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Found 24 results

  1. Just looking through my build pics and realised I'd missed out some of the finished engine before mounting. Since it's almost a model in itself I thought I'd include a few.... Important to say, I only ever use post production to try and recreate what I see with my eye, but on the photo. Never, ever any removal of faults, errors or anything else. It's warts and all. Thanks again for looking.
  2. Airfix 1/24 Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat This kit was announced with much fanfare at Telford, and has been eagerly anticipated ever since. With this kit, Airfix fills a huge gap in the Large Scale Model world, as a decent modern kit of the Grumman Hellcat has been missing. The 1/32 Hasegawa kit is generally accurate in shape, but is sorely lacking in detail and modern refinement. The big question was, could Airfix follow up on the home run they hit with their masterful Hawker Typhoon. i’m here to tell you that from what I’ve seen so far, the answer is a resounding YES! The history of Grumman’s F6F Hellcat fighter has been discussed and rediscussed now for decades, and launching into a detailed history of this big, tough fighter is redundant here, other than to say that the Hellcat, along with the Vought F4U Corsair helped the Allies finally gain complete air superiority over Japan’s much vaunted A6M fighters. Creative parking space. Pack ‘em and stack ‘em. Check out the bootfull of right rudder that pilot is holding in. To counteract the huge torque of that massive R2800. Without that rudder, it’d roll over and die.
  3. A great new website launched recently called http://keymodelworld.com/ “Key Model World is created with the same enthusiasm and spirit as our renowned Hornby Magazine and Airfix Model World print titles. Find your favourite writers and photographers at Key Model World, plus exclusive online content you won’t find anywhere else!”
  4. Here's Airfix's classic Harrier GR3 from the venerable 1/24th scale kit, warts and all. Built as it comes, but with some home-made additions to the cockpit and seat. Airfix decals and Xtracolour paints were used throughout. For its age, it's a really nice kit. The cockpit is very basic and the landing gear and bays are lacking in details, but with some good old-fashioned scratch-building you can make a decent representation of the Harrier. Happy modelling! Tom
  5. G'day Folk. I've just acquired a 1/24th scale Bf109E. It's missing the canopy sprue. I'd like to build it as an E4(squared canopy). I wonder if some kind soul might have a canopy set (3 pieces) spare? Possibly if the E3 option was built? Buy , barter or swap. Thanks, Kais.
  6. I've just added the final touches to Airfix's classic 1/24th scale Stuka. A great kit to build, and despite its age it's crammed full of detail, has some lovely surface detail and goes together really well. What you see here is as it comes in the box, with the only additions being some Eduard belts and a bit of extra plumbing in and around the engine. All paints were Xtracolour enamels. Ju-87 B-2 'Stuka' - 3/St.G2 - Northern France, August 1940 Picture 1 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr Picture 3 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr Picture 4 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr Picture 7 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr Picture 6 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr Picture 8 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr Picture 5 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr Picture 2 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr Picture 9 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr Happy modelling, folks! Tom
  7. A few years ago (7 i think) i saw a double kit in a local hobby and toy shop in town. It consisted of two models a Churchill MK VII and Scammell Tank Transporter both 1:76 (very small) i liked the look of it and came back with my pocket money the following weekend but the couple kits that were there had gone. so i bought a lone kit of the tank transporter on its own. and a couple weeks later the model of the Churchill showed up there so i bought that too. i had a good crack at the transporter and i think a few minuets on the tank. and then i stopped. Skip froward several years and i had done some more of the truck but not the tank. come to the present day having just finished the T-34 and looking for another model to do i come across the two models and decide to do them. now i am hear. pics soon and link to the T-34 that i have just finished.
  8. Hi this will be my build of the airfix kit mostly out of the box but a few differences. Firstly it'll be Fleet Air Arm, that means a q type harness. Luckily HGW make one which is the Sutton q that will fit the bill nicely secondly colour schemes I'm good friends with Sean at top notch masks so I suggested some fleet air arm schemes and he came up with this lot one of which is a kit scheme I'll be going for the last scheme in glossy sea blue. The ejector pin marks need some work but the photos below show the starting of where I am
  9. Hi, Airfix hawker typhoon mk1B in 1/24. Underway.... Takes up a lot of room on my dinning room table.....
  10. 1:24 Cockpit Instrument Decals: Hawker Typhoon Airscale Catalogue # AS24TIFF Available from Airscale for £10.95 What better a time to show you this decal set, with us only yesterday having reviewed the epic new 1:24 Hawker Typhoon from Airfix. I did actually touch upon this release in that article, and today I'm pleased to show you in full what this set offers the modeller, in terms of options and entirely new content. If you've ever bought or seen the Airscale range of cockpit decals (both instrument and placard), then you will no doubt be impressed. Both scratch-builder and novice alike, they offer something that is often lacking in many commercial kit releases. I like to use these products as often as I can, and if you've read any of my magazine articles or forum topics, then that will be plainly clear! So, what can Airscale offer the Über-Typhoon from Airfix? Well, let's see. As with all Airscale's decals sets, this is packaged into a small Zip-lock wallet, with a light card insert inside, which is laser printed and in full colour. The front of the insert shows a photograph of an actual Typhoon cockpit, with the given options listed below. This set allows the modeller to mount his/her decals to the rear of the instrument panel, so they show through the clear plastic film which is included, or you can apply individual instruments over the top of the dial locations, once the clear plastic part is attached to the instrument panel. The description of this product actually does it a disservice, because not only do you get the instrument decals, but you also get a full suite of cockpit placards too! Unfolding the insert reveals a series of photos of the interior of the Airfix Typhoon cockpit. First of all, there are two images of the instrument panel. One of these pertains to the instruments only, and the other to various placards which fit onto this piece. All decals are clearly numbered, and there are a LOT of decals to apply. The instrument panel alone contains THIRTY-ONE decals! Yes, patience will be needed, but as this is 1:24, your endeavours won't go unnoticed. Photographs are also included for the port and starboard sidewalls, incorporating the instrument consoles, and to cap that, two images are shown of the separately moulded cockpit coaming. Again, this is home to a handful of decals, all numbered. A decal guide is also provided, and this actually lists what each of the decals is in reality, using that same numbering system. Whilst this isn't particularly important to attaching your decals, it is quite interesting, and there is most definitely something to be learnt from studying it a while. The decal sheet is quite small, but most definitely perfectly formed. Of course, the largest decals on here are for the option to lay the instruments behind the panel. This is broken down into the panels 3 constituent parts. I would opt to use the individual decals though. These would be placed on top of a painted and glossed clear part, to aid adhesion. Even if you use the first option, there will still be a small number of instruments that you will attach to the regular plastic panel part. The rear of the sheet descries both decal options, and you will need to draw around the shape of the IP and cut it from the clear film that is included. My only reservation with this idea is that the instruments themselves will be recessed too much within the bezel. Still, the option is there, should you want to use it. Decal printing is by Fantasy Printshop, and everything is very sharp, and no fuzziness that would detract from a 1:24 instrument panel. The placards aren't legible, but they don't need to be. They are still very small, even in 1:24 scale. Printing is also nice and thin, with minimal carrier film, and registration is perfect. There are other colours in play on some instruments, such as green, yellow and red, and they look very authentic. The instructions suggest a setting solution to help with adhesion too, and a drop of Crystal Clear be applied to the dials, so simulate the glass lens. Conclusion Another clear winner from Airscale, and one which you should definitely contemplate if you are thinking of building the big Tiffie. As will all Airscale products, these are meticulously researched, and the real proof of the pudding is in what they add to the overall appearance of the cockpit. From experience, I know that I really couldn't model with these products. For me, they are the cherry on the cake. Very highly recommended My sincere thanks to Airscale for the review sample seen here. To purchase directly, click THIS link. James H
