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Found 11 results

  1. My plan is to crank this out by November then start something really big. The Fa330 always interested me as a unique aircraft with an equally unique mission. This was towed by a U-Boat so the pilot could see beyond U-Boat horizon view and report any enemy activity. Finally there is a lot of rigging and I will use either RB or GasPatch turnbuckles. This will get me feeling comfortable for my WNW build, next on the bench. That's right Kiwi Mike...no typo here. 30 minutes into this build I was already regretting this. This aircraft is mostly tubular and the parts are typical short run injection. Loads of flash and seams. Cleaning these tubes are going to drive me batty. So I will cut all remaining tubular parts from .5mm, .4mm and .3mm styrene rod. This will actually be easier than cutting from sprue and cleaning. Building balsa wood and tissue models experience will come in handy. Resin main control pully wheel (feel free to correct me on correct definition) and control stick installed with epoxy. I also wrapped the control stick handle with .2mm lead wire. A brush coat of paint will give the handle a ribbed appearance. Spar and 4 sub control pully wheels are cut from styrene. More fun with .5mm and .4mm styrene rods. The rudder gets a .4mm rod on both sides and will be sanded down and this was fabric. Will also add grab handle I cut out at top of rudder.
  2. 1:32 Arado Ar 234B-2/S3 Fly Model Catalogue # 32025 Available from Fly Model for £70.90 (at time of writing) The Arado Ar 234 was the world's first, purpose designed and built jet bomber. Its high ceiling capability also saw it operate mainly as a photo reconnaissance aircraft. Lack of room within the fuselage saw bomb pylons being fitted to the underside of the engine nacelles. The dual Jumo 004 engines and operational ceiling saw the type operate with almost total impunity over the UK in the latter stages of the war. It has the distinction of being the last Luftwaffe type to have flown over Britain during the war. Whilst the Ar 234 only entered service in the latter part of 1944, its design requirement was implemented in 1940; around the time that the Battle of Britain had ceased. Unlike many aircraft of the time, the Ar 234 was quite smooth and streamlined in overall appearance, and had its wing mounted to the shoulder of the fuselage, with a Jumo 004 under each wing. The pilot sat in an extensively glazed cockpit which formed the nose of the aircraft. Problems in the design and manufacture of the jet engines saw the project stall until 1943, and by now, the tide of the war was turning against the Germans. Making its first powered flight in mid-1943, the performance of the Arado was exemplary, despite falling short of the RLM's requirement for overall speed. The original design saw the Ar 234 take off on a detachable trolley and return to earth on a landing skid. Changes in the design saw the Ar 234 being fitted with an undercarriage which fully retracted into its fuselage. Numerous other design changes were tested, such as the use of four BMW 003 engines in both separate and duel nacelle layouts, and also the two-man night-fighter, which saw the rear fuselage being taken over with a radio operator's cockpit. Cannon was also fitted to a pod which was slung underneath the fuselage. That specific type is the subject of this review. By the war's end, 210 Ar 234 had been built, of all types, and despite numerous technical issues with the machine, the type was liked by its pilots, and proved manoeuvrable enough to even perform aerobatics! A key drawback of the type was the long take off distances, which led to accidents. To counter this, RATO (Rocket Assisted Take Off) units were suspended under each wing. When jettisoned, these fell back to earth on a parachute which was fitted to their nose. The kit Has it really been four years since we first say the initial Ar 234 kits from Fly? I built one of the initial releases for Military Illustrated Modeller, and I have to say that it was one of the most pleasurable projects that I’d tackled in a while. So, it was very pleasing to see that Fly has slightly altered these kits in terms of parts and/or decals and given us two new releases with some really nice and unusual schemes. At the moment, if you want to build an Ar 234 in injection plastic, Fly’s kits are the only game in town. There is a superb and accurate resin kit in 1:32, from MDC and mastered by Radu Brinzan. If whole resin kits frighten you, or you just don't like the medium, then Fly Model's latest releases will positively delight you. In this review, we’ll take a look at the Arado Ar 234B-2/S3. Model by James Hatch The first thing that might surprise you is how small the boxes are for these multimedia releases. Fly Model produce low pressure, injection moulded kits which incorporate resin and photo etch parts. I'm no stranger to their releases, and I have built their Bachem Ba 348V 'Natter', Hurricane, Westland Wessex and original Arado kit, two of which have featured on the cover of Military Illustrated Modeller. Fly's packaging and artwork is very attractive, even if the box itself isn't a super-glossy production as we see from the likes of Hasegawa etc. A rather nice image of a an Ar 234 being tailed at duck by a P-51D, adorns the lid, and the under-belly bombload is clearly seen, as are the engine-mounted bomb racks. Inside the box, there are FOUR tan/fawn coloured styrene sprues which have been packaged into a single re-sealable sleeve, including three bags of resin parts too, and an individually sleeved clear sprue. Unlike the other Ar 234 releases, this has a separately packed part which extends the length of the forward fuselage. Plastic in low-pressure injection kits does tend to be a little softer, of course, and my sample has some very minor scuffing that will need to be buffed out. Also included is a comprehensive sheet of decals, a photo etch fret, some wire and cord, and an A5 instruction booklet. The sprues themselves don't have ID letters, with the part numbers starting with the fuselage sprue, and running in sequence to the last sprue. For the sake of this review, we'll still call them 'A' and 'B' etc. There has been discussion on the release of the original Fly kits with regards to accuracy, and what some perceive as issues, but if you want to read those, feel free to Google it. For me personally, I don't know enough about the Arado to comment on some details. Having already built the original release, all I can say is it looks just like the Ar 234 I know and was great fun to build. I'll leave any accuracy issues for another man on another day. Sprue A For the first time, we seen the unmistakable lines of the Ar 234. Whilst the fuselage is conventionally split into halves, the forward nose section is a single, separate piece. This will allow the cockpit to be built and installed before the nose is married to the fuselage. I give Fly real credit for just refined the surface detail is on this. Panel lines are extremely subtle. You feel that they will only just hold a wash. They are also evenly scribed, with perhaps the slightest loss of detail around the underside seam. This is no issue as I'd only have to replace the detail once I've sanded back the joints. As is correct, the forward main gear door is moulded closed, with only the strut door of course being an open area. A little flash will need to be removed, but nothing major. External surface detail is quite sparse, which is probably correct for the type, but there are a number of neatly engraved access ports, and some fastener detail. The rudder is also separately moulded, and the wing slots into a quite thin slot on the fuselage shoulder. As with the rest of this kit, there are no locating pins between parts. This is very common for short-run kits. The RATO units are included here, moulded as halves, and with some pretty neat filler port and strap detail. These parts are for the actual RATO unit, and not the accompanying parachute. The latter are included as resin parts. Other parts on this sprue include the two-part nose-wheel, main gear doors, and also the bomb pylon mounting units which fit to the underside of the engine nacelles. I do think the wheel looks rather simplistic and will need a little work to bring it to scratch. The inside of the gear doors are also devoid of any real detail, and could use a little work. Sprue B Both of the wing undersides are moulded here, with integral ailerons and landing flaps. I would quite like to have at least the landing flaps as separate parts, but again, this is usually the approach with short-run kits, and it's only a minor criticism. Surface detail really is excellent, with numerous, fine panel lines and access ports. Also scribed are the external lines which indicate where the Jumo 004 nacelles will be fitted, minimising guesswork. This aircraft, whilst capable of carrying a bomb, doesn’t have one supplied. That is available separately, and I’ll post info on that as soon as I have one here. However, the pylons are occupied with fuel drop tanks, should you wish to fit them. The tanks are moulded as halves and look every bit as good as those you'll see in conventional, contemporary kits. Detail includes hard mounting points and fillers. The main wheels are also far prettier than the nose wheel, with excellent internal and external hub detail which looks very convincing. Fine raised lines radiate from the centre of the tyre, outwards. Again, this looks very good. Wheels, however, aren't weighted, so you'll need to solve that issue yourselves. Other parts on this sprue include the recessed, belly weapons mount which is superbly detailed, engine nacelle breather inlets, and also the rudder and elevator counter-masses. Sprue C Engine nacelles are supplied in halves, and into these will go a resin intake, and a resin exhaust which will be supplemented by the variable position 'onion' that controls thrust. Fine panel lines and fasteners adorn the exterior of the nacelles, and internally, a small raised step helps to locate the internal resin parts. A two-piece rudder is included, which is the only real part of the exterior to exhibit any rivet lines. Until now, we haven't seen any cockpit parts, but that is because the main parts are produced in resin. However, there are still a number of injection moulded parts on this sprue. One of these is the instrument panel. My only qualm with this is that it has moulded instrument face detail. In actuality, that detail is very good, if not better than many contemporary kits, but decals are also supplied for the faces, and raised detail makes them a little tricky to successfully attach. I do think the panel itself is good enough not to use the decals, but should you wish to, you could easily scratch-build a new panel. Having a glazed nose, the rear of this panel is very visible, and Fly include a series of resin instrument bodies that will be seen here. Just wire them up! For me, the cockpit is one of the really attractive areas of the Arado and would be either a deal maker or breaker. Fortunately, Fly have done an amazing job of this key area, and the side consoles are testimony to that. Detail is excellent, and there is plenty of it too. This will also be enhanced further with photo-etch levers etc. These are very busy areas of the pit! Numerous other cockpit details can be found here, including the rudder pedal slide mount rods, highly detailed control stick, and other ancillary instrumentation panels. Two internal side wall parts are also included. The undercarriage parts are to be found here. Main strut gear detail is quite simple, but certainly sharp, and the various struts and forks are certainly more than passable. Other parts include the fuel tank/bomb pylons, Funkgerat loop base, and nose gear doors. Again, I'd suggest a little extra detail work within the doors. Sprue D Here we have the upper wing panels, exhibiting the same refined levels of detail as the rest of the airframe. When I built my original Arado, I used the MDC flush rivet tool on the airframe, and I think the result really did transform things, especially in the bare wing panel areas. Those Jumo 004 'onion' parts are found here, moulded as halves. These are simple looking by design. I can tell you that if you have a spare Jumo sprue from a Trump Me 262, the engine will fit nicely in the nacelles. Stabilisers are moulded with integral elevators. This is a bit of a shame if you wished to pose them. I may do that for my own build. Detail is supplied by means of finely engraved panel lines. Sprue E Again, clear parts are another area where low-pressure kit manufacturers can, and often do, fall flat with. I