will need removing. Thankfully, the underside of this is profiled to fit the fuselage. I’ve seen a couple of builds where a little filler has been needed, but nothing too onerous. Detail here consists of a forward fairing that is riveted to the gondola body. Nothing else is needed, unless, like me, you intend on riveting the entire airframe. A little surgery will be needed on the original kit gondola so that you can graft the new section. Four barrels and muzzles are supplied, with hollow-cast ends. These are cast on a single block. I would perhaps try to hollow the muzzles out a little further with some very small drill bits, but a touch of wash in the ends would probably give a good illusion of depth. A small decal sheet is supplied that contains just the fuselage codes and unit badge. Printing is super-thin and has minimal carrier film. Colours are solid, and registration is perfect. I’m unsure as to what style of national markings you would need for this, but you may have to research that yourself and provide them too. The instructions do say that you use the Revell decals, but the Balkenkreuz is depicted as an outline version. Instructions are delivered on a double-sided piece of A5 paper, with one side depicting the parts in the set, and the reverse side showing the conversion and decal placement. Illustration is simple line drawing. No colour codes are given for anything, so reference is essential. Conclusion As I’ve said, a very simple and effective conversion that completely alters the appearance of the glazed nose bomber and turns it into the more menacing-looking heavy fighter version. Conversion itself looks to be a breeze and nothing here should be too difficult even for the newcomer to resin. Maybe a good first conversion project? Highly recommended My sincere thanks to Special Hobby for the sample reviewed in this article. To purchase directly, click THIS link.
  5. 1/32 Focke-Wulf Fw 190C (V18) Känguru Conversion for Hasegawa A5/A8 kits Planet Models Catalogue # PLT233 Available from Special Hobby for 1079 Kč (approx. £38) Whilst there is no doubt that whilst Kurt Tank’s Fw 190A series was highly successful, it’s real Achilles heel was its lack of performance at high altitude, whereas its biggest contemporary and competitor, the Bf 109, was a far more capable performer. This lead Tank to look at ways of addressing the altitude performance problem early in the program. In 1941, he proposed a number of versions featuring new power plants, and he suggested using turbochargers in place of superchargers. Three such installations were outlined; the Fw 190B with a turbocharged BMW 801, the Fw 190 C with a turbocharged Daimler-Benz DB 603, and the Fw 190 D with a supercharged Junkers Jumo 213. The aircraft would also include a pressurized cockpit and other features making them more suitable for high-altitude work. Prototypes for all three models were ordered. The C model's use of the longer DB 603 engine required more extensive changes to the airframe. As the weight was distributed further forward, the tail of the aircraft had to be lengthened in order to maintain the desired centre of gravity. To test these changes, several examples of otherwise standard 190As were re-engined with a supercharged DB 603 to experiment with this engine fit. These were the V13 (W.Nr. 0036) with the 1,750 PS 603A, the similar V15 and V16, with an 1,800 DB603E being fitted to the latter after a time. With this engine, the V16 was able to reach 450 mph at 22,310ft, which was a considerable improvement over the 400 mph at 17,060ft of the basic A models. V18 followed, the first to feature the full high-altitude suite of features, including the pressurized cockpit, longer wings, a 603G engine driving a new four-blade propeller, and a Hirth 9-2281 turbocharger. Unlike the experimental B models, V18 had a cleaner turbocharger installation, running the required piping along the wing root, partially buried in the fillet, and installing both the turbocharger air intake and intercooler in a substantially sized teardrop shaped fairing under the cockpit. This "pouch" led to the "Känguruh" (Kangaroo) nickname for these models. V18 was later modified to the V18/U1, with a "downgraded" 603A engine, but a new DVL turbocharger that improved the power to 1,600 PS at an altitude of 35,105ft. Four additional prototypes based on the V18/U1 followed: V29, V30, V32 and V33. It is the V18 which is perhaps the most interesting, and the subject of this conversion set review. The kit Planet Models’ Fw 190C/V18 ‘Känguruh’ conversion set is packed into a reasonably large box, as befits the full fuselage replacement that it contains. The box lid has a large sticker with a product label attached, showing a rather sleek-looking 190C. This is quite a nice angle to see this at, as other angles would show the aircraft to be a little clunky in places, but still a very interesting aircraft in the evolution of the 190 series. Whilst it is generally said that the Fw 190D-9 was the aircraft that went on to be the genesis of the Ta 152 development, the Fw 190C, with its wide-chord fin, is also said to be an important step towards what was to become perhaps Germany’s most impressive piston-engine fighter. As stated on the label, this conversion contains fuselage halves, exhausts, main gear wheels, coolers, propeller, vac-form sliding hood, and decals. You will of course need a Hasegawa Fw 190A-5/A-8 kit which will donate its wings, cockpit, gear struts, stabiliser etc. All components within this conversion are packed into heat-sealed sleeves, with the fuselage halves being separate items in themselves. It’s these parts that I’ll be looking at first. The overhaul of the