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  1. Hi all, This is my HK Models Meteor F.4, converted into a T.7 using the Fisher Models resin set, incorporating the narrow chord intakes that are specific to the majority of T.7 aircraft. I've also added a smattering of Eduard stuff around this build, for landing flaps, seatbelts, wheels and mudguards etc. It's a little worrying when you hack off huge sections of your expensive model kit with a razor saw, but this one built up just beautifully. I've used MRP (Mr Paint) for all colours, such as Sulphur Yellow, Basalt, White Aluminium, Lemon Grey and Syrian AFV Yellow-Brown etc. Also some nice Airscale bezels and decals on the instrument panels. Watch out for this one in the November edition of Military Illustrated Modeller (No.79), due out around mid-October 2017.
  2. 1:24 Bugatti Model 100 (P100) Record Plane Fisher Models Catalogue # GA-2401 Available from Fisher Models for $225.00 I’ve often heard it said and read that the Bugatti Model 100 was the aircraft that could’ve won the war in some form or other. Won it for the French against the Germans, and indeed won it for the Germans who would have used a captured design for themselves, against the allies. I don’t really subscribe to either of these arguments. It’s a flight of fantasy. A supposition about an aircraft that not only was designed as a racing aircraft, and indeed had never actually flown anyway, means that any data on performance simply doesn’t exist. The Germans, if having captured the machine after the fall of France, probably wouldn’t have used the machine for anything more than trials. I think it’s fair to say that Germany’s faith in their own technical ability, would have probably taken precedence over a rich man’s toy. Having said that, the design of the Model 100 really shouldn’t be kicked to the kerb. It truly was a revolutionary design, and way ahead of contemporary fighter design. Whether it could’ve been used for Military service is simply a matter of conjecture. Designed by Louis de Monge, Ettore Buggati’s chief designer, the Model 100 was actually powered by TWO Bugatti automotive engines that were fitted into the airframe at slightly opposing angles, driving two contra-rotating propellers. The design also incorporated an inverted V-tail layout that contained the engine’s cooling intakes, as well as a fully retractable undercarriage. Construction was also mainly of timber. This design was so promising that the French approached Bugatti with a proposal to utilise the Model 100 as a fighter aircraft, despite it being designed specifically for the Deutsche de la Meurthe cup race. History had caught up with Bugatti’s Model 100, and the machine wasn’t completed for the designated event, and as Hitler’s troops began their assault on Europe, the Model 100 was safely stashed away before being restored and put on display. The story doesn’t end there though. In fact, it continues today as a team of aero enthusiasts recreate the beautiful and unique lines of the Model 100, with a view to flying this reproduction and putting it through its paces. This model is produced in conjunction with these guys. You really must check out their website here If anyone was to produce a beautiful model kit of this aircraft, then Paul Fisher would be your man. In fact, many years ago, he released this subject in 1:48 scale, and those models not can fetch a pretty penny if found for sale. With Paul’s expertise in mind, he was commissioned to create this new 1:24 kit of what must surely be one of the most aesthetically pleasing machines ever to have not flown! This one comes in quite a large and sturdy corrugated cardboard box, with a top-opening lid. The actual product label is on the side of the box, and looks quite understated. Opening the box up, you see a real hallmark of Fisher’s releases; lots and lots of fine tissue paper. Main components such as the fuselage and wing, are wrapped in tissue, and the various zip-lock bags of smaller parts are tucked within the folds of tissue paper. Full marks for protecting the contents of this kit. Underneath all of the parts is the instruction manual and a small decal sheet for the cockpit instruments. There is no photo-etch required for this kit, as Paul has reproduced all detail in resin. FUSELAGE This part is copiously wrapped in tissue paper, and a quantity is also stuffed into the space between the fuselage walls, to help prevent any squashing inwards at this point. As the model has a fully detailed engine bay, the spine is cast separately, as can be seen here. Another point of note is that the inverted ‘V’ tail is cast in situ. The tail units on the P100 were smoothly faired into the fuselage, so this was simply the best way of ensuring that the clean lines of the Bugatti will translate through to your model kit. Please also note the fin intake vanes alone the leading edge of the tail surfaces, beautifully reproduced here. Being resin, there are some mould paring lines which need to be removed, and these are along the edges of the tail plane, and also on the underside of the nose area. A few swipes with a sanding stick should make those history. Some of the joint edges also want cleaning up, and a little filler where things