have always found the clear parts in Fly kits to be very good, and these are no exception. This clear sprue contains ELEVEN parts, but only eight will be used. The forward canopy comprises two of these. Framing is very good, and so is clarity. I used to recommend dipping canopies in Klear to help enhance clarity, and level any imperfections. With this canopy, Klear (or similar) could be doubly important because the black framing with the bolts is supplied as a series of decal strips, in the same manner as the MDC kit. You may want to paint the frames and then attach the decals, but that would be pointless. You can simply apply them directly to the Klear'ed part. Ok, I do have another criticism here. With such a detailed cockpit, it would have made sense to mould the entrance hatch as a separate part, allowing it to be posed in an open position. Fly haven't done this, so when I built mine, I drilled this out and make a new door so that I could pose it open, allowing for a cockpit view. Plastic Summary I don't really have any complaints about the styrene in this kit. There is a little flash and a few seams to remove, but there are no visible sink marks or other production defects. There is a lack of locating pin presence, but as I have said, this is very typical of kits of this type. Resin There are THREE bags of resin parts here, providing the real detail in this kit. All resin parts are produced by Artillery and are cast in medium grey resin. Artillery do some great work, and these parts are no exception. Casting is flawless, and mastering is very detailed. Let's take a closer look, bag per bag. The first zip-lock wallet contains a god few chunks of resin. I say chunks because there are some quite hefty parts here. One of the largest parts forms the rear cockpit bulkhead with its associated detail (wiring looms, tanks, and junction boxes), including an integral nose wheel bay which internally forms the section to which the pilot's seat fits. The wheel bay is chock full of pipework too, and I'm sure will present more than just a little difficulty in access for painting. A large casting block exists to the rear, but this should be kept in place due to it housing the wheel bay. Port and starboard main gear bays are excellent. The box structures feature the various frames and constructional elements, as well as the row of access plates, numerous wiring looms and gear actuator jacks. Test fitting these within the fuselage shows that there's nothing to worry about. The location of them is pretty obvious. A little thin CA to initially fit, followed by a bead of epoxy, should do the trick nicely. A single casting block contains the bomb sight and pilot seat. Fantastic detail throughout, as you can see from my photo. The other parts in this bag are the front and rear Jumo engine faces, with superbly sharp fan faces, and also the parachute packs for the RATO pods. These have been made to look like folded fabric, and really are very good. You'll need to employ some craft shading and highlights to compliment the detail. A casting block will need to be removed from the rear. The second resin bag contains more casting blocks which contain around another FIFTY parts. These include the numerous instrument bodies for the rear of the IP, oleo scissors, various cockpit parts (battery, map case, fuse board and oxygen regulator etc.), undercarriage parts etc. Some parts here have broken from the casting blocks, but the parts themselves are thankfully intact. One more bag contains a single part. This is to extend the length of the fuselage slightly, just to the rear of the cockpit. I’m thinking that the one scheme that uses this part, was perhaps assigned to an experimental unit, as the nacelle undersides are painted in RLM04 Yellow. Photo-etch This etch fret contains one full sets of seatbelts, and whilst I admit that these will be very useable, I think I would opt for the more photo-realistic HGW option. This fret also contains the forward edging for the cockpit consoles, console levers, rudder pedals etc. Other parts include control surface actuators and the dipole array for the fuselage spine. The PE is superbly made, with small tags holding all parts in place. Errata A small bag contains two pieces of cord of different diameters, and also a short length of rigid wire. I'm sure the cord is partly for the cockpit, with a length being used for the drag chute cable. I'm unsure what the wire is actually for, but it can be used to pin some key parts of resin/plastic to other main components, giving a little extra rigidity. Decals A single decal sheet is included, which contains both national markings, codes and serials and also a full suite of stencils and dashed walkway lines. As I have mentioned, the canopy framing lines are supplied as strips which you'll need to cut to length. Cockpit instrument decals are also supplied, but I used the superior Airscale decals on my previous build. Whereas the original release had awkward multipart swastikas, this new kit has the complete symbol printed, so it’ll be far easier to apply. Decals are thinly printed and contain minimal carrier film. The colours are solid and authentic, and registration is perfect. You could wish for no more. A glossy A4 sheet depicts the three schemes, and these are: Arado Ar 234B-2, flown by Major Hans-Georg Bätcher, Commander of III./KG 76, January 1945 Arado Ar 234B-2, flown by Obstl. Robert Kowalewski during attackon Remagen Bridge by Gefechtsverband KG 76, March 1945 Arado Ar 234B-2/S3, W.Nr.140103 Instructions This is a 20-page A5 manual, printed in black and white, with shaded line drawings for stage illustration. All looks very easy to follow, and very comprehensive. You will need to study things closely to decipher what is plastic, etch or resin. Colour information is basic, so please check your references. I still think the manual is pretty clear about construction, and you should find no problem with it. Of course, the scheme illustrations are in colour. Conclusion It’s great to see this model released back to the market in this incarnation, with the subtle change and new schemes. I can only speak from personal experience when I say that it builds up beautifully into a quite a large and convincing replica of this dedicated jet-bomber. This is one where you can really go to town with extra details, such as riveting etc. but the resin parts really do help to create a great kit, straight from the box, with a gorgeous cockpit area too. Go treat yourself. I guarantee you’ll enjoy this project! My sincere thanks to Fly Model for the review sample. To purchase directly, click the link at the top of this article.
  3. 1/32 Arado Ar 234 B-2 German Reconnaissance Bomber Fly kit # 32003 Available from Fly for € 55,- / 78 dollars Introduction I’m writing this review from a personal point of view, since LSM colleague is writing a review on this kit’s brother; the Ar 234 B2N. At the moment we are being spoiled to the brim with exotic and huge large scale releases. Some expected. Some not so much. Who would have dreamt to see a 1/32 Lancaster in his lifetime of B-17? And for the Luft ’46 fans a Ho229 or He219? Either of both would have kept me quiet for a decade. Well… maybe not. Being a Luft ’46 (or even late war Luftwaffe) fan myself I have almost bought the RB (MDC) full resin kit of the Ar 234 a couple of times. The price and the daunting idea of all this resin made me resist. I guess the fact that this amazing resin kit has been around for a few years and is still readily available in stores, never made me think or wish for an injection moulded kit. When Fly announced in may 2013 (I believe) that it was doing their version I thought: We’ll see it when it gets there. And if not? Then we’ll always have the MDC kit. A month ago an update on the kit’s progress was posted on the LSM Facebook page, showing the kit in a state where I didn’t expect to see it on Telford SMW by November. So you can imagine my surprise when I walked past Fly’s stand and spotted a built up version of the Ar 234 B2N kit. I asked what the release date would be and Jiří’s wife told me: ‘it’s out already! Here it is!’, pointing at a stack of boxes. I checked the price: 68 pounds. No jaw dropping there. The Night fighter version being priced a bit higher at 75 pounds. I’ll let Jim explain what the price difference is based on. No, I shall tell you myself: the Night fighter has a second cockpit halfway down the fuse, antennae and resin gun pod. The built up night fighter version of the kit as I saw it at SWM Telford. Accurate? This is only an in box review. In a later stage I’ll start building this kit and see if I need fit to correct parts if needed. I took a lot of photo’s of the completed model on the Fly stand and compared them to photographs. Photographs? Yes. Since I have no certainty that any of the drawings I own are correct and neither have any certainty that Radu Brinzan’s version is correct (other than I know he is someone who does his homework) this seems to be the best place to start. All I can say is that I can’t find any noticeable differences in engine, fuselage or wings shapes right off the sprue. All panel lines and hatches are present and no detail has been overlooked. At first glance I thought the tiny airscoops on top of the nacelles were missing, but on checking the instructions they were there alright. Then I started laying the fuse halves over drawings from the Aero Detail book. You can see in the scan that the tail on the kit is slightly shorter in height, the fuse slightly thinner (top to bottom) and the tail sets in later. For good measure I also checked the wheel size. These are 93.5 cm in diameter and should measure 29.22 mm in scale. These are spot on. Since Radu Brinzan already stated the Aero Detail drawings are incorrect, I’m still trying to source the 1/48 Hasegawa drawings. When you look at the wings and lay the Aero Detail drawings on top, you’ll see a much better alignment, with the most clear difference being the slightly shorter wingtip. In the end this kit will look like the Ar234 with the right characteristics and all the detail and to me that’s the most important aspect. There is only one examply of this remarkable early jet in existence today and that is at the National Air & Space Museum in the United States. No replica or restored wreck, but a captured example from KG76 / Norway. I guess it’s more of a miracle it survived the curious hands of British and American engineers and scientists than it did ww2! Walkaround photo’s of this plane can also be found in the Aero Detail book #16 as well as the Monografie 33 book. The Ar 234 B-2 in the National Air and Space Museum On to the kit! When you open the box the first thing that strikes is the enormous amount of resin. The plastic is limited run so you’ll see a little bit of flash around the corners (but not much) and no locating pins. I guess they are for Noobs anyway J This is a limited run kit, so don’t expect it to kinda fall together on shaking the box. Careful test fitting will be needed and I’m sure some putty here and there. The plastic is hard and sturdy, but is fine to work with. There’s one sprue with the fuselage halves, Rato-packs, gear doors and nose wheel, One with the upper winghalves and tail-planes, one with the lower wing halves and one with the cockpit detail and engine halves. The clear sprue needs some TLC to make the glass more clear. A buff and a dip in Future should do the trick. Not too many parts in plastic, compared to the resin that is supplied. The resin supplied make up the gear bay, cockpit, seat, instruments, Rato-parachutes, engine nacelles and rear and springer-arms for the gear. The resin is really one of the finest I’ve ever seen. The company behind these resin parts is Artillery. To be quite honest I have never heard of them, so as far as I’m concerned that’s one hell of a way to make an entrance. The same goes for the photo-etch which is done by Hauler. This however is a company I am familiar with. They make amazing stuff especially in the smaller scales. The decals are clean, vibrant and register nicely. Not Cartograph, but (bear with me) Bodecek Agency. I checked and this company is known for the airliner decals mostly. Antennae loop: Resin: Engine parts and Rato parachutes: Rato parachute: Cockpit parts: Undercarriage bay: Gear springer arms and bombrack details: Clear parts: The photo-etch: Let’s follow the instructions It all starts with the instrument panel. This has the potential of becoming a real gem. Since the rear of the panel will be visible, the instrument housings are featured as separate resin parts. When you add the wiring, this will be a model in itself. The front of the panel show nice detail and