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1:32 ‘The Duellists’ – Halberstadt Cl.II & RE.8 “Harry Tate” Wingnut Wings Catalogue # 32804 Available from Wingnut Wings for $229USD, plus postage The Halberstadt Cl.II was a highly successful lightweight German two-seat escort fighter and ground attack aircraft that entered service in July 1917. It was initially tasked with escorting traditional two-seat C type reconnaissance and artillery spotting aircraft up until March 1918 when they transitioned to infantry support. The RE.8 was designed as a two-seat reconnaissance aircraft and entered service with the RFC in late 1916 and remained in use until after the Armistice. Aircrew gave it the affectionate nickname ‘Harry Tate’, RE.8 rhyming well with the popular Scottish music hall comedian’s name and, possibly, because of its similarly comic appearance. In the hands of confident and aggressive aircrews the RE.8 was capable of putting up a fight almost as well as the great Bristol Fighter. Late in the morning of 9 June 1918 the crew of RE.8 D4689 “P” from 3 Squadron Royal Australian Flying Corps encountered late production Halberstadt Cl.II 15342/17 “III” from Royal Prussian Schlasta 13 over the Somme battlefield... The kit This is the fourth ‘Duellist’ release from Wingnut Wings, and of course, featuring two more protagonists that met in combat on the same day in history. You’ll notice with this release that WNW have simultaneously released their brand new Halberstadt Cl.II as a part of this package, but alongside the currently out-of-production RE.8 “Harry Tate” kit. I know that the latter kit is very much lamented since it became unavailable some 5 years ago, so for that reason alone, this new kitset will become a very attractive purchase. The box for this is large. Whilst the same depth as either the Halberstadt and RE.8 boxes, it has twice the footprint of either, due to the nature of the release. Steve Anderson’s very attractive and evocative artwork adorns this large lid, showing the rear gunners of these two aircraft opening fire on each other above the fields of the Western Front. Being a Duellist release, there is only one scheme available for each of the aircraft, and these are depicted on the side of the box. We’ll look at these a little later. Lifting that lid reveals a compartmented interior, with each section being given over to the sprues for one particular aircraft. Whilst all of the sprues for the Halberstadt are all individually bagged, the RE.8 has further packaging with all bagged sprues being packed into a large, clear bag. A single PE fret contains the parts for both machines, and three decal sheets are also provided, with one of them having decals printed for both aircraft, and another being a lozenge sheet which is common to the other Halberstadt releases. A small, additional sheet contains just a handful of decals. In total, this release contains fourteen light grey styrene sprues and two clear ones. The spiel from WNW gives the following statistics: 496 high-quality injection moulded plastic parts for 2 aircraft. Halberstadt Cl.II plastic parts are the same as new model 32062 Halberstadt Cl.II (Late). RE.8 “Harry Tate” plastic parts are the same as 32012 RE.8 “Harry Tate” which sold out in June 2014. 18 photo-etched metal detail parts. Highly detailed 180hp Daimler-Mercedes D.IIIa and 150hp RAF 4a engines. 36 page fully illustrated instruction manual. 2 high quality Cartograf decal sheets including fitted lozenge camouflage and markings for 2 aircraft that met in combat. Halberstadt Cl.II Now, I’m not going to reinvent the wheel here as I only just reviewed the Cl.II (Early) release in this last day or so, and you can find the full suite of photos and that review HERE. However, the Halberstadt in this particular kit is actually the LATE version, so there is a slight difference in supplied sprues. This LATE version doesn’t have Sprue F of the previous review, but instead has a new Sprue G, and that is the one we’ll be looking at here. Everything else remains the same, with the exception of a few parts from the common sprues which aren’t to be used here. Sprue G Like the Sprue F of the EARLY kit, this also contains parts which are not too dissimilar, such as cowl parts and guns. However, we also have many parts which further set this one apart. Here you will find the standard/late production instrument board, magazine and empty belt container, grease pump, gun rings (not used), magneto fairing, radiator header tank and bracket, late aileron control rods, and late radiator shutter etc. Apart from those gun rings, everything else on here is for use with this release. RE.8 “Harry Tate” Out of all the sprues in this set, the RE.8 is the one with most plastic real-estate, so to speak, with 10 sprues in total. It’s hard to believe that this particular part of the package is now 9yrs old, but of course, such are the standards with these kits, that the plastic quality and detail could make it look as if it was released only recently. Sprue A This sprue mainly, but not exclusively, deals with the multitude of cockpit parts for Harry Tate. The largest and most obvious are the cockpit sidewalls. As with numerous parts on this kit, you’ll note little tags that need to be removed here and there. This is designed to keep