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Found 21 results

  1. Slovakian Focke-Wulf Fw 189A-1 I've had a serious run of bad luck with forum builds in the last couple of years, with the ones that I try to feature here being more prone to screwing up, such as the awful P-39 Airacobra kit from ShittyKittyhawk. My bin can certainly overfloweth. In an effort to buck the trend, I thought I'd build perhaps my most ambitious project yet....the HpH Fw 189A-1 resin kit. What could possibly go wrong! If you want to take look at the review I wrote for this, check HERE This is a very new project for me, and I'll post a few photos in the next days. Work so far consists of cleaning up the main components, such as the boom halves, stabiliser, wing, wing centre section, engine cowls etc. I have also glued the steel reinforced spar to the centre section and the outboard wing spares. For this, I'm using HpH's own epoxy glue with a 24hrs waiting time. CA will be used for everything else. This kit is supplied with an amazing set of 'Wet Transfer' decals which contain no carrier film. All that is left on the model after application is the ink. All I will use here though are the stencils, as this model will be finished in a scheme over than what is supplied. For this build, I will depict a Slovakian machine. I've always had a hankering for a Slovakian scheme ever since seeing it supplied with the old Matchbox 1/32 Bf 109E-3 kit. Markings on this will be airbrushed, with masks courtesy of Miracle Masks. The Slovaks operated the A-1, as well as the A-2 versions. This is what I aim to achieve. Stay tuned folks!!
  2. I recall seeing a note somewhere that HpH was working up a 1:32 A-20 Havoc with a projected 2017 release. Has anyone heard any news on this? I've been looking for the Havoc in 1:32 for the longest. I already plan their 1:32 PBY for my birthday gift to myself this year; if they add the A-20, I'll just have to celebrate a bit *more*
  3. 1:32 Focke-Wulf Fw 189A-1 HpH Catalogue # 32030R Available from HpH for €210 If there was one country that didn’t mind defying convention with their aircraft design, it was Germany. Unlike some of the more unusual projects created by the Allied nations, the Germans really didn’t mind pushing the experiment further and as a result, a number of pretty unorthodox airframes entered regular service. One of these was the Focke-Wulf Fw 189, designed by Fw’s chief design engineer, Kurt Tank. This specific machine was the winning design for a requirement to provide the Luftwaffe with a tactical reconnaissance and army cooperation aircraft that was also able to carry a light bomb-load. Another notable machine which the Fw 189 competed against was Blohm und Voss’s unusual and asymmetric Bv 141. The Fw 189 was generally referred to as the Uhu (owl) and the ‘flying eye’, and consisted of a twin boom layout with a heavily glazed fuselage nacelle sitting on the centre wing section. Powered by two Argus As410 engines, the Fw 189 was perhaps a little underpowered, and relatively slow in comparison to fighter aircraft. Despite this, the sheer manoeuvrability of the type, with its incredibly small turning circle, made them relatively hard to shoot down, and the Uhu became a successful aircraft, operating mainly on the Eastern Front, with great effectiveness. A crew of three was carried, and defence was provided by MG15s fixed into two gun cupolas. A further two MG17s were positioned in the wing roots, firing forward. Externally, up to four SC50 bombs could also be carried. Almost 900 Fw 189 were built, with only one surviving today, in a state of severe disrepair (under rebuild at time of writing), and several other nations operated them, including Romania, Slovakia, Hungary and Bulgaria. Norway actually operated the Fw 190, post-war. It’s often been said that large-scale modellers are living in a truly golden age. Who would’ve thought, only a few short years ago, that we would see even one quarter of the amazing and ambitious releases that we are being offered on a regular basis. A number of particular subjects are of course classed as a Holy Grail amongst certain modellers, and the Focke-Wulf Fw 189 is one of them. Great Wall Hobby have given us two wonderful 1:48 kits in injection plastic, and now HpH have stepped up the mark with this new resin-based multimedia kit. As soon as this was announced, I really had to register my interest. The real Fw 189 had a wingspan of 60ft, which means that in 1:32, this model has a span of no less that 570mm. That means this model is no shrinking violet. With that in mind, it might surprise you to find that this kit is packed into a relatively small box, measuring 410mm x 260mm, and with a depth of only 55mm! HpH have decided to use an action artwork on this release, instead of the profile art of previous kits, and I have to say that it’s a smart move. The box itself is quite a rigid type, and inside, it’s compartmented in order to keep parts from sliding around. This also adds further rigidity. If you are ordering this kit from long distance, I have to tell you that HpH pack their products superbly, and this arrived safely, wrapped in corrugated card and bubble-wrap. Open the lid, and sat on top of the mass of bubble-wrap protected packets, sits two zip-lock wallets. One of these contains a set of HGW-made seatbelts, vinyl canopy masks, turned brass parts, single decal sheet and a CD that contains the instructions manual. I quickly printed this in colour, as it’s far friendlier for workbench use. The other zip-lock wallet contains two large brass photo-etch frets and a single colour-printed one, protected by a piece of cardboard. All smaller resin components are bagged into zip-lock wallets that reflect the parts groupings printed in the manual. The larger airframe parts are inserted within the compartments, and bubble-wrapped for protection. Firstly my apologies, as having fumbled through these parts in order to asses and understand them, I seem to have possibly put some of them back into wrong bags prior to taking photographs. I’m sure you’ll still understand what I write though. Parts Bag A I quite like HpH’s solution of casting their parts on ultra-thin wafers. Some decry this, saying it makes it difficult to remove, but I prefer it to casting blocks. This bag contains TWELVE wafer casts and one part on a casting block. Four of these wafers are duplicated once, for those many multiple parts that are required, such as internal undercarriage bay structures, multi-part engine cylinders, rudder counterbalances, internal canopy framing, gear bay wing spar sections, engine bulkheads etc. Generally, parts are grouped onto wafers which are specific for certain areas of construction. Where they aren’t, this can still be pretty easy to locate what you need. There are so many parts here that it wouldn’t be feasible to list them all. Other wafers include cockpit floors and sidewalls, instrument panel, gun cupola rings, and also rods that runs along the leading edge of the landing flaps. The single cast piece in this pack is the rear fuselage deck. If you’ve never seen an HpH kit before, then you’re in for a treat. All detail is excellent, with the minutest trace being there to see. Casting is sharp and among some of the best I’ve seen. Without a doubt, this must go to create one of the best cockpits I’ve ever seen. Take a look at the images for yourself. HpH isn’t relying on resin alone for some of the key parts, like the multipart cockpit floor. These are supplemented by photo-etch parts such as tread-plates. This will look incredible when assembled and painted, and with that large greenhouse glazed area, it really has to be very good indeed. Parts Bag B Another nine wafers are packed into here, but not as large as those in the first bag. Predominantly, this package contains cockpit parts, such as padded cushions, seat buckets, control column, rudder pedal assemblies, armour plate framing, ammunition saddles, compressed gas cylinders, canteens, camera mount, equipment bags etc. The camera itself is to be found in the previous bag of parts. The design of this kit has the camera pointing down through a hole in the fuselage floor, yet the centre underside wing panel has the aperture cast as closed. There is some PE to use as what appears to be a door here, so I assume you can drill out that section and pose the model with the camera door in an open position. Non-cockpit parts include the undercarriage, main gear wheel hubs, and underwing ETC bomb racks. Parts Bag C There are a small number of wafers here. One of these holds the two engine crankcase blocks onto which the cylinders fit. Full engines aren’t supplied for this model, but no doubt that it could be achieved with a little ingenuity. An option to provide for this would have been a nice tough. tail wheel leg with wire reinforcement Immediately recognisable are the amazing looking engine cowls, cast as single pieces into which the engine cylinder assemblies will slide. You can appreciate here the rather beautiful lines of the Argus As 410 engine cowls. Very impressive. External detail is itself worth noting. Panel lines are fine and even. A fine wall of resin needs to be removed from the rear circumference of each cowl, and this is designed to be easy to do. Each of the four 50kg bombs are also cast as single pieces, complete with stabilising fins, and the non-glazed upper fuselage section is also a single piece, connected to its block by another thin resin wall. HpH have cast the spinners as a single part, minus the attractive fins which will be added as photo-etch parts. Propeller blades are cast onto a wafer, and jointed down one of their edges. Care should be taken in removing them for use. All wheels are cast as single parts, and the main gear doors are to be found, two per block, with excellent detail both outside and within. The single piece main gear struts are a beautiful piece of casting, and are made rigid by the insertion of a steel rod. Some clean-up will be required of course, but certainly nothing more than you would expect. Parts Bag 4 If the thought of lots of clear resin parts was to make you wonder about their quality, then fear not. These are probably the best I have ever seen, including those seen in their other kits (and I thought THOSE were good too!). There are fourteen parts here, and the most obvious, the nose, is certainly attention-grabbing. This single piece unit, like the other parts, is crystal clear, with beautiful external framing detail. Like the other parts, it is connected to its casting block by a thin resin wall which will be easy to saw through. I’m still drooling at the nose, but onwards! Framing detail and clarity are standard across the whole of this bag. For the rear gun ring, HpH has cast this in two parts, allowing the modeller to choose the final position of being either opened or closed. Of course, the parts can also be placed in any position on that ring, as it of course swivelled in actual use. You really will need to make an outstanding job of that cockpit, as you’ll see little bit of detail though this canopy. The crew access doors can be positioned in either an open of closed position too. My only reservation here is that all these fragile parts are in the same bag. It would’ve been better to use a few smaller bags in order to prevent scratching. A few clear and coloured resin pieces are included for wingtip lights, plus a few smaller parts for underwing light etc. Parts Bag 5 A lot of key parts here, with the central under-wing/fuselage panel, rudders, stabiliser, elevator and ailerons being found here. Again, external detail is amazing, and as good as any you will find on a top-quality injection moulded kit. Detail consists of fine panel lines and port access plates, as well as restrained riveting. Fabric and rib detail on the ailerons and rudder are subtle enough and will need no further work, and the stabiliser is a two-piece item, being cast as upper and lower panels. You will need to remove the resin webbing from the tail gear well area. Well detail is cast on the upper inside of the stabiliser, and this is enhanced further with photo-etch inner rib detail. Wings Whilst the wing upper and lower panels seem conventional, they aren’t. Upper wing panels also contain a portion of the fuselage nacelle sidewalls. Cast into them is also the tail boom fairing and forward engine cowl. The lower wing panels are shorter, stopping at the tail boom junction. Ailerons and landing flap areas are separate items. I find the surface detail absolutely gorgeous. Look at the photos and see how precise and even the panel lines are, and the other engraved detail. The full airframe is also riveted, and it looks impressive. A lower landing light is provided as a separate inner reflector and external lens, with a PE plate. PE is also used for the aileron actuator and hinge covers. Detail is comprehensive. Of course, there are casting blocks to remove, and these lie along the wing leading edge with the upper panels. These are connected so as to cause minimal disruption to external detail, whilst not affecting the lines of the forward-most leading edge lines. Lower panels have the blocks connected along the rear edge, where the ailerons etc. will fit. Three inner wing spars are also included here, cast onto a wafer. The main spar is reinforced with steel rods. The instructions clearly show their positions, plus there are channels and ribbing within the wings which provide a position location for these parts. Tail Booms Construction is conventional here, with each boom consisting of port and starboard halves. Notice that they insert within the gap left by the lower wing panels, and include the wing cross section at that point, meaning they should be easy to align. Rudders are separate, and we saw those earlier. External detail matches the other parts beautifully, with some very neat rows of rivets. You will need to replace any of these that could become lost when removing seams. External detail is supplemented by photo etch detail, such as the strakes that run along the spine and belly of each tail boom, and the strap that covers the bolts which hold the tail fins to the booms. Like a number of parts in this kit, there are positions within the parts that are designed to accept resin locating pins that will help with alignment. HpH’s attention to detail extends into the main gear wells, where you’ll see some very nice rib and stringer detail. Along with the other components, just a little wiring is all that will be needed to create an amazingly detailed area. Resin summary All parts are cast in a light grey resin, unlike some of the releases I’ve seen where this has a pale green/yellowish hue. Surface finish is superb, looking very akin to an injection kit. External surfaces are polished. This kit appears to have no defects anywhere, or any breakages. Quite simply, an ultra-high quality resin product. Clean up and block removal should also prove to be very simple, in comparison to other resin releases I’ve seen over the years. Turned brass parts MG15 gun barrels are provided here, and look like MASTER parts. If you’ve seen these before, you’ll know just how realistic they are. A small PE fret also provides parts for the reticules. The remaining parts are for the pitot, and two sets of slide-fit tubes for the prop shafts, allowing the finished item to rotate. Photo-etch parts A single colour-printed fret contains the instrument panel and the fascias for other instrumentation units within the cockpit, including various levers etc. A number of non-colour parts are also included for general cockpit use, such as the rudder pedals and observer’s feet racks that sit within the glazed nose. The largest brass fret contains parts solely for the landing flaps. All photo-etch in this kit is produced by Eduard, and these flaps follow their typical design whereby you fold and twist the small ribs within the flaps, to 90 degrees. The skeletal framework is fitted to a separate outer skin, and you will need to add the leading edge tubes to complete them, as well as various other small parts. I did say this fret was solely for flaps, but I can also see the tail-boom spine and belly strakes here too. Lastly, a slightly small fret contains parts which are general to the model. These include the anti-glare panel from the cockpit, ammunition saddle parts, alternative PE bomb fins (requiring removal of resin cast parts), plus various straps, plates and other minor detail. Production standard is as high as is to be expected from Eduard, with everything clearly numbered. Masks With a canopy with so many panels, you’d be correct in assuming that this would be a killer to mask. Thankfully, a beautifully cut set of vinyl masks is included. Mask material exhibits no shrinkage, and appear to be high quality. Either way, you’ll be thankful that HpH included these! Decals HpH’s decal inclusion has undergone its own revolution. In previous releases, standard decal sets have been included, but recently, a fellow Czech company, HGW, have been using a new technology called Wet Transfer. These started with stencil sets, and progressed to actual markings. The beauty with these, as opposed to regular decals, is that they contain ZERO carrier film! Each decal is soaked in water, and then applied to the model. After a few hours, the carrier film is peeled off, leaving just the ink on the surface. HPH have decided to include a custom set of these in this kit, including both national, individual, and stencil decals. Printing quality is high, and in perfect register. Check out those stencils, and they are readable too! Three schemes are available in this release, and these are: Fw 189A-1, 1.(H)32, Pontsalenjoki airfield, Finland, 1943 Fw 189A-1, 1.(H)32, Finland, 1942 – 1943 Fw 189A-1, 1.(H)32, Finland, 1943 Seatbelts HGW’s second collaboration with our kit manufacturer is for the inclusion of some seatbelts, specifically designed for the Fw 189. These are made from a combination of printed and laser-cut textile parts, and a small number of buckles and clasps that are included on the colour PE fret. These belts are simply the best available, and can be posed in a natural way by scrunching the material before assembly. They can also be weathered with oils. Instructions A CD is provided which contains all the high-resolution colour JPG pages that you will need. Ideally, you should print a copy of these and work from that. I hate staring at computer screens whilst I work. Also, as I use a Macbook Pro, I didn’t have a CD drive, and needed to dump the files to a pen drive whilst at work. The instruction files are very high resolution, and start with showing the contents of the parts bags, all numbered. Clarity is very good. Instructions are then shown for assembling the seatbelts, and then construction begins with the wing and spar assembly. These first steps are critical and need to be followed closely. Assembly drawings are in line drawing format and look easy to understand. These are punctuated with colour photos of the test assembly. Colours are indicated, but in simple terms, and not in manufacturer codes. Instructions to add the decals are also given, and of course, each scheme is illustrated in various profile format. In all, a very clear and concise publication that you should have any trouble with. Chocolate What chocolate? Looks like HpH decided to discontinue that little treat. It’s a shame as it softened the way with my wife when I introduced yet another kit to her! Conclusion For me, this is HpH’s best release yet. I know the subject is one that really appeals to me anyway, but I do own a few other earlier kits, such as the Walrus, He 111, Me 410 and Sea Hornet. Those are all masterpieces, but I think this piques even those kits. Yes, this one is slightly more expensive than was originally projected, but the increase in PE accounted for that. This is also no beginner’s kit. In fact, unless you’re well-versed with resin, I would think twice about it due to the unusual layout and the critical factor in getting everything to align properly. As a kit, it’s simply outstanding; highly detailed, and a superb piece of model engineering and casting, along with those seatbelts, photo-etch and turned brass parts. I really couldn’t resist this one, and the main exterior parts indicate this was #03 from the moulds! If this at all appeals to you, treat yourself, and tell them you saw it at Large Scale Modeller. VERY highly recommended My sincere thanks to HpH Models for this review sample. To purchase directly, click THIS link. James H
  4. HpH

    de Havilland NF.21 Sea Hornet HpH Models Yeah, yeah, I know. I already have a topic for the HpH Fw 189A-1 in this GB, but that's fine. I thought I'd stick my flag in the lunar surface and stake my claim to territory otherwise known as the NF.21 Sea Hornet. My plan is to build this as the prototype scheme shown in the box art. What say ye?