need the instrument decals which are supplied on the main decal sheet. The side consoles are also plastic parts with nice detail and are further detailed by Photo etch levers, resin and decals. The seatbelts are found on the Photo etch fret, but I know I’ll replace mine with HGW ones’ or RB production J The seat is my favourite part. Resin with plastic arm rests and sitting on a huge resin block. Beware! This plane has the potential of becoming a tail sitter. Especially if you’re building the Night fighter version, since it houses an extra cockpit for the radio operator in the rear. I’m saying this because this is the time you’ll need to figure out where to add some extra weight. Not around the waste like so many modellers, but as far up the nose as possible. Another great feature in this kit are the under carriage bays. Great detail, right down to the wiring. The big blocks of resin make up these parts. The bomb bay comes as one separate part and will give room for one bomb. I checked but the bomb is not supplied. A nice MDC resin bomb will have to be called into service here, and I’m sure that despite the different measurements of the Fly and MDC kit, it will fit J. Next up: the wings. Simple and with delicated surface detail. Nothing too exciting. The only thing that can enhance these is cutting the ailerons and flaps, since they’re moulded as one piece, except for the rudder, which is a separate part. Another nice addition is the drag chute wire which comes as a piece of rope, held by photo etch braces. In the same bag as the rope, you’ll find a very delicate piece of metal rod that makes into an antennae vertically situated under the left wing. The engines are about 50% resin and 50% plastic. As said: they have all the necessary detail, right down to the tiny airscoops. The same goes for the Rato-packs. The detail on the resin parachute is just amazing with convincing fabric texture. The wheels come in two plastic halves. To be quite honest this is something I would have rather seen in resin with flattened tires, but he! I’m not complaining. The wheels supplied are without pattern. When you look at photo’s you’ll see common use of both smooth and diamond pattern tires, so a choice between the two would have been nice as well. At least the size is correct! The final parts that need assembly are the gear doors (nice mix of plastic and resin (hinges) here as well and all the detail that needs to go to the inside of the canopy. Special care needs to be taken here, because you only get one chance. Even the flare gun is supplied and will poke through a hole in the glass (when done right). The decals: Colour schemes Arado Ar 234 B-2, W.Nr. 104151/T9+KH Flown by Oblt. Werner Muffey, Kommando Sperling, November 1944. A real nice profile of this plane can be found on the back of the Monografie 33 book. Arado Ar 234 S10, 140110/E2+20 used at Rechlin for tests with Hs 293 Missiles, October/December 1944 Arado Ar 234 B-2, ex 140476/VK877 Royal Aircraft Establishment Farnborough, winter 1945/46 Arado Ar 234 B-2, No.303/"Snafu I" ex-W.Nr. 140148 Aircraft tested post-war by the US Navy at NAS Patuxent River, U.S.A. Sadly disregarded by the US Navy in the 1950’s. Conclusion / Verdict I’m thrilled to bits with this kit. Not just because of the kit itself, but mostly with the fact that we now have another company that is not afraid to tackle large scale subjects that flew. The Natter was just an appetizer and I’m sure there’s much more to come. The next release being a Westland Wessex I believe. Is this kit it a good rendering of the Ar234? I think so. It has all the details and right characteristics to convince. Is this kit an accurate rendering of the Ar234? Maybe not to the full extend. If you want to be ‘sure’ your Ar234 conforms to ww2 drawings the MDC kit might be the way to go. But at a price of around 60 pounds (I even saw my LHS listed it for 58 euro’s!) you can’t beat it with a stick and it will be slightly easier to build. Upsides: lots of resin, detail and bang for your buck! Shape and characteristics look good. Downsides: possibility of not conforming to ww2 drawings, clear parts not so clear and no bomb is supplied. If you do decide to add a bomb yourself, here's what to choose from: From 1 to 10 I’d rate this kit as an 8. Highly recommended If I may: Of course there isn’t any aftermarket available for this kit at the moment and I’ll doubt if Eduard will ever treat us to any (this being a short run kit and all and already very complete) but there is one small set I can recommend. It’s made by Peter Kormos from PK Tinyland. They are Intake covers for the engines made from Photo etch. Our sincere thanks to Fly for the review sample. To purchase directly, click HERE. Jeroen Peters
  4. 1:32 Hawker Hurricane Mk. IIc Fly Model Catalogue # 32012 Available from Fly Model for around £30 The venerable Hawker Hurricane was the very last in a generation of fighter designs that could trace its roots back to the machines that fought in the skies during the Great War. Whilst countries such as Germany were taking advantage of newer, all metal, stressed skin designs, Hawker soldiered on with its hybrid of both old and new. Designed by Sydney Camm, the prototype machine first flew in late 1935, before eventually seeing active service in late 1937. Originally designed to carry only four machine guns, this design was soon modified to carry the eight guns that were stipulated in an amended Air Ministry specification that was written around the new fighter design. Photos by author There is no doubt that the Hurricane was a robust machine with its tubular framed fuselage with wooden formers and doped linen covering. Initial machines also had fabric covered wings. With its wide track undercarriage, thick wing and forgiving flight characteristics, the Hurricane was a favourite amongst its pilots, despite being overshadowed by the more glamourous Spitfire. It was a solid gun platform, and gained a higher kill ratio than the Spitfire, having been assigned the bomber streams as their specific targets. During its career, the Hurricane gained a metal sheathed wing, variable pitch 3-blade propeller to replace the fixed pitch, two blade Rotol, and numerous other changes were made to it for the purposes of low level bombing, tropical operations, and also for operation from aircraft carriers. A four-gun Hispano cannon installation also graced many machines. By the end of production in 1944, over 14,000 machines had ben built. The era of the timber and metal fighter was now over, but the Hurricane left a legacy that still rings chimes with today’s generation of aircraft enthusiasts. When it comes to 1:32 Hawker Hurricane kits, the modeller hasn’t had much in the way of real choice. There has been half a dozen or so boxings of the old Revell kit that was first released in the early 1970’s, followed by three more releases from Pacific Coast, covering the Mk.I versions (including rag wing version). I have heard modellers say that they wish that Fly Model’s releases had covered the Mk.I also, but in light of the PCM kits, it would seem a pointless task for an initial foray. I don’t know if they plan that in future, but I can say that we will see more than one new Hurricane version being released, after these initial two kits. Jeroen Peters will review the Tropical Hurricane in the near future. For now though, let us take a first look at this brand new tool kit from Fly. The kit With Fly Models kits, you expect to do a little extra work. Whilst Fly’s finesse of detail improves with every release, you will need to clean up a little more flash here and there, and spend more time preparing parts. For me, that’s no big deal. I recently built their Wessex kit for Military Illustrated Modeller, and even with the clean up, it was probably one of the most enjoyable and engaging models I’ve built in many years. The kit itself comes in an attractive box that carries an evocative image of a Mk.IIc flying over the white cliffs of Dover, sporting a later grey/green camouflage scheme, and operating with a Polish RAF squadron. On the side of the box, you’ll see no less than SIX schemes that are provided for this release. As this kit is a multimedia affair, the sprue count is quite modest, with just four sprues included, moulded in a tan-coloured styrene, and a single clear sprue. Whilst the latter is packed into a small ziplock wallet to protect it, the remainder are to be found in a single, clear bag. Whilst these parts are quite loosely packed, no parts have suffered damage. Also in this bag is another ziplock wallet, containing numerous resin parts, produced by Artillery, as with other Fly Model releases. Another sleeve contains a colour painting guide, stencil guide, three decal sheets, instruction manual, acetate instrument sheet, and two frets of photo-etch parts. Sprue A First of all, you need to know the moulded parts have no numbers on the sprues. You will need to refer to the numbered parts plan on the instruction manual. First World problems, eh? This sprue contains both fuselage halves, undercarriage struts and actuators, cockpit door and radiator flap. The fuselage is a full-length moulding, sans rudder, and the external is really very nice. I noticed a new finesse with the Wessex, and this continues with this release. The forward fuselage consists of various panels, finely scribed, and containing Dzus fastener detail. Looking at my reference photos, a few extra rivets could be added in key areas, using Archer rivet decals, maintaining the raised rivet theme of the Hurricane. Two spots on the upper, forward cowl indicate where the cowl bulges will need to fit, so no ambiguity there. But what of the stringer and fabric detail? Well, I think it’s superbly represented, without any unrealistic hard edges. I think Fly tackled this very well. The same applies to the vertical fin, with its ribs and wooden covered leading edge. I quite like the access panels on the rear fuselage, with their fastener detail, and also the metal fairings that extend around the edge of the stabiliser position. Internally, the Hurricane doesn’t have too much in the way of detail, with this being almost exclusively supplied by a multitude of plastic, resin and PE parts, with resin being perhaps the predominant media in this area. We’ll look at the resin parts in a short while. Note that the model has no locating pins anywhere. This is very typical of this type of kit, and I’ve never found a problem with a lack of these. Here you can see the detail for the cockpit door and undercarriage parts. Whilst the undercarriage looks properly proportioned and has the key elements, I would perhaps enhance these further with tape strips and lead wire. Sprue B Wing panels. That is all you will find here, and these are moulded as traditional upper and lower panels, but the lower centre section is a separate part that we’ll look at soon. Now, you will notice something that you don’t usually see on models these days, and that is the numerous rows of raised, domed rivets, instead of the usual divot that tends to be cheaper to tool for mass moulding. It’s not all raised rivets though, as an effort has been made to replicate the countersunk style also, and again, I think Fly have done a great job here, and it certainly sets it apart from contemporary kits. A number of other surface details exist, such as filler ports, fasteners, and other plating such as the stiffening plate on the upper wing. The wings look quite agricultural, as befits the design of the Hurricane. Note that the ailerons are integrally moulded to the wings, and to pose them dynamically would take extra work, and seem quite pointless. I would maybe run a very fine razor saw down each side of the aileron, to make it look a little more ‘separate’ to the wing. Underneath the wing, the same standard of detail can be seen, with only the cannon shell chute ports needing opening up before construction. Where these outer wing panels meet the centre panel, the joint will be obscured by the application of a PE reinforcement strip, mimicking the one that was fitted to the actual machine. Landing flaps are also integrally moulded, and if you want to pose these, you will have your work cut out, and the need of some scratch-building skills. Sprue C We have a real mish-mash here, with the underside wing centre section taking prominent position. This has easy to locate positions for the main radiator, scoop intake and also three indents for the underside lights. Two spinners are also included, a short sharp one, and a longer, blunted one. It is the latter that will be used here. Four identical prop blades are included, of which only three will be used. I’m quite impressed with the shape of these, and