fuselage on the 190C/V18 was so extensive that it required an entirely new fuselage. As with the original kit, these are supplied as halves, and they pretty much exhibit the same standard of detail that is seen on the original kit parts. By this, I mean fine panel lines and port access details. There is no riveting. When I come to build this, I will river the whole airframe, including the wings and this new fuselage replacement. The instrument coaming and forward upper fuselage areas are cast integrally with the remainder of the fuselage. You can clearly see the wing root fairing into which the turbocharger pipework will recess, as well as the intake that sits below the annular radiator. The tail fin is also wide-chord, as with the Ta 152, yet the fuselage isn’t extended as was seen on the 190D series, despite the length of the nose. Presumably the intake under the bellow helped to offset the change in the centre of gravity. Also note that the rudder is cast separately. Internally, there is no detail as this would come from the Hasegawa cockpit parts. There is a very small stub on the underside of the fuselage, which is a remnant of the casting block, so this will be a breeze to remove. Other parts in this release include the long turbocharger pipes that tuck under the wing root fairings and exhaust further down It doesn’t appear that the wing root gun bay wing-moulded detail needs to be modified, so all looks good there! Of course, there is the large intake which sits below the belly of the 190, in P-51 style, and there is a small section of plumbing which needs to be fitted here, stretching to the fillet that separates the main gear bay. There is a new part which fits between the bays, and to fit the large intake itself, some plastic will need to be trimmed from the belly plastic that is moulded to the rear of the main, lower wing panel. It all looks quite simple to execute. A small intake grille fits within the belly intake, as does a separate part that fits into the nose intake area. That belly intake is provided in halves, so there will be a seam to remove, as with the fuselage. This machine was designed to be armed, and although there appears to be no wing guns, the fuselage ones were still installed. Evidence of this is shown on the forward nose cowling, where the gun ports are actually found, unlike other 190 series where there were channels on the upper cowls for this purpose. With the 190C, the cowl changes meant that these were now embedded within the cowls due to the change in depth of the nose. Note also how angular the nose cowl is, unlike the large curved radius of the A-series machines. This gives the 190C quite an unusual appearance. Radiator details are cast within the main nose ring cowl. Of course, a new 4-blade Hirth propeller is included, along with a new spinner, again giving a highly unusual feature for the 190. A set of main gear wheels are also supplied to replace the Hasegawa plastic. Resin quality is very good, with everything being cast in an unusual shade of grey. Where casting blocks remain, then they will be easy to remove. Where they are already removed, then final clean-up will just consist of removing a resin tag or thin resin web. There is a little flash to remove in places, and a slight scratch will need to be buffed out on one fuselage half. Many people dislike vacform parts, but that’s what you have here for the pressurised cockpit rear hood with its canopy framing. Planet Models supply TWO canopies, just in case you make a mistake, but they really aren’t as difficult as you’d imagine. To cut these, I fill the interior with Blue-Tack which makes the part more rigid. A brand-new scalpel blade is used to cut the plastic, with Dymo tape being used as a guide. It would only take a few minutes to complete this task. Vacform clarity. No masks are supplied with this release, so you’ll need to mask it using your own methods. Lastly, a single, small decal sheet is supplied for the V18 prototype. This consists of the national markings, split swastika, and prototype codes. A couple of small stencils are included for the wings. You may need to supplement this with kit stencils, but I don’t know if this would be historically accurate. Printing is excellent, with the decals being nice and thin and having minimal carrier film. Registration is void because the decals are either black or white, with no multicolour elements. Two A4 instruction sheets are supplied and folded into A5. A history of the 190C is supplied, and a photo of the parts, with identifier numbers. Twelve black and white images are included which shows construction of the model, along with notes as to which resin part is which. Annotation clearly indicates the Hasegawa plastic. When it comes to sawing and modifying the plastic, you will need to measure things yourself as no dimensions are supplied. Conclusion For me, this is a very exciting conversion set in that it really recreates a transitionary and evolutionary change between the A and D versions, and Tank’s attempt to push the metaphoric envelope with his design so it could be operated at high altitude. There’s no doubting the historical significance of the C-series birds, despite them not really being at the forefront of our attention, or indeed print articles etc. Planet Models has created a rather nice set which should easily convert the Hasegawa Fw 190A-5/A-8, and as this is quite a simple conversion, it should be ok for those who have limited but some resin experience. All in all, an excellent and relatively inexpensive conversion set. Highly recommended My sincere thanks to Special Hobby for the review kit shown here. To purchase this directly, click THIS link.