  11. My big project for the last several months, Airfix's 1/24 Typhoon. Completed in markings of Flight Sargeant James Stellin, 609 Squadron RAF. I was looking for a New Zealand theme for my build and the Stellin story stood out among others. He wasn't an ace, didn't appear to be a pilot of any particular note, but his sacrifice was significant to the people of Saint-Maclou-la-Brière, a small village in the Seine-Maritime region of Normandy. Here is the complete Stellin story: As his damaged Hawker Typhoon fighter-bomber rapidly lost height, Pilot Officer James Stellin struggled to avoid crashing into Saint-Maclou-la-Brière, a village of 370 people between Le Havre and Dieppe in northern France. He succeeded, but at the cost of his own life. The villagers gave him a hero’s funeral and have honoured his memory ever since. James Kingston (‘Joe’) Stellin was one of several thousand New Zealanders who flew with the Royal Air Force over Europe in support of the D-Day landings in 1944. Born in Wellington on 2 July 1922, he was the son of James and Beatrice Stellin of Lyall Bay. He attended Scots College before enlisting in the Royal New Zealand Air Force in 1942 and beginning pilot training. On 3 June 1944, three days before D-Day, he and two other Kiwi pilots were posted to 609 Squadron, RAF, at Thorney Island airfield, Hampshire. Over the following month, 609’s pilots flew numerous missions over Normandy, targeting German radar stations, tanks and other vehicles. In early July the squadron moved its base to France, arriving at Plumetot, north of Caen, under shellfire and in mud and rain. For the next six weeks Stellin flew almost daily missions against German tank concentrations, strongpoints and motor transport in the Falaise area. On 18 August, 609 Squadron’s Typhoons destroyed at least seven German tanks and 12 vehicles. Stellin flew again that evening, attacking vehicles on the Vimoutiers–Orbec road and setting five alight. On the 19th, 609 Squadron again targeted German transport trying to escape the Falaise pocket. At 8.30 a.m. Stellin took off from Martragny airfield, flying Typhoon JP975. After destroying several tanks and trucks, Stellin’s aircraft was heading home when he asked permission to descend to attack a vehicle. He did not return to his formation and asked for a homing to find his way back to base. He was given a course but later reported that he was short of fuel. It is thought that his plane was hit by flak near Bernay. A teacher at Saint-Maclou-la-Brière, Monsieur Jacobs, described the scene: Stellin bailed out at the last moment, but his parachute failed to open and he was killed. He was 22 years old. His funeral in Saint-Maclou-la-Brière was attended by 1200 people from the surrounding area. His grave in the local cemetery was later designated a Commonwealth War Grave; ever since it has been decorated regularly with flowers. In 1946 M. Jacobs, who had been active in the local Resistance, wrote a moving letter to Stellin’s parents. The following year the Kiwi pilot was posthumously awarded the Croix de Guerre avec Palme. The people of Saint-Maclou-la-Brière later engraved Stellin’s name onto the war memorial for the dead of their own village. In 1964 they erected a black marble memorial stone to Stellin outside the gates of their church. In 2001 the area in front of the St Maclou church was named ‘Place Stellin’. Stellin has also been commemorated in New Zealand. A memorial board was erected in the Kilbirnie RSA and when that building closed it was moved to his old school, Scots College. The College library is named in Stellin’s honour and the school holds other memorabilia. When James’s father, a prominent Wellington businessman and developer (he was responsible for the subdivisions of Avalon, Kingston and Strathmore Park), died in 1964, he bequeathed funds to build the memorial in Saint-Maclou-la-Brière. He also gifted land on the eastern side of Tinakori Hill to the Wellington City Council to create the James Stellin Memorial Park. In August 2007, Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast and French Ambassador Michel Legras unveiled a long-promised plaque in the Memorial Park. Its not known what 609 squadron letter Stellin was flying the day he died, all that was recorded was the plane serial number JP975. I chose to Use squadron letter "S". The airfix kit itself was, for the most part, excellent. The amount of "flash" removal was, at times, frustrating, especially on the intricate engine parts. The build is completely OTB except for the resin wheels, seat belts and photoetch flaps. I decided to use the eduard flaps instead of spending hours filling and sanding ejector marks off the kit flaps. Photos are a bit average but such was the lighting. Comments welcome.
  12. Evening all This is very likely to be my last completed model for 2017 - I've been working on it on and off since August and it crossed the finish line this week. I picked up this classic from Airfix at a model show for a mere £20, and set about building it for a bit of nostalgia and a love for one of WWII's unsung heroes (the Spitfire seems to get all the glory!) I built it more or less out of the box, but did use SAC metal undercarriage legs, an Eduard seatbelt set and aftermarket decals from Techmod. A bit of extra piping was added to the engine, but other than that it's as it comes. It fitted together pretty well - at least better than I was expecting for such an old kit. The wing roots were a little tricky and there was plenty of filler needed here - Archer rivets to the rescue to replace those lost in the filling and sanding process. The worst fitting parts were probably the landing light covers and these took a lot of careful trimming to get them flush with the leading edge. Some of the detail is a little clunky and not up to today's standards, but the surface detail is streets ahead of the Trumpeter offering, with beautiful raised rivets and lovely fabric effect on the rear of the fuselage. Paints were from the Xtracolour enamel range, with the flat cote from Humbrol. Hawker Hurricane MkIc, 306 (Polish) Squadron, RAF Ternhill, November 1940. For £20 it was certainly great value for money. Happy modelling! Tom
  13. 1/48 North American P-51D Mustang Airfix Catalogue # A05131 Available from P&S Hobbies for £21 The North American Aviation P-51 Mustang is an American long-range, single-seat fighter and fighter-bomber used during World War II and the Korean War, among other conflicts. The Mustang was designed in 1940 by North American Aviation (NAA) in response to a requirement of the British Purchasing Commission. The Purchasing Commission approached North American Aviation to build Curtiss P-40 fighters under license for the Royal Air Force (RAF). Rather than build an old design from another company, North American Aviation proposed the design and production of a more modern fighter. The prototype NA-73X airframe was rolled out on 9 September 1940, 102 days after the contract was signed, and first flew on 26 October. The Mustang was originally designed to use the Allison V-1710 engine, which, in its earlier variants, had limited high-altitude performance. It was first flown operationally by the RAF as a tactical-reconnaissance aircraft and fighter-bomber (Mustang Mk I). The addition of the Rolls-Royce Merlin to the P-51B/C model transformed the Mustang's performance at altitudes above 15,000 ft, allowing the aircraft to compete with the Luftwaffe's fighters. The definitive version, the P-51D, was powered by the Packard V-1650-7, a license-built version of the Rolls-Royce Merlin 66 two-stage two-speed supercharged engine and was armed with six .50 calibre (12.7 mm) M2/AN Browning machine guns. From late 1943, P-51Bs and Cs (supplemented by P-51Ds from mid-1944) were used by the USAAF's Eighth Air Force to escort bombers in raids over Germany, while the RAF's Second Tactical Air Force and the USAAF's Ninth Air Force used the Merlin-powered Mustangs as fighter-bombers, roles in which the Mustang helped ensure Allied air superiority in 1944.[10] The P-51 was also used by Allied air forces in the North African, Mediterranean, Italian and Pacific theatres. During World War II, Mustang pilots claimed to have destroyed 4,950 enemy aircraft. At the start of the Korean War, the Mustang was the main fighter of the United Nations until jet fighters, including the F-86, took over this role; the Mustang then became a specialized fighter-bomber. Despite the advent of jet fighters, the Mustang remained in service with some air forces until the early 1980s. After the Korean War, Mustangs became a popular civilian warbird and air racing aircraft. Except for the small numbers assembled or produced in Australia, all Mustangs were built by North American initially at Inglewood, California but then additionally in Dallas, Texas. Extract courtesy of Wikipedia The kit This is my third Airfix review in the last week or so. A few years ago, I wouldn’t have been interested in their output, but they seem to be pushing all of my buttons at the moment. I have to say that when I saw this in P&S Hobbies in York, I knew it was going to leave with me. Whilst the artwork style of these new kits is very different to the Airfix kits of my youth, they still manage to draw the modeller to them with their gorgeous computer-generated imagery. Again, this is another sturdy and glossy box with which incorporates a parts tray and separate lid, and one where you need to get your fingernails under the lid to prise it off. Inside, all of the six frames of light grey styrene are packed into a single heat-sealed polybag. Another bag within this contains the single clear sprue. I’m always very vocal about all parts frames being packed into a single bag, and with good reason. My sample kit had a few parts that were skewed on the frames due to the packing. A reasonably large decal sheet is included, as is the instruction manual, printed in Airfix’s new format. Airfix don’t include any PE in their releases, but the detail within should be more than enough for the average consumer. If you want a further detail-fest, then Eduard has a full suite of resin and PE for this particular release. Frame A It’s interesting to see the part’s breakdown and engineering of this kit. Airfix seem to be offering some very nice options with their new kits….even single seat fighters such as this one. Note the fuselage is moulded without a tail section? If that’s a hint that we might see an early un-filleted tail in a future release, then that would only be an extra bonus to us, as this kit offers two styles of the later filleted tail. Yes, two styles. Modelling is certainly an education in itself. Looking