they look right, compared with period photos of the Hurricane. Despite the wings not having posable control surfaces, the rudder and elevators are moulded separately, allowing the modeller to incorporate some dynamic into their build. Again, these are superbly represented, with rib structure and delicately engraved trim tabs. Construction is typical for these, with the surfaces being supplied as halves. A few interior parts have crept onto this sprue, with both main sidewall frames being found here, as well as the tubular base. These will need a little clean-up before assembly, to add a little extra refinement. I actually consider, with short-run kits, that what you get is a starting point for your own additional details, but Fly seem to have the interior of the Hurricane looking excellent, built right out of box. A few other parts are moulded here, such as the tail wheel fork, aerial mast, forward cockpit bulkhead, pitot, seat mounting bars etc. Sprue D First up, the parts that you will not be using here, and these include an alternative spinner backplate and some thinner, needle-type prop blades. Fly obviously has other plans to release further versions of this kit, and I certainly welcome seeing those. Two versions of intake scoop are also supplied, so you will need to check your references before committing to attach either one. Both scoops will also need drilling out to open up the intake area, as these aren’t moulded with any recess due to the nature of the tooling of this kit. As with the Wessex, Fly have incorporated all the parts into this kit that are destined for the other versions. Here, that means that the tropical intake is also included. Useful if you wanted to build a tropical machine, but can only find this release. Of course, you would need to source your own decals, possibly aftermarket, if you went that route. Rudder pedals and control stick are included here, and look a little basic. With some extra work, these could be made to look good, or perhaps see if you can source one of the parts from Grey Matter, depending on whether they are pertinent to a Mk.IIc, having been designed for a Mk.I. Fly have supplied the radiator unit as halves, with a separate cooler flap that can be posed. Internal grilles are a photo-etch composite, with several parts for each of the two grilles. The main undercarriage doors can be found here, with lovely internal and external detail, such as raised rivets, plus the traditional style stabilisers that fit to the fuselage via a tab. For fitting the resin exhausts, there are some plastic plates that fit internally within the cowl, providing a mounting point for the exhausts. Also moulded here are the four Hispano cannon barrels, with their recoil springs. As Fly provide these as alternative resin parts, I think you’d be nuts to use the styrene ones, but if you aren’t comfortable with resin (in which case, why buy this kit?!), then the option is there to use those parts. Clear Sprue This contains thirteen parts, and I have to say that Fly are getting much better with their transparencies. The windscreen and sliding hood have excellent visibility with no annoying texture to be seen. However, the piece of armoured glass that fits within the windscreen, does have a slight texture to it. As this part is totally flat, it will be easy to remove that and polish the part to a good sheen with better transparency. This can then be fitted within the main windscreen with a drop of Klear, so as not to cause any distortion or fogging. Other parts include wingtip and landing light lenses, and the covers for the wing leading edge lights. Resin Parts There are 21 parts here, cast in medium grey resin. The most obvious, and largest part is the main undercarriage bay. All that needs adding to this is a part from Sprue C (pipework), and you have a part ready to fit to the model. There is an area of casting block on top of the well, but I’m unsure whether you would need to grind this away. Just check to see if it fits before gluing it to the wing itself. A set of four Hispano cannon barrels with recoil springs, are also included, and look far better than the styrene ones supplied on Sprue D. Two nice main Dunlop tyres are also included here, but I think some work would be needed to restore any tread detail when the casting blocks are removed. That remains to be seen. Of course, the tail wheel is also included, but none of the wheels are supplied as ‘weighted’. Two rather nice sets of exhaust manifolds are supplied, as is a pilot seat that just requires the casting block and protective resin webs removing. For the wing leading edge light areas, there are two resin internal frame/rib parts that look very fragile. Care should most definitely be taken here, and lastly, a casting block containing numerous parts, mainly for the cockpit, but also including a leading edge camera port and rear view mirror. Resin casting, by Artillery, is first rate, and certainly can’t be faulted. Photo-Etch Parts and Acetate Two frets are included with this kit, with numerous cockpit detail parts, such as the two-part instrument panel, armoured head rest, optional night-fighter exhaust anti-glare plates, radiator elements, pilot tread plates, and also the wing reinforcement plates that will fit along the joint between the lower, outer wing panels, and the centre section. A very nice touch indeed! A single acetate sheet is printed with instruments, and is to be placed to the rear of the photo-etch panel. You will need to paint the reverse of this in white paint, prior to installation, so as to highlight the ink printing of the gauges. Decals and Schemes I do very much like Fly’s inclusion of a separate colour scheme sheet, clearly showing all six schemes in all the main plan formats. Decal placement is clearly marked out, and colours are indicated with reference to both Humbrol and AK-Interactive codes. A separate sheet is included, dealing solely with stencil position. THREE decal sheets are included. The main one contains the individual scheme markings, along with common elements, such as fin flashes and roundels. Two smaller sheets are dedicated to stencils, and Fly have been pretty thorough here. The reason for two stencil sheets is that one of them concerns the night-fighter machine. Printing appears to be excellent, with sharp, authentic colour, and importantly, everything looks to be in perfect register. The decals are thin, and have minimal carrier film. The schemes are: Hurricane Mk.IIc, BE581, JX-E, No.1 Sqdn, flown by F/Lt. Karel Kuttelwascher (early camo version) Hurricane Mk.IIc, BE581, JX-E, No.1 Sqdn, flown by F/Lt. Karel Kuttelwascher (late camo version) Hurricane Mk.IIc, BE500, LK-A, No.87 Sqdn, RAF Cawnpore, flown by Sqn/Ldr. Dennis Smallwood Hurricane Mk.IIc, BD936, ZY-S, No.247 Sqdn. RAF Hurricane Mk.IIc, LF345, ZA-P, Post war (1946) Hurricane Mk.IIc, LF630, WC-S, No.309 Polish Fighter-Reconnaissance Squadron, RAF Instruction Manual This manual is common to both this and the Trop release (soon to be reviewed by Jeroen). It’s a glossy 20-page booklet that starts with that parts plan that you will need to refer too. When it comes to clear, resin and PE parts, each of these is assigned a colour that is easily identified during the constructional sequences. It only takes a few moments to get used to it. Construction drawings are clear and easy to follow, and I can’t really see any ambiguity during the build. Now, there are no colour references supplied for parts during the build, but if you flick to the last three pages of the manual, all colour reference you need, is to be found here, with colour drawings for the cockpit, gear bays, radiator, cannon, exhausts etc. Conclusion I have to admit a fondness for Fly model kits, having now built their Ba 349, Ar 234, and Wessex. I have also seen an improvement as time has gone by, and this kit is every bit as good as the recent Wessex release that has had such good press. Of course, you really don’t have any other option if you want to build a Mk.IIc machine, but that’s no problem when you have a release that is as good as this. Moulding is every bit as good as it should be for these non-mainstream releases, and the resin and photo-etch are excellent, as are the comprehensive decal sheets. Add to that the cost of this model, currently retailing at around £30, then you certainly have a kit that is cheaper to buy than the Mk.I from PCM, and certainly easier to find that those older releases. What are you waiting for? Get one now, as the Sea Hurricane will then be calling your name, and further Hurricane releases! A beautiful kit of one of the RAF’s most iconic machines. Most highly recommended My sincere thanks to Fly Model for the review sample seen here. To buy directly, click THIS link. ........BUT WAIT! 1:32 Hurricane aftermarket sets Fly Model See article for code and price As well as the two brand new Hurricane kits that LSM has received, Fly have also packed a few extras into the boxes for us to look at. It’s sure good to see Fly make a few extras, tailored of course to give us a little extra choice, but without the added, unnecessary cost of putting them in the kit box to start with. Here we go! Version 2 guns (suitable for Mk.IIc and Mk.IIc Trop) Catalogue # arta 001 Price: around £1.50 Buy HERE This block, on first inspection, looks to be identical to the resin guns that are supplied in the kit. Closer inspection shows that the recoil springs are located differently. There were two formats for the Hispano recoil springs, with presumably the most common being supplied in the kit, but this set allows you to build your model with these very specific barrels. You will need to check your references though. All four barrels are cast on a single, medium grey block, and as will all Artillery resin castings, the quality is superb. This set is supplied in a small re-sealable sleeve that is packed into a small and rigid box. Hurricane Canopy Mk.I & Mk.II (for all Fly kits) Catalogue # arta 002 Price: around £2.00 Buy HERE I suppose that a vac part does actually represent something that is more of a scale thickness when it comes to the glass panels. Quite how that is accounted for in the frames, especially when you pose it opened, is another question. However, this optional part is formed as a single piece, and would need to be sliced if you wanted to pose it in an open position. Production is excellent, with exceptional clarity for a vac, and sharp framing lines. Certainly an option to look at, that with a little extra internal frame work, would look really good. Again, this is packed into a re-sealable sleeve, and then popped into a small, rigid box. Hurricane Mask Set, for Mk.IIc and Mk.IIc Trop Catalogue # NWAM0027 Price: around £4.00 Buy HERE These masks, like Eduards’ sets, are sharply cut into a sheet of Kabuki masking material, and are produced by New Ware. Parts are included for the individual canopy panes, as well as the wheels/hubs, wing leading edge lights, wingtip lights, and underside lamp lenses. Production looks superb. These are packed into a ziplock wallet, with an instruction sheet that shows what each part is, and where it goes. For me, a real useful release! Hurricane Markings Mask set, for kit #32012 Catalogue # artm 32001 Price: around £4.00 Buy HERE Masks are being increasingly more popular in our hobby, so if you want an alternative to decals for the main markings, you’d normally need to order a custom set of markings. For this, and the Trop version, Artillery have again teamed up with Fly, producing a complete set of vinyl masks as an alternative and direct replacement for the main kit decals. This is sharply cut onto a sheet of very thin, clear vinyl that peels from a paper backing sheet. What I can’t find though are any pieces of blank vinyl that you would use for transporting these masks to the model itself, although vinyl masking material can no doubt be bought in small quantities, maybe even from Artillery themselves. Providing these have a good level of adhesion, especially on the raised rivet surfaces, then these will indeed provide a very welcome alternative to decals. There really is nothing quite like looking at markings that have been airbrushed instead of using decals. It’s the ultimate in reality. Also, these masks are only £4.00, which is quite extraordinary, and again, if the material is good, then these represent superb value for money. Conclusion I’m very pleased to see some options now being released at the same time as the kit, allowing you to do some proper project planning. The items here represent great value for money, and you should really think about adding a few to your online shopping cart. My sincere thanks to Fly Model for the samples seen here.