  6. Hi all, This is my HK Models Meteor F.4, converted into a T.7 using the Fisher Models resin set, incorporating the narrow chord intakes that are specific to the majority of T.7 aircraft. I've also added a smattering of Eduard stuff around this build, for landing flaps, seatbelts, wheels and mudguards etc. It's a little worrying when you hack off huge sections of your expensive model kit with a razor saw, but this one built up just beautifully. I've used MRP (Mr Paint) for all colours, such as Sulphur Yellow, Basalt, White Aluminium, Lemon Grey and Syrian AFV Yellow-Brown etc. Also some nice Airscale bezels and decals on the instrument panels. Watch out for this one in the November edition of Military Illustrated Modeller (No.79), due out around mid-October 2017.
  7. Messerschmitt Me 262A-1a/U3 built with AIMS resin conversion and decals Why do I do this? Ok, there will be an update on the 1/32 Fw 189A-1 in the next days, and this is on the runway for completion in a few weeks. Despite this, I still have an open topic for the Sea Hornet that I'm hoping to make progress on in the next months......BUT, how about an infill project? Converting the 1:32 Trumpeter Me 262A-1a fighter into a reconnaissance machine, Me 262A-1a/U3. These were rare machines, with many being converted from standard fighters at Cheb airfield in the Karlovy Vary Region of the former Czechoslovakia. The seed for this project was sown a couple of years ago when a good friend of mine gave me a part of a fuselage stringer from one of these rare machines, shot down, possibly by a Mosquito, whilst in the Cheb area. When AIMS announced a conversion kit, I decided to get this and stash it for future use. This is a fairly simple conversion, and whilst I yet have to get the associated decals for it, I thought I'd plant a flag here, right now and say that I WILL build this one. On top of the resin conversion, I'll be adding the AIRES cockpit and main gear bay set too. This is the basic kit: And these are some photos of the conversion from the AIMS site.....something to aim for!! Hope you like it.
  8. My second entry for the group build an FW190C. Using Planet Models conversion and Hasegawa's FW190D as donor kit. Since the 190D wings, pit, stabilizers and undercarriage are same as their A8 this will work. I will use the 190D tail for another conversion on deck. Parts washed and will start this week along with my other A8. Planet's conversion parts. Hasegawa's FW190D will be used as donor.