ejector pin marks away from delicate details and is an elegant solution that the frustration that those marks usually incur. Rifling through the cockpit parts here, you’ll notice the firewall, ammunition drums, 6-gallon oil tank, foot boards, rudder bar, flare case, instrument board with integral frame, RL tube, flare pistol, control column assembly, wireless accumulator, passenger seat, wicker pilot seat, 37 ½ gallon fuel tank, camera, etc. We aren’t solely limited to cockpit parts, with the two exhaust manifolds moulded here. Note the end of these has a separate part, creating the hollow appearance required. Sprue B A number of parts on here aren’t to be used, such as various permutations of lower engine cowl, optional set of undercarriage v-struts and some cowl parts. The one to be used has a series of holes at its rear, and it’s suggested that these be drilled out for more realism. What will be used is that gorgeous 4-blade airscrew, engine bearer frames, centre plane struts, interplane struts, and upper cowl parts. The parts map doesn’t show part B7 as shaded out. This is an alternative undercarriage spreader bar and NOT to be used with this release! Sprue C This large, clear sprue has a number of parts on it, including some upper wing centre section parts, but there are only TWO parts that will be used, and these are the forward windshield and a lens for a camera. Clarity is excellent, as can be seen on the unused wing parts. Sprue D (x2) Where duplicate parts are to be used, WNW usually splits these across two identical sprues, such as this. Here we have the wheels and separate outer hub, elevators, wing struts, alternative engine cylinder parts, king post struts, pulleys, Brown & Barlow carburettor, control horns etc. Sprue E The Royal Aircraft Factory RAF 4a air-cooled V12 engine is a project in itself, and this sprue is dedicated to building the engine which slightly underpowered this beautiful aircraft. Sprue F A large sprue, this moulding contains both fuselage halves and the outboard, upper wing panels. The RE.8 had a fabric covered fuselage, and this is superbly recreated in plastic, with lacing details along the sides of the fuselage, and also where the fabric has wrinkled under tension at specific points, much like they recreated on their SE.5a kits. Of course, the engine cowls are separate items. Internally, there isn’t anything to really see as the detail is provided with the cockpit tub installation. When it comes to the wings, these guys know how to render that specific fabric and rib appearance, as you can see here. Notice also the shorter leading-edge ribs between the main ribs. It can be hard to get the camera lighting right for this, but you can see it in these photos. Wing strut location points are also shaped, making strut orientation a cinch. Holes also exist for rigging, but you might want to just use a small drill bit to deepen them slightly. Be careful if you do as these wings are moulded as single-piece items and not upper and lower panels. They are also reasonably thin. Ailerons are moulded separately too. Sprue G The lower wing of the RE.8 is a much shorter span than the upper, but here you can see the lower wing moulded as a full-span item, with fuselage centre section. Even with the shorter span, it’s still quite large. This is again moulded sans ailerons, with are included on this sprue, along with the upper wing ailerons. All surface details are commensurate with what we saw on the upper wing panels just now. Also included here are the wing centre section parts, rudder and two fin options, although only one of the latter is destined for use. Sprue R (x2) This sprue is also labelled as ‘R.F.C. Armaments’and contains a variety of parts that are common to other releases too. That being, most of this sprue will not be used on this kit, with only the scarff ring, ammunition and bomb carrier parts to be used. Photo Etch I don’t know why WNW chooses to manufacture a joint PE sheet instead of just using the original release ones, but it certainly shows some attention to detail for what is essentially a new release. Here you will find lap belts, MG jacket for the high detail version of the Spandau LMG, Vickers gun cocking handle and parts, Lewis gun ratchet mount for scarff ring, and rudder cable grommets. Two plates are also included for displaying your finished models. As per usual, production quality is first rate, with just small tags holding the parts in position. Decals As with the PE, despite there being two separate models in this release, the decals are on a shared sheet. The top half of this first sheet concerns the RE.8 and contains decals for almost the entire model, such as the national markings, serials, cockpit instruments and some stencils. National markings are split into sections where they overlap from wing to aileron etc. making application far easier to handle. The lower section of this sheet contains all national markings, stencils, instruments etc. for the Halberstadt Cl.II, again with national markings that are split to cater to ailerons, rudder etc. You will also see how these have been printed to portray the change from the old-style cross to the straight-sided later cross, including the painted-out portions. Some of these also have indicators pointing to orientation. A small