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  1. 1:32 Heinkel He 219 'Detail Up Set' Mk1 Design Catalogue # MA-32004 Available from Hannants for £83.40 Revell's Heinkel He 219 kit, released in 2012, was more than a bit of a mixed bag. A concoction of incorrect shapes/angles and spurious detail seemed to show a wanton lack of research from Revell, and the kit has been universally panned on the numerous modelling forums. I may be noExperten on the He 219, but even I could see that things weren't right. However, if you're willing to ignore these issues, the model does actually build up beautifully. Numerous companies have released upgrade and correction sets for the kit, but here's one you may not have heard of before, fromMK1 Design. This release is packaged in a slim, clear plastic box measuring 215mm x 155mm and roughly 15mm deep. Inside the pack can be seen many PE, colour PE, turned brass, resin and white metal parts. Some of the more delicate parts are fixed to the internal card backing, whilst others are bagged into ziplock wallets within the main box. Flip the box over and you'll find a full colour, photographic instruction sheet. Now, let's see how this will improve the standard kit. PE (Part A) This is certainly a wide-ranging set of parts, covering many areas of the airframe, both internally and externally. Revell made a big mistake with the lack of detail on the engine cowl flaps. MK1 have supplied these here as individual PE leaves, which need to be carefully arranged around the circumference of the cowl. I just hope they meet up at the end point! You may need to induce a shallow curve with these. I just can't tell. Inside the engine cowl ring, you will normally see the radiator faces, which under normal circumstances would have a sort of mesh texture. Here, a full set of individual plates has been supplied. Due to the open nature of the texture, consider applying these with Klear/Future, or something similar. CA may look a little messy unless you're very careful. Oddly, seatbelt straps are included here, minus buckles (found on colour PE fret). I can't understand the rationale in making these in regular brass and having to thread nickel-plated buckles over them. Single piece colour PE would have been preferable, or some material such as that used by HGW. Other parts on this fret include weapon pack gun blanking plates and channel caps, undercarriage compression strut jackets, exhaust tube forward grilles, windscreen armour plate, rudder pedals, nose gear bay plumbing and also finishing strips which you will fit into the rear of the stabiliser, before you add the elevators. Colour PE (Part A) I don't suppose it will come as any surprise to see that MK1 have tackled this in the same way that Eduard have with their own colour-printed parts. There is nothing on this fret to say this has been made by Eduard, and the style doesn't look typical of them, but I suppose it is possible. Parts on the colour fret include full cockpit instrumentation, including radio set fascias, and a multi-layer instrument panel, as we see with Eduard releases. A liberal smattering of PE covers everything from oxygen regulators, to other smaller sidewall detail. Quite impressive. Other parts on this fret includes the dipole array from the 219's spine, and a whole series of etch buckles for the belts which are presented on the first, brass fret. Resin Wheels Each of the 219's wheels is presented here as a single resin piece, with integral hub. Tread detail looks excellent, and the hubs are cast with the hydraulic lines in place. It is only the main tires that have a tread pattern, with the nose wheel being smooth. Detail is generally excellent, and of the wheels are very realistically weighted too, which is a vast improvement over the standard kit parts. The wheels exhibit some writing around the flat face. This says 'AVION and 'NACIONAL FIFELLI' (Pirelli?) . That all sounds a little strange to me. There are some tire sizes cast in situ too. I can't vouch at all how the detail is portrayed on these wheels in terms of tread or that odd writing. Perhaps you can make more sense of it? Casting is excellent, and the product appears very high quality. Casting blocks are connected to the parts via a thin wall which falls on the flat, weighted part of the wheel. Turned Brass parts These parts are quite impressive. Revell's exhaust flame damping tubes are a little weak to be honest (but still better than those in the ZM kit), and could do with replacing. MK1 have supplied superbly turned, thin wall brass replacements, complete with their straps, and with holes machined in the side into which he exhaust stubs will locate. A front cap is supplied for these tubes. For a night-fighter such as the He 219, you'll need an impressive radar array. Again, the kit parts are average, but you are limited with injection plastic. This set provides a whole new set of turned metal dipoles for the nose and tail of the aircraft. These look incredibly detailed. Other turned brass parts are included for the