at the exterior of the fuselage, you will see some very neat panel line depiction and fairing and fastener details. I think these panel lines are perhaps a tad heavier than they could be, but certainly not in the realms of a few of their kits of recent years. I also think my photography seems to emphasize it a little too. It’s certainly not a deal breaker for me, in the slightest. Note that the exhaust manifolds fit into a recessed slot from the outside of the fuselage, meaning you can add them after painting. The cowl also has a hole into which one of two options of breather plate can be added. Within the fuselage, there is no detail, but a recessed area indicates where the separate cockpit wall panels will sit. The most unusual part on this frame is the cockpit floor area and fuel tank section, which extends back to, and incorporates the tail wheel well. Coincidentally, this is pretty much the same method that Revell has employed with their new P-51D Early release in 1/32. Anyway, this part forms the base into which the various other parts will sit, including the battery and radio gear. There are some ejector pin marks, but these are in the area to the rear of the fuel tank, and don’t form part of anything that can be seen. Mustang wings. This is always a subject that draws debate and argument, pretty much every time a P-51D kit hits the shelves. To putty, or not to putty, is undoubtedly the question at all times. Now, whilst this model isn’t riveted, per se, it does have key rows of rivets and fasteners that are recreated. This also includes the wings. We have to remember that Tamiya’s own Über-kit had riveted wings, albeit very faint. You can of course choose to fill this particular detail if it goes against your own personal taste. It can also be seen that the leading-edge MG section is a separate piece. Internally, there is no wheel well detail moulded as this will be separate too. Both regular and paper drop tanks are included. The texture on the paper tanks is very nice. This will probably be the option I use. I also quite like the texture on the fabric rudder, although it could benefit from a few light strokes of a sanding sponge. Frame B This larger frame shows that Airfix has designed the wings to have a full-span lower part, which is complete apart from the separate front wing to cowl fairing that forms the leading edge of the inboard wing area and main gear bay. I’m not absolutely sure of the reason why at this stage of an out-of-box review, but nothing leads me to think that this isn’t done with good reason. Again, wing surface textures are very nice, depicting key panel lines and rivets. There are positions here for what look like rockets, but with this release, you are asked to fill these and sand these flush. Should you wish to install the bazookas, bombs or drop tanks, then you will need to open up the locations from within the wing panel. The upper engine cowl on this model is a separate part, meaning that it installs along a natural cowl panel line, and of course, you won’t need to remove any troublesome seams that would otherwise run right down the middle of this area. There is some nicely innovative engineering going on at Airfix, these days. Here you can see the tail wheel walls which fit into the rear of the aforementioned cockpit tub area. I’m still amazed that they did this in the same manner as the new 1/32 Revell kit. Great minds think alike! Detail is very good, despite you not really seeing too much in the way of anything once installed. Note the detail on the main gear bay doors too. These incorporate part of the main well wall details. Earlier, I did say that there are two versions of the filleted tail, and here they are. The differences here are fillets themselves, and the stabiliser fairing area. These parts will install along a natural panel line. The cockpit walls are moulded here. I am more than happy with the detail which is depicted, plus the extra parts which enhance them, but there are a couple of what appear to be ejector pin marks in awkward places. Not all of these circular marks are pin marks. Some are actual details, but I fear not all. That is a little disappointing. If you want to take this model to another level, then Eduard’s replacement pit will not only remove this issue, but improve things yet further. This is a very reasonably-priced kit, so you might have a few coins left with which to invest. Lastly, the scoop intake is moulded as halves and simply installs within the belly of the model, before you bring the fuselage together. Frame C Instead of moulding the gear bay detail on the ceiling of the upper wing, Airfix has chosen to engineer this as a separate part, as did Meng with their recent 1/48 release. This is quite nice in depiction, but could perhaps do with a little extra detail added, such as plumbing etc. Squared sockets exist for the main gear struts to locate to. Two landing flap options have been provided for this kit. Of course, these are for the neutral and deployed positions. The flaps themselves are identical, bar the angle of the plug tab that fits into the socket on the trailing edge of the wing. There’s no doubt this provide a very solid approach to fitting these parts. A little panel line detail is moulded here, as well as some leading edge detail, but no rivets. Another part on this frame is for the forward centre wing to engine cowl section with the same cowl fastener details as generally seen on both the fuselage sides and upper cowl. Lastly, Airfix has included a three-part pilot figure (quite average), a wing spar that incorporates gear bay detail for the rear face of this area, and also the four-blade, cuffed propeller. The blades on this are nice and thin too, but the connection gates are on the blade cuffs, so care will be needed when cleaning the part for use. Frame D We have quite a large parts count with this frame, with most of the cockpit being found here, plus the undercarriage and other extraneous airframe parts. I did say earlier that Airfix’s rendition of the cockpit is certainly more than adequate. In fact, it should look very good built straight from the box, with its fairly high parts count and nice detail. The instrument panel itself should provide a good centrepiece to your work, the seat being provided with moulded belts. Note the quilted effect on the backrest, along with the draped harness. You will also find the battery and radio pack plus frame here. There are two exhaust options here; shrouded and unshrouded. Neither are moulded with hollow stubs, so you’ll need a micro drill bit and some patience. Two breather plate options are also provided. If you want more options, then there are also two types of wheel with different tread patterns. The hubs on these are integrally moulded and the wheels are weighted. I think the undercarriage legs are reasonable….not great, but reasonable. They have a mixture of both sharp and soft detail and the prominent seams will need to be removed. This is where I hope Eduard have plans for a bronze alternative. It could certainly benefit from such. The tail gear strut is very nicely detailed. Other parts on this frame include bombs, belly scoop fairing, undercarriage trouser doors, two-part spinner, radiator shutter and numerous other cockpit parts. Frame E This frame is for the clear parts. Note that Airfix supply THREE hoods, all with slight variations in profile. I can’t see the Dallas hood, unless I’m mistaken. There are also two forward windscreen options. Both of these incorporate a small section of fuselage skin, as per Tamiya’s 1/32 kit, providing a better way to fit these parts without gaps or glue smears being had. Framing detail is sharp, and clarity is excellent. The parts are also nice and thin. You’ll notice this frame also contains wing underside lamps and gunsight options etc. Frame F One of the kit options provides for underwing bazookas. These are very reasonable, despite the seams you’ll need to remove, and there appears to be an indentation at the point where the connection gate is. Decals A reasonable-sized decal sheet is included with this release, and would appear to be printed by Cartograf (Italy). The sheet is split into common decals (national insignia and stencils), and the two schemes. The stencils themselves are numerous and will certainly take up a couple of bench sessions to apply. Included with the individual machine markings are the various black bars and stripes. I would probably mask these and airbrush them instead of using decals, but the option is there. Printing has a satin finish, and the decals are thin, with solid colour reproduction and minimal carrier film. Everything is also in perfect register. The two schemes are: P-51D, ‘Little Indian’, 2nd Air Commando Group, 10th Air Force, United States Army Air Force, Kalaikunda, India, 1945 P-51D, 44-15152, ‘Jersey Jerk’, Captain Donald Strait, 361st Fighter Squadron, 356th Fighter Group, United States Army Air Force, RAF Martlesham Heath, Suffolk, England, 1945 Instructions A sixteen page booklet is included, breaking down construction into seventy stages. All illustration is CAD-generated, grey-scale shaded, with good use of red ink to denote new part assembly. Colour references are given throughout for Humbrol paints, and two glossy sheets are supplied which show paint and decal application, plus a stencil guide. Conclusion It’s nice to see Airfix revisit the subjects that I slavishly built as a kid when most of my money went on the old boxed and packet kits from this veteran manufacturer. They obviously know what should sell very well, and I imagine the Mustang is one such kit. What also sells this for me are the various options, such as the canopies and exhausts/breather plates too, plus some innovative engineering. The schemes are quite nice, but not particularly varied, although the addition of the underwing bazookas certainly adds to the mix. A very nice kit with plenty of detail and very well moulded. It’s not a perfect release with some softness here and there, but it’s most certainly worth £20 of anyone’s money! Give it a shot. My sincere thanks to P&S Hobbies for the review kit seen here. To purchase, contact them via their website, here, or visit them on Walmgate in York, or Castle Road, Scarborough, UK.