are slightly jagged. There isn’t too much in the way of detail on the exterior. The P100 was mostly constructed of wood, and this was sanded smooth, sealed and filled etc, before being painted. Notice that there are two exhaust manifold fairings on the exterior; one for each of the two engines. There is some internal cockpit detail though, including floor and sidewall wiring and cast positions where the numerous cockpit internals will be placed. All elements within here are sharp and have excellent definition. WING This is an impressive, heavy, single piece casting that really has to be seen to gauge just how good it is. Externally, you will find no rivets etc. due to the Bugatti’s timber construction, but you will see some beautifully scribed panel lines, fabric tapes on the elevators, sharply defined louvres on the rear wing root, and nicely shaped wheel wells. The latter don’t contain any detail, with only minor detail being included during assembly, such as the strut pivot mounting plates. What detail there is, however, has been superbly executed by Paul Fisher, with the same attention to detail that we have come to expect from his work. It’s safe to say that the Bugatti’s slightly forward-swept wing form is perfectly captured here, along with the thin-edged wing root that mates up perfectly to the fuselage. Before the wing can be attached to the aircraft, you’ll have to assemble and fit an incredible amount of detail on the centre section. Here, both engines and associated hardware will be installed. Just make sure you follow the instructions carefully, and if in doubt, temporarily fit the fuselage to make certain that those parts will be properly encompassed within the sleek design. OTHER COMPONENTS Scattered around the various folds of protective tissue paper are another SIX bags of resin parts. I don’t think there’s strictly any rationale for what parts are bagged together, in the main, but these is a loose relation in some bags, such as main gear doors, wheels and struts etc. also packed in with the two contra-rotating propellers. One of these props is badly curled at the tip, but a dip is very hot water will fix that immediately as there is no physical damage. Let’s take a look at what these parts are, and there place in the bigger scheme of things, along with some photos to give you an idea of the detail that is present here. WALLET 1 As already mentioned, here you will find the main undercarriage struts, wheels, hubs etc. Note that the struts don’t actually have any reinforcement wire in them, but I’m very confident that if it’s not included here, then Paul knows it’s not needed. Strut detail is very simple, as per the real thing. I’m not sure whether you might need to add a hydraulic line to these, so check any reference you may have, with the Bugatti Project pages being probably the best reference you can access. The hubs fit neatly into the wheels, and then the cast lugs sit inside the strut forks. There is a little clean up to do on some parts, such as the paring line from the mould, seen along the outside of the wheels. As the wheels are tread-less, this is an easy task to accomplish. The main gear bay doors are cast as single pieces, complete with their folded appearance. Note also the small retraction arms in this packet too. Propellers are cast integrally to their spinner parts, and putting these together shows that they match perfectly. The edges of the prop blades are nice and thin too, and minimal clean-up will be required. WALLET 2 Quite a number of cockpit parts here, such as those sidewall consoles through which run the two power transmission shafts from the engines to the propellers. Sitting these inside the cockpit illustrates a perfect fit. For such a small, narrow cockpit, the Bugatti was picked with enough detail to more than satisfy the modeller. Take a look at the parts here, and you’ll see bulkheads, gearbox/prop-shaft unit, transverse plate with fairing and instrument detail, instrument panel that fits to the transverse plate, casting blocks with throttle details, levers, instruments etc., two part seat that’s very reminiscent of those seen in modern gliders, and lastly, two compressed air bottles that sit either side of the sleeved prop shafts in the forward fuse. I’m very impressed with the instrument panels. The instrument fascias are bold, and also blank, to accommodate instrument decals that are included. At the rear of the panels, the instrument bodies can be seen. Again, a little wiring here should be all that’s required. Don’t think that any of this detail is wasted either, as the Bugatti has an impressive canopy that will show everything you include. WALLET 3 We venture into the rear engine compartment now, with a number of associated parts. These include forward and aft magnetos, oil pump/shaft, equipment mounting platform, radiator, air ducting unit, coils, oil tank, header tank, and casting blocks containing numerous timing gears….all of course essential for a high performance racing aircraft. Many parts here are either lugged or tabbed for precision assembly, and as before, the detail is just incredible. You really won’t want to glue the spine over this area when completed, and nor should you! WALLETS 4 & 5 These are pretty