  5. 1:32 Westland Wessex HC.2 Fly Model Catalogue 32010 Available from Fly for 2066,00 CZK (approx. £55 at time of writing) I’ve said to a few people that the Wessex appears to be typically British in appearance, but is literally only by design, and to be more accurate – RUSSIAN design! Of course, the Wessex was actually a licence-built version of the Sikorsky H-34, built by Westland Aircraft. The Wessex was slightly different to its American-built Sikorsky cousin, in that rotor power was generated by a turbo-shaft engine, rather than the piston engine of the Russian machine. In fact, the Wessex was the first mass-produced helicopter in the world to be powered by a gas turbine engine. Seeing initial production to satisfy a Royal Navy order, the type, having been proved successful, was also then ordered by the Royal Air Force for Air – Sea and Mountain Rescue duties. Of course, the Wessex was also employed for military duties with the RAF, being capable of transport and battlefield support, and saw service in both Hong Kong and Northern Ireland, on extended detachments. The naval HU.5 type saw service during the Falklands Conflict, where 55 Wessex were used to move equipment to frontline units and support battlefield positions. Entering service with the Royal Navy in 1961, it saw a respectable and pretty trouble-free operational period of over 40yrs, with the last Wessex being retired by the RAF in 2003. Other notable operators were Australia, Uruguay, Brunei and Oman. It was also used in a civilian role in Britain for ferrying of crew for North Sea oil rigs in the 1960’s and 70’s, with Bristow Helicopters operating the Wessex 60 type. Just wow! Not only do we get a new helicopter in 1:32 (I hate 1:35!!), but it’s also one of the few I actually like….the Westland Wessex! Serious kudos to Fly Model for not only developing this Holy Grail, but also shipping me one out so quickly. I was asked which version of this I wished to look at, so I opted for the HC.2 RAF version. Fly also produce the naval HU.5 too, with some beautiful colour schemes. However, the options here are also pretty colourful too, as we’ll see later. Packed into a relatively small box (for the model’s finished size), it’s nonetheless crammed with plastic, photo-etch and resin parts. Unusually for a box lid, the subject is shown in photographic form, with an action photo of the HC.2 in operation over a coastline. Also unusually, the photo is portrait in layout, unlike most artwork which is landscape. A nice photo which shows what this kit is all about. The colour schemes, four in all, are shown on the box lid side. A friend was here earlier, drooling over this release, and until he saw the resin bags, he said that the kit seemed to have a fairly small parts count. To a degree, that is true, as much detail relies on all those resin and PE parts, but there are still SEVEN sprues of medium grey styrene, and TWO clear sprues. With the exception of Sprue F, all the others are packed into a single clear sleeve. TWO photo-etch frets are included, a set of paper parts, one large decal sheet and I haven’t even begun to count the many, many resin parts in this release. Like other kits from FLY, the resin is cast by Artillery, and is excellent quality. There are a small number of broken parts in this sample, but we’ll look at that later. SPRUE A (x2) This is the only sprue for which there are two identical items supplied. Essentially, parts that have multiples tend to be moulded here. The main protagonists are the main rotors themselves. A quick note here is that no sprues have part numbers on them. You will need to refer to the parts map in the instruction manual. Being short-run in nature, you also won’t find any interconnecting pins either. You need to align things yourself. Ok, back onto those rotors. These have been represented in their at-rest, drooped stance, with the correct level of droop already set for you. Now, I can’t vouch these drooping more as time goes by, but I can say that Fly’s plastic is quite light, so fingers crossed, you won’t have an issue. These rotors will slip into resin mounts, and then secure to the resin hub. I suggest you pin these with rigid wire to prevent any stressing. Rotor detail is very good too. Two of the four tail rotor blades are also to be found here, and will fit to the main part that is full span. A multitude of parts on this sprue are concerned with the internal ribbing and framing of the crew compartment. This will also be supplemented by photo-etch joint plates. In all, it should look pretty impressive when complete. Other parts that can be seen here are engine exhausts, main gear struts, foot control pedals, and a good number of small external and internal parts such as scoops, vents, and minor hub parts etc. SPRUE B Here you will find various floors and bulkheads, plus the underside of the main fuselage area. This latter parts gives us an idea about what we can expect from the surface detail of this model. Now, if your impression of short-run kits hasn’t been good with regards to details, then this will shatter that illusion. Panel lines are as refined and as you would expect to see on a high-end manufacturer’s release, and as importantly, they are also even. External detail will be supplemented by further resin detail. I can also tell you that the exterior of this model is riveted too, and they look just perfect, as in not too defined to distract, and just enough to perhaps catch a little wash here and there. They are very subtle and only a secondary feature of the exterior detail. Reference I have does show that at least some riveting was actually raised. If you feel you wish to correct this, then I suggest either Archer or HGW positive rivet decals. Attention to interior detail is also very good, with chequerboard panelling on the floor of the upper rotor shaft assembly, and the same attention to on the crew cabin bulkheads. Of particular note here are the circular port details on the cabin floor. This is some of the best detail engraving I’ve seen, let alone on a short-run kit. SPRUE C As you’ll instantly recognise, the tail section halves are moulded here. This not only helps with tooling a large model, but the tail can also be posed in a folded position, complete with internal bulkhead joint detail, such as the rotor drive coupling. Again, I’m impressed by the fine surface detailing. I do note that these parts, as with the main fuselage and nose sections, have a feint patina. Before use, I would perhaps gently buff these with a very fine sanding sponge, followed by a polishing sponge. It’s no biggie at all, and I think would hep things massively, and of course, not damage any other raised detail. Some of that interconnecting bulkhead detail, plus the bulkheads, are moulded here. These will be supplemented by extra plastic and resin detail. There are THREE instrument panel parts moulded here, but only one part (#9) is used for the HC.2 release. Another is for the HU.5, and most tellingly, the last part is described as for ‘other versions’. I wonder is this means we’ll see further versions of this kit. Other sprue parts include tail rotor items, stabiliser, instrument panel coaming and the crew compartment door. SPRUE D Just two parts here; the main fuselage halves. And….totally Wessex! These look just great. I really hope my photos here help to show that external detail. I’ve built a few Fly model kits, and this looks to be the very best of them yet, and that’s including their Ar 234 that I recently built and raved about. Internally, there are engraved lines to help you place the internal frame parts. Note that there are also engraved lines to help with bulkhead placement etc. too. If you buy the other HU.5 version, you will need to open up the side fuselage windows, and there is some faint scribing within the fuse to show you this. SPRUE E Also helping with fuselage breakdown is the moulding of the nose sections as halves. The instructions show these being attached to their respective fuselage halves almost at the very start of construction, so I would do the same and not chance them being fitted later. I would also advise this of the tail section, providing you aren’t displaying it in its folded position. The upper, meshed area of the nose is actually left open, and without the mesh, but there is a resin cover that sits over this and looks very good. Should you wish to display that area without the cover, you will need to fabricate your own mesh and frame. That’s the only real downside here, as I would have liked to se both options provided. Apart from the bare cockpit floor, the rest of this sprue is taken up with various exterior sliding rails for doors etc. external pipework, and also support frames for the main rotor shaft. SPRUE F This sprue is the only grey one to be packed separately, and this is due to the fragility of the parts therein. Moulding also seems slightly more refined, with zero flash, compared to the other sprues. The plastic also looks slightly different (glossy) too. Here, you will find external grab handles, pitot, main rotor plates, and undercarriage damper legs etc. SPRUE CP-A, CP-B These are the clear parts. CP-A contains those blown cockpit side windows that are so familiar, as well as the other openings. Two bulged windows are included for the HU.5, that aren’t for use here. I’ll add my own notes about these possibilities soon though…. CP-B is a single part, namely the main cockpit window. Framing is very good, with none clear areas being frosted. Clarity is very good, but not in the same league as a Trump, Tamiya, HK or other kit that’s not limited run. However, I still don’t think the parts are too bad at all, and I have no problem with them personally. A dip in Klear may improve them further. Plastic Summary Sprue gate attachments should be easy to clean up, and moulding is very nicely executed. Small levels of flash occur in some places, but no actual defects can be seen. For a short-run kit, this is certainly far more than acceptable, and quite impressive. Ejector pin marks are no real issue, and seam lines are minimal. RESIN PARTS I’m really not going to go into naming every part here, but instead do a photographic breakdown of the various supplied components. See that there are parts here that are also HU.5 specific too. Essentially, apart from the box itself, and the decals. The parts included in this release could also build you the HU.5 version. If you wanted to build your own HU.5 scheme from masks or aftermarket decals, then buying the HC.2 kit is a perfectly acceptable thing to do. Even the instructions are common to both kits Take a look at these parts, all produced by Artillery, and you’ll see just how good they are. Casting is excellent, although I do have a very small number of minor breakages that are fixable by me. I’m sure if I ask Fly, they will send out any replacements I should ask for. Detail parts include those for the cockpit, rotor stack, rotor hub, plus other internal and external details. PHOTO ETCH Two frets here, which are again applicable to both the HC.2 and HU.5 kits. These pare packed into a single sleeve, along with some paper parts that we’ll look at next. PE is included for internal cockpit detail and framework stiffener plates, external rails, louvres, various mesh grilles, straps etc. There is a lot of metal here, and you’ll get a better idea of what is offered by looking at the photos of the finished text shot that I’ve included at the end of the article. PE quality is excellent, very small fret connecting tabs, and high quality, sharp detail and detail relief. PAPER PARTS A single sheet is included that feels slightly plasticised. The various crew cabin belts are printed on one side, in the correct blue colour, and the rear of the sheet is also in blue, so no having to paint the rear. You might need to touch up any white edges you see, but that’s no real issue. I think you can also scrunch this material a little to make it look more naturally like fabric. Seatbelts for the cockpit are printed here too, but I’m not too impressed with these. They lack buckles, and look very two-dimensional. DECALS One large sheet is included, and this is pretty comprehensive. Not only does it contain markings for the FOUR included schemes, but a thorough set of stencils. I don’t know where these are printed, but they do look perfectly fine to me, and having used Fly decals in the past, I have no issue with them. They are thin, glossy, have little carrier film, have solid colour, and are in perfect register. My only criticism is that the instrument dial decals don’t have great definition. I would maybe use Airscale for my build. Instructions These are mostly very easy to follow, being printed as a glossy A5 manual. You will need to be careful that you note all the correct HC.2 details, and not mix up with HU.5, due to the manual being used for both releases. Coloured ink is used to denote PE, decals, and clear parts, and the constructional sequences also have some simple colour notation. I would certainly look for some online reference to help you further though. A single full colour sheet is supplied simply for scheme illustration, and this is also high quality with easy decal placement identification and colour notation. Conclusion I love the Wessex. For me, it evokes memories of the 1970s and 80s and it’s one of those copters that just looks ‘right’, and purposeful. Fly have captured that very essence with this release. Detail, both internally and externally, is incredible, and you can guarantee it will build up into a perfect replica of this iconic machine. Apart from a few minor niggles with small, broken resin detail, there isn’t anything to fault here in terms of quality. The external representation of the aircraft is well thought out and executed, and I really can’t wait to tackle it. If there is only one other niggle, I would perhaps wish that there was an option to display it with folded blades, as the full span of this is about 500mm. Maybe look at pinning those rotors with rigid wire so it can be dismantled when not on display. For me personally, perhaps one of this year’s most anticipated releases, and I’m certainly not disappointed. VERY highly recommended. My sincere thanks to FLY for this review sample. To snag one yourself, hit THIS link!