supplementary sheet contains a few decals for the RE.8 Lastly, a large sheet contains all of the large lozenge panels required to cover the upper and lower wings, ailerons, fin/rudder, stabiliser and elevator, plus the wheel hubs. Everything is printed with rib tape strips in place. All printing is of high quality with solid and authentic colour, nice thinly printed inks, and perfect registration. Carrier film is also minimal. The two schemes in this release are: Halberstadt Cl.II 15342/17 “III”, Kuesler & Müllenbach, Royal Prussian Schlasta 13, 9 June 1918. RE.8 “Harry Tate” D4689 “P”, RC Armstrong & FJ Mart, 3 Squadron Australian Flying Corps, 9 June 1918. Instructions The manual for this release is a hefty 36-page effort, in WNW’s usual, sumptuous style. Starting with some info on each type on the front page, we are then presented with a paint reference guide which has codes for Tamiya and Humbrol Paints, plus FS codes. The following two pages have the sprues, decals, PE map for each kit. Any parts not to be used are shaded out, making reference a lot easier from the outset. Construction then begins with the Halberstadt Cl.II, taking over a total of 12 construction sequences that also contain numerous other stages. A rigging diagram and Ronny Bar profile is then supplied to help you complete your model. The RE.8 construction begins next, and takes up almost the remainder of the manual, in the same style as the Halberstadt. Interspersed amongst the assembly illustrations are also full colour graphics which depict painted sub-assemblies, plus some nice period imagery for reference. Decal placement illustrations are simple to follow, and painting references are supplied throughout construction. Conclusion As I said earlier, it’s great to see the RE.8 making another outing. I suspect it’s only a few eBay scalpers that won’t be too enthused! Both models are superbly detailed and will provide countless hours of pure modelling pleasure. Add to that the historical element of these particular machines, and you know you really are recreating an actual snapshot of aviation history, gone forever except for the old records and photos that are now there for us to see. I really would go and treat yourself to this one before it too becomes hard to find! My sincere thanks to Wingnut Wings for the review sample seen here. To purchase directly, click the link at the top of this article.
Felixstowe F.2a & Hansa-Brandenburg W.29 Wingnut Wings 1/32 Scale Catalogue n. #32801 Price Tag: $349 In 2009, the Easter season, appeared in the history of modeling a new kit manufacturer brand. It would not be anything too extraordinary for brands kits, especially in the last 10 years have been many to come. However WnW is not just any brand. The WnW shook all modeling of ocmo well make a model structures, and be perfect at all levels, from the box-art (the most beautiful in the market) for plastic injection, and end up in the brilliant instructions, unequaled. Marveling at the box art, and for all that seemed to come from inside those boxes, and a very successful site, fell in love with a brand kits ... something that had never happened ... not even with Tamiya. Then in 2010 I had an idea ... The WnW is like a football club ... is a passion, and if it`s a passion, you do have to have followers, have to have fans... So with the genuine intention to bring together all those who have a passion, or only a small interest in WnW, I created in January 2010, WnW fans page on facebook. Since then, the page has grown much at the expense of the fans and the support of own WnW who knows of their existence and recognizes the importance of this page in internet world. In October 2013, WnW Fans joined the Large Scale Modeller and made sense becoming this fantastic forum, the foreign home (outside facebook). From 2010 to the present day many things have passed since 3 GB in LSM, two contests on facebook, with rewards given directly by WnW to its winners, a marathon, and the list for the most desired. Certainly many more things will come in time. Many projects are in queue. For all this I was fortunate to receive this gem at home, signed by Richard Alexander and with a special dedication. It was an extraordinary gift by the WnW which always, in one way or another, informally supported the WnW fans. I was totally speechless when I received this gift and do this review, not as an obligation (since I was expressly told by Richard that it was a gift and not a review sample) but rather as a gratitude to the WnW for what have done for modellers and for the general hobby for 6 years now. The modeling of awakening to WWI, even in AFV, by Tamiya, Meng Takom, not only due to the fact that the celebration of 100 years but also the momentum created and maintained by WnW to periodically launch new release, better and better. .. I'll stop now my cheap sentimentality, and let´s go crack the box. This box is huge but if you do have a Felixstowe, this one is exactly the same size. The difference is inside where on the duelist there no space left and after taking out all the sprues, is quite difficult t to put it in once again. But before entering the contents of the box, the box art is a true work of art. Almost risked to say that the box-art alone is worth at ease over $ 50 .. The postman arrived in the