similar in content and almost identical in remit. They both concern the dual engine installations. The lower crankcase of each engine is buried deep within the fuselage, and simply won’t be seen. Paul has used this for his benefit by making that lower area a block that plugs into the wing centre area, onto which the rest of the engine is built. These packets contain cylinder head blocks, crankcases, intake and exhaust manifolds, a strip of spark plugs, blower and drive unit, camshaft drive, and water cooling piping. Despite the apparent complexity of the finished arrangement, this actually looks quite simple to assemble and should cause zero problems….as long as you have patience for those spark plugs! Some wiring is all that’s required here. WALLET 6 The last packet contains the spine, complete with vents and intakes, plus a gorgeous clear resin canopy that’s wrapped up in tissue paper. Clarity is extremely good, and framing detail means that this should be easy to mask and spray. There’s also a small decal sheet for the instruments, designed by Airscale and printed by Fantasy Printshop, so quality really is assured. INSTRUCTIONS Fisher’s instructions are driven by their photographic illustrations, depicted in black and white, but with descriptive text that helps you with every single area of construction. As this model is very intuitive with regards to design, many components are quite obvious when it comes to their location. Simple colour notes are given on the front page, but there is some confusion as to the interior colours as these no longer exist on the original. Suggestions are given, as well as for external colours and the use of Bugatti motorcar reference for the engine bay. Conclusion This is an absolute STONKING release from Fisher Models, and depicts this iconic aircraft in its most beautiful form, complete with an amazing interior. Remember, this is also a 1:24 model, despite the model’s wingspan of around 1ft. This means it should also fit comfortably in your display cabinet too as it’s around the same size as a 1:32 single seat fighter. Production quality is first rate. If anyone knows how to master and produce a whole resin model, it’s Paul Fisher. This isn’t a cheap model, relatively speaking, but is still very good value for money when you consider the subject and amount of resin included. It’s also a real showstopper, in terms of style and execution. This will soon be rolling from my workshop, but finished in bare wood and metal, and not the racing blue you would expect. I just hope it turns out well. If not, it was Paul’s suggestion!! If you are keen on this kit, remember that there are only to be 200 made!! VERY highly recommended! My sincere thanks to Paul Fisher of Fisher Models for this review sample and build opportunity. To purchase directly, click THIS link.
  3. 1:32 Gloster Meteor F.8 conversion Fisher Models Catalogue # A3231 Available from Fisher Models for $85.00 There is only one game in town if you want to build an injection-moulded 1:32 Gloster Meteor, and that is the HK Models kit which was released around the beginning of 2014. The kit itself is superb, even if you build OOB, and offers a number of upgrade paths for those who like to detail their models further. Profimodeller and Eduard have released sets to help you build your ultimate Meteor. HK have only released the Meteor as an F.4, so if your particular ultimate Meteor was a different variant (most were), then until now, there was no viable option for the regular modeller. Enter Fisher Models with their F.8 conversion.... Paul Fisher is a craftsman. There's no doubt about that, and his sheer finesse and attention to detail can be seen in all of his products, so when one of the F.8 conversions dropped through the door, not only could I not wait to see what it contained, but I was already fomenting a plan to build this as soon as the review was completed. This set is packaged into a reasonable size box for a conversion, and it's also got quite a bit of weight to it. But then it needs to! To convert the F.4 to the F8, you'll have very little fuselage plastic left. Opening this box, you see one trademark of all their sets, and that is swathes of soft, crispy tissue paper that not only provides some padding, but is also used to individually wrap certain parts and assemblies. One such wrapped assembly are the two forward fuselage sections. As well as being carefully taped together, they also contain a little zip-lock wallet tucked inside. This holds the clear resin parts, again, carefully wrapped in tissue paper. New Nose The real difference between the kit fuselage nose/cockpit area and the resin parts, are that F.8 had an extended nose, so Fisher has taken the kit nose and also extended this, whilst replicating the kit standard detail on the new areas. This is been done extremely well except for one or two panel lines which just need a quick lick with a scriber. Exterior detail is sharp, again, matching the standard of the host kit. One part of the HK kit that I didn't like was the oblong part that inserts into the upper forward nose. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get it to sit flush all the way around. No problem with that here, as that section is cast in situ. Apart from that, there are a few minor differences to the kit parts, with one noticeably being the two fairings that protrude from either side of the cockpit canopy area. You will also note that the rear turtle deck, so devoid of detail on the HK kit, is actually opened up here. We'll look at the reasons why very shortly. It's pretty obvious that the cockpit internals and wheel bay area will install as per the kit, and a very solid ridge has been left along the inner area of the mating surface, to allow the modeller to align the new nose as easily as possible. Seams are very good here, with the upper seam being the better of the two. The lower seam is a little uneven in some places, and there is a little raised resin around that seam. When these are jointed, you'll need to apply a little putty or thick CA as filler, and carefully rub back so as not to damage any surrounding detail. Casting is among some of the best I've seen, with no actual casting block to remove; just a little tidying instead. No flaws can be seen anywhere. Intakes There are TWO sets of corrected intakes available for this kit. These are the long and short chord type, with all parts being wrapped in tissue to protect them. This release will be packaged with the long chord as standard, unless you ask them to be substituted for the short chord parts. Installation of these will be very different, with the long chord type needing the most invasive surgery, as you cut back into the wing root area in order to graft these into place. On the other hand, the short chord, whilst not needing that level of surgery, does involve having to install the part before you glue the upper wing to the lower. This is because this type has a short but flared intake channel within, which correctly tapers to an oblong shape. I do find that the long chord intakes need a little re-scribing in places, and both sets have a few very minor divots in the joining edges, around the circumference. Again, this is no big deal and won't take long to sort out. One point of contention in the inclusion of both parts is that the artworks don't specify which machine was installed with what type of intake. You'll have to use your own reference there, or your imagination. My sample also has two sets of wing leading edge areas that you see through the intake opening. I can't see any difference in them at all, so presume these are all merely packaged because I have two intake sets with this sample. Cockpit Fisher has totally reworked this area, almost beyond recognition. This is an area where you really should take your time and employ considerable patience, due to the many parts that not make up the Meteor pilot's humble office. Out of box, the kit parts make a very tidy and acceptable cockpit, but this takes the whole result up ten whole levels! The basic cockpit tub assembly is as per kit, with the starboard side locking to the pips that are cast into the interior of the nose. This perfectly aligns the whole tub when complete. There is far more detail in this cockpit than is supplied in the basic kit. This comes from both adding the detail that HK missed, right up to corrections and of course that detail which differs from the F.4 variant. If cockpits are your thing, then this could well be one of the most detailed that you'll yet see. Sidewalls are resplendent in extra detail, such as wiring and re-faced/refined instruments/avionics units. My sample set has two identical casting blocks containing various levers etc. These are added to the sidewalls, and also to the totally reworked rear wall. This is designed to accommodate the new ejection seat, and there is a lever unit either side of the gap, accommodating two levers each. Even the floor gets a little extra refinement with the addition of the two walled channels for the pilot's feet/rudder pedals. Now, onto that seat. This is the only part of the conversion that Fisher didn't master for themselves. It is actually the Martin-Baker ejection seat from Aero Club, and very fine it is too. There are three parts to this; the main chair, cushions and belts, and the top pull-release on the upper headrest. As far as standard and depth of detail go, this doesn't disappoint, and entirely compliments the Fisher conversion set. Casting quality is first rate, with the tiniest bit of feathery flash to remove. You will notice that the instrument panel is very different in this release. The first think that struck me was the lack of bezels. Checking this out online, this is indeed correct. The panel is also very thin as it is designed to fit to a separate plate, sandwiching a decal that shows through main panel. There are numerous other small parts that go to make up this masterpiece, including a reworked control column and gun-sight. Extra Internal Detail I already mentioned the lack of any detail on the kit turtle-deck. This isn't so much of a problem when the canopy is closed (though it still isn't properly represented), but when the canopy is opened, as most of us no doubt model it, there is an entire lack of detail that should be shown. In fact, the kit totally leaves it out. What should sit there are the hydraulic drip pan and reservoir, plus the two large ammunition boxes. Well, fret no longer, as