  14. 1/48 Gloster Meteor F.8 Korea Airfix Catalogue # A09184 Available from P&S Hobbies for £36.99 The Gloster Meteor was the first British jet fighter and the Allies' only jet aircraft to achieve combat operations during the Second World War. The Meteor's development was heavily reliant on its ground-breaking turbojet engines, pioneered by Sir Frank Whittle and his company, Power Jets Ltd. Development of the aircraft began in 1940, although work on the engines had been under way since 1936. The Meteor first flew in 1943 and commenced operations on 27 July 1944 with No. 616 Squadron RAF. The Meteor was not a sophisticated aircraft in its aerodynamics, but proved to be a successful combat fighter. Gloster's 1946 civil Meteor F.4 demonstrator G-AIDC was the first civilian-registered jet aircraft in the world. Several major variants of the Meteor incorporated technological advances during the 1940s and 1950s. Thousands of Meteors were built to fly with the RAF and other air forces and remained in use for several decades. The Meteor saw limited action in the Second World War. Meteors of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) fought in the Korean War. Several other operators such as Argentina, Egypt and Israel flew Meteors in later regional conflicts. Specialised variants of the Meteor were developed for use in photographic aerial reconnaissance and as night fighters. The Meteor was also used for research and development purposes and to break several aviation records. On 7 November 1945, the first official air speed record by a jet aircraft was set by a Meteor F.3 of 606 miles per hour. In 1946, this record was broken when a Meteor F.4 reached a speed of 616 mph. Other performance-related records were broken in categories including flight time endurance, rate of climb, and speed. On 20 September 1945, a heavily modified Meteor I, powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent turbine engines driving propellers, became the first turboprop aircraft to fly. On 10 February 1954, a specially adapted Meteor F.8, the "Meteor Prone Pilot", which placed the pilot into a prone position to counteract inertial forces, took its first flight. In the 1950s, the Meteor became increasingly obsolete as more nations introduced jet fighters, many of these newcomers having adopted a swept wing instead of the Meteor's conventional straight wing; in RAF service, the Meteor was replaced by newer types such as the Hawker Hunter and Gloster Javelin. As of 2013, two Meteors, WL419 and WA638, remain in active service with the Martin-Baker company as ejection seat testbeds. The kit Airfix released their newly-tooled Meteor F.8 in 2016, and until I walked into P&S Hobbies in York a few days ago, I had no idea that a new incarnation had just been released. In fact, it was fresh into the shop and in the owner’s hands! I thank them for the review kit seen here. This is a reasonably large and very sturdy box with an artwork depicting a No.77 Sqn. Royal Australian Air Force Meteor F.8 having successfully engaged a North Korean MiG-15. The whole package has a superbly glossy and high-quality finish. The box sides depict the THREE schemes available, as well as some CAD renders of the completed model. It really does take patience to remove the lids of the new Airfix kits, such is the sturdiness and tight fit of things. Once inside, all SIX frames are packed into the same bag which is folded and heat sealed. I sound like a cracked record, but I really so wish they would bag frames in separate sleeves to prevent damage. There are a couple of very minor marks on my sample, and they will need a little buffing out. Nothing lost, but hey! Last year’s original F.8 release contained only 5 frames of plastic. The whole kit is identical to the previous release with the exception of this having a frame that contains the rockets. We now get chance to use the older, faired canopy, and to make use of the flashed over rocket positions on the wings. Note also that this styrene is darker than what we are currently seeing from Airfix, including their brand-new P-51D that I will look at very soon. Certainly strange in the current scheme of things, so perhaps an indication of a new moulding facility being utilised? There is a single clear frame, within its own sleeve. The windscreen has come adrift from the frame, but all is still in good order. In the bottom of the box is the now familiar styled Airfix instruction manual, some glossy sheets for the schemes, and a single decal sheet. Frame A As certainly tends to be the case with Meteor kits I’ve seen, Airfix also adopts the full span lower wing approach. They have moulded the landing flaps in the retracted position, but Eduard do have a very set of PE alternatives if that floats your boat. Airbrakes are moulded separately and can be posed, as can the ailerons. Note that the nacelles are without the front intake portion. We’ll look at the reasons a little later. Surface detail is very fine, as befits the improved trend that Airfix has adopted with their new releases. One thing I will mention is that the parts have the same slight patina as their light grey-moulded counterparts of recent, i.e. they haven’t polished the tools as much as Tamiya, Eduard or Hasegawa etc. I find it reminiscent of the degree that Revell polish their tooling to. Into the interior of the wing fit two spars, with rear one incorporating the rear engine bay firewalls. Yes….engine bay! This model comes complete with two reasonably detailed Rolls-Royce Derwent 8 turbojets. A very nice touch. This spar, as with the shorter front spar, also contain detail that makes up two walls of the main gear bay. The remaining gear bay detail is moulded across four ribs that can be found on this frame. The first two cockpit parts are also moulded here and these form the port and starboard office walls with detail that is certainly commensurate with the larger scale HKM 1/32 kit. As a cockpit aficionado, I’m certainly more than pleased with what Airfix has presented here. Note that these connect at the rear, where the walls form the rear cockpit wall. Also on this frame are optional underwing drop tanks. To accommodate these, or the rockets included in this release, you will need to open up the moulded location points that exist inside the main wing lower plate. Frame B The eyes are immediately drawn to the fuselage halves. These are moulded sans nosecone, weapons panels and rudders. The MG fairing panels have a very slightly rippled texture, representative of stressed skin, and this also appears on the panel to the rear of the weapons bays. I originally thought they were minor sink marks, but can confirm they are not. The effect is very subtle and should look very nice with the high-speed aluminium that will be applied to this particular release. External details are extremely fine, including panel lines and access ports. Whilst the model isn’t riveted, it does have various fastener lines reproduced. Something I have noticed is the raised circumferential line which runs around the fuselage from the point of the trailing edge fairing. I must admit that I’ve not noticed this on a Meteor before. Internally, it also coincides with a stepped ridge. I really don’t know the reasons for this, nor the external raised line. No other internal detail is moulded as everything is added from the modular cockpit and gun bays. Also provided as separate parts are those rear wing roots. These are also moulded here with a raised rivet detail. Other parts on this frame include the exhaust pipes for each nacelle (split into halves and with scribed internal detail), rudder parts with more raised riveting, and also the elevators. These have the same raised rivet detail, and something I can’t discern…..this is whether they have stressed skin finish or maybe small sink marks. If they are the latter, then I’m not overly concerned