  6. 1:32 Arado Ar 234B-2 instrument panel Yahu Catalogue # YML3201 Available from StoryModels for £5.19 This one came just too late for me to be able to use on my own Ar 234 model, which is slated for publication in issue #47 of Military Illustrated Modeller. For my build, I used the new Ar 234B-2/N kit from Fly Model (reviewed here), and this new release from Yahu is for that same kit. Had I been able to use it at the time, it would've been sure to add some real magic to that busy-looking cockpit which is already supplied with the kit. Even though this is classed as an 'instrument panel' set, unlike the Spitfire instrument panel we reviewed yesterday, there is no physical panel here, but instead we have the components to populate the plastic panel and consoles. 1:32 Arado Ar 234B-2/N, from next month's Military Illustrated Modeller, built by author. As with the Spitfire set, this is packaged into a small zip-lock wallet, with a card product label folded and stapled to the top. As the instructions in this one are a little more complex, the extra card in this provides a nice, robust package which won't be readily damaged. As this set contains separate instrument faces and bezels, it first appeared that you might need to eradicate all traces of the moulded plastic detail, but that simply isn't the case. There is one single photo-etch fret supplied in this set, containing SIXTY-TWO pre-painted parts, produced from what looks like a nickel-plated brass sheet. The fret itself is also very unusual in that it is split into three parts, connected at either end by tags. I'll come onto the reason why in a moment. Essentially, half of the parts, save for two, are broken down into instrument faces and their separate bezels. Colourisation is excellent, as it was with the Spitfire instrument panel, with a number of bezels which are split into different coloured quadrants etc. The edge of the bezels also have a very slightly worn appearance which is only really discernible in macro photography. Just take a look at the instrument faces themselves. Pretty much all of the text and graduations are clearly seen. Under normal circumstances, this is as much as you'd expect to see with a product such as this; neatly printed gauges etc. but if you flip the fret over, you'll see a small pip on the underside of each gauge. This is designed to be located into a small hole which you will need to drill into the dead-centre of each moulded instrument. Before you do this though, note that the bezels themselves are recessed. The idea is to orientate the gauge and sit it within the bezel underside recess. You then need to glue the assembly into the holes you drilled in the plastic parts. Drilling that hole is for a twofold reason. Firstly, if helps you to properly centralise the instrument, and secondly, after you finally remove the whole of the moulded plastic instrument, you know exactly where it used to be! Now, why is the fret split the way it is? That's simple. After cutting two of the tags, and bending the fret as shown on the instructions, you can handle the fret easier, or indeed stand it up for the next stage, and that is to airbrush matt or satin varnish over the bezels, lessening the risk of spraying the accompanying instrument gauges. Yahu's instructions are clear to follow, and concise, with a number of clear illustrations explaining what needs to be done to implement this set, and a clear cockpit layout plan which shows you where all the parts are to be fitted. Whilst is will take some time to prepare the plastic for these new parts, the task itself is relatively easy. Patience is the key here. Conclusion The more I see from Yahu, the more I like what they are doing. If this and the Spitfire instrument panel are anything to go by, we'll be in for some quite spectacular upgrade sets from them in the coming months. Production quality is excellent, and the colourisation is first rate. This is another quite inexpensive set, so if you're contemplating the wonderful new Fly Model Ar 234B-2, then you could do a whole lot worse than to try this rather splendid little set. Very highly recommended. My sincere thanks to Maciej Goralczyk and Yahu for these samples. This set is available from StoryModels by clicking THIS link. James H.
  7. Hi folks, Here it is, freshly finished and photographed for Military Illustrated Modeller. You'll find the build log HERE. In all, it's mostly been a great build. It has been a little frustrating in places, but that's the nature of a short-run kit. I have to say that Fly have done a pretty good job with those, and if you're contemplating getting it.....don't....just go and BUY! Even though she's a pretty big bird, she's still sort of dwarfed a little in stature by the Dornier Do 335!
  8. Welcome! In my workshop arises model aircraft Arado Ar-234 issued by the company FLY 1:32 scale nr. kat. 32008. My choice fell on the machine Ar-234 B-2N "Nachtigall" W.Nr. 140145 / SM + FE. On my blog is a series of images to quickly submitted Arado Ar-234 B-2N, without the radar antenna. Link to blog: http://kobzamodellfabrik.blogspot.com/2014/11/arado-ar-234-132-fly-warsztat.html The construction of the model I started from the chambers of the chassis, which look so.
  9. 1:32 Arado Ar 234B-2N Fly Model Catalogue # 32008 Available from Fly Model for 1640.00CZK (approx £47) The Arado Ar 234 was the world's first, purpose designed and built jet bomber. Its high ceiling capability also saw it operate mainly as a photo reconnaissance aircraft. Lack of room within the fuselage saw bomb pylons being fitted to the underside of the engine nacelles. The dual Jumo 004 engines and operational ceiling saw the type operate almost with impunity over the UK in the latter stages of the war. It has the distinction of being the last Luftwaffe type to have flown over Britain during the war. Whilst the Ar 234 only entered service in the latter part of 1944, its design requirement was implemented in 1940; around the time that the Battle of Britain had ceased. Unlike many aircraft of the time, the Ar 234 was quite smooth and streamlined in overall appearance, and had its wing mounted to the shoulder of the fuselage, with a Jumo 004 under each wing. The pilot sat in an extensively glazed cockpit which formed the nose of the aircraft. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9O_jcI4fQVw Problems in the design and manufacture of the jet engines saw the project stall until 1943, and by now, the tide of the war was turning against the Germans. Making its first powered flight in mid-1943, the performance of the Arado was exemplary, despite falling short of the RLM's requirement for overall speed. The original design saw the Ar 234 take off on a detachable trolley, and return to earth on a landing skid. Changes in the design saw the Ar 234 being fitted with an undercarriage which fully retracted into its fuselage. Numerous other design changes were tested, such as the use of four BMW 003 engines in both separate and duel nacelle layouts, and also the two-man night-fighter, which saw the rear fuselage being taken over with a radio operator's cockpit. Cannon was also fitted to a pod which was slung underneath the fuselage. That specific type is the subject of this review. By the war's end, 210 Ar 234 had been built, of all types, and despite numerous technical issues with the machine, the type was liked by its pilots, and proved manoeuvrable enough to even perform aerobatics! A key drawback of the type was the long take off distances, which led to accidents. To counter this, RATO (Rocket Assisted Take Off) units were suspended under each wing. When jettisoned, these fell back to earth on a parachute which was fitted to their nose. There are indeed a number of aircraft which large scale modellers have waited patiently to see in regular kit format, and the Ar 234 is one such subject. Up until now, the 1:48 arena has been well served by the likes of Dragon and Hasegawa, and the only 1:32 kit is the amazing MDC resin kit, mastered by Radu Brinzan. If whole resin kits frighten you, or you just don't like the medium, then Fly Model's latest releases will positively delight you. Yes, you heard that correctly...releases! There are in fact TWO Fly Model Ar 234 kits now on the market, and today we take a look at the two-seat night-fighter. The first thing that might surprise you is how small the boxes are for these multimedia releases. Fly Model produce short-run, low pressure injection moulded kits which incorporate resin and photo etch parts. I'm no stranger to their releases, and I have built their Bachem Ba 348V 'Natter', which featured on the cover of Military Illustrated Modeller. Fly's packaging and artwork is very attractive, even if the box itself isn't a super-glossy production as we see from the likes of Hasegawa etc. Inside the box, there are FOUR tan/fawn coloured styrene sprues which have been packaged into a single re-sealable sleeve, including three bags of resin parts too, and an individually sleeved clear sprue. Packing all of those sprues into the same wallet has resulted in a few scuff marks which will need to be polished out. Plastic in short-run kits does tend to be a little softer, and of course, this has suffered a minor issue. Also included is a small sleeve with injection moulded night-fighter antennae arrays, a comprehensive sheet of decals, a photo etch fret, some wire and cord, a glossy colour profile sheet, and an A5 instruction booklet. The sprues themselves don't have ID letters, with the part numbers starting with the fuselage sprue, and ending with the antennae. For the sake of this review, we'll still call them 'A' and 'B' etc. There has been some discussion online about the source of the drawings for this kit, and possible accuracy issues. For me personally, I don't know enough about the Arado to comment on some details. Having seen the built up model on the Fly stall at Telford, all I can say is that it looked amazing, and every bit like the Ar 234 that I know. I'll leave any accuracy possibilities for another man on another day. SPRUE A For the first time, we seen the unmistakable lines of the Ar 234. Whilst the fuselage is conventionally split into halves, the forward nose section is a single, separate piece. This will allow the cockpit to be built and installed before the nose is married to the fuselage. I give Fly real credit for just refined the surface detail is on this. Panel lines are extremely subtle. You feel that they will only just hold a wash. They are also evenly scribed, with perhaps the slightest loss of detail around the underside seam. This is no issue as I'd only have to replace the detail once I've sanded back the joints. As is correct, the forward main gear door is moulded closed, with only the strut door of course being an open area. A little flash will need to be removed, but nothing major. External surface detail is quite sparse, which is probably correct for the type, but there are a number of neatly engraved access ports, and some fastener detail. The rudder is also separately moulded, and the wing slots into a quite thin slot on the fuselage shoulder. As with the rest of this kit, there are no locating pins between parts. This is very common for short-run kits. The RATO units are included here, moulded as halves, and with some pretty neat filler port and strap detail. These parts are for the actual RATO unit, and not the accompanying parachute. The latter is included as resin parts. Other parts on this sprue include the two-part nose-wheel, main gear doors, and also the bomb pylon mounting units which fit to the underside of the engine nacelles. I do think the wheel looks rather simplistic, and will need a little work to bring it to scratch. The inside of the gear doors are also devoid of any real detail, and could use a little work. SPRUE B Both of the wing undersides are moulded here, with integral ailerons and landing flaps. I would quite like to have at least the landing flaps as separate parts, but again, this is usually the approach with short-run kits, and it's only a minor criticism. Surface detail really is excellent, with numerous, fine panel lines and access ports. Also scribed are the external lines which indicate where the Jumo 004 nacelles will be fitted, minimising guesswork. As this aircraft is not a bomber, its pylons are occupied with fuel drop tanks. This was necessary due to fuselage fuel capacity being