they are indeed included in this kit, and in stunning detail. There is also a curved interior shell that fits within the canopy, and then when closed, obscures this area from view. New Tail Section If sawing the entire nose from your fuselage didn't give you palpitations, then the next modification most certainly will. A major difference between the F.4 and F.8, and certainly the most visible, was the difference in the shape of the tailfin, rudder and horizontal stabiliser/elevator areas. These were major reworkings, and the only thing that can be done is to dispense with the plastic totally. The new resin fin is cast with its rudder in situ, but the effect is very convincing and it looks like separate parts. In fact, hold it to the light, and you will see a sliver through the resin. In some places, the resin is gone, and I'm thinking the best thing to do here is to gently run a razor saw down the leading edge of the rudder, just to give a little extra definition. To add the new tail, the fuselage will need to be sawed as a pre-determined panel line. Stabilisers and elevators are supplied as left/right, and are marked as such with a thin web that is cast to them. Apart from the elevators, there are no casting blocks to remove at all on the stabilisers or the main tail section. A very thin strip of easily removable resin serves as the casting block on the elevators. Just a minimal clean up. Test-fitting the stabilisers to the vertical fin shows the fit to be extremely good, with perhaps just a wipe of putty being needed, if at all. Detail is excellent and commensurate with the finesse of the host kit, with finely scribed panel lines and access ports. Clear Parts One of the criticisms of the HK kit had been the canopy. The actual F.4 canopy is a little shallow and wide, and whilst that doesn't concern us here, the windscreen does. This was also incorrect on the HK kit, so a new resin part is included here to replace that. There are also TWO main canopy parts; both early and late hoods, as well as a clear cover for the radio compass on the Australian machine, and a small piece of acetate for the gun-sight reflector. The windscreen is crystal clear, exhibiting zero distortion, and the main hoods, whilst not distorted, aren't quite as clear as the windscreen. I think a tickle with a buffing and polishing stick should sort that, and a dip in Klear may seal the deal. Frame definition is good, and the frame areas themselves are frosted. Decals There are THREE sheets included here, printed by Fantasy Printshop. It's always good to see decals that I know to be of high quality. FIVE schemes are supplied with this release, with an Israeli machine in the offing still. Contact Fisher Models regarding that. Whilst there are five schemes, there are actually only 4 unique machines, as one of these was repainted in camouflage, from its original high-speed silver. I really can't complain about the decals. They are superbly thin, contain minimal carrier film, authentic colour, and they are in perfect register. Unlike the HK kit, this conversion supplies you with a full set of stencils too. The schemes available here are: Meteor F.Mk.8, WF737.V, No.63 Sqn. RAF Waterbeach, UK, 1956 Meteor F.Mk.8, WH359.K, No.611 Sqn. Royal Aux. Air Force, RAF Hooton Park, UK, 1953 Meteor F.Mk.8, WH445.S, No.615 Sqn, Royal Aux. Air Force, RAF Biggin Hill, UK, 1958 Meteor F.Mk.8, A77-207, No.77 RAAF, Korea, 1951 Instructions There's no doubt that these have been a labour of love for Paul Fisher. Every stage is photographed and passages of text annotate the images. My only real criticism is that the photos are perhaps a little small, and it would have been good to have these in colour and not in black/white. The text certainly helps to make up for things generally, and colour notation is given throughout the conversion construction. Colour profiles are supplied for the various machines, and a stencil diagram is given on the back page. • I already mentioned that none of these machines have any information about whether they use the wide or short chord intakes. In all, you shouldn't have any real issue in converting your Meteor if you closely study the instructions. Conclusion Wow! This really is a superb resin conversion set, with a very decent parts count. There are far more schemes available for the F.8 than there is for the original F.4 kit incarnation, and this set opens up many exciting possibilities. There are already decals slated for this release, from other aftermarket manufacturers. As well as the conversion aspect, this release also opens up a whole new depth of detail to the cockpit, which now becomes a real showpiece of this aircraft. Resin production is amongst some of the very best, and if you want to know about accuracy, then the fact that this is from Fisher should be enough for you. Paul has done his research, and there notable names from our industry, listed on the instructions front page. This is a quality product throughout and screams to be built. In fact, by the time you read this, I already will have! Very highly recommended My sincere thanks to Fisher Models for the review sample seen here. To purchase directly, click THIS link. James H
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