  9. 1:32 Messerschmitt Bf 109H conversion Alley Cat Catalogue # AC32037C Available from A2Zee Models for £20 Have you ever wanted to try something different when it comes to large scale Bf 109 models? The endless stream of Emils, Friedrichs and Gustavs can become a little samey, even to ardent Luftwaffe fans. Alley Cat have never shied away from producing conversion sets to help the modeller create something a little more unusual when it comes to the Emil (with A, B, C and D conversions available), and now they've turned their attention to the new Revell 1:32 Bf 109G-6. This set will let you build this sleek aircraft as the not-quite-so-sleek Bf 109H, high altitude fighter. Before the advent of the Ta 152, this was Messerschmitt's solution to intercepting the massed bomber streams that flew high above German towns and cities. Basically, this machine was an adapted Bf 109G, which had a taller tail section, pressurised cockpit, and an extended wingspan. The latter was achieved by adding a new un-taped, centre wing section which extended the wingspan of the 109 by over 3 metres. The whole project was cancelled before production began, due to the prototype being destroyed in an air raid, and newer aircraft coming on-stream. Alley Cat's conversion set is packaged into a small, sturdy box that has a colour label depicting the product in profile format. Inside the box, two Zip-lock wallets hold a total of FOURTEEN parts, cast in light grey resin. The largest of these, the wing centre section, occupies its own wallet. A series of laser printed instruction sheets are included, as is a mask set for the scheme. What this conversion sets out to do is actually very simple and logical. The regular Bf 109G wings remained unchanged in their format, with the exception that the under-wing radiators were moved into their original locations, which now lay on the new centre piece. I don't know Messerschmitt's logic for doing this, but of course this means we need to erase those radiators from the kit wings. The wing centre section is impressive, and is cast with the new location for the undercarriage strut on the outboard side of the panel, giving the aircraft a wide-track undercarriage instead of the narrow one it is always seen with. Detail on this section is excellent, with cutaways to install the new radiator positions. A small resin pouring stub exists on forward point, where it connects to the engine cowl. This is totally unobtrusive and will cause no problem when removing it. As with the rest of the Revell kit, the exterior is devoid of rivets. What again will make this aircraft look unusual is that this new section is without any dihedral. The kit wings, when fitted to this, will have their regular upward angle kept 'as is', creating a most unusual looking bird. To remove the radiators from the kit wings, a blanking insert is included. New radiator parts are included for the extra wing section, complete. As the kit wing itself contains the centre fuselage section, you will need to cut this, and the instructions clearly show how you go about this. It's suggested that you perhaps pin the kit wings to the new resin panel, and I think that's a pretty good idea in the circumstances. New resin radiators are provided for the new section, complete with internal grilles. Those radiators are handed, so ensure you fit them correctly. This new wing calls for the split, trailing edge flaps to be reinstated on the new section, and resin parts are supplied for this, clearly identified on both the casting block and instructions. You will need to use the forward, adjustable shutters on the kit radiators and fasten them to the new resin ones, in the same location. The next major change comes with the removal of the entire tail section from the kit fuselage. Careful measurement is needed here, and this is given on the instructions sheet. It still always pays to take the last fractions of a millimetre off very gradually so that you get an even and perfect match between the plastic and grafted resin part. The new tail is very different to the standard 109 style, and this comes with a separate rudder. Revell did sort of drop the ball on the kit gun troughs. This conversion supplies a corrected gun trough, but oddly enough, not the corrected Beules or spinner. For these, you will need the buy the G-6 correction set we reviewed HERE. There is a small dark mark on the upper piece, but this appears to be a little dark resin, and will cause no problems when I build this. I really can't complain about the quality of the resin parts. They are flawless, easily identifiable, and any casting blocks will easily be cut away. It's also not greasy, and no visible signs of mould-release agent can be seen anywhere. Perhaps just lightly scrub them to be sure. Masks are supplied on a sharply cut vinyl sheet, and look superb, with no shrinkage. Only the fuselage codes and swastikas are supplied, as you will use the kit markings for the Balkenkreuz. Three colour-printed sheets are provided for the instructions, with photographs and clearly notation. I would have perhaps liked to have seen a photo of the completed model, or at least with the wing having the inboard slit trailing edge installed. You really shouldn't have too much of an issue following these instructions. The last sheet contains the line drawings of the 109, with the scheme applied to the side profile. Conclusion Alley Cat has produced another superb conversion set for a version which you only occasionally see in smaller, short-run kits/conversions. The finished 109 will look a little clumsy and ungainly, but that is part of the attraction for this machine. There isn't provision for creating that pressurised cockpit, so for that area, you will have to check out online references for similar machines, or at the very least, conjure up your own solution. I also assume the engine had some differences, but externally, you won't have seen them. That would only really apply if you wanted to add a resin engine. In all, a really good, solid conversion set that should be manageable by modellers who have worked with resin parts before. A good, first conversion perhaps? Very highly recommended My sincere thanks to A2Zee Models for this review sample. To purchase directly, click THIS link. James H
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