early morning on March 19 in Portugal is Father's Day. I took the box into the bedroom and opened in front of my wife and my daughters, and so shot the box, my wife so frankly said, is the most beautiful kit box you ever had. The box art alone is a true work of art. The WnW throughout the ages have been distinguished by excellent quality and its attractive boxes. We owe these attractive boxes to the talent of Steve Anderson and WnW clear vision of having a high quality product with beautiful presentation. Boxart of The Duellist, for me, the most beautiful of all. I have over 20 WnW models kits (Not much I know… shame on me) and over 200 other brands and when the box came to me was with my wife. So I opened the package, and revealed the Duellist box, my wife just said that beautiful picture. It is certainly the most beautiful boxart I've ever seen. And that pretty much sums up the boxart: a wonderful job, with a dynamic and exceptional drama, captured in full by Steve Anderson. The Duellist was on my wish list since it has release, not for the content (I already had the W29) but and only the box art. I just hit the jackpot with this WnW offering. Actual box art depicts the last moment of Felixstowe F.2a N4305 Early type to be attacked by Friedrich Christiansen`s Hansa Brandenburg W-29, with the whole evolution of such confronts perfectly portrayed and exemplary manner in the instructions. The Duellist has two already release model kits from WnW: The Hansa-Brandenburg W.29 and the Felixstowe F2a (early type). These two models have already been masterly reviewed in Scale Plastic and Rail and in Large Scale Modeller and all the main and detail aspect of both model kits has been well analyzed in impartially and honestly way. Even though, I will give my personal and brief look up in all sprues before going to the differences. In the big box you got 22 sprues!! That`s a ton of plastic and thousands of hours of real fun. 10 sprues are for the Hansa and 12 for the Felixstowe. Also there`s two decals sheets and one photo-etched sheet. Starting with the Hansa: Sprue A All parts of the cockpit are here including the instrument panel, the side structure , the cushion, fuel pump, hand air pump. The fuel tank ant the pilot`s seat are on sprue F. A mold strategy for sure. Sprue B The floats, tailplane wings and elevators made this one. The floats have fantastic and subtle raise details, upper and lower. The ribs on the elevators are also a very good casting with sharp detail. Sprue C The small of all sprues: the clear parts from Hansa with only four parts, which in hindsight are even enough for an open cockpit plane. The clear parts are very well molded and quite transparent without distortion of the plastic which affects the transparency of the part. Sprue D (x2) There`s two for this sprue because brings all the pieces to put Hansa properly parked in dry dock. So you get the beaching dollies, the rear fuselage support trestle and float support trestle. Also the Spandau is on this block. Sprue E The 150 hp Benz Bz. III engine is very well reproduced directly from the box. On this particular item is always space for extra detail and the instructions brings out two very nice pictures of the real one as a guideline. Sprue F Fuselage halves and some other details like the fuel tank and pilot seat. Sprue H Top halve wings and wings elevators. The ribs details once again is quite sharp and delicate. Lower halve wings. Both of wings have fine structure rib detail. It´s curious to see that in later releases, the wings of other WnW models with the same wingspan comes in one single piece. Even with a much large wingspan like the Felixstowe, one single piece for the all wing is used. This is clearly an evolution in WnW Models and it makes quite sense making live a little better for modellers and giving a more structural piece, in solid plastic to the build. Hats off WnW. You are the best and still always innovating and improving. Spruce G A small fret for the IMG 14/17 parabellum and most of the parts are indicated by WnW not to be used. Turning our attention to the mighty Felix. Sprue A Almost cockpit and internal parts are in this sprue like the duckboard style crew area floor, big side wall frames, a highly detail instrument board, sub-deck for fuel tank mounting among other details parts. Sprue B This sprue only have 7 usable parts, so the float-shaped parts are actually part of the hull and the rear fuselage. All ejector pin marks on these large pieces are inside the model, and well out of sight. Sprue C All sprue contains just three parts. This particularly sprue is totally different from the Late type version.. Clarity is excellent, some masking will have to be done. Sprue D (x2) Theses sprues bring lots of parts, for external and internal of the aircraft. For the interior you got the petrol tanks and their respective plumbing, ammunition bins and drums as well as the Lewis guns themselves and their mounts, steering wheels, rudder pedals etc. Other parts are for the Rolls Royce engine like the water cooling plumbing four blade propellers, radiators and shutters, oil tanks. All these parts are perfect design with fantastic detail. Sprue E (x2) Two sprues for two engines! J All the parts you need for the 12-cylinder Rolls Royce Eagle. This engine is a, a