  5. It's a bit of a double post, but since this build is finished I thougt it should be posted here. For more information go to the WIP section here: http://forum.largescalemodeller.com/topic/3704-hph-me410/ Enjoy! Cheers, Wouter
  6. Struggling with some loss of mojo, distractions, work, stalled projects, lack of focus AND inspiration, I decided to give the Ohka a whirl. Right off the bat I decided to 3D print the nose charge and display in next to the Ohka, as seen in many pics. Like so: Here's the first render: I found a drawing with measurements. Pretty convenient: And the first parts cleanup: No shrinkage on the fuse:
  7. HpH

    1:32 MiG-15bis HpH Catalogue # 32025R Available from HpH for €150,00 The Korean War was the first major conflict where jet fighters from both sides of the conflagration, fought against each other in pitched aerial battles. Even though the RAF operated the Meteor during WW2, and the Germans the Me 262, these two types never met in combat. Without a doubt, the most iconic jet fighters of the Korean War were the F-86 Sabre, and the MiG-15. Unlike the Allies in May 1945, the Russian jet programme wasn’t particularly advanced, with the MiG-9 ‘Fargo’ taking its first flight in 1946, after hostilities were ended. At the end of WW2, scientists, under military jurisdiction, raped German technology and spirited away Germany’s technical programme into various countries. For the Russians, already with their own disadvantage, the path to catch up to the Allies was longer hard fought for as the Iron Curtain began to fall. As with the slightly later F-86 Sabre, the MiG-15 was a swept wing, transonic fighter aircraft, first flown in 1947 and being introduced into service in 1949. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8APaZIxJEr4 Developed by the Mikoyan-Gurevich, the type was powered by a Klimov VK-1 centrifugal flow turbojet, and the second generation bis (improved) machine, was fitted with two NR-23 cannon and one Nudelman N-37 cannon, plus a capability of carrying unguided rockets, bombs or drop tanks on external wing stores. The MiG-15 has often been described as one of the most effective and robust fighters ever produced, and was operated by over forty countries before production ceased. Total production was around 18,000 aircraft, of which 6000 were licence built in China. The MiG-17 was designed to replace the MiG-15, but for continuity, serial production of the MiG-15 continued throughout the Korean War, and as a result, the MiG-17 never saw service in that conflict. By the time the type entered service in 1952, the MiG-19 was about ready for service. HpH manage to cram a surprising amount of resin into their superbly designed and robust corrugated boxes. These attractive packages have a colour profile artwork on their lid, and in the case of the MiG-15, highlighting the two schemes that are possible to be modelled. The box interior is compartmented so as to snugly fit the various bags of resin and main airframe parts. On top of the various parts lies a ziplock wallet that contains an instruction manual CD, decals, photo-etch frets, turned metal parts and some nifty seatbelts from HGW. In case the initial inspection makes you a little hungry, a small Belgian chocolate is tucked away into the lower compartments. Of course, my wife always takes this little treat. Not having a CD drive on my MacBook Pro, the first thing I do before starting to write my review is to dump the files from the CD onto my USB pen drive at work, and then print out the document. First inspection of the whole kit before photography shows that there is no flaw in casting. There are a couple of break-out points on parts where strengthening wire is included, but nothing that will cause any problem. The surface of the main parts seems to be speckled a little with what I think it simply mould release agent. I wiped this with a little isopropyl alcohol and it almost removed it. Again, I’m not overly worried about that. Only the larger parts have casting blocks that need traditional removal and clean-up. The other smaller components are cast on thin resin wafers. This means you will need to carefully grind the connecting portion of the part in order to remove the thickness of the wafer. In some cases, you could probably ignore this, but you need to test fit your part to be sure. This kit contains: Around 160 grey resin parts 9 clear and coloured resin parts 3 bare brass photo-etch sheets 1 plated and colour printed photo-etch sheet Series of turned brass parts and wire rod MiG-specific HGW seatbelts 1 comprehensive decal sheet Set of vinyl canopy masks CD with instructions in JPG and PDF format 1 Belgian chocolate Cockpit http://i1324.photobucket.com/albums/u614/LargeScaleModeller/LSMReviews/hphmig/DSC05437.jpg There really is no doubt that HpH’s releases drip with detail, and this mini-masterpiece is built upon two intake tunnels that are first glued to the inside of the fuselage halves. Here is where you of course need to arrange your painting early on in construction. Those tunnel parts are not only detailed for the interior cockpit, but they have rivet detail all the way down the exterior faces that you can see down the intake path. The same goes for the internal face of the fuselage parts too. Deep inside those intakes, HpH have even included airflow vanes that help to evenly distribute air over the intake fan. Once you’ve installed those intake sections, the cockpit work can begin. The cockpit is a true multimedia event, with some beautifully refined resin detail, supplemented by a respectable amount of photo etch work. All photo-etch parts in this kit are produced by Eduard. A combination of both brass and colour PE will be installed here. With the forward and rear bulkheads installed, the cockpit is then outfitted with ejection seat rails, avionics, regulators, valves, plus the usual gamut of parts, such as the seat, control column and hydraulic cylinder, rudder pedals etc. Cockpit detail is superb, with nice sharp resin detail shown alongside the Eduard colour PE parts. These early MiGs didn’t have the interior turquoise colour that defined the typical Russian Cold War cockpits, and the instructions show this as ‘Light Grey Blue. I know the some do not like the inclusion of colour PE, but the parts included here look perfect, with a non-pixelated, solid finish. I’m more than happy to use the parts supplied for this purpose. Of particular note is the laminated instrument panel, finished in black. To help you with precise location of parts in this tiny but packed cockpit, photos are included to assist you, as well as illustrations on assembling the various components themselves. Fuselage This is supplied in full length halves, with sharply refined panel line detail and subtle rivet lines. HpH added the casting blocks so that they run the full length of the fuselage underside. These are quite thin and just require a knife or razor saw to part them. You will of course need to recreate any missing detail from the surface in those areas, but you would need to do that anyway when you sanded the joint seam. There are actually a couple of areas on the underside that need to be cutaway in order to attach other parts, but these cutaways couldn’t be incorporated with the casting block position. RB Productions scribers and saws look perfect for adding any missing detail, as they are fine, and the pounce wheels are available in various pitches. You are sure to find one that matches. Note that the fin is cast as separate parts too, which for a resin kit is surely easier when it comes to alignment and gluing. When the time comes to attach the halves, a series of peg holes are provided so you can insert your own pins. This should remove any concern about the joints being raised/lower on one or the other parts. Just check the fit first before committing to glue. If you wish to pose the airbrakes in an open position, then you will need to first cut away the resin cast detail. This will then be replaced by photo-etch brake doors and internals surface detail, with a number of resin detail parts. This is always a leap of faith, and I would have liked to have seen some resin cast brake doors, onto which PE detail could be applied. Internal bulkheads are supplied to help you install the internal exhaust pipe. The latter is detailed with a rather nice fan surface. Wings and fins Before you can work with these parts, you will need to remove the leading edge casting blocks. Again, surface detail really is excellent and looks perfect for the scale, with fine panel lines and subtle riveting. The internal wheel bay ceiling detail will be added to with separate sidewall parts, leaving you to perhaps just add a little wiring here and there. There’s no real need for anything else, as HpH seem to have it covered! As well as a number of other internal resin components, and a clear light lens that need to be installed, the rear work here will be the inclusion of the landing flaps. These are a photo-etch addition, and unlike Eduard’s tried and trusted system of flat panel – fold and twist, these are mostly produced from individual parts, such as ribs etc. The result does look pretty damn good. Take a look at the photos here. For the flap itself, construction is mostly flat and curved plate, and looks very straightforward. More photo-etch is included for the wing fences, and there are clear locations to which these will insert. As previously stated, the vertical fin is a two-part assembly. The upper and lower rudder elements are cast as single parts, as are the stabilisers and their separate elevators. You will need to look at pinning the stabilisers to the fin, and as the latter is separate to the fuselage, you might opt to do this before assembly to the fuselage itself. Ailerons are also separate parts. Wing tanks look realistic! Undercarriage The struts themselves are steel wire reinforced, and will take the weight of the model with no problems. There is a little wire break-out at one point, but this will be entirely covered by the gear bar doors. Wheels and hubs are separate parts, which, depending on your assembly chronology, will make painting these parts much easier. All undercarriage ancillary parts are highly detailed, and all you may need here is a little plumbing from lead wire. Photo-etch parts are used for various brackets and couplings. Weighted wheels have been supplied for this release, and to my reference, HpH appear to have got this right. Whilst the nose wheel is tread-less, the main gear wheels have a fine, circumferential tread. To attach the nose wheel to its strut, you will need to drill it and slide it onto a hidden length of wire that juts out between the fork. Be careful that you gauge the position correctly so the wheel ‘flat’ sits on the ground. Clear parts HpH really are the masters of clear resin. They have this down to a fine art. The canopy parts here are just amazing. There are casting blocks to remove, but they have thoughtfully included a resin web to separate the part from the block. Clarity is exceptional, and frame lines are sharp. A small piece of sticky-backed card is included, with a number of coloured resin parts included, such as the wing tip lights. Yes, no need to formulate your own translucent painting solution for this model! Photo-Etch & seatbelts FOUR sheets are included, containing a myriad of parts that are assigned to just about every area of the airframe. These include landing flaps, airbrakes, undercarriage parts, and of course a whole colour-printed sheet for the cockpit. Buckles required for the seatbelt set are also included on these main sheets, and not as a separate fret, as is normal with an HGW release. As this is Eduard, production standard is high. All I can say is that you’ll need to carefully follow the instructions so as not to miss any of the parts supplied. The seatbelts are made from a ‘microfibre’ textile and are laser cut. You’ll need to peel off the packing sheet, scrunch up the parts to break their stiffness, and then assemble. HGW’s belts are incredibly realistic when assembled, and they can be washed with oils or enamels etc. Turned metal parts Barrels for the three cannon are included, and the larger cannon has a rather exquisite but fragile looking muzzle. A real masterpiece of turning and milling. Beautifully done. These parts are included inside a small zip-lock bag. Masks A small sheet of vinyl masks are included for the canopy, but strangely enough, not for the other clear areas such as the transparencies in the belly and lower wing. You’ll need to mask these yourself! Decals These have all the hallmark of Eduard-produced decals, and that’s a possibility due to the other Eduard parts in this release. A single sheet is included which supplies decals for two machines, plus a whole load of stencil data too. Printing is very thin, and has minimal carrier film. Colours are solid and look authentic, plus everything is in perfect register. The two machines catered for here are: MiG-15bis, 147.GIAP VVS, Soviet Air Force, Kubinka AFB, 1952 MiG-15bis, 351.IAP, Major A.M. Karelin, Korea, 1952 Instructions Unless you have a tablet, PC or laptop in your workroom, you will need to print out this manual. I suggest it anyway, or you’ll be constantly flicking backwards and forwards to reference build sections. The instructions themselves are excellent, being a combination of both drawn illustration and photograph reference. There are 36 pages included, with a parts breakdown and simple colour reference. The colour profiles and stencil placement diagrams are excellent. Conclusion This really is no kit for the beginner to resin models. Resin can be notoriously tricky to master, and this model is very complex, as are many other HpH releases (Note, if you want an introduction kit, try their Ohka Type 11/Reichenberg kit). You’ll need your wits about you at all times to ensure that everything comes together as it should, and that no parts are omitted. Detail is just crazy, and if you crave amazing cockpits and other such areas of eye candy, then this release will fulfil your needs. I think my only real criticism is the lack of a really good scheme. One is quite standard, and the other is fairly difficult to achieve unless you are a demon with an airbrush. To screw your model at such a late stage would be gutting. Nonetheless, we now have a fully detailed MiG-15bis, and I can’t wait to start! Note: Profimodeller have a neat engine set for this kit, complete with new rear fuselage, drip tray etc. VERY highly recommended My sincere thanks to Profimodeller for supplying this review kit. To purchase directly, click THIS link.