removed due to the fitting of the second crew position. The tanks are moulded as halves, and look every bit as good as those you'll see in conventional, contemporary kits. Detail includes hard mounting points and fillers. The main wheels are also far prettier than the nose wheel, with excellent internal and external hub detail which looks very convincing. Fine raised lines radiate from the centre of the tyre, outwards. Again, this looks very good. Wheels, however, aren't weighted, so you'll need to solve that issue yourselves. Other parts on this sprue include the recessed, belly weapons mount which is superbly detailed, engine nacelle breather inlets, and also the rudder and elevator counter-masses. SPRUE C Engine nacelles are supplied in halves, and into these will go a resin intake, and a resin exhaust which will be supplemented by the variable position 'onion' that controls thrust. Fine panel lines and fasteners adorn the exterior of the nacelles, and internally, a small raised step helps to locate the internal resin parts. A two piece rudder is included, which is the only real part of the exterior to exhibit any rivet lines. Until now, we haven't seen any cockpit parts, but that is because the main parts are produced in resin. However, there are still a number of injection moulded parts on this srpue. One of these is the instrument panel. My only qualm with this is that it has moulded instrument face detail. In actuality, that detail is very good, if not better than many contemporary kits, but decals are also supplied for the faces, and raised detail makes them a little tricky to successfully attach. I do think the panel itself is good enough not to use the decals, but should you wish to, you could easily scratch-build a new panel. Having a glazed nose, the rear of this panel is very visible, and Fly include a series of resin. For me, the cockpit is one of the really attractive areas of the Arado, and would be either a deal maker or breaker. Fortunately, Fly have done an amazing job of this key area, and the side consoles are testimony to that. Detail is excellent, and there is plenty of it too. This will also be enhanced further with photo-etch levers etc. These are very busy areas of the pit! Numerous other cockpit details can be found here, including the rudder pedal slide mount rods, highly detailed control stick, and other ancillary instrumentation panels. Two internal side wall parts are also included. The undercarriage parts are to be found here. Main strut gear detail is quite simple, but certainly sharp, and the various struts and forks are certainly more than passable. Other parts include the fuel tank/bomb pylons, Funkgerat loop base, and nose gear doors. Again, I'd suggest a little extra detail work within the doors. SPRUE D Here we have the upper wing panels, exhibiting the same refined levels of detail as the rest of the airframe. I can't help but thinking that MDC's flush rivet tool, used with a soft touch, could really transform this model from great looking, to spectacular! Those Jumo 004 'onion' parts are found here, moulded as halves. These are simple looking by design. Stabilisers are moulded with integral elevators. This is a bit of a shame if you wished to pose them. I may do that for my own build. Detail is supplied by means of finely engraved panel lines. SPRUE E This small sprue is packed separately for a reason; it's simply so very fragile. It contains the dipole antennae arrays for the front of the machine, and also the small fuselage mounted loop. Forget the flashy appearance expected of parts like this with short-run. These are actually very good indeed, and could only be surpassed by using metal parts. SPRUE F Again, clear parts are another area where short-run manufacturers can, and often do, fall flat with. I have always found the clear parts in Fly kits to be very good, and these are no exception. This clear sprue contains ELEVEN parts. The forward canopy comprises two of these. Framing is very good, and so is clarity. I always recommend dipping canopies in Klear to help enhance clarity, and level any imperfections. With this canopy, that could be doubly important because the black framing with the bolts is supplied as a series of decal strips, in the same manner as the MDC kit. You may want to paint the frames and then attach the decals, but that would be pointless. You can simply apply them directly to the Klear'ed part. Ok, I do have another criticism here. With such a detailed cockpit, it would have made sense to mould the entrance hatch as a separate part, allowing it to be posed in an open position. Fly haven't done this, and instead, its moulded closed. I will drill this out and make a new door so that I can pose it open, allowing for a cockpit view. Three out of the four schemes here call for rear crew position to be installed. If you do this, you will need to cut away a section from the upper fuselage, and fit a clear panel in place. You will also need to open up two circular apertures in the side, and glaze them too. Those parts are here, as are those for wingtip lights, and Funkgerat dipole window etc. Plastic Summary I don't really have any complaints about the styrene in this kit. There is a little flash and a few seams to remove, but there are no visible sink marks or other production defects. There is a lack of locating pin presence, but as I have said, this is very typical of kits of this type. RESIN There are THREE bags of resin parts here, providing the real detail in this kit. All resin parts are produced by Artillery and are mostly cast in light grey resin, with a few parts in cream. Artillery do some great work, and these parts are no exception. Casting is flawless, and mastering is very detailed. Let's take a closer look, bag per bag. The first zip-lock wallet contains no less than eleven chunks of resin. I say chunks because there are some quite hefty parts here. One of the largest parts forms the rear cockpit bulkhead with its associated detail (wiring looms, tanks, and junction boxes), including an integral nose wheel bay which internally forms the section to which the pilot's seat fits. The wheel bay is chock full of pipework too, and I'm sure will present more than just a little difficulty in access for painting. A large casting block exists to the rear, but this should be kept in place due to it housing the wheel bay. You may need to shave a little from the top so that it doesn't protrude beyond the top of the bulkhead. Port and starboard main gear bays are excellent. The box structures feature the various frames and constructional elements, as well as the row of access plates, numerous wiring looms and gear actuator jacks. Test fitting these within the fuselage shows that there's nothing to worry about. The location of them is pretty obvious. A little thin CA to initially fit, followed by a bead of epoxy, should do the trick nicely. A single casting block contains the bomb sight and pilot seat. Fantastic detail throughout, as you can see from my photo. The other parts in this bag are the front and rear Jumo engine faces, with superbly sharp fan faces, and also the parachute packs for the RATO pods. These have been made to look like folded fabric, and really are very good. You'll need to employ some craft shading and highlights to compliment the detail. A casting block will need to be removed from the rear. The second resin bag contains a further six parts, spread over five casting blocks. Two of these comprise the rear radio compartment. In this area, the crew member sat facing rearwards, and the bulkhead for this section incorporates the side consoles, seat framework, avionics and padded headrest. The rearmost bulkhead needs to have its casting block removed because the centre of this is open. Again, this contains avionics/radios, and wiring looms. Another casting block contains a seat which is identical to that of the pilot. Three out of the four schemes presented in this kit, utilise the massive Magirusbombe gun pod, housing a pair of MG121/20 cannon. The pod is cast as a single piece, with separate barrels. Lastly, the third resin bag contains six casting blocks which contain around another FIFTY parts. These include the numerous instrument bodies for the rear of the IP, oleo scissors, various cockpit parts (battery, map case, fuse board and oxygen regulator etc.), undercarriage parts etc. PHOTO ETCH This etch fret is different to that of the single-seater, as it contains two sets of seatbelts. Whilst I admit that these will be very useable, I think I'll opt for the more photo-realistic HGW set which has just been released for this purpose. The fret also contains the forward edging for the cockpit consoles, console levers, rudder pedals etc. Other parts include control surface actuators and the dipole array for the fuselage spine. The PE is superbly made, with small tags holding all parts in place. ERRATA A small bag contains two pieces of cord of different diameters, and also a short length of rigid wire. I'm sure the cord is partly for the cockpit, with a length being used for the drag chute cable. I'm unsure what the wire is for at this time. DECALS A single decal sheet is included, which contains both national markings, codes and serials and also a full suite of stencils and dashed walkway lines. As I have mentioned, the canopy framing lines are supplied as strips which you'll need to cut to length. Cockpit instrument decals are also supplied, but I will use the superior Airscale decals on my build. I hate it when swastikas are supplied in 2 parts, but they are here too. Worse, they aren't equal halves, which adds some awkwardness to getting them into the correct position. Decals are thinly printed and contain minimal carrier film. The colours are solid and authentic, and registration is perfect. You could wish for no more. A glossy A4 sheet depicts the schemes, and these are: Arado Ar 234B-2/N, W.Nr.140146, SM+FF, Oblt. Bonow and Ofw. Marchetti, Kommando Bonow, Oranienburg, 1945 Arado Ar 234B-2/N, W.Nr.140145, SM+FE, Hptm. Bisping and Phtm. Vogel, Kommando Bonow, Oranienburg, 1945 Arado Ar 234B-2/N, W.Nr.140344, T9+EH, Oblt. Erich K. Sommer, Campoformido Air Base (Udine), Italy, April 1945 Arado Ar 234B-2, W.Nr.140173, F1+MT, 9./KG76, Hptm. Josef Regler, March 1945 INSTRUCTIONS This is a 20-page A5 manual, printed in black and white, with shaded line drawings for stage illustration. All looks very easy to follow, and very comprehensive. You will need to study things closely to decipher what is plastic, etch or resin. Colour information is basic, so please check your references. I still think the manual is pretty clear about construction, and you should find no problem with it. Conclusion Well, we have been waiting for an injection moulded Ar 234, but has it been worth the wait? ABSOLUTELY! Without a doubt, this is a great kit which drips with detail in all the right places, yet retaining the conservative appearance of the exterior. Detail fans will absolutely adore the cockpit and radio compartment, which are a seriously good multimedia effort. I can't vouch, as I have said, for any accuracy issues in cross section etc. I have no problem whatsoever with regard to what this kit offers, and how it is portrayed. It looks like a seriously fun build, and you'll be able to catch my build in a few months, in Military Illustrated Modeller. Very highly recommended My sincere thanks to Fly Model for the review sample, and accompanying can of Czech beer! To purchase directly, click THIS link. James H