kit itself… The finest detail I`ve yet seen… One more example of the evolution of WnW keeping by long distance all the other manufactures! Sprue F Now, the fuselage/hull. Wow… here you get the real size of this beast!! IT`S BIGGG!! The details are all there even on the upper hull which is more sparse due to the plywood nature. And wings are still to come… Sprue G and H The wings are even bigger!! This beast will not be easy to handle on my workbench. Lower and upper wings are molded with great finesse (Rib and fabric representation are quite very authentic), in a single and solid tab in contrast of the W.29 as already mention. One of the points always underline by WNW is that they has designed this model so that both upper and lower panels can be detached, complete with rigging to aids storage and transportation. I must confess that I really have a little difficulty in understand the concept if the rigging material is fishing line…. On the upper wing, we can see on the rigging diagram that they are several rigging line in all wing span, so I really don`t understand how it`s possible without compromising the structure of the wings and the rigging. Sprue I The most mysterious sprue. As Jim called up the attention to the single four blade propeller on his review, indeed this single and isolate propeller for no use is very very intriguing. Here`s there another Felixstowe on the production line?? Or it`s just an spare propeller? Who knows? But in the last six years, WnW already proved that they don`t do anything random… So this propeller is here for something… One day we will know! J Besides the mysterious propeller, this concerns also the tail plane, span stabilizer. As everything on the model, it`s big! Sprue J This sprue is, concerning to plastic and alongside with sprue C, is a totally regarding the Late release. This sprue is all about the upper coamings, quite different for the Late type, giving a much cover cockpit with the big glass & celluloid cabin. Now that plastic is gone, let’s check the elements that are totally exclusive to this release. Photo-etched Decal Options Instructions Concerning I was expecting two small PE sheet, one for each aircraft, equal to those on the single release models. The WnW never cease to amazed me. So went even further than the first Duellist and offers the modeler one sheet with all necessary parts for both kits and even two brass tag plates to put alongside on the wood base, one for each one of the planes. A total cracker! Perfect. A brass photo-etched sheet has the quality that WnW already accustomed us, with delicate detail and good engraving... With annealing technique, this metal is extremely easy to work with and adapts to modeller needs. While the decal sheet is quite obvious, since you only have two options (one for each aircraft) beside german naval hex that is identical to the sheet of the single W.29 release. The other sheet is the new one and brings the markings for both aircraft and stencils. So with this Duellist you got the eager waited Friedrich Christiansen W.29. Concerning the Felixstowe scheme option, yep I know that the Felix do have more colorful option, but believe that this beast with wood and CDL is just so beautiful. At first I always thought to I would go for one of that… Now, I just love this one. My “new conviction” about wood and CDL is mainly because of the magnificent history behind these two aircraft and the bound that are connect… It`s a real piece of history here and I will go build both of them and put then side by side. My instructions came with some very little damage on the upper and lower edges. The instructions have less information about the aircraft itself, like photos of real aircraft, less color paint guides then the original and individual aircraft releases. The diagrams are the same with small updates (yellow color for PE) but for example the W29 instructions of the original release before the markings options guide has 18 pages…. Duellist one has 14 pages. All the intel and necessary information are in both instructions, so it real looks the WnW study quite well what to take off to reduce the cost and the height, I presume. CONCLUSION Wow… no words… it is very difficult to say something of a perfect kit. In reality are two kits perfect with the best box-art ever... In December 2014 I had the pleasure and the difficult task of reviewing the HPH Cut away Catalina, with a fabulous kit in every possible way. And to receive this Duellist, was the crown jewel of my collection. Lost the first place with dignity for this fabulous Duellist. I could say it's the best kit ever but it would be a bold statement because WnW continues and will continue so to launch new kits ... and coming from WnW, you never know. So do yourself a favor and if you do not have a W.29 or whether to have the FC W.29, lose your head and buy this Duellist or simply selling 10/20 kits from your stash of 200/300 kits and buy this .... I assure you that you will not be sorry. Rating: 10/10 Totally, absolutely, unbelievably recommended ... My most sincere thanks to Richard Alexander and all the staff of WnW for all the hard work throughout this six years. And to Peter Jackson, a sincere thanks for his vision and for having fulfilled its dream, fulfilling the dream of many others. Thank you SIR.