as the finish looks quite nice. Frame C You can clearly see from the upper wing panels that the nacelles are moulding with separate engine access covers so you can display those Derwent engines. Note those engine panels moulded on this frame. Again, more airbrake area detail to facilitate the positioning of those parts. The wing leading edge extends across the intake area, as this forms a vane for the intake. All remaining wing flying/control surfaces are moulded here too, with the later having the same raised rivet detail that we saw before. Note that the nosecone is moulded here, as halves, with their forward gun channel trough. You will need to decide from the outset whether you will build your model with the gear up or down. This is because Airfix had designed the closed bat doors to fit from within the wing and inner cone. If this is your preferred mode, then also note that you may not be able to have the engine bay opened without surgery (and why would you with a model in flight!), because the main gear door looks like it would foul the spar areas for the other option. Should you wish to pose gear down, then note the two main gear bay ceilings on this frame. Again, detail really is excellent. Frame D This frame concerns itself almost entirely with parts that are required for either the cockpit, gun bays, and undercarriage. The cockpit tub itself, is constructed from the sidewalls we previously saw, fitted to a lower floor onto which the nose gear bay sits and the well protrudes into the pit, and the two gun bays that flank the outside of the cockpit walls. Onto this fits a nicely detailed rear turtle deck. Those gun bays are also very nice with some excellent constructional/plate/rivet details within. The guns themselves are separate, as are the ammunition drums and ammunition feeds. I quite like the moulded instrument panel in this release, but Airfix also supplies a decal for this. You’d struggle to get it to conform to the raised details, I fear. Eduard also has a colour PE option in one of their aftermarket sets. I also think the seat is a very nice representation, and two are included; one with and one without seatbelts. It appears that the undercarriage itself is simplicity when it comes to construction, with all units have a left and right half that includes the mudguard etc. I also think there will be enough spring in these units to allow them to be prised apart so that the completed wheels can be put in situ later in the build. Those wheels are also supplied weighted, and are moulded with hub detail. Other undercarriage-related parts here are the doors for open bay options as well as closed nose bay parts, nose gear mount frame and bulkhead, main gear door actuators and other well details. Frame E You can clearly see that Airfix has provided this kit with two different intake options. These are for the short-chord intake, and the narrower opening long-chord variety. Which you use will depend on which scheme you decide upon, and the options are clearly stated within the instructions. Both options have a common intake liner that must first be inserted before being fitted to the model. Apart from the gun bay doors and a very small number of other parts (internal and external), everything else here is dedicated to the engines, including a rather nice service cart onto which you may display one of these. Whilst the engines might not be the most detailed, they certainly do pass muster, with the majority of parts being more than adequately represented in styrene, along with ancillary pipework, exhaust vane, starter motor, pump, filter and oil tank. More than an admirable effort for an out-of-box build. The parts themselves are very nice with the combustion chamber depiction and the mesh filter intake area. A dark wash over a metal coat, should make this pop. Frame F Here we have the clear parts. Unlike the original release in 2016, we now get to use the faired canopy. This was included last year, but not slated for use. The windscreen on my sample has come adrift, but nothing is damaged, thankfully. All clear parts are beautifully thin and crustal clear. On the canopy parts, framing is very good, and it shouldn’t be difficult to mask these parts. Interestingly, there are a couple of clear parts here which look like they are scheduled to be used in a future PR version….or at least I’d like to think so. Frame G This frame is the real difference between this and last year’s initial release. In fact, apart from the decals (of course), it’s the only difference in plastic. Eight rockets are provided, along with their pylons. The rockets are provided as two parts each, with one part being a separate cross-fin. One of those fins is missing on mine, unfortunately, so I’ll need to contact Airfix’s spares dept. The only non-rocket part on this frame is an additional framework that sits underneath the windscreen, and is only applicable to the rocket-equipped versions (not surprisingly). Decals A single sheet is provided, printed in Italy (probably Cartograf), and this includes not only national markings for three schemes, but also a comprehensive set of stencils, and I really mean that! I’ve not counted them, but I imagine there are over 200 small decals here. There is quite a lot of orange on the Dutch machine, and forward fuse arrows and nacelle flashes. My own concern here is matching your orange paint to these, especially the flashes where the colours meet. I would perhaps mask and airbrush these instead. Decals have a satin finish, and are thinly-printed. They have solid and authentic colour and minimal carrier film. Decals are included for: Meteor F.8, A77-851, flown by Sergeant George Spaulding Hale, No.77 Sqn, Royal Australian Air Force, Kimpo, Korea, March 1953 Meteor F.8, No.77 Sqn, Royal Australian Air Force, Kimpo, Korea, 1953 Meteor F.8 (Fokker-built), No.327 Sqn, Ruiten Vier (Diamonds Four) display team, Koninklijke Luchtmacht (Royal Netherlands Air Force), Commando Lucht Verdediging (Air Defence Command), Soesterberg Air Base, The Netherlands, 1952 Instructions I quite like Airfix’s new style of instruction manual. They are clear, concise and whilst printed in greyscale, a good use of red ink denotes new parts placement. Humbrol colour references are supplied throughout. Parts options for specific schemes are posing modes, are easy to follow. Colour schemes are supplied on two glossy sheets, along with a stencil placement guide. Conclusion I really do like the Meteor, having recently built the HKM kit with the T.7 Fisher conversion set, for the current issue of Military Illustrated Modeller. When I was handed this new release in York a few days ago, I really couldn’t say no, even though it wasn’t in my usual 1/32 format. I have quite a liking for the new Airfix 1/48 range, having recently reviewed the 1/48 Walrus that I’m now building, so I really couldn’t resist this. These current kits have everything…..lots of superb and finely portrayed detail, good parts options and some attractive schemes. They also play on my heartstrings for subjects that I fondly remember from my childhood, but being created in a state of the art way that I could only have dreamt of back then. Bravo Airfix! I really want to see more kits of this standard. My sincere thanks to P&S Hobbies for the review kit seen here. To purchase, contact them via their website, here, or visit them on Walmgate in York, or Castle Road, Scarborough, UK.
  15. I have been working on this since the beginning of the year. It will be be an article for Military Illustrated Modeller once it's finished.. I am on the final leg of the build now and the Eduard Brassin gunbay isn't fitting. Its something minor and can be sorted easily but its been motivation killer and its been sitting on my bench for the last few weeks mocking me every time I walk past it. So just need to fit them and do the weathering and its done!