  8. HpH

    1/32 De Havilland DH.103 Hornet HpH Catalogue# HPH32024R Available from HpH €184,00 Some aircraft are born destined for greatness, revered as classics or even given legend status. Aircraft like the Spitfire, Mustang or Zero are part of their respective nations identities and are celebrated in the mainstream by people with relatively little knowledge of aircraft; others have a cult following amongst enthusiast, celebrated by those more informed on such matters. The De Havilland DH103 Hornet is one such aircraft. Effectively a scaled down Mossie it borrowed much from its larger sibling and as such inherited its flying qualities and improved them further, had the war continued it would have taken the fight to the “Japs” as a long range escort fighter. Looking to repeat the success of the Mosquito De Havilland stuck to their proven formula of using bonded wooden composite and developed it further by incorporating aluminium into the airframe such as with the wing spars. Further innovations came from the experience gained with the Schneider Trophy Racers of the 1930’s and this resulted in possibly the tightest most aerodynamic cowling ever fitted to a Merlin powered airframe. Described by Legendary aviator Captain Eric “Winkle” Brown as a Grand Prix racer for the air, it made a huge impression on him and is at the top of his list of all-time greats, no mean feat when you consider that during his illustrious career he flew and tested almost 500 different types! The Hornet went on to serve the RAF well into the mid 50’s until it was unceremoniously scrapped while serving in Hong Kong due to deterioration accelerated by the Far Eastern climate. Sadly this is probably the chief reason we don’t have a surviving airframe, the nearest we have is an excellent cockpit section currently being reproduced using original parts; you can follow the progress here The Hornet has received its fair share of attention from kit manufacturers, with several excellent if challenging kits being produced in 1/48th by Classic Airframes and Dynavector, a more recent release by Trumpeter received a panning from the critics but is a certainly a much easier prospect to build than the Limited run and Vac form offerings. Now HpH come to our rescue with a 1/32 Hornet family, Jim Hatch recently reviewed their DH Sea Hornet NF.21 and gave it the thumbs up, let’s see how its land based counterpart compares. Don’t let the slim yet sturdy box fool you, this is crammed to capacity with some of the best resin I’ve ever had the pleasure to fondle, it’s so tightly packed that after photographing the parts for the review I seriously struggled to get the lid back on! Inside the box we find that everything is carefully swaddled in bubble wrap and after close inspection everything has survived the trip to the UK from the Czech Republic. All the main parts of the airframe have their own compartments and the smaller components are in ziplock bags, on top is a larger ziplock containing the generously sized decal sheet and wallets containing the photoetched parts, HGW laser cut fabric seat belts and CD containing the instructions. Another small ziplock contains the turned metal components BUT NO BELGIAN CHOCOLATE! FUSELAGE Let’s start with the fuselage, this is split vertically in the conventional way and is a significant chunk of resin which I’m told is reinforced with glass fibre; this makes sense as despite being relatively thin the fuselage halves feel rigid without being brittle. As with any resin kit there will be some cleaning up for you to do but HpH have kept this to a minimum and the casting blocks will require little more than a few passes with a fresh scalpel blade, things like the cockpit aperture or openings for the wings are only flashed over with a wafer of resin so clean up time should be too much of chore. Being of plywood construction surface detail is fairly minimal as on the real aircraft, detail such as the cannon access panels on the belly is represented by fine panel lines and rivet detail which is as crisp as you would get from any current Tamigawa offering. Inside there is no detail to be seen as the cockpit sidewalls are inserted once the fuselage has been joined, HpH have thoughtfully included locating holes but you will have to add your own pins to them from plastic rod. WINGS The wings are again a substantial piece of resin and have a very glossy appearance when compared to the fuselage halves; I believe these are also reinforced with glass fibre which is reassuring considering the weight of the completed model. Split into top and bottom halves they have a thin casting block running around their outside but as the waiter in Monty Pythons meaning of life would say “Its wafer thin”! The upper wings have minimal surface detail, due again to the wooden construction, what is provided is to the same high standard as the fuselage and even features subtle raised detail such as where the engine nacelle meets the wing. The inside of the upper wing incorporates the ducting for the carburettor which should look very realistic once the sliding shutter is added from the etched brass sheet, the ribbing for the landing flaps is also cast onto the inner surface. The lower wings give us a little more to look at as the real aircrafts were constructed of Alclad reinforced by extruded Duralumin stringers to provide ridigity, as such the lower wings feature full rivet detail which is superbly done and far subtler than you would see on a Trumpeter effort for example. They also have the same wafer thin casting block around the edges which no doubt prevents any warping during the casting/curing process and certainly makes the parts more robust for postage. The lower wings also incorporate the roof of the undercarriage bay, this is fully detail with the ribbing structure represented and the recess for the wheel itself, as Jim Hatch observed this will only require some hydraulic lines and wiring to make it utterly life like! The wings build up into one piece with a substantial resin spar running the length of the finished component and are designed to slide into the fuselage in one whole piece. ENGINE NACELLES As I mentioned at the beginning the Hornet featured the most tightly fitting cowling of any Merlin powered aircraft and every effort was made to reduce the front cross section to aid the aerodynamics, as is often the case precise engineering makes for beautiful lines; HpH have replicated this perfectly and have really captured the petite lines of the Hornets nacelles. All the catches and access panels are depicted with subtle rivets and recessed panel line detail. These parts feature more flash than any other part of the kit but this seems to be due to the more complex shape of the nacelles, HpH look to of used various casting blocks (most of which they seem to of removed for us) to ensure the shape is not distorted during the casting/curing process. The inner undercarriage bay is represented by raised ribbing and when mated to the wing will look superb, the rear of the nacelle is solid and has a large locating peg to aid with alignment along with locating holes as such we saw on the fuselage. Moving on to the small components, these are spread over four zip lock bags, for simplicity ill describe the contents of each bag rather than trying to group cockpit parts etc. together. All of the smaller parts are cast on a thin wafer of resin (Mr Creosote would approve) which I’m sure is very useful for HpH when mass producing their kits, admittedly this does add some thickness (not even a millimetre )to the parts but this won’t be an issue and only a few parts will need thinning down. BAG A Bag A is mainly cockpit parts such as the side walls, instrument panel and other structures. The cockpit detail is excellent and well on par with an aftermarket set from someone such as Eduard, a resin instrument panel is supplied which is intended to be used with the coloured photo etch and will look very convincing when complete. Other parts include firewalls for the undercarriage bays, matrix for the radiators, landing flaps, exhausts and a superb set of wheel hubs which must surely be the product of 3D printing?! BAG B Literally a mixed bag here! Let’s start with the control surfaces, the tail fin, rudder, tail plane, and elevators are all here and all are separate for those who like to inject some life into their builds, they all feature full rivet detail and recessed panel lines, some cleaning up will be necessary as they all have casting blocks on their leading edges. We also have the spinners and propeller blades which are superbly thin and free from distortion, just take your time when fitting them as the Special Merlin 130 series engines fitted to the Hornet were handed so both propellers could rotate towards the cockpit. Of note are the tyres which again must be tooled using 3D printing?! The tread detail is so fine and well defined it hurts my eyes if I stare at it too long! A pair of bombs is included, undercarriage doors and under wing pylons. The only casting flaw I have noticed on the whole kit is a very slight short shot on the cockpit floor, this won’t be noticeable in the depths of the cockpit and I’m amazed at the quality HpH have achieved. BAG C Far fewer bits in here, the under carriage legs are worthy of mention as they are cast with an integral metal rod which will be a relief with full resin kit! Same goes for the tail strut. Two pilot seats are provided, one in the style also seen in the DH Vampire the other is the more familiar type seen in Spitfires etc. both are commendably thin. We also have the tail fins for the bombs, ribs for the inner surfaces of the flaps, inner hubs to seat the spinners on and some more cockpit details. BAG D Even fewer parts here! The characteristic Drop tanks of the Hornet are produced as one solid piece and have a large casting block to remove, fear not as it’s attached by only thin web of resin. And lastly the resin wing spar which will be necessary to give the required strength to the model and also help with alignment. CLEAR PARTS As you can probably tell from the photos these are beautifully cast and virtually free of flaws! Care will be needed when removing them from the rather large casting blocks, but once separate they are the equal of any injection moulded effort and any minor imperfections will be invisible once given the Johnsons Clear treatment. Wing tip lights are also included although it’s a shame the gun sight lens isn’t included as it is in the Sea Hornet kit. PHOTO ETCH Eduard has handled the etched here and it’s as good as you would usually expect from them, three frets are supplied, two in traditional old skool brass and one nickel plated pre-painted fret. The brass frets handle most of the external detail and larger parts such as radiator matrix and fins for the rockets. The smaller pre-painted fret handles most of the cockpit detail including the buckles for the seatbelts, instrument panel dials and ancillaries. SEATBELTS HpH have also collaborated with HGW who have produced a Hornet specific set of their excellent micro fibre seatbelts, once combined with the etched buckles these surely must be the most realistic solution to scale seat belts! MASKS A modest set of vinyl masks are provided for the windscreen and canopy, you will have to fill in the the centre of the canopy as the masks only cover the edges, the Hornet Canopy isn’t an especially difficult shape to mask but this is a welcome inclusion all the same. TURNED METAL PARTS With Eduard handling the brass and HGW doing the seatbelts it wouldn’t surprise me to hear that Master had a hand in these parts, they certainly appear to be of the same quality as Masters offerings. The warheads for the rockets are turned aluminium and are perfectly finished and ready to paint, the body of the rockets are produced in brass and even have slits on the ends for the etched tail fins. There are some larger brass tubes but I can’t find them in the instructions so they will be resigned to the spares box. DECALS A single decent sized sheet contains all the national insignia and stencils for the two options provided, to me it’s very reminiscent of Eduard’s own decals that they produce for their kits stencils, hopefully they will perform the same way too. All markings are in register with strong colours and even the smallest of stencils is perfectly readable. Two schemes are provided: INSTRUCTIONS HpH provide a CD that contains the instructions in both JPEG format for ease of printing or PDF/Acrobat if that’s your preferred medium. These are very clear and concise and distinguish between etched and resin parts, both colour options are given in profile and top down views. CONCLUSION We’re big HpH fans here at LSM I think that much is obvious! Their previous releases have all been given the thumbs up by us and it’s clear they are at the top of their game, the fact they can produce resin kits that in many ways exceed injection moulded levels of quality and detail blows my mind! Their Hornet is certainly not for the faint hearted but I think it could still be a good choice for your first resin kit if you already have experience working with the medium and a good few kits under your belt, despite the Size and price of this kit once it’s cleaned up it’s a relatively simple model. I have heard a few grumblings about the shape of the nose and windscreen but I’m struggling to see the issue and feel it captures the delicate lines of the Hornet beautifully. I think this is going to have to jump to the top of my stash; you’ll be able to follow the build on the LSM forum. Definitely highly recommended My sincere thanks to HpH for the review sample. To purchase directly, please click THIS link Ben Summerfield
  9. 1:32 PBY-5A Catalina Cutaway 'Limited Edition' HPH Catalogue # CUT 3201L Available from HPH for 385 Euros The beautiful Catalina needs no presentation… It`s simply one of the most beautiful seaplanes made (alongside with the Walrus… and the Felixstowe… and the Brandenburg W.29). But I found this documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4GiyDOGdpM So as I know that it will be a long review, I will skip the brief intro history… Is the Cat you know!?... HpH already set its place in the modelling market, giving the modeler large scale planes or large planes with a very high level of detail and accuracy. So when I was told that Catalina Cut-away kit was on the way, I start dancing around the table like a little kid! I was delighted with the opportunity to make HpH Cutaway Catalina review. It`s almost like letting me drive a Formula One car ... The HpH is in resin model kits (and multimedia ) as the WNW is for injection kits ! They are the top of the tops! And it is the first full kit CK series from HpH as the He- 111 is an extensive detail set that needs the donor kit. Before taking some pictures, I decided to explore and "dating” a little with this breathtaking model of a beautiful aircraft. When the postman delivery it, despite knowing that the kit was great, I was still surprised at the size of the box. Cracking the box, you can immediately see a full package, very well organized with watertight compartments and all very well protected with bubbles warp. This professional care prevents resin breakdown in transportation. You can shake that does not feel any loose object inside the rattling and knocking – Really… I tried… and I bet the postman also tried. Noted two small boxes at the top left, in which are all the clear parts as well a ziplock bag containing one decal sheet, two masks sheets, seatbelts and deck beds, and a CD which is where you'll find your instruction manual in PDF format. Every single resin bites are in ziplock bags, and all box compartments are stuffed with protective bubble-wrap plastic, and the fuselage halve is wrapped too. Turning a brief attention to those small boxes, all the clear parts are in there but it`s not totally chaos… The smaller ones are in one box and the larger ones in another so there`s a less risk of breaking any pieces. Even though, clear parts are all in the bag, so there`s could be some damage but after a brief look, everything is perfect. We will get to these clear parts later on. Highly professional packing care is demonstrating that the HPH can take care of their products and please their customers. Kudos to HpH. The number of parts is huge and actually tried to make an effort to count them all, even the repeated as happens in photogravure but I give up… more than 500 for sure. And the modeler is presented with parts for all tastes: fiberglass, resin, metal and turned! Only lacks the injection plastic and thanks God, vacuform. There is actually not a weekend project… No even a two month project, at least for me. Just check out all the pieces in display on the first pages of the instructions. This model is quite unique in several things and one thing is the fuselage paint job. It can`t be made in the traditional way because the entire interior is "outside" ... I personally think that I will start working the fuselage and the wing first (painting the camouflage) then the engine and only after I will go to the inside. In an overall look of the resins parts, which looks fantastic I notice that the HpH casting technique is quite different from all the other resins kits I have had the pleasure to review and work on. The HpH casting technique is based in sheet casting method, one you don`t usually see in other good resin manufactures, like Brach Model or Plusmodel. It`s quite easy to clean as you don`t have resin block to remove. It`s seems that HpH use a two side molds (like injections models) for casting, giving to the parts a different look, almost a vacuform look because you will have to remove an entire resin fine sheet all around the parts. I think that´s why the wheels are in two halves, when, personally I would prefer a single casting piece. The method is not used in all pieces, like the engine nacelles or the wings. So I really can`t understand the HpH option for the wheels. Don`t get me wrong, they looks fabulous, with perfect detail and casting… Just look. Checking the HpH last release (Sea Hornet) the wheels are full cast with resin block… I do hope when building this one, HpH proves me that my fears on these wheels are unfounded. The model is quite big and highly complex, so I decided to start this review for the fuselage and external parts, like central wing, engine, rudder, elevator and clear parts. Then I going to the inside detail. After all that, going to view the decals, mask and HGW detail set (seatbelts and deck chairs). Well in fact I already start with the wheels. So bear with me, as I`m about to go little deep on the most complex model kit I ever have seen. Starting from the outside and the fuselage in concrete: Being a cutaway model, only have a part of the fuselage, and the right of the plane, leaving the left side of the fuselage airplane with full display. It's a long piece of fiberglass with very light gray color with spectacular Catalina profile. Just look at it and you can identify immediately the Cat in its entire splendor. All panels and rivets are present smoothly presenting all metal airframe with much reliability. Surface detail is quite excellent, with the high standard of riveting, raised paneling and access port scribing. Really impressive. The fuselage does have some minor and not relevant scratches in this coating which are simply removed with micromesh. In my fuselage there´s a downside. As can be seen on the cockpit wall, just where the fit with the transparent piece something has been broken there… a bit of fuselage, as you can see from the inside. I do not know what happened but the repair, while not easy because of the fuselage detail (rivet and panels), is possible with a little effort. Meanwhile I just sent an email to HpH, and a replacement part is on the way. Just perfect. Another thing that the modeler must be aware is that, Another thing that the modeler must be aware is that, unlike the usual, you only got one fuselage side. So the fiberglass edge from the fuselage is a little rough, so some sandpaper would do the job and give a less rude, soft and pleasant edge, like it has been cut by a laser beam. Inside the fuselage there`s no details ostensibly. The detail remains with pre-scribed lines to use as guidelines to all ribs and longitudinal strips. This is very important because you will need to add the stringer detail yourself. These pre-scribed lines are essentials to achieve the goal and to start raising the ultimate inside detail. Every single ribs will need to be cut off at the desirable size… You just need to measure every single space on the fuselage to cut the rib at the correct size. The ribs are very well cast, with subtle details. The longitudinal ribs are given in full size, so you don`t need to cut… just trim with careful. Hopefully, I think, for what I see that there`s some spare but not much. The work will be just tremendous and quite tedious, but that work will pay out your efforts.
  10. Hi Guys, Found myself struggling to find some mojo when Jim urged me to finally finish this piece. Added the rudder control rods. Some washes. Scratches. Et voila! The railbed is from Trumpeter. Resin figure from Warriors. Cheers, Jeroen
  11. Something new by me...
  12. 1:32 de Havilland Sea Hornet NF.21 HpH Catalogue # HPH32024R Available from HpH for €184,00 When we think of de Havilland, perhaps the type which most comes to mind is the Mosquito. The versatile 'Wooden Wonder', whilst being used for just about every conceivable type of mission, also provided the de Havilland team with a wealth of technical information which would later be used to develop their next fighter design; the Hornet. This aircraft took the wooden fighter concept to the very stage, incorporating split landing flaps, laminar flow wing, and a lower wing surface and ailerons which were bonded with an aluminium skin, allowing for greater airframe stresses. The Hornet also had slimline Merlin engines whose propellers rotated in opposite directions, reducing torque, and the need to lean on the stick whilst taking off. A great field of view was afforded to the pilot, due to the cockpit being placed right at the front of the nose. It was envisage from an early stage that the Hornet could be adapted for aircraft carrier use, and as a result, the F.20, NF21 and Pr22 were developed. The types naturally low landing speed made it ideal for carrier-based operations, and the design modifications included folding wings, cropped wing tips, fuselage reinforcement related to the arrestor hook, and hydraulic oleo legs instead of the rubber compression system of the regular Hornet. The night fighter derivative (the subject of the kit) was also fitted with a second cockpit in the mid-rear fuselage, incorporating the tell-tale glass dome on the aircraft's spine. The NF21 also has exhaust dampers and radar equipment. de Havilland Hornet, giving an overall impression of the Naval variant. First flown in 1944, the type entered service in 1946, and continued to serve until 1956, by which time, the jet-age was beginning to pretty much outclass even the fastest piston engine fighters that were available. Eric 'Winkle' Brown conducted the carrier landing tests for the Sea Hornet, and described the type as being one which made the 'deepest impression' on him during his long and illustrious career. A testament to the de Havilland design team, and what was essentially an excellent, robust and even aerobatic fighter aircraft. As modellers, we really are truly spoilt these days. I still have to pinch myself to believe that we are seeing subjects that we never thought would ever emerge in 1/32, such as the B-25, P-61, Me 410, Catalina etc. Along with those subjects that we thought unlikely due to sheer scale, are those which we simply never thought would ever hit the radar of any manufacturer. One of those is the remarkable de Havilland Sea Hornet. Being no regular injection-moulded kit, this isn't one which your average modeller should consider tackling unless that have had experience on a simpler full resin kit before, but what HpH offers here is a unique chance to build this unusual type in large scale, and with detail that is just jaw dropping. I picked up our review sample which at Scale Model World, Telford, back in early November, and managed to take time out with the guys to discuss their work, including the forthcoming 1:32 Focke-Wulf Fw 189 which we will also review here. I also saw their 1:48 Concorde release. Exciting times for us modellers, indeed. Whilst the box for this release takes up quite a reasonable piece of work bench real estate, it's actually quite shallow, being only around a couple of inches in height. Don't let that fool you though. That box is extremely sturdy, and sports an attractive lid label which shows both marking schemes in profile. In order to protect the parts inside the box, compartments have been created which are tailored to fit the fuselage halves and the wing panels. Other compartments contain zip lock bags which are carefully filled with the remainder of the parts. Some bags contain flat sheets of resin parts, whilst others contain the more substantial pieces. One bag contains the clear resin parts. On top of the compartments is a large wallet which holds an instruction manual on CD, some HpH promotional material, THREE frets of photo-etch parts (one colour printed), a sleeve of wire, and also some turned metal parts. There is also a set of laser cut HGW seatbelts included, as well as a single decal sheet and a set of pre-cut masks for the canopies. In all, a very complete package. I do admit that I quite like the CD format for the instructions, but as my MacBook has no optical drive, I have to port the data over to a pen drive, using my wife's laptop. No big deal though.... Oh, did I mention the chocolate? FUSELAGE Firstly, those fuselage halves. These are further protected with a piece of bubble-wrap, and the parts are simply one of the many highlights in this kit. Cast as full length pieces, with a separate fin, the exterior is necessarily spare in detail, with just a few panel lines and port detail present, as well as the belly gun troughs and shell ejection chute holes. This is of course due to the fact the Sea Hornet had a laminated and moulded wooden fuselage. You will need to remove a small number of areas that are webbed over with thin resin. These include the cockpit and wind entry point. There is also a very thin casting block which runs the length of the fuselage. This can actually be removed with a few cuts from a sharp knife, before being sanded back to profile. Clean up time should be minimal. Now, internally is where the fun really is. Whilst the pilot's cockpit is built up entirely from separate parts, the rear cockpit has much of its detail cast into the walls, including avionics units, wiring and structural elements. See for yourself just how great this looks. The avionics units are designed to be fitted with colour photo-etch parts for detail, and of course there is a whole other raft of other internal detail which supplements what you already see. This area is better catered for than most kit small, you can still see this area by looking through the lower entry hatch, which can of course be posed in an open position. There are positions running down the length of the interior into which you can place an alignment pin, meaning that bringing the halves together should be relatively easy, assuming that prepared the facing edges first. WINGS Lower wing panels These are cast as traditional upper and lower plates, with a narrow casting block which runs down the leading edge of each part. This might sound onerous when it comes to removal, but it really isn't. The position and contact area of the block means that removal should actually be quite a quick affair, and final sanding can be completed when the upper and lower panels are joined together. Upper wing panels incorporate the rear section of the engine nacelle fairing, and the leading edge intake channels are also neatly cast. Again, through necessity, upper wing surface detail is very restrained, being composed of wood on the original aircraft. Panel lines are finely scribed, and some rivet/fastener detail is present, especially around the leading edge. Flip the panel over and you will see a partial rendering of the inner landing flap area. This will be further enhanced by the addition of rib detail parts. Wheel bay roof detail is also finely cast, and together with the separate walls and ancillary parts, these will be extremely detailed once built up. Maybe just a little extra wiring in there, but even that isn't really needed. Upper wing panels The wing undersides are a little more detailed due to the aluminium that was used to clad the timber. You'll see more in the way of rivets and panel lines. Notice the resin webs which fair over the nacelle/wheel bay openings. Of course, these will need to be trimmed away, and are only here as an aid to casting, and to supply a little extra strength whilst in the box. Each wing panel also has a series of positions within, into which the wing spar will fit. This provides necessary wing strength, and a means to align the wings when assembled to the model. Now, onto the zip-lock wallets of resin parts. These seem to have been packed so that specific areas of the model are kept together, making them generally easier to find. Remember that this is a model which contains several hundred parts, so anything HpH can do to assist the modeller in finding the part they want, is most definitely welcome. PACKET 1 A number of resin parts are cast onto thin wafers, and these will simply need cutting from the wafer, and the rear of the part grinding away by a tiny fraction of a millimetre. In most cases, I suspect you won't need to bother, and you can make the junction as which the part needs to fit, a little wider. This wallet holds a total of EIGHT delicate wafers, between them containing over EIGHTY parts. Generally, it looks like all parts included here are for both cockpits, including multi-part instrument panel, consoles, avionics, detailed bulkheads, pilot seat parts etc. Detail is quite remarkable, and you very much feel that there really isn't anything to add. Now, I did say that most parts here were generally for the cockpit. There are in fact three wafers with a low parts count that are for internal wing radiators, exhaust stub bases and the split landing flaps. You might have thought that these would have been PE creations, but no. These parts are actually extremely fine and I consider a better alternative. PACKET 2 Quite a large bag, and a heavy one too. There are two other wafers in here, and these contain the spinners, spinner mounting blocks, bulb nose, centrally mounted wing spar and also wonderfully detailed wheel hubs. You will have to drill the central shaft-mounting hole into the rear of the spinner though. I'm afraid that's a quirk of design, but the plus side is that there's no real casting block to remove. Propeller blades are cast onto their own individual blocks, but be careful, as these are handed, depending on whether they are to fit to the port or starboard engine. There is no tool provided which allows you to set the same pitch per blade. You will need to come up with your only solution for this. If the weight of a resin model causes concern, then don't worry about it. Here, you will find the sharply detailed main gear struts, complete with their locking lugs. You'll just need to drill these out. The strength of the undercarriage legs comes from a steel rod inserted into them during the casting process. Thin resin walls connect these to the casting blocks, as with the main wheels themselves. I don't know how HpH produce their masters (hi-res 3D printing?), but the tread on the wheels is probably the very best I've seen on resin wheels. They also have a flat on them that connects them to the block, proper. A steel wire also reinforces the tail wheel strut and an anti-skid tail wheel will just need a little more work to remove it from its block. Other parts in this bag include detailed main gear doors, instrument panel shroud, undercarriage actuator struts, fuel tanks, super-detailed cockpit floor, and bomb mounting pylons. It's very obvious that HpH have done their very best to make sure that there is as little resin to cut through and clean up as possible, when it comes to utilising each part. PACKET 3 All control surfaces are cast as separate entities here, with only a thin resin wall holding them to their respective casting blocks. All end facing connecting points are cast with 'drilled' ends, allowing the modeller to easily pin these to the models. All flying and control surfaces here have finely engraved panel lines and riveting. External fuel tank mounting pylons, found here also, exhibit the same refined levels of detail. My fin has a couple of small holes that need fixing. They look like there is a hollow space within the rear of the fin, but can't see a reason for it. PACKET 4 There are two identical casting blocks here which contain the detailed inner walls for the wheel well bays, and also a single one containing the forward gear mounding wheel well bulkheads, rear cockpit bulkheads and also the rear crew access door. A little resin will need to be removed from flashed over areas. Two smaller casting blocks contain some rear cockpit parts, as well as the arrestor hook assembly. Lastly, the exhaust flame damping shrouds are included here. These last parts are very thin, and you will need to open up the gas ejector ports. \ PACKET 5 Only four pieces here, but pretty important; the engine/gear nacelles. There is the smallest hint of a warp on one of mine, but these are so thinly cast that it will be so easy to pull everything back into alignment. The solid, inner rear of the nacelle incorporates a pin and socket that provides initial alignment. From here, everything should be easy to pull into place. Again, some resin webs to remove; namely for the exhaust and the bay opening. As will most large parts here, there is a little minor flash to remove. A minor casting block exists around the spinner area, connected via a thin resin wall. Detail both internally and externally is very good, being both subtle and attractive. PACKET 6 If you thought the resin parts were petering out at this point, then think again. This smaller bag is just jammed with the stuff. In here we have the majority of the smaller detail parts, such as landing flap inner ribs, resin connecting pins for main assemblies, fishtail exhausts with the most amazingly thin walls and deep openings, to name but a few. You can see from the photo just exactly what's in here. Hollow exhaust manifold Bombs are included, with a fin section that is separate (and very thin), as well as other small cockpit detail. If you can think of any small parts, the chances are they will be included here. Casting is great. PACKET 7 A small packet containing two identical casting blocks that hold some of the longer and thinner parts of the Sea Hornet. Protective walls have been added to the ends of the block to help prevent any breakage to the thin, vulnerable parts. PACKET 8 If there is just one thing I don't like in HpH kits, it the packing of multiple clear resin parts into a single bag. I don't suppose it really causes an issue, but I'm quite funny about it, in case of any damage that could be caused. HpH are the kings of crystal clear resin casting, and these parts are virtually optically perfect. They look as good as some of the best injection parts you'll see. There are some incredibly minor imperfections in places, but you need to look for them. Even those will disappear in a quick bath of Klear. Quite remarkable. Parts exist for the canopies, of course, as well as gun sight, wing lights and crew entry window on rear access door. Casting blocks tend to be large, but connected via thin walls. Be very careful with these parts.... The first thing I'll do here is to pack these parts into separate bags! RESIN SUMMARY I don't think I've noticed any more than a dozen bubbles in the whole kit. And those are below the surface, with no breakthrough. There are those couple of unexplained holes on the fin, but they will be easy to fill. HpH casting really is excellent, and the thoughtful placement of casting blocks will mean a pleasurable build. Some resin exhibits a little mould release agent, so ensure you wash everything with mild detergent before you start to work. PHOTO ETCH There are THREE frets supplied in this release, with one of them being printed in colour. All are made by Eduard, so you know that these are about as good as you are likely to find when it comes to production standards and fit. That colour fret contains all of the instrument panel sections that are printed with the instruments. It's not too obvious with the instructions, but you actually have a choice with the instrument panel. You can either use the resin rear parts and add the colour printed, laminate fascia/instrument ensemble, or you can use the colour instruments with the resin fascia and mix things up yourself. There are also other colour printed avionics units to be found here, as well as various levers and switches, plus the seatbelt buckles for the HGW seatbelts. The other two bare brass frets are sure designed for those who like to work with PE. There's no shortage here whatsoever. You will find numerous cockpit parts here, such as various avionics frames, rudder pedal swing brackets, and details for ammunition drums, to name but a few, but the majority of parts aren't connected with the crew positions. Instead, you'll find such parts as flanges, optional wing radiator meshes (if the moulded detail doesn't cut it for you), radiator vents, gear door actuators, landing flap parts, bomb sway shackles, rocket clasps etc. Production is by Eduard, and there is nothing at all to criticise here. SEATBELTS If you've never seen or heard of HGW's amazing textile seatbelts, you really ought to read some of the reviews we have on this website. They are printed onto a textile sheet, and are laser cut. They are about as photo-realistic as you can hope to get, and they can also be weathered with oils and enamels. This set is specifically designed for this kit, and they are simplicity itself to assemble. I consider the inclusion of to be a real bonus. MASKS A small sheet of sharply cut vinyl masks will provide all you need to mask off the main canopy and the edge of the rear glass dome. You will need to fill in any open spaces for the main hood and dome with pieces of masking tape, or scrap material from the included mask sheet. TURNED METAL PARTS Have you seen those amazing rocket sets for the 1:24 Hawker Typhoon, from Master Model? Well, these are the equivalent in 1:32! A small wallet contains some beautifully turned and smooth rocket heads, separate rocket bodies with a cross machined into the base (for fin insertion), turned and hollow pitot, and some (as yet) unidentified shorter lengths of brass tube. DECALS A single, large decal sheet is included, containing markings for TWO schemes. I think the sheet is locally made, but looks excellent. Decals are thin, have minimal carrier film, solid and authentic colour, and are in perfect register. They feel of them is very reminiscent of the best Cartograf that I am used to seeing. A full set of stencils is also included. The two schemes are: DH Sea Hornet NF.21, second prototype, PX239, Farnborough, 1947 – 1948 DH Sea Hornet NF.21, VZ672, 809 Squadron FAA, HMS Vengeance, 1951 Instructions As I have already said, these are CD-based, and you'll need to dump the images (JPG) to your computer. There is no Acrobat version this time, which is a shame. Instructions are clear, and look simple to follow for the most part. I found that actually looking at the parts in conjunction with the images does tend to help with any ambiguity, so if in doubt....don't just try to understand the images! Colour call outs are given throughout for regular paint colours. You'll need to do a little referencing in order to ascertain exact interior colours, but as no machines exist any longer, who's going to argue with your choice? Both colour schemes are presented here, showing each machine in various profile forms. Decal placement and colour scheme are easy to follow. Conclusion This kit just screams out to be built, and I will do just that as soon as current magazine commitments are completed. HpH design their kits with maximum buildability and maximum detail, and make the whole process look very simple. However, this is no kit for a beginner. You really need to be au fait with resin and have some experience of whole-resin kits under your belt before you attempt anything like this. I adore the de Havilland wooden fighters, and to see this kitted in my preferred scale is a dream come true. These kits, for me, are an event, and no just another project. All I can say about this is that it's...... EXTREMELY highly recommended! My sincere thanks to HpH for the review sample. To purchase directly, please click THIS link. James H
  13. Hi all, Not much spare time for modeling, but enough inspiration to start this project. It's the recently released and reviewed manned V-1 by HPH models. Full resin kit, packed with goodies which will be placed on the 1/35 Trumpeter flatbed railway gondola. The gondola is built and ready for paint. The jig that will hold the Re 4a in place will be scratched. I found a pdf of the v1 manual showing me what i need to do so. Here goes..
  14. 1:32 Fi 103 Reichenberg Re 4a and Kugisho OHKA Model 11 HPH Catalogue # HPH32033R Available from HPH for €115 The subject(s): An unexpected release by HPH for sure. I for one didn’t see these coming. The Reichenberg has been released by Bronco some years ago. Both in 1 seater version as in the two seat trainer version. But! In scale 1/35. This is great when you’re an armour modeler that wants to incorporate the Reichenberg in a diorama, but not when you’re displaying it amongst other 1/32 aviation subjects. Having built this kit I can say it lacks some detail. Most apparent simplifications are the engine and cockpit. The Ohka on the other hand has not been produced in Injection Moulded version, but is available in resin by two brands. One by OzMolds and one by Lone Star Models. So… were these new HPH releases „needed’’? Yes, and trust me… they are in a whole different league. Here we go! History of the Reichenberg: With the hit and miss successes of the unmanned V1 the need to strike the allies in the heart was getting more and more apparent. While Hitler kept his hopes on the 3 x 1000 bomber project (a bomber that could basically bomb New York), some forces in the Luftwaffe placed their bets on Selbstopfer (suicide) concepts. The Me328 was offered as first candidate for this purpose. Famous Luftwaffe testpilot Hanna Reitsch was one of the leading authorities within this concept. As a matter of fact she was the one trying to sell the concept to Hitler. He however quickly dismissed the idea of german pilots plummeting to their deaths by calling it un-german. He stressed his firm belief in the 3 x 1000 bomber. Perhaps when the concept wasn’t named Selbstopfer, Hitler might have approved. After all, the pilot of these planes were never meant to stay in the cockpit until detonation. They were supposed to bail out after lining the plane up with the target. The project was however able to proceed under strict order by Hitler to not be deployed after his very own instruction to do so. He approved a special suicide unit to be formed under the name: Leonidas unit. Named after kind Leonidas who stood his ground against the Persians. How appropriate! This unit became part of unit II/KG200. A unit that was known for flying secret missions. Jamming radars. And dropping spies in enemy territory. A couple of factories produced the Reichenberg. Including one factory that was based inside a mountain, keeping it safe from allied bomb-runs. There’s even a movie (cinematic) on Youtube showing Hanna Reitsch taking the Reichenberg for a ‚test-drive’. In august 1944 the first Reichenberg Re-1 was ready for testing. It had no engine and was purely tested in gliding mode. These test proved successful. Reason for Hanna Reitsch to come over and watch some rocket powered tests with here own eyes. On this occasion the Reichenberg lost control and crashed. Another two tests resulted in crashes too. This didn’t stop the Germans from building 200 examples and erecting a squadron with 50 pilots undergoing instruction and training. Hanna Reitsch personally took partial responsibility for the training. Until the was injured during a bombing raid. Numerous ideas were exploited and research for possibilities with a manned V1. An armed interception version. A version with a 38cm grenade in the nose to penetrate a Ship deck. At the end of the war American soldiers stumbled on a factory with no less than 54 single seated Reichenbergs, a couple of two seat trainers and 700 unmanned V1’s… The last test flight of the Reichenberg took place on the 5th of March 1945 with a Re-3. After several fairly successful powered flights, this flight ended with the wings breaking from the plane, taking the pilot into a 90 degree dive into a lake. It proved very difficult for a pilot the exit the extremely fast flying projectile, and even if he managed, there was the risk of ending in the ram air intake of the engine. About 12 Reichenbergs were captured and saved from the scrapyard. A couple of them are on display today and some in storage. Here is a list of the ones’ on display: Flying Heritage Collection, Everett, Washington Canadian War Museum, (under restoration 2009). Lashenden Air Warfare Museum, Headcorn, Kent La Coupole, Saint-Omer, France. Stinson Air Field, San Antonio, Tx, USA. It’s a misconception that existing V1’s were altered to manned Reichenbergs. About only 20% of the parts are the same as on the unmanned V1. In other words: Check your references based on manned V1’s History of the Ohka: Unlike the germans the japanese had a little bit less trouble with sacrificing life in order to protect their country. The word ‚Ohka’ meaning Cherry Blossom and ‚Kamikaze’ meaning Godly Wind shows they even romanticized the act. An honorly dead. The pilots of these planes were called Jinrai Butai, or Thunder God Corps. The americans dubbed this plane ‚Baka’, which means ‚Fool’ in japanese. Quite a different approach to the concept. The Ohka was meant to be carried the distance by a large bomber (like the Betty) and to be deployed when the target was in reach. Quite like the way the German Me328 was to be deployed by a He111. When the target was in reach the pilot would fire the three solid fuel rockets and…. aim. Unlike the German efforts made in testing and getting this plane in action, the japanese managed to inflict some serious damage to american ships. And this is exactly what this plane was designed for. Anti ship warfare. The USS Mannert L. Abele was the first Allied ship to be sunk by Ohka aircraft, near Okinawa on 12 April 1945. In the end three american ships were sunk and three badly damaged… The fact that the americans quickly realized a protective rind of defensive fire was the answer to these attacks and protect their carriers is reason the Ohka attacks had little or no real significance. The only operational model was the model 11. The model that is featured in this kit. In total 852 Ohka’s were built and like the Reichenberg roughly 12 examples survived. They are on display in the United States, UK, Japan and one in India, New Delhi. An interesting video of the capture of an Ohka can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zR85s6pOMto In february 2014 the Fleet Air Arm Museum in the UK announced they will start restoration on their Ohka which has been hanging from their ceiling for 30 years. During this restoration the original paint and technical stenciling have been found under a thick layer of paint. The restoration is estimated to take over a year. A list of all the surviving examples can be seen here: http://www.abpic.co.uk/search.php?q=Yokosuka%20MXY-7%20Ohka&u=type A comparison between the two: Length: Reichenberg: 8 meters Ohka: 6,06 meters Wingspan: Reichenberg: 5,72 meters Ohka: 5,12 meters Weight: Reichenberg: 2250 kg Ohka: 1200 kg Speed: Reichenberg: 650 km/h (level) 800 km/h (dive) Ohka: 650km/h (level) 804 km/h (dive) Range: Reichenberg: 330 km Ohka: 37 km As you can see the two had quite similar performance, except for the range. The Ohka being a parasite type (leeching on the wing of a large bomber until within reach of the target) it did not need a large range. What’s in the box?: When you open the box the first thing I noticed is how tightly packed all the resin is. Well wrapped in plastic and air cushions and the resin divided by compartments. Transparant resin for the canopies. Traditional yellow resin for all the parts. HGW seat belts. (Coloured) photo etch. Metal nozzles / exhaust pipes. A CD rom containing the instructions. Canopy masks and decals. Very complete. All you need. The fuselage halves are hand coded with a number. A sign this is indeed a limited offering and kind of gives you the feeling you’ve got something special in your hands. The decals are minimal. Only a small piece of decal paper contain all the decals needed for both planes. The Reichenberg did not usually carry any unit markings and the Ohka only had minimal markings. A cherry blossom (after it’s name) and some stenciling. The HGW seat belts are of their late type. This means they are pre-cut and very detailed. Last but nog least, the kit contains the by now famous cookie HPH includes in all of their boxes. I guess that is to sweeten the deal. The instructions come on a CD-Rom in pdf format. Unlike the Me410 instructions with photographs of the parts during construction, these are drawn. In my opinion this makes for clearer instructions than photographs. Metal exhaust tubes and brass pitot tube. The famous HPH cookie! A small decal sheet. HGW seatbelts. Example page of the instructions. The Reichenberg kit: First of all. Let’s place the HPH 1/32 fuselage alongside the 1/35 Bronco model. The size difference is huge… Apparently the difference between 1/32 and 1/35 is not something to underestimate. Two full length fuselage halves make up the hull. Minimal cleanup here. The crispness of the surface detail is great and will have to be carefully re-sribed after glueing the fuselage halves and sanding away the seam. I reckon this will be the most tricky part of this build. The cockpit of the Reichenberg is a spartan one. A seat, simple instrument panel, basic control stock and limited sidewall details. Checking my reference every detail that needs to be there is there, down to the rivet. Even the exposed sidewall wiring is included in photo etch. The coloured Photo etch instrument panel and the HGW seat belts top it all of. I was not able to find colour indications for painting the cockpit in the instructions. My reference shows the cockpit (and inside of the engine) to be brown / red primer coloured. This goes for the sidewalls and floor. The seat, mid console and instrument panel was mid grey. The other feature that really pleases me is the Ram air intake of the engine. The louvres in the rear of the engine and the honeycomb with fuel injection frame are all included. All of these details are not included in the Bronco kit. The rest of the construction is pretty much straight forward after having tackled the cockpit and engine. All the control surfaces are separate and have delicate photo etch hinges. Control rods are featured too. Again: all of these features are not present on the Bronco kit. I keep repeating the differences between the much cheaper 1/35 Bronco kit, in case you think: I’ll pay less and settle for less. This way you know exactly how much less, less is When looking at the way the resin is casted, I predict cleaning the parts will not prove a big challenge. The fuselage, wings and cockpit part are cleverly casted with as little as possible sanding needed in the most visible areas. The rear of the engine is made from a provided metal tube. I think this part would have been near impossible to make from resin. A feature i love in this resin kit are the locating rods you get for joining the two fuselage halves. Not often seen on resin kits, but very helpful to say the least. Cockpit left sidewall. A great source of reference for the Reichenberg is the magazine: FliegerRevue X (issue 40). It features a 30 page special on the subject, dealing with it’s background, design history and an extensive walk around of a couple of restored examples from Alexander Kuncze. He is known to be an authority on this subject. Actually this magazine is a must have when building this kit. Forward engine part. Main wing. A comparison between the Reichenberg and Ohka wings. Control surfaces. The only downside I can think of with this kit is the single available scheme that is provided. On the other hand, the decals provided of the stenciling can be combined with other colour schemes as well. The Reichenberg usually had no unit markings or swastika. The Ohka kit: As said, two resin offerings have been around for some time, one done by Lone Star models and one by OzMolds. I’ve followed a couple of these builds on forums and decided I’d wait for something better (or less challenging) to come around. To give you an idea: Here’s a link to a review of the OzMolds resin kit: http://www.hyperscale.com/2013/reviews/kits/ozmodsomkit3201reviewbg_1.htm Inside detail of the tail end. Like the Reichenberg the Ohka comes with HGW seat belts, metal exhausts, coloured PE and a great transparant resin canopy complete with masking. The only thing you’ll need to add to this plane is some lead / weights for the nose when placed on the trolley to prevent it from tipping on it’s tail. The instrument panel is made up in the same way as the one in the Reichenberg. This time in thicker resin to give it some more needed thickness in detail in combination with a colored photo etch backing. Add a few small drops of Micro Clear and you’ve got yourself one stunning instrument panel. Left cockpit side wall detail. Cockpit floor, seat, ip, nose cone and locating pins. Bulkheads and mixed Reichenberg / Ohka parts. The Ohka needs a bit more careful clean up than the Reichenberg. The bulkheads and cockpit floor are moulded flat to their casting block. Easy to remove with a micro saw though. The trolley cart (as with the Reichenberg trolley) is also casted in this way. No problem, just a bit more time consuming to clean up. The smaller details that make up the control rods, cockpit hinges, ‚bomb’ sight, etc.. is just amazing. You even get the parts needed for the control linkage arms that can be seen when looking in the rear end! Checking all the details that need to be inside and outside the Ohka, I can only conclude that again HPH have really done their homework. Same as with the Reichenberg I found no colour coding for the cockpit in the instructions. There is a nice walk around to be found here: http://www.largescaleplanes.com/walkaround/wk.php?wid=3 that shows the interior being green. Since this cockpit is missing the instrument panel, it’s hard to say to what extend it is completely authentic. There is also a walk around with the Ohka in orange colours which appears to have a light grey cockpit: http://www.j-aircraft.com/walk/rick_geithmann/mx.htm The trolley is a little different than the one under the Reichenberg. Again: careful cleaning of these parts is needed due to the way they are casted to their blocks. It’s a three wheeled short trolley that holds the Ohka in place with a belt. This is where I guess the needed added nose weight comes in play. If you don’t add this, the whole assembly will pivot on the two main wheels and become a tail sitter. Tail section and control surfaces. The trolleys: Conclusion: Overall I’m blown away (no pun intended) by the detail provided. When I built the Bronco Reichenberg I added a lot of cockpit and surface detail myself. This kit takes a few steps more and adds detail that I didn’t even spot before when going through my references. Both the Reichenberg and the Ohka are subjects that make you think about what humans are capable of. Both in technical sense as in in-humane sense. They were not desperately rushed in production, but tested, fine tuned and planned. A proper representation of the Reichenberg was pretty high on my list, and suddenly here it is, with an Ohka in it’s wake. I’ve started work on the Reichenberg and research on the subject. So far I haven’t been able to find anything to complain about. Except maybe for the fact that both planes only come with one marking option. But, as said, this is not a problem, since both almost only carried stenciling. Very highly recommended Our sincere thanks to HPH for this review sample. To purchase directly, click THIS link. Please let these guys know where you saw this review. And my personal thanks to James Hatch for the superb photo's Jeroen Peters PS. Photographs of the photo etch will follow shortly as they are en route to LSM.
  15. 1:32 Letov LF-107 Luňák HPH Catalogue # HPH32031R Available from HPH for €60.00 The Luňák first took to the air in 1948, designed by a number of key, prolific Czech aircraft designers. It has the title of being the first ever glider to utilise laminar wing technology, put to great use in WW2 by the North American P-51D Mustang. Construction was generally of metal, with a later version being constructed of wood. Aerobatic performance was exceptional, and the type notably caught the eye of many aviation enthusiasts of the time. The late 1940's were a tense time in Eastern Europe, and the Soviet Union was increasing its grip over a number of countries. The facilities where the Luňák was being produced was taken over for military aircraft production, notably MiG fighter planes. A total of 75 of the Luňák were produced, with only 9 surviving to this day. Perhaps if you are a builder of military model aircraft, as I am, your eyes will also be opened by this cute release. Normally, I model WW1 or WW2 Luftwaffe subjects, so when HPH sent this to us, along with their Me 410 kit, it was an opportunity to take a look at something I would possibly never have looked twice at. That would have been a crying shame. We know HPH are more commonly known for military aircraft themselves, but they do produce a range of civilian/quasi-civilian types, and today, I'm pleased to be able to bring you our review of the LF-107 Luňák. This release is packaged into a relatively small, but deep and sturdy cardboard box, with a forward flap which releases the lid. Inside the box, all smaller resin parts are sealed into zip-lock bags, and overlaid with plenty of bubble-wrap. The fuselage halves are simply wrapped in bubble-wrap. HPH have compartmentalised the interior of the box so nothing rolls around. One of these compartments runs diagonally, from corner to corner, and contains the wing parts. These aren't wrapped, but are still well-protected. As well as the resin, there is a wallet containing a TWO photo etch frets, canopy masks, a decal sheet and a set of printed instructions. This is the first HPH release I've seen without a CD, but as the instructions pages are low in number, I presume it was a better solution to just include the paper version. Last but not least, there is the now standard inclusion of a Belgian chocolate. Mine lasted just long enough to get the package photos. You can ask my wife what happened to it after that! There are around 30 parts of pale, olive green resin which comprise the Luňák, plus a single vac-form part for the canopy. The parts which intrigue me first are the wings. This aircraft had quite a reasonable wingspan, hence the need to pack the wings diagonally so they fit into the box. Overall, the model will have a wingspan of around 45.6cm. These wings are quite narrow and thin, so in order to strengthen them, they have been cast with a full length stainless steel rod within them. This protrudes at the root, to provide you with a locating pin for fixing to the fuselage. A casting block exists along the leading edge of each wing. This slightly encapsulates the extreme forward leading edge point, so please remember this when removing it, and profile the leading edge accordingly. I absolutely love how HPH cast parts such as the fuselage. This is a beautifully thin casting, with a block which needs to removed from the lower joint. External detail is almost non-existent due to the filled and sanded structure of the real thing. A fine wing root fairing can be seen though. Internally, the cockpit walls are a little thicker, with some constructional elements reproduced. A structure exists for you to fasten the instrument panel to. Along the joint between the fuse halves, exist a series of point where you can insert pins to help align the parts together. The vertical fin is a separate part to the fuse, as is the rudder to the fin. All fixed structures are smooth externally. Construction is unusual with this in that the fuselage should be completed and painted, fit together, and then the wings added BEFORE you install the cockpit module. A large casting block contains all of the wing aileron sections (3 per wing), and elevators. Detail is fine, with neat rib and fabric being subtly reproduced. Again, the casting block is joined to the parts via their leading edge, but by a thin wall of resin which will be easy to remove and clean-up. As an aside note, the wing control surfaces don't connect directly to the wing, so no need to pin them. They are instead connected via the photo etch linkages supplied. A drawing in the instructions clearly show the angles at which these surfaces need to be posed. Another casting block contains the horizontal stabiliser, fin, and rudder. Despite the relative simplicity of a glider to a military aircraft, the interior of the Luňák still contains a very respectable amount of detail. A profiled cockpit floor, with separate resin/fabric overlay is connected to a detailed back wall. There isn't a seat in this bird, as the floor is shaped to fit to the pilot. It must've been a pretty uncomfortable ride. Rudder pedals, control yoke and instrument panel are supplied as resin parts, but if you want to use a PE instrument panel, then a two part, colour—printed one is included. A number of other photo etch parts are included for the cockpit, and these include levers, instruments, map case and placards. A full set of colour seatbelts is included too, but these look to be exactly the same as Luftwaffe types. Perhaps the Czechs were using these in the late 1940's. I would perhaps choose to use a replacement laser cut seat belt set from HGW. All resin parts are beautifully produced with no visible flaw. Clean up is an minimal as HPH could get it. Some resin parts are supplied as separate parts in a zip lock wallet, but some others are connected to a thin resin sheet. Other resin parts include the landing wheel. The colour fret is produced by Eduard and is superbly printed. As well as the cockpit parts just mentioned, other parts include those control surface linkages, wing access plates etc. There is a small, bare brass fret which contains wing root reinforcement strips and also a riveted strip that I can't identify on the plan. That cockpit is a vac-form part, but is almost exactly trimmed to size, except for a small section at the front and rear. This makes using a vac-canopy quite easy, and not something to be feared. There is no framing on the canopy, but this is supplied as vinyl parts on the 'mask' sheet. You will of course have to fathom how you will paint this. I think application of the vinyl, and then further masking of the open canopy areas. Clarity is excellent, and what's more, you get TWO canopies, just in case you do screw up! A wooden veneer is supplied for you to laminate the forward landing skid, as per the real plane. That's a nice touch. Just try to induce a subtle curve into it before use, possibly by soaking it in boiling water for a short while. A single decal sheet is included, catering to TWO schemes which HPH have supplied for this model. These are: LF-107, Prague Aero Club, Letňany, 1970-1971 LF-107, Airborne Troops CSLA (Czechoslovak Army), 1950's The decals appear to be an Eduard-produced item, or at least they seem very familiar to me in terms of style of layout and printing etc. Printing is superbly thin and in perfect register. Carrier film is minimal and colour authentic and solid. A small number of airframe stencils are also included. Both schemes are printed in colour on an A4 sheet, with decal placement being easy to follow. Predominantly, the schemes are yellow, but both very attractive. Another sheet contains the instructions for this kit, in line drawn format, with easy to identify parts ID. The sequences only take up less than 2 sides of one A4 sheet, and look very easy to follow, with both resin and PE parts clearly identifiable. Conclusion This really is a simple model to build, as the instructions clearly show. Nothing here should be taxing to the modeller, and I may even venture as far as to say that this would be a perfect introduction for a modeller who wanted to try their hand at a full resin model. Please don't think that that means that there is compromise here. There isn't. This is a beautiful and detailed model kit with superbly refined detail. The price isn't a killer either. If you're thinking of dipping your toe into the resin model world, look no further! Very highly recommended James H My sincere thanks to HPH Models for this review sample. To purchase directly, click THIS link.
  16. 1:32 Messerschmitt Me 410A-1 HPH Catalogue # HPH32023R Available from HPH for €196.00 The Me 410 had a sort of ignominious history. By the outbreak of World War 2, the Bf 110 was already a little long in the tooth, and after the success of Blitzkrieg in Poland and the Low Countries, the limitations of its design had become painfully apparent during the Battle of Britain, when losses for the type had become quite severe. The Germans, never ones to let the grass grow under their feet, had already started to design the successor to the Bf 110, and this, the Me 210, first flew around the start of WW2. In an unprecedented show of faith, the RLM granted Messerschmitt to put this machine into full production, despite it not having being proven in both performance and handling trials. What was worse, the Me 210 had a number of design flaws which were literally to prove fatal to some of the crews that flew it. The favour in which Willy Messerschmitt was held, had now been proven to be acutely embarrassing to both the RLM and the Messerschmitt company itself. Whilst the Me 210 did see service in a small number of variants, it's successor, the Me 410, was already coming on-stream, with a number of existing Me 210's being recalled and updated. A number of Hungarian produced machines, designated Me 410Ca-1 entered service with the Luftwaffe, and they were relatively well-received. The Me 410 had uprated engines, as well as an extended fuselage which helped with handling characteristics. Other changes included automatic leading edge slats and outboard forward wing sweep. The new aircraft was designated Me 410 in order to disassociate it from the rather abortive Me 210 programme. This new aircraft was nicknamed 'Hornisse', or 'Hornet'. Carrying an internal bomb bay within the nose, and packing serious forward facing firepower of two MG17 machine guns and two MG151 cannon, these were also supplemented by a further two MG131 machine guns installed into rear-facing barbettes and controlled remotely by the rear gunner/radio operator. Without a doubt, the Me 410 design was actually quite versatile, with a number of versions spawned which carried heavy guns within the forward bomb bay. The type was also capable of carrying multiple WGr.21 rockets underneath its wings. Despite the relative success of the Me 410, and a promising development program ahead of it, production was cancelled in favour of the Me 109G, and even more ironically, the Bf 110G design which was finding a renewed success as a night fighter. Total production run of the Me 410 stretched to around 1200 machines. The Me 410 is almost identical in size to the Bf 110, but the box in which HPH have released this new multimedia kit will surely make you think otherwise. In comparison with the Dragon Bf 110 box, this one is a little understated. Yes, it's got quite a reasonable upper surface size, but it is also quite shallow. Don't let that fool you though. This is one cleverly packaged kit, and one that is simply choc-full of resin, photo etch and turned metal parts. Two schemes are available 'out of box' and both of these are shown in profile on the lid. We'll look at those schemes towards the end of this article. Open that lid and you'll see probably one of the best-packaged kits on the market. That is perhaps with the exception of the clear parts. No biggie, but again, I'll come to that shortly. The inside of this large box is compartmented specifically to cater to the various larger assemblies primarily, with a number of other compartments set aside for mass bagging of the many other smaller parts. All resin parts are packed into a number of zip lock bags with the larger parts being wrapped in layers of bubble-wrap. Peeling back the initial layers of bubble-wrap, the first thing we come across is a wallet containing a large decal sheet, HGW laser-cut seatbelt set, two wallets containing photo etch parts, an instruction manual on CD, some HPH leaflets, a bag of turned metal parts, vinyl masks, and last but not least.....a rather tasty Belgian chocolate. The latter might be a gimmick, but so what! My wife certainly enjoys these, and it didn't last long once the kit was opened! We'll look at the fuselage halves first. You really must see past the rather jaggy resin edges, as these of course need to be carefully ground away in the clean-up phase. Look across the surface of the parts. You'll see the most refined panel lines, and the some superbly refined raised detail. Port and access panel detail is sharply scribed, and the whole exterior exhibits some rather fine riveting. I feel this is pitched correctly, with a quite subtle appearance that is lacking in most injection moulded plastic kits. Internally, the detail is every bit as good, with clean stringer and other constructional elements. Cockpit and gunner side-wall detail is excellent, with cutaways included in that detail into which the various assemblies fit. My test fit shows that these parts perfectly align. That internal detail also includes the tail wheel area. Bulkheads will be installed here, along with a highly detailed tail wheel strut, reinforced with a steel pin. If you wish to install the detail for the forward bomb/gun bay, then you will need to remove the doors which are cast in a closed position. Replacement doors are supplied for posing them 'open', so don't worry about saving the removed resin. If you don't want to pose them open, the fuselage still has a very good level of cast detail in situ in this area, which of course can be seen through the glazed nose of the Hornisse. HPH have cast the fuselage beautifully thin, and very lightweight. Whilst the resin has a lot of inherent strength, just be cautious when you're removing the waste material before construction. You'll notice the tail fin is a separate part. This approach is good as it means that this isn't cast with a thin fin which could be warped and difficult to align properly. The resin fin itself is a single piece, with a separate rudder. A little clean up of this area and the excess resin at the rearmost tail/fuse area, will be needed. It's clear to see what needs to be removed. My parts have numbers written on them internally. For me, it's #133. I presume this is the 133rd kit to be produced. Who knows? Apart from some excess resin at the tail, and a small stub on the nose, there's no sign of any casting block. Once you've cleaned up the mating surfaces, you'll need to remove the webs from the cockpit area, barbette, wing area etc. With this kit, there's no fumbling with wing dihedral and trying to ensure that port and starboard are aligned equally. The lower wing is a full span part, which in itself is a serious feat of resin casting. There is a full length casting block that will need removing from the front edge of this part. Thankfully, the connection to the part is quite thin, and shouldn't be too difficult to remove and quickly profile the leading edge. Some other areas will also require cutting out, such as radiator, undercarriage, and aileron filler resin webs. Again, no big shakes, and will be quite simple to perform. Detail on this part, and on the upper wing panels is excellent, with the same standard of fine panel lining, access panels, raised detail and subtle riveting. Looking at the underside of the upper wing panels, you'll see some wheel bay detail. This will be surrounded by a rib and spar box to complete the area. The forward spar extends into the wing center section, which then glue together to give extra lateral strength. You'll notice that the engine/undercarriage nacelles aren't cast along with the lower wing. These are separate units, and they align perfectly with the finely scribed guide lines on the lower panels. These are cast with the lower main gear doors closed, as many period images do show them closed while on the ground. If you do wish to saw the rear covers off the nacelle, and pose them open (as they are on the machine at RAF Cosford), then you'll have the added benefit of seeing the wing internal detail. As with most resin kits of this ilk, there aren't any engines supplied in this kit. Instead, there are two upper forward engine cowls which fit directly to the lower nacelle, and into these fit plates which hold the engine exhaust manifolds, which are suitably hollow ended These upper cowls are also 'handed', as are the nacelles, meaning that they have to fit the correct side of the machine. These parts are marked with an L and R internally. Also identified with the same key is a forward internal cowl insert into which you'll plug the pins onto which you'll hang the propeller/spinner assembly. That insert, which is suitable tapered and fits perfectly, also has an arrow pointing upwards, for better clarity. The spinner is cast as a single piece, with holes to take the separate prop blades. HPH seem to have got the shape of these parts just right. You will need to put your own hole into the rear of the spinner, and a jig is provided to help you do this. You will have noticed that I said the ailerons are separate parts to the wings. This is the same of the landing flaps and also the rear radiator plates/airbrakes at the trailing edge of the wing. Resin and photo etch inserts fit along the trailing edge of the wing in order to blank off any gaps in the airframe, and at the juncture of where landing flaps end, and airbrakes start. Every minute detail is present. When it comes to posing the flying surfaces, this is easy as they are pinned into position, so all you need to do is to use soft copper or brass wire and et voila! The same applies to the rudder and elevators too. Whilst the vertical fin plugs into the upper fuselage via a resin tab, there are steel pins cast into the horizontal stabilisers, and these plug into the pre-determined holes in the rear fuselage. When I say this kit is amazingly detailed, that is probably an understatement. There are a number of large zip-lock wallets in this kit, containing hundreds of resin parts, and some of these larger wallets have a number of small wallets within. These predominantly contain the parts which are cast onto unfeasibly thin resin sheets, so they have less chance of totally breaking apart within the package. Thankfully, HPH do include these parts grouped together as sheets on their parts plan, making it fairly easy to locate the bits you need quite quickly. To remove these parts from the resin sheets usually takes no more than a quick twist of the sheet, and a clean up with a knife. If the sheet is a little thicker in places, and the parts more fragile, then I recommend removing the majority with a knife. The instructions do say that this backing should be sanded off to remove the minor extra thickness. You'll find in most cases that you won't need to do this, or you certainly won't need to remove much material, if you do decide to sand. Now, those big bags of resin. I'll not categorise and describe every single part within this kit, but look at the key areas, and describe the overall detail of the kit. A number of parts are cast on thin sheets, as I've just said. Some of these thin sheets are duplicated, where there is a need for two of each part to be used, such as undercarriage brackets and main gear nacelle interiors. The most crucial, load bearing parts, i.e. the undercarriage struts, are cast with pre-formed metal wires within them. These are extremely rigid, and will more than cater to the job they were designed for. The tail wheel leg has a false fork which only appears to hold the wheel. There is actually a length of wire protruding from the leg which will insert into the wheel itself. Of course, the fork will hide this. A small length of wire will be needed to thread through the fork and wheel too, for effect. Wheels are supplied weighted, and with separate hubs, Detail is generally excellent. I did find the tail wheel hub a little undersize, but that's a quick fix. If you're a detail freak, then the cockpit is seriously going to impress. The pilot's office is based around a tub with consoles containing moulded detail. A set of colour PE is supplied too, and if you want to use this, then you will need to remove the cast detail. Instrument panels and other details within look excellent, and they include instrument bodies to the rear. You'll just need to add a little wiring to these. The pilot seat is supplied with two resin cushions, which although almost hiding the seat detail, will look very good when fitted. Pilot knee pads are cast as a part of the cockpit tub. Side wall detail and that for the sliding rudder control assembly is perfect, with numerous small parts including junction boxes. Between the rudder pedals, a sheet of glass was installed to aid the pilot's downward view when bombs were carried. This part is supplies as a pane of crystal clear resin. HPH have supplied the bomb/gun bay with a full suite of detail, which looks excellent. To display this detail though, you will need to pose the forward bomb bay doors open. These doors are cast closed on the fuselage, so you'll have to take a razor saw to them and remove the resin. Don't worry about saving the doors. Throw them away. HPH have provided a set of extra ones which contain internal detail and the swing brackets. The rear gunner's position is no less well-appointed, with more great side wall detail, compressed gas bottles, foot rest, radio equipment and remote barbette controls. Unlike the pilot area, you will actually need to install some of the coloured photo etch here, as most corresponding parts do not have any cast detail. These include fuse/switch-banks, and the many radio transmit/receive sets. As a note here, these units are cast with wiring looms in place. Internally, there are also fuel tanks and a large number of other smaller detail parts, some of which sit on a thin upper deck which spans the full length of the pilot and gunner positions, but allowing space to fit the many glazings around its circumference. A key feature of the 410 was those remote gun barbettes. Discs of waste resin will need to be removed from the fuselage, and a retainer disc glued in from the fuselage interior. These are drilled to accommodate a pin which will ensure you can actually rotate these guns into any position you require. A two-part barrel/muzzle assembly is supplied for each. Most larger resin parts are supplied in a number of zip-lock bags, and contain some sort of casting block, albeit minimal, and easy to remove. You'll find a good number of parts for which the casting block is already removed, and just a little cleanup is required before assembly. Having these parts together in larger bags has no ill effect on them at all, as the bags are also bound with bubble wrap when inserted in the box. Resin quality is excellent throughout, with only an occasional air bubble being the very worst you'll have to tend to, and those are extremely rare in this kit. All parts are easy to clean up, and no mould release residue is apparent, although I still recommend washing parts in warm soapy water before any paint hits them. Now, my only real bugbear with this kit, and it concerns the clear parts. HPH are masters of producing superbly clear resin, and they are connected to their casting blocks by means of a narrow resin wall. The problem for me is that all clear parts are packaged into the same bag, and that can be a recipe for disaster when it comes to their clarity being damaged with scuffs and scratches. My parts, thankfully, are in perfect condition, and I suggest you package these parts into their own wallets as soon as you get your kit. Framing quality is sharp, and casting beautifully thin. This is a complicated canopy, so take your time. Both pilot and gunner positions can have their sections posed in an open position. Clear resin parts are supplied for the wingtip lights too. You will need to saw the grey resin and replace with these parts. TWO photo etch frets are supplied, produced by Eduard. One is colour printed, whilst the other is in bare brass. The colour fret, as you will imagine, contains all of the various instrumentation panels and consoles. The split IP in the Me 410 is provided as a lower instrument face, and an upper instrument panel. Various levers etc. are supplied on this fret. The bare brass fret is larger, and contains cockpit parts such as rudder pedals etc. and also a large number of other parts, including radiator screens, control surface linkages, undercarriage and bomb/gun bay detail, aerials, aileron mass balances etc. Too many parts to try to determine during the course of this review. I would perhaps thicken up the lower aerial rails and mass balances with a little thinned white glue. There are no pesky colour PE seatbelts in this kit. HPH have included a set of HGW's laser-cut fabric seatbelts, designed specifically for this release. These are colour printed and even have laser-engraved stitching which will look great when a wash is applied. Read SP&R's reviews on these to give you an idea about how to work with them. A small PE fret is included which contains the various clasps and buckles. Assembly is easy, and the end result spectacular. Vinyl masks are included to help you when it comes to covering that complex canopy, prior to airbrushing. There isn't any real shrinkage to be seen, and if the finished model I've seen online is anything to go by, these should fit very well. A bag of turned metal parts is included for MG barrels, blast tubes, and also the under-wing WGr.21 rockets. Production quality is superb, with beautifully milled holes in cooling jackets, and those blast tubes which are pre-profiled to fit into the interior bomb bay. Those rockets are turned aluminium, and will be fitted with a PE exhaust gas collector ring at the rear. Their launch tubes are lengths of aluminium tube. The fit is excellent. Should you not wish to fit rockets, then resin fuel tanks are supplied. Instructions are superb, if not perhaps a little ambiguous in some places. Starting with a photo parts list, and followed with a Gunze paint reference chart, seatbelt and mask instructions, all sections in this are depicted with photographs of the actual model, with notes attached, including reference to any PE parts, where applicable. You will need to be careful with the instructions as occasionally, you will see something fitted which just appears from nowhere. Usually, you will see this being fitted later in the presentation. This is just how these guys have built their test model. Some things such as tail wheel addition are a little ambiguous. You are advised to study these images for many hours, along with the parts, and dry fit before you commit to glue. Unlike normal instructions, these are supplied on a CD. The primary file is a 180mb PDF, but all pages are also supplied as JPG. With a model this size, you are advised to print this manual out, but I warn you, it is FIFTY-TWO pages long! The colour TWO colour schemes are provided in the rear of the manual, in plan and elevation form. Decal placement is easy to follow. The schemes are: Me 410A-1, Erg. Gruppe/KG51 (Jagd), Germany, 1944 Me 410A-1, 5./ZG26, Königsberg, Germany, July 1944 Decals are provided on a single sheet, which look to have been printed by Eduard. It certainly has the appearance of their product, and I've always had good success with them. A full suite of stencils is also supplied, alongside national and unit markings, and the good news is that swastikas ARE included! I don't know if these are snipped out for German sales, or a different sheet is included. Printing is thin, and everything is in perfect register. Carrier film is minimal, and colour reproduction looks solid and authentic. Conclusion Simply put, this is a seriously amazing kit, dripping in enough detail to satisfy the fussiest of us. Kit design and production is also equally as good. I will tell you that this is not a kit for the faint-hearted, or someone with no experience of resin kits. It's a complicated kit which requires much understanding of all construction sequences before you even open your glue pot. You will need to measure, and ensure everything aligns perfectly all the way through. Those canopies and glazed nose are a certain width, so ensure that this is reflected in any part clean up you perform. This isn't a cheap kit, but for the model you get, and the limited nature of it, it represents a very reasonable value for money. If the Me 410 appeals to you, then this is just about the only kit available in 1:32, if you ignore vac-form. Very highly recommended Our sincere thanks to HPH for this review sample. To purchase directly, click THIS link. Please let these guys know where you saw this review. James H.
  17. 1:32 Heinkel He 111P 'Cutaway Kit' Additional Interior Construction kit for Revell model kit HPH Catalogue # 32021 Available from HPH for €118,00 We had a lot of interest in the cutaway concept model with our recent 1:32 Desktop Mustang review, so we thought we'd continue this here today with our review of the HPH 'Cutaway Kit' detail set for the large 1:32 Revell He 111P kit. If the internal, structural aspects of aircraft appeal to you, and you are savvy with resin and photo etch, then this detail set could possibly provide you with the ultimate in internal-appeal when it comes to using a plastic, base kit. I had a sneaking suspicion that this detail set would come in a relatively large box, and when our hard-working postman visited last week, it pretty much confirmed it. HPH like to ensure that their kits reach you in one piece, and as usual, this was wrapped in layers of corrugated cardboard, and numerous layers of black plastic sheeting. The actual box itself is very sturdy too, with a top lifting lid, adorned with a side profile drawing of a cutaway He 111 fuselage. The depiction also indicates that this model can be built in TWO styles. The intended and preferred method is a half model (port side), with a half port wing. You can, if you wish build it in a complete format, as parts are included to detail the interior starboard side too. If you wish to build a full aircraft, then you could produce a cutaway model or a diorama model with combat damage etc. The possibilities are huge, and of course, you are building this for you, so you have to answer to no one if you choose to close it up after construction. Inside the box, the various bags of resin parts are protected by a copious amount of bubble-wrap sheet, and the box has been compartmented so that nothing rattles about. An Eduard-made set of etch, specifically for this release, has been included too, and the instructions are included again, on a CD in digital format. You do have to know at this stage, that you will need to purchase a few other items in order to maximise this release. Even though this set has a fully detailed fuselage bomb bay area, the actual bomb racks suggested for use are Eduard's, so consider purchasing a set to complement the amazing internal structural detail. You will also need some seatbelts. HPH have suggested either the HGW or Eduard releases. Lastly, consider the He 111 exterior set from Eduard too. If you get hungry at the outset of this project, the customary Belgian chocolate inside the box, should help a little. The first thing you will need to do is to absorb the instructions a little. This set certainly isn't designed for a newcomer to resin or super-detailing. You will need to be rather handy with saws, putty and something to remove internally moulded plastic detail before you can start to think about adding anything from this HPH set. This would usually be quite a challenging set to tackle in terms of how to write a review, as this is no ordinary upgrade path, but let's see what we can do in order to assess what's in the box, how it fits, and what quality everything is. Having already reviewed the Catalina, I'm certainly in for high expectations. HPH have thankfully split the large number of resin components in this set into various ziplock wallets. The larger parts tend to be clustered together in order to prevent them knocking chunks out of the smaller, and occasionally, more fragile components. One of the two larger wallets contains major size resin parts. These include the cockpit floor, fuselage bulkheads, flying surface structural components, wheel bay ceilings, as well as a number of the smaller, but more robust parts such as the inner bomb bay wall linings, bomb bay walking gantry, and inner cupola liner. An option exists for the 'mattress', on which the bomb aimer lies. A full length version is included, and also a split part one. The split one doesn't look too much like the full length, so perhaps these were simply different versions instead of rolled out/rolled back parts. Some casting blocks will need to be removed, as will a little resin flash and overcast, and also resin webs which cover over doorways etc. The detail on these large parts befits the importance of them as very major, visual elements of the build. Excellent constructional detail can be seen on the bulkheads, whilst the cockpit floor is very refined, again just needing minimal clean-up. No major defects are present. The occasional excess bit of resin or pin-hole will need to be corrected, but when you consider the number of components and the complexity of this set, then that isn't too bad. This large bag does have a smaller one within, and this contains all the tailplane structural ribs. Heinkel didn't produce these as solid ribs, but as a built-up framework instead, in order to achieve a light structure. These various sections are cast flat onto a backing block. You are going to have to take extreme care in removing these backing blocks, as they are about the same thickness as the part itself, and you'll have a lot of grinding to do. I wish HPH had cast these a little more thinly, but I'm presuming this is done to protect the delicate structures. A slightly smaller ziplock wallet contains a number of smaller parts which are concerned with the cockpit and bomb bay. The pilot seat is a separate part to the side mounting frames and a rather realistic-looking cushion. The control column assembly and transmission assembly are also cast separately, and all parts seem easy to remove from their respective blocks. Four blocks contain what appear to be incendiary bombs, but on my sample, some of these have become detached from the casting blocks, although all are intact and have no damage. One of the other numerous parts in this packet contains a replacement resin gondola. This part is beautifully cast, but does contain a few air bubbles, but thankfully, they remain just under the surface, with no breakthrough. You will need to remove the resin webs from the windows, and even out the upper mating surface. The cushions for this area are cast as separate parts. A small packet within this bag contains the bomb-sight and fire extinguisher for the cockpit. If you've ever seen a HPH kit, you'll know that many parts are actually cast flat, on thin resin sheets. The same applies here, and you'll see this en-masse in the large, last ziplock wallet. There are a number of smaller wallets within this pack, but I'll come to those soon. The He 111P set adds detail from the very front of the cockpit, all the way through the fuselage to the very tail extremities. Because of this, there is a lot of internal constructional detail which needs to be added before you can fit out the interior with the various interior area details. As the instructions show, the very first thing that you need to do is to remove the plastic moulded detail, joint the half-wing centre section (first carefully sawing it in half), and then blank the gaping hole in the wing root with an insert which isn't supplied in this set, and will need to be made by you, using measurements on the plans. Using careful measurement, given in the manual, you need to map out the interior with a soft pencil, so you know where to install the various bulkheads, longerons/stringers, and formers. The longerons and formers are cast onto flat resin sheets, as mentioned. Be careful when installing these, as these come in different sizes which are clearly shown on the instructions. These parts also come in set lengths, so ensure you maximise the usage of these when cutting to length. If you opt to build this model as a half-model study, then you have a little more flexibility, as you have enough resin for both interior sides....and that of course includes the formers. Other flat cast parts include the remaining undercarriage walls (again, enough for port and starboard), fuselage ribs, cockpit walls, rear-facing tail gun and brackets, cockpit parts, radio room and walkway boards. The boards themselves aren't quite flat, so a quick dip in hot water should fix that. Those smaller packets contain a combination of the more fragile flat cast parts, and a small number of individual parts for the bomb bay, radio operator/gunner stations, rudder etc. Again, all parts are superbly cast, and no real flaws are apparent. A little flash exists in some places, but at no detriment to the quality of the parts, all of which are superbly mastered, and sharply cast. With regards to the visible detail on instrumentation within the kit, the various radio sets, instrument panels and consoles etc are cast with blank faces in order that you may add the colour photo etch components, ably made by Eduard. The rear of the main instrument panel is cast with the various protrusions which are the back of each instrument. HPH doesn't show any associated wiring for this area, but you know that it would be correct to add at least a little something to this, as would be the case with the radio sets and other internal wiring looms. Take a look at the Aero Detail book which gives some great info on the interior; compartment by compartment. Of course, the various rear flying surfaces aren't operated by telepathy, and HPH do show where to fit the various wire linkages through the fuselage length. Wire isn't supplied, and I suggest you use thin styrene rod lengths to simulate this. The path of the various control rods is clearly mapped out for you. I have already mentioned that HPH suggests that you can purchase Eduard detail sets to help supplement their own work. With the bomb bay, you can of course use the Revell kit parts, but why would you use something poor in detail when it would let down the rest of the interior? I say you should definitely use the Eduard set, which we reviewed HERE. You'll need to choose a seatbelt option too. However, this set does come with its own specific PE set, again, produced by Eduard, and packed into one of Eduard's own wallets. This set consists of TWO PE frets. The large one is nickel-plated, and the smaller one also colour-printed. What does the included set add to the model? Well, the smaller colour fret is actually a standard Eduard part, and includes all the radio, instrument and console detail you will need, as well as switch banks, and levers. This fret is also self-adhesive. Having used Eduard's S.A. parts before, I know their glue to be pretty strong, so take care when aligning any layered parts. The second fret is rather general, and includes parts for the wheel bays, and all crew compartments within the fuselage. This is a large fret with probably a couple of hundred parts on there, detailing everything from ammunition drums, hydraulics lines, to the smallest cockpit detail. Etch quality really is amazing. How well-appointed are the various crew stations within the He 111? A picture can speak a thousand words, so let HPH's photos of the prototype model show you: Cockpit Bomb Bay Radio Room Rear Fuselage Tail Gun/Tail Undercarriage The only anomaly that I can see at present, but might be corrected as I build, is the dinghy stowage area in the upper fuselage spine. Some of the images of the finished model do actually show this in situ, but the instructions seem to omit its construction and fitting. Indeed, I can actually see the parts for this as I progress through them. It's no biggie, as making this small box-compartment, and stuffing it with thick, folded tin foil to simulate the folded life-preserver, should be very easy. Instructions HPH have included a PDF of their manual on the CD, as well as individual JPG images, should you wish to print out the occasional sheet. I'm a big fan of how these instructions are compiled. Starting with a proper parts plan, you can check off the kit as soon as you get it, and ensure you have no missing parts, and that everything looks as it should. The constructional sequences are in photo-format, and very clear to understand, as are the various sequences where you need to hack and slash the original kit, to prepare it for detailing. The layout of the various formers and stringers is shown throughout the manual, section per section, but I would be inclined to mark all of this out, from the start, when an empty fuselage shell is far easier to get to grips with. Avail yourself of some Swann Morton 15a blades to remove the pre-moulded Revell detail. Throughout the plans, reference is made to where the Eduard-made photo etch needs to be used, and the resin parts placement is very clear if you cross-reference the parts plan given at the beginning of the manual. It may well be advisable to print these sheets and have them with you at the bench. There is no colour referencing throughout construction, but that's no problem. If you are hard-core enough to build this, then it can rightfully be presumed that you at least have your own reference material, or have access to some. Conclusion This is no project for the faint-hearted. You'll need a £40 Revell kit (the cheap bit). You'll need some Eduard stuff to ease the way for best effect, and that won't be cheap. HPH's seatbelts are also a worthy investment. You'll also need to be proficient with a razor saw and resin parts, and finally, you'll need to be able to think about 10 stages ahead in order to ensure that everything works in harmony. If that is no issue to you, then I really do recommend that you take a look at this set. I wish HPH had ventured into the interior of the wing construction, and of course, if you can manage to fit an engine into the mix, then that really would be the ultimate in engineering projects. Some resin parts will need a little intermediate cleaning up, but again, if you undertake such a project, this really will be no problem for you. I've read a few comments from modellers who don't understand this technical approach to this set, but the internet is strewn with folks who feel they need to post about something that doesn't really appeal to them. It's the modern way, apparently. If the engineering aspect of aircraft appeals, or you are a natural voyeur, then this should be right up your straße! It won't be a fight that's easily won, but one that will be very rewarding when complete. Very highly recommended James H Our sincere thanks to HPH for the review sample seen here. To purchase directly, click THIS link.