gun pack barrels in the belly, as well as for the upper firing MK108 guns too. A metal pitot is also included. White Metal Parts This is the last pack within this set, and contains no less than EIGHTEEN parts, all of which appear to be superbly cast, with no poor surface as seen on many SAC undercarriage sets. Main gear struts and actuators are included, as is the forward nose gear strut, with separate oleo scissor and two-piece fork, where the wheel would be sandwiched. It also appears that MK1 made the same mistake as Revell here and produced the undercarriage struts as they would look without any load, leading the model to sit too high, and with the wrong attitude. A full suite of prop blades is also included, but to me, they seem to lack any proper aerofoil curvature to the rear. The shapes to look right, however, but some fine seams lines could do with being polished away. The last metal parts here are for a replacement radio bank for the rear cockpit, and a simple ballast weight. These will certainly help push the centre of gravity forward and prevent your model being a nose-sitter, but please check the CoG before you seal everything up! Instructions A single, full-colour A4 sheet clearly shows the parts in the kit to be replaced, and where the extra details need to fit to the existing plastic. MK1 have done a very good job of this aspect, with everything being clearly labelled/numbered. Conclusion Like the Revell kit, this upgrade set is a bit of a mixed bag. Some parts have been carried off extremely well, such as the PE parts (with the exception of the seat belts), and the turned brass parts. Others less so. The wheels look great, but the bizarre text on them leaves me puzzled. The white metal parts are a general let-down in several areas. This is also quite an expensive set for what you get, and for me, you'd better channelling your money into the Eduard upgrade sets. Average James H My sincere thanks to KA Models for this review sample. To purchase directly, click THIS link.
  2. 1/32 500lb Bomb 4 set Mk1 Design, (KA Models) Catalogue Number MA-32005 Available from Hobby Link Japan USD $24.46 If you're planning on building a Diorama with your favourite Aircraft being loaded with 500lb Bombs, this set is a must. From the thin PE fins to the solid turned metal bomb bodies, they are superb. Here is what you get in the set once unpacked. It's a comprehensive set which will look far more accurate than any injected parts will look. The turned bodies and rear screw shaft are simply superb.. The larger PE fret, measures 87 x 42mm, covering the bomb fins, screws and lifting/mounting eyes. The second smaller fret has one set of four fins only. At the rear of the main body, the fins are mounted onto a screwed on "hub" which has been accurately captured by KA Models in resin. There is a small, but comprehensive decal sheet included in the set, covering all the stencilling you'd ever need. Finally, we have the small instruction sheet, showing assembly and decal placement, though I notice there is no mention of orientation between the lifting eyes and the stencils. All in all, a great little set for the Diorama, or to finish off that beautiful P-51or P-47 you've just built. Although they are constructed mainly from metal, they are very light so mounting on the pylons shouldn't pose too much of a problem. Thanks to Hobby Link Japan for the review sample. Highly recommended.
  3. 1/32 AIM-9P Sidewinder set Mk1 Design, (KA Models) Catalogue Number MA-32003 Available from Hobby Link Japan USD $24.46 For those of you who want the ultimate in weaponry for your F-14-15-16 or Phantom etc., are invited to have a browse over this update set. This set of Resin, PE, Decals and turned aluminium parts will build up into the ultimate 1/32 replica of two AIM-9P Sidewinders. Once unpacked, this is how all the lovely resin looks. Note a couple of the fins have become separated from their casting block, but there's no damage to the parts whatsoever. Note the set includes the nose covers which is a nice touch. Upon closer inspection we can see there are a couple of small bubbles present, but these will be taken care of with a spot of Mr Putty. The PE fret, measures 56 x 15mm and the decal sheets measure 56 x 40mm. PE fret close up shows the etched detail for the banding and tail support bars. The main turned bodies of the missiles are simply superb. Not only are they turned from lightweight Aluminium but there is also drilled detail for fin location and surface detailing. The smaller parts are the exhausts. Imagine how good this will look under a wash!! Finally we look at the instruction sheet, which is simple but perfectly adequate for the set. No painting guide is included. All in all, this is a lovely set that will take more effort than, say, a resin set, but I'm sure will look as good if not better? Dimensionally they appear to be accurate according to the length I found on Wikipedia. Thanks to Hobby Link Japan for the review samples.
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