  16. Hi all, My car-door Typhoon is now finished. As much as this kit can punish the senses, I really do like it very much. Watch out for it in the next reprint of the 'How to Build...' book from Doolittle Media:
  17. I can't believe it's 3 years since my last post http://forum.largescalemodeller.com/topic/1798-airfix-junkers-ju87-b-2/ but I'm now out of the licensed trade (Thank God!) and have more time for models....I just need more time to post what I've been doing I've been on with the Bf 109E-4 for a couple of months and here's the progress so far. As suggested in the post title, I last built this model in the 70s and a lot has changed since then I'm sure we all know the fit isn't great and the detail a little lacking but I've tried to scratch build some bits to compensate Engine first,not much to tell. It's not great detail but I Dremmelled off the moulded pipes etc and added some of my own. Due to the build a lot of the engine isn't visible so no point going too much to town. Painted in black with a little gunmetal added. Weathered with an oil wash and some oil stains etc added. Also I've added engine numbers to try and add a little realism I'll try and get an update on later with cockpit build etc. As ever any comments, advice are most welcome Regards Craig So, onto the cockpit. It's a bit sparse by todays' standards but I've tried to pep it up a bit First, before any huge debate I've used Humbrol RLM02 as my weapon of choice. This will be painted as a BoB from Aug 1940 so I'm happy that the interior should be RLM02. As I said it's a bit bare in there so I've made a seat back from Milliput and distressed it up a bit. Also used the RB seat harness which I think is brilliant and forms a little project all its own (especially at 54 YoA and with dodgy eyes close up) I got all the parts in. This pic shows the rudder pedals with the addition of the red hydraulic brake lines and the foot holders made from lead wire. It also show the full metal replacement instrument panel from Airscale. Pricey but worth it. If anyone has any opinions on the Yahu ready made ones I'd be grateful as next up for me is the 1:24 Hurricane Left side wall I've added various pipes etc and lots of decals from Airscales Luftwaffe placards set. Also managed an attempt at the harness tensioning device from behind the seat Right side wall saw me remove the moulded wiring and replace it with red telephone wire. The oxygen regulator got a new coiled pipe from copper wire and some decals on the valves. A blue oxygen pipe was added running up the side wall to the pilots connection. The map was downloaded from an original Luftwaffe one and shrunk and printed(I've since taken the bottom off at an angle to make it sit right in the pocket Top view shows a bit of weathering and staining etc. Next will be the fuselage halves going together. Now won't THAT be fun I've decided to do a bit of a detour and get the wings sorted before looking at the fuselage. The wings were a terible fit so I had to kidnap the wife's nail sanding sponge block and work it to death to get a decent fit. Wheel wells were blocked in with plastic sheet and a bit of strip for the formers along the floor of the wells Bit of an oil wash and they don't look too bad. I've tried using some masking tape cut to size, painted and stitching pencilled in to represent the canvas cover that protects the wheel well surround. Still a bit of sanding etc needed round here. The guns were painted with a mix of gunmetal with a touch of black then drybrushed silver and a silver crayon used to add some wear and tear. The wing radiators were again a poor fit. I ditched the horrid plastic kit grilles and fitted some fine wire mesh instead. Even though the grilles sit quite deep in the housing so aren't that prominent, it still adds a more realistic touch....or at least I think so. Over the last few days I've put the fuselage together. What a Job!!!. I'm not going into detail but I reckon I'll keep Squadron and Milliput going for at least another year with the amount I've used. Not to mention the wet and dry and sanding blocks. The fit was so bad I've had no choice but to glue the covers of the cowl on and fill the gaps, so losing the detail of the cowl guns I spent hours on. but here a re a couple of pics I took prior to that. I got a micro drill and drilled out the air cooler holes along the barrels to enhance the look and took off the moulded wiring and added some real stuff. I'll be posting a couple of shots when I've got a coat of primer on Wow. Bit of a lag since my last post so here's a catch up. I adjusted the map in the map pocket to look more realistiic and tidied up the cockpit generally Next on were the wings.. Not too bad but filler and sanding needed again I really thought I'd taken pictures of the base paint job going on but the PC HDD crashed (hence the delay in updating the post) however I can't now find them. It's a basic RLM02/71 upper paint job and RLM so it's onto the decaling. I've decided to do Wick's aircraft in October 1940 and I'm using various sources. Some photos from Falkeeins excellent site: http://falkeeins.blogspot.co.uk/2009/12/helmut-wick-his-me-109-wnr-5344.html?m=1 as well as some good paintings of Wicks camouflage So, decals. I've used the Techmod ones and they''re a bit fiddly to say the least Ii should mention my thinking here and I hope someone will correct me if it's wrong I decided to put a base paint job on first ie a factory finish then put the decals on as I figured the stippling so typical of JG2 planes would have been applied after the crosses and other markings. exceptions were the kills on the tail and the stab markings Anyway here's a few pics of how they've gone on: Next up came the stippling. I tried a cut down brush but found a bit of quite "holey" sponge from a 50p Wilkinson's bath sponge worked best. I went for a light overall stippling first: Then over successive coats tried to achieve a heavier look. I put the stab markings on over this then stippled onto them a little. Again, I'm not sure if its correct but it seems to work OK I've put the kill markings on after all the paint is done So now it's some touch up on the paintwork and a coat of varnish then just the weathering to do.
  18. 1/24 Hawker Typhoon Mk.1B 'car door' No 486 (NZ) Sqn. RAF Tangmere 'Operation Spartan' In 2014, Airfix contacted me and asked if I would build them the original bubble-top incarnation of their 1/24 Typhoon. As they had three other modellers also building, I was left with the shark mouth scheme....not that I was complaining. The model took around 7 weeks from start to finish and was one of the most satisfying builds I'd tackled in years. The blue infill on the mouth was also a talking point . There's no doubt that the finished model is impressive and imposing, yet not without its issues, such as seams that need removing, and some complicated plumbing work. Like many other modellers, the Typhoon that really interested us was the earlier car-door version. Thankfully, Airfix recently released this one, and I was asked again to build too. Original kit photos The new release looks as engaging, but isn't without a few niggles. I will be building scheme 'B' which is the earliest machine from the options given. This means removing the fish plates from the tail strengthening joint, meaning the missing detail from under the plates will need to be restored. Despite this being a necessary evil, for some bizarre reason, Airfix will have you slice away the plastic on the deck to the rear of the pilot, and replace it with an insert. The reason? Simply to replace the moulded detail with a less detailed alternative. Having tried this and screwing up a fuselage half, I decided to just remove the raised plastic detail and recreate the lapped panel detail, as per the tail unit fish tail area. Makes sense? Good, I thought so. Before After This Typhoon is quite interesting. Like all schemes in this release, it has a three-bladed propeller, but it also has the early style car door canopy, early narrow chord tailplane, and short cannon fairings. If you think you'll see lots of weapons underneath the wings, then you'll be wrong. This one carries no external ordnance. Yes.....a plain wing, unhindered by things hanging from it! After scraping the frames and other internal parts (for two whole days), the entire internal framework was assembled and then airbrushed with Xtreme Metal Aluminium. After a coat of Klear, a wash was added. Here is the result. I still need to add further staining and detail paintwork, but you get the idea. You'll also note the early pilot seat headrest/bulkhead. More soon........
  19. Of course I haven't got the Tiffie in my grubby paws yet but I've pre-ordered it. Although the Typhoon looks really at home in full invasion stripes, I have chosen a later subject: Pulverizer II of 440 Sqn RCAF. This Bombphoon was based at B.78 Eindhoven in late 1944. An airbase which is still in use by the Royal Netherlands Air Force nowadays. It is also used as a civilian airfield, much used for European flights carried out with aircraft in the Boeing 737 size class. So, to be continued...
  20. I've plunged into the deep and started Airfix 1/24 Hawker Typhoon. It'll be MN131, a 3-blade, rocket-armed, bubble-top Typhoon that was fitted with the small tailplanes. EagleCal's terrific decals will be used. I have to run now to get to work in time, update follows quickly! The update: These are the decals on the sheet, to give you an idea: I also plan on using Airscale's instrument decals: The seatbelts supplied in the kit are not the "standard Sutton-harness" used RAF-wide during WW-II, so I turned to Radu Brinzan for his lovely set of harness. It looks quite daunting but that hurdle will be taken when we get to it! Staying with Radu's RB products, I plan to use the photo-etched radiator parts, keeping in mind that the kit parts may need to be sanded down a bit to get the whole assembly to fit. Barracudacast's resin air intake promises to be a part that refines the radiator assembly effectively too! And finally I'll be using Barracudacast's resin Typhoon wheels. I find them worth the small investment in money, seeing as how much finer the detail is. Well, onto the kit then!!!! This kit certainly isn't a "weekend-kit", you only have to glance at the heap of plastic to become aware of that.... One of the first things to tackle is the framing around the cockpit. That's also where you see that Airfix isn't in the Tamigawa league yet, no matter what all the fanboys may say! There are heaps of detail moulded in but here and there it reminds me some of the mouldings of Monogram.... The parts show really distinctive mould-seams and sometimes the mould halves aren't exactly "calibrated". In parts with a circular cross-section, that means that you easily end up with an oval cross-section... For my taste, the plastic is somewhat too soft, I prefer the harder Japanese plastic. But no fear, I'm enjoying myself with this Tiffie! Cleaning up the right (errr... starboard) frame took me the entire modelling session of an evening. Do observe the difference between the basic part and the cleaned-up part, though. I used a No.11 Swan & Morton scalpel to scrape off the seams on the verical sides and the top sides. I didn't bother with the bottom sides as these will not be seen from the cockpit aperture. Top is the treated part, bottom the raw part as it was cut off from the mould-tree. To be continued.