  10. 1:32 Focke Achgelis Fa 330 Fly Model Catalogue # 32007 Available from Fly Model for 372.00CZK Let me set the scene for you: Sunday, 9th November, 2014, IPMS Scale Model World, Telford. I was sitting at a table in the Hall 1 refreshment area with Webmeister James Hatch and administrator Jeroen Peters, both, I have to say, resplendent in their HKM/Large Scale Modeller 'T' shirts. We were having a general conversation on modelling – or was it the rather well-endowed young lady selling the coffees? Whatever, I am sure they won't mind me recording the fact that I detected evidence of 'tiredness' etched into their handsome faces. Could it be a sign of 'show weariness', or perhaps something associated with a 'great time had by all' the previous evening – I suspect the latter! Hey, it is Telford after all - it comes but once a year - they'll get over it! Jeroen produced some kits for review and James handed me the Fly Models 1/32 Focke Achgelis Fa330 gyro/kite/glider. I love non-powered flight aircraft a.k.a. gliders (!) - and my immediate reaction was that perhaps this was one to build for next years 'glider' section in the IPMS Scale Model World competition – after all said and done, hadn't a glider just won top honours in the aircraft section this year? The Fa330 is certainly something rather different, but is a kite/non-powered gyrocopter a glider? That will be something for the judges to sort out? For those who may not have seen this WW2 aircraft before, here is a very brief potted history: Following recommendations from German naval commanders who required greater forward surface visibility for their U-Boat captains, the Focke Achgelis design team produced this man carrying 'gyro-copter', 'glider' or 'kite' for towing behind a submarine to provide important distance viewing capability from height and target spotting – up to 25 miles – with the tethered pilot armed with nothing more than a pair of binoculars. Ingeniously, the surface speed of the submarine was enough to turn the rotors thus creating the required lift for man and machine. With natural line weight sag, the 500 feet tow line gave the gyro-glider a useful maximum height of around 400 feet, providing, on a clear day, the up to 25 mile line of sight vision previously mentioned. To return to the submarine, the pilot could gently return to the deck by decreasing the angle of attack on the rotors thus reducing the lift - co-ordinating with the line retrieval winch operator or, in an emergency, he could jettison the tow line and rotor head and parachute to the surface while still attached to the 'fuselage'. Brave lads. A waterproof canister on the submarine deck provided the facility for stowage with removal and rigging taking approximately 25 minutes. Around 200 aircraft were built but they were not too successful - the main criticism being the time it took to retrieve, dismantle and stow the aircraft in combat emergencies. There is only one recorded incident of a successful 'spotting' followed by the sinking of the target. Amazingly there are still a few examples of the Fa 330 in museums around the world. To the kit: A 25 x 17.5 x 4cm end opening box has 'artwork' depicting the aircraft outside a hangar. On the reverse side, there are some very nice three views and other detailed drawings showing the marking locations and colour call outs. There is no indication as to what scale these drawings are, but they are smaller than 1/32. Opening the box reveals one clear re-sealable plastic envelope containing: One medium brown plastic sprue, un-numbered An 8 page Instruction manual Photo-etched sprue Resin parts Cartograf decals Instrument dial acetate 'film' It doesn't look an awful lot for the money, so, what is the quality like? It's OK – not spectacular, but OK and typical of a limited run production. There are some hefty attachment points that will need some very careful micro-saw removal, especially on the small 'rod' fuselage framework and links. This can be overcome of course, it just takes a little more time and patience, but as a basis for a more detailed build such as utilising some metal rod and tubing to add more realism to the framework, the parts will act as perfect 'patterns'. A certain amount of flash is in evidence but nothing untoward – we all tend to clean up parts anyway – don't we? There is a tendency for some kit manufacturers to rather over-do rib locations on doped linen structures. Having been brought up in the balsa/tissue/silk school of flying model building which closely resembles full size practices, ribs do not protrude that much, especially not on full sized aircraft with rib tapes. A few minutes very careful sanding will reduce things nicely, but be careful if you do because there is an impression of linen texture on the 'open' structure of the rotor blades. For some strange reason the linen texture is not shown on the tail-plane surfaces. Looking at reference photographs, these items appear to be constructed of just outline frame-work with doped linen covering. With weight in this area being a critical factor for such an ultra-lightweight machine, I don't think there would have been much chance of solid structures aft of the pilot. Just be aware of this fact when it comes to giving an impression of realism to this area. (In view of the above, the beauty of going to shows such as Telford is that you can see what useful bits and pieces are coming onto the market. For example, to rectify the lack of linen texture mentioned above, Aviattic are producing a plain linen textured 'decal' and Albion Alloys are bringing out some very simple (ingenious) joining attachments for their tube products to enable virtually any angle joints with C/A – ideal for the framework.) The 8 mono pages of instruction sheets are very informative and the drawings look easy to follow. There is a part number illustration guide for the un-numbered sprue parts plus a full colour call out with RLM I/D. Interestingly they have also provided a very useful 'wiring' diagram for various 'linkages' – ideal for scratch builders. They also show how each rotor blade is 'marked' by a different painted pattern towards the tip to ensure the correct positioning of each blade for the hard pressed sub-mariners. Each white pattern location spans two rib positions and details like this could easily be missed from reference photographs. Well done Fly! The photo-etched fret contains seat belts and various 'detail-up' attachments and linkages together with the instrument panel and dial bezels to be used in conjunction with the acetate dial faces. I quite like this system of building up the IP as I think it looks very realistic and I can see no reason why this one should be any different – I just hope the bezels don't ping off into the carpet. I am not too enamoured with P/E seat belts and, for preference, I would probably go for an HGW or RB Productions replacement set as, in my opinion, they are far more malleable and natural looking. There is just one small resin block which contains a sprocket based rotor housing (which should look stunning once painted and weathered) along with some very small and yes, very pingable(!), airframe attachment parts. The decal sheet is by Cartograf. What a relief it is to find this name associated with one of the most important presentation pieces of any kit. 6 Balkan Crosses and 4 'Nicht anfassen' notices is what you get - they are in perfect register and look very crisp as one would expect. Conclusion I am going to build this one – I think it has great potential to be just that something different and there are still a few dotted around in museums for reference purposes. Could the plastic parts have been a tad better quality and the sprue attachment points have been smaller? Of course they could, but I would suggest that this will not bother or worry those who decide to take this little gem on. I would have also liked to have seen another sprue with the water-tight stowage container and perhaps the towline winch, but that is just wishful thinking. Thank goodness for YouTube, plastic card and other scratch building materials! My sincere thanks to Fly Model for the review sample. To purchase directly, click THIS link. Recommended. Peter Buckingham
  11. Rotachute Mk.I: Raoul Hafner's aircraft Fly Model Catalogue # 32004 Available from Hannants for £19.30 Raoul Hafner was an Austrian engineer who left his home country in 1933, and continued his developmental works on rotary winged aircraft in Britain. Raoul's work included a system to deliver a combat-ready soldier, accurately to the battlefield. This became known as the Rotachute, and at a time when parachute silk was in short supply, the British establishment took the Rotachute project seriously, and ordered trials of this rather unique rotary kite. Hafner, despite being Austrian and an ex-internee, was allowed to continue this work during wartime, with trials of the Rotachute being undertaken at RAF Ringway (now Manchester International Airport). The Rotorchute Mk.I comprised a tubular steel framework, control frame, skid undercarriage, self-inflating rear fairing, and a mount for a machine gun. Unfortunately, the type never saw any service, and never left the trial stages. Whilst the type was never deployed, this seemingly insignificant aircraft did help to further our knowledge of rotor-driven aircraft, and Raoul Hafner's contribution to this area of aviation research, should never be understated. The most obvious thing I see with this kit is that the box is seriously too big for this diminutive model. A nicely illustrated box artwork depicts the Rotachute flying alongside a Miles Magister aircraft, having been presumably towed by it. This side-opening box has further images of Fly releases on its side (including 2 further Rotachute kits), and the rear of the box serves as your painting guide. Here you can see that the Mk.I P1, and Mk.I P2 can be chosen from for your finish. Inside the box, a single tan/fawn coloured sprue contains THIRTEEN parts, and also a small fret of photo etch, with a further SEVEN parts. Yes, that is it. No decals, but of course, you also get the simple instructions sheet. This is probably the simplest 1:32 kit I've ever had the privilege to see. PLASTIC It really is important with this model , that you begin your paint job almost as soon as you start to build. The nature of the plastic shell fuselage really does dictate this. Externally, the fabric covered framework looks very authentic, and will look excellent with some modulation painting. Internally, there is no detail, but you may wish to add a little of your own, as I'm pretty sure you can peek inside there. A couple of ejector pin marks will need to be removed first. Moulded separately are the stabilising fins, but a delicate engraving on the exterior shows where these must fit. Being a short run kit, it's common to find no locating pins, and that is the case here. All other parts on the sprue are also very nicely moulded, including the forward pilot framework, seat cushion, paddle rotor, skid and supports. In fact, that is it! Flash is very minimal and ejector pin marks don't trouble any of the parts. With the frames, you will need to thin these a little and make them a little less clunky, but that is it. PHOTO ETCH To stop the pilot falling backwards into the shell, he has a fabric strap backrest. You will find that here, on this fret, along with a set of shoulder and lap belts. Detail on these is perfectly adequate for what they represent. Two parts on here are not to be used, and are not shown in the instructions. Looking at the images of the two versions on the rear of the box, there appears to be a part protruding from the upper forward frame, and both machines definitely will use another unidentified part which I think may be something to do with the mount of the machine gun (Barrel?). Etch quality is very good, with small connecting gates that will make it easy to remove the parts. RESIN Only one part is supplied here, and this is the machine gun. Cast in yellow resin, detail is sharp throughout, and contains an amazingly tiny trigger and an open muzzle end. The part is connected to its block via a thin, perforated resin wall, and you'll have no difficulty in removing this. Use of the gun is also optional. INSTRUCTIONS Generally, these are easy to follow, and colours are referenced, although not actual codes. Diagrams are in line drawing format. It's a little disappointing that the location for the last two PE parts is not mentioned, nor is the MG installation image very adequate, but I imagine that a quick trawl of Google will yield the images you need. Conclusion A very simple, neat and attractive kit which could well be one of those 'mojo restoring' projects that we all sometimes yearn for. Construction is simple, and this version doesn't even contain decals, unlike the other releases which we hope to review here in the next month or two. The only tidying up you'll need to do is on the frameworks, and I also suggest you look at the angle of the rotors when stationary. They may actually droop a little, so you would need to factor this into your build. Highly recommended My sincere thanks to Fly Model for this review sample. To purchase directly, click THIS link. James H
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