  18. 1:32 Supermarine Walrus Mk.I HPH Catalogue # Available from HPH for 170€ The Supermarine Walrus, or 'Shagbat', as it became more affectionately known, was designed by Reginald Mitchell, the very same man who designed the infinitely beautiful Spitfire fighter. Designed to satisfy an RAAF request for a reconnaissance/patrol aircraft to operate from cruisers, and was designed to be launched by catapult. The Walrus was an amphibious aircraft, so as well as being catapult launched and winch retrieved, it could also operate from land. Powered by a single Pegasus VI radial engine, swinging a 4 blade propeller in a pusher configuration, the quite agile Walrus carried 2 Vickers MG guns in gunner openings both fore and aft of the cockpit. The Walrus could also carry bombs and depth charges. First becoming operational in 1935, the Walrus was operated by a number of Commonwealth countries as well as Egypt, France, the Soviet Union, and Turkey, and for the UK, primarily with the Fleet Air Arm. The type finally left service in the late 1950's when Argentina retired the handful that they operated. Think of Supermarine, and the image of the iconic Spitfire might come to mind. Yet again, you may well think of those amazing Schneider Trophy winning seaplanes, whose design paved the way to our most prestigious fighter plans design. For me, however, it is the Walrus that is the design which sticks in the forefront of my mind. I was captivated by this aircraft after building the 1:72 Matchbox kit when I was a kid. We recently took a look at perhaps the most major of resin kit designs recently, the HPH 1:32 PBY-5A Catalina, and this sparked an intrigue in me to look at the earlier Walrus kit release. Thankfully HPH delivered this to us in a very reasonable timeframe, in order that we could evaluate this smaller, but for me, far more beautiful flying boat. HPH's Supermarine Walrus is packed into a very sturdy top opening box, with superb colour artwork on the lid which depicts the TWO schemes available within this release. The inner box itself is neatly compartmented with the resin parts packed into various zip-lock bags, and further protected by layers of bubble wrap. The large fuselage halves and wing sections were wrapped in generous lays of bubble wrap too. On top of the various parts, a large ziplock wallet contains a CD with digital instructions, HGW textile seatbelt set, photo etch frets (including colour PE), canopy masks and a decal sheet. HPH have managed to finely cast the fuselage as halves, in their full length, minus the vertical fin which is left off in order for the model to first accommodate its stabilizer. The fuselage halves appear to be very delicate due to how thin they are. But of course, this thinness is necessary to produce a scale interior, which this model indeed has. And I mean a FULL interior! Externally, the Walrus depicts superbly mastered detail, such as delicate rivets and reinforcing doublers. Resin webs and structures are cast over areas which need to be removed, such as the gunner positions, cockpit, hull windows and various other portals. Internally, you will be amazed at the detail cast within. As this model contains a full interior, all the constructional elements within are included. The fuselage has the various longerons and minor vertical structures in situ, and there are a lot of them. The internal frames, however, are separate entities which need to be inserted within the recesses cut within the stringers and longerons. The manual shows these in detail, and where exactly every one of them needs to be inserted. I imagine this will aid the rigidity of the fuselage somewhat. A little of the stringer detail on my sample, is broken away, but this falls squarely in an area which will be covered by the duckboards flooring, so I'm not at all concerned by this. Points exist within the fuselage, into which you attach resin pins. This is to help align the fuselage halves when you glue them together. They act in the same way as the locating pins on an injection moulded kit. No casting blocks as such exist on these parts, and all you'll need to do to prepare them for assembly is to remove the aforementioned webs and a little flash which exists around the edges. On my sample, a little micromesh will be needed to buff out a mark on the external port side. The wings are simply a fantastic exercise in mastering and casting, with the lower wings having integral wheel well bays into which the externally hull-based undercarriage would swing into. Excellent fabric and rib detail is present throughout, with the fabric having just that right amount of pleasing 'sag'. There are also recesses in the lower wing into which bomb both resin and PE mounting racks and brackets can be fitted, although looking at the reference which comes with the kit, the main bomb racks are perhaps an optional feature as the recesses in the wings are the same as the photos of the Walrus which are supplied. The ailerons are cast separately too, and do have scope for being positioned dynamically, if you so chose to. The leading edge of the wing panels have a casting block attached, and you'll need to carefully remove this, along with some resin webs on the wingtips. This is pretty common fayre for such parts, so take it easy in cleaning these up. The wing roots have indentations into which you should drill in order to mount the wings on the wire pins which are suggested for use. Another bag of large resin parts contains the outboard wingtip floats, cast in a single piece, as well as the engine 'pod'. Just a little clean up is required here, and as per the main airframe, beautifully detailed with restrained rivet detail. The engine itself is cast as a central crankcase, with separate cylinders. The cylinders themselves will be a little clean up in order to remove small amounts of resin debris which seems to have stuck to the parts. It's no major deal though. The manifolds will also need a little clean up, and our sample has a little rubber from the moulds which is attached. TWO propellers are included, which are fitted back to back. Just a little clean up, drilling, and the trailing edge thinned, should see these good to go. A resin jig is included which fits over the fuselage, and helps align the engine pot height and angle. HPH's solution for producing the vertical tail plans is to produce it in port and starboard halves. You can pin these together for rigidity, and of course, when you sit the fit parts in place, you will see no joint line whatsoever. Again, the elevators are cast separately, and the rib and fabric detail is excellent. The same is to be said for the rudder and vertical fin parts. Look at pinning these parts wherever you can, and perhaps fixing with slow setting CA gel. The internal formers, like many parts in this kit, are cast flat, onto thin sheets of resin. Julian Seddon is building one of these on Scale Modelling Now, and he gives an interesting note that you simply don't cut these from the sheet. Instead, you must sand the part from the rear until the sheet falls away. If you don't do this, the parts way well be too thick to insert into the slots within the fuselage. You may find it a little easier to slightly nick away the stringer within the fuselage in order to finally fit these, as the formers can be quite thin and flexible. A series of duckboards are flat-cast too, in a slightly darker resin. These are beautifully sharp and require minimal cleaning before use. Most of the actual hull floor will be obscured by these, with the exception of the cockpit and rear fuselage. Where the hull floor can be seen, keel strips mean you won't actually see any joint at all. This aircraft has many struts, whether to support the wing, tailplane, engine pod, or wingtip floats. All of these are cast onto sheets, and have a tough steel pin insert within. The same applies to the undercarriage legs and tail-wheel strut. These pins don't bend too easily, so you should have no problem with your model being properly supported. The majority of other parts which comprise the detailed interior are sheet cast too, and detail is excellent. The pilots seat comprises of a basic chair, into which padded cushions are installed, and the seat itself being connected to a tubular frame. The cockpit is dripping in detail, comprised of both photo etch parts, and resin. I really don't think any facet of detail has been left out here. The cockpit will be seen from the capacious glazed greenhouse canopy, and from there, you will see into the area to the rear of the pilot. This itself is adorned with seats, radio equipment etc. You will also see the cockpit through the forward gunner position, which is open through into the cockpit. A bare resin instrument panel plate is included, and onto this, you will attach the coloured photo etch parts. The radio equipment from the engineers area is pre-cast with detail, but you can also opt to grind this off and attach some colour PE instead. Granted, you won't see every angle of the internal detail, but you will see pretty much most if it, whether through the forward or rear gunner positions, or through the hull side wall glazing. Although I'm one modeller who 'builds for me', meaning 'I really don't care if the detail is seen, as long as I know it's there', in this case, you will see a LOT of it! Believe me, and this is probably the best interior that I have seen on any model, with perhaps the exception of the PBY Catalina. It really is difficult to describe the detail internally, so here are a few images for you.....just to give you an idea. The forward gunner position even has a winch and choice of two anchors! All grey resin parts are generally superbly cast. Being resin, there will always be a few parts which will need cleaning a little, and may need a little reworking in places. I think out of the whole kit, there are probably no more than a dozen parts which will require me to work a little at them. For a kit with this number of parts, that is perfectly acceptable to me. The exterior of the hull, as I said, will need a little micromesh in places, but nothing too major. Casting blocks are relatively few, and are mostly confined to the flying surfaces, with other parts being mostly sheet cast. There are a few pin size bubbles in some parts, but for me, these are mostly hidden by other detail etc. A small number of parts seemed to have a little debris in the castings, such as a few wooden splinters, and fine grit. Luckily, they are in places which won't be seen, and either way, this is quite easy to remove/hide. I have a slight issue with the clear parts in this kit, as there is a flaw across the main canopy. HPH has assured me that that will soon be here and I will then insert the image here. So what else is in this pack? Well, apart from a Belgian chocolate, which my wife appropriated, there is a set of HGW textile seatbelts, specifically designed for this release. The belts themselves are comprised of a microfibre material which you scrunch with the fingers, then straighten out. This helps give a realistic sag. You can also weather the belts with oils etc. All buckles are supplied in photo etch form. TWO photo etch frets are included, produced by Eduard. The colour fret not only contains the layered instrument panel, but also the radio equipment faces and cockpit placards, to name but a few parts. The larger fret carries parts for MG ammunition drums, such as the drum faces and handles. These are an option, as the detail is already cast, but I do prefer the PE alternative. Other parts on this fret include bomb racks and accessories, cockpit instrument detail, exterior detail such as window frames, brackets and plate detail, and also some canopy frame detail. If you like attaching PE, you won't be disappointed here. A set of masks, cut into vinyl sheet, is also included. There are quite a few panels to mask, so this is a welcome inclusion. HPH provide their instruction manual in digital format, on a CD. The disc contains the instructions in both Adobe Acrobat format, and in JPEG too. The instructions are scalable, and can be blown to full screen size easily, as well as being very high quality. The manual is 45 pages, with the first 34 pages being lent to the model kit itself, followed by a number of pages of colour images in a walkaround, and finishing with the two schemes being supplied in glorious, digital high resolution. An overview of kit parts starts the manual, with all constructional stages being illustrated by photographs. A good number of photos are annotated to include detail on pinning parts, applying PE etc. The seatbelts have their own drawings at the places where you will need to assemble and install them. My only criticism of the instructions is that some things are installed, such as equipment within the hull, and then it is suggested you fit other internal constructional hull detail. It is obvious that some things are better being installed before others, contrary to the plan. Remember to work ahead several stages. A full set of rigging drawings are included, but you will need to provide your own rigging material. The manual, as mentioned, contains many images of the Walrus, to help with your detail and painting work. Please also consider 'Supermarine Walrus & Stranraer', from Mushroom Model Publications, which has some excellent images of the interior to help you with this seriously impressive area of modeling. Paint call-outs are given throughout construction, but not with any specific manufacturer codes. You'll need to check that all important reference, both in your manual and in your own books. A single decal sheet is included. Decals are nice and thin, and have minimal carrier film. Colours look authentic, and everything is printed in perfect register. No stencils are included, but the footprint walkway marks are included, as are a number of walkway bars too. The two schemes included in this release are: Supermarine Walrus Mk.I, Royal Navy, HMS Sheffield, 1941 Supermarine Walrus Mk.I, Royal Navy, 1700 NAS, HMS Ameer, 1945 Conclusion Absolutely stunning. I love it! It's been 30 years since I had my last 'fix' of Walrus, and my passion for this aircraft hasn't diminished in that time. Not only is there now a 1:32 kit, but one with so much detail that I really feel very, very spoilt. Apart from a few faulty parts I snagged, which are now being replaced, there really isn't much to fault here. There are some constructional quirks which you'll need to check as you go, and in light of that, I have to say this is a kit which you really should NOT tackle as your first resin build. If you are used to resin ,then you'll have immense fun building a massively detailed model of one of the prettiest seaplanes ever to fly. Pricey? I think in comparison with other resin kits, this is well pitched. It's not a massive model, but it also is no shrinking violet. VERY highly recommended. Our sincere thanks to HPH for supplying this review kit. To purchase directly, click THIS link. James H
  19. 1:32 PBY-5(A) Catalina Marine Luchtvaart Dienst / Royal Netherlands Naval Air Service Limited Run Manufacturer: Dutch Decal Catalogue # 32020 Available from Dutch Decal: www.dutchdecal.nl Let's start this review with our standard lines about Dutch Decal: Celebrating their 25th birthday, Dutch Decal has been around since 1986. It is run by the Dutch graphic designer Luuk Boerman and has been producing decal sheets of aircraft from all Dutch armed forces. Every now and then a foreign nationality slips through. More than 100 sheets have been released to date. Most of them are sold out now but a few much requested sheets will be reprinted in the near future depending on demand. The decal sheets are silkscreen printed and accompanied by English instructions. Dutch Decal sheets come in all scales: 1:72, 1:48 and 1:32. The 1:32 sheets can be identified by the broad black band at the bottom of the packaging. Let´s have a look what we get: Packed in the usual plastic zip lock bag is one sheet of decals, a booklet showing the four versions that can be chosen from and one paper template. More about that later. A close look at the decal sheet itself reveals a very nice register and sharp, crisp detail. The four versions the modeler can choose from are: • Consolidated PBY-5, Y-45, No 321 Squadron Royal Netherlands Naval Air Service, Rose Bay Australia, 1943 • Consolidated PBY-5A, Y-75, No 321 Squadron Royal Netherlands Naval Air Service, 1941 • Consolidated PBY-5, Y-69, No 321 Squadron Royal Netherlands Naval Air Service, Australia, 1942 • Consolidated PBY-5A, K/Y-75, No 321 Squadron Royal Netherlands Naval Air Service, RAAF Ceylon (VIP Transport), Ceylon, 1943 • Consolidated PBY-5A, P-85, No 7 Squadron Royal Netherlands Naval Air Service, Dutch New Guinea, 1947 Needless to say, this sheet is intended for the HPH models Catalina A little intro: During the dutch colonial reign the need for flying boats was evident. The dutch indies cover almost 2 million square KM and consist out of thousands of scattered islands. The dutch navy used several flying boats in their struggle to protect the dutch interests. Two that stand out are the Dornier 24 and the Catalina. Whereas the Do24 was mainly used for transport missions, the Cats also performed missions like: bomb runs, mine dropping and providing air cover for ships. During the war (after the japanese took over the dutch indies) dutch Catalina crews formed two Catalina squadrons with the Royal Air Force and the Fleet Air Arm. Only a small number of Catalina planes survived the escape from japanese forces. They performed missions during the rest of the war from Australia and Ceylon (Sri Lanka). So, If you're looking to build a Catalina in more exotic markings, and heavily weathered Pacific Theatre look, this might be it for you. Paper template: A paper template is provided to cut the masks for the huge orange triangles and background for the dutch flags. This will prove much easier than laying these on with decals. Consolidated PBY-5, Y-45 This specific plane has some stories to tell. Entered service in 1940 and performed recon missions from Ambon. In 1942 it was transferred to Soerabaja and performed fleet protection missions. During one of these missions the Y-45 made the headlines by rescuing 79 souls!! You don't believe it? Here's a pic: After escaping in march 1942 from japanese forces the Y-45 struck a reef and was pulled on land by 100 locals. Here it was made-do mended with… cement! After these repairs the Y-45 finally reached the safety of Australia in Freemantle. The rest of the war the Y-45 performed clandestine secret service missions and at the end of the war this plane was the first to drop food over the starving population of Java. Here's a pic of the crest on the nose of the Y-45: Consolidated PBY-5A, Y-75 This particular plane was a little less 'fortunate'. While in service with the 321 squadron hit a reef in 1943 and sunk immediately. The crew managed to get out in time. The plane was however raised and it took a total of 5 months to fully repair it again. A tough job, since the salt water had eaten away at the wiring. After it was restored the Y-75 was transformed to a passenger plane, meant to transport high officials over long distances. The Y-75 was therefor nicknamed 'Skysleeper'. Here's a pic of the Skysleeper. 4th man from the left is A.V.M. Sir Alan Leeds: Consolidated PBY-5, Y-69 After the Pearl Harbour attack the Y-69 was confiscated by the americans and returned to the dutch after the war. I was not able to dig up much more interesting facts about this plane, except some photo's of the Y-69 during repairs. These photo's (www.maritiemdigitaal.nl) show the heavily weathered appearance. Here are some pics of the Y-69: Consolidated PBY-5A, P-85 This plane entered dutch service on 20-11-1942. It survived the war and in 1953 it was re-numbered to P-219. In 1954 it was destroyed in a fire on Biak. The P-85: Conclusion: As we have come to expect from Dutch Decal, the research is well done and the artwork is on the mark. This sheet is available directly from Dutch Decal or the Aviation Mega Store. It's a limited run edition, so If you want it get it while you can. Highly recommended Cees Broere and Jeroen Peters Our sincere thanks to Dutch Decals´Luuk Boerman for providing the review sample used here. Reference used: • http://www.maritiemdigitaal.nl • http://kw.jonker.co/