  21. Hi gang, Sorry I've been pretty quiet recently, but Airfix asked me to build one of the Typhoon Über kits for display on their stand at Scale Model World, Telford. This kit is magnificent, but no 2 week project. I rushed this one to get it built in time, and it still took 7 weeks, which is is only a couple of weeks short of what it would take me to do two magazine projects. Airfix have commissioned four modellers to build the four schemes available in the kit. Everything here is OOB (through necessity) except for Airscale cockpit decals and masks which were used for the tail chequer band. I found the kit decal colours to be muddy and wrong. I still need to add fuses to the rockets and also more weathering to the wheels, but it's almost there. I'm not going to beat myself up over a rush build, and I know I could have improved many areas. Hope you like it.
  22. Hi guys, Does any of you have got a replacement Tiffie-canopy from Airfix? I've read mixed experiences -not about Airfix, their service i outstanding and fast- but about the "droop" in the canopies. I've read somewhere that the keep the clear parts a short while longer in the moulds before ejecting them so the parts can cool down somewhat more and don't display the droop. On other forums I read that the droop is still present, only the cracking has been sorted? Anyone know what it'sreally like? I knowthere are resin alternatives around, but prefer injection moulded transparencies if at all possible as resin still isn't as crystal clear... Cheers, Erik.
  23. 1:24 Hawker Typhoon Mk.1B Airfix Catalogue # A19002 Available from Airfix for £99.99 If anything could be classed as a 'main event' at a model show, then the test shot sprues for the 1:24 Airfix Hawker Typhoon which were on show atScale Model World 2013, Telford, in November last year, certainly is the epitome of that statement. You would have had serious difficulty in getting anywhere near the plastic, such was the continual throng of modellers crowding out the Airfix stall. Some perseverance and the occasional rigid elbow eventually got our website team in to get the all-important photos. This looked to be a model like no other. Yes, Airfix are the original stalwarts of 1:24 model aircraft, with their last release, the Mosquito, being released in late 2009. However, something was very different with this new kit. In fact, something that I'm pretty sure hasn't been seen on an injection-moulded kit before. That difference was the stressed metal surface that this model sported. Yes, something that we see on practically all metal skinned aircraft, now reproduced with amazing authenticity on a plastic model kit. The Typhoon was a large and heavy fighter plane, and in 1:24, it really is no shrinking violet. It also has a very large box in order to accommodate the rakes of plastic within. I quite like the design of Airfix's packaging. It's got great artwork that harkens back to the time when this was a big selling point for us when we were young. It's extremely bold and almost shouts 'buy me' at you as soon as you see it, and the glossy gorgeousness also carries the four varied schemes on one edge. The back of the box not only carries those 4 scheme profiles again, but also superbly realistic digital renders, in heavy weathering. You also get a potted history of the Typhoon and a map of operational Typhoon bases in June/July 1944. There are also some impressive CAD renders of the model too. Lifting that substantial lid does immediately blow away any idea about this being a sturdy looking box. It simply isn't. In fact, it's quite flimsy and twists easily. There are no separators in there either, as you get in some Trumpeter releases, so the sprues are free to bang around a little. Several parts had come adrift from my sprues, but were thankfully undamaged. Sprues aren't all individually packaged, with many sharing their tough polythene bags. These are sealed up using heat. I'm not a fan of sprues being bagged in multiples, but the packers have had the good sense in ensuring that those external surfaces are facing away from each other. I don't know if that's by accident or design, but it pleases me. Of course, the clear sprues are separate. Inside their bags, these are wrapped in foam, and within that, what looks like kitchen/toilet tissue paper. As well as the two clear sprues, there are SIXTEEN others, all moulded in light grey styrene, and these are generally packed in bags containing two each. There was never any doubt that this was going to be a complex kit to look at, so we'll do our sprue-by-sprue and see what this kit offers the builder, who no doubt will want to see all those details that they either saw at Telford SMW2013, and those little touches which do so promise to set this kit above all others in its class. Many sprues in this release are quite narrow, but also long. That's a little quirky, and I suppose makes them a little easier to package into this behemoth of a box. It makes the photos a little awkward, so we'll have to compensate with many close-up shots. SPRUE A Airfix has apparently designed this model so that it more or less constructs in the same manner as did the real aircraft. I'm not going to approve or disprove that statement, but the construction sequences are quite unusual and may seem to back that up. We'll look at the sequence at the end of the sprues evaluation. That construction does start with the cockpit and wing spar joint assembly, and this sprue contains more than a few of those key, initial components. The most obvious parts here are the tubular sidewalls for the cockpit. These sure give a sense of scale to proceedings. Airfix have properly captured the impression of the various tubes being riveted, plated and bolted together. Definition of that detail is generally excellent, but like many parts on this sprue, there is a little flash here and there, and more annoyingly, there are a few seam lines that will need paring before you start. Another thing I notice on this model generally are the number of very visible ejector pin marks. The side frames do suffer from these, but they have been placed on the exterior side of them, so won't be seen when the model is assembled. I am reliably informed that the majority of these marks are designed not be seen when the model is built, despite the beautiful levels of detail existing around these anomalies. Another example of this are the marks on the forward bulkhead/firewall. There are no marks to be seen on the engine bay side of this superbly detailed part (resplendent in wiring, connector points, raised rivets etc), but the reverse does have pin marks. The upper two will be hidden by the two-part fuel tank, and the lower will be in the shadows of the foot well. There are two short, sub wing spars on this sprue, and pin marks exist on one face of them. These are mated to the larger main spar, so I can say that Airfix do seem to have thought this out with the modeller in mind. That oil tank assembly is a little odd, with it being literally sliced in half. Having said that, the seam will be easy to remove due to no other detail causing you a headache here. Other parts on this sprue include the oval bulkhead to the rear of the cockpit (with integral tubular braces and excellent connection point detail). Other parts on this sprue are the footboards, rudder pedal bar, and various other cockpit parts; both major and minor. This kit also supplies a pilot, and the forward and back parts of his torso/legs are moulded here. The arms and head are separate. Airfix have designed their pilot so he properly interacts with the control column etc, and his feet do indeed reach the pedals! Seatbelts are spread between this sprue and sprue L, and look very reasonable. I would still opt for an HGW set though. SPRUE B I think the reason for long, narrow sprues is clearly defined here when we see the two key wing spars for the Typhoon. They are long! In fact, each measures approximately 330mm (over 13 inches), and these aren't even the full span of this model kit. There are clear connection points on here that tie in with the addition of the cockpit module, and even though I keep harkening to the detail levels, I really need to. Those spars are a combination of strut, plate, tube and rivet, and they look incredibly realistic. Under a coat of Alclad, and with an oil wash, they will no doubt look indiscernible from the real thing. If you like to see a well-moulded and highly detailed instrument panel, then the one Airfix provide will not disappoint you. Despite being almost a 'triptych', this areas is moulded as a single piece, with nicely raised bevel detail, and switches/selectors etc. Those instrument faces are moulded as holes, so the glazed section can fit to this from the rear. There has been some criticism of the depth of those clear lenses, so if you wish to use the Airfix approach, you could actually grind them down a fraction and re-polish them. This is where I really do begin to question why they included a clear part at all. Individual decals are supplied for this kit, and unlike the Tamiya approach where they are printed face side down, these are standard in approach, meaning they sit ON TOP of the glass, and not below it. Unless I'm missing something, that part didn't need to be clear. I'd apply the decals to the instrument faces, once that rear plate has been installed. A drop of Micro Crystal Clear will then replicate the lens. Perhaps at this juncture, it's a good time to mention the excellent Airscale set of instrument decals that are available, including Typhoon-specific cockpit placards. This set is designed specifically for this release. This sprue is another myriad of internal cockpit parts, including sidewall panels and integral cabling, control consoles, quadrants, seat parts and numerous other tubular framing parts. Again, a little flash will need to be removed here and there, and some seam lines paring down too. SPRUE C Onto a nice, large sprue now. Apart from a set of neatly moulded, weighted wheels with a little simplified hub detail, this sprue more or less contains the parts for the massively powerful 24-cylinder Napier Sabre engine. If you so choose, you can build this with an optional miniature electric motor tucked away within (bought separately), and there are various options available to the modeller when it comes to displaying the engine itself. These are highlighted in the first pages of the manual. For me, I feel it sacrilege to not show the engine when complete. The kit allows you to model the engine with the electric motor completely hidden within, and not affecting the finished result, or you can opt to just cowl the area over and not show the engine at all. As you'll imagine, the engine itself isn't a quick build in itself, and this highly detailed area of construction contains around 60 to 70 parts, but my very quick estimation. The Napier was quite unusual in appearance, and those ignition distribution conduits and their associated leads are neatly moulded too. A little flash again, and some seams will most definitely need to be removed too. There is some very neat slide-moulding trickery on the separate exhaust stubs too, with each one having a neatly hollow end, as well as weld seams. As well as the engine and ancillary parts, you will find some very fragile-looking plumbing here too. . Needless to say, flash is present, and those infernal seams, but the latter aren't really too bad here. Just take your time when it comes to shaving them away. Dual packing of sprues didn't pay off here as one connector hose has broken away from the sprue. SPRUE D A real mish-mash of parts here. Undercarriage doors are provided as an external plate, with a separate interior section that has tabs that locate into the slots on the undercarriage legs. A very small sink mark can be seen on the exterior of one door, and that will need to be filled and sanded back. Of course, one of the most characteristic parts of the Typhoon design was the enormous chin intake. This is broken down into several parts, as is the actual exterior cowl (on another sprue). There are also a couple of optional intake parts for the forward section of the intake. One is a simple framework that sits in front of the filter, and the other is a plate grille. There are actually two types of the latter on the sprue, but I can't see any use mentioned of the plainer part. The rest of the sprue is taken up with yet more sections of plumbing, and also parts for the main undercarriage/tail wheel, including various actuators and tanks that reside in the main gear bays. Looking at the sprues and the instructions, I really would be hard-pressed to see what else you'd need to add, maybe apart from the odd section of lead wire. Remarkable. SPRUE E Only one part here, but it is, er, pretty important! For the first time, we see something containing that rather impressive stressed metal skin; the lower bottom wing panel. Depending on how you intend to display your model will then depend on which holes you need to open up from within this part. Stage 90 (yes, 90!!!) graphically shows which holes are intended for the various tanks and ordnance. If you fit the electric motor, then you will need to open up another hole. This is also true if you decide to mount on a stand. I can't understand why Airfix didn't include the stand as standard. It used to be in the other 1:24 releases. For those of you that saw the test sprues at SMW2013, you were no doubt awestruck by that stressed metal rendition. Some of you will have seen photos on other forums etc., and I imagine you felt that same way. To have the parts here in hand, and experience it again has certainly not dulled those first impressions. This is a seriously nice piece of design work, impressively carried off at the tooling and moulding stage. The surface is resplendent in various bumps and bulges, subtly accommodated between various riveted lines. The whole effect is extremely authentic, and hopefully will set a bench mark, not just for Airfix, but also their competitors. Other surface detail is no less nice. The rivets, which divots, are very small and just right to my eye. Panel lines are superbly neat and narrow, and not at all too deep, and numerous screwed and riveted plates are perfectly executed. Cartridge ejection chutes are also moulded 'open', and the Hispano cannon fairings are separate entities. There is a little flash present again, around the internal opening of the gear bays, and also in the landing flap areas. Nothing at all to worry about, and I imagine you could remove it in less than a minute. SPRUE F This sprue mostly concerns itself with the wing interior detail, including the gun bay areas. Airfix has designed this model so that the lower wing panel (Sprue E) is attached to the completed cockpit and engine section. On top of this, you now add the various internal wing spars and ribs, forming the wheel bays and gun bays. Detail across these is astounding, with riveted plates, wiring, and even the leather grommet in the spar, through which the Hispano pass. You have a real sense that the designer was extremely passionate about his work here, because if a lot of this was missing, you'd still be impressed with the result. Other detail on the spars includes strut sections with domed rivets, and even a pouch/wallet item in the wheel bay area. When the spars and ribs are added, a ground plate is then added to the gun bays, consisting of structural elements and mounts for the cannon. Those cannon are very impressive in their sheer size, but unusually, the muzzles aren't hollow moulded! I can't understand why at all, and certainly not in a release of this importance. You can of course drill them out yourself, or wait until Master Model release a set of replacement barrels with recoil springs. The latter are moulded in situ here and look as good as you can expect to get them. After all, they will mostly be enclosed with the fairings anyway. Those cannon fairings are moulded as halves. That in itself doesn't sound like an issue, but Airfix have moulded the shape within so that it fits the recoil spring. That would normally means that you would have to attach them to the model and then remove the seams. On a big model, it can be awkward. I suggest opening the interior up a little and building them off the model. You can then slide them into position when the seams are history. Other parts on this sprue include the ammunition boxes and separate belt feeds and rear spars which form the face onto which you will add the flaps etc. SPRUE G There are THREE spinner options available here, including those for both three and four blade propellers. Two back-plates are separately moulded to cater to these, with internal face detail. You'll be hard-pressed to see it when assembled though! Hubs for both types of prop are supplied as front and back parts too, but this is nothing unusual for a large-scale model. A third of this sprue is taken over with various fuel tanks, including the wing leading edge tanks. All tanks are two part affairs, and seams will be easy to remove. Of course, filler cap detail is there the rib-capping strip that fits over the main wing tank. The real drying shame is that you won't see any of this detail except through the odd chink in detail within the gun and wheel bays. Still, you will know it's there, and that's what counts in my book. The remainder of sprue parts are taken over with the bomb bodies, external fuel tanks and the rocket mounting rails. Bombs and tanks are moulded as halves, and you will need to take care when removing the seams on the tanks, due to raised detail that gets in the way of a clean joint. SPRUE H This model comes with two types of tail-plane. Firstly, the standard chord tail-plane is of course present, but also the later, wider chord type that is commonly referred to as the 'Tempest tail-plane'. Normally, this sort of inclusion would have been very difficult to implement in kit form due to the difference required for the fuselage slot. The difference here is that Airfix has designed the vertical fin and lower section to be separate parts. On this sprue, you will find the parts of the fin that will allow you to attach the original, short-chord tail-plane. I am reliably informed that the fin section fits effortlessly to the fuselage. That lower wing section, as I mentioned, wasn't full span. Here we have the lower, outboard sections of the wings, which appear to attach along a panel line. These are tabbed to aid alignment, and of course, that delicious stressed skin is very evident. A wing spar which extends past the centre section of the wing also gives the tip addition some rigidity. As the upper wing is pretty skeletal, Airfix have chosen to adopt a better system of representing the roof of the main gear bays instead of simply moulding it to the inside of the upper wing panels. This gives a far better representation for the modeller, allowing perhaps a little extra wire etc. to be added before the wing is closed up. There are wiring boxes and wiring itself on these parts, accompanying the wing structure detail. As well as the multipart gun bay covers which also exhibit that stressed skin relief, a second set of main gear bay doors are provided, as single parts, allowing the modeller to pose his model 'wheels up' with no problem.
  24. The built-up examples of Airfix' forthcoming 1